Jill Sobule headlines HERAFest at City Winery on Sept. 22, 2019. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)
“Well-behaved women seldom make history.” — Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
So, let’s talk about women in music. A recent Washington Post article asked, “What’s it like to be a woman in rock today?” Of course the answer is, that’s the wrong question. Does anyone ever ask, “What’s it like to be a man in rock music?”
Eastern Standard Time performs at Songbyrd Music House on May 24, 2019. (Photos by Paivi Salonen; Words by Mickey McCarter)
DC heroes Eastern Standard Time rounded up a lot of friends for a record release show recently at Songbyrd Music House, and the place was positively jumping for a big night of dance tunes.
Bluebeat DC, Jump Up Records, and Songbyrd have teamed up to present the inaugural Capital Ska & Reggae Review, showcasing vintage Jamaican sounds from four incredible DC bands — ska-jazz legends Eastern Standard Time, fresh off their European tour for their hometown record release party for new studio album Time For Change, along with The Fuss, The Scotch Bonnets, and The Loving Paupers, and DJs Chuck Wren, Crown Vic’s Weird World, and Bobby Babylon — at Songbyrd Music Café on Friday, May 24.
The Fuss, “In Anacostia” (Photo courtesy The Fuss)
Before the snow hit DC on Thursday night, people were in the mood to go out. Drifting from nightspot to nightspot, I could already feel the restlessness among the crowds anticipating they would soon be snowed in.
There was no snow to be found as of yet, however, and a sizeable group formed at the Wonderland Ballroom for a night of ska and reggae presented by BlueBeat DC, which produces a show every third Thursday of the month at Wonderland. The first band up last week was The Fuss, a DC collective of eight musicians who satisfied the crowd’s desire to dance the night away.
The Fuss opened with their song “Just for Show,” a laidback, jazzy and funky tune that really captures the band’s sound. To be clear, that sound is textbook rocksteady, a slower yet still dance-driven sibling of ska. The song is an ideal set opener as its tone and lyrics truly invite the listener to come into the show. In performance, The Fuss are quite fluid, orchestrating smart use of its horns, strings, and percussion. Vocalist Andi Leo has a big voice that pairs well with the big instruments.