Author Archives: Olivia

TVD Recommends: Incredible Change at Fort Reno, 7/23

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No plans tonight? Synthpop stars Incredible Change will be headlining everyone’s favorite local outdoor music series Fort Reno. Their self-titled debut album was released last month and is available for free on SpotifyBandcamp, and Soundcloud.

Ra Ra Rasputin lead singer Brock Boss has worked on Incredible Change as a side project for a few years now, with a goal “to incorporate more analog synths and focus on vocals.” Most of the songs on Incredible Change were written over the past two years, with Boss writing and recording songs and then scrapping them en masse, until the album was just right.

He is happy with the strength of the songs after having them in his head for the past two–and one song for four–years. Boss remembers, “Riding on the metro an hour to work and back, listening to parts of songs, imagining what fits, sitting at a desk in my apartment, recording vocals, drinking too much, rambling off whatever came to my mind. Listening back to them the next day, perceiving words I may have never said, but understood, and recognizing a tone or mood in the songs.”

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TVD Ticket Giveaway: Dan Deacon in the city and venue of your choice

TVD DC/HQ’s Baltimore neighbor Dan Deacon is back touring in support of his newest release Gliss Riffer after a stint on tour with Arcade Fire. The electronic artist is well-known for his fun, interactive shows that embrace audience participation.

In his interview with us a couple of years ago, Deacon said, “I always think about the crowd as an element of the show like a parameter of the piece. The same way with the music or the PA system and the audience, the room, where the various exits are, and what we can partially do. The audience plays a huge role in that. I do a thing in the beginning that I call ‘synchronicity,’ to try and synchronize the crowd. We all get on the same page and from that I try to gauge if the audience is down for participation and interaction, or more of an audience that wants to watch.”

During his visit to DC last summer at Howard Theatre, Deacon had a dance battle between opposite sides of the audience, with two volunteers in the center of a circle, one leading the moves for each half of the room. When attending one of his shows, you might also catch a glimpse of the vegetable-oil-fueled converted school bus that he uses as his touring vehicle. Want to experience it all for yourself? We have a pair of tickets to give away to three lucky winners to any one show on his tour.

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TVD Recommends: Fellow Creatures, Baby Bry Bry, and Gully Waters at DC9, 11/22

With the demise of local band Ugly Purple Sweater, former members Will McKindley-Ward and Sam McCormally knew they wanted to start a new project together. They knew that they wanted the new band to feel like a departure from their previous work, and shortly after the final UPS show, they got to work on a new batch of songs.

Tomorrow, November 22, their experimental work in their new band, the self-described “swampy indie rock band” Fellow Creatures, will be showcased at DC9, along with supporting bands Baby Bry Bry and Gully Waters.

I had the chance to ask Sam McCormally a couple questions about the new band, the show, and Fellow Creatures’ first single, “Allies.”

How is the music you’re making with Fellow Creatures unique?

I bought a toy piano that a young mom was selling on Craigslist and stuck a pickup on it. You can hear the toy piano solo in the middle of “Shuka Shuka,” a demo that we released on Bandcamp last month. Will took pieces of Duke Ellington songs, sped them up so that they were unrecognizable, and then learned to play them on guitar.

We spent a lot of time doing vocal exercises. For a couple of months, we decided to make music that sounded like a re-imagined soundtrack to Where the Wild Things Are—but if it were set in a futuristic swamp—and while I don’t think that is actually what we sound like, it was a useful conceit for a while.

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TVD Video Premiere: Incredible Change, “Branching Out”

Incredible Change is back with an introspective new video for their synth-pop single “Branching Out.” Featuring a revolving cast of DC favorites, Ra Ra Rasputin front man Brock Boss is joined on the song by Eddie Rodela (Miyazaki) on vocals and bass, and Deena Hyatt on vocals. Rodela also helped mixed the track. The song is evocative and minimal, featuring haunting background vocals, a dusting of keyboard and muted guitar, and barely-there drums.

Incredible Change has been in the works for several years, with Boss quietly piecing the songs together during spare moments between his work with Ra Ra Rasputin, assisting with the recording and mixing Miyazaki’s debut full-length in 2013, and AV collaborations with other local artists.

The video, shot by Boss and Deanna Toema and produced by Grammy-award winning engineer Drew Doucette, features footage of Rock Creek Park. Boss noted that the video was filmed “during magic hour and twilight… lots of lightning bugs,” of which you can catch a glimpse towards the end of the video.

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TVD Recommends: Incredible Change with Motion Lines at the Velvet Lounge, 5/17 (Free Debut!)

If you feel like dancing this weekend, Incredible Change, a new band featuring members of some of your favorite D.C. bands, debuts at a free show tomorrow night, Saturday, May 17, at the Velvet Lounge

The band is planning to release an album this summer and are teasing it with lead single “Ecce Mono” and its quirky new video. Says lead vocalist Brock Boss about the video, “If anyone you can think of has ever mentioned drum kits in outer space, or even just drums, outer space, or gravity—please share with them. It took a lot of percocet to make this vision come true.”

The witty music vid was produced by Grammy-award winning engineer Drew Doucette, who also mixed the track.

Incredible Change has been a side project of Ra Ra Rasputin’s lead singer Brock Boss for a few years now; his goal was “to incorporate more analog synths and focus on vocals.” He is joined tomorrow night by drummer Nick Valcourt of the now-defunct The State Department, bassist Ed Porter, and guitarist Brandon Moses of Paperhaus and Laughing Man.

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TVD Recommends: RJD2 at the 9:30 Club, 2/23

After a three-year hiatus from making music under this particular pseudonym, the DJ, musician, and producer RJD2, born Ramble John “RJ” Krohn, is back. Touring in support of his fifth studio album, 2013’s More Is Than Isn’t, the follow-up to 2010’s The ColossusRJD2 hits the 9:30 Club this Sunday, February 23.

More Is Than Isn’t was released on RJ’s Electrical Connections, RJD2’s own record label. Reissues for his first three studio albums, a box set of his work from 2002-2010, The Colossus, and We Are the Doorways, RJ’s 2011 release under the moniker The Insane Warrior, were also released on the label.

It’s no surprise that the self-professed vinyl junkie would start his own label, since over his prolific fifteen-year career releasing music as RJD2, The Insane Warrior, or as half of the duo Soul Position, he has only released music on independent labels. Over this time, he has spanned genres from hip-hop to rock, electronica, and nu-jazz, but mainstream audiences may know him best for the instrumental version of “A Beautiful Mine,” the theme song to AMC’s Mad Men.

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TVD Live Shots: TVD Presents at the Fillmore with Drop Electric, Honest Haloway, and Technophobia, 10/3

PHOTOS: RICHIE DOWNS | Last Thursday, we began the first in a series of curated showcases at the Fillmore Silver Spring. The night’s line-up featured local acts Drop Electric, Honest Haloway, and Technophobia, who played synth-heavy sets to an earnest crowd of fans.

Vocalist Kristina Reznikov lead the boys of Drop Electric in a high-energy, electronic jam session. Combining elements of post-rock, electronica, and world music, the band’s expansive sound aptly wrapped itself around the engaged audience. Honest Haloway front man Tim Kratzer reunited with former Vita Ruins bandmate Greg Balleza, who filled in for bassist Fico Lazzaro-Colon that night. Along with drummer Charlie Karim, the trio brought shy showgoers forward with their self-described “ethereal, moody” indie electronica.

Technophobia‘s Denman C. Anderson started off the night with commanding flourishes, flanked with synths from both Katie and Stephen Petix on either side. Their dark electronica was appropriately set in front of standing TVs with blinking effects that beat like a hammer in time to their industrial sound.

We thank those who came on Thursday and look forward to the next “TVD Presents” showcase in January!

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TVD Live Shots: Black Clouds, Shark Week, Warchild, Typefighter at the 9:30 Club, 7/27

PHOTOS: RICHIE DOWNS | Presented by the DC Party Action Committee Council, some of DC’s most beloved bands graced the 9:30 Club stage for a raucous Saturday night, celebrating records and saying joyful goodbyes.

Masters of atmospheric, encompassing rock, headliner Black Clouds was joined by a bill of local favorites, including Shark Week, Warchild, Typefighter, True Head, and Highway Cross, with the Blackout DJs keeping the momentum going between sets. Black Clouds, whom we interviewed in advance of the show, debuted the vinyl release of their full-length, Everything Is Not Going To Be OK, released last year by Australopithecus Records. It was also the record release party for garage-punk surf-rockers Shark Week‘s 7″ “Santurce,” recorded during their recent trip to Puerto Rico.

Additionally, DC was able to bid one final adieu to metal gods Warchild, complete with girls dancing on stage with water guns, during their last performance ever. Along with indie rock mainstays Typefighter, we were able to snap photos of these bands to commemorate this very special night of talented local musicianship.

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TVD Recommends: Miyazaki Album Release at DC9, tonight (1/25)

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“Not to go too far in depth, but in making Color of Glass we were going for creating a set of songs that are congruent in mood and feel, which reflect a style that is uniquely our own.

“In saying that, I understand how cliche that is, but we really wanted to focus on coming up with a sound that is a total experiment in minimal instrumentation and complex, enveloping moods that have a meaningful uniqueness. It’s taken us a couple of years to develop our sound—probably way too long to the point that we routinely get asked if we’ve broken up, since we’ve taken so long recording…”
—Eduardo Rodela, Miyazaki

In case you haven’t caught the talented Miyazaki sharing the stage with some of DC’s best—Ra Ra Rasputin, Misun, Lenorable, etc.—rest assured that synth-pop phenoms Miyazaki are still around and are releasing their long-awaited album Color of Glass tonight at DC9. Vocalist/Guitarist Eduardo Rodela took a few minutes to talk to me about the making of the album, from mood to mastering.

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TVD Ticket Giveaway: Ra Ra Riot at the 9:30 Club, 1/23 (Sold out!)

We have a pair of tickets for one lucky winner and a friend to join Ra Ra Riot this Wednesday, January 23, at a sold-out 9:30 Club to celebrate the release of their third album Beta Love, which hits shelves the day prior via Barsuk.

The new album is streaming in its entirety this week only on the band’s Youtube channel, and the first single and title track “Beta Love” is available as a free download.

After the band’s inception in Syracuse, New York in 2006, Ra Ra Riot quickly gained momentum and signed with Barsuk only two years later, in 2008. That same year, their debut full-length The Rhumb Line featured the poppy, romantic singles “Dying Is Fine” and “Can You Tell Me.” This was followed by 2010’s The Orchard, which was nominated for an Independent Music Award.

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