Posts Tagged ‘Washington’

There’s a lot of pedigree behind the band Gauche — its members are also in Downtown Boys and Priests — so maybe it’s not too surprising that their debut album, A People’s History Of Gauche, absolutely goes off, but so it does. They’re a young band that has a sense of legacy, willing to engage with punk music on a continuum, and each song feels like a treatise on what it means to be screaming and singing about the same injustices for decades while the status quo remains the same.

Washington, DC’s Gauche release A People’s History of Gauche, a collective catharsis of anger, frustration, and trauma through creativity. Gauche find their agency and joy through creating and performing music together in 36 minutes of groove-filled power punk. When asked about the genesis of the title of their Merge Records debut, Recorded with Austin Brown (Parquet Courts) and Robert Szmurlo in Brooklyn, NY, and with Jonah Takagi (Ex Hex) in DC, A People’s History of Gauche marks the first time the band worked with people outside of their ranks, resulting in a fuller sound that boasts more intricate instrumentation. From the very first line of album opener Flash – Gauche are here to compel us to dance while singing along about society’s universal struggles.

Gauche, Washington D.C.’s frantic, elastic, bombastic, ecstatic, anti-capitalist, anti-racist feminist jam band.

“A People’s History of Gauche,” out now on Merge Records. released July 12th 2019

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Lisa Prank is a true-blue romantic. In fact, “I’m very preoccupied with romance,” songwriter Robin Edwards admits. On her second full-length for Father/Daughter Records, Perfect Love Song, Edwards acknowledges the ultimate joke of love: that there is no perfect, so you’ll get tripped up while chasing it—but what else could possibly be more rich, more exhilarating, more everything, skinned knees be damned? Stitching together pop-punk panache and pillow talk introspection, Perfect Love Song finds Lisa Prank not in pursuit of the flawless impossible, as the title may suggest. Rather, she’s interested in the entire experience of love and learning through it. “I never learned how to get mad,” Edwards sings on the reflective “Get Mad”—but she did learn how to write totally gratifying pop songs about it. Perfect Love Song is an album that takes a soft-focus gaze at romance’s sharpest points and edges, both the exciting peaks and the scary cliffs.

As Edwards was navigating a drawn out, Lifetime-movie level heartbreak, she found herself drifting back towards the home she had in her friendships. She moved back into her old room in storied Seattle punk house, Spruce House, sharing a door with Tacocat’s Bree McKenna (who’s also her bandmate, along with Julia Shapiro, in the supergroup Who Is She?). She’d knock and ask McKenna for feedback on songs, who wound up playing bass on the record. To produce, Edwards tapped close friend and indie pop legend Rose Melberg of Tiger Trap, The Softies, and Go Sailor. Melberg’s artistic alignment and personal closeness to Edwards gave her near psychic insight into Lisa Prank’s sonic goals, but at enough remove to provide breakthroughs to Edwards at stuck points (Melberg also co-wrote “Telescope,” and sang harmonies on several tracks). It was a collaboration that felt like coaching, leading her achieve her ideal polished-punk sound, alongside Ian LeSage who engineered and mixed the record at the Vault Studios. Recording was fun, too. Friends were around, creating the kind of lighthearted, mutually supportive feeling one needs surrounding them feel like themselves again after retrieving their heart back from a breakup. Lisa Prank’s last record, Adult Teen, used a Roland MC-505 drum machine, for Perfect Love Song, she traded it in for real life drummer, Tom Fitzgibbon.

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Writing Perfect Love Song was Edwards’ opportunity “to personally say all the things that I wanted to say, or wish I had said.” In “Scream the Truth,” a gaslighting extinguisher anthem about reclaiming your sanity, she gets to be mad on her terms: “I wasn’t losing my mind,” she sings. Says Edwards, “it’s about being frustrated seeing someone else navigate the world as a very surface-level nice person who is performatively feminist and social-justice minded, but knowing the truth of how they treat people in their personal life.” The opening track, “Rodeo,” likens the searing, sinking-in feeling of a post-fight realization—“‘cause ‘I don’t wanna be in love’/means I don’t wanna be in love/with you”—to the dangers and desires of the spectacle of love. “By now I know/this is the rodeo I chose,” she sings, electing to get back on her horse and ride, acknowledging the pain that’s part of that game.

“I wish a different emotion was so alive and exciting to me,” Edwards laughs, “but love is just the one that feels so visceral and consuming.” Perfect Love Song explodes the roller coaster snapshots of romance in bursts of poppy neon bright color, with Edwards’ cheeky perspective polished to full pop-punk shine. And the mission of that genre, one could argue, is to keep on bopping along through the bullshit of life. To stay buoyant, to find fun in the big what-ifs and whatevers. It what keeps the dream Lisa Prank afloat: as she sings on “Constellations,” “still I keep on hoping this is some perfect love song/and we’ll go on and on and on, and on and on, and on.”

released October 4th, 2019

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We visited the KEXP studios for the second time last July and this time we gotta meet Cheryl Waters!!! The video is now live, check it out!

check out their studio work, which is more polished! If you like more straightforward/hardcore punk, maybe try their earlier EPs. If you like moody, gloomy, and aggressive post-punk, try their debut album (which I love). Their latest record heads in a more new-wavey direction and contains the four songs in this performance. They’re very charismatic and energetic live,

Priests performing live in the KEXP studio. Recorded July 3rd, 2019.

Band Members
Daniele, Katie & GL

Songs: I’m Clean 68 Screen Control Freak Jesus’ Son

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In October 2008, Mount Eerie and Canadian singer-songwriter Julie Doiron released a collaborative album called Lost Wisdom. They are now releasing its sequel: Lost Wisdom pt. 2 is out November 8th via Mount Eerie’s label P.W. Elverum & Sun.  listen to their new song “Love Without Possession.”

Mount Eerie and Julie Doiron are to play shows together this December. According to a press release, those concerts will “likely be the only performance of this album’s material for the foreseeable future.”

In a statement, Phil Elverum discussed the themes and intentions of the new record. He refers to the death of his wife, the artist Geneviève Castrée, which inspired his last two studio albums, 2017’s A Crow Looked at Me and 2018’s Now Only. He also alludes to his marriage to Michelle Williams and their separation earlier this year. “Finding myself staring into another fire, disoriented by the changes, these songs came out,” he wrote.

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Elverum continued, “I tried to make songs that did not rely at all on who I am or who I am singing about,” adding, “Knowing that anyone with internet access might have questions about my specifics, I don’t want to say anything personal that isn’t already in the songs. My fingers are crossed that when I push them out to sea they will be met with calm humane understanding. That’s what they’re about after all.”

A split single five years in the making featuring the lead vocals of Kathleen Wilson (see also The Hall Monitors). First, Jake Starr & The Delicious Fullness show Dusty Springfield’s “Little By Little” no mercy with Jake delivering the low vox to Kathleen’s wail. Then on the flip, Thee Lexington Arrows rip through “Gimme Shelter”–surely the inheritors to Merry Clayton’s fantastic solo version! 300 total pressed with 200 on milky clear vinyl and 100 on black vinyl. After fronting Washington DC garage rockers Adam West for nearly 17 years, soft-spoken, mild-mannered Jake Starr took time off to recharge his batteries. Now he’s back to deliver high-octane, garage rock-n-roll 

“Little By Little” originally performed by Dusty Springfield 

Kathleen Wilson: Lead and backing vox, guitar • Nathaniel Osgood: Drums • Louie Newmyer: Bass • Sean Crowley: Guitar • Jake Starr: Backing throat, tambourine.

released April 26th, 2019 Jake Starr & The Delicious Fullness

Lisa Prank is a true blue romantic. In fact, “I’m very preoccupied with romance,” songwriter Robin Edwards admits, “and I’m always trying to figure out what the deal with love is.” On her new record, “Perfect Love Song”, Edwards acknowledges the ultimate joke of love: that there is no perfect, so you’ll get tripped up while chasing it but what else could possibly be more rich, more exhilarating, more everything, skinned knees be damned? Stitching together pop punk panache and pillow talk introspection, Perfect Love Song finds Lisa Prank not in pursuit of the
flawless impossible, as the title may suggest. Rather, she’s interested in the entire experience of love and learning through it. “I never learned how to be mad,” Edwards sings on the reflective “Get Mad” but she did learn how to write totally gratifying pop songs about it, with the end of “processing my feelings, and hoping that other people can relate if they’ve been in a similar situation.” Perfect Love Song is an album that takes a soft focus gaze at romance’s sharpest points and edges, both the exciting peaks and the scary cliffs.As Edwards was navigating a drawn out, Lifetime movie level heartbreak, she found herself drifting back towards the home she had in her friendships. She moved back into her old room in storied Seattle punk manse, Spruce House, sharing a door with Tacocat’s Bree McKenna. She’d knock and ask McKenna for feedback on songs, who wound up playing guitar on the record. To produce, Edwards tapped old friend Rose Melberg of Tiger Trap. Melberg’s artistic alignment and personal closeness to Edwards gave her near psychic insight into Lisa Prank’s sonic goals,
but at enough remove to provide breakthroughs to Edwards at stuck points. It was a collaboration that felt like coaching. She helped Edwards step back and look at harmonies, percussion, guitar tones she may have not considered at first, but that helped her achieve her ideal polished punk sound.

Plus, it was fun in the studio, with friends around, creating the kind of lighthearted, mutually supportive feeling one needs surrounding them feel like themselves again after retrieving their heart back from a breakup.

“I love love songs, or falling out of love songs,” explains Edwards, “where I can see one moment of the situation and know what the whole story is.” Writing Perfect Love Song was Edwards’ opportunity “to personally say all the things that I wanted to say, or wish I had said.” In “Scream the Truth,” a gaslighting extinguisher anthem about reclaiming your sanity, she gets to be mad on her terms: “I wasn’t losing my mind,” she sings. Says Edwards, “its about seeing someone else navigate the world as a very nice guy whose very woke and feminist or whatever, and knowing the truth about him.” The first track, “Rodeo,” likens the searing, sinking in feeling of a
post fight realization “‘cause ‘I don’t wanna be in love’/means I don’t wanna be in love/with you” to the dangers and desires of the spectacle of love. “By now I know/this is the rodeo I chose,” she sings, electing to get back on her horse and ride, acknowledging the pain that’s part of that game.

“I wish a different emotion was so alive and exciting to me,” Edwards laughs, “but love is just the one that feels so visceral and consuming!” Perfect Love Song explodes the roller coaster snapshots of romance in bursts of poppy neon bright color, with Edward’s cheeky perspective
polished to full shine. “Lisa Prank has humor to it,” she says. “Some of the songs are really sad to me, but it’s still fun pop punk.” And the mission of that genre, one could argue, is to keep on bopping along through the bullshit of life. To stay buoyant, to find fun in the big what ifs and whatevers.

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It what keeps the dream Lisa Prank afloat: as she sings on “Constellation,” “still I keep on hoping this is some perfect love song/and we’ll go on and on and on, and on and on, and on.”
releases October 4th, 2019

Royal Trux returned earlier this year with their comeback album White Stuff. Now they have announced a new EP, “Pink Stuff”, which features five songs from the album remixed by Ariel Pink. They have also shared one of its tracks, “Suburban Junky Lady (Ariel Pink Remix).” Pink Stuff is due out September 6th via Fat Possum Records.

Their return to the studio is nothing short of a rock & roll rapture. The magic chemistry between Jennifer Herrema (vocalmoog, guitar, melodica) and Neil Hagerty (vocal, guitar) that brought us Twin Infinitives, Cats and Dogs and their last LP, Pound for Pound in 2000, is present in the unadulterated, exhilarating energy on these new tracks, 

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Check out “Suburban Junky Lady (Ariel Pink Remix),” followed by the EP’s tracklist .

Pink Stuff EP Tracklist:

1. Suburban Junky Lady (Ariel Pink Remix)
2. Year of The Dog (Ariel Pink Remix)
3. Get Used To This (Ariel Pink Remix)
4. White Stuff (Ariel Pink Remix)
5. Whopper Dave (Ariel Pink Remix)

Releases October 4th, 2019

The Berries will release their new album Berryland on September 26th, via Run For Cover Records. The announcement comes with a new video for their lead single “Fruit.” Led by vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Matt Berry, Director Will Anderson taps into the feeling of Berryland with his video for “Fruit,” capturing the band’s mix of vintage style alongside the modern idiosyncrasies of the songwriter.

Matt Berry, vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, and overall mastermind of The Berries, first began to turn heads with his work in louder bands in the west coast underground music scene (Big Bite, Happy Diving), but his true love has always been unfiltered melody. “I’ve always been attracted to pop sensibilities and I was interested in making music that leaned more towards that instead of volume and distortion,” he explains. After a handful of demos, The Berries’ released their 2018 debut LP Start All Over Again, which documented a miserable Seattle winter and Berry’s impressive ability to organically wear his influences on his sleeve. As he began working on a follow up, he found himself becoming more and more at ease in forging those inspirations within his own unique sonic identity.

That assured sense of identity is unmistakable on Berryland. After tracking drums with Trevor Spencer at his studio outside Seattle, Way Out, Berry began the in-depth process of recording nearly every other instrument on the album in his own home. “Every day I wake up and if I’m not working, I’m in my cave for eight hours makng music, so I was very used to spending days just working on a song,” he recalls. The extra time spent tinkering and experimenting can be heard in Berryland’s vast array of guitar tones, psychedelic flourishes, and layered vocal harmonies. Traces of Berry’s punk roots remain in the occasional noisy guitar squall, which meets the jangle and twang with surprising cohesion. Driving all the guitars is Berryland’s secret weapon: its attention to rhythm. The sense of groove and occasional electronic percussion are subtle but key elements of the album’s pulse, often inspired by Berry’s love of the 1990s intersection of rock and danceable beats.

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releases September 20th, 2019

When Julia Shapiro flew home from a cancelled Chastity Belt tour in April 2018, everything in her life felt out of control. Dealing with health issues, freshly out of a relationship, and in the middle of an existential crisis, she realized halfway through a tour supporting her band’s third album I Used to Spend So Much Time Alone that she was going through too much to continue. “I was really struggling; I was really depressed. I felt like I couldn’t sing or be a person,” Shapiro recalls. “At that point I couldn’t even imagine playing a show again, I was so over it.”

Returning home to a newly empty Seattle one-bedroom apartment, Shapiro had wanted for a long time to learn how to record and mix her own music, and out of the uncertainty of the future of her music career and her health, she began to record the songs that would become Perfect Version, her solo debut for Hardly Art. What she created in the space of ten songs is an intimate and beautifully self-aware examination of feeling lost in the life you’ve created for yourself. It’s an album of shimmering guitars and layered vocals that feels vast in the emotional depth it conveys and masterful in the way each song is intentionally crafted and recorded.

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Throughout the record Shapiro tries on different ways of living, all thematically centered around the idea of what it would be like to be a perfect version of yourself. “How can someone be so blindly confident/I wanna know that trick,” she wonders on “Natural,” the opening track that begins using another person as a mirror and then pans back to a bigger picture: what would it take to really love yourself? The album is peppered with ideas of what self-improvement could look like—whether it’s learning a skill and living out in the woods, going to bed at a reasonable hour, or even more playful, deeply relatable lines like “I should really delete my Instagram.”

Shapiro has a knack for turning simple images into something profound, drawing influence from songwriters like Elliott Smith to capture complicated moods. The everyday act of circling the block trying to find a parking spot becomes a metaphor for trying and feeling like you can’t quite get anything done. “All my problems feel like paper/I can finally rip them up,” she sings on the title track, describing a moment of lightness in hanging out with friends who can find humor in your failure “at least I have my friends to laugh at what I’ve done.”

Over the course of a tumultuous year of trying to find stability amidst depression and surgery, Shapiro ultimately rediscovered the parts of music that she loved through the process. Her perfectionist qualities create an album that shines in tiny lyrical moments and meticulous guitar parts. “When the rest of my life felt out of control, I felt like this was my chance to be in control of everything,” says Shapiro. She plays all the instruments (save for a mouth trumpet solo by Darren Hanlon and guest violin by Annie Truscott) and after recording and mixing the first batch of four songs at the Vault studio with Ian LeSage decided to record the final six tracks alone in her apartment, adding drums in the studio later and learning to mix them with the help of her friend David Hrivnak.

Perfect Version is a fully realized vision from a gifted songwriter finding a more intimate voice. “So what comes next?” she questions on the album closer “Empty Cup” which explores the quiet satisfaction of being alone with yourself and creating a blank slate. “A lasting sense of self,” she concludes.

At the conclusion of the majestic Maraqopa trilogy, and four consecutive records with Richard Swift behind the boards, Damien Jurado decided to take the reins himself on the subtly orchestral and gorgeously melancholy The Horizon Just Laughed. That Swift would pass on mere months after the album’s release made the whole situation feel even more significant. Jurado and Swift immersed themselves in a psychedelic, hallucinatory world on the Maraqopa trilogy, but the horizon indeed just laughs, and fate stretches its legs out to trip you up, as though the borderline of their fantasy world had been watching with a detached amusement all along, waiting for our protagonist to return to a more sobering reality. When Jurado does step through the door, he finds himself back in a misty morning of a weary world where Charles Schultz and Charlie Brown exchange letters detailing their mutual late life struggles. Characters populate the album from front to back, showcasing Jurado’s beautifully empathetic and inspired vision of a world and its inhabitants more reflective of ourselves, and, as revealed on the hauntingly prophetic album highlight “The Last Great Washington State,” one with love and appreciation for what and who we have, while we have them, and afterward still.

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released May 4th, 2018