Here’s a nice intimate visit with SKYTONE.
Arts Illustrated: http://www.artsillustrated.com/skytone-musicians/
A great new video from Dot Dash for the song “Flowers” off of their latest album.
Here is a great review from the blog : whenyoumotoraway.blogspot.ca, have a visit and enjoy a free download of the track.
“One of our favorite spring albums this year was Earthquakes & Tidal Waves by Washington, D.C. quartet Dot Dash. Terry Banks (vocals/guitar), Steve Hansgen (lead guitar), Hunter Bennett (bass) and Danny Ingram (drums), vets of Julie Ocean, Minor Threat, Swervedriver, The Saturday People, Youth Brigade, Modest Proposal and others, brew a muscular concoction of power pop, jangle and post punk.” …visit for more
Now available from our store or on SKYTONE’s Bandcamp: https://skytone1.bandcamp.com/album/skytone-live-the-fishfry
This just in from our friends in Spain!
Here we introduce you the new musical adventure by The Yellow Melodies, a tribute record to Duglas T. Stewart and his BMX Bandits.
These covers have been taken from the first Bmx Bandits’ releases, so here we can find two songs from their debut ‘C86’: “Your class” and “Whirlpool”; three others from their second album ‘Star Wars’: “Students of life”, “Extraordinary” and “Think tank”; and finally, the song that Dan Treacy from the TV Personalities wrote for the Bmx Bandits: “Girl at the bus stop”.
You may think this is another ordinary tribute record, but that wouldn’t reflect the reality. In this EP, where there used to be pianos now there are guitars, if it used to sound country now it sounds punk, the electric vibes turn into acoustic, some rhythm boxes are added, just as backing vocals,… brilliant changes touched by the fantastic band from Murcia.
They have taken care of all the details in the artwork, finding a connection with the honoured band, their songs and the pop musical scene. The inner sleeve of the 12″ vinyl features a lot of exclusive pictures and an interesting interview that Rafa Skam did to Duglas T. Stewart for his El Planeta Amarillo fanzine.
To sum up, Rafa Skam and his bandmates have shown all their love, admiration and respect for the glorious band, performing a new and fresh vision of all these classic tunes.
This record has been released on 12″ vinyl on the Spanish SWEET GROOVES Records label (sweetgroovesrecords.com) and on CD on the Canadian The Beautiful Music label (thebeautifulmusic.com).
Thanks so much to The Yellow Melodies, Duglas T. Stewart and his BMX Bandits, SWEET GROOVES for helping us to make this happen!
Students of Life: A Tribute to BMX Bandits (CD)
The Yellow Melodies
Beauty 026 NOW AVAILABLE!
Here’s a great review already! : http://www.apessimistisneverdisappointed.com/2015/04/a-quick-review-of-super-new-ep-from.html
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Like its three predecessors — Half-Remembered Dream (released in 2013), WinterGarden Light (2012), and spark>flame>ember>ash (2011) — the new album is released by us. Earthquakes & Tidal Waves is the label’s 31st release.
This time out the Washington D.C.-based Dot Dash travelled 300 miles south to Fidelitorium Studios just outside Winston-Salem, North Carolina where, with the legendary Mitch Easter producing, the 10-track Earthquakes & Tidal Waves was recorded.
Although perhaps best known for his production work on R.E.M.’s first three records, Chronic Town, Murmur, and Reckoning, plus the band’s original indie 7”, Easter — who added a guitar lead to Earthquakes & Tidal Waves’ album-opening “The Winter of Discontent” and played piano on album closer “Sleep, Sleep” — has been a pivotal figure in melodic, left-of-center, guitar-based music for nearly 35 years, both with his own band, Let’s Active, and as a producer of bands such as The dB’s, Superchunk, Dinosaur Jr., Wilco, Pavement, and Ride, to name just a few.
In addition to working with a new producer, Dot Dash’s Earthquakes & Tidal Waves also marks the entrance of Dot Dash’s newest member, lead guitarist Steve Hansgen, who began musical life in the early 1980s as a member of hardcore pioneers Minor Threat and, later, Government Issue. Hansgen’s authoritative, melodically astute playing helps make Earthquakes & Tidal Waves Dot Dash’s most focused, dynamic effort yet.
Dot Dash’s Earthquakes & Tidal Waves is available as a CD (Beauty 031) directly from our secure, PayPal-enabled ordering portal (TBM store) at and shortly as a digital download via iTunes, Bandcamp,eMusic, and Amazon.Dot Dash info: https://www.facebook.com/dotdashdc Full streams of Earthquakes & Tidal Waves here: dotdashdc.bandcamp.com
“knowing the label’s eye for quality I knew it’d be a good one and it certainly is” –
A great review from a respected source!
Hot on the heels of their Beach Ball and the Silver Frog release, we now have a great rootsy live album recorded this summer onto two track at a cottage in Renfrew County.
Listen to it here:http://skytone1.bandcamp.com/album/live-at-loon-cove
– Ciao Terry, how are you? where are you writing from?
Hi, I’m fine, thanks. I’m writing from Washington D.C.
– How did Dot Dash get started? I see that all the members in the band have had very different musical experiences. Both in the world of hardcore and in the world of pop. What is the thing that has united you with experiences so different?
I guess just a shared love of good songs, strong melodies, and exciting performances… Danny and Steve (our new guitarist, who joined the band earlier this year) both started musical life, many years ago, as teenagers, in those kinds of bands, and Hunter likes that kind of stuff, too — I, personally, don’t know anything about hardcore, it was never my thing — but, overall, we have way more in common musically (and just in terms of our general creative approach) than we do not. To me, the good thing about ‘punk’ is the attitude — of being direct and open and honest — moreso than some of the actual music. Anyway, the combination seems to work really well!
– What was your initial vision for how you wanted the band to sound?
Melody. Poetry. Energy. Brevity.
– After the positive reviews about the second record how did you approach to the work related to this great third one?
To be honest, we didn’t think about it too much or go in with any specific plan. We always just try to follow our instincts.
– The record seems to be a step forward compared to the previous album: immediate melodies, noisy guitars, melancholy, sincerity and open spaces and and great attention to the rhythm and not just on guitars. It’s like the best of your previous album was concentrated in this one. Everything is more in focus and more direct. What do you think?
Thanks! I agree that this last record is our best — glad you like it, too. Our second record, Winter Garden Light, has a fair amount of stuff that’s darker (at least for us) and, in retrospect, lots of songs about death… I still like that record a lot, and the first one, too, but this one just came together better and, as you say, is more focused and direct and just sort of fresher — not really sure why, maybe just good luck.
– Melody is vital on your record. It seems everything was born in a very natural and spontaneous way, and it’s incredible how all your choruses lend themselves to becoming hymns. Am I exaggerating too much if I say that, right now, “Half?-?Remembered Dream” represents a true fundamental example of power pop?
Thanks again. I totally agree that spontaneity and being natural is really important. In short, it shouldn’t sound like you’re trying too hard, or maybe even trying at all… And, yes, I think we are kind of a power pop band — albeit hopefully a sort of melancholic, slightly left of center, fairly visceral kind of power pop band, but, in any case, there’s no denying we’re in the neighborhood of power pop… If I had to drop genre names, I feel like we, perhaps, combine post-punk withpower pop, but who knows… Wally, who runs our label, The Beautiful Music —www.thebeautifulmusic.com — says we’re “post mod” (kind of a mix of post-punk and mod) — I like that, too!
– You’ve been compared to big names like Superchunk, The Jam, Teenage Fanclub, The Buzzcocks. Personally, I adore your love for guitar sounds of the past (90s guitar-pop and C86) which are filtered through a modern taste. Can I tell you that the album has really carried me out of time? I suppose it’s a rare thing, to find songs which carry the listener out of space and time. Does this album communicate the same feelings for you?
Excellent — that’s very kind of you! I’m not sure how the record makes me feel but I agree that the best music has that sort of ‘transcendent’ quality!
– ‘Hands Of Time’ leaves me speechless. Melodically speaking, I find it one of your best tracks ever. How was this song born?
Thanks so much. The beginning guitar figure, which is sort of central to the song, just struck me as sort of a ‘prettier’ version of something Joy Division might have done. I liked its melancholic, sort of regretful feel and it just sort of propelled me on from there… It kind of feels a bit like a ‘torch song’ to me. I really like it. The outro has a bit of an ‘Orange Juice-meets-The Jam’ sort of feel — not that you can ever plan these things (or that any of it’s intentional) but that’s kind of how it sounds to me…
– Terry, what did your past musical experiences teach you? (If they did.)
Gee, I don’t know. I think to achieve even modest things in music (and maybe everything in life) you have to just sort of dive in and do it. Sitting around theorizing doesn’t usually result in much. Also: sing loud!
– What are your memories of Sarah Records? Is it true that Cherry Red Records will publish a 2-CD St. Christopher compilation “Forevermore Starts Here”?
I didn’t play on any of St. Christopher’s Sarah releases (their last Sarah single came out about a month before I joined), although we did many of those songs live. I really liked the time I spent in the band — we played shows all over the U.K., France, Germany, Holland, etc. — got to places like Denmark, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, all over the place — it was cool. Yes, I’ve heard about the Cherry Red comp — well deserved. They recorded a lot of stuff before before they were on the Sarah label — they’d been around maybe five years at that point. I have a cassette somewhere of about 10-12 songs from 1983-ish, I think. I remember one song is called ‘That Tinsel Feeling,’ which I liked as a title… I think the Cherry Red comp will have lots of that early stuff. Their best record, if you ask me, was the ‘Forevermore Starts Here/Remember Me To Her/Sinking Ships’ EP — those songs are incredible.
– Do you have an example from the record of something popping up that you weren’t expecting?
Hmmm… On ‘A Light In The Distance’ I had to add a blood-curdling howl at end of one of the verses to fill up a little timing gap, and, at the last minute, I added what I think are some nice, jangly guitar overdubs to ‘Do Re Mi’ and ‘Shopworn Excuse,’ so maybe those…
– Thank you again for this interview and for the time you made for me. Which one of your songs do you think could be the right closing soundtrack for the end of this interview?
Thank you too! Hmmm… how about ‘(Here’s to) The Ghosts of The Past.’? There’s a free MP3 of it here: https://dotdashdc.bandcamp.com/track/heres-to-the-ghosts-of-the-past
Here is what the critics are saying about Dot Dash: Half-Remembered Dream:
TROUBLEZINE: “A masterpiece… enthralling and hypermelodic… Lemonheads, passing through a sonic paradise wherein Teenage Fanclub and Buzzcocks meet the heroes of C86… A must!”
THE OWL: “Dot Dash is a post-punk band with the admirable quality of taking influence from indie music of all eras and bringing in into their own modern sound. The DC-based artists’ mass of collective experience (Dot Dash members have previously hailed from Julie Ocean, Youth Brigade, The Saturday People, the list goes on…) sees them putting out slick, polished, and fast songs with guitar riffs to rave about. The group’s mixed bag of musical influences has led them from the garage-punk sound of debutspark>flame>ember>ash onto that much smoother sound of sophomore Winter Garden Light, a rich lyrical album that plays like a timeline of indie guitar-rock with a shoegaze finish. On top of that, the band’s recent third album release – Half-Remembered Dream – takes on a jangly, mid-tempo vibe. Think the new-wave influence of The Jam with the snappy melodies of The Strokes and Teenage Fanclub.”
WILFULLY OBSCURE: “Three albums in two years? What is this, the 1970s? As I’ve mentioned in previous features for their Spark>Flame>Ember>Ash and Winter Garden Light albums, this D.C. quartet are not about full fledged Wire worship, as their moniker might suggest. There are vague parallels (in the vocal department) but on Half-Remembered Dream, Dot Dash downplay some of their chillier post-punk inclinations for a more streamlined guitar-pop bent — offering some of Dot Dash’s boldest melodies to date.”
SAN DIEGO TROUBADOUR: “Classic punk and power pop from the days when Wire, The Records, Buzzcocks, the Jam, and others were stalking club land. This is like finding a box of previously unknown singles from the era and they’re all great. If you are a fan of this type of music, and you’re looking for new tunes, then this album needs to be in your collection. Definitely in my top 5 this year.”
12XU: “C86-influenced power pop.”
A PESSIMIST IS NEVER DISAPPOINTED: “What more can I say? These guys are great and their latest record, Half-Remembered Dream, is a thing of post-punk power-pop perfection. ‘Shopworn Excuse’ hints back to both the glory days of early R.E.M., as well as those bands on Sarah Records in the U.K.”
AUSTIN TOWN HALL: “’Half-Remembered Dream,’ is an ascendancy into pop perfection, making nods to the past, while crafting songs that stand on their own in today’s landscape… shimmering, polished guitar pop that maintains a sharp edge, all the while juxtaposing it with the incredible melodies.”
THERE GOES THE FEAR: “Washington, DC’s Dot Dash – who I caught supporting the Drums in April 2012, then Ash in November 2012 – released their third album ‘Half-Remembered Dream’ last autumn. As a special New Year’s treat, they’re giving away a track, ‘Shopworn Excuse’, from their latest album. With feel-good guitars and wistful vocals reminiscent of the ’60s, you can’t go wrong. Listen to and grab it for your very own.”
THE BIG TAKEOVER, Top 40: “The third strong album in two years from this D.C. foursome gently tweaks their American indie rethink of The Jam, Chords, Secret Affair, etc., introducing an esoteric post-punk ambiance, an undercurrent they’ve heretofore not shown. Even familiar terrain adds new points, such as the twinkling guitar overdubs of ‘Do Re Mi,’ and they really come out swinging on ‘A Light in the Distance.'”
SUPAJAM: “The idea of a post-punk pop band is strangely awesome, because who doesn’t like angular guitars deployed to maximum hooky effect? ‘Shopworn Excuse’ is from their latest LP, ‘Half Remembered Dream’, and there’s a full three albums worth of material out on The Beautiful Music for you to dig into.”
BACKSEAT MAFIA: “Slices of jangle-pop, indie rock, even shoegaze/4AD, with a splash of post-punk… from the New Order-ish indie rock of ‘(Here’s to) The Ghosts of The Past,’ through the jangly indie of ‘Bloom/Decay,’ to the post punk aggression and Buzzcocks-like guitars of ‘A Light in The Distance’, and back again via the Jam-like ‘Fiction Section’ and the chiming, harmony-laden ‘11th Hour,’ there’s not a bad song amongst them. And that’s the thing about Dot Dash. Although they’ve got one foot in the past, they also got one foot very much in the present. And it’s a foot that’s well worth taking notice of, and folllowing… We’ve had our hearts melted by Dot Dash — it’s jangling, shoegaze-like, indie rock of the most melodic and lovable kind… ‘Hands of Time’ is from third album, Half-Remembered Dream, which was rather wonderful. It chimes and shimmers, its upbeat warmth irresistible. 2012?s Winter Garden Light featured ‘La-La Land,’ a breezy, harmony laden workout with a La’s-style melody. ‘Tragedy/Destiny’ is from first album spark>flame>ember>ash and shares with the others the type of chorus that pops into your head at various points of the day.”
MUSIC RUINED MY LIFE: “It seems like the members of Dot Dash are in a race to build a mighty discography. In two years the band have released three albums, each possibly better than the one before. At this rate we can exorcise the ghost of their past bands (Youth Brigade DC, Swervedriver, Modest Proposal, Julie Ocean) and focus on the future… nothing on “Half-Remembered Dream” seems like nostalgia-mongering. The songs range from the pretty, ringing “(Here’s to) The Ghosts of the Past” to absolute rippers like “A Light in the Distance”. There’s a fiery sense of mission on each of the ten tracks that the band spits out in 29:00 minutes.”
PENNYBLACK MUSIC: “‘Half-Remembered Dream’ is Dot Dash’s third album in two years, and was recorded in Baltimore. The band have shared bills with Ash, the Monochrome Set, and the Bats. (‘Here’s to) the Ghosts of the Past’ sounds like a new wave anthem, but has more jangle and definitely more spirit. ‘Bloom/Decay’ is like an instantly catchy power pop number of the 80s, and will put a stupid grin on your face. ‘11th Hour’ is almost like an early Beatles number, and easy to mop top your hair too. ‘Do Re Mi’ is fast and furious and fun — a pogoing anthem, ‘Broken Halo’ has a jagged edge. ‘Shopworn Excuse’ has perfect rhythms of street poetry, and is a smashing crowd pleaser. ‘Fiction Section’ is a classic new wave number, worthy of a ‘Top of the Pops’ appearance back in the day. ‘A Light in the Distance’ is punk fun, like the early Damned and reminiscent of ‘New Rose.’”
THE SOUND OUT, Top 10 Albums of 2013: Dot Dash – Half-Remembered Dream — “Dot Dash has been consistently releasing great stuff for the last few years. If you’re a fan of fast, polished, pleasing ’60s inspired rock ‘n’ roll with an ’80s indie-pop slant to it, then Dot Dash have a whole back catalogue of stuff just awaiting your listening pleasure – this is another fine addition to their canon.”
POWERPOPAHOLIC: “Dot Dash are really on the cusp of greatness – their third album Half-Remembered Dream is a gem.”
WILD THING: “Dot Dash has released three albums in less than two years, on Canadian label The Beautiful Music. In summer 2011 the band released their first full-length, ‘Spark>Flame> Ember>Ash.’ Second album ‘Winter Garden Light’ was released in 2012 and in August they released ‘Half-Remembered Dream,’ their sound edging more and more toward polished indie pop with each release.”
FAMEMAG UK: “‘Half-Remembered Dream,’ recorded in Baltimore at Lord Baltimore Studios… relentless intense melodic pop — energetic, melancholy and punky… Splendid.”
BEAT SURRENDER: “DC’s Dot Dash have a new album out, — the band’s third release ‘Half Remembered Dream’ is a classy and superior collection of melodic pop – the line-up features ex-members of Julie Ocean, The Saturday People, Swervedriver and Youth Brigade in a classic four-piece line-up.”
DIFFUSER.FM: “Power-pop-meets-post-punk… Dot Dash is back with their third album, ‘Half-Remembered Dream,’ which follows 2011’s ‘Spark>Flame>Ember>Ash’ and 2012’s ‘Winter Garden Light’ via Canadian label The Beautiful Music. ‘Bloom/Decay’ — an up-tempo, super-addictive tune that makes us think nostalgia isn’t necessarily all that bad.”
DC ROCK LIVE: “Veterans of classic DC bands and beyond… ‘(Here’s to) The Ghosts of the Past’ – The opening cut has tremendous sound and a great hook with a lyric that hits home for this old punk rocker. ‘Bloom-Decay’ – The power pop guitar sound almost goes shoegaze toward the end, with a nice steady build. ‘A Light in the Distance’ – Great guitar sounds on top of a driving beat, they really channel Wire here.”
USA TODAY: “I’m loving this jangly piece of heaven.”
MUSIC MURMUR: “’Shopworn Excuse’ off 2013’s Half-Remembered Dream couples the coolheaded magnetism of pop with the nonconformist characteristics of punk to create a song that’s as catchy as it is substantial. A pleasing reverberation of jangly guitar, affable bass and drums, with a hook that’s ineradicable and lyrics that secure position in your memory, the appeal of Dot Dash manifests itself clearly.”
AUDIO AMMUNITION: “With their third album, Washington DC’s Dot Dash graciously offers us a set of beautifully constructed 80’s post-punk-style dark and delicate songs — a highly enjoyable collection radiating melody and melancholy.”
SELECTIVE MEMORY: “’Half-Remembered Dream’ is Dot Dash’s third release and a testament to excellence. Each song is solid gold. It feels good like having the top down on a warm day. These are three minute gems with an album that is over with way too soon. But it’s forgivable when every song on here is worth re-visiting over and over again.”
FOR MALCONTENTS ONLY: “With a sonic palette that straddles power-pop, post-punk and indie rock, ‘Half Remembered Dream’ was one of my favourite albums of 2013, an impressively lean collection of ten immaculately crafted nuggets that seldom nudge past the three minute mark — rich with hooks, punchy riffs, bristling basslines and plaintive melodies.”
THE SOUND OF CONFUSION: “Dot Dash released one of the albums of the year in 2013 with ‘Half-Remembered Dream’ — insanely catchy guitar-pop.”
JAM: “3rd release from outstanding power pop/shoegaze/indie pop/ dream pop band Dot Dash encapsulates the great sounds of 90’s shoegaze mixed into a sweet jangle sound echoing Power of Dreams, Ride, Oasis, Swervedriver, and Teenage Fanclub. Thebeauty is that Dot Dash retains their own honest and endearing style, so their music is fresh, vibrant, and moving. Cool vocals amid a sublime wall of guitar, bass, drums, infuse into something extraordinary. GRADE A.”
RUST ZINE: “Half-Remembered Dream is a totally fresh album — like a time trip to when indie rock sounded different and important. There’s nothing like the excitement of hearing a band breaking out and making a memorable, unique statement in any era but Dot Dash brings back memories of when doing so was significant. Every track is a winner — an album with energy, intelligence and intensity. Very Highly Recommended.”
THE SOUND OUT: “A year on from Winter Garden Light, Dot Dash return with a new album, just as well delivered, melodic and lyrically intelligent as we have come to know them. On Half-Remembered Dream, they pay homage to the new-wave of bandsthat inspired them like The Jam, circa All Mod Cons and Wire, while putting their own twist on snappy guitar pop such as Teenage Fanclub, The Buzzcocks and The Strokes, among others… a short, sharp number that gets straight to the point and has you hopping around like an excited teenager who has just stuck on the new 45 they’ve spent weeks waiting for to come out – you remember that feeling don’t you?”
RETRO: “My favourite of the three Dot Dash albums I would thoroughly recommend it for lovers of intelligent, melodic, emotional guitar music. They have echoes of that wonderful late seventies/early eighties period of The Cure, Psychedelic Furs and Wire but mixed up with the beautifully textured and intricate guitar work of early R.E.M., Dream Syndicate and Long Ryders.”
WHAT GOES ON: “Dot Dash have been busy working on a quick follow-up to last year’s Winter Garden Light and released their third album, titled Half-Remembered Dream, again on The Beautiful Music. The ten-track effort kicks up a more energetic set (particularly ‘A Light In The Distance’), but thankfully doesn’t leave behind the melodic jangle-pop of the previous two efforts – especially the album’s highlight in the airy ‘Hands Of Time.'”
FUZZY HEADPHONES: “Summer is coming to a close and for the third year in a row, in what’s fast become a September tradition for the band, Washington D.C.’s Dot Dash return with yet another record. There’s still plenty of the carefree, pop-punk vibe of Ash, but on Half-Remembered Dream they introduce anthemic ballad writing and combine it with the punchy melodies of Teenage Fanclub they’re so adept at.”