Author Archive for Brent Burton

Void Discusses Emptying the Vaults, Being Punk-Rock in Columbia

A week before Halloween, Dischord is scheduled to release Sessions 1981-83, a new archival release from Columbia, Md.’s Void. One of the first bands to add metallic elements to hardcore punk, Void appeared on two records during its early-'80s existence: the scene-defining D.C. hardcore compilation Flex Your Head, and a split LP with the D.C. hardcore act Faith.
A few years [...]

Faith Discusses Its New Dischord Reissue: “History Has Been Kind”

Four months after the band’s final show on August 17, 1983, Faith released a posthumous EP called Subject to Change. One of the classic documents of D.C. hardcore, Faith’s swan song has never gone out of print. But its current incarnation, remastered and reissued by Dischord Records, is certainly the most generous and elegant version.
Reviewed in this week’s [...]

Has the Pushback Begun?

On Sunday, the New York Times ran an article about Jim O'Rourke, an underground overachiever who, in addition to recording his own solo music, has played in Sonic Youth and Gastr Del Sol, and worked in various other capacities with Wilco, Joanna Newsom, and Superchunk.
His latest project is the new solo album The Visitor, a [...]

Criticism ’09

Apropos of nothing, a former Washington Post classical writer and a current Washington Post pop writer recently weighed in on the meaning of music criticism. J. Freedom du Lac claims that influence is no longer a widespread possibility—and hasn’t been since the era of Boston—but that it’s still possible put a subject under a new [...]

Cyminology at Fairfax Community Church

Anyone looking for an argument in favor of globalization would do well to consider Cyminology, a promising new jazz quartet made up of musicians from Germany, France, and India. The group’s cross-border reach also extends into Iran, where Cyminology’s leader, singer Cymin Samawatie, spent summers as a youth. The daughter of Iranian parents, Samawatie writes [...]

Music 2008: The Year in Burton!

Here’s my top ten. This year, for once, I tried to focus on ten albums that I listened to a lot. In previous years, I gravitated towards major statements, and a list-wide balance marked by genre eclecticism. This led me to include records that I neither like nor listen to any more (see: Speakerboxxx/The Love [...]

Don’t Call Him A Falsetto

Wednesday night was opening night for Washington National Opera’s production of Handel’s Tamerlano. The Playbill claims that all of the tickets to this baroque opera are sold, but that doesn’t mean that it was a full house. By the beginning of Act Three it was obvious that there had been a sizable exodus—due no doubt [...]

Cherkis on Yaala Yaala

In Sunday's Washington Post, Jason Cherkis checks in again with Jack Carneal, the Malian music enthusiast and label owner of Baltimore's Yaala Yaala.
Cherkis and I tackled Carneal's first trio of recordings almost a year ago in City Paper ("Griot Grand" and "Interview with Jack Carneal").
Now Carneal's got a fourth Yaala Yaala disc, a self-titled release [...]

Black Meddle

A friend just pointed out this post from Jessica Hopper's blog, in which the blacklist-happy music writer goes after Chicago black-metal band Nachtmystium. The problem? Well, Hopper thinks they're racist and homophobic.
Now, I loved Nachtmystium's last album from 2006, an arty slab of psychedelic metal called Instinct: Decay. But I don't go around doing due [...]

Goodbye, Avalon

In this week's New Yorker, staff writer Burkhard Bilger has a good article about American folk music. It’s not online, but it’s worth seeking out.
Not only does he interview Frederick, MD’s Joe Bussard, a 78 collector who has been the subject of several Washington City Paper features (Eddie Dean’s and Andrew Beaujon’s), but he also [...]