Category Archives: Review

They Might Be Giants at the 930 Club

High school pals John Linnell and John Flansburgh have pretty much stayed true to their eccentric approach to pop music, as a guitar and accordion duo singing about science, history and weird things  might. Despite a successful foray into children’s music, where they’ve recorded a handful of albums, earned Grammys, and scored music for Mickey [...]

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Turning ‘Tommy’ Into a ‘Bluegrass Opry’

Recording bluegrass versions of pop or rock songs goes back nearly half a century, to the days when the Country Gentlemen made Manfred Mann’s “Fox on the Run” their own and adapted Steve Goodman’s “City of New Orleans.” Both of those came out about the time The Who issued their rock opera “Tommy,” which has [...]

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Long, Laudatory Look at The King

As if to save him from the knick-knack shelf of American kitsch, the lengthy “Elvis Presley: The Searcher” (HBO, 8 p.m.) spends three and a half hours celebrating the musical achievements of the King, while scraping up some rare audio. Some are Elvis interviews – he talks haunting of his first car, which burnt up [...]

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Jim White, Sylvie Simmons at Hill Country

It was no wonder David Byrne signed Jim White to his Luaka Bop label nearly 20 years ago. The two kind of look alike, have the same set of social hesitancy, and a penchant for original, unexpected and often delightful songwriting. But White, who played a solo show at Hill Country BBQ this week, reunited [...]

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Jason Isbell Headlines Folk Benefit

As the prevailing king and queen of Americana, it’s more likely you’ll see Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires amphitheaters or headlining big summer festivals. It’s rare to see them together in clubs these days, especially one as intimate as the Hamilton in D.C. But there they were Wednesday night, special guests on a night of [...]

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I’m With Her at the 9:30 Club

They blushed and smiled as if they couldn’t believe it. Their debut had come out less than a month before, yet here they were playing all these new songs before a sold out crowd that was as loud in their cheers as the group had been hushed in their fine harmonies. “Who are you people?” [...]

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Survey of American Music in Drag

The Kennedy Center kicked off its multidisciplinary contemporary cultural assault with something thought to embody the approach, Taylor Mac’s “A 24-Decade History of Popular Music (1776-2016).” Had the cabaret history in drag been presented in its original form — a single, 24-hour concert with 246 songs — it certainly would have been the kind of [...]

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Noel Gallagher’s Birds ‘n’ Beatles

Much as he wants to get away from it, the Beatles thing continues to dog Noel Gallagher, long after his band Oasis has broken up. Of course, that group got the comparisons, in part from the younger Gallaghers in the band doing some boastful claims. Plus they had some great songs that held up British [...]

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First Aid Kit Come Fighting

The strongest anthem for the #MeToo movement was written and released by a couple of Swedish sisters in their mid-20s, months before Harvey Weinstein revelations in the New York Times last year. “I am so sick and tired of this world,” First Aid Kit sing, with a venom that is more spat than sung. “All [...]

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Theatre Review: LBJ’s ‘The Great Society’

It will take biographer Robert Caro five volumes to complete his portrait of Lyndon B. Johnson, so it’s no surprise that there’s a second LBJ play from Robert Schenkkan. His first, “All the Way,” about Johnson’s first year in office and passage of the Civil Rights act, was a Tony-winner on Broadway and adapted for [...]

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