Yuck – Southern Skies

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London-based indie rock band Yuck are stopping through the District tonight to perform at Rock & Roll Hotel, with support from Big Thief and Bad Moves. The predominately shoegaze-inspired outfit have dabbled in a number of genres in their career, which first launched in 2009. Listen to the more minimal, melancholic song “Southern Skies” off their 2014 EP of the same name and head on out to the show this eve if you’re in the mood for some live music.

Night Knight – Set It On Fire

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Today’s feature comes courtesy of a Greek group called Night Knight — the side project of an active musician in the Athens underground scene named Serafeim Giannakopoulos. Together with bandmates Stelios Provis (bass), Manolis Giannikios (drums) and Minas Liakos (guitar), they created the album God Is A Motherfucker, released via Inner Ear earlier this year. While standout track “Set It On Fire” is not terribly innovative, it does have the feel of a warm embrace from an old friend — the kind of comfort that can only come from familiarity. Acknowledging as much, Giannakopoulos proudly recognizes his influences — ranging from Neil Young to Creedence Clearwater Revival to Radiohead — rather than neglecting them in the name of “pseudo-originality.” And sometimes, that’s just enough. Stream “Set It On Fire” below.

Harriet – Bent

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Harriet has the kind of sound that draws you in and makes you want to keep listening—in large part due to the strong storytelling aspect of their music. Makes sense given the band’s influences, which include Bruce Springsteen, Huey Lewis & the News, Paul Simon and Radiohead according to frontman and founder Alex Casnoff. Named after Casnoff’s grandmother, the promising act is a four-piece from LA whose debut album will be arriving January 2016. The album, entitled American Appetite is purportedly a 12-track collection exploring “the American condition, and the power and greed that it ensues.”

Listen to two varied tracks off the forthcoming LP — “Bent” and title track “American Appetite” below.

Destroyer – Dream Lover

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Following their EP Five Spanish Songs released in 2013, Destroyer makes a solid return with the first single off their forthcoming album Poison Season. “Dream Lover” retains the band’s characteristic identity, employing horns and delayed saxophones in support of Dan Bejar’s vocals — all sustained by a steady and melodic beat. Consistent with his previous works, the song denotes the jubilant refrain of an optimist whose heart is cloaked in cynicism. The new long-play will be unveiled August 28 via Merge Records, and DC area folk will have the opportunity to see Destroyer live at 9:30 Club October 5.

Other Lives – Reconfiguration

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When we heard that Other Lives, the Portland-by-way-of-Oklahoma band was coming to the District, we had to do a preview of their work (full disclosure: this writer has roots in the panhandle state). Biases aside, the group’s new record Rituals, released earlier this month merits exposure in its own right.

Comprised of Jesse Tabish (piano, guitar, vocals), Jonathan Mooney (piano, violin, guitar) and Josh Onstott (bass, keys, percussion), the Stillwater, OK natives made a concerted effort to stretch themselves on their third studio album. Co-produced by Joey Waronker (Atoms for Peace, Beck, Milo Greene) — the LP is said to be a direct reflection of the trio’s relentless drive for precision. “In our heads we’re haphazardly trying to write classical music. Every sound, every drum beat has to have some sort of purpose,” says Tabish about their orchestral rock sound.

For a sampling of what the new album has to offer, listen to the first single and watch the compelling video for “Reconfiguration,” an elegantly constructed track of moody atmospherics. NPR noted, “Other Lives is always exploring new textures and ‘Reconfiguration’ is full of driving rhythmic layers anchored by a piano hook that serves as a skeleton on which to build their floating synth and vocal melodies.”

Currently on tour in support of Rituals, Other Lives will be stopping at DC’s Rock & Roll Hotel June 1. Other upcoming tour dates are listed below.

Other Lives Upcoming Tour Dates:

5/29 – Music Hall of Williamsburg – Brooklyn, NY
5/30 – Bowery Ballroom – New York, NY
6/01 – Rock & Roll Hotel – Washington, DC
6/02 – The Southern – Charlottesville, VA
6/03 – Haw River Ballroom – Saxapahaw, NC
6/05 – 3rd & Lindsley – Nashville, TN
6/06 – The Earl – Atlanta, GA
6/10 – Fitzgerald’s Downstairs – Houston, TX
6/11 – Mohawk – Austin, TX
6/12 – Club Dada – Dallas, TX
6/13 – Cain’s Ballroom – Tulsa, OK
6/16 – The Crescent Ballroom – Phoenix, AZ

Wolf Alice – Bros

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Wolf Alice is four-piece band from London who’ve received a lot of acclaim this year from tastemakers such as BBC Sound, NPR, Hype Machine and KCRW for their eclectic mix of folk, grunge, and electronics with a ’90s alt-rock twist. Their debut album, My Love Is Cool, was produced by Mike Crossey (Arctic Monkeys, Foals) and is slated for release June 23 via Dirty Hit / RCA Records.

The second single off the record, “Bros” is a mellifluous reworked version of an earlier demo from 2013. Speaking to NPR about the track, vocalist Ellie Roswell said, “‘Bros’ is sentimental song for us. [It’s] taken on a new form as we have grown with it. It’s a simple ode to childhood friendship and imagination.” Stream “Bros” and check out their North American tour dates below.

WOLF ALICE | UPCOMING TOUR DATES:

5/5/15                  St. Paul, MN @ Turf Club
5/6/15                  Kansas City, MO @ Record Bar
5/7/15                  Denver, CO @ Lost Lake Lounge
5/8/15                  Salt Lake City, UT @ X96 Big Ass Show
5/11/15                Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios
5/12/15                Seattle, WA @ Crocodile Café
5/14/15                San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
5/16/15                San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar
5/18/15                Los Angeles, CA @ The Roxy
5/19/15                Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar
5/22/15                Austin, TX @ Holy Mountain
5/23/15                Dallas, TX @ Dada
6/18/15                New York, NY @ Le Poisson Rouge
8/2/15                  Philadelphia, PA @ Radio 104.5 Summer Block Series

Death Cab For Cutie – Black Sun

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Death Cab for Cutie have revealed the new single off their forthcoming album Kintsugi, due out on Atlantic March 31. The album title, as bassist Nick Harmer relayed to Rolling Stone refers to a “Japanese style of art where they take fractured, broken ceramics and put them back together with very obvious, real gold. It’s making the repair of an object a visual part of its history.”

This lovely imagery and philosophical conceit also serves as a metaphor for the band’s professional evolution, after founding member Chris Walla exited the band last year. Fortunately, the parting was amicable and Walla is still involved creatively. “Black Sun” is a simple, elegiac track combining synths and distorted guitar — not dissimilar from early DCFC. Stream below.

THROWBACK THURS: Yo La Tengo – ‘I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One’

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Hoboken trio Yo La Tengo have made it 30 years into their career, and what better way to celebrate than to listen to them a lot and catch them on their 30th Anniversary Tour. Husband-and-wife duo, Ira Kaplan and Georgia Hubley, along with bassist James McNew, have crafted a fantastic catalog over the last three decades, making it damn hard to choose just one album to highlight for a throwback. Alas, after much deliberation, 1997’s LP I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One seizes the spotlight.

From the instruments used to the genres explored, this is an album that boasts exceptional variety — with shades of the likes of Sonic Youth and Pavement slammed jarringly against lounge and folk. Song to song, the album sounds directionless, but played together, each track acts as respite from one to the other.

Boasting one of the greatest consecutive four tracks of any record, the span from the frenetic “Sugarcube” through the greyed-out “Shadows” is a prime example of YLT deftly executing and balancing the album’s variety of styles. Sandwiching the dulcet “Damage” between the classic trappings of lo-fi and shoegaze in “Sugarcube” and “Deeper into Movies,” each genre feels like a refreshing change of pace. The album continues its trend of experimentation until it concludes, producing some of Yo La Tengo’s best work — among them the calming ache of “Green Arrow,” and “We’re an American Band,” which showcases Ira’s understated but superb guitar work.

What makes this compilation stand out isn’t that YLT can play ten genres on one album, but that its disparate nature evokes a complete picture when viewed as a whole. Listen to it a few times and you’ll be left with a distinct impression of the more salient moments of your formative years. I Can Hear the Heart is replete with all of the hopeful, painful ingredients: the anticipatory excitement that precedes an overdue reunion, the feeling of freedom you can only experience when you’re young, the kind of longing you can feel on a back porch in July, and the sense of accomplishment at having grown up a bit after having felt all those things.

Stream the album in full on Spotify, and check out their remaining tour dates below.

Upcoming YLT Tour Dates:

12.3 – Town Hall, New York
12.4 – Town Hall, New York
12.5 – 9:30 Club, Washington DC
12.6 – Trocadero Theater, Philadelphia

[GIVEAWAY]: TV On The Radio @ 9:30 Club on 11/16

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Gather ’round Coke Can denizens, we’ve got two tickets to give away to the sold-out TV On The Radio show on Sunday, November 16 at DC’s 9:30 Club. If you missed your chance to grab tickets to see Tunde, Kyp, and the rest of the lads make music, well now’s your chance. Enter to win by leaving a comment below or sending a tweet to @CokeCanPoetry.

They’re sure to be in good form as they parade their latest wares from their forthcoming album Seeds, notably among them the new single “Happy Idiot” (which you can preview below). Even if you’re new to TVOTR’s scheduled programming, we highly encourage you to check them out. Their recent fare boasts seriously catchy melodies backed by resolute basslines, while their older releases run the gamut from lo-fi funk to semi-orchestral threnodies.

Standout tracks from their back catalog include “Ambulance,” “Will Do,” and “Wolf Like Me.” To whoever wins: if they play “Blues From Down Here” or pull out their a capella cover of the Pixies’ “Mr. Grieves,” please leave our contributor Jon a message telling him how it was.

Ready, set, good luck!

[GIVEAWAY]: The Kooks @ 9:30 Club on 7/27

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Listen up — your favorite quirky UK quartet The Kooks are coming to 9:30 Club this Sunday, July 27, and we’ve got two tickets to give away! To enter, leave a comment below or send us a tweet letting us know why you should be the lucky winner to the sold-out showHint: enthusiasm counts, so try not to curb it.

In anticipation of their forthcoming LP, Listen, scheduled to release September 1, The Kooks have released a couple of new tracks, including the single “Bad Habit” below. Featuring their signature style — electric guitar, choppy percussion, and the unique vocal stylings of lead singer Luke Pritchard — the new track shows promise for the new album.

For those not in the DC area, check out additional upcoming tour dates below.

 

The Kooks Upcoming Tour Dates:

Jul 26 – Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club
Jul 27 – Washington, DC @ 930 Club
July 28 – New York, NY @ Webster Hall
Jul 29 – New York, NY @ Terminal 5
Aug 1 – Chicago, IL @ Lollapalooza
Aug 3 – Montreal, QC @ Osheaga Festival
Aug 4 – Toronto, ON @ Danforth Music Hall
Aug 8 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Roxy
Aug 9 – San Francisco, CA @ Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival
Sept 24 – Santa Ana, CA @ The Observatory
Sept 25 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Wiltern
Sept 26 – San Diego, CA @ House of Blues