grip the greats

Packing up all your belongings and moving to another place makes for a great time to reflect on where you've been and where you're going. When thinking about my favorite music from this past year, I ran into trouble trying to narrow down the myriad choices of fantastic releases from 2014. But during the process of transitioning my record collection from its Ikea Expedit shelving unit into milk crates I came to the conclusion that showcasing the albums I loved so much that I actually forked over cash for them is more in line with the spirit of what music means to me. So without further adieu here's my list, complete with pictures and in no particular order:

My 10 Favorite 2014 Records & Tapes That I Actually Bought

Spray Paint "Clean Blood, Regular Acid" (Monofonus Press)

Alex G "DSU" (Orchid Tapes)

Two Inch Astronaut "Foulbrood" (Exploding In Sound Records)

Angel Olsen "Burn Your Fire For No Witness" (Jagjaguwar)

Blank Realm "Grassed Inn" (Fire Records)

Tonstartssbandht "Overseas" 2xLP (Company Etc)

Mannequin Pussy "Gypsy Pervert" (Tiny Engines)

Ricky Eat Acid "Three Love Songs" (Orchid Tapes)

Thee Oh Sees "Drop" (Castle Face Records)

Big Ups "Eighteen Hours Of Static" (Dead Labour)

Best Witches "Tour Tape" (Self-Released)
Jon McCallum "Surf Nazis Must Die" OST (Strange Disc Records)
Dura "Silver/Lawns" (Wounded Knife Records)
Pinkwash "Your Cure Your Soil" (Sister Polygon Records)
The Beds "Ride Again" (Ranch Records)
The Effects "Blister b/w Old Soul" (Self-Released) 
Parasol "Not There" (Lost Sound Tapes)
Jerry Paper / Andy Boay "Jerry Paper / Andy Boay" Split (Hausu Mountain)
The Rebel "The Shingles Collection" 2xCS (Monofonus Press)
Olive Drab "The Big Sleep" (Bird Tapes)

Before signing off, I'd like to thank the Washington City Paper for their nod to Big Hush, including the Wholes EP on their list of The Best Local Albums of 2014. Lastly, there were a lot of great releases I haven't bought yet and therefore could not include on this list, but one final shout out goes to all the independent artists and labels for making my world a much more enjoyable place. Cheers to another year of great music. ♥ Brett


moving on

2014 is coming to an end, but not without a few more events to close out what's been a momentous year of music in the DC DIY scene. Check out the details below and click the flyers to RSVP.

First up is an In It Together Fest promotional event on Saturday, December 27 at The Pinch, featuring Meridian, Two Inch Astronaut, Polyon, Boardroom Heroes, and Collapser (playing their last show ever, purportedly). Join us for a brief retrospective and a look ahead to the fest's next iteration.

Then on Sunday, December 28, Big Hush will be joining Chain & The Gang and Qualms (first show!) at Comet Ping Pong. Come out to catch the good vibes, and peep this shining review of the Wholes EP by GoldFlakePaint to get you in the groovy mood.

"From full on shoegaze sustain to amplified campfire folk, Big Hush’s repertoire to date maps out a clear path of progression to their newest collection of songs...The four tracks featured on Wholes blend the delicate with the overwhelming. The soft-nurtured vocal expressions combined with guitar tones that can cry, sing and growl all at once make for the most affecting noise-pop you’re likely to hear any time soon." – GoldFlakePaint
And for those of you in Austin, Adam Torres is back home and playing one final show at Studium on Sunday, December 28 with Abram Shook.

Before I sign off, I'd like to say a quick thanks to Ground Floor Go for their shout out and inclusion of The Sweets Greatest Hits album as one of their Top 10 Cassettes of 2014! There's already a few things in the work for next year, so keep your eyes and ears open for more from DZ TAPES in 2015.



I'm happy to report the Two Inch Astronaut 'Foulbrood' release show may have been the best gig I've gotten to put on at the Dougout. From top to bottom all the bands were amazing, and I was lucky enough to get some halfway decent recordings of each set as part of a new project I've been working on to archive DC's DIY live music scene. While most of the recordings won't be made available just yet, I'm thrilled to share one - the first ever Mannequin Pussy acoustic set! Marisa was kind enough to sit down and play three MP tracks and one brand new song from her upcoming solo debut. Special thanks to WMUC for their help in making this happen. Take an advance listen to the set below, check the soundcloud page for the track list, and tune in to WMUC radio Sunday at 6pm ET for this and some great live music from Au RevoirWish List, and Go Cozy on Third Rail.

Another huge shout out to Big Ups, Washer, and Jail Solidarity, plus a huge CONGRATULATIONS to Sam, Andy and Matt on the album release! We were also blessed to have Mike from Red Table Press design and screenprint a limited run of this awesome glow-in-the-dark gig poster below.

Two Inch Astronaut (courtesy of Nicole)

Mannequin Pussy (courtesy of Alex)

Big Ups (courtesy of Alex)

Washer (courtesy of Alex)

Jail Solidarity (courtesy of Alex)

On a more somber note, it’s with a heavy heart I announce that starting in 2015, I will no longer be living at The Dougout. Nearly three years have passed since the mates and I moved in and began hosting DIY shows, and now the time has come for me to make my next move. This place has been so much more than a home to me and I’ll cherish the memories made in this house for the rest of my days.

It was here that I first planted my roots as a resident of the District, forged immeasurable bonds with two awesome amigos, made countless new friends (and reunited with ones from days long ago), showcased an unbelievable number of immensely talented musicians, hosted my first DZ TAPES cassette release show, helped plan and put on the first ever In It Together Fest, cared for four different beautiful animals (and accidentally killed even more innocent plants), and learned more about myself than I’d ever thought I would.

While I will be making my departure at the end of this month, the spirit of The Dougout will live on through Geoff, Marshall and … You, perhaps (or someone you know)?

Let this post serve as a call to anyone who’s ever dreamed of living in a DIY punk house in Washington, DC. The rent is cheap, there’s space aplenty, and many more awesome shows to be put on. If you or anyone you know might be interested in taking my spot, please check out this Craigslist posting to get the conversation started. The new housemate should be ready to move in on January 1.

As for me, this is certainly not the end of my time booking shows in DC, so be on the lookout for more live events in the near future.