Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 12/16/2009

Post Rock is now Click Track

Click Track

Hey, Post Rock reader. Come on over to Click Track, The Washington Post's new home for all things pop music! More posts, more contributors, more fun, more blathering about Bruce Springsteen whenever he comes to town. If you can imagine such a thing. All of your favorite Post Rock memories, such as the attack of Constantine Maroulis fans or truly insane interviews from SXSW will live on here. But now add Click Track to your bookmarks and meet us over there. If you're lucky, there may even be more of this.

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Posted at 04:42 PM ET, 12/15/2009

Was Britney the most influential artist of the decade?

britney spearsDid Britney Spears define the aughties? (Linda Davidson/The Washington Post)

OK, so it probably wasn't Brit-Brit. But it might have been! She filled Verizon Center back in 2001 and again in 2009 -- and rarely left the headlines in between. If Britney wasn't our most influential pop star of the decade, who was? Vote in the poll below, then join Chris Richards and David Malitz to discuss the decade in music at 2 p.m. Wednesday.

And there will be big changes in these parts tomorrow. Can you say New Blog? More on Wednesday...

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Posted at 01:29 PM ET, 12/15/2009

Holly Golightly and the Brokeoffs: Live last night

holly golightlyHolly Golightly and Lawyer Dave made songs about domestic abuse sound plenty appealing Monday at Iota.

Live Last Night

By Chris Klimek

Just how retro is the strain of handmade country-blues peddled by Holly Golightly and the Brokeoffs? During their ramshackle hour-long set at IOTA last night, the guitarist/percussionist/singer Lawyer Dave introduced two different tunes as "a song about domestic abuse."

Violence between lovers has always been one of the major themes of this music, of course. In the blues, it seems, no one goes to counseling. If Golightly -- an underground British chanteuse perhaps best known for a guest spot on a White Stripes record despite the dozen-plus solo albums to her credit -- ever did, she might never have penned such juicy heartbroke numbers as "My .45" or better still, "You Can't Buy a Gun When You're Cryin'."

(Golightly's sideman takes the spotlight, after the jump.)

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Posted at 01:02 PM ET, 12/14/2009

Chip Taylor: Live last night

chip taylorChip Taylor's stories were as memorable as the songs Sunday at the Birchmere.

Live Last Night

By Juli Thanki

Songwriter Chip Taylor comes from strong storytelling stock: his father, a golf pro from Yonkers, had for years convinced his three sons that he was actually an FBI agent. Taylor followed in his dad's footsteps Sunday night at the Birchmere, weaving tales of former ex-wives, opera-singing mafiosi, and brotherly adventures. The stories behind the songs took center stage for much of the night, with Taylor at one point telling his three-piece band "[you] might as well stop playing; I'm going to talk a while."

(Big brother Jon Voight checks in via cell phone, after the jump.)

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Posted at 09:23 AM ET, 12/14/2009

Fanfarlo: Live last night

fanfarloFanfarlo's Simon Balthazar led his band through a set of stately chamber-pop at a sold-out Iota on Friday night. (By Kyle Gustafson/FTWP)

Live Last Night

By David Malitz

Why were all those folks standing and shivering on the Wilson Boulevard sidewalk Friday night? The realities of Virginia's new indoor smoking ban? Nope, just people lined up hoping to get into the very sold out show at Iota featuring London chamber-pop sextet Fanfarlo. Those who arrived early enough to be admitted (perhaps one day Iota will sell advance tickets) watched as Fanfarlo avoided all the traps that sometimes plague bands that regularly trade instruments and sing in unison. These songs weren't precious or cloying, but instead well-crafted mini-symphonies that earned their crescendos and singalongs.

(Rockin' the glockenspiel, after the jump.)

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Posted at 08:32 AM ET, 12/14/2009

Ralph Stanley: Live last night

ralph stanleyStanley reinforced his status as an American music treasure at the Birchmere Saturday night.

Live Last Night

By Dave McKenna

Ralph Stanley made the supermarket tabloid National Examiner this year for saying in a then-unpublished autobiography that Tim McGraw wouldn't know a country song if it kicked him in, well, his moneymaker. The hubbub caused Stanley to remove the insult from the memoir before it hit the shelves. But if Stanley's accusation stands, then Saturday at the Birchmere, the elder statesman of bluegrass played a lot of songs that McGraw wouldn't know.

(The last of the bluegrass stars? After the jump.)

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Posted at 08:31 AM ET, 12/14/2009

A Jazz Piano Christmas: Live last night

eldarTwenty-two year old pianist Eldar provided an unexpected opening at NPR's annual "A Jazz Piano Christmas" Friday at the Kennedy Center.

Live Last Night

By Mike Joyce

The holiday jazz piano summit at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater on Friday night was supposed to kick off with Mel Torme's "The Christmas Song." Apparently 22-year-old phenom Eldar didn't get the word.

Instead of entertaining thoughts of "chestnuts roasting on an open fire," the late show audience was treated to Eldar's "Exposition." Vibrant and challenging, the piece displayed the pianist's extraordinary technique and occasionally brought to mind his ties to Oscar Peterson's legacy. Hummable, however, it wasn't.

(A parade of piano stars, after the jump.)

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Posted at 12:24 PM ET, 12/11/2009

Local author Eddie Dean reflects on his favorite performances from bluegrass icon Ralph Stanley


This fall, esteemed local music journalist Eddie Dean teamed up with bluegrass giant Ralph Stanley to release Stanley's autobiography "Man of Constant Sorrow." Co-authored by Dean, the book follows Stanley on his journey from his Big Spraddle Creek, Virginia, through his legendary run with the Stanley Brothers, to his appearance on the "O Brother, Where Art Thou" soundtrack and the Grammy he earned for it in 2002, to today.

The 82-year-old Stanley plays the Birchmere Saturday night -- a show that is not to be missed. In anticipation of the gig, Post Rock asked Dean to recount his fondest memories of Ralph Stanley in concert -- and two of them took place at the Birch!

(Eddie Dean's five favorite Ralph Stanley performances, after the jump)

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Posted at 05:29 PM ET, 12/10/2009

The Secret Policeman's Film Festival comes to AFI

pete townshendPete Townshend becomes the first rock star to perform for Amnesty - and simultaneously starts the "unplugged" phenomenon at 1979's "Secret Policeman's Ball." (By Paul Cox)

It was in June of 1979 when "Monty Python" funnyman John Cleese hosted the first "Secret Policeman's Ball," a series of landmark London concerts that put comedians and rock stars on the same stage. The goal? To raise awareness to the charity work of Amnesty International. The event featured a now-legendary acoustic performance from Pete Townshend and would go on to influence countless charity concerts to come.

In celebration of the event's 30th anniversary, the AFI Theatre in Silver Spring is hosting "The Secret Policeman's Film Festival" -- a series of films documenting the concerts. SPB co-creator and producer Martin Lewis will be at the theater Thursday and Friday evening to discuss the impact of his groundbreaking comedy-music-charity hybrid event with former Washington Post critic Richard Harrington.

Post Rock spoke with the garrulous Lewis this morning about his involvement in the Ball, its enduring legacy and a young Bob Geldof's love of four-letter words.

(Tales of Townshend, Bono, Sting and Geldof, after the jump.)

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Posted at 04:00 PM ET, 12/ 9/2009

Should more D.C. bands reunite on talk shows?

NOU9/12 Project vs. 13-Point Program to Destroy America.

We live in a copycat society. Now that Jawbox has reunited on "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" it's only a matter of time before more defunct D.C. bands start popping up on other talk shows. Here are a dozen reunions we're hoping to see televised in the near future.

Nation of Ulysses - Glenn Beck

Eggs - Rachael Ray Show

Tuscadero - The Tyra Banks Show

Jonathan Fire*Eater - Dr. Phil

The Make-Up - Soft Focus

Rites of Spring - The Oprah Winfrey Show (Free copies of the re-pressed "All Through A Life" 7-inch under each chair)

Bikini Kill - The View

The Delta 72- Some public access show at 4 a.m.

Government Issue - Countdown With Keith Olberman

Faith - Huckabee with Mike Huckabee

Lungfish - Larry King Live

Fugazi - The Charlie Rose Show (interview only)

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Posted at 02:13 PM ET, 12/ 9/2009

Arctic Monkeys: Live last night

arctic monkeysArctic Monkeys let their songs do the talking at 9:30 club on Tuesday.

Live Last Night

By Patrick Foster

Three albums do not a career make, but it does seem safe to say that the Arctic Monkeys have survived being one of the decade's most hyped British sensations. And though their third record, "Humbug," is the Sheffield quartet's least exciting, they proved Tuesday night its best songs work well on stage, delivering an impressively workmanlike performance at a very sold out 9:30 club.

(Less talk, more rock, after the jump.)

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