Monday, January 25, 2010

TVD Fresh Pick | New Sambassadeur - 'Stranded'

Perfect for your commute home this evening: Sambassadeur's second single 'Stranded,' from the forthcoming album “European” due out February 23rd on Labrador Records.

Sambassadeur - Stranded (Mp3)

It's Exit Clov's Vinyl District!

I’ve often wondered why we haven’t had one of my favorite local bands, Exit Clov, here on the blog (short of just a show teaser a number of months back.) Hell, we've been at this three years now and no proper Clov feature?

Well, we’re about to remedy that in a big way this week as the band is here, inside the TVD offices, ready to type away. All of this is in advance of – well, ...wait. I’ll let them spill it.

It's Exit Clov's Vinyl District all this week.

Greetings TVD readers! We're Exit Clov...(well, we're Em and Suz of Exit Clov actually, because we're the only blogging nerds in the band). Get comfy because we're hijacking the blog for the week. Jon Meyers said we could :P

This unilateral intervention is warranted by a momentous occasion for the band—namely the release of our brand new record, Memento Mori. Latin for "remember your mortality," Memento Mori is a departure from our previous material. It's a little on the heavy and melancholy side, but it's not without its moments of hope, brilliance and happiness.

First things first—all the vitals...To celebrate, we've lined up a slew of CD release parties over the next 2 weekends. Hopefully we'll get to see you at at least one of them! (See dates below.)

If you want to try for some free tickets, there are a few ticket giveaways going on, including one right here on TVD. Also Washington City Paper and Brightest Young Things.

Stream the whole album at or buy it online at iTunes, Amie Street, Lala, Rhapsody and more. A short run of physical copies will also be available very shortly on our very own web store.

SHOW SCHEDULE (Show times and deets are available at
January 29 @ Strathmore Mansion (Bethesda, MD)
w/ True Womanhood

January 30 @ Iota (Arlington, VA)
w/ Olivia Mancini and the Mates, Poor But Sexy

February 5 @ Crash Mansion (New York City)
w/ Heylady, Millybeau

Feb. 6 @ Johnny Brenda's (Philadelphia, PA)
w/ Pepi Ginsberg, The Armchairs

Now, the album. For those who are more accustomed to our dancey, synthy, politicky-ness, there might be some bewilderment about where the heck these songs came from. In colors, it's a bit of a grey, prison-colored album, whereas Respond Respond (our 2006 EP) was royal blue, silver, and a little space age.

And it's true, these songs did come from another place. It was Exit Clov's Dark Ages, so to speak. We were in a bit of transition... our Rome had fallen - a lot of our fellow DC bands/friends as we knew them splintered up and we ourselves were feeling scattered, collectively and psychologically. Some personal things occupied our hearts and minds, as well, and so the record fell between the cracks. Well now that the dust has settled, we've each of us resumed our posts. It's like we found the record again while we were cleaning the attic the other day! ... So today we've posted some factoid blurbs for a couple of tracks off Memento Mori, including a free download for "Blue is Your Heart". We'll post a few more track blurbs tomorrow (along with another free download!), so do come back.

Blue is Your Heart (Mp3) | This song is about as earthy as Exit Clov will get. It was the first time we used melodica on a recording. And at the time we were listening quite a bit to The Good, The Bad & The Queen and some other Afro-beat influenced records, so we tried to incorporate that sort of space in the song - especially the outro, without going over the top with it. Lyrically, it's a post-epiphany song about how big, bad and beautiful our earth is. We do so much to it - till it, cultivate it, tend to it, grow things from it, but we also torture and exploit it for natural resources, we dig, plunder, bomb, litter, etc. And at the end of the day, where do we go when we die but right back into the earth. It's like whatever we've done she takes us back in. And there is indeed a tiny bed of earth waiting for each one of us eventually to rest our weary bones and ashes.

Free Zone (Can be streamed the band's site.) | This song was one of the last tracks to be completed on the record. It started out as a stripped-down piano composition by Aaron, and evolved as we wrote the rest of it together in the studio. As a lone piano piece, it was so bleak sounding but astoundingly beautiful. It seemed to work as a prison song - in this case, the prison of daily routines. The lyrics are surreal, about a person who spends her time mindlessly "building widgets and concrete." There's the panic attack that your life is of little consequence, the feeling of suffocation and paranoia, and a strange sense that you're somehow paying this bottomless debt to an unknown collector. The clincher at the end of the song is that we're actually the ones building our own concrete walls, and so there is a way out! Walk away from the wet cement and tools. Stop building the walls!

Looking ahead... we have a fun-filled blog schedule lined up for you this week! Here's a sneak peek:

Tuesday: We'll post factoid blurbs on three more 'Memento Mori' tracks, including 'District Menagerie,' which will be posted for free download.

Wednesday: TVD will feature our Iota show opener Olivia Mancini and the Mates. We'll also talk a little bit about our experience with vinyl, given the main theme of this blog(!), and post a little Q+A with a local record guru.

Thursday: We'll unveil a brand new arts collective founded by Exit Clov, featuring a variety of projects in music, craft, and writing. Songs from all the musical projects will be posted exclusively on TVD, so be sure to come back and check them out!

Friday: We'll talk about some exciting new things to expect from the Clov in 2010.