washington

Beers in your face on Cal Rifkin's "Sleeper Hold"

The Replacements, $3 malt liquor, summer vacation, Cal Rifkin's music conjurs sounds and memories, a commendable accomplishment. All the ingredients for success are there and are intuitively executed. The driving, lo-fi rock sound, the sentimental lyrics, the secretly sick guitar solo, oh the fond memories that I'm sure it would evoke in me if I had any fond memories of high school and college parties. Rifkin has the basics down, and the result is music made with passion; music that can satisfy the short-attention spans of the inebriated; music that can engage you while also secretly helping you to achieve catharsis. To this I say well done sir!

-Mike Dranove

   

No Beyond by Bound is legit post-rock

I didn't know it was possible to make good music with even more reverb than Mogwai, but Bound does it, quite well I might add. Nuthin like a good ol fashioned post-rock buildup into climax to make an impact on your overloaded senses.  As Ronald Reagan once said, “One thing 'bout music when it hits you feel no pain.” And you gotta appreciate the thought and effort they are putting into the tracks; this is some primo sound design, expense not spared here. Seriously, I listened with headphones and I was basking in the tone quality. Even if you don't love post-rock, check this out.

Stand out tracks: Current, Hold

-Mike Dranove

 

   

Gina Biver's “Mirror” is 2spooky

The Fuse Ensemble achieves full spookiness on “Mirror” from The Music of Gina Biver. The track features a discordant string/piano thing with Gina Biver intoning, “something looks back each time I move, oh demon mask, sad, turned down mouth” from American poet Colette Inez's poem “Empress in the Mirror.” In all, the creative mixing and pleasantly random improvisation is able to get the spooky sound, or as the liner notes put it, “awakening new shapes and realities while the repetitive nature of the Biver’s electric guitar maintains an underlying continuing, eternal presence.”

I could see some cool audio/visual collab on this one.

-Mike Dranove

   

Moon by Moon's self-titled: “I want to lay and die on the floor”

Sorry, but I had to put that in the title. Singer Gabby Franks sings it on “Baltimore” from Moon by Moon's self-titled and I thought it was really charming and funny.  The track has another hilarious moment when in the middle of it after Franks has been complaining about life in Baltimore for a solid two minutes she all of sudden says, “and i've only really been here for like 3 weeks.”  In all, this isn't the most technically impressive release I've ever listened to, but it has moments like those that make it appealing.

Anyway, looks like the group is gigging around pretty regularly, you can check out their Facebook to learn more.

-Mike Dranove

   

Eli Lev has a voice like carefully whipped butter

At least that was my first thought when I was listening to “Making Space,” the opening track on Eli Lev's debut release All Roads East. With my interest piqued, I checked out his website; turns out this guy is a seriously busy gigger. He has a whole slew of shows lined up and some impressive performances on his resume including at The Fillmore in Silver Spring, the 9:30 club, Burning Man, and a private show for Eleanor Holmes Norton.

And after listening to the rest of the album, gotta say dude has some chops. If you are into country, rockabilly, or folk, definitely give him a listen. He is playing tomorrow night in DC at Sauf Haus Beer Hall on 18th st.

-Mike Dranove