Tag Archives: Click Track

When the Star Talks Himself Blue: Ryan Adams at Strathmore, considered

Adams: "I got a plan."

I saw Ryan Adams and the Cardinals open for Oasis (!) in 2008 (!!!) but I only caught part of their set from across a basketball arena and anyway it was not an especially memorable experience. But I quite enjoyed the talky, sloppy Adams solo show — and opener Jason Isbell — that I review in today’s Washington Post. Continue reading

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Postcards from “Postcards from Italy”: Beirut at the 9:30 Club, reviewed.

I covered the first of Beirut’s two-night, tour-ending stand at 9:30 Club last night for the Washington Post. Read all about it in the paper-paper version, or see the version on Click Track for a few more of Josh Sisk’s fine photos from the show.

Hey, I Like the Quarry House, Too: Kid Rock at the Fillmore, discussed.

So the Washington Post sent me to a Kid Rock show. One of the best things about working as a critic is that it forces you to broaden your taste! It was my first visit to the Fillmore Silver Spring, the new Live Nation concert venue across from the AFI Silver Theater that finally opened its doors two months ago after years of preamble. Here’s my report of what all went down.

Kid Rock is 40 years old. His most recent album, the year-old “Born Free,” was produced by late-career rejuvenation specialist Rick Rubin and evokes 1970s Bob Seger more than it does the Clinton-era rap-rock that made Rock a multiplatinum star. He hasn’t been arrested at a strip club or a Waffle House in years. He’s recorded a duet with Sheryl Crow. Twice, actually.

But chin-and-middle-fingers up, Kid Rock fans. While these harbingers of mortality are unmistakable, Rock’s 105-minute set at a tightly-packed Fillmore Silver Spring last night demonstrated that maturity hasn’t laid its liver-spotted hands on him just yet. Continue reading

Like Louis Armstrong Said, All Music Is Folk Music

Gillian Welch posted her Strathmore setlist on her Twitter feed this morning.

Ain’t never heard a horse sing no song.

I reviewed Gillian Welch and David Rawlings‘s concert at the Music Hall at Strathmore last night for the Washington Post. It was great. It was better than that. There wasn’t a bum note all night. Continue reading

A Four-Part Harmony in Search of a Song: Fleet Foxes at Constitution Hall

A perfectly cromulent lede except for being two years too late:

In a better world than this, Fleet Foxes is an all-female professional motorcycle racing team that dabbles in counterterrorism and sometimes unwinds by playing Runaways covers in their garage. In our imperfect realm? They’re Seattle dudes, vegans surely, at least half of whom have beards and wear stocking caps even when visiting Washington, DC in the summertime.

Here’s the review as it appeared in the Paper of Record.

CAKE at the 9:30 Club, reviewed

OUT: More Cowbell.

IN: Enough with the Goddamn Vibra-Slap Already.

“We’re opening for ourselves!” CAKE frontman John McCrea announced last night at the first of three consecutive sold-out evenings at the 9:30 Club. He was explaining their appearance at earlyish hour of 8:15. It’s “an evening with CAKE,” he said, stretching out the word “evening” in his mouth. Sounds like the eclectic Sacramento group — riding high on the strength of Showroom of Compassion, their first new music in seven years — had prepared a lengthy program and we’d all best get comfy, right?

Nope! They played exactly 90 minutes, the minimum acceptable amount for a band with a 17-year catalog. Which would’ve been okay if they didn’t do everything possible to drain the gig whenever any momentum or excitement threatened to accrue. A 20-minute intermission after only 45 of music? Allowable if you’re going to play at least double that upon your return, or if you’re an aged legend who physically requires a midshow rest. These guys? All in their mid-40s.

Post-intermission, they burned another 10 interminable minutes giving away a tree to an audience member. And eliciting a promise from the unlucky winner to re-plant said tree. And to use it to teach his students — he’s a teacher — “where food comes from.” And to post photos of himself with the tree on the band’s website. I have a compost pile in my apartment, and this was, even to me, insufferable. Continue reading

The Dismemberment Plan, remembered

I never listened to a Dismemberment Plan album in my life until a week-and-a-half ago, when I got a copy of Emergency & I to prepare for last weekend’s reunion gigs celebrating the 1999 albums’s new vinyl release. In addition to the Black Cat show I reviewed for the Washington Post on Friday night, I saw the second of The Plan’s two shows at the 9:30 Club, on Sunday. I’m glad I was there.

My review is after the jump. Continue reading