Tory Lanez only goes halfway at Fillmore

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“The modern-day rap show is plagued by many pitfalls: an overreliance on background vocal tracks. DJs with itchy sound-effects trigger fingers. Subwoofers that obliterate not just eardrums but iPhone microphones. Seizure-inducing strobe lights. An overemphasis on getting the party started rather than actually performing. Unfortunately for the audience at the Fillmore Silver Spring on Wednesday night, Canadian rapper-singer Tory Lanez fell into many of these pits.”

Read more in the Washington Post.

Heel in Chief

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“Linda McMahon, President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to head the Small Business Administration, will carry several distinctions should she be confirmed. McMahon, the former president and CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, who has also appeared at pro wrestling events as a fictionalized version of herself, will be the first Cabinet-level official who has received the Stone Cold Stunner from Steve Austin. She will be the first to have been Tombstone Piledriven by the Demon Kane. And she will be the first to have kicked WWE announcer Jim Ross in the crotch.”

Read more at Slate.

Sweater Beats bares his soul at U Street Music Hall

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“Thanksgiving is a day of coming home. For Antonio Cuna, this year’s Thanksgiving was a homecoming. Cuna, who produces electronic music as Sweater Beats, grew up in Rockville, and late Wednesday night — or, more accurately, early Thursday morning — he brought his debut live tour to U Street Music Hall. “I see so many familiar faces. I’m getting emotional,” he told the crowd after his first song. “I’m home right now.””

Read more in the Washington Post.

A celebration of an iconic songbook at Smokey Robinson’s Gershwin Prize concert

“On Wednesday night, Smokey Robinson received the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, joining the esteemed company of songwriters such as Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder and Billy Joel. First bestowed in 2007 to Paul Simon, the prize recognizes work that has a “significant and uplifting influence on the world of music and on our society as a whole.” The only thing debatable about Robinson’s winning of the Gershwin Prize is why it didn’t happen sooner.”

Read more in the Washington Post.

What Donald Trump learned about politics from pro wrestling

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“Trump might not have been playing by the rules of politics, but he won the game. So how did he do it? Those looking to his career as a developer or reality TV host came up short in predicting Trump’s survival and eventual victory, because those are only part of the story. The most important lessons Donald Trump ever learned were in a pro wrestling ring.”

Read more in the Washington Post.

Are Abhi//Dijon R&B’s Next Breakout Stars?

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“Last month, Abhi//Dijon tweeted, “we are r & b to the core and will wear that label if people need it but trust we intend on turning the genre and everything else inside out.” It was a bold, confrontational statement from the duo, which is comprised of Ellicott City-raised, Los Angeles-based musicians Abhi Raju and Dijon Duenas. But with the release of their latest EP, Montana, it definitely reads as a mission statement.”

Read more in the Washington City Paper.

The good and the bad of mixing classical music and electronica

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“These days, the venues DJs play aren’t limited to clubs, bars and warehouse parties. You’ll also find them — armed with laptops and turntables — in restaurants, art galleries and a variety of urban outfitters. You’ll also find one at the Kennedy Center: namely DJ Masonic, better known as Mason Bates, the venue’s 39-year-old composer-in-residence. Bates, at one point the second-most-performed living composer in America, is best known for bringing electronic music into the orchestra, which he has continued to do with his KC Jukebox events.”

Read more in The Washington Post.