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.

How a small D.C. record label became a hotbed of modern Ethiopian sounds

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“In its first two years, D.C.-based record label 1432 R has stood out for its ethos and its ear, but also for a more curious reason. Even though 1432 R takes its name from a District street address, its catalogue is dominated by music from more than 7,000 miles away — Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Launched in summer 2014, 1432 R has released nine records, almost all featuring Addis Ababa-based producers Mikael Seifu and Endeguena Mulu; one is by Ethiopian American co-founder Dawit Eklund. Their music seamlessly brings together house music grooves, the stutter of U.K. garage, an uneasy electronic ambience, and — perhaps most notably — Ethiopian folk music.”

Read more in the Washington Post.

The pure and joyous uplift of Chance the Rapper

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“He’s only 23, but Chance the Rapper has already outgrown his moniker. After breaking through with his instant-classic “Acid Rap” mix tape in 2013, Chance dabbled in band-leading on last year’s “Surf,” an album credited to collaborators Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment. But it is “Coloring Book,” a mix tape he released in May, on which Chance has found his true — or at least next — calling: spiritual leader of a gospel-rap revival.”

Read more in the Washington Post.