Category Archives: Music

‘Take Me to the River,’ the Concert Version

Since Martin Shore released his 2014 documentary “Take Me to the River,” telling the story of Memphis soul while trying to introduce a hip hop generation, a number of its featured artists have died, including Bobby “Blue” Bland, Hubert Sumlin and Teenie Hodges. But three other of its featured participants went on to win their [...]

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Randy Newman at the Birchmere

At 73, Randy Newman is still writing sharp and funny political songs, elaborate and cynical set pieces about the state of the world and, in between, the kind of stark songs that unexpectedly rip your heart out. At a wide-ranging, two-set, 33 song panorama of his work of the past half century, fans responded to [...]

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Screams at the Yoko Tribute Concert

Aside from her considerable career as a conceptual artist, Yoko Ono may also be the most polarizing figure in rock. She still carries a lot of unfair blame for being a convenient target as the Beatles were breaking up, and may have showed up on too many Lennon solo albums for purists. At the same [...]

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Arcade Fire Adapts Well to Arena

Playing in the round isn’t always the best way to take in an arena concert. By definition, a band’s presentation is fractured in different directions, lacking a central, unified focus. Every time a band member is facing you means that another is facing the other way. If it’s a spinning stage, it can all be [...]

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Rock Review: Ted Leo & the Pharmacists

Eighteen years after he started Ted Leo & The Pharmacists here, the band returned to D.C. for a spirited pair of shows this weekend at the Black Cat after a long absence, gladdening fans with his driving older material even as he attempted to show a new direction with his new. It’s not completely a [...]

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Steely Dan’s Walter Becker (1950-2017)

One of the charms of Walter Becker, the Steely Dan co founder who died Sunday at 67, is that he looked less like a rock star and more like the rest of us. Professorial in look, he brought a jazz sensibility to pop with the band he formed with Donald Fegan, who Sunday called Becker [...]

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Shelby Lynne, Allison Moore Team Up

It’s a bit of a head scratcher why it hasn’t been until now that Shelby Lynne and Allison Moorer have collaborated together. The sisters have each carved out distinctive careers with varying degrees of commercial success over the last 30 years, released 24 albums between them and share in an Alabama upbringing and tragic family [...]

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Greta Van Fleet’s Lil’ Led Zeppelin

Like Lynyrd Skynyrd, Greta Van Fleet was named after a random person in their community with a quirky moniker. The teen band from Frankenmuth, Mich., might have risked getting mixed up with Greta Van Susteren at some point or at least the singer Grace VanderWaal. But they might be a much bigger thing. To hear [...]

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Sheer Mag Rocks the Black Cat

For all of the power and velocity of her screaming-mimi voice, Sheer Mag lead singer Tina Hallaway can be awfully shy on stage. Raging through the band’s headlining show Wednesday at the Black Cat in D.C., she paused just once to talk, and then only to read off some info about how to aid to [...]

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Glen Campbell, 1936-2017

Though we knew it was coming, it was sad to hear of the death of Glen Campbell at 81. His long bout with Alzheimer’s was brilliantly depicted in the sometimes painful 2014 film “I’ll Be Me,” which millions saw through replay on CNN (when that network had the luxury to show documentaries). Campbell began as [...]

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