Category Archives: Review

The Minus 5, Plus 2 From R.E.M.

The recovery from a stroke in 2017 remains a source of celebration surrounding rocker Scott McCaughey. He’s surrounded by musicians who have been friends of his for years, is writing slightly more reflective songs following his brush with mortality and still rocking out with a verve that may surprise even him. Fronting the latest version [...]

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Channeling Troubled Donny Hathaway

There’s a transcendent moment in “Twisted Melodies,” the one-man Donny Hathaway show by Kelvin Roston Jr. at Mosaic Theater Company, in which the audience and performer are one, singing and clapping to “The Ghetto,” under his direction, and getting a groove on. Already Roston’s Hathaway has broken the fourth wall and recognized the audience surrounding him [...]

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Filthy Friends, Dressy Bessy on U Street

Women rule the world, or at least they did at the U Street Music Hall in a rockin’ Monday night show by Filthy Friends with Dressy Bessy. The oddly named Friends are a kind of supergroup led by Corin Tucker of Sleater-Kinney that also features Peter Buck of R.E.M., Scott McCaughey and Kurt Bloch of [...]

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Ex Hex Triumphant in Hometown Date

Mixed amid the sheer exhilaration of an Ex Hex gig at the 930 Club is the added pride of a hometown date. The D.C. rockers led by Mary Timony, once of Helium, Wild Flag and Autoclave, quite rightfully nearly sold out the place, but I’m wondering why the trio isn’t selling out everywhere they go. [...]

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Maren Morris Goes Pop at The Anthem

Maren Morris paused a couple times in her splashy headlining show at The Anthem in D.C. to take it all in. It was her largest sellout to date, with 6,000 people, and just about everybody in the young, largely female crowd knew every lyric of her new album, which she only released a couple months [...]

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Returning to 1960s Laurel Canyon

Jakob Dylan grew up amid his own small-town musical crossroads — Woodstock — but the subject of his new documentary is the one that flourished on the other side of the country in Los Angeles’ bohemian Laurel Canyon in the late 1960s. An added treat to his bringing the film to festivals ahead of its [...]

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Robyn Hitchcock: Sublimely Weird

Age is only helping Robyn Hitchcock settle into his role as wizened surrealist singer and mystic storyteller. More than 45 years after starting his first band, the founder of the Soft Boys who went on to fronting the Egyptians and a long, accomplished solo career is a unique troubadour — a singer who can create [...]

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The Unexpected Return of Mott the Hoople

Mott the Hoople always seemed the kind of band that would implode at any moment, and such was the case when they pulled into New York in the middle of their 1974 U.S. tour, becoming the first rock band to play a week on Broadway. That achievement didn’t pay off for the band (any more [...]

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Nick Lowe, Straightjackets Begin to Mesh

Nick Lowe is calling his tour with Los Straightjackets the Quality Rock & Roll Revue and it’s no idle boast. The cool, memorable songs of Lowe with his smooth, elder statesman air, combined with the funhouse snarl of the twangin’ Straightjackets, in their Mexican wrestling masks and goofy stage presence, makes for pretty well-balanced entertainment. [...]

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Mark Eitzel Makes Himself at Home

It was billed as a living room concert, and the entire Mark Eitzel tour dubbed “Living room Tsunami” so it was a little bit surprising when the secret D.C. area location, once payment was made, turned out to be an Irish bar in Wheaton, Md. It could have been another barroom show except that the [...]

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