Is and of The is the DC-based project of Drew Bandos, a Philly native, who's third installment of recordings/first official album, Heads Phased For Dreamless Sleep, soars to a new level of organic shoegaze blended with electronic bits and echoing whispers. Experimental may be an understatement as each of the 11 tracks have the ability to capture your subconscious attention and cause a drift into daydream world. Gorgeous.
"I Used to Swim in Seas Outside Of Me" is exactly how it sounds. An out of body experience in sound. "Interlude" blasts a deep drone over reversed strings, a sweet transition from one of the many standout's on the record "Sleepless Dream" where warbling keys bloom before Bandos bursts into a melancholic chorus. And "Litost" sneaks in a bit of trip hop, adding a welcomed groove to a haunting melody.
"Following the Washington, DC band Beauty Pill's summer 2011 open recording residency at Artisphere, the Immersive Ideal project returns with a multimedia installation designed by Kelley Bell and Stephan Moore. The installation will feature a user-interactive, monome-controlled array of photographs from the recording sessions by Nestor Diaz, Morgan Klein, Brian Libby, Jon Pack and PJ Sykes.
From January 7-22, you can listen to Beauty Pill's new album - recorded at and presented exclusively at the Artisphere - while immersed in the photographs that document the band's experiment in radical artistic transparency. The installation will run in the Black Box Theater itself, where the recording took place, furthering the intimacy between the viewer/listener and the work." -Courtesy Terrorbird Media
Saturday January 7-22 / Free / Black Box Theatre Free public opening reception Saturday January 7 - 7-10 pm.
DC electro rock duo 16 Large are more than just a genre-bending producer of dance beats. They are an ever evolving sound machine that have collectively been rocking the scene in some form or another for nearly 20 years. This alone wasn't the only reason that they skyrocketed to the top of last month's Band of the Month poll. With a successful self-release, music video, performances at 9:30 Club, and WHFS Battle of the Bands final placement- their resume of rock continues to grow. So we caught up with Trevor Krainik (Vocals, Synths) and Allen McDaniel (Synths, Drums, Programming) to find out more. Here they tell us about influential siblings, DC's dancefloor revival, and their upcoming new tracks. Now on to the interview...
Their debut EP Self released in April, is available for free download on their website right now! Check out the video for "Make Me Crazy" from the album below.
Trevor Krainik (Vocals, Synths): Allen and I have been playing music together for close to 20 years. We started out in a hard-rock band in the 90's ... I was the singer and Allen played bass. We had some small victories with the band, but eventually broke up. I moved to Richmond and started DJing. When I moved back to DC, Allen had started his live PA act. We didn't work on music together during this time, but we did some of the same shows. After about 5 years of DJing, I stopped all together. It was a few years later, when I started going through my divorce, that I decided to pick up my guitar and do some solo acoustic work. I invited Allen to see me play over at IOTA in Arlington. We started talking about making a band again, this time just the two of us. We wanted to make it very personal, incorporating dance music with rock and roll. After exploring what that meant to us, we really hit our stride and came up with what we feel is our sound. It's still evolving, as it should be. But we're very comfortable with the process now.
Allen McDaniel (Synths, Drums, Programming): Yeah, shortly before the band broke up Trevor and I started to regularly attend some of the bigger dance parties in the area like Buzz at the Capital Ballroom among others. We had been regulars at Trax on Thursday nights for quite some time, but for me it was attending these bigger parties during the acid breaks era that really piqued my interest. As soon as I saw a couple of guys with a few keyboards rocking a thousand plus people at the club I was hooked, I knew that a) I had figure out what they were doing and b) DO IT! I started selling all my bass and guitar rigs and buying samplers, sequencers and keyboards and figuring it all out. I played around a bit in those days as a live act called Soul Machine. It was me and basically my studio on stage doing remixes of my own stuff on the fly.
Many years later Trevor and I hooked up again and started throwing around ideas of a new band. We really wanted to take the best parts of our favorite bands and music and present that to an audience. We are really focused on the live show and putting on a performance, not just playing some songs. If I spend my money to go out and see a band, I want to see something exciting. I can stay at home and just listen to music for free.
What are your biggest musical influences?
AM: Wow, there are so many... I grew up in the the 80's when hair metal was king and hip hop was just becoming popular. The big vocal hooks of the 80s metal scene with heavy dance beats is what I'm all about. That is really the kind of sound that we are after with 16Large. I'd go see Cinderella, Dokken, Ratt, The Cult just as quickly as I would The Prodigy, Chemical Brothers or Uberzone.
TK: I'd have to say my biggest musical influence is my brother, Matt. We're 5 years apart and I'd listen to records in his room a lot. I was one of the only kindergarteners in my class who was in to U2, Depeche Mode and the Cure. We'd bug the crap out of our neighbors with our loud stereos ... and it was really bad for them when we started getting into metal like Ozzy, Ratt, Cinderella and Twisted Sister. I think a few people moved away when Faith No More and Ministry came in the picture. (ha) I found a ton of great music because of him, all which brought me to where I am now.
What artists (local, national and/or international) are you currently listening to?
TK: I listen to a lot of music and I love hearing new styles as they emerge. Youtube and music blogs are great tools for finding new music. Allen and I have similar tastes, but they're not always exactly the same. For the most part we point out new bands and new sounds to each other. Allen tuned me on to Porter Robinson not too long ago. I've been catching up on his stuff lately. I'm really liking what awolnation are doing. They're a great mix of electro with punk / hard rock undertones. It all mixes together in a cool, creepy pop sound. And I have a mix in my car where I repeat Outasight's Tonight is the Night and Ke$ha's Blow over and over. Please don't tell anyone that.
AM: I'm all over the shop, I'm loving a lot of the new electro stuff that's out now, the really hard and dirty stuff like Zedd, Dirty/Loud, Mord Fustang. I always have Jamiroquai in heavy rotation and can't wait to hear The Presets new album.
What's the first concert that you ever attended and first album that you ever bought?
TK: My first concert was at Wolf Trap. My brother took me and a friend to see Violent Femmes, the Pogues and Mojo Nixon with Skid Roper. That was one hell of a first show. Even though all of the bands were heavy on the organic side, the energy was amazing. It started off my concert-going career right. The first record I bought was an actual record ... I was 6 years old and I got U2 October from the old Kemp Mill down the street. Again, thanks to my brother's influence. I also bought my first CDs (10 years later!!!) from that same store ... Lords of Acid Lust and Nirvana Incesticide.
AM: First concert was Bon Jovi on the Slippery When Wet Tour at the no longer standing Capital Center. It was nuts! It was exactly like their music videos ... crazy lights, explosions, band members being hooked up to harnesses and flying over the audience. Great first show! The first album I ever bought was an actual vinyl record too, KISS Hotter than Hell. I was 7.
What do you love about DC's music scene?
TK: I love the diversity. There is a huge range of really talented acts putting it all out there and taking chances with their sounds. We're in a super-competitive market, so I think that pushes people to take bigger risks musically. I've seen a lot of people come up short, but sometimes the payoff is huge. I'm very impressed with how brave DC musicians can be. (For a good example of the range of sounds in the DC area, check out OneLoveMassive.com)
AM: What is really nice about being in the DMV is the huge amount of different venues to play without having to travel too far. It gives us the opportunity to play a little more often locally and still reach different audiences each time.
What would you like to see change in the local music scene?
TK: Not sure if I would change much right now ... it seems like we're just on the other side of a recent change. The DC music scene has been revitalized. People are going out more and taking chances on new music. A couple of years ago, I remember being at shows and being the only person dancing. Not an exaggeration ... I was the lone dancer in a sea of people that were standing still or slightly shuffling their feet. Now I go to shows and people are excited. There's a ton of great stuff out there for the people adventurous enough to go find it. I wouldn't change too much, just encourage people to keep it up.
AM: Can't really think of a whole lot I would change. Just keep encouraging people to go out see live music.
What are your plans for the upcoming year?
AM: The main plan is to just keeping tweaking and refining the live show, write more material and play more shows. Our live show is pretty technical and is constantly being tweaked. We run a custom light show that is synchronized to our music. It's really an audio/visual assault on your senses. If you like it loud, dirty and flashy and love to dance you'll feel right at home at a 16Large show.
TK: To finish off this year, we have 5 or 6 new songs that we are completing. All of these are geared towards the live show. It's been a challenge working the new songs in with the old songs. We wanted to keep the sound consistent ... so we had to rework a lot of the old tracks. It's nice, because now those older tracks are exciting and new to us again. Other than that, more songs and more shows. Onwards and upwards!
What was your most memorable live show?
TK: It has to be the first time we played 930 Club. For me, it brought back a lot of memories from playing in the old band. But a lot of new feelings too. Here we were, playing at this legendary club in front of a sold out crowd on a Saturday night. It felt great to get up there and burn. I was super-pumped and way into the moment ... can't really remember my feet touching the ground at all. Then it was over. And as soon as I walked off the stage, I wanted to go back out there. We were fortunate enough to return a few months later. But that first time was amazing.
AM: For me the most memorable show is always the last show we played, I'm always thinking of what was really working and how to incorporate more of that into the next show!
Why do you read The Deli?
AM: Its great to be able to check out bands in our area that are into similar sounds as us. I don't get out much as I used to being a new father. (Big shout out to the wife and baby girl for putting up with all the racket!) So it's awesome to be able to stay in touch with what is happening at a local level as well as a national one.
TK: I've had a lot of fun exploring The Deli Magazine. As I said before, blogs are a great way to find new music. Since The Deli is connected to so many different cities, it's cool to jump around and see what's going on in different scenes. I've already found a new band I really like ... the December Band of the Month for Philly, the Really Cooks. I'm definitely adding the Deli as a resource.
This Thursday 12/1 marks a hometown extravaganza as DC's Jukebox the Ghost takes the stage at the 9:30 Club along with DC's Deleted Scenes, and the Spinto Band. Did you dig their album "Everything Under the Sun"? Perhaps they'll play your favorite song, so you better be sure you get there to hear it! And the 9:30 Club wants to make sure that happens, so we've got a couple passes to give away! Just email us here by 6 PM today 11/30 and let us know your fav song by Jukebox the Ghost or Deleted Scenes. (Please include your first and last name.) The winner will be chosen at random and emailed back today.
'Following the news of their upcoming year-end shows with Four Year Strong, Set Your Goals, Balance and Composure and Transit, and in support of their upcoming EP Don't Lose Your Cool out November 29th, Baltimore-based rock outfit Diamond have premiered the second new song from their forthcoming release, entitled "Fly Solo," both streaming and available for free download exclusively at Alternative Press Magazine's website.' You can also check out another featured track "Fix of Mine" below. Release party TBA!
Washington DC-based quartet Deletes Scenes have announced a set of fall tour dates with DC's Jukebox the Ghost and The Spinto Band including a stop at the 9:30 Club on 12/1. They will perform behind their sophomore full-length, Young People's Church of the Air, an experimental patchwork of 80's pop, R&B, surf rock, dark funk, and Go-Go that was featured as DC Deli's Album of the Month. (Photo by Laura Rotondo)
On Nov. 20, the party will be going down at Comic Ping Pong as DC's own surf indie-pop group Bake Sale release their debut EP Teen Dreams and Beauty Queens. Formed back in early 2010 by sisters Kate and Jill Miller, they were joined by Julian Vu and have been perfecting their post-punk tinged surf pop sound. Joining in the celebration will be the femme-fronted Tennessee rockers Heavy Cream that'll continue to roll out a raucous night.
All ages are welcome and it starts at 9 PM, 11/20, Comet Ping Pong.
Without using a cheesy pun (which I'm going to use anyway), The Greater the Risk is worth a Greater Risk. Seriously though, the Richmond pop-rock band, who was featured as an Alt Press artist of the month in February 2011, has just released a five track album, entitled Say What You Never Said, and it is full of melodic gems, including first single “Friends and Foes” (which you can listen to here.) Look out for the band’s tour in support of the record this fall, and find out more about the emerging band on their Facebook. -Amanda D.
"The ShakeDowns are a rock and roll band with plenty of punk energy. They somehow manage to sound simultaneously hedonistic and honest, which is quite a feat considering their material. There's a love of bare-bones rock and roll that fills their songs with big riffs, proud solos and lyrical swagger. With lyrics about chasing women and stories from the bar, The ShakeDowns display the a kind of self-confidence that puts them pretty close to Danko Jones in terms of style and attitude."- punknews.org.
"They are having a reunion show at Black Cat on November 19th and here's a contest: They will run a random drawing for two (2) TWO!! pairs of tickets to the ShakeDowns/Alphabet Bombers/Nervous Impulse/Do Likes show at Black Cat Friday November 18, 2011. How do you enter? Just like the ShakeDowns Facebook page!" -From the Open Blog