iLe performs at the Howard Theatre on Oct. 1, 2021. (Photo by Will Colbert)
Ileana Mercedes Cabra Joglar, better known as iLe, recently took to the Howard Theatre stage to perform her unique style of Latin American music. The songs were a combination of classic boleros, rhumbas, and percussive bomba rooted in the history of her native Puerto Rico. Over a century ago, The Howard Theatre was billed as the “theatre of the people.” On Oct. 1, the Boricua singer-songwriter honored that credo.
If you didn’t know better, Soccer Mommy, the stage name for singer-songwriter Sophia (Sophie) Allison, may bring about visions of minivans, orange slices, and participation trophies. Suburban tedium at its best. That couldn’t be further from the truth. During a recent show at 9:30 Club, Sophie and her indie rock band performed a set that was far from pedestrian.
GFTD during a pre-pandemic performance (from left, iNTeLL, PXWER)
“My seeds grow with his seeds, marry his seeds/ That’s how we keep Wu-Tang money all up in the family,” Ghostface Killah rhymed on “Glaciers of Ice,” off Raekwon’s classic solo album Only Built for Cuban Linx. That was in 1995. Twenty-five years later, the words from the Wu-Tang Clan rapper has proven prophetic.
Will Colbert of Parklife DC recently spoke with iNTeLL, who is the son of Wu-Tang Clan member U-God, and one of half of the group GFTD. His partner in rhyme is PXWER, a fellow Staten Islander and son of Method Man. The pair are part of the 2nd Generation Wu rap collective whose members include Sun God (son of Ghostface Killah) and YDB (son of the late ODB).
The progeny of hip hop royalty constitutes the new Tao of Wu. Enter the next chamber!
The above pic of Anderson .Paak was Will Colbert’s “top shot” of 2019. (Photo by Will Colbert)
Editor’s Note: This year, we asked our bloggers to name their Top 10 shows of 2019 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.
Thinking ahead often begins by looking back. It’s a humbling exercise to reflect on the ups and downs from a year reaching its end. The decisions we made, the consequences, and how we can do things better next time.
Bad Bunny performs at Eagle Bank Arena on Nov. 1, 2019. (Photo by Will Colbert)
Puerto Rican trap and reggaeton singer Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio, better known as Bad Bunny, made a recent stop at Eagle Bank Arena to give the DMV a bit of la isla de encanta (the island of enchantment). The innovative artist with the unique name gave fans a show that set a new bar for immersive concert experiences.
Big Freedia performs at 9:30 Club on Oct. 29, 2019. (Photo by Will Colbert)
What’s more New Orleans than a crawfish boil and king cake? Bounce music! The uninhibited twist on hip-hop is as beloved in NOLA as Go-Go in the nation’s capital. Freddie Ross, Jr., better known as Big Freedia (pronounced “FREE-da”), recently showed a packed 9:30 Club why he’s the “Queen of Bounce.”
Buddy Guy (Photo courtesy The State Threatre)
“Don’t let them goddam blues die,” Muddy Waters once told Buddy Guy. That was over three decades ago, but the eight-time Grammy award-winning blues guitarist and singer hasn’t forgotten. Buddy spent a recent night reminding fans at The State Theatre in Falls Church that the blues are very much alive.
Los Lonely Boys perform at The Birchmere on Sept. 30, 2019. (Photo by Will Colbert)
“Are you ready for some Texican rock ‘n’ roll?” sibling trio Los Lonely Boys asked a game Birchmere audience during a recent show. The band of brothers hailing from San Angelo, Texas, were in town for a bit of “rockpango” — a made-up Spanish word they translate as “rock party.”
Burna Boy performs at The Fillmore Silver Spring on Sept. 15, 2019. (Photo by Will Colbert)
What if I told you that giants roamed the earth? What if these powerful beings could leap across continents with ease? A sold-out audience at The Fillmore Silver Spring recently witnessed a bonafide musical colossus. The titan was none other than Nigerian singer and songwriter Damini Ogulu, also known as Burna Boy.
Gary Clark Jr. (Photo courtesy Warner Bros. Records)
Genres are BS! The need to categorize was how blues became rhythm & blues and R&B was rebranded into rock ‘n’ roll — clever window dressing for marketers! Gary Clark Jr. would have none of it during a recent show at Merriweather Post Pavilion. The “guitar man” defied categorization as he traveled a continuum of American music that included blues, rock, and soul.