The Beach Boys released Pet Sounds, their eleventh studio album, in 1966. It was the same year that the Beatles released Revolver, and much like that album did for them, Pet Sounds marked a turning point in the band’s sound, from short, simple two to three minute pop songs to more sophisticated themes and arrangements. This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the album, and in celebration Brian Wilson, the long-time leader of the band, embarked on an anniversary tour. Last week, that tour came to the DC area at the Strathmore in Bethesda.
Willie Nelson, along with Neil Young and John Mellencamp, founded farm Aid in 1985 when American farmers were in the midst of a mortgage crisis that was forcing many small farmers to leave their land. Through the concert, modeled on the Live Aid event that took place earlier that year, the performers hoped to raise money and awareness to help those farmers along. The event was a huge success, and turned into a tradition that has lasted for over three decades, with a large concert held at a different location each year.
The next great battle in the streaming wars may have just been started by Pandora with the announcement of their "half-price" streaming service. Is $4.99 a month the future of the music industry, or the beginning the end of it as we know it?
After a career conquering the indie airwaves as one half of Wye Oak, Jenn Wasner is breaking out on her own under the name Flock Of Dimes.
Washington, DC's Aaron "Ab" Abernathy has spent the past few years acting as music director for hip-hop artist Black Milk and perfecting his performing chops with his band Nat Turner. Now Ab is about to break out on his own with a new LP, Monologue, and we've got a taste of what's in store with his latest, Prince-tastic single, "I See You".
As we prepare to gather and celebrate the diversity of the people of our country with the opening of the National Museum of African American History & Culture here in DC this weekend, we should consider that this joyous (and long overdue) occasion is falls in the same week that two unarmed black men - Terence Crutcher and Keith L. Scott - were shot dead by police officers for no other reason than the color of their skin.
This, sadly, in 2016 especially, is nothing new. But let us not numb ourselves to the realities of our current state here in America as we watch the riots and protests in Charlotte and shore up our emotional mettle to prepare for the NEXT report of such a killing that will surely come in future weeks, if not the next. Let us understand and revel in the fact that this is wrong. This is sickening. This is injustice. And it has to stop.
Nelly is in trouble with the tax man, and it's teh INTERNET to the rescue! Wait...really?
We're reviewing Florida Georgia Line's latest, guys. This is happening. Strap in for a wild ride with Eduardo and Marcus Dowling as we dig into one of this years biggest releases that everyone loves to hate. Or DO they?
LVL UP's third album Return To Love is out 9/23, and on Sub Pop no less! We're taking their single "Pain" out for a spin to see how this New York quartet is doing.
What's in a name? Turns out a whole lot if you're in a band. Some guy named Eric has offered up a whole mess of suggestions, some good, some...not so much.
Since roundabout 2004, jazz pianist Robert Glasper has played on all your favorite records, won all the Grammy's, and blown all of the minds in the process. Marcus Dowling (Pitchfork, Bandcamp) and Marcus J. Moore (Sr. Editor, Bandcamp) join us to work through this musical giant's latest "experiment", ArtScience.
Mndsgn's latest LP Body Wash is a cosmic mashup of chill, funk, and hip-hop. Marcus Dowling gives us the lowdown on the new album and spins a track to get you all the way onboard.
Last weekend, the Hopscotch Music Festival took over downtown Raleigh, North Carolina. Now in its seventh year, the three-day festival spread out across ten venues across the city, as well as featuring headlining shows on a large temporary stage on the City Plaza. This year the event expanded to add a second headlining show on Friday night at the Red Hat Amphitheater, a large outdoor performance venue located only a couple of blocks from City Plaza, providing even more choice to attendees.
Hopscotch can be grueling. During the course of the three-day-long festival, some people will compete with their friends to see who among them can catch the most sets by the over 120 official bands (plus a couple hundred bands playing day parties), like it’s a music festival version of Pokemon-Go. Others will attempt to drink their weight in tasty local craft beers while stumbling between a dozen or so venues across downtown Raleigh.
After seven years of covering Hopscotch for various outlets, I’ve decided to slow it down just a little bit and allow myself to savor the best moments.
Summer was hot as hell, but Fall is almost here. This week we're giving you the musical tools to kick back, cool down, and ease into the soon to be barren landscape of Winter.
Did that sound depressing? Never mind...brown liquor season is nigh!
Check out new releases from Kishi Bashi, Against Me!, Frank Ocean (if you weren't on Apple Music) and Paul's personal fave, DAWES.
As the idiocracy draws ever closer, we take a look a new spin on the reality show where nine strangers are picked to makes some tunes and get judged by...Spotify.
After fifteen years, Australian sample kings The Avalanches return with their new album, Wildflower. Carrie's spawn joins us to discuss this comeback and drop some serious knowledge on our ass.
To celebrate ten years of being awesome, Portland Cello Project have released their version of the Prince classic (because every Prince song is a classic) "How Come U Never Call Me Anymore". We've got a listen and a look for you to dig into before the group plays here in DC on 9/21.
If you’re asked which artists are pushing R&B music forward, you might answer with names like Maxwell, Miguel, and Frank Ocean. But after a very impressive (and sold-out) U Hall debut, you’ll probably want to answer with this name: Gallant. Born in DC and growing up in Columbia, MD, Gallant is a DMV-er through and through. He briefly acknowledged the fact, though the night was more about his music and less about his roots. His debut album, “Ology”, was released in April to critical acclaim, and he kicked off the tour in his hometown of DC.
It's official, the headphone jack is no more...at least according to Apple. We're parsing the pro's and con's and abusing the word "dongle" excessively in the process.
WILCO'S BACK MOTHER F@#@ERS! But you knew that. 3 lifelong fans of the band weigh in on the alt-country fixture's latest, Schmilco.
The Flat Five (feat. Kelly Hogan) are from Chicago. The Flat Five are groovier than you, or anyone you know. We have proof. Put it in your ears.
As of late, the music industry has seen a rise in talented African-American musicians who paint outside of expected mainstream lines for pop artists. In eschewing easy-to-consume tropes for left-of-center jazz, soul, and techno-influenced sounds, performers like Kendrick Lamar, Robert Glasper, Chance the Rapper, Frank Ocean and so many more have created a sustainable and alternative-inspired vibe. However exciting this class of stars may be, it's important to remember that this is a movement that has an impressive historical context as well.
When one half of a musical duo leaves the band, how much should a band change, if at all? Dream-pop duo Savoir Adore went through a bit of a change when singer/keyboardist Diedre Muro exited after releasing two albums alongside guitarist Paul Hammer. When faced with the choice of either starting a new musical project or keep the band going, he chose to continue Savoir Adore. Recruiting former Panama Wedding keyboardist Lauren Zettler, this latest version of the band came to DC9 to celebrate the release of their third album,The Love That Remains. And from what it seems, it's full synth-pop steam ahead for the group.
Interpol frontman Paul Banks and Wu-Tang Clan rapper RZA first announced back in 2013 that they were working on a project together, yet fans of both could be forgiven for having forgotten entirely about it, as publicly the duo seemed to disappear from the radar soon after. But behind the scenes, work on it continued for several years. The unlikely pairing finally re-emerged this year as Banks & Steelz with their first full-length album, Anything But Words, in hand.
Spotify may be winning the streaming wars, but with a new round of rights negotiations ahead, will they be stopped in their tracks by the labels.
Chicago's Ryley Walker makes guitar music. Heady guitar music. On his latest album, Golden Sings That Have Been Song, we take yet another trip into the cosmos searching for answers that we may never find.
Sylvan Esso is back AF. Witness their new single "Radio". Rejoice.
Hockey Dad describes their music as “surf rock,” which may seem a bit misleading to American audiences who are used to the genre referring to a specific sound championed by artists such as The Beach Boys and Dick Dale. The duo, childhood friends from Windang, Australia – a suburb of the small city of Wollongong on the southeastern coast – bear little if anything in common with those artists, but their indie- and garage-rock hybrid music does have a sun-drenched quality to it, with references to surfing, partying, and beach life. The duo made their US debut at CMJ last year and were signed by Brooklyn label Kanine Records, who released their debut album Boronia last month.
The internet has given us a lot of things, but probably its most valuable contribution to society (besides cat videos) has been access to loads and loads of stats. A recent study by Value Penguin (internet stat provider!) went ahead and ranked the quality of music cities around America. Noble goal. Dubious results. Because internet.
On Lydia Loveless's fourth album, Real, the Ohio-based singer/songwriter is growing in all kinds of new directions. Kevin and Paul get real about the songs, the critical acclaim for Loveless's work after Indestructible Machine, and the (possible) wrongheadedness of their own expectations.
Baltimore is kinda killing it this year...again. And Wing Dam is gonna kick you around the sun straight back to the fuzzed out heyday of Smashing Pumpkins, and...well...Smashing Pumpkins. The Corgainasance is real folks. Really real.
There’s something interesting about going to a Dr. Dog show. It’s not just the music that makes it worthwhile, it’s the fans as well. You can see it in the multitude of Dr. Dog beanies in the faithful crowd, with a local fanbase that supports annual shows and sold-out nights at the 9:30 Club. Their fans are some of the most dedicated around, and watching them perform on night one of two at 9:30 Club this go-around, you can see how they elevate a performance to an experience.
Leaks are de rigueur in this digital age, and recently the band Twenty One Pilots had a new track freed from its capitalist coil and spread forth across the digital oceans for the masses to "enjoy." This didn't sit well with the powers-that-be, and so it was that Reddit deliver unto them the head (name) of the vile curr who would commit such a crime. Reddit said no. What now doods?
At this point it's generally understood that singer/songwriter Cass McCombs is a de facto national treasure. He made a new album, so just like all his other albums, we're obliged to talk about it.
Snail Mail is from Baltimore. Snail Mail makes rock. We'd tell you more, but it's better you just turn it up and find out for yourself.