Austin City Limits Festival 2006 Announces Line-up

ACL Festival LogoThe Austin City Limits Festival has just released it’s line-up for this year’s festival and, as usual, it doesn’t disappoint. The ACL festival bills itself as 3 days, 8 stages, 130 bands. Tickets for the Austin City Limits Music Festival are priced at three levels. The first two allotments of tickets sold at record pace, but tickets are still available for the third allotment of three-day-passes at the cost of $115. As their website points out, that’s only .88¢ per band.

You can see the full line-up by scrolling down this page or by going directly to the ACL Festival’s website, or you can check out their cool line-up video.

The Full ACL Festival Line-up:

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Van Morrison, Willie Nelson, Massive Attack, String Cheese Incident, Ben Harper, The Flaming Lips, John Mayer, The Raconteurs, Los Lonely Boys, The Shins, Ween, Thievery Corporation, Ben Kweller, G. Love and Special Sauce, Continue reading →

SXSW 06: “Thank You for the Days”

The Cribs
The Cribs

First, an introduction, and a confession: “Hi, I’m John, and I’m a Southby-aholic.”

This year marked my eighth consecutive pilgrimage to Austin, TX, for the annual South by Southwest music festival (as above, referred to by frequent attendees as Southby). Known, variously, among friends and musicians, as “Rock ‘n’ Roll Spring Break,” “Indie-Rock Mardi Gras,” and “Rock ‘n’ Roll Olympics,” I think I may prefer the sobriquet that occurred to me this year mid-fest: Rock ‘n’ Roll Christmas. Continue reading →

This Week In Music

Picks for the week of Friday, March 24 — Thursday, March 30.

It’s another sold-out week of music in DC. Thanks to everyone who participated in last week’s Motion City Soundtrack contest. Especially the angry guy; those were some great suggestions.

Friday Mar 24 >>

Ted Leo

Most of us know Ted Leo from his last two albums with the Pharmacists. In fact, he’s been making great music since the early 90’s, when he fronted Chisel. Though Leo’s sound has evolved considerably over the last 15 years, he still plays with an energy unmatched by most. Les Aus and the Duke Spirit open this sold-out show at the Black Cat. FREE MP3: “Ghosts” by Ted Leo + the Pharmacists

Kelley Stoltz brings his light-hearted and melodic low-fi to the IOTA Club & Cafe on Friday night. Southern roots-rockers Shurman kick off the night. FREE MP3: “Jewel of the Evening” by Kelley Stoltz
Continue reading →

This Week In Music

Picks for the week of Friday, March 17 –- Thursday, March 23.

It’s a great week for music here in the District. We’ve got Jenny Lewis, Animal Collective, and Motion City Soundtrack. We’re even giving away free tickets with the first-ever Mudsugar Contest! As always, check our venue listings page for a more complete musical calendar.

Saturday March 18 >>

Matt Pond PA debuted in 1998, and won top honors that same year in CDnow’s unsigned bands competition. Their breezy, orchestral pop is gorgeous in melody and instrumentation. They are playing the 9:30 Club on Saturday, with the Australian sensations Youth Group opening the show. FREE MP3: “Grave’s Disease” by Matt Pond PA

Casiotone for the Painfully AloneCasiotone for the Painfully Alone is Owen Ashworth, who is a lot less pretentious than his moniker suggests. When I saw Owen play a few years ago, he played heartbreak ditties on his Casio and made kissy noises into the mic. It was endearing, but not particularly memorable. He has since upgraded to including other instruments, and his sound has filled out and grown considerably. I’m excited to see the changes live. The Donkeys open this show at the Galaxy Hut. FREE MP3: “Young Shields” by Casiotone for the Painfully Alone

Sunday March 19 >>

The Go! Team has stormed the independent scene like no-one since Ben Gibbard & Jimmy Tamborello. This Brighton six-piece makes music you can’t help but love. Opening their sold-out show at the Black Cat is Medications and Talkdemonic.

Motion City Soundtrack play ass-shaking pop-punk that hails back to the mid-90s heyday of the Epitaph Records roster. These boys put on an incredible show, with moog acrobaticsis finally headlining at the 9:30 Club, and it’s sold out. But don’t fear, loyal reader! Mudsugar is looking out for you. We’ve got detailed instructions on how you can see them anyway. Just scroll down a line or two…

Monday March 20 >>

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MUDSUGAR EXCLUSIVE! FREE TICKETS!
Motion City Soundtrack
at the Great Hall in Fredericksburg!

That’s right, kids. The sold-out MCS tour is stopping a mere 50 miles south of DC for an unlisted show at the University of Mary Washington, with tourmates the Format, the Matches, and Men Women and Children opening up the night. There are more than 200 tickets still available for this show! You can order yours online from UMW’s Giant Productions, or buy them at the door. For those of you with big dreams but small wallets, you can win a free ticket by participating in the first-ever Mudsugar Contest. Here’s how it works: As you know, we’re getting ready for the official launch of Mudsugar Magazine, a local rag dedicated to promoting alternative arts, music and film in the DC area. We’ve got some awesome tricks up our sleeve, but we want to hear from you! Leave a comment on this post with your suggestion for how Mudsugar can better serve the DC scene. The first five suggestions received by 12pm on Monday, March 20th will win a free ticket to see Motion City Soundtrack at the Great Hall in Fredericksburg, VA. Tell us what you’d like to see on the site, or in the magazine. We dig what we’re doing, but we can always do better. Help us help you.

Tuesday March 21 >>

Stereloab is one of the most unique and influential bands of the last fifteen years. Their experimental sound has inspired countless imitators as well as innovators in electronic pop. Sam Prekop opens this show at the 9:30 Club.

animal.jpg

Animal Collective toured relentlessly after 2004’s Sung Tongs, then took an extended break. They’re back on the road in support of their latest release, Feels. Iceland’s own Storsveit Nix Noltes opens this show at the Black Cat.

Wednesday March 22 >>

J. Mascis has a metal band? I’m stumped, for once. The stoner-rock legend of Dinosaur Jr. fame is playing the Black Cat with his new band Witch. Wooly Mammoth starts off the night.

Thursday March 23 >>

The Magic Numbers hail from London, but sound like the best that American 60’s pop had to offer. Blake Sennet is opening their show at the 9:30 Club with his band The Elected. Strangely enough, a member of Blake’s other band, Rilo Kiley, is playing down at the Birchmere the same night. Gossip-factor aside, I think this is a case of tourmate love, not rivalry. They’re so cute together.

Jenny LewisJenny Lewis has made a gorgeous album. You’ve probably heard it by now, considering that her other band is one of the best things to happen to independent music in years. Full of rich narratives and soulful sound, Rabbit Fur Coat delivers on the promises made by Jenny’s best Rilo Kiley songs. I can’t wait to see this live. Johnathan Rice opens this show at the Birchmere.

The Gossip will make you dance, and “if you don’t want to dance, just stay at home and listen to the oldies station.” I like oldies, myself, but singer Beth Sorrentino has a point. The Gossip are young and full of blood. Her Daily Obsession opens up their show at the Black Cat. Check out the poster for the show designed by El Jefe Design.

“An Impression: Dischord Records” at the DC Independent Film Festival

An Impression: Dischord Records

For a subject with as interesting a history as Dischord Records, the documentary “An Impression: Dischord Records” (Produced by Leena Jayaswol & Kylos Brannon and featured in this year’s DC Independent Film Festival) crams a fairly concise portrait into a slender fifteen minutes. For the uninitiated, this doc is a great stepping-stone with which to approach the history of one of the most storied, notorious, and organically run record labels in the world. For anyone who owns more than one Fugazi record or who knows who Ian Svenonius is, “Impression” is a superficial review. Despite an attractive opening sequence, juxtaposing gritty DC scenery with flyer and album art from the label’s early days, nothing leaps out visually. The short film’s key strengths are in the content, which brings a steady barrage of eye and ear candy for any DC punk aficionado. Continue reading →

New London Fire at the Velvet Lounge

New London Fire

Live Review: New London Fire at the Velvet Lounge, 3/9/06 >>

The Velvet Lounge, contrary to puzzling misconceptions, isn’t merely a great little U Street bar in which to meet for a drink prior to catching a show around the corner at the 9:30 Club. At the top of their narrow staircase, the second level of the club boasts an equally great little room to catch a live show. On Thursday night, New London Fire, from Union City, NJ, opened the first night of their first-ever tour here and, based on the strength of their set, they may just find themselves around the corner at the 9:30’s more storied stage before too much longer.

Shortly after midnight, the band opened their set by launching into their signature number, the epic pop confection (and number one smash in a just world), “Different,” and if you were fortunate enough to be among the small crowd at the Velvet on Thursday night, you may well have found yourself stunned to be hearing such an arena-ready crowd pleaser performed by an unknown band. As their forty-minute set went on to prove, with lush, swirling synth notes, crisply chiming guitar, and the assured confidence of frontman, David Debiak (formerly of Sleep Station, along with his brother and keyboard player, Jason), The Killers had better be looking over their shoulders.

As New London Fire continues on their tour, making their way to a coveted slot on the opening night of Austin’s South by Southwest Music conference this Wednesday, no doubt their set will be honed to a diamond sharp edge … and if all goes well in Austin, where buzz is born every year, it’s unlikely you’ll be seeing them in a room as small as the Velvet Lounge on their next trip to D.C. but, no matter the size of the room, you would do well to be a part of the crowd filling it upon their return.

This Week In Music…

Picks for the week of Friday, March 10 –- Thursday, March 16.

venue listings page for a more complete musical calendar.

Friday March 10 >>

The Pogues were one of the most important bands of the early 80s punk scene, inspired by their neighbors the Clash. They are now reunion-touring the States and have sold out the 9:30 Club tonight.

Weird War
Weird War

Racebannon has been called “the most frightening yet talented band ever.” I’ve seen them a few times in the seven years, and I have to agree. Progressive hardcore fans will love it. Gospel, Mass Movement of the Moth, and Rue the Day open this show at the Warehouse Next Door.

Weird War (formerly Scene Creamers) is the musical brainchild of Ian Svenonius, a member of the Nation of Ulysses and the Make-Up. Featuring a new line-up, Weird War plays the Black Cat with Kid Congo & the Pink Monkey Birds and Benjy Ferree.

Saturday March 11 >>

Measles Mumps Rubella are an Awesome DC band who are celebrating the release of their newest album with a show at DC9. French Toast and Free Blood start off the night. FREE MP3: “Fantastic Success” by Measles Mumps Rubella

Sunday March 12 >>

Beth Orton is back (did she ever go away, really?) with a new album that new album proves her ability to develop in a ten-year career, rather than stagnate like so many singer/songwriters. Comfort of Strangers was produced by Sonic Youth’s Jim O’Rourke, with the title track written by Beth, Jim and the increasingly-prolific M. Ward. She and Willy Mason have sold out the 9:30 Club this weekend. Continue reading →

Surprise Prince Show at Nation!

Just announced via his fan club, Prince will be appearing with his latest protege, Tamar, this Sunday and Monday, March 12 & 13 at Nation. If you caught their SNL performance together last month, you’ll know you won’t want to miss this.

If you’re a member of the fan club, the presale is going on NOW (it began at 10 a.m. this morning). If you’re not a member of the fan club, and think you might ever want to see Prince, you should become a member, as it only costs $25 to be a member for life, and membership gets you into presales where you can buy a pair of tickets to any show (usually within 10 rows of the stage for an arena show), and pay NO service charge.

You can join the fan club (and then buy Nation tix) at www.npgmc.com. Looks like member tix are still available for both nights. Presumably, the general onsale will be Saturday, but that’s just a guess.

Tickets for the Nation shows are $31.21. Yes, you read that correctly. Just over thirty bucks to see Prince play a club.

A friend saw the show in Philly a week or two ago and said it was completely sick.

Given that the world’s greatest live band, Marah, are playing at Iota Sunday night, those of you who know me can probably guess which night I’ll be seeing the Purple One.

Note: Doors for these shows are at 10 p.m., and the show starts at midnight.

– John Anderson
(“That shit was the MAD notes!”)

This Week In Music…

Picks for the week of Friday, March 3 –- Thursday, March 9.

The 9:30 Club is kicking my ass this week. I might actually brave the awful line, ridiculous prices and sub-par sound system to catch these bands. If I can find a ticket, that is. Check our venue listings page for a more complete musical calendar.

Friday March 3 >>

Brazilian Girls photo
Brazilian Girls

I remember when Brazilian Girls played tiny bars in Brooklyn for a handful of disinterested hipsters. Now they’re playing SXSW, Langerado, and are nominated for the New Pantheon, a prestigious award whose nominating committee includes the like of Beck, Ben Gibbard and Elton John. They play a dance-tacular blend of electronica, jazz, reggae and classy lounge funk that can only be described as sexy. That lush at the end of your favorite bar every weekend? This is her favorite band. Their show at the 9:30 Club will be well worth the $25 they are charging. They might outgrow the venue soon. QUICK TIP: Exercise caution when google image-searching “brazilian girls.”

Saturday March 4 >>

The Subways strike me as a Malcolm McLaren project gone awry. Apparently they’ve been gigging since 2002, two years before their deal with Sire Records. These teenagers from the UK play pop-punk on the O.C. I guess you can’t knock ’em for making it; I sure wasn’t playing for 10,000 fans when I was eighteen. Their debut album, entitled Young For Eterntity, was just released in the states. It’s a clever title, until the band is fat, forty, and watching their glory days on VH1. Get to the 9:30 Club early and check out their opening band and labelmates, The Shys. They sound similar but, well, more honest somehow.

Will Hoge is headlining the late show at the 9:30 Club, with the fabulous power-pop five-piece Limbeck opening up. Will plays straightforward American rock from Nashville, TN.

Paul Michel
Paul Michel

Countering all this corporate music, Strike Anywhere is playing across U Street at the Black Cat. These Richmonders are so punk rock they don’t even have a working website. If you like your hardcore angry & political, this is the show for you. It’s a wonder these kids don’t live in a cardboard box under Union Station. With Honor and A Global Threat open the show.

Paul Michel reminds me why I like singer/songwriters. Like some of the best before him, he paid dues in a number of bands before going solo. Paul has been playing out for years, as a former member of two greate local bands, the Out_Circuit and the Hard Tomorrows. Catch him at the Galaxy Hut; he puts on a great show.

Sunday March 5 >>

Belle & Sebastian are playing two nights at the 9:30 Club, with the New Pornographers opening up.

Monday March 6 >>

Both Belle & Sebastian shows are sold out. I’m not going to explain this.

Tuesday March 7 >>

We can’t highlight Monopoli enough; they’ve been steady picks of the week since I took over this column. Catch them at the Black Cat with Spookey Ruben.

Wednesday March 8 >>

Asobi Seksu photo
Asobi Seksu

PICK OF THE WEEK: Asobi Seksu are the best thing to happen to shoegaze since Lost in Translation. They synthesize the best sounds that noise-pop has given us, from the Phil Spector girl-group vocal aesthetic to the Kevin Shields layering and incessant drones. Plus they sing in Japanese and English. Asobi Seksu sounds fresh in a genre that’s been stale since Loveless. Two if by Sea open this show at DC9, along with Stamen and Pistils. MP3: “Sooner” by Asobi Seksu

GoGoGo Airheart are from SoCal, but don’t let that scare you away. They play a dance-punk that hearkens back to the early 80s, or maybe New York in 2003. Catch them with tourmates Subtitle and the Jai-Alai Savant at the Warehouse Next Door. MP3: “Scarlett Johansen Why Don’t You Love Me” by the Jai-Alai Savant

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah took over the world last year, and they’re cocky bitches about it too. Our agent in Scotland heard Alec Ounsworth brag about how he outgrew the Black Cat and sold out the 9:30 Club in a week. You’re right, Alec, you’ve outgrown us. How does it feel to play the same stage as Matchbook Romance?

Thursday March 9 >>

Oh, Canada. That icy land to the north has blown through DC this Winter, with the Arts & Crafts family in especially full effect. Thursday night is no exception, when we see Emily Haines (of Stars and Broken Social Scene) play the 9:30 Club with her band Metric. I didn’t like their last album much, but who cares, really. “Combat Baby” makes it all worthwhile.

Kaki King
Kaki King

Girl guitar players are so hot. Especially when they play better than me. Most reviewers make a big deal of Kaki King‘s 5 foot stature. I’m more interested in her fingers, and the sounds they can produce. This chick is phenomenal, really. Keller Williams should be so bold. She plays the Iota Club & Cafe, a GREAT place to see this show, alongside Devon Sproule.

Pearls and Brass play bluesy roots-rock that sounds like watching Dazed & Confused. They are playing DC9 on Thursday, opening for Mudsugar faves Owls and Crows.

Wouldn’t you know it, the 9:30 Club oversold again. Thankfully, Thursday’s band deserves it. The Pogues were one of the most important bands of the early 80s punk scene, inspired by their neighbors the Clash. They are now reunion-touring the States and selling out every venue along the way.