CONTEST: 2014 Halloween Costume Contest
It’s October 1, so you know what that means…Only 30 days until our annual Halloween costume contest! 
This Halloween, the contest will take place at our early show with Smallpools and Magic Man! If you’d like to enter, ready your best, funniest, and most inventive costume, then stop by the Moon Room once you’re inside the Club on the 31st to sign up. Finalists will be presented on stage, and Smallpools will help judge the contest!
What prizes are involved, you ask? Here’s the breakdown:
1st place -  Tickets to every Club show in November and December. 
2nd place - Tickets to every Club show in November or December.
3rd place - Tickets to every Club show in the month the 2nd place winner didn’t choose.
Prize bags filled with goodies from our partners handed out at random.
If you need inspiration for your costume, check out entrants’ get-ups from 2013 and 2012, then get to work on yours! Don’t forget to grab tickets to Smallpools and Magic Man while you’re at it!
We can’t wait to see what cool, kooky, or spooky costumes you have in store!

CONTEST: 2014 Halloween Costume Contest

It’s October 1, so you know what that means…Only 30 days until our annual Halloween costume contest! 

This Halloween, the contest will take place at our early show with Smallpools and Magic Man! If you’d like to enter, ready your best, funniest, and most inventive costume, then stop by the Moon Room once you’re inside the Club on the 31st to sign up. Finalists will be presented on stage, and Smallpools will help judge the contest!

What prizes are involved, you ask? Here’s the breakdown:

  • 1st place -  Tickets to every Club show in November and December. 

  • 2nd place - Tickets to every Club show in November or December.

  • 3rd place - Tickets to every Club show in the month the 2nd place winner didn’t choose.

  • Prize bags filled with goodies from our partners handed out at random.

If you need inspiration for your costume, check out entrants’ get-ups from 2013 and 2012, then get to work on yours! Don’t forget to grab tickets to Smallpools and Magic Man while you’re at it!

We can’t wait to see what cool, kooky, or spooky costumes you have in store!

THIS ONE TIME AT BANDCAMP: Volume 11

Breaking news! Now introducing: This One Time At Bandcamp Radio! If you’re a fan of this column or just like listening to new music from Bandcamp, then listen tonight as fellow Half Past contributor Nora Keller and I take on the airwaves with our musical selections from the underbelly of the Internet. This exciting new show will be happening every week on WMUC Digital Thursdays 12am-1am. You can stream it here. If you tune in, you will be sure to hear the artists featured this week as well as many other column alums.

If I Sleep by East Ghost

Each Ghost: Simply put, East Ghost makes beautiful music. They give me vibes of The Walkmen, and if you’ve met them in person then you also know they are three really cool dudes. The music verges on anthem rock but without asking for so much in return. A casual or first time listener would be hard pressed not to take notice of their complex loops and melodies and fluid sound. Their upcoming album If I Sleep will be out on October 10th for everyone who loves melodic shoegazy indie rock that is easy to listen to and smile about.

Raiders by Frankie Teardrop

Frankie Teardrop: Minneapolis’ Frankie Teardrop crafts seductive garage rock for the ages. Their tunes are fast paced, relatable, and easily mosh-able. Like any proper punks, they hate stuff, are confused by females, and try not to do drugs sometimes. In the new homemade video for their song “Radiers” they even jump off a bridge. Frankie Teardrop is definitely worth adding to the garage rock repertoire for when you need a soundtrack for smashing stuff.

g i r l b a n d a i d s by ghools 

Ghools: If you’re looking for lo-fi sadcore indie pop, then let me formally introduce to you Ghools from Baltimore. They flourish their mellow tunes with tasteful electronics that differentiates them from all the other fuzz rock out there on Bandcamp. Their short track “VHS” even has a hint of surf influences in between the synth and full-bodied guitar riffs. I’m pretty excited to see these guys perform an in-studio session this Sunday for WMUC’s “Third Rail Radio” and to see what music they produce next.

-Sydney Sanial 

Be sure to tune in tonight at 12am for the first installment of This One Time at Bandcamp Radio on WMUC Digital!

Suggestions or submissions for the next “This One Time at Bandcamp”? Send them in to sydneysanial@gmail.com.

THIS ONE TIME AT BANDCAMP: Volume 11

Breaking news! Now introducing: This One Time At Bandcamp Radio! If you’re a fan of this column or just like listening to new music from Bandcamp, then listen tonight as fellow Half Past contributor Nora Keller and I take on the airwaves with our musical selections from the underbelly of the Internet. This exciting new show will be happening every week on WMUC Digital Thursdays 12am-1am. You can stream it here. If you tune in, you will be sure to hear the artists featured this week as well as many other column alums.

Each Ghost: Simply put, East Ghost makes beautiful music. They give me vibes of The Walkmen, and if you’ve met them in person then you also know they are three really cool dudes. The music verges on anthem rock but without asking for so much in return. A casual or first time listener would be hard pressed not to take notice of their complex loops and melodies and fluid sound. Their upcoming album If I Sleep will be out on October 10th for everyone who loves melodic shoegazy indie rock that is easy to listen to and smile about.

Frankie Teardrop: Minneapolis’ Frankie Teardrop crafts seductive garage rock for the ages. Their tunes are fast paced, relatable, and easily mosh-able. Like any proper punks, they hate stuff, are confused by females, and try not to do drugs sometimes. In the new homemade video for their song “Radiers” they even jump off a bridge. Frankie Teardrop is definitely worth adding to the garage rock repertoire for when you need a soundtrack for smashing stuff.

Ghools: If you’re looking for lo-fi sadcore indie pop, then let me formally introduce to you Ghools from Baltimore. They flourish their mellow tunes with tasteful electronics that differentiates them from all the other fuzz rock out there on Bandcamp. Their short track “VHS” even has a hint of surf influences in between the synth and full-bodied guitar riffs. I’m pretty excited to see these guys perform an in-studio session this Sunday for WMUC’s “Third Rail Radio” and to see what music they produce next.

-Sydney Sanial

Be sure to tune in tonight at 12am for the first installment of This One Time at Bandcamp Radio on WMUC Digital!

Suggestions or submissions for the next “This One Time at Bandcamp”? Send them in to sydneysanial@gmail.com.

AS HEARD ON TV: “Dark and Stormy” by Hot Chip on How to Get Away with Murder

I’m going to do something new with the column this week. Normally I’ve binge-watched these shows to the extent that I could recognize an episode from one screen shot. Also, I tend to have a history of intense dedication to whichever song and artist I pick. How to Get Away with Murder aired the much-hyped-about pilot episode last week and I haven’t seen it yet. I’m dying to, though (get it?). This show, alongside Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, will now give Shonda Rhimes all of ABC’s Thursday primetime evening slots. Shonda shows are known for quality music, so I did some searching to see which songs were in the How to Get Away with Murder pilot. The first one that caught my eye was Hot Chip’s “Dark and Stormy.” All I knew about Hot Chip was that they toured with Sleigh Bells recently. Upon finding “Dark and Stormy” on YouTube, a few things were intriguing to me. First, the song is fast paced and mysterious, which is perfect for a crime show. Next, it took me a while to find the actual audio because YouTube kept diverting me to dark & stormy cocktail recipes. But the best moment came when I looked at the comments under the video and almost all of them were, “How to Get Away with Murder brought me here!” There has only been one episode and already this show is making an impact on indie/alternative music.

-Emily Hirsch

MUSIC MONDAY PLAYLIST: Joe’s Picks

I’ve recently been reading Michael Azerrad’s excellent book Our Band Could Be Your Life, which profiles bands from the underground scene in the ’70s and ’80s. That led me to some of the people on this playlist, including Husker Du, Mission of Burma, and Sonic Youth. I filled the rest out with some others from the punk and post-punk era. There are some from the US, like Richard Hell and Television, and some from abroad, like Public Image Ltd. and Siouxsie & the Banshees.

-Joe Ciccarello 

<5K: Volume 10

FAQ:Asher, I heard that Phish is one of your favorite bands. Is this unsettling rumor really true? Have you ever been to a Phish show? I heard they’re hives of sin and evil.
Asher:Good question, friend! Phish really is one of my favorite bands. I’m not going to write several pages about it here. Talk to me if you want to talk about Phish - I’ll be thrilled. Their shows are nothing to be scared of, unless you’re allergic to dreadlocks. I’ve seen them 11 times.

Have a question? Email me! (Info below.)

THE OLD STORY OF THE NAMESAKE//JUST WHAT’S GOING ON HERE There’s an xkcd comic that exposes the secret coalition to make certain YouTube videos go viral: they have to get exactly “300+” likes from the committee, and are then certified to spread like the plague onto innocent newsfeeds worldwide. In that vein, I present you with <5K: exposition on bands that have less than 5,000 likes online. Perhaps one of them will be the next to pass that mysterious threshold into the world of fame and fortune… after all, once you get 5,000 likes, you sell out every show and your records go gold. That’s how it works, right?

The Girls Upstairs (343 likes) are a pop rock band from College Park, MD, with lighthearted charm serious folk sensibilities. Their recent Kickstarter hit its goal of funding their upcoming studio release, Never Love You; they’ve been making a name for themselves around the greater Washington area, playing shows with all their might, leaving audiences thoroughly impressed, and looking dapper while they do it. Their sound is familiar enough to hook a listener’s emotions, but fresh enough to keep them interested. Think about how much you liked the Plain White Ts. Think about if they got hip and never stopped moving. There you go. I’m looking forward to the release of Never Love You, and to all the energy and antics that are sure to accompany it.

  • Listen to The Girls Upstairs here.
  • Recommended Tracks: “This Rose,” “No Apologies,” “I Don’t Look For Love”

Foul Swoops (506 likes) are a DC band without much of a public face. They let the music do the talking. It does. I don’t want to talk about them too much, because I want you to listen to them yourself and decide what it is. I will say that they put on one of the most transportive shows I’ve ever seen. That is all.

  • Listen to sgc002 here.
  • Recommended Tracks: “Burn One For Bobby Keys,” “Shot In The Dark,” “Good Looks”

Little Bird (1,102 likes) are an Annapolis, MD band that defies short description. They blend high-energy funk, laidback reggae, and soulful blues to create a sound that works just as well at urban gigs as in the open hills of campout festivals. Bandleader Jay Hurtt leads the group with undeniable stage presence, and between their heavy-hitting rhythm section and sweet, sweet sax solos, they get even the sleepiest of morning-slot festival crowds on their feet and boogieing. Their first demo, American Spirits, is a well-crafted snapshot of their live power, calling to mind similar funkaholic bands like Dale and the ZDubs. Little Bird has big things in the works, and by the time next summer rolls around, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them on festival bills around the country.

  • Listen to Little Bird here.
  • Recommended Tracks: “Half Fool,” “Cabin Fever”

Posture & The Grizzly (1,527 likes) are a Broken World Media band, made of members from One Hundred Year Ocean and recorded in the BWM headquarters, sharing spaces and a spirit of musical nihilism with The World Is. Their full-length Busch Hymns is, to me, one of the most important punk albums to have ever been released. Not only is it everything a punk album should be – short, alienated, and pissed off – but it stands for something new: the reinvention of punk in a hopeless time. There’s a lot to be said about what many are calling the emo revival of the past couple of years, which has found an epicenter of sorts around Broken World Media; though they might be carried along by association, Posture & The Grizzly aren’t trying to be a part of anything. They’re just trying to fuck things up as severely as possible, for everyone involved, themselves included. Get it.

  • Listen to Busch Hymns here.
  • Recommended Tracks: “No Brains,” “God’s Drugs,” “Jordan Michael’s Space Jam”

-Asher Meerovich is a writer and musician in College Park. He likes to be near water. Read more of his musical explorations at hire-me-rolling-stone.tumblr.com.

ART BLANCHE: Illinois

I’ll be honest - I’m still not really sure what the official title for Sufjan Stevens’ fifth studio album actually is. You know, the one dedicated to the Prairie State? (I just wanted to bring to attention that Illinois’ nickname is the Prairie State.) I always thought it was called Come On Feel The Illinoise or just Illinoise, but it has recently been brought to my attention that I am wrong about both of those. So, naturally, I checked out the album’s cover to find the title Sufjan Stevens Invites You to: Come On Feel the Illinoise printed on it. But I’ve been told that’s not it either.

Apparently, it’s just Illinois, and honestly, I find that a little underwhelming. It just seems too simple and short for a man’s whose average song title is roughly a paragraph long. But I digress. 

Back to the task at hand: as it should be expected in this column, my interest in the album formally known as Illinois is its cover. Appropriately enough, much like the album’s title, there are quite a few different variations of its cover out there. The art itself was painted by Divya Srinivasan and features a mixture of notable Illinois-themed images that range from Abraham Lincoln to the Sears (now called Willis) Tower. Of the entire group, only one part stood out by causing a controversy that led to the creation of the different variations of the cover. Yup, it was Superman.

The story goes something like this:

Sometime on or around Illinois’ release date,it was brought to the attention of Sufjan’s label, Asthmatic Kitty, that the image of Superman adorning the cover was unlicensed and asking for trouble. DC Comics (Superman’s publisher) had seen the cover and sent the label a cease and desist order. Because of this, the label asked its distributor, Secretly Canadian, to reach out to stores to halt the initial sales of the album until the problem was resolved. 

What resulted was one of the GREATEST COVER-UPS IN MUSIC HISTORY in that the solution the label and DC Comics reached was to literally cover up the image of Superman with a balloon sticker. Literally-literally.

This let Asthmatic Kitty continue to sell their already printed copies of the album without further violating the copyright on Superman. They were also required to print any new copies of the album sans-Superman. That’s where things get a little silly. There are two different types of covers that comply with this requirement. One simply features sky where Superman once was. The other: well, the balloons make another appearance — this time in a more permanent fixture on the cover.

But, like any ole cover-up the evidence is still out there everywhere — hiding in plain sight, just like Clark Kent. 

-Dylan Singleton

P.S. if you have any ideas for my column, tell me! artblanche930@gmail.com 

NEW TRACKS: Iceage - “How Many”

Leave it to Iceage to create a musical masterpiece that can rip our hearts out and throw them across an open field, draining us of any feeling in just over three minutes. There has been a lot of conversation stirring about their upcoming album, Plowing Into the Field of Love. The post-punk hardcore band rising out of Copenhagen is notorious for crafting tracks that pair hard-hitting, gritty guitar lines and hauntingly low vocals that pierce anyone’s soul within a two-mile radius. With their third full-length album, there is a bit of a twist - they’re incorporating neo-folk elements. Regardless of what many will say, their new single “How Many” proves that Iceage’s general style has not been compromised.

The drumbeats kick us off into a sea of hazy guitar riffs, layered with Elias Bender Rønnenfelt heavily breathing. We instantly know it’s going to be a tempestuous journey. The intricacies of the piano and guitar melodies make “How Many” unbearably ominous. Once Elias sings, “Trapped in a body that doesn’t act on thought. I have a sense of utopia, of what I truly ought to do…Is it any wonder that I’m here like this?” there will be goosebumps encompassing the entire surface of your arms and legs, forcing you to wonder about the meaning of your own existence. Up until the final seconds of the song, Iceage will captivate you. When the emphasis is placed on the simplistic piano tones and Elias repeatedly singing “How many,” you feel him giving up on all hope. It’s agonizing, but it’s beauty in its most genuine and purest form; this is everything that Iceage is.

-Katie Cheyne

WE LOVE OUR PARTNERS: Rural Society and Hailo

Across the board, our partners are the best. When they join forces, it’s a gloriously beautiful thing. That’s just what Rural Society and Hailo have done to give you the best possible Little Dragon show-going experience ever.

Rural Society, an Argentinian steakhouse by Chef Jose Garces, whips up some of the most delish cocktails in the District. Nestled inside Loews Madison Hotel downtown, Rural Society is urban, sleek, and perfect for pre-show drinks.

Hailo, with its easy-to-use smartphone app, connects ride-seekers with licensed taxis in D.C., Arlington, and Alexandria in just a couple clicks. It’s the perfect solution for traveling to hard-to-get-to venues like Echostage.

When you combine the two, what you get is the Little Dragon Night Out contest! One lucky winner will receive:

Email contests@930.com with the subject line “Little Dragon Night Out” for your chance to win the super sweet prize package! Be sure to follow both Rural Society and Hailo DC to thank them for the awesome opportunity!