Where there’s smoke, there’s fire — or in this case, the Pixies.
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If the “Modfather” hands you one of his all-time favorite albums and tells you to listen, it would behoove you to do so.
Paul Weller helped transform the sound of British rock during the 1970s with his former punk rock-new wave band The Jam and later with The Style Council in the 1980s. When he’s not recording new music on his own (his 13th solo album “A Kind of Revolution” drops May 12) or performing live, you can find him at a record store collecting vinyl like it’s his job. His musical appetite is varied and oftentimes obscure, but always on point, so it’s no surprise a critically acclaimed commercial flop like Odessey and Oracle (misspelling courtesy artist Terry Quirk) is at the top of the tastemaker’s list.
Triple threat. Third time’s the charm. Rule of three. The Holy Trinity. Three-part harmony. 3-D.
America has a lot to thank Sweden for. The Scandinavian land across the Atlantic to the northeast brought us everything from the modern-day zipper and the three-point seatbelt to the TetraPak and ABBA. The neutral European country also introduced us to the dream pop outfit known as The Radio Dept. The band performed to a crowded house at the Black Cat in Washington, D.C. this past Wednesday in support of their new album “Running Out of Love.” It’s the fourth studio album release and their first LP since 2010’s “Clinging to a Scheme.”
“Rock on, roll on, get off, get it on / Be one, be two, be all, be you…”
The Chris Robinson Brotherhood share these guiding words of encouragement on “New Cannonball Rag,” the first single of their latest EP If You Lived Here, You Would Be Home Now, released last November.
If your live performance is under 35 minutes, you better bring it. Nick Valensi and his new band CRX made every single second count — and then some. They managed to accomplish a similar feat in less time with their debut album, “New Skin,” released October 28 via Columbia Records. Their U Street Music Hall appearance Wednesday, November 16, was part of a several-month tour promoting the record.
Under the cloak of darkness, the 6’4” guitarist stepped onstage with his four bandmates and together they erupted into the power-packed track “On Edge.” All the anticipation and hype suddenly made sense. Like the venerated ’90s Honda model everyone “in your neighborhood tried to steal,” this group of guys named after that sought-after vehicle was absolutely awesome. Their rapid-fire delivery was reminiscent of the Ramones in their heyday and the basement setting couldn’t be more fittingly “alternative.”
“It’s been awhile since we played in D.C. I think, so ah, I remember the first time we played here we played to basically like to the equivalent of this nugget of people right here [points to the crowd packed in front of the stage]. Thank you so much for following the band and coming out,” said Yannis Philippakis.
If the aforementioned lead singer of Foals could stand still, would the music sound just as good? Probably. But that’s not the point of a live show. You can listen to their music on iTunes, YouTube, satellite radio, or any streaming service and you’d never come close to experiencing the way the music literally jumps off the stage and encompasses your entire being.