Category Archives: Music

The Jayhawks at the Birchmere

The latest recordings from The Jayhawks come as backing band on the new Ray Davies album “Americana,” which came out the same weekend the venerable Twin Cities band played the Birchmere. The band hasn’t exactly become the Kinks in the meantime; the Jayhawks’ latest release, “Paging Mr. Proust” has many of the same tuneful, expressive [...]

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Drive-By Truckers Split It Up at 9:30

The Drive-By Truckers tried something bold with their 10th studio album last fall, “American Band.” Though the title makes it sound like a reprise of the Grand Funk hit, it was actually a collection of its most pointed political commentaries to date, challenging its Southern rock fans with issues of prevalent gun violence, racial injustice [...]

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Aimee Mann: Sad Songs in Hot Pants

Aimee Mann thinks her songs are sadder than they really are; that there’s so much psychosis on her latest album that she had to called it “Mental Illness.” It was as if a night of her music might result in a jump off a bridge. “Settle in,” she warned, on the first night of her ”Mental Illness” tour [...]

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Kennedy Center’s Tribute to Pete Seeger

There are so many rich stories to tell about Pete Seeger, the folk music standard bearer who died three years ago at 94, that a Kennedy Center tribute concert to him Saturday could barely fit them — and all the artists slated to play. As it was, “Pete Seeger and the Power of Song: Tribute [...]

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The Many Sides of John Mayer

John Mayer is so talented, it’s almost stunted his career. He has such appeal to young women with his sticky love songs, he won’t ever be in danger of losing them; at the same time, he’s such an accomplished guitar hero, he gains another group of fans who care little about his love ditties. His [...]

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Lambchop’s Slow Boil at U Street

Over its career, Lambchop has been known to travel with as many as 20 members performing its hushed, quirky and often contemplative alt-country. At the U Street Music Hall Saturday night, there were just four. Which was good, since the small stage couldn’t fit many more in the first place. And it suited the surprising [...]

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Review: Chuck Prophet, Bottle Rockets

Even as he rocks out with his band the Mission Express, Chuck Prophet has mortality all around him. “Bobby Fuller Died for You Sins!” he declares in the anthemic title track of his latest album, which kicked off his splendid show at the Hamilton Live in Washington, D.C., Tuesday. He’d return to Fuller, the forever [...]

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Two Nights, 50 Songs: Magnetic Fields

The Magnetic Fields has been known to write a whole lot of songs about one subject, the prime example being the epic “69 Love Songs” that came on three discs and a boxed set in 1999. The 2004 album “I” had songs all starting with the letter i. Now, bandleader and writer Stephin Merritt accepted [...]

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Remembering Chuck Berry, 1926-2017

Other than Elvis, the number of rock ’n’ roll pioneers that have been still among us all these years is pretty impressive, with Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis and Fats Domino still drawing breath. That ended Saturday for the man to whom rock ’n’ roll is closest linked when Chuck Berry,  died at 90. The [...]

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Dan Baird, Eric Ambel at Hill Country

It wasn’t just the overhyped blizzard that bedeviled gigs along the Eastern Seaboard last week. There were also more mundane barriers, like the missing drain plug in the oil tank of Eric Ambel’s Suburban  that drained it just before he was to drive from New York for a gig at D.C.’s Hill Country BBQ Thursday. [...]

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