Episode 247: Puxico - Natalie Hemby

Episode 247: Puxico - Natalie Hemby

Travis Tritt started a tweet-a-cane with his suggestion that artists should stick to their art and leave the politics to...not artists. We've got a few things to say about that.

Songwriter Natalie Hemby has been quietly and consistently killing it behind the scenes by delivering hit after hit for some of Nashville's biggest names. Now she's stepping into the spotlight with Puxico, her debut album. Kevin, Patrick, and Marcus (Dowling) dive deep into this celebration of small towns everywhere, take time to ponder the future of country music in 2017, and more.

PLUS! Take a trip with southern California's Mr. Elevator and the groovy first track from their upcoming LP, When The Morning Greets You.


Alejandro Escovedo @ The Hamilton - 1/5/2017

Alejandro Escovedo @ The Hamilton - 1/5/2017

It’s been a while since we’ve heard new music from Alejandro Escovedo, but the Texas-based singer-songwriter finally released his 15th solo album, Burn Something Beautiful, back in November. Recorded with the help of Scott McCaughey and Peter Buck (of The Minus 5 and R.E.M. fame) at the production helm, the record shows that even though he may have slowed down a bit in his output, Escovedo still knows how to rock out. He had been scheduled to play in DC at The Hamilton back in November, but the opportunity to play the finale of the 42nd season of Austin City Limits came up, forcing him to reschedule. It turned out to be a good thing for DC, because this time he was able to bring the band that backed him on the album (The Minus 5 playing as the “Burn Something Beautiful Band”) along for the ride.


Episode 246: Fugees - The Score [Discologist]

Episode 246: Fugees - The Score [Discologist]

If you turned on the radio In 1996 your ears were assaulted by the music of artists like Sublime, The Spice Girls, Gin Blossoms, The Prodigy, Alanis Morrisette, and more (the less said about "The Macarena" the better).

Then along came the Fugees.

In our inaugural edition of our new feature Discologist, Kevin is joined in the basement by Eduardo (Nunes)  and Marcus (Dowling) [Pitchfork, Bandcamp] for an epic hang to celebrate an album that changed the music industry and turned three relatively unknown artists into international superstars practically overnight.


Episode 245: Run The Jewels - Run The Jewels 3

Episode 245: Run The Jewels - Run The Jewels 3

In 2012 rapper/producer El-P and rapper Killer Mike met and discovered that not only did they bring out the best in each other's art, all signs pointed towards them being world's first motherf@#@ing rap superheroes. 

With the release of their third collaboration as Run The Jewels, all signs point to the prophecy being true.

Join us as we we kick off our 2017 coverage diving into their latest masterpiece to try and figure out what makes this dynamic duo tick, why they may be the most powerful rap duo of all time, and more.


Best Albums Of 2016

Best Albums Of 2016

2016 will go down in history as the year that we lost an inordinate amount our friends and maybe even lost ourselves, but through it all we had music. 

We've talked enough this year, so here's our Top 25 Album Of 2016 as determined by science. 

For the quick fix hit the list to the right. For a more in depth take, links to listen, and links to interviews with many of the artists, please enjoy the gallery below. 

We'll see you in 2017 everyone. We love you. 

- Kevin, Paul, Carrie, Patrick, Eduardo, Matt, Mauricio...and Gus. 


Best of 2016: Kevin's Take

Best of 2016: Kevin's Take

One of my favorite quotes of all time can be attributed to one Hunter S. Thompson:

"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."
Fear and Loathing at the Superbowl, Rolling Stone #155

The simple wisdom of that rallying cry has driven myself and so many other creative people I know for as long as I can remember, but never so much as in 2016, because, let me tell ya: SHIT. GOT. WEIRD.

From the death of David Bowie right out of the gate right up to the potential death of our democracy and all of the outrageous pit-stops along the way, 2016 delivered chaos in a way that no other year has in my forty-four years of existence.

It also delivered music.

So much legitimately great music in fact that it's almost pointless to parse any of this into a list when all of it struck to the core of different parts of what makes us human, and did so in a way that we haven't seen before, and likely won't see again for years to come.

Would I trade any of this awesome for maybe a little less chaos? Not a chance. But man alive, do we have great GREAT music to chew on for the next few decades now.

So here you go. A little order to the chaos. It's ultimately as meaningless as anything else I suppose, but to me, these are the things that meant everything in 2016. 


Best of 2016: Paul's Take

Best of 2016: Paul's Take

Whatever you want to say about 2016 (and we’ve said plenty), it was a great year for music and Chunky Glasses covered the hell out of it. Well, it was a great year for musical output at least. We lost far too many of our favorite artists but, by fortune or design, we gained some truly extraordinary albums before they passed. More than that, those that remained took up the mantles of the fallen to produce a bounty of sharply observed, deeply felt works. To call it a changing of the guard would be overly simplistic; an artificial narrative created to instill some sense of order on a chaotic year. But, be that as it may, it appears that as the world lurches into an uncertain 2017, at least we’ll still have plenty of exemplary musicians to help us make sense of whatever happens next.


Best Of 2016 - Eduardo's Take

Best Of 2016 - Eduardo's Take

2016, the year we played ourselves. Or the year we got played. Looking back, it’s hard not to respect this past year. On a simple scale of fucks given, 2016 gave the fewest. And, sort of like the Death Star, it’s hard not to admire how thoroughly evil and powerful the year was. It was bright in terms of music, and that may be its only bright spot. As far as real humans go, 2016 can only be described in one way: the year we were all Alderaan.


Best of 2016: Patricks Take

Best of 2016: Patricks Take

Most years I struggle to find ten albums that I enjoy listening to, from start to finish. This year, I struggled to narrow the list to a mere ten because excellent albums abound. Genre did not limit the excellence, nor did age or visibility. The musical landscape is more diverse than ever. Whether the lack of major label control has led to true creative freedom for all musicians remains to be seen, but it is beginning to look like artists are increasingly willing to make music on their own terms. And, in a year that many considered to be terrible, that is a bright, shiny ray of hope. Celebrate with me by listening to these albums and songs and supporting these artists.


Best Of 2016 LIVE - Matt's Take

Best Of 2016 LIVE - Matt's Take

I saw somewhere around a hundred shows this year, which believe it or not is actually stepping back a good bit from the number that I’ve gone to in the last few years (at my peak in 2014 I went to nearly twice that many).  Picking the best among them is always very subjective (and more than a little difficult), and truth be told I saw very few bad ones.  Though I saw many new and upcoming artists, my picks for the best that I saw ended up going primarily to seasoned artists who have been doing their thing for a while now.  Not necessarily surprising, as those bands have had more time to refine their performance and their sound.  Honorable mentions for some newer acts go to The Lemon Twigs, Temples, Muuy Biien, A Silent Film, and Ultimate Painting.


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.


Matt Pond PA @ DC9 - 12/11/2016

Philadelphia-based singer-songwriter Matt Pond released his eleventh album with his band Matt Pond PA, Winter Lives, in November. The season-appropriately themed album continues Pond’s mix of chamber pop and Americana, with twelve songs narratively themed around the colder months of the year. On Sunday he and the band came to DC9 to end a week-long run of east coast tour dates.

Matt Pond PA performing at DC9 in Washington, DC on December 11th, 2016 (photo by Matt Condon / @arcane93)

Matt Pond PA performing at DC9 in Washington, DC on December 11th, 2016 (photo by Matt Condon / @arcane93)

Pond opened the set with “A Candle and a Deck of Cards” from the new album, but the set didn’t focus the record, instead mixing songs from it in amongst tracks from throughout his ever-growing catalog. It was followed by “First Song” and “Starting” from 2011’s The Dark Leaves. Throughout the eighteen-song setlist, Pond reached even further back, including tracks such as “Halloween” and “So Much Trouble” from 2005’s Several Arrows Later, “Last Song” and “New Hampshire” from 2004’s Emblems, and “Measure 3” from 2002’s The Green Fury. Ending the night on “The Summer Is Coming” (from 2002’s The Nature of Maps) may have felt overly optimistic as the city settled in for the polar vortex that was slated to bring temperatures down well below freezing later in the week, but it served to bring the snow-bound theme of the new songs full circle.

Moving Panoramas, the current project of former Wooden Birds leader and Matt Pond PA guitarist Leslie Sisson, opened the show. Sisson also guested with Pond to perform backing vocals on several songs.

 

Photos by Matt Condon
Click to embiggen



Episode 243: Best of 2016 - Part One

Episode 243: Best of 2016 - Part One

Despite, or maybe because of, everything going on in the world, 2016 has been one of the best years for music in recent memory.

Join us in the basement one  last time this year as we count down our favorites, feel out our disappointments, and more.


The Jezabels @ Rock and Roll Hotel - 12/5/2016

The Jezabels @ Rock and Roll Hotel - 12/5/2016

Sydney, Australia’s The Jezabels released their third album, Synthia, early this year, a record that marks a distinct evolutionary step forward in the band’s songwriting. More varied and mature sounding than their previous efforts, the album shows a band that has grown confident in their abilities and more ready to experiment and take chances with their music. Their recent US tour brought them to DC at the Rock and Roll Hotel, where they played to a packed crowd of fans.


The Sounds @ 9:30 Club - 11/28/2016

The Sounds @ 9:30 Club - 11/28/2016

The Sounds released their second album, Dying to Say This to You, a decade ago in 2006. The Swedish new wave band’s breakout album, it brought them to the attention of a worldwide audience and made them standard indie dance club fare for all of that year. The band seemed poised to make it big, but while their three follow-up albums managed to maintain a dedicated fanbase, they failed to carry the band over the edge into the always-fickle music mainstream. The band last toured in the US in 2014, and after a few years of silence since it might have been fair for fans here to assume that they had gone the way of contemporaries like The Rapture and Klaxons who split around that time. But after a brief run of Scandinavian shows this summer, the band announced that they would be returning to the road, for a ten-year celebration of the album that brought them into the spotlight.


Episode 242: Podjam - State Of The Union 2016

Episode 242: Podjam - State Of The Union 2016

In our final regular podcast of 2016, we're enlisting Paul Vodra (Hometown Sounds), Joe Lapan (Owner, Songbyrd Music House), and Marcus Dowling (Pitchfork, Bandcamp) to work through the year that was here in our hometown of Washington, DC, take a look at the "big picture", and much, Much more. 

PLUS: Thoughts on the tragedy of the Ghost Ship fire in Oakland, CA. What can we do to help, and what can we do to try and make sure this doesn't happen again. 


RÜFÜS DU SOL @ 9:30 Club - 11/3/16

RÜFÜS DU SOL @ 9:30 Club - 11/3/16

With the genre-bending that dominates today’s musical landscape, nothing is firmly rock and roll, pop, hip-hop, or electronic anymore. Such is the case for Australian trio RÜFÜS DU SOL. Take a listen to a track from their ARIA chart-topping sophomore album, Bloom, and you’ll hear something that could be described as straightforward and fun electronic house music. Look at a picture of them, and you may assume that these are just some more EDM bros touring the DJ circuit in their all-black clothes and backwards baseball caps.


Episode 241: Hamilton - The Mixtape

Episode 241: Hamilton - The Mixtape

Lin Manuel Miranda's acclaimed musical Hamilton isn't just one of the most successful musicals of all time, it's one of the most important works of art of the 21st Century.

Join us as we dive deep into this new take on a modern masterpiece that is as much a celebration of modern hip-hop and pop music as it is a reaffirmation of the powerful and essential message of it's source material.


Hiss Golden Messenger @ Rock and Roll Hotel - 11/17/2016

Hiss Golden Messenger @ Rock and Roll Hotel - 11/17/2016

Hiss Golden Messenger signed to Merge Records in 2014 for the release of their fifth album, The Lateness of Dancers. The record marked not only an increase in visibility for the North Carolina-based country rockers, but also a leap forward in the songwriting of bandleader M.C. Taylor. This year’s release of the band’s sixth album, Heart Like a Levee, saw Taylor expand his musical palette even further, adding in elements of funk and psychedelia on several tracks including “Like a Mirror Loves a Hammer” and “As the Crow Flies.” The result is the band’s most interesting, diverse album yet, doubtless in no small part due to Taylor’s decision to commit to music full-time.