Live Review: Fantastic Negrito w/ Mike Montali @ 9:30 Club — 6/22/22

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Fantastic Negrito performs at 9:30 Club on June 22, 2022. (Photos by Rashad Polk; Words by Mark Engleson)

Fantastic Negrito’s latest album, White Jesus, Black Problems, is deeply personal. It delves into family history, into the story of his seventh-generation great-grandparents, an enslaved Black man and indentured Scottish servant woman, who came together in Virginia in 1759. That’s not to say his other albums aren’t personal as well: The Last Days of Oakland is very much about the city where he was raised as one of 14 children. But the focus in his recent performance at the 9:30 Club was on telling the story of that interracial union.

“I wasn’t who I thought I was,” Fantastic Negrito explained. “But I’m exactly who I need to be.”

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Live Review: Curtis Harding @ Black Cat — 5/2/22

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Curtis Harding leads his band in a performance at Black Cat on May 2, 2022. (Photo by Casey Vock)

A unique path with a full spectrum of influences can lead to refreshing, innovative artistic ideas, especially in music.

By the time he released his first album in 2014, Curtis Harding had gained a wide perspective both with his ears and his eyes thanks to an uncommon upbringing and an early run of success as a member of various outfits, including working alongside some of the country’s most noteworthy rap and hip-hop artists.

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Ticket Giveaway: Homeshake @ 9:30 Club, 4/22/22

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Homeshake (Photo by Salina Ladha)

Peter Sagar, more popularly known as Homeshake, first made his name as guitarist for Mac DeMarco! The Montreal-based singer-songwriter released Under the Weather, his fifth studio album as Homeshake, last year, and now he’s coming to perform at 9:30 Club on Friday, April 22.

You can win tix to see the show with Parklife DC!

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Live Review: Joan Osborne @ The Birchmere — 3/31/22

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Joan Osborne (Photo courtesy the artist)

Joan Osborne achieved breakthrough fame and success in the ’90s with “One Of Us.” It didn’t come overnight, though; she had been playing small clubs for years. And while she still sings that song, her career arc has gone back to mining much of the interpretive work in roots music she came up doing. Along the way, she’s received a Grammy nomination (for Best Blues album for Breakfast in Bed), recorded the songs of Bob Dylan and others, and still found time for her own original songs along the way.

Joan’s influences are eclectic, but she probably draws most heavily from the blues, so it’s fitting that she began her performance at The Birchmere recently with a cover of Muddy Waters’s classic “I Want To Be Love,” which she recorded on Bring It On Home.

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Live Review: Jazmine Sullivan @ The Anthem — 3/20/22

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Jazmne Sullivan performs at The Anthem in DC on March 20, 2022. (Photo by Will Colbert)

Jazmine Sullivan has never been one to mince words. In 2008, the multi-Grammy nominated R&B singer-songwriter voiced the fury of jilted lovers — and possibly inspired a few felonies — on the revenge anthem “Bust Your Windows.” Sullivan’s latest release is titled “Heaux Tales.” The conceptual project is a collection of perspectives on sex, insecurity, loss, and the power of the P — which doesn’t stand for prude. The Philadelphia soul singer shared these provocative stories during a recent sold-out show at The Anthem in DC.

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Snapshots: Rickie Lee Jones @ Rams Head on Stage — 3/1/22

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Rickie Lee Jones performs at Rams Head on Stage on March 1, 2022. (Photo by Jason Nicholson)

Rickie Lee Jones flew into Maryland a few days prior to her gig at Rams Head on Stage in Annapolis, and she first made an apparent stop in Bethesda.

A dance instructor here reported Rickie Lee dropped by the city’s famed Hank Dietle’s Tavern and lent a hand to teaching a two-step dance lesson. Could you imagine turning up at Hank Dietle’s one random night and taking a dance lesson with none other than the Duchess of Coolsville?

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Preview: Washed Out @ 9:30 Club, 2/9/22

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Washed Out (Photo by Blair Greene)

Washed Out is Atlanta-based producer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Ernest Greene. Over the course of three uniquely enchanting, critically-lauded albums and an EP, the music he makes has proved both transportive and visual, each new effort inviting listeners into immersive, self-contained universes.

With Purple Noon, his fourth album, and return to Sub Pop, he delivers the most accessible Washed Out creation to date. Travel with Washed Out in his performance at 9:30 Club on Wednesday, Feb. 9.

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