Music Park: Gruff Rhys @ DC9 — 10/11/18

Gruff Rhys performs at DC9
Gruff Rhys performs at DC9 on Oct. 11, 2018. (Photo by Kyle Gustafson)

Gruff Rhys has been providing listeners with a steady stream of clever and catchy songs since the mid-’90s, first as leader of the Super Furry Animals and later as a collaborator with people like Boom Bip, Damon Albarn, Mogwai, Danger Mouse, and Simian Mobile Disco. Oh yeah, he’s also released five pretty amazing solo albums as well. Gruff brought that significant catalog to DC9 recently.

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Snapshots: Lykke Li @ Lincoln Theater — 10/5/18

Lykke Li performs at the Lincoln Theater in Washington, D.C.
Lykke Li performs at the Lincoln Theatre on Oct. 5, 2018. (Photo by Kyle Gustafson)

Swedish chanteuse Lykke Li released her excellent album, So Sad So Sexy, in June and after a summer of performing at festivals all over Europe, began her US tour Friday night at the Lincoln Theater. The show understandably focused on her most recent work, with nine of the album’s 10 songs performed over the evening.

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Snapshots: Gaz Coombes @ City Winery — 10/4/18

Gas Coombes performs at the City Winery in Washington, D.C.
Gaz Coombes performs at City Winery DC on Oct. 4, 2018. (Photo by Kyle Gustafson)

It’s easy to look at the numbers and surmise that Supergrass peaked with their debut album, I Should Coco, in 1995 — and afterward began a slow but steady slide down the charts, but that wouldn’t do justice to the band’s subsequent albums, all excellent in their on way.

Their sophomore album, In It for the Money, is probably my favorite, but it’s 2005’s more diverse Road to Rouen that I listen to most frequently. The more mature, acoustic-leaning songwriting eventually paved the way for lead singer’s Gaz Coombes three solo albums. The latest, World’s Strongest Man, brought him to DC’s City Winery last Thursday.

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Music Park: The National @ Merriweather Post Pavilion — 9/28/18

The National perform at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, MD.
The National performs at Merriweather Post Pavilion on Sept. 28, 2018. (Photo by Kyle Gustafson)

The National stopped at Merriweather Post Pavilion on Friday in their first area appearance since playing The Anthem at the end of 2017, finishing up a string of dates leading up to their own There’s No Leaving New York festival in Queens.

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Snapshots: Miguel @ The Anthem — 9/4/18

Miguel performs at The Anthem in Washington, D.C.
Miguel performs at The Anthem on Sept. 4, 2018. (Photo by Kyle Gustafson)

Don’t look now, but Miguel had himself a hell of a summer. Primetime slots on a number of festivals this summer — D.C.’s own Broccoli Fest, Coachella, Made in America, Afropunk, and this coming weekend’s Hopscotch Fest in Raleigh, North Carolina. In between all of that he made a stop at The Anthem earlier this week, bringing his electric live show to a rapt audience that crossed all osrts of gender and cultural boundaries.

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Music Park: New Order @ The Anthem — 8/28/18

New Order perform at The Anthem in Washington, D.C.
Bernard Sumner fronts New Order at The Anthem on Aug. 28, 2018. (Photos by Kyle Gustafson; Words by Mickey McCarter)

Songs about heartbreak are usually pretty straightforward. Boy meets girl, girl dumps boy, boy sulks. But “True Faith” by New Order fiercely subverts that paradigm. “A sudden sense of liberty,” unbidden, provides sweet perspective.

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Music Park: Liam Gallagher @ Lincoln Theatre — 5/19/18

Liam Gallagher Performs at the Lincoln Theater in Washington, D.C.
Liam Gallagher performs at the Lincoln Theatre on May 19, 2018. (Photo by Kyle Gustafson)

Timing is everything in rock ‘n’ roll, and I imagine it’s a lesson to which Liam Gallagher can attest. And Liam delivered his testimony in a sold-out show at the Lincoln Theatre on Saturday.

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