NEW TRACKS: Weezer - “Cleopatra”

I’ve made a lot of bold statements about the upcoming album being released by Weezer, Everything Will Be Alright in the End. Then again, I’ve been joined in my pre-praise by NPR’s All Songs Considered, who said this may be the #AlbumOfTheYear. Be prepared for another bold statement, albeit one that is totally correct:

The latest single “Cleopatra” is Weezer’s best released song in 10 years.

If you haven’t listened to this track yet, listen above now. It’s okay, I’ll wait.

Okay, good? That, my friends, is the definition of a comeback. Think of the past 10 years of Weezer. “Beverly Hills.” Lil Wayne. The odd cross-marketing of Hurley. This song rights every wrong and then some. This song has everything: beautiful harmonization, a wonderful solo, 5/4 measures. It hits the best points of the undisputed (yes, I say undisputed!) best three albums by Weezer: starts off sounding like Blue, ebbs into Pink's ease, and finishes with the hard rocking of Maladroit. The play between Rivers and Brian’s guitars throughout, but especially during the bridge sections, shows of all their skills in a way I haven’t heard in quite some time. Props go to Ric Ocasek for the production of the track helping bring that play out.

Lyrically, the song talks about the realization of a former lover who still haunts the singer. I especially love the lyrics of the bridge: “All the strumming lyres will decorate your grave.” The lyrics are easily better than most Cuomo has written in a decade (mind you there are some contenders on this very album for best lyrics since Pinkerton - I’m looking at you, “Foolish Father!”). Could this be the bells announcing the album grown-up Pinkerton fans have been clamoring for? We’ll find out in a few weeks when EWBAITE is finally released.

-Ryan Largent

WE LOVE OUR PARTNERS: Zipcar
Now, “having wheels when you want them” is easier than ever thanks to our partner Zipcar. The car sharing service, with locations throughout the District and surrounding areas, allows non-car owners to use vehicles for those trips that just aren’t possible with metro or bus.
Zipcar is even on District university campuses. Through ZipcarU, students can easily reserve and utilize Zipcar for everything from grocery shopping to weekend getaways and attending concerts!
Zipcar representatives will be on local campuses in coming months. Find out when they’re coming to your campus (below) so you can set up an account and hit the road to Echostage, Patriot Center, and more! Who knows - your first Zipcar trip may just be to see Little Dragon at Echostage on October 15. Visit with Zipcar on your campus for your chance to win tickets!

George Mason University - September 29
American University - September 30
Howard University - October 1
University of Maryland - October 2 

WE LOVE OUR PARTNERS: Zipcar

Now, “having wheels when you want them” is easier than ever thanks to our partner Zipcar. The car sharing service, with locations throughout the District and surrounding areas, allows non-car owners to use vehicles for those trips that just aren’t possible with metro or bus.

Zipcar is even on District university campuses. Through ZipcarU, students can easily reserve and utilize Zipcar for everything from grocery shopping to weekend getaways and attending concerts!

Zipcar representatives will be on local campuses in coming months. Find out when they’re coming to your campus (below) so you can set up an account and hit the road to Echostage, Patriot Center, and more! Who knows - your first Zipcar trip may just be to see Little Dragon at Echostage on October 15. Visit with Zipcar on your campus for your chance to win tickets!

George Mason University - September 29

American University - September 30

Howard University - October 1

University of Maryland - October 2 

NOSTALGIA MY MUSE: DIIV - Oshin

It took me awhile to come to terms with the idea that it is physically impossible to listen to all of the music that was ever created. While it is impossible, within a year’s time, we listen to hundreds of albums. If we are lucky, one comes along at just the right time, exactly when we need it the most. DIIV’s debut album, Oshin, was, and still is, that album for me.

Zachary Cole Smith’s style is quite simplistic and it is put on display in this album. While many argue that it doesn’t have much substance, for others (myself included), Oshin has the ability to take the listener on an odyssey that allows all of our insecurities and wonders to surface all at once, providing us with a bit of clarity.

“(Druun)” starts the album off; it’s an instrumental track, which is simply electrifying. It begins with repetitive drum, bass, and guitar beats, moving along without any sense of urgency. Just over a minute into the song, the guitar hits a higher octave and resonates with just enough fuzz and reverb; the timing is impeccable.

 As the opener quietly comes to a close, three guitar chords ignite the start of “Past Lives,” one of the highlights and most energetic tunes on the album. In their live show, it is without question the song that gets everyone super hyped and uncontrollably bopping around the venue.

While Oshin is one of my most listened to albums, it took me a few months to find the hidden gem: “Follow.” It was one of the inspirations for this column’s theme of nostalgia. Three versus make up the song; all are equally as compelling. In the second, Cole sings, “I’m putting it off and I can’t control fate, ‘cause we’re similar. I blame it on you ‘cause that side of me I hate, but you were never hurt.” Something about the delivery makes the words seem genuine. The time between phrases allows each word to sink in and lock onto our hearts. DIIV has been incorporating the song into their live shows more frequently and it has been a blessing.

The album is consistent from beginning to end. Just when you think it can’t get any better, it ends with “Doused” transitioning into “Home” - the energetic peak right before the emotional conclusion.

It is rumored that DIIV’s next album is to be released at the end of the year or beginning of next year. When they hit the road this summer, they played new material, indicating that their second full-length may be even more raw than the first. Although some of their tracks lack lyrics, the incomparable melodies have opened a door to another universe that is filled with beauty and the unknown.

-Katie Cheyne

HOW DID I MISS THIS: Nahko and Medicine for the People

This summer, while attending Wakarusa Music Festival down in Ozark, Arkansas, I stumbled upon some new bands (to me) that really caught my ear! One of the Bands was Nahko and Medicine for People, who truly blew me away with their high energy, yet very soothing, down to earth,  and very powerful lyrics. I had heard great things about this band before, but had never actually seen them since they do not tour much on the east coast. During the entire show, I was on my feet, dancing, and just as happy as can be with a huge smile on my face.  The band can be described as having a folksy, tribal, jazzy, earth-based sound that captivates your soul and keeps you begging for more. If you have not heard this band, I highly recommend you take a listen or go see them when you have the chance because it will be a show for the books.  

The band is also very into spreading positivity and helping make the earth a better place with contributing to non-profit organizations that deal with sustainability and healthy living. Which, is something I believe more bands should being doing, because as an artist you have a huge platform and the ability to reach out to thousands of people to really make a difference in the world. 

-Zac Simons

VOTD: Conor Oberst - “Common Knowledge”

Conor Oberst plays a tortured version of himself in the video for his regretful “Common Knowledge.” There’s a bit of meta-commentary, as an opening scene features Oberst reflecting on the filming and how it relates to an unnamed “incident.”

The song’s lyrics talk about a self-destructive acquaintance, saying, “If I had half his guts I’d want it, to chase that fatalistic comet.” The Oberst on screen seems to be the visualization of what he’d look like if he actually did so. He wanders around aimlessly, with shaggy hair and a bottle of booze and a cigarette in hand.

He takes a visit to his label, Nonesuch, and looks for a copy of his record. After finding it, he takes it home and gives it a play on the turntable. Something eventually shifts in his thoughts, and he takes out a pair of scissors and decides to give himself a haircut. Perhaps he has come to some realization, and wants to become the Oberst we know. Or maybe this is just part of a cycle, and every so often he is reminded of his talent and makes a half-hearted attempt to change.

-Joe Ciccarello

The uber talented Kiesza takes over our Instagram on 9/24 ahead of her 9:30 presents show! Be sure to follow along and double tap/comment on her pictures for your chance to win a pair of tickets to the sold out show!

The uber talented Kiesza takes over our Instagram on 9/24 ahead of her 9:30 presents show! Be sure to follow along and double tap/comment on her pictures for your chance to win a pair of tickets to the sold out show!

DC HAPPENING: Capitol Bacon Festival
There’s not much in this world we love more than music, but bacon’s definitely up there. Luckily for us, our partner Capitol Bacon Festival is blending the best of both the bacon and music worlds this Saturday, September 20!
Taking place at the Half Street Fairgrounds (near Nats Stadium), the Capitol Bacon Festival celebrates America’s favorite breakfast meat with a jam-packed day of cooking demos, bacon tastings, an eating competition, and much more. With a menu featuring 40,000+ bacon-loaded items, including candied bacon, bacon jerky, and bacon on a stick, this is truly the Bacon Lover’s Dream.
And who doesn’t love jammin’ while gettin’ their grub on? Regional bands Dale and the ZDubs, Warden, Chasing Verity, and others will be provide the perfect soundtrack for your love affair with all types of bacony goodness. 
Catch us between bacon bites at the 9:30 Club table, where we’ll be giving away tickets to 9:30 presents Stick Figure at U Street Music Hall, I.M.P. presents Beats Antique at Echostage, and Run the Jewels at 9:30 Club!

DC HAPPENING: Capitol Bacon Festival

There’s not much in this world we love more than music, but bacon’s definitely up there. Luckily for us, our partner Capitol Bacon Festival is blending the best of both the bacon and music worlds this Saturday, September 20!

Taking place at the Half Street Fairgrounds (near Nats Stadium), the Capitol Bacon Festival celebrates America’s favorite breakfast meat with a jam-packed day of cooking demos, bacon tastings, an eating competition, and much more. With a menu featuring 40,000+ bacon-loaded items, including candied bacon, bacon jerky, and bacon on a stick, this is truly the Bacon Lover’s Dream.

And who doesn’t love jammin’ while gettin’ their grub on? Regional bands Dale and the ZDubs, Warden, Chasing Verity, and others will be provide the perfect soundtrack for your love affair with all types of bacony goodness. 

Catch us between bacon bites at the 9:30 Club table, where we’ll be giving away tickets to 9:30 presents Stick Figure at U Street Music Hall, I.M.P. presents Beats Antique at Echostage, and Run the Jewels at 9:30 Club!

JOE’S JAZZY JAUNTS: Medeski Scofield Martin & Wood - Juice

The fusion quartet Medeski Scofield Martin & Wood are back this week with a new release, the oh-so-evocatively titled Juice. It’s a grab bag of funk, blues, Latin grooves, and the odd classic rock cover. This is the group’s third album together, though all the non-Scofield members have actually been playing together for several decades. At this point, they have a well-honed sound, one that is experimental but polished.

The record starts with the spirited “Sham Time,” a song by pop-friendly saxophonist Eddie Harris. The grease is laid on thick, as guitarist Scofield contributes a staccato figure that would please James Brown. He gets a dancing partner in John Medeski, who contributes peppy support on the organ.

“North London” has plenty of the usual jamming, but also sections that are big and eager to please. The title is a reference to the hometown of ‘60s group Dave Clark Five, and their sunniness can be heard here.

“Louis the Shoplifter” has an appropriate air of mischief to it. The Latin vibe is heavy, anchored by Billy Martin’s limber drumming. Medeski switches over to piano, employing his usual dissonant chords, but playing a bit more outside the beat.

The riff to “Louie Louie” can be heard at the beginning of “Juicy Lucy,” though it’s muted by an effect. Another quote seemingly pops up soon after, in the form of a synth swell that sounds much like the first note of The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again.”

A few tracks later, the group makes the borrowing explicit with its take on The Doors’ “Light My Fire.” Scofield plays the Jim Morrison role, using a clean but bluesy tone. Medeski doesn’t have to stretch too far, filling in the psychedelic keyboard template already present in the song. Scofield later slaps on the distortion and delivers rock star heroics, replete with wild bends and shredding.

The group threatens another cover on “Sunshine of Your Love,” though the elements of the Cream song are hard to make out. The song goes on for almost 11 minutes, riding a reggae feel filled with fragments of ideas. A bit of an original Clapton line will jump out for a second, before fading back into the mix.

The trifecta is completed on the final track, a version of Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are a Changin’.” Medeski puts things in a reverential mood with an organ hum, while Scofield picks out the melody. Dylan’s vocal line is fairly simple, so Scofield plays with dynamics and adds small digressions to make it more interesting. The style he uses is very reminiscent of Americana-jazz pioneer Bill Frisell.

The members of the group all bring distinct personal traits. Martin’s command of Latin rhythm keeps things from falling into a backbeat black hole. Medeski displays equal ability on his many keyboards, and can take a slightly different approach to each. Bassist Chris Wood is the steady one, but brings an active energy to his role. Scofield has a range of timbres, and can push things into the rock realm. Together, they make this album a diverse and unpredictable listen.

-Joe Ciccarello

THIS ONE TIME AT BANDCAMP: Volume 9

I haven’t spent a ton of time in other cities, but I have a feeling that I am a DC girl through and through. We have a thriving music scene, a beautiful city, and a diverse populace. I am a firm believer that there is a little bit of something for everyone in the nation’s capital.Undone Ep by LD-50’s

The LD-50s: The LD-50s are an awesome noise rock, shoegaze outfit out of northern Virginia. Considering their whole Undone EP was recorded in a bedroom using a Guitar Hero microphone, it has that lovely fuzzy quality that you come to cherish when you spend a lot of time on Bandcamp. It’s fast, it’s loud, and definitely mosh-worthy. If you like the LD-50s, you should also check out their other recording project called Shirt/Pants, which is more along the lines of garage punk than psychedelic shoegaze.
RIYL: Early Cloud Nothings
Favorite Track: “Undone”
Bad Brother by Two Inch Astronaut

Two Inch Astronaut: Two Inch Astronaut makes me want to run around and smash things in a true DC hardcore punk fashion. If Two Inch Astronaut had been around in the ’80s, they probably would have played at the old 9:30 Club on F St. But since that no longer exists, you can find them playing a lot of house shows in the area. Their full length, Bad Brother, comes to us courtesy of Exploding in Sound Records and is distributed by Dischord, so you know it has to be good. 
RIYL: Something between Yuck and Minor Threat
Favorite Track: “little short guy”
Slide To Unlock by Harness Flux

Harness Flux: I get Lou Reed/Velvet Underground vibes when I listen to Harness Flux’s newest single “Slide to Unlock.” Maybe the phrase “slide to unlock” is this generation’s “peel slowly and see.” Or maybe my Velvet Underground obsession is now clouding my judgment. Regardless of whether or not Harness Flux could have hung out in the Factory in a former life, you should know the facts. The music is the solo work of John Masters, who previously made music with the band Metropolitain during the ’00s garage rock surge. 
RIYL: Sonic Youth, Pavement
Favorite Track: “Slide to Unlock”
-Sydney Sanial

Suggestions or submissions for next week’s article? Send them to sydneysanial@gmail.com.

THIS ONE TIME AT BANDCAMP: Volume 9

I haven’t spent a ton of time in other cities, but I have a feeling that I am a DC girl through and through. We have a thriving music scene, a beautiful city, and a diverse populace. I am a firm believer that there is a little bit of something for everyone in the nation’s capital.


The LD-50s: The LD-50s are an awesome noise rock, shoegaze outfit out of northern Virginia. Considering their whole Undone EP was recorded in a bedroom using a Guitar Hero microphone, it has that lovely fuzzy quality that you come to cherish when you spend a lot of time on Bandcamp. It’s fast, it’s loud, and definitely mosh-worthy. If you like the LD-50s, you should also check out their other recording project called Shirt/Pants, which is more along the lines of garage punk than psychedelic shoegaze.

  • RIYL: Early Cloud Nothings
  • Favorite Track: “Undone”

Two Inch Astronaut: Two Inch Astronaut makes me want to run around and smash things in a true DC hardcore punk fashion. If Two Inch Astronaut had been around in the ’80s, they probably would have played at the old 9:30 Club on F St. But since that no longer exists, you can find them playing a lot of house shows in the area. Their full length, Bad Brother, comes to us courtesy of Exploding in Sound Records and is distributed by Dischord, so you know it has to be good.

  • RIYL: Something between Yuck and Minor Threat
  • Favorite Track: “little short guy”

Harness Flux: I get Lou Reed/Velvet Underground vibes when I listen to Harness Flux’s newest single “Slide to Unlock.” Maybe the phrase “slide to unlock” is this generation’s “peel slowly and see.” Or maybe my Velvet Underground obsession is now clouding my judgment. Regardless of whether or not Harness Flux could have hung out in the Factory in a former life, you should know the facts. The music is the solo work of John Masters, who previously made music with the band Metropolitain during the ’00s garage rock surge.

  • RIYL: Sonic Youth, Pavement
  • Favorite Track: “Slide to Unlock”

-Sydney Sanial

Suggestions or submissions for next week’s article? Send them to sydneysanial@gmail.com.