BY BEN KRON// It was one of those cold, late-fall D.C. Sundays where you just can’t seem to get out of bed when I stumbled across Wim Wender’s masterpiece of a film, Wings of Desire. As thought provoking and mesmerizing as the film was, there was one scene that seemed to stick in my head, even weeks following the day I watched it. It was a smoked filled basement… or venue (an image, I’m sure many of us are familiar with) in West Berlin during the Cold War, where a tall man dressed in tight leather jeans, stood bellowing the lyrics to “Six Bells Chime” as a crowd of people lost themselves in the heavy drums, and ‘gothic rock’ guitar riffs.
DEANNA REYES// Carlos Vives Colombian Vallenato with a twist has been a staple in my life since I was born. The Grammy winning singer songwriter has a career that spans over 30 years, all filled with innovation and appeal to all ages and Latinos across the globe. Vives wasn’t always a music giant, he began his career acting in telenovelas before releasing his ballad album ‘No Podras Escapar De Mi’ which was preceded by two more ballad albums, which failed to popularize. Vives found his sound when he collaborated with a Vallenato band called ‘La Provincia’ and began to infuse rock and indigenous Colombian sounds into a classic Vallenato composition. The album led to success all over Latin America and charted in American Billboards Charts, and Vives has become a legend amongst Latino artists.
Vives’ recent hit “La Bicicleta”, a collaboration with other Colombian superstar Shakira, swept the Latino music world by storm. The track combines cumbia, pop, as well as some indigenous wind instrument, in fun way which incites people to get up and dance. The song came along with a video which was filmed in both artists’ hometowns and features the real people living in them in a nostalgic and colorful background.
BY TORI SWIACKI// Silly core, class-clown core, goof core, fun punk — there are many labels that could be applied to New York’s TOP nachos. Taking influence from bands likePrimus, TOP nachos comes as a two piece, comprised of guitarist and vocalist Eli Frank and drummer Kenny Hauptman.
BY TORI SWIACKI// On Tuesday, August 28 Doe Deer accompanied Thin Lips and Slaughter Beach, Dog at DC9 Nightclub.
Doe Deer, based out of Fredericksburg, VA has been no stranger to the DC music scene, having played Songbyrd one week prior. Frontman Nabeel attributes some of Doe Deer’s success in DC to his time spent in the DMV DIY scene, looking upon of it more as a community, noting its inclusive nature. Beginning with humble roots, Nabeel recorded the earliest tracks as a solo project using a built-in laptop microphone and a small amp. He describes this minimalist setup, saying, “I didn’t have much experience, so I was kind of just playing around with the recordings until I figured out how to make it sound somewhat tolerable.” The result, December 2016’s “Sports,” was more than bearable, delivering a soft, nostalgic sound sprinkled with ambient sounds as seen in the ninth track, “waves.” Think: Starry Cat, or, more specifically, Teen Suicide’s “no, the moon,” or “Letterman” by foozle.
BY TORI SWIACKI// Courtney Barnett, the indie darling of Australia, is returning to Washington, DC this Tuesday, July 24.
Barnett and her music have always held a certain staying power, between the blend of folk guitar dressed up with garage rock influences and her deadpan lyrics giving fans no shortages of witty quotes to swap. The most recognizable, and perhaps my personal favorite, will perhaps always be, “Give me all your money, and I’ll make some origami honey,” from her 2015 sophomore album, “Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit.”
Putting the sometimes pithy nature of her usual lyrics aside, other tracks reveal a soft, queer love, like “Depreston,” telling the story of moving in with a partner and what it feels like to choose a new home for oneself. In her newest album, “Tell Me How You Really Feel,” Barnett shows a rare display of aggression in the middle track, “I’m Not Your Mother, I’m Not Your Bitch,” which is neatly balanced out by the opening track “Hopefulessness,” with a simple plucked melody that never fails to hypnotize.