Author Archives: Dan Mancini

The Perfect Make-Out Mix, Volume 2

A big thank you to all the supporters, subscribers, and canoodlers who made the last list such a hit. We’re revisiting the art of the Make-Out Mix with a new list of Top Ten Sexy Songs to have on rotation as you venture into the warm months to come.

These aren’t love songs, these are make love songs. These are top-shelf selections from my own personal Make-Out Mix, codenamed M.O.M. (which should serve as a conscious reminder in the heat of the moment to treat every girl in a way that’d make your mama proud). This is the short-list that gets your shirt lost, and your pants, and everything else. Handle these songs with care. With great power comes great responsibility.

There’s a rule with sexual tension that’s as true musically as it is physically—if you build it they will come. I’ve included the BPM of every song for this reason. The resting heart rate of the average adult is 60–80 beats per minute, and it’s the songs that are divisibly within this ballpark that should begin and end an evening. Whether or not things accelerate as you round the bases is up to you.

Friendly Fires – “Pala” (57 bpm x2)

Friendly Fires’ latest album Pala borrows its name from the sexually liberated tropical paradise of Aldous Huxley’s utopian counterpart to that staple of dystopian fiction, Brave New World. The title track off the album, and the one song in their rotation that swims away from the shore of their dependably upbeat world-pop M.O., it could be described as a daytime slow-jam. In fact, “Pala” sounds every bit as much like sunshine as the rest of the album—with half the speed and twice the inertia. If Sex on the Beach had a theme song, this would be it.

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Top Ten Sexy Songs: The Perfect Make-Out Mix

In honor of Valentine’s Day, we are revisiting our Top Ten Sexy Songs: The Perfect Make-Out Mix, the playlist for getting cozy with that special someone. (No special someone? Stay tuned – there’s an alternate playlist to come.) Happy Valentine’s Day! —Ed. 

The undeniable Barry White, if I’m entirely earnest, is just too much.  He’s sex ad-absurdum, a fertility idol covered in phalluses, and I just can’t see two people sharing a moment with his chocolaty baritone in the background.

The sexiest music is soft yet strong, rhythmic but unobtrusive. It serves the purpose of the moment, while going in for that first kiss, when every inch toward each other’s lips becomes a vaster expanse than the last. For moments like these, I’ve assembled the perfect Make-Out Mix, codename M.O.M. (which should serve as a conscious reminder in the heat of the moment to treat every girl in a way that’d make your mama proud). Handle these songs with care… With great power comes great responsibility…

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TVD Ticket Giveaway: The Walkmen at the
9:30 Club, 10/5

The Walkmen are returning to the city they grew up in for a homecoming show that’s sure to light up 9:30 Club come Friday night. Expect songs from their latest release, Heaven, the new album from earlier this year that shows off a new level of musical maturity.

It’s becoming a point of embarrassment that I make a connection to The OC with every group I write about, and true to form, my first exposure to The Walkmen was a cameo performance of “Little House of Savages” on that titular teen drivel-drama.

It’s fitting, since The Walkmen are channeling Bob Dylan all over this new album, if Dylan had spent a lot more time on the West Coast and never went on to imbibe electronic instrumentation.  Make no mistake, however—sunny waning melodies aside, The Walkmen get their edge from the East Coast, representing Philly and New York.  They show a preference for vintage folk instrumentation, never more so than on this, their latest work.

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Posted in TVD Washington, DC | 11 Comments

TVD Recommends: MuteMath at
The Black Sheep, 9/15

When MuteMath last visited the state of Colorado, it was to a sold out Gothic Theater last January.  The electric maestros packed such a surplus of their renowned showmanship into the sizable Denver venue that the show immediately stole the spot of best anything I’ve ever seen live.  

Tomorrow they will be playing Colorado Springs’ staple venue The Black Sheep.  To give you an idea of what this means, Denver’s Gothic seats 1000, and the Black Sheep is packed at 450. I expect structural damage.

If you’ve never been to one, a MuteMath show is no ordinary thing.  While in town for the aforementioned Gothic performance the band met up with us for an episode of TVD-TV wherein they opened up about some of the antics the four piece works into their live shows.

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TVD Live: Jack White
at Red Rocks, 8/8

Launching his solo career earlier this year with a live performance on SNL and an album, self-produced at his own Third Man Records in Nashville, called Blunderbuss, it’s the first lone wolf venture from an at-times duet rocker, at-times supergrouper, and always-prolific Detroit blues phenom, Jack White.

White sightings popping up around Denver were accompanied with rumors of a secret show to precede his sold-out performance at Red Rocks. The night before his sold-out show, keyboardist Ikey Owens of The Buzzards—one of two backup bands touring with White—was expected to make an appearance at Unit E, a local loft conversion in the Santa Fe Art District.  This seemed like as good a lead as any, and Owens did indeed show up to play a great jazz set and eat an entire box of Cap’n Crunch on stage; however White was nowhere to be seen.

A list of location speculations went around, but it wasn’t until the next morning that the texts started coming in, “Jack White. B show. B there. B square,” placing him at an auto-body shop on W. Colfax.  Racing across Denver rush hour traffic, we arrived just in time to hear the last of “Ball and a Biscuit” ringing out while he and his Buzzards walked straight through an impromptu crowd and onto their bus, which disappeared into the horizon toward Colorado’s most famous music venue where I would be before the sun set on that Wednesday.

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Bringing it on home.
TVD Ticket Giveaway: The Walkmen at the
9:30 Club, 10/4

The Walkmen are returning to the city they grew up in for a homecoming show that’s sure to light up 9:30 Club come October 4th.   Expect songs from their latest release, Heaven, the new album from earlier this year that shows off a new level of musical maturity.

It’s becoming a point of embarrassment that I make a connection to The OC with every group I write about, and true to form, my first exposure to The Walkmen was a cameo performance of “Little House of Savages” on that titular teen drivel-drama.

It’s fitting, since The Walkmen are channeling Bob Dylan all over this new album, if Dylan had spent a lot more time on the West Coast and never went on to imbibe electronic instrumentation.  Make no mistake, however—sunny waning melodies aside, The Walkmen get their edge from the East Coast, representing Philly and New York.  They show a preference for vintage folk instrumentation, never more so than on this, their latest work.

Read More »

Posted in TVD Washington, DC | 19 Comments

TVD Ticket Giveaway:
The Dandy Warhols at the 9:30 Club, 5/29

When I first heard The Dandy Warhols, it was set to Seth Cohen faking sick on The OC.

Since that time, they’ve released a band documentary, Dig!, focused on their love-hate relationship with The Brian Jonestown Massacre, and released six additional studio albums, including a greatest hits album, The Capitol Years, and their most recent release, This Machine, which dropped a month ago today.

Now touring with the latest incarnation of an ever-evolving Dandy Warhols-sound, this Tuesday in DC they’re sure to light up the 9:30 Club up faster than Edie Sedgwick’s apartment.

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Posted in TVD Washington, DC | 25 Comments

I Dream of M83

If, as Baudelaire said, “Genius is childhood recalled at will,” then the latest era of M83 is nothing short of genius.  Showered in accolades from across the music industry as of late, they have been making some really big music industry ripples in a voice-of-a-generation kind of way that made arriving at The Ogden Theater to see their sold out show feel something like completing a pilgrimage.

Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming is a piece of work written on the ribbons of endless West Coast interstate so pervasive in the frames of Hollywood. The deserts and coastline of California are what French-born front-man Anthony Gonzalez now calls home, and he cites the film industry as inspiration for an album that is “almost written like a soundtrack of an imaginary movie.”

Grandeur and bombast abound, and from the way he talks about it to the way he performs it, Hurry Up We’re Dreaming feels like the kind of musician’s magnum opus whereupon an auteur spends those secret saved-up parts of their soul.

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Explosions In The Sky, Surviving Post-Rock in Perpetuity

When turn-of-the-century post-rock was finding it’s voice amidst a constellation of comparable outfits, Explosions In The Sky earned their reputation rounding out that more relatable goldilocks zone between the manic joviality of Sigur Ros and almost soured minors of Mogwai. Earnestness is a word for what Explosions does with their “cathartic mini-symphonies,” and that earnestness is a part of why their work has enjoyed a longevity beyond its genre.

It’s not novel anymore; in fact, even in its nascence, post-pock, by the implication of its name, was derivative of an American musical orthodoxy being reacquainted to an even older compositional progenitor, the symphony, but it’s analogous to a certain shade of human emotions that cannot be accessed, musically, any other way.

Explosions’ Munaf Rayani has said, “We don’t consider ourselves post-rock at all,” but for me and many others, Explosions is the definitive artifact of a genre that moved mountains during its tenure. Whatever they do, they do it better than anyone else, and from the moment Rayani’s guitar washed over The Boulder Theater with the feedback of the first chord of the first song of the first show of their West Coast run earlier this month, it was clear that this is what the electric guitar is meant to be used for.

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TVD Ticket Giveaway: The Black Keys at Merriweather Post Pavilion, 5/18

When I think of bands that are absolutely on top of the world right now, The Black Keys are a shoe-in.  Ohioan Blues-Rock buddies Dan Auerbach and Pat Carney just graced the cover of Rolling Stone and are now on their 2012 international arena tour with English rockers Arctic Monkeys

Touring in support of newest and seventh studio album El Camino, the Keys will make a stop on May 18th at Merriweather Post Pavilion, and we have your tickets.

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Posted in TVD Washington, DC | 54 Comments

TVD Ticket Giveaway: Sarah McLachlan at Merriweather Post Pavilion, 7/5

When she isn’t busy ruining people’s days with those abused animal commercials, Sarah McLachlan is just your average everyday Grammy-winning mezzo-soprano ballad superstar.

Following the success of her symphony orchestra performances last summer, Miss McLachlan recently announced her 2012 Summer Symphony Tour, which will be making stops through the US and Canada.  The tour will also offer fans a special meet and greet opportunity to benefit the Sarah McLachlan School of Music, a free music program in Vancouver aimed at youth who do not have the financial means to take music lessons.

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Posted in TVD Washington, DC | 23 Comments

TVD’s 10 Weeks
of Record Store Day
Vinyl Giveaways: Die Antwoord, TEN$ION

As Record Store Day approaches (April 21st this year) we’re counting down with  10 Weeks of Record Store Day Vinyl Giveaways.  Today, it’s a copy of Die Antwoord’s TEN$ION

When first introduced to the way of Zef a la Die Antwoord, I wasn’t sure if I had witnessed the most terrific or the most horrific thing to hit music since disco.  Afrikaans for “The Answer,” Die Antwoord is the South African rave-rap movement composed of stage personas Ninja, Yo-Landi Vi$$er, DJ Hi-Tek, and an unlikely rotation of other misfits from the furthest cultural reaches of musicianship.

Their Zef sound  carries a certain level of bombastic audacity that is only possible when a band decides to transgress the question, “Is this a joke?”  The answer, for Die Antwoord, is that at times the line gets a little blurry, but as expressed in their debut mockumentary Zef Side, their sound is “blowing up the interwebs” without a doubt.

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TVD Ticket Giveaway: Hendrix 2012 Tribute Tour at The Music Ctr. at Strathmore, 3/6

Of all the names forever synonymous with rock and roll and its place in music history, Jimi Hendrix stands alone.

His music, his image, his impossible cool, all made the world stand up and take note. In honor of the greatest electric guitarist in musical history, The EXPERIENCE Hendrix 2012 Tribute Tour happens Tuesday, March 6th at The Music Center at Strathmore, and we have a pair of tickets for you to win.

Come celebrate the music and legacy of the immortal Jimi Hendrix and relive how the phenom remade rock and roll. Jimi’s greatest songs will be performed live by a lineup featuring Billy Cox of The Band of Gypsys and The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Buddy Guy, Jonny Lang, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Dweezil Zappa, Brad Whitford of Aerosmith, Chris Layton of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, and Mato Nanji of Indigenous—together on one stage.

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Posted in TVD Washington, DC | 6 Comments

Top Ten Sexy Songs: The Perfect Make-Out Mix

In honor of Valentine’s Day, we are reposting Top Ten Sexy Songs: The Perfect Make-Out Mix, a playlist for when you get cozy with your special someone. No special someone? Perhaps you would enjoy this alternate playlist more. Happy Valentine’s Day.—Ed. 

The undeniable Barry White, if I’m entirely earnest, is just too much.  He’s sex ad-absurdum, a fertility idol covered in phalluses, and I just can’t see two people sharing a moment with his chocolaty baritone in the background.

The sexiest music is soft yet strong, rhythmic but unobtrusive. It serves the purpose of the moment, while going in for that first kiss, when every inch toward each other’s lips becomes a vaster expanse than the last. For moments like these, I’ve assembled the perfect Make-Out Mix, codename M.O.M. (which should serve as a conscious reminder in the heat of the moment to treat every girl in a way that’d make your mama proud). Handle these songs with care… With great power comes great responsibility…

Read More »

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TVD Ticket Giveaway: Ozomatli at the 9:30 Club, 1/21

LA-based seven-piece ensemble Ozomatli has risen to prominence not only for their music, itself a world-encompasing fusion of hip-hop, salsa, dancehall, cumbia, samba, and funk, but for their cultural ambassadorship as well. Civil servants and cultural observants, Ozomatli is an inspiration for both listeners and activists alike.

The band’s most recent release, Fire Away, “Captures the band’s growing technical maturity as well as its sheer emotive energy – the light and the heat,” as described by LATimes.com. This Saturday, Ozomatli visits 9:30 Club, and we’ve got your tickets for a night of light and heat.

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Posted in TVD Washington, DC | 15 Comments
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