Author Archive for Ryan Little

William “Whop” Frazier, 1943-2011

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 [...]

Why Slate Is Wrong About D.C.

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 [...]

Ryan Little’s 10 Best Local Tracks of 2011

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 [...]

The Sleigher: The Polyphonic Spree, “It’s Christmas”

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 [...]

More Humans’ “Mason-Dixon” Video Is Appropriately Spooky

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 [...]

John Davis and Chris Richards Collaboration Not Just a One-Off

Earlier today, Erica Bruce posted about yesterday's acoustic John Davis show, where Q and Not U alum and current WaPo pop critic Chris Richards joined his former bandmate for a couple of tunes. Davis mentioned at the show that they had written a slew of songs together, and today he confirms via email that the two [...]

Hometown Sounds, An All-Local Radio Station, Is Now Live

As DCist previously reported, Paul Vodra, or DJ P.Vo, recently launched a new internet radio station, Hometown Sounds, featuring music exclusively from the D.C. area. The tunes stream 24/7 and run the gamut from Chuck Brown to Minor Threat, organized by genre blocks. I tuned in to the rock block today and caught a great [...]

Vinyl District Launches a Record Store-Finding App

"Where the hell can I find that Vanilla Fudge rarity in this podunk town?" Surely, we've all had that thought before, especially when visiting loved ones in other cities. Lord knows when you need a Pavement 7-inch and you're miles from your usual record shop, it can get ugly. Well, no need to panic this [...]

Comet Ping Pong Hosts a Benefit for DJ Jonathan Toubin

As reported by The Huffington Post and other outlets last week, DJ Jonathan Toubin—the New York-based, soul-centric DJ whom City Paper readers will remember from his appearance on the Bruise Cruise (not to mention a recent performance at Comet Ping Pong)—was severely injured in a bizarre accident last Thursday. Apparently, a taxi cab crashed through The Jupiter Hotel [...]

Black Cat Bill: An Uptick of Support, a Downturn in Health

Willy Turner, everyone was relieved to learn last week, is still alive. After the news spread, some folks even started gathering music and boomboxes to give to the man known around 14th Street NW as Black Cat Bill.
Amid all the excitement, however, comes some bad news. Last Friday, Turner was moved from Deanwood Rehabilitation and Wellness [...]