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.
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.
The abz of Songz
In the post-R. Kelly R&B carnality arms race (or is it an abs race?), 25-year-old Peterburg, Va. native Trey Songz is in little danger of being outgunned. He may one day use his limber tenor to map the terrain of other subjects and emotions, but four albums into a career on which he’s cited Kelly as the prime influence, Songz is, to hear him tell it, a man whose devotion to sex is so pure, so singular, so encompassing, “monastic” is the only word.
Last night at a sold-out DAR Constitution Hall, he prayed a high holy Mass.
The 100-minute session opened with “I Invented Sex” and peaked with “The Neighbors Know My Name.” (Not because they accidentally got some of his mail.) In between, Songz issued a more humble declaration of fealty with no, ha, fooled you. He did snap a photo of the audience, telling us, “There is no me without y’all.” Save for some conspicuous pre-recorded backing vocals, his tour with long-lived R&B star Monica was absent big-venue production gimmicks: the gig succeeded entirely on its star’s vocal power, energy and charisma, all boundless, though you wonder whether he has any other hobbies. Truth, his main addiction might be work: His breakthrough album, “Ready,” is barely a year old, but the follow-up, Passion, Pain & Pleasure drops next week.
So there was Conan at DAR Constitution Hall last night, dressed in what he said was Eddie Murphy’s catsuit from Raw, possibly signaling his awareness of the perils that await the comic who lets his moment of cultural primacy go to his head. Raw came out in 1988. Eddie Murphy’s last good movie was, I think, Boomerang, from 1992.
Conan is even rocking Eddie’s odd pose from Raw in the first photo there. My phone is to a real camera what I am to a real photographer, but I figured you’d want to see these anyway on your way over to checking out the City Paper’s Arts Desk debrief of the DC stop on Conan’s almost-done Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour. (SPOILER: It was good, but not great, but we liked it anyway.)
This discussion, which I failed to grasp was being “recorded” and would be presented to you, the reader, with minimal editing, stars Benjamin R. Freed and CP arts editor Jonathan L. Fischer and one Christopher T. Klimek, whom I suspect may have been drunk for at least part of it. It’s choppy and discursive and long-winded and confusing, but that’s all part of the choppy, discursive, long-winded fun. Continue reading
Dave Lovering and Kim Deal of The Pixies. Photo by Kyle Gustafson.
I have a lot of thoughts about the play-a-classic album (or a new album) in sequence trend, and I got to discuss some of them in my Blurt! debut, a review of The Pixies’ Doolittle show here in DC. You can see more of Kyle Gustafson’s photos from the concert on his site.