Notes from Last Night (and this weekend)
Last night, I was at local band Fuchida‘s first-ever show. The Black Cat’s tiny backstage was packed, which was particularly awesome: it was so great to see so many people out to support a local headliner– and a metal(ish) band at that!– especially at a venue that’s not pay-to-play, as so many of the area’s local metal-friendly venues are. I guess it’s no surprise that there were so many people there, since the members of Fuchida used to be in other bands (Tone, Bronze Age, and Blue Tip), and the group’s frontwoman often DJs at the Black Cat under the name DJ Lil’e. There were certainly a lot of instruments on stage– three(!) guitars and an eight-string(!) bass plus (of course) drums– which certainly created a voluminous sound. The group refers to itself as ‘New Wave of American Black War Metal’, and while it was certainly obvious that this was their first show, they sounded good, and I look forward to hearing more from them. Also, the Black Cat now has New Belgium’s black ale 1554 on tap, which is delicious.
The night before, I was at Empire (formerly Jaxx) in Springfield for A Sound of Thunder‘s CD release show. I’ve already gone on record that I like the album, Out of the Darkness [Washington Post] (you can check it out on Amazon). The female-fronted power metal group sounds great on record, and they bring a lot of energy to the stage– singer Nina Osegueda is a great frontwoman, running all over stage and getting the crowd revved up– but one of the best parts of their live show is guitarist Josh Schwartz, who’s just awesome to watch.
On Friday night, I went to a completely non-metal show: a cappella groups Cartoon Johnny, Euphonism and Vox Pop did a benefit for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society at Williamsburg Middle School in Arlington. This is the second year I’ve been to this event (they’ve been doing it for 4 years), and it’s always a little surreal to be at a concert full of children– I’m really short, so it’s rare that I can see over the heads of the entire audience! Still, despite the chaos of the children (I never thought I’d see a mosh pit at an a cappella show, and yet the kids just go crazy right in front of the stage), the musicianship at this show was fantastic. Cartoon Johnny has just added a new member, Guye Turner (who is a teacher at Williamsburg Middle School), and this is the first time I’d seen the group perform a full set with him. They sounded fantastic– Guye gelled so well with the group, it’s hard to believe he’s only been singing with them for a few months. Can’t wait to see where they go from here. Euphonism were enjoyable as always, and I’ve become more and more impressed with Vox Pop every time I see them. CJ and Euphonism are both small groups (CJ has 6, Euph has 7), while Vox Pop is an 11-member group. Having once been an a cappella singer, I know the challenges of performing in a larger group– but Vox Pop sounded so good. They are by far, to my ears, the most cohesive and interesting large a cappella group in this area, and it’s always fun to see them perform.
• Bruce Springsteen doesn’t lip-synch, but he uses a teleprompter in concert [Washington Post]. Springsteen is such an exciting performer precisely because his art has always seemed to lack artifice. He is exuberant but also sincere, and he makes his fans believe it, too. His tunes aren’t just tunes; they’re mini-anthems of hope and possibility and unrealized dreams. They’re little musical novels. Which is why a teleprompter tampers, ever so slightly, with the spell Springsteen has cast for nearly 40 years. If he believes as deeply as we assume he does, why the need for a cheat sheet?
• Unusual instrument alert: Mayumi Miyata plays the Japanese reed instrument called the sho [Washington Post].
• Interview: Michael J West talks to Andrew D’Angelo [Washington CityPaper].
• Interview: Julyssa Lopez talks to Delta Spirit [Washingtonian].
• Venue info: Utopia on U Street is closing for renovations, but it will reopen in June 2013 and will continue to host jazz shows [Capital Bop].
• Like metal? DCHeavyMetal.com offers an update on recent and upcoming metal shows, with concert photos.
• Thought you were done with SXSW coverage? You were wrong. Chris Richards has a lengthy article on Robert Glasper and his performance in Austin [Washington Post]. The Robert Glasper Experiment is at the Warner Theatre tomorrow (4/3).
• Joan Reinthaler on the University of Maryland’s School of Music’s “The Art of Argento” Festival, which celebrates the work of Dominick Argento [Washington Post].
• Anne Midgette on Bach Sinfonia’s re-creation of the 1723 auditions for the post of Leipzig’s cantor [Washington Post].
• David Malitz on Perfume Genius at IOTA [Washington Post].
• Stephen Bradley on Band of Skulls at the 9:30 Club [Washington Times].
• We Love DC on Sleigh Bells and Liturgy at the 9:30 Club.
• Joan Reinthaler on Midori and the Alexandria Symphony at Schlesinger Concert Hall [Washington Post].
• Pamela Squires on Savion Glover at the Warner Theatre [Washington Post].
• The Vinyl District is giving away a signed copy of Rufus Wainwright‘s Out of the Game. Winner must have a North American mailing address (contest ends Tuesday 4/3).
• The Vinyl District is giving away a copy of Nirvana‘s Incesticide on vinyl. Winner must have a North American mailing address (contest ends Friday (4/7).
• The Vinyl District is giving away a copy of Donovan Quinn‘s Honky Tonk Medusa on vinyl. Winner must have a North American mailing address (contest ends Tuesday 4/3).
• DC101 is giving away a pair of tickets to Creed at the Warner Theatre on 4/24 (contest ends Sunday 4/15).
• DC101 is giving away a pair of tickets to Nickelback at the Verizon Center on 4/30 (contest ends Monday 4/23).
• DC101 is giving away a pair of tickets to Marilyn Manson at the Fillmore Silver Spring on 5/1 (contest ends Sunday 4/1).
• DC101 is giving away a pair of tickets to the sold-out Radiohead show at the Verizon Center on 6/3 (contest ends Sunday 5/27).
• DC101 is giving away a pair of tickets to Dave Matthews Band at Jiffy Lube Live on 6/16 (contest ends Sunday 6/3).
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