Strange Boutique

Strange Boutique

Strange Boutique rose out of the ashes of the Washington harDCore punk scene with a dynamic sense of song-writing while breaking new ground in a post-punk/alternative landscape with a powerful, melodic guitar-driven sound. As a best kept secret of the late 80's and early 90's, Strange Boutique attracted a large crossover audience, with Fred “Freak” Smith on guitars, Steve Willett on bass, and Monica Richards on vocals. After the release of three albums on their own label, Bedazzled Records, Strange Boutique broke up in 1994, coming together just once more for a single show in 2004 to celebrate the release of “The Collection:1988-1994” on Metropolis Records.

After the senseless loss of guitarist Fred “Freak” Smith in 2017, singer Monica Richards and bassist Steve Willett began reminiscing about their love of Fred and the music they wrote with him in Strange Boutique. This began a dialogue about getting together in Washington DC for an evening of music. Though there is no way they can call themselves "Strange Boutique" without their seminal and larger-than-life guitarist, they invite you to join them, along with drummer Rand Blackwell and guitarist/keyboardist Dennis Kane for an evening of Strange Boutique music … and to share a pint in honor of Fred.

Dead Heart Bloom was formed by songwriter, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Boris Skalsky following the dissolution of his previous band, the Washington, DC-based Phaser. Having quickly captured the attention of the indie press and radio, Phaser honed their live act playing with such artists as Interpol, Super Furry Animals, BRMC and Spiritualized. As Phaser dissolved in the mid-2000s, Boris started Dead Heart Bloom as a solo project based in NYC and quickly released a self-titled debut full length and the follow-up acoustic EP Chelsea Diaries. Both received positive critical attention. Soon after, Phaser guitarist Paul Wood found himself relocated to the city as well and the pair teamed up, sharing a rehearsal space and studio which produced a string of EPs and a second full length, 2010’s Strange Waves. 2011 saw the two joining former Phaser bandmate Mike Reina and Smashing Pumpkin’s Jimmy Chamberlin as touring musicians in the Dangerbird Records released Skysaw. Upon returning, Dead Heart Bloom released another string of 3 EPs, this time produced by Mercury Rev bassist Anthony Molina. Those EPs were bolstered by a heavier sound with the addition of former Longwave drummer Jason Molina. Since then, the Dead Heart Bloom live lineup has continued to evolve, centered around its core members. In 2018 and 2019 the band began releasing new music on their own Ephemeral Arts label, which has served as a vehicle for releases by Dead Heart Bloom as well as other artists’ projects across a number of genres.



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