PUP is a punk band from Toronto that has been the subject of considerable success in the past year, with a new self-titled album currently spreading across the world’s punk-rock consciousness, and a tour that has traced through nearly every major North American cultural center, and Iowa. According to Rolling Stone they’re one of Canada’s next great musical exports, while according to everyone else they already are. I will avoid talking about them in an overtly Canadian context however, as that seems to occasionally jumpstart an odd, misplaced sort of patriotism in thicker skulled Americans (An unfortunate handicap, I know). Instead I’ll describe them from a purely musical standpoint, as a talented four-piece punk act that is great at writing songs and even better at amplifying them. Their onstage presence is an organic mixture of sweat and kineticism that is still able to cultivate emotion without falling into the unforgiving cliché of angst rock; they’re loud, but artfully so. I was able to talk with ¾ of them before their show at DC9 this past Wednesday, in the veiled coziness of the venue’s sofa-laden back room. As each enjoyed an in house meal of burgers and fries, the three members in question (Stefan Babcock, Steve Sladkowski, and Nestor Chumak) led me to conduct one of the most pleasant interviews I have been a part of.
Evan: Well, we met a long time ago at this music camp Day Jams. It was this weird rock and roll music day camp for little kids to go to. But recently, I was going to school at JMU and his significant other at the time was going to JMU and we met up and started making music after not really talking to each other for like 12 years or something like that. We’ve just kind of been doing this thing ever since.
Lotanna: If anyone told me before this show that Karen Marie Ørsted (nom de guerre, MØ) was going to be dancing on bars and crowd surfing, I might not have believed them. MØ makes pop music, but pop music with a harder edge. With her musical beginnings originating in the Danish punk scene, her stage antics are not entirely unexpected. The show was lively, with an energy that radiated throughout the entire room. The entire crowd was dancing, I was dancing, and I couldn’t see them, but I’m sure the bouncers and bartenders were probably dancing too. MØ’s stage presence is larger than life, and the 9:30 Club was hardly big enough to contain her effervescence.
D.C dream pop trio The Walking Sticks (composed of Chelsea Lee and brothers Spencer and Max Ernst) are coming off the excitement of having released their album Send The Night in December of last year, and are now ready to drop a new five track EP. The band has been finding great success within The District’s music scene, having just played the 9:30 Club two weeks ago, and Black Cat previous to that. Now, amid a schedule of festival and club dates, The Walking Sticks are planning a pre-release show on September 27 at DC9, complete with a live music video shoot for their new song “One Sweet Thing”. WRGW catches up with them outside of The Library of Congress, where they are taking a break in between sets of a private gig.
The three day music festival hosted at Winston Farm, the same 800 acre property as Woodstock ’94, was an experience defined by big sound, big lights and a huge storm. Organized by MCP Presents and SFX Entertainment, The Hudson Project started out strong with the first of the 20,000 attendees arriving late on Thursday in high spirits. Concertgoers flooded into the grounds throughout Thursday evening, creativity rampant among the campsites as the tent cities that had popped up overnight fostered a strong sense of community. When Friday morning rolled around, the festival was in full swing.