Joseph Arthur performs at City Winery on Dec. 29, 2018 (Photo by David LaMason)
Joseph Arthur is one of those songwriters that seems to have an unlimited tap of creativity. He’s an artist both visually in terms of his paintings and also in terms of his poetry and song craft. Oh, and he’s created more than 20 albums with the likes of T-Bone Burnett, Peter Gabriel, Peter Buck, Ben Harper (seriously, I could go on for some time here) and there’s no hint of him slowing anytime soon. He gave us a taste of his new work at DC’s City Winery on Saturday.
Too Many Zooz amaze the crowd at the 9:30 Club on Dec. 23, 2018. (Photo by David LaMason)
The New York City-based trio Too Many Zooz refer to their own music as “brass house,” which can be a bit hard to describe. Incorporating elements of up tempo ska, house, dub, and jazz, David “King of Sludge” Parks (drums/percussion), Leo Pellegrino (baritone sax), and Matt “Doe” Muirhead (trumpet/keys) have gone from busking the busy New York subway to playing alongside Beyoncé and the Dixie Chicks at the 50th Annual CMA Awards in 2016.
And the trio took their brass house sound to 9:30 Club on Saturday.
LP performs at the 9:30 Club, one of the best concerts of the year, on March 5, 2018. (Photo by David LaMason)
Editor’s Note: This year, we asked our bloggers to name their Top 10 shows of 2018 or choose their Top 10 photos of the year. We will run them over the course of mid-December as our Best of the Year posts.
As we are nearing 2018’s finale, I have to say that this past year brought with it some of the best shows I’ve seen in a long time. From the big production shows in large theaters to completely packed club shows, there was an intensity to most of the performances this past year that I’ll remember for years to come! Here are my 10 best shows of the year.
The Old 97s bring their Holiday Extravaganza to Rams Head Live on Dec. 8, 2018. (Photo by David LaMason)
The year 2018 was a busy one for the Dallas, Texas band the Old 97’s. Right on the heels of the critically acclaimed Graveyard Whistling, the band put together their first Christmas album; frontman Rhett Miller released his seventh solo album, The Messenger; and they celebrated 25 years as a band — a major milestone. All of that came together in a terrific concert at Rams Head Live on Saturday.
Luluc performs at the City Winery on Dec. 5, 2018 (Photo by David LaMason)
Luluc, the Australian duo of Zoë Randell (vocals/guitar) and Steve Hassett (guitar/vocals/keys), visited City Winery on a chilly Wednesday night. But both venue, with its intimate feel — combined with the beautiful sounds of Luluc — warmed up an attentive crowd.
Overcoats dance the night away at 9:30 Club on Nov. 16, 2018. (Photo by David LaMason)
Overcoats, the musical duo of Hana Elion and JJ Mitchell, released their debut album, YOUNG, just over a year ago, but they’ve already made a name for themselves with their thoughtful lyrics, beautiful harmonies, and infectious beats. I caught those beats in action at 9:30 Club on Friday, when Overcoats opened Mitski.
Mitski amazes a sold-out crowd at 9:30 Club on Nov. 16, 2018. (Photo by David LaMason)
Mitski Miyawaki, who performs simply as Mitski, is that rare artist who writes songs that are both musically complex and creates an emotional sympatico between herself and her audience. That skill was on display in her show at 9:30 Club on Friday, the first of two sold-out nights.