Monthly Archives: February 2011

Wanda Jackson at the 9:30 Club, reviewed

Rockabilly pioneer Wanda Jackson, after taking the stage at 23:35 hours Friday night: “I said, ‘9:30 Club?,’ looked at my watch and said, ‘Heck, I already missed it.'” What a voice, what a lady, a proud daughter of the great state of Oklahoma. Here’s my Washington Post review.

Ha-Ha, You’re a Slam Poet

No, I’m kidding, of course I didn’t mean that. Unless you really are. In which case, frites and moules may break your bones, but words can something something.

I wrote a little preview of the first of the Intersections New America Arts Festival’s three weekends for TBD, which you may have heard lost a lot of very fine staff this week. They’re good journalists and likable people who don’t deserve what happened to them, and I hope they’ll all land on their feet.

Spectral Analysis: Kegan Theatre’s The Weir and Basra Boy, reviewed

Here’re my reviews of Keegan’s current two-fer of a recent (1997) Irish play and a brand-new one, Conor McPherson’s The Weir and Rosemary Jenkinson’s Basra Boy, respectively. I was pretty hard on their production of Golden Boy a few months back, so I’m glad these were better.

Attention Must Be Paid, Y’all: Drive-By Truckers weekend setlist analysis!

HOLY SHIT I KNEW THE DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS NEVER USED A SETLIST BUT IT SEEMS LIKE THEY MIGHT ALMOST NEED TO TO GET THE INCREDIBLE VARIETY BETWEEN THE TWO SETS THEY PLAYED AT THE 9:30 CLUB THIS WEEKEND ATTENTION MUST BE PAID HERE IS THE EVIDENCE THEY ONLY REPEATED SEVEN SONGS OUT OF A 28/9-SONG SET EACH NIGHT WOW. Continue reading

That’s What Section My Seats Are In: Mike Cooley Answers My Questions

Mike-CooleySo I’m pretty pleased about finally getting to talk to Mike Cooley, who writes and sings songs in Drive-By Truckers, a band for whom I have great, abiding and at this point, very well-documented affection. I’d already had the pleasure of talking to Patterson Hood, who co-founded the band with him, on several occasions. You should never expect it, bu it’s always a wonderful thing when someone whose work you admire turns out to be friendly and accessible, too.

The interview is up at the City Paper’s Arts Desk blog. Continue reading

Being John Mellencamp

I live-tweeted last night’s very fine John Mellencamp concert at DAR Constitution Hall, then tried in the cold light of day to organize my tweets into coherent, largely numbers-based recap of the show. Maybe better just to read the tweets, I dunno. But I know the gig was excellent; more generous and more somber than the 85-minute, hits-only set I somehow had it in my head that Mellencamp prefers. More than half the set was stuff released in the 21st century, and while I delighted to hear “Check It Out,” which I thought for the first time sounds like an old Staples Singers jam, and “Cherry Bomb” — all told, four songs from 1987’s The Lonesome Jubilee, wow;  and “Jackie Brown,” too — I thought the newest stuff was the best. I’m always interested in how old-timers with deep and much-beloved back catalogs balance their desire to perform new material with their fans’ presumed expectation that they rock the hits.

Anyway, go read.

No Time for Fiction, or the Anger of Human Kindness: A Polite Conversation with Henry Rollins

The great raconteur and renaissance man Henry Rollins turned 50 yesterday, and expounded on that milestone from the stage at National Georgraphic’s Grosvenor Auditorium. Actually, he didn’t discuss aging so much as his memories of growing up here in Our Nation’s Capital with future Fugazi frontman Ian MacKaye (who introduced him) and his recent, harrowing visits to Costco in Burbank and Pyongyang, North Korea. More inspiring was his visit to South Africa, a country he praised for its efforts in recent years to get on the right side of history. He even recited from memory the preamble to that country’s constitution. Continue reading