Madonna and dancers perform on the Madame X Tour at Howard Gilman Opera House in Brooklyn on Sept. 17, 2019. (Photo copyright and courtesy Stufish)
How on earth do you express your admiration for an artist who is a global icon?
Maybe like me, you met Madonna when she was quite young and ambitious — and she took her ambition to Manhattan dance halls. At this street level, you fell in love with her, and she grew. And grew. And grew.
Now, Madonna, the best-selling female singer of all time, hasn’t belonged to New York City, or any one place for that matter, for a long time. With Madame X, her 14th studio album, she’s declared her concerns to be worldwide. She is touring that album right now in Philadelphia.
Robert Earl Keen performs at the Lincoln Theatre on Dec. 6, 2019. (Photo by Ari Strauss)
“If you want Christmas music,” Robert Earl Keen told the Lincoln Theater recently, “go to the mall.” REK’s Countdown to Christmas Tour steered clear of holiday music until the encore, when he played the fan-favorite “Merry Christmas from the Family,” an ode to the dysfunction and craziness of the holidays.
Zooey Deschanel sings with She & Him at The Anthem on Dec. 5, 2019. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)
Personally, I sort of love that time of year when you can dip into a local radio station and it has become 24/7 Christmas tunes. You can take it or leave it, but whenever I take it, I am eventually infused with a big dose of holiday cheer when I tune in. As She & Him, Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward delivered the live version of that very experience with their winning Christmas show at The Anthem recently as part of the DC101 Office Party series.
The Fixx performs at The Birchmere on Dec. 3, 2019. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)
The Fixx is a band with gravity. As you watch them, the fellows pull you in through a combination of skilled performance and intellectual weight. Honed through roughly 40 years of performance, The Fixx is a band that knows how to put on a show, but they also have something to say, as evidenced at The Birchmere recently.
Culture Abuse (Photo by Barbara Georges)
“Wish I could ride a bike, I’d ride it home to you”
Cage the Elephant performs at The Anthem on Dec. 3, 2019. (Photo by Kyle Gustafson)
It’s been a good year for Cage the Elephant fans in DC. The band has been through town twice this year, playing Merriweather over the summer with Beck and Spoon and also headlining the recent DC101 holiday shindig at The Anthem. Add in October 2018 performance at the new Entertainment and Sport Arena, and that’s three shows in just over a year. Not too shabby.
Debbie Harry and Chris Stein arrive at Sixth & I on Dec. 4, 2019. (Photos by Ari Strauss; Words by Mickey McCarter)
Debbie Harry had a memory to share of performing in DC, recalling that she was at the old 9:30 Club.
Prior to performing, Debbie left her small dog alone in the green room. She returned after her show to find the frightened dog perched upon the furniture, chased to higher ground by rats big enough to challenge her.
Debbie recounted the anecdote at Sixth & I on Wednesday while on a book talk tour to promote her memoir, Face It, which was published in October via Dey Street.