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!