Monday, January 18, 2010

TVD Presents a Sockets Records Showcase Week!

Sockets Records only came onto my radar about 2 years ago as they quietly—or at least as it seemed to me—amassed a local roster of diverse and eclectic talent. But hell, they're five years old and in celebration of this auspicious birth date, the label is hosting a showcase this Friday that label founder Sean Peoples elaborates upon below. Afterward, we're talking to all five bands this week about one of my favorite topics—album covers.

Sockets Records is marking its 5 year anniversary with a huge showcase blowout at the Black Cat this Friday (January 22, 2010) and The Vinyl District graciously asked us to take over the blog for the week and feature the 5 bands playing the showcase. Needless to say, we couldn't be more excited to oblige.

Sockets started off of as a small label at the end of 2004/beginning of 2005, issuing limited quantities of sound experiments by friends. Over the years, the label grew to accommodate an increase in output and creativity of said friends. Now the label maintains 10 active bands and aims to highlight a music scene once again thriving in our nation's capital.

The bands playing Friday's Black Cat showcase are an eclectic bunch - a reflection of the myriad sounds emanating from Washington, DC. From the conscious hip-hop of The Cornel West Theory to the experimental post-punk of Imperial China, you can get a good sense of the unique styles one can find on Sockets Records this Friday night.

Whether I'm traveling through the mystical unworldly environments of Roger Dean (yes!) or getting caught deep within the simple surrealistic concepts of Storm Thorgerson (Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin) album covers have always held a magnetic force for my album gripping.

Not only are they usually my initial introduction to the musical world I'm about to dive into, they also create there own realities where the music can take me. Ultimately though nothing speaks louder then the stoic portrait of a single artist on the cover of an album. It's almost as if your looking into a morphed mirror of who will embody you as the record spins.

Though usually this approach is mostly associated with the jazz world – i.e. Art Blakey, John Coltrane, Pharaoh Sanders, etc – it was also wildly popular within the folk world as well – i.e. Blonde on Blonde or First Songs by Mike Hurley. For me, there's no bolder introduction then the silence of a single face staring unknowingly towards oblivion.
—Britton Powell (HUME)

HUME - Grip (Mp3)

TVD Live Tease & Ticket Giveaway! | Alex Gruenburg & Lightfoot TONIGHT, 1/18 at DC9!

Our pal Jess and her BFF Alex Gruenburg take the stage over at DC9 tonight as openers for Young Buffalo...and, uh... is it just me or are they looking forward to it?

Where have all our rock & roll idols gone? Have they gone the way of tape cassettes, record players, and beta tapes? I think not. Like any good man, the best of them are always hardest to find. You see girls, cute boys are one thing, but cute boys who write and sing rock & roll songs that you can’t stop dancing to to...? *swoon* Um, have I introduced you to Alex Gruenburg? Little did you know Washington, DC has it’s very own personal rock star and after you see him play, you’re probably going to want his poster on your wall. Apparently, The Beatles’ songwriting had a baby with Elvis Presley’s swagger and someone left it on James Brown’s doorstep and named it Alex Gruenburg. Girls, I encourage all you to put on your shortest skirt and your sexiest pair of dancing shoes and come out to see DC’s finest at DC9 on Monday, January 18th because Alex and I are having a good ol’ fashioned Boy/Girl Party. *wink, wink* Come out early and get ready to bat some lashes because I’m pretty sure that a few introductions are in order...)

Do you remember your first crush? You know, that girl that kept you up at night because you just couldn’t stop thinking about the way she had looked at you that day. She tosses her hair back, smiles at you and all of the sudden you’re butter on toast. Yea.. we’ve all been through those times and honestly I thought I was over it. I thought that. And then I met Jessica Louise Dye. Not just any girl, she’s the singer and sexy frontman for Lightfoot. And let me tell you, Zooey Deschanel ain’t got nothing on this. Lightfoot sounds like your first date played back through a 45’ as you wake up on Sunday morning to breakfast in bed. Is it going to rock your face off? No. Is Jessica going to have to get a restraining order against you after you see her in concert? Probably. Washington DC must have asked for a indie boy’s wet dream for Christmas because that’s what it got. I’d advise you to put on your skinniest pair of jeans and skinniest tie you can find and head out to DC9 on Monday, January 18th. Lightfoot and me are putting on a sexy, sexy Boy/Girl party and she’ll be opening up the night. So make sure you get there early! How are you supposed to hit on her if you didn’t even see her set?

Ladies & Gentlemen,
Pen your love letter to our cute couple in the comments to this post by 5PM today and the one that has us swooning the most will win a pair of tickets for tonight's Boy/Girl party. Remember to leave us some contact info!
The Vinyl District

Photo: Joel Didriksen for