Category Archives: TVD Washington, DC

Play Something Good with John Foster

The Vinyl District’s Play Something Good is a weekly radio show broadcast from Washington, DC.

Featuring a mix of songs from today to the 00s/90s/80s/70s/60s and giving you liberal doses of indie, psych, dub, post punk, americana, shoegaze, and a few genres we haven’t even thought up clever names for just yet. The only rule is that the music has to be good. Pretty simple.

Hosted by John Foster, world-renowned designer and author (and occasional record label A+R man), don’t be surprised to hear quick excursions and interviews on album packaging, food, books, and general nonsense about the music industry, as he gets you from Jamie xx to Liquid Liquid and from Courtney Barnett to The Replacements. The only thing you can be sure of is that he will never ever play Mac DeMarco. Never. Ever.

Read More »

Posted in TVD Washington, DC | Leave a comment

TVD Live: The Magnetic Fields at the Lincoln Theatre, 3/18 & 3/19

PHOTOS: RICHIE DOWNS | The Magnetic Fields has been known to write a whole lot of songs about one subject, the prime example being the epic 69 Love Songs that came on three discs and a boxed set in 1999. The 2004 album I had songs all starting with the letter i. Now, bandleader and writer Stephin Merritt accepted a more complex challenge from his record company. To mark his 50th birthday, it was suggested that he write one song for every year he’s been alive.

The resulting 50 Song Memoir, out this month on Nonesuch, was issued on five discs of 10 songs each. Its release is accompanied by a 12-city tour that brings all 50 songs, in order, over two nights at each city. Its second stop last weekend was Washington, DC, where nothing was going to stop the order of each evening—25 songs a night, no more no less. Even the death of Chuck Berry Saturday warranted only the slightest deviation from his scripted path, when he shouted “To Chuck!” before the planned performance of his sardonic “Rock ’n’ Roll Will Ruin Your Life.”

Merritt has been dabbling in stage musicals over the years—it’s a natural for his droll and melodic material. And the stage set up for 50 Song Memoir was nothing if not theatrical, with a pink-edged playroom with flowered wallpaper, festooned with all manner of toys, arcane instruments, tin doll houses, lunch boxes, robots, and animal creatures.

In the center, Merritt sits atop a red stool and reads from a music stand each confessional little reference to his upbringing. He played only fleetingly the occasional ukulele the first night, even fewer on night two, when he began with a percussive stick, affixed with bells, cymbals, a tambourine.

Read More »

Posted in TVD Washington, DC | Leave a comment

Play Something Good with John Foster

The Vinyl District’s Play Something Good is a weekly radio show broadcast from Washington, DC.

Featuring a mix of songs from today to the 00s/90s/80s/70s/60s and giving you liberal doses of indie, psych, dub, post punk, americana, shoegaze, and a few genres we haven’t even thought up clever names for just yet. The only rule is that the music has to be good. Pretty simple.

Hosted by John Foster, world-renowned designer and author (and occasional record label A+R man), don’t be surprised to hear quick excursions and interviews on album packaging, food, books, and general nonsense about the music industry, as he gets you from Jamie xx to Liquid Liquid and from Courtney Barnett to The Replacements. The only thing you can be sure of is that he will never ever play Mac DeMarco. Never. Ever.

Read More »

Posted in TVD Washington, DC | Leave a comment

TVD Live: Dan Baird
and Homemade Sin, Eric Ambel at Hill Country Barbecue, 3/16

PHOTOS: RICHIE DOWNS | It wasn’t just the overhyped blizzard that bedeviled gigs along the Eastern Seaboard last week. There were also more mundane barriers, like the missing drain plug in the oil tank of Eric Ambel’s Suburban that drained it just before he was to drive from New York for a gig at DC’s Hill Country Barbecue Thursday.

It put a big delay in travel plans, and caused the headlining half of the bill, Dan Baird and Homemade Sin, to go on early instead and play a few songs until Ambel and his band got there after 10. It worked out comfortably enough. The two have toured together before, and were even bandmates in the short-lived Yayhoos a decade ago.

So when the late coming openers got there, it was a very quick matter of plugging into the Homemade Sin equipment and sitting down at their drum set (which also proved that switchovers between bands need not be more than a few minutes). The two rockers are also pursuing the same riff-fueled dirt road too with revved-up Chuck Berry riffs and a kind of raucous Faces mindset making way for the kind of rock soloing that is increasingly now only heard in classic rock stations.

Read More »

Posted in TVD Washington, DC | Leave a comment

Play Something Good with John Foster

The Vinyl District’s Play Something Good is a weekly radio show broadcast from Washington, DC.

Featuring a mix of songs from today to the 00s/90s/80s/70s/60s and giving you liberal doses of indie, psych, dub, post punk, americana, shoegaze, and a few genres we haven’t even thought up clever names for just yet. The only rule is that the music has to be good. Pretty simple.

Hosted by John Foster, world-renowned designer and author (and occasional record label A+R man), don’t be surprised to hear quick excursions and interviews on album packaging, food, books, and general nonsense about the music industry, as he gets you from Jamie xx to Liquid Liquid and from Courtney Barnett to The Replacements. The only thing you can be sure of is that he will never ever play Mac DeMarco. Never. Ever.

Read More »

Posted in TVD Washington, DC | Leave a comment

Play Something Good with John Foster

The Vinyl District’s Play Something Good is a weekly radio show broadcast from Washington, DC.

Featuring a mix of songs from today to the 00s/90s/80s/70s/60s and giving you liberal doses of indie, psych, dub, post punk, americana, shoegaze, and a few genres we haven’t even thought up clever names for just yet. The only rule is that the music has to be good. Pretty simple.

Hosted by John Foster, world-renowned designer and author (and occasional record label A+R man), don’t be surprised to hear quick excursions and interviews on album packaging, food, books, and general nonsense about the music industry, as he gets you from Jamie xx to Liquid Liquid and from Courtney Barnett to The Replacements. The only thing you can be sure of is that he will never ever play Mac DeMarco. Never. Ever.

Read More »

Posted in TVD Washington, DC | Leave a comment

Play Something Good with John Foster

The Vinyl District’s Play Something Good is a weekly radio show broadcast from Washington, DC.

Featuring a mix of songs from today to the 00s/90s/80s/70s/60s and giving you liberal doses of indie, psych, dub, post punk, americana, shoegaze, and a few genres we haven’t even thought up clever names for just yet. The only rule is that the music has to be good. Pretty simple.

Hosted by John Foster, world-renowned designer and author (and occasional record label A+R man), don’t be surprised to hear quick excursions and interviews on album packaging, food, books, and general nonsense about the music industry, as he gets you from Jamie xx to Liquid Liquid and from Courtney Barnett to The Replacements. The only thing you can be sure of is that he will never ever play Mac DeMarco. Never. Ever.

Read More »

Posted in TVD Washington, DC | Leave a comment

TVD Live: John Doe at Jammin Java, 2/21

PHOTO: JIM HERRINGTON | It’s a long road from the throbbing epicenter of Los Angeles punk origins to an acoustic Tuesday night gig at a suburban Northern Virginia strip mall, but John Doe has made that road work for him, turning his fame in the occasionally revived X to a solid solo career of dusty, windswept Americana.

Those songs are usually served up with a wallop and a twang with a band behind him, but he returned to Jammin Java in Vienna, VA carrying only a guitar or two. He’s a big enough personality to carry it off, bringing a passion and hard-won skill on the nylon strings to create a driving sound, even when he pulled up a few from the X songbook.

Playing solo gave him a certain versatility as well and once he opened the door to requests, he played some old songs he hadn’t done in some time—some of them perfect for the barroom setting, like the swaggering “Dyin’ to Get Home” from his first solo album, Meet John Doe. Asking for requests is a Pandora’s box—he may have strayed from any intent to feature songs from his latest collection, last year’s The Westerner, but being back in the Middle Atlantic put him in mind of the days the Illinois native spent in Baltimore, before he moved to Los Angeles and helped start the punk scene he writes of in Under the Black Sun (whose audio book version was up for a Grammy this month).

His official bio talks about living in “the rural black community of Simpsonville, MD,” graduating from Antioch College when it had an outpost in Charm City and working as “a roofer, aluminum siding mechanic, and ran a poetry reading series.” Doe must have also picked up on the bluegrass roots of the region, mentioning it a couple of times and pulling up, by request, his version of Merle Haggard’s “Silver Wings,” the Jimmie Driftwood oddity “He Had a Long Chain On” played with an urgency, and suggesting that the final song in the encore be picked up by bluegrass bands—the Knitters’ “The Call of the Wreckin’ Ball,” perhaps the only song around about poultry stomping.

Read More »

Posted in TVD Washington, DC | Leave a comment

TVD Live: Lee Fields & The Expressions at the Rock & Roll Hotel, 2/18

Round about showtime Saturday night as the young backing band the Expressions were churning out the cool and lightly funky sounds of the past the way serious students from Greenpoint, Brooklyn could do in their matching paisley tux jackets, out came the front man in his sparkly blue tux jacket.

Lee Fields was taking that long walk down the hall from the Rock & Roll Hotel’s green room to its modest stage, but it might have been a longer walk still, back to the Stax era chitlin circuit, bringing with him the grit of a lifetime in rhythm and soul, the yearnings of its heartbreak songs, the insistence of its endurance.

It’s a long road, but Fields, at 65 or so, is the standard-bearer of a kind of soul that was swept away by disco and dance records or was otherwise relegated to the oldies bin. Like Charles Bradley or the late Sharon Jones, he’s found his niche with an ace bunch of enablers, in his case the six piece Expressions who frame his songs and keep it going as he extends the tunes, extolls the audience to clap along, or breaks it down.

The soul man is an endangered species and Fields keeps it going, not wth a lot of amped-up funkified flash, but with a smoother mid-tempo, accommodating aching ballads or promises of fidelity.

Read More »

Posted in TVD Washington, DC | Leave a comment

Play Something Good with John Foster

The Vinyl District’s Play Something Good is a weekly radio show broadcast from Washington, DC.

Featuring a mix of songs from today to the 00s/90s/80s/70s/60s and giving you liberal doses of indie, psych, dub, post punk, americana, shoegaze, and a few genres we haven’t even thought up clever names for just yet. The only rule is that the music has to be good. Pretty simple.

Hosted by John Foster, world-renowned designer and author (and occasional record label A+R man), don’t be surprised to hear quick excursions and interviews on album packaging, food, books, and general nonsense about the music industry, as he gets you from Jamie xx to Liquid Liquid and from Courtney Barnett to The Replacements. The only thing you can be sure of is that he will never ever play Mac DeMarco. Never. Ever.

Read More »

Posted in TVD Washington, DC | Leave a comment
  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


  • Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text
  • Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text