Unlocking his own thoughts: An exclusive interview with Locke Kaushal

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A common argument made by WRGW’s bloggers and show hosts is that the DMV music scene kicks arse and more people need to pay attention…

Whelp, I am a conformist because Locke Kaushal, the Dale City, VA native and recent winner of the House Artist Grant has more talent than most of y’all’s favorite rappers.  In light of his most recent project, “A Sober Man’s Thoughts EP”, which everyone can check out on his SoundCloud, and purchase on iTunes, if they so choose, Locke granted WRGW an hour of his time to ask him some questions about himself and the new project. Below is the transcript of that glorious Q’n’A where Locke and I talk about Dale City, dreaming out loud, being superfluously swanky, and his new EP.

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Bands to Watch: Slothrust

Photo Credit: Shervin Lainez
Photo Credit: Shervin Lainez

After speaking with lead vocalist Leah Wellbaum and listening to their new album, Of Course You Do, we feel confident in recommending that you listen to Slothrust. Slothrust is a three-piece band that met while attending Sarah Lawrence College with Leah on vocals, Kyle Bann on bass and organ, and Will Gorin on percussion. The name Slothrust originated from Leah’s obsession with sloths and the band’s heavier, rustier music. Their sound is grungy with rebellious lyrics and vocals and they have a lot of personality and spunk. Check out the interview below!

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Typhoon @ the 9:30 Club

Typhoon at the 9:30 Club
Photo Credit: Jordan Grobe, Typhoon at the 9:30 Club
THE BAND
For those of you familiar with my show, you know that I love Typhoon. The band, which consists of eleven members, is led by Kyle Morton, who provides lead vocals and guitar with support from two violins, two trumpets, two drums, another guitar, a bass guitar, horns, and separate percussionist-ukulele player, all of whom sing backup. Their elaborate sound is so brilliantly layered and finely tuned that it isn’t just a wall of notes, but rather a beautifully crafted melody more complex than our ears have generally grown accustomed to.

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Bands you Should Know: Klauss

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Klauss sounds like a band you’ve heard a hundred times and never tired of. Their songs are light, with drums that manage to sound more melodic than percussive. Much of the band’s new release, Totems, lends itself to a vein of the indie-folk genre, but can at times also transcend the label, and delve into stronger-hitting, garage-rock waters.

Aspects of Totems sound like softened renditions of a T-Rex or Bowie tune, and come off just as successfully. This isn’t to say the music is unoriginal, but rather that Totems could almost be seen as an indie re-envisionment of the 1970s pop-rock scene. And it is this property of Klauss’ music that makes the band successful; they manage to function as an indie band without falling prey to the genre’s more uninspiring elements (bland, acoustic-heavy, pseudo pop).

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Bands to Catch: Caveman

Caveman Band
From left: Sam Hopkins, Jeff Berall, Michael Iwanusa, Stefan Marolachakis, and Jimmy Carbonetti

If you’re one of those people who has a hard time keeping their ears to the ground of indie music hype while also keeping them up and open to WRGW, you just might have missed what began as excited murmuring across the blogosphere three years ago with the release of Caveman’s first record, CoCo Beware.

Mixing curiously airy but big beats with reverb rock, synthesized soundscapes, and beautiful folk-driven harmonies, the initially self-released CoCo Beware launched Caveman into the public eye and my ears as something fresh and unfamiliar. When I first introduced some of my friends to their music, their smooth and ethereal echoes of mellow indie rock came to be affectionately known among us as “Jellyfish Music”. For CoCo Beware, this was oddly fitting; the record runs so smoothly, but with clear tonal shifts reminiscent of the type of placidity found in nature, with legato progressions similar to jellyfish’s distinct undulations.

With their newest record, self-titled Caveman, the band’s sound has evolved into something a little heavier, a little cleaner,  and a little more exploratory. The record is more atmospheric, Sam’s synth is more prominent, and Jimmy’s guitar rocks harder, but Matt’s vocals and harmonies are just as sweet. Jimmy is not just a guitarist however, he is a master of his craft. As the man behind Carbonetti Guitars in lower Manhattan, he is responsible for hand-crafting the beautiful instruments his band-members use, bringing an even more rich and personal sound to their music which reverberates through their silky electro-folk opener “Strange to Suffer”, which is followed by tracks like “Chances”, “Pricey”, and “Where’s the Time” with addictive riffs and evocative lyrics which speak to our daily doubts and discourse.

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