Steely Dan’s Donald Fagan and Walter Becker have been making music together for nearly half a century now, a fact that was not lost on Becker as he introduced their backing band at Jiffy Lube Live last Wednesday. The duo is known for their almost-too-slick 70s FM radio production (“no static at all”) that belies a dark underworld of shady characters, seedy locales, and questionable goings-on. Blending soft rock tropes with complex jazz scales and time signatures is no easy feat, but Fagan and Becker are the masters at it. With a 12-person band backing them, it takes a lot of work to sound so smooth.
Crazy from the heat DC? Well never fear because tonight one of the coolest acts around is heading to your neck of the woods. Best selling jazz pianist/vocalist Diana Krall will hit the stage at Wolf Trap tonight as her "Summer Nights" tour continues its trek across the country.
A musician since the age of four (COOL!) Krall has had a stellar career in which she's sold over 15 million records world wide (COOL!), won three Grammys (COOL!), eight Juno Awards (COOL, EH!), and was even named the second best jazz artist of the past ten years (TOTALLY COOL!). And somewhere in all of that she found time to get married to Elvis Costello, which is...do we have to say it?
Whether you are a longtime fan, total newbie, or simply an enjoyer of all things cool, it's going to be a great night to kick back, sink your toes in the green grass and enjoy an evening out under the stars with some friends and the immeasurable talents of Diana Krall.
Tickets are still available online and at the gates. We'll see you on the lawn at 8!
Why do we go to live shows? Squeeze into stifling venues, pay too much for the same beer we have at home in the fridge, occasionally cough up more for a ticket than we paid for every album the artist ever put out? We go because watching the people who wrote those songs and created that music put it back into the world right in front of our adoring eyes can be downright gob-smacking jaw-droppingly amazing.
Elvis Costello at 57 shames front men a third of his age. For his latest Revolver tour with the Imposters, which closed in Durham last week, he pulled out a stage prop that hasn’t seen daylight since 1986. Yes, that’s eighty-six, when most artists currently playing the 9:30 Club were either being conceived or their parents were getting stoned in the back of a Camaro and thinking about it. Costello pretty much defines prolific, to put it mildly, and back then he constructed a 20-foot high wheel containing a dizzying mixture of song titles, categories and random phrases, inviting audience members to come on stage and control the direction of the show. Spin the wheel or make a request, he and the band will play it. We don’t need no stinking warm-up, we don’t need no sound check for this stuff, we are so freaking good we can play anything you tell us to and blow your ears off in the process. That, my friend, is punk.
For two days this past weekend, Fort Adams State Park in Newport, RI, became an impromptu community of musicians and fans coming together to celebrate the thing that they hold most dear: MUSIC.
Just saying that this festival is special doesn't even begin to do it justice and we will have our take on the whys and hows in the coming days. Until then, we've put together a collection of shots from the weekend that we think will give you a pretty good idea of how everything went down on Saturday and Sunday at one of the most legendary festivals in the entire country.