Soft Complex: Two Nights Back-to-Back Poster

Dec 17 Poster Dihle
© Dirty Pictures

Soft Complex, The Hard Tomorrows. Paul Michel, January 27, 2006 at State Theatre. Soft Complex, A Study in Her, The Guins, January 28, 2006 at DC9. Poster was designed by Anthony Dihle of Dirty Pictures.

This is part of our ongoing local artist concert poster and hanbill gallery — if you are an artist, or band and would like to submit the poster or handbill from your upcoming show email the poster image with artist information, and show information including a blurb about the show and the poster to posters [at] mudsugar [dot] com. Please make sure emails are no larger than 1mb.

Los Straitjackets at Rams Head Tavern Poster

Jan 7th El Jefe Poster
�� El Jefe Design

Los Straitjackets, Pontani Sisters, and Kaiser George at Ram’s Head Tavern on December 19th, 2005 Poster.

Poster was designed by El Jefe Design — “Always delivering heavyweight design”. Poster should be available for sale shortly on the artist’s site.

This is part of our ongoing local artist concert poster and hanbill gallery — if you are an artist, or band and would like to submit the poster or handbill from your upcoming show email the poster image with artist information, and show information including a blurb about the show and the poster to posters [at] mudsugar [dot] com. Please make sure emails are no larger than 1mb.

Pretty Girls Make Graves, Double, Tangiers at Black Cat Poster

Jan 7th El Jefe Poster
�� El Jefe Design

Pretty Girls Make Graves, Double, Tangiers on December 8th at Black Cat Poster.

Poster was designed by El Jefe Design — “Always delivering heavyweight design”. Poster should be available for sale shortly on the artist’s site.

This is part of our ongoing local artist concert poster and hanbill gallery — if you are an artist, or band and would like to submit the poster or handbill from your upcoming show email the poster image with artist information, and show information including a blurb about the show and the poster to posters [at] mudsugar [dot] com. Please make sure emails are no larger than 1mb.

This Week In Music…

Picks for the week of Friday, February 3 — Thursday, February 9.

Make sure and check our venue listings page for a more complete musical calendar.

Friday Feb 3 >>

Lilys play guitar-pop that’s been lauded by music press in the States and UK. They play the Black Cat on Friday with (the sounds of) Kaleidoscope and French Toast. FREE MP3: “Breakfast” by French Toast

Bullet Parade
Bullet Parade

Preston Reed is known for unique and self-invented brand of acoustic guitar playing. With two percussive hands on the fretboard, Reed brings more sounds out of his instrument than seems humanly possible. Preston is playing a solo engagement at Jammin’ Java.

Bullet Parade play crisp, layered guitar-pop. They are joined at the Velvet Lounge by shoegaze-inspired rockers the Sentiment, as well as Olivia Mancini (of Washington Social Club) and Camera.FREE MP3: “Dodge, Peon!” by Bullet Parade

Saturday Feb 4 >>

Since the late 1990s, RJD2 has been building a steady rep as one of the hottest one-man acts in hip-hop, working with Def Jux, Astralwerks, and the late great Rawkus Records. His goal isn’t to simply move a crowd to dance, but to make them think and feel as well. Sharkey is opening the show at the 9:30 Club.

Low Poster
© El Jefe Design

Ten years ago, Low‘s philosophy of making music was to play as slowly and quietly as possible. While their sound has certainly changed, it would still be a stretch to call them a rock & roll band. Their latest full-length, on Sub Pop records, is the closest they’ve come, and certainly the fastest. They play the Black Cat on Saturday with His Name is Alive and Death Vessel. The poster for this show (right) was designed by local design shop El Jefe Design.

The Apparitions will tell you they play spacey golden pop rock. Loud. Hear for yourself at the Iota Club & Cafe. Gist and The Emergency open the show. FREE MP3: “Electricity + Drums” by the Apparitions

The Bonapartes play hook-laden indie rock, complete with fuzzy guitars and dance-rock rhythm. They are joined at the Velvet Lounge on Saturday by Your Black Star, Avec, and 2 if by Sea. FREE MP3: “Concentric” by the Bonapartes

Sunday Feb 5 >>

These United States hail from the DC area, and bill themselves as “Jangly Railyard WordPop for the No-Nonsense Rascal.” I have no idea what that means. I’d call them alt-country. They are playing the Iota Club & Cafe alongside New York’s Phonograph, and Mark Charles + the Holy Roman Empire.

Monday Feb 6 >>

Owls and Crows are a local band that sound like the Swedish Invasion met Blonde Redhead in a dive bar in New York City. They are playing at DC9 on Monday, with The Love Drunks and Bang Bang Bang opening the show. FREE MP3: “Moths” by Owls and Crows

Tuesday Feb 7 >>

Skeleton Key is pretty funky for a bunch of white guys. Opening up for them at the Black Cat backstage are the Giraffes, a loudnasty Razor & Tie band from Brooklyn. FREE MP3: “Sawdust” by Skeleton Key

On their Myspace page, the Tasty Habits label their genre as “post-post-irony.” I dig it already. They are playing at DC9 on Tuesday alongside Jesse Payne and Minor Twang. FREE MP3: “Down on Me” by Jesse Payne

Ben Carroll recently won second place in the American Songwriter Lyric Contest. A DC Native, Ben is the son of two prominent musicians, Jim Carroll and Margot Chapman. He is playing Jammin’ Java with his father Ben on Tuesday. Daniel Lee opens up the show. FREE MP3: “Dola Rosa” by Ben Carroll

Wednesday Feb 8 >>


Wednesday sees our PICK OF THE WEEK at the Black Cat. Leslie Feist hails from Canada, where the streets are paved with indie-rock. She began to garner attention after her work with the supergroup Broken Social Scene. Like a post-rock Wu-Tang, the members of BSS have all gone on to successful solo careers, with Feist’s rise being the most marked by mainstream media. With videos on MTV2 and a critically-acclaimed as well as best-selling debut album, Feist has quietly overwhelmed indie-pop audiences across the continent. Jason Collett opens the show.

Thursday Feb 9 >>

Mary Timony

Mary Timony hails from Boston, where she has been defying Harvard Square songwriter norms for years. A veteran of the underground scene, her new record will be coming out on Kill Rock Stars, the West Coast home of some of our favorite bands. Check her out at the Black Cat on Thursday, joined by The Aquarium and The Picture is Dead. FREE MP3: “Friend to J.C.” by Mary Timony Band

Deadboy & the Elephantmen is Dax Riggs and Tessie Brunet. They are coming to the Iota Club & Cafe on Thursday to kick off their East Coast tour. Parklife opens the show. FREE MP3: “Someday Lovesong” by Parklife

My iPod, Myself

My pre-iPod days were fairly simple. I‚Äôm the proud owner of some 350+ cds. So, every day on my way to class, to the gym, to work, I‚Äôd have to choose the soundtrack to my walk. It wasn‚Äôt always easy. Did I want U2 … the Dismemberment Plan … Tori Amos … a soundtrack? Sometimes I would end up carrying a few cds with me because I couldn‚Äôt pick just one. The decisions were tough, but the days, oh, how simple they were. I really had no interest in the owning an iPod. It seemed so unnecessary and expensive. I couldn’t afford it on my just out of college temp salary and I already had a discman. It may have been a slow and sometimes painful system, but it worked. Then in the fall of 2004, Apple introduced the U2 iPod.

U2 iPod

Black and red and pretty all over, it was the musical courier I’d been waiting for my entire life. The only problem was it was still a little too out of my price range. So, when Christmas rolled around, my dad asked me if I’d like an iPod for Christmas. I really wasn’t too keen on the idea at first. I’d lived without one this long, why did I need one now? It was expensive, it was tiny, but the thing of it was, I kind of wanted one. So, after months (years, even) of resisting the lure of the iPod, I told him, “Yes, an iPod would be perfect for Christmas.”

I loaded many, many cds onto my computer in preparation of the iPod‚Äôs arrival, so many, in fact, that my computer started to run out of memory (at four years old, my laptop hosts the same amount of hard drive space as my iPod, 20 GB). While millions of people the world over were once again preparing for the arrival of the Christ child, I was preparing for the arrival of my iPod. When the iPod finally became mine, I swore I‚Äôd take care of it. I swore that I would never let it be scratched (That didn‚Äôt really happen. Someone really needs to design a case that does a better job of that.). I swore that I would love my iPod, ‚Äòtil death do us part, and I was pretty successful at it. While other people were mistreating, misplacing, or just having plain old bad luck (I‚Äôve heard many stories about malfunctioning iPods over the years) with their tiny little pieces of machinery, mine was doing just fine. I treated it like my baby. Continue reading →

The Relationship Show at DC’s Transformer Gallery

Solomon Sanchez���s “Submarine” Photo by Lucy Lightning

The Relationship Show at the Transformer Gallery houses a money-filled safe, a submarine in a sea of weave, a colorful party painting, and a large phallus mounted on the white walls. The show examines the relationships between the individual and society, others, and self through a multimedia exhibit showcasing three local artists; Nilay Lawson, Breck Brunson, and Solomon Sanchez. Brunson���s altered version of Heatwave���s R&B classic “Always and Forever” provides the soundtrack to the exhibition, slowed down one thousand times so the six-minute song lasts an hour, seemingly, but certainly not forever.

���It���s a conceptual show rather than just art for sale,��� said Lawson at the crowded Saturday, January 28 opening reception. The exhibit gives a sample of the works of the three emerging artists, each of whom brings their own style and comments on relationships. Lawson���s Spite Night is the sole painting in the gallery, a colorful piece depicting a bird���s eye view of a party where each character is spiting someone else at the gathering. Lawson describes that the drinkers are spiting their livers, the smokers are spiting their lungs, the man locked in his quiet room masturbating is spiting the party, and several other characters���some based on people she knows���are spiting each other. The painting is somewhat cartoonish with blocks of color, little use of shading for perspective, and detailed renderings of the people and the floors and walls of the house. Continue reading →

Cat Power: The Greatest (CD Review)

Cat Power - The Greatest

Get it at Amazon.


Cat Power
The Greatest
Rating: 8 (out of 10)
Matador Records | 2006

I���ve got to hand it to Chan Marshall. It takes balls to call any album that isn���t your greatest hits album The Greatest (and this being her seventh album, she could have done it). It doesn���t matter how good you think it���s going to be. Claiming to be the greatest is a boast like no other (unless you���re Kanye West). Of course, if you think that Chan Marshall is purporting that her album is actually the greatest, well, you don���t know Chan Marshall.From the second you lay eyes on the album cover, you should know that The Greatest is actually not claiming anything of the sort. The cover, all pink and shiny with a holographic finish, features a ghetto gold chain with gold boxing gloves hanging from it. Let���s face it, the cover looks more like the cover art for the Britney Spears/K-Fed vanity project than the cover art for a Cat Power album.

The Greatest is a beautiful album full of sweet soul. Recorded in Tennessee with some of Al Green���s old collaborators, it definitely calls to mind old school soul without completely departing from the signature sound of Cat Power. It���s the kind of album that is well suited for a rainy day. It���s the kind of album that makes you want to walk into a dark bar, order a glass of bourbon, light up a cigarette and walk on over the juke box and fire up one of these 13 songs.

It took a while for me to take a shine to this album, mostly because it���s the kind of album that the younger and more depressed college aged me would have loved instantly. That���s not to say that this album is at all juvenile. It���s full of the knowledge of having loved and lost. It���s full of lament, sadness, rejection, and loneliness (it even has a little bit of fun thrown in there with ���The Islands���). Chan Marshall���s voice is gorgeous and strong on every song of the album. She almost sounds like a cross between Beth Orton and Fiona Apple �Ķ almost. Some album highlights include the title tracks, ���The Greatest,��� ���Lived in Bars,��� ���The Moon,��� and ���Where is My Love.���

But honestly, it���s not each individual song, as much as the album as a whole that is so captivating. The Greatest like a comforting old friend that you can take out and put on when the right mood strikes you (or the wrong mood). It���s not an every day album, but it can definitely be a though the years album. An album that you may not need all that often, but when you do need it, to let you know its there for you and that hey, it could always be worse, but more than that, we all go through tough times and we just might get through them too.

Cache (Hidden) — Movie Review

Cache photophoto courtesy Sony Pictures Classics

Cache (Hidden), the latest film by director Michael Haneke (The Piano Teacher), could not have better timing for a limited American release: a French couple anxiously wonder why they���re receiving unmarked videotapes with surveillance of their house. The creepy premise can���t help reminding the moviegoer about the recently revealed (and legally questionable) domestic spying program run for the last few years by the Bush administration.

Cache poster
Cache (Hidden)
(Sony Pictures Classics)
Rated: R
starstarstar (out of 4)
Official Site

We watch the videotapes at the same time as Georges (Daniel Auteuil) and Anne (Juliette Binoche), hearing them talk over it: ���It���s stupid, but it scares me,��� Anne says. Nothing really happens in the videos, it���s just a shot from across the street, but we can feel the couple���s anxiety ��� is there something we���re missing? What are we waiting for? Every car that passes, a bicyclist who speeds by, even Anne entering the apartment all build the tension just a little bit more. It���s oddly unnerving, the idea of not only being watched but actually viewing the surveillance.

So why would we be watched unless we have something to hide? It becomes clear through subsequent videotapes and postcards featuring childish drawings of violent images sent to everyone in the family that this all has something to do with Georges���s childhood, something he is determined to hide and someone is determined to reveal. Auteuil gives a powerhouse performance, desperately attempting to maintain his cool as his level of panic and paranoia grow. His relations with Anne become strained as he gets tangled in his lies to and his half-hearted justifications of his past actions. Auteuil shows us a man who can feel his foundations being uprooted.

Haneke avoids quick cuts in favor of long, drawn-out scenes that allow his top-notch actors space to breathe. The camera is so unobtrusive that the whole film feels like surveillance ��� characters are even framed in a mug-shot like fashion. The result is extraordinary natural performances and a jarring impersonal feeling that gives the film an edge you won���t see in an American thrill-ride.

Unfortunately Cache goes off on tangents that are relevant to the central theme but are ultimately hung out to dry. Is Anne having an affair? Is there something more to son Pierrot���s sudden rebelliousness other than teen angst? The complete lack of resolution is immensely disappointing. The pacing is leisurely (to put it kindly), and a shocking scene (you may jump) feels contrived and doesn���t sit well with rest of the film.

Cache is a slow but fascinating examination of what we hide and the lengths we will go to protect our secrets. The film begs the question is there such a thing as privacy? It���s a clever and thought-provoking take on the thriller genre.

STARRING: Daniel Auteuil, Juliette Binoche, Maurice B?�nichou, Annie Girardot, Lester Makedonsky, Bernard Le Coq, Walid Afkir, and Daniel Duval
GENRE(S): Drama, Suspense/Thriller
WRITTEN BY: Michael Haneke
DIRECTED BY: Michael Haneke
RELEASE DATE: Theatrical: December 23, 2005
RUNNING TIME: 117 minutes, Color
ORIGIN: France, Austria, Germany, Italy
LANGUAGE(S): French (with English subtitles)