Category Archives: Music

John Hiatt’s ‘Slow Turning’ 30 Years On

John Hiatt became eligible for Medicaid Monday, marking his 65th birthday at the first of two sold out shows at the Birchmere Music Hall in Alexandria, Va. But there was nothing suggesting anything close to retirement in his show with The Goners, the ace Louisiana trio led by guitarist Sonny Landreth. Indeed, on a night [...]

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Two Rascals Rock (with Carmine Appice)

One of the great underrated American bands of the 1960s is the Rascals, purveyors of a soulful brand of East Coast that provided a few hits that everybody knows and who forged an expansive, spiritual course before petering out in the 70s. There have been attempts this century to reunite the original four, primarily by [...]

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Aretha Franklin’s ‘Amazing Grace’

Here’s something I wrote in May, 1999, upon the reissue of the 1972 “Amazing Grace” album by Aretha Franklin, who died Thursday at 76.    It should have been the most natural thing on Earth when Aretha Franklin entered the Los Angeles New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in January 1972 at the age of 29 [...]

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Remembering Aretha Franklin, 1942-2018

The decline and hospice of Aretha Franklin over the past days still didn’t prepare for the loss of her death Thursday at 76. For decades the undisputed Queen of Soul, the daughter of a Detroit pastor, helped define soul with a voice that exuded joy, pain and power like no one else. I was lucky [...]

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Taylor Swift’s Big, Big Stadium Show

Despite the dizzying confluence of torches, fireworks, lights, immense video screens, dancing squads, light-up fan wristbands and three-story snakes — so many snakes — in Taylor Swift’s big Reputation stadium tour, the best moment comes when she’s finally alone with the guitar. It happens just over halfway in her two hour extravaganza when she’s on [...]

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The Feelies at the 930 Club

The fast jangle and hypnotic rhythms of The Feelies is not just a warm throwback to 1980s when their first album ushered in a precise kind of frantic nerd rock, influencing a number of other bands. By now, the band is a standard bearer for an enduring strain of New York rock. With its droning [...]

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At the ‘Luke Cage’ Premiere Party

The second season of “Luke Cage” (Netflix, streaming) begins tonight on the service, but had a premiere party the other night at the Kennedy Center celebrating Marvel’s bulletproof brother from Harlem. As interesting as the first season was — and of Cage’s Netflix origins in “Jessica Jones” — the first two episodes they showed seemed [...]

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U2 Tells Its Story at CapitolOne Arena

It was only last year when U2 hit the stadium circuit for a kind of nostalgia immersion with the 30th anniversary of “The Joshua Tree.” The give and take for the band’s 2018 tour boasts smaller venues — if hockey arenas can be considered small — and a largely lesser known album to promote, last [...]

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Jimmie Dale Gilmore Joins Dave Alvin

Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore had known each other for years on the Americana circuit, but it wasn’t until they joined forces for a brief acoustic tour last year did they find that they also cut their musical teeth watching blues greats at the old Ash Grove club in Los Angeles. They decided to [...]

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Belle and Sebastian at The Anthem

Belle and Sebastian’s current tour is a movable feast, where substantially different set lists are conjured each night, whole sections of musicians are added and subtracted, and the fun being had on stage is certainly contagious to those in the crowd. The setup at the Anthem Saturday for the group was an odd one: general [...]

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