Jukebox the Ghost and Matt Pond PA ar ecoming to 9:30 club and we have 2 tickets to giveaway! DC DECIBEL programmer Alex Sleighter saw their Baltimore show at Ottobar and got the chance to have Matt Pond sign his newly purchased vinyl copy of The Lives Inside the Lines in Your Hand. For your chance to live out your fangirl/guy aspirations email tickets@citydecibel.com with a video of your favorite Jukebox the Ghost or Matt Pond PA song!

Watch on blog.dcdecibel.com

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Infield Fest contest! It was close and I really enjoyed your answers. We’ll be having some awesome contests coming soon, and we will be posting them all in the “giveaways section” at the top of the site. For now, let’s all take 3 minutes to watch the greatest horse that ever lived in his closest race of the Triple Crown. Have a great weekend!

Watch on blog.dcdecibel.com

Man Man at Black Cat performing Top Drawer. I will at some point learn to hold my phone horizontally. Anyway, decent sound quality. Great show.

INTERVIEW: The Spring Standards

The Spring Standards were kind enough to talk with us about their new record and current tour (and their adoration of Emerson, Lake & Palmer).

They play at Red Palace tomorrow night with Luray, Brandon Moses and Southern Problems (Doors @ 7:30; $10). Reblog/Retweet/Like for a chance to win a pair of tickets to their show!

DCd: Firstly, it’s pretty awesome that everyone’s from Chester County/Wilmington. Any influences from that area? I saw you played with the Spinto Band before, is there a Pennsylware//Delavania camaraderie?

There is absolutely a camaraderie between people in music, or really the arts in general, from that area - it’s just so dang small, everybody knows each other. We nicknamed our first neighborhood in New York “Little Delaware” because we all sort of congregated unconsciously. We love The Spinto Band, we’ve been fans of theirs for years and the fact that we get to play shows with them now is a thrill.  There are definitely some Philly bands that influenced us later on, Dr. Dog for sure, but growing up it was our parents and communities encouraging us that had the strongest influence.

DCd: Can you give a little background about the different influences you have and how you ended up being able to produce genre-defying records?

I think it’s just a natural extension of the fact that there are 3 songwriters in the band and we never say no to anything.  Our influences range from Crosby, Stills and Nash to the White Stripes and everywhere in between.

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Rock and Roll Hotel played host to an lineup of local bands on Friday night, with synth-rockers Dance for the Dying headlining. Openers Tomio had a song devoted to the tyrannical pet rent in the District, We Were Pirates played a great set of sprawling rock songs, and The Silver Liners put on an enthusiastic performance (looking at you keyboard player) to an eager crowd. Dance for the Dying came on around 11:30, after a brief yoga session by lead singer MC. They treated the crowd to several songs from their upcoming EP (due out in the fall) including a song “only heard within the walls of their practice space”. Their hits Echo and Kitty Fight Song were chorused back by the crowd. They were truly a treat to see. Watching a group that is so enthusiastic about what they are doing and the music they are making is truly refreshing. They have upcoming tour dates in Boston, NYC, and Philly, but we’ll keep you apprised of future local dates . Photographer: Merrijoy Vicente | Email: Merrijoy@pickupproductions.com

I’m not sure I know anyone who doesn’t consider The Postal Service’s first and last album “Give Up” a seminal music moment of their awkward high school years. I was not all that informed and thought Death Cab for Cutie did an electronic album. It was not until I started to pay more attention to the details of the project and realized everyone who contributed to the project that I realized how special seeing them in a live setting would be. This of course was not until some time in 2006 or so, a point at which no one believed The Postal Service would ever play together or release any new music. This is all to say, it is incredible that they’ll be coming to Merriweather this summer, and it is even more incredible that we have two tickets to give away to their show. For your chance to win, email tickets@citydecibel.com with your oh-my-god-these-lyrics-are-about-me moment. Winner will be announced tomorrow at 5 PM.

Good luck!

Watch on mrkitty00.tumblr.com

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Infield Fest contest! It was close and I really enjoyed your answers. We’ll be having some awesome contests coming soon, and we will be posting them all in the “giveaways section” at the top of the site. For now, let’s all take 3 minutes to watch the greatest horse that ever lived in his closest race of the Triple Crown. Have a great weekend!

Justin Jones Interview

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Justin Jones grew up in Rawley Springs, VA, a small town in the mountains, just east of the West Virginia boarder. His latest album, Fading Light, is the first album released by 9:30 Records. Jones has an indie rock Americana style with deep soul. His songs are rich with poetic lyrics that are so fluid your heart clings onto every string.

Justin Jones chatted with DC Decibel this week about his career and the Cinco de Mayo CD release show he’s performing this Saturday at Iota Club & Café.

 

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The Men "New Moon" Stream & Review

I think The Men might be trolling us with the unsearchability of both the band name and the title of their new LP New Moon. After accidentally looking through a bunch of pages regarding the fashion choices of “the men” of the Oscars, I attempted to search for “New Moon” and ended up scrolling through a bunch of really creepy Twihard pages. 

Anyway, if you’d like to skip the tireless surfing you can listen to the album via Pitchfork Advance. It’s definitely not what I was expecting. I put it on during an excruciatingly slow part of my paper-pushing 9-5 with the intention of listening to an approximation of post-punk/noise-rock/garage (whatever dude) and ended up checking several times to make sure I hadn’t accidentally thrown on some kind of grunge/alt-country compilation CD from the ‘90s. Side I of this LP is absolutely chaotic in terms of style, tempo, and focus.  My confusion mostly laid inhow slow the pacing is compared to Open Your Heart and the increased emphasis on Nick Chiericozzi’s vocals. It’s almost like a doom country vibe, which is hit or miss depending on the embellishments of the supporting vocals and the complexity of the chord progressions/fills. “I Saw Her Face” is the most, if not only, successful of the first 6 songs. I was really close to turning it off, mostly because I felt duped and was getting sleepy. Side II, however, pivots back to a more familiar noise rock sound with “The Brass” and “Electric” (which sounds like the sluggish, but more thoughtful, cousin of “Animal”) bringing some much needed speed and fullness to the table, and concluding with the epic “Supermoon”. One of the rare consistencies of the album is the inclusion of conversational snippets before and after recordings. Their discussions, however, might bring more light to what exactly they were thinking with each song in the context of such a jumbled effort.

As I sat here mulling over this album and the trajectory of the band, New Moon started to fit together. The Men want to subvert the listeners expectations, or at least they’ve said as much in interviews leading up to the album’s release. They progressed from true-to-the-bone noise rock on Leaving Home to post-noise rock on Open Your Heart which was at the time considered an unexpected step. And now on the first half of “New Moon” you  can almost draw the line through these three albums, as the trajectory moves from noise, to post-noise, to post-post-noise (STFU) and then suddenly they throw the whole mess into reverse and your back where you (and they) started. I’m not positive this makes for good discorgraphy, but it definitely makes for interesting music. 

They’re returning to DC9 May 2. Tickets are still available.

Watch on blog.dcdecibel.com

My friend Kevin, who normally only listens to Swedish death metal and artists with <50 Facebook likes, wrote a review of the new Jim James solo album Regions of Light and the Sound of God because I am far too biased! Enjoy and I’ll keep my ear to the ground for extra tickets to his 9:30 club for ya’ll!

——-

As a disclaimer before I get into the review and you start wondering why I’m not making any My Morning Jacket references—I never really got into MMJ. Some might see this as a handicap in reviewing Jim James, but I view it as an advantage because I can judge the album by itself and not in a context that I believe would be inherently unfair. Now, on to Regions of Light and the Sound of God.

The first thing that is going to hit you are Jim James’ vocals. They are front and center throughout the album and have a wonderful soulfulness to them. This is truest on the first track “State of Art (A.E.I.O.U.)” that starts off with just James and a piano before layering in percussion, bass, and guitar to hit a 70s funk feel that permeates the album (all the way to the artwork and music videos). “Know Til Now” rides on that vibe, bumping up the energy until breaking down into an ambling sax solo at the end of the song. The last minute and a half of “Know Til Now” represents the less than stellar parts of this album, although it is very interesting and you have to wonder “what is this doing here?” It almost seems as if he played with the idea of writing an entirely new song before giving up. The problem here is not the sax solo, but whether or not “Know Til Now” really needed a sax solo. For the most part the instrumental breakdowns on this album are splendid, particularly in the song “All is Forgiven”, which is a more overtly jazz influenced track.

“A New Life” stands out as the catchiest song on the album with a retro 60s feel that accentuates James’ brilliant songwriting. One of the best lyrics of the album is in the song “Actress”, a transparent/honest song about love being tricky:

 

You’re good at making everyone believe that they love you

A little wink of the eye a little glimpse of the thigh and we’re in heaven

Whether or not it’s true

I believe in the concept of you

With personality

Destructing reality


Overall, James does a great job of putting together some very soulful music, while only occasionally getting lost and grappling with song endings and mismatched instrumentals. The only real problem with the album is that nothing sticks out to me. Everything is good, but nothing is outstanding. The vocals keep you listening, but I’m not sure if they’ll keep me listening again and again.

Also, just turn it off before “God’s Love to Deliver” (his ode to MLK).

                                                                                    —Kevin Reuning

Watch on blog.dcdecibel.com

James Blake put a new song out called ”Retrograde” from his new album Overgrown which is set to be released April 8. He’s playing the 9:30 Club May 12th ($30) and there are tickets available through his website. Holla.

Best Music Videos of 2012 (The Truancy Edition)

Spotify is blocked on my work computer, so I spent much of the second half of this year completely dependent on YouTube to vibe out at work. As annoying as that Nivea “it creams all other creams” ad is, I ended up really appreciating how many music videos I got to see. I have learned a few lessons in covert Youtube watching at work. The most important of which is to never put on an A$AP Rocky video at work ever. I had a particularly close call with a supervisor and “Goldie”.

I enjoyed all of the Creator’s Project videos that came out this year, and Nosaj Thing’s “Eclipse/Blue” (no dates sked) topped my list for Best Music Video of the Year. It’s beautiful and exciting and I just watch it over and over again. I wouldn’t have listened to the song half as many times as I did if not for the video, and I’m glad I did because it is a truly great song. His new album Home coming out January 22, so expect a tour some time in late Spring.

Spots #2 & #3 on the list fit in with my proclivity for enjoying utterly depressing story lines (lookin’ at you Six Feet Under). Second place goes to reverse murder mystery mind-fuck that is Alt-J’s “Breezeblocks” (9:30 Club, February 5th: SOLD OUT) and third to the rough life of a transsexual prostitute with a child in Spiritualized’s “Hey Jane”  (no dates sked).

Coming in at #4 is Father John Misty’s “Nancy From Now On”  (no dates sked, but man can he dance), although I could have just as easily selected "Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings" because I love Aubrey Plaza and watching that video inspired my fanaticism over FJM’s debut record Fear Fun.

Coming in at #5 is the heart-warming fuzzy-wuzzy video for the marriage equality anthem “Same Love” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (no dates sked). I was initially resistant to M&RL because I am always slow to trust the quality of a hip-hop artist but after seeing their Tiny Desk Concert, I’m disappointed that I didn’t see them play 9:30 Club last month.

Coming in at #6 is Danny Brown’s “Grown Up” (no dates sked) mostly because I flipping love this dude and the mini-Danny Brown is such a baller. He should win the “Best Lead Actor” Oscar and so should Quvenzhané Wallis from Beasts of the Southern Wild and then they can get married and become the next big Hollywood power couple. 

Coming in at #7 is the only animated video on the list: Flying Lotus’ “Putty Boy Strut” (no dates sked, but I expect him to tour as Captain Murphy before the festival season) which depicts some kind of robot post-apocalyptic capitalistic dystopia scenario. The video for "Duality" for his Captain Murphy project was also really awesome and worth checking out if you have a half hour to kill (AND ARE NOT AT WORK).




Coming in at #8 is Grimes’ “Genesis” (no dates sked & she cancelled a european tour due to hearing loss). I know a lot of people liked the “Oblivion” video for the social commentary (or whatever) but I liked the over-the-top Excalibur-boa-desert-car-chase-steel-plated-dominatrix theme of Genesis. It’s like a fever dream ad lib.

Next, #9 is Jack White with “Freedom at 21” (no dates sked). I think Jack White is sexy. The more like a Tim Burton character, the better. And this is basically as close as you can get without being animated. Anyway, love his album Blunderbuss and liked the videos that came out for it.

Closing out the list at #10 is Nekrogoblikon “No One Survives” (No.) because my friend Kevin nominated this video to be a jackass. I am 100% certain he is aware of the fact that picking a band like Nekrogoblikon and their song “No One Survives” to put on a “Best of…” list is unhelpful and annoying, and publishing the scenario on the internet is the only recourse I have. Why you want people to hate you Kevin?

Tomorrow: Albums of the Year!

-J

1. Nosaj Thing “Eclipse/Blue”

2. Alt-J “Breezeblocks”

3. Spiritualized “Hey Jane”

4. Father John Misty “Nancy from Now On”

5. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis “Same Love”

6. Danny Brown “Grown Up”

7. Flying Lotus “Putty Boy Strut”

8. Grimes “Gensis”

9. Jack White “Freedom at 21”

10. Nekrogoblikon “No One Survives”

THERE WERE A FEW TAKE HOME MESSAGES I HAVE FROM THE CRYSTAL CASTLE’S SHOW AT 9:30 CLUB LAST YEAR. NUMBER 1- THE THING THAT MAKES ALICE GLASS FUN TO WATCH IS HER HYSTERICAL NONCHALANCE. SHE FLINGS HERSELF INTO THE CROWD WHILE HAVING THE EXPRESSION OF SOMEONE ATTENDING A BORING BIRTHDAY PARTY (DO YOU THINK SHE LIKES PINATAS?)
—  Julia’s musings on the last time Crystal Castles rocked 9:30 Club- Tickets for their return to 9:30 Club on September 29th go on sale Thursday, August 2 at 10AM!
Foggy Bottom Music Festival

On August 25, the most powerful city in the free world is spilling out musical talent  much like Julian Assange did with his Wikileaks cables. George Washington University is featuring over 25 local bands and artists at the first ever Foggy Bottom Music Festival, including headliners Maps & Atlases.

All the artists are spectacular indie bands that are just below the radar, but absolutely unique in their eclectic style. Saint Louis native and GW history major Colin O’Brien is the mastermind responsible for plotting each of the acts. “Most people don’t think of D.C. as a music town, but there is a vibrant underground music scene here,” he says.

So who should you look forward to? I can’t name all 25 here, but a few that have caught my attention are the artists I like to stalk at my favorite music venues. Between the festival’s two stages you can catch some hip hop free style rapping by Kwasi Lauren Hope; indie pop rock by Megaphone Barons; post punk blues rock from Paperhaus; and the electronic fused pop rock by The Silver Liners, all leading up to world famous Maps & Atlases. 

We will be doing interviews with these bands and others leading up to the festival to find out what they think of DC, what drives their music, and their opinion on the conflicts in the Middle East (probably not the last one).

Tickets are a steal at $10 in advance and $15 at the door. But don’t wait too long and miss your chance at local eats, drinks, and live music. As the true music fan you are, you can even help O’Brien bring the experience to greater heights by volunteering for the event.

Email Colin O’Brien at stlouismusicfest@gmail.com to support your local scene and volunteer. I can’t think of a better way to spend my day.

Order your tickets and get more information at their Facebook page

 

 

 

 

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