Tuesday, April 20, 2010


It's true, we've left Blogspot and upgraded to our own domain and updated our layout! To help kick off out new website (which will still feature all of the previous articles) we will be featuring a press release of "The Climate Rally" on the national mall featuring Sting, John Legend, The Roots, Jimmy Cliff, Passion Pit, Bob Weir, Willie Colón, Joss Stone, Robert Randolph, Patrick Stump, Mavis Staples, Booker T, Honor Society and Tao Rodriguez-Seeger! (What an awesome lineup!)

But without further adieu, check out The Pulse at http://thepulsezine.com/

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Local Grind

Here's another episode of The Local Grind featuring new shows, movies, and more.

Baltimore hardcore band Trapped Under Ice released their newest music video for their single "Belive" today. View it below:

Rockville based band Hotspur headlined a show at Rams Head Live in Baltimore with support from The Dangerous Summer and Victory By Revenge. Photos can be viewed at http://www.flickr.com/photos/alenamoran/. The Disco Biscuits will be performing a show tomorrow 4/20/10 at the 9:30 Club. Make sure you get your tickets tonight and look out for a show recap in the next couple of days. Wednesday's ODDSAC showing at the AFI Silver in Silver Spring will feature special guests (and directors) Animal Collective! That's all for our daily local dose.

Our reccomended shows for the next few weeks are as follow:
  • Amanda Blank, Ninjasonic (4/24) @RocknRoll Hotel
  • Bamboozle Festival 2010 (5/1, 5/2) - Although show is in New Jersey, the lineup for the two days has really matured over the years. Headliners for the two days include Paramore, Weezer, Drake, MGMT, and more! Visit http://www.thebamboozle.com
  • Angels & Airwaves, Say Anything (5/6) @9:30 Club
  • Carolina Liar (5/9) @The Recher
  • Dierks Bentley (5/19) @Rams Head Live
  • Butch Walker (5/21) @The Recher
  • Flyleaf (5/25) @9:30 Club
Keep checking back each day to hear more about the local music scene!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Florence and the Machine Rock the USA

Florence and the Machine just might have as much "flo" as Flo Rida himself. Making their first appearance in Washington D.C., British indie/experimental band Florence and the Machine (F+M) stopped by the 9:30 Club to play a show with co-headliners The Temper Trap and opening band Kissaway Trail. Vocalist Florence Welch has started a whirlwind with her eclectic fashion sense, avante-garde musical taste, and her dancing and theatrical performance. Her backing band, known as The Machine, currently features Robert Ackroyd on guitar, Chris Hayden on drums, Isabella Summers (a.k.a. "Machine") on keyboard and Tom Monger on harp. The group recently released their debut album "Lungs" on Island Records UK. They will also be playing Coachella this summer before traveling back to Europe for a summer European tour.

F+M made a smashing first impression on our nation's capital, performing a full length set and a double encore. The band in fact does tour with their entire "Harp setup" including a full size harp, MPC, foot pedals, and an Abelton Live setup. Additionally, Welch contributes her own percussive sound using a floral decorated tom. Coming out draped in a black shawl with a glass of wine in her hand, Welsh turned her live performance into a dramatic theatrical production with jumping, dancing, and running around the stage. The sold out crowd went wild for her energetic performance and Welsh almost broke into tears as the crowd continued to cheer for the bands outstanding performance. If you haven't picked up their album, you can download it via Itunes or stream it off their website florenceandthemachine.net/

For more photos of the show, please checkout my Flickr page at www.flickr.com/alenamoran.

All photos courtesy of The Pulse Photography

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Washington DC's 10th Annual ShamrockFest

Do you like beer? Are you Irish? Well even if you don't like beer or you aren't Irish, the 2010 ShamrockFestival was the place to party yesterday! Even in the midst if frigid weather and constant rain, thousands of people gathered at RFK Stadium's parking lot for the largest Saint Paddy's festival in the Mid-Atlantic region! Like always, the festival lot was filled with food, drinks and activities and shows courtesy of more than 40 bands and DJ's.
Headliners for the event included Train and The Roots who both put on a phenomenal show. Other bands that graced the festival's 4 stages included Hotspur, Stephen Kellog and the Sixers, Along Those Lines, Carbon Leaf, and more! Electro-pop sensation LMFAO missed their set due to an airline conflict, but Philidelphia coverband "Mr. Greengenes" took their place and played a phenomenal set! Even during the early and rainiest part of the festival, the crowd went wild as they sung along to hits by U2, The Beetles, Black Sabbath, Lady Gaga, Queen, etc. Even though mountains of sludge from the rain and the recent Snowpocalypse covered the stadium grounds, this St. Patrick's Day tradition still stayed strong. If you missed this year's festival, be sure to catch it next year! Same day as always!Photos from the even can be found below and more will be uploaded to my Flickr page soon.

Have a Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Live in the DC area? Here are a few events to keep your eyes and ears open for:

DC101 Chili Cookoff - Mid May
Vans Warped Tour - July
DC Jazz Festival
Capital Jazz Fest
Bamboozle Roadshow
Takoma Park Folk Festival
Virgin Festival (headliners include Kings of Leon and Kasabian) - Early August

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The 24th Annual WAMMIE Awards

Dear Readers,

WOW these last few weeks have been crazy with all this snow, but even more with all the musical events going on in DC including the 24th annual WAMMIE awards hosted by the Washington Area Music Association (WAMA)! The night was definitely one to remember, featuring performances from Grammy Winners Afro Bop Alliance, Tabi Bonney, Hotspur, Patty Reese Band, The Dede Wyland Band, Be'la Dona, etc. Musicians, producers, engineers, managers, and executives from around the Washington DC area piled into the State Theatre on February 28, 2010 for the sold out event. With the men in their finest threads and the ladies in their most dashing dresses, the crowd piled into the intimate venue which truly had a homelike feeling. The hosts for the evening were NPR's Kojo Nnamdi, Bluesville host Bill Wax, and popular radio/television broadcaster Jim Bohannon. Patty Reese, Dede Wyland, Margot Macdonald, and Ruthie and the Wranglers swept the awards this year, but performers Be'la Dona were clearly the group that stole the show. The all female DC gogo band had everyone on their feet dancing and by the end of their set received a standing ovation from the crowd. By the end of the night, both those with and without awards left the venue for the afterparty with smiles on their faces and a truly memorable night to remember. If you want more information on WAMA, visit http://wamadc.com/http://wamadc.com/

Photos from the event will be available her : http://www.flickr.com/photos/alenamoran/

The full list of nominees and winners can be found here: http://wamadc.com/wama

Upcoming Events

For those who are over 21, come out to Keggs and Eggs with Elliot in the Morning of DC101 this Friday at 7:15 a.m. at the 9:30 Club to party in the morning with JET, Andrew WK, Carbon Leaf, and more.

For everyone, SHAMROCK FEST is this Saturday March 13th at RFK Stadium Grounds! Lineup will feature The Roots, LMFAO, Train, Carbon Leaf, Hotspur, and more. We'll be partying it up so we hope to see you there!

Until next time,
The Pulse (Alena here ya'll)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Hometown Heroes Hotspur

So if you have been keeping up with what’s going on here at The Pulse, you’ll notice we love to bring you up to date with the latest and greatest shows around the area. This past Friday, I was fortunate enough to catch Rockville, Maryland’s own powerpop heroes Hotspur at the 9:30 club. The opening bands included Boys Will Be Boys, Margot Macdonald (“New Artist Of The Year” Wammie Winner), and No Second Troy. As a Winner of “The Freshman” on MTV U – MTV calls Hotspur “Buzzworthy”! Born and raised in Rockville, MD Hotspur was recently chosen for Taco Bell's “Feed the Beat” program and are currently nominated for numerous Washington Area Music Awards.

I remember when I first popped the band’s debut CD You Should Know Better By Now I was only slightly enthused about the band’s music, and even after hearing the record a dozen or so times I still wasn’t feeling it. However after watching the band tear up the stage a week ago I couldn’t believe my eyes and ears: BOY WAS I WRONG. After a brief introduction from Hot 99.5 DJ Kane, the boys ran on stage and tore it up like any rockstar would. Lead singer Joe Mach and lead guitarist Evan Anderson continuously dove into the as the girls went wild and in the process almost took me out by dropping a mic-stand on my head.

Though I remained very much alive, I realized that by the end of the night my body was dead from keeping up with the bands endless enthusiasm. Their energy and talent on stage ranks alongside bands such as Jimmy Eat World, Paramore, and other big name acts. On my way to work the following day I popped the CD back into my car and found my self whizzing around the beltway and belting out the lyrics to “Chandelier” and “Too Young”. Even if you don’t like powerpop tunes or have never heard of the band, you MUST pick up a record and give it a listen or two. To sum up the night in one statement, if you want to the energy of Michael Jackson and Bono, but that intimate hometown feeling you better not miss out on the next Hotspur show. For more information on the band and to her some tunes check he band's Myspace out at www.myspace.com/hotspur and for photos from the show take a peek below and click on the link below for even more shots from their 9:30 show!

Peace Out DC,
Alena Moran


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Javier Dunn: The Man In The Hat

Photo credit Emily Williams.

If you're into singer/songwriter music, you may know the name Javier Dunn. He hangs out in the same Hotel Cafe songwriters circle as artists like Jay Nash, Caitlin Crosby, and Laura Jansen. He's also pretty good friends with Sara Bareilles.

You know the guy with the cool hat in the "Bottle It Up" video? That's Javier.

He has been playing guitar with Ms. Bareilles since their days at UCLA. When he's not on stage with her or uploading videos of their lives on tour to YouTube, Javier writes, records, and performs his own music. The last time he came to town with Sara, I sat down with Javier underneath the marquis of the Fillmore Detroit. Below are some excerpts from this interview. Check out the full audio interview and the internet premiere of his new song "If You Go" on CK Radio (starting at 44:42).

When did you decide to become a musician?

I started playing guitar when I was ten, but I think I knew for sure that I wanted to be a musician when I was like fifteen or sixteen. It just became realistic enough that I could do that for a living. So that’s when I started really focusing on songwriting and doing it for a career.

Were your parents supportive of your decision initially?

They were. They’ve always been super supportive. I think that sometimes they wanted me to do something more practical, like computers or engineering or something. But they’ve always been really supportive. They never told me not to. And now they’re so proud.

Where do you find inspiration when you’re writing?

I don’t know … it ends up just coming from stuff that you’re going through in your life. I feel like a lot of songwriters write songs because they’re not so good at processing life through talking to other friends and it’s just how you breathe out. You know what I’m saying? You take in whatever’s happening. Mostly it’s emotional stuff and relationship stuff. That seems to be the stuff that you want to write about and people can relate to. But really, it’s anything. I guess for the most part, it’s girls.

Tell me about playing on NBC’s Lipstick Jungle. Was it weird playing on a taped show that isn’t music driven?

Yes. It was weird for all of us. We just thought that it was the most ridiculous afternoon. But, you know, this is all so new and so lucky that we’re all just going for the ride. Sure, we’ll try anything once. That ended up being a really fun, easy day that was totally silly, and probably something that we’ll never do again. It was cool to see though.

If you had to pick one high point of this whole experience, what would it be and why?

I’ll do two, and they’re both pretty succinct. One is getting to record at Abbey Road Studios. To get to play and record there was one of the coolest moments of my life. And I think the other one was Madison Square Garden. So, on a performance level and on a cool musical level, those are the two. Just because it’s The Garden and it’s the most nuts thing you could ever do.

Check out Javier on Myspace, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Tumblr. You can buy his CD at CD Baby. Look for new music from him soon.



Javier Dunn and Sara Bareilles covering "Oh Darling" at Abbey Road Studios.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Sleeping Lessons Update

Hey everyone! Way back in July, Alena did an article on a band called Sleeping Lessons.

Well, I'm here to tell you that they're finally in the studio making their debut album. We would love to leak some of it for you, but these boys are perfectionists and don't want you to hear anything but the final product.

However, bassist Andrew Seltzer told me, "one sounds like something off of Room For Squares." He is also excited about the recordings of "Baby I've Got Soul" and a new song, "Slow Motion." The former was played on CBS's Better Connecticut in October.

Sleeping Lessons is also up for a slot at Bamboozle 2010. You can help them get there by going to their show on March 6 at the Trackside Teen Center in Wilton, CT. Tickets are $12. You can get more details on their myspace.

Update 03/08/2010: They did it! Sleeping Lessons is moving to the finals of The Break Contest. You can help them win by going to see them play again at the Trackside Teen Center in Wilton, CT on April 10.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

A Long Night in Motor City

Artist: John Mayer

City: Auburn Hills, MI

Date: 2/12/10

Grade: A

At the end of his set at the Palace of Auburn Hills, John Mayer crooned "It's been a long night in Motor City" - exchanging Detroit's nickname for NYC in the lyrics to "Who Says." A long night it had been indeed. Two and half hours long, to be exact.

In between playing hits from all four of his studio albums, Mayer exchanged pleasantries with the crowd. As he took the stage, opening with current single "Heartbreak Warfare," Mayer enthusiastically asked, “How are you doing, Detroit?”

Cue screaming women. 12,000 screaming women.

Although the male/female ratio was not as imbalanced as a Jonas Brothers concert, the crowd was dominantly female. After a deafening response to a request to hear the ladies in crowd, Mayer asked the men to make some noise. “You are fewer in number, but LOWER IN TIMBRE,” he quipped.

Mayer spent the evening making fun of everything from the current state of the music industry to the Sylvester Stallone movie Over The Top. He even made fun of himself a bit before playing early single “No Such Thing.” Alone on the stage with just an acoustic guitar, he joked “This is how I used to play shows at coffee houses … there were less people.”

The banter took a softer turn, when Mayer thanked his fans for coming to the show. He commented about how great it felt to know someone in this room might have had a bad day, looked at their concert ticket, and said, “Well, at least I’ve got Friday night.” Although it was unspoken by Mayer himself, many in the crowd remarked that Mayer had probably said the same thing earlier in the week.

You see, John Mayer has been in the news a lot lately. He said something about comparing sex with Jessica Simpson to a drug and letting a racial slur slip. Yeah, you heard that as well?

I’m not here to tell you my opinion on the issue. It’s not my job to tell you how to feel. But I am going to encourage each and every one of you to read the entire interview.

Twitter. It’s a beautiful thing. I tweet. Alena tweets. John Mayer tweets. Twitter has opened the door for communication between fans and musicians. Whether an artist is holding a spontaneous boredom induced Q&A session or asking for an opinion about what kind of sandwich he should have for lunch, musicians and fans are now interacting on an hourly basis.

Mayer owes a lot to Twitter. His 3,061,771 followers aren’t all dedicated fans of his music. In fact, I would be willing to bet that the majority don’t know many songs beyond “Your Body is a Wonderland” and “Waiting on the World to Change.” Through his poop jokes and occasional profound 4 AM thoughts, Mayer has gained new fans, increased his celebrity, and been placed at the forefront of a communication revolution. Mayer even comments on his Twitter use in his now infamous Playboy interview: “With Twitter, I can show my real voice. Here’s me thinking about stuff: ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if you could download food?’ It has been important for me to keep communicating.”

Interesting how no one is talking about that sentence.

In the last week, Twitter has killed Mayer. His controversial statements spread like wildfire on the microblogging site. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Twitter, it is made up of short statements of 140 characters or less posted by users. Mayer’s Playboy interview in its entirety has a length of 33,401 characters.

I am asking you to please read the entire interview. Not because I’m sick of your “John Mayer is a douche” status (but honestly – it’s been a week), but instead because I’m a bit worried about our generation. The world is a scary place when the average person is willing to look at only .004% of a final product and take it as fact. What if we only take .004% of laws into consideration? What if we only answer .004% of 911 calls? What if senators only read .004% of the Healthcare Bill?

“Now you kids get off my lawn!”

I realize I sound like a crotchety old man. This is a music blog, and you come here to read about music, not to listen to my rants about the fate of our society. So, let’s talk about John Mayer’s music.

The dude can play guitar.




Heartbreak Warfare



Bigger Than My Body

Slow Dancing in a Burning Room

Perfectly Lonely


War Of My Life

No Such Thing

Waiting on the World to Change

Half of My Heart

Message in a Bottle

Why Georgia



Who Says


Photos by Emily Williams.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Set Your Goals performs Lady Gaga's 'Just Dance' on Kazoos

As if the Bay are band of boys couldn't get any cooler, they take it to the next level. While touring with Motion City Soundtrack, This Providence, and The Swellers, the sextet stopped by the MTV office to perform Lady Gaga's debut single Just Dance on kazoos. Check the video out HERE and see it for yourself. The band consists of vocalists Matt Wilson and Jordan Brown, lead guitarist Audelio Flores Jr, rhythm guitarist Daniel Coddaire, bassist Joe Saucedo and drummer Michael Ambrose. Remember to check out their latest album "This Will Be The Death Of Us" and catch them on tour this spring (dates/venues to be announced Feb 16).

Video Link: http://buzzworthy.mtv.com/2010/02/12/set-your-goals-lady-gaga-just-dance-kazoo/

ALSO! Check out some photos from their recent performance at The Recher Theatre in Towson, MD on February 1, 2010. Click on the photos for even more photos from the entire show.