Category Archives: Review

A New Year’s Eve Tribute to Aretha Franklin

Some of Aretha Franklin’s greatest performances happened at the Kennedy Center — chief of which may have been a 2015 performance of “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” at the Kennedy Center Honors that made Barack Obama shed a tear in the Presidential box. Clips of some of Franklin’s performances in the fabled [...]

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She & Him Throw a Christmas Party

The first time Zooey Deschanel sang a Christmas song for huge audiences was 16 years ago in the movie “Elf,” crooning “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” in the shower, eventually dueting with an unwelcome Will Ferrell. It was that moment that showed M. Ward that the actress could actually sing, and they eventually got together to form [...]

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A Soulful ‘Motown Christmas’ at Signature

Because Christmas is mandatory on entertainment stages all month, it’s no surprise that a cabaret at Signature Theatre is again devoted to the Yuletide songbook. But in a clever and very welcome variation, they’ve approached the holiday through the classic interpretations of one of America’s favorite labels. “A Motown Christmas” brings together enduring holiday originals [...]

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Marshall Crenshaw’s Timeless Tunefulness

Marshall Crenshaw tours these days take different forms. Sometimes he goes solo, other times he shares the stage with the Bottle Rockets. He was the lead voice for a Smithereens tribute tour earlier this year as well. But Saturday for a show at City Winery in Washington D.C., he fronted a trio that gave both [...]

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Mark Morris’ Non-Spicy ‘Pepperland’

“Pepperland” is the name of a suite that longtime Beatles producer George Martin wrote for their animated “Yellow Submarine” in 1968. Martin, who had devised the stirring string arrangements  behind “Yesterday” and “Eleanor Rigby” turned in a sprightly, propulsive ditty that may have been his best composition in the Beatles canon not related to anything  [...]

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Kinky Friedman: A Resurrection at 75

He’s been a popular detective novelist, a singer, a columnist, Peace Corps volunteer, animal rescuer, and a politician. He played at the Grand Ole Opry, “Saturday Night Live” and the Rolling Thunder Revue. He’s the only performer in 45 years to record an episode of “Austin City Limits” that was never aired. And he won [...]

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The New Pornographers Rise to Challenge

From the big sound that comes from The New Pornographers you’d almost expect more people on stage. But just seven were there Wednesday at the Lincoln Theatre in Washington D.C., covering songs from eight different albums before a happy, largely seated audience. It was the rare second day in the city to satisfy demand. Even [...]

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Robert Gordon Brings It On Home

Rockabilly had its heyday and faded 20 years before Robert Gorden picked up the mantle in the late 70s. By then, he had already been frontman for CBGB’s mainstay Tuff Darts and he would bring the same punk energy to the bass-slapping vibrancy of the 50s sound. He was the pre-Stray Cats king of the [...]

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Another New Flamin’ Groovies Lineup

The reunion this decade of the Flamin’ Groovies, the San Francisco band formed in the 60s’ that made its biggest mark in the 70s, hasn’t been easy. Earlier tours were hit and miss, but inspirational enough for co-founding member Cyril Jordan and crew to record a new album in 2017. Part of the shakiness of [...]

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Milk Carton Kids Go 2% in Crowd Size

The Milk Carton Kids started making a splash soon after their 2011 debut, such that the California duo were on big tours, supporting top stars, before playing their own headlining theater gigs and augmenting their sound with a full band. Maybe it was too much too soon, or maybe Kenneth Pattengale and Joey Ryan wanted [...]

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