Music Park: Alejandro Escovedo @ The Hamilton — 1/16/18

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Alejandro Escovedo performs at The Hamilton on Jan. 16, 2018. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

Alejandro Escovedo plays like his life depends on it. That most artists feel that existence-affirming drive to create is a given; for Escovedo the sentiment is literal. Alejandro opened the East coast leg of his “A Man Under the Influence/Think About the Link Tour, presented by Prevent Cancer Foundation” at The Hamilton Live on Jan. 16 to an enthusiastic and adoring crowd.

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Music Park: Top 10 Concerts of 2017 by Mark

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I can safely say that all the concerts I attended in 2017 exceeded my expectations, but of course I say that about all live music. I was fortunate to photograph over 80 shows in 2017, from artists both well known to those just starting out. I’m truly inspired watching these talented musicians and their courage in getting up on a stage to lay their souls bare. Or as the L.A. Times’ David Ackert so eloquently put it, “…musicians and singers are willing to give their entire lives to a moment — to that melody, that lyric, that chord, or that interpretation that will stir the audience’s soul.” Continue reading

Music Park: Angel Olsen @ 9:30 Club — 12/15/17

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Angel Olsen performs at 9:30 Club on Dec. 15, 2017. (Photo by Mark Caicedo) 

The first time I heard Angel Olsen sing, the name Patsy Cline kept repeating through my mind, and not because Wikipedia describes Ms. Olsen’s music as indie folk, indie rock, or alternative country, and not because their voices sound anything alike. Perhaps one could make a case that underneath Angel’s county blues melodies, there lurks Patsy’s Cline’s spirit. But for me the purity of their voices share the same mix of vulnerability and world-weariness.

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Music Park: Eyelids @ Black Cat — 11/19/17

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Eyelids perform at Black Cat on Nov. 19, 2017. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

Some may call it dad rock, others power pop or indie. But I call it damn fine rock ‘n roll. Eyelids recently popped up on my musical radar — and when I saw the Portland, Oregon quintet was making a DC stop on its short east coast tour, I made sure to be at the Black Cat on Sunday. Headlining a bill that included DC’s own Humble Fire and Jay Gonzalez (of Drive-by Truckers), Eyelids delivered a blistering 80-minute set of hook-heavy pop rock gems.

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Music Park: Dhani Harrison @ U Street Music Hall — 11/7/17

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Dhani Harrison performs at U Street Music Hall on Nov. 7, 2017. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

I first became aware of Dhani Harrison in 2003 while watching the concert film, “Concert for George.” At one point, Sir Paul McCartney said, referring to Dhani onstage, something to the effect that “we all got old, but George stayed the same.” Indeed, the physical resemblance with his beloved father is startling, but the younger Harrison has made his way as a musician on his own terms as evidenced by his show at U Street Music Hall on Nov. 7.

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Music Park: Near Northeast @ Songbyrd Music House — 10/8/17

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Near Northeast performs at Songbyrd Music House on Oct. 8, 2017. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

October’s first weekend was a frantic one for Near Northeast. On Saturday, the band performed at Porchfest in Adams Morgan, then loaded up their gear for a quick trip to Norfolk, Virginia, for a secret SoFar show. Then it was back up to the District to support headliner Sam Amidon at the Songbyrd Music House Sunday.

The quartet, named for the D.C. neighborhood where it originated, takes its work and art  seriously: relentlessly performing whenever and wherever a gig is to be had.

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Music Park: DC Music Rocks Festival @ 9:30 Club — 9/2/17

ThrowingPlates03 Throwing Plates perform at 9:30 Club on Sept. 2, 2017. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

The 9:30 Club transformed Saturday into a showcase for some of the finest local bands DC has to offer. The brainchild of local DJ and musician Brian Nelson-Palmer, the first annual (one hopes) DC Music Rocks Festival presented five bands, each with distinct musical pedigrees.

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