Darcy James Argue describes his 18-piece Secret Society ensemble as a "steampunk big band," but that's not exactly literal. The composer and bandleader does operate on a similar, cross-genre and -era aesthetic as steampunk, but his jazz big band doesn't fully embrace the subculture's outlandish fashion, for one, and it also works with elements of [...]
Posts Tagged ‘Darcy James Argue’
What one music geek hears as a cathartic, passionate roar can be another’s off-key temper tantrum. Take local punk band Priests. The D.C. combo’s noisy sound is anchored by singer Katie Greer’s sociopolitical rants and sing-song wailing. Greer, also a member of Ian Svenonius’ Chain & the Gang, yells about consumerism in “Radiation” and Air [...]
Sisters and brothers—especially sisters—if you're reading this, you probably already know that the Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival is taking place this weekend at the Kennedy Center. It's taking a refreshing approach this year, featuring, alongside legendary singer Sheila Jordan and pianist and past MLW Competition winner Helen Sung, the inventive up-and-coming Dutch [...]
Photo Slideshow: Subterranean A's Final Show
D.C. punk houses haven’t changed much. They’re still filthy. They’re still rife with well-intentioned but unrealized projects, like unturned compost piles and half-finished rain barrels. They still have damp sofas encircled by splintered drumsticks, Xeroxed show flyers, and earthenware mugs ringed with green-tea residue. Often, a hapless chore wheel clings to [...]
One of the most buzzed-about big bands in an era where “buzzed-about big bands” largely don’t exist, Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society is remolding orchestral jazz for rock- and post-rock-trained ears. Argue's recent concert-scale project, “Brooklyn Babylon,” is a multimedia smorgasbord—just right for the landmark of the new H Street NE. The show takes place tonight [...]
Let's be frank, kids. New Year's Eve is tomorrow; if you're still looking for something to do that night, you're in trouble. Everything that's not sold out is ridiculously high-priced (which is why it's not sold out). If you want jazz, stay home and listen to WAMU's special "Hot Jazz Saturday Night" special.
Thursday, Dec. 30
While jazz's clash with the mainstream was the most intensely debated topic of 2009, it was actually an incredibly fruitful year for the music. The recordings I discuss in the link above were among the best and most exciting; whether or not they ultimately catch commercial fire, their attempts to employ rock and hip-hop aesthetics [...]
Is jazz doomed?
Since 1982, the median age of jazz listeners has increased from 29 to 46 while diminishing in size by nearly a third, according to a recent National Endowment for the Arts survey. While some argue that those numbers aren't trustworthy, what's clear is that most music listeners consider jazz a relic, a link [...]