What’s new in local music this week:
- It seems crazy that local reggae group See-I is just now getting around to releasing its debut album. The duo of Arthur “Rootz” Steele and Archie “Zeebo” Steele has been packing local clubs and brightening live performances by Thievery Corporation for many years. The self-titled album will be out on June 28 on local label Fort Knox Recordings. The band will perform some of the material at a May 29 show at U Street Music Hall that also features labelmates Empresarios, ESL’s Thunderball and Baltimore’s DJ Who.
- Detroit dream-pop act Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. plays a Sweetlife Session at 1 p.m. on Friday at Sweetgreen’s Logan Circle location. This comes just a month after Toro y Moi played a similar set at the same point. Don’t be surprised if these mid-day concerts become a regular thing.
- The latest attempt at a D.C.-based music festival is June’s Sweet Tea Pumpkin Pie Fest, a two-day bash featuring more than 80 bands, with most shows at Bella, a new cafe in the U Street area. The lineup doesn’t boast many big out-of-town names — it includes locals Loose Lips, the Jet Age, Screen Vinyl Image, Nunchucks and many more — but it’s a massive undertaking for a first-time effort. I’m interested to see how it all comes together.
- Speaking of massive undertakings, uncapped LIVE , the latest event by tireless local online magazine Brightest Young Things includes a month’s worth of parties. With help from Vitaminwater and Art Whino, the BYT crew is taking over a 25,000 space at 14th Street and Florida Avenue NW. The opening night bash (sponsored by Fader) features a stellar lineup of D.C. rappers Wale, Fat Trel, XO and Baltimore firecracker Rye Rye. (RSVP is required.) The rest of the opening weekend has Fatback DJs on May 20 and Chris Burns and Sam “The Man”Burns on May 21. Other key dates includes the D.C. Record Fair (June 4), Tennessee garage rockers Pujol (June 12), and a Beirut afterparty featuring a DJ set from frontman Zach Condon (June 14).
- Old-school D.C. punks Scream are playing another reunion gig at the Black Cat on May 27. Opening is one of D.C.’s best current punk bands, The Shirks, and “Special Guests” is also on the bill. If you were to think about combining old-school punk with new-school punk to figure out who it might be, you wouldn’t be too far off.
- Here’s a joint venture we can support — Deleted Scenes teaming with Sockets Records for this fall’s release of “Young People’s Church of Air,” the excellent new album by the local indie rock quartet. It won’t be out until September, but it will be worth the wait.
- Hays Holladay, one half of local electronic-experimental duo Bluebrain, just released his first solo album, “Life Swap,” and it’s available for a free download. Bluebrain will perform with Protect-U and Painted Face at St. Stephen’s Church on May 21, a Positive Force show to benefit the Brain Injury Association of Washington, D.C.
- Local rapper Black Cobain will release his new mixtape, “Young, Gifted & Black,” on June 7 and celebrate with a concert that night at U Street Music Hall featuring his mentor, Wale.