Bryce Rudow is a freelance political/pop-culture journalist and he likes music. You can send all hatemail to [email protected] and tweet vitriol at him @brycetrudow. Go to his website and read interesting things: BryceTaylorRudow.com
Back when Matt Taibbi was still writing for Rolling Stone, he once didn’t post his regular column for two weeks in a row (leaving fans like me in a tizzy), only to break his literary silence by admitting that his past two attempts at columns, in his mind, weren’t bringing the metaphorical heat, so he cut them and moved on.
I bring this up (as a filler intro) because honestly, this week, I just don’t have it either.
I know I’ve half-assed intros and casual theses before, but for the past two weeks I have been chasing a story that I only recently realized I couldn’t actually investigate properly because my “source” was really just liquor-inspired gossip that was only ‘important’ because of the mouth I heard it come out of. So I’m cutting all of it.
Instead, I’m going to just shamelessly ask that you follow the Tunes You Should Know In 2014 Spotify Playlist and check out BryceTaylorRudow.com, then throw a bunch of new, ALL DC-CENTRIC music at you without a lot of distracting words. All you need to know is that sometimes smart, respectable people say dumb things when drunk and that George W.S. Trow predicted the future back in 1980. Cool? Cool.
- Pleasure Curses – “Burn”
I’m a ‘glass half full’ optimist when it comes to Pleasure Curses.
They’ve been relatively lacking in terms of actual releases over the past few years, but they do seem to getting better as they go.
Older songs like “PNKLKR” and “Lines On A Wire” are pretty generic takes on familiar formulas, but once you get to “Bounce Above” in their discography, you can sense that they just might have something here. Now, with “Burn,” they’re starting to take some necessary chances and show off their productional prowess.
In fact, once they realize that they need at least two more members of the band to make the live show more interesting/because no Logic or Ableton can replace a live drummer, I could see them really taking off.
All Things Gold event bookers, get on this.
BONUS: Here’s a good interview they did with Black On The Canvas
DOULBE BONUS: They have an EP from 2012 on Pleasure Curses that has this one song “Abstrakt” that you should listen to if you’re digging them. Pleasure Curses, please revisit this one for a future release. Please and thank you.
- Young Rapids – “Melt”
Was it Kierkegaard or Joni Mitchell that once said, “You don’t know what you got till it’s gone”?
Because Young Rapids were supposed to be lost and gone forever.
At least, that’s what they said back in April when they told us all that their gig at Rock And Roll Hotel the following month would be their last show. When the time came, most outlets took the chance to pour some digital ink out for the indie rockers and the general consensus seemed to be, “We’re losing one of the good ones.”
But now, only 6 months later, they’re back with a slightly different line-up, a new album on the horizon, and most importantly for us right now, a new single. We probably should have seen this coming, as even their breakup announcement was qualified with, “We are very close friends and still all collaborate on music, so we will see where things take us,” but nonetheless it’s good to have them back.
For those of you that never thought they’d see Young Rapids live again, they’ll be playing Black Cat on Saturday with Drop Electric and Cigarette for Girls Rock! DC’s benefit show, which you can get tickets for here.
PS: Turns out it was Counting Crows that said it. I was way off.
- Stronger Sex – Love Is A Herring
I have wanted to like John Di Lascio’s musical pursuits since I’ve met him, and while his better-known project Johnny Fantastic is very much its own, appreciable thing — I will never forget seeing him put on a Showman of the Year-worthy performance to 10 people at the now-defunct Dunes a few years ago — I just have never been able to comfortably swim in the waters Mr. Di Lascio admirably unabashedly prefers to swim in.
But his new project, Stronger Sex, I’m in love with this shit.
At the very least, it’s similar to things you’ve heard before but enjoy, but give “Love Is A Herring” a few listens and realize this is a 6 1/2 MINUTE long synth-pop epic that has distinct movements and oozes with the kind of flamboyant charisma that only John can nail. And listen to that rework they did of the Johnny Fantastic song “Jupiter”!
Maybe it’s the influence of Erik Sleight, whom is better known for his work with very hardcore group Joy Buttons, or their percussionist Sarah Murray, whom I don’t know anything about other than she is not in Joy Buttons, but whatever it is, I don’t care. I just know that I’m so excited to unabashedly prefer something John Di Lascio has done.
That guy is fantastic.
- Lowercase Letters – Lowercase Letters
After promoting themselves with just a captivating live show and a 4-song EP of covers that ranged from Beach House to AC/DC released back in 2012, the airy but groovy Lowercase Letters finally have a full LP out, and they deserve a round of applause for it.
They probably could have whittled the 10 song album down to a tighter, more impactful 6-song EP, but after trying to get people to pay attention to this band for a while because “trust me, they’re great live,” I’m just really happy to have something (digitally) tangible to direct them to.
Now can someone who doesn’t record work out of a house studio record/produce them so it doesn’t sound like I’m listening to these songs through a tin can? Where’s the Kickstarter campaign for this?
BONUS: If you like “Hook Up Fee Remix,” here’s a very interesting story about the origins of that song.
- Dead Professional – Hard, Hard, Hard EP
The other week I finally got to live out my dream of seeing Dead Professional in a dark bar venue when they wooed a Tuesday night DC9 crowd, and now the full stream of their new EP is finally out so you can hear it for yourself. I highly recommend “Don’t Be Cruel” and “I Can Deliver.”
- Fellow Creatures – “Allies”
Fellow Creatures, 2/5ths of the adored Ugly Purple Sweater (RIP) have released their first non-demo song. It’s more intense than their first release, the demo of a song called “Shukka Shukka,” and it’s a reminder that these guys aren’t just syrupy R&B who like to use fun phrases in songs.
Seriously though, “Shukka Shukka” is a great song. It’s worth the repost.
- Wanted Man – Wanted Man EP
Wanted Man, who just released their 3-song EP earlier this week, play the kind of cocky, bluesy rock-and-roll that is really hard to pull off without coming across like assholes, yet somehow Wanted Man do it. Also, this kind of thing will melt your face if you hear it live.
Speaking of, go hear them live. Like tonight at Black Cat when they open up for Natural Child. Get tickets here.