Yikes. Just look at this place. I’ve let it all go to seed. Again.
I’ve been writing. I’m writing all the time. I’m just not so good sometimes about keeping my scrapbook in order. And so:
Here’s my Washington Post review of Mavis Staples’s concert at George Washington University Lisner Auditorium two weeks ago and my review of the Gorillaz show at the Patriot Center two nights later, both with some heartening reader comments that speak perfectly to my frustration about being given an arbitary ceiling of 300 words for most of these reviews. Anyway, a week after Gorillaz, I saw Nick Lowe at the Birchmere and took a ridiculous amount of time to collect my thoughts about it. What I ultimately decided is that Nick Lowe is a guy who takes his sweet time doing stuff.
For the theater crowd, here’s my Washington City Paper review of Constellation’s Burtoned-down Women Beware Women. And my debut piece for TBD, a report on last weekend’s Helen Hayes Star Gala. I was delighted my recognition of host Tyne Daly for surviving her 1976 tour of duty with maverick San Francisco Police Inspector “Dirty” Harry Callahan made the cut.
And now for something completely different: Happy birthday today to my beloved friends Christina Sharkey and Rebecca Haithcoat. Many happy returns, Ladies.
It’s almost impossible to imagine England’s glam-bastic future-shock trio Muse peddling their warp-speed, Dark Matter riffs and florid piano interludes anywhere smaller than the Patriot Center, the coziest basketball arena on the itinerary of their U.S. tour. Wembley-packing popular in Europe, they traversed American football stadiums last fall supporting U2, a gig they may have cinched for their ability to make the headliners appear restrained and subtle by comparison.
Subtlety was irrelevant at last-night’s retina-singeing ode to space operatic excess. For the 105-minute pageant to express the band’s apocalypse-is-coming, so-shall-we-rock quintessence any more perfectly would have required giant harvester-like robots to wander into the audience and atomize us with their laser rays. A stage comprised of three telescoping video-cube platforms yawned open to reveal the three band members, lightsabering their way through “Uprising,” the pulsing, ominous opener of their latest album, The Resistance. (This is one band where the titles tell you exactly what you’re in for.) Lyrics “They will not control us! We will be victorious!” flashed as the crowd chanted along, implicitly telling Them exactly where They can cram their . . . well, whatever. Continue reading