Category Archives: Music

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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Not Really ‘Live From Here’

After having soured over the years on “Prairie Home Companion” and its tropes, I was still only mildly interested in its renamed replacement “Live from Here” when it emerged on Saturday afternoon public radio. But having had a chance to attend a performance Friday I’ve changed my mind about the whole thing. First of all, [...]

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Alejandro Escovedo and a Touch of Italy

“Are you ready for some romantic Italian music?” guitarist Antonio Gramentieri calls out to the audience. Well, honestly, no. The crowd at City Winery was actually there for the more Tex-Mex flavored ballads and rockers from longtime songwriter Alejandro Escovedo, who has toured with all kinds of configurations over the years, from bands to duos [...]

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‘Hitmaker’ Jon Spencer at the Black Cat

When Jon Spencer took the stage arranging his amps before his latest band started playing Saturday night at the Black Cat in D.C., nobody much responded. Maybe they didn’t recognize him with glasses. But when he doffed the glasses, Clark Kent-like, suddenly he was the mercurial rocker, with an Elvis Presley voice, a rock ’n’ [...]

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Practically New NRBQ Carries Its Mantle

Those who haven’t seen the long-running NRBQ for a decade or two (or five) might have been surprised at the pre-New Year’s show at the Hamilton in D.C. to find that it is almost entirely a different band. And while it may be unsettling for fans of Joey and Johnny Spampinato, the late Tommy Ardolino [...]

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Margo Price Carries New Year’s Baby

To start her short tour leading up to New Year’s Eve, Margo Price rewrote the old Loretta Lynn tune “One’s On the Way.” Fitting, since she’s showing off her own pregnancy – five months along – with husband and band member, Jeremy Ivey. But she’s also topical enough to adapt that old country hit (written [...]

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