Archive | July, 2012

on deck: nighttime adventure society at black cat (album release party)

27 Jul

A truly amazing thing about DC summer is that here, unlike most other places, you can walk into a packed, sweaty club, and actually feel refreshed because it is STILL cooler there than outside. Cotdamn.

But this weekend, I’m making a pledge: I will not complain about the heat. I will not complain about the heat. Let’s move on.

In other exciting news, I am checking out a DC band on Saturday night. A band that has one of my favorite band names in recent memory: The Nighttime Adventure Society. Doesn’t that instantly make you think of a bunch of cool, smart bookclub friends who like to go out and get drunk together and make mischief? I certainly do.

NAS (also a great band acronym) plays a style of folk pop that reminds me of certain bands who made me fall in love with folk in high school- namely, Rilo Kiley, Broken Social Scene, and everything else that involved Feist. And no, I’m not just drawing similarities between NAS and Feist because of the presence of a red-headed female lead singer, though it doesn’t hurt the comparison.

I wouldn’t miss this album release at Black Cat this weekend. WOOT local music. WOOT red headed lead singers.

Nighttime Adventure Society, “Older Boys”

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on deck: alex winston at gibson guitar show room

25 Jul

One great thing about being a fan of electro music is that, on occasion, a hot remix will open your eyes to not one but two new artists: both the DJ who remixed the track and the artist responsible for the original work. For instance, I would likely not know Ellie Goulding if not for Bassnectar, or Yelle if not for Madeon. The excitement of discovering two new artists in one track is the ultimate audiophile satisfaction- two birds, one stone, ya know?

Such is the case with indie pop princess Alex Winston. I fell in love with her single “Sister Wife” via the remix by Star Slinger back in 2010, and it’s been a permanent fixture on my playlists ever since. I waited patiently for her debut album King Con, and upon finally getting my hands on it in 2012, I was not disappointed.

Winston’s formula is not overly complicated. Her songs, for the most part, are straight-up pop gems; but, she has this quirk, sing-songy voice that fits perfectly against the bubblegum tunes and keeps her sound fresh. She also somehow manages to infuse a lot of personality and brightness into all of her music, without coming off as forced or obnoxious. The fact that she’s a multi-talented instrumentalist (she played all guitar, piano, and drums on her debut EP) doesn’t hurt either.

I was sad to miss Alex’ first DC performance at an All Things Gold event in April (I was in Berlin or something, I don’t know), so I’m stoked that I have a second chance this week at this Thursday’s New Noise Event at the Gibson Guitar Showroom. Be there or be square.

“Velvet Elvis”

“Sister Wife” (Star Slinger remix)

on my boombox: my july playlist

13 Jul

Heyyy guys.  [said very guiltily because I haven’t posted in ages].

Yes, I have been MIA. But, I will make up for lost time by serving up much more than the usual weekend roll out track. I’ve had a lot of great tunes coming through my earbuds in the past few weeks, and I need to share them with you all. As such, this Friday I’m giving you not just one track, but a whole smorgasbord of sounds that I highly recommend you add to your rotation immediately. Some is brand spankin new, some are throwbacks, but no matter how old they’re still fresh to death. Always.

Enjoy:

1. David Byrne and St. Vincent, “Who”

David Byrne is a legend. Annie Clarke is soon to be a legend. Former Talking Heads frontman + current favorite female singer-songwriter team up for debut album = GOLD. Already excited to see this due at the Fillmore this spring.

2. Twin Shadows, “Five Seconds”

Is this video awesome or absurd? Absurdly awesome?

3. Cat Power, “Ruin”

Cat Power has always been, in a word, fierce. Her new single proves that fierceness hasn’t gone anywhere, and will surely show up in spades on her new album (due in August). She finally strikes a balance between soulfulness and rock energy with this track, and the result is simply wonderful.

4. DIIV, “Doussed”

Yes, I turn my nose up at bands like DIIV. Or, rather, the deluge of bands like DIIV: from Brooklyn, lots of hyped internet singles without a strong album to back them, etc. Well, all of that is still true (their new album is thoroughly meh), but this song is awesome.

5. Azaelia Banks,”Nathan” [ft. Styles P]

MY GIRL! She’s always proving my inaugural post correct (I named her one of the “Ladies of 2012”). Her album is finally out, and her new tracks are better than ever. Teamed with Styles P, she’s unstoppable.

6. Blur, “Under the Westway”

I first heard about Blur, fittingly, from the most socially awkward music nerd I ever met. I asked him what some of his favorite bands were, and he could barely pull together a sentence except to say, “I really love Blur.” Yeah, as did many other kids who didn’t have a date to the prom (and are still cooler than you). New album is looking strong, can’t wait for this to drop.

7. Frank Ocean, “Bad Religion”

A newly public sexual identity and a slammin new album that’s gaining tons of well-deserved hype. You go, Frank!

8. Lykke Li “Silver Springs” [Fleetwood Mac cover]

Did you know that a bevy of amazing musicians like Tame Impala, St. Vincent, Best Coast, Antony, MGMT, and, yes, Lykke Li are all teaming to release a Fleetwood Mac cover album in August? I didn’t either!

9. Bonde de Role, “Bang” [ft. Das Racist]

Brazilian pop stars + semi-ironic Brown rap wunderkins +production by Diplo = everything I love wrapped in one killer track.

9. Monsters of Folk, “Say Please”

Back in 2009,  some of my favorite musicians formed a super group and I didn’t know about it. That has now changed. Please enjoy the musical stylings of  Jim James of My Morning Jacket, Matt Ward of M. Ward and She & Him, and Conor Oberst. All at once.

10. My Bloody Valentine, “I Only Said”

No matter how many times I listen to this song, that flute sound never stops blowing my mind. Some of the best rock music coming from Ireland in the 20th century, and Loveless is often considered one of the best albums of the last 30 years- that’s music worth revisiting.

11. Japandroids, “Fire ‘sHighway”

Japandroids’ new album is everywhere, and I’m so ok with it. Finally, FINALLY a band getting some buzz for music that would never be described as “ambient” or “dreamy.” Nah, these guys sound like a way better version of the bands I fell in love with in high school- reckless, full of youthful energy, and not a delay pedal in sight. For those about to throw their laptop out of the window when they read another 10.0 Pitchfork of a dream-pop beach band from Brooklyn, this is for you.

12. Passion Pit, “Constant Conversations”

With new singles trickling out one by one, Passion Pit is successfully building tons of hype for their new album. While the other singles have had the same dance-pop catchiness that made Passion Pit obnoxiously (/awesomely) ubiquitous during my college years, this track has a mellower feel that I dig.

13. De La Soul, “Stakes Is High”

A coworker put on some De La Soul in the office for us yesterday, which was a great reminder to line this up. Great throwback.

14. Unknown Mortal Orchestra, “Endless Shore” (Melody’s Echo Chamber cover)

Weird New Zealand rockers with even weirder mysterious album art. These guys are nothing if not intriguing, even while playing a cover.

15. Fiona Apple, “Werewolf”

How could I not mention new Fiona Apple on the blog? Long story short, she’s done it again. She’s still crazy talented and crazy sad. And every aspiring writer everywhere just got a little more jealous of her.