Music, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: Thomas Dolby @ The Birchmere — 3/25/12 (or “Yes, He Blinded Me With Science”)

Photo courtesy of randomduck
Hands flying
courtesy of randomduck

Thomas Dolby’s fifth studio album, A Map of the Floating City, came out last year and it was somewhat appropriately named as you practically require a map to assess all of the influences that go into Mr. Dolby’s musical compositions these days — from blues to jazz to calypso to zydeco. He passed through the DC metro area Sunday night in support of the album in a tour that gives one an opportunity to reflect on his strengths and weaknesses over the years.

A Map of the Floating City is Dolby’s first album in 20 years, so some growth and divergence in his sound is expected. Not surprisingly, as an older artist, he is much more sedate in his composition and performance. With his first two magnificent albums — The Golden Age of Wireless and The Flat Earth — Dolby was associated with the subgenre of music then identified as New Pop. It was bombastic and heavy on synthesizers, having grown out of the pure synth arias of the New Romantics. Producer Trevor Horn championed New Pop and his label ZTT Records supported the likes of Frankie Goes to Hollywood and Grace Jones.

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Music, The Features

November Concert Preview

Photo courtesy of

courtesy of ‘Chris Rief aka Spodie Odie’

Kind of a light month music-wise in November, possibly due to the holiday. Also could be due to the fact that way more people are willing to venture out for a show when it’s nice outside than when it’s blistering cold, as November undoubtedly will be.  Most of the fun stuff seems to be clustered toward the beginning of the month, with a few excellent shows right around Thanksgiving, including Peter Bjorn and John, Queen Latifah, The Mountain Goats, and more– so let’s jump right in!

Right up front in November, the Verizon Center is hosting two HUGE names, but for very different audiences: Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band on Monday, November 2 and Miley Cyrus the next day, Tuesday, November 3. I mean, I guess you can party in the USA and still be down with The Boss, right? Continue reading

Entertainment, Music, The Features

July Concert Preview

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘::FiZ::’

Here comes July! As you consider going to concerts in the dead of summer, I just want to impart a few words of wisdom: you can’t always count on the A/C at some of DC’s music venues. I’m thinking specifically of Rock and Roll Hotel, where it is nearly impossible to go to a show without being overwhelmed by how freaking hot and sweaty it gets. So dress accordingly, and maybe consider an outdoor nighttime concert with some breathing room to avoid getting a faceful of sweaty pit from that guy shouting “Woooo!” next to you. Continue reading

Entertainment, Music, The Features

April Concert Preview

Photo courtesy of
‘Exit Clov’
courtesy of ‘flickr-rickr’

This month, people seem to have planned ahead and half the really exciting concerts are sold out! Well, I’ll try to nip that in the bud from now on and post some future shows to watch out for at the bottom. Also seems like there are a lot of dance parties this month, which might be just the thing to get everyone going and ready for summer. But now, onto the music! Continue reading

Entertainment, Music, The Features

March Concert Preview

Photo courtesy of
‘Estelle :: Paramount Theater :: 01.08.09’
courtesy of ‘Julio Enriquez’

Man, March really snuck up on me! There I was, just getting settled into a dreary February, and then all of the sudden here comes the promise of warmer, springtime weather and sweet, sweet music to accompany it.

Head out to Wolf Trap for The Bird and the Bee (w/ Obi Best) on Wednesday, March 4 ($20) for digital-sounding jams with airy vocals on top. They were recently on Ellen performing “Love Letter to Japan,” which is one of my faves. Continue reading