Category Archives: Music

Lana Del Rey finds truth in the artifice at Capital One Arena

“Pop culture is artifice, and the only pop star brave enough to fully acknowledge that is Lana Del Rey. The 32-year-old singer-songwriter has made a career out of authentically embracing inauthenticity, exploring the dark allure of nostalgic Americana for her generation of devotees. “Look at you kids with your vintage music,” she sings to them on “Love.” “You’re part of the past, but now you’re the future, signals crossing can get confusing.” On Thursday night, there was nothing confusing at Capital One Arena, where Del Rey invited the audience to visit the fantasy world she has created.”

Read more in The Washington Post.

Justin Trawick’s journey to Americana

“As a kid, Justin Trawick thought he knew every nook, cranny and creaking floorboard of his childhood home in rural Loudoun County, Va. He was an only child — his “closest friends were chickens and cows” — and he spent plenty of time exploring the pre-Civil War home. But it wasn’t until the summer before he started high school that he made a discovery that would change the course of his life.”

Read more in The Washington Post.

Maxo Kream, Punken review

“With his last two projects, Maxo Kream established himself as one of rap’s best storytellers, his trap tales heavy with gory details and delivered as bursts of semiautomatic syllables. On Punken, the 27-year-old Houston artist opens up about the world that forged him, revealing the forces and decisions that turned a young knucklehead into someone facing five to 99 for organised crime.”

Read more in Crack Magazine.

The best old albums that we discovered in 2017

“After Chris Cornell’s death in May, I tumbled down a Northwest rock wormhole and revisited the 1996 documentary “Hype!” As is always the case when a scene becomes an arms race, there are plenty of bands beyond the Soundgardens and Nirvanas that make all those headlines and platinum plaques possible. In this case, one of those bands was the Gits. In the film, they are seen performing “Second Skin:” Lead singer Mia Zapata sounds like a punk rock Janis Joplin as she lives up to her “I’ve got that chance to give every drop that’s left in me” lyric, leaving it all on the stage.”

Read more in The Washington Post.

Lil Uzi Vert spills his guts in front of an audience of 6,000 teenage fans

“At a rap concert, the DJ sets the tone and hypes the crowd. Maybe he’ll scream, “You got a hundred-dollar bill, get your hands up!” like Fatman Scoop. But when the DJ says, “If you have straight A’s, make some noise!” you know you’re in for an entirely different experience. That was the case Friday night at the Anthem, which hosted its first hip-hop concert, headlined by Philadelphia rapper Lil Uzi Vert.”

Read more in The Washington Post.

Rapper Fat Trel makes his triumphant return to Washington at U Street Music Hall

“Fat Trel has never been afraid to share, making true-to-life tales of gun violence, drug use and sexual escapades his stock in trade. Early Friday morning, his confessions showed a glimmer of maturity. “I’m on parole, so I can’t pop molly,” the D.C. rapper told the crowd at U Street Music Hall. “That’s why I’m drinking all this liquor.”

Read more in The Washington Post.

Album of the Day: M.E.S.H., “Hesaitix”

“A sound can be both formless and over-rendered,” producer M.E.S.H. claims in a press release, “like a boneless but fleshy hand from a life drawing class.” If that’s a metaphor for the state of underground electronic music, it’s an apt one: the scene has been awash with deliberately obtuse experiments for years, often under the banner of “deconstructed club music.”

Though that term has been applied to M.E.S.H.’s music, it’s not completely accurate. Since his 2014 breakthrough, Scythians, the music James Whipple makes as M.E.S.H. has explored both the functional needs of the club and the expressive power of abstraction, challenging assumptions about dual premises that are often viewed as an either-or proposition. On Hesaitix, he proves how limiting those premises are.”

Read more at Bandcamp.