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So in light of tonight’s Belgian-beer fueled showdown between the We Fought the Big One and Velodrome dj parties, BYT has an exclusive mix to give readers an idea of what these record obsessives have been listening to lately…

Veronica Falls – “Found Love In A Graveyard”

Rick: The NME recently boasted in typically ridiculous fashion that Veronica Falls are “the sexiest damn lo-fi pop group to stalk these shores in quite some time!” Now, when I usually hear that kind of claptrap coming from the NME, I shrug my shoulders and move on. But Veronica Falls are the real deal: they’ve got terrific DIY pop songwriting chops, splendid vocal harmonies, witty and intelligent lyrics, and an undercurrent of moodiness.

No album to speak of yet—just two 7 inch singles and a forthcoming 12 inch on Captured Tracks (the same label that’s put out records by The Beets, Blank Dogs and Dum Dum Girls), but buzz for the band continues to build—they recently played a sold out NME showcase in the U.K. and are now getting attention stateside (Pitchfork likes them, so does Vice). And if you like this track, some good news: Veronica Falls is playing the Velvet Lounge on Wed. May 19. From a sold-out NME showcase to the Velvet Lounge. Funny how things work out sometimes. LOL! More info about Veronica Falls here: www.myspace.com/veronicafallshard

Weed Hounds – “Beach Bummed”

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Rick: Another new DIY pop band that I am obsessed with is Weed Hounds from New York. “Beach Bummed” is from a soon-to-be-released 7 inch on the Iron Pier label and is a nice showcase of what I find so appealing about them: catchy melodies, emotional heft, the requisite guitar fuzz and some terrific female vocals. I also really dig the way this particular song is arranged—as the song progresses and you think the band will return to that killer chorus from earlier, they take an unexpected shift that works even better. When they do eventually go back to the chorus, it is such a sweet payoff. Definitely a very promising up and coming band. Wouldn’t be surprised to find them on Slumberland or Captured Tracks soon.

Btw, Weed Hounds are opening for Veronica Falls at the May 19 Velvet Lounge show I mentioned. Also playing: new Slumberland signing Neverever (L.A.-based DIY that reminds me of The Flatmates) and Mousetrap DJ Mark Zimin’s C86/The Clean-inspired band The Finish. Andrew Bucket is doing a mighty fine job of booking shows over there. More info about Weed Hounds here: www.myspace.com/weedhounds

Screen Vinyl Image – “Slipping Away”

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Rick: I’ve made no secrets about my love for Screen Vinyl Image. There’s just no two ways about it, they rule. I’m completely obsessed with this track in particular for a number of reasons, but the biggest one is the synth sounds. They just conjure images of a lethal Snake Plissken walking the streets of a dilapidated New York. It’s no concidence that the band’s logo is the same logo John Carpenter used for Escape From New York! They’ve successfully answered the question: What if Kevin Shields took a time machine back to the late 70s, met up with the Suicide guys and convinced them to head over to John Carpenter’s recording studio for an impromptu jam? Pure awesomeness.

Screen Vinyl Image has got a couple shows coming up btw—they are playing a secret house show in Arlington at the Basement Speakeasy on Sat. May 8 (along with Night and the City—a new DC band featuringmembers of The Antiques and Girl Loves Distortion!) and are also playing with Spectrum from Spacemen 3 (!!!) at the Velvet Lounge on Thurs. May 13. What is it with Andrew Bucket these days? Does the man have a magic wand? Ladies, don’t answer that! 😉 More info about SVI: www.myspace.com/screenvinylimage

Dark Day – “No, Nothing, Never”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4_XSjv7ueU&feature=related

Ed: I first heard this song last week when Optimo played it at their final party ever after a ten year run. Of course, the first hour they played obscure stuff, and this one caught my ear. Luckily, someone made a playlist of the entire night, and I figured it out. There’s a lot of chatter these days about cold wave, and really, for good reason. This is a fine example of the genre. It really doesn’t get much darker than this, but it’s strangely still danceable.

Adam and the Ants – “Tabletalk”

Ed: For the longest time, I totally avoided Adam Ant’s catalog for fear of a thousand poorly executed music in the vein of Goody Two Shoes. Then, I discovered that before they enlisted Malcolm McLaren’s services to make them more palatable to the masses, they created a damn fine punk record. Tabletalk is one of many jams from Dirk Wears White Socks. I highly recommend this album. It’s got dirty lyrics and really angular riffs very reminiscent of the DC indie scene a la Dischord.

Fist of Facts – “Warming”

Ed: Everyone loves Liquid Liquid, but nobody talks about Fist of Facts. I guess that’s because they only had one rare ass release back in 1988. Anyway, Fist of Facts is the brainchild of Salvatore Principato (lead singer of Liquid Liquid) and a few other chaps. More heady than Liquid Liquid, we’re lucky that Sal is still around popping up at all the hip parties in NYC, cause he managed to convince the boys at Claremont 56 to rerelease some tracks. This is one of them. Enjoy.

Monty MC – “Holiday Rap with a Capital C”

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Scott: Like many before me that neared the end of their college years, I spent a summer in Europe back in 2004. A large portion of this trip was spent visiting record shops throughout the continent and I quickly amassed a collection of about 35 records which i then had to haul around daily for the next 2 months. I found some really great records that helped shape my musical tastes for the next coming years. In Brussels I found a compilation containing this song by Monty MC. Its basically 3 girls who sound like the ladies from Absolutely Fabulous rapping to a very heavily sampled version of Madonna’s Holiday. I’ve always had an affinity for this song but have never had the guts to play it on the dance floor. At least I can play it for you now. Is this horrible or wonderful? You can decide.

Ago – “Stop Your Life”

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Scott: Was my year and half long Italo binge worth it? Hard to say. Do I still often listen to these rare records I have amassed? Not really. Have I forgone countless vacations to tropical locales due the time and money I put into my collection? Perhaps. Do I like to ask questions then quickly answer them? Looks like it. In the end, a large part of record collecting is in the chase. Its finding that one song in the bin that is super good. The excitement of finding the seller that doesn’t realize how rare the record he is selling is. In the process I learned a lot about music and found some pretty great songs. One of them is “Stop your Life” by Ago. Its Italo at its best. Not too over-bearing fun and super catchy. I love this song. “Stop your life, you must enjoy yourself tonight.” How can you not agree with this poorly translated lyric?

Our Daughter’s Wedding – “Nightlife”

Scott: Why do the best bands always have the worst names? Why do the worst bands always have the best album art? Our Daughter’s Wedding sounds like they would be a cheap knock off of Culture Club or Human League. Now thinking about it, maybe that is what they were. But they made some excellent music. Like almost all other synth punk bands, ODW never got that big and as such, their albums are hard to find and very few people have put their music into digital format. Therefore, you get this song as a Youtube video. I think the video makes the song at least 2X better anyways.

The Very Things – “The Bushes Scream While My Daddy Prunes”

Brandon: Two guys who used to make a splash as The Cravats on Crass Records and a few peel sessions that came along with. Much later making DC waves on the front of a T-Shirt that I own. But still, better known as a band called The Very Things with even more Peel sessions and a song called The Bushes Scream While My Daddy Prunes…

Nancy Sesay & The Melodaires – “1 Cest Pas”

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Brandon: For all you fans of David Simon’s new HBO Drama, Treme. Set in New Orleans in the months immediately following Hurricane Katrina as a whole distinct and unique American culture struggled to maintain it’s identity under the cynical and feckless leadership of an administration only interested in containing political fall-out and those who would do anything to cover up corruption. Actually, this is the theme song if it were set in a fucking nut-house. Sorry I couldn’t add much more.

Beautiful Pea Green Boat – “Hammers of Islam”

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Brandon: My attempt at being topical. Beautiful Pea Green Boat with Hammers of Islam. Ok, it’s electronic and the Velodrome dudes might recognize the synths responsible for the nasty mid-80’s-ness of it all. But all politics is local. And this sort of good-not-good song keeps me honest. It takes me somewhere way back and personal. I don’t care if you don’t get it.

More details about tonight…

May10BigOne

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