Reviews, Interviews & Features
News and Features
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Video: “Valentine” – I Draw Slow

Watch the video for “Valentine,” a song from I Draw Slow’s White Wave Chapel.

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New EP: IWSOM – Intergalactix

Listen to Intergalactix’s debut, IWSOM.

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New Video: “In Your Home” — White Lung

Watch “In Your Home,” the video for a song off of White Lung’s Deep Fantasy. They’ll be at DC9 on September 4.

TOUR DATES

9/2: Great Scott – Boston, MA

9/3: Glasslands – Brooklyn, NY

9/4: DC9 – Washington, DC

9/6: Hopscotch Festival – Raleigh, NC

9/7: The Atlantic – Gainesville, FL

9/8: 529 – Atlanta, GA

9/9: The End – Nashville, TN

9/10: Subterranean – Chicago, IL

9/13: Basilica Soundscape – Hudson, NY

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Notes on a Key Change: “The Dark End of the Street” — James Carr

Key changes can be super corny but also very powerful. Sometimes they can make the hair on your neck stand straight up.

The jump from the key of G to G# in the song “The Dark End of the Street” by James Carr is a perfect example of an amazing key change.

Unique by the fact that it’s the most romantic song about cheating that I have ever heard, the key change comes when the sun rises in the last verse, when “daylight hours rolls around.”

Beautiful and perfect in every way, it’s a sixties soul classic for swingers and cheaters.

Written by Dan Penn and Chips Moman

Performed by James Carr

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Tony Trov loves key changes.
His studio South Fellini makes lots and lots of cult media.
Hear him play the saxophone here.
@TonyTrov
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The Curious Case of The Cure’s Discography

I’ve always thought that I was an above-average fan of The Cure, but I’ve often felt disappointed with each new release since Wish. To be fair, it was 1989 when I jumped on the bandwagon—and not just The Cure bandwagon but the entire bandwagon of anything that was not my parents’ music. I was 11 (going on 12) for Disintegration, and I was just really starting to get into things on my own, but then the band essentially stopped releasing music for a good portion of my late teens. Looking back, I guess I had a kind of flash-bang introduction to The Cure, followed by their slow fizzle into late-90s obscurity. Yet for some reason, I always considered them to have a huge catalog of “great” albums and always found myself disappointed when searching through said “great” catalog.

To get to the bottom of things, I dusted off my 14-year-old copy of Bloodflowers today and started thinking about The Cure and all of their post-Disintegration work. The eleventh studio album by The Cure, Bloodflowers was released in 2000 and performed reasonably but not great. For me at the time, it was definitely not great. Listening to it today, I believe the fact that it starts with three painfully slow and drawn-out songs, one of which is over 11-minutes long, doomed the album. The lead single (“Maybe Someday”—in position four) is great, but it is followed by five more painfully slow and drawn-out songs. I guess slow is fine, but slow and drawn out to the point of frustration is just deadly. Regardless of what age I am when listening, the album never really gets going.

After frowning at Bloodflowers, I turned to my collection and started working my way through The Cure catalog again. As I listened, I found myself distracted and consistently arriving at the conclusion that their overall studio output over time, when looking at the albums as individual parts (of a complete body of work), varies in quality with each release but never seems to live up to the Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me/Disintegration/Wish-era.

Yes, I will concede that my perception of the band is colored by the fact that I was just 18-months old when they released Three Imaginary Boys. I missed the sputtering along of their first five albums over the course of as many years followed by their ultimate rise to superstardom. I mean, they had a substantial career before Disintegration, and that could not and should not be overlooked, right? I did do my homework over the years; I eventually went back through their entire catalog many times over and I still own everything they ever released up to my point of introduction to the band (and beyond).

So I am definitely familiar, but the thing I realize now as I try to condense 30+ years of music into a few hours (I know… stupid, right?) is that I can’t say I experienced The Cure in context. And context is definitely important. Have you tried watching an episode of Knight Rider on COZI TV?  Have you ever tried watching anything on COZI TV?  It’s not good.  Not even The Bionic Woman or the Six Million Dollar Man (six million dollars!) can withstand 35 years of contextual change without looking a little rough around the edges.

Thinking more about Bloodflowers and how it has sat upon my shelf untouched since the week I bought it so long ago, I wonder is it that bad of an album or is it just a problem with the context of where I was in my own musical journey at the point in time when I listened to it?  Or maybe I am just not as into the band as I have always thought.  Maybe I have been clinging to the radio-friendly songs like “Lullaby” all along and not realizing that I have been overlooking all else. The same uncertainties arise when I think about 2004′s self-titled release and 2008′s 4:13 Dream. It seems to happen to me now with the old stuff too: Seventeen Seconds, Faith, Pornography… was there ever a time where I thought these were great albums or have I always just been as frustrated with all of their work?

Is it possible that The Cure just never really were able to live up to Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me/Disintegration/Wish-era releases?  Have they really been putting out mediocre albums all these years, feeding off of a memory of what once was great, or a few great records at their commercial peak, in my mind at least? Or is it possible that they have been putting great albums and in reality the only context that has changed is my own?

Maybe I’m just not a Cure fan. Maybe I just like a few albums. Or maybe they’ve had a lot of really great songs spread out over many mediocre albums, enough great songs to carry even Bloodflowers (see track four—the sole charting single), and I’m just a dreaded “greatest hits guy,” and maybe they’re just a dreaded “greatest hits band.”

Either way, it looks like they have a new album coming out this year, which will be comprised of leftovers from 2008’s mediocre 4:13 Dream. Here’s to hoping for at least another great song or two.

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Greg Gendron is co-founder and co-owner of eggHunt Records based in Richmond, VA, and he operates MARVINHOUSE Studio in Silver Spring, MD. Greg currently drums in the Washington DC-based bands Light Arms and Ragnapop, and contributes instrumentation, arrangement, engineering, and mixing to the recording project Sun Machines.

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Single: “Vacant Hearts” – Lola Colt

Listen to “Vacant Hearts,” the title track from Lola Colt’s latest EP.

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Single: “Metal Flake” – The Young

Check out “Metal Flake,” a track from The Young’s Chrome Cactus, out August 26. You can also see them live on September 9 at DC9.

TOUR DATES

8/29: Los Globos – Los, Angeles, CA

8/30: Hemlock Tavern – San Francisco, CA

8/31: 1234Go Records – Oakland, CA

9/4: Hotel Vegas – Austin, TX

9/5: Bottle Tree – Birmingham, AL

9/6: 529 – Atlanta, GA

9/7: Pinhook – Durham, NC

9/8: The Mothlight – Asheville, NC

9/9: DC9 – Washington, DC

9/10: Boot & Saddle – Philadelphia, PA

9/11: Glasslands – Brooklyn, NY

9/12: Mercury Lounge – New York, NY

9/13: O’Briens – Boston, MA

9/14: Vitrola – Montreal, QB

9/15: Silver Dollar – Toronto, ON

9/17: Ace of Cups – Columbus, OH

9/18: Empty Bottle – Chicago, IL

9/20: Foundry Beer Garden – Dallas, TX

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August 27: Kevin Morby at Rock & Roll Hotel

Hear “We Did It All Wrong,” the b-side of Kevin Morby’s My Name 7”. You can see him live at Rock & Roll Hotel on August 27.

Tour Dates

August 14 – Oakland, CA – 1-2-3-4 Go!

August 15 – Los Angeles, CA – Echo Park Rising

August 16 – Pioneertown, CA – Woodsist Festival Pioneertown

August 22 – Brooklyn, NY – Baby’s All Right

August 23 – Long Island City, NY – The Lot LIC

August 24 – Hamden, C T – The Space

August 26 – Philadelphia, PA – Underground Arts Black Box

August 27 – Washington, DC – Rock & Roll Hotel

August 28 – Baltimore, MD – Ottobar

August 30 – Asheville, NC – Transfigurations II

August 31 – Richmond, VA – Strange Matter

September 06 - Pop Revo – Aarhus (DK)

September 07 - Pustervik – Gothenburg (S)

September 08 - Lilla Hotellbaren – Stockholm (S)

September 09 - Pokalen – Oslo (N)

September 10 - Inkost – Malmö (S)

September 11 - Vega @ Ideal Bar – Copenhagen (DK)

September 12 - Hasenschaukel – Hamburg (D)

September 13 - Big Next festival @ DOK – Gent (B)

September 14 - Vera – Groningen (NL)

September 15 - Paradiso – Amsterdam (NL)

September 16 - Incubate – Tilburg (NL)

September 17 - Le Point Ephémère – Paris (F)

September 18 - The Hope – Brighton (UK)

September 19 - Kraak – Manchester (UK)

September 20 - The Brudenell Social Club – Leeds (UK)

September 21 - The Musician – Leicester (UK)

September 22 - The Shacklewell Arms – London (UK)

September 24 - Maison de L’étudiant – Caen (F)

September 25 - 1988 club – Rennes (F)

September 26 - Le Troc Café – Strasbourg (F)

September 29 - Heliogabal – Barcelona (ES)

September 30 - Dabadaba – San Sebastian (ES)

October 01 - VillaManuela pre-party @ Sirocco – Madrid (ES)

October 02 - Mercado Negro – Aveiro (PT)

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New Single: “Music for Touching” — Cookies

Listen to “Music for Touching,” a track from Cookies’ Music for Touching, out September 9.

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New Single: “Ms Pacman” – The Pine Hill Haints

Check out “Ms Pacman,” the opening track from The Pine Hill HaintsThe Magik Sounds of the Pine Hill Haints, out September 30.

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