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Seez Mics is quality rap from Kensington, MD

Kensington, MD is definitely not known for hip-hop, and yet, in a city defined by office buildings and a quaint, elderly feel, rapper Seez Mics has been slowly honing his craft for more than twenty years. The result of his steady musical output is his latest release, WITH, and it is pretty sweet. WITH two other rappers featured on every song (hence the title of the album), and the help of producer Scott Kuzner, Nicholas Policy (Seez Mics) and Co. have brought some serious poetic flow to this albm. On top of the pleasing beats and rhythm, clever rhymes and personal touches give this album a real sense of honesty.

Here's "Won't You" from Steez's new album WITH.

-Written by Michael Dranove

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DC indie shoegaze outfit Venn drops a great EP

The first song on Venn's self-titled EP, "Surreal", starts out on solid ground, but before you know it the dreampop kicks in and this EP never comes down again.  The textures of the album, to put it simply, are pretty.  The sounds of shoegaze, dreampop, and indie psychedelia blend nicely.  Specifically, the vocals sound almost like what might happen if Morrisey did shoegaze, insolent but cool as heck and full of passion.

All in all a great first original release from these DC youngsters.       

-Written by Michael Dranove       

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Impressive electro-punk from DC’s Den-Mate

Babe City Records artists Den-Mate have been turning some heads with their dark and disdainful electro-punk sound. Headed by singer-songwriter Jules Hale, the band has seen success following the release of their self-titled debut album last year. Heavy with a sense of foreboding, Den-Mate’s music is at once catchy and ominous, full of traditional post-punk tropes and the dystopian sounds of Crystal Castles like beats and distortion. With very modern and skillfully constructed songs, Den-Mate is a DC band to look out for.

Catch Den-Mate this Saturday, March 4th at the Black Cat.

-Written by Michael Dranove

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March 3rd: Ace Cosgrove at Tropicalia

Fresh beats and an unusual cutting edge flow define the appeal of politically inclined Gaithersburg native Ace Cosgrove. Drawing from the beats and flow of both trap and chillhop, Cosgrove’s versatility shines through on songs like “Making Moves” and “Righteous Views”. In turn lyrically boastful and politically charged, the most consistent thing about Cosgrove’s music is the quality of the tracks.

After a tour in New Zealand, Cosgrove will take the stage at Tropicalia March 3rd to headline DC’s Sounds of the City Festival.

-Written by Michael Dranove

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March 3rd: No BS Brass Band at The National in Richmond

The brass funk veterans in No BS Brass Band don’t mess around. Their sets are fast, loud, and irresistibly funky. Hailing from the Oregon Hill neighborhood of Richmond, close to Virginia Commonwealth University, No BS’ music comes across as a musical fusion of college pep bands and high level brass funk a la Budos Band and Young Blood Brass.

If you’re in Virginia on March 3rd, or just want to make the drive, go see No BS Brass Band with SOJA at The National.

-Written by Michael Dranove

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