Sunday, September 16, 2012

What We're Listening To - THE FLUTE FLIES' Yes Means Maybe

There is nothing to not like about THE FLUTE FLIES debut album Yes Means Maybe.

It's gloriously hooky and poppy. Kinda gauzy, kinda soft, it's a lot of all the stuff you like. Ivan Howard of the Rosebuds, Zeno Gill of Pox and Reid Johnson of Schooner deliver a fine, fine recording.

It's perfect for this fall weather that suddenly appeared. Tracks like Shopping Mall with it's bounce-around build up dancing beat and sing along anthem, or We Went Alone which will try and drum you into submission, are made for windows-down golden sunset drives to nowhere. Some of the tracks are Rosebuds-esque, but who is going to complain about that? Not me.

It's for an EXCELLENT cause. The band lost a good friend to brain cancer and all proceeds from sales of Yes Means Maybe go to CyTunes, which goes to fund brain cancer research at Duke University. CyTunes also a good place to check out other artists, too. It's a pay what you want so make that happen. No reason not to get this album. Do it now.

Buy THE FLUTE FLIES' Yes Means Maybe from their Bandcamp Page

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

CONTEST - Tickets to See Jonquil at DC9

We didn't have much of a winter this year, which some how turned into us accelerating to warm spring days. I'm not going to gripe about perfect mid 70 degree, sun filled days. It only hastens grilling and outdoor partying season, which I am woefully unprepared for.

Jonquil's latest album Point of Go is going to fit well on plenty of summer get together and driving playlists. The UK band's easy blend of african caribbean rhythms and electro pop is perfect lazy beer drinking, cocktail sipping, and lawn game playing.

We have a few tickets for the band's Saturday, 24 March show at DC9. If you're interested in going, send us an email or follow and leave us a reply on Twitter. You can totally do both and be entered twice. We'll pick winners around noonish on Friday, and email you back or DM you if you win.

Word? Word.

Many thanks to Lallie at Big Hassle for the tickets! 

Buy Jonquil's Point of Go at Amazon mp3

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Singled Out - Hey Marseilles' True Love Will Find You in The End

The boys from Hey Marseilles (one of our favorite bands), turns in a lovely Valentine's Day present for us all.

This sweet and gentle cover of Daniel Johnston's True Love Will Find You In The End is infused with hopefully lyrics and a gorgeous chamber folk sound (drumbourine and trumpets anyone?).

It's free (no email sign up or anything), but why not drop the band some cash and pick up their most excellent To Travels and Trunks or the equally fantastic 7-inch Elegy?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Concert Review - Summer Camp at U Street Music Hall

Summer Camp's Elizabeth Sankey making it look easy

We broke out of our routine Thursday to check out the very excellent British dance pop band Summer Camp at U Street Music Hall.

So glad I did, because they put on one helluva a show.

Supporting their 2011 album Welcome To Condale (on Moshi Moshi), the duo took the time to make new fans and impress old ones with energetic, hour long set. They even bounced back from some minor technical difficulty, beating off the front row hecklers with some niceties.

Welcome to Condale is a solid album. The problem sometimes is that it's hard to make a bunch of spare synth noises come to life live. But trading out their 808 for an exceptional drummer and filling the space with Jeremy Warmsley's guitar and Elizabeth Sankey's gorgeous wailing really made it happen.

Take the track I Want You. The stalker dangerous lyrics sound sparse and hollow on the album, which works great. But they reinvented it, making it louder and harder. It simply came alive and standing still was not an option.

Hopefully we'll see them back on these shores soon.

Many Thanks to Chris Vinyard at Big Hassle Media for the tickets

Thursday, February 9, 2012

What We're Watching: We Were Pirates' Better Off With Out You

DC has so many great bands, and I'm going to try and feature more of them. Especially music from friends, cos what's the point of having a blog if you can't do that?

We've always liked We Were Pirates, and their new album Change is top notch. I'll put a review up in the next few days, swear it.

Until then, check out the video for the band's first single "Better of Without You." Zombies need love too.

Side note, any one else thinks Mike (the lead singer) looks like a younger Britt Daniel from Spoon?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Singled Out - Yukon Blonde's Stairway

Vancouver's Yukon Blonde has a new album coming out. The first single Stairway is good, full of guitars, energy and simple harmonies. Quick hooks go a long way.

A little jealous they won't make it to the DC area on their 62-stop North American tour, but if you're in Philly you should check them out. They'll also be at SXSW.

You can grab the song for free from their SoundCloud page. Their debut album Tiger Talk will be out 20 March on Die Alone Records.

Stream and download Yukon Blonde's Stairway from SoundCloud

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

What We're Watching - Mark Ronson's A La Modeliste

This has kinda been ruling my world since I saw it at the beginning of the BCS Championship Game. Trombone Shorty, the artists formerly known as Mos Def, Ms. Badu and the Dap Kings. Plus Mark Ronson behind the boards.

I don't know what the Hyundai/GRAMMY RE:GENERATION project is, and don't really care (what's a Skrillex?). I know this song is excellent.

Singled Out - Glory by Jay-Z ft B.I.C

It's nice of Jay to take a second away from the Lennox Hill Hopsital Suite/Mobile 40/40 club to drop a new track honoring his baby girl. But I almost kinda wished he didn't.

 Jay still is, a magnificent rapper. His word play and flow are, all things considered, consistently remarkable over a long career.

 But that's just it. This is a remarkably unremarkable song for Hov. And it's a remarkably unremarkable song for his first born to boot.

The lyrics are treacle over the top, even given the subject matter. I paint the sky blue? That's real cute. Sounds of her cooing? No. Talk about conception in Paris? Ew. I kinda gave up on it with his line about Destiny's child. I might've thrown up in my mouth a little.

 The only thing redeeming is The Neptune's produced track underneath. Pharrell always turns out

I'm happy for Jay and Beyonce. I wish them all the happiness that their daughter will bring to their life, because I know the happiness that my two boys have brought to mine. But maybe not tribute songs to her or the next one anymore?

 Stream Jay-Z's "Glory" at Life + Times

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Best Albums of 2011 - Three Albums About Los Angeles

"They call Los Angeles the City of Angels. I don't know if I'd call it that exactly, but there are some nice people here."

And so Sam Elliot starts out The Big Lebowski, one of many love odes to Southern California. It always seems bands are writing songs about leaving New York, or missing the South, but with Los Angeles it just seems like home. No one's writing about coming, and surely no one is writing about leaving.

Dawes' sophomore effort Nothing is Wrong fits that bill. It's full of dusty rock n roll seen through the prism of LA, but rooted in the best parts of American folk and Southern rock. It's a music meant for driving, but not too fast, and definitely away from the city. And listening to them wax about charming but sad Angelenos almost makes you think about relocating.

It would take California to bring Ryan Adams back to focus on Ashes and Fire , his finest and most coherent album in years. Working through inner ear problems and clearly loving his marriage to Mandy Moore (still WTF?), he's eschewed the agressive alt country stylings, the metal sidetracks and even his Replacements-style rock for an easy, stripped down, honest album about his life. His voice and songwriting are still as perfect after all these years (Do I Wait, Save Me, Come Home). Does he get mushy and sentimental? Sure, but it works.

Sometimes it's the isolation in a region of 12 million people that gets you. It's being trapped that makes you write. So was the case for Ross Flournoy, who pushed by an NPR songwriting contest found the inspiration for a new band an album. Apex Manor's Year of Magical Drinking is remarkable . Fun and spirited, driven by excellent tracks like I Know These Waters Well and Teenage Blood, it is one of the most accessible and energetic albums out in 2011.