Category Archives: Music

‘The Juliet Letters’ Live Again

Running a small opera company requires innovation enough, but Washington’s Urban Arias goes further, by commissioning new works, or finding pieces that are little known or rarely performed and infusing them with reliable company talent that can electrify their purposely small audiences. They’re doing that now by closing their latest season with a performance of [...]

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Juliana Hatfield Keeping It Strong

Juliana Hatfield still looks like a bit of a waif taking the spotlight at Union Stage in Washington, D.C. on a recent summer weekday night. She’s rail-thin in her flowered pantsuit; her slight stature seemingly made smaller by the size (and sound) of her electric guitar. But it’s her still high and girlish voice that [...]

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The Minus 5, Plus 2 From R.E.M.

The recovery from a stroke in 2017 remains a source of celebration surrounding rocker Scott McCaughey. He’s surrounded by musicians who have been friends of his for years, is writing slightly more reflective songs following his brush with mortality and still rocking out with a verve that may surprise even him. Fronting the latest version [...]

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Filthy Friends, Dressy Bessy on U Street

Women rule the world, or at least they did at the U Street Music Hall in a rockin’ Monday night show by Filthy Friends with Dressy Bessy. The oddly named Friends are a kind of supergroup led by Corin Tucker of Sleater-Kinney that also features Peter Buck of R.E.M., Scott McCaughey and Kurt Bloch of [...]

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Ex Hex Triumphant in Hometown Date

Mixed amid the sheer exhilaration of an Ex Hex gig at the 930 Club is the added pride of a hometown date. The D.C. rockers led by Mary Timony, once of Helium, Wild Flag and Autoclave, quite rightfully nearly sold out the place, but I’m wondering why the trio isn’t selling out everywhere they go. [...]

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Maren Morris Goes Pop at The Anthem

Maren Morris paused a couple times in her splashy headlining show at The Anthem in D.C. to take it all in. It was her largest sellout to date, with 6,000 people, and just about everybody in the young, largely female crowd knew every lyric of her new album, which she only released a couple months [...]

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Returning to 1960s Laurel Canyon

Jakob Dylan grew up amid his own small-town musical crossroads — Woodstock — but the subject of his new documentary is the one that flourished on the other side of the country in Los Angeles’ bohemian Laurel Canyon in the late 1960s. An added treat to his bringing the film to festivals ahead of its [...]

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Commerce Edges Art at Rock Hall

The tug of war between art and commerce is clear in the 2019 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony (HBO, 8 p.m.) that’s become a big annual concert event. It’s also clear which side is winning. Now set in arenas instead of a hotel ballroom, it’s bookended by arena filling acts. The event,  [...]

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Robyn Hitchcock: Sublimely Weird

Age is only helping Robyn Hitchcock settle into his role as wizened surrealist singer and mystic storyteller. More than 45 years after starting his first band, the founder of the Soft Boys who went on to fronting the Egyptians and a long, accomplished solo career is a unique troubadour — a singer who can create [...]

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The Unexpected Return of Mott the Hoople

Mott the Hoople always seemed the kind of band that would implode at any moment, and such was the case when they pulled into New York in the middle of their 1974 U.S. tour, becoming the first rock band to play a week on Broadway. That achievement didn’t pay off for the band (any more [...]

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