Category Archives: TVD Washington, DC

The Best of TVD’s Play Something Good with John Foster

TVD’s Play Something Good returns in September with all new—and all good—episodes. —Ed.

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: Sheer Mag at the Black Cat, 8/23

For all of the power and velocity of her screaming-mimi voice, Sheer Mag lead singer Tina Halladay can be awfully shy on stage.

Raging through the band’s headlining show Wednesday at the Black Cat in DC, she paused just once to talk, and then only to read off some info about how to aid the hundreds of protesters arrested during January’s inauguration and soon to go to trial. That brief message merged with the political underpinnings that emerge on the band’s recent full length LP, Need to Feel Your Love, starting with the bust-down-the-walls attack of their opening song, “Meet Me in the Street” and its anthemic chorus “Come on down and get in the mix / We get our kicks with bottles and bricks.”

There’s other sounds of resistance on the new work, which touches on disenfranchisement (“If you don’t give us the ballot, expect the bayonet”) and of an anti-Nazi warrior who was executed, “(Say Goodbye to) Sophie Scholl.” But what hits you at a Sheer Mag show is the overall sound—beneath Halladay’s peerless delivery are a rich array of time-honored riffs that have, since the last DC visit, broadened to include the sweet three-guitar attack.

An extra rhythm guitarist has been added to provide the basic riffs as Kyle Seely’s extends his tasty lead guitar toppings, wagging his head alongside bass playing brother Hart Seely to the joy of the music. In their shoulder length locks and mustaches, the siblings resemble a couple of dudes from Golden Earring. It’s that same kind of united rock precision that is their own musical golden ring. The extra guitarist frees lyricist Matt Palmer to move from guitar to keyboards and occasionally tambourine and other percussion.

Read More »

Posted in TVD Washington, DC | Leave a comment

The Best of TVD’s Play Something Good with John Foster

TVD’s Play Something Good returns in September with all new—and all good—episodes. —Ed.

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

A DC monument: The Cramps’ classic Bad music for bad people LP cover has its origins in the old 9:30 basement

Beginning in the late 1970s, The Cramps developed a large cult fan base in Washington, DC for a variety of reasons: our proximity to NYC, true champions in the music press (Joe Sasfy, Howard Wuelfing), regular college radio play at WGTB and WMUC, simpatico bands to play with (Slickee Boys, Tex Rubinowitz), but most notably, a series of unforgettable performances at the LBJ Club, Psyche Delly, Ontario Theater, and the Hall of Nations at Georgetown University. The Cramps became one of our own, and to this day are credited with altering the musical paths of many lives, including yours truly. (Outrageous Music Festival at Warner Theater in May 1979, Root Boy Slim didn’t have a chance).

The Cramps also launched concert promotion company I.M.P. as the first headliner they ever booked on May 29, 1980. Unfortunately, the band never showed up (and you can read about it here under “What happened when Sam gave up the Ontario?”) But 37 years ago today they did make it back, on a four band show that included Teen Idles, soon to spawn Minor Threat.

Another local who had the Cramps change his life is Steve Blickenstaff of Frederick, MD, the artist behind one of the most iconic album covers ever, The Cramps’ compilation Bad Music for Bad People released in 1984. And his story takes place at the hallowed ground known as 930 F Street. Here’s the story, in Steve’s own words.

So you’re Cramps fan from Frederick, MD?

Exactly. I grew up here. I remember the first album that was released was actually the Gravest Hits which wasn’t even a full album, it was sort of like an EP. That was the first thing that was released on IRS Records and as soon as I heard that I was immediately a fan.

Were you always a cartoonist?

Ever since I can remember I was always drawing cartoons and monsters and different kinds of illustrations, and pretty much out of high school I started doing stuff for fanzines—not really comic books, but t-shirt designs for bands, local friends’ bands, and things like that. And I kind of got more and more into it as time went on.

I still work for the school system in Frederick as a graphic designer, but I do a lot of freelance art on the side, so I do a lot of stuff for bands and things like that these days.

You were a fan of the Cramps and you started bringing them artwork when they would appear in DC?

Right, in fact, any time I saw them even outside of the city. I saw them in Pittsburgh, I’ve seen them in different places, but I would always give them artwork at every show.

Read More »

Posted in TVD Washington, DC | Leave a comment

The Best of TVD’s Play Something Good with John Foster

TVD’s Play Something Good returns in September with all new—and all good—episodes. —Ed.

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

The Best of TVD’s 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 Shots: Blondie, Garbage, and Deap Vally at Wolf Trap, 8/3

When legendary new-wavers Blondie conjure a co-headline tour with ‘90s alt-rock heavies Garbage, what you get is exactly what’s spelled out on the marquee, “Rage and Rapture.” Last Thursday evening their new tour mantra couldn’t have rung any truer, even under consistently stormy skies. In fact, fans outfitted with rain gear and umbrellas saturated the lawn at the Filene Center at Wolf Trap to watch 2 of the most prominent female voices in rock music perform, back to back.

The joint tour has carried Blondie and Garbage through most major US cities from California to New York since its start in July, and perhaps this tour was a long time in the making. After all, some 11 years ago in March of 2006, Shirley Manson gave the introductory speech that welcomed Blondie into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

To get the evening’s audience primed, the tour enlisted the help of LA garage-rock duo Deap Vally. Their punky retro-blues sound was a fitting addition. When Garbage ultimately hit the stage, there was a strange tension that wasn’t released until nearly halfway through their set, evident as Shirley Manson paced the stage in short circles like a wolf eyeing its prey. She was incredibly on point, almost fierce.

Read More »

Posted in TVD Washington, DC | Leave a comment

The Best of TVD’s 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 Shots:
PJ Harvey at Wolf
Trap, 7/21

Friday evening Wolf Trap’s Filene Center played host to one of the UK’s most prolific and eclectic indie artists, PJ Harvey, who in tandem with her nine-piece band of musicians took the stage with no opener to set a mood, but a dramatic one it would become.

PJ Harvey is no stranger to on-stage theatrics, but seeing her poised and repetitive motions live is an experience all its own. Her stage presence is beyond commanding, leading her backing band in every sense—feeling every note with moves set against a thundering bass drum.

This is particularly the case in songs such as “Down by the Water” and her set opener, “Chain of Keys.” It feels as if we’re privy to a story unfolding which adds a heightened dimension to the flow of the evening, as was the case with “The Ministry of Defense.” I swear I got goosebumps as every musician on stage chimed in for the chorus’s beautiful melodies for one of the most dramatic shows I’ve seen in many years.

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