California

“Doors” - The CooLots

“Doors” - The CooLots

Sounds Like:

An eclectic mix of Jimi Hendrix and rhythmic soul

Why You Should Care:

Listening to the CooLots reminds you of the diversity and talent of the Washington, DC music scene. Straddling genres from rock to soul to alternative, the CooLots bring together powerful vocals with such emotion and energy that each track they put out has a distinct personality. The only thing you expect from this band is that each track will surprise you with its ability to personify the intersection of many genres in a cohesive way.

The opening track to their new album Rebirth, “Doors” begins with a guitar riff reminiscent of a Foo Fighters or early Pearl Jam song, then opens up with the vocals and powerful rhythm section that harness the power of nearly every member of this incredibly diverse and talented band. “Doors” talks about the power of doors to lock you in, or unleash you to the world. The CooLots attempt to do the same thing with their music — tempting listeners to try a new genre or mix of styles they have not heard before.


"Get Right" - Weezer

"Get Right" - Weezer

Sounds Like:

A return to the Weezer of the early 2000s

Why You Should Care:

Weezer’s 11th studio album Pacific Daydream is an ode to the band’s California roots, full of exuberant pop-rock that fans of the band have come to expect from the band, and a return to the production from their 1990s heyday. While some of the other songs on the album feel overglossed and primed for radio play, “Get Right” is a pleasant departure that hits the right balance

Throughout “Get Right” Cuomo speaks to a feeling of being alone and thinking about what might have been. While the lyrics take a darker and more contemplative tone, the upbeat tambourine, strong bassline, and Beach Boys-style backup vocals give the song the impact of a classic Weezer tune.

One thing is for sure. Weezer has not lost its ability to get a strong hook stuck in your head —  “Get Right” is a song you will be bopping along to long after it has ended.


"Big Fish" - Vince Staples

"Big Fish" - Vince Staples

Sounds Like:

If Calvin Harris met Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre in the early ‘90s.

Why You Should Care:

Vince Staples’ new album Big Fish Theory is here and his latest single “Big Fish,” is a somewhat-pop-take on the tribulations of growing up in Long Beach, CA. In true Vince fashion, the song plays on the themes of water and fish through its video and lyrics:

“Swimming upstream while I'm tryna keep my bread
From the sharks make me wanna put the hammer to my head.”


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.


REVIEW: Best Coast - The Only Place

Ah, California!  The Golden State might be in a financial crisis, but its natural beauty and spirit of possibility is as alive as ever. The music “scene” keeps churning out rock bands just like it did fifty years ago:  from Brian Wilson first realizing that pop doesn’t have to be teenage music, to Jim Morrison putting on his first pair of leather pants and the Red Hot Chili Peppers taking everything off but their socks. 

Best Coast’s short, second album contains a bright love letter to the Golden State.  It’s also thematically similar to so many sophomore albums. Instead of bashing out tunes in front of friends, the band faces the pressures of semi-fame, money and what it means to be a working musician in age when selling a mere 10,000 records can put you in the top 40. 


Kick-ASS!: EMA @ The Red Palace 7/17/11

Abrasive. Gut wrenching. Delicate. Assured. Powerful.

These are all words that could be used to describe the force of nature that is EMA, but I’m going to use the most appropriate words I can think of to sum up Sunday night’s show at the Red Palace: KICK.ASS.

Playing to a room that was only half full (comfy, but shame on you DC), EMA took the stage to a wall of feedback that set the tone for the rest of the evening. Guitar screaming, dissonant clicks and pops being created by a handheld radio, the song “Butterfly Knife” eventually rose up out of that noise, and Erika M. Anderson (thus the “EMA”) settled in for the set.