Author Archive for Ryan Little

Nothing but a Number: A Live History of Fugazi’s Song “Repeater”

"Playing music is like handwriting," says Fugazi frontman Ian MacKaye. "If you play a song over and over, it starts to evolve."
For my feature this week on Fugazi's new online archive of live shows, I discussed some of the subtle changes you can hear in live version of the song "Repeater." Since then, I spoke to [...]

The War on Drugs’ Adam Granduciel, on Getting Things Right the Right Way

Woozy keyboards and spacey guitars dominate The War On Drugs latest effort, Slave Ambient. It’s an engaging, fluid listen that effortlessly melds Bruce Springsteen’s earthy songcraft with Spiritualized’s intricate atmospherics. Songwriter Adam Granduciel, 32, has been making records for years, but this much-lauded LP is a real breakthrough, garnering both greater critical acclaim and larger [...]

If You Were Thinking About Giving Black Cat Bill a James Brown Tape…

Since posting an item yesterday on the very-much-still-alive Willy Turner—aka Black Cat Bill—I've received a lot of questions about what to do with tapes and boomboxes. (Turner, who's living in a nursing home in Deanwood, told me he'd be grateful for a boombox and some tunes.) Local writer and activist Andy Bowen says he's organizing [...]

Full Disclosure: Fugazi’s Live Series Is a Lot More Than Angry Banter

In 2009, a 45-minute MP3 of audio from Fugazi concerts cropped up on punk and indie-rock blogs. But it wasn’t a musical recording: Instead, James Burns, the fan behind the file, had cobbled together choice clips of outrageous stage banter. The collage not only affirmed the band’s reputation for hardline punk diatribes (“Would the gentleman in [...]

Black Cat Bill Lives!

"The Black Cat Man is still hanging in there."
That's what William "Willy" Turner told me yesterday afternoon when I visited him at the Deanwood Rehabilitation and Wellness Center on Nannie Hellen Burroughs Avenue NE, and it was a nice thing to hear several days after a handful of local blogs declared him dead.
For more than a [...]

Fugazi Live Archive Launches Thursday

Remember when you paid $5 to see that life-changing, all-ages show where Guy Picciotto hung upside down from a basketball hoop? Or when Ian MacKaye stretched out the insanity of "23 Beats Off" for just a few minutes more? It's time to relive all those memories, folks...
In news that should make Phish jealous, The New [...]

Marshall Keith Plays DC9 Tonight

Schooled in D.C. punk's DIY ethos but influenced more by '70s psych-rock than hardcore, Marshall Keith has always been a local anomaly. As the guitarist of The Slickee Boys, he predated the hardcore sound that the District would later become known for, but his band was inextricably part of the fabric of the D.C. underground [...]

Bluebrain’s “Living House,” Explored

I arrived at 1337 H St. NE a few minutes late on Friday, and I was pretty sure I wouldn't get in. Spots to see Bluebrain's latest conceptual project, "Living House," filled up pretty soon after it was first announced. I apologized to the clipboard-wielding guardian at the door, and I was lucky enough to nab an [...]

DC Shorts: Showcase 10, Reviewed

This broad swath of international flicks runs from the oddball to the avant-garde and mostly avoids cliché. There’s a surprising dose of sentimentality throughout, but mostly within reason. Masks’ smart animation and The Interview’s ridiculous premise are strong highlights. The showcase screens at 5 p.m. tonight and Monday at E Street Cinema, and Sept. 17 [...]

The Exit Interview: These United States

It’s always tough to say goodbye to a hometown band when they leave the city, but These United States has happily had multiple hometowns since the band began. The final remaining D.C. resident, guitar player J.Tom Hnatow, is headed to North Carolina to follow his girlfriend as she begins grad school. TUS is billing tonight's [...]