TVD Washington, DC

TVD Ticket Giveaway: M3 Rock Festival at Merriweather Post Pavilion, 4/25-26

It’s almost that time of year again when music festivals roll into town, bringing bands and music lovers of all genres together for a day or weekend full of music, booze, and possible leg cramping.

These fun-filled weekends come in a variety of sizes and genres. The nationwide Vans Warped Tour is basically a traveling concert, hitting up numerous cities in a span of 50+ days. On the west coast, there’s indie, grunge-rock Coachella and SXSW. On the east coast, there’s the CMJ Music Festival for up-and-coming artists, and the hard-rock and metal M3 Rock Festival.

This year, the M3 Rock Festival celebrates its sixth year of bringing metalheads together for one big hurrah at the Merriweather Post Pavilion. Though tickets went on sale last month, if you still haven’t gotten yours, have no worries! We’re giving away two-day lawn passes each month leading up to the festival.

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TVD Washington, DC

TVD Recommends Jowe Head at CD Cellar, 4/17

Calling all fans of classic U.K. post-punk and John Peel-approved, left-of-center pop!

One of our favorite DC-based monthly dj nights, We Fought the Big One, is presenting a special live show tonight at CD Cellar in Arlington with legendary U.K. post-punk iconoclast Jowe Head from Swell Maps/TV Personalities!

Early incarnations of Swell Maps, which centered around brothers Nikki Sudden (guitar/vocals) and Epic Soundtracks (drums/piano), existed as early as 1972 (!!!) with Jowe Head joining the band just before the U.K. punk revolution took hold.

The band’s skewed and unabashedly chaotic approach to garage-punk resulted in two classic albums and a string of incendiary singles that were a big influence on Sonic Youth, Nirvana, Dinosaur Jr., Big Black, and the Jesus and Mary Chain.

Even Blur were fans. Damon Albarn has never been shy about professing his love of Swell Maps. Is it just coincidence that “Song 2,” aka the “Woo-hoo!” song, sounds A LOT like the Jowe Head-penned Swell Maps number “Harmony in Your Bathroom”?

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TVD New Orleans

Up close and personal: Mardi Gras Indians parade at West Fest

This past Sunday was one of the last chances to see the Mardi Gras Indians in all their finery until next year. Sure, some tribes will appear at the Jazz Fest, but this was up close and personal with plenty of opportunities for close interactions.

Photographer Steve Moran and I were at the beginning and end of the parade around the Algiers neighborhood. The West Bank Steppers led the parade followed by about twenty tribes.

The event is hosted by the Mohawk Hunters, and the West Bank-based tribe was out in force with over 30 masked Indians. Spy Boy Dow of the Mohawk Hunters is pictured below with one of the many children masking with the tribe.

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TVD UK

UK Vinyl Video: FUCK ART, LET’S DANCE!, “We’re Manicals!”

FUCK ART, LET’S DANCE! are a Hamburg based band making music that will get you dancing! “We’re Manicals!” is taken from their forthcoming debut album Atlas, which is out on German label Audiolith, April 28th 2014.

In the video, three members of the band enter a darkened church. Front man Nico stands in front of the cross, while a young, robed boy dispenses mysterious pills.

The congregation begins to experience strange side-effects and they turn on the band. It seems they’ve morphed into some sort of sacrilegious zombies! But how does it end? Well, you’ll just have to watch to find out!

It’s good to see a band taking some time over their videos and “We’re Manicals!” also happens to be ones of the strongest tracks from the album. FUCK ART, LET’S DANCE! are proof that some of the most exciting bands are emerging from Germany right now—take heed!

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The TVD Storefront

Needle Drop: Wetwood Smokes “Madeline”

It’s nice to know kids are still making perfect pop songs in the comfort of their garages. Ever since Dave Grohl chastised American Idol for ruining the future of original music, I have been waiting for someone to take his advice to heart.

SoCal trio Wetwood Smokes are here to reinvigorate your faith in the ability of our youth to craft great music sans record label, established ghost-writers, hit making producers, and the like. No, no, these youngsters have hunkered down and created their own sonic blend of “what’s good” and it sounds fresher than anything out this year.

While the Wetwood Smokes bread and butter is obviously indie rock, they do adventure into the worlds of electronic pop and folk to great effect. The organ tinged highlight “Madeline” rattles along to a hi-hat driven groove, making space for the lead singer’s retro vocal distortion. The song comes equipped with the kind of ear-wormy melodies that stick around for days after first listen and will probably be picked up by you or anyone within radius of exposure.

Pre order the forthcoming Earth Tones & Red here.

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TVD UK

Shell Zenner Presents

Greater Manchester’s most in the know radio host Shell Zenner broadcasts the best new music every week on the UK’s Amazing Radio and Bolton FM. You can also catch Shell’s broadcast right here at TVD, each and every Thursday.

“On this week’s show my ROTW is Shriek by Wye Oak. I’ll be playing three incredible songs from the album! I’ll also have my #shellshock to share with you. This weeks bouncy and bubbly number is courtesy of Tennis—it’s an ear worm you won’t want to miss!

There will be the usual accompaniment of new and emerging music as I spin some of the best new Alt releases. Love music? Don’t miss it…” —SZ

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
Art Pepper,
Art Pepper meets The Rhythm Section

During his career alto saxophonist Art Pepper cut many records, and every jazz-friendly collection should own at least a few. But if the matter boils down to only owning one, the choice is easy; it’s 1957’s off-the-cuff masterpiece Art Pepper Meets the Rhythm Section. It features the troubled yet outstanding young horn-man in cahoots with Miles Davis’ unimpeachable rhythm team of Red Garland, Paul Chambers, and Philly Joe Jones.

Art Pepper lived one hell of a life, with large portions of it unpleasant, largely due to a heroin addiction that resulted in four prison terms. It’s all there in his book Straight Life, which rates with Charles Mingus’ Beneath the Underdog and Hampton Hawes’ Raise Up Off Me as one of the very greatest of jazz autobiographies.

Pepper was also one hell of an alto saxophonist, and additionally something of a rarity; a West Coaster who could make East Coasters happy. That’s to say he was able to play Cool but also wasn’t afraid of the blues. Though he was co-leader on ‘56’s Playboys with trumpeter and Cool-kingpin Chet Baker, Pepper’s often identified with the West Coast more by simple geography than by the moods and textures of his playing. In truth Pepper was versatile enough to be open to numerous settings; he even hit the studio with Lennie Tristano-disciple Warne Marsh (those cuts can be found on the ’72 comp The Way it Was).

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TVD Washington, DC

TVD Live: The Sounds
at the 9:30 Club, 4/12

PHOTOS: RICHIE DOWNS Decked out in a black mini-dress, motorcycle jacket, and metallic stilettos, her bleached hair held back in a ponytail, The Sounds lead singer Maja Ivarsson certainly looks like your quintessential rock star. And with a full-volume, energetic show Saturday night at the 9:30 Club, the band proved to an enthusiastic crowd that sixteen years later, they still have it.

Despite playing an early show—The Sounds took the stage at 7:45pm—the Swedish new wave act performed as if were midnight. Formed in 1998, the band’s set included songs from all five of their albums, from their 2002 hit debut, Living in America to their most recent effort Weekend, released in late 2013. Their sound has varied little over the years, sometimes adding more punk elements or more synth or leaning toward dance or pop. This consistency allowed the show to feel complete, despite the time span their songs covered.

Within this deep history, The Sounds are not known for their sophisticated song writing or musical originality—but they are known for catchy rock and dance tracks. Most of their songs work especially well translated live, with their often-simple lyrics easy for eager fans to sing along to every word with Ivarsson.

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TVD New Orleans

TVD Recommends: Umphrey’s McGee at the Civic Theater, 4/17

SAMANTHA HILSENROD FOR TVD | The Civic Theatre will welcome the ground-breaking Chicago jam band to New Orleans to promote their upcoming album, Similar Skin. Set to be released June 10, Similar Skin will be the band’s eighth studio album, and the first from their new independent label Nothing Too Fancy Music, a moniker shared with one of the group’s most beloved songs.

The band promises a unique concert experience. Known for communal, fan friendly performances, Umphree’s McGee has been at the forefront of concert audio-immersion. A concept recently featured in Rolling Stone magazine, the “Headphones and Snowcones” audio immersion program is an option available at Umphree’s shows that enables fans to listen through headphones connected to the soundboard, blocking out ambient noise.

At the same time listeners preview what the live album cut will sound like. The band will also issue a free download of the performance for those who choose to enjoy the show this way.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Vinyl Giveaway: Jake Bugg, Live at Silver Platters and Shangri La

After a rather successful self-titled debut, Jake Bugg has released its follow-up, Shangri La, and we’ve got one to give away along with a special Record Store Day 2014 release, Live at Silver Platters.

Jake Bugg was only 17 when he signed with Mercury Records after performing at the Glastonbury Festival. His self-titled debut album reached number one on the UK Album Charts. His music is heavily influenced by Oasis, Neil Young, Johnny Cash, and Nick Drake.

Jake Bugg has taken over the UK by proverbial storm, and his single “Messed Up Kids” was released just yesterday.

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