Monday, November 12, 2012

Downed City Rise

Getting to grow up in the Washington, D.C. punk and indie scene in the 1990s was an incredible privilege. I went to my my first proper punk show in the spring of 1992 (Fugazi, L7, and Bikini Kill at the Sanctuary Theater) and things went up from there. I went to my first club show in the spring of 1993, seeing The High-Back Chairs and Manifesto at the 9:30 Club. The Black Cat wasn't open yet (they emerged later that year), so it was hard to get into clubs to see shows if you were underage. The shows that Positive Force put on were, and still are, vital ways for people of all ages to hear new and challenging music. I'll always be grateful to them for the work they've done and continue to do.

For whatever reason, I saved many of the fliers and setlists and various ephemera from shows that I went to (or wanted to go to) throughout the 1990s. For a long time, I'd been meaning to digitize the fliers and now I've finally started to work on that (with some help from two grad school classmates). I'm posting images of the materials at I add something new every couple of days. Once I finish digitizing my own collection, I hope to do the same for the stuff that other friends saved ... though I suppose I'll worry about that when I'm done with my own collection.

Not everything has aged very well from that musical period, but there is still plenty of D.C. music from the 1990s that stands up and remains exciting -- Fugazi, The Nation Of Ulysses, Tsunami, Hoover, Velocity Girl, Jawbox, Cupid Car Club, Unrest, and others. I like the idea of people finding out about some of this music and I hope that if you come across a band name that you're unfamiliar with, you might track down some of their music. There was so much going on at that time and much of it isn't really represented online, so I hope this is one small step toward rectifying that.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

A sort of quiet 2012

Hi everyone. Just wanted to let you know that, despite the relatively quiet year for Title Tracks, all is still active here. It's been a really busy year for me, personally, as I'm finishing up my Masters degree in Library and Information Science and I became a father this year. So, music has had to take more of a back seat this year than it has in a very long time for me. It's been good to take a bit of a break, though, to really realize how exciting and special music is and how fortunate I have been to get to work with so many great people and see so many places. I'm eager to get back to it in 2013.

That's not to say that I haven't been working on music at all in 2012. Chris Richards (my old Q And Not U bandmate) and I have a new project called Paint Branch and we'll be releasing our first full-length record to digital outlets (only digital, as of now) in 2013. It's very different from anything either of us have done before. We'll be talking more about all of it very soon.

I've been working on Title Tracks projects, too. Last year, I thought that it might be cool to record all of the different covers that Title Tracks has played at shows over the past few years. We've done everything from Otis Redding's "Security" to The Wipers' "Telepathic Love" to 3's "Swann Street" to The Merseybeats' "I Stand Accused" and on and on. I've been working on recording all of those over the past year and should finish that project up soon and I hope to release it for free online in 2013.

The project inspired me to do the same thing for all of the different acoustic songs I've played at solo shows or at various events where I had the chance to play quieter tunes. From Richard and Linda Thompson's "Withered and Died" to The Louvin Brothers' "Alabama" to Buck Owens' "Loose Talk," etc. I've recorded a bunch of those songs, too, and I hope to get them out for people to hear next year. It's just a fun thing to let people hear Title Tracks' take on some of those great songs. As release plans for all of those projects come together, I'll post news.

There won't be any other shows in 2012, but both Title Tracks and Paint Branch will be playing shows in 2013 and I'm really looking forward to getting back out there again. See you soon. - John