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Posted at 6:01 PM ET, 07/31/2007

August Mixtape

By David Malitz

Things tend to slow down on the touring circuit in August, with much of the summer concert season over and many bands gearing up for fall adventures on the road. Personally, I'm very much looking forward to August as three of my favorite little bands -- Double Dagger, Love as Laughter and A Place to Bury Strangers -- will visit D.C. Other highlights include some living legends (Sleepy LaBeef, Charlie Louvin) and young Big Apple upstarts (Nicole Atkins, the Subjects). The entire mixtape is after the jump.

"Luxury Condos For the Poor" -- Double Dagger (Rock and Roll Hotel, Aug. 1)
You can read what I've had to say about these guys here, here, here and here. I'm not looking for any restraining orders, so I'll just leave it at that and tell you that this is the best song of the year. Yes, even better than "Lip Gloss."

"You're Supposed to Be My Friend" -- The 1990s (Rock and Roll Hotel, Aug. 3)
If this slice of catchy, herky-jerky post-punk bears a resemblance to Franz Ferdinand, don't call them ripoff artists. Singer Jackie McKeown and bassist Jamie McMorrow were founding members of the Yummy Fur, which featured current Franz members Alex Kapranos and Paul Thomson.

"Pulsar Radio" -- Love as Laughter (9:30 club, Aug. 7)
Probably the single most underrated indie-rock band of this decade, this song is an understated epic from their 2005 masterpiece "Laughter's Fifth."

"Brooklyn's On Fire" (MySpace stream) -- Nicole Atkins (The Red & the Black, Aug. 8)
Young singer-songwriter pulls off the orchestral hometown anthem with pizazz.

"Crazy In Love" (video) -- Beyonce (Verizon Center, Aug. 9)
Yeah, it was overplayed to death a few years ago. But it's still pretty much the best summer song there is and the video is always, y'know, fun to watch.

"Rock and Roll Ruby" (YouTube video) -- Sleepy LaBeef (Chick Hall's Surf Club, Aug. 9)
This legendary roots rocker actually goes all the way back to the roots of rock, having shared stages with the likes of Elvis Presley and Carl Perkins.

"The Hounds of War" -- The Subjects (The Red & the Black, Aug. 10)
It's always impossible predict, but this young Brooklyn group seems poised for big things based on playful, poppy tunes like this one.

"The Day We Met" (stream) -- Sarah Borges (Iota, Aug. 10)
This rollicking rockabilly tune is highlighted by the natural, sultry twang of Borges's voice.

"Today's Shrug" -- Lorelei (Velvet Lounge, Aug. 10)
Recently reformed shoegazers recorded for venerable Slumberland Records in the early '90s. This show at the Velvet Lounge is a benefit for former Government Issue vocalist John Stabb.

"Train, Train" -- The Lovell Sisters (Millennium Stage, Aug. 11)
Think of them as a college-age combination of the Dixie Chicks and Nickel Creek. The group won the Prairie Home Companion's National Teen Talent Contest and this recording is taken from a 2005 appearance on Garrison Keillor's radio show.

"I Know I'll See You" -- A Place to Bury Strangers (Black Cat, Aug. 15)
New York trio is one of the best -- and loudest -- live bands I've ever seen. Like a more sinister version of the Jesus and Mary Chain, with guitar noise that serves more purpose than to just hurt your ears.

"Love's Not Where We Thought We Left It" -- John Hiatt (Wolf Trap, Aug. 16)
One of the most respected American songwriters of the past few decades, he's been covered by everyone from Bob Dylan to Iggy Pop.

"Bigfoot '69" -- Midnite Snake (Rock and Roll Hotel, Aug. 16)
Power trio from Pittsburgh plays heavy, instrumental acid rock that never gets bogged down in sludge.

"Let It Go" (YouTube video) -- Keyshia Cole (Love, Aug. 17)
The R&B singer and reality TV star hooks up with Missy Elliott for the first single from her second album, "Just Like You."

"Capricorinations" -- Mika Miko (Velvet Lounge, Aug. 20)
Energetic L.A. group channels the Slits, the Wipers and other bands that know that punk rock doesn't just mean fast and loud. This punk-funk romp sounds on the verge of collapse at any second, and it's all the better for it.

"Knoxville Girl" -- Charlie Louvin (Jammin' Java, Aug. 21)
His harmony-filled songs with brother Ira made him a country star in the '50s and now the 80-year-old Louvin is back with a new album of duets with the likes of Elvis Costello, Wilco's Jeff Tweedy and indie-weirdo Will Oldham on this track.

"C'est La Mort" -- Stereo Total (Rock and Roll Hotel, Aug. 21)
Francophiles will love this this bouncy, irresistible electro-pop ditty, but probably not as much as I do. I played this song on my radio show for 14 consecutive weeks when I was in college.

"I Still Love You" -- The Slackers (State Theatre, Aug. 22)
One of the few ska bands that you don't have to feel embarrassed about liking, then or now. Enjoy rocksteady grooves and Vic Ruggiero's rugged voice on this cut from their 1997 album "Redlight."

"On This Side" -- Tiny Vipers (Rock and Roll Hotel, Aug. 26)
Like Joanna Newsom without the annoying, or like Cat Power without the crazy. A very pretty acoustic guitar and voice song that is in no hurry to wrap itself up.

"I Do Dream You" -- Jennifer Gentle (DC9, Aug. 26)
It's not a girl, it's actually five guys from Italy that make alternately spazzy and spacey rock. This track falls on the spazzy side, sounding like the best Alvin & the Chipmunks song ever. Way better than that "Witch Doctor" song.


By David Malitz  | July 31, 2007; 6:01 PM ET
Categories:  Music  
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Like Joanna Newsom without the annoying, or like Cat Power without the crazy.

I can't believe you said that! But hasn't Chan Marshall ratcheted down the crazy in proportion to ratcheting down her winning of falling down contests?

Posted by: polly | July 31, 2007 10:30 PM | Report abuse

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