Archive: April 5, 2009 - April 11, 2009

Stanley Mouse Talks Grateful Dead, Zig-Zags, Hot Rods, Hippies and What Journey Took From Jimi

Stanley Mouse and Alton Kelley were something like the Grateful Dead of rock-and-roll graphic designers. Just as the Dead's spacey jams anchored the soundtrack for the psychedelic 1960s San Francisco scene, Mouse and Kelley's trippy work as in-house poster artists for the Avalon Ballroom (and, later, as album-cover designers)...

By J. Freedom du Lac | April 10, 2009; 10:09 AM ET | Comments (1)

Kanye West Checks Ego Following 'South Park' Slaughter; Bill O'Reilly Hip-Hoppin' Mad (Again)

Headlines: Kanye West, whose famously narcissistic tendencies were mocked on "South Park" this week, sounded downright chastened in a blog post about the experience. The show portrayed the rapper as a megalomaniac with a latent desire to live as a "a gay fish." Noting that he'd been "murdered" by...

By J. Freedom du Lac | April 10, 2009; 8:14 AM ET | Comments (0)

Neko Case: Live Last Night

Neko Case's once-in-a-generation set of pipes seems to strike audiences dumb. At her enjoyable if schizophrenic gig at the 9:30 club last night, the capacity crowd was on its best behavior -- you've never heard the place so silent as when Case sparked off the relative oldie "I Wish...

By J. Freedom du Lac | April 9, 2009; 5:28 PM ET | Comments (3)

Comet Gain: Live Last Night

Nobody does charismatically disheveled indie-pop like the British, and Comet Gain has been doing it -- singer-guitarist David Charlie Christian Feck announced last night at the Black Cat -- for 45 years. A giddy if disorganized mix of bookish irony and scruffy rock, the band's set was charming, cheering...

By J. Freedom du Lac | April 9, 2009; 2:05 PM ET | Comments (0)

Lissy Trullie: Live Last Night

On her debut EP, "Self-Taught Learner," Lissie Trullie sounds pouty, moody and little spoiled. When the New York-based, D.C.-bred singer walked on stage at the Rock and Roll Hotel last night with her all-male backing trio, it seemed she might act that way, too. But the fetching Trullie --...

By J. Freedom du Lac | April 9, 2009; 1:40 PM ET | Comments (0)

Mary Mary: Live Last Night

You know the world domination of AutoTune is complete when even gospel artists start sounding like T-Pain. On their latest album, "The Sound," the gospel duo Mary Mary break out the digital voice distortion for "God in Me," a song that mixes a bounce track and lyrics about nice...

By J. Freedom du Lac | April 9, 2009; 1:18 PM ET | Comments (0)

Kim Kardashian and Her Massive Glutes Not Mad at Eminem; Peta Thinks Pet Shop Boys' Name Is a Sin

Headlines: Eminem's latest spoof targets are starting to respond to the rapper's new "We Made You." Jessica Simpson is annoyed. Kim Kardashian is honored, saying: "I am a huge Eminem fan and find it flattering that he would rap about me." Key Eminem lyric: "Damn, I think Kim Kardashian's...

By J. Freedom du Lac | April 9, 2009; 8:09 AM ET | Comments (1)

Raul Malo on Great Singers, Being Born 50 Years Too Late and Just What Ailed the Mavericks

When a reader asked me recently who my favorite contemporary vocalist was, the first name that thought-bubbled over my head was Raul Malo's. He first turned heads -- and weakened knees -- with that rich, velvety, golden-toned baritone as frontman for the celebrated, sorta-country band, the Mavericks. The Cuban-American...

By J. Freedom du Lac | April 8, 2009; 2:05 PM ET | Comments (0)

A Mixtape and a Cigarette: The Ballad of Comet Gain

There's a word Comet Gain uses in its lyrics more than any other band: mixtape. Now you may think, Mixtape? That's kind of a silly thing to sing about. And you might be right. But it's not silly for Comet Gain to sing about. Because in the land of Comet...

By David Malitz | April 8, 2009; 2:03 PM ET | Comments (0)

Bob Mould: Live Last Night

Bob Mould's resume shows him to be a Da Vinci of the fringes. "Blowoff" -- a gay-centric series of dance parties he started in D.C., where he now lives -- has become a touring enterprise. Mould also spent time in the 1990s writing scripts for the least socially acceptable...

By J. Freedom du Lac | April 8, 2009; 12:53 PM ET | Comments (0)

Title Tracks: Live Last Night

Gradually, John Davis is becoming D.C.'s preeminent pop classicist. His command of power pop first surfaced during his time as half of the gloriously bittersweet (and much missed) Georgie James; over the past year, as host of the "1-2-3-4 More More More" radio show (now on WOXY.com), he's added...

By David Malitz | April 8, 2009; 12:31 PM ET | Comments (0)

Meet the Remastered Beatles! (But Only on CD); Nirvana Was No Fun, Brandon Flowers Complains

Headlines: The Beatles are coming, this time in remastered form. The band's original catalogue has been digitally remastered and will go on sale in September in CD format. Still no digital availability, though. Noting that the CD format is so very 1999, Bob Lefsetz offers this take: "What's next,...

By J. Freedom du Lac | April 8, 2009; 7:40 AM ET | Comments (0)

Micachu & the Shapes, the Coathangers, Superchunk and more: Really Quick Spins

Micachu & the Shapes - "Jewellry" There's a lot of static, blurting keyboards and other random noises that populate the songs on the debut by this 21-year-old Londoner. But if you strip away all the noise -- not that you'd want to, since it gives the album its personality...

By David Malitz | April 7, 2009; 1:09 PM ET | Comments (0)

Bob Dylan's Last Thoughts on Barack Obama; POTUS iPod Gift May Have Violated Copyright Law

Headlines: Bob Dylan says he's surprised Barack Obama went into politics. (But he means it in the nicest possible way.) Key quote: "In some sense, you would think being in the business of politics would be the last thing that this man would want to do." Also: The craggy...

By J. Freedom du Lac | April 7, 2009; 7:47 AM ET | Comments (0)

Chris Cornell: Live Last Night

Chris Cornell has always been a popular pick for lead singer of a supergroup -- hello, Temple of the Dog and Audioslave! -- and with good reason. The former Soundgarden frontman, now in mid-40s, has an ideal rock-and-roll voice: He comes from the Robert Plant school of vocalists, more...

By David Malitz | April 6, 2009; 2:18 PM ET | Comments (3)

Cleve Francis on Race, Country Music and the Chart-Topping Achievements of Darius Rucker

Cleve Francis is probably the only African American singer/cardiologist ever to have placed a song on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. He did it four times, in fact, in the early 1990s, with "Love Light," "You Do My Heart Good," "How Can I Hold You" and "Walkin'," each...

By J. Freedom du Lac | April 6, 2009; 2:10 PM ET | Comments (0)

The Blue Note 7: Live Last Night

By the time the Blue Note 7 arrived at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater last night, it was a seasoned, tight-knit ensemble, with a recording and extensive tour under its belt. So instead of encountering an ad hoc group of all-stars saluting the 70th anniversary of the storied Blue...

By J. Freedom du Lac | April 6, 2009; 1:43 PM ET | Comments (0)

Virgin Mobile Fest Moving to Merriweather?

Last week, the Baltimore Sun reported that there would, in fact, be a VMoFest this year -- but that the big question was where, what with the owner of Pimlico Race Course currently in bankruptcy proceedings. Well, it looks like promoter-producer Seth Hurwitz is thinking about bringing the festival closer...

By J. Freedom du Lac | April 6, 2009; 11:18 AM ET | Comments (2)

Carrie Underwood Is the Belle of the ACM Ball; Toby Keith Is Fightin' Mad; The Beatles Are Back

Headlines: Country prom queen Carrie Underwood received the royal treatment at the Academy of Country Music Awards: Underwood was named entertainer of the year, becoming only the seventh woman in 39 years to win the big award. She celebrated the occasion by crying. Underwood also won top female vocalist...

By J. Freedom du Lac | April 6, 2009; 8:15 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, Partying Like It's 1959: Live Last Night

The year 1959 wasn't a very good one in jazz -- it was phenomenal one. No surprise, then, to find an overflow crowd at Baird Auditorium on Saturday night, eager to hear six members of the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra revisit landmark recordings of Miles Davis, Dave Brubeck, John...

By J. Freedom du Lac | April 6, 2009; 8:05 AM ET | Comments (0)

 

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