Live Review: Temples @ U Street Music Hall — 1/20/20

Temples perform at U Street Music Hall.
Temples perform at U Street Music Hall on Jan. 20, 2020. (Photo by Kyle Gustafson)

Sometimes when it’s cold as hell out, the best thing to do is pack into a small crowded room and watch a killer rock show. That’s exactly what I did on Monday, catching a brilliant show from Temples at U Street Music Hall.

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Live Review: J. Roddy Walston and Palm Palm @ Ottobar — 1/19/20

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J. Roddy Walston and Palm Palm rock a sold-out Ottobar on Jan. 19, 2020. (Photo by David LaMason)

In October of last year, J. Roddy Walston and the Business, posted through social media that “after 14 years, four albums and 889 shows of being creatively betrothed solely to each other, now feels like the time to explore other possibilities…” After sold-out sets in Baltimore and Richmond, J. Roddy Walston and the Business and their raucous brand of Southern rock and Stones-inspired music was on an indefinite hiatus.

But the story doesn’t end there.

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Live Review: Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker @ 9:30 Club — 1/18/20

CamperVan4 David Lowery fronts Camper Van Beethoven at 9:30 Club on Jan. 18, 2020 (Photo by David LaMason)

As I was listening to Camper Van Beethoven at the 9:30 Club recently, I was reminded of the title of a Spotify playlist of ’80s alternative rock: Left of the Dial. To the crowd’s delight, the band opened with their delightfully odd cult hit “Take the Skinheads Bowling,” from their 1985 debut LP, Telephone Free Landslide Victory.

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Live Review: YACHT @ Songbyrd Music House — 1/15/20 + Rough Trade NYC — 1/18/20

Yacht02 YACHT performs at Songbyrd Music House on Jan. 15, 2020. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

Editor: We have updated this post with more photos of YACHT performing at Rough Trade NYC on Jan. 18, 2020!

Inspired in part by an application called the Verbasizer offered by David Bowie in the ’90s, synthpop trio YACHT wrote an album in collaboration with an AI program last year.

YACHT performed the appealing results in its entirety at Songbyrd Music House recently, offering the 10 new wave tracks of Chain Tripping live in reverse order of the record. And interestingly, the songs sounded like something that could have sprung directly from a Bowie collaboration with Brian Eno in the ’70s.

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Live Review: The Smithereens @ State Theatre — 1/17/20

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The Smithereens perform at the State Theatre in Falls Church, Virginia, on Jan. 17, 2020. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

“In sickness and in health.”

Those words are normally reserved for particularly solemn occasions, but those same moments can be joyous, life-affirming and festive… much like a Smithereens concert, come to think of it. Friday night was just one of those instances with the New Jersey-based Smithereens making their 20th appearance at the State Theatre in Falls Church. For many of us battling colds, flu, and various other ailments, The Smithereens energetic, exuberant, and healing music was just the right medicine.

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Live Review: Damien Jurado and Nick Thune @ The Miracle Theatre — 1/16/20

Damien Jurado and Nick Thune - Miracle Theater - 01.16.20
Damien Jurado and Nick Thune perform at The Miracle Theatre on Jan. 16, 2020. (Photo by Casey Vock)

Critically-acclaimed singer-songwriter Damien Jurado recently took part in a somewhat unusual performance at The Miracle Theater recently. He split the bill with comedian Nick Thune in an evening titled “Sad Music/Sad Comedy.”

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Live Review: Hiss Golden Messenger @ 9:30 Club — 1/15/20

Hiss Golden Messenger - 930 Club - 01.15.19
MC Taylor fronts Hiss Golden Messenger at 9:30 Club on Jan. 15, 2020. (Photo by Casey Vock)

Anyone entering the 9:30 Club would have known immediately they weren’t attending any ordinary show. After all, you weren’t really passing into the familiar concrete space of the popular club at the end of the U Street Corridor. Rather, you were stepping foot into some sort of old-time fortune-teller’s boutique, a sacred space for sorcerers or sorceresses, or maybe some secret place of worship.

But, for what, those unfamiliar with Hiss Golden Messenger were probably unsure.

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