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Colonel K Speaks



"Everything is possible."



Updated: 2017-10-20T16:18:47.655-04:00

 



Ra Ra Rasputin Mixtape Vol.1

2011-01-06T15:13:35.142-05:00

There are few things better than discovering a song for the first time. Playing music is the closest we've come to duplicating that feeling of discovery. These songs may seem all over the map, but for us, they all speak to the sincerity in the wild and exploratory process of making music. We risk it by putting it out there. Sometimes it's distorted and quiet, other times it's pulsing and frenetic. That's the kind of music we're always working to make and love listening to.-Ra Ra Rasputin, January 2011More information about each song after the jump...Anna“Tidal Wave” Grouper Dragging a Dead Deer Up A Hill (2008)Liz Harris' music constantly surprises me, which is always my goal when writing. I'm really inspired by her sound and have spent much of the last few years recording everyday sounds and building dark, moody patches around them. Her quiet, under-watery songs are undeniably awesome.“Heart of Gold” Neil Young Harvest (1972)This song is my first memory of music - it's always with me and I love it.“Egyptian Shumba” The Tammys Egyptian Shumba 7" single (1963) These ladies were the original girls gone wild. I'm sure I've listened to this song one thousand times, and I still love it just as much as the first play. The classic 60's intro and the sex crazed shrieks and grunts are so wacky and fun I can't help but shimmy shimmy.“Is It Medicine” The Knife Deep Cuts (2005)Anyone who knows me knows that I have a deep and undying love for Swedish musicians. The Knife is one of my all time favorites and this song has a groove that wins gold. Ken“A Journey to Reedham [7 A.M. mix]” Squarepusher Big Loada (1997)Squarepusher has a wonderful ability to find really nice melodic phrases, loop them and then throw some incredibly active drums over top as the lead instrument. I think this song is a great example of that. There are some really crazy/impressive sounds. I love the synth riff that comes in at 01:34.“Ye Ye De Smell” Fela Kuti and Africa 70 Live with Ginger Baker (1971)Fela Kuti always found those basslines and grooves that, for some magical reason, you can just jam on for hours and hours (sometimes literally). This song is from a live album featuring Ginger Baker from Cream, who traveled to Africa to hang out with Fela and study African rhythms.“This Must Be the Place ” Talking Heads Speaking In Tongues (1983)I considered adding one of the more percussion-heavy Talking Heads tunes from Fear of Music or Remain in Light, but I just really love this one. The bass and drums - which don't change for the entire song - lay down such a pleasant foundation for the vocals and synth melodies. The lyrics are really nice. And there are all of these fun sounds in the background. The video is really great too.“Music for a Large Ensemble” Steve Reich Octet - Music for a Large Ensemble - Violin Phase (1980)This is my favorite piece by 20th century minimalist composer Steve Reich. Another wonderful example of hypnotic repetitive interlocking rhythms. I love the subtle variations and time signature changes. Even after listening to the piece dozens of times, I still consistently find the big horn swells (02:18, for example) to be genuinely moving. The piece reminds me of one of those fast-forward shots of people getting on and off trains at rush hour. It was all recorded live, I think. Beautiful music.Brock"(We Don't Need This) Fascist Groove Thang" Heaven 17 Penthouse and Pavement (1981)2 of the 3 original members of The Human League, Ian Marsh and Martyn Ware (It was Ware who came up with the name "The Human League") quit the Human League and started a new band called Heaven 17. Human League (with Phil Oakey) ended up having way more success, but Heaven 17 came out with a couple of jewels. This song is a classic.“Hole In My Head” Box Elders Alice and Friends (2009)This band is from Omaha, and that's where I grew up. This song is perfectly catchy and short. The drummer, Dave, is a bartender at one of my favorite bars, Brother's Lounge, ran by an awesome couple, who keep a jukebox that I would copy [...]



Tennis System "The Future of Our History"

2010-05-06T13:52:16.765-04:00

Washington DC's Tennis System have gained a certain amount of notoriety for their visually intense, high volume shows. While touring their way down to Austin for this year’s South by Southwest festival, two of their shows were shut down by local cops because of noise complaints. But stories of police intervention and hysterical sound engineers don’t serve as a solid foundation for establishing a band’s reputation. And while Tennis System concerts are wonderful experiments in sensory overload, it’s on record that the band really shines. Nowhere is this more evident than on the group’s debut full-length, “The Future of Our History.”Unlike many musicians these days, Tennis System are not afraid of searching for “the sound.” A quick listen to the first few tracks reveals a group of young men who’ve spent countless hours coaxing the right tones and sounds out of their instruments. Yes, this is a very loud record. But there’s sonic dynamism that makes “The Future of Our History” stand out from other “nu-gaze” records. Guitarists Matty Taylor and Drake Eidson’s guitars shimmer, scream and shine across every song. And while the influence of a certain Anglo-Irish combo is certainly evident, Matty and Drake never let their love of Kevin Shields & co. oversaturate their sound. In fact, I’d say that Tennis System have a lot more in common with Ride or Pale Saints (and at times Swervedriver). But the most surprising aspect of this record is the strong presence of Tennis System’s rhythm section. Drummer Brad Fullilove and bassist Clinton Cool are never reduced to “drum machine & bass throb” status. Nor do they muck up the sound by being too flashy. In their playing you can hear the sounds of Led Zeppelin, Blue Cheer and and even go-go (Washington DC’s official sound, for those of you who aren’t in the urrrrrrrrrrrea)!As I mentioned above, this band has no problem turning the volume up to 11. But at times, their love of noise can undermine the power of the songs. Interestingly, in the last few months, Tennis System have started to turned down a bit! They are still louder than most bands, but the decrease in volume has resulted in a much fuller and more dynamic sound. In venues with a decent PA and competent staff, they‘re a real pleasure to see. But in places where the sound guy is screaming at everyone or half asleep, things can get kind of hairy. Either way, you won't go home disappointed. Check them out, as they've got a very busy schedule planned for this summer.Upcoming shows. PS DON'T FORGET YR EARPLUGS.*Saturday May 8 Comet Ping Pong with (the sounds of) Kaleidoscope Washington, DC*Saturday May 15 9:00P ESOTERIC VIDEO SHOOT Washington, DC*Saturday Jun 12 8:00P Velvet Lounge with Asteroid No. 4 Washington, DCRecommended tracks: Beautiful Mistake, FS, Demonator, Here’s a Thought"Here’s a Thought”, live at Union Pool, Brooklyn, NY 2010"FS" live at Done&Done, 2010 in Queens, NY“Esoteric” live at For the Love of DC, December 2009Matty and the author performing Spacemen 3’s “Walking with Jesus”[...]



Detox Retox, Dum Dum Girls and Male Bonding at DC9

2010-03-27T19:27:12.086-04:00

Over the last year or so, DC9 has become THE spot for catching up-and-coming bands before they make the leap to bigger venues. The club’s intimate layout, good sound and convenient location makes it one of the best places to see artists before they sell out the 930 Club or Black Cat. So when the opportunity to see Sub Pop rising stars Male Bonding and Dum Dum Girls came along, I figured “Eh, Why not.”To conservative concertgoers, local openers Detox Retox could be seen as an odd fit on this bill. In my opinion, however, it would’ve been boring to see three bands that all looked and sounded the same. Detox play punk-pop that sounds like a mix between Silent Alarm-era Bloc Party meets the Police before everyone’s egos went out of control. Toss in a few flourishes of power-pop and the occasional gang vocal breakdowns and you get the kind of musical tension that guarantees that no two songs sound alike. Thursday night’s performance seemed very “on” for the lads, as they were all smiling and filled with energy. Singer Michael Parker was unusually charming, despite the fact that he’d been puking outside the club before load-in. The band is set to return to the studio in May,and I'm looking forward to hearing what they come out with next. Dum Dum Girls came on stage around 9:50pm and begin their set with a haunting cover of the Rolling Stones’ “Play with Fire.” But from there, things began to go downhill. A quick scan of the stage revealed no less than two Holy Grail pedals being used to wash the vocals in a sea of reverb. This misguided attempt to recreate 60’s studio techniques actually rendered the vocals inaudible. Even more tragic was the girls' paint by numbers approach to being a gang of late 1950s bad girls. Matching Silvertone 1448 guitars? Check. Super short skirts and ripped tights? Check. Frosty ‘tude towards the crowd? Double check. Now, don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with the wholesale appropriation of a certain look or being slightly detached on stage. But Dum Dum Girls lacked the songs and the chemistry to come off as really memorable. When they left the stage, I didn't feel anything. It was though I’d just attended some miserable excuse for a tribute show. Why this group is as feted as they are, I haven’t the faintest idea. Male Bonding proved to be even more frustrating. Again, here was a blog buzz group wearing “cool” clothes and group playing nice looking gear (points for the vintage Fender Mustang Bass). But the overuse of reverb and lack of memorable melodies sabotaged any enjoyment that could’ve been drawn from Male Bonding’s performance. If you didn’t know anything about Sub Pop(or Rough Trade during the early to mid 80s), Male Bonding could maybe come off as a pretty cool band. But knowing what we know about the history of underground pop-music, Male Bonding (or Bondage, as the Dum Dums insisted on calling them) come off as painfully unoriginal. See here, lads, messthetics are bullshit if you don’t stand for anything. And there are few things more irritating than a trio of Englishmen with nothing to say. Shame on USCIS on approving these guys for P-Visas and letting them into the country![...]



Interview with Byrds of Paradise

2009-10-08T10:36:35.028-04:00

Born and raised in suburban New Jersey, Kenny Brown moved to Washington, DC to attend university. A talented multi-instrumentalist, he was in and out of bands during his tenure in DC. But for one reason or another, none of these projects ever got off the ground. A harrowing bicycle accident in spring 2009 forced him to re-evaluate his approach. While recuperating during the long hot summer, Brown began to write and record songs under the name Byrds of Paradise. Two of his songs, "Rosebud" and "Rowena," were recently featured on Pitchfork's Forkcast.First off, what got you into playing music?My friend Jack got a guitar when he was like 11, and he got me into everything. I remember we used to have epic sleepovers and he taught me how to play Green Day's “Brain Stew.” I was hooked from there. I played all day, and then the following Christmas I got a drum set. I played every day from then until the end of high school. I never took any lessons.And where did you grow up?I grew up in Basking Ridge, New Jersey. It's a small town about 45 minutes west of New York City; full of a bunch of dickheads. I honestly don't know who I'd be or what I'd be doing if it wasn't for the scene I came into.What was it like being in Jersey when the local hardcore/punk scene was at it's peak in the late 90s, early 00s?Growing up in that scene was awesome, because that's how I met my best friends, not the shitheads from my high school. I mean, I started going to ska and pop-punk shows when I was 11, and didn't really realize how privileged I was to see some of the bands I was seeing at the time. Laugh if you want, but I went to Midtown's first show. I saw At the Drive-In before I hit puberty. I've seen Saves the Day probably more than any other band. I was there for all of it.There were two shows that had a really big effect on my musical taste when I was younger. The first was Jimmy Eat World at the Wayne firehouse, when I was 13. Gabe from Midtown and Cobra Starship's brother, Ricky, would throw these awesome shows at the firehouse. I think it was in 2000, so Jimmy Eat World were probably doing their Clarity tour. I was in 8th grade, rocking cargo pants and hoodies, and I didn't know what to expect. It was unbelievable. We pushed to the front because we were the youngest and shortest ones there. I have never seen a band to this day play as tight and as powerful as they did. That whole year after that I was all about turtlenecks and messenger bags.The other show was Converge at Club Krome. That’s another band that still blows my mind with each release; I've seen them probably 4 or 5 times now, but that first time was unbelievable. That's what really got me into harder stuff.So after all this, how did Byrds of Paradise come out?Well I've always wanted to do a band, but just didn’t have the right resources. Since coming to DC, I couldn’t find people who were dedicated enough, able to practice, or had the same vision as me. I was jamming with Mike Mimoun, from Family Portrait, for a while and we were calling it the Council of Cool. It was fun and all but we weren't really doing anything and obviously he had his loyalty and priorities to Family Portrait, which makes sense because they're doing big things and are good. After that we added you and my roommate, Forgan, and started doing that Sperry Boys project, which was going well; it had a Britpop vibe and the songs were tight and executed well. Of course, you had your priority to Ra Ra Rasputin, Mimoun with Family Portrait, etc, etc. I was stuck in a rut and getting real frustrated. At that point I was like, "fuck it, I play everything anyway, I'll do it on my own". My only problem is that I can't sing for shit. This was all in April. Then I took a nasty spill in a biking incident and broke my leg pretty bad. I went home to Jersey for a month and then came back in the summer. Everyone was working during the day, except for Ari (Stern, of Family Portrait). I'd crutch over there every day and just chill with him[...]



Wavves, Ganglians and Tennis System @ Rock & Roll Hotel 10.1.2009

2009-10-05T23:41:13.239-04:00

I woke up from my nap around 7:45 PM and realized that I had about 20 minutes to shower, get dressed and make moves to the Rock and Roll Hotel. With the onset of fall, I no longer have the luxury of making night moves at a leisurely pace. In other words, the colder it gets, the more hurried my life becomes. When I arrived at the Rock and Roll Hotel around 8:30pm, Tennis System were still doing soundcheck. To pass the time, I decided to head upstairs and read a newspaper. From my seat at the bar, I could feel the vibrations of the music from downstairs. Apparently Matt, Drake, Clinton and Brad were living up to their reputation as DC’s loudest band before the doors had even opened. There are few things I love more than when a band begins their set with the song I really want to hear. Tennis System started the evening right by opening with a searing vesrion of “FS.” Despite the fact that they’ve only been playing out for about a year, this band is definitely making a mark on the DC scene. Their set featured Mogwai influenced freak-outs and jangly psychedelic numbers that were reminiscent of early Ride - the ideal combination, if you ask me. Their LOUDquietLOUD antics, combined with the use of moody and sometimes disorienting lighting, make for an intense live experience. Assuming they find a way to keep local soundguys from tearing their hair out, I see a very bright future for these lads. Next up were Ganglians, a Sacramento based quartet who are currently on tour with Wavves. I expected them to be yet another middling fuzzed out indie pop group, but boy was I wrong. They kinda sounded like a rock version of DC’s Exactly. The vocals and guitars were washed out in delay and reverb, while the drums and bass throbbed like a speed freak’s heart. Even when they slowed down for keyboards based tracks (note: keyboard being a little Casio CZ series), there was still an air of menace. While I thought these guys were excellent performers, I would’ve preferred to see them in a smaller, slightly sweatier venue.Now a lot of people have written a lot of things about Wavves in the last four months. Nathan Williams’ “meltdown” at Primavera Soundsystem earlier this year had a lot of people pointing and laughing. And a recent altercation with Jared from Black Lips was touted as a lo-fi version of the 1990s hip-hop wars. It could be argued that a number of people in the audience were there to see if the whole thing was gonna be some kind of freakshow. Well, it wasn’t. Yes, Nathan was a bit weird, but he was certainly in good spirits. And the addition of powerhouse drummer Zach Hill made his songs sounds MASSIVE. I mean, the music wasn’t groundbreaking, revolutionary, whatever whatever whatever. But Wavves were a lot of fun. And everybody seemed to be enjoying themselves. I had a chance to speak to Nathan after the show and I found him to be really laid back and funny. So much for the drug inhaling, glass-smashing monster that the rest of the blogosphere has made him out to be. Don’t believe the hype, kids…Tennis System on MySpaceGanglians on MySpaceWavves on MySpace[...]



Summer is over and the trees are bare...

2009-09-04T16:49:43.098-04:00

100 dBs, fresh off a vacation in Bermuda, has posted a new Brian Wilson mix called "All Summer Long." Download it for free over at his website.
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Ringo Deathstarr will be releasing "In Love" and "Summer Time" on 7" on September 14th. They've also posted two new songs "Two Girls" and the thrillingly beautiful "So High" on their MySpace. They will be returning to Washington DC on Monday October 26th @ the Black Cat.
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THIS WEEKEND NYC: 2 dope events for Saturday Aug 22

2009-08-20T11:41:01.620-04:00

Underwater Peoples Summer 2009 Showcase
Fresh off the heels of a Pitchfork-approved compilation and a couple of new singles by Real Estate and Ducktails, the lads at Underwater Peoples will be hosting the mother of all-dayers at Market Hotel in Brooklyn. The folks at UP promise lots of ill music, lots of beer, pleasant company, tons of fun.

AUGUST 22ND @ the MARKET HOTEL. BROOKLYN NY.
Show Starts 4PM $5.00 @the door
Subway: J to Myrtle Ave Stop.

BANDS (in no order; official set times will be posted in a couple days):
AIR WAVES
ALEX BLEEKER & THE FREAKS
PILL WONDER
FAMILY PORTRAIT
DUCKTAILS
FRAT DAD
FLUFFY LUMBERS
BIG TROUBLES
DANA JEWELL
LIAM THE YOUNGER
ANDREW CEDERMARK
BEACH FOSSILS
REAL ESTATE

And while he may not be performing, Kenny Brown of Byrds of Paradise will be holdin’ it down.

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ArtCrime this Saturday at 205 Chrystie featuring System D-128 (Mad Decent)

Join Theory Events for a night of audio-visual crills with guest video artist System D-128 (Mad Decent/Stemspot) and resident djs It’s Overture, Voidstar Runner, DJ Scallywag and 100dBs burning up two dance floors, upstairs and down.

System D-128, a.k.a. Duey FM, is coming to us from Illadelph, PA. In late 2004, he created a DVD for Diplo’s Florida LP. He has also worked with Obey, M.I.A., Ed Banger, Stones Throw Records, Ghostly International, A-Trak, and MF Doom on a variety of projects. He is currently working with Mad Decent, Mishka and his independent production company Stemspot.

Music by:
System D-128
100dBs
DJ Scallywag
It's Overture
Voidstar Runner

The 411:
205 Chrystie Street. New York, NY
10PM-4AM
21+
Free for ladies
$10 for dudes ($5 on guestlist: guestlist@theryevents.com)
Subway - Take the F/V to 2nd Avenue OR the 6 train to Bleeker

DON'T SLEEP!
Official Site



EXACTLY !

2009-09-04T16:52:35.065-04:00

As individuals, the members of Exactly have gained a certain amount of notoriety in DC’s small, but closely knit indie scene. Whether for their outrageous sense of dress, or their hard partying antics, Jesse (Keyboards, Vocals), Cole (Drums) and Adrian (Keyboards, Vocals) have cemented their reputations as very colorful characters. So you can only imagine our surprise when these three announced that they were forming a band.

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(Photo by Sam Goldstein, for Brightest Young Things)

Their first show at Asylum was a reverbed-out performance art spectacle that left some folks wondering if they’d just had the wool pulled over their eyes. (In all fairness, the soundguy did a terrible job). But all doubts were jettisoned when the group staged a show at their warehouse/practice space in October 2008. By turning down the reverb and actually crafting songs with discernible melodies, Exactly managed to channel the sounds of Suicide, Big Black, Kiss and Animal Collective. (Let it be known that I was the first one to compare these guys to Suicide, not DCist).This performance was particularly memorable due to the fact that the entire group (and their topless dancer) were covered in fake blood and surrounded by strobe-lights.

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(Photo by Zach Callahan)

Since then, Exactly have continued to perform in the DC area, and even managed to take their act to Baltimore and New York. Check out their MySpace and pray that they decide to play a concert hall near you! I strongly recommend "Jenny's Fine" and "Empire."



Playing @ the 930 Club TONIGHT

2009-07-10T09:20:05.314-04:00

For all you readers out there who've been wondering why I've been absent, allow me to bring you up to speed.

My band, Ra Ra Rasputin is playing at the 930 Club here in Washington, DC. It's been an insane month, lemme tell you. Rehearsals, a guest DJ spot here, and some serious flyering all day/every day. It's been absolute chaos. But two years of hard work and toil have finally paid off. So in honor of US I've decided to post a few things.

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Ra Ra Rasputin - Synaptic from MOPEDLORDS on Vimeo.



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Ra Ra Rasputin - Sundowning from MOPEDLORDS on Vimeo.



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Ra Ra Rasputin - Fade To Grey (Visage) from MOPEDLORDS on Vimeo.



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More information:
Ra Ra Rasputin MySpace
Interview with DCist
Interview with Bands in Town



"We Fought the Big One Mixtape - June 2009"

2009-06-09T10:13:34.727-04:00

Ra Ra Rasputin is playing a show with Love Is All tonight @ The Black Cat, and I, Colonel K from Ra Ra Rasputin will at DJing at "We Fought The Big One" on Friday @ Marx Cafe in Mt. Pleasant, DC. Brandon and Rick, the hosts/DJs of WFTBO invited me to compile a mixtape to celebrate my ascension to "Guest DJ" status. Enjoy!Simple Minds “Changeling”Between 1979’s “Life in a Day” and 1982’s “New Gold Dream,” this Glaswegian quintet ambitiously fused Krautrock, ambient pop, Italo-disco and glam rock into a sound that was chaotic, yet inspired. But buried in the confusion, there are stunning moments of glory. Look no further than “Changeling,” an incredibly danceable single from 1979’s “Real to Real Cacophony.”Family Portrait “Mega Secrets”This is a band featuring some younger friends of mine here in DC. (They’ve all just completed their bachelor’s degrees at GW). I had no idea that these guys were in a band, and I was gobsmaked when they played me the rough version of this song. Recorded on a reel-to-reel somewhere in suburban New Jersey, “Mega Secrets” is a piece of enjoyable lo-fi pop by a very secretive band (they’ve only played 2 or 3 shows).The Pop Group “She is Beyond Good and Evil”Bristol’s the Pop Group were one of the most intense and experimental groups to emerge from the ashes of punk rock. “She Is Beyond Good and Evil,” is an aggressive bouillabaisse of free-jazz, punk, and dub - all of this topped by Mark Stewart’s fanatical, Yoko Ono-esque vocals. The lyric “Our only defense is together as an army, I’ll hold you like a gun,” sends shivers down my spine every time I hear it. If Liquid Liquid can get back together for a series of concerts, why the hell can’t these guys.The Pale Fountains “Always Something on My Mind”I discovered the album “Pacific Street” while working as a teacher in the suburbs of Paris. “Always Something on My Mind,” a sunny Love/Burt Bacharach-influenced tune, was my favorite song on the album. A song that kept helped me keep my mind off the Continental winter.One evening, while I was thumbing through paperbacks at a small bookstore in the Latin Quarter, I met a lovely American girl named Caroline. We would get together to sip drinks and complain about the weather. We ended up moving to DC around the same time and continued to post up. While driving around in my car one Sunday morning, we listened to my copy of “Pacific Street.” When I dropped her off, I gave her the CD as a reminder of old times.Hey Paulette “I Really Do Love Penelope”There was a period back in ‘07 when I could not fall asleep at night. I’d stay up for hours watching either stand-up comedy or looking for old music videos. One night I searched for “C86″ and found this song. It wasn’t the most groundbreaking video -it was just Super8 footage the band playing in a warehouse (actually Temple Lane Studios in Dublin). But the guitar playing was heavenly and the lyrics made me laugh out loud. I tried to dig up information on the band, but came up with very little.Hey Paulette were an Irish group whose sound referenced the jangly guitars of the Smiths and the self deprecating lyrics of Edwyn Collins. Typical of most bands of their era, Hey Paulette released one album, two seven inches, one twelve inch and a Peel session. And despite their brief blip of a presence on the indie-pop radar, the band somehow managed to attract fans in Japan and the Philippines. And thanks to today’s reissue culture, all of their material has been compiled onto a CD that is available on I-Tunes. I love it.Felt “Fortune (12″ Version)”This version of “Fortune” (which appeared as the b-side to “Sunlight Bathed the Golden Glow), is much better than the original found on 1981’s “Crumbling the Antiseptic Beauty. L[...]



A lot of words with Nate Frey (of Last Tide, Detox Retox)

2009-06-01T09:31:15.141-04:00

I’m not 100% sure how I met Nate Frey. I do remember remarking that he was wearing Uniqlo T-000 jeans. I gave him much respect for this, as I can only think of a few people in DC who enjoy going up to NY and shopping at Uniqlo as much as I do. But this is not an interview about fashion – no. Nate is a talkative fellow and he's in a couple of bands. Detox Retox is his longtime band and I've had the pleasure of sharing the stage with those guys several times. Homeboy also has a new band called Last Tide and they'll playing at Red and Black on Tuesday June 2nd.Nate you’re a pretty busy guy(he also has a post-rock group and occasionally does noise sets). How do you find the time to devote this much energy to making so much music - I mean you do have a full time job as well! It's pretty much my favorite thing in the world. I could easily spend every waking minute playing music and be happy. Boring question - what made you wanna pick up the guitar?I started playing when I was about 13. At that time I was mostly trying to learn a lot of classic rock, stuff like Jimi Hendrix, The Police, Neil Young. Who are your primary influences? Depends on the project. Here's a few of the more obvious ones: Last Tide: MBV, Slowdive, Red House Painters, Smashing PumpkinsDetox Retox: Talking Heads, !!!, Modest Mouse, Head AutomaticaReversal: Mogwai, Don Caballero, Explosions in the Sky, King CrimsonAnd then there are loads of others who've influenced me in more subtle ways. What’ve bee you listening to in the last 6 months?Old:"Isn't Anything" - My Bloody Valentine"Year After Year" - IdahoS/T (I) - Red House Painters"The Name of this Band is Talking Heads" - Talking HeadsNew:"Dark Was the Night" - VA. (The Bon Iver song on this record is incredible!)St Vincent - I saw her play at the Black Cat the other week, not knowing much of her music, and I was really blown away. Now, your band,Detox Retox, has been quiet for a few months due to the fact that your singer is doing an internship abroad. When is he returning and what your plans are for the next few months?Well, we have some tracks recorded that we're hoping to have Justin Moyer (Edie Sedgwick) mix in the near future. Not quite enough for another EP though, so when Parker gets back we'll need to record another song or two before we can do an actual release. Show-wise, we just found out we're playing MidPoint Music Festival in Cincinnati in late September, so we're probably gonna do a couple additional Midwest dates around that. Plus, there will definitely be some local shows later this summer that aren't quite nailed down yet.And I just heard that y'all are playing the Warped Tour. Congratulations!Yeah, that is definitely happening, July 14th at Merriweather on the Kevin Says Stage. We're looking at it as a great opportunity to get some exposure to an audience we probably wouldn't have access to otherwise, and to get to see Bad Religion play for free... among other things. I think it probably means even more to the other guys than it does to me; they all went to Warped Tour as kids, but yeah, we're all pretty stoked.It's great that you've managed to make so much progress. But it must be a bit odd to have so much momentum and then have to switch focus to another project. Playing in Detox Retox is a blast, but I've also always loved a lot of dense, moody stuff that doesn't really fit in with what we do. When I found out we were going to be taking a break from April to July awhile back, I seized the opportunity to start up another project. So what's Last Tide's songwriting process like? Do you hand the group finished songs and say "play it like this" or is it a more communal effort?With Last Tide, usually Libby or I will have a fairly complete song, and we'll take it to the band and try to work out an arrangement collab[...]



Simple Minds “New Gold Dream (81, 82, 83, 84)” (1982)

2009-05-22T10:15:10.999-04:00

New Gold Dream holds a special place in my heart because it is the first Simple Minds record I ever owned. It was the record that really got me to dismiss their “80s Music” legacy and seriously examine their back catalog. The story of "New Gold Dream" begins in January 1982, when the group recorded demos for “King Is White and In the Crowd,” “Promised You a Miracle,” and “Hunter and the Hunted.” Following these demo sessions, the group returned to the road until the end of spring. A completed version of “Promised You a Miracle” was released as a single in April 1982. Much to everyone’s surprise, it crashed the top twenty, landing at number 13. With a top-20 U.K. single and a supportive record label, Virgin, behind them, the band retreated to Fife in late spring to record some more demos for the new album. Producer Pete Walsh would later recall “They would jam for two hours on the same song, and then we would listen to it back on cassette, pick the good bits and make the song around that. A lot of it was what they'd call pure shit, or not very good anyway, and there were some magic bits that maybe were never captured on the album.” Following the Fife rehearsals, the group headed to London to record the album’s basic tracks. Virgin encouraged Walsh to capture the energy of the group’s live sound, and so it was decided that the album would be a live studio album with minimal overdubs. To achieve this, the band would play each song several times, and Walsh would assemble an edit of the best performances. Now, lineup changes were nothing new to the group. So it was rather unsurprising when they ran into drummer issues while recording the album. Drummer Kenny Hyslop, who played on “Promised You a Miracle,” left the group after that single’s release and Mike Ogletree was quickly drafted in to replace him. But despite his competence on the road, the other lads found his style of drumming was not meshing well with the new material. In an attempt to rectify this, Pete Walsh suggested his friend Mel Gaynor to fill in the gaps. Ultimately, both Ogletree and Gaynor are credited on the album’s sleeve:Ongletree plays on: “Colours Fly and Catherine Wheel""Somebody up There Likes You”"New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84) while Gaynor plays on: "Someone Somewhere in Summertime", "Big Sleep", "New Gold Dream.", "Glittering Prize", "Hunter and the Hunted""The King is White and in the Crowd". Upon completing the basic live tracks, the band again moved house to record the overdubs. This time to Virgin’s “The Manor Studios” in rural Oxfordshire. The manor was more country club than recording studio, and the group regularly dipped out to swim or play ping pong when they found themselves feeling stuck. If only every band had this sort of luxury...Interestingly enough, Simple Minds did not stop touring altogether while recording. A quick examination of their 1982 calendar shows that they managed to squeeze in a number of European Festival appearances between June and August. That the group were able to keep such a hectic schedule AND be productive in the studio is impressive. It really makes me wonder how bands today can defend taking such lengthy pauses between touring and recording.The first word that comes to mind when I think of “New Gold Dream” is FOCUS. “Sister Feelings Call/Sons & Fascination” and “Empires and Dance” may have been ambitious, but they were cluttered and even sound unfinished in some parts. But it seems as though the heavy experimentation that defined Simple Minds’ first four albums paid off. On “New Gold Dream,” they emerge as a band with a sound that is very much their own. While the album does sound glossier than previous releases, it never comes off as boring. The mel[...]



Simple Minds “Empires and Dance” (1980)

2009-05-11T11:02:00.111-04:00

For better or for worse, people will remember Glasgow’s Simple for two reasons 1) “Don’t You Forget About Me” from The Breakfast Club 2) Their performance at Live Aid. While the band certainly benefited from the exposure, it’s unfortunate that they became so bland and pompous in the late 1980s. To me, it seemed as though this group had produced nothing of any real value. So you can only imagine my surprise when I learned that the cover of the Manic Street Preachers “The Holy Bible” was inspired by Simple Minds’ “Empire and Dance.” I remember thinking “Wait, what? Simple Minds? The band with the song from the Breakfast Club – get the fuck out!” Since then, I’ve gained a real appreciation for Simple Minds’ early albums and I’ve decided to share some of the things I’ve learned about this group over the last couple of years. First up, 1980's “Empires and Dance.”At the end of 1979, Simple Minds embarked on a tour in support of their sophomore album, “Real to Real Cacophony.” While their record label, Arista, initially refused to release the album, critics loved it and the band was excited to hit the road and expand their audience. Between October 1979 and June 1980, they performed in the UK, Germany, France, Sweden, and the Benelux region. They even managed to squeeze in two dates in New York. It was the European leg of the tour that turned out to be the biggest eye-opener for the young band. The Continent was stumbling further into economic and political crisis thanks to a spike in oil prices, civil unrest, and a recently reignited Cold War. Singer Jim Kerr would later recall “I was twenty, and I looked around me. We had the talent always to be in the place where the neo-Nazis exploded another bomb. Bologna, a synagogue in Paris, a railway station in Munich. Don't tell me anything like that could leave you unmoved.” Despite the ever present instability, the tour was a resounding success and left a profound effect on the young group.Upon returning to the UK in June of 1980, Simple Minds immediately began work on a new album. This time around, they were much better prepared to record. Seven new songs had been road tested and demoed by the time the band entered the studio. The album, which was produced by John Leckie, was completed during the summer and delivered to Arista Records, who refused to release it. But after much pressure from the band and their management (Jim Kerr took it upon himself to regularly telegram label representatives to release the album), “Empires and Dance” was released in September 1980. But this was not without controversy; Arista initially pressed 15,000 copies, waited for those to sell out, and then pressed another 15,000. As a result the album stalled at number 41. (That’s all well and good, but what about the music). The album begins with the stunning, “I Travel,” that was inspired by the group’s visit to a divided Berlin and tumultuous changes in geopolitics. Jim Kerr’s lyrics reflect both fear and fascination. (Again, he was only 20 years old at the time). Musically, it’s one of the most exciting songs the band ever produced. Drummer Brian McGee and bassist Derek Forbes provide a funky backdrop to Charlie Burchill’s soaring guitar and keyboardist Mick MacNeil’s gurgling synthesizers. At times, the song recalls Donna Summer’s 1977 “I Feel Love,” a song that went to #1 in the UK Charts. That such a danceable track could come from a Glaswegian band is actually no surprise. Dance Music was immensely popular among the post-punk crowd, with groups like Orange Juice singing the praises of Chic.Now, while “I Travel,” is an excellent leadoff track, it is a bit misleading. Yes, the album has its groovy mome[...]



A Friendly Chat with 100 dBs

2009-05-04T21:14:03.843-04:00

I have a really wonderful story about Dan “100dBs” Brenner. Back when were students at University of Maryland, he expressed an interest in Dj-ing at one or two of the local bars in College Park. He went to every bar in town (all four of them) and handed the nightlife promoters a copy of a reggae/hip-hop mix he’d made. None of them returned his calls. A year later, me, him and a few of our roommates began throwing parties at a dilapidated colonial house that we called the Francis Estates. The combination of Dan’s dj-ing, cheap drinks (dollar shots, $4 for all you can drink beer) and a very good looking crowd made the parties legendary. If only the folks at Cornerstone and Santa Fe knew what they’d missed out on…It is now 2009, and 100 dBs has not DJ’d a grimey college basement in at least two years. But his strong sense of independence and belief in DIY ethics has not diminished one bit. If anything, it helped prepare him to navigate the unfriendly waters of the NYC hip-hop scene. Homeboy was kind enough to take a few minutes to speak to us about setting up an independent label, real vs fake DJs, and NY’s finest fried chicken establishments. TOMORROW'S HEROES TODAY: Right off the bat son, tell us a little bit about your new label, Drum Attix. What is the label’s philosophy? Who are your artists?Drum Attix is the label I'm officially launching this year. I think our goal is the same as any label: bring dope music to the people. But I think I have a unique perspective in that I really embrace technology while maintaining interest in traditional techniques. All of us are down with that philosophy in some way. There are a few rappers I'm producing for... of course Ryan-O'Neil (we're working on a second LP now), Sirah (really fly girl from LA), and Hicoup (dirty Jersey all day).We've got DJ Scallywag, whose club mixes are just phenomenal. I swear, I lived in Maryland for years but didn't fully appreciate Bmore Club til I started spinning with him. DJ Far East is a young cat who is really ahead of his time with the mashups he's been executing. It's Overture are also killing it with the mashups, and their mixes are always flawless. Nefarious and Voidstar Runner are working on a grimy EP of breaks and blips.One of the projects I'm most excited about is a full-length dub treatment of NYC's own Slackers. A while back Dave Hillyard handed me the masters to their back catalog and I've been slowly compiling a series of remixes for them. So yeah, I have my hands full, and we're coming from all angles.What are some of your upcoming releases & projects for 2009?#1. Sirah's EP. This girl has tons of attitude and an appreciation for classic material that is pretty hard to find these days. I went out to LA this past January to record with her and we did this release from scratch in five days. She is a beast in the studio.#2.Hipster Bullshit Redux. This is really just a bunch of leftovers that people have been asking me about. No real concept, just remixes and such that didn't see the light of day for whatever reason.#3.Voidstar / Nefarious Split EP. Nefarious is a jungle producer (yeah, jungle) with an attention to detail that scares the shit out of me. Voidstar makes breakcore and electronic compositions that bump. These guys are going to blow out your eardrumsWhat advice do you have for artists who are trying to release their music independently?Forget about getting signed. Put out some QUALITY music for free, do a lot of shows in your hometown, and build a support system. Slow and steady is the way. Everyone is so worried about blowing RIGHT NOW that they're missing the point: if you release garbage today, nobody will be listening tomorrow.What’s changed the most about [...]



April 2009 in Washington DC

2009-03-30T11:41:07.899-04:00

UPDATE YOUR CLUB AND CONCERT CALENDAR!!!
An * indicates a DO NOT MISS EVENT.

Black Cat:
Wed Apr 1- Exit Clov, Black and White Jacksons, Typefighter

*Thu Apr 2- Impossible Hair(CD Release), The Caribbean, Olivia & the Housemates

*Sat Apr 18- Second Saturdays featuring: RA RA RASPUTIN, Buildings

DC9:
Tue Apr 14 Ladytron (DJ set), Depressed Buttons (Todd & Jacob of The Faint), Live set by FIGO
PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS IS THE LADYTRON AFTER PARTY.

Tue Apr 21 The Wax Standard, The Interiors, The Jet Age, Mittenfields

*Wed Apr 22 Tesco Vee and the legendary Meatmen

Thu Apr 23 Ponytail, Imperial China, The Gagged

930 Club (For Eff’s sake, half the good shows are Sold Out):
*Mon Apr 6 The Brian Jonestown Massacre

*Tue Aprl 14 Ladytron & The Faint, w/ Telepathe, Figo DJs

Sat Apr 25 MN8 Presents DJ ?uestLove of the Roots (as if you didn’t know that).

Rock and Roll Hotel:
Fri Apr 3: DISCO City w/ Chris Burns and Maxmillion Dunbar

Wed Apr 8: US Royalty w/ Lissy Trullie, Seas, Garutachi DJs Cassidy & Fabiana

Fri Apr 10: All Our Noise Presents FLAT OUT w/ Resident DJs Micah Vellian (Marquis/Demerit) and Outputmessage (Marquis/Demerit/Melodic/Ghostly)

Sat Apr 18 Justin Jones & the Driving Rain w/ Olivia & the Housemates and The Moderate.

Sollys:
Thu Apr 2 Reversal w/the Sun Committee and Foreign Press

Tryst:
Thu Apr 2 The Laughing Man



A Few Words with Screen Vinyl Image

2009-03-11T12:52:22.944-04:00

On May 23rd, 2008, Screen Vinyl Image played a set at Velodrome dance party. At the time, Velodrome was being hosted in the backroom of a small Eritrean restaurant. No biggie, right? Wrong.When photos from the show were posted on Brightest Young Things, some folk decided to use the comments section to sound off about the band being “too loud”. But as you’ll discover below, there’s so much more to SVI than just volume. Their music betrays the influences of Italo-disco, psychadelia and even John Carpenter (see below). So without further ado, the final installment in our “Fortnight of Noise” series, an interview with Jake and Kim Reid (no relation to the brothers Reid of the Jesus and Mary Chain) of Screen Vinyl Image.First things first, last year you guys played at Velodrome and some people complained that you were way too loud. I think that the room at the venue (Selam) was way too small. What’s your take on the situation? (I personally believe that people should carry earplugs, regardless of the venue). Kim: We enjoyed playing Velodrome and actually were not aware until days later that there were complaints about the volume. Usually when the volume is too intense people leave the room, but there was a crowd the whole time. We did try to compensate for the room and I thought the show sounded fine; however the room was essentially like playing inside a reverb tank. I do agree that everyone should always bring earplugs to shows, regardless of the venue or band. The volume we play at live is just the volume we are accustom to and yields the sound we want. We never think about it as being really loud. I personally love seeing intense bands. It is an experience instead of just being background music. It is amazing to not only hear, but also feel the music. You list John Carpenter as one of your influences. Are you talking about his films or his music? Kim: Both influence us. The films are dependent very much on the soundtrack. Early Carpenter is very DIY and the minimalist electronic soundtracks are amazing. Just a simple beat and synth lines make a memorable movie moment. Early Carpenter films, such as “Assault on Precinct 13”, “Halloween”, “The Thing”, and “Escape from New York”, influence us. How do you feel about the term “nugaze?” Do you think that it describes your sound accurately? Jake: We’ve heard the term mentioned a few times, but I don’t know how well it has caught on. I think our sound tends to fall more into an electronic/psychedelic realm. Could you explain what it’s like making music in the DC area in 2009? More specifically, do you think that the legacy of Dischord, politics and hardcore is burden or a blessing? Jake: We don’t really think about it much I guess. There are positive things about DC and not so positive things too. We practice in an awesome studio called One World, and we know a lot of great musicians that live here, but we also enjoy getting out of town and experiencing new cities and seeing what’s out there. As far as Dischord, I think the legacy is a blessing. I got into Minor Threat and Fugazi in high school, then The Make Up, then Nation of Ulysses, etc. That music is very unique and often sounds like nothing else that was being made at the time. So did Go-Go and I got into that music as well growing up. I liked listening to something like Skillet by Backyard Band and it sounding like this massive wall of percussion slamming your speakers. I really like the fact this music came out of DC and sounds so unique. What bands in the area do you enjoy playing with? Are there any you’d like to play with in future? Kim: We enjoy pl[...]



INTERVIEW: Averkiou

2009-03-09T08:52:32.797-04:00

About 80 % of the music posted on MySpace is garbage. And a lot of the times, these crap bands will try to friend you. But every now and then you’ll hear a band that actually strikes your fancy. As some of you readers know, I’m quite a big fan of first wave shoegaze, and I’ve really warmed up to a lot of the newer groups who were influenced by My Bloody Valentine and wave. And in continuation Colonel K Speaks’ “Fortnight of Noise,” I present to you an interview with David from Averkiou.First of all, could you please explain the name? A phonetic pronunciation would also be a huge help. Ahv-er-kyoo. It's the last name of Nicole and Gene Averkiou, local favorites and favorite friends. Shoegaze was a short-lived movement in the UK. What made you guys want to collect as many pedals as possible and start playing loud? Was it the original UK groups like Ride and My Bloody Valentine that inspired you? Or more recent groups like Skywave and Alcian Blue? Ride and MBV are obviously favorites... who doesn't like them? It's not as if we set out to do anything specific. We just play what we want to hear. We're all in our late twenties and early thirties so most of us grew up listening to those bands. That and a lot of old punk and hardcore. It's all very simple, really. We just like loud music, so that's what we play. Pedals are a part of the process-- not the origin. What is your songwriting process like? More specifically, do you build the songs around your effects and instruments OR do lyrics come first? It usually starts with an idea and ends with a song. Could you explain the complexities of traveling with so many effects/equipment? It's no harder than finding a place to shower. We each have a case full of our pedals and chords. The hardest part is making sure everyone has everything. And power outlets. that's a pisser. A couple of bands have mentioned troubles they’ve had with soundguys. Ringo Deathstarr, who use Fender Super Reverbs, yet always seem to incur the wrath of soundmen whenever they go over past “3.” Have you guys ever had situations like that?I mean, soundguys will generally see a bunch of huge amps and assume the worst. Who wouldn't? We tend to give the soundguy the benefit of the doubt. He's usually spent a lot more time in the room than you have, so it's important to hear him out. But you have to trust your ear, too. So if what the soundguy suggests sucks, you change it. According to your schedule, you’ll be coming through the DC area twice (March 9th at DC9, and March 13th @ Basement Speakeasy in Arlington, VA). Are you excited about double dipping through DC? Have you ever been through here before?Very excited. We love the area. Matt's from Columbia, MD, so we know he's gonna be happy. And twice is generally better than once. OK, so My Bloody Valentine’s reunited. Give me a list of the top five groups who existed between 1984 and 1995 that you’d like to see get back together. In no particular order:1. Nirvana. 2. Rodan.3. The Stone Roses.4. Kid 'n Play.5. Talk Talk. What’s the best thing about playing music in Gainsville, FL. What's the scene like?It's home. We love it here. The scene is diverse, but it's close-knit. Gainesville is the heart of Florida. It's an oasis. What’s the worst thing about playing music in Gainsville, FL.Getting home alive after the show.Averkiou will be playing @ Velvet Lounge on Monday March 9th and the Downstairs Speakeasy on Friday March 13th. Also on the bill, Screen Vinyl Image and Ringo Deathstarr.[...]



INTERVIEW: RINGO DEATHSTARR


2009-03-09T13:25:32.868-04:00

I first met the members of Ringo Deathstarr in February 2008 when my band opened for them at Wonderland. From the wobbly opening chords of "Starsha," I was hooked. Yes their influences (Jesus and Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine, Ride) were obvious, but they added fun and swagger to the sound. We stayed in touch and the next time they came to DC, we stayed up ridiculously late and drank way too much. This Austin quartet will be returning to play shows at University of Maryland (Sat the 7th) and in Arlington, VA (Friday the 13th). Elliott Frasier, the band's primary vocalist and guitarist was kind enough to take some time to answer these questions.Congratulations on being featured in Magnet magazine. How'd that come about? Simon from SVC records in the UK arranged that. He sent them the CD and did the correspondence with them and then on our first tour we met with the photographer and did the photo. By the time you wrap up playing your show on March 13th, it'll be your 5th show in DC in the space of a year. Is this a coincidence, or are we that cool? We love playing in DC, there was a lot of support for us the first time we played there, and we were surprised by how awesome everyone is there...It's just funny cuz y'all have played DC more times than a lotta bands in NYC and Philly. What are your impressions of our loveable Capital City? So far, we have not really been able to see much of the city, but we always stayed near the Whole Foods in Tenleytown, and the place we stayed was awesome but the guy Dennis who lived there has moved to Pennsylvania. The Metro is pretty cool. The people we have met are great.You guys opened for the Dandy Warhols a couple of years ago. Are they still a fun band, or have they become a lot more cautious and reserved since Dig! Came out. They are still party animals I'd say. They were pretty cool to us, and when we played with them on Halloween, they and their whole crew were dressed as characters from The Wizard of Oz.Now let's backtrack a bit. Tell me about how y'all ended up in Austin and playing in this band. I moved to Austin in 2004 and initially I played drums but the band i was in fell apart after the other guys moved here. I had written a few songs for that band and some of them were rejected by the rest of the band, so i decided to start a band where i played guitar and sang, and those songs were "Some Kind Of Sad" and "Summer Time," the latter of which was meant for a female to sing. After a while i met Alex cause she worked at this store called Factory People, and when i told her i was looking for a new bass player she jumped at the chance, but i was skeptical at first cause she had to go out of town for a couple of weeks, but when she got back she was all business, plus she had her own equipment which at the time was a big plus. She has known Renan for many years and so we asked him to play Guitar. Our drummer Daniel is an old friend of mine from high school. We work well together, and we try and not let things get too serious cause if i have learned one thing, its that arguing with band mates blows.The thing I like about you guys the most is how loud you are. Do you do it to be confrontational or because you find that there are certain tones/sounds that can only be revealed through playing at high volume. I'd say its the latter. The way the Sound wraps around you like a blanket gives a great sensation, and plus, it is just more fun. I am pretty sure that people like Pete Townsend and Jimi Hendrix were much much louder than us though, and our amps are not turned up to nearly the volume they would have had. I[...]



Washington DC area shows March 2009


2009-02-24T13:26:46.455-05:00

*Indicates a "Do Not Miss" event

BLACK CAT:
Thu Mar 5
BLACK LIPS, GENTLEMAN JESSE AND HIS MEN, SUNS OF GUNS

Mon Mar 9
VANDAVEER

Sat Mar 14
Second Saturdays featuring: TRAVIS MORRISON HELLFIGHTERS, POOR BUT SEXY

*Thu Mar 26
GLASVEGAS, IDA MARIA

930 CLUB
Fri Mar 13
Modest Mouse w/ KINKY
Sold Out

*Sat Mar 14
The Feelies

*Tue Mar 17
The Pogues w/ Ben Nichols (of Lucero)

Fri Mar 20
The Ting Tings

Mon Mar 23
Cut Copy w/ Matt and Kim, DJ Knightlife

DC9
Thurs Mar 12
Tom McBride & the Whig Party, Hypernova


*Sun Mar 15
Crystal Stilts with Women, True Womanhood

OTHER:
*Sat Mar 7th WMUC @ University of Maryland, College Park
Ringo Deathstarr, Flying Eyes, TBA

*Fri Mar 13th
Ringo Deathstarr, Screen Vinyl Image
Venue TBA

*Monday Mar 23 @ Sollys
The host of this blog, Colonel K, performs with Miss Laura + other guests TBA.
Details coming soon.

VELVET LOUNGE:
Sat Mar 7
Five Four, Caverns, Mother

Tue Mar 10
Mi Ami (Quarterstick, ex-Black Eyes), Food For Animals, Lexie Mountain Boys

*Fri Mar 13
Velodrome featuring Imperial China. DJ sets by Scott Bauer and Ed Dudes

Thursday Mar 26
Spindrift (ex-Brian Jonestown Massacre)



INTERVIEW: DJs Scott Bauer and Ed Dudes of VELODROME


2009-02-17T12:36:07.019-05:00

Velodrome, a monthly dance held at the Velvet Lounge, has become one of the most exciting underground nightlife options in DC. DJs Scott Bauer and Ed Porter specialize in Italo-disco, house, post-punk and electropop from the late 1970s and 1980s. More often than not, they spin records most people have never heard. This, of course, does not stop them from dancing. As an added touch, each Velodrome night features a half-hour set by a band. Among them, Screen Vinyl Image, True Womanhood, Exactly, Ra Ra Rasputin and the Spiritual Machine.Below is a lengthy interview that I conducted via email with Scott and Ed. As a bonus, I've also included a link to the page that holds the pair's latest mix. Enjoy.How many venues have hosted Velodrome? What were the advantages and disadvantages of each one?Ed: Ugh, Jesus, like let's see, three now. We started at Selam. It's a cool divey english basement Eritrean restaurant on U Street. I've done a bunch of other parties there back in the day (old Blackout parties with Rob Hart when electro wasn't terrible), so it was convenient to talk to the people over there. Unfortunately, the back room there sounds like pure ass when you get a band in it. It's just too small for what we wanted to do.(Photo: Fitsum Belay. More info: http://illimeter.com)Scott: In many ways I thought the smallness was cool, some of my favorite memories of the night is DJing right around midnight with the bands setting up right behind us and getting hit in the head by guitars and and like cueing up records and checking mics at the same time. Or crawling underneath equipment aimlessly attempting to adjust levels on our little mixing board because we had to try to also do sound for the band while they were playing. It felt VERY underground throwing our night in a basement restaurant which really fit the vibe of the party since we billed it as an underground dance music night. The family who runs Selam are good people too. After a few months of throwing the party we realized we needed to move it. The tile floors and low ceiling were fine for playing dance music but were also awesome at bouncing around hit-hats and reverbed guitar strings which was painfully loud. The bands literally gave people headaches, even though they were headaches of radical. Ed: So we started looking elsewhere. We talked to DC9 and Velvet Lounge, eventually settling on Velvet Lounge. Unfortunately, they weren't ready to take us on for a couple months.So, then we moved to Civilian Art Projects. Civilian is such a cool art gallery. Jamie over there was really nice and helped us out a lot by letting us throw the party there until Velvet Lounge opened up. We did two or three Velodrome there. It was an awesomely large space with an art gallery attached, so it made us seem intelligent. But, it didn't have a sound system or an elevator, and at the top of three flights of steps, it wasn't exactly the most conducive to bands with a bunch of gear.Scott: Yeah CAP was a cool spot to do Velodrome. The vibe was cool and there was artsy art all about. Hanging out in China-Town was cool too as very little things tend to bring me down there. For this spot we had to carry all of our equipment and provide our own PA which usually was a logistic nightmare. I got no less than 3 parking tickets when we did Velodrome downtown at Civilian. The True Womanhood show we did there was a highlight. I felt culture, french culture.Ed: But, now we're settled at Velvet Lounge. They've got merely a single flight of steps, an installed soundsystem and [...]



February 2009 in Washington, DC


2009-01-23T09:01:28.362-05:00

Because the party just won't stop. An asterix (*) indicates a DO NOT MISS EVENT

BLACK CAT:
Feb 3- PASSION PIT, PAPER ROUTE, CALE PARKS

*Feb 9- THE PAINS OF BEING PURE AT HEART, THE DEPRECIATION GUILD, THE SUGARPLUMS

Feb 15- KEVIN SECONDS (of 7 Seconds), VIC RUGGIERO (of The Slackers)

Feb 19- THE POINTS, CLOAK/DAGGER

Feb 20- NO SECOND TROY, OLIVIA MANCINI & THE TERRIBLE TWO, MEREDITH BRAGG $10 Ma

VELVET LOUNGE:
Feb 09 Deleted Scenes, Batata Doce (ex-Rock*A*Teens), Mittenfields

*Feb 13 Velodrome featuring Mas Y Mas, Resident DJs Ed Dudes and Scott

*Feb 19 The Bees Knees featuring Loderunner, fffever

Feb 20 Screen Vinyl Image, The Payola Reserve, SikSik Nation, Nerd Parade

*Feb 22 Teedo

DC9:
Feb 11 Lenka, The Spring Standards
*Feb 25 Drug Rug

ROCK & ROLL HOTEL:
Feb 05 Millionaires, Cash Cash, I Set My Friends On Fire and Watchout!There's ghosts

*Feb 21 The Dance Party, The Known Unknowns (CD RELEASE PARTY), The Roosevelt
(This show is expected to sellout. Please buy tickets in Advance).

Feb 26 ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead



January 2009 in Washington DC


2008-12-29T10:38:36.538-05:00

An asterix indicates that this show/event is HIGHLY recommended.

Black Cat
Jan 15th- NIGHTMARE OF YOU, US ROYALTY, BOTTLE UP & GO
Jan 17th- THE RAVEONETTES, NICKEL EYE
*Jan 19th- Hideout/ Chicago & Interchange Present: The Big Shoulders Inauguration Ball w/ ANDREW BIRD, TORTOISE, WACO BROTHERS, ELEVENTH DREAM DAY, JON LANGFORD, SALLY TIMMS, DAVID "HONEYBOY" EDWARDS, KEN VANDERMARK, FREAKWATER, ICY DEMONS and JUDSON CLAIBORNE, plus special guests.

DC9
Jan 17th Andy O's Birthday Bash, Back Before Dawn, Gist, Left of Avalon
Jan 20th Nappy Roots
*Jan 24th Black and White Jacksons with Ra Ra Rasputin, Four Fins Of The Rocket,Loose Lips

930 Club
*Jan 1st WU-TANG CLAN featuring Raekwon • Ghostface Killah • Inspectah Deck • RZA • GZA and Masta Killa w/ Cappadonna, DJ Mathematics


Velvet Lounge
Jan 15th Skeletonbreath (mem. of O'Death/Rad Racket), Whistlin Charlie, Bama (of Family Hemerlein), Armida & Her Imaginary Band, Andrew Bucket

*Jan 16th Velodrome Dance Party. Italo Disco, No Wave, Post-Punk featuring DJs Ed Porter and Scott Bauer. Special guest performance by Exactly

Jan 31st Beatnik Flies, Sister Ex, Dollar Bin

Rock and Roll Hotel
Jan 16th Middle Distance Runner with Mobius Band, The Black Hollies and The Nunchucks.

Jan 24th Via Audio w/ Modern Skirts

Solly's Tavern
*Jan 23rd Mittenfields with the Carribean.



Forgotten Greats of Liverpool, England: The Teardrop Explodes


2008-12-18T09:41:58.954-05:00

In the spring of 1977, Julian Cope formed Crucial Three along with Ian McCulloch (later of Echo and the Bunnymen) and Pete Wylie (Wah!). The group rehearsed regularly, but they never actually got around to performing live.Around 1978, the Teardrop Explodes came into existence. The initial lineup of the group included Cope on bass, drummer Gary Dwyer, Dave Simpson on keyboards and Mick Finkler on guitar. Simpson would soon be replaced by Zoo Records founder Dave Balfe, and Finkler was exchanged for Alan Gill.The Teardrops quickly became popular because of their ability to fuse post-punk and disco rhythms with swirling pyschadelia. And like Echo and the Bunnymen, the influence of the Doors is quite noticeable. But what really set the band apart was their employment of a horn section. Like fellow Scoucers the Pale Fountains, they were huge admirers of Love’s use of Herb Alpert-style trumpets on 1967’s “Forever Changes.” This wild combination of sounds and styles was successfully blended into their debut album, “Kilimanjaro” which was released in 1980. (Interestingly enough, “Kilimanjaro” features a wild version of a song called “Books,” a joint composition with Ian McCulloch. This song is also featured on Echo and the Bunnymen’s first album, “Crocodiles.” Download both and decide which one you like better)."Reward" (A single that was added to reissue versions of Kilimanjaro):"Sleeping Gas" (Very rare video featuring live footage and shots of the band on tour in the USA. Embedding disabled by the fine people at Universal Music Group. Ugh....)www.youtube.com/watch?v=fed3j2zkdgg"Ha Ha, I’m Drowning" (Live on UK TV):"Treason (It’s Just A Story)":The group’s second album, “Wilder,” is a bit of a grower. While it does contain some of the horn driven bombast of “Kilimanjaro,” it also features more quiet and introspective songs and even a few synth driven numbers. It was a strong second album, but it failed to recapture the spark that made their debut so exciting. The hooks are not as strong and “Wilder” ultimately bewildered much of the group’s audience. Behind the scenes, the group was falling apart. In addition to several lineup shuffles, creative tensions were at an all time high. When the group reconvened to record a third album, Balfe and Cope argued incessantly about the direction of the group. Despite recording nearly an album’s worth of material, the sessions were abruptly terminated and the band was dissolved. These songs were eventually released as “Everyone Wants to Shag the Teardrop Explodes.” "Seven Views of Jerusalem"(Live on the Old Grey Whistle Test):"The Culture Bunker" (Live on the Old Grey Whistle Test):Julian Cope soon went on to have a successful career as a musician and as a writer on music, the occult and ancient British history. Dave Balfe went on to start Food records, which was the home of Blur for most of the 1990s. Other members of the group would also continue make music well into the 80s. Despite a series of reissues and compilations, the Teardrops have yet to receive the kinds of accolades that Echo and the Bunnymen have received. It should also be noted that there is a long standing feud between Julian Cope and Ian McCulloch. While they were friends and bandmates in the late 70s, their relationship soon became one of acrimony. In fact, the feud continues to this very day. In a recent Spin Magazine cover retrospective on Echo and the Bunnymen, McCulloch state[...]



Bands to Watch in 2009


2009-06-08T15:21:21.457-04:00

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart:New York band puts a new twist on the buzzy British guitar pop of the 80s. This is the video for “Everything With You.” Kinda reminds me of the Wedding Present’s “You Should Always Keep In Touch With Your Friends.” Speaking of the Weddoes, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart will be opening for them in the UK. They’ll be playing at the Black Cat in February.Zarif:Like the Pains of Being Pure at Heart, I first read about Zarif in the Guardian. It seems as though the UK is chock full of soulful young ladies. Think of her as a less abraisive version of Lily Allen (And that’s not a knock on Lily. I adored her first album and had the pleasure of seeing her perform before she got freaked out by the boredom of touring). Ida Maria:I kept seeing Ida Maria's name pop up in Brooklyn Vegan and on other blogs. Apparently she's a very hit or miss performer. When she's on, she's intense and commands your attention. When she's off, apparently she's a bit of a trainwreck. If she manages to hit Washington DC in the near future, I'll make sure to be there so that I can make a proper assessment. Until then, this video for "Oh My God" will have to do.The Spiritual Machine:A DC trio who really seem to enjoy throwing darts at the concept of hipsterdom. They successfully manage to mix the braggadocio of funk with the buzzing guitars and heady lyrics of the Fall. They're a fantastic live act and they will crash your after party and totally drink all your drinks.The Spiritual Machine - The Scene/That Wasn't Me from Jason Mogavero on Vimeo.And as a bonus:The Spiritual Machine, Ra Ra Rasputin and Friends - Crosseyed and Painless (live at DC9) from Jason Mogavero on Vimeo.[...]



Gallows Destroy Pub. Punk Rawk Idiocy Is Alive and Well.


2008-12-04T13:50:52.240-05:00

Gallows, a hardcore punk band from Watford, Hertfordshire, have been getting quite a bit of attention in NME for a recent gig at a pub London’s Old Blue Pub. Singer Frank Carter was instrumental in leading the crowd to tear the place apart, destroying several chandeliers and a few antique chairs. Having been out of the hardcore/punk loop for many years now, I was a little bit surprised to see such wanton acts of old-school violence getting so much attention from NME.

For a number of reasons, violence has always been tied to the punk rock myth. In the UK during the mid to late 70s, punks rioted and spit to express their frustration with a faltering economy and a broken society. In the United States, much of the violence could be attributed to suburban boredom, as many of the influential hardcore groups came from the suburbs of Washington DC, New York and LA. While I do enjoy going to shows and seeing people dance, and maybe shake each other a bit. But seriously, I am bored by punk violence. There is nothing entertaining about seeing someone getting punched in the face while they’re trying to enjoy a show.

Furthermore, violence at shows is pointless because it can lead to the closure of venues. Thanks to Gallows, it may be possible that no other band may be allowed to play at the Old Blue Pub. That’s fine for them, considering that they’ve got a million dollar deal with Warner Brothers. But for all the little bands that may not have a million places to play this is another hurdle. I remember hearing about VFW halls in New York and New Jersey that refused to have punk or hardcore shows after kids did stupid things like shitting in a cup and leaving it for some old vet to find. It’s sabotage, and it’s stupid.

Gallows' "Staring at the Rude Bois (Ft. Lethal Bizzle)"
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BONUS: Footage from the infamous North London Poly Riot, where fans destroyed an entire Student Hall during a performance by the Jesus & Mary Chain.
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