Author Archives: Laura Irene

TVD Recommends: The Do Likes record release at the Black Cat, 8/16

The Arlington, VA quartet, The Do Likes—Jorge, Matt, Mark, and Rob—have released their first full length, self titled LP for which an album release party is set for this Sunday, August 16th at the Black Cat with Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb and The Combs.

The Do Likes describe their music as “a band out of time, stuck in the heartaches and harmonies of another era.” They like to be thought of as a “living, breathing record collection, even if at times they are huffing and wheezing up the stairs.”

So try on their new album above—and for the best listening mode see them live this Sunday. The show is all ages.

Do Likes Official | Facebook | Twitter

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TVD Premiere:
Cruzie Beaux, Demo 1

Cruzie Beaux is the latest project from Kristina Reznikov, a DC musician who has been making music since childhood. Most recently she was the lead vocalist for Drop Electric and the short-lived Blanche Has Friends.

In Kristina’s new project, Cruzie Beaux is a party animal, writing songs for dirty dive bars and angry female protagonists. Cruzie tells us that she loves the dirty 1970s Joan Jett style guitar, with a steady (but modern) beat. Cruzie Beaux will be working with Tinderbox Music promoting her demo, which currently has Ingrid Michaelson and Imagine Dragons on their client list.

In Drop Electric, Kristina’s gritty vocals brought a new element to the band’s sound which was previously instrumental, and In Blanche has Friends, Kristina moved toward being somewhat less serious with a beautiful rawness stemming from the freedom to work as a solo musician. We asked Kristina how the transition has been from being in a band to working as a solo artist:

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Krist Novoselic,
The Best of the 2014
TVD Interviews

PHOTOS: RICHIE DOWNS | On the evening of March 9, we ventured to a charming area of Takoma Park, Md., to the equally charming restaurant Republic, where we had the honor of speaking with former Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic—himself a charming man.

Novoselic was at Republic to talk about FairVote, an organization chaired by Novoselic (an Independent voter) that educates and empowers Americans to remove the structural barriers to achieving a representative democracy that respects every vote and every voice in every election. Half of the proceeds from the evening at Republic went to the FairVote organization.

Novoselic started off the intimate evening with witty banter and the importance of being involved with FairVote. Afterwards, the capacity crowd was treated to an accordion rendition of Lorde’s “Royals,” the accordion on loan from local music shop House of Musical Traditions.

Before the festivities, we sat outside on Republic’s heated patio to discuss Novoselic’s political activism, online streaming, and of course vinyl.

Before you were involved with FairVote, you supported the creation of the Joint Artists and Musicians Political Action Committee (JAMPAC). Is that what started your political activism career?

Yes, that’s my story. I got involved in these music issues in Washington State, where Seattle music was taking the world by storm but our own state legislator was trying to pass censorship bills. City Council created anti-music ordinances like the Teen Dance Ordinance and other weird laws from overreaching legislators. I started to learn about the political system; it was my civic education. I worked to break these barriers down, but I didn’t do it by myself, I worked with a large group of people.

Through that, I learned about the barriers that exist in political participation, where political insiders circled the wagons making rules to benefit themselves. I wanted to get involved and discovered this group called FairVote, formerly the Center for Voting and Democracy, who proposed proportional and rank choice voting to give voters more choice and more power. That’s been my gig since then.

FairVote is a non-partisan, Independent, not Conservative or Liberal. It’s for people from all walks of life, of all ages, having an opportunity to participate. The reforms we proposed have a long history in the United Sates rooted in the Voting Rights act. You have this proportional voting rights system where a political or ethnic minority can have a chance to have a voice. We were just involved with a Voting Rights Act in California where Latinos felt misrepresented or excluded in their district. We worked to propose a voting system to give more power to those voters.

If you feel excluded from politics, and you want to have more power or more choices, go to FairVote.org to find out ways to make democracy more inclusive for all people.

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TVD Recommends: Girls Rock! DC Benefit with Drop Electric, Cigarette, and Young Rapids at the Black Cat, 11/22

DC has a long history of collaboration between bands and community partners, enriching the city in the process. The Godfather of Go Go, Chuck Brown once said, “People are looking for a way to take action, to do something other than donate on the Turnpike on their way to work, which seems impersonal.”

Look no further than this Saturday night to take action! Three local bands, Drop Electric, Cigarette, and Young Rapids take on the Black Cat mainstage to raise money for Girls Rock! DC—an organization that exists to inspire and cultivate through music.

Girls Rock! DC aims to create a supportive, inclusive, and creative space for girls to develop their self-confidence, build community, stand up, and rock out! It was founded in October 2007 by an all-volunteer collective of DC metro area musicians, teachers, artists, and community organizers—based on the Girls Rock! mission across the nation.

Headliners, Drop Electric, have a history of being philanthropic in their personal lives. Ramtin Arablouei of Drop Electric tells TVD, “Over the last few years we’ve gotten to know a few people who have worked with Girls Rock! DC and totally believe in their mission. We really think there should be a space for young women to learn, write, and play music together. This must continue to be encouraged. Given the history of people discouraging young women from playing instruments we want to see the trend reversed. If we can even do something small to help we are eager to do it!”

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TVD Recommends: Protect-U LP Release Party at Comet Ping Pong, 5/10

The DC duo Protect-U—Aaron Leitko and Mike Petillo—will release their first full length LP record Free USA on May 13 via DC label Future Times. An album release party is set for this Saturday, May 10th at Comet Ping Pong with Peaking Lights Sound System (CA) and Maxmillion Dunbar (DC).

The nine-track double album Free USA is only the second full-length release on the Future Times label. Free USA captures what was going on during the year the duo was making the record. Leitko explains to TVD, “The words ‘Free’ and ‘USA’ are both words that are very loaded, but when you pair them up side by side, they don’t make a lot of sense. That really appealed to me, because I felt like I was constantly hearing those words throughout the year we spent making the record—usually from people who were using them for foolish reasons.

In a sense, I guess sticking them together stripped them of a bit of their inherent patriotism. On the other hand, throughout the time we’ve been doing Protect-U, we’ve met so many cool people who make music that we really love. There’s all this really great stuff going on. So, in that sense, we thought maybe Free USA could refer to this ideal, cooler, alternative universe that we’re all kinda unconsciously trying to generate just by participating in this music—a place that’s culturally in opposition to all the genuinely terrible things that are going on in our country/the world at the moment.”

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Krist Novoselic,
The TVD Interview

PHOTOS: RICHIE DOWNS | On the evening of March 9, we ventured to a charming area of Takoma Park, Md., to the equally charming restaurant Republic, where we had the honor of speaking with former Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic—himself a charming man.

Novoselic was at Republic to talk about FairVote, an organization chaired by Novoselic (an Independent voter) that educates and empowers Americans to remove the structural barriers to achieving a representative democracy that respects every vote and every voice in every election. Half of the proceeds from the evening at Republic went to the FairVote organization.

Novoselic started off the intimate evening with witty banter and the importance of being involved with FairVote. Afterwards, the capacity crowd was treated to an accordion rendition of Lorde’s “Royals,” the accordion on loan from local music shop House of Musical Traditions.

Before the festivities, we sat outside on Republic’s heated patio to discuss Novoselic’s political activism, online streaming, and of course vinyl.

Before you were involved with FairVote, you supported the creation of the Joint Artists and Musicians Political Action Committee (JAMPAC). Is that what started your political activism career?

Yes, that’s my story. I got involved in these music issues in Washington State, where Seattle music was taking the world by storm but our own state legislator was trying to pass censorship bills. City Council created anti-music ordinances like the Teen Dance Ordinance and other weird laws from overreaching legislators. I started to learn about the political system; it was my civic education. I worked to break these barriers down, but I didn’t do it by myself, I worked with a large group of people.

Through that, I learned about the barriers that exist in political participation, where political insiders circled the wagons making rules to benefit themselves. I wanted to get involved and discovered this group called FairVote, formerly the Center for Voting and Democracy, who proposed proportional and rank choice voting to give voters more choice and more power. That’s been my gig since then.

FairVote is a non-partisan, Independent, not Conservative or Liberal. It’s for people from all walks of life, of all ages, having an opportunity to participate. The reforms we proposed have a long history in the United Sates rooted in the Voting Rights act. You have this proportional voting rights system where a political or ethnic minority can have a chance to have a voice. We were just involved with a Voting Rights Act in California where Latinos felt misrepresented or excluded in their district. We worked to propose a voting system to give more power to those voters.

If you feel excluded from politics, and you want to have more power or more choices, go to FairVote.org to find out ways to make democracy more inclusive for all people.

Read More »

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TVD Premiere: Young Rapids, “Odd Numbers”

In 2012 we spoke with Washington, DC’s Young Rapids, at the time having just released their first full length album, Daylight Savings. Since then Young Rapids have toured nationwide, garnered new fans, and figuratively shed the young from their name.

Young Rapids have plans to release their second full length album Pretty Ugly on vinyl this spring and today we’re delighted to premiere their new single “Odd Numbers.” Delving into “Odd Numbers,” we uncovered the layers of the single with lead vocalist Dan Gleason.

“Odd Numbers” is a different sound for Young Rapids, incorporating a new jazzy-hip-hop sound.

“Odd Numbers” was a song that took on a few different types of rhythm styles before finally settling into a more “jazzy-hip-hop” tune. It wasn’t the sort of thing where we sat down and decided to write a song with a hip hop back bone. Honestly, we never have too much of a plan in mind when writing songs, they sort of take us where they want to go for the most part.

Colin (Kelly) and I were playing over the song while still in its infant stage. We had been frustrated with the song because it wasn’t going the way we wanted it to.  Out of a lack of ideas Colin played a straight forward hip hop beat and both of us looked at each other and thought that we had found what we were looking for. Shortly thereafter both Joey (Bentley) and Nick (Martin) joined us and felt the same enthusiasm. From there it evolved into a hip hop song.

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Drop Electric:
The TVD Q and A

PHOTOS: RICHIE DOWNS | Waking Up to the Fire is the second full-length album from Washington, DC band Drop Electric, set for release October 22. Ramtin, Navid, Neel, Sho, and Kristina played in the clouds at the opening reception of Andy Warhol’s Silver Clouds at the Artisphere in Arlington, Virginia, where we feasted on the reception food and talked about vinyl and their fast success selling out venues across DC and NYC.

Drop Electric will headline TVD’s first in a series of curated showcases to be held at the Fillmore Silver Spring this Thursday, October 3, alongside DC bands Technophobia and Honest Haloway

During our conversation, I received a glimpse of the hard work these serious musicians put into their music. Drop Electric has already garnered success nationwide. The band cites Bob Boilen for exposing their music on an All Songs Considered episode, helping to propel their career.

Drop Electric has used their gift of exposure, recently signing with Lefse Records—alongside Mister Lies and Teen Daze, and the former label for Youth Lagoon and Neon Indian. They are also signed with Pusher Music—alongside David Lynch, DJ Shadow, and Crystal Method—a licensing firm who put out tracks for movie trailers.

Drop Electric songs have already been used for movie trailers, and you have expressed a deep love for film. Do movies influence your music, and how does that play into your visuals?

It absolutely influences our music. I can watch a movie and afterwards I write a song directly influenced by what I watched. Our live show visuals are a big part of our presentationit’s a combination of various music videos we have made and other movie parts.

For example, one of our new songs, “Carl Pagen,” is ah homage to Carl Sagen, so we have movie clips of him as our background visual when we play that song. We also like to incorporate trippy and often disturbing elements to our visuals, working to make a conscious effort to make our live show as varied as possible.

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Girls Rock! DC & TVD: We’re at the Summer Camp 2013 Sessions

PHOTOS: RICHIE DOWNS | Girls Rock! DC Summer Camp is a local non-profit established as a place for girls from the ages of 8–18 to find and develop their self-confidence through music. The camp is run daily for one week during the year by an all-volunteer staff, some saving a week’s worth of leave to make the camp a reality for the girls. Campers form bands and are coached by volunteer musicians to write and perform original songs and DJ sets.

After a week of long, hard work, the girls will perform in their very own showcase at the legendary 9:30 Club this Saturday, July 27 at 11:00am. The showcase is open to the public and tickets are only $10—kids 8 and under are free. All proceeds will go to Girls Rock! DC Summer Camp. Get your tickets at the door or online to attend one of the best shows of the year.

We had the opportunity to spend time with the girls at camp on Thursday, July 25, for a day of “Telling the World About My/Our Greatness,” which also happened to be Crazy Hat Day. We spoke with a former camper-turned-professional-DJ, now camp instructor, a newly formed teen Reggae band, two spunky girls, and the woman who helps keep the camp running. The small amount of time spent with the campers and volunteers was enough to witness that the Girls Rock! DC Camp is truly a very special program.

Girls Rock- DC-07-25-2013-43

Arriving at camp yesterday I found myself in the Spinderella Room and excited to see the crates of vinyl records used for the DJ portion of the camp. I talked with 20-year-old DJ instructor, Jamilla Okubo (DJ Lilla Jams) and a former Girls Rock! DC camper.

Talk about your experience as a camper versus now being an instructor.

It’s different, but it was really fun as a camper because I got to go to all the different workshops. It was also nice to learn how to DJ from professional woman DJs in the area.

As an instructor and former camper I know how campers feel about learning new equipment, especially as a DJ because it’s different from being in a band. DJs have to learn about a lot of different music to be able to put it together. It was really nerve-wracking to teach the campers how to DJ because I’m not much of a talker; that’s been the hardest part. The first day, I was really nervous, but once I got comfortable with the kids it was a lot easier.

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Black Clouds:
The TVD Interview

Signed to the local label Australopithecus Records, Washington, DC’s Black Clouds—Justin Horenstein (guitars, keyboards), Jimmy Rhodes (drums), and Ross Hurt (bass) released their first full length album Everything Is Not Going To Be Okay last year—composing a cinematic tale that celebrates the dark skies that haunt our time, infiltrated with hints and glimpses of light.

The album begins with a penetrating fear that perhaps the beginning simply starts with the end in “Telluric” and turns a brighter corner with “Parallels.” “Divide” arrives suggesting some hope, yet slowly heads back into the unknown—each song creating the next movement within a thematic journey.

You can catch Black Clouds headlining the 9:30 Club this Saturday, July 27, presented by the DC Party Action Committee (DCPACC). This is a unique, all DC-based bill that includes Shark Week, Warchild, Typefighter, True Head, and Highway Cross. The party will continue through the night with Black Out DJs, but get there early as the first band comes on at 7pm sharp.

In addition, Black Clouds will have Everything Is Not Going To Be Okay for sale on vinyl with limited color copies. Shark Week will also have their debut 7″ single, “Santurce,” available for purchase.

We went record shopping with Ross and Jimmy of Black Clouds last week at DC’s Crooked Beat, where we talked about their inspirations, the importance of visuals for their music, and of course vinyl.  

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TVD Recommends: Cigarette at the Heurich House Museum, 7/11

The Pink Line Project curates a summer music series aimed at highlighting local music. The Glow Sessions take place at the Heurich House Museum in DC, an enchanting backdrop for this Thursday’s musical delight, Cigarette.

Six closely bonded friends—Jonathan Howard, Richard Howard, Drew Hagelin, Ben Brown, Evan Napala, and Johnny Ward—released their full length album Gush this past March, which premiered here at TVD.

Gush is the band’s first full-length album; however, you won’t hear the same seven songs on rotation. New songs are often played, and older gems you might only hear once bring an element of mystery to their live show.

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TVD Recommends: Tulsa, Chait and McColm, Wyatt Blair, and Trio ooo at CD Cellar, tonight 6/5

One of the last standing record shops in Arlington, Virginia, CD Cellar specializes in vinyl and CDs, but it is also a premiere spot to catch a show. Carefully curated and free, CD Cellar offers a unique experience for those who enjoy music in an intimate setting. 

This Wednesday CD Cellar offers four bands for your evening: Wyatt Blair, Ross Wallace Chait + Ian G. McColm, Tulsa, and Trio ooo. The show starts at 8:30pm—get there early for Tulsa‚but stay for the four-course meal and don’t forget to pick up some records on your way out.

Tulsa is a five piece band who is not very internet friendly out of Arlington VA, however is still worthy of your attention. Out of the four bands in this rich line-up, it is Tulsa who will leave an etching in your brain. Don’t miss this relatively unknown band and consider it a true gift for your Wednesday night.

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TVD Recommends:
of Montreal at Flying Dog Brewery, 5/25

Flying Dog Brewery is known for its rare and experimental beers, so it is fitting that of Montreal will be taking the stage this Saturday for the first of their 2013 Summer Concert Series. Enjoy a Raging Bitch Belgian IPA with mango and habanero while taking in the Georgia band’s musical theatrics. Not sure you could have a better Saturday afternoon, so trek it to Maryland for a colorful start to your long weekend at this 21 and up event.

Polyvinyl Records artist of Montreal released their latest album Paralytic Stalks last year, which brought a toned-down live version of the usual theatrics. Don’t put down your freak flag quite yet! Whether the outfits are nude-colored spandex suits or most recently shirts and ties, you can always count on being surprised by some form of risqué on stage.

You never know what you will get, so get your spot on the lawn, as it’s not every day of Montreal brings their own stage and production for your entertainment. Get there early to buy Kevin Barnes a beer and enjoy an afternoon of music, rare beer, and food trucks from 5:30-9pm.

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TVD’s 9:30 Club May Concert Preview

It’s a new month, and that means plenty of new 9:30 Club shows to get excited about. Here’s your May preview and an extra chance to win tickets to the show of your choice from below—don’t forget to answer the challenge at the bottom! Here are four shows that give fresh sounds and good deeds.  

Hush Sound and Hockey, Fri 5/17 at U Street Music Hall

The indie pop four-piece band from Chicago, The Hush Sound, are no longer quiet, back from a break with a new record coming down the pipe this year.

They have shared the stage with OK GO, Phantom Planet, One Republic, and The Dresden Dolls and will be co-headlining U Hall this month with Hockey.

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TVD Recommends: You Me Them Everybody at Artisphere, 4/27

metropolisesqueIf you ever wanted to attend a taping of the Late Show with David Letterman or Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, look no further than Artisphere in Arlington, Virginia this Saturday evening for a live, “big” version of the talk show, You Me Them Everybody hosted by the multi-talented Brandon Wetherbee.

Wetherbee, much like Superman, is a journalist during the day as an assistant editor at the Huffington Post, and talk show host by night.  No need for getting out your binoculars, Wetherbee will fill your Saturday night with two hours of talk, comedy, music, and premieres.

Brandon Wetherbee, a DC transplant, started his show in Chicago in 2009 is an advocate for local music, incorporating bands into every inch of the evening. Saturday night the house band will be made up of Ian Graham and Lisa Reed of Lenorable with special guest, Black Hills.

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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