Snapshots: Van Morrison w/ James Hunter @ Wolf Trap — 9/7/22

Van Morrison performs at Wolf Trap on Sept. 7, 2022. (Photo by Jason Nicholson)

Sir George Ivan Morrison, better known as Van Morrison, charmed Wolf Trap in a mystic show recently. The Belfast Lion was in fine form, playing songs from across his career — including new album What’s It Going to Take? — and appearing with opener James Hunter, who also received a warm reception.

Jason Nicholson was there to photograph the show!

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Preview: Stiff Little Fingers @ Black Cat, 10/23/19

Stiff Little Fingers (left to right): Ian McCallum, Steve Grantley, Jake Burns, Ali McMordie. (Photo by Bernie Mcallister)

Belfast punk legends Stiff Little Fingers formed in 1977, and the band released their first album, Inflammable Material, in 1979. To celebrate 40 years of Inflammable Material, Stiff Little Fingers mounted an anniversary tour, which plays locally to the Black Cat on Wednesday, Oct. 23.

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Live Review: Snow Patrol @ The Anthem — 4/26/19

Snowpatrol1 Snow Patrol brings hope to The Anthem on April 26, 2019. (Photo by David LaMason)

Five, six, seven, even 20 years seems like a long time between albums — but over the past few years, bands have been making albums that defy what the industry would say are the prime years to make follow up records. And some of my favorite records lately have been from bands who haven’t put out a record in stretches of time and then deliver some of their best. Case in point: the Northern Ireland band Snow Patrol, who appeared at The Anthem on Friday. 

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Ticket Giveaway: Two Door Cinema Club (w/ Broods) @ Echostage, 11/17/16

TDCC orange final
Two Door Cinema Club (Photo courtesy Glassnote Records)

Northern Irish post-punk trio Two Door Cinema Club keep upping the ante with a very good third album, Gameshow, released last month via Glassnote Records in the United States.

Since dancing into our ears with their debut album Tourist History in 2010, Alex Trimble (vocals, rhythm guitar, beats, synths), Sam Halliday (lead guitar, backing vocals), and Kevin Baird (bass, synths, backing vocals) have managed to totally sound like themselves while also keeping it interesting. With Gameshow, Alex told NME, “The two biggest influences for me were Prince and Bowie — both total pioneers who straddled that line between out-there pop and avant garde craziness.”

Well, that’s great inspiration all around indeed! Over the summer, Two Door Cinema club released the first single from the new album — “Are We Ready? (Wreck).”

Watch the very amusing official music video for “Are We Ready? (Wreck)” by Two Door Cinema Club, which sends up advertising and consumerism, on You Tube:


Prior to the new album’s release, Two Door Cinema Club played a very sold-out show at the Black Cat in June. Now, they are returning to DC to perform in a bigger space with Echostage on Thursday, Nov. 17, and Parklife DC is giving you a chance to win a pair of tickets to see them! To win, simply leave a comment on this blog. You can leave any comment but perhaps tell us your favorite song by Two Door Cinema Club!

For the rules of this giveaway–

Comments will be closed at 5pm on Thursday, and a winner will be randomly selected. The winner will be notified by email. The winner must respond to our email within 24 hours, or they will forfeit their tickets and we will pick another winner. We will email you instructions on claiming your ticket. Good luck!

If you don’t win, tickets also are available online.

Oh wait — before we go, did we tell you that Broods — the incredibly talented siblings from New Zealand — are opening for Two Door Cinema Club? The trip hop duo recently played their *own* sold-out show at the 9:30 Club on August 1! (Read our Parklife DC review of that show.) It’s almost a question of who would you rather see — Two Door Cinema Club or Broods? Well, why not see them both?

Two Door Cinema Club
w/ Broods
Thursday, Nov. 17
Doors @7pm
All ages


Don’t Miss: SOAK @ DC9, 6/24/16


Derry’s imaginative folk ingénue Bridie Monds-Watson, better known as SOAK, has a big US tour opening for the Lumineers right now. But as that winds up this weekend, SOAK and her band continue on the road with a few headlining shows of their own.

The SOAK headlining tour lands at DC9 on Friday, June 24. The 19-year-old SOAK visited DC9 alone last year to perform songs from her debut album, Before We Forgot How to Dream, which came out via Rough Trade Records in 2015.

I saw SOAK perform at DC9 on July 12, 2015, and she gave us absorbing songs that pondered the nature of relationships, whether with her parents or with her friends at school.

“SOAK is most certainly a dreamer and given to delightful whimsy,” I wrote in a previous review. “For her visit to DC, she drew a picture of herself on the roof of the White House with President Barack Obama. In the picture, the White House is flying a rainbow flag in celebration of the Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, which affirmed the right to marriage for same sex couples in all 50 states. The DC9 crowd cheered at SOAK’s sentiment, and the little lady with the big voice seemed content for a time to be among friends.”

Watch the official music video for “Reckless Behaviour” by SOAK on YouTube:


Be warned, as I said previously: “If you like soulful folk pop, you’ll love SOAK. Be prepared however. This teenager’s big heart and penchant for tackling sad topics may stir your own soul as well as your ears.”

Tickets are available online.

w/ Overcoats
Friday, June 24
Doors @630pm
All ages