Elvis Costello once said, "Writing about music is like dancing about architecture." To that I say, calling yourself Elvis when your name is really Declan isn't much better. But anyway, it's always nice to be able to hear some tunes to go along with the words. This new blog feature will give you a song from 20 bands coming to town this month, so you can hear for yourself if they are worth your hard-earned entertainment dollar. Most links are right-click saveable, although a few go to embedded players or streams, and there's one (fantastic) YouTube link.
"Mary Sunshine" -- Lemonface (Jammin' Java, Jan. 3)
The local teenagers deliver a fun blast of power pop.
"Casting Stones" -- Wes Tucker & the Skillets (Iota, Jan. 4)
Local singer-songwriter channels Ben Harper on this soulful folk tune with some blistering lead guitar.
"Give It Up" -- The Hall Monitors (Black Cat, Jan. 12)
Trashy, bluesy garage rock that never quite takes off, but the tease works even better than a big payoff.
"Tuscaloosa" -- The Foreign Press (D.C. Arts Center, Jan. 13)
Lo-fi indie rock in the vein of early Pavement and Silver Jews from this local quartet.
"Trophy Wifey" -- Partyline (The Rock and Roll Hotel, Jan. 17)
Bouncy, almost spastic pogo-punk-pop from D.C. and punk institution Allison Wolfe and Co.
"Some Kind of Monster" -- Kitty Hawk (Warehouse Next Door, Jan. 18)
An absolutely gorgeous, fragile indie-folk offering from one of the area's best bands.
"Water Got No Enemy" -- Chopteeth (DC9, Jan. 18)
The sprawling local Afrofunk collective tackles the Fela Kuti classic in fine fashion.
"Jane" -- The Loved Ones (Black Cat, Jan. 18)
This is punk-pop -- not pop-punk -- done right, from former members of Kid Dynamite.
"Naturally" -- Middle Distance Runner (Black Cat, Jan. 20)
This snappy rocker from the local quintet deserves to escape from the black hole of Sunday night's Local Lix show and onto DC101's regular playlist.
"Subject of the Kill" -- De Novo Dahl (Black Cat, Jan. 20)
A catchy piece of power pop from this Nashville quartet that shares a bill with MDR -- chiming guitars and some very '80s keyboards.
"Let Me Play With Your Poodle" -- Marcia Ball (State Theatre, Jan. 20)
The local boogie-blues pianist leads this delightful horn-infused romp.
"Here in California" -- Dave Alvin (Birchmere, Jan. 20)
Former frontman for roots-rock heroes the Blasters delivers a tender duet with Christy McWilson.
"Lloyd, I'm Ready to Be Heartbroken" -- Camera Obscura (9:30 Club, Jan. 22)
The lead track from the Scottish indie pop band's latest effort was one of the sunniest singles of last summer.
"Bird Dog" -- The Collins Kids (Birchmere, Jan. 26)
The rockabilly legends, making their first ever local appearance this month, really were kids when they ripped it up in this classic clip from 1958.
"Breaking the Dawn" -- Washington Social Club (Black Cat, Jan. 26)
This song captures all the best aspects of the local group -- high-energy, hooky and great harmonies.
"Melody" -- Erin McKeown (Iota, Jan. 27)
The quirky folkie delivers a jaunty, not-even-two-minute ragtime ditty.
"The Sum of Us" -- Jette-Ives (The Rock and Roll Hotel, Jan. 27)
A seductive slice of chilled out electronica with the requisite pretty female vocals.
"Shine in Exile" -- Beat the Devil (DC9, Jan. 28)
New Yorkers drop a spooky, jazz-tinged indie-rock number heavy on the harmonium and featuring powerhouse female vocals.
"Girl in the War" -- Josh Ritter (Birchmere, Jan. 28)
Excellent young singer-songwriter channels Uncle Tupelo on this pretty, deceptively dark tune.
"Hot Tamale Baby" -- Buckwheat Zydeco (Barns of Wolf Trap, Jan. 30)
An energetic, accordion-fueled romp from the king of contemporary zydeco.
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