-Rachel Witkin, Editor-in-Chief
It's not that he's bigger or better than ever; in fact, if anything, you could say he's dialed down the showmanship, the rich -- if occasionally extraneous -- band accompaniment. Instead, Adams is back to basics: a half-bare stage with one man, a microphone and a guitar at the middle of it, bathed in a soft, unwavering orange spotlight.
The crowd was anxious. Each person in Recher Theater last Saturday night, December 2, had come to hear Chris Carrabba play “that one song.” It seemed that everyone had a favorite – something to bring them back to days of youth and love and listening to Dashboard Confessional in their first car.
Though the crowd for Tuesday’s show at the 9:30 club in D.C. may have been for headliner Sondre Lerche, those who arrived early were quickly won over by openers Kishi Bashi and Nightlands.
I’ve long believed that true rock and roll was almost certainly dead, since the rock shows I attend these days consist of kids mildly bobbing their heads in fear of other people watching them dance and the random drunk person flailing his or her arms around. Where were the musicians that were so explosive on stage that the audience is shaken up, woken up and left wanting more? Well, after speaking with J. Roddy Walston and the Business and watching their live show at the Ottobar, I can unequivocally say that rock and roll is not dead - it’s living on in this group. Whether it’s when front man J. Roddy is bashing on the piano while he whips his hair back and forth or guitarist Billy Gordan is giving his ear-splitting solos, I could feel the electricity from the stage and smell and taste the rock and roll around me.
Nonetheless, if given the chance, hearing the songs with the full band proves infinitely more rewarding. The acoustic version, while charming in its own way, often pitted guitar against keyboard; in terms of sheer volume, the guitar often won. Additionally, the loss of bass and drums resulted in an unexpected lack of musical complexity as well – it often seemed that the acoustic guitar and keyboard merely echoed each other, repeating the same refrains with little variation.
Last Wednesday, upon arriving to the Ottobar and expecting music, one was greeted with a few out of the ordinary performances. The first was that of sword swallower Dai Andrew. When we walked into the intimate performance space of the club, Andrew was bent sideways as he swallowed a curved sword. It was hard to watch, but even harder to look away.
On July 16, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) filled Meyerhoff Symphony Hall with the sounds of George Fenton’s Planet Earth. In 2006, BBC premiered the television show Planet Earth to very positive critical reception. Each episode features footage of different places on earth. While some focus on the flora and fauna and some on the animals of the location, each episode consistently provides a close look at the beauties of the natural world.
On the heels of 2008’s Forgetting Sarah Marshall comes the spin-off Get Him to the Greek, which features the same rocker Aldous Snow (Russell Brand) and his one foot on the wagon, and one foot way, way off the wagon antics.
“Not Myself Tonight,” Christina Aguilera’s first single from Bionic, indicates exactly what to expect from the pop singer’s newest album. “If you really knew me/ You’d know it’s not the norm,” Aguilera declares. In the music video, Aguilera puts forth a Lady GaGa-esque performance, and as we learned with Miley Cyrus’s attempt (“Can’t Be Tamed”), no one should expect to imitate the Haus of GaGa with outstanding results.
Rams Head Live! was packed with a young crowd on the first Wednesday in June, attendees eager for the electronic sounds of Passion Pit. Opener Tokyo Police Club took the stage a little after eight, and was received with screams of approval. Fans screamed along to the Canadian band’s lyrics, and when the band left the stage, the crowd was even more pumped up than before.
What began as a groundbreaking HBO series that featured hot women talking unabashedly about sex has now become a franchise. The latest installment, Sex and the City 2, follows a film released in 2008 and a seven-season television series.