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 Stereogum, Tiny 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 TapesTapes 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 three DZ gigs going down 24 hours prior to my departure:
Thursday, September 8 at The Lilly Trotter Tea Lounge
Donovan Wolfington, Caddywhompus, and Dove Lady
(click here to RSVP)
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)
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." - PitchforkFor 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).
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~ ♥