Live Review: Zepparella @ City Winery — 5/12/22

Zepparella Lead singer Anna Kristina (left) and guitarist Gretchen Menn (right) on stage during a Zepparella performance at City Winery DC, May 12, 2022. (Photo by Ari Strauss)

Air drums and air guitars were prominent among a crowd of nostalgic Led Zeppelin fans at DC’s City Winery recently as Zepparella, an all-female Led Zeppelin tribute band, played its first show at the Ivy City venue in over three years due a forced break in touring during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Ticket Giveaway: Anaïs Mitchell @ 9:30 Club, 5/24/22

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Anaïs Mitchell (Photo by Jay Sansone)

Tony- and Grammy-award-winning singer-songwriter Anaïs Mitchell released her first solo album in over a decade — Anaïs Mitchell (in January through BMG Rights Management) — and she is bringing these songs to life on a headlining US tour! Anaïs brings her musical company to 9:30 Club on Tuesday, May 24.

You can win tickets to see Anaïs at 9:30 Club with Parklife DC.

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Live Review: Carsie Blanton w/ Lilli Lewis @ The Birchmere — 5/11/22

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Carsie Blanton (Photo courtesy Fleming Artists)

Carsie Blanton grew up in the Shenandoah Valley, and she came to The Birchmere many times as a teenager. Since becoming a professional musician, she’s played the venue several times in an opening slot, beginning with a performance with the late Leon Redbone. Carise recently headlined the historic Northern Virginia venue for the first time.

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Live Review: Interpol @ The Anthem — 5/10/22

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Interpol performs at The Anthem on May 10, 2022. (Photos by Casey Vock; Words by Mickey McCarter)

Interpol came to The Anthem in DC recently to turn on the bright lights!

The trio have a new album, The Other Side of Make-Believe, due in July, but you wouldn’t have known it for all of the love lavished on the band’s 2002 debut record. But that made sense when you consider it’s given us 20 years of frontman Paul Banks and company!

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Live Review: The Dead Tongues @ Jammin’ Java — 5/7/22

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Ryan Gustafson leads The Dead Tongues in a performance at Jammin’ Java on May 7, 2022. (Photo by Casey Vock)

Considering the toll that life can take, credit should be given to the songwriters who make it their goal to survey and understand some of the most daunting emotional terrain. The best of them are lucky to stay the course at all, as so many aspiring artists are pushed off course not by their own inabilities or creative drought, but rather consumed or distracted by the infinite other forces defining an existence.

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Live Review: Gogol Bordello @ 9:30 Club — 5/7/22

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Gogol Bordello performs at 9:30 Club on May 7, 2022. (Photo by Ben Eisendrath/ Instagram: @insomnigraphic)

This is not your babushka’s polka.

In normal times, when you’re about to catch an infamously party-centric, rambunctious act of the likes of Gogol Bordello, your headspace is filled with thoughts of dancing, drinking, and living life to the fullest. You’re not necessarily worried about the geopolitical machinations that insidiously weave its way into the fabric of everyday existence; indeed, performance art is often a means of escape from those quotidien worries.

But, as we are all too well aware, these are not normal times. Strolling up to the venerable 9:30 Club on a cold, wet night in May, I was surreptitiously conscious of the significance of this concert.

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Live Review: Jeff Goldblum & The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra @ Strathmore — 5/6/22

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Jeff Goldblum addresses the audience at the Strathmore Music Center on May 6, 2022. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

Wonderfully affable actor Jeff Goldblum could do just about anything and people would undoubtedly find it compelling. As it so happens, Jeff is a lifelong lover of playing piano, and so some years ago, he got together with a very good jazz collective and started performing around Hollywood as Jeff Goldblum & The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra.

Said orchestra has now released two studio albums, The Capitol Studios Sessions and I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This, consisting of jazz standards often given fresh arrangements by the band. The act has become a bit more ambitious, as warrants its tremendous talent, and it has hit the road recently with a stop at the Strathmore Music Center.

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Live Review: Eli “Paperboy” Reed @ The Hamilton Live — 5/6/22

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Eli “Paperboy” Reed performs at The Hamilton Live in DC on May 6, 2022. (Photo by Ari Strauss)

If you go back in the history of roots music, you’ll find that genres that are harshly separated today were not so clearly distinct in an earlier time. Up to the ’50s and ’60s, country and folk were closely tied to blues, and the word often appeared in the title of country songs. In the late ’60s and ’70s, there was a distinct overlap between country and the burgeoning genre of soul music, centered on Memphis and Muscle Shoals, Alabama. (For a fascinating, book-length study of this, see Charles Hughes’ excellent Country Soul: Making Music and Making Race in the American South.)

Eli “Paperboy” Reed has dedicated his career to vintage soul sounds, but as he showed in his performance at The Hamilton Live recently, he’s a fan of old-school country, too.

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