8.25.2016

gig bag

After an amazing few months, the summer is coming to a close. But not before we take a moment to shed some light on some of the things that have helped to make this the hottest season on record for us here at DZ HQ. And now without further adieu, your last day of summer camp update:

First up on the docket I am proud to announce the release of the latest work from the always entertaining (and sometimes bemusing), the one and only Sitcom from Baltimore.


Since its digital release earlier this year, "Gig Bag" has already received some kind press from the likes of StereogumTiny Mix Tapes, and GoldFlakePaint, and is available now for the first time on professionally dubbed pink cassettes with five-page liner in a limited run of 100.
"those who keep a keen eye on the U.S bedroom-pop scene will probably be aware of Jake Lazovick’s talent; one of those precocious, prolific acts that the country seems to have an abundance of, now and forever... there’s certainly a buried strain of implacable magic to his work, the kind of half-buried feeling you’re unsure of where it came from, or where it belongs, but which constantly tugs at you from the very heart of his weirdly wonderful songs. The new record does this from the outset." - GoldFlakePaint 
"Jake Lazovick’s latest album under his Sitcom moniker sounds like both his loneliest and most accomplished to date. Gig Bag feels like a largely solitary endeavor — with only background vocals from Joanna Smith occasionally penetrating the fold — but it’s never alienating. In fact, most of these songs sound like they’re begging for connection, yearning and presumptively hopeful... Lazovick makes muted pop songs for small spaces, insular notes that appeal to the introvert in all of us." - Stereogum 
"What on this surface of his live shows looks like flailing sketch of 101 Things to Learn in Art School, Lazovick’s worked his way into downtempo and house-influenced dance jamz with an oblique awareness of the performative body, the manic space between smile and frown, the body as DIY punchline. I guess it’s appropriate that the project’s been known as “Sitcom;” Lazovick’s performance feels like the taut ethos of a Seinfeld or Friends episode without the laugh track, a hit or miss confidence that’s probably essential these days in performance. Like Phil Elverum’s more stream of conscious efforts turned Demetri Martin one-liners (with maybe a dash of the Wiggles), Lazovick combats the roaring chaos of punk with a fearless gesture, a wonky boom-bap, an uneasy chuckle from the back of the room." - Tiny Mix Tapes
Tapes will start shipping early next month and your first chance to pick one up in person will be on September 7 at The Crown in Baltimore when Sitcom plays with Outer Spaces and Gun Outfit (more info can be found here).

Moving along to some more news that gives me the windows-down breeze-in-your-hair feeling that could only come from a stretch on the old American highway system, both Big Hush and Wildhoney are prepping to hit the road and take the country by storm before the next ice age sends us the way of the mastodons.

  

Big Hush will be putting the pedal to the metal starting this weekend, so keep up with the band and find out where they're playing in your town by clicking the tour poster above.

And as if I weren't already the luckiest boy in the world, I'm thrilled to say that I will be accompanying Wildhoney on their trek in support of Cymbals Eat Guitars and Field Mouse starting mid-September! Needless to say, I'm overwhelmingly excited to join my friends on their nationwide tour, so check out the dates above and come chat me up at the merch booth, where I'll have the full DZ distro on display and freshly pressed copies of the band's new "Continental Drift" 4-way split vinyl with The Spook School, Mercury Girls, and Tigercats from Slumberland Records which premiered on BrooklynVegan earlier this week (listen here).

But before hopping in the van, there's two DZ gigs going down 24 hours prior to my departure:

Saturday, September 17 at The Lilly Trotter Tea Lounge
Hovvdy, Yours Are The Only Ears, and Airhead DC
(click flyer to RSVP)


Sunday, September 18 at Hole In The Sky
Escape From DC Brunch XV: Yohuna, Cat Be Damned, and Slip Disco
(click flyer to RSVP)


Like there weren't already enough awesome things happening in this post, here's a brief recap of some of the more spectacular moments since the last update:

Half Waif was featured on the Best New Track section of Pitchfork, who had this to say about one of my favorite tracks from the record:
"Plunkett’s beautifully ornamented melodies—intricately woven, as if using harmonies to climb into the sky—recall Judee Sill’s flanged poise, or more so, the New Age webbings of Enya. Still, grounding the glassy “Turn Me Around” is a searing double-dutch beat that points square at pop radio. The music contains dark shadows as well as sugar—were you to text this Bandcamp link to a friend, the most appropriate emoji pairing might be a crystal ball and a lollipop." - Pitchfork
For more personal insight on the album, check out this recent interview Nandi did with The Village Voice, where she talks about blending analog atmospheres and digital recordings, her musical influences growing up, and more.

Down south, DZ alum Adam Torres has been prepping for the release of his upcoming album "Pearls To Swine" on Fat Possum Records, and the folks over at NPR have been keeping the new tracks on repeat. Just earlier this week, they featured "High Lonesome" on their Heavy Rotation feature, and last month they premiered the video for "Juniper Arms" which you can watch below:


Last month's half-decade celebration was a stellar success, featuring nine incredible bands playing to a packed crowd and enough free seltzer and ice cream to keep everyone sweet and bubbly the whole night through. The folks from Femchord used the chance to record an interview with Mal Devisa (which you can listen to here), Melted Magazine took some time to chat with Swings (which you can read here), and Julia Leiby took some intimate performance photos (some of which are below, the rest you can see here).

Mal Devisa

Dove Lady

Middle Part

Leapling

Before signing off, I want to send my love and gratitude to all the bands and friends who came together to make the anniversary show the most infinitely special time I've had all my years at the helm of this rinky-dink operation, and I'm impossibly grateful for all the support you all have shown me for the past five years. Cheers to ever-growing friendships and more marvelous music for many years to come~ ♥

6.30.2016

cinco años

Funny how fast the time flies when you're having fun. Almost five years ago our first release came out, and now it's time to take a moment to look back and celebrate...

Saturday, July 9 at Hole In The Sky DC
DZ TAPES 5 year anniversary ft.
(click flyer to RSVP or visit tiny.cc/dz5yr)


Special shout-out to everyone who's helped things progress to this point, and special thanks to Mike from Red Table Press for the absolutely gorgeous 5-layer glow-in-the-dark silkscreen poster design above - prints are limited to a small run of 10 and will only be available at the show, which will also be featuring a visual retrospective of photos and posters by Chris Suspect, Michael Andrade, Alex SchelldorfLA Johnson, Sean Berg, JD Deardourff, and more.

~

Elsewhere in the DZ universe, Half Waif has kicked off their full national tour with Pinegrove (full list of shows can be found here) and is somehow still able to put out some quality content for the music community near and far. Just take the following examples:

- A dazzling new track exclusively appearing on the "afterthoughts" mixtape by minikin, a benefit for We Make Noise, an organization that makes music accessible for underprivileged youth in Brooklyn.



- A contribution to the "Forever Beautiful" compilation, serving to benefit the victims of the Pulse shooting as part of the OneOrlando Fund as a symbol of solidarity as the city rebuilds.


- A solo performance of "Overthrown" by Nandi captured on video by Chiu Productions.


Meanwhile, our old friend Adam Torres is gearing up for the release of his upcoming full-length album on Fat Possum Records, and has dropped two new singles recently. Check out "Outlands" on NPR's All Songs Considered and "High Lonesome" below, premiered by Stereogum:



We've also restocked both Big Hush releases by request, with second pressings available in limited quantities in the merch store:


Lastly, those of you in Tokyo can look forward to seeing some of our latest releases available to touch and feel with your hands and ears at Tape School. Many thanks to Gejio and the kind folks there for their continued support of our little operation and many others just like it~

5.30.2016

probable depths

With their new album "Probable Depths" released into the wild earlier this month (and streaming below), Half Waif is gearing up for an eventful summer, and the previously mentioned plans are just the beginning...


Starting late June the band will join Pinegrove and SPORTS on a full nationwide tour, spanning two coasts, two countries, more than 25 shows, and over a month on the road (click the poster above or here for full details).



So far the likes of GoldFlakePaint, The Revue, The Deli, and Brooklyn Vegan (who premiered the album earlier this month) have all had some lovely things to say...
“Combining pop sensibilities with the classical textures of violins and twinkling pianos, Brooklyn’s beguiling trio, Half Waif, sends un on a dazzling journey in her album Probable Depths… With swelling vocals, billowing synths, and blinking electronic melodies that lull us into a dream, the album is both achingly private and daringly open, as if each song was a stolen glance into Plunkett’s sonic world, each painting an acutely fine and deliberate stroke of her emotive life. A mellifluous pirouette of musical resplendence.” - The Deli Magazine

“what the full ‘Probable Depths‘ LP does is to throw its arms fully around the listener, not to tease you with the world itself depicts but to invite you all the way in and ask you to stay awhile, until what once felt distant and perplexing feels beautifully nuanced, a lush, vibrant, world, fierce with fire and fervour, that, over time and repeated visits, end up cozying up in, without the smallest intention of leaving.” - GoldFlakePaint

“Bjork’s got this feel, so does St. Vincent, but Chairlift’s Caroline Polachek is my favorite comparison. She and Plunkett share the stirring ability to mix clarity with out-there samples, pop-worthy hooks with Advanced Music Theory-final-thesis-worthy composition and finish it all with an ethereal, bleeding poetic sense.” - The Revue
“if you’re at all a fan of the type of pop artists that have a foot in the modern classical world, you should check this out. “Nest” has more than a few hints of Julia Holter, while most of the album is up a more similar alley to My Brightest Diamond/early Sufjan/etc. The whole eight-song thing is a great listen” - BrooklynVegan
And if that's not enough for you, check out the music video for "Nest" on DIY Mag and the band's full live set from a recent visit to the studio at WPIR Pratt Radio.

* * *

In other exciting new from DZ HQ, the next two tapes will be out next month, both very special rereleases for longtime friends of the label Wildhoney.

On their 2015 LP "Sleep Through It" (Deranged Records), the band proved themselves masters of creating a cohesive, yet diverse, full-length set of songs that left the listener wanting more. Critics noted the band's thoughtfulness and attention to dynamic.

In the other corner are "The Forgotten Works", the two EPs that started it all - a self-titled release (Nostalgium Directive) that showed off the band's heavy punk influences and first nervous forays into pop, and “Seventeen Forever” (Photobooth Records) on which the group advanced bravely forward, refining their sound and highlighting their catchy vocal melodies.



Meanwhile, a very special DZ alum Adam Torres has signed with Fat Possum Records for the release of his upcoming record due out in the fall! Adam and his band have a string of dates lined up in early June, check the full announcement here for the full schedule. 

Lastly, the 14th installment of Escape From DC Brunch is going down June 12 at Hole In The Sky, come BYOBrunch at enjoy a sunny afternoon of friendly vibes and groovy jives with Sitcom, Beverly Tender, and the new Poppy Patica full band lineup (click flyer for details):


I'm sure there's a few other things I've forgotten to post about with all the excitement boiling over in this post, so stay tuned for more updates on upcoming changes to boogie down~