Groove

GENIUS REDUX: Erykah Badu @ NPR Tiny Desk

Aug. 15, 2018 | Felix Contreras — Some folks around the NPR Music office said they felt an almost spiritual connection to Erykah Badu during her visit to the Tiny Desk. And that was before she and her band even played a single note. It came from the waft of earthly scents that followed in …

THE CHILLS @ Black Cat 2.24.19

The Chills are a band from Dunedin, New Zealand fronted by the rare talent of Martin Phillipps. Martin has a single-minded determination to take quality, original NZ-sounding, melodic rock music global. His requirement of band members has been to meet a standard of musicianship, which is necessary to deliver The Chills songs with essential consistent energy. This determination stems from the punk rock ethics of Martin’s musical awakening and from the subsequent proximity to people like Chris Knox who drove home how crucial it was to deliver music always with intensity and conviction. This live energy is the central reason why The Chills are remembered fondly in all of the thirty-nine countries that they have thus far visited. It’s the combination of this AND the consistent quality of their songs which have established The Chills as one of the most well-known New Zealand groups to date – particularly in the US, UK and Europe. The band have many faithful friends around the world and a new generation (Peter Bjorn and John, Songs, The Go Find, Panda Bear, The Shins et al) are now covering or attempting to emulate The Chills unique sound. A new album is due for release Sept 2018 and a feature film on Martin’s life is now in post-production, due for release 2019.

COLOR PALETTE @ Black Cat 12.22.18

Color Palette – comprised of Jay Nemeyer, Joshua Hunter, Matt Hartenau, Rogerio Naressi, and Maryjo Mattea – is an Indie/Electro/Rock band from Washington, DC. Since their first release, Color Palette has garnered hundreds of press hits worldwide. Press highlights include features in NME Magazine, USA Today, and NPR. Color Palette released their debut full-length album, Vaporwave, in 2016. Color Palette has shared bills with the following notable artists: Charli XCX, The Naked and Famous, Soccer Mommy, Mother Mother, Day Wave, Yumi Zouma, Mr Little Jeans, The Kickback, and Spirit Animal. They will release their second full-length album in 2019.

THE MAX LEVINE ENSEMBLE @ Black Cat 12.21.18

Sometime around the turn of the century a small gang of boys grouped together in the noble pursuit of transcending suburban boredom through the traditional performance of punk rock songs. 3 of these young products of white America never moved on from this adolescent rebellion phase, and some 16 years later The Max Levine Ensemble continue to rock basements, bombed out buildings and other holes in the fabric of the status quo, with lofty aspirations of creating moments of pop catharsis for angsty teenagers and maybe shaking punk rock from the mediocrity of its ritualistic lulls. Which is to say, here’s another punk rock band. You’ve definitely seen this before.

FUZZQUEEN @ Black Cat 12.18.18

Forged in the glowing embers of Washington DC following the 2016 election and subsequent Women’s March, the members of FuzzQueen are entrenched in the thriving DIY community of the nation’s capital. While keenly aware of the inescapably political nature of their locale, they coalesce around issues of social injustice and feminine power while also reveling in a “seething tension” that serves to both mirror and confront the political climate through sonic exploration. Following a stint in California, frontwoman Erin Frisby returned to DC with husband and bandmate Chris Stelloh. Reuniting with their longtime friend and drummer Ben Tufts, and adding the bass talent of Clinton Cole, the band shed their former Americana aspirations in favor of a more urgent, visceral project. Drawing from the energy of bands like Fugazi, Queens of the Stone Age, and PJ Harvey, FuzzQueen filters raw energy through compositional complexity and Frisby’s operatic training. Although rooted in the current social climate, forthcoming single “Ribbons & Flowers” exudes a more primeval energy. Deftly melding ideas of femaleness with environmental awareness, the song exists in the present but alludes to something more ancient. Combined with their affinity for community engagement, the band taps into a collective power that serves both to heal and embolden.

Melanianade

Melania Trump (Cecily Strong), Ivanka Trump (Emily Blunt), Kellyanne Conway (Kate McKinnon), Omarosa (Sasheer Zamata) and Tiffany Trump (Vanessa Bayer) can no longer stand by Donald Trump (Alec Baldwin).

THE MAKE UP @ Black Cat

The Make Up was an American post-punk band from Washington, D.C. formed in 1995, consisting of ex-Nation of Ulysses frontman Ian Svenonius on vocals, James Canty on guitar and organ, Steve Gamboa on drums, and Michelle Mae on bass guitar. The Make-Up were joined in late 1999 by a fifth member, Alex Minoff (of the groups Golden and Extra Golden), who played guitar with the group until the band’s dissolution in early 2000.

AETHER | Catharsis

Catharsis: One of the great unsettled issues. That it implies a beneficial cathartic effect produced by witnessing a tragic action is clear; how it is produced is in question. Some believe that the spectators, by vicarious participation, learn through the fate of the tragic hero, that fear and pity are destructive and thereby learn to avoid them in their own lives (this interpretation is clearly didactic). Others believe that the spectator, being human and thus subject to disturbing emotions of fear and pity, has this imbalance rectified and these internal agitations stilled by having an opportunity vicariously to expend fear and pity on the hero…. (Handbook to Literature)

MYSTIC BRAVES | Great Company

Mystic Braves: Julian Ducatenzeiler (guitar & vocals), Tony Malacara (bass & vocals), Shane Stotsenberg (guitar & vocals), Cameron Gartung (drums), Ignacio Gonzalez (organ/tambourine)

HUMBLE FIRE | Taliesin

Humble Fire’s upcoming album Builder explores physical and emotional experiences around loss and reconstruction, from family deaths and failed romances to the shocks and stresses they have navigated as a band. Through those experiences, they’ve come to appreciate that reconstruction isn’t something you can tackle on your own: it requires an entire crew. Builder, then, is as much about that process of putting yourself back together, as it is about the relationships that can help or hinder that process. Since Humble Fire’s members have known each other over the past five or so years, they’ve all shown up for each other in different ways as part of that reconstruction crew. They’re lucky to have found family in each other in that way.