Category Archives: Review

‘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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‘Better Things’ Gets Even Better

As good as the first season was, “Better Things” (FX, 10 p.m.) gets even better as its second season starts tonight. Pamela Adlon, who stars, co-writes and directs each episode has found a kind of breakthrough in making a series about a woman like herself, who is a struggling actor and a single mom, balancing [...]

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Two Documentaries on D.C.’s NFL ’80s

For the fifth year in a row, the Washington NFL team began its season with a loss Sunday. No news here: it looks like it might be another long season. Let us turn back, then, to Washington’s 1980s heyday at RFK Stadium, with the help of two absorbing new films in ESPN’s very consistent documentary [...]

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Another Steve Harvey Show, for Daytime

While prime time will dribble out its fall schedule over the next couple of months, many daytime shows start up immediately after Labor Day. Such was the case last week for “The View,” marking its 10th anniversary with Whoopi Goldberg, “Ellen DeGeneres,” and for the debut of “Steve” (check local listings). The Steve in this [...]

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On Stage: Bessie Smith and ‘Devil’s Music’

The Mosaic Theater Company ignites its third season with a sure hit, a proven crowd-pleaser about the Empress of Blues. “The Devil’s Music: The Life & Blues of Bessie Smith” retells the story of the American musical legend, and is as sure to delight audiences here as it did when it premiered Off-Broadway in 2001 [...]

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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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