I’ve recently traded e-mails with John Davis, formerly of DC darlings Q And Not U and Georgie James, and now doing solo work under the stage name Title Tracks. I was able to get his take on the DC music scene among other things; you can check it all out below. John recently released his debut solo album It Was Easy to the joy of fans and critics alike. Davis’s repertoire and new album is full of straight-up, uber-catchy, grooving rock ‘n’ roll tunes. He struts his stuff most effectively when he let’s the former-drummer inside him drive the songs, packing a pulsing punch of energy into powerpop songs like “Every Little Bit Hurts” and “Steady Love.” John brings his melodic energy and scientific-like song craftsmanship to U Street Music Hall on Sunday @ 9PM, with DC up and comers The Points opening. Should be one hell of a show! See you there.
Brooks: Have you played U Street Music Hall before? If so, what did you like? If not, what are you expecting/excited/worried about?
J: No, this will be my first time playing there. I’ve been by before, though, so I know what the place is like and am really looking forward to the show. I have a lot of respect for the venue and its ethos, so hopefully it’ll be somewhere that bands will play frequently in the future.
Brooks: What was the most enjoyable non-DC crowd you’ve played for in the last couple years? Favorite non-DC venue?
J: D.C. is my favorite place to play but there are plenty of good spots elsewhere, too, of course. On the tours that we did this spring, I liked Gallery 5 in Richmond, Bottom Lounge in Chicago, Vera in Seattle and Golden West Cafe in Baltimore, among other spots.
Brooks: What new DC bands have we/I/your audience not heard about yet, but are going to make some press in 2010?
J: Hard to say if people know about them or not, but some of the D.C. bands that I like best are The Points, True Womanhood, Foul Swoops, The Cheniers, Edie Sedgwick, Imperial China, Casper Bangs and Roofwalkers, among others.
Brooks: What DC band have you particularly enjoyed sharing the stage with?
J: We played with Authorization back in May, which was the second show we’d done with them. I like them a lot. They’re pretty different than we are, musically, but I like shows like that.
Brooks: With your acclaimed solo-work as of late, do you see yourself to continue forging into new musical ground alone, or are you eager to collaborate more in the coming year?
J: I’m writing a new record right now and I’m doing it the same way as the last one, where I write all of the parts myself. I do definitely think I’ll collaborate with people again in the future, though. I always like working with other writers and seeing what comes out of it. I figure that I’ll just go back and forth on that in the future, depending on the project and what I’m up for.
Brooks: Do you get the sense that DC is no longer going to be known for it’s hardcore scene, or are you leading a power-pop revival, or is its reputation slowly becoming more of an alt-folk / indie-avant-folk-rock / americana kind of town? Or is the scene too eclectic to pigeon hole it like many try to do?
J: I don’t think the current D.C. scene has a national reputation right now but there are a number of good new bands in town and hopefully they’ll get out there and tour and get known. The various scenes from the past will continue to cast a long shadow but I’m sure bands will continue to emerge from D.C. and make themselves known.
Brooks: Where do DC artists go to get a beer and get away from the stage? Do DC bands hang out together a lot at some super secret club where you come up with evil plots of musical anarchy?
J: Well, I’m not especially social, so I’m probably the wrong person to ask about this. I’m sure there are some bands that hang together but I’m not sure where. I’m friends with people from all aspects of the local music scene — bands, DJs, promoters, writers, etc. — but I only really tend to see most of those people out at shows.
Brooks: And finally a random one, do you have a favorite lawn sport? I love lawn sports, so this is more for me. Any good lawn sport stories (horse shoes, corn hole, bocce, etc)?
J: If I had to choose one, I’d pick horseshoes, but I don’t think I really have a lawn sport of choice. I love playing sports but none of them really take place on the lawn. Tennis, hockey, baseball, etc