Cool DC Events: NPR’s Screening a Punk Doc

The impact of Dischord Records and its surrounding miniverse of hardcore and post-hardcore punk is enormous, and its influence is still felt today in D.C. and everywhere. For alternative music fans living in our nation’s capital, it is nearly a ritual to glorify D.C.’s past as a hotbed for a thriving, groundbreaking punk scene.

The latest artifact of this culture has surfaced in an in-depth documentary on the old scene, entitled “Salad Days: A Decade of Punk in Washington, DC (1980-90).” Created by Scott Crawford, a zine publisher-turned-documentarian, the 90 minute film combines unique vintage concert footage with current-day interviews.

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In a great tip of the hat to the scene of old, NPR Music will be hosting a screening of this documentary in its DC office. According to their blog, Scott Crawford will appear after the screening on a panel along with Jim Saah, the film’s director of photography, as well as veteran DC punk Brian Baker (Minor Threat, Bad Religion) and moderated by Ally Schweitzer of WAMU.

The event is on Tuesday, May 5 at 7pm. Unfortunately, it’s already been fully sold out, but hopefully you know someone who can get you in! Otherwise, don’t fret. The Library has your back. Come by and ask about our great (and still building) collection of DC punk classic CDs and DVDs! You can celebrate the rich punk legacy of our city here with us.

AU Musical Events: The Antlers with Boon, 4/18

S-A,T-U-R, D-A-Y, hey! What are you doing this Saturday night, readers? Let me tell you exactly what.

You will, if you know what’s up, be attending WVAU’s spring concert! For those who don’t know, WVAU is American University’s very own student-run radio station. They broadcast from MGC and hold awesome campus events like this one. Also, they are the current holder of CMJ (College Music Journal)’s award for #1 student-run, internet-only radio station. Anyways they put on a decent-size concert every semester, highlighting artists from the world of independent music, in a series called “Capitol Punishment.”

This semester’s show features the Antlers, an indie rock band known for their deeply emotional and atmospheric style. Frontman Peter Silberman released solo projects under the name until 2009’s Hospice, the first full-band album by the Antlers, which garnered huge amounts of critical praise and devotion from fans for its intensely sad content and powerful sound. 2011’s sophomore album Burst Apart cooled the emotional jets (just a little) and added some more atmosphere, again very successful. On 2012’s Undersea EP and last year’s third album Familiars, the band have proven themselves to be experts in sonic texture, blending enormous atmospheres of guitar pedals and melancholy brass with beautiful melodies in a sweeping, nearly post-rock style. Their performance is sure to be hypnotic and moving.

Opening for them will be a group of AU students going by Boon (full disclosure: I am in Boon). This four-piece, composed of AU seniors Brendan Principato, Drew Sher, Luke Ramsey and myself, alternates dynamic, energetic tempos with more spacious instrumentals. At least I like to think so. Listen to Boon’s debut EP here!

And with a poster this cool, you know the event is going to rule!

The show begins tomorrow night at 8:30 in the SIS Founder’s room (which surprisingly can sustain a great concert!). It is free with AU ID, closed to the public, so no 30 year-old Tinder dates allowed. But that’s okay, because you will be able to cry out your loneliness in a room filled with feeling friends, all enjoying the beautiful music together in arms. See you there!

P.S. Here’s the facebook event.

AU Musical Events: The Music of Steve Antosca

Events, events, events! AU’s Dept. of Performing Arts sure knows how to end a semester. This weekend brings several events, which I will further cover this week. The first comes this Friday night: AU Workshop’s Spring Concert. Led by saxophonist and AU musician in residence Noah Getz, AU Workshop is a large ensemble that plays in whatever genre or style they feel like in the moment, often meshing popular music with jazz and avant-garde style.

Titled “The Music of Steve Antosca,” this is the latest in the Workshop’s “Living Composers Series” which highlights, well, living composers. Steve Antosca is a D.C.-based composer who blends live instrumentation with electronic processing to create improvisatory technological soundscapes. According to the facebook page for this event, his work has been described as “spectacular and wonderfully provocative” by the Washington Post. Side note: this guy taught me as an adjunct prof during my first ATEC class here at AU.

Back to the topic at hand, this should be a really exciting event! It’ll be cool to hear the ways that our student musicians adapt to the strange and adventurous compositional style of Antosca’s works.

The event will be this Friday (April 17) at 8pm, in the Abramson Family Recital hall in Katzen. Come to hear the very reverberant walls echo with warped instruments and space sounds!

AU Musical Events: A Blast of Brass, 4/11-12

Boy, do I love spring in the AU Department of Performing Arts. It seems as if every new day brings a new performance or event, which means fun and easy blog content! But actually, it is great to walk around Katzen knowing I’ll probably run in on some concert or other. It’s an exciting artistic environment!

As you all know, tonight is our AU Jazz Orchestra’s spring concert, sure to be a wild time, but do you think our performing arts students and faculty will take the weekend off afterwards? No way! Instead, AU’s Chamber Singers are partnering up with the Rockville Brass Band to bring you “A Blast of Brass!” on both Saturday and Sunday.

Led, respectively, by our own Dan Abraham and the appropriately-named Nigel Horne, these two ensembles will join in a rendition of John Rutter’s “Gloria,” as well as traditional British Brass Band works by Eric Ball, Peter Graham and Richard Strauss. What a sturdy trio of names.

The events will occur at 8pm tomorrow and 3pm on Sunday afternoon, both in the Abramson Recital Hall in Katzen. Tickets are $10 for the general public and $5 for AU community members and seniors. RSVP for the facebook event, and find tickets here!

AU Musical Events: Spring Jazz Concert, 4/10

That’s right! AU’s formidable jazz orchestra/ensemble/band is putting on their renowned semesterly show THIS Friday! Led by the musical legend Joshua Bayer, this student/community group will bring their best in a nice (thunderstorm-ridden) spring night of jazz!

The band, including a VERY TALENTED drummer (me), will play through a set full of classic swing and bop tunes, spiced up with a couple of latin and funk numbers, and one student arrangement of a Joe Sample piece. Also playing will be the Frederick Community College Jazz Ensemble, and possibly a combo comprised of AU students as well!

Formally titled the “AU Jazz Orchestra Spring Swing Fling” (what a mouthful!), the event will be at 8pm in the Abramson Family Recital Hall. Tickets are $5 for students and community members, $10 for the general public.

Here’s the facebook event, and you can buy tickets here. Hope to see you there!

Four CD’s of Beauty and Wonder

Howdy loyal patrons, friends, enemies, and all other readers who don’t fall into those categories!

We have four new exciting CD’s in for your perusing benefit!

Intimate Letters – Juilliard String Quartet – CD 10394

Hanson Conducts Hanson – Howard Hanson – CD 10395

Toward the Unknown Region – Vaughan Williams – CD 10396

Sprung Rhythm – Inscape – CD 10397

Come by and check them out!

Also, the Hanson and the Vaughan Williams are on reserve since the AU Symphony Orchestra will be performing selections included on these discs on April 24th and 25th.

AU Musical Events: AUSG SUB presents Run The Jewels, TONITE

Looking to turn up to some non-stupid music? Tonight is your night, my friend. AUSG’s Student Union Board is bringing none other than hip hop power duo Run The Jewels to AU!

Run The Jewels is the collaborative project of Atlanta rapper Killer Mike and New York rapper/producer El-P. Both are rap lifers, having been in the game for decades. Mike has stunned for years with appearances on Outkast & Dungeon Family joints. El-P, meanwhile, was central in the New York Definitive Jux label and its scene, producing beloved records by Company Flow, Cannibal Ox, Aesop Rock, and more. Both also boast a long string of successful and critically acclaimed solo albums.

Arguably more important than their legacies, however, are the moves the duo is still making to push hip hop forward as a musical form. Last year their second album, simply titled Run The Jewels 2, exploded onto the scene in an otherwise dry year for rap with a dream combo of lush but hard beats and a nasty attitude. The pair, boasting their best rapping chops, flow over El-P’s jagged beats with an intensity that it feels like they’ve waited their whole careers to unleash. Relentless touring, a steady output of videos, as well as goofy online asides like the Meow The Jewels project, have kept them in the public’s mind since this great album lapped up all the critical praise in 2014.

Opening for the duo is none other than classic comedy rap superhero Biz Markie. Known as the “Clown Prince of Hip Hop,” Biz made a name for himself in the ’80s with his goofy style. Whether you’re a hardcore Biz fan or just want to sing along with “Just A Friend” while you wait for the main act, he’s sure to pump up the party.

Don’t miss it, it’s sure to be an awesome time. Plus the music will be great! The event is tonight in the Tavern at 8. Free admission with your AU ID. This event is AU only so sadly your baby brother can’t come to this one, but that’s okay, you won’t want to share this experience with anybody!

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Get there early, because it’s going to fill up fast!