The DC Listener

Glenn Fink's Music Notes

Archive for the ‘virginia’ Category

Tiffany Thompson plays Jammin Java this Sunday

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I spent most Wednesday nights in 2008 playing the open mike at the Iota Club in Arlington, and I got to listen to a lot of very talented singers and songwriters who today populate the DC original music scene (many of whom I plan to write about here in the future). Tiffany Thompson came along after I had moved deep enough into the western suburbs of NoVa that I could no longer regularly attend those nights. Clearly I’ve been missing out. And not just at Iota: Tiffany’s been playing all over the DC area since arriving nearly 3 years ago. Her four song EP showcases her songwriting and her lovely singing voice. Her lyrics are personal, yet ultimately positive, and do a good job of pulling the listener in. The disc’s ethereal pop/rock style is like something you might expect to hear from Natalie Merchant or latter day Emmylou Harris.

Tiffany’s playing at Jammin Java this Sunday, July 24, opening for Mindy Smith. I’m going to try to be there as I’m betting this will be an amazing show.

Written by glennfink

July 20, 2011 at 7:41 pm

Memphis 59 – Ragged But Right is a smart release with an even keel

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Memphis 59 is a country-tinged roots-rock band from Arlington, Virginia whose 2009 “Ragged But Right” CD for some reason got me thinking about Del Amitri’s hit “Roll To Me” from the 90s, as it’s informed by that kind of well-crafted radio-readiness.

There’s perhaps a slight Rolling Stones feel on a few tracks (especially “Knock Me Out”), and a slight twang in lead singer Scott Kurt’s voice. All 12 songs are original, and would be right at home on a contemporary rock radio station playlist. Pretty high quality songwriting and musicianship overall, and very nicely produced to boot. If you’re wondering how NOT to clutter a mix, this is a good case study. Definitely one of the most consistently satisfying rock CDs that I’ve heard come out of DC area in the last few years.

Probably my favorite track is the opener, “Me, Myself and Eyes,” but the whole thing is solid. Check out a few tracks on their reverberation page.

You can pick up Memphis 59’s Ragged But Right disc at CD Baby or iTunes.

Written by glennfink

July 15, 2011 at 10:53 am

Posted in rock, songwriter, virginia

Meet The Stevos – Genuine 80’s fare from dudes who were there

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Looking for local, quirky 80’s sounding ORIGINAL pop that wears its nerdiness on its sleeve? Look no further than Meet The Stevos. Most of it was written during the 1980’s, and influenced by the likes of XTC and The B52’s. You can preview the album here in its entirety (look in the bottom right for the player).

The Stevos are the brainchild of DC native Steve Dockery. The band’s only CD features 14 songs written for a New Jersey band from the 80’s called Batteries Not Included (who only properly recorded two songs during its lifetime), plus one Beatles cover. BNI’s bassist Marc Roulier is there to help recreate the magic of the original band. The resulting disc is a successful throwback, with lots of angular riffs and hooks that work. My favorite track is “Headphones” but the whole project is filled with neo-psychedelic touches including the use of a backwards guitar solo, various 80s-appropriate synth sounds, and surf guitar. And it’s a digital-only release, which is good for the environment.

Steve has a page dedicated to Batteries Not Included on his web site, and it includes demos for some of the material that made Meet The Stevos.

While this particular album is one of a kind, Steve recently recorded a new collection of songs called Wire & Wood. Look for him playing solo around town, or with his group, The String Theorists.

Written by glennfink

July 11, 2011 at 7:09 pm

Posted in music, pop, songwriter, virginia