5 Acts: June 2008

Sunday, June 29, 2008

shuffle: wanted / needed

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Headlights - Towers
(Tripwire Acoustic Session)

Wild Sweet Orange - Ten Dead Dogs
(Live on Letterman)

South - Better Things
(Tripwire Acoustic Session)

Lykke Li - I'm Good, I'm Gone

The Brunettes - Small Town Crew

Friday, June 27, 2008

An Indie Compilation by mp3hugger

One of my very favorite fellow music bloggers, Kevin over at mp3hugger.com, has put together a fine compilation of unsigned artists. It's entitled Indiecater Vol.1, An mp3hugger Compliation, and the idea behind the project is to promote music that doesn't get the exposure it deserves. I love it! And the best part: not one single track here is a letdown.

Click here to get your copy of this fine compliaiton today. All proceeds will go directly to the artists involved.


01. Burning Codes - It's Alright
02. Slushco - Astronaut
03. Storkboy Choons - Rockfield Symphony
04. The E.L.F. - Cockroaches
05. Foreign Slippers - Packed The Car
06. Beaten Awake - You Remind Me of Me
07. Call To Mind - (Untitled)
08. Empty Rooms - We've Been Waiting for You
09. Cymbals Eat Guitars - Share
10. Michael Knight - Dumbshow (Director's Cut)

mp3hugger on MySpace

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Get Sticky with Erik from Pash

Erik Bruner-Yang of Pash is also GM for Sticky Rice, a new DC hot spot located at 1224 H St NE. Today he was quoted in a really good article from the Post. I've re-posted it below.

H Is for Happening
Entrepreneurs Push a NE Neighborhood Toward New Life as a Food Destination

By Jane Black
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, June 25, 2008; Page F01

Cheap and sushi are two concepts that really don't belong together. But the fact that Sticky Rice serves 14 kinds of nigiri and more than 20 rolls for less than $5.50 didn't make me want to run for the door. The newest arrival in the H Street corridor, a punk sushi joint out of Richmond, is untraditional in every way.

Rock music plays, and tattooed waiters with fashionable mullets work the dining room. In each of the two unisex bathrooms you can pick up a phone that calls the other bathroom, a strangely entertaining and potentially useful feature. On the menu are plenty of dishes for vegetarians and vegans, which helps keep the prices down, plus the signature bucket of tater tots that taste like the ones you ate in junior high school because that's exactly what they are. Sushi and tater tots? At Sticky Rice, it's considered a classic combination.

Independent, inexpensive and quirky, Sticky Rice embodies the vibe of many of the new restaurants on this stretch of H Street, also known as the Atlas District, which runs from 12th to 15th streets NE. Until recently, the area has been known mainly as a night-life hub. But the past year has seen the debut of the charmingly dive-y Belgian bistro Granville Moore's, the espresso and wine bar Sova and Sticky Rice. Within the next year, four more outlets are scheduled to open, including an Italian grocery and takeout, a taqueria and a yet-unnamed dessert bar.

H Street doesn't yet feel like a cohesive commercial district. Sticky Rice's shiny sign stands out on a strip where many of the storefronts are empty. It's reminiscent of New York's Williamsburg before it became a magnet for the $800-stroller set (good or bad, depending on which side of the Brooklyn wars you're on). True, these restaurants don't offer the artistically presented plates and million-dollar decor you find in Penn Quarter (the bills are also half what you might pay downtown). But they do have what even the celebrity chef outposts haven't yet managed: unfussy food served in a stylish setting with a price that's right for everyday dining out.

Take Granville Moore's. Originally a doctor's office, the space was gutted to make room for a bar and a tiny kitchen, but the owners didn't do much decorating. The lathe-and-plaster walls are original, as are the beams on the first floor. Low lighting, chalkboard menus and tables made of distressed wood from a Manassas farmhouse give the place a cozy feel.

Food wasn't originally a focus when Granville Moore's opened in August, says Teddy Folkman, co-owner and executive chef. The Belgian beer and menu of salads, sandwiches and mussels and fries were "nice to have." But the food took off, he says, and no wonder. I ordered the moules biere, steamed with poached fennel and leeks, hunks of local slab bacon, Chimay White beer and cream. The plump, meaty mussels from Prince Edward Island are the best I've eaten in Washington. The frites, twice fried and sprinkled with French sea salt and fresh herbs, could hold their own against any in town.

Word about the quality of Granville Moore's food is out. Business has tripled since November, Folkman says. Each week, with just four burners, two fryers, a 12-inch grill and a 12-inch flattop, the restaurant serves 500 pounds of mussels and 1,200 pounds of potatoes. In March the Food Network visited, ostensibly to film a show called "America Eats." It turned out that Folkman had been picked for a "throwdown" against celebrity chef Bobby Flay. (The episode, in which Folkman faces off with his popular blue cheese and bacon mussels, will air July 8 at 9 p.m.)

Granville Moore's low-key-vibe-meets-top-quality-food approach feels organic, but it is very much by design. The restaurant is part of night-life entrepreneur Joe Englert's growing H Street empire, which includes Rock and Roll Hotel, the Argonaut and the Red and the Black.

Like Granville Moore's, the latter two were set up as bars but are trying to raise the quality of the food. The chicken pot pies at the Argonaut are made from scratch; by the end of the summer, Englert says, the Red and the Black will offer gourmet burgers with hand-ground beef, brioche buns, house-made pickles and house-made mayonnaise. "Adams Morgan is a club venue for kiddies," he says. "Chinatown is a corporate, artificial environment of restaurants. We are going to be a destination for adults that want homegrown restaurants."

Over the next 24 months, Englert plans to open up to five more restaurants. In November, he'll launch the H Street Country Club, a multi-use space that will include a casual taqueria and a full-service Mexican restaurant run by a "brand-name" chef. For next spring, he plans a 95-seat red-sauce Italian restaurant with a garden where the chef will grow his own produce and herbs. In the basement will be a dessert bar that offers handmade chocolates, coffee and a rotating menu of 15 to 20 desserts priced between $6 and $10. By 2010, Englert wants to add a brick-oven pizzeria and a barbecue joint.

Englert has a track record of successful development; he helped revive U Street and the south side of Dupont Circle. His commitment, plus $35 million in city money to improve infrastructure and transportation, has encouraged other entrepreneurs, such as Frank Hankins, to come to the neighborhood.

Hankins, a longtime coffee lover and Capitol Hill resident, worked for nearly a decade as a financial consultant on K Street. "I saw what Joe Englert was doing down here, and I knew it was a matter of time before H Street became a real restaurant and eating destination," he says. In November, he opened Sova, a two-floor espresso bar with eclectic decor that includes chandeliers, a pressed-tin ceiling and stylishly mismatched furniture. The coffee is from Chicago roaster Intelligentsia, and the cappuccinos resemble the ones you'd get in Italy rather than at Starbucks.

Sova is busiest in the afternoon and evening. In April, Hankins turned part of the second floor into a wine bar, where he offers 17 wines by the glass priced at $7 to $10. This summer, he says, he will begin serving simple salads and sandwiches for lunch and small plates of cheese, charcuterie and other appetizers at the wine bar.

The promise of the neighborhood also drew in David Mazza, 29, and Casey Taylor Patten, 28, who plan to open Taylor, a gourmet Italian grocery, takeout and delivery business in mid-September. The shop will sell Italian sandwiches, salads and create-your-own pasta salads mixing pastina with ingredients such as grape tomatoes, red onion, gorgonzola and arugula. The grocery side will serve cured meats and cheeses, bread from Patten's home town of Philadelphia, olive oils, vinegars, pastas and 30 wines under $30.

As the neighborhood continues to develop, Patten plans to build business by offering delivery throughout much of Northeast and Northwest Washington. "Delivery is tough in D.C., so we want to make it available. There will be no $25 minimum on orders," Patten says. "There are a few hurdles in the area, but we wanted to get in while it's early and not expensive."

One of those hurdles is crime. This month, after a string of fatal shootings in Northeast, police set up a controversial checkpoint in the 1400 block of Montello Avenue in the Trinidad neighborhood. The checkpoint, now discontinued, was five blocks from the hub of the H Street strip.

Englert says the dangers in the neighborhood are exaggerated. "A lot of the fears are unwarranted. The street is not the most beautiful in the world, but it's going to get better and better." Nonetheless, he and other restaurateurs have decided to hire security officers. Two to four officers will patrol the blocks from 12th to 15th streets on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

So far, fears aren't keeping the crowds away. At Sticky Rice on a recent Thursday, almost every table was filled and general manager Eric Bruner-Yang had been pulled off the floor to help turn out the special: soft tofu topped with bonito flakes and vegan eel sauce. The dish was conceived after an employee accidentally ordered a case of soft tofu, rather than the hard stuff that goes in many of Sticky Rice's dishes. "We're figuring it out as we go along," Bruner-Yang said with a laugh. "But so far, so good."

Sticky Rice on MySpace

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Dream Bitches

Brendan Canning


Nik Freitas

The New Frontiers

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Soldier Thread

Yourself And The Air

Strawberry Whiplash

The Old Haunts


Sunday, June 22, 2008

iPod Shuffle giveaway: The Bridges

Limits To The Sky is the debut album from The Bridges and it was produced by legendary rocker Matthew Sweet. The band is currently rockin' around the country with Rooney (dates below), and I've got some iPod Shuffles (pre-loaded with The Bridges' disc) to give away to celebrate the tour. If you're feeling lucky, email me at 5actsblog at gmail dot com. I'll pick the winners in one week. Good luck!

06/22 - Variety Playhouse - Atlanta, GA
06/24 - Jackrabbits - Jacksonville, FL
06/25 - The State Theatre - St. Petersburg, FL
06/26 - House Of Blues - Orlando, FL
06/27 - Revolution - Ft. Lauderdale, FL
06/29 - The Parish @ House Of Blues - New Orleans, LA
07/01 - Workplay Theater - Birmingham, AL
07/02 - Juanita’s Cantina Ballroom - Little Rock, AR
07/03 - House Of Blues - Dallas, TX
07/05 - Emo’s - Austin, TX
07/07 - Launchpad - Albuquerque, NM
07/08 - Club Congress - Tuscon, AZ
07/09 - House Of Blues - San Diego, CA
07/10 - House Of Blues - Las Vegas, NV
07/13 - Hawthorne Theatre - Portland, OR
07/14 - Chop Suey - Seattle, WA
07/18 - House Of Blues - West Hollywood, CA
07/20 - House Of Blues - Anaheim, CA

The Bridges on MySpace

The Bridges on The Hype Machine

tonight at DC9: Sybris

I first saw Sybris play with Headlights in Chicago back in December and was instantly hooked. Tonight they're playing in between Poor But Sexy and Unwed Sailor at DC9. Doors opens at 8:30 and the show starts at 9:00.

Sybris on MySpace

Sybris on The Hype Machine

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Virgins - Private Affair

The Last Shadow Puppets - Standing Next To Me

Port O'Brien - I Woke Up Today

New Bloods - Doubles

The Kills - Last Day Of Magic

Friday, June 20, 2008

The Winter Club

Brighton, England

"But I'd never kissed a boy or a girl before."

"Mixtapes That Lucy Made"

The Winter Club on MySpace

The Winter Club on The Hype Machine

Now, Now Every Children


Columbus, OH

"So go ahead and leave. Go ahead and let me down."

"In Love With The Sound"

Rosehips on MySpace

Rosehips on The Hype Machine


Belfast, Northern Ireland

"It's not a good feeling."


Kowalski on MySpace

Kowalski on The Hype Machine


Hudson Valley, NY

"It didn't mean a thing. I didn't mean to turn you on."


Quitzow on MySpace

Quitzow on The Hype Machine

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Parachute Musical

Nashville, TN

Parachute Musical is having their record release show tonight in Nashville at Mercy Lounge and here locally on Saturday night at Rock & Roll Hotel. If you'd like a chance at winning a pair of tickets to the DC performance, email me at 5actsblog at gmail dot com with the title of their new album as the subject line.


Parachute Musical on MySpace

Parachute Musical on The Hype Machine


Twin Tigers


Love Parade

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Angel Pier



Royal Bangs

Morning State

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

vinyl giveaway: Verve Remixed 4

Whether you're a DJ or just pretend to be one at home, this is one compilation you're definitely going to want for your collection. I've got a vinyl copy of Verve Remixed 4 that I'd love to give away to someone worthy. If you'd like a chance at winning it, email me and let me know why I should pick you. I'll select a winner by Thursday. Good luck!

Love love love this Diplo remix of Marlena Shaw's "California Soul."

Marlena Shaw - California Soul (Diplo Remix)

Verve Remixed 4 Online

saturday: 9:30 Club

Saturday, June 21 - 9:30 Club - Blisspop presents...
- Special Disco Version DJ Set by Pat Mahoney (LCD Soundsystem)
- Will Eastman
- Chris Burns (Disco City)
- Live performances by The Dance Party and Wallpaper at 9pm

Sponsored by BrightestYoungThings.com
- Doors 9pm, $15
- All Ages
- Visuals by Kylos

WOXY.com Lounge Act: Mates Of State

Make sure to listen to WOXY.com today for a Lounge Act session from Mates Of State. It's the couple's first stop in to the Cincinnati studio so I'm exicted to hear material from their new album. Check it out at 1:00 pm ET.

Mates Of State on MySpace

Mates Of State on The Hype Machine

Monday, June 16, 2008

Said The Shark

Copenhagen, Denmark

So nice! Highly recommended if you enjoy soothing vocals from female artists like Chan Marshall (Cat Power).

"Shaky Heart"

Said The Shark on MySpace

Said The Shark on The Hype Machine


San Francisco, CA

I'm living and loving right now in San Francisco, but unfortunately Tartufi isn't playing while I'm here. Dang!

"Mourning's Wake"

Tartufi on MySpace

Tartufi on The Hype Machine

My Brightest Diamond

Brooklyn, NY

A Thousand Shark's Teeth is out tomorrow from Asthmatic Kitty.

"Inside A Boy"

My Brightest Diamond on MySpace

My Brightest Diamond on The Hype Machine

Crystal Stilts

Brooklyn, NY

It seemed like animal names were all the rage for a good while, but now apparently incorporating "crystal" into your band's name is the hot ticket!

"Converging In The Quiet"

Crystal Stilts on MySpace

Crystal Stilts on The Hype Machine

Wolf Parade

Montreal, QC

I waited the longest time to pop in the new disc from Wolf Parade, and I'm not sure why. I loved the first record so much, so maybe I was afraid of being disappointed. Only nine songs, but Spencer didn't let me down (Krug, not Pratt).

"Language City"

Wolf Parade on MySpace

Wolf Parade on The Hype Machine

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Muscles - The Lake

Ladyhawke - Paris Is Burning

Cut Copy - Hearts On Fire

The Tough Alliance - First Class Riot

The Presets - This Boy's In Love

Saturday, June 14, 2008

ticket giveaway: The M's

Polyvinyl recording superstars The M's are back with a great new album and a tour to support it. They're gracing the stage at Rock & Roll Hotel in DC on Wednesday evening. They'll be playing in between local band These United States and Centro-matic. If you'd like a shot at going to this one for free, email me and let me know why you deserve it. :-)

The M's on MySpace

The M's on The Hype Machine

Friday, June 13, 2008

ticket giveaway: Cryptacize

Cryptacize will be opening up for Shearwater at Black Cat here in DC on Sunday night. If you'd like a chance at winning a pair of tickets, email me at 5actsblog at gmail dot com with "Cryptacize" as the subject line. Doors open at 9pm and it's a backstage show.

Cryptacize on MySpace

Cryptacize on The Hype Machine

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Dead Leaf Echo

Joan Of Arc

Christa Couture


Laura Barrett

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Unicycle Loves You

Chicago, IL

Yesterday was a very important day for this Chicago crew. It marked the release of a debut record and the start of a tour for Unicycle Loves You. They'll be doing a Lounge Act tomorrow at 4:00 pm ET on WOXY.com and playing here locally at Velvet Lounge next week on the 16th. If you'd like a shot at winning two tickets to their DC show, email me with "unicycle" as the subject line. More tour dates below.

06/12 - WOXY.com Lounge Act
06/13 - Union Hall - Brooklyn, NY

06/14 - Pianos - New York, NY
06/16 - Velvet Lounge - Washington, DC
06/24 - Vaudeville Mews - Des Moines, IA
06/25 - The Picador - Iowa City, IA

"Highway Robbery"

Unicycle Loves You on MySpace

Unicycle Loves You on The Hype Machine

Imaginary Johnny

Brooklyn, NY

In case you missed Imaginary Johnny when they stopped by the WOXY.com studio earlier today, head over to the Lounge Act archives and listen to it anytime you want.

"It'll Burn"

Imaginary Johnny on MySpace

Imaginary Johnny on The Hype Machine

Molly Shannon, Molly Shannon

Seattle, WA

A ltitle bit kooky but a whole lotta fun. I'm not sure what happened to the Molly Shannon, Molly Shannon MySpace page, but it's no longer there! And their website is just bizarre as hell. Nonetheless, I highly recommend these guys and this track in particular if you liked the Atlas Sound album.

"Yvonne Craig"

Molly Shannon, Molly Shannon on The Hype Machine

Hot Box

Cambridge, MA

For all you lovers of girrrrl rock! Who cares that the drummer is a dude, right? Check out hot live dates for Hot Box below.

06/23 - Charlie’s Kitchen - Cambridge, MA
07/12 - Small’s - Detroit, MI
07/13 - The Orphanage - Chicago, IL
07/14 - Nottingham Coop - Madison, WI
07/15 - The Way Out - St. Louis, MO
07/16 - Bear’s Place - Bloomington, IN
07/17 - Pearl Nite Club - Dayton, Ohio
07/18 - The Knitting Factory - New York, NY
07/19 - Trash Bar - Brooklyn, NY
07/21 - Club Hell - Providence, RI
07/23 - Great Scott - Allston, MA
08/22 - TT the Bear’s - Cambridge, MA
08/28 - Sierre Grill - Northampton, MA

"Twin Falls"

Hot Box on MySpace

Hot Box on The Hype Machine

Joseph Arthur

Brooklyn, NY

Apparently in 2008 Joseph Arthur thinks he's Ryan Adams or Robert Pollard. Vagabond Skies is the third EP to come out in prelude to his full-length in September.

"Pretty Good Company"

Joseph Arthur on MySpace

Joseph Arthur on The Hype Machine

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Butcher The Bar

Rotherham / Manchester, England

Joel Nicholson: my favorite solo artist this year. Sleep At Your Own Speed is available now, and I highly recommend Butcher The Bar if you're a fan of Owen or Iron And Wine.

"Get Away"

Butcher The Bar on MySpace

Butcher The Bar on The Hype Machine