Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Interview with Byrds of Paradise

Born and raised in suburban New Jersey, Kenny Brown moved to Washington, DC to attend university. A talented multi-instrumentalist, he was in and out of bands during his tenure in DC. But for one reason or another, none of these projects ever got off the ground. A harrowing bicycle accident in spring 2009 forced him to re-evaluate his approach. While recuperating during the long hot summer, Brown began to write and record songs under the name Byrds of Paradise. Two of his songs, "Rosebud" and "Rowena," were recently featured on Pitchfork's Forkcast.


First off, what got you into playing music?
My friend Jack got a guitar when he was like 11, and he got me into everything. I remember we used to have epic sleepovers and he taught me how to play Green Day's “Brain Stew.” I was hooked from there. I played all day, and then the following Christmas I got a drum set. I played every day from then until the end of high school. I never took any lessons.

And where did you grow up?
I grew up in Basking Ridge, New Jersey. It's a small town about 45 minutes west of New York City; full of a bunch of dickheads. I honestly don't know who I'd be or what I'd be doing if it wasn't for the scene I came into.

What was it like being in Jersey when the local hardcore/punk scene was at it's peak in the late 90s, early 00s?
Growing up in that scene was awesome, because that's how I met my best friends, not the shitheads from my high school. I mean, I started going to ska and pop-punk shows when I was 11, and didn't really realize how privileged I was to see some of the bands I was seeing at the time. Laugh if you want, but I went to Midtown's first show. I saw At the Drive-In before I hit puberty. I've seen Saves the Day probably more than any other band. I was there for all of it.

There were two shows that had a really big effect on my musical taste when I was younger. The first was Jimmy Eat World at the Wayne firehouse, when I was 13. Gabe from Midtown and Cobra Starship's brother, Ricky, would throw these awesome shows at the firehouse. I think it was in 2000, so Jimmy Eat World were probably doing their Clarity tour. I was in 8th grade, rocking cargo pants and hoodies, and I didn't know what to expect. It was unbelievable. We pushed to the front because we were the youngest and shortest ones there. I have never seen a band to this day play as tight and as powerful as they did. That whole year after that I was all about turtlenecks and messenger bags.

The other show was Converge at Club Krome. That’s another band that still blows my mind with each release; I've seen them probably 4 or 5 times now, but that first time was unbelievable. That's what really got me into harder stuff.

So after all this, how did Byrds of Paradise come out?

Well I've always wanted to do a band, but just didn’t have the right resources. Since coming to DC, I couldn’t find people who were dedicated enough, able to practice, or had the same vision as me. I was jamming with Mike Mimoun, from Family Portrait, for a while and we were calling it the Council of Cool. It was fun and all but we weren't really doing anything and obviously he had his loyalty and priorities to Family Portrait, which makes sense because they're doing big things and are good. After that we added you and my roommate, Forgan, and started doing that Sperry Boys project, which was going well; it had a Britpop vibe and the songs were tight and executed well. Of course, you had your priority to Ra Ra Rasputin, Mimoun with Family Portrait, etc, etc.

I was stuck in a rut and getting real frustrated. At that point I was like, "fuck it, I play everything anyway, I'll do it on my own". My only problem is that I can't sing for shit.

This was all in April. Then I took a nasty spill in a biking incident and broke my leg pretty bad. I went home to Jersey for a month and then came back in the summer. Everyone was working during the day, except for Ari (Stern, of Family Portrait). I'd crutch over there every day and just chill with him. That's how "Rosebud" came about. I'd bug him all day to record me when he wasn't busy packaging and shipping records. I said "Ari, I wrote this song for you" and I played it for him and he wasn’t into it. One day I was dicking around on the guitar and played two chords in the style of "In a Big Country" by Big Country and he’s like, “Wait a second, I like that.” We wrote and recorded it off those two chords in about three hours. It was sent to Brody (also of Family Portrait) and he put the words down and I got it back like a month and a half later. Three days later it was on Pitchfork. After that, I bought my own Tascam 8 track and moved back to my parents’ house in Jersey and recorded with Jared and Alan. Now the HEARTS OF PALM cassette is almost complete!


Just out of curiosity, where’d you get the name from?
I got the name Byrds of Paradise from Planet Earth, actually. I used to watch it every night when I went to sleep, putting it on mute and giving it a personal soundtrack. My favorite was the rainforest one. The birds of paradise use different forms of dancing, flashy colors, and calls to attract their female counterparts; humans do the same thing. But we call it STUNTIN hahahaha.

It must’ve been a bit of a mindfuck seeing “Rosebud,” and later “Rowena,” posted on Pitchfork, huh?
It was pretty satisfying. I always felt like I was overlooked because no one was stoked on my music the way I was. I've been writing songs since I was 12, and I'm pretty confident in my writing, but no one's ever wanted to take it a step further with me. Maybe I'm just an asshole (laughs).

Either way, I feel like this is a step in the right direction that the Byrds of Paradise can keep going. Getting on Pitchfork was pretty unbelievable too. I'm glad to know there are people all over that are listening and anticipating what's coming next. We actually already got offers to release some singles, so my mind really is pretty fucking blown. It makes not being able to find a job a little softer around the edges.

In the last couple of months, you recruited a couple of new members to help flesh out the band’s sound. Tell me about these dudes and how y’all know each other.
Yeah, I did add some new members. Alan and Jared are friends of mine from way back. We met through shows and such, fell out of touch a little bit, but now I'm back and it's like nothing changed. We’re all a bit taller and older, it's weird. We also grew musically into the same type of niche. Everything fit together, like pieces of a puzzle. I can't sing, and I'm an alright drummer; Jared has surprised me with every recording we've done, and Alan just KILLS the drums! It's awesome I can write these songs and get an outside perspective to work with that fits within the same vision. I hate recording by myself: it feels more like an errand, than a good time.

Who are some of your favorite groups right now?
There's a lot of sick hardcore going on in DC. Check out this new band called D.O.C. (Disciples of Christ). Nolan shreds on guitar so hard, and Chris Moore is probably one of the best drummers I've ever seen. I feel like Police & Thieves is underrated too.
In New York, there's so much shit going on. I just got back, so I don't even know what to look for.
In terms of hardcore, I think that New Jersey is killing it. All the kids that I grew up with are still doing big things and that's awesome. It's like I never left for DC. Check out Mount McKinley, Will Stratton, and Pow Wow. Mount McKinley is fucking AWESOME, Will has a new album out, and Pow Wow is playing some great shows.

So what do you think of the scene(s) down here in DC? How has it changed? How has it stayed the same?
This question is loaded for me, and you know that, hah! It's too small. Not enough people doing enough things for me. Brightest Young Things is cool and all, but the whole city can't rely on that for music and culture. That's what I think is cool about DC hardcore, which I was never a part of but got to see from the outside: it's tight knit, communal, yet welcoming to outsiders, and self-inspired to host shows with new bands, find new venues, and keep DIY alive. (Instead) it's the same bands playing the Black Cat, the Velvet Lounge, and the same DJ's spinning at Wonderland.
Don't get me wrong, I still read Brightest Young Things. But I wish that it wasn't the big fish in a small pond, you know? I wish more new faces would be at more shows, and that people would go to different things even if it wasn't featured on the website.

Strong words. But, could you ever picture yourself returning to DC to play music?
As a musician, I don't know if I could make it back to DC. As I said, there's not enough going on for me like that. Playing with the same bands to the same people isn't going to get me anywhere, there aren't any labels really to rely on, and there's no real motivation. The bands are good, but they only want to go so far; that's the difference with New York City. In New York, if you can get it up there, you can make it work mostly anywhere.

Byrds of Paradise "Rosebud"
Byrds of Paradise "Rowena"


Monday, October 5, 2009

Wavves, Ganglians and Tennis System @ Rock & Roll Hotel 10.1.2009

I woke up from my nap around 7:45 PM and realized that I had about 20 minutes to shower, get dressed and make moves to the Rock and Roll Hotel. With the onset of fall, I no longer have the luxury of making night moves at a leisurely pace. In other words, the colder it gets, the more hurried my life becomes.

When I arrived at the Rock and Roll Hotel around 8:30pm, Tennis System were still doing soundcheck. To pass the time, I decided to head upstairs and read a newspaper. From my seat at the bar, I could feel the vibrations of the music from downstairs. Apparently Matt, Drake, Clinton and Brad were living up to their reputation as DC’s loudest band before the doors had even opened.

There are few things I love more than when a band begins their set with the song I really want to hear. Tennis System started the evening right by opening with a searing vesrion of “FS.” Despite the fact that they’ve only been playing out for about a year, this band is definitely making a mark on the DC scene. Their set featured Mogwai influenced freak-outs and jangly psychedelic numbers that were reminiscent of early Ride - the ideal combination, if you ask me. Their LOUDquietLOUD antics, combined with the use of moody and sometimes disorienting lighting, make for an intense live experience. Assuming they find a way to keep local soundguys from tearing their hair out, I see a very bright future for these lads.

Next up were Ganglians, a Sacramento based quartet who are currently on tour with Wavves. I expected them to be yet another middling fuzzed out indie pop group, but boy was I wrong. They kinda sounded like a rock version of DC’s Exactly. The vocals and guitars were washed out in delay and reverb, while the drums and bass throbbed like a speed freak’s heart. Even when they slowed down for keyboards based tracks (note: keyboard being a little Casio CZ series), there was still an air of menace. While I thought these guys were excellent performers, I would’ve preferred to see them in a smaller, slightly sweatier venue.

Now a lot of people have written a lot of things about Wavves in the last four months. Nathan Williams’ “meltdown” at Primavera Soundsystem earlier this year had a lot of people pointing and laughing. And a recent altercation with Jared from Black Lips was touted as a lo-fi version of the 1990s hip-hop wars. It could be argued that a number of people in the audience were there to see if the whole thing was gonna be some kind of freakshow.

Well, it wasn’t. Yes, Nathan was a bit weird, but he was certainly in good spirits. And the addition of powerhouse drummer Zach Hill made his songs sounds MASSIVE. I mean, the music wasn’t groundbreaking, revolutionary, whatever whatever whatever. But Wavves were a lot of fun. And everybody seemed to be enjoying themselves.
I had a chance to speak to Nathan after the show and I found him to be really laid back and funny. So much for the drug inhaling, glass-smashing monster that the rest of the blogosphere has made him out to be. Don’t believe the hype, kids…
Tennis System on MySpace
Ganglians on MySpace
Wavves on MySpace

Friday, September 4, 2009

Summer is over and the trees are bare...

100 dBs, fresh off a vacation in Bermuda, has posted a new Brian Wilson mix called "All Summer Long." Download it for free over at his website.

Ringo Deathstarr will be releasing "In Love" and "Summer Time" on 7" on September 14th. They've also posted two new songs "Two Girls" and the thrillingly beautiful "So High" on their MySpace. They will be returning to Washington DC on Monday October 26th @ the Black Cat.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

THIS WEEKEND NYC: 2 dope events for Saturday Aug 22

Underwater Peoples Summer 2009 Showcase
Fresh off the heels of a Pitchfork-approved compilation and a couple of new singles by Real Estate and Ducktails, the lads at Underwater Peoples will be hosting the mother of all-dayers at Market Hotel in Brooklyn. The folks at UP promise lots of ill music, lots of beer, pleasant company, tons of fun.

Show Starts 4PM $5.00 @the door
Subway: J to Myrtle Ave Stop.

BANDS (in no order; official set times will be posted in a couple days):

And while he may not be performing, Kenny Brown of Byrds of Paradise will be holdin’ it down.


ArtCrime this Saturday at 205 Chrystie featuring System D-128 (Mad Decent)

Join Theory Events for a night of audio-visual crills with guest video artist System D-128 (Mad Decent/Stemspot) and resident djs It’s Overture, Voidstar Runner, DJ Scallywag and 100dBs burning up two dance floors, upstairs and down.

System D-128, a.k.a. Duey FM, is coming to us from Illadelph, PA. In late 2004, he created a DVD for Diplo’s Florida LP. He has also worked with Obey, M.I.A., Ed Banger, Stones Throw Records, Ghostly International, A-Trak, and MF Doom on a variety of projects. He is currently working with Mad Decent, Mishka and his independent production company Stemspot.

Music by:
System D-128
DJ Scallywag
It's Overture
Voidstar Runner

The 411:
205 Chrystie Street. New York, NY
Free for ladies
$10 for dudes ($5 on guestlist:
Subway - Take the F/V to 2nd Avenue OR the 6 train to Bleeker

Official Site

Thursday, August 13, 2009


As individuals, the members of Exactly have gained a certain amount of notoriety in DC’s small, but closely knit indie scene. Whether for their outrageous sense of dress, or their hard partying antics, Jesse (Keyboards, Vocals), Cole (Drums) and Adrian (Keyboards, Vocals) have cemented their reputations as very colorful characters. So you can only imagine our surprise when these three announced that they were forming a band.

(Photo by Sam Goldstein, for Brightest Young Things)

Their first show at Asylum was a reverbed-out performance art spectacle that left some folks wondering if they’d just had the wool pulled over their eyes. (In all fairness, the soundguy did a terrible job). But all doubts were jettisoned when the group staged a show at their warehouse/practice space in October 2008. By turning down the reverb and actually crafting songs with discernible melodies, Exactly managed to channel the sounds of Suicide, Big Black, Kiss and Animal Collective. (Let it be known that I was the first one to compare these guys to Suicide, not DCist).This performance was particularly memorable due to the fact that the entire group (and their topless dancer) were covered in fake blood and surrounded by strobe-lights.

(Photo by Zach Callahan)

Since then, Exactly have continued to perform in the DC area, and even managed to take their act to Baltimore and New York. Check out their MySpace and pray that they decide to play a concert hall near you! I strongly recommend "Jenny's Fine" and "Empire."

Friday, July 10, 2009

Playing @ the 930 Club TONIGHT

For all you readers out there who've been wondering why I've been absent, allow me to bring you up to speed.

My band, Ra Ra Rasputin is playing at the 930 Club here in Washington, DC. It's been an insane month, lemme tell you. Rehearsals, a guest DJ spot here, and some serious flyering all day/every day. It's been absolute chaos. But two years of hard work and toil have finally paid off. So in honor of US I've decided to post a few things.

Ra Ra Rasputin - Synaptic from MOPEDLORDS on Vimeo.

Ra Ra Rasputin - Sundowning from MOPEDLORDS on Vimeo.

Ra Ra Rasputin - Fade To Grey (Visage) from MOPEDLORDS on Vimeo.



More information:
Ra Ra Rasputin MySpace
Interview with DCist
Interview with Bands in Town

Thursday, June 4, 2009

"We Fought the Big One Mixtape - June 2009"

Ra Ra Rasputin is playing a show with Love Is All tonight @ The Black Cat, and I, Colonel K from Ra Ra Rasputin will at DJing at "We Fought The Big One" on Friday @ Marx Cafe in Mt. Pleasant, DC.

Brandon and Rick, the hosts/DJs of WFTBO invited me to compile a mixtape to celebrate my ascension to "Guest DJ" status. Enjoy!

Simple Minds “Changeling”

Between 1979’s “Life in a Day” and 1982’s “New Gold Dream,” this Glaswegian quintet ambitiously fused Krautrock, ambient pop, Italo-disco and glam rock into a sound that was chaotic, yet inspired. But buried in the confusion, there are stunning moments of glory. Look no further than “Changeling,” an incredibly danceable single from 1979’s “Real to Real Cacophony.”

Family Portrait “Mega Secrets”
This is a band featuring some younger friends of mine here in DC. (They’ve all just completed their bachelor’s degrees at GW). I had no idea that these guys were in a band, and I was gobsmaked when they played me the rough version of this song. Recorded on a reel-to-reel somewhere in suburban New Jersey, “Mega Secrets” is a piece of enjoyable lo-fi pop by a very secretive band (they’ve only played 2 or 3 shows).

The Pop Group “She is Beyond Good and Evil”
Bristol’s the Pop Group were one of the most intense and experimental groups to emerge from the ashes of punk rock. “She Is Beyond Good and Evil,” is an aggressive bouillabaisse of free-jazz, punk, and dub - all of this topped by Mark Stewart’s fanatical, Yoko Ono-esque vocals. The lyric “Our only defense is together as an army, I’ll hold you like a gun,” sends shivers down my spine every time I hear it. If Liquid Liquid can get back together for a series of concerts, why the hell can’t these guys.

The Pale Fountains “Always Something on My Mind”
I discovered the album “Pacific Street” while working as a teacher in the suburbs of Paris. “Always Something on My Mind,” a sunny Love/Burt Bacharach-influenced tune, was my favorite song on the album. A song that kept helped me keep my mind off the Continental winter.
One evening, while I was thumbing through paperbacks at a small bookstore in the Latin Quarter, I met a lovely American girl named Caroline. We would get together to sip drinks and complain about the weather. We ended up moving to DC around the same time and continued to post up. While driving around in my car one Sunday morning, we listened to my copy of “Pacific Street.” When I dropped her off, I gave her the CD as a reminder of old times.

Hey Paulette “I Really Do Love Penelope”
There was a period back in ‘07 when I could not fall asleep at night. I’d stay up for hours watching either stand-up comedy or looking for old music videos. One night I searched for “C86″ and found this song. It wasn’t the most groundbreaking video -it was just Super8 footage the band playing in a warehouse (actually Temple Lane Studios in Dublin). But the guitar playing was heavenly and the lyrics made me laugh out loud. I tried to dig up information on the band, but came up with very little.
Hey Paulette were an Irish group whose sound referenced the jangly guitars of the Smiths and the self deprecating lyrics of Edwyn Collins. Typical of most bands of their era, Hey Paulette released one album, two seven inches, one twelve inch and a Peel session. And despite their brief blip of a presence on the indie-pop radar, the band somehow managed to attract fans in Japan and the Philippines. And thanks to today’s reissue culture, all of their material has been compiled onto a CD that is available on I-Tunes. I love it.

Felt “Fortune (12″ Version)”
This version of “Fortune” (which appeared as the b-side to “Sunlight Bathed the Golden Glow), is much better than the original found on 1981’s “Crumbling the Antiseptic Beauty. Lawrence’s vocals sound a lot better when they’re up front in the mix. And Maurice Deebank’s atmospheric approach to classical scales sounds so much better with the right amount of chorus and reverb. In my opinion this is probably one of Deebank’s finest performances. Felt really suffered when he decided to leave the band. Sure they gained Martin Duffy - but he didn’t really start to shine until he joined Primal Scream. But that’s another argument for another day.

Ringo Deathstarr “Starrsha”
The key to playing shoegaze/dreampop is VOLUME. A Place to Bury Strangers knows this. Screen Vinyl Image knows this. And Ringo Deathstarr definitely knows this. This Austin quartet has played DC five times in the last year, and will probably be here twice before the end of 2009. If you haven’t heard their music, do so ASAP. Along w/the aforementioned APTBS and SVI, they manage to carry the torch of early Jesus and Mary Chain/Isn’t Anything era My Bloody Valentine without sounding hopelessly derivative. “Starrsha” is the second song on their debut EP, which was recently reissued by on vinyl by none other than Fan Death Records.

The Style Council “Long Hot Summer”
Some people will never forgive Paul Weller for breaking up the Jam and forming the Style Council. And while Weller and collaborator Mick Talbot did many questionable things during the 80s, they always looked sharp and always came through with dope and soulful songs.

Nite Jewel “What Did He Say”
In his review of 2009’s “Good Evening,” Ian Cohen of Pitchfork complained loudly about the album’s tape hiss, unquantized drum programming and shaky playing. But something tells me that he’d never complain about the poorly tuned guitars and flat vocals that seem to dominate most indie rock.
Rockist statements from crabby reviewers aside, I sweat this song cuz it reminds me of hot summer evenings. You know, when you’re getting ready to go out and you have the AC on blast and you’re trying to find a good shirt. Much respect to Spin Magazine for writing a little blurb these ladies in last month’s issue.

The Teardrop Explodes “Like Leila Khaled Said
I love this song for the sheer audacity of the subject matter. Leila Khaled was a member of Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) who was briefly imprisoned in the UK due to her involvement in two high profile airline hijackings in 1969 and 1970. In today’s post 9/11 world, I can’t think of any group that would dare to compose such a love song. But considering the fact that Palestine is no longer a cause célèbre amongst the young and hip set (most people wear kaffiyehs without even acknowledging the political significance of that particular garment), I doubt anyone would care.

Jacob Miller “King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown”
I used to trade cassettes with this dude Johannes, a hip Filipino kid from San Francisco. We met during an exchange program in Nice, France and instantly bonded over music. Upon returning to the States, we began trading mix tapes. He’d send me cassettes of late early 90s house, Kool Keith and dub reggae. In turn, I sent him tapes of underground NY hip hop and hardcore punk.
This version of Jacob Miller’s “Baby I Love You So,” was the first dub song I ever heard. I damn near destroyed the cassette because I kept rewinding it to hear the huge spaced out drum fills in the middle of the song.

Liechtenstein “Roses in the Park”
In age where so many artists are using AutoTune in the studio and on stage, it’s such a relief to hear the sound of a singer’s natural voice. Liechtenstein’s vocal arrangements not only sound beautiful, they are also very well thought out. This was the first of their songs that I ever heard and I instantly fell in love with it. Some pundits have compared them to Kleenex and Liliput. Some of my BYT Colleagues swear they sound like the Mo-dettes. Me? I think they sound like the Shop Assistants or Darling Buds. Whatever you think they sound like, they sound great and I can’t wait for them to come back to DC.

Antena “Camino Del Sol”
Les Disques du Crepuscule was more than just a dumping ground for A Certain Ratio and Durutti Column 7″s. In the early 1980s, they released several recordings by one of the innovative groups to come out of France’s electro scene - Antena. By mixing Afro-Brazilian rhythms (played on cheap rhythm boxes and drum machines) with icy synths and jazzy vocals, the group created “electro-samba” (a term coined by Pet Shop Boy Neil Tennant, who reviewed one of their early singles).

This mix and the accompanying notes were originally posted on Brightest Young Things

Monday, June 1, 2009

A lot of words with Nate Frey (of Last Tide, Detox Retox)

I’m not 100% sure how I met Nate Frey. I do remember remarking that he was wearing Uniqlo T-000 jeans. I gave him much respect for this, as I can only think of a few people in DC who enjoy going up to NY and shopping at Uniqlo as much as I do.
But this is not an interview about fashion – no. Nate is a talkative fellow and he's in a couple of bands. Detox Retox is his longtime band and I've had the pleasure of sharing the stage with those guys several times. Homeboy also has a new band called Last Tide and they'll playing at Red and Black on Tuesday June 2nd.

Nate you’re a pretty busy guy(he also has a post-rock group and occasionally does noise sets). How do you find the time to devote this much energy to making so much music - I mean you do have a full time job as well!
It's pretty much my favorite thing in the world. I could easily spend every waking minute playing music and be happy.

Boring question - what made you wanna pick up the guitar?

I started playing when I was about 13. At that time I was mostly trying to learn a lot of classic rock, stuff like Jimi Hendrix, The Police, Neil Young.

Who are your primary influences?
Depends on the project. Here's a few of the more obvious ones:
Last Tide: MBV, Slowdive, Red House Painters, Smashing Pumpkins
Detox Retox: Talking Heads, !!!, Modest Mouse, Head Automatica
Reversal: Mogwai, Don Caballero, Explosions in the Sky, King Crimson

And then there are loads of others who've influenced me in more subtle ways.

What’ve bee you listening to in the last 6 months?
"Isn't Anything" - My Bloody Valentine
"Year After Year" - Idaho
S/T (I) - Red House Painters
"The Name of this Band is Talking Heads" - Talking Heads

"Dark Was the Night" - VA. (The Bon Iver song on this record is incredible!)
St Vincent - I saw her play at the Black Cat the other week, not knowing much of her music, and I was really blown away.

Now, your band,Detox Retox, has been quiet for a few months due to the fact that your singer is doing an internship abroad. When is he returning and what your plans are for the next few months?
Well, we have some tracks recorded that we're hoping to have Justin Moyer (Edie Sedgwick) mix in the near future. Not quite enough for another EP though, so when Parker gets back we'll need to record another song or two before we can do an actual release.
Show-wise, we just found out we're playing MidPoint Music Festival in Cincinnati in late September, so we're probably gonna do a couple additional Midwest dates around that. Plus, there will definitely be some local shows later this summer that aren't quite nailed down yet.


And I just heard that y'all are playing the Warped Tour. Congratulations!

Yeah, that is definitely happening, July 14th at Merriweather on the Kevin Says Stage. We're looking at it as a great opportunity to get some exposure to an audience we probably wouldn't have access to otherwise, and to get to see Bad Religion play for free... among other things. I think it probably means even more to the other guys than it does to me; they all went to Warped Tour as kids, but yeah, we're all pretty stoked.

It's great that you've managed to make so much progress. But it must be a bit odd to have so much momentum and then have to switch focus to another project.
Playing in Detox Retox is a blast, but I've also always loved a lot of dense, moody stuff that doesn't really fit in with what we do. When I found out we were going to be taking a break from April to July awhile back, I seized the opportunity to start up another project.

So what's Last Tide's songwriting process like? Do you hand the group finished songs and say "play it like this" or is it a more communal effort?

With Last Tide, usually Libby or I will have a fairly complete song, and we'll take it to the band and try to work out an arrangement collaboratively. I tend to think that it's pretty hard to "jam it out" with this type of music, particularly in a five piece band.
In Detox Retox, on the other hand, usually songs start with Parker bringing a riff to the band, and then all of us collectively jamming the rest out.

So how'd you manage to start a new group and book a mini-tour of the East Coast on such short notice?
Well, I went into the project with a lot of songs I wanted to play already written, plus Libby's written a bunch of great songs too, so we weren't short on material like a lot of new bands are. Beyond that, everyone has been good about practicing regularly, which is helpful.
As for booking the shows, I have a lot of contacts from doing almost all the booking for Detox Retox, so I was able to use those connections to my advantage.

There are a lot of bands experimenting in post-rock and shoegaze. In your opinion why is there so much interest in this sort of music right now?

I guess I have two answers to that. Taking a very broad view, God only knows what drives public opinion. But more narrowly, I would say that it may be related to the fact that bands like MBV and Slowdive made such amazing records, but had very little mainstream exposure stateside. And now with the advent of digital music, it's been easier for people to obtain their music, and it still sounds fresh because there really never was a mainstream record anything like Loveless, and because the best shoegaze records were years ahead of their time in terms of production and arranging techniques. That's totally a guess though.

(Photo by Andy Watts)

Ok, so how does one approach such a popular sound and still come off as original?
I think it's important to keep an open mind about what your sound is and not let yourself be constrained by some preconceived notion of what the music should sound like. For example, I started Last Tide as a "shoegaze" project, but there's a lot of other stuff that's made its way in, psychedelic music, minimalist stuff, some punk, all kinds of things, and I'm not even sure a purist would consider what we are doing to be shoegaze music at this point. And that's okay with me. We just try to let the deciding factor be whether we like it or not, and so far, that's worked out pretty well.

Now for inevitable "the scene questions." What do you think about the Washington DC scene right now?
Another broad question. There are a lot of bands I dig, True Womanhood, Imperial China, The Tennis System, Greenland, Title Tracks, Mittenfields, to name a handful, but there are loads of others. (Apologies to any friends I failed to mention!) My biggest disappointment has been that so many DC bands seem to not capitalize on the buzz they accumulate for one reason or another, and seem to end up just another great band that nobody outside of DC ever heard of.

Favorite venues? Are there any places you'll never play again?
Well, maybe it will be different with Last Tide, don't really have enough experience to say yet, but with Detox Retox... we've found Rock and Roll Hotel's sound to be really good, the best we've had probably. Velvet Lounge has a really cool vibe to it that we like a lot. I've never played Black Cat or DC9, so I can't really speak to those from a performer's perspective, but I love seeing shows at both.
Outside of DC, there's this BYOB space in Philly called Connie's Ric-Rac which is just a huge party, (the place Detox Retox played with you guys a few months back), that was just a great atmosphere.
There actually haven't been very many places I've disliked playing. I'm easy to please, I guess.

And who are your favorite bands to play with?
These are all bands Detox Retox has played with, though I am really stoked to play with some of the bands Last Tide is sharing bills with in the next couple months. We love playing with you guys (Ra Ra Rasputin), we love playing with Loose Lips. Oh, and I definitely have to mention the guys in Fight the Bear; they've been great to us basically from the beginning, and they rock so hard.

And finally, I must acknowledge our many conversations about musical equipment we findon Craigslist and Ebay. Tell me about some of your recent purchases. Any regrets?
I spent a few months this winter acquiring a small arsenal of cheap guitars. In retrospect, some of them probably weren't worth buying, but they are gonna make fun DIY upgrade projects, so I don't really regret them. I will say that I regret buying three chorus pedals that all kind of sucked before finally spending the extra money on a BBE Mindbender, which was what I wanted in the first place. But c'est la vie.

Do you have any predictions on how the economy will affect the market for vintage instruments?
I had to sell some stuff a few months back and I can honestly say it's very much a buyer's market right now. I think the future direction of the market depends upon the state of the economy at large, and if I knew that I'd be a much richer man.

Last Tide will be playing @ the Red and Black on Tuesday June 2nd. Doors are at 830pm , first band is on at 9pm.
Last Tide MySpace
Detox Retox MySpace

Friday, May 22, 2009

Simple Minds “New Gold Dream (81, 82, 83, 84)” (1982)

New Gold Dream holds a special place in my heart because it is the first Simple Minds record I ever owned. It was the record that really got me to dismiss their “80s Music” legacy and seriously examine their back catalog.

The story of "New Gold Dream" begins in January 1982, when the group recorded demos for “King Is White and In the Crowd,” “Promised You a Miracle,” and “Hunter and the Hunted.” Following these demo sessions, the group returned to the road until the end of spring. A completed version of “Promised You a Miracle” was released as a single in April 1982. Much to everyone’s surprise, it crashed the top twenty, landing at number 13.

With a top-20 U.K. single and a supportive record label, Virgin, behind them, the band retreated to Fife in late spring to record some more demos for the new album. Producer Pete Walsh would later recall “They would jam for two hours on the same song, and then we would listen to it back on cassette, pick the good bits and make the song around that. A lot of it was what they'd call pure shit, or not very good anyway, and there were some magic bits that maybe were never captured on the album.”

Following the Fife rehearsals, the group headed to London to record the album’s basic tracks. Virgin encouraged Walsh to capture the energy of the group’s live sound, and so it was decided that the album would be a live studio album with minimal overdubs. To achieve this, the band would play each song several times, and Walsh would assemble an edit of the best performances.

Now, lineup changes were nothing new to the group. So it was rather unsurprising when they ran into drummer issues while recording the album. Drummer Kenny Hyslop, who played on “Promised You a Miracle,” left the group after that single’s release and Mike Ogletree was quickly drafted in to replace him. But despite his competence on the road, the other lads found his style of drumming was not meshing well with the new material. In an attempt to rectify this, Pete Walsh suggested his friend Mel Gaynor to fill in the gaps. Ultimately, both Ogletree and Gaynor are credited on the album’s sleeve:

Ongletree plays on:
“Colours Fly and Catherine Wheel"
"Somebody up There Likes You”
"New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84)

while Gaynor plays on:
"Someone Somewhere in Summertime",
"Big Sleep",
"New Gold Dream.",
"Glittering Prize",
"Hunter and the Hunted"
"The King is White and in the Crowd".

Upon completing the basic live tracks, the band again moved house to record the overdubs. This time to Virgin’s “The Manor Studios” in rural Oxfordshire. The manor was more country club than recording studio, and the group regularly dipped out to swim or play ping pong when they found themselves feeling stuck. If only every band had this sort of luxury...

Interestingly enough, Simple Minds did not stop touring altogether while recording. A quick examination of their 1982 calendar shows that they managed to squeeze in a number of European Festival appearances between June and August. That the group were able to keep such a hectic schedule AND be productive in the studio is impressive. It really makes me wonder how bands today can defend taking such lengthy pauses between touring and recording.

The first word that comes to mind when I think of “New Gold Dream” is FOCUS. “Sister Feelings Call/Sons & Fascination” and “Empires and Dance” may have been ambitious, but they were cluttered and even sound unfinished in some parts. But it seems as though the heavy experimentation that defined Simple Minds’ first four albums paid off. On “New Gold Dream,” they emerge as a band with a sound that is very much their own. While the album does sound glossier than previous releases, it never comes off as boring. The melodies are strong and memorable, and the songs are cohesive. So unlike "Empires and Dance," it's much easier to listen to this album start-to-finish on repeat.
My favorite song on the album? “Hunter and the Hunted,” because it features it features a keyboard solo byHerbie Hancock. Apparently, the jazz-funk legend was recording in a studio next door when the band asked him if he’d like to contribute to the album. His solo is probably of the most poignant and moving performances on the album.

*Interestingly enough, this album sits very comfortable next to Roxy Music’s final release, Avalon, which was released in June of 1982. Simple Minds, like many of their contemporaries (e.g. Duran Duran), were heavily influenced by Roxy Music. So it’s rather interesting to notice how their work matched up stylistically in 1982.

More Information HERE
Wikipedia Entry HERE

Monday, May 11, 2009

Simple Minds “Empires and Dance” (1980)

For better or for worse, people will remember Glasgow’s Simple for two reasons
1) “Don’t You Forget About Me” from The Breakfast Club
2) Their performance at Live Aid.

While the band certainly benefited from the exposure, it’s unfortunate that they became so bland and pompous in the late 1980s. To me, it seemed as though this group had produced nothing of any real value. So you can only imagine my surprise when I learned that the cover of the Manic Street Preachers “The Holy Bible” was inspired by Simple Minds’ “Empire and Dance.” I remember thinking “Wait, what? Simple Minds? The band with the song from the Breakfast Club – get the fuck out!” Since then, I’ve gained a real appreciation for Simple Minds’ early albums and I’ve decided to share some of the things I’ve learned about this group over the last couple of years.

First up, 1980's “Empires and Dance.”

At the end of 1979, Simple Minds embarked on a tour in support of their sophomore album, “Real to Real Cacophony.” While their record label, Arista, initially refused to release the album, critics loved it and the band was excited to hit the road and expand their audience. Between October 1979 and June 1980, they performed in the UK, Germany, France, Sweden, and the Benelux region. They even managed to squeeze in two dates in New York.

It was the European leg of the tour that turned out to be the biggest eye-opener for the young band. The Continent was stumbling further into economic and political crisis thanks to a spike in oil prices, civil unrest, and a recently reignited Cold War. Singer Jim Kerr would later recall “I was twenty, and I looked around me. We had the talent always to be in the place where the neo-Nazis exploded another bomb. Bologna, a synagogue in Paris, a railway station in Munich. Don't tell me anything like that could leave you unmoved.” Despite the ever present instability, the tour was a resounding success and left a profound effect on the young group.

Upon returning to the UK in June of 1980, Simple Minds immediately began work on a new album. This time around, they were much better prepared to record. Seven new songs had been road tested and demoed by the time the band entered the studio. The album, which was produced by John Leckie, was completed during the summer and delivered to Arista Records, who refused to release it. But after much pressure from the band and their management (Jim Kerr took it upon himself to regularly telegram label representatives to release the album), “Empires and Dance” was released in September 1980. But this was not without controversy; Arista initially pressed 15,000 copies, waited for those to sell out, and then pressed another 15,000. As a result the album stalled at number 41.

(That’s all well and good, but what about the music).

The album begins with the stunning, “I Travel,” that was inspired by the group’s visit to a divided Berlin and tumultuous changes in geopolitics. Jim Kerr’s lyrics reflect both fear and fascination. (Again, he was only 20 years old at the time). Musically, it’s one of the most exciting songs the band ever produced. Drummer Brian McGee and bassist Derek Forbes provide a funky backdrop to Charlie Burchill’s soaring guitar and keyboardist Mick MacNeil’s gurgling synthesizers. At times, the song recalls Donna Summer’s 1977 “I Feel Love,” a song that went to #1 in the UK Charts. That such a danceable track could come from a Glaswegian band is actually no surprise. Dance Music was immensely popular among the post-punk crowd, with groups like Orange Juice singing the praises of Chic.

Now, while “I Travel,” is an excellent leadoff track, it is a bit misleading. Yes, the album has its groovy moments, e.g. “Celebrate,” and “30 Frames per Second,” but the remainder of the songs are not that dance floor friendly, and they draw more heavily from the experimental end of the Krautrock spectrum. “Twist/Run/Repulsion,” seems to capture the feelings of confusion and alienation that one might experience in a European train station – complete with announcements in French. (The French announcements are actually passages from Lolita read by Chantalle Jeunet, a friend of the group).

The album’s undeniable apex is “This Fear of Gods,” a song that best be described a Giorgio Moroder track being played at half-speed. The steady bass and drums are augmented by screeching saxophones and synths; all of this topped with a distant and ominous vocal by Jim Kerr. “Don’t You Forget About Me,” it is not.

Listening to “Empires and Dance,” I get the impression that Simple Minds were a young band in a hurry. They were full of ideas and wanted to commit them to tape as quickly as possible. Perhaps they should’ve taken a little bit more time to polish their ideas and make a more cohesive record. This is not to say that this is a bad record. But I can sort of understand Arista’s frustration with the group.

Almost immediately following the completion of this album, Simple Minds hit the road. This time as an opening act for Peter Gabriel, who was touring in support of Peter Gabriel III (aka Melt, featuring the songs “Games Without Frontier”, “Biko”). Problems with Arista Records would come to a head in early 1981. The label had routinely failed to promote albums, singles and concerts and the band nearly broke up in order to avoid dealing with the situation. Eventually, they were let go from their Arista contract (at considerable cost, the band was forced to take on a significant amount of debt) and signed to Virgin.

Download the album HERE
Buy the excellent reissue from Amazon.
A very helpful source of information on this album HERE.

Monday, May 4, 2009

A Friendly Chat with 100 dBs

I have a really wonderful story about Dan “100dBs” Brenner. Back when were students at University of Maryland, he expressed an interest in Dj-ing at one or two of the local bars in College Park. He went to every bar in town (all four of them) and handed the nightlife promoters a copy of a reggae/hip-hop mix he’d made.

None of them returned his calls.

A year later, me, him and a few of our roommates began throwing parties at a dilapidated colonial house that we called the Francis Estates. The combination of Dan’s dj-ing, cheap drinks (dollar shots, $4 for all you can drink beer) and a very good looking crowd made the parties legendary. If only the folks at Cornerstone and Santa Fe knew what they’d missed out on…

It is now 2009, and 100 dBs has not DJ’d a grimey college basement in at least two years. But his strong sense of independence and belief in DIY ethics has not diminished one bit. If anything, it helped prepare him to navigate the unfriendly waters of the NYC hip-hop scene. Homeboy was kind enough to take a few minutes to speak to us about setting up an independent label, real vs fake DJs, and NY’s finest fried chicken establishments.



Right off the bat son, tell us a little bit about your new label, Drum Attix. What is the label’s philosophy? Who are your artists?

Drum Attix is the label I'm officially launching this year. I think our goal is the same as any label: bring dope music to the people. But I think I have a unique perspective in that I really embrace technology while maintaining interest in traditional techniques. All of us are down with that philosophy in some way. There are a few rappers I'm producing for... of course Ryan-O'Neil (we're working on a second LP now), Sirah (really fly girl from LA), and Hicoup (dirty Jersey all day).

We've got DJ Scallywag, whose club mixes are just phenomenal. I swear, I lived in Maryland for years but didn't fully appreciate Bmore Club til I started spinning with him. DJ Far East is a young cat who is really ahead of his time with the mashups he's been executing. It's Overture are also killing it with the mashups, and their mixes are always flawless. Nefarious and Voidstar Runner are working on a grimy EP of breaks and blips.

One of the projects I'm most excited about is a full-length dub treatment of NYC's own Slackers. A while back Dave Hillyard handed me the masters to their back catalog and I've been slowly compiling a series of remixes for them. So yeah, I have my hands full, and we're coming from all angles.


What are some of your upcoming releases & projects for 2009?
#1. Sirah's EP. This girl has tons of attitude and an appreciation for classic material that is pretty hard to find these days. I went out to LA this past January to record with her and we did this release from scratch in five days. She is a beast in the studio.

#2.Hipster Bullshit Redux. This is really just a bunch of leftovers that people have been asking me about. No real concept, just remixes and such that didn't see the light of day for whatever reason.

#3.Voidstar / Nefarious Split EP. Nefarious is a jungle producer (yeah, jungle) with an attention to detail that scares the shit out of me. Voidstar makes breakcore and electronic compositions that bump. These guys are going to blow out your eardrums

What advice do you have for artists who are trying to release their music independently?
Forget about getting signed. Put out some QUALITY music for free, do a lot of shows in your hometown, and build a support system. Slow and steady is the way. Everyone is so worried about blowing RIGHT NOW that they're missing the point: if you release garbage today, nobody will be listening tomorrow.

What’s changed the most about your working habits and lifestyle as a producer/DJ?
I think a few years ago I was still pretty scattershot with scheduling sessions and knowing how something is going to form. These days I'm still pretty random, but I generally know what's going to work and what's not before I even approach it. I've also learned how to work with different artists and understand who needs to be pushed and who needs to be left alone. It's important to focus on the human aspects of producing a session; definitely even more important than the technical ability to do so.



OK you seem to be a bit of a serial mover. When you first moved to NY, you were in Sunset Park. Then you were in the East Village. Then you were in Bushwick for a minute, now you’re back in Sunset Park. What’s real good man?
I'll tell you what's NOT real good. Scumbag landlords who don't turn on the heat in the winter. To tell you the truth, I'm really happy to be back in south Brooklyn. The rent is reasonable, kids don't have asymmetrical haircuts, and there are (a few) trees. And people are definitely less uptight. No one can yell at you for swamping your building with dub basslines when they're cranking bachata all day.

Well I'm sure Sunset Park is glad to have you back. You spent quite a few years in the DC area, and you’ve made a handful of appearances here since you left. What do you think it would’ve been like if you’d stayed?
Well, I think I probably would have started a dancehall/reggae party somewhere and that would be that. Not that there isn't any opportunity for growth in DC, but I found it sort of... anti-competitive. I feel like it's easy to get comfortable and stay "in a scene" down there.
In New York, I feel more stimulated, but yeah, I grind my teeth at night.

If you could move to any other city to continue doing what you’re doing (DJ ing, producing, etc) what would it be?
I really like Berlin, but it's really cold there. I can't quite deal with that, but the scene there is incredible. Still cheap as hell, and very friendly to artists and musicians.
If I'm honest, I'd like to go to Bucharest for a while too.


It seems as though these days everyone’s a DJ. But in my opinion, you’re not really a DJ if you’re not beatmatching, scratching, and doing good transitions between songs. Is it just me, or are people too drunk to realize that so many cats are trainwrecking for hours on end? What’s your take on the rise of the amateur DJ?
It's not just you. Those people are drunk.
Here's the deal: clubs don't want to pay twice as much for entertainment if they don't have to. So kids get Serato, show up to the club, and are happy to take $100 home for the night. The really great DJs (who aren't huge yet) are losing jobs to these guys... it's just the market playing out, but in the end the bar patrons are on the losing end.

It's funny, my brother (a senior in high school) recently told me he wanted to start DJing. Well, I went back home to surprise him with two turntables and a mixer... and he immediately asked about Serato. I told him he should run blind for at least half a year or so until he can blend properly. There's no other way to truly understand the mechanics of what's going on. We're losing the physical and tactile "feeling" of playing with instruments. We'd rather see what's going on than feel it, because it's a shortcut... and I think this is a vital oversight. And in more practical terms... what happens when your Serato box dies in the club?

What makes a good remix of a rock or pop song? What makes a bad one?
I think often times, producers feel like they have to outdo the original. A great remix is one that goes down a totally different avenue but respects the original ideas.
Redos are boring. I don't know.. take Rihanna when she did Tainted Love. Terrible. I would be embarassed to put that out. But I'm not Rihanna. An example of a good one? I don't know... oh! Diplo's old remix of Peter Bjorn and John's "Young Folks" was kind of cute. I like what he did to it.


Last time we spoke, we spent quite a bit of time discussing the work of J. DIlla. Is there anybody out there who, in your opinion, is carrying on Dilla’s legacy?
Well of course, everyone's talking about dudes like Flying Lotus and such... I think he's as good a torch carrier as any, really. It's good to see people loosening up their drums again.

Your thoughts on the return of MF DOOM?
Uh, he already returned. The new album was OK. At least there are some Dilla beats. He should probably stop trying to rhyme the last five syllables of every couplet just for the sake of doing so, though.

Favorite chicken spot in NY?
Birdie's in the East Village. Unfortunately the rent has gotten so high that the owner is closing it down soon. Mara's (also in the Village) is great too but kind of expensive. Nowadays it's just JFK halal chicken in Brooklyn.

Best record you’ve stumbled across in the last few months?
Recently I signed my mom up for Last.FM and she's been putting me onto a bunch of shit. Have you ever heard "Magic Fly" by Space? I feel like Animal Collective's video for "My Girls" really ripped off their video. Anyway, it's a 70s electronic pop jam that kind of blew my mind. Not too much new shit is really jumping out at me right now. Recently I've been listening to a lot of Stax shit. Booker T and the MGs' Soul Dressing is a classic, anything by Carla Thomas is great too.

Editor’s Update:
On 4/20/2009 100 dBs released Mr. Echo Inna Killah Dub. It is available for download here.


Friday May 8th 2009
100 dBs and Scallywag will be spinning at Flat Out!
@ Rock and Roll Hotel in Washington DC.

Saturday May 9th 2009
100dBs, Scallywag, Ryan O’Neil, Balagan, Hicoup,Outputmessage, and others will be spinning/performing
@ the Hexagon in Baltimore, MD

Monday, March 30, 2009

April 2009 in Washington DC

An * indicates a DO NOT MISS EVENT.

Black Cat:
Wed Apr 1- Exit Clov, Black and White Jacksons, Typefighter

*Thu Apr 2- Impossible Hair(CD Release), The Caribbean, Olivia & the Housemates

*Sat Apr 18- Second Saturdays featuring: RA RA RASPUTIN, Buildings

Tue Apr 14 Ladytron (DJ set), Depressed Buttons (Todd & Jacob of The Faint), Live set by FIGO

Tue Apr 21 The Wax Standard, The Interiors, The Jet Age, Mittenfields

*Wed Apr 22 Tesco Vee and the legendary Meatmen

Thu Apr 23 Ponytail, Imperial China, The Gagged

930 Club (For Eff’s sake, half the good shows are Sold Out):
*Mon Apr 6 The Brian Jonestown Massacre

*Tue Aprl 14 Ladytron & The Faint, w/ Telepathe, Figo DJs

Sat Apr 25 MN8 Presents DJ ?uestLove of the Roots (as if you didn’t know that).

Rock and Roll Hotel:
Fri Apr 3: DISCO City w/ Chris Burns and Maxmillion Dunbar

Wed Apr 8: US Royalty w/ Lissy Trullie, Seas, Garutachi DJs Cassidy & Fabiana

Fri Apr 10: All Our Noise Presents FLAT OUT w/ Resident DJs Micah Vellian (Marquis/Demerit) and Outputmessage (Marquis/Demerit/Melodic/Ghostly)

Sat Apr 18 Justin Jones & the Driving Rain w/ Olivia & the Housemates and The Moderate.

Thu Apr 2 Reversal w/the Sun Committee and Foreign Press

Thu Apr 2 The Laughing Man

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Few Words with Screen Vinyl Image

On May 23rd, 2008, Screen Vinyl Image played a set at Velodrome dance party. At the time, Velodrome was being hosted in the backroom of a small Eritrean restaurant. No biggie, right?
When photos from the show were posted on Brightest Young Things, some folk decided to use the comments section to sound off about the band being “too loud”. But as you’ll discover below, there’s so much more to SVI than just volume. Their music betrays the influences of Italo-disco, psychadelia and even John Carpenter (see below).
So without further ado, the final installment in our “Fortnight of Noise” series, an interview with Jake and Kim Reid (no relation to the brothers Reid of the Jesus and Mary Chain) of Screen Vinyl Image.

First things first, last year you guys played at Velodrome and some people complained that you were way too loud. I think that the room at the venue (Selam) was way too small. What’s your take on the situation? (I personally believe that people should carry earplugs, regardless of the venue).
Kim: We enjoyed playing Velodrome and actually were not aware until days later that there were complaints about the volume. Usually when the volume is too intense people leave the room, but there was a crowd the whole time. We did try to compensate for the room and I thought the show sounded fine; however the room was essentially like playing inside a reverb tank. I do agree that everyone should always bring earplugs to shows, regardless of the venue or band. The volume we play at live is just the volume we are accustom to and yields the sound we want. We never think about it as being really loud. I personally love seeing intense bands. It is an experience instead of just being background music. It is amazing to not only hear, but also feel the music.

You list John Carpenter as one of your influences. Are you talking about his films or his music?
Kim: Both influence us. The films are dependent very much on the soundtrack. Early Carpenter is very DIY and the minimalist electronic soundtracks are amazing. Just a simple beat and synth lines make a memorable movie moment. Early Carpenter films, such as “Assault on Precinct 13”, “Halloween”, “The Thing”, and “Escape from New York”, influence us.

How do you feel about the term “nugaze?” Do you think that it describes your sound accurately?

Jake: We’ve heard the term mentioned a few times, but I don’t know how well it has caught on. I think our sound tends to fall more into an electronic/psychedelic realm.

Could you explain what it’s like making music in the DC area in 2009? More specifically, do you think that the legacy of Dischord, politics and hardcore is burden or a blessing?
Jake: We don’t really think about it much I guess. There are positive things about DC and not so positive things too. We practice in an awesome studio called One World, and we know a lot of great musicians that live here, but we also enjoy getting out of town and experiencing new cities and seeing what’s out there.
As far as Dischord, I think the legacy is a blessing. I got into Minor Threat and Fugazi in high school, then The Make Up, then Nation of Ulysses, etc. That music is very unique and often sounds like nothing else that was being made at the time. So did Go-Go and I got into that music as well growing up. I liked listening to something like Skillet by Backyard Band and it sounding like this massive wall of percussion slamming your speakers. I really like the fact this music came out of DC and sounds so unique.

What bands in the area do you enjoy playing with? Are there any you’d like to play with in future?
Kim: We enjoy playing with Ceremony from Fredericksburg and The Water from Baltimore. When the band was together we always enjoyed playing with the Antiques. It is also great to play with Greg of the Antiques solo project, Teething Veils. We would eventually like to play with Lorelei or Loderunner.

Jake, your previous band, Alcian Blue, used to tour with Skywave (somehow these guys have come up in all 3 interviews for Fortnight of Noise). Now do you have any cool stories about them vs. soundguys?
Jake: Yeah, I think both bands got banned from more than a fair share of clubs for volume levels. We all were in Canada on tour and I remember the bartender telling Oliver that Skywave would sound good if they just brought it down to “Slayer” volume levels.
And, when I was with them, we did a show in NY once where after the first song the bartender came running over screaming at us to turn down and we turned the amps up louder and she saw it and started yelling “You turned the knobs the wrong way,” as if we didn’t know what we were doing. We only got through a short set before the cops showed up.

And keeping up with the life on the road theme, do you have any fun/weird/exciting/harrowing stories from being on the road with SVI?
Kim: At a show in a punk club in Cleveland Jake broke his guitar and asked if he could borrow a guitar from one of the other bands. After seeing him abuse his guitar I don’t think anyone wanted to sacrifice their guitar for us to finish the show. We ended up improvising a version of The Midnight Sun that attracted people from the bar next to the room to come see what was going on. After the show they all pitched in to help us get paid which was really cool.

Jake: Also on the same tour we were driving from NYC to Cleveland in a day. It’s not impossible, but we hit a ton of traffic and you also have to drive through the Pennsylvania wilderness, which never seems to end. We got to the motel and it was 3:30am and we turned on the tv and it was an old episode of Soul Train with Yellow Magic Orchestra as the guest. Maybe it was being so out of it from the long drive and wilderness, but it seemed like a surreal reward for making it to the motel.

Tell me about your favorite pieces of equipment that you use in the studio. Guitars, basses, pedals, samplers. Etc.
Kim: I love my SCI Pro-One. I can get all kinds of crazy sounds from that synthesizer. I also love my Moog Prodigy and Arp Omni 2. We have a lot of effect pedals we’ve collected over time and I like experimenting with the synthesizers and different effect pedals.

Jake: I love my Future Retro Mobius Sequencer cause we can hook it up to any of our synths. My favorite guitar is my Fender Jaguar, and my favorite pedals are my Death By Audio Fuzz Saw (a mod of the Sound Saw) and my Russ Meyers octave/compressor.
Also, we have a new member of the band named Nathan who plays live drums and triggers samples. He wasn’t featured on the album (Interceptors), but we’re working on a lot of material right now and it’s been a great addition to the band. He’s been touring with us since February.

Last question! My Bloody Valentine had a very successful reunion last year and they’ll be at Coachella this April. Are there any other first wave shoegaze bands that you’d like to see reunited? Me personally, I’d pay top dollar to see Ride or Slowdive.
Jake: We actually went up and saw MBV in New York and it was a great show. It was amazing that they weren’t just dialing it in for the sake of it, but still very tight and very into putting on a total experience for the crowd. I’d personally love to see Curve come back together and tour.

Screen Vinyl Image will be playing a secret show show this Friday the 13th with Ringo Deathstarr and Averkiou (If you're trying to roll through, get at me for details).
They'll also be playing at Solly's in Washington DC on March 23rd with Sad Crocodile and me and Laura Reading.

Monday, March 9, 2009


About 80 % of the music posted on MySpace is garbage. And a lot of the times, these crap bands will try to friend you. But every now and then you’ll hear a band that actually strikes your fancy. As some of you readers know, I’m quite a big fan of first wave shoegaze, and I’ve really warmed up to a lot of the newer groups who were influenced by My Bloody Valentine and wave. And in continuation Colonel K Speaks’ “Fortnight of Noise,” I present to you an interview with David from Averkiou.

First of all, could you please explain the name? A phonetic pronunciation would also be a huge help.
Ahv-er-kyoo. It's the last name of Nicole and Gene Averkiou, local favorites and favorite friends.

Shoegaze was a short-lived movement in the UK. What made you guys want to collect as many pedals as possible and start playing loud? Was it the original UK groups like Ride and My Bloody Valentine that inspired you? Or more recent groups like Skywave and Alcian Blue?
Ride and MBV are obviously favorites... who doesn't like them? It's not as if we set out to do anything specific. We just play what we want to hear. We're all in our late twenties and early thirties so most of us grew up listening to those bands. That and a lot of old punk and hardcore. It's all very simple, really. We just like loud music, so that's what we play. Pedals are a part of the process-- not the origin.

What is your songwriting process like? More specifically, do you build the songs around your effects and instruments OR do lyrics come first?
It usually starts with an idea and ends with a song.

Could you explain the complexities of traveling with so many effects/equipment?
It's no harder than finding a place to shower. We each have a case full of our pedals and chords. The hardest part is making sure everyone has everything. And power outlets. that's a pisser.

A couple of bands have mentioned troubles they’ve had with soundguys. Ringo Deathstarr, who use Fender Super Reverbs, yet always seem to incur the wrath of soundmen whenever they go over past “3.” Have you guys ever had situations like that?
I mean, soundguys will generally see a bunch of huge amps and assume the worst. Who wouldn't? We tend to give the soundguy the benefit of the doubt. He's usually spent a lot more time in the room than you have, so it's important to hear him out. But you have to trust your ear, too. So if what the soundguy suggests sucks, you change it.

According to your schedule, you’ll be coming through the DC area twice (March 9th at DC9, and March 13th @ Basement Speakeasy in Arlington, VA). Are you excited about double dipping through DC? Have you ever been through here before?
Very excited. We love the area. Matt's from Columbia, MD, so we know he's gonna be happy. And twice is generally better than once.

OK, so My Bloody Valentine’s reunited. Give me a list of the top five groups who existed between 1984 and 1995 that you’d like to see get back together.
In no particular order:
1. Nirvana.
2. Rodan.
3. The Stone Roses.
4. Kid 'n Play.
5. Talk Talk.

What’s the best thing about playing music in Gainsville, FL. What's the scene like?
It's home. We love it here. The scene is diverse, but it's close-knit. Gainesville is the heart of Florida. It's an oasis.

What’s the worst thing about playing music in Gainsville, FL.
Getting home alive after the show.

Averkiou will be playing @ Velvet Lounge on Monday March 9th and the Downstairs Speakeasy on Friday March 13th. Also on the bill, Screen Vinyl Image and Ringo Deathstarr.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


I first met the members of Ringo Deathstarr in February 2008 when my band opened for them at Wonderland. From the wobbly opening chords of "Starsha," I was hooked. Yes their influences (Jesus and Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine, Ride) were obvious, but they added fun and swagger to the sound. We stayed in touch and the next time they came to DC, we stayed up ridiculously late and drank way too much.

This Austin quartet will be returning to play shows at University of Maryland (Sat the 7th) and in Arlington, VA (Friday the 13th). Elliott Frasier, the band's primary vocalist and guitarist was kind enough to take some time to answer these questions.


Congratulations on being featured in Magnet magazine. How'd that come about?
Simon from SVC records in the UK arranged that. He sent them the CD and did the correspondence with them and then on our first tour we met with the photographer and did the photo.

By the time you wrap up playing your show on March 13th, it'll be your 5th show in DC in the space of a year. Is this a coincidence, or are we that cool?
We love playing in DC, there was a lot of support for us the first time we played there, and we were surprised by how awesome everyone is there...

It's just funny cuz y'all have played DC more times than a lotta bands in NYC and Philly. What are your impressions of our loveable Capital City?
So far, we have not really been able to see much of the city, but we always stayed near the Whole Foods in Tenleytown, and the place we stayed was awesome but the guy Dennis who lived there has moved to Pennsylvania. The Metro is pretty cool. The people we have met are great.

You guys opened for the Dandy Warhols a couple of years ago. Are they still a fun band, or have they become a lot more cautious and reserved since Dig! Came out.
They are still party animals I'd say. They were pretty cool to us, and when we played with them on Halloween, they and their whole crew were dressed as characters from The Wizard of Oz.

Now let's backtrack a bit. Tell me about how y'all ended up in Austin and playing in this band.
I moved to Austin in 2004 and initially I played drums but the band i was in fell apart after the other guys moved here. I had written a few songs for that band and some of them were rejected by the rest of the band, so i decided to start a band where i played guitar and sang, and those songs were "Some Kind Of Sad" and "Summer Time," the latter of which was meant for a female to sing. After a while i met Alex cause she worked at this store called Factory People, and when i told her i was looking for a new bass player she jumped at the chance, but i was skeptical at first cause she had to go out of town for a couple of weeks, but when she got back she was all business, plus she had her own equipment which at the time was a big plus. She has known Renan for many years and so we asked him to play Guitar. Our drummer Daniel is an old friend of mine from high school. We work well together, and we try and not let things get too serious cause if i have learned one thing, its that arguing with band mates blows.

The thing I like about you guys the most is how loud you are. Do you do it to be confrontational or because you find that there are certain tones/sounds that can only be revealed through playing at high volume.
I'd say its the latter. The way the Sound wraps around you like a blanket gives a great sensation, and plus, it is just more fun. I am pretty sure that people like Pete Townsend and Jimi Hendrix were much much louder than us though, and our amps are not turned up to nearly the volume they would have had. I guess since the places we play are relatively small, it seems a lot louder than it is, and that is why we had to start bringing our own sound man cause we are sick of them telling us to turn down when our amps are on 3.

Have you or your bandmates (past and present) ever sustained any hearing damage from playing so loud?
Sometimes ears ring for a while but it goes away. I have permanent ringing in my ears but i had it long before this band began. It is cause of the way i beat the hell out of my cymbals when i was a drummer, plus working in a dry cleaners for 8 hours a day for a few years. When it is loud on stage, we all like it more.


Is Austin all hype? Or is it really the live music capital of the US?
Well, as far as the amount of live venues per capita i guess it is the live music capitol. Plus, most of the venues are in one area. Now, if watching a bunch of wankers play Blues Rock Fusion is your thing, then this is the place for you. Other than that, its probably the same as a lot of other towns kind of known for music, because there are a lot of resources and community support here.

Do you instantly feel a connection when you meet a fellow Texan in other states/countries?
Not really, unless they are like a friend of a friend or something

Do you wear cowboy boots. And if so, how many pairs do you own?
No cowboy boots, just "Beatle Boots"

What can we expect from you guys in 2009? Perhaps another 2 visits to DC before the end of the year?????An Album?
We will be back to DC way more than 2 times i guarantee. Also, we will have various 7'' singles, and an album by the end of summer. We were too busy getting our touring stuff sorted out last year so we didn't really get to the studio much, nor did we have labels wanting to release stuff, but now, we have a few different independent labels that are gonna release the various stuff and it will all be on vinyl for you geeks out there.

NERD Question. Life or death: Ride's "Smile" or My Bloody Valentine's "Isn't Anything."

What's more fun that drinking Natty Bo until 5 o'clock in the morning while a hurricane is raging outside?


Check Out Ringo Deathstarr on MySpace!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Washington DC area shows March 2009

*Indicates a "Do Not Miss" event

Thu Mar 5

Mon Mar 9

Sat Mar 14

*Thu Mar 26

930 CLUB
Fri Mar 13
Modest Mouse w/ KINKY
Sold Out

*Sat Mar 14
The Feelies

*Tue Mar 17
The Pogues w/ Ben Nichols (of Lucero)

Fri Mar 20
The Ting Tings

Mon Mar 23
Cut Copy w/ Matt and Kim, DJ Knightlife

Thurs Mar 12
Tom McBride & the Whig Party, Hypernova

*Sun Mar 15
Crystal Stilts with Women, True Womanhood

*Sat Mar 7th WMUC @ University of Maryland, College Park
Ringo Deathstarr, Flying Eyes, TBA

*Fri Mar 13th
Ringo Deathstarr, Screen Vinyl Image
Venue TBA

*Monday Mar 23 @ Sollys
The host of this blog, Colonel K, performs with Miss Laura + other guests TBA.
Details coming soon.

Sat Mar 7
Five Four, Caverns, Mother

Tue Mar 10
Mi Ami (Quarterstick, ex-Black Eyes), Food For Animals, Lexie Mountain Boys

*Fri Mar 13
Velodrome featuring Imperial China. DJ sets by Scott Bauer and Ed Dudes

Thursday Mar 26
Spindrift (ex-Brian Jonestown Massacre)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

INTERVIEW: DJs Scott Bauer and Ed Dudes of VELODROME

Velodrome, a monthly dance held at the Velvet Lounge, has become one of the most exciting underground nightlife options in DC. DJs Scott Bauer and Ed Porter specialize in Italo-disco, house, post-punk and electropop from the late 1970s and 1980s. More often than not, they spin records most people have never heard. This, of course, does not stop them from dancing. As an added touch, each Velodrome night features a half-hour set by a band. Among them, Screen Vinyl Image, True Womanhood, Exactly, Ra Ra Rasputin and the Spiritual Machine.

Below is a lengthy interview that I conducted via email with Scott and Ed. As a bonus, I've also included a link to the page that holds the pair's latest mix. Enjoy.

How many venues have hosted Velodrome? What were the advantages and disadvantages of each one?

Ed: Ugh, Jesus, like let's see, three now. We started at Selam. It's a cool divey english basement Eritrean restaurant on U Street. I've done a bunch of other parties there back in the day (old Blackout parties with Rob Hart when electro wasn't terrible), so it was convenient to talk to the people over there. Unfortunately, the back room there sounds like pure ass when you get a band in it. It's just too small for what we wanted to do.

(Photo: Fitsum Belay. More info:

Scott: In many ways I thought the smallness was cool, some of my favorite memories of the night is DJing right around midnight with the bands setting up right behind us and getting hit in the head by guitars and and like cueing up records and checking mics at the same time. Or crawling underneath equipment aimlessly attempting to adjust levels on our little mixing board because we had to try to also do sound for the band while they were playing. It felt VERY underground throwing our night in a basement restaurant which really fit the vibe of the party since we billed it as an underground dance music night. The family who runs Selam are good people too. After a few months of throwing the party we realized we needed to move it. The tile floors and low ceiling were fine for playing dance music but were also awesome at bouncing around hit-hats and reverbed guitar strings which was painfully loud. The bands literally gave people headaches, even though they were headaches of radical.

Ed: So we started looking elsewhere. We talked to DC9 and Velvet Lounge, eventually settling on Velvet Lounge. Unfortunately, they weren't ready to take us on for a couple months.
So, then we moved to Civilian Art Projects. Civilian is such a cool art gallery. Jamie over there was really nice and helped us out a lot by letting us throw the party there until Velvet Lounge opened up. We did two or three Velodrome there. It was an awesomely large space with an art gallery attached, so it made us seem intelligent. But, it didn't have a sound system or an elevator, and at the top of three flights of steps, it wasn't exactly the most conducive to bands with a bunch of gear.

Scott: Yeah CAP was a cool spot to do Velodrome. The vibe was cool and there was artsy art all about. Hanging out in China-Town was cool too as very little things tend to bring me down there. For this spot we had to carry all of our equipment and provide our own PA which usually was a logistic nightmare. I got no less than 3 parking tickets when we did Velodrome downtown at Civilian. The True Womanhood show we did there was a highlight. I felt culture, french culture.

Ed: But, now we're settled at Velvet Lounge. They've got merely a single flight of steps, an installed soundsystem and a soundguy. It's also small enough to keep the party intimate, so we can book bands we really like and not play to the masses.

Scott: I like how the technical term for the guy who works on the sound is actually "sound guy".

Epic.What gives you to confidence to play songs that most people have never heard?
Scott: Whiskey is the sole source from which I draw confidence. A lot of it I guess is just a hope that people like to dance as much as I do and that other people actually want to hear new music as long as it is good. Before we started doing Velodrome I would send a lot of music out to friends and would get a really positive response to it all so that helped me to believe that people would get down to my wierdo music. A lot of the post punk and no wave we play is fairly well liked and known so we try to mix that stuff in to please people as well. I'm really not that much of a DJ and am not good at things like predicting what a crowd is going to like and all that stuff so I just tend to play what I would want to hear and hope that the crowd will like it too. It usually works out pretty well but if not then Ed can usually jump in and set it right for me, he is a very good DJ.

Ed: Ha, thanks, Scott. I don't think it's confidence. I think it's more a lack of common sense or urgency. We could easily play top-40 and party rap all night long, any night of the week, and actually make money as DJs. Unfortunately, that music makes us sad. As reasonably well funded, working people, we don't need the cash. As such, we play whatever we want (thinly veiled label reference). Actually, I think I'd play what I want no matter what anyway. Fuck bad, crowd pleasing music. I like some really popular stuff, so I can pull off more mainstream housey sets and be fine, but for the purposes of Velodrome, it's really about striking a balance in the context of bands/show going people who don't like dancing/and partiers. So, I guess I just play music people haven't heard because it's the only way I know how to do it. Fuck, I babble a lot.

Could you name a couple of records that've garnered a really good crowd reaction?
Ed: People like weird things. I remember at Selam people going absolutely nuts to hi-NRG like Sylvester - Sex. I've also always had a good response to the patrick cowley remix of I Need Love and dumb stuff like 'Atomic Dog'. I think Daniel Wang - Like Some Dream I Can't Stop Dreaming is timeless too. It's just infectious. Ha. Nothing I listed is Italo, House, or Post-Punk. We're so eclectic.

Scott: Yeah, you really never know what the crowd is going to like. Like Ed said, people like the hi NRG, the stuff at around 130-140 beats per minute made in San Francisco and Florida mostly. Passion by the Flirts does very well. I think the ultimate Velodrome record is still the Italo track "Take a Chance" by Mr. Flagio, its one of the best songs ever made and I've defiantly overplayed it at our night but there is always a point in the night when I decide that the next song that needs to go on is "Take a Chance". Also, when all else fails, play anything by A Certain Ratio. Even the furniture will dance to "Shack Up" or "Do the DU". Or "I Want More" from Can.

What's y'all's secret to finding such rare records? Where and how do you shop?
Ed: I think Scott lives on ebay. I, personally, don't have what I would consider a burgeoning rare record selection. What I do have is songs I like a lot. I find them a number of places. I like Som, here in DC, most out of any of the established shops. Really, other than Red Onion, I feel like it's the only real record store in DC to used dance records that aren't horribly overpriced or just junk.

I also dig a lot, so thrift stores, flea markets, and the like are all prime spots. For the more weird stuff we do at Velodrome, I think the best place is the internet. I buy a lot on ebay and discogs. I also follow a lot of people's charts and listen to a lot of mixes. I do use Serato, and I do download a fair amount of music too (a good portion of which I pay for at sites like beatport, traxsource, and ttl digital), but I consciously do not read blogs. Blogs are the death of taste and selection. It's a fact. Do some work for your shit.

Scott: Yeah I mostly live in the realm of getting my records online from ebay or discogs and to a lesser extent, gemm. I've been collecting records for about 10 years and have more than 1000 so nowadays if I get vinyl then I want it to be something I will actually listen to. Back when I lived in Tucson I was blessed with this record store called PDQ which was this huge warehouse of used vinyl. 10 years ago no one was buying old synth funk, old electro and disco so I was grabbing some great stuff for cheap. This was when electoclash was getting bigger and indie dance was just starting and this old stuff went really well with what was coming out then. That's what started my love for dance music from the late seventies and early 80s that continues to this day.

I get a lot of stuff from Red Onion records, Josh, the guy who owns the place is everything you wish for in an owner of an independent record store. He is very knowledgeable in his records and he knows more or less what I like and so will sometimes hold onto stuff for me that he knows I will like even. That's where I get most of my weird synth rock and post punk records. Like Ed said, Som has some great stuff too. I listen to a lot of radio mixes from the olden days to learn a lot about music, i have my friends that turn me onto different stuff. There are also these Internet heroes that have put like every record ever on YouTube so once I find out about a song, I can usually hear it there before buying it. Ebay allows you to find anything as long as you are willing to pay. Most of the music I listen to tends to be in record collections through out Europe so I've come to dig less in resent years and get it online since the chance of finding it here is rather slim. In the end it usually come down to going by labels and producers and sometimes even just like, which record has a cool cover. Its a lot of bringing your record player in and just playing everything that remotely looks interesting.

There's been talk of incorporating synths and drum machines into your sets. How are you gonna pull this off?
Ed: Trade Secret. It will be cool, and it will be awesome. We've been practicing, and it's going to get progressively more and more interesting as we practice and work in the coming months. We expect to be fluidly building songs on the fly in the future. We want to produce really organic and exciting sets, melding new technology to old technology. It's the only way to bridge the gap and not become some dude pressing buttons in Ableton for a couple hours.

Scott: This project has been Ed's Holy Grail since I've met him. Since we play such an eclectic set it can be hard to bring so many different genres from different time periods together. The production techniques for the different genres and eras are very different so what we needed was to bring in our own beats to bridge between different genres and to pump up some of the older songs with no compression. I wont go into what we are doing but rest assured, it is wonderful what we've been able to do these past couple weeks, and it will only get cooler with time!

Are there any artists or producers right now whose work you think will be played in clubs 20, 25 years from now?
Ed: A lot of people from a lot of genres. Daniel Wang, DFA, most of DC Recordings, Todd Terje, Henrik Schwarz. I dunno, that's just off the top of my head.

Scott: I think people will someday geek out for all the DFA releases. They have been on top of dance music at every step since 2002 or so. They will be the Factory records of our time. I think some of the more Epic stuff from Daniel Wang and Lee Douglas will do very well in the future. We just had a conversation about how "NY Story" is one of the best songs to come out in the last 10 years. For some reason, everything that comes out of the country of Sweden is great, I don't know why. A lot of what is being made right now I feel is pretty disposable, but I imagine that's a complaint that has been given by music listeners for pretty much forever.

One of the most unique aspects of Velodrome is the half-hour set by a local band. What made you decide to incorporate live music into your night?
Scott: There are a few dance nights in DC that incorporate live acts, i guess ours is different mostly in that we tend to book local bands. Our initial reasons were lofty; there are A LOT of dance nights in DC and they tend to dominate the weekend bookings at the better clubs. We wanted a night where local bands could get more attention by being showcased but also still allowed people to go out and dance on the weekends. We wanted to show that people can dance to rock music and rock to dance music. We don't necessarily always book a dance band, but as long as the band is trying something different, then they fit with the night. We have been pretty lucky with the outcome, i think it works pretty well. This month we have Mas y Mas from Virginia Beach. They are immensely awesome and promise to be one of the greatest most energetic and fun bands we have books so far.

Ed: Because everyone's doing a DJ night now. It's fucking boring. And we decided it was time to do something all-inclusive and organic. I actually want to start doing the night 18+, because when I was 18, I didn't know there was good dance music. I think by having a band play, we get to trick people who wouldn't normally go to a night mostly about dancing into coming to our night. We can also convince people to come and dance to bands, which usually doesn't happen either.

Are there any bands that you would really really like to make an appearance? I was thinking Liquid Liquid. They'd be very appropriate, but I'm sure they' want a lot of money.
Scott: Ha, could you imagine having Liquid Liquid play at Velvet lounge?
Ed: or ESG!
It would be a pretty awesome show though. Right now we are trying to decide if we want to expand the night and bring in bigger acts or not. There are only so many bands to draw from locally that fit with the night so as long as we keep going we will inevitably start bringing in bigger bands from elsewhere. Of course money is always an issue, we try to keep the night cheap for every one.

What are your most memorable moments, thus far?
Scott: I'd say my most memorable moments are interacting with the bands we book. Its a long night usually for everyone involve with the band loading in usually around 8 and not being able to pack up til at least 3 in the morning. We get to help them load in and sound check together and Its great to meet so many people and see what people are doing musically.

Ed: Going wild with lights at Selam, sweaty and dancing so late to Hi-NRG. People going deaf to Screen Vinyl Image. The trainwreck of artsy music at the first Civilian show. True Womanhood carrying an obscene amount of gear up three flights of steps and not dying.

Final question. Why is Velodrome the best underground dance night in DC?

Scott: Are we? If so its because we are able the attract the likes of Patrick Kigongo so often.

Ed: I hesitate to say we're the best underground dance night in DC, Chris's nights at TnT & the perennial Nouveau Riche are stiff competition, but we're definitely the most unique. Why? Because, we're cool dudes, and we don't have any idea what the fuck we're doing.

Velodrome will be held at the Velvet Lounge on Friday February 13th. It is located at 915 U St NW, Washington, DC. Conveniently around the corner from the U-Street Cardozo Metro Station.