Category Archives: TVD Washington, DC

TVD Live Shots:
The DC Record Fair at
the Eaton DC, 6/30

PHOTOS: RICHIE DOWNS | After a decade in regular rotation, the enthusiasm for the DC Record Fair appears to not be waning one bit as its Summer 2019 edition exhibited. At a brand new location, the Eaton Workshop in downtown Washington, DC, a line formed early on Sunday on June 30 and kept apace all day long. Perhaps it was the free entry? Who knows.

What we do know is that TVD’s ace photographer Richie Downs spent some time documenting the fair for us before we went on our annual summer (sanity) break. Click through for his coverage.

And watch this space for an announcement of perhaps a Autumn event as there’s plenty spinning around the fair at the moment.

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The DC Record Fair Summer 2019 Edition comes to the Eaton
DC, 6/30

Back in its 10th year is Washington, DC’s twice yearly record rummage, The DC Record Fair which comes to Washington’s vinyl and community centric Eaton Hotel on Sunday, June 30, 2019. 

As with each event, we’ll have 40+ vinyl vendors from up and down the East Coast, the special DJ line up, the bar, food—and hey, keep your wallet in your pocket for this one as the event is free of charge for the entire day.

Our friends at the Fillmore Silver Spring put together the above feature a little while back that provides a handy overview of the event for the uninitiated.

The DC Record Fair Summer 2019 DJs:
11AM – 12PM – Anna Connolly
12PM – 1PM – Crown Vic’s Weird World with Area Woman
1PM – 2PM- Marcelo Bentine (BaTiDa! DC)
2PM – 3PM – D-Skillz
3PM – 4PM – Kenny Megan
4PM – 5PM – Les the DJ

Mark your calendars! 
THE DC RECORD FAIR

Sunday, June 30, 2019 at the Eaton DC, 1201 K Street, NW DC
11:00AM–5:00PM—and free all day!

RSVP and follow via the Facebook invite!

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TVD Live: The Minus 5 and Dot Dash at the Rock and Roll Hotel, 6/25

PHOTOS: RICHIE DOWNS | The recovery from a stroke in 2017 remains a source of celebration surrounding rocker Scott McCaughey. He’s surrounded by musicians who have been friends of his for years, is writing slightly more reflective songs following his brush with mortality, and still rocking out with a verve that may surprise even him. Fronting the latest version of The Minus 5 at the Rock & Roll Hotel in Washington, he flitted between his band’s latest collection, Stroke Manor, some sturdy classics from the band’s past, and some choice covers.

Only last month he and three others from the current band were in town as part of another group, Corin Tucker’s pointedly political Filthy Friends. And here again, like a personal support committee, were guitarists Peter Buck and Kurt Bloch and terrific drummer Linda Pitmon. To them were added Joe Adragna on vocals (and a fourth guitar, albeit acoustic) and Mike Mills on bass. To back McCaughey’s sometimes thin vocals, everybody but the hangdog Buck chipped in with harmonies. Having both Buck and Mills—fully half of R.E.M.—on a small stage was a throwback to the early days of their famous Athens band (McCaughey was supplemental musician on a lot of their final tours so the pedigree went even stronger).

Still, who expected them to ring out a version of “(Don’t Go Back to) Rockville” with Mills on lead vocals, to start the encores, a thrilling little rock moment in a club. It was one of a few very well-chosen covers of the night. They had been pairing the doleful “Beatles Forever” with that band’s “Nowhere Man,” which sounds pretty good live with Buck picking the 12-string Rickenbacker. But McCaughey veered from his planned set by adding the Kinks’ “Where Have All the Good Times Gone?” which took a minute for everyone to recall the chord changes.

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TVD Live Shots: Priests and Mock Identity at the 9:30 Club, 6/15

Touring to support their new studio album The Seduction of Kansas, Priests hit the 9:30 Club stage on Saturday night for a late, late show that was billed as a record release event. Along for the ride were the gritty fellow DC natives, Mock Identity.

Priests’ new record was released in April of this year on their own label, Sister Polygon Records. The album marks the band’s second full length effort following 2017’s Nothing Feels Natural. The new record has made mostly positive waves among music critics and judging by the support they have established here in DC, there’s nothing standing in the way of this band’s success.

Priests have been on the road now for the past three months playing shows scattered throughout the northeastern US and northern Europe, and the 9:30 Club stop was less of a homecoming than a kick-off to part two of their US tour. The band will now travel out west to California by way of the south.

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TVD Live Shots: Glen Hansard and Junior Brother at the Lincoln Theatre, 6/3

Touring to promote his latest release This Wild Willing, Glen Hansard brought his talents and his live show to the Lincoln Theatre in Washington, DC for an unforgettable performance this past Monday evening.

The performance marked Hansard’s last US stop on the current leg of his tour before European dates start on June 9th in Amsterdam. Hansard will play a few more US shows this year with stops in Chicago and a few California dates in September.

His album, This Wild Willing was released in April of 2019 to critical acclaim. This record marks Hansard’s forth solo effort and his third overall release in less than four years, including work with his more rockish project, The FramesThis Wild Willing is a departure from his most recent work and is perhaps Hansards most ambitious project to date.

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TVD Live: Filthy Friends and Dressy Bessy at U Street Music Hall, 5/20

FILTHY FRIENDS PHOTOS: JOHN CLARK | Women rule the world, or at least they did at DC’s U Street Music Hall in a rockin’ Monday night show by Filthy Friends with Dressy Bessy.

The oddly named Friends are a kind of supergroup led by Corin Tucker of Sleater-Kinney that also features Peter Buck of R.E.M., Scott McCaughey and Kurt Bloch of Young Fresh Fellows, and the ace drummer Linda Pitmon who worked with Buck and McCaughey in the Baseball Project.

Great to see such adept musicians in such close confines. And as solid as the musicians’ credits are, it was clear that it was Tucker’s band, as she tore through songs that seemed especially changed and pointed as performed a couple of miles from the White House. The proximity seemed to add extra punch in her delivery, wringing emotion in the opening accusations of “November Man” sang with the spite of a “Masters of War,” about a leader for whom “we don’t have no love.”

Then there’s the inhumanity of child separation at the border in “Angels” (“What monster holds their fate tonight?”) and the sheer surreal state of contemporary American life in “Only Lovers are Broken” (“My head spins and the world turns madly are we almost on the brink?”).

Much of the band’s new Kill Rock Stars album Emerald Valley has to do with environmental warnings, from the title song to “Pipeline” and “The Elliott.” about the desecration of forests. But Tucker has a way to make the personal political too from the urban story of “One Flew East” to the more tender lines of “Hey Lacey,” which began the three song encore backed by just two guitars.

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TVD Live Shots: DC101’s Kerfuffle with Greta
Van Fleet, Young the Giant, Tom Morello, The Revivalists, Shaed, and The Blue Stones, 5/19

DC101’s one day music festival, Kerfuffle returned to the woodlands at Merriweather Post Pavilion for its annual romp amongst the trees last Sunday. This year’s lineup featured a diverse mix of sounds ranging from electro-pop to straight ahead rock and roll.

At the top of the heap were the evening’s headliners, Greta Van Fleet. The four piece group from Frankenmuth, Michigan really added something special to the lineup. The outfit is made up of brother’s Josh, Jake, and Sam Kiszka along with drummer Danny Wagner. On top of being skillful musicians, the fellas couldn’t be more down to earth. We had the pleasure of taking them record shopping at DC’s Som Records in the midst of their US tour last year, and they couldn’t have been more humble despite their large scale success.

Although the band has been criticized for their retro sound, the truth is that Greta Van Fleet is making music their own way, garnering a Grammy Award for Best Rock Album in 2019 for From the Fires and an iHeartRadio Music Award for “Safari Song” in the same year. They also grabbed Loudwire’s ”Best New Artist” award in 2017 and rock aficionado, Eddie Trunk of SiriusXM’s “Trunk Nation” on the Volume channel has said “they’re an important band and they’re keeping rock alive!”

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TVD Live: Ex Hex and The Messthetics at the 9:30 Club, 5/10

PHOTOS: RICHIE DOWNSMixed amid the sheer exhilaration of an Ex Hex gig at the 9:30 Club is the added pride of a hometown date. The DC rockers led by Mary Timony, once of Helium, Wild Flag, and Autoclave, quite rightfully nearly sold out the place, but I’m wondering why the trio isn’t selling out everywhere they go.

The songs are catchy, the guitars rock out, the female harmonies alternately bracing and empowering. Female-led bands aren’t the novelty they once were, thankfully, and the trio has moved into trying to recreate the crunching, double-guitar attack of arena rock. But they’re better than that, with catchier songs that are smarter and more fun. One quietly has to be happy they aren’t bigger than they are, or they’d be in some cavernous theater or arena instead of a cozier rock club.

Closing out a six-week US tour to boost their newest release on Merge, It’s Real, the band seemed as fresh as if starting it, a big neon logo behind them underscoring their determination to glow. Topping a bill that also boasted the best of DC rock, particularly The Messthetics, the instrumental power trio of guitar whiz Anthony Pirog with the Fugazi rhythm section of Brendan Canty on drums and Joe Lally on bass, the night seemed to make a case of the health of rock in the Nation’s Capital.

Ex Hex is almost sunny compared to their darker sound, but there’s every indication that Timony wants to stretch things out on guitar as well, even if her songs seem best suited to be short and exuberantly punchy as anything from the Ramones. She means to get more textures and aggressive sharpness with every release, though, with a couple of the tracks on It’s Real clocking in at over five minutes.

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TVD Live Shots: Judas Priest and Uriah Heep at The Anthem, 5/12

On tour to support their 18th studio album, Firepower, Judas Priest hit the stage hard at The Anthem in DC last Sunday night. Delivering a heavy metal assault upon the District’s audience, the UK metal masters proved once again that they are still reigning kings of the genre they created.

Rob Halford took the stage decked out in a long purple cloak, a purple jacket and top hat, with a blinged out skull adorned staff and his commanding persona for the set opener “Necromancer.” “Heading Out to the Highway” and “Chains” followed as they blazed through their set. Some highlights of the night were classics, “Killing Machine” and “Victim of Changes,” but the peak arrived with the band’s “Hell Bent for Leather” as Halford rode his motorcycle out on stage to thunderous cheers from the audience. Judas Priest finished their set with true classics “Breaking the Law” and “Living After Midnight.”

Metal veterans, Uriah Heep served as the night’s openers and and set the tone quite ably. After 50 years in the music business, the road warriors’ musicianship is unmatched and their stage presence is a force all its own. Lead singer, Bernie Shaw lead their attack as they served the gathering crowd a big dose of—in your face metal.

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TVD Live: Maren Morris at The Anthem, 5/2

PHOTOS: RICHIE DOWNSMaren Morris paused a couple of times in her splashy headlining show at The Anthem in DC to take it all in.

It was her largest sellout to date, with 6,000 people, and just about everybody in the young, largely female crowd knew every lyric of her new album, which she only released a couple of months ago.

Its messages of empowerment, love, and occasional loss strike a chord, even if its genre transcends its Nashville roots. There was nary a note in the 100 minute show you’d identify with country music. Even when she picked up an acoustic guitar to sing “A Song to Everything,” its references were to Springsteen, Katy Perry, and Coldplay.

Morris may have come up writing songs recorded by Tim McGraw, but she’s no more country than Taylor Swift these days. In fact, it’s her voice on last year’s ubiquitous dance record, “The Middle,” with which she closed her big show, that brought her a large new audience.

Her main pop influence though, judging from how often it surfaced in the show, is Beyonce, particularly her uplifting “Halo,” which was not only covered at the tail end of “Second Wind,” but seemed to have incorporated into the title song to her new album, Girl, which kicked off the show.

From atop a staircase lined with lights, Morris arose from a hydraulic lift in a glittery cape, boots and hotpants. With a five man band seeming to augment unseen tapes, her voice is precise and soaring, so much so that it’s surprising that she was set on becoming only a songwriter before someone talked her into doing her own songs.

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TVD Live: Jakob Dylan, Cat Power, and Jade Castrinos at the Lincoln Theatre, 4/27

Jakob Dylan grew up amid his own small-town musical crossroads—Woodstock—but the subject of his new documentary is the one that flourished on the other side of the country in Los Angeles’ bohemian Laurel Canyon in the late 1960s. An added treat to his bringing the film to festivals ahead of its release is accompanying it with a live performance much like the one captured in Echo in the Canyon—accompanied by Cat Power and Jade Castrinos.

Their eight-song set at the Lincoln Theater Saturday, kicking off the Washington DC International Film Festival, included some of the highlights from the film, which had its origins with a 2015 all-star concert saluting the era that also included Beck and Regina Spektor. But it also veered into areas the film did not because of time.

A documentary on Laurel Canyon could focus on the singer songwriter heights of Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt, the Eagles and the eventual formation of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. Or it could look at the epicenter of experimentalism that was Frank Zappa’s home base. Or that Jim Morrison wrote “Love Street” for the Doors about the vicinity.

Instead, the directorial debut of Andrew Slater, the former president of Capitol Records, with Dylan as the interviewer, focuses intently on a few bands—the Byrds in particular, but also Buffalo Springfield, the Mamas and the Papas, and the Beach Boys, whose Brian Wilson lived there while writing Pet Sounds. Although CS&N all are on camera, the narrative never reaches the point where they form their trio.

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TVD Live: Robyn Hitchcock at the Barns
at Wolf Trap, 4/11

Age is only helping Robyn Hitchcock settle into his role as wizened surrealist singer and mystic storyteller.

More than 45 years after starting his first band, the founder of the Soft Boys who went on to fronting the Egyptians and a long, accomplished solo career is a unique troubadour—a singer who can create a splendid musical reverie of abject strangeness and splendid ’60s chords while freestyling fantastical spoken word tales between songs as he tuned.

In a nicely balanced show last week among the wonderfully rough-hewn beams of The Barns at Wolf Trap in rural Virginia, Hitchcock, 66, played guitar and sang, blew some harmonica, and began a second set at a Steinway piano. His tousled hair now white, he also divided his attire between a seasonally-attuned flowered shirt with birds on it and another that portended the coming summer, with a popsicle pattern.

Songs fluctuated from nifty obscurities to former MTV staples, with crowd-pleasers like “Balloon Man” and “Madonna of the Wasps” amid things like the opening “Man with a Woman’s Shadow,” and more recent “Light Blue Afternoon.”

The selection from his latest self-titled album is his closest stab at straight-ahead country, “I Pray When I’m Drunk,” though it sounded less so live. He had a new single he was selling too, so he sang the pleasing “Sunday Never Comes.”

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TVD Live: Nick Lowe & Los Straitjackets at The Hamilton, 4/7

Nick Lowe is calling his tour with Los Straitjackets the “Quality Rock & Roll Revue” and it’s no idle boast. The cool, memorable songs of Lowe with his smooth, elder statesman air, combined with the funhouse snarl of the twangin’ Straitjackets, in their Mexican wrestling masks and goofy stage presence, makes for pretty well-balanced entertainment. With Nashville singer Dawn Landes rounding out the bill as opener at The Hamilton Live in DC, it made for a pretty satisfying evening.

The quality descriptor, though, probably originates from Lowe’s 2013 Christmas album Quality Street, the subsequent holiday tours for which also involved Los Straitjackets, who had a couple Christmas albums of their own. When the band recorded its own instrumental tribute to Lowe, What’s So Funny About Peace, Love And… two years ago, it was practically a job application to become a permanent backing collaborator with the English songwriter.

And while their stage union surprisingly tended to slow down formerly breakneck gems like “Heart of the City” and “I Knew the Bride (When She Used to Rock ’n’ Roll”), their entwined touring by now has resulted not only in finding Lowe songs that bring out the best of each act — “Shting-Shtang” among them — they are also creating new recordings that show how well their shared sensibilities — and love for classic ’50s pop and rock — have meshed.

On a pair of fun EPs, the latest of which is “Trombone” on YepRoc, they provided timeless sounding ballads like “Blue on Blue” as well as super well-chosen oldies, like “Raincoat in the River,” an obscure single from Aussie rocker Dig Richards that fits right in the knowing Lowe groove.

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TVD Live: Mark Eitzel, Living Room Show, Wheaton, MD, 4/5

PHOTO: MARK HOLTHUSEN | It was billed as a living room concert, and the entire Mark Eitzel tour dubbed “Living Room Tsunami.” So it was a little bit surprising when the secret DC area location, once payment was made, turned out to be an Irish bar in Wheaton, MD.

It could have been another barroom show except that the house concert vibe prevailed—a rapt, absolutely silent crowd hanging on his every word; even the bartenders refraining from clinking glasses or turning on blenders for the duration of the early evening performance.

Eitzel for his part began the show in comfortable chair surrounded by a couple of guitars, a rug at his feet, by switching on the stage lights himself from a wall switch behind his head. From there, he dived into the kind of soulful, expressive singing that marked his work since the days of American Music Club.

At 60, with his newscap and dark beard, he certainly looked at home in the Irish barroom appointed with wood and Guinness mirrors, a fake fireplace flickering in the corner. And nothing seemed missing from his rich, aching voice, made even more effective by the fact that it was unamplified for the whole of the 14-song session.

The lingering regrets in his haunting songs remained as well, from the opening “Western Sky” to the intimacy of “All My Love” (and its lyric “I’ll be the match that holds your fire”). Those were both songs from his days with American Music Club, whose music dominated the show. But he also sang mournfully of the abusive relationship described as a chain in the newest song, “Nothing and Everything,” oddly the only selection from his latest album, 2017’s Hey, Mr. Ferryman.

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TVD Live Shots: Jawbreaker, War on Women, and Pohgoh at The Anthem, 3/28

If you had asked me prior to Jawbreaker’s show at The Anthem in Washington, DC last Thursday evening (3/28), I would’ve told you that I didn’t really know how to feel about it.

I’m sentimental, sometimes to a fault. I left Jawbreaker back at the old Black Cat in the ‘90s when everything about the band was perfect. The thought of seeing a band that I cared about so much at a huge, more commercial venue brought out the old punk-ish, snobby attitude in me. I mean come on, the band’s rich history includes all the hallmarks of DIY to their core, so it’s a little weird to see them at Anthem’s 6,000 capacity room—but what the hell, it’s happening all the same.

I really have nothing to bitch about. I am super fortunate that I was able to have seen Jawbreaker play numerous times in the 1990s during the height of their punkdom at clubs like DC Space, Black Cat, and even once at ABC No Rio in New York City. Thursday, I got to see them play DC again after more than twenty years since their last show here, and I’ll certainly take it.

Jawbreaker’s long hiatus was due to a falling out between bandmates Schwarzenbach and Bauermeister which led to a really ugly breakup, including a good old fashioned fist fight between the two during a tour. The dissolution of the band came at the oddest of times for Jawbreaker, just after they had signed to a major label and were earmarked for certain commercial success.

During their extremely long career pause, Jawbreaker never left the hearts of their core fans. Their musical and lyrical style is so unique to their genre, and it’s clear that they have influenced many bands that have followed—acts like Fall Out Boy, Face to Face, and My Chemical Romance to name a few. In 2017 Jawbreaker was announced as the headliner for the final night of Riot Fest in Chicago, and instead of a one-off reunion, Jawbreaker just started playing shows again leading to their current East Coast tour.

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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