Monday, June 14, 2010

TVD's Four Way | Malin Nilsson

I often think DC’s Dave Mann might be the hardest working guy in the District. (Well, aside from that fellow in the White House, I guess.) From his myriad of gigging projects, The Spelling for Bees Collective to Twins of a Gazelle to Mittenfields, he’s filling up our email in-box with invite upon invite, to show upon show, for this or that project, at such and such venue. We’d be impressed if we weren’t worried that he’d collapse from exhaustion.

But still standing he is, and as such, Mittenfields plays the Velvet Lounge this coming Friday night (6/18) with a rather solid and impressive line up which includes Swedish songstress Malin Nilsson, Pittsburgh PA’s Mariage Blanc, DC’s Bellflur, with Mittenfields at the top of the roster.

So impressed with Dave’s fortitude and the line-up he’s assembled, we’ve decided to spend the week with all four acts, shooting the breeze about our favorite topics and of course, giving you guys a chance to win some tickets for the evening on us.

We’re calling it a ‘Four Way’ because we embrace sexual innuendo. And all four bands.

When I was younger, growing up in Uppsala, Sweden, there were two different record stores where I used to go all the time. One was for window shopping, learning about what was new and longing for expensive CD's. The other one was the cheap "buy and sell" store where I'd find all the indie albums I loved so much, pretend that I knew every word Morrissey ever wrote just because it felt like that was their "test of approval" and secretly cast glances at the cute, tall and very thin rocker with skunk styled hair who worked behind the counter.

This was the time when CD's were still the shit, what I spent all my money on, obviously before I knew about things such as MP3's, illegal downloading and torrent files. I'd go to the record store to escape the everyday hassle and dream about the day when I`d find my very own CD right there, next to the artists I looked up to so much.

I remember the day I found my first Elliot Smith album, right before Christmas and snow was falling outside the window where the rocker stood smoking his fifth cigarette for the day and I thought to myself that this Christmas wasn't gonna turn out too bad after all. Or when I bought my third Sigur Ròs album, I couldn't stop telling the seller how much I loved this band and that they knew how to truly take advantage of the format of a CD, giving the listener a great experience.

I often miss those moments at the record store; one of them is closed today and the other one had to move away form downtown because people stopped buying CD's; it was there my love for music could thrive and I discovered many of my favorite artists at the time, some still with me to this day. I'll be forever grateful for all that time spent at my two favorite record stores, because there is nothing that beats flipping through the stands with CD's arranged after genre, get a glimpse of a cool cover and decide on the spot that this, this is the album I wanna take with me home today.

Malin Nilsson - Ode to Grandpa (Mp3)
Authorized for download!

TVD Class of '74 | J. Geils Band, "Nightmares"

One of the unfortunate legacies of MTV is casting the J. Geils Band as an '80s band, thanks to the memorable videos for "Freeze Frame" and "Centerfold" in the early part of that decade.

Truth be told, there are few bands that define the '70s like J. Geils. Once called the J. Geils Blues Band, it stormed out of the Boston bar scene as that decade began, an Atlantic Records contract in hand.

The J. Geils records of the early and mid-'70s are full of furious, faithfully rendered covers of old R&B and blues tunes, sizzling originals inspired by those old R&B and blues tunes ... and the occasional Top 40 single.

Most of those early records are instant party starters, particularly the live albums, 1972's "Live: Full House" and 1976's "Blow Your Face Out."

Another party starter is "Nightmares ... And Other Tales From the Vinyl Jungle," a 1974 studio album on which J. Geils regained its mojo
after two disappointing studio LPs that followed "Full House."

"Nightmares" was J. Geils' sixth album for Atlantic. The group was trying to forge its own identity, trying to go beyond being a cover band. Its previous release, 1973's "Ladies Invited," was the first with no covers. It had a batch of sensitive originals that probably baffled hardcore, party hound J. Geils fans.

The band got its groove back on "Nightmares," channeling vintage R&B on most of the eight scorching originals by lead singer Peter Wolf and keyboard player Seth Justman.
The only cover is "Funky Judge," the old Bull and the Matadors tune, pitting a jive-speaking Wolf against veteran actor George Jessel as the judge.

Each of these tunes showcases the band's remarkable musicianship. They were tight, anchored by bass player Daniel Klein, who put down the groove but rarely soloed.
Magic Dick Salwitz's harmonica sets up "Stoop Down #39." J. Geils' mandolin and Justman's slinky organ drive the Latin-tinged "I'll Be Coming Home." Justman's keyboards and Stephen Jo Bladd's drums put the urgency into "Gettin' Out."

J. Geils Band - Stoop Down #39 (Mp3)
J. Geils Band - I'll Be Coming Home (Mp3)

J. Geils Band - Gettin' Out (Mp3)

"Nightmares" is out of print but is available digitally.

TVD Recommends | #DCWEEK

Washington, DC’s greatly anticipated Digital Capital Week (DCWEEK) will be supporting the local music scene with a host of events encouraging collaboration and creativity in the nation’s capital. DCWEEK is a 10 day festival focusing on technology, innovation and all things digital.

Three key music events are dominating the DCWEEK schedule. Firstly, the Metro Music Source music industry networking party on June 15th co-hosted by Dave Mallen (owner/producer of Innovation Station Music) and Jem Bahaijoub (owner of imaginePR.)

The Metro Music Source aims to provide a focal point for the thriving and diverse DC area music scene. The June 15th event will feature several special guests from across the industry, including Brad McCormick from WEA (Warner Elektra Atlantic) and ADA Distribution, and Derrick Ewan, aka DJ Furious Styles. Derrick is a former XM Radio DJ and mix show host known for putting the spotlight on unsigned artists. The event will be covered by DC Life magazine and will feature a free raffle to win a box of 30 new CDs from artists such as The Gaslight Anthem, Blitzen Trapper, Against Me!, All Time Low, The Black Keys, and the new Twilight Eclipse Soundtrack. Register for the event here.

Another key event is in the #DCWEEK calendar is the Performing Artists Clinic - How To Use The Web To Your Advantage on June 19th from 3:30pm - 4:30pm. This panel presentation and Q&A discussion will feature key industry speakers such as Sean Glover, Manager of Artist Relations at SoundExchange, Dave Sherbow, author of "One Fan At A Time" and Keith Center, frontman of DC folk-rock group The Dreamscapes Project.

The event will be hosted by Jem Bahaijoub, owner of imaginePR, a DC based music PR and marketing company. The panel discussion will focus on how performing artists can maximize their online experience. Register here for this event.

#DCWEEK will end in spectacular style with techARTS closing party at the 9:30 Club on the evening of June 19th. In just three weeks 34,000 votes were cast by 10,000+ people across the city for their favorite bands to perform at the legendary venue. techARTS are happy to announce that Amber Dutton, The Very Small, McWorm, 16 Large, Vedet, Stout Cortez, Blankus Larry, Little Big Heart, and East Coast Caravan have all been invited to play.

For further information about #DCWEEK’s schedule visit