Live Review: Newport Folk Festival 2022 @ Fort Adams State Park, RI — 7/22-7/24/22


Brandi Carlile welcomes Joni Mitchell to the stage at the Newport Folk Festival on July 24, 2022, her first time back at Fort Adams since 1969. (Photo by Casey Vock)

When musicians themselves hold a place and event so close to their hearts that it becomes sacred, the experience for fans is that much more lasting and remarkable.

The Newport Folk Festival, long considered one of the country’s most influential gatherings of songwriters, artists, and performers, proved to be that and so much more this year — three full days of celebrating music as a communal power and a change agent at a time when the nation feels fragmented by political turmoil and the lingering struggles of the pandemic.

Continue Reading

Live Review: Shamir @ 9:30 Club — 2/2/22

Shamir930_1
Shamir performs at 9:30 Club on Feb. 2, 2022. (Photo by David LaMason)

Lift gets tricky when you’re breaking curses from another life… These words from the song, “Reproductive” off the new Shamir album, Heterosexuality, being released this week, are personal but after everything leading up to its release could be speaking of something more universal. Heterosexuality is an amazing record and really showcases Shamir’s immense talent — from the opening “Gay Agenda” with its distorted drums and a voice that cuts through to exclaim, “You’re just stuck in the box that was made for me / And you’re mad I got out and I’m living free” to the closer, the aforementioned, “Reproductive,” which Shamir opened with at the 9:30 Club recently, opening for Courtney Barnett.

Continue Reading

Live Review: Courtney Barnett @ 9:30 Club — 2/2/22

CourtneyBarnett930_10
Courtney Barnett rocks the 9:30 Club on Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022. (Photo by David LaMason)

It’s been way too long since I’ve seen Courtney Barnett, and at the 9:30 Club Wednesday night I was reminded of what I’d been missing since she performed in DC back in the summer of 2018. Since that time, she’s released a new album, Things Take Time, Take Time last year to critical praise. And rightly so. It’s full of gems like the earworm, “Rae Street” that leads off the record to “Write a List of Things to Look Forward To” which makes for the perfect vehicle for long drives with no particular place in mind.

Continue Reading

Live Review: Courtney Barnett @ The Anthem — 6/19/19

Courtney Barnett
Courtney Barnett performs at The Anthem on June 19, 2019. (Photo by Matt Ruppert) 

Courtney Barnett is the best friend everyone wishes they had — deadpan witty, desperately honest. Her songs grapple with the sorts of emotions familiar to the current generation, that balancing of self-doubt, anxiety, and the expectations for success in a world set against often overwhelming challenges.

Continue Reading

Best of the Year: Top 10 Concerts of 2018 by David

LP 50
LP performs at the 9:30 Club, one of the best concerts of the year, on March 5, 2018. (Photo by David LaMason)

Editor’s Note: This year, we asked our bloggers to name their Top 10 shows of 2018 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.

As we are nearing 2018’s finale, I have to say that this past year brought with it some of the best shows I’ve seen in a long time. From the big production shows in large theaters to completely packed club shows, there was an intensity to most of the performances this past year that I’ll remember for years to come! Here are my 10 best shows of the year.

Continue Reading

Music Park: Courtney Barnett @ The Anthem — 7/24/18

CBarnett23
Courtney Barnett shreds at The Anthem on July 24, 2018. (Photo by David LaMason)

Courtney Barnett is no slouch. First there’s the fact that over the past couple of years she has toured constantly not only with her own band of Bones Sloane (bass), Dave Mudie (drums), and (more recently on this current tour) Katie Harkin (keyboards/guitar) but with Kurt Vile and most recently in Jen Cloher’s band.

Continue Reading

Music Park: Jen Cloher @ Rock and Roll Hotel — 2/1/17

Jen Cloher 9
Jen Cloher plays to a packed Rock & Roll Hotel on Feb. 1, 2018. (Photo by David LaMason)

Jen Cloher, a singer-songwriter from Melbourne, Australia, has been writing, performing, and releasing brilliant folk pop gems since 2005, but last year’s tour opening for Kurt Vile and Courtney Barnett was her first US tour. Jen came to visit DC again on Thursday in her own headlining show at Rock and Roll Hotel.

Continue Reading