Category Archives: Music

Review: Paul McCartney, Bringing It at 75

Paul McCartney was just kidding a half century ago, when he painted a picture of a grandfatherly existence at 64, doing the garden, digging the weeds and wondering whether he’d still be needed. Eleven years after that artificial milestone, people very clearly need him. And as he continues to thrill the hinterlands at 75 with [...]

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Steve Earle & the Dukes at the Birchmere

It’s a brash move to close out a show on one of the hottest days in the D.C. metro with a song called “Christmas in Washington,” but Steve Earle’s career has been one of brash moves. He started his generous show at the Birchmere in Alexandria, Va., Tuesday with a handful of songs from an [...]

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The Zombies Come Alive at Birchmere

Half a century ago this summer, the Zombies were in Abbey Road studio, working on an album that would both break up the band and bring them back together decades later. Fifty years later, they were winding up another U.S. tour whose center point was a group of songs from that album that only grew [...]

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Rock Review: NRBQ Sustains at Amp

It was a shock six years ago when the newest incarnation of NRBQ was actually something that had been touring as the Terry Adams Rock & Roll Quartet. Adams had been been the mainstay of the Q since the start, more than 50 years ago now, but still. NRBQ had been on a hiatus for [...]

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Jimmy Iovine, Dr. Dre are ‘Defiant Ones’

It borrows its title from the 1958 film about a black and white prisoner chained together, but the bonds between super successful producers Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre led to their bank-breaking deal selling their Beats company to Apple, and how the two continue to influence pop culture after decades. So Allen Hughes’ “The Defiant [...]

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Buckingham and McVie at Wolf Trap

Of the many incarnations of Fleetwood Mac since 1967, the most popular by far is the California version ushered in by the addition of Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks. Probably because they sold 40 million copies of their self-titled album in 1975, and because people loved Stevie. It was Buckingham, though, who brought a new [...]

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Alejandro Escovedo at the Birchmere

Alejandro Escovedo brings a lot of talented approaches into one rock figure. His show at the Birchmere in Alexandria Saturday had aspects of both his hard rocking postpunk career and also his quieter acoustic material. In both he was backed by a talented three piece, who wailed when the electricity was full and sat with [...]

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Review: Elvis Costello at Wolf Trap

At a time when heritage artists have been distinguishing their tours with reverent presentations of their classic albums, playing them in strict order, one side and then the other, Elvis Costello has found a more flexible vehicle in a tour to celebrate his 1982 ”Imperial Bedroom.” A landmark album in his rich period of complex pop, [...]

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Rock Review: U2 Does ‘The Joshua Tree’

Playing whole albums from past catalogs is the variation that has kept arenas full for classic rock acts. It’s a way to both break from the greatest hits format and the struggle to push a new product fans may not prefer while providing a one time celebration of the past. U2 may be one of [...]

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(Sandy) Alex G at the Rock & Roll Hotel

I wanted to see the show by (Sandy) Alex G in part because my daughter called him “the Elliott Smith of my generation.” This comparison took me aback, partly because I thought of, say, Nick Drake as the Elliott Smith of my generation. Which means I’m about two generations removed from what’s selling out the [...]

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