Category Archives: Express

Louis Weeks’ new album, ‘haha,’ makes it even harder to classify the Baltimore-born singer-producer

Source: Express: Music

It’s tough to classify Louis Weeks. The Baltimore-born, D.C.-based singer-producer listened to classical music as a kid, and you can hear those spacious elements on his second album, “haha,” out Tuesday. The new LP, which he’ll celebrate at the Howard Theatre on Thursday, marks a sharp creative turn for the 26-year-old Weeks: Where last year’s […]

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Get a taste of Sweetgreen’s Sweetlife Festival with these made-up, artist-minded salads

Source: Express: Music

Kendrick Lamar isn’t just headlining this weekend’s Sweetlife Festival. The rapper inspired Sweetgreen, the local chain behind the two-day Merriweather Post Pavilion event, to create a seasonal salad in his honor: the cheekily named Beets Don’t Kale My Vibe. Given the music festival’s food focus, we decided to take that idea and run with it. […]

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Gratefully yours: At Dear Jerry, an all-star lineup honored Grateful Dead icon Garcia

Source: Express: Music

It would be an understatement to say that Thursday night’s Dear Jerry concert at Merriweather Post Pavilion — a 4 ½-hour, star-studded tribute to Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia — was a long, strange trip of an evening. It was also a great trip: More than 20 acts performed in honor of Garcia at a […]

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The Grateful Dead’s spirit is alive and well at concerts like Dear Jerry and Fare Thee Well

Source: Express: Music

When Jerry Garcia died in 1995, the Grateful Dead died with him. Yet the music the guitarist and his merry band of pranksters made lives on. As the band’s surviving members — bassist Phil Lesh, guitarist Bob Weir, and drummers Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart — prepare to celebrate the Dead’s 50th anniversary, the question […]

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Celebrate the Grateful Dead’s 50th anniversary in and around D.C.

Source: Express: Music

Grateful Dead 50th anniversary celebrations are happening all year across the country and Washington is no exception. In addition to Thursday’s Dear Jerry concert, District Deadheads have plenty of opportunities to let their freak flag fly.  (Almost) Jerry Takoma Park’s John Kadlecik used to play in Furthur with the Dead’s Phil Lesh and Bob Weir. […]

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Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann on his memoir, ‘Deal,’ new band Billy and the Kids and Dear Jerry at Merriweather

Source: Express: Music

Bill Kreutzmann wasn’t the Grateful Dead’s only drummer — he shared rhythmic responsibilities with Mickey Hart — but he was the band’s first drummer. He was also the first Deadhead. In his new memoir, “Deal: My Three Decades of Drumming, Dreams, and Drugs With the Grateful Dead,” Kreutzmann recalls the first time he saw Jerry […]

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Aretha Franklin says her voice is ‘better than ever’ ahead of her Strathmore concert

Source: Express: Music

Pop music is full of royalty, but there’s only one Queen of Soul: Aretha Franklin. And at 73, it’s still good to be the queen. Last year, she released her 38th studio album, “Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics,” received the first Billboard Women in Music Icon Award and earned an honorary degree from […]

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The Washington Jewish Music Festival goes eclectic

Source: Express: Music

Soul, jazz, klezmer rock, neo-Hasidic folk singers — the 16th annual Washington Jewish Music Festival isn’t your bubbe’s Broadway musical. “Jewish music is not just ‘Fiddler on the Roof,’ ” says Lili Kalish Gersch, director of the festival, which runs Thursday through May 17 at the DCJCC, Sixth and I, and Stead Park. The eclectic lineup […]

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Jason Moran honors Harlem and U Street at the Kennedy Center

Source: Express: Music

Pianist Jason Moran, the Kennedy Center’s artistic director for jazz, has a plan for this weekend’s “Harlem Nights/U Street Lights” program, but he’s ready to throw it out at a moment’s notice. “You have ideas about what you think it can be,” Moran says. “But once all those energies get in the room — once […]

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Two concerts will showcase the Library of Congress’ massive flute collection

Source: Express: Music

If you have a partner who’s a bit of a hoarder, you can empathize with the wife of Dayton C. Miller. A prominent American turn-of-the-century physicist, he traveled the world lecturing about X-rays and acoustics. Wherever he went, he would sneak off to meet with flute dealers. Eventually, he amassed a collection of 1,426 flutes, […]

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The Juan Maclean hits U Street Music Hall after tragedy had put the band on hold

Source: Express: Music

Until recently, John Maclean thought his disco-rock project The Juan Maclean would never play a show again. Tragedy struck in 2009 when Maclean’s drummer and close friend Jerry Fuchs fell to his death down a Brooklyn elevator shaft. The incident sent Maclean into a spiral of grief. “My knee-jerk response was, ‘We can never play […]

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Cabinet is cause for ‘Celebration’ at the Kingman Island Bluegrass and Folk Festival

Source: Express: Music

The video for Cabinet’s song “Celebration” depicts the Pennsylvania bluegrass band at a lively party where everyone is drinking, hugging, dancing — and rolling banjo picks. That last part is for a game, also called Celebration, created by banjo player Pappy Biondo. Like a dice game, players make bets, roll two banjo picks and win […]

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Stuff to do in D.C., Maryland and Virginia from April 23-29

Source: Express: Music

THURSDAY ‘Dame Edna’s Glorious Goodbye, The Farewell Tour’ There are one-man comedy acts and then there’s Barry Humphries, better known as Dame Edna Everage, above,. Humphries says he’s retiring from showbiz, which makes this Dame Edna tour his last. Luckily, fans can say goodbye to the snobby, quotable, cat eye glasses-wearing queen at the National […]

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Jeff Rosenstock on his poppy, self-reflective solo album ‘We Cool?’

Source: Express: Music

How does a bratty pop punk kid come to terms with adulthood? That’s the question at the heart of Jeff Rosenstock’s new solo record, “We Cool?” In his past life, Rosenstock was the lead singer of the band Bomb the Music Industry!, who achieved cult status during the ska revival of the early 2000s. Now […]

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‘Lead Belly at 125:’ Robert Plant, Alison Krauss and Dom Flemons pay tribute to the folk musician at Kennedy Center

Source: Express: Music

“The strength is always the thing that I’ve loved about Lead Belly’s art. The strength of his songs and performance, and the strength of him as a person.” — Dom Flemons, above, musician and host of Saturday’s Kennedy Center concert “Lead Belly at 125: A Tribute to an American Songster.” The show finds Robert Plant, Alison Krauss, […]

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My Morning Jacket is back with an epic new album, ‘The Waterfall,’ and a free set on the National Mall

Source: Express: Music

Whenever My Morning Jacket singer Jim James sees a waterfall in the wild, he wants to stop it. “Like hitting pause on a video,” James says. It’s a metaphor, the 36-year-old says, for “feeling so overwhelmed by the speed of life” that you need to take a breather. That feeling looms over the band’s new […]

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What you need to know about Saturday’s Global Citizen 2015 Earth Day rally on the National Mall

Source: Express: Music

Global Poverty Project CEO Hugh Evans has many goals for Saturday’s free Global Citizen 2015 Earth Day rally on the National Mall, one of which is simple: “We want the sun to shine,” Evans says. His other goals are more ambitious. The rally and star-studded concert, put on by the Global Poverty Project and the […]

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Elvis Perkins brings his long-awaited third album, ‘I Aubade,’ to Sixth and I

Source: Express: Music

Elvis Perkins’ third record was supposed to be simple. In 2012, the rootsy singer-songwriter planned to record an acoustic album by himself in just a couple of days. Easy, right? “I don’t know why I thought I would be able to restrain myself,” Perkins says. Three years later — and six since his previous album, […]

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Lady Lamb drops the Beekeeper and brings her catchy new album ‘After’ to the Rock and Roll Hotel

Source: Express: Music

At 18, Aly Spaltro started writing and recording music as Lady Lamb the Beekeeper. “It’s a name that came to me in a dream,” says Spaltro, now 25. “But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve become so detached from the Beekeeper part. It’s just so clunky and too long. After years of resenting it, I finally […]

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Matthew E. White on hip-hop, Philip Seymour Hoffman and the many influences behind ‘Fresh Blood’

Source: Express: Music

For his first album, 2012’s “Big Inner,” Richmond-based indie-rocker Matthew E. White created his version of ’60s Memphis soul, complete with a house band and his own record label/studio. For his second album, March’s “Fresh Blood,” White looked to hip-hop for inspiration. “I grew up in the heyday of Virginia Beach hip-hop — Missy Elliott, […]

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‘Rach 3′ is a concerto that pianist Daniil Trifonov needed to grow into

Source: Express: Music

When Daniil Trifonov made it to the final round of the 2011 International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition, he had a tough choice to make. Like several of his competitors, Trifonov had been practicing Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3, a piece known for wowing judges with its bombastic difficulty. At the last minute, however, he opted […]

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Ahead of his Fillmore show, Biz Markie explains why the ’80s were better than the ’90s

Source: Express: Music

Who better to bridge the ’80s/’90s divide than the clown prince of hip-hop, Biz Markie. After all, his biggest hit, “Just a Friend,” came at the cusp of the two decades — hitting No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1990. On Saturday, he’ll preside over the “80s vs 90s Dance Party” at the […]

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Get to know funky Ukrainian folk band DakhaBrakha

Source: Express: Music

Until you hear the music, the most striking thing about funky Ukrainian folk band DakhaBrakha is the headgear. Made of coarse, black lamb’s wool, the group’s towering hats evoke a faraway world of Cossacks and shepherds, dramatically complementing the traditional lace wedding dresses, thickly draped beaded necklaces and embroidered tunics that make up their costumes. […]

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Kacey Musgraves brings her fearless new country music to the 9:30 Club

Source: Express: Music

Kacey Musgraves is working overtime. The Texas-born country singer is speaking from Brisbane, Australia, where she’s putting on makeup before a show and reviewing artwork for her next album. “I’m so removed [from the new music] that it’s really hard to focus on it,” Musgraves says. All the work is understandable, considering that her new […]

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Hank Levy’s legacy act keeps the ‘Whiplash’ composer’s spirit alive at Bethesda Blues and Jazz

Source: Express: Music

Hank Levy was a fixture of the Baltimore jazz community, the founder of the jazz program at Towson University and a prolific composer known for his extensive use of odd musical meters. One of his strange tunes, a track that switches from 7/4 time (unusual) to 14/8 (bizarre), was “Whiplash.” The song — first released […]

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