Author Archives: Kelly Kettering

TVD Vinyl Giveaway: The Good Natured’s Skeleton EP

At twenty years old, most of us are settled into dorm room life away at college, or perhaps working some minimum wage job in food service or retail. But Sarah McIntosh has surpassed such young adult normalcy and is instead the frontwoman for the English electro-pop band The Good Natured.

The band has had three self-produced albums before this and we are happy to announce that we are giving away one 10″ vinyl copy of their UK EP release Skeleton—in advance of their US debut on Astralwerks (also called Skeleton) which will be available on October 25.

As she told us, vinyl has had a positive influence on Sarah and her brother Hamish, The Good Natured’s guitar player.

“Hamish and I are brother and sister, and our parents have always been really into music,” Sarah said. “When we were growing up we always listened to their vinyl collection, mostly records from their youth like Depeche Mode and Tears For Fears. Their vinyl collection really inspired us from a young age, and has had a big influence on our sound.”

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TVD Ticket Giveaway: GWAR at the 9:30 Club, Thurs 10/20

Ah, Gwar. Just from taking a look at them (and once you look, it’s hard to look away), you can only think of one word: Metal.

But shortly, a few others follow. Namely, “gore,” “blood,” “guts,” and “grotesque.” And what metal fan doesn’t love those things?

To get your own personal access to the metal mayhem, you can win a pair of tickets to this Thursday’s (10/20) show at 9:30 Club!

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TVD Ticket Giveaway: Deer Tick at the 9:30 Club, 10/16

Deer Tick is going raw, and I don’t mean organic food.

With their new album Divine Providence, a name which harkens back to the capital of their home state of Rhode Island, and a web page that seems to harken back to the beta days of “you’ve got mail,” this band wants to put everything right up front.

Their website discusses how they have been both “accurately and innacurately” labeled as having a folk and country tone and hope their new work evokes an impure sound and a live concert vibe. To arrange this ambience, the band brought in producers Adam Landry and Justin Collins. These producers had previously worked with Deer Tick guitarist/vocalist John McCauley on his folk/indie super group side project Middle Brother, of which Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes and Matt Vasquez of Delta Spirit are also members.

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Posted in TVD Washington, DC | 21 Comments

TVD Vinyl Giveaway: Feist’s Metals

You most likely know Feist from her 2007 song “1234” that gained fame appearing in iPod Touch commercials and featured a cute video that seemed to indirectly promote all things American Apparel.

Four years later, Leslie Feist has matured her sound and created a more raw and earth-toned record, juxtaposingly titled Metals, where the elements of nature come across in the album art as well as the music. You can stream four songs from the new album at the top (with a valid email address). And in honor of its release today, we are giving away one vinyl copy!

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Posted in TVD Washington, DC | 14 Comments

TVD Live: Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. at
The Red Palace, 9/22

I’ve always tried to use the term “pop music” loosely, but Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. really takes it all over the map.

Best known for wearing Nascar racing outfits onstage, the band took things to a different place on this tour. First, they came out in matching “Corporations Are People Too” t-shirts in promotion of their new album It’s A Corporate World. This is clearly an ironic twist, as I think everyone who has seen or heard this band would agree that a few young dudes from Detroit with scraggly long hair that play in an eccentric pop band would be the last individuals to be a part of a corporation.

But whatever the band’s actual attitude on corporations is, it is definitely clear they still strongly hold onto their hometown love for Detroit.

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TVD Vinyl Giveaway: Amy LaVere’s
Stranger Me

Tender and sweet, yet pale and dissonant, Amy LaVere is a singer that has a wonderful voice for songs that are beautiful, but are often somber and sorrowful.

Such emotion is certainly reflected in her latest album, Stranger Me, whose title track you can give a listen.

Amy LaVere | Stranger Me

This album was produced by Craig Silvey, who has also worked with the Arcade Fire. He spoke about recording this album with Amy:

And because we simply can’t stop giving things away, you can enter to win your own vinyl copy of Stranger Me!

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Posted in TVD Washington, DC | 7 Comments

TVD Vinyl Giveaway: The Gourds’ Old Mad Joy

Listening to The Gourds is light and easy, with a touch of honky tonk. Hailing from Austin, Texas, this band has a sound and a storytelling quality reminiscent of John Prine or even Randy Newman, which can be discernibly heard on their tenth and latest record, Old Mad Joy.

This is the band’s first release with Vanguard Records (Indigo Girls, Merle Haggard) but the comfy, down-home quality of their music has stayed the same. Even when they are doing a cover of West coast rapper Snoop Dogg’s “Gin and Juice”, the band transforms the song from hip hop to folk and makes it all their own.

For your chance to win your own vinyl copy of Old Mad Joy, please enter in the comments below your favorite rap or hip hop cover by a non-hip hop artist.

For example, “Bitches Ain’t Shit” by Ben Folds.

The winner must have a mailing address in the continental United States or Canada and will be chosen one week from today, on Thursday, September 22nd.

Posted in TVD Washington, DC | 2 Comments

TVD Vinyl Prize Pack Giveaway: Citay’s Dream Get Together

Dead Oceans is a record label that houses many noted bands, including The Tallest Man on Earth, Dirty Projectors, Bishop Allen, and Citay, an indie/pop rock outfit from San Francisco.

The band was first formed in 2004 as a studio project, but they have now blossomed into a full live group.

Tonight, they play the Black Cat with Fruit Bats and Vetiver, but if you’re not in DC, you can still check them out via their video for “Dream Get Together,” the song from the album of the same name.

Today’s giveaway includes a vinyl copy of the album as well as two Citay posters.

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Posted in TVD Washington, DC | 7 Comments

TVD Ticket and Vinyl Giveaway: Tennis System at RnR, 9/17

DC’s H Street Festival will be teeming with District pride this Saturday, and so it only seems appropriate that a local band will be headling a show at H Street’s Rock and Roll Hotel that night.

Returning home for this show after their recent relocation to LA, Tennis System is an indie rock band with dissonant vibrato guitar and some noise elements a la Battles that make them a sonically interesting listen on record but an even more fun and eclectic live performance.

And today, you can have both, as TVD is giving away a pair of tickets to their show this Saturday and a vinyl copy of their new LP, Teenagers.

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TVD Live: Virgin Mobile FreeFest at MPP, 9/10

By Kelly Kettering, Jenn Bress, and Olivia Ung
Photo Credit: Amy Willard and David Nguyen

Last Saturday, Virgin Mobile FreeFest returned to Merriweather Post Pavilion for its third year running as the best free show in America, brought to us courtesy of those fun-loving Brits and IMP. We managed to see every single band on our list, plus more! You can’t see it, but we’re all curtsying over here. You may applaud.

Somehow we made it in time to see Bombay Bicycle Club at the Pavilion, even though getting into the festival was a discombobulated nightmare. Come on FreeFest, when you have a huge amount of press who have special access to the festival, it’s probably a good idea to communicate to your staff of twelve-year-old boys what the deal is. To their credit, they were dealing with having to rearrange plans because of the monsoon and resulting mud from the days just prior, including having to actually move one of the stages. They also made it up to us in free Press Tent burritos from California Tortilla, and we were all lucky that the sun was shining and that the skies were clear for the majority of the day.

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Posted in TVD Washington, DC | 3 Comments

TVD Live: Grouplove
at The Black Cat, 9/9

To me, the word ‘grouplove’ sounds like something reflecting the ’60s hippie era, and when I first looked up at the stage of The Black Cat and saw the LA-based “freak-folk” band Grouplove, my general suspicions were confirmed; after all, the shortest haircut belonged to the only female member of the quintet.

However today’s hippie is more American Apparel Brooklyn hipster and less Aquarius loving Haight-Ashbury. To achieve this extra 2011 edginess, bands with a seemingly chipper attitude do things like name their debut album Never Trust A Happy Song. Or, they chop up their nemeses with an ax, like in this video for “Colours”:

But after seeing them peform live, they don’t fool me; this is a happy band. Energetic, perky and colorful Cosby sweater-wearing, they delighted the crowd with catchy tunes, including one I particularly enjoyed, “Itchin’ On A Photograph.

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TVD Vinyl Giveaway: Sloan’s The Double

Sloan is one of those bands that is probably an influence of a lot of bands you like, you just don’t know it. Originally starting out with a heavier, more guitar-driven sound, the band was once called Canada’s answer to Nirvana (if that gives you a hint as to how long they have been around).

Sloan plays with more of a poppy melody and harmonizing mindset these days, and that sound is showcased well in their new album, The Double Cross, which one lucky reader can win a vinyl copy of today.

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Posted in TVD Washington, DC | 8 Comments

TVD Ticket Giveaway: The Low Anthem
with William Elliott Whitmore at the 9:30
Club, Thurs 9/15

A lot of great music today has a lot of pomp and circumstance (see: Lady GaGa, Kanye West, Gwar), but sometimes the best songs are sung with a quiet, cooing voice and a slowly strummed acoustic guitar. Thus, The Low Anthem.

This americana/folk band rose to success with 2008’s Oh My God, Charlie Darwin and released Smart Flesh last February, just a few days before they played DC’s 6th & I Historic Synagogue (the last time they were here), where NPR live-streamed their performance. On their website yesterday, The Low Anthem stated that “This is the Last One,” the last tour devoted to the material of Oh My God, Charlie Darwin and Smart Flesh. In other words… this could be the last time you will be able to hear “Charlie Darwin” live.

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Posted in TVD Washington, DC | 8 Comments

TVD Live: The Hold Steady at 9:30 Club, 9/1

“This tour started with a date in Minneapolis, and on that date I turned forty years old,” said Craig Finn, lead singer and guitarist of The Hold Steady. “And I can’t believe that at forty years old, I get to have this job, the best job I have ever had.”

It would be hard to disagree with Finn on that point as he giddily bopped around stage, sweating and happily singing songs he has easily sung hundreds of times before. The number might possibly be even thousands for those songs off of their early albums like Separation Sunday and Almost Killed Me, which were released in 2004 and 2005 respectively and include some of their most well-known songs, such as “Barfruit Blues” and “Killer Parties.”

Until this show, I had never seen The Hold Steady perform live, but I have listened to their live album A Positive Rage an unhealthy number of times, so I couldn’t quite believe my ears when they opened the set with “Stuck Between Stations,” the same way the album begins. The start of the song sent a jolt through the sold-out crowd at the 9:30 Club, and we all started to sing along to this classic Hold Steady tune.

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TVD Vinyl Giveaway: The Donkeys’ Born
With Stripes
Prize Pack

As a superb combination of folk music and garage rock, The Donkeys are one of those great new bands you may have never heard of. And so that you are able to hear them, here are a stream of “I Like the Way You Walk” and their video for “Don’t Know Who We Are,” both from their latest LP Born With Stripes.

The Donkeys | I Like the Way You Walk

If you are in the DC area and are going to The Hold Steady’s sold out show tonight at the 9:30 Club, you are going to be able to hear this live and in-person, as The Donkeys are opening for Craig Finn and his cohorts.

However, if you aren’t going to this show, you still have a chance to listen to their band if you enter to win some of The Donkey’s new swag in this vinyl giveaway!

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Posted in TVD Washington, DC | 4 Comments

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