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J. Roddy Walston and the Business At Bonnaroo: Drunk, Weird, and Very Bonnaroo

June 17, 2014
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J. Roddy Walston and the Business At Bonnaroo: Drunk, Weird, and Very Bonnaroo

At any music festival, the shared love of music provides a basis for unity. But Bonnaroo, the four-day festival just outside of Manchester, Tennessee, is particularly interested in cultivating a sense of community. Everyone wishes each other “Happy Bonnaroo”; people walk around with free hug signs; and weed is essentially communal. Even the festival...
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Posted in Live Review, News | No Comments »

Jeff Tweedy and Son Bring “Dad Rock” to the Meyerhoff

June 12, 2014
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Jeff Tweedy and Son Bring “Dad Rock” to the Meyerhoff

When one thinks of father-son duos, there are certain pairs which always come to mind: Bart and Homer Simpson, Vito and Michael Corleone, Abraham and Isaac, Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader. Comedic or criminal, galactic or biblical, all of them are notoriously troubled relationships. It was therefore a refreshing change of pace, at last...
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Posted in Live Review | 1 Comment »

The Governors Ball NYC Music Festival: We Probably Should’ve Just Gone to Ladyfest

June 10, 2014
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The Governors Ball NYC Music Festival: We Probably Should’ve Just Gone to Ladyfest

“Dance so it won’t be awkward.” If only the crowd attending The Governors Ball would’ve taken witty Odd Future word-bender Earl Sweatshirt’s advice. There was a notable lack of dancing at the three day festival that took place on Randall’s Island, New York and a noticeable surplus of talking. Attendees just stood around and...
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Posted in Live Review | 3 Comments »

Station North’s ‘Dance to Keep From Crying’: Packed, Well-Curated, Twerky, Awesome

June 2, 2014
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Station North’s ‘Dance to Keep From Crying’: Packed, Well-Curated, Twerky, Awesome

On Friday evening in Station North, you could hear the “Ha” from a few hundred feet away, at least. That stop-start-and-drop vocal sample from Masters of Work’s “The Ha Dance,” a song snippet that has gone on to define vogue-house, yammered from the Ynot Lot at the corner of Charles Street and North Avenue....
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Posted in Live Review | 4 Comments »

Steel Panther and their “Fanthers”: On the Prowl

May 19, 2014
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Steel Panther and their “Fanthers”: On the Prowl

The heavy metal band Steel Panther played the Fillmore in Silver Spring on Friday night, May the 16, 2014. I was invited to the show with a group of friends, and only after agreeing to go did I then watch a few YouTube videos of the band. That is when I realized what I had...
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Posted in Live Review, Uncategorized | No Comments »

Schoolboy Q leads rap’s new supergroup into Baltimore

April 29, 2014
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Schoolboy Q leads rap’s new supergroup into Baltimore

The days of the rap supergroup are deep in the rear view for my generation of hip-hop millennials. Most of us were in elementary school or diapers when Wu-Tang and Death Row dominated the genre and we weren’t much older when Cash Money and Roc-A-Fella took hold of the late 90’s and early 2000’s....
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SXSW Postscript: Soul Survives

March 28, 2014
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SXSW Postscript: Soul Survives

In the wake of the Dap-Tones’ triumphs with both Sharon Jones and Amy Winehouse, not to mention the related success by Adele, Charles Bradley, Aloe Blacc and Joss Stone, the retro-soul movement has gathered considerable momentum. So it was no surprise to encounter plenty of old-school R&B artists—both young and old—at this year’s South...
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Posted in Live Review, Uncategorized | No Comments »

CP at SXSW: San Fermin blend contemporary art music and Brooklyn indie-rock

March 17, 2014
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CP at SXSW: San Fermin blend contemporary art music and Brooklyn indie-rock

The South by Southwest Music Conference does a pretty good job of incorporating other genres into its rockcentric extravaganza; in recent years hip-hop and worldbeat especially have become major presences. But the conference has never quite known what to do with jazz. They always showcase a few jazz shows at the Elephant Room, but...
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Posted in SXSW, Uncategorized | No Comments »

CP at SXSW: Tinariwen brings west African campfire to Austin

March 17, 2014
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CP at SXSW: Tinariwen brings west African campfire to Austin

A lot of bands at South by Southwest go to great lengths to appear strange and exotic. The great Malian band Tinariwen outdid them all without even trying. Tinariwen launched the desert-rock movement by electrifying the Tuareg tribe’s traditional folk music in the 1980s and by reaching out to European audiences with recordings and...
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Posted in SXSW | 2 Comments »

Live Review: Shooter Jennings

January 28, 2014
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Live Review: Shooter Jennings

Cancun Cantina West is a country disco in Hagerstown with black lights and tanned twenty­somethings twirling on the bar tops. The waitresses walking around with whistles and trays of shots reminded me of Tijuana, that other southern mecca of sun and sleaze. I frequented TJ during my brief stint as a San Diegan, but...
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Posted in Live Review | 5 Comments »

Live Review: All-Star Tribute to Gene Clark at Floristree

January 24, 2014
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Live Review: All-Star Tribute to Gene Clark at Floristree

After last year’s gig at the Lyric, we didn’t think we’d ever see Beach House perform in a warehouse space like Floristree again, so we were psyched when they announced a show there, part of a small tour with musicians from Fleet Foxes, Grizzly Bear, Lower Dens, Celebration, Wye Oak, and more. They had...
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Posted in Live Review | 4 Comments »

The Todd Marcus Jazz Orchestra Plays An Die Musik

January 20, 2014
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Over this past Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the Todd Marcus Jazz Orchestra gave concerts in New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington to prepare for Monday’s recording of a new album, Blues for Tahrir. It was a smart way to road test the material before committing it to a hard drive. Saturday’s show at An...
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Posted in Live Review, Noise | No Comments »

Live Review: Warren Wolf and Christian McBride

January 6, 2014
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Live Review: Warren Wolf and Christian McBride

When a visiting jazz star says nice things about the local musicians he’s playing with, that doesn’t mean much; he’s just being polite. But when that star breaks into a spontaneous grin during the locals’ solos, that does tell you something. That happened again and again when poll-topping bassist Christian McBride played with Baltimore’s...
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Music Review: The BSO’s War Requiem

November 15, 2013
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Music Review: The BSO’s War Requiem

A live performance, of course, always offers something you can’t get from a recording, but that’s especially true of Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem, for in this piece, geography plays a crucial role. When the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra performed this piece Thursday, conductor Marin Alsop, in her black uniform with fuschia cuffs, stood on the...
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Posted in Classical, Live Review | No Comments »

Live Review: Lucero at Baltimore Soundstage

November 8, 2013
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Live Review: Lucero at Baltimore Soundstage

“You were 16 when you fell in love,” Ben Nichols sang at the Baltimore Soundstage Thursday night. “No one told you it won’t be enough.” Nichols, Lucero’s 39-year-old lead singer and chief songwriter, was there to tell you. Wearing a shapeless white T-shirt, a faded green baseball cap, a jaw covered in stubble and...
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Posted in Live Review, Uncategorized | No Comments »

Live review: John Fogerty at the Lyric

November 7, 2013
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Live review: John Fogerty at the Lyric

In an interview with The Washington Post last week, John Fogerty said this of his days at the helm of the pioneering ’60s and ’70s swamp rock band Creedence Clearwater Revival: “I was sort of an unstoppable force.” He was talking about the CCR’s creative efficiency in its six-year stretch. But seeing him work...
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Neko Case lets loose at the Lincoln Theatre

October 31, 2013
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Neko Case lets loose at the Lincoln Theatre

Neko Case has long had one of the best voices in pop music, but it wasn’t until this year’s album with the unwieldy title, The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, the Harder I Fight, the More I Love You, that she had written songs as deep and complicated as that voice. She...
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Posted in Live Review | 1 Comment »

Live review: Pearl Jam at the Baltimore Arena

October 28, 2013
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Live review: Pearl Jam at the Baltimore Arena

It seemed unlikely that threads of rock ‘n roll history as disparate as Fugazi and Ted Nugent could be tied together neatly in one show, but they were on Sunday night at the Baltimore Arena, at the first Charm City date in Pearl Jam’s 23-year history. The first thread came, not with tributes to...
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Posted in Live Review | 3 Comments »

Lionel Loueke at the Hopkins Club

October 22, 2013
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Lionel Loueke at the Hopkins Club

Most attempts at forging fusions between jazz and third-world music founder because one party (sometimes both) doesn’t understand the other—or, even worse, think they do and impose their misunderstanding on the collaboration. The concert by the Lionel Loueke Trio at the Hopkins Club Saturday night was a welcome exception, because Loueke is a one-man...
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Live Review: Janelle Monae at the Lincoln Theatre

October 15, 2013
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Live Review: Janelle Monae at the Lincoln Theatre

Janelle Monae has set her debut EP and two subsequent albums in the year 2719, where her alter ego Cindi Mayweather is on the run from the Metropolis police. But like George Orwell’s, Monae’s vision of the future is really set in 1984. That’s the year that Michael Jackson and Prince battled for supremacy...
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