Episode 127: Rainbow Rock

Episode 127: Rainbow Rock

This week on the podcast Kevin sits down with the Rainbow Lady and Guitarmony Gus (aka Kate Moran and Derek Every) to talk about the Rainbow Rock Band! Grown up rockers in their own right, Kate, Derek and a whole host of other familiar names in the “IOTA scene” are giving back to the community in the best way they know how: PLAYING MUSIC! “Rocking the rainbow” at libraries, children’s hospitals, schools – pretty much EVERYWHERE – Kate and her crew are bringing joy and knowledge to kids throughout the DMV area and beyond with their smart, fun, and educational original songs. With their debut CD, Meet The Rainbow, released earlier this year they are poised to take over the world, Kate and Derek tell all about the group’s beginnings, deeper ambitions, importance of their mission and more. It’s a kid friendly, rated G for GREAT time in the basement on Episode 127 of ChunkyGlasses: The Podcast 


Django Django w/Beat Connection at 9:30 Club - 7/29/15

Django Django w/Beat Connection at 9:30 Club - 7/29/15

Scottish art rockers Django Django released their second album, Born Under Saturn, earlier this year, and though it didn’t signal a large departure from their debut, it showed exactly the kind of organic growth in songwriting and musicianship that might be hoped for in a sophomore release. Still present are their up-to-four part vocal harmonies, their psychedelic flourishes, and their complex rhythms, all of which result in the distinctive sound for which the band is known.

Interestingly, the band chose to focus most of their sixteen-song set on their first, self-titled album, playing only four tracks (“Shake and Tremble,” “First Light,” “Reflections,” and “4000 Years”) from the more recent release. One new song – an instrumental track recorded for a film made by drummer David MacLean’s brother John titled Slow West – made an appearance mid-set but felt a bit out of place; a four-and-a-half minute slow-building guitar strum, it probably makes more sense in the context of the film than it does in the middle of a rock show. Beyond that minor indulgence, though, the audience got to hear all of their favorites, including tracks such as “Hail Bop,” “Wave Forms,” and “Firewater,” in many cases in pumped-up versions designed to inspire dancing.


Patrick and Dave Go to Solid Sound 2015 - An Oral History Transcribed from Imaginary Basement Tapes… [Part 3 of 3]

Patrick and Dave Go to Solid Sound 2015 - An Oral History Transcribed from Imaginary Basement Tapes… [Part 3 of 3]

Two longtime Wilco fans and conscientious hedonists journeyed to Solid Sound 2015. One is a free-lance writer by trade and the other is a regular contributor to ChunkyGlasses. With a shared history of two previous Solid Sound Festivals, countless Wilco shows attended together, and a friendship built around their shared experience of love for the band, Dave and Patrick plan to describe all that is great about Solid Sound in a personal and experiential way. Think Chuck Klosterman at a Kiss festival. They will explore not only what they love about Wilco, but also why the band is important to them as they age, how their perspective has changed over time, and what it all means -- the Festival, the band, and life.

This is how their journey ends...


My Morning Jacket w/Jason Isbell @ Merriweather Post Pavilion - 7/26/15

My Morning Jacket w/Jason Isbell @ Merriweather Post Pavilion - 7/26/15

A swelteringly hot summer evening couldn’t stop the rock on Sunday night at Merriweather Post Pavilion, where My Morning Jacket and Jason Isbell came to share material from their recent albums and more.

A lauded guitarist and songwriter, Isbell released his fifth record,  Something More Than Free, just over a week ago. The album has already broken expectations by reaching number one on not just the country Billboard charts, but on the rock, indie, and folk charts as well. At the core of his 11-song opening set were five tracks from that album, along with several each from the previous two releases, Southeastern and Here We Rest. Longtime fans even got some service in “Decoration Day,” the title track of one the Drive-By Truckers – a band Isbell famously did some time in – most memorable albums.

Isbell’s songs are narratives; each one feeling like it has a story to tell, something which could easily be lost to an opening act in a venue the size of Merriweather where thousands of people are there only to see the main act (especially a quiet country artist opening for a rock band known for their much louder performances). But Isbell and his band the 400 Unit managed to draw the attention of that crowd surprisingly well, and by the end of his set he’d surely made more than a few new fans.


Patrick and Dave Go to Solid Sound 2015 - An Oral History Transcribed from Imaginary Basement Tapes… [Part 2 of 3]

Patrick and Dave Go to Solid Sound 2015 - An Oral History Transcribed from Imaginary Basement Tapes… [Part 2 of 3]

Two longtime Wilco fans and conscientious hedonists journeyed to Solid Sound 2015. One is a free-lance writer by trade and the other is a regular contributor to ChunkyGlasses. With a shared history of two previous Solid Sound Festivals, countless Wilco shows attended together, and a friendship built around their shared experience of love for the band, Dave and Patrick plan to describe all that is great about Solid Sound in a personal and experiential way. Think Chuck Klosterman at a Kiss festival. They will explore not only what they love about Wilco, but also why the band is important to them as they age, how their perspective has changed over time, and what it all means -- the Festival, the band, and life.

Their journey continues...


Lilly Hiatt at Gypsy Sally's - 7/22/15

Lilly Hiatt at Gypsy Sally's - 7/22/15

Though she’s the daughter of renowned singer-songwriter John Hiatt – arguably one of the biggest names in modern Americana – Lilly Hiatt is not content to rest on her father’s reputation. Earlier this year she released her powerful sophomore album, Royal Blue, and already the Nashville-based musician is developing a sound which, though it draws heavily on the traditions she grew up in, she’s making her own.


Patrick and Dave Go to Solid Sound 2015 - An Oral History Transcribed from Imaginary Basement Tapes… [Part 1 of 3]

Patrick and Dave Go to Solid Sound 2015 - An Oral History Transcribed from Imaginary Basement Tapes… [Part 1 of 3]

Two longtime Wilco fans and conscientious hedonists journeyed to Solid Sound 2015. One is a free-lance writer by trade and the other is a regular contributor to ChunkyGlasses. With a shared history of two previous Solid Sound Festivals, countless Wilco shows attended together, and a friendship built around their shared experience of love for the band, Dave and Patrick plan to describe all that is great about Solid Sound in a personal and experiential way. Think Chuck Klosterman at a Kiss festival. They will explore not only what they love about Wilco, but also why the band is important to them as they age, how their perspective has changed over time, and what it all means -- the Festival, the band, and life.

This is how it begins...


Episode 126: Wilco - Star Wars / Tame Impala - Currents

Episode 126: Wilco - Star Wars / Tame Impala - Currents

This week on the podcast, we’re talking BIG releases from two of the biggest indie bands around.

First up: Wilco got their start out of the ashes of alt-country legends Uncle Tupelo, and while their sound might not have fallen far from the tree at the beginning, over their twenty-plus year career they’ve consistently reshaped their sound, lineup, and even the musical landscape around them to become known as one of the most adventerous bands in rock history. For their latest “trick” the band released Star Wars, their ninth album proper, unannounced and for free last week on their website. Kevin, Patrick and Carrie dig into the history of the band, why this album matters, and most importantly: is it any good?

Next: Kevin Parker and his band Tame Impala are your guides through a headtrip worthy of the roller-rink most hip, but is their new album Currents a sonic step forward for the band, or a cold, harsh reminder of how cruel a Bee Gee’s B-Side could really be? We buy the ticket and take the ride to get to the bottom of this critically acclaimed sonic adventure.

PLUS! You want a hot new track from North Carolina’s See Gulls? We got you covered! Deep thoughts on the sad double standards of entertainment journalism? CHECK! It’s a smack-talking, mega-fanboying, super-catified hour of fun, and it’s all for you on Episode 136 of ChunkyGlasses: The Podcast!


Steeleye Span at The Birchmere - 7/17/15

Steeleye Span at The Birchmere - 7/17/15

As one of the founding bands of the British folk-rock movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s, Steeleye Span has long been recognized as musical pioneers. Mixing traditional folk music with electric instruments might not seem all that unusual today, but when the band’s first album, Hark! the Village Wait, came out in 1970, it was nearly unheard of. The band has gone through numerous line-up changes over the years – husband and wife duo Gay and Terry Woods left after that first album (performing as a duo for several years; after that, Terry was a founding member of Irish folk-rockers The Pogues, and Gay returned to the Steeleye fold briefly for a pair of albums in the late 90s), then after their third album, Ten Man Mop, Ashley Hutchings left to form another seminal folk-rock band, Fairport Convention. 

In fact, the band that came to The Birchmere on Tuesday night has not (yet) recorded an album together, with only singer Maddy Prior continuing to represent the original group and drummer (and sometimes guitarist) Liam Genockey, who originally joined the band in 1986 rounding up the old guard. New members Julian Littman (guitar and vocals) and Jessie-May Smart (violin) have managed to integrate themselves into the band’s sound, though, and last-minute fill-in bassist Nils Petersen handled the pressure of having to play a whole concert of songs he’d just learned with ease (Prior’s son Alex Kemp, who was supposed to be with the band on bass for this tour, had visa issues and was unable to join them for their US shows).


The Weather Station at DC9 - 7/17/15

The Weather Station at DC9 - 7/17/15

On Friday evening, DC9 hosted an early show featuring two up-and-coming Canadian folk artists, singer songwriters Tamara Lindeman – who performs as The Weather Station – and Andy Shauf. Both touring to support recent releases – The Weather Station’s third album, Loyalty (her first to get a US release, on Paradise of Bachelors), and Shauf’s first full-length, The Bearer of Bad News – the two artists shared a stage and a backing band (Ben Whiteley on bass, Adrian Cook on keyboards and guitar, and Ian Kehoe on drums).

Andy Shauf has been compared to singers like Elliott Smith and Josh Rouse, and hearing him live, it’s easy to understand why. His breathy, often falsetto vocals are reminiscent of both singers, as is his penchant for minor keys. But despite his clear place in a tradition, he’s developing a style of his own, as can be heard in songs like “Hometown Hero” and “You’re Out Wasting.” Live the songs are a bit more sparse and direct, without the layered vocals and additional instrumentation.


Guster w/Kishi Bashi @ Wolf Trap - 7/16/15

Guster w/Kishi Bashi @ Wolf Trap - 7/16/15

In 24 years as a band, Guster has only released seven albums. Compared to many bands, that may seem sparse, but it’s clear that they’re a band that likes to do their own thing, at their own pace. Though they haven’t strayed far from their 90s alternative rock roots over the years, they haven’t stayed stagnant either; their latest record Evermotion, released earlier this year, has been somewhat divisive amongst fans as the band has shifted their sound with it in a more synth-heavy direction. But sometimes, seeing a band live can help to put an album into perspective, and that was the case on Thursday night at Wolf Trap, where the band played a set intermixing the new tracks with fan favorites from throughout their career, and showed that the new material isn’t so different after all.


Episode 125: Jason Isbell - Something More Than Free / Kacey Musgraves - Pagent Material

Episode 125: Jason Isbell - Something More Than Free / Kacey Musgraves - Pagent Material

This week on the podcast we’re talking new albums from Jason Isbell and Kacey Musgraves! Both artists delivered highly acclaimed records in 2013 - Southeastern and Same Trailer Different Park respectively – and now are back with their hotly anticipated follow ups. Are Something More Than Free and Pagent Material worth the wait? Can these immensely talented artists charged with, for better or for worse, changing the face of country music strike lightening twice? Kevin, Paul and Patrick dig deep into both records and try come up with the answers.

But first! Returning to the podcast after what seems far too long, Ben Tufts, the hardest working musician in the DC Scene, swings by the basement to fill us in on his upcoming annual Ben Tufts and Friends Benefit show on August 22nd at Jammin’ Java. Started as a way to honor the work of his father, the all day concert fundraiser has grown steadily from year to year, and this time out it’s bigger than ever.

So tune in, grab a seat and get ready for a super-charged, super-informative audio adventure. Coming to you live-ish from the baddest basement in DC, it’s Episode 125 of ChunkyGlasses: The Podcast! 


Alejandro Escovedo @ The Hamilton - 7/11/15

Alejandro Escovedo @ The Hamilton - 7/11/15

Alejandro Escovedo has had a long and storied life in music, from his start with early San Francisco punk band The Nuns in the mid-70s, to his 23-year and counting solo career as a roots rocker. Backed by his current band The Sensitive Boys (in this incarnation, Billy Masters on guitar, Bobby Daniel on bass, and newcomer Shawn Peters on drums), Escovedo came to DC to rock The Hamilton and share some of his history.


Dick Diver @ Ottobar - 7/8/15

Dick Diver @ Ottobar - 7/8/15

Dick Diver may have chosen an… interesting… name, but don’t let it fool you. This foursome from Melbourne, Australia isn’t a joke band, and their recently released third album, Melbourne, Florida (named after the other Melbourne – Dick Diver is a band that obviously likes wordplay) has received almost universal acclaim for its brand of jangly indie-pop that lands somewhere between their Aussie predecessors The Go-Betweens and their next door neighbors on New Zealand’s Flying Nun label. Finally getting some recognition on this side of the world, the band is on a US tour, and last Wednesday came to the Ottobar in Baltimore.


Episode 124: Sara Curtin

Episode 124: Sara Curtin

This week on the podcast we’re talking to Washington, DC’s Sara Curtin! For years she’s been wowing audiences as one half of The Sweater Set, and more recently singing backup DC’s “supergroup” Justin Jones and the B-Sides, but now it’s time for Sara to stun on her own…again. Michigan Lilium, out July 24th, is Sara’s second solo album and in advance of her release show in New York City on July 17th, Kevin sat down with the illustrious singer/songwriter to talk about singing, family, cats, the DC scene, and, most importantly her fantastically adventurous and sublime new record.

Whether you’re just discovering Sara Curtin’s music or are a longtime fan, this is a chat you’re not going to want to miss on Episode 124 of ChunkyGlasses: The Podcast!


Swirlies @ Black Cat - 7/6/15

Swirlies @ Black Cat - 7/6/15

Boston lo-fi shoegazers Swirlies have been an on-again-off-again project in recent times, surfacing briefly every few years and then disappearing again. They’ve gone through a number of line-up changes over the years, and their last studio album release was over a decade ago. Yet the band has never quite stopped, and this month they have embarked on another short run of shows to celebrate their 25th year with their “Silver Ostrich Anniversary” tour. On Monday night, they brought their noisy, often dissonant indie rock to the Black Cat Backstage.

For this tour, band constants Damon Tutunjian (vocals/guitar), Andy Bernick (bass/keyboards), and Adam Pierce (drums) were joined by founding member Seana Carmody (vocals/guitar) and new member Elliott Malvas (guitar/keyboards). The band’s sound is one of controlled chaos, in which they somehow manage to simultaneously sound both incredibly tight and like they could fall apart at any moment.


Episode 123: Thundercat - The Beyond/Where the Giants Roam

Episode 123: Thundercat - The Beyond/Where the Giants Roam

In this week’s episode, we’re talking Apple Music, Prince, Foo Fighters and more! Apple Music launched this week to much fanfare…and then fairly immediate internet derision. Kevin has been testing it out and share’s his thoughts on its current state, and the verdict on if anything can really ever replace Rdio in his life. In other news, Washington City Paper fired a shot across the bow of crappy photo releases that concert photographers are often asked to sign by publishing the release for the Foo Fighters 4th of July blowout in DC. Is the outrage justified? Can we all just get along?

All of this PLUS Kevin and Paul pulling their best Statler and Waldorf on the new album from jazz bass master Thundercat, and a track from DC’s incredible The North Country taboot? Come on down for the basement, it’s time for your weekly dose of curmudgeonly love on Episode 123 of ChunkyGlasses: The Podcast!


Pins @ DC9 - 6/29/15

Pins @ DC9 - 6/29/15

Manchester, UK-based PINS may have seemed like a buzz band when they first appeared on the scene in 2012; The Guardian called them “exactly the sort of group the music papers would have been fighting over more than 20 years ago” before they had even released their debut single (“Shoot You”). But with the release in early June of their second album, Wild Nights, they have shown themselves to have longevity, with their riot grrrl-meets-indie pop sound upping the sophistication, while still maintaining its edge.

Opening with “Lost Lost Lost” from their 2013 album Girls Like Us, the band launched into a 14-song set which leaned heavily on the new material, with the first single from the latest album, “Young Girls,” along with equally single-worthy tracks “Baby Bhangs” and “Dazed By You” as highlights.


Jessica Pratt w/Ryley Walker @ Rock and Roll Hotel - 6/25/15

Jessica Pratt w/Ryley Walker @ Rock and Roll Hotel - 6/25/15

Singer-songwriter Jessica Pratt writes the kind of tranquil, meditative folk music that feels equally at home on a snowy winter afternoon or a calm summer evening. Her music has a retro feel to it, steeped as it is in the influences of artists such as Karen Dalton or Vashti Bunyan, yet like those artists it is so far removed from the tropes of anything that might be considered “popular” that it feels almost timeless. Her sophomore album, On Your Own Love Again, released on Drag City at the beginning of the year, continues down the musical path that she started on with her self-titled first album in 2012. Last Thursday evening, she brought this new album to the Rock and Roll Hotel.


Episode 122: Midyear Madness and Unsung Superjamz

Episode 122: Midyear Madness and Unsung Superjamz

It’s hard to believe that we’ve reached the midway point of 2015, but besides being a flat circle (obvs) time, the great equalizer, ever marches on. This week on the podcast, guests Marcus Dowling and Quinn Myers join Kevin and Paul as they dig deep into some of the year’s best music that slipped through our cracks/might not have received the attention it deserved down in the basement. It’s  the end of the “list", Taylor, Kendrick, shaolin monks and more on Episode 122 of ChunkyGlasses: The Podcast!