Make It An MC Hammer Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day, everyone!

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Friday 22 May 2009 at 1:53 pm

This Week(end) in DC

Yeah, so I’m a bit late on this week’s edition. Sorry. I spent the first part of the week in NYC, then had our debut Babystew Presents show on Tuesday night (thanks to everyone for coming out!), and then spent most of yesterday sleeping off all of the Schlitz that I’d had the night before.

But now I’m back and awake and no longer tempted to vomit out the entire contents of my torso, and it’s time to focus on the music/entertainment options in the DC-area for the Memorial Day weekend – if, of course, you plan on being in town.

My picks in bold, and shows I plan to attend in italic bold.

Thursday 5/21
Black Cat: Deleted Scenes, The XYZ Affair, Caspar Bands (ex-Hard Tomorrows) (backstage)
DC9: Tally Hall, Malbec, Prabir and the Substitutes
Iota: Pree, Dead Heart Bloom, Tripp
RnR Hotel: The Jones, The Known Unknowns, The Very Small

Friday 5/22
Birchmere: Dickey Betts & Great Southern
Black Cat: St. Vincent, Lo Moda (mainstage)
Iota: Eric Brace and Last Train Home, Vandaveer

Saturday 5/23
Birchmere: Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Old Calf (SOLD OUT)
Black Cat: The Juan Maclean, The Field (mainstage)
DC9: Ra Ra Rasputin, The Spiritual Machine, Loxsly
Iota (4:30pm show): John Wesley Harding and Eugene Mirman w/ Chris Mills, Julia Slavin
RnR Hotel: Jukebox the Ghost, Jenny Owen Youngs, The Winter Sounds

Sunday 5/24
9:30 Club (early): The National
9:30 Club (late): The National

Monday 5/25
9:30 Club: The National
Black Cat: Mobius Strip, The Jet Age, The Wax Standard (backstage)
Iota: The Beanstalk Library, In Technicolor, Typefighter

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Thursday 21 May 2009 at 12:38 pm

Babystew Presents: The Photos!

Photos now, discussion tomorrow. I must sleep.

The Deep Vibration


Tereu Tereu


Roman Candle


Motel Motel


Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Wednesday 20 May 2009 at 12:23 am

Tonight’s Showtime!

Hey kids… just one last post about tonight’s Babystew Presents show at DC9.

Doors are at 8pm, and the show starts at 8:30pm with Brooklyn’s awesome Motel Motel kicking things off.

Get there early and don’t miss any of these bands!

See you there! And if you find me and say hi, maybe I’ll buy you a can of Schlitz. (I’m a big spender.)

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Tuesday 19 May 2009 at 1:42 pm

Come See 4 Great Bands at DC9 Tonight!

One last reminder about tonight’s incredible rock and roll show at DC9.

We’ve already talked about The Deep Vibration, Roman Candle, and Motel Motel, three bands that have put out some of my favorite music over the last year or so.

And I’ve also spent a decent amount of time on this blog letting you know about Fredericksburg’s Tereu Tereu, a fantastic young band for whom tonight’s show is the CD RELEASE PARTY for their debut album, All That Keeps Us Together.
(Go learn more about the album over at the band’s Listening Party at Brightest Young Things.)

When you put these four bands together, you get what can only be described as rock and roll overload. And while there are a ton of huge shows in DC this month (Springsteen, The National, Animal Collective, etc.), I am 100% honest when I say that this is, hands down, the strongest lineup from top to bottom of any show going on this month (or just about any month for that matter).

Want proof?

Tereu Tereu, “Beyond the Coast”
The Deep Vibration, “Oklahoma City Woman Blues”
Roman Candle, “Why Modern Radio is A-OK”
Motel Motel, “Coffee”

So come on out to DC9 tonight and meet your four new favorite bands. You’ll be glad you did!

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Tuesday 19 May 2009 at 10:34 am

Video of New Vaselines Songs

So The Vaselines have been playing a couple of new songs on their current tour, and according to this interview with Frances on Three Imaginary Girls, the band actually has a full album’s worth of materials ready to go.

Excellent news… hope we actually get an album before too long.

Anyway, here’s a couple pretty good videos of the two new songs they’ve been playing from the band’s recent show at Neumo’s in Seattle.

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Tuesday 19 May 2009 at 5:01 am

The Vaselines & Woods @ Bowery Ballroom [5/17/09]

Dear lord I hope it’s not another 18 years before I see these guys again.

The Vaselines were absolutely incredible last night. They played for just about 80 minutes, including just about every song in their catalog (as well as two new ones). Eugene and Frances both sounded great, but the band’s secret weapon was guitarist Stevie Jackson of Belle and Sebastian, who helped take the band’s wonderful pop songs and turn them into pop/rock songs.

Openers Woods were also very good. I was actually pretty surprised by this, as I’d been less than impressed with their set at Emo’s during SXSW. But last night they came across as both a better live unit as well as better songwriters than at SXSW. Or maybe it was just that I was really drunk on PBR tallboys the last time I saw them.

Oh, and two last things:

(1) Is it too much to ask for Eugene to maybe do some Eugenius shows in the U.S. too? It probably is, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t love to see it.

(2) Bowery Ballroom is the greatest place on earth. I desperately miss seeing bands in that room on a regular basis.

Onto the pics… as usual, you can find the full sets here.

The Vaselines




Woods


Posted under Babystew Home,Concert Photos by Steve on Monday 18 May 2009 at 10:46 pm

Update: Download All 5 New Beanstalk Library Tracks!

OK, so here are the locations of all 5 new Beanstalk Library songs. Do yourself a favor and download all of them ASAP. They’re fantastic, and among the best things I’ve heard this year.

“Feeling My Way In The Dark” (hosted by District of Sound)

“It Has Made All The Difference” (hosted here)

“The Only Things I’ll Take With Me” (hosted by DCist)

“This Line Is Not For Me” (hosted by Instrumental Analysis)

“Cry Harder” (hosted by Brightest Young Things)

And, as mentioned already, you can catch the band live at IOTA next Monday night with In Technicolor and Typefighter.

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Monday 18 May 2009 at 10:24 pm

Reminder: Babystew Presents at DC9 Tomorrow!

So I’m currently sitting on the Long Island Railroad and figured I’d take the opportunity to post a quick reminder about tomorrow’s AWESOME rock show at DC9.

The show features:

Tereu Tereu (CD release show!)
The Deep Vibration
Roman Candle
Motel Motel

All four bands are touring behind some of my favorite albums/EPs of the last year, and all four are set to break out in the coming months.

So come bolster your indie cred and see them before the rest of the world gets hip.

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Monday 18 May 2009 at 9:51 am

Meet The Beanstalk Library (Again!)

One of the first DC-area bands that I discovered when I moved down from New York in late 2007 was The Beanstalk Library. At the time, I had this to say about the band’s excellent debut album, America at Night:

The Beanstalk Library write catchy, often jangly Americana rock. If that bunch of pseudo-rock criticism makes you think of Wilco, R.E.M., The Byrds or The Old 97’s, well, good, because that’s what I meant to say. The band’s debut album, America at Night, reflects a hodgepodge of these influences, but thankfully never feels overly-indebted to any single source. Definitely a band worth keeping an eye on. 

Yet try as I might to keep an eye on the band, about a year or so ago they seemed to up and disappear. No live shows, no news, no nothin’.

Well, it turns out that the band’s silence was due to some turnover in their ranks – they lost (amicably) a couple of members, with only songwriters Ryan Walker and Brian Kent remaining in the band.

I’m happy to report, however, that after taking some time to recruit new members and finish up recordings of five new demos, The Beanstalk Library is back.

In fact, today they’re releasing all five of the aforementioned recordings for free download. The songs feature guest appearances by Tom Hnatow of These United States on pedal steel and banjo; Susan Hsu of Exit Clov on violin; Brett Niederman of Exit Clov on organ; and Kate Rears, formerly of The Alphabetical Order, on cello.

And I gotta say – the songs are spectacular. This was a very good band the last time we heard from them. But if these songs are any indication, they may now be a great one.

Here’s an exclusive download of my favorite song on the EP (though it’s very, very close):

The Beanstalk Library, “It Has Made All The Difference”

The four other new songs are being debuted on four other DC-area blogs today as well. As soon as I have links for them, I’ll post them here. Or you can click on over to the band’s website and find the links there.

Oh, and if you’re in DC and not seeing The National that night (as I unfortunately am), be sure to catch the band at Iota on Monday, May 25th!

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Monday 18 May 2009 at 5:44 am

Ladies and Gentlemen, There is New Wrens Music

Go here now.

It ain’t much, but it’s more than we’ve gotten since 2003.

Thanks to Chris for the heads up!

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Sunday 17 May 2009 at 11:37 pm

A DC Show Recommendation: The Dig @ Red and Black

The Dig, “Penitentiary”

It’s been a great week of music in DC so far, including shows from massive indie sensations (Animal Collective), to metal gods (Mastodon), to punk heroes (The Thermals), to great up-and-coming acts (Dexateens, So Cow, The War on Drugs), and more.

And while there’s a lot more music going on in town this weekend as well, there’s really only one show that excites me all that much – Sunday’s show at The Red and The Black with NYC’s The Dig.  
(I mean, seriously, am I supposed to be excited by Ben Lee or Emmet Swimming?  I think not.)

Everything I know about The Dig comes from incredible word-of-mouth from one single show.
The band opened for the incredible Mystery Jets at the Bowery Ballroom in New York back in February, and I had a ticket but ended up not being able to go. And while I heard great things about the Mystery Jets’ set that night, the highest praise that I heard – from no less than four different sets of friends at the show – was for The Dig.

So I’ve been waiting for them to finally get themselves down to DC for a show and… of course… the night they pick to finally come down (this Sunday) is the one night that I’m actually going to be in New York to see The Vaselines.  

But just because I won’t be there doesn’t mean you shouldn’t.  It’s not often that people rave about an opening band the way my friends did for The Dig, and the songs I’ve heard at the band’s MySpace page are pretty promising.  Oh, and you can download the band’s 3-song demo CD for free here.

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Friday 15 May 2009 at 10:37 am

New Roman Candle, “Why Modern Radio is A-OK”

So far we’ve covered Motel Motel and The Deep Vibration, and now we turn our attention to the third great band playing my first Babystew Presents show next Tuesday at DC9…  Nashville-via-North Carolina band Roman Candle.

To be completely honest, I don’t know a whole lot about these guys. I’ve been hearing their name here and there over the years, but for some reason until recently never got around to actually listening to them.

However, when I discovered last month that they were headed out on tour with The Deep Vibration, I made a point of checking out the songs on their MySpace page, and then quickly discovered that they also had a recent series of free/pay-what-you-want EPs available on their home page. And it didn’t take long for me to find myself becoming a fan.

Then, just this week, the band released its third album, Oh Tall Tree in the Ear, and it’s pretty fantastic. Paste Magazine describes the album as:

part the kind of ragged, sprawling travelogue you’d imagine Paul Westerberg would pen if he was a roadie for Oasis at the height of Britpop, and part barrage of hallucinatory Dylanesque visions vomited up after a boozy, blurry night spent careening down dark, moonlit North Carolina backroads.

I’m not too sure exactly what that means, but I think it means they like it, which is good, because I do too.

Here’s the first track from the album.  It’s actually not my favorite song on the album (that would probably be either “They Say” or “A Heartbeat”, both of which easily could have been written by Stew-favorites The Broken West), but it’s a rollicking and catchy tune that I’m sure is a ton of fun to sing along with live.

Roman Candle, “Why Modern Radio is A-OK”

You can buy Oh Tall Tree in the Ear here, or, even better, you can buy a copy directly from the band when you come to DC9 next Tuesday. You know you want to.

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Friday 15 May 2009 at 12:25 am

New Twilight Sad, “Reflection of the Television”

Fresh off their North American tour with countrymen Mogwai (as well as their headlining show here in DC), The Twilight Sad have today released the first song from their forthcoming new album, Forget the Night Ahead. The album, which is the band’s second full-length disc (in addition to 2 EPs and a live album), comes out on September 22nd via Fat Cat Records.

Check it out:

The Twilight Sad, “Reflection of the Television”

Good stuff.

(Thanks to Pitchfork for the original post of the track.)

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Wednesday 13 May 2009 at 5:30 pm

Meet The Rest

Being the sole proprietor of a 3+ year old music blog, I tend to get a ton of email on a daily basis from publicists, labels, venues and bands. And, unfortunately, I simply don’t have the time to read a large number of the emails I get — or, more importantly, to listen to the music that I’m sent. I try, I really do, but if I listen to 50% of the music I get, that’s a pretty good day.

So why do I mention this?  Certainly not to scare anyone off from sending me music.

Rather, I mention it because, every once in a while, when I happen to have 4 or 5 free minutes, I’ll randomly pick one of my unread emails and read and/or listen to whatever it is that I happen to have been sent.
(Sidenote: I do not, ever, under any circumstance, listen to anything labeled “Remix” or “Party mix”.
I simply do not understand the concept of the remix.)

And that’s exactly what I did this morning with an email that I got about the band The Rest.  And I cannot tell you how glad I am that I did. The band, which hails from Hamilton, Ontario, is set to release its second album, entitled Everyone All At Once, and I gotta say — it’s absolutely stunning.

Beyond “stunning”, though, I have a hard time accurately describing the album. It’s dark, and sweeping, and orchestral, and emotional, but still none of those words really do it justice. It’s so much bigger than that. I guess the best thing I can say is this — on the day that Wilco’s Wilco (The Album) leaked, THIS is the album I choose to spend more of my time with.

Take a listen to the incredible first track from the album:

The Rest, “Coughing Blood/Fresh Mountain Air”

You can hear the album in its entirely at the band’s MySpace page from now until May 24th. And, more importantly, you can order a physical copy of the CD here.

And those of you in New York can see the band live next month at Pianos on June 18th, and then at NYC Taper’s showcase at Monster Island Basement on June 19th. I really need to find a way to get to one of those shows.

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Wednesday 13 May 2009 at 3:54 pm

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