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Psych

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PBR, M.H. and Toxic Moxie @ Black Cat this Friday!

Richmond has one of the most exciting local scenes in the country, and this Friday, January 16th, two of Richmond's most entertaining bands will play DC's Black Cat mainstage, complimented brilliantly by DC local M.H. & His Orchestra, for what is sure to be one of the tightest, most energetic, and interesting lineups of the year.  

People's Blues of Richmond (or "PBR") are already well known to many. They're a psychadelic blues power trio, like (early) Led Zeppelin from the Dirty South. Crazy-tight and loud, they deliver the energy live, and their fans are wonderful and almost as entertaining. I saw them on a pirate boat on the Potomac a few months ago, and it was easily the best show of the year.

M.H. & His Orchestra is wild and chill at the same time. Like a lot of the music I love from Richmond, they mix the cheesy, the dirty, and excellent musicianship into weird pop perfection, making them the perfect group to sandwich between two bands from RVA. M.H. is psychadelia and lounge music and soundscapes and fearless arrangements. Every listen puts a smile on my face, and each song is a unique surprise.

Toxic Moxie describe themsevles as "disco punk," and, while apt, that description doesn't express the balls-out freakshow awesomness of this band. Toxic Moxie's super sexyness sneaks up on you, 'cause they come at you super weird. I want to watch this band and dance and do unsavory things until the sun comes up. And they're opening the show. Like booster rockets.

Do it. Friday January 16th, Black Cat. Doors at 9. $12 adv/$15 day of.  --Natan Press

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Melt, new single from Young Rapids.

 DC's Young Rapids are back! "Melt," the lead single off their forthcoming second LP Pretty Ugly (on DC's Chimes Records), is an epic psychedelic trip. A majestic collection of tones, sparkly and dirty, smooth and gnarly, all folding on each other and pushing the next along in waves. Guitars, organs, Beatlesy tape sounds, walls of shimmering metal and light necessitate repeated listens, as each instrument's unique sonic journey takes the listener to a different place. Dream guitar-pop with a heavy dose of Magical Mystery Tour era Beatles, and Soft Bulletin era Flaming Lips. Excellent.

Don't miss Young Rapids live, November 22nd, at Black Cat with Drop Electric and Cigarette--Natan Press

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Opal Rose's Strange Fruit

DC's Opal Rose recently teamed up with Triple Threat to create a fantastic electro-RnB cover of the jazz classic "Strange Fruit" (on Brave New Breed). The two are developing a sound they're calling "Doom&B," and the track is an epic journey. A run through jungle drums launches the vocal to flight over the canopy of rainforest instruments and insects. I get the impression Opal has emerged from some ancient haunted psychadelic pyramid. And I love the ending, hinting at a space launch, easing the listener into oblivion. Look for more from Opal and her collaborators in the comming months. --Natan Press

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The Milkstains preview new album Broken Bones

 Richmond's The Milkstains put up a preview stream of their new album Broken Bones (officially due September 4th). I knew I liked this band already, but this album surpasses expectations, seemingly running down a checklist of my favorite sounds and styles. Every track makes me love them more.

"La Adelita" is an expertly crafted surf instrumental, psyching the listener up for what's to come. "Sidewalk" is Replacementsy pop-rock, as engaging as that description can suggest. "Let Us Down" is an 80's proto-indie rocker, ferocious and meek, strong and sweet. "Caroline O'Keeffe" is some wacky low-fi garage version of Leiber/Stoller pop (with a blistering guitar solo). "Carrion Crow" is the desert and death, heat and haze, all gritty and sexy, like the loners and rebels your mom warned you about. "Heart of Mine" is a straightforward garage stomper, pounding drums and kinetic guitar-work. "Invisible Friends" is more dynamic garage with clever psychedelia conjured by the all analog studio. "Heavy Water" is the appropriate name for the next song; another instrumental surf track, but truly heavy, deep, crushing guitars. "Sonic Kick" fools you at the start with another heavy growling tone out of the bass, but turns immediately into a sweet and smooth indie-rocker, with shimmering guitars playing anthemic hooks. All too soon the album ends on title-track "Broken Bones," an even more anthemic indie-rocker with room to jam on some noise, like a combo of early 90's Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr., riding waves of electricity, blazing through hooks, into Siamese Dream-like walls of sound.

Broken Bones is a triumph of non-stop excitement, head-shaking goodness, taste and ambition. It's like a shrine to analog sound and psychedelia, collecting iconography from 60's surf to 90's alt-rock, and everything in between. The Milkstains aren't copycats however. They channel an energy all their own through each song, a growling tiger ready to pounce from beneath each track, and harness their musicianship and the skills of their producers to create a seemless passionate journey.  

You can catch them next at Richmond's Fall Line Fest, where they'll have the first solid copies of the album for sale. Get this album, however you can. --Natan Press  

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Night Kitchen Releases New Album

Night Kitchen’s Thai Iced Tea 7” is a refreshingly original two-song album. Repetitive psychedelic guitar refrains and riffs will put you in a trance, as the percussion carries you throughout the song. The minimalistic vocals, occasional synth mixed into the drums, bass and electric guitar are imaginative and energizing.

You can find Night Kitchen on Facebook and BandCamp.

--Hannah Brady

 

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