Entertainment, Interviews, Music, People, The Features, We Love Music

Q&A with Electric Guest

photo courtesy of Electric Guest

I have been a fan of Matthew Compton for probably fourteen years now. (When I first knew him, and until recently, I knew him as “Cornbread”, but he now goes by Matthew.) I saw his band Engine Down play house shows when I was first at James Madison University, and from the first time seeing them, his hypnotic and powerful drumming captivated me and really stood out. In subsequent years I got to know and became friends (and housemates for a couple years) with Matthew, and my admiration has only ever grown. He’s a creative force to be reckoned with, and has always had this amazing drive and ambition, with whatever he’s doing , but especially music. On top of that, he has a super, ever-present sense of humor.  It’s hard to interact with him and not laugh.

So…I reconnected with Matthew about a year ago, after losing touch for some time. He was living in LA, and told me he was working on a new project, a band called Electric Guest, with a musician friend named Asa Taccone. Singer Asa Taccone is a driven creative force as well- his musical accomplishments include writing for TV (see: Family Guy episode “Hot Tub of Love”) and contributing/collaborating with comedy group The Lonely Island (of which his brother Jorma is a member.) Asa wrote the hilarious holiday classic “Dick In a Box“, performed by Justin Timberlake and Andy Samberg on SNL. Last summer the band only had a couple songs up on a bandcamp website for public ears, but upon first listen I loved it. It is a far cry from the brooding, post-hardcore Engine Down music. Electric Guest’s songs are soul-tinged, sunny, groovy, lighter, but inspired.

Since then the duo has been on fire- they played some super shows at last fall’s CMJ, have been touring the US and Europe, have a full-length album that came out last week, produced by Danger Mouse (a long-time friend of Taccone’s), stormed SXSW, and are charging full-steam ahead into the summer touring and gearing up for festival season. They’ll be making a stop in DC on Saturday, May 5th at the Rock and Roll Hotel. Amidst their super-busy tour schedule they were kind enough to answer a few questions for the We Love DC readers. Continue reading

Entertainment, Music, The Features, We Love Music

Top Tunes of 2011 According to The Torches

The Torches

Here at We Love DC we were asked to do a roundup of the year in some way, and so I decided to ask my bandmates in The Torches for some help picking some favorite tunes from 2011. The Torches are Stephen Guidry on vocals/banjo, Joe Barbee on accordion, harmonica and hollering, Jocelyn Frank on oboe/vocals, Tina Plottel on bass, Thomas Orgren on drums/vocals, Claire White on violin, and Alexia Kauffman (me) on cello/lap-steel guitar.

Stephen: JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound “To Love Someone (That Don’t Love You)”: technically came out as a single last year but then was released on their album this year, which I haven’t heard all of yet. Best falsetto of the year for sure.

Slim Cessna’s Auto Club: Unentitled: This is the entire album, as it’s just a bit too hard to pick out just one song from their records that I like in particular. Munly and Slim’s voices together give me similar chills to John Doe and Exene’s.

Brass Bed has an album with Feu Follett, the only indie pop/cajun split EP that I have ever heard, and although I am dear friends with the Brass Bed boys, I have to admit that my favorite track from the album is from Feu Follett, playing Brass Bed’s “Farmer Song,” probably cause it’s got accordion. Continue reading