Category Archives: Music

Flesh Eaters’ Ace Lineup at Union Stage

The poet and writer Chris Desjardins created the Flesh Eaters in the heyday of L.A. punk scene of the late 1970s, enlisting many of his friends to be among the revolving roster in the band over a handful of albums. The most potent lineup was the one in 1981 that produced the band’s strongest album [...]

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A Couple Takes the Gershwin Prize

It was the 10th Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, but winners Emilio and Gloria Estefan represent two firsts — the first married couple to be so honored, and the first of Latin heritage. The award comes with a presentation with a big Congressional delegation in Washington and an all-star concert at the [...]

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Remembering Hal Blaine, 1929-2019

One of rock’s greatest timekeepers was stilled, as Hal Blaine died in Los Angeles Monday at age 90. A player on more than 350 Top 40 hits and 40 No. 1 records, Blaine was something of a hometown hero in Hartford, where I was working when I interviewed him in 2000, as he was about [...]

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A Stirring Salute to the Queen of Soul

Any time is a good time for a salute to Aretha Franklin music. But the Queen of Soul did it so well herself, it’s hard to pay tribute and come close. The music special “Aretha! A Grammy Celebration for the Queen of Soul” (CBS, 9 p.m.) tries its best, but in the end succeeds largely [...]

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An Untimely Concert from the Jacksons

It was an auspicious moment in Jacksons history Friday, happening in a snowy and frozen remote corner — a rural Minnesota casino, in one of just a couple of scheduled U.S. dates this year. Only two days later, a world of Michael Jackson fans would be confronted with some ugly accusations in a long, thoughtful [...]

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Weezer, Briefly, at the Black Cat

Days before a new album was to come out, a week before another arena tour, Weezer played the cozy Black Cat in Washington, D.C. Wednesday for a Sirius XM broadcast Thursday, and naturally the free ticket giveaway brought a line down the block to the venerable 700-capacity club. As well-positioned for maximum promotion as it [...]

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James McMurtry’s ‘State of the Union’

The stage couldn’t be much more bare than it was for James McMurtry’s return visit to The Birchmere Music Hall. A couple of guitars, a table with a bottle of water and that’s it. McMurtry’s songs as well are often as stark, painting indelible scenes of domestic impasse, bleak pictures of heartland economic woe and [...]

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Chuck Prophet, Almost Solo in Virginia

A whirlwind tour in Spain with Charlie Sexton playing the whole of The Rolling Stones’ “Some Girls” may not be the best practice for a solo tour, but it may have given Chuck Prophet a little extra slashing on his acoustic guitar at the start of a quite different tour. It was a solo tour, [...]

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The Charley Pride Story on PBS

Charley Pride is a singular story in country music. Subject of a new black History Month “American Masters” (PBS, 9 p.m., check local listings), the focus of “Charley Pride; I’m Just Me” is not the first African-American in country music (that would be Grand Ole Opry harmonica cat DeFord Bailey). But he is arguably the first [...]

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Remembering Peter Tork, 1942-2019

Much of what we know about Peter Tork, who died Thursday at 77, is based on the character he was cast for in 1966 on “The Monkees.” There, he played the dim member, the bassist, with a blissful, childlike look in his eye as the made-for-TV band got into capers each week, even as its [...]

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