TVD Recommends:
We Fought the Big One at Marx Cafe, 9/6

Calling all fans of classic post-punk, John Peel, and obscure DIY gems! We Fought The Big One, DC’s highly unwieldy, Belgian beer-fueled, post-punk DJ party, is thrilled to welcome back behind the turntables this Friday, Fire Records A&R maestro and internationally renowned design guru, John Foster!

In recent years, John has done bravura work for the legendary Fire Records label, home to ESG, Mission of Burma, Pere Ubu, Guided By Voices, Blank Realm, Surf City, Spacemen 3, Half Japanese, Television Personalities, Teenage Fanclub, Bailterspace, Bardo Pond, Pulp, Neutral Milk Hotel, The Pastels, and many more.

John’s eye-catching design work has graced some of Fire’s most memorable releases, including ESG, Pigbag, and Close Lobsters. The man has also authored numerous books on the subject of design, including 1000 Indie Posters and Dirty Fingernails: A One-Of-A-Kind Collection of Graphics Uniquely Designed By Hand.

This Friday, John will be spinning personal favorites as well as showcasing gems from Fire’s rich catalog and new releases, including some yet to be released tunes exclusively for WFTBO! To whet our appetites, John has curated an exclusive We Fought the Big One mix for TVD readers, complete with an informative track-by-track commentary:

“I am incredibly excited to be back spinning with the We Fought The Big One crew, as they put on my favorite night of music every month. My first set will be made up of only Fire releases, including some of the insanely awesome catalog releases from ESG to Television Personalities and Close Lobsters to Mission of Burma, as well as a lot of the new artists featured here.

I won’t be re-playing these songs, so soak them in. I will also be debuting a new song from Las Kellies that features a call and response duet from DC’s beloved Ian Svenonius. I will play it early—so don’t be late! Unreleased gems from The Chills and others as well!

Okay, let’s talk a little about (and listen to) some of the records from the last year at the label.”

Scott & Charlene’s Wedding “Lesbian Wife”
This summer has been a whirlwind of Scott & Charlene’s Wedding, with a wild tour raging all across Europe. They will be back in the States this October before causing SACWmania all throughout Japan later in the year. I truly believe that Craig Dermody is the voice of a generation. That he took a few years to make it to America via Australia only adds to the charm. The late arriving messiahs are always the ones obsessed with the Chicago Bulls and bouncing between dead-end jobs. His frank tales of life in NYC during the hurricane here add bits of humor and insight in equal measures.

Surf City “NYC”
Speaking of NYC, my favorite kiwi fuzzpoppers did their first full-scale US tour a few years ago and stayed in New York for a while afterwards, where I helped set them up in a studio that served as the beginnings for their brilliant new album “We Knew It Was Not Going To Be Like This.” This track is one of the highlights, but also brings me back to that fun and confusing time when they were kicking around the city, and wondering when they get to leave.

Lower Plenty “Strange Beast”
God, I love this record. The sound of a few connected souls sitting around a kitchen table in the dead of night, scratching at guitars and brushing a snare drum with an intertwined duet of voices that seem to be inches apart, yet emotionally unsure of one another. Everyone should own this.

Lemonheads “Mallo Cup”
We have all been working endlessly on reissuing the first three Lemonheads records and the band and everyone at the label are all giddy with anticipation. Evan Dando was remarking about how happy he was to hear Mallo Cup like this again, so it was hard not to pick that one to play here. These records have so many spectacular moments where you see some of Evan’s strongest writing and the punk pop punch of Ben Deily provides the perfect foil. When the Lemonheads were PUNK!

Bailterspace “Films Of You”
At a time when there are so many laptop pretenders, Alister Parker brings more incredible tones to the table in two minutes than most of these current pups will ever dream of. This return of the original three-piece is a pure psychgaze gut punch and we need our guitar heroes now more than ever.

Las Kellies “Melting Ice”
The new Las Kellies keeps some of their playful post punk funk while incorporating dubby trippy textures into the mix, to great effect. This record is equal parts enchanting and invigorating and how many things can you truly say that about?

Guided By Voices “Keep It In Motion”
Sometimes, I have to pinch myself working with so many of my musical heroes, and this was definitely one of those moments. James Nicholls, who runs the label, and I were sitting across the conference table from one another in the London office discussing possible GBV singles and we both kept nodding our heads when this hit the turntable until James said “has to be” and I couldn’t agree fast enough. The Pollard and Sprout back and forth kills me every time.

Howe Gelb “Blue Marble Girl”
Howe Gelb and Giant Sand have been a big part of Fire’s resurgence, including a full reissue of the back catalog that would fill (and should, rightly so) a shelf in any musical library. A lot of my time has been spent on this upcoming box set of all of Howe’s solo albums, and every once in a while you just have to stop and appreciate one of the most important American songwriters of the last 30 years. This track should help you see why.

Mark Mulcahy “She Makes The World Turn Backwards”
From his days in Miracle Legion until now Mark Mulcahy has been one of my favorite singers and songwriters, and playing even a small part in this return for him is a dream come true. Seeing him playing to thousands last week in the UK was just incredible, and this record is filled with such an immediate appeal that it is not hard to see why it is being celebrated. Couldn’t happen to a more deserving person.

Pere Ubu “Free White”
I know I am biased but this is the best record Pere Ubu has made in ages. So good and challenging in all of the right places, and it sounds insanely awesome on vinyl, as well as being completely reinvented live, as is the Pere Ubu tradition. Catch them this weekend at the Hopscotch Festival, or Tuesday in DC, or in your US city soon. Legends!

Mission of Burma “Second Television”
Hey, who gave Clint a guitar? You still have Peter’s trademark yelps in the background and Roger’s guitar bursts and those Weston sound manipulations and pure Mission of Burma power for this track from their new record “Unsound,” which amazes at every turn. We will also be reissuing their entire catalog shortly so stay tuned, and don’t be surprised if I slip in a classic to my set on Friday.

Wooden Wand “Supermoon (The Sounding Line)”
I remember talking to James Jackson Toth about some favorite records and Coil came up. Ever the record head, I wasn’t surprised he was a fan, but when he told me they were a major influence, alongside the folk and americana he was steeped in, for his new album, I was giddy with anticipation. He delivered in spades with “Blood Oaths of the New Blues” and this is one of the highlights on a record buried in them. I once saw him perform this song three different ways in a manner of hours at a SiriusXM session, a video shoot for All Our Noise and then a club show, and every time it was a challenging set up and every time it gave me goosebumps.

Spacemen 3 “Walkin’ With Jesus”
Colored vinyl of the Spacemen 3 records makes anyone’s year. This is always a classic.

Bardo Pond “Taste”
Bardo Pond always delivers, and this is no exception, built on a heavy crunching and swooning bedrock of guitar and emblazoned with a perfect flute solo! Definitely the best flute solo of the year. Always end with a flute solo.

See you Friday night!

Friday, September 6
with guest DJ John Foster (Fire Records)

at Marx Cafe, 3203 Mt. Pleasant Street, NW
Washington DC 20010

10pm – 3am
RSVP on Facebook! 

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