Archive: May 10, 2009 - May 16, 2009

Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival: Live Last Night

Usually when a young musician galvanizes the audience at the Kennedy Center's Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival it marks a career breakthrough. But the standing ovation accorded bassist-vocalist Esperanza Spalding at the Terrace Theater on Thursday night was pretty much a foregone conclusion. With a best-selling debut...

By David Malitz | May 15, 2009; 5:14 PM ET | Comments (1)

Jamey Johnson: Live Last Night

(By Richard A. Lipski) With his mountain man beard and Charlie Manson stare, country singer Jamey Johnson looks like the kind of guy who is mandated by law to stay at least 100 yards away from Carrie Underwood. Come to think of it, Johnson's music maintains an equivalent metaphorical...

By David Malitz | May 15, 2009; 1:25 PM ET | Comments (0)

Michael McKean, Harry Shearer and Christopher Guest - Unwigged and Unplugged: Live Last Night

The folks behind the most tuneful mockumentaries of our time shared the Warner Theatre stage on Wednesday. Michael McKean, Harry Shearer and Christopher Guest presented "Unwigged and Unplugged," a music/comedy tour that has the actors in street clothes presenting the songbooks of their semi-fictional bands Spinal Tap and the...

By David Malitz | May 15, 2009; 1:16 PM ET | Comments (1)

Hey, A Reader Compared Me to Obama!*

* In an unflattering way, of course. Justin Moore, former resident of Small Town, USA. Please Read the Letter: Vol. 1, No. 4: The latest entry in the newish Post Rock series in which I publish unedited email from readers who rant and rail about my work. Today's missive comes...

By J. Freedom du Lac | May 15, 2009; 12:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

Someone Saved Eminem's Life Tonight; Fiddy to Be the Wind Beneath the Divine Miss M's Wings

Headlines: The noted hip-hop homophobe Eminem says Elton John helped him kick his painkiller addiction. "I reached out to him and told him, 'Look, I'm going through a problem and I need your advice.'" Also says they've become BFFs or something: "I talk to Elton a lot." ... Bette...

By J. Freedom du Lac | May 15, 2009; 7:28 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Electricity of Springsteen

Bruce at RFK in 1985. (Danya Smith/TWP File) In advance of next Monday's Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band concert, we've been going deep into The Washington Post archives to pull reviews of previous performances by The Boss & Co. This one was published on Aug. 6, 1985, and...

By J. Freedom du Lac | May 14, 2009; 9:58 PM ET | Comments (1)

The War on Drugs: Live Last Night

The War on Drugs made one of 2008's best albums, "Wagonwheel Blues," a cloudy roadtrip record that succeeded in large part thanks to a low-key, home-recording vibe. But "cloudy" and "home-recording vibe" don't always translate well to a live setting, so the Philadelphia trio went with the always-reliable Plan...

By David Malitz | May 14, 2009; 4:49 PM ET | Comments (0)

The Thermals: Live Last Night

One punk-rock subset has always cultivated a decadent vibe, but the scene that produced Sid and Nancy has also yielded unassuming bands like the Thermals, who played Wednesday night at the Black Cat. If this Portland trio owes more to the Ramones than Pete Seeger, its ditties have an...

By David Malitz | May 14, 2009; 12:09 PM ET | Comments (0)

Rihanna Sings About a 'Silly Boy' (Gee, Who Might That Be?); Scorsese to Shine a Light on Sinatra

Headlines: Is Rihanna singing about Chris Brown on her new track, "Silly Boy"? "Get out my face," one lyric goes. Hmmm. ... Martin Scorsese has already made a classic Mob movie, and the "Last Waltz"/"No Direction Home" filmmaker knows a little bit about music, so yeah, it makes perfect...

By J. Freedom du Lac | May 14, 2009; 7:35 AM ET | Comments (1)

Springsteen's 'Tunnel' Tour de Force: The Boss Returns With A Marvelous Marathon

Bruce and the Big Man at the Cap Centre in '88. (Frank Johnston/TWP File) In advance of next Monday's Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band concert, we've been going deep into The Washington Post archives to pull reviews of previous performances by The Boss & Co. This one was...

By J. Freedom du Lac | May 13, 2009; 5:31 PM ET | Comments (0)

Mastodon: I Turn My Camera On

Atlanta metal monsters Mastodon turned up to 11 at the 9:30 club last night. Our man Kyle Gustafson was there to get pictures. His current G-chat status message reads: "Mastodon is the metal version of My Morning Jacket." I take it he means both in terms of hair and bombast....

By David Malitz | May 13, 2009; 4:10 PM ET | Comments (0)

Halloween, Alaska: Live Last Night

"Songs for California are catching up with you" whispered Halloween, Alaska vocalist James Diers at Iota last night, sending another aching melody into another eddy of keyboards, moody guitar lines and pulsing electronic drums. And while the Arlington venue hardly provides the perfect milieu for a band that relies...

By J. Freedom du Lac | May 13, 2009; 3:43 PM ET | Comments (0)

Springsteen's Verizon Concert Oversold

ASSOCIATED PRESS -- Thousands of Bruce Springsteen fans who bought premium seats to his concert at the Verizon Center on Monday are being told they don't actually have tickets. TicketsNow.com, a resale company owned by Ticketmaster, says it sold too many tickets. Company representatives have been calling fans to tell...

By J. Freedom du Lac | May 13, 2009; 11:54 AM ET | Comments (19)

All Systems Intact: The Thermals

Here's why I love the Thermals: I had the band's discography on shuffle this morning and heard three awesome songs just while I was waiting in line at Starbucks. And the line wasn't even that long! The Thermals don't overthink things. Rock-and-roll should be fast, loud, catchy, succinct. They...

By David Malitz | May 13, 2009; 10:56 AM ET | Comments (0)

Kid Rock Has Something Brewing; Kanye's Torqued @Twitter; Another Reality Check For Rick Ross

Headlines: Kid Rock is planning to introduce a new brand of American beer, called, uh Bad Ass Beer. "It just tastes like good American light beer," says the Detroit rapper-turned-rocker-turned-brewmaster. "An everyday beer." It'll be made in Michigan, and the advertising will take aim at Budweiser, et al. ......

By J. Freedom du Lac | May 13, 2009; 7:24 AM ET | Comments (0)

Springsteen's Power Rock: Bruce is Back With Good Times, Hard Times & Songs From the Streets

Bruce at the first of four sold-out Cap Centre shows in 1984. (Lucian Perkins/TWP File) In advance of next Monday's Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band concert, we've been going deep into The Washington Post archives to pull reviews of previous performances by The Boss & Co. This one...

By J. Freedom du Lac | May 12, 2009; 6:08 PM ET | Comments (0)

Leonard Cohen: Live Last Night

Ladies and Gentlemen, opening for the serene and poetical Mr. Leonard Cohen this evening: the brilliant and genteel Mr. Leonard Cohen. At Merriweather Monday night, under skies that might be called "Coheneque" -- cold, rainy, despairing, but not without a solitary beauty -- the spry 74-year-old songwriter's songwriter glided...

By David Malitz | May 12, 2009; 1:03 PM ET | Comments (1)

NBC's Brian Williams, Indie Vlogger; Spencer Pratt Has Skillz?; Alice Cooper Opening for Obama

Headlines: Because there aren't enough people online talking about indie bands, Brian Williams has decided to get into the act. Yep, that Brian Williams. The NBC news anchor's new Web-only feature, "BriTunes" (har har), launched with a Deer Tick interview. What next, David Broder vlogging about Passion Pit? Pitchfork...

By J. Freedom du Lac | May 12, 2009; 7:47 AM ET | Comments (0)

King of The Night: Thundering Springsteen

In advance of next Monday's Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band concert, we've been going deep into The Washington Post archives to pull reviews of previous performances by The Boss & Co. This one was published on Nov. 24, 1980, and written by Richard Harrington. Whew! Last night Bruce...

By J. Freedom du Lac | May 11, 2009; 5:11 PM ET | Comments (0)

Live Last Night: Ghost

The Summer of Love came late to Japan, whose late 1960s were marked by violent protests. Once psychedelia arrived, however, it settled in. Ghost, the Tokyo sextet that performed Sunday night at the Velvet Lounge, has been playing acid-washed music for 25 years, with no signs of burnout. On...

By David Malitz | May 11, 2009; 5:11 PM ET | Comments (0)

Animal Collective: Live Last Night

BALTIMORE -- A cappella will never be hip. But if any group could make it happen, it would be Animal Collective. The white-hot indie trio, whose album "Merriweather Post Pavilion" is a lock to finish near the top of countless year-end best-of lists, incorporates all sorts of blippy, bleepy,...

By David Malitz | May 11, 2009; 1:38 PM ET | Comments (0)

Dolly Parton, Ph.Double-D; Nick Cannon Fires At Eminem; 'J. Freedom Du Lac Is An Anti-White'

Headlines: Dolly Parton received an honorary doctorate of humane and musical letters from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville on Friday. And, of course, Dolly being Dolly, she celebrated the occasion with a joke. "Just think, I am Dr. Dolly! So when people say something about 'Double-D,' they will...

By J. Freedom du Lac | May 11, 2009; 8:24 AM ET | Comments (2)

John Doe and the Sadies: Live Last Night

The great Los Angeles punkabilly quartet known as X had already made its best albums by 1985, when three-fourths of its lineup joined guitarist Dave Alvin to form the country and western spin-off the Knitters. That band took 20 years to brew a follow-up, but X/Knitters co-frontman John Doe's...

By J. Freedom du Lac | May 10, 2009; 8:41 PM ET | Comments (0)

Teena Marie: Live Last Night

Teena Marie hasn't lost any of her attitude or octaves. Or fans. At a crowded and raucous Constitution Hall on Friday, she brought back the heyday of pop-funk. (Read the rest of the review after the jump.)...

By J. Freedom du Lac | May 10, 2009; 8:21 PM ET | Comments (1)

Eilen Jewell: Live Last Night

If Neko Case, Madeleine Peyroux and Billie Holiday had a baby girl who grew up to front a rockabilly band, she'd probably sound a lot like Eilen Jewell. Jewell (her first name rhymes with "feelin'") and her three piece band captivated the Saturday night crowd at Iota with selections...

By J. Freedom du Lac | May 10, 2009; 8:08 PM ET | Comments (0)

 

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