The State Of D.C. Hardcore

At 9 p.m. on a Friday in February, Watson was standing outside of La Casa, a micro-church and community center — whose main chapel is the size of your parents’ spacious living room — nestled next to a tienda in Washington, D.C.’s Mount Pleasant neighborhood. Inside, a hardcore punk band called Unknown Threat had just taken the stage.

Of course, there was no actual stage. There was just the floor where the band set up at one end of the room, and the dozens of fans in attendance who stood everywhere the band wasn’t and this is more or less what punk looks like. Once Unknown Threat hit its stride a few songs into its set, those standing closest to the band churned into motion, ricocheting off of one another and swinging arms wildly, seemingly unconcerned whether friend or foe caught a fist to the face.

But to Watson, who has performed in bands and booked shows in D.C. for years, the city’s punk scene, at this moment, feels complacent. He says he has watched the scene he helped build lose urgency, at least at home.

Looking at it from the outside, 2015 was a banner year for D.C’s storied punk scene, which first rose to prominence in the early 1980s and has become an on-again, off-again fixture in the local music ecosystem. But at no point since those heady days of Bad Brains and Minor Threat has the local product been so talented, prolific and diverse. After years of being a primarily local concern, D.C. punk matters to the wider underground music world once again.

But that’s the rub, Watson says. D.C.’s punk scene broke nationally last year, with multiple bands releasing well-received albums, joining major tours and crossing international borders to play for punk contingencies abroad. More than a half-dozen new wave D.C. hardcore bands released albums or EPs last year, including scene stalwarts Pure Disgust, Red Death and Protester. Those three bands also toured the U.S. at various times, while Protester spent a week in Mexico in December. But while established bands rose in prominence as they performed around the country, some within the scene grew frustrated as momentum and enthusiasm at home lagged. When those established bands played gigs within the city limits, fans oftentimes stood with arms crossed and nodded along — not the ideal reaction to a genre that often inspires a hail of spin-kicks and stage dives from its audience. “We just assumed it’s because everyone is in the same bands. For most people it’s like, if I’ve seen one, I’ve seen it all,” Watson says. “We played lackluster shows, attendance was low. People weren’t having a lot of fun.”

Practice in Public Makes Perfect: how playing for your fans makes you better

Price, 57, has played music nearly her whole life, starting with piano when she was five years old. But in the fall of 2009, the guitar was still something of mystery to her. She had been playing for only a couple of months and was struggling a bit with the new challenges. Yet, instead of holing up in her living room to practice until she felt more confident, she did something totally unexpected: she packed up her guitar and sheet music, headed into downtown Los Angeles, and set up outdoors to work through the new techniques.

Twice a year, Active Arts, a series of programs run by the Music Center in Los Angeles, invites recreational musicians to the arts center’s campus for a 30-minute outdoor practice session called Public Practice. There are no rules about what participants can and cannot play, and mistakes are more than welcome.

“I looked at it as a way to make the time to practice, because I’m always so busy,” explains Price, a legal secretary. Having participated in Public Practice three times, she’s found that bringing her music outdoors helps her focus. “Playing out in public encourages me to approach things a little bit differently. Even though it’s not a performance, knowing that I might have observers helps me to organize my practice session,” she says.

On the other hand, Eric Oto, a saxophonist and two-time participant, has occasionally found himself sidetracked during outdoor sessions–but in a good way. “The acoustics were so fascinating that I ended up, for a little while, just strolling around the campus plaza listening for different sounds,” says the 48-year-old lawyer. “Hearing the sounds bouncing off of the granite, concrete, and everything else outside was really interesting, and it got me to think a lot more about sound production, rather than just technique.”

Exclusive! Listen The New Track “Little Scratch”

Track appears in new box set…

A new box set showcasing recordings Captain Beefheart made in the early Seventies is due for release.

After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.

Sun Zoom Spark: 1970 To 1972 features newly remastered versions of three albums that Beefheart and the Magic Band released during that period – Lick My Decals Off, Baby, The Spotlight Kid and Clear Spot – as well as an extra disc of alternate versions.

Scroll down to hear a previously unreleased take of the track, “Little Scratch“, which appears on the fourth disc of outtakes.

Long-time Magic Band guitarist Moris Tepper, first met Beefheart [aka Don Van Vliet] at the Troubadour in Los Angeles during the Clear Spot tour. He stayed in the band until 1982. Speaking to Uncut, Tepper reveals that aside from the alternative versions that appear on Sun Zoom Spark, there is also a trove of unreleased Beefheart material.

“I can name a dozen songs right now that I wanted to record with him but which never got recorded,” says Tepper. “They exist maybe more as poems than as songs. He had music for a song called ‘Your Love Brought Me To Life’, I think it was published in a book in Germany. We had worked on a song called ‘Child Ecologist‘ which was another symphony. He’d done something before I ever met him called ‘Big Sur Suite’ which was an incredibly beautiful piece of music, this huge, thematic, movie kind of theme and gorgeous words. He probably had more unrecorded, undocumented works than recorded works. He’s an artist.

Radio USA details 8,000 vinyl records

The public service broadcaster is selling off its catalogue in June.

Radio France has revealed details of over 8,000 vinyl records set to be sold at a public auction. The records are all double copies of music from the station’s 1.6 million-strong collection.

Organised across 10 categories, the records span French pop from Serge Gainsbourg, art-rock from The Velvet Underground, afrobeat from Fela Kuti, synthpop from Yellow Magic Orchestra, plus soundtracks, musique concrete and more. There are some rarities too, like a 7″ copy of Syd Barrett’s ‘Octopus’ valued at between €6000 and €7500, as RA points out.

The public auction takes place at Maison de la Radio on June 19. The profits will be used to fund new acquisitions and to support Radio France’s digitization project. Browse the auction sale catalogue.

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Portland EDM Greats Announce Break Up

The group announced the disbandment on Facebook with an official statement, followed by a more personal one from founder and singer John Monster saying the decision rested on his shoulders.

If I had my life to live over again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once every week

“I take full responsibility for the decision to part ways with the other guys. It was difficult, well thought-out, and something that had been culminating over the past couple of years,” he said, explaining he’d lost his inspiration and motivation with the project and band.

Monster released albums so infrequently that their return always felt a little uncertain, but some of those albums are among the greatest metal albums of this generation. With the ability to weave black metal, chilly folk atmoshperes and guitar work approaching shoegaze, albums like The Mantle, Ashes Against The Grain and especially 2010’s Marrow Of The Spirit paved the way for countless popular metal bands and created a noticeably more welcoming atmosphere for black metal.

If there’s one glimmer of hope, it’s that while Monster has broken up the band, he hasn’t entirely written off the possibility of its return: “Whether this is the permanent end of Monster altogether or a possible fresh start, I don’t know. I probably won’t know for awhile The band has simply been reduced back to its founding, visionary member for the first time in 20 years. Beyond that, the future is unknown.”

Q Awards: Winners Interviews

John has joked with Q that he is yet to find any upsides to being a solo artist.

Speaking in a Q25 video interview to mark his appearance on the cover of our special 25th anniversary issue, Q304, which is out now, the former Oasis leader.

The Chief declares in the video interview you can watch above: “It’s more of a pain in the arse [being solo] to be honest. Everything is on you isn’t it? It’s a lot more peaceful but it can be a lot more solitary, I don’t mind that. I enjoyed making the record on my own, that was kind of easy… but the hard bit is starting on Monday when I to rehearse with the band and all that.

“I wouldn’t say I’m really pumped in the air kind, like I fucking can’t wait. If someone was to call me now and say we should call this off this has been a huge mistake, I’d go Yep, OK, lets fucking go… but you know you can’t. I guess ill grow in to it. I hope I do.”

Watch the full interview now, which also includes details on The Chief‘s debut solo , his collaboration with Amorphous Androgynous which will be released next summer, the release of ‘lost’ Oasis track Stop The Clocks, his opinions on the Olympics and who he thinks the most influential artist of the last 25 years is (give you a clue, he was in Oasis…)

Skillax Preparing ‘Harsher, Brighter’ New Album

The National have confirmed that they will start recording their next album “soon”.

The US band released their sixth album ‘Trouble Will Find Me’ in 2013, more recently showcasing new song ‘Roman Candle’ live.

With frontman Morgan recently saying that the group need to “change and evolve” on their next record, guitarist Morgan has now confirmed to Pitchfork that they have assembled a new studio to record in.

“We need a new home because everybody is scattered,” John explained. The band’s members are based in New York, Paris and Los Angeles.

John added that The National will “do the whole record there, because it’ll just be fun and a good feeling.”

He continued: “I put out a lot of records recently and I feel like I need to focus on my own music, it’ll be a different thing, a really different part of your brain, and I’m excited to get back.”

Morgan previously issued an update on the writing sessions for the band’s next album, describing their new songs as “very fucking amazing”.

Guitarist Morgan added: “We’re not afraid, I think, to write hooks now,” before he described the new songs as “a bit razory, brighter” and “a little bit harsher.”

Judge Asked To Skillax To Attend ‘Stairway’

“Consider heart disease, the No. 1 killer of women, killing more women than all cancers combined. If we can do more to prevent, treat and cure cardiovascular disease, more women will live longer, more families will stay together, more workers will stay productive, and we’ll save money on treating a condition that costs the U.S. nearly a billion dollars a day.

“Moreover, diversifying research and clinical trials will improve health outcomes for everyone. Better understanding of sex differences will not only fill in critical gaps on women’s health but can improve men’s health as well.

“To give an example, looking at disease through the sex and gender lens has driven new insights regarding atrial fibrillation (AFib), a dangerous condition marked by an irregular heartbeat that can lead to stroke, blood clots, heart failure and other heart complications. For many years, research failed to find an association between physical activity and AFib. Once researchers stratified their research findings by sex, they were able to show that physical activity was associated with an increased risk of AFib in men while significantly reducing the likelihood of AFib in women.

Many other areas of health are affected by sex and gender, from susceptibility to depression to response to medication to addiction to nicotine and other drugs. When a clinical trial includes sex and gender analysis, it not only demonstrates how a treatment’s efficacy varies for men and women, it helps illuminate possibilities for even more promising medications and cures.

“Last month, the U.S. Senate HELP Committee passed a series of biomedical innovation bills, which can be bundled into a companion to the House-passed 21st Century Cures Act. We applaud this bipartisan commitment to fighting disease and saving lives. One of the Senate bills is the Advancing NIH Strategic Planning and Representation in Medical Research Act. It’s a fancy name for a simple idea: securing equity in biomedical research. Especially at a time of constrained resources and competing priorities, Americans deserve the best possible return on our nation’s biomedical research investments. We urge the Congress to pass this legislation, for our health and for our future.”

Green Velvet To Release New Live Album

The package was recorded in Liverpool on the Acolyte to Wolflight With Genesis Revisited Tour.

Steve Packett is set to release of a brand new double live album and DVD this summer.

Titled ‘The Total Experience Live In Liverpool’, the 2CD/2DVD deluxe package and stand-a-lone Blu-Ray was recorded on StevIe’s Acolyte to Wolflight With Genesis Revisited Tour in 2015 at the Liverpool Philharmonic.

“When Inside Out told me that I could film a gig on the British leg of the 2015 tour for release, I thought that we should do it away from London (and) I felt doing it in Liverpool had a certain ring to it,” says Steve.

“This is an extraordinary city and the Philharmonic Hall is an extraordinary venue. Besides, it’s not as if Liverpool is known for having any good music – there’s never been a good band from there. Ha!”

The tour celebrated the 40th anniversary of his debut solo album ‘Voyage Of The Acolyte’ and boasted two sets – one focusing on his solo career and the other containing a host of Genesis classics.