Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Rest of May 2012 Global, Soul and More Events

Here's an updated list taken from my monthly Yahoo calendar but with some additional events. Since most lists usually give priority to rock, I am contrarian, and just throw the indie-rock shows down to the bottom:

MAY 2012

Fri. 5-18

Ruben Moreno & Creole Soul at Greenbelt American Legion Post 136
6900 Greenbelt Rd, Greenbelt, MD  (zydeco)

Justen Townes-Earle at the Birchmere

Artomatic (art, music, performance) , 1851 S. Bell St., Crystal City (through June 23)
Sat. 5-19

Metro Mambo with WPFW DJ Jim Byers, Professor Leopolde Tablante, and band Bio Ritmo from 2 to 4 pm at the Smithsonian Museum of African Art

Lamont’s Blues Festival at Lamont’s in Indian Head/Pomonkey, MD with  Chet ‘Dr. Feelgood’ Hines, Lady Rose, Clarence ‘The Bluesman’ Turner,  Bobby Parker and the Stoop Down Man, Chick Willis. After the show outside, it will move indoors for the after-party with the Gridlock Band. Lamont’s Entertainment Complex is at 4400 Livingston Road, Pomonkey, MD 20640. 240 393-2525.

Chesapeake Blues Festival with  Janiva Magness, Ruthie Foster, the Delta Guitar Slingers with Michael Burks, Bernard Allison and Lurrie Bell; and the Tedeschi-Trucks Band. At Sandy Point State Park in Annapolis

Charlie Thomas’ Drifters at Harmony Hall Regional Center
10701 Livingston Rd., Ft. Washington, MD
Ray Price & the Cherokee Cowboys at the Birchmere

Fela! Broadway show at the Murphy Fine Arts Center in Baltimore (through Sunday)

Argentina Festival (tango and folk) from 5:45 to Thomas Jefferson Theater
125 South Old Glebe Road Arlington, VA  (also on Sun.)

Moshav (Israeli fok/rock/reggae) at Adas Israel Congregation
2850 Quebec Street NW (part of DC Jewish Music Fest)

Bilal at Howard Theatre

Wiz Khalifa and Little Big Town and others at the Preakness

Asia Heritage Fest on Pennsylvania Ave NW

Armenian cellist Narek Hakhnazaryan at 2 at the Library of Congress
Sun. 5-20

Justin Towns-Earle at Rams Head Tavern Annapolis(alt-country)

Peter Himmelman (alt-folk) at  4:00 pm at Ohev Sholom–The National Synagogue
1600 Jonquil Street NW  (part of DC Jewish Music Fest)

Schmekel (trans-gender Jews) at 7 at Chief Ike’s Mambo Room, 1725 Columbia Road NW

Veronneu (the Jazz Samba Project CD will unveiled next Sunday afternoon at All Souls Church, Washington DC...the location where the original 1962 Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd Jazz Samba album was recorded.) celebrate the 50th anniversary. At All Souls Church, 2835 16th St. NW
Mon. 5-21

Jeffery Broussard & the Creole Cowboys at IMT  at St. Mark Presby. Church
10701 Old Georgetown Rd, Rockville

Harmonia at Washington Ethical Society, 7750 16th Street Northwest Washington, DC
(Hungarian and Gypsy folk)

Chino y Nacho (Venezuela duo) at The Fillmore, 8656 Colesville Rd., Silver Spring, MD

Alicia Svigals and Marilyn Lerner premiere an original score to the silent Pola Negri (1918) film The Yellow Ticket at the DC JCC.   Svigals is the klezmer fiddler and a founder of the Klezmatics.  The score will also feature piano by Lerner, a jazz pianist/improviser

Tues. 5-22

Moombahton Massive at U St. Music hall
Wed. 5-23

Action Bronson at Empire(Jaxx) (rap)

WPFW Latin Flavor (Sunday night 6 to 12 programming) Appreciation Night at Artisphere, 1101 Wilson Blvd   Arlington, VA 22209.  Meet and hear WPFW personalities Jim Byers, Nancy Alonso, Tony Regusters and ZeZe spin tunes.
Thurs. 5-24

Bobasonicos at the Howard Theatre

Tego Calderon at Ibiza  (reggaeton)

Fri.  May 25  Friday 

Drake, J. Cole, Waka Flocka Flame, Meek Mill, 2 Chainz, and French Montana at Verizon Center (rap and r’n’b)

Hermanos Flores y Orquests San Vincente at the Palace

French and DMV hiphop dance crews including: Urban Artistry, DCypher, Culture Shock at Artisphere 
Sat. May 26

Harmonik and Skah Shah (veteran Haitian star acts) at Rio’s Lounge, 13501Baltimore Ave. (Rt. 1) in Laurel

Gosaye Tesfaye and Mahmoud Ahmed (great Ethiopian performers) at 11 pm at the Howard Theatre

Jason Isbell at Rams Head tavern Annapolis(alt-country)

Zou Bisou Bisou at 8 p.m. at La Maison Fran├žaise,  4101 Reservoir Road NW

Nicki Costa at the Hamilton
Sun. May 27

DC 15th Annual Reggae Music Awards with Special Guests Ruth Ann Brown;
Tony Roy;  Renewed Gospel Singers; Aku Benjamin;  Johnstone
Sutra Lounge, 2406 18th Street NW, Washington D.C.

Jason Isbell at Mansion on O St., 2020 O St NW, WDC

Afrika Bambaata at U St. Music Hall

Panmasters steel band jamboree at  (mambo, Salsa)
Mon. May  28

Jacques Johnson & Lil’ Margie (soul) at Westminster Church

Wed. May 30-

  Feufollet (Cajun) at Artisphere, 1101  Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA  22209
  Dance Lesson:  7:30  Music 8:30 – Midnight 

Fabian Almazan at Blues Alley (Latin-Jazz)
Thurs. May 31

Heybale! at Hill Country Live, 410 7th St NW, WDC

Jon Langford and Acoustic Skull Orchard at IOTA Club & Cafe (cowpunk)

Charlie Barreda SF Latin Jazz at Twins

Fri. June 1

Western Maryland Blues Festival starts

Heybale! at Hill Country Live, 410 7th St NW, WDC

Jerry Butler at Howard Theatre

Marcia Ball at Rams Head Tavern

Dr. John at the Birchmere

Randy Weston trio at the Hamilton

Afrojack at the Fillmore

Curley Taylor (zydeco) at Blobs Park

Sat. June 2

Washington Folk Festival at Glen Echo
Other cool stuff: DC punk exhibit at Arlington Central Library; 5-2-We Were Promised Jetpacks at Black Cat; 5-5-Left Banke at Montgomery Community College; 5-6 Left Banke @ Rams Head Tavern; 5-8- Go-gos @ Rams Head Live; 5-10-Spiritualized @ 930 Club;  5-11 7 to 9pm  Civilian art Gallery presents: Cynthia Connolly, "Letters on Top of Buildings" until 6-16; The Stents w/  DJ Mad Squirrel and Amanda Otto at Sidebar Tavern; Spaminato Brothers @ the Hamilton; 5-12 Sonny Vincent @ Quarry House; 5-14-Dayna Kurtz @ Iota; 5-15 Cardinal(Richard Davies) & Cigarette @ Velvet Lounge; R. Ring(Kelly Deal) @ DC 9; 5-18-Beth Orton @ UHall;  5-19- Lucinda Williams, Drive-By Truckers, and Justin Jones at Merriweather Post Pavilion; Kid Congo Powers Hour @ Comet Ping Pong;  5-20 Turkish movie doublebill at 2 @ Freer; 5-23 to 5-27-Galinsky  & Hawley films @ Artisphere; 5-23-Black Hills & Reindeer @ Bl. Cat; 5-25-Chuck Prophet @ Iota;  5-29-Dandy Warhols @ 930 Club

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

RIP Chuck Brown, Godfather of Go-go

I last saw Chuck Brown, who passed away today, outdoors for free at the Reagan Building in 2010.  It was a 5 pm show and I couldn't find anyone who could make it or who wanted to go.  Chuck played so much, his gigs were often taken for granted. But I rushed out of work and went anyway.  It was the Godfather of go-go for free.  I was of course glad I went.  Chuck's laidback, rough-voiced vocals, his guitar playing , that go-go swing of he and  his band, and those only in DC call and response chants with the audience.  That's one of my many memories of him. Hearing "Run Joe" on a radio tribute tonight reminded me of  when I used to play his songs on the University of Maryland radio station WMUC, or would hear his songs on the all go-go evening radio programming of the long gone WOL AM, or from passing car windows.  I also have fond memories of hearing on WPFW and on cd Chuck's jazzy, wistful side--his takes on classic blues and the American songbook.  His duets with Eva Cassidy are just gorgeous.  Over the years, I also wrote a preview or 2 about him for the Washington City Paper. Plus there was his charismatic presence in those DC lottery tv commercials. Busy with family, I missed his gig last year with the National Symphony Orchestra on the Capitol grounds that exposed his warm manner and relaxed funky sound to a new audience as well  as demonstrating again to his longtime partisans the skills and charm they had long seen.  For decades Chuck Brown symbolized and encapsulated the non-political side of Washington D.C.  Farewell Godfather of Go-Go, you will be missed.  

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Global Music Preview Summer 2012

For the Washington City Paper I highlighted 3 upcoming summer 2012 events involving locally based non-Western music djs--soca; Afrobeat; and kizomba; plus 3 international artists coming to town ( see link below).  These events just skim the surface.  Other summer events include:

6/2 Les Nubians at Hamilton

6/12 Ceu at 6th & I

6/14 Tinariwen at Howard

6/15 Balkan Beat Box at 930

6/16 Helen Berhe at Love (Ethiopian singer)

6/22 Buika at  Howard 
Joan Sebastian y Pepe Aguilar at Patriot Center (Mexican)

6/24 El Zol Radio Summer concert at the Montgomery fairgrounds with Los Tigre de Norte
Carlos y Alejandra, Plan B, Eddy Herrera, 3Ball MTY, K-risma Band, Los Adolecentes
y mucho mas

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Dawn Richard, Post-Diddy----The R'n'b Singer Talks about Armor On

R&B singer Dawn Richard, who performed at the Howard Theatre  last night, could have ended up as just a footnote or trivia contest stumper. She was a member of girl group Danity Kane, the P. Diddy-formed girl group on MTV’s Making the Band.  After Diddy dissolved that outfit, Richard became a member of  Diddydirtymoney,whose Last Train to Paris album received some critical acclaim but failed to sell like Puff efforts of yore. After Diddy  gave up on Dirty Money as well, Richard began releasing solo material, including her 2011 mixtape, The Prelude to a Tell-Tale Heart.
While those efforts reached fanatics, her recent thirty-six minute EP Armor On has climbed the R&B charts and attracted critical attention from the likes of Pitchfork and the Village Voice. Richard's vocals are smooth and soulful, while the beats, straddling R&B and dance-club, come largely from producer Druski. On “Black Lipstick,” he brings synth washes and rhythms that skitter and change speeds, while Richard’s voice seems to sing a duet with itself.  “Bombs” is more boldly hip-hop, while “Change” showcases Richard’s yearning voice over a sea of synths and marching-band percussion.  "Faith," the one song not produced by Druski, is a Rick Rude production that sounds like the shiny disco club beats Calvin Harris created for Rihanna on "We Found Love."  Throughout, Richard sings lyrics she penned with songwriter Carla Carter  largely about protecting oneself while seeking to find and maintain love. Other songs  offer clever hiphop-inspired braggadocio. Where Richard's career goes from here remains to be seen.  While some r'n'b singers have gained pop and critical acclaim, many are just known by followers of the genre. Via email, she answered some questions about her current project:

Steve: How long did it take to record Armor On?

Dawn Richard: It took two months. The actual album [Goldenheart, scheduled for a fall release] was already recorded and we wanted to make sure people could digest the sound so we chose to make Armor On the appetizer.

Steve: How did you end up working with producer Druski?

Dawn: I met him through a mutual friend at a writing session and the rest was history. We hit it off immediately. He understood where I wanted to go musically and I understood  where he wanted to go sonically. Neither of us understood boundaries.

Steve: How did you come to write songs with Carla Carter or to sing her songs?

I met Carla through Druski. They were a team prior to me.  I kind of fought my way in their  I fell in love instantly with her lyrics. She and I write from the same soul.

Steve: Would you say any of the songs have a bit of flavor from your hometown New Orleans? How so?

All the songs do. It's the cadence in the melody. I tend to lay in the track, and the drum leads the story in each song.  It's very reminiscent of New Orleans.

Steve: Will you have a band at the Howard Theatre show or will you be singing with prerecorded tracks ?

Yes I almost always use a band. I love the live band feel. It reminds me of home where all the clubs have live bands.  It brings a fuller sound that I find addicting.

Steve: Do you like what autotune adds to your vocals?

I like the color it adds when I use it.  It's more of an accessory.  It's not needed all the time, it just adds a flavor.