After being forced to cancel their previous date due to singer Cedric Bixler-Zavala’s vocal issues and a January announcement that the El Paso band would be releasing their first new album in 16 years, in•ter a•li•a, it was clear that excitement was in the air at the 9:30 Club when they returned for the make up date. Armed with new songs and a whole lot of old favorites from their first three albums, their performance made it clear that even though the band and its fans have aged quite a bit since their last album (2000’s Relationship Of Command), there wouldn’t be any holding back at the sold-out 9:30 Club. A nostalgia act? Not tonight.
Streaming radio mainstay Pandora has finally revealed their Spotify/Apple Music competitor. Built on the ashes of Rdio, and released well into these streaming wars, will Pandora Unlimited change the game or is it too little, too late? We've got some thoughts.
Sunny Sweeney has made some damn fine country music in her relatively short career. On her latest LP Trophy, she's walking the fine line between growing up and keeping her "bad girl" edge and the result is her strongest album yet.
PLUS! Senders hail from VALHALLA..err...Boston, and features our good friend Casey Ray on vocal duties. Get ready to rock with a taste of their new self-titled LP.
What it sounds like:
The smoothest voice to ever soundtrack the Miami Vice credits reel
Why you should care:
DC musician and CMPVTER CLVB associate Dreamcast has been slowly building his cred with a throwback R&B sound thrust into the modern age, and it could not be clearer than on his latest single, “Liquid Deep”.
The Knocks are the quintessential example of music blog darlings-turned-pop tastemakers. Since 2010, the duo of Ben "B-Roc" Ruttner and James "JPatt" Patterson have released countless remixes, singles, and EPs, finally culminating with their long-awaited debut album, 55, in 2016. But they’re not ones to rest on their laurels. Hot off a recent European arena tour opening for Justin Beiber, The Knocks have a new EP out, Testify, and are producing songs on the upcoming Carly Rae Jepsen and Wyclef Jean albums. On what now seems to be an annual tradition, they once again sold out the 9:30 Club for a career-spanning set. While their sound has slowly evolved, the mission remained the same: to get people of all backgrounds to come together and dance
For over twenty years, indie-rock mainstays Spoon have made some of the most consistently satisfying albums in rock and roll history. On their ninth outing, Hot Thoughts, Britt Daniels and crew are looking back to their past as they evolve the sound of the band into a new future. We've got some possibly "hot" thoughts to share about one of the most anticipated albums of 2017.
PLUS! Saxophonist Ted Taforo provides one of the highlights of Hot Thoughts, improvising on the album's closing track, "Us." When he's not busy changing Spoon's musical direction, he's putting out great albums like The Pope From Rome And Other Stories, and we've got a taste for ya.
As both the frontman of The Police and as a solo artist, Sting was one of the most popular performers of the 80s and 90s, winning numerous awards including sixteen Grammy Awards and, with The Police, induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Yet after the release of his seventh solo album Sacred Love in 2003, Sting appeared to leave the world of rock music behind, instead embarking on a number of more personal projects including an album of lute music (Songs From the Labyrinth), an album of winter-themed songs which veered heavily in folk and classical directions (If On a Winter’s Night…), an album of symphonic arrangements of his songs (Symphonicities), and a folk- and jazz-based concept album (The Last Ship). After all of that, it might not have been too much of a stretch for fans to assume that he had all but retired from rock. Then late last year he released 57th & 9th, his first rock album in well over a decade, and a strong return to form.
London's Ibibio Sound Machine "...is a clash of African and electronic elements inspired in equal measure by the golden era of West African funk, disco, modern post-punk, and electro" and on their first release on North Carolina's vaunted Merge Records, they've refined their sound without skimping on any of its power. Full of songs that are just as likely to make you consider injustices in the world as they are to get you on the dance floor, Uyai is a triumph for the band and maybe a sign of a new direction for Merge.
PLUS! After having his life "turned upside down" in 2014 when he discovered he was adopted, DC based super-producer/DJ/U Street Music Hall proprietor Will Eastman turned to his creativity to guide him through the turmoil, and Hilo, his new LP, is the result.
PledgeMusic is a crowdfuning platform that aims to help artists of every genre and creed achieve their dreams. Every artist except Wheeler Walker, Jr. it would seem. In an unprecedented move, the artist friendly org recently cancelled the country star/comedian's campaign to raise funds for his upcoming sophomore album, and we've got some questions.
On their second album as a duo, guitarists Julian Lage and Chris Eldridge (Punch Brothers) are travelling down well worn musical paths, but still manage to kick up some dust along the way. We journey deep into Mount Royal and find out where the music they're making is taking bluegrass and folk, and contemplate a new dawn of acoustic music in a super-untz age.
PLUS! Son Volt is BACK. Crank up "Back Against The Wall" off of their new LP, Notes Of Blue, and be ROCKED.
Atlanta rapper Future just made history by knocking himself out of the top spot on the Billboard charts with his second release in as many weeks, HNDRXX. Join us for a very special episode as Marcus Dowling (Bandcamp, Decades) guides Kevin through the past, present, and...future of this record setting artist. (Spoiler: This is gonna be awkward.)
PLUS! Ameripolitan legends Dale Watson and Ray Benson (Asleep At The Wheel) have united under the moniker Dale and Ray and made a barnburner of an album. We've got their theme song that will two-step its way into your heart.
The end to a perfect day spent with all your friends, complete with dancing, laughing and a glorious sunset
Why you should care:
With their 2012 debut “Pacific Standard Time”, Poolside made ‘‘daytime disco’’ - something that can best be described as music you can jam out to on a sunny day - a thing, . Artists like Goldroom and Viceroy have carried the genre forward into 2017, but the time is right for Poolside to take back the mantle and expand on it in a big way.
Go-Go as DC History is a discussion of five iconic go-go songs from DC's legendary "Chocolate City" past as we seek to preserve that era, as well as determine what of those legendary times will be retained in the rapidly changing cultural present and future of the nation's capital. Andre "Whiteboy" Johnson (Rare Essence), Michelle Blackwell (The What Band), Nico Hobson (Go-Go Radio), and Geronimo Knows (host of "All the Fly Kids" Podcast) join us for this compelling look at one of Washington, DC's most valuable resources. - Marcus K. Dowling
Immigrants: they get the job done.
On the cover of Sinkane’s latest album Life & Livin’ It, various items are strewn about to the left and right of musician Ahmed Gallab as if he’s running a yard sale. Each of those items tell a different story. And just as well, the various places where Sinkane has grown up tell a different story. Born in Sudan to parents who sought asylum in the US for their family when he was five, he grew up listening to American music, Afro-pop, and funk music, all of which carried over into a blend of genres that can confidently be called all his own. And at his second Black Cat appearance (the first being a sold-out performance at the smaller Backstage room), he and his multicultural cast of bandmates let the music speak for itself with an enthusiastically positive performance for a world that desperately needs some positivity.
Eric Church is an OUTLAW and he's proving it by taking the fight to ticket scalpers and reclaiming 25K tickets for his upcoming world tour. OUTLAW.
Bassist Miles Mosly has collaborated with some of the biggest and most creative names in music. Miles Mosely is a badass. Now Miles Mosely has made a badass album. We discuss.
MANWOLVES may not be the reboot of the Wolfen franchise you've been waiting DECADES for, but they are a pretty groovy jazz/hip-hop/rock/funk outfit from Chicago who's starting to make a name for themselves. Dig it with their latest track "Sing Along."
Funk and R&B pioneers Cameo are celebrating two major anniversaries this year. For one, it’s been 30 years since their biggest and best-known hit, “Word Up!” was released. Even if you don’t remember the band by name, there’s a good chance that by a few bars into the song you’ll be saying “oh, them!” and dancing along. But if “Word Up!” (and maybe the band’s follow-up hit “Candy”) is the only Cameo you know, you’re missing out on a band with a long and storied history. The group’s other anniversary dates back a whole decade earlier to 1977, when they released their first album, Cardiac Arrest, and had their first charting hit, “Rigor Mortis” (which peaked at #33 on the Billboard Hot Soul Singles chart). Over the course of seventeen albums (so far), Cameo has maintained the kind of longevity and dedicated following that many bands only dream of, even if their chart-topping days are behind them.
Soul musician Lee Fields has had a long and prolific career in music, having released his first single nearly five decades ago in 1969, but for many years he labored under the relative obscurity of being a genre artist. That all changed for him in 2009 when he released My World, an album which perhaps unexpectedly catapulted him into the spotlight, and brought him a new, younger audience that eagerly devoured the now retro sound that fields created. Fields followed up in 2012 with Faithful Man and in 2014 with Emma Jean, and last fall released the latest in his newly revitalized run of recordings, Special Night. Now at 65 years old, Fields has taken his newfound popularity by the reigns and shows no sign of slowing down.
After years of laying down the blues as a solo act and sideman extraordinaire, Washington, DC based guitarist Bobby Thompson and some of his closest brothers in arms have joined forces in their new band, Revelator Hill.
It's a conversation you don't want to miss when Bobby drops by the basement to chat about the new album, growing up on a steady diet of rock n' roll, over-the-top guitar nerdery, and more!
There aren’t many bands with singers like July Talk’s. The Juno Award-winning band’s sophomore album Touch continues to highlight the contrast between Leah Fay’s angelic voice and guitarist Peter Dremanis’s gruff and gravelly voice. And their timing couldn’t have been better: they played at DC9 on the same day that Justin Trudeau made a stop by the White House AND on DC9’s 13th birthday. It was a momentous day made even more momentous by an stellar performance from the Toronto band.
For an hour and a half, U Street Music Hall became Studio 54. Contemporary disco band and well-oiled machine Escort came with one goal in mind: to get people dancing on a Friday night. In doing so, the six-piece group, fronted by keyboardist Eugene Cho and singer/bassist Adeline Michele, took U Hall back a few decades to a time where big hair, light-up dance floors, and funky bass lines ruled the day.
In 1977 a fussy proto/post punk band from NYC dropped one of the most influential albums in rock n' roll history. Forty years later, we're talking about why this fidgety masterpiece not only influenced and defined a generation of musicians, but why it sounds just as vital and savage as it did way back when.
That's it. That's the pitch.
Are you in, or is you isn't?
Something straight out of the Upside Down
Why you should care:
Because you’re still a bit obsessed with the 80s, admit it
Production duo darkDARK is set to make their debut with the EP Heathered, which they’re releasing independently on February 24. But to tide us over, the group has released “Shelter”, a song that comes from the dark electronic depths that also brought us musicians like S U R V I V E and Zola Jesus.