The last time Robyn was in town, she was opening for Katy Perry, playing to a packed Merriwether Post Pavilion. Last weekend, in D.C. for a two-night stand with Coldplay at the Verizon Center, the Swedish singer brought her vocoded vocals and drum-machine hooks to U Street Music Hall. The 33-year-old performer's Saturday appearance included a [...]
Author Archive for Ryan Little
There's a culture war going on right now, and it has nothing to do with gay marriage. If you're a music nerd, a music-maker, or a Facebook friend of either kind of person, you've probably seen a link to a recent blog piece by NPR intern Emily White in which she explains how she acquired [...]
It’s not rare for musicians to begin their careers in the garage and end them in the pawnshop. For recording engineer Robert Hosea Williams, it was just the opposite. He began his life’s work picking up used gear, and finished it by packing up storage boxes, stowing away some of the baddest D.C. soul recordings of the [...]
The aroma of illicit substances was hard to ignore when I arrived at Gold Leaf Studios late on Saturday night, and the whole place felt ready to burst. The Mount Vernon Square warehouse of artist studios has always felt raw and chaotic, but the space's impending demise had now removed its occupants' remaining inhibitions. Shit [...]
On Labor Day weekend last September, if you stepped outside of the new Korean restaurant or the swank Japanese kitchen at 5th and K streets NW and gazed across the way, you might have caught a scene that felt slightly out of place in shiny, revitalized Mount Vernon Square. Lanterns emerged from inky, overgrown foliage. Guitar [...]
Bassist and singer William "Whop" Frazier spent years backing up other blues players before stepping out on his own. The singer—who for decades was a prominent figure in D.C.'s blues scene—passed away on Dec. 22 at Fairfax hospital following a brief battle with lung and bone cancer. Frazier was 68.
Frazier's wife, Dolores "Dede" Frazier, recalls meeting him [...]
On Wednesday, Slate published a piece by Matthew Yglesias about why D.C. is, essentially, a terrible place for young, creative people to live.
The article has since flown about social media, causing many a sad emoticon and, apparently, excessive vomiting. The jab is all the more painful because there is some truth to it–D.C. is [...]
I didn't realize how great a year it's been for music in D.C. until I started compiling this list. While I didn't hear many landmark, career-defining albums in 2011, there were a ton of great songs from both young and veteran artists. Whatever D.C.'s reputation, there's a healthy community of smart, ambitious musicmakers in this [...]
H-HO WHO: With their ebullient, over-the-top compositions, The Polyphonic Spree has had the market cornered on 20-plus-member symphonic indie pop since 2000. The ensembles live shows already feel like a nondenominational church service of sorts, with a robe-clad choir singing ever-swelling praise of "the sun" rather than "the Son." If anyone can put the más [...]
The mostly local trio prog-pop/post-punk trio More Humans, whose Chad Clark-produced Demon Station EP has won over plenty of local critics, dropped a new video on us this week. The track, "Mason-Dixon," with it's tight harmonies and quick rhythmic change-ups, gets treated to a cross-country road trip alongside a mischievous ghost clad in a Halloween-appropriate sheet. See [...]