Posts Tagged ‘Washington’

Back in 2018, Washington D.C. rockers Bad Moves, who’ve been at it since 2015, among the Washington D.C. bands of the moment. Two years later, their placement on such a list remains more than worthy. They released their punchy debut album Tell No One that year on Don Giovanni Records, which alerted us to their appearance at 2019’s SXSW. Tell No One thrived on shreddy power-pop, and it appears there’ll be plenty more where that came from on Untenable. Bad Moves make music about begrudgingly growing up and then finally treating adulthood like a party. Their punk music may be a protest of boredom itself.

On this record, the band has leaned into the outer edges of their influences, expanding their power-pop umbrella to include hints of folk, garage rock, and ’90s “indie” while still keeping the hooks tuneful and sticky. Lyrically, the band explores the myriad anxieties of modern living

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Out May 29th, Untenable is the sophomore full-length by Washington, D.C.’s Bad Moves. On this record, the band has leaned into the outer edges of their influences, expanding their power-pop umbrella to include hints of folk, garage rock, and ’90s “indie” while still keeping the hooks tuneful and sticky. Lyrically, the band explores the myriad anxieties of modern living — from heady questions of self-definition and identity to day-to-day matters, like labour precarity, climate change, social media, automation and the surveillance state.

Bad MovesUntenable” released Don Giovanni Records

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Formed in 2015, Coriky did not play their first show until 2018. They have recorded one album. They hope to tour.

Coriky is a band from Washington, D.C. Amy Farina plays drums. Joe Lally plays bass. Ian MacKaye plays guitar. They all sing. One night in the long-ago time of February 2020, Ian MacKaye stood onstage in Charlottesville, Virginia and sang these words: “What’s surprising is the expectation that we’d ever have a say/ About who’d be standing on that carpet on inauguration day.” There was no mistaking that line. Nobody in the crowd had heard the song “Inauguration Day” before that night, but MacKaye’s new band Coriky had printed up a big stack of photocopied lyric sheets, and they were all sitting at the table where people came in. At the time, I thought this line was cold and fatalistic. At the time, it looked like maybe something actually could be achieved from people trying to have their say. The coronavirus pandemic hadn’t happened.

I just listened to the new Coricky album straight through and it is really excellent. It’s so nice to hear people I love singing and playing new music together!, Ian MacKaye was right. He usually is. MacKaye’s work — with Minor Threat, with Embrace, with Fugazi, with the half-dozen other bands he’s sung for — has meant a whole lot to a whole lot of people. It’s been possible, over the years, to hold MacKaye up as some kind of totem of punk rock idealism. But that’s overly simplistic, and it also does a great disservice to the actual music that MacKaye has made and that often doesn’t fit that monastic punk-rock saint narrative.

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For much of the ’00s and ’10s, for instance, MacKaye was half of the Evens, a duo with the drummer and singer Amy Farina. Their music was quiet, murmured, internal. It sounded like two people having a conversation with their voices and their instruments. MacKaye’s baritone guitar rumbled and sparkled. Farina’s drums shuffled and danced, doing complicated polyrhythmic push-pulls. MacKaye’s voice is a stentorian bellow, and Farina’s is a crystalline alto, but the somehow harmonized beautifully. They still do.

Coriky, the new band, is MacKaye, Farina, and bassist Joe Lally, MacKaye’s longtime bandmate in Fugazi. MacKaye has said that the three of them have been a band for five years and that they simply spent the first four of those years playing together in a basement, not in public. You can tell. These three people already knew each other very well, and they would’ve known each other very well even without those years in the basement. Coriky’s self-titled debut does not sound like a debut. It sounds like the work of a veteran band with a long-established chemistry.

In Coriky, you can hear that miraculous thing that can happen when musicians understand and trust one another. Lally’s basslines are slow and rich and resonant, and they always lent a crucial and unsung dimension to Fugazi’s sound. In Coriky, Lally and Farina don’t lock in with one another that often. Instead, they dart in and out of each other, pushing each other in different directions. MacKaye’s guitar rings and tingles and sometimes erupts. On the album, you can hear three people developing a whole new musical language, a way of interacting. It’s exciting.

Bands aren’t math equations. Coriky isn’t Fugazi with Amy Farina playing the Guy Picciotto and Brendan Canty roles. It’s also not the Evens with a bass player. There are moments where Coriky sound like Fugazi or like the Evens. Nobody on earth sounds like Ian MacKaye, so everytime he opens up his throat, it calls up entire lifetimes of righteous, anthemic music. But the sound on Coriky is strikingly fully formed. The album has an ominous, uneasy beauty that doesn’t really sound like anything these three musicians have ever done.

Released June 12th, 2020

The band:

Amy Farina: Drums, Vocals
Joe Lally: Bass, Vocals
Ian MacKaye: Guitar, Vocals

Coriky is out 6/12 on Dischord Records.

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First digital release of long out of print limited-edition vinyl-only release from 2007. Mudhoney live from Mexico City, recorded December. 10th, 2005 by Brett Ellason at Patacio de los Deportes. It opens with “Mudride” and ends with “Hate the Police”. The merits of this alone are worth the purchase. In between you get a blast of Mudhoney adrenaline directly to your cold, dead heart. Audio quality and band energy are both excellent.

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Released June 5th, 2020

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Bad Moves is four friends making upbeat power-pop about anxiety and identity, drawing on a sound that stretches from forbears like The Nerves and Cheap Trick to contemporary artists like Sheer Mag and Haim. After years knocking around the Washington, D.C. punk scene in bands of their own, guitarists Katie Park and David Combs, bassist Emma Cleveland and drummer Daoud Tyler-Ameen began playing together in 2015, with a few goals in mind: Songwriting would be collaborative, singing would be everyone’s job and arrangements would be generously staggered, blending voices and ideas to avoid centreing any one member.

Back in 2018, D.C. rockers Bad Moves, who’ve been at it since 2015, appeared on our list of the best Washington D.C. bands of the moment. Two years later, their placement on such a list remains more than worthy. They released their punchy debut album Tell No One that year on Don Giovanni, which alerted us to their appearance at 2019’s SXSW. Tell No One thrived on shreddy power-pop, and it appears there’ll be plenty more where that came from on Untenable. Bad Moves make music about begrudgingly growing up and then finally treating adulthood like a party. Their punk music may be a protest of boredom itself.

Pre-Order Untenable on Don Giovanni Records

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Portage is one of those indie bands that will hit you in the head, but slowly and gently, in the soulfully, independently thoughtful kind of way. The spirits of these songs capture many of life’s real essences, and throughout this album, simply cannot be contained. Bands like this just don’t exist every day.

Native to the cold, northern shores of Minnesota, Portage bellows a sound reminiscent of the rootsy-folk music that runs as deep in the region as Lake Superior itself, the inspiration behind their attic-recorded debut album, The Unsalted Sea. Since their move to Minneapolis, Portage can be found howling their intimate lyrics at full volume from stages and living rooms alike. With the release of their sophomore album, Landings, these four young men put on memorable shows that can make even the bitterest Midwestern night feel warmer. Here’s a New Song that I wrote seven years ago. Sometimes it’s good to give things the time they need. “Inside Out” is part of my project to release a new song for you all every month. 

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The Sonics were an American garage rock band from Tacoma, Washington that formed in 1960  by teen-aged guitarist Larry Parypa, with the encouragement of his music-loving parents. The earliest lineup included Parypa, drummer Mitch Jaber, and guitarist Stuart Turner; Parypa’s brother Jerry briefly played saxophone, and their mother occasionally filled in on bass at rehearsals. In 1961, Parypa’s older brother Andy became the bass player, and Tony Mabin took over as their new saxophone player.Their aggressive, hard-edged sound has been a major influence on punk and garage music worldwide, and they have been named as inspirations to Nirvana, Bruce Springsteen, the Fall, and other major artists. Rich Koch (who had previously played with the Wailers) joined as lead guitarist, and Marilyn Lodge became their first singer, the band having been an instrumental combo up to that point. A new drummer, Bill Dean, replaced Jaber. Koch and Lodge left the band in 1963. Local star Ray Michelsen became the band’s singer after having sung with several other popular bands on the local scene. Larry began looking for a drummer to replace Dean, who he felt was uncommitted to the band, and found Bob Bennett playing in a band called the Searchers, with keyboardist Gerry Roslie and sax player Rob Lind. Ray Michelsen was looking to leave the band, so the Parypas hired Bennett, Roslie, and Lind, and let their previous saxophonist Mabin go. The well-known lineup was in place, but the Sonics’ career did not begin in earnest until 1964, when Gerry Roslie started singing lead vocals. With Roslie as lead singer, the band started playing gigs

The Sonics are often-cited contenders for the title of “the first punk band,” due to their wild and ground-breaking style. The band also have a clearly marked influence on American punk bands such as the Cramps and the Dead Boys in their brash, menacing style and attitude, and on 1980s grunge bands (who originated in the same area), especially Mudhoney, who adopted some of the darker themes from Sonics music, and a lot of their techniques on over-driving and distorting electric guitars. Their reach stretched beyond the U.S.; influential Manchester post-punk group The Fall covered “Strychnine” during a session for the late John Peel’s programme in 1993 and they repeatedly performed the song live around this time. As well as all these, there have been whole generations of garage rock revival bands (such as The Thingz) who make no bones of plagiarizing The Sonics and their ilk. The early 21st century saw the arrival of another garage rock band that lists the Sonics as a major influence, Eagles of Death Metal. New Zealand power-punk band Cut Off Your Hands have covered “The Witch” several times in concert.

Kurt Cobain of Nirvana said in an interview with Nardwuar the Human Serviette on CITR-FM, discussing drum sounds,”I, I have to admit... The Sonics recorded very, very cheaply on a two track you know, and they just used one microphone over the drums, and they got the most amazing drum sound I’ve ever heard. Still to this day, it’s still my favorite drum sound. It sounds like he’s hitting harder than anyone I’ve ever known.” . The White Stripes named The Sonics as one of the bands that influenced them the most, calling them “the epitome of ’60s punk” and claiming they were “harder than the Kinks, and punk long before punk”

The band performed several early rock standards such as “Louie, Louie”, and “Skinny Minnie” as well as original compositions like “Strychnine”, “Psycho”, and “The Witch”. Their catalogue is generally based around simple chord progressions, often performed with a speed and tonal aggression that was novel for the time, making the band a notable influence on later punk rock bands.

Their first single was “The Witch” (with Little Richard’s “Keep a-Knockin'” as the B-side) in November 1964. The record was immensely popular with local kids, and went on to become the biggest selling local single in the history of the Northwest despite its radio airplay being restricted because of its bizarre subject matter.

Early in 1965 Etiquette released the Sonics‘ debut “Here Are The Sonics”, which was produced at Audio Recording in Seattle, Washington with famed Pacific Northwest recording engineer Kearney Barton. It was recorded on a two-track tape recorder, with only one microphone to pick up the entire drum kit. It was here that they began to pioneer some of their infamously reckless recording techniques. A second album, “Boom”, followed in February 1966. During the recording, the Sonics ripped the soundproofing off the walls at the country and western-oriented Wiley/Griffith studio in Tacoma to “get a live-er sound.” The covers of both albums feature the moody photography of Jini Dellaccio.

Their heyday began to come to a close when the band transferred to Jerden Records in late 1966, and headed to Hollywood to record the poorly selling album “Introducing the Sonics” with Larry Levine at Gold Star Studios. Although it has been rumoured that Jerden executives pushed the Sonics into a more polished sound, the band itself had decided to follow new influences in modern music, resulting in songs that were quite different from their raucously early recordings. The band, however, was not satisfied with the material on Introducing the Sonics, calling the cleaner, slicker recordings “the worst garbage.”

Here Are The Sonics!!

Here Are The Sonics!!

At the time of its release, “Here Are The Sonics” made very little noise of the group’s home state of Washington – but within said home state, the Sonics themselves were making enough noise to blow down every brick wall between Tacoma and Torrance, California. Seldom has a group ever been better named. The youthful aggression in their music, coupled with singer Gerry Roslie’s ‘80 razorblades-a-day’ vocal attack and a selection of overwhelmingly brilliant riffs that underpinned some of the most wildly recorded music ever to be committed to tape, should have made the Sonics one of the biggest groups the world has ever known or heard. Instead they went on to become celebrated by generation after generation of collectors, and other young people with an urge to rock ‘n’ roll.

The overwhelming importance of tracks like “The Witch”, “Psycho” and “Boss Hoss” has provided a template for countless groups who’ve come up in their wake, and who have achieved a level of commercial success that they could never have achieved without the inspiration (direct or spiritual) of the Sonics – fellow Pacific North-Westerners Kurt Cobain’s Nirvana and their successor the Foo Fighters being, perhaps, the most obvious examples.

Here Are The Sonics, exactly as seen and heard 42 years ago on its original Etiquette pressing – albeit in a smaller-sized package, of course! Its tingling mix of group originals and sonic – in every sense of the word! – shreddings of Hall Of Fame rock’n’roll classics (including their recently-used-in-a-car-ad decimation of Richard Berry’s Have Love, Will Travel) remains the musical equivalent of sticking your finger in a live light bulb socket for 25 minutes. Its contents, like all good rock‘n’roll, will never date or die.

"Boom" LP Front

Boom

We follow or recent reissue of “Here Are The Sonics!” with a 180g black vinyl replica of “Boom”, the band’s second album. Originally released in 1966 on Etiquette Records in wonderful mono, “Boom” still does much more than merely deliver on the promise of their debut. Few records have ever packed as much of a musical punch from start to finish, offering a representation of what the Sonics must have sounded like at the peak of their powers. Recorded in the most glorious no-fi you could ever wish for, and with anthemic originals such as ‘Cinderella’ and ‘He’s Waitin’’ vying for attention with what is possibly the most violent version of ‘Louie Louie’ there will ever be, “Boom” is an album that has always justified the esteem in which it is held by collectors around the globe. All the modern bumph like barcodes and whatnot is on a disposable sticker, leaving your copy of “Boom” as original as possible.

Now that enough time has elapsed for listeners’ heart rates to come back to normal, we are more than merely pleased to add the Sonics second album – the entirely appropriately entitled “Boom” – to our ever expanding range of Hip Pocket titles.

Most bands down the years have tended to work off much of their initial youthful aggression on their debut album. Come album two, an amount of mellow has likely as not crept into the proceedings, along with an increased musical professionalism. Not so the Sonics. Not content with being able to play in their hometown of Seattle and to be heard in Sacramento without the aid of amplification, they upped the pressure and the volume to an extent where they could probably be heard south of San Diego without the benefit of a prevailing wind.

“Boom” still does much more than merely deliver on the promise of their first Etiquette album, “Here Are The Sonics”. Few records have ever packed as much of a musical punch from start to finish. Even more so than their first album, it offers a representation of what the Sonics must have sounded like ‘in the dance’ at the peak of their considerable powers.

Here it is, issued in its original format for the first time on a UK CD, to make the Hip Pocket series even hipper…

Psycho-sonic

Psycho-sonic

Back in the mid-1960s, the legendary Sonics took rock’n’roll by the scruff of the neck and thrashed it to within an inch of its sorry life, leaving a legacy of some of the most savage, visceral recordings ever made. Compiling their no-holds-barred Etiquette sessions, “Psycho-Sonic” is the ultimate Sonics anthology.
One of the best selling Big Beat releases of recent years has been Psycho-sonic , a comprehensive collection of all the sides the much-feted kings of garage rock recorded for the Etiquette label in 1964/65. Only the most cloistered of music fans would be unaware of the mighty Tacoma combo’s influence and importance, now stronger than ever thanks to young bucks such as the White Stripes, Hives, Vines etc constantly dropping the band’s name. With access to first generation tapes uncovered by Big Beat’s ongoing celebration of the catalogue of Sonics’ mentors, the Wailers, we gave this compilation a spring clean back in 2003, this month we have given the cover a refresh.

Psycho-sonic features many tracks presented in ear-blistering true stereo remixes, taken from the actual tape the band recorded onto, and mastered with Big Beat’s customarily sensitive mastering.
The set’s sequencing and flow deliver an entertaining and invigorating programme from start to finish. Track for track, the first half-hour of this disc is the wildest, most visceral rock’n’roll listen you’re ever likely to have. Also included is an in-depth overview of the group’s career by reissue producer Alec Palao, based on, first-hand interviews with the band and their associates, including the legendary Sonics’ lead singer/ songwriter/ screamer Jerry Roslie. The package also includes a feast of unseen outtakes from the band’s famed photo sessions – photographer Jini Dellaccio granted us full access to her incredible archive of Sonics pictures. Plus the usual memorabilia and label shots.

The original band fell apart between 1966 and 1968, with members leaving to attend university or join other bands; saxophonist Rob Lind became a fighter pilot in the Vietnam War. Eventually, all of the original members left, with new members continuing on with the name Sonics (later ‘Jim Brady and the Sonics’) until 1980, although it was a completely different band, at times even incorporating string and horn sections.

We recorded this song, “Stop Pretending”, this week, as we were continuing to stay at home. The song was written using a collaboration exercise that we had given to our fans as an outlet to create and find connection in a time of duress & isolation (we called it the “Stay Home Stems” series) —and it ended up also working for us— this song was written, recorded, mixed and mastered in two days at our house, & this what we have to show for it.

If often write apocalyptic songs as way to enter a new world that juxtaposes despair with hope.. I hope it can bring a little bit of light in a dark season.

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Sending all of our love to everyone during this time. We can’t wait to be together again.
XO
Jessica, Peter & Deep Sea Diver

This is the third full release from Seattle’s Meagan Grandall, a project now 10 years old. A sweeping, symphonic expression of loss and the ache that comes with it, I have listened to this album this year at home, and in my car at the loudest possible volume while in the worst possible mood. Lemolo has been with me for many years now as a favorite, but Swansea was there for me this year. Another great collection of captivating dream pop from Meagan Grandall. The lush sounds and production are warm and welcoming, with intelligent arrangements full of varied instrumentation that never fails to impress..

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Meagan Grandall: Vocals, Guitar, Piano, Synth, Bass, Violin, and Vibraphone
Nathan Yaccino: Drums, Percussion, Guitar, Bass, Cello, and Vibraphone
Alex Guy: Violin and Viola
Maria Scherer Wilson: Cello
Jon Karschney: French Horn

released October 11th, 2019

All songs written by Meagan Grandall ,Lemolo is the Seattle dream pop project of songwriter and multi-instrumentalist.

Like many important bands, Seattle quartet Versing got their start in college radio—Tacoma’s KUPS. The group’s main songwriter/guitarist/vocalist Daniel Salas served as alternative music director there, where he met guitarist Graham Baker, drummer Max Keyes, and bassist Kirby Lochner. Now Versing are poised to spread their coolly combustible brand of rock on those said airwaves…and beyond if the world knows what’s good for it.

Baker, Keyes, Lochner, and Salas have risen through Seattle’s competitive rock ecosphere with nonchalant élan. They cheekily titled a previous album Nirvana, but never mind the bleach: Versing isn’t emulating Sub Pop’s most famous artist. Rather, these four twenty-something aesthetes are forging an exciting sound that finds a golden mean between lustrous noise and ebullient melody.

“Tethered” is the lead-off single from Versing’s full-length album “10000”, out May 3rd 2019 on Hardly Art records.

With Versing, songwriting is obviously crucial, but much of the pleasure in 10000 comes from its guitar textures. They’re swarming, yet also spiky and agile. Gently chiding the Seattle music scene’s self-seriousness while acknowledging Versing’s playfulness and irony, Salas says, “There’s a ‘let’s just fuck around and see what comes out,’ aspect of what we do, which I think is uncommon for Seattle bands.”

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Versing’s freewheeling attitude has paradoxically resulted in 10000, an engrossing album that’s impossible to feel ambivalent about.

Released May 3rd, 2019

A product of the burgeoning Washington, D.C. punk scene, Gauche fill their songs with the kind of biting political commentary you’d expect from a group making music in the shadow of the White House. “Pay Day” is an unsparing look at wage inequality; on “History,” Mary Jane Regalado vents her rage at seeing her accomplishments stolen by men who take the credit. But like the equally political post-punk groups of the late ’70s, Gauche also know that dancing can itself be a weapon. Accordingly, the group employs bouncy sax, tense bass lines, and riotous yelps—conjuring the B-52s, Le Tigre, and Essential Logic in one manic package.

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released July 12th, 2019

Jason P. Barnett: Guitar, Bass, Vocals
Adrienne CN Berry: Saxophone, Vocals
Mary Jane Regalado: Vocals, Bass, Guitar
Pearie Sol: Keyboards
Laurie Spector: Bass, Drums
Daniele Yandel: Vocals, Drums, Bass, Guitar