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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

Hello and welcome to Spring!

A few quick bulletin board updates…

– Funk Parade season is upon us and there’s a kickoff party — “Celebrating the Women of Funk” — tomorrow night at the Howard Theatre. Plus the Funk Parade team has launched their Indiegogo campaign for this year, so be a good DCer and throw a few sheckles their way; they’re giving you a free festival in a few weeks and the donation perks include things like free DC9 tickets for a year.

– Speaking of Indiegogo campaigns, D.C. post-rockers Drop Electric (sort of) have a new album that they want to put out. To quote DC Music Download, “The decision to release the record was complicated, as Drop Electric’s lead vocalist Kristina Reznikov opted to leave the group last fall. Eventually the band decided to make the album [they had recorded with her] public, but instead of releasing it through a label, it would be a completely DIY approach.” #LeadSingerProblems

– Will Butler (the guy who probably doesn’t want me reminding you he’s the guy from Arcade Fire) and TEEN (the band behind the 9th best album of 2014) are playing Rock and Roll Hotel this Saturday. If you do not go to this, you will feel really stupid in a few months when both these acts sell out 9:30 Club individually.

– Make sure to follow the Tunes You Should Fucking Know list on Spotify…

Onto this week’s fix!


  • Action Bronson featuring Chance the Rapper – “Baby Blue”

We’ve known since Acid Rap‘s “NaNa” that Bronson and Chance have great chemistry and they’re obviously both incredible showmen, but this has got to be one of the most charming “fuck you” songs you’ll ever hear in hip-hop. I have high hopes for Bronson’s new record.

And can we just take a second to appreciate the sheer wonder that is Chance the Rapper’s creativity/ability to channel Marshall Mathers circa 1999:

I hope you get a paper cut on your tongue
From a razor in a paper cup
I hope every soda you drink’s already shaken up
I hope your dreams dry like raisins in the baking sun
I hope your titties all saggy in your early 20’s
I hope there’s always snow in your driveway
I hope you never get off Fridays
And you work at a Friday’s that’s always busy on Fridays
I hope you win the lottery and lose your ticket
I hope it’s Ben and Socrates poop all up in your kitchen
I hope the zipper on your jacket get stuck
And your headphones short, and your charger don’t work
And you spill shit on your shirt

That Friday’s line is one for the ages.


  • Hop Along – Painted Shut

Technically this is a repost, as I first wrote about Philadelphia’s Hop Along back in May of 2013, but I’ve got a great reason. After 3 long years, they’re finally going to follow up their fantastic 2012 album Get Disowned, and now we’ve got a new single, “Waitress,” and the chance to preorder the new LP, Painted Shut, over at their Bandcamp page.

To paraphrase my 2013 self, I know that some might be turned off by Hop Along’s slightly-abrasive sound, but I also know that anyone that approaches this band with an open mind (and open ears) will find something special here. Lead-singer Frances Quinlan coos and wails throughout expressive, creative, and occasionally even funny songs that are equal parts intricate obsessiveness and confident recklessness.

Hop Along, you may not be for everyone but as you say in “No Good Al Joad,” “you are my favorite because you’re a long shot.”


  • PacMan, Abu Rahss, and Nine Five – “Trap Out the Starbucks”

This video started going viral last week and I already included it in last Friday’s ‘What Tunes Are You Bumping‘ BYT column, but given the fact that we live in a world where House of Cards — a show about Washington DC — isn’t even filmed in the District, I think it says something that I’ve been to every Starbucks in this video. Congratulations to PacMan for finally finding a way to not just be ‘that rapper that went to North Korea,’ and group-homes in Mt. Pleasant for life.

Also, that McDonald’s/Americano line is one for the ages.

Props to WaPo‘s Clinton Yates for helping his Followers stay ahead of the curve with this one….


  • Joywave – “Somebody New”

Big Data may be currently riding a massive PR wave thanks to a ridiculous roster of guest spots on his upcoming album, but don’t sleep on his “Dangerous” collaborators, Joywave.

The Rochester, NY band responsible for one of my favorite songs of 2013, “Tongues,” just released a video for their new single “Somebody New,” and it will make all your Tony-Hawk-Goldfinger-“Superman” dreams come rushing back to you.


  • Jonny Grave & The Tombstones – “Going Down to the Well”

You know why you should never pay for a PR company to write you a press release if you’re a band? Because this works so much better:


My name is Jonny Grave. This past Valentine’s Day, my band and I made an album in 24 hours. We think it’s pretty good. The album will be released on 03/21/2015 at the Black Cat. Links to tickets and first single from the album are below.