Arts & Entertainment

Press Pass: Musicband

Musicband (Photo:   Kendra Hamilton)
Musicband (Photo: Kendra Hamilton)

What do you get when you form a band with longtime players in Washington, D.C.’s punk rock scene? If you guessed punk rock, then you’ll be surprised by what Musicband does.

Musicband, which will be playing a record release show next Thursday at the Iota Club and Café, cites not just punk rock, but garage rock, country, and political folk rock among its influences. Founding band member and guitarist Mike Palmedo just calls it fast rock and roll.

“If you listen to the music it’s not punk rock, it’s definitely faster and you can tell that it’s rock and roll, but it’s definitely played by a bunch of guys who have roots in that scene,” Palmedo said.

Musicband formed in 2009, just a few years after the veteran D.C. punk band The Goons played its final show. Palmedo had been with the band since he was a teenager; when they split up, he was in his 30s. He set out to start his own musical project with an idea to focus on acoustic sounds. Even when he was plugged in and playing bass with The Goons, he’d play more casually, like around his house, with an acoustic guitar.

“I always thought it would be cool to make that into a more formal project,” Palmedo said, “like a band based on fast, rhythmic acoustic stuff.”

He enlisted musicians he knew from D.C.’s punk world, and the band was formed. And, as any musical act does, the band needed a name. After some back-and-forth and several names thrown into the ring, they agreed on Musicband.

“We decided that it had a sense of humor. It was straightforward to the point of ridiculousness, so we went with it,” Palmedo said. The entertainment news website The A.V. Club, Palmedo mentions, listed Musicband in its yearly roundup of interesting band names (they’re in the “perfectly simple” category).

“Everyone really likes it or really hates it, and there’s not too many people in the middle,” Palmedo said. “People remember it, so … score!”

The band fixed its name to a debut LP, which came out in 2010, and now they’re celebrating the release of the four-track, seven-inch record Puppet Show with their May 8 show at the Iota alongside The Do Likes and The Safes. The show will feature songs from the new record, as well as older Musicband songs and some of the pieces they’re working on for their next recording, which they hope to put out later this year. But for now, the band is looking forward to sharing the tracks from Puppet Show with their audiences.

“We’re really eager to start playing out on it and start spreading it around,” Palmedo said.

• For more information about Musicband, visit