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JOE
Sunday 08/09
JOE @ The Howard Theatre
$39.50 / $45
In retrospect of looking back over the past twenty years, R&B Superstar JOE Thomas crosses BRIDGES. The crooner’s new Album clearly defines his new outlook on life’s relationships and where they have taken him. Why “BRIDGES”? - “ We build them, cross them, burn them, then soon realize how much we need them” - JOE “Relationships are Bridges and at some point in life we must take full responsibility for where we have allowed those relationships to take us. Most important, what relationships or BRIDGES are we building, crossing into or burning?” The Album is described as therapeutic and open. “I must confess I’ve had my share of girls in my lifetime – honestly I’ve been on the wildest rides and maybe I should slow it down” are the opening lines of the Album’s introduction single – ‘LOVE & SEX’ PT. 2 which features the beautiful KELLY ROWLAND of Destiny’s Child and X-Factor fame. The single is widely and well received at Urban AC radio and video (directed by veteran director Bille Woodroof) with a strong reminiscence of the SOS Band days. Part one featured American Idol Fantasia and was featured on the singer’s 2013 Album release Double Back, (Evolution of R&B) which debuted #1 on the Billboard R&B charts and #6 on Billboard Top 200. When asked why the choice of Kelly over Fantasia, the R&B singer is very adamant that there is and never was a choice per say or comparison in his mind between the two. “Both are equally talented and beautiful”. If I had to describe in keeping with the concept of BRIDGES, (think of it this way), every major bridge has different levels or entrances when going across them. Your choice depends on the direction your going in. Both Kelly and Fantasia were necessary because I needed to go into two different directions for this particular song. I won’t call it a journey. That is for people to decide. I will say that it is heartfelt and relatable to past or present circumstances for any listener who embarks on BRIDGES. It is uplifting, fun and thought provoking. The biggest comment for those that I have played Bridges for is that one, you never feel like you have to skip over a particular song and that each song is enjoyable or as they say, “it reminds me of when I ….” That blank has been filled in some pretty amazing things. Songs like “Sex Ain’t A Weapon” hits hard with its strong ¾ shuffle beat reminiscent of Marvin keeps you grooving on the subject matter for the woman who chooses to hold back or deprive her man lovin’ when she feels like playing the mute game of making it easy to turn off her desire or quench his thirst for sex. Joe charismatically states “A queen B should never hold back the Honey…not later but sooner girl you’ll hear the rumor that other fish been swimming around in your sea. That’s why You Can’t Use Sex As a Weapon”. Then there’s the sure fire nostalgic Ballad entitled, If You Lose Her. I mean what would a JOE album be without one or several ballads (which he has not and never fails to deliver). The song makes JOE a spokesman for us guys to think about the consequence When Joe surveyed the landscape of modern R&B, the award-winning artist didn’t necessarily like much of what he saw. So with DoubleBack: The Evolution of R&B, the accomplished singer-songwriter-producer brings the music he loves back to its roots. “I’m going back to that old school feel, back to the elegance and class of what R&B represented back in the day,” Joe explains of his tenth studio album. “You look at the pictures from that era and they represent something very stoic. They’re beautiful photos, beautiful moments, beautiful memories. I want to get back to the beginnings of it, the humbleness of it, the way it was before with real stars, real celebrities, real entertainers who actually wrote a lot of their music and performed it with great intensity and passion. That’s what the essence of The Evolution of R&B is all about.” Classic R&B also told memorable stories, something Joe is keenly aware of. That’s why DoubleBack: The Evolution of R&B follows Joe through his search for true love. Joe kicks his new LP off with the gorgeous “I’d Rather Have A Love.” Accented by soothing guitar, finger snaps and lush harmonizing, the song traces the evolution of a man who goes from woman to woman into a man who realizes the power, joy and value of finding a woman he loves. As the album progresses, though, Joe takes a number of detours. On “Magic City,” for instance, he looks for love in all the wrong places. With the eyebrow-raising “Baby,” he details how he’s in love with two women at the same time. Then there’s “Mary Jane,” a mid-tempo tune that serves as a metaphor for having someone that releases all the stress and pressure of life. Showing the duality of life, he details the other side of a relationship on “Walk Away,” where he deals with the haters in his realm. Elsewhere, Joe finds his match on “Love And Sex,” an impassioned duet with Fantasia. Here, the two talented singers go back and forth about the wide range of emotions they’re feeling toward one another. “We’re going to town,” Joe says. “We’re emulating the feelings and the emotions of the difference between love and sex. It’s very classic and feels like something you’ve heard before. It has beautiful, touching lyrics and a beautiful story, too.” Beyond the rich storylines and dynamic storytelling, what makes DoubleBack: The Evolution of R&B remarkable is that Joe played all the instruments on the tracks he produced. In addition to having a more intimate relationship with the music, Joe decided to play his own bass, drums, guitar, and piano to show other artists how live instrumentation brings an extra element to music. “I think it’s important the younger generation sees more of that,” he explains. “They rely too much on just mechanical things, like synthesizers, beat machines. Picking up and using an instrument can change the whole mood of everything. Anytime I play around the house or on stage, it’s a completely different vibe, a different zone that I’m in. It’s really nice to expand yourself if you’re an artist, to branch out and be more than just a singer and a dancer.”
Reverend Horton Heat & The Adicts Plus Special Guests The Creepshow
Monday 09/14
Reverend Horton Heat & The Adicts Plus Special Guests The Creepshow @ The Howard Theatre
$25 / $30
Reverend Horton Heat Loaded guns, space heaters, and big skies. Welcome to the lethal littered landscape of Jim Heath’s imagination. True to his high evangelical calling, Jim is a Revelator, both revealing & reinterpreting the country-blues-rock roots of American music. He’s a time-travelling space-cowboy on a endless interstellar musical tour, and we are all the richer & “psychobillier” for getting to tag along. Seeing REVEREND HORTON HEAT live is a transformative experience. Flames come off the guitars. Heat singes your skin. There’s nothing like the primal tribal rock & roll transfiguration of a Reverend Horton Heat show. Jim becomes a slicked-back 1950′s rock & roll shaman channeling Screamin’ Jay Hawkins through Buddy Holly, while Jimbo incinerates the StandUp Bass. And then there are the “Heatettes”. Those foxy rockabilly chicks dressed in poodle-skirts and cowboy boots slamming the night away. It’s like being magically transported into a Teen Exploitation picture from the 1950′s that’s currently taking place in the future. Listening to the REVEREND HORTON HEAT is tantamount to injecting pure musical nitrous into the hot-rod engine of your heart. The Reverend’s commandants are simple. And no band on this, or any other, planet rocks harder, drives faster, or lives truer than the Reverend Horton Heat. These “itinerant preachers” actually practice what they preach. They live their lives by the Gospel of Rock & Roll. From the High-Octane Spaghetti-Western Wall of Sound in “Big Sky” — to the dark driving frenetic paranoia of “400 Bucks” – to the brain-melting Western Psychedelic Garage purity of “Psychobilly Freakout” — The Rev’s music is the perfect soundtrack to the Drive-In Movie of your life. Jim Heath & Jimbo Wallace have chewed up more road than the Google Maps drivers. For twentyfive Psychobilly years, they have blazed an indelible, unforgettable, and meteoric trail across the globe with their unique blend of musical virtuosity, legendary showmanship, and mythic imagery. “Okay it’s time for me to put this loaded gun down, jump in my FiveOh Ford, and nurture my pig on the outskirts of Houston. I’ll be bringing my love whip. See y’all later.” - Carty Talkington, Writer/Director Rev your engines and catch the sermon on the road as it’s preached by everybody’s favorite Reverend. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for the 11th studio album from REVEREND HORTON HEAT, boldly titled Rev, due out January 21st. The Adicts The Adicts began life as the Afterbirth & The Pinz, in their hometown of Ipswich back in late 1975. They scored many Indie Chart hits in the Eighties, and are unbelievably still together, and still making great music, with the same line-up - Keith 'Monkey' Warren, vocals; Mel Ellis, bass; Pete Dee Davison, guitar; and Michael 'Kid Dee' Davison, drums - to this day. Newer members are John Scruff Ellis (Mel's brother) guitar & Dan Gratziani on violin. "I think we all started for different reasons," recalls Monkey, of their distant origins. "Pete and Kid moved to Ipswich from Sunderland were already playing on their own, using pillows for drums in the front room. Mel had just failed the audition for Nick Kershaw's band (too tall apparently) and I was a punk without a cause. Exactly what year that was may vary depending on who you talk to. Some say '75, some say '76. I think I have a flyer from March '76, but before that we had played our first show in a scout hut in Aldburgh, Suffolk - not exactly top of the list for all time top punk venues! We strung a rope across the room to keep the 'crowd' back and had a motor bike for a lighting rig. As far as our musical education goes, I think Pete took music at school, and Kid just liked to hit things. I don't know where Mel got his 'talent' from but it seems to run in the family. I still can't play anything." They soon changed their name to The Adicts and became known for their distinctive Clockwork Orange 'Droog' image, which, along with their urgent, uptempo music and light-hearted lyrics, helped set them very much apart from the rest of the genre. "We became The Adicts because The Pinz was such a shit name," deadpans Kid. "At the early gigs we just used to wear punk clothes, but never anything bought, like those posers who went down to Kings Road. After a while though, black came in and it all became boring, so we started to dress in white to be different, and 'Clockwork Orange' had been a major influence on us, though not for the violence, more the teenage angst..."
Lizz Wright - CD Release Show
Friday 09/11
Lizz Wright - CD Release Show @ The Howard Theatre
$39.50 / $45
Lizz Wright – Vocals Michael Aarons – Guitar Bobby Sparks – Keys Nicholas D’Amato – Bass Brannen Temple – Drums Something amazing and terrifying happened to me as I entered into my 30s. I realized that I had run far off the course of my scripted plans, my projections for who I'd be, what I'd be doing, and how it would feel at this point. Then, the realization the mapped trail couldn't be recovered. A hound without a hunt, I was captured by unfamiliar woods far from earshot of the original game and players. Untethered by marriage with a scrap pile of maternal designs that never took root, I found myself forced, thank goodness, to let go. The pageantry of over-identifying with past experiences and old ideals had ended. In review, I found that life's unfolding had exceeded my most elaborate visions while other hopes had slipped into ruin in the clasp of my determined hands. Meanwhile, a new meekness and curiosity made all of my experiences sacred and overwhelming, something akin to a reverent depression. Desire was quieted in my heart, and I was uneasy in the cool of my newness, wondering what I really wanted to do next. When the label suggested that I consider working with Larry Klein, my entire focus shifted with a warm shrug, "Why not? He's produced some of my favorite records." Within a few conversations I had found plenty of reasons to trust the voice on the other end of the line. I knew that I was respected for my potential and achievements, and he wasn't new to dealing with strong women. Another shrug, "Why not?" I had plenty to sing about now, a heart cracked open by disappointment, a will broken by the truth. I was ready for a new project, the kind of baby that I knew how to make. It was suggested to me initially that I make a record of covers. It was the very moment my hard head became bent on writing my way out of my valley, no matter how hard or long I'd have to work for it. I'd count my steps and tell stories until I met the ridge line without borrowing anyone else's view. This was not my hour to cover, but to uncover, and hopefully, the reveal would be worth something. I trembled in the wait for my own revelation. I scurried around the country (Nashville, New York and LA) to have collaborative conversations with old and new friends. I remembered how to just sit with people and talk, even though I was on a schedule and budget. We all spoke like we were on Grandma's porch, but the work got done. To my delighted surprise, much of this record was written with Larry himself. My average day of pre-production with him looked like: A sunrise run and swim at Santa Monica pier, showing up to his studio sandy, salty, and red faced, talking through beautiful rambles with him and David Batteau while high on espresso. Then we'd get snagged by a soulful riff from Larry's acoustic bass guitar as he noodled along (seemingly) aimlessly. Often a story would present a hook and we'd return the next day with responses. This felt like an old and dignified pace of work, but also kind of risky. However, I looked up after a few months of these weeklong neighborly sits and real songs were following us, a train getting longer, each car intact and connected as we rolled on. In the evenings I listened to demos of the budding songs on my phone as the sun set over the Pacific. I could see them, unmade movies. The tide of communion would pull back and the shining pieces left could be made into anything. This is when I knew that I had, in these mosaic sessions, stumbled upon a new page of my life. I remembered the feeling of being found. One of the most moving songs from it's inception was, "Somewhere Down the Mystic." Playing on the simple wonders of my rustic Appalachian life, we imagined a love lost to death and the feeling of it's lasting warmth, a nod to love's reach across life's threshold. Months later, on February 20th, I had a near death experience, sliding across 300 yards of ice- coated mountain curve. I softened my body and rested my hands in my lap. The heavy car floated silently towards a 75 foot ravine that ended with a wide band of frozen creek. "Ok" was the only thing I could get out in a sigh. I was stopped by a young bellwood tree that grew out of the bank like a hook. I slowed my breathing and meditated in suspension. About 20 minutes later, a young neighbor pulled the door open, reaching in with a strong arm to guide my climb out. Now when I sing the chorus, I see the gracious hole and the sweet sapling that grows over it. It threw me back, a fish returned to the river with a cut lip. The pink bells of the tree can be seen on my homepage, and I want to keep such simple things close from now on. Why not? They were strong enough to save me. In surrender I experience freedom. The gift of an end is a beginning. I greet the sun with the only reason I've ever needed, "why not?"
Roc Mikey UCB & Hippie Life Krew
Saturday 08/15
Roc Mikey UCB & Hippie Life Krew @ The Howard Theatre
$30 / $50
UCB UCB was founded in 1996 just a few blocks away from the Howard Theatre by a dynamic group of talented young musicians who since then have taken Go-Go internationally like no other. All members hailing from our Nation's Capital, UCB is commonly referred to as "The Party Band." They are a Go-Go band with vision, who understands the soul and funk legacy of older bands as well as the stripped-down intensity of the next generation, while also having a knack for the type of pop song writing that can yield a radio hit such as their all too popular D.C. anthem "Sexy Lady." This song was, and still is, the biggest Go-Go song released since EU's "Doin Tha Butt" back in the 80's. With the success of "Sexy Lady" going nationwide, it granted UCB the opportunity to take the show on the road, taking on the role as Wale's international touring band. A major highlight included the The Blueprint3 tour, where they spent two months on the road sharing the stage with Jay-Z and Pharrell with N.E.R.D. Over the years being a driving force behind Wale's live show, they have also had the chance to back the likes of J. Cole, Big Sean, Chrisette Michele, Bun B, Pusha T, Kid Cudi, Pitbull, Solange, and many more. UCB has appeared on late night TV shows Carson Daley, Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, David Letterman, and also BET's 106 & Park. In 2009 they performed at the BET Hip-Hop awards and had the honor of performing as the official house band for the 2009 MTV VMAs. They have also been featured in TV commercials, cable TV shows, and Independent films. UCB carved out its own lane with a presentation that placed its brand of Go-Go on the same shelf as popular modern Hip-Hop and R&B. Roc Mikey If you’ve heard of the popular Washington, DC derived music genre Go-Go, then you’ve heard of the legendary Go-Go band UCB—and you cannot speak of UCB without mentioning the name Roc Mikey. Michael Bailey, better known as Roc Mikey, was born and raised in our Nation's Capital. Far from a newcomer, Roc Mikey began his career surrounded by the native DC sound of Go-Go and is a founding member of the legendary UCB. Although his roots will forever remain with his Go-Go band, Roc Mikey can no longer be defined solely by the success of UCB, he has his own story to tell as a solo artist. The DC bred artist is not only a survivor in the music game; he is a survivor in life. Raised in a single-parent home in an area plagued with violence and drugs, Roc Mikey was able to find an outlet; an outlet through music. Despite all circumstances, Roc Mikey has earned a reputation as a man of loyalty, respect, and honor, placing his family first. More than just an artist, Roc Mikey is also establishing himself as a brand and savvy businessman who formed a production company, DCR, with his partner Chris Servant in 2004. The production team has worked with many of the DC Metro area's Hip-Hop and R&B artists to include Wale and Raheem DeVaughn. With several highly received mixtapes under his belt, including GameFace and A1, and a working with artists such as Scarface, Wale, and Bun B, Roc Mikey continues to take the DC music scene to new heights. Hippie Life Krew Hippie Life Krew is the DC Metro area-based artist and lifestyle collective with a sound as eclectic as its members. Visto aka Head Hippie is the founder, rapper, singer, and songwriter. Itz2Eazy aka Baked God is the co-founder, yogi, and artist. Pinky KillaCorn aka Queen Hippie is the shooter of HLK, bar for bar or on top of the bar, Pinky’s raw energy has crowds yelling HOLUUUP! Hippie Life Krew has performed at regional and national venues and events to include SXSW, A3C, SneakerPimps, HU Homecoming, 95.5 WPGC’s Birthday Bash, Broccoli City Festival, the historic Howard Theater, and more. Members have been featured on commercial radio, the Washington Post, The Washington CIty Paper, and countless blogs for both style and music. Visto Visto is a recording artist, activist, and founder of Hippie Life Krew. Originally from Virginia and migrating throughout the DMV and South, Visto is a nomad, singer, rapper, and songwriter known for his distinctive sound and style. Visto's latest single, "On Fleek Tonight" (released December 2015), is receiving regular airplay on DC's WPGC 95.5. Visto has been featured in the Washington Post and has also received airplay on DC's WKYS 93.9 and independent radio stations nationwide. Visto's singles "Shinobi" and "Everything Gorgeous" have received commercial radio play and coverage on national music blogs. Visto has performed at festivals and tours such as A3C, SXSW, and SneakerPimps and venues large and small throughout the DC and Atlanta metro areas. Visto's first album, Before Euphoria, features artists such as Fat Trel and Black Cobain and producers Mark Henry and Sunny Norway.