Snapshots: Circle Jerks w/ Municipal Waste and Negative Approach @ Baltimore Soundstage — 12/10/21

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Circle Jerks perform at Baltimore Soundstage on Dec. 10, 2021. (Photos by Jason Nicholson; Text adapted from a press release by Bailey Sattler/ Grand Stand Media)

Legendary punks Circle Jerks hit the road in their first North American tour in over 15 years. They appeared at Baltimore Soundstage recently with openers Municipal Waste and Negative Approach to celebrate 40 years of their landmark record Group Sex.

Jason Nicholson photographed the action!

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Live Review: Los Lobos @ City Winery — 11/18/21

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Los Lobos (Photo by Piero F. Giunti)

One of America’s longest-lived and best rock ‘n’ roll bands, Los Lobos, played the first evening of a two-night stand at City Winery on Thursday. Though they like to humbly refer to themselves as “just another band from East L.A.,” Los Lobos have been hailed by rock critics like Steven Hyden as one of America’s most underappreciated and important bands.

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Live Review: Thundercat @ 9:30 Club — 11/2/21

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Thundercat performs at 9:30 Club on Nov. 2, 2021. (Photo by Will Colbert)

On Tuesday, Thundercat’s red logo emblazoned a huge drape at the rear of DC’s 9:30 club stage. The repeating symbol recalled not only the ‘80s cartoon, and namesake of multi-grammy award-winning bassist/singer Stephen Bruner, but also an emblematic crest. An insignia representing a diverse family that loves music, Dragon Ball Z, and yes… cats.

Stepping into the legendary DC venue I was geeked for a night of funky synth-laced progressive R&B paired with Thundercat’s Bee Gees-like falsetto vocals. Yes, that box was checked, but the performance proved to be so much more.

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Live Review: Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real @ Lincoln Theatre — 10/23/21

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Lukas Nelson performs at the Lincoln Theatre on Oct. 23, 2021. (Photo by Casey Vock)

Iconic country outlaw Willie Nelson has a lot of kids, and a lot of those kids have followed their father into the music business. His daughter Amy plays in a comedy folk duo, Folk Uke, with Arlo Guthrie’s daughter. His son Micah, also known as the Particle Kid, makes his own music, and he recently played guitar in his father’s band on the Outlaw Music Festival tour. But the most successful of Willie’s children is his son, Lukas, who played the Lincoln Theatre recently with his band, Promise of the Real.

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Live Review: Katie Toupin @ Club 603 — 9/28/21

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Katie Toupin performs at Club 603 in Baltimore on Sept. 28, 2021. (Photo by Casey Vock)

House shows saw a bit of a surge during these strange times and sensibly so, as musicians and fans try to find a way to connect in small, safe, sterile environments. And for all anyone knows, this is a common manner by which music goers will be engaging with artists moving forward.

Well, there’s a local “house show venue” that has already built an impressive list of artists it’s hosted for intimate, in-home performances that should be considered special treats for those who’ve been in attendance. And this week, Club 603 — situated just off the Northern Parkway — hosted what was its 107th show, a number that even the hosts — Scott and Jean Vieth — admitted is quite extraordinary.

A singer-songwriter, keyboardist and guitar player working out of Los Angeles but with connections in music far and wide, Katie Toupin made a stop in Baltimore Tuesday night at Club 603 for what turned out to be an explosive and emotional full-band house performance.

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Live Review: Dawes w/ Erin Rae @ Warner Theatre — 9/15/21

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Dawes performs at the Warner Theatre on Sept. 15, 2021. (Photo by Casey Vock)

When she opened for Dawes at the Warner Theatre recently, singer-songwriter Erin Rae complimented the venue’s beauty. She’s absolutely right: it’s a gorgeous place, beautifully restored, one of the most attractive in the area. And while you might expect an event in such a elegant room to be a bit staid, this show was anything but: led by frontman Taylor Goldsmith, Dawes play jammed-out versions of both their most popular songs and deep cuts, and they got the crowd involved throughout their performance.

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Live Review: Lord Huron @ MECU Pavilion — 9/13/21

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Lord Huron performs at MECU Pavilion on Sept. 13, 2021. (Photo by David LaMason)

I have to admit that until a good friend of mine turned me onto them a few years ago, Lord Huron wasn’t on my radar. But one spin of Strange Tails and I was hooked. I hadn’t been able to catch them on stage however — that is until Monday night at the MECU Pavilion in Baltimore.

There’s something to the music of Lord Huron that flows from aesthetics of great fiction, whether it be pulp novels of the turn of the last century in Strange Trails; idealized visions of the future in Vide Noir; or the imagined world of early variety television that inhabits Long Lost, the most recent release from this LA-by-way-of-Lansing quartet. There’s a mystic quality that takes the listener along for a ride and keeps them coming back. So, on a hot afternoon overlooking the Baltimore Harbor, I had the great fortune to witness Lord Huron as they took the stage on their first tour since music touring stopped due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Live Review: Sunny War @ City Winery — 9/9/21

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Sunny War performs at City Winery DC on Sept. 9, 2021. (Photo by Casey Vock)

Creatively illustrating heartbreak and other crucial, even if paralyzing, human emotions is the sign of a masterful musician. And there’s no way to fabricate any level of that understanding — only persevering through hardships can empower someone with such an apprised view of this world.

Sunny War, a 30-year-old rising star out of Los Angeles, casually strolled into City Winery DC the night of Sept. 9 to deliver an inspirative and inventive set of music crafted from sounds of blues, folk and punk and built from the challenges she’s overcome along her path.

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Preview: Colin Hay @ The Birchmere, 8/17 + 8/18/21

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Colin Hay (Photo by Paul Mobley)

Renowned globally as frontman in the Australian band Men at Work, Colin Hay has since proven himself as a solo artist. Today, Colin releases an album of covers — songs important to him — called I Just Don’t Know What to Do With Myself, recorded during pandemic lockdown.

Colin and his band visit The Birchmere to play some of those songs and others for two shows on Tuesday, Aug. 17, and Wednesday, Aug. 18.

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