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.
A night of rhythmic genius, lyrical poetry, and harmonic singing will take place this Saturday at The Dunes.
Headlining the talented group of musicians is Cuddle Magic. Cuddle Magic is composed of six multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriters known for their close-knit antics and their unique genre of baroque dance music.
From Brooklyn, they bring with them the lovely Rachel Ries, whose sound resembles a cross between Regina Spektor and Maria Muldar. Ries will be promoting her release Ghost of a Gardner, which exudes delightful melodies mixed with a spice of city grit.
Fade in: Interior, Doctor’s office, Me with Doctor
Me: There’s something terribly wrong with me. I’m greenish. My eyes look funny. And I feel like… someone else. And I’ve been (I vomit in doctor’s face.) Excuse me. Vomiting in people’s faces. It started last Tuesday, March 4, when I saw Public System Broadcasting at the Black Cat…
It has always been my desire to review an electronica duo whose members included one J. Willgoose, Esq. and his faithful companion, Wrigglesworth. I never thought in a million years I’d get the opportunity, mind you, but fate plays strange tricks. I never thought I’d wind up married to porn star Tawny Buttocks, either. I don’t mean to brag, but some of her bedroom maneuvers, like the Reverse Half Cuban Eight, have only ever been performed at world-class aerobatics competitions. I could describe the Reverse Half Cuban Eight to you, but you would croak on the spot from sheer jealousy.
J. Willgoose, Esq. and Wrigglesworth make up the London-based duo Public Service Broadcasting, an uncommon adventure in music making. Willgoose plays stringed instruments, including the guitar and banjo, and is also responsible for sampling and electronic instruments. The trusty Wrigglesworth plays drums, piano, and electronic instruments.
Ronnie Hudson might not necessarily be a household name, but you certainly know his work. Post-Motown boomers and golden-age hip-hop enthusiasts alike remember the hook “California knows know to party” from the electric bass-rich funk classic “West Coast Poplock.” And most folks who know what N.W.A. stands for might know an interpolation of the famous verse in the Dr. Dre and Tupac hit, “California Love.”
Originally from DC, Hudson is a contemporary of the late Troutman brothers (of Zapp) and mid-Atlantic legend Chuck Brown. He once worked for Isaac Hayes at Stax Records in Memphis as an in-studio player (notably on the Shaft theme.)
The bassist and singer-songwriter recently remastered the 1982 West Coast anthem and released Westcoastin’, an extended remix of the funk hit, with the help of DJ Flash. The mix features talent from the L.B.C. (Snoop Dogg) to Oak Town (Too Short). Hudson took a moment out to talk about his career and latest projects.
Tell me about your musical roots?
Actually, I was born and raised in Anacostia. At the age of 13, I took an interest in music and used to bang around on the guitar some. Later on, I became a bass player by way of a friend named Charles Harrington. From that point on, I became a pretty popular musician around the DC area.
You worked with Chuck Brown while in DC, yes?
When I started working with Chuck, he was coming up with the song “Bustin’ Loose.” I did part of the recording, but I never completed it.
When St. Vincent took the stage at the 9:30 Club on Saturday for part one of her two-night stay in DC, something magical happened. It wasn’t just the anticipation of the night’s performance that was about to happen before our eyes, and it wasn’t even the overly striking appearance of the evening’s supremely talented and toned siren. It was the culmination of both.
There was in fact this precise moment at the show’s beginning, when the spotlights first snapped on to reveal her captivating yet sullen profile, when you could feel every motion and sound in the venue slow down for just a few seconds—a lull in time if you will. The venue’s sold-out crowd went into a continuous roar to welcome the beloved singer back to DC to play her flawless set.
For St. Vincent (Annie Clark), her stunning stage presence and electrifying performance sits just atop the mere surface of her ever-evolving career. This multi-instrumentalist and now somewhat prolific vocalist/lyricist has planted some very deep roots along her musical journey. She has collaborated and recorded with indie-rock and new-wave music royalty, the likes of Andrew Bird, Bon Iver, Amanda Palmer of the Dresden Dolls, Michael Gira of Swans, The National, and David Bryne of the Talking Heads, with whom she released the collaborative album Love This Giant in 2012.
Being a musician and making a living at it ain’t easy, and there’s no better person to dish out advice than Thomas Blondet. Originally a DJ, then producer, Blondet is set to release FutureWorld on the Rhythm and Culture label. It’s officially out tomorrow, March 4.
He is also the co-founder of Rhythm and Culture, co-created with Farid Nouri. Nouri, too is a resident with the label and one of the founders of Eighteenth Street Lounge and Red (a dance club in DC from 1997 to 2005). The label’s mission is to inspire the community with “sultry infusions of soulful and exotic melodies.”
If he’s not DJing, he’s producing. If he’s not producing, he’s on an audio engineering project. But he was gracious to take some time out of his schedule to talk FutureWorld as well as some caveats that go with the tough business of being a musician.
Where does your affinity for global sounds come from?
I grew up all over the East Coast. I grew up in New York and Queens. And then I lived in South Florida, and we moved here to Virginia, the DC area, when I was 16, and now I live in DC, in Dupont.
So, we can conclude you have some colorful influences from moving around.
My mom is Croatian, so I hear a lot of that kind of music in the house. And I have other friends who were of different ethnicities and different nationalities growing up. Hanging out at their house, we’d be upstairs with the parents in the living room listening to Indian music or Persian music. We’d go upstairs and listen to hip hop or house music.
In west Philadelphia, born and raised…
Okay, so rock band Dr. Dog may not be from the same area as the Fresh Prince, but the six-piece is from Philly. Strongly inspired by legendary bands of the ’60s, Dr. Dog brings the sound of the Beatles and The Beach Boys to the present… adding their own hometown twist to it, of course. The band returned to their hometown this past winter to record their latest release, titled B-Room.
Dr. Dog is currently on their B-Room Tour, promoting the new album. Since their first show at the 9:30 Club, March 14, sold out, the band added another show to their tour. Saturday, March 15, Dr. Dog will be playing a second show at the 9:30 Club, and we’re giving away a pair of tickets.
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 Colossus, RJD2 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.