Author Archive for Aaron Leitko

SXSW: Tuesday

The music portion of SXSW doesn't officially start until this evening, so concert-wise there's not a lot to report.
I spent most of the day just en route. Last year I took two extra days off and drove to SXSW with some friends. It was an OK road trip–we stayed in some crusty motels and spent [...]

Morning Arts Roundup

-The New York Times reviews the HBO miniseries The Pacific. They like it. Salon, on the other hand, liked Terrance Malick's take better.
-Since he's legally forbidden to perform comedy on television, Conan O'Brien is hitting the road this spring. He'll be in D.C. at Constitution Hall on June 8th.
-The Washington Post's Dave [...]

Arts Roundup: Rabbit Hole Edition

*Nobody seems to be able to get through a review of Alice in Wonderland without invoking a rabbit-hole metaphor. The Washington Post's Ann Hornaday likes it, though.
*The Washington Post's Monica Hesse profiles Cruella DeVille. Wait, I'm sorry, that's bestselling romance writer Danielle Steele. Apparently she has a pretty great sense of humor.
*The battle over the [...]

Final Pash Show Tonight @ Black Cat

After more than half a decade of shows and two full-length records, D.C.-via-Fredericksburg, Va., indie-pop quartet Pash is splitting up. The band will perform one last show tonight—it was supposed to happen a few weeks ago, but was rescheduled due to the snowstorm—at the Black Cat before the members head their separate ways. Some [...]

Arts Roundup: Geek-Out Edition

*Yesterday a rare copy of Detective Comics No. 27, which features the first ever appearance of Batman, sold for the a record $1,075,500, The Washington Post reports. The return on that investment? Pretty good. "In 1939, the comic sold for 10 cents; the consignor bought the record-setting book in the '60s for $100," writes Michael [...]

These Are Powers @ Velvet Lounge Tonight

In the T2: Judgement Day-style techno-battle for punk rock's soul, the machines are winning. At least that's how it seems listening to Brooklyn's These Are Powers. On its '07 debut, Terrific Seasons, the trio was still pounding out wiry post-punk rhythms with fairly conventional gear–bass, guitar, a drum kit. But over the last couple of [...]

Malitz vs. Leitko @ St. Ex

Washington Post music critic David Malitz and I have our quarrels, but they tend to be relatively benign—mostly involving Pavement records and rides to concerts. There's no serious beef.
But tonight we're manufacturing a rivalry—because there are no worthy basketball games to watch, because I wanted a reason to change out of my pajamas, and because [...]

Q&A: The Clientele

In 2007, for one brief moment, the sun came out on The Clientele. The moody London-based quartet's breakthrough–'05s Strange Geometry–framed suburban melancholy in surrealist lyrics and reverb-laden guitars. It was somber stuff. But by the time the band completed its next record, God Save the Clientele, it's outlook had improved. Interviewed back then, guitarist/songwriter Alasdair [...]

J. Robbins and Gordon Withers Soundcheck @ Story/Stereo

There's no question that J. Robbins can still rock-out–Jawbox's recent sorta-reunion proved that much (although NBC Universal seems to have stricken the video footage from the internet). But nailing the coffee house vibe? That's another mater entirely.
Friday night Robbins–accompanied by cellist Gordon Withers and the smallest drum machine I've ever seen–performed an all acoustic [...]

Story/Stereo: J Robbins Sings J Robbins + Readings

It's hard to imaging a quiet J. Robbins. His skill with booming drums and thrashy guitars–both as an engineer and as a member of the post-hardcore band Jawbox–has pretty much defined his career. But tonight, he's gonna turn it down a little. For the first time ever Robbins will perform unplugged, as part of the [...]