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August 2014
Vinyl Thief

In high school, my friend Craig Lee took it upon himself to educate me on what to do when I got high, which was: take a 311 CD and play it through Windows media player, and set the visualization to “Ambience.” With those days behind me (and a few subsequent years lost devil-sticking for tips as I followed 311 tours) I had long forgotten that particular use for Windows until I listened to Vinyl Thief’s debut album, “Fathoms.”


Released July 22nd, “Fathoms” listens like an entity. Granted, all albums vary song to song, and this one is no different, but few pluck the same rubber band in your brain and sustain it throughout it the duration. Fewer still can be so closely likened to getting lost watching a pixelated visualization of music on your ’01 Dell, wondering:“Whoa, how did they know to do that?”


Vinyl Thief is a synth driven powerhouse of a band that has been gathering acclaim since the release of their “Rebel Hill” EP in 2012. The group has essentially come of age playing together, from their high school inception to logging hours of practice in a church-sanctuary-turned-rehearsal space to perfect the sound and rapport that makes Vinyl Thief extraordinary. There are not many bands with such an expert handle on their sound.


There are a few anchors in Vinyl Thief that make them so listenable. Their synthesizers are going to do something beautiful. Grayson Proctor’s vocals are going to run through an impressive range without ever sounding forced or theatrical. And every song is going to reliably blow your mind in some way. It might be on a smaller scale, like when the guitar breaks the silence after the bridge in “London” with what I can only imagine a swoon would sound like. Or it could be big, like when the track “Rebel Hill” finally reaches a crescendo after a series of goosebump-inducing change-ups. The band has a knack for zig-ing when a zag is expected, going soft instead of loud, or even bigger when they’re already turned up.


Vinyl Thief is one of the best examples of the modern face of Nashville music, where already talented musicians go through great pains to learn their craft and the business around it. This is a band that is one sync away from national exposure. Be prepared to hear much more Vinyl Thief after Apple or Toyota licenses one of their tracks. Considering that “Fathoms” is a collection of their best material meticulously recorded and lovingly presented like a bowl of all-red jelly beans ready for the grabbing, this is only a matter of time. –Terra James-Jura

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The NRIs' Playground EP: indiegogo campaign and release show.

The NRIs are working towards the release of their third EP, Playground EP, and they need your help! Their indiegogo campaign is nearing completion, and there are some great rewards beyond the normal copy of the EP. Many of the members of the bands are teachers of music and you can get a lesson, or you can splurge and get on the band’s guest list for life! There’s even the option to attend a Nationals game. It’s all very exciting. You can check out the world premiere of “The Streets” on the April 29th edition of the Hometown Sounds Podcast along with lots of other great music (as usual). And don’t miss the NRIs record release show at Iota on May 31st; it’s a special one, with an early all-ages version (for the kiddies, and folks with kiddies) at 5PM, and a 21+ version at 9PM. Check out their promo-video below.


Amos Piper opens for Amen Dunes at Sixth & I on May 14th.

Baltimore’s Amos Piper won our recent Band of the Month Poll, and they're just getting started. They will be opening for enchanting new alt-folk star Amen Dunes at the Sixth & I Historic Synagogue on May 14th. It’s a great lineup that will highlight Amos Piper's chill, jazzy, dream-pop, both sets being full of soft tones and warm drones, and should make for a perfect warm Wednesday evening of music in a beautiful space. You can check out Amen Dunes’ album Love streaming on Pitchfork, and some Amos Piper tracks on Soundcloud.


Tonight at Galaxy Hut: Dead Women and Nice Breeze

There's an awesome two-band lineup at Galaxy Hut tonight (May 5th) for those interested in seeing some solid gritty garage-rock bands poised to start playing much larger venues in the near future. The Dead Women are preparing their second release (May 30th) which you can preview over on their Bandcamp. A frenetic rhythm section drives gnarly guitars and melodic vocals, propelling the band towards a sound that's a combination of early Wire and The Smiths. Nice Breeze strips their sound bare of anything but pure high volume, high gain distortion from their amps and shouting phrases. Lo-fi indie-rock and roll at its best. I'm gonna link Nice Breeze's Transparency for you, 'cause I love the vicious retro guitar sound, but don’t hesitate to check out the other links and come out to this show! --Natan Press


Hypercolor's Resonate.

I’ve been listening to Hypercolor’s second EP Resonate a lot since it was released. I was led to it while covering (DC Deli Band of the Month for April) Avers. Hypercolor is the project of Avers’ bass player Alexandra, and Adrian, one of the (many) guitar players. It shares Avers’ technical proficiency, both with the instruments, and in the studio, and the sound is reminiscent to Avers in a psychedelic/shoegazey kind of way. I think where Avers is “rock,” one would call Hypercolor “folk.”

Perhaps psych-folk? I dunno. It’s pretty, and soft, kinda chill, but purely, almost aggressively, analog, with soaring, screeching guitar riffs lifting above clouds of background harmonies, chiming and buzzing layers of rhythm guitar, fuzzy bass and occasionally thunderous drums accented tastefully with reverb. Alexandra's voice is sweet and comforting. Hypercolor is a good name for the band; the sound is vibrant. The definition of resonate is “produce or fill with a deep, full, reverberating sound.” No false advertising here. This EP is a refreshing thunderstorm passing by too quickly under a hot summer sunset. I think it’s gonna be a favorite of mine all summer, and I can’t wait for what’s next. --Natan Press 


The DC Area Deli's first Baltimore showcase at Gallery 788, May 14th.

We're proud to announce our first Baltimore showcase! Baltimore friends (and all others!), Gallery 788 is hosting a special night of music on Wednesday, May 14th. Baltimore's new favorite "ArtRockers," Playground Etiquette, are planning a special set up to match the space. Joining them will be Trabants, an intrumental surf-rock band from LA/Boston, fronted by Baltimore native Eric Penna, touring on their way to Instro Summit in North Carolina. It's been a long time since he's played in the city, and we want to throw him the best homecoming party we can. Rounding out the night is Baltimore guitar-pop and country-rock songsmith extraordinaire Andy Bopp! The diverse lineup of dedicated and talented musicians will be sure to delight and entertain rock fans of all tastes and ages. We're very thankful to Gallery 788 and all the performers for making this a great beggining to what will be a series of many similar showcases in the DMV, giving local artists the attention they deserve, and celebrating all that is great in art and music in the area. Doors at 8, All Ages, $10. Don't miss it! --Natan Press

Sun Club release new video, play Silopanna Festival in August.

Baltimore's Sun Club might be the next big thing to come out of a city that's produced a number of recent indie favorites like Future Islands and Wye Oak. After releasing Dad Claps at the Mom Prom in January, they went on a six week national tour and have scored a slot on Silopanna Music Festival, in Annapolis MD, August 16th (headlined by The Flaming Lips and Dashboard Confessional). Dad Claps at the Mom Prom is full of bouncy indie-rock fun and is sure to be a summer favorite for many. Just last Thursday, a video for the single "Cheeba Swiftkick" premiered on Impose Magazine (watch it below). Listening to Dad Claps at the Mom Prom, I imagine running willy nilly around a fair or the beach or boardwalk during the summer, and Impose describes the music and video as "sugar-buzzed" and "wacky" which is just the state of mind I find myself in at such places. If you can't wait for their set at Silopanna Music Festival, you can catch Sun Club at the Maryland Institute College of Art this Friday May 2nd, in Baltimore. --Natan Press


Castle Of Genre release new single. "Sonder."

Instrumental-based single “Sonder” is fresh off the soundboard. Castle of Genre, from Gainesville, VA, released their single April 15, 2014, and it lives up to its name. The word “sonder” is used to explain the realization that every person you meet has had a life just as full as yours; each individual has faced hardship, love, disappointment, angst and their own intricate life experiences. In the song, fast-paced guitar begins a round, drawing each chord out into the next. Next, playful guitar melody is added, creating a round of its own. After understanding what “sonder” really means, the pairing is brilliant. The representation of separate lives carrying on, day after day, creating something beautiful as life ( or drumming) clashes and ticks on. Lyrically, “Sonder” is just as clever as the instrumentation. --Hannah Brady


Comet Ping Pong and the French Embassy tag team for a night of terror (Zombie Zombie) and rafting (Young Rapids) resulting in Heavy Breathing; Ian Svenonius keeps everyone sane.

DC’s Young Rapids is preparing to release their hotly anticipated new album, Pretty Ugly, this spring (so, like, any day now, right?). You can get a sneak peak at some of the new songs when the band plays live, this Saturday, April 26th, at Comet Ping Pong. They join a very special evening at the club, as the Cultural Service Office of The French Embassy is presenting French electro psych duo Zombie Zombie (so, instead of robots they’re Zombies?? ahhhhhhh!—or not; we’ll have to go to find out).

Opening the night will be the vicious riffs, the funky grooves, the burning lasers of Heavy Breathing. To top it all off, DJ Name Names (aka Ian Svenonius) will be spinning tunes betwixt the bands. I think Heavy Breathing’s (NSFW) video for "U the One I Want" sums up the night as well as anything (‘cause it’s awesome!). Watch it below and go to the show (for which advance tickets are available). –Natan Press



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