Kingsley Flood

Episode 278: PODJAM with Naseem Khuri (Kingsley Flood) and Sam McCormally (Fellow Creatures)

Episode 278: PODJAM with Naseem Khuri (Kingsley Flood) and Sam McCormally (Fellow Creatures)

Stop me if you've heard this one before: A podcast host, production/songwriting wizard, and a socially-conscious Americana singer walk into a basement...

For our latest episode Sam McCormally (Fellow Creatures, Ugly Purple Sweater) and Naseem Khuri (Kingsley Flood) are joining Kevin in the basement to talk about the songs that hooked them on music for life and they're downing some whiskey in the process.

In other words: Strap in kids, cuz this is gonna be one amazing podjam.


Best of 2016 LIVE - Mauricio's Take

Best of 2016 LIVE - Mauricio's Take

The best kinds of shows are the ones that you can connect with on an emotional level. These are the ten that I connected with the most. Some were complete surprises, others were just as great as I envisioned it would be. Because it’s 2016 and we’re in the midst of the War on Attention Spans, I present to you my 10 favorite concerts...in haiku.


Kingsley Flood @ Rock & Roll Hotel - 11/19/16

Kingsley Flood @ Rock & Roll Hotel - 11/19/16

If there’s one thing the band Kingsley Flood knows about, it’s change.

In 2012, their album Battles took them back and forth across the country and all the way to the mainstage at the legendary Newport Folk Festival. It was an album that dealt with the everyday struggles of an “everyday guy”, and the songs reflected front-man Naseem Khuri’s struggle with issues of equality, a running theme in most of the band’s work.


Episode 235: Naseem Khuri of Kingsley Flood

Episode 235: Naseem Khuri of Kingsley Flood

Kingsley Flood frontman Naseem Khuri has built his career writing songs about social injustice and the importance of sticking up for the "little guy"

On their latest album, Another Other, he's turning his observational acumen inwards to explore not just how we relate to others, but, more importantly, why.

Khuri joined us in the basement a week before America's historic election to talk about the new album, writing introspectively versus observationally, the band's upcoming LP release show in Washington, DC on 11/19, and much, much more. 


Episode 144: Grimes - Art Angels / Jeff Lynne's ELO - Alone In The Universe

Episode 144: Grimes - Art Angels / Jeff Lynne's ELO - Alone In The Universe

This week on the podcast we’re talking new albums from a hot up-and-comer and the return of a pop legend. First up, Grimes’ Art Angels is an unexpected pop explosion that stretches the limits of what we call indie. Is the young producer’s latest effort a missive from the future or one large step towards the mainstream? Then, pop mastermind Jeff Lynne has revived the legendary ELO with a new album Alone In The Universe.  Does this deeply personal, reflective cycle of songs live up to the name or is Mr. Blue Sky gone forever.

PLUS! Rdio is filing for bankruptcy and Pandora is stripping the company down for parts and we try to get to the bottom of what this may mean for artists and consumers alike. Does this mark the beginning of the streaming wars or is it the start of the slide down to a musical singularity where one stream will rule them all. Also…WTF Adele?  3.85 MILLION?

All this plus a new track from DC/Boston’s Kingsley Flood just in time for their show at U Street Music Hall right here in Washington, DC as we close out business as usual in 2015 in style on Episode 144 of ChunkyGlasses: The Podcast!  


Kingsley Flood - "All In All"

Kingsley Flood - "All In All"

Sounds Like:

Raucous folk-rock wrapped in a swanky indie shell, stadium rock for the small-room set, the return of one of America’s next great bands.

Why You Should Care:  

Transition and change in whatever form it takes can be unsettling, confusing, and sometimes downright horrifying. But, more often than not, we find our way through the fog of trepidation to a place full of possibilities that we may not have been aware previously existed. When we last checked in with Boston/DC rockers Kingsley Flood, they were destroying the stage at the best club in America with songs from their critically acclaimed LP (Battles), and would soon be on their way to a notable debut at the Newport Folk Festival.


EPISODE 40: Interview with Naseem Khuri of Kingsley Flood

EPISODE 40: Interview with Naseem Khuri of Kingsley Flood

This week the gang takes a break so Kevin travels back in time all the way to March of 2013 to bring you an interview with Kingsley Flood front-man Naseem Khuri, who reveals the genesis and deeper meaning of his band’s music and more. Plus hear Khuri perform stripped down versions of two of Battles best tracks, “Waiting On The River To Rise” and “Sun Gonna Lemme Shine”!


BEST OF 2013: Kevin's Picks

BEST OF 2013: Kevin's Picks

10. Kanye West - Yeezus

The most undeniably beautiful mess of an album to come along in ages, Yeezus, by all rights, shouldn’t be mentioned anywhere near the words “Best of 2013.” Yet here we are and here it is. Anticipation was high, the hype even higher, for what the Chicago artist/producer would deliver as a follow up to 2011’s glorious My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and what we got was a confusing, aggressive, and aggressively risk-taking collection of songs that play more like a slo-mo, hi-fi train wreck than a work of staggering genius.


TO DO LIST: Kingsley Flood @ Black Cat TONIGHT!

Already have plans tonight? Cancel them. Feeling burnt out from a long workweek? Drink some coffee. There's no excuse for missing DC's own Kingsley Flood headlining Black Cat TONIGHT!

As you probably know by now, we love Kingsley Flood and jump on every opportunity to see them live. As Chunky Kevin says, both on their new record Battles and on stage, Kingsley Flood "has a bigger-than-life rock star personality that leaves the audience feeling like they witnessed a stadium-worthy show instead of a barely-out-of-the-bar-band." But don't just take our word for it. Join us tonight and see for yourself! Doors open at 8 p.m. and tickets are only $12. Not bad for what you'll be calling "the best Friday night ever." 

Get even more pumped for tonight's show - watch our interview with Kingsley Flood's Naseem Khuri!


Best Of 2013 (So Far): Kevin's Picks

10. Kanye West – Yeezus

Dark. Aggressive. Complex. Offensive. Kanye West’s 5th album is all of these things, but most of all it’s his most creatively risky effort to date. Sonically, Yeezus is operating on a completely  other level then anything released this year — in fact it makes most records sound lazy in comparison. But a funny thing happened on the way Yeezus becoming the stuff of legend: Kanye got in the way. What could have been a juggernaut of an album is sidetracked by West’s overly misogynistic lyrics, and his continuing lack of self awareness. Social commentary is a hard trick to pull off in any arena, but when you present yourself as the American dream — because you pretty much ARE the American dream — and then attempt to attack that in any measure, the results are at best trite, and at worst laughable.

To be clear, this is an ongoing issue that West suffers, and he is at his best operation as the fairly unchallenged master of pop that he has made himself into. But for now (and this opinion is constantly shifting) Yeezus remains more Zooropa* and less Achtung Baby. It’s clear that there is a masterful artist at work here who is willing to sacrifice the end result for the sake of experimenting with his art, but the attempt is only half of the secret recipe: You’ve gotta stick the landing.

*For the record, I freaking LOVE Zooropa. LOVE. IT.

9. Kacey Musgraves – Same Trailer, Different Park  / Ashley Monroe – Like A Rose

Why two albums? Because both perfectly represent the struggle that “modern country music” faces in 2013. Deservedly maligned by the discerning music fan since the days when the thunder rolled, there’s been a shift over the last few years away from the assembly line nature of what hits the airwaves, back to the more personal, less manufactured music that is the bedrock of a large portion of the American songbook. Musgraves “Merry-Go-Round” and Monroe’s “Like A Rose” are at once eloquent and utilitarian in their assessment of small town living, and rivalJason Isbell’s acumen for commentary of the human experience.

Unlike Isbell though, both artists go slightly off the rails by the end of their song cycles, giving in to the machine’s need for a “hit.” And in doing so they both keep what might have been a duo of timeless, universal records tied to a genre that both artists very clearly can, and should, rise above. That having been said, if you can push past the autotune and the straight-from-the-80’s “redneck” power chorus singing that ultimately takes control of these records, you’ll be rewarded by the work of two of the finest songwriters working in popular music today.

8. Kingsley Flood – Battles

The holy grail for most bands is to be able to match massive performances with equally massive songwriting chops. On Battles, Kingsley Flood took that idea and injected their already successful formula of bar brawl Americana with a double shot of adrenaline to produce one of the most satisfying records of the year to date. Grounded in singer Naseem Khuri’s explorations of what it takes to get by in today’s America, this mostly Boston based five piece (Khuri resides right here in the District) walks the razor’s edge of serious and seriously entertaining, and they do it all with an ease normally reserved for bands twice their age. Successfully bridging the gulf between folk, power pop and punk, Battles finds its power in its unflinching honesty and sincerity, regardless of the delivery method. This is a new Americana, and one that, if this release is any indication, is very quickly going to take over the world.


2013 Newport Folk Festival: Day One

All photos by Joy Asico (joy@chunkyglasses.com/www.asicophoto.com)

On Friday afternoon, under a cloudy and drizzly sky, Kingsley Flood kicked off the Newport Folk Festival from the Fort Stage to a crowd that couldn't wait to get started. Almost as soon as the band began to play, the crowd began to dance along. "Sun's Gonna Let Me Shine," "Pick Your Battles," and "The Fire Inside" were a perfect antidote to the damp weather. It was the perfect way to begin a festival and created pretty high expectations for the rest of the weekend.

The six-piece band hailing from Boston and Washington, DC, kept the momentum strong throughout the set, even while pausing to dedicate "Battles" to a friend, or ask if anyone liked country music, because "Devil's Arms" was a country song for people who don't like country. Lead singer Naseem Khuri and Jenée Morgan, on violin, saxophone and vocals and occasionally tambourine, were almost never still, radiating an energy from the stage that the crowd picked up on and echoed back. People put small children on their shoulders to dance in front of the stage. "I Don't Wanna Go Home" closed the set on a rowdy note, and a perfect sentiment for the rest of the festival day.


LIVE: David Wax Museum w/Kingsley Flood @ The 9:30 Club - 4/4/13

LIVE: David Wax Museum w/Kingsley Flood @ The 9:30 Club - 4/4/13

All photos by Joy Asico (joy@chunkyglasses.com | www.asicophoto.com)

The slot of the opening band can be a weird space to occupy. Sometimes it’s filled by the headliner’s label mates, sometimes it’s their friends and sometimes, and perhaps more cynically, it’s a package put together by a PR firm to maximize ticket sales. However the pairing happens, the end result is usually a show that opens with a satisfying but obviously “greener” act that you may catch if you get there early enough, but one that fulfills their duty of warming up the crowd in fine fashion, albeit little consequence.  In the case of David Wax Museum’s latest stop through DC though it was clear that somewhere, someone gets it, because the pairing of the mexi-folk outfit from Rhode Island with up-and-comers Kingsley Flood proved to be a winning combo that played more like a high octane double bill than the average tour package that many have come to expect.

Kingsley Flood are NOT.F@#@ING.AROUNDKingsley Flood took the stage to a half empty room and proceeded to take no prisoners – which is what they just seem to do these days. The DC / Boston based band – lead singer Naseem Khuri resides in the District (watch our interview with him here) while the rest remain up north – has been rising through the ranks of the music world over the past few years, and their live shows in support of their latest release Battles  is a huge reason why.  On record and on stage the band has a bigger-than-life rock star personality that leaves the audience feeling like they just witnessed a stadium-worthy show instead of a barely-out-of-the-bar-band from Beantown, and last Thursday’s performance was no exception. Much like headliners David Wax Museum, Kingsley Flood takes musical inspiration from a wide variety of influences – folk, punk, gypsy, even British Mod – to craft music that is helping to shape a new Americana, one that’s about a whole lot more than an acoustic strum and a torch song.


INTERVIEW: Naseem Khuri of Kingsley Flood

Earlier this year DC/Boston based band Kingsley Flood relased Battles, an album that is proving to be one of 2013's best. We had the opportunity to sit down DC based lead singer Naseem Khuri in advance of their show at the 9:30 Club this week for an in depth discussion of the band's history, concept albums, what their songs mean to them,  and much much more. Plus! Solo performances of Battles tracks "Waiting On The River To Rise" and "Sun's Gonna Lemme Shine"

Don't miss Kingsley Flood opening for David Wax Musuem at the 9:30 Club THIS THURSDAY in one of the best double bills, from two of the best bands, that you're gonna see this year. Tickets are available HERE...we'll see you at the show!


WIN STUFF: Win 2 tix to see David Wax Museum at 9:30 Club!

CONTEST CLOSED

Using unique instruments to create music is not uncommon, yet bands that incorporate such novelties consistently intrigue music listeners and concertgoers alike. David Wax Museum’s use of a donkey’s broken jawbone for percussion is no exception. If you are curious to know just how a donkey jawbone sounds when played (you know you are), check out David Wax Museum's infectiously joyous Tiny Desk Concert:

Suz Slezak, the featured masterful donkey jawbone player, along with vocalist/guitarist David Wax, make up the core of David Wax Museum. The two, with help from the various saxophonists, stand-up bassists, and other supporting musicians who rotate in and out of the band, blend elements of Americana and traditional Mexican folk to create what they call “Mexo-Americana.”  

David Wax Museum caught the music world’s attention in 2010 upon winning a contest, thanks to fans' votes, to play the renowned Newport Music Festival. Everything Is Saved, featuring the single “Boy With A Broken Heart,” came the following year, earning the band even more well-deserved acclaim. However, as ChunkyGlasses Editor-in-Chief Kevin Hill notes in his review of last year’s Knock Knock Get Up, the latest David Wax Museum effort is their best yet. "...Wax and crew have outdone themselves in every way possible, finding not only their balance, but their path forward as a group of truly remarkable musicians," Hill says. Knock Knock went on to claim the number six spot on our Best Albums of 2012 list.  

Supporting David Wax Museum at their 9:30 Club show next Thursday, April 4 are local favorites Kingsley Flood. With nods from Rolling StoneMTV Buzzworthy, and more, the sextet released their second full-length album, Battles, just last month. (Stay tuned for our forthcoming interview with Kingsley Flood frontman Naseem Khuri!)

For your chance to a pair of tickets to the show next week, please do one of the following: 

1. Leave a comment below, using a valid email address, telling us your favorite museum and why.

2. Retweet this or tweet the following:

I'm entering to win tix to see David Wax Museum at 9:30 Club! @ChunkyGlasses

Do not miss your chance to see the donkey jawbone in action - enter by this Tuesday, April 2! The lucky winner will be randomly chosen that evening.

Not feeling lucky? Tickets for the show are still available and can be purchased through Ticketfly!


REVIEW: Kingsley Flood - Battles

Kingsley Flood’s music is frequently referred to as “Americana,” a label that may have worked early in their career. But comparing them to a band like Mumford and Sons is like comparing a 1967 Mustang to a 2009 Mustang: there’s some things that look the same on the surface, but you don’t have to look to hard to find the differences. Putting it another way, one is a fake, plasticized replica of something; the other is Kingsley Flood.

Their new record, Battles, is certainly more electric than their 2010 debut Dust Windows or last year’s Colder Still EP, but the core rock sensibility has always been there.  And to say that a Strokes-esque rocker like “Down” is Americana does a disservice to both the genre and the band, since it’s extremely difficult to pigeonhole them into such categories.

Battles was built on a successful PledgeMusic campaign, and comes as the band is riding a wave of attention. Late last year their hometown saluted them with a Boston Music Award for Americana act of the year (there’s that word again), Rolling Stone and American Songwriter streamed new songs, and MTV dubbed the leadoff single from the album, the blues-rocker “Pick Your Battles”, as “buzzworthy.” (Yes, apparently this is something MTV still does.) (While most of the band has remained in Boston, Singer/guitarist/songwriter Naseem Khuri has taken up residence in the District, meaning our area can now lay at least partial claim to the budding stars.)

Make no mistake, the accolades foisted upon Kingsley Flood are well-deserved. Battles offers a clinic in top-notch songwriting, from the quiet, introspective leadoff, “Don’t Change My Mind” to the country-rocker “Strongman” to the Springsteen-tinged “The Fire Inside,” there isn’t a weak link to be found among the albums twelve songs.


Kingsley Flood / Ugly Purple Sweater @ The Black Cat - 1/12/13

Kingsley Flood / Ugly Purple Sweater @ The Black Cat - 1/12/13

Last Saturday night at the Black Cat local favorites Ugly Purple Sweater paired up with quasi-DC-by-way-of-Boston Kingsley Flood, and what went on outside the club was almost as exciting as what went on inside. While talking about how you got to a show or what you drank, ate, and hallucinated about during your pre-game could normally be considered amateur at best, it bears pointing out that upon arrival at the Black Cat 15 minutes  prior to Kingsley Flood’s scheduled set time there was a line that stretched 2 blocks down the street just to get in the door.  Whether that’s a testament to the fact that both bands worked their asses off to promote this show or that both bands are currently creating some of the better music you’re likely to hear this year is unclear, but one thing that IS clear is this: Whatever they’re doing, they are doing it RIGHT.


TRACKING: Ugly Purple Sweater - "DC USA"

Sounds Like: A little indie-pop, a touch of plunky Americana, a hint of Midlake and a schoce of EP era Arcade fire. In other words GOOD
Why you should care: The DC music scene constantly seems to be just at the cusp of being something big again. This is one of the bands that is probably gonna make that happen. 

You never know quite what you’re going to get from Washington, DC’s Ugly Purple Sweater. One song might wade into the smart indie pop section of the pool, while the next might head off into the deep end of some weird Americana, but one thing is for sure every listen is guaranteed to satisfy. Since 2008 singer/songwriter Sam McCormmaly and crew have been turning out songs that are as ecletic as they are powerful, and on Tuesday they continued in that tradition with the release of  their latest effort, DC USA, the title track from which you can check out in the video below.

To celebrate this release, Ugly Purple Sweater will be performing at DC’s own Black Cat THIS SATURDAY (the 12th) along with friends Kingsley Flood – who also have new record coming out -  and Kindlewood. Tickets are on sale HERE, and it’s a night of DC-centric music that is NOT to be missed. We’ll see you at the show.