The War On Drugs

Episode 301: A Deeper Understanding - The War On Drugs

Episode 301: A Deeper Understanding - The War On Drugs

First Up: Taylor Swift is gamifying the ticket industry? What does this mean for YOU and is this latest "big bad" really worth worrying about or should we be setting our sights higher.

Then...when Philadephia's Adam Granduciel started The War On Drugs with fellow mellow-rocker Kurt Vile back in 2006, the music industry was rapidly approaching the era of peak indie. Granduciel's small but intricate soundscapes stood out in a landscape dominated by fuss and flash, and on 2014's Lost In The Dream, the expanded lineup hit their stride with an album that balanced laid-back psychedelics with oceans of heart and soul. Dream earned The War On Drugs a rapidly growing fan base and a major-label deal, the results of which can be hard on their latest LP A Deeper Understanding. Kevin, Marcus, and Paul are digging into the band's latest forays to the edges of the sonicsphere to see if the trip is worth the journey, or The War On Drugs best days are behind them now.

Plus! Denver, CO's The Yawpers Boy In The Well, is the straight shot of rock-and-roll that we all need in 2017. Get a taste of this adrenaline fueled, high concept, punk-Americana masterpiece with the track "Mon Dieu." 

2015 Landmark Music Festival

2015 Landmark Music Festival

While Washington has had its share of “festivals” – Trillectro, Sweetlife, Virgin Mobile Fest – we’ve never, until this past weekend, really had something that’s specifically for D.C.

Staged in West Potomac Park adjacent to the Lincoln Memorial, the inaugural Landmark Music Festival brought the scale, along with the uniformity, of other more seasoned fests like Austin City Limits and Lollapalooza. That’s not surprising, as Landmark was thrown with veteran production company C3, now the third-largest production company in the U.S.,  working in conjunction with the Trust for the National Mall, who aims to fund their ongoing Landmark Campaign

The National Mall faces more than $400 million in deferred maintenance on top of hundreds of millions of dollars in needed updates and sustainable improvements. Landmark Music Festival is helping us to build awareness and raise funds to meet the needs of our country’s most iconic, beloved and visited national park. – Landmark Trust’s MacKenzie Babb

The hope, of course, is that the iconic, beloved draw of the park itself will transfer completely to an event that is eventually regarded in much the same light. That's a mission that even the most jaded of music fans SHOULD be able to get behind, and as to the future success of the Landmark Festival, that remains to be seen. This year though, this is how things shook out.

Episode 96: Best of 2014

Episode 96: Best of 2014

2014 was a huge year for great music, so in like fashion we’ve got a HUGE podcast to finish the year out. Paul, Adam, Quinn, Tori, Brian, Carrie and Seàn join Kevin in the basement to talk about their favorite songs, albums and artists of the year, and what everyone is looking forward to in 2015. PLUS! One last round of “Prince is a dick” to decide once-and-for-all if Prince really is…well…you get the picture.

So strap in loyal listeners as the ChunkyGlasses gang takes on the year that was on Episode 96 of ChunkyGlasses: The Podcast – Best Of 2014!

Episode 81: Tweedy - Sukierae

Episode 81: Tweedy - Sukierae

In our latest episode: We review the new album Sukierae from Tweedy. Wilco front-man Jeff Tweedy and his son Spencer may have the most appropriate band name ever, but does that familial familiarity translate to record? Is it nepotism, genius or somewhere in between?  PLUS! Rawk feuds, U2 proposes a new music format that will “save the industry” and snacks - oh so many snacks - on Episode 81 of ChunkyGlasses: The Podcast!

The War On Drugs @ 9:30 Club - 4/18/14

The War On Drugs @ 9:30 Club - 4/18/14

Photo by Richie Downs

If we’re talking Rock ‘n’ Fucking Roll, one really shouldn’t complain that Philadelphia’s The War On Drugs delivered an almost two and a half hour set Friday night at the 9:30 Club. That’s the stuff of Springsteen-ian legend that people look back on years later and say, “I was there, man. I. Was. There.” And, in fact, the megalith of a show that Adam Granduciel and his cohorts delivered was an embarrassment of riches that showcased every era of the band; a crash course in how they got from there to this year’s unmitigated masterpiece, Lost in the Dream.

But man, was it some kind of awesome endurance test.

The set proper was book-ended by Dream’s “Under the Pressure” and “In Reverse,” a move that seemed appropriate given what would come between the two. Besides being the band’s best album to date, Lost in the Dream is also the logical culmination of everything that came before it for them. The winding river of The War On Drugs history that the set list took could not have made that fact any clearer.

The War On Drugs @ 9:30 Club - 4/18/14

Photos by Richie Downs

Click to enlarge images

Episode 46: Lydia Loveless / The War On Drugs

Episode 46: Lydia Loveless / The War On Drugs

In this episode Kevin, Andre and Adam parse the pro's and cons of Neil Young's new PONO music service to figure out if it's a winner or if only the most righteous of music nerds need apply. PLUS! The gang takes on a new release from cow punk siren Lydia Loveless , then go on a vision quest with The War On Drugs latest, Lost In The Dream.

TRACKING: Nightlands - "So Far, So Long"

SOUNDS LIKE: The War On Drugs, Tom Petty, Fleetwood Mac
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE: Dave Hartley is back with his second album of ambient mantras

They say the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, and that's always been the case with Dave Hartley's band, Nightlands. Not to say it's a bad thing, because it is not, especially when he comes from everyone's favorite band of Reagan-era nostalgics in The War On Drugs.  His debut album, 2010's Forget The Mantra, was covered in the haze and graze one expects to take in with a cross country road trip.  But as we have the first taste of the upcoming Oak Island, we'll be getting something with all our favorite bits at the core, and a few things we might not expect.

"So Far, So Long" fades in with the trusty drum machine tick tick we've come to expect from his day job.  But quickly we're greeted by a faint horn off in the distance, as Hartley's husky, wavering vocals are met with the clearest of angelic harmonies on the chorus, not too far off from that Tango In The Night cassette tape that was always in the player of my dad's pickup.  The exotic blend of guitars, horns, and percussion might just be what the doctor ordered for a trip to so-called Oak Island, and it might be some place we'll all want to escape to when we can take in the full itinerary in January. 

LIVE MUSIC: The War On Drugs @ The Jefferson Theater (CVille) - 3/8/12

“No shit... @warondrugsjams is everything that's right about rock n roll in 2012...or any year”

That’s the tweet I sent out between songs at the The War On Drugs in Charlottesville about a week and a half ago. It wasn’t the product of many beers, or some indie fanboy love of the band. It was the product of standing at the edge of the stage having one’s face consistently blown off by a group of musicians whose love for their craft apparently knows no bounds.

THING YOU MUST DO: The War on Drugs @ The Rock and Roll Hotel - TONIGHT!!!

If you've been paying attention to music at all this year, you already know that Philadelphia's The War On Drugs has been quietly taking over the indie music world one show at a time.

Their latest record, Slave Ambient (listen to it HERE) was roundly praised upon its release, and now at the end of the year you can't swing a stick without hitting a blog, publication or podcast that isn't including this slow burning gem on it's year end best of lists. And with good reason. The songs on Ambient are pretty squarely what My Bloody Valentine would sound like if fronted by Bob Dylan. Walls of feedback and reverb play behind singer/songwriter Adam Granduciel's folky drugged out delivery to create a sound that owes as much to the garage rock psychedelia of the late 60's as it does to the likes of  Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie. 

The War On Drugs has already been through DC once this year in their quest for total world domination. That sold out show at The Red Palace (read our review here) not only saw NPR's Bob Boilen getting down like he was at one of Ken Kesey's acid tests, but also provided us with one of our favorite performances we've seen all year. Tonight the band moves up the DC venue ladder and to play at the (slightly) larger Rock and Roll Hotel and if you haven't already, you can get your tickets right here.

Look, we know it's a Sunday night and all, and hey, we love 60 Minutes as much as the next guy (actually, probably a little more...possibly unhealthily so) but whenever a band this good is playing a venue this size you sort of owe it to yourself to take advantage of the situation. We've embedded a couple of videos of the band performing in Copenhagen to help make your decision easier, but trust us when we say that this is one show that you do not want to miss.

"I Have TWO Phasers": The War On Drugs w/Caveman @ The Red Palace - 9/2/11

First of all, I have to give it up for the NYC band known as Caveman. It’s embarrassing that I’ve never even heard of them, but after witnessing their opening set Friday night, you can be sure that I won’t be forgetting them. Floating around somewhere between Radiohead and the sound of America in the 70’s (think Midlake’s Trials of Van Occupanther, but a little more out there) the band is one of the best you’ll see this year.  Their debut album Coco Rises will be out September 13, so make sure you pick it up. You’ll thank me, promise. More to the point though, when Caveman comes to your town, at all costs GO!

Caveman turning noobs into fans

Now. Onto The War On Drugs.

Take some Bob Dylan, add a little Tom Petty, then throw in a wall of guitars and not one but TWO phasers, and you’ve pretty much got The War On Drugs at The Red Palace last Friday. But those comparisons may actually be selling the band short