Category Archives: Music

Bob Dylan, Mavis Staples at the Anthem

“Forever Young” is not a song Bob Dylan played in his first show at the big new rock club The Anthem in D.C. Tuesday, but it is something he embodied. Who else has so dominated American music for half a century, requiring one to venture out to see his shows with his band year after [...]

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Rock Review: Pere Ubu, Johnny Dowd

Pere Ubu as a band predated the American punk explosion, which nonetheless gave context to its fierce, bare-boned recordings. And though it remained associated with the explosion of bands at that time, Pere Ubu the band always seemed more an extension of the kind of outsider, rough-edged cadre of blues shouters, poets and hipsters that [...]

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Dhani Harrison, Summer Moon at U Street

There were more grey-haired types than usual at the Dhani Harrison show Tuesday at the U Street Music Hall. Were they suddenly interested in dense, synth-heavy 21st Century anthems from a guy becoming known for his sprawling soundtrack work? Excited about his solo album “In///Parallel”? More likely they were taking a night off the Fab Faux [...]

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Rolling Stone Pages Through 50 Years

The 50th anniversary of Rolling Stone is being marked a number of ways, from a biography that publisher Jann Wenner has already disavowed (and is being well-reviewed) to this two part documentary from Alex Gibney and Blair Foster, “Rolling Stone: Stories from the Edge” (HBO, 9 p.m.) that takes a swing from its heyday. While [...]

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Finding the Voice of John Coltrane

“Independent Lens” (PBS, 10 p.m., check local listings) kicks off its 16th season with what would be a perfect “American Masters.” The absorbing and uplifting biography of jazz giant John Coltrane by director John Scheinfeld could fit as any well-done public television biography. But this one has the advantage of Coltrane’s sublime and groundbreaking saxophone [...]

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Lucinda Williams’ New ‘Sweet Old World’

The increasingly popular ploy of celebrating a classic album on its anniversary came a little differently to Lucinda Williams. Instead of performing the original work top to bottom in front of a backdrop of the cover, her show at the Lincoln Theatre in Washington Monday was preceded by a completely re-recorded version of the sublime, [...]

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Yep Roc 20′s Rockin’ Anniversary

Sometimes, a record label anniversary concert can be a pretty disparate affair, if only because of the breadth of the rosters. Motown 25 was probably a pinnacle of its type in 1983, even though it also included Adam Ant and DeBarge as well as Michael Jackson. Atlantic Records’ 40th anniversary fete in 1988 featured both [...]

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Secret Sisters Harmonize at The Hamilton

The Secret Sisters come off like a classic duo from the golden age of country music, or maybe before that: the string band era of the Depression days. Existing in the 21st century is a whole lot harder, they have found. But survival seems certain based on their reliance on the kind of sibling harmonies [...]

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A Stop on Daniel Johnston’s Final Tour

To the devoted fans of Daniel Johnston, the troubled outsider songwriter behind “Speeding Motorcycle” and other indie favorites, an  introduction would certainly not be necessary. But what’s being billed at Johnston’s final tour begins with a lengthy intro: The whole of Jeff Feuerzeig’s remarkable 2005 documentary “The Devil and Daniel Johnston,” which chronicles the fascinating [...]

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‘Take Me to the River,’ the Concert Version

Since Martin Shore released his 2014 documentary “Take Me to the River,” telling the story of Memphis soul while trying to introduce a hip hop generation, a number of its featured artists have died, including Bobby “Blue” Bland, Hubert Sumlin and Teenie Hodges. But three other of its featured participants went on to win their [...]

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