Category Archives: TVD Washington, DC

TVD Live: GWAR at Baltimore Soundstage, 12/13

PHOTOS: DAVE BARNHOUSER | Mae West was once quoted as saying, “All discarded lovers should be given a second chance, but with somebody else.” Nowhere is this more applicable than in the world of music. Some people move on, some grow apart, and others shed this mortal coil leaving a gap that can either be mended and healed or it becomes the death knell of a band. In the case of GWAR, the wound left by the passing of Dave Brockie, aka Oderus Urungus, has been cleaned, dressed, and is healing up quite nicely.

Saturday night at Baltimore Soundstage, GWAR made a triumphant return, closing out the first tour of this new era and ensuring the outlandish legacy of the Scumdogs continues to march forth.

After sitting in hellish traffic due to the annual Army-Navy football game, I arrived about halfway through American Sharks‘ set. I quickly determined that I was none too thrilled about this, because these guys absolutely rocked my pants off. Figuratively, of course. Soundstage was already a packed house, and the high voltage punk-tinged stoner rock from the stage was the perfect way to start the night. Thick, heavy riffs with a Detroit garage rock flair, their sound was very catchy without being cliché or boring.

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TVD Giveaway: Nicole Atkins exclusive meet and greet with signed Slow Phaser at the Rock and Roll Hotel, 12/19

Holy shit, we’re tired of ticket giveaways. I mean, let’s face it—if you’re into a band or artist, you’re not sitting around waiting for us to give some tickets away, your ass is right there when they go on sale or shortly thereafter. So, ticket giveaways? They award the lazy, if you ask me.

Which is why for a change, we’re delighted to turn the whole giveaway thing on its head and reward the converted. Enter our friend Nicole Atkins who plays the Rock and Roll Hotel this Friday night, 12/19.

We get it—you’re big fans (as are we) and you’ve purchased your tickets already. So, for you—we have something a bit special.

Nicole’s put aside 3 copies of one of our favorite releases of 2014—her latest, Slow Phaseron lovely 180 gram vinyl, don’tcha know—that she’s going to sign and personally put in the hands of 3 of you on Friday night. One thing we’ve learned about Nicole over the years is she’s a great hang (as we say in the Hills) so we’re thinking this is a cool way to simply say thank you for coming out.

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TVD Recommends: The Deadmen with Carrie Ashley Hill and Brandon Minow: A Benefit for Toys for Tots, DC9, 12/16

Tomorrow, December 16th, The Deadmen will play their down-home hearts out on the DC9 stage for a worthy cause.

The show will benefit Toys for Tots, so concert-goers are encouraged to bring a toy or two for a tiny tot in need (watch Justin Jones and Josh Read serenade their own tots with the first track off their self-titled EP below).

DC-based bandmates Josh Hoben, Justin Jones, and Josh Read seem to have hit on the ideal music-making formula. Each are accomplished singer-songwriters in their own right, but coming together for The Deadmen triggers a sense of refreshing collaboration. The result: smooth, authentic Americana.

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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 to find out ways to make democracy more inclusive for all people.

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TVD Ticket Giveaway: Olivia Jean at the Rock
and Roll Hotel, 12/12

Multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter Olivia Jean entered the spotlight as a part of garage-goth band The Black Belles. Now, she’s ventured into the realm of solo artist with her debut LP, Bathtub Love Killings via Jack White’s Third Man Records imprint.

As critic Jim DeRogatis noted last month, “Given the way she plays with pre-Beatles pop images, as well as how she relies on sultry delivery and plenty of attitude much more than on a perfect-pitch voice, the comparison between Olivia Jean and Lana Del Rey is inevitable. But as I made abundantly clear in my reviews of Born to Die and Ultraviolence, Lana’s bad girl posing is seriously undercut by her willingness to pander to the bad boys (possibly to the point of self-abuse), while Olivia isn’t playing anyone’s game but her own, much less serving as anyone’s doormat.

“This is what makes her a true child of Wanda Jackson, one of the many artists she’s backed as part of the Third Man family and house band, and more power to her.”

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Congo Sanchez, seeing 20/20 on the new Dealin’ With This

Percussionist. Producer. Humanist. Congo Sanchez has many issues on the dome. He uses his musical talent as an unapologetic way to speak to the social maladies of recent times. And the facts will inevitably outweigh the opinion. Listen to his latest effort, Dealin’ With This, in its entirety. It’s a very introspective album that challenges ideas of social exclusion, isolation, and marginalization.

Dealin’ is the first full album released under Sanchez’s label Herb Records. On it he assembles a crew of talent that represents the signature diversity of the District.

Sanchez oversaw the production of Dealin’ under the spiritual influence of talents such as Beck and Pink Floyd. Further, he says he views Miles Davis as an inspiration. About Miles, “his licks on the trumpet were the same, but he surrounded himself with musicians with different styles.”

On the subject of varying styles, the album features the vocal talents of band members Flex Mathews and Haile Supreme. Sanchez maintains a solid, fraternal relationship with the two vocalists. He says of the two, “We respect our musical intuitions very much, and there is no beating around the bush.” Mathews and Supreme’s mix of respective hip-hop and ethereal vocals are the center of the album’s narrative. In the track “Stand Beside Yourself,” Supreme’s meditative voice encourages the listener to look at DC from the outside-in.

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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 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 Ticket Giveaway: Death From Above 1979 at the 9:30 Club, 12/1

The boys are at it again! After announcing their break-up in 2006, Death from Above 1979 reunited in 2011 to appease the public demand for a performance, embarking on a year long tour. Three years later, the duo found themselves back on the road and back in the studio.

A decade since the release of their debut album You’re a Woman, I’m a Machine, the Canadian punk-rockers announced the release of their second album back in June. Titled The Physical World, Death from Above 1979’s latest release hit the online shelves this past September. According to Death from Above 1979 members Sebastien Grainger and Jesse Keeler, the album was “written and recorded between 2012 and 2014 in some real life Rorschach test where past and present are perfectly symmetrical and equally terrifying.”

In support of their album release, Death from Above 1979 is embarking on an international tour. The duo recently announced UK tour dates, but prior to crossing the pond, Grainger and Keeler are performing across the U.S. and Canada. Among their stops is a show at the 9:30 Club on Monday, December 1. Don’t have tickets yet? No worries, we’re giving away a pair!

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TVD Ticket Giveaway: The Dismemberment Plan with Priests at the 9:30 Club, 11/28

After a long interlude to pursue other careers, indie-rock band The Dismemberment Plan reunited back in 2010 to play a few shows and inevitably revive a new wave of dance punk music. Last year, the reunion extended into the studio, which produced comeback D-Plan album, Uncanney Valley. 

Formed in 1993, the DC indie-rockers paved the way for an era of dance punk, and even after the band—composed of Eric Axelson, Jason Caddell, Joe Easley, and Travis Morrison—called it quits in 2003 to pursue other goals, the fanbase they established in their prime years grew, allowing them to pick up where they left off eleven years later.

A comeback is not an easy task for most bands, but the four-piece makes it look simple. Between reissues of previous albums, the release of Uncanney Valley, and touring all over the world, The Dismemberment Plan is having a resurgence, continuing with the addition of three shows to a small string of performances. Among the three added dates is a show at the 9:30 Club on Friday, November 28—and we’re giving away a pair of tickets.

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