Best of: We Love Music

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘Max Cook’

Last week I recapped this year in music with a countdown of the 10 best concerts in the DC area. This exercise was so much fun that the We Love DC music writers decided to revisit a few more music-related posts of 2010. This time we are turning the spotlight on ourselves a bit by picking our favorite pieces of music writing from the past year. Rachel and I poured over all of our music profiles, reviews, and interviews from 2010 and we each picked a few favorites. I also picked out a some of my favorite photos to pretty up the joint. Enjoy.

“Boris” by Michael Darpino.


We Love Music: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club @ 9:30 Club 4/5/10

This is one of my favorite bits of music writing from the past year because my contextualization of BRMC’s controversially loud approach to this performance started a lot of great music discussions with other DC music fans. These are all new friends and sparring partners who I might not have met had I not written this review.

We Love Music: This Will Destroy You @ DC9 6/10/10

I compare bands’ sounds to many things in my reviews. Music always evokes powerful imagery in my imagination. My description of This Will Destroy You’s huge sound is some of my favorite music writing because each time I re-read it the imagery puts me right back inside that massive fireball.

We Love Music: The xx / Warpaint / Zola Jesus @ 9:30 Club 10/5/10
When a show is no good and I’m forced to go negative; I try to do so with love.

We Love Music: SWANS @ Black Cat 9/29/10
Readers tell me all the time that this was one hell of a good write-up. I think that makes it worth mentioning here.

We Love Music: The 9:30 Club 30th Anniversary Concert
I still can’t believe I got to go to this! For a music writer and fan based in Washington DC, this was one of the coolest DC-centric music events ever. Covering this show was my “big break” into the DC music writing scene. It led to our weekly giveaways and to countless music coverage opportunities. As an article, I enjoy this one for the challenge it presented in describing 15 performances in a single article!

Swans @ Black Cat
“SWANS” by Erin McCann


We Love Music: A Date with Idina Menzel and the NSO Pops
Whether you’ve jumped on the “Glee” bandwagon or not, one thing can’t be denied — some of the top names in modern Broadway have serious talent worth being displayed. One of these triple-threat performers is Ms. Idina Menzel. Menzel is class-act with clear diction, passionate phrasing, and an emotion-filled stage presence. When asked to step in for the previously announced Tony and Olivier Award winner Patti LuPone (“Glee” puns aside), Menzel gave the District a precious gift by taking the stage.

We Love Music: Trans-Siberian Orchestra — Winter Tour 2010

I can now cross “see fireworks from inside a concert arena all while a laser light show erupts all over the ceiling.” Thank you, Trans Siberian Orchestra. Fire, lights, heavy metal guitar solos, operatic vocals, and Christmas — that’s what TSO does.

We Love Music: Midnight Spin

2010 was a big year for Midnight Spin. It’s rare for an unsigned band to make a mark like the one these Brooklyn-based music makers have since their conception. Two music videos, an EP, a gig with Axl Rose, and a multi-city tour later, Midnight Spin continues to make a name for themselves in New York, D.C., and beyond. Be sure to keep an eye on these guys in 2011. They’ll be putting out their first full-length album. And — if you really really want to — they’ll be in D.C. for New Years Eve to play both a 2010 and 2011 set.

“Dragonette” by Michael Darpino

Michael splits his free time between defending the little guy and championing the underdog. He has been haunting the concert halls, dive bars, and greasy spoons of DC for the last 16 years. His interests include live rock music, researching obscure military/political conflicts, and good hamburgers. He is a friendly grump, has wisdom beyond his years, and is on a life-long quest to attain music nirvana. Follow him on Twitter if you dare!

3 thoughts on “Best of: We Love Music

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Best of: We Love Music » We Love DC --

  2. I think I remembered that Warpaint review, at least in the back of my mind, and avoided their R&R Hotel show later – thanks. I don’t see/hear what all the hype is about.

    There was no danger of my being at the show you reviewed, as I find XX quite boring. Again, I don’t see/hear what all the hype is about.

  3. By the way, Michael, thanks for your reviews over the year – I really enjoy them, and look forward to reading them throughout 2011. I would humbly request that if you know of a band coming to DC or Baltimore that might get overlooked and is worth checking out, if you could write it up and maybe link to a few songs, that would be much appreciated. Kinda like another DC web site I won’t name, but without their attitude.

    Happy New Year to ya.