Recent Music Articles

Hi Lo-Fang

Matthew Hemerlein returns to D.C. for a post-Lorde hometown show

Matthew Hemerlein will perform as Lo-Fang at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue next weekend, for a concert not two months since the pop musician's debut at Echostage. ''It was nice to play someplace I'd never even been before,'' says Hemerlein, who opened for Lorde. ''It's great to see new places opening in D.C.'' {Lo-Fang (Photo by Grant Singer)} Those aren't merely idle words from an itinerant musician, one who also expects next weekend ''to see lots of familiar faces and ... [Read]

German Engineering

disappear fear's SONiA reflects on her experiences in Germany

Sonia Rutstein recently met a man in Germany who inquired about her name. ''Oh, 'Rutstein.' This is a German name. Are you German?'' she recalls the man asking. ''And I said, 'Well, I was once.' And it felt really good to say that, because that's my heritage.'' Germany has also become part of the Jewish-American folk artist's present-day life. ''My friends have been wondering if I'm speaking in German and French yet, because I've spent quite a bit of time ... [Read]

Rah-Rah for Rye Rye

Baltimore's high-energy rapper makes her Strathmore debut

''My show is really high-energy, a lot of dancing -- Baltimore club dancing,'' Rye Rye says. Anyone who's seen the Charm City rapper perform knows she speaks the truth. It was Rye Rye, after all, who stormed the stage and fired up the crowd at the 9:30 Club in 2012 as opening act for the Scissor Sisters. She was a similarly irrepressible dancing/rapping dynamo at last year's SMYAL benefit at U Street Music Hall and at Capital Pride's party at ... [Read]

Flush with Cash

Rosanne Cash revisits her country roots with her latest album

''I wrote a song about a gay couple,'' says Rosanne Cash. ''It's called 'Jim and George.''' The song was a donation to the gay Church of St. Luke in the Fields, with all proceeds from its sales benefiting the Greenwich Village parish's LGBT and HIV/AIDS outreach programs. On the church's website, Cash notes, ''Love is Love, and love doesn't contain itself within arbitrary borders of gender, orientation, race, nationality, creed or age.'' Indeed, the 58-year-old star has an extremely positive ... [Read]

The Best and Worst Singles of 2013

It was a banner year for music, if you knew where to look for it, and music critic Chris Gerard has found 10 best to prove it

2013 was a great year for music, if you knew where to look for it. Sure, the pop charts were generally loaded with a lot of generic fluff, but if you dug a little deeper there were some remarkable gems to be found in 2013. Here are 10 of the best. Villagers (Photo by Rich Gilligan) The Best 1. Villagers, ''Nothing Arrived'' -- You won't hear anything more exquisitely written, performed, produced and arranged this year than the profoundly moving ... [Read]

What's Old Is New

The Folger Consort offers Christmas chamber music from ''New Spain''

Looking for a different spin on holiday music? ''It won't be your usual list of holiday songs and carols,'' Jennifer Bowman avers about the Folger Consort's annual holiday program. ''It's really interesting to take a look at how other cultures over time commemorate this time of year.'' Over the next week the renowned early music ensemble presents Christmas in New Spain: Early Music of Mexico and Peru featuring musicians and vocalists. Bowman, the consort's manager, explains. ''We're basically doing music ... [Read]

Hearing a Who

Betty Who's career got an unexpected push from one gay marriage proposal

No doubt you first heard Betty Who a few months ago, courtesy of Spencer Stout's elaborately choreographed marriage proposal to his boyfriend, Dustin. You know, the one set at a Utah Home Depot? ''I didn't know them beforehand,'' says Who, whose song ''Somebody Loves You'' was the soundtrack to the incredibly popular video, which, to date, has registered nearly 11 million views on YouTube. ''I wish I was that smart. Are you kidding? It was totally a shock, surprise, amazing ... [Read]

Stars of Spunky Synth-Pop

JD Samson and Men bring a playful and political sound to town

''People think our music is really fun,'' says JD Samson of the indie electronic/punk group JD Samson and Men. ''But then when you listen to the lyrics,'' she adds with a laugh, ''they're really depressing.'' In truth, nothing about the indie electronic/punk group JD Samson and Men is depressing. The Brooklyn-based queer collective, whose other core member is guitarist Michael O'Neill, is just too playful and energetic to provoke a sense of despair. Even those pointed lyrics that some might ... [Read]

Reckoning Ball

Mount Moriah's Heather McEntire finds healing after coming out

Heather McEntire has a sweet, pristine voice that recalls country antecedents, from Alison Krauss to Dolly Parton. Yet McEntire was essentially an adult before anyone ever got to hear it. ''I was very shy as a kid and as a teenager,'' explains the western North Carolina native who leads the country-tinged rock band Mount Moriah as a singer and guitarist. ''I didn't really start singing until I was 18. Even in church I would just kind of mouth the words.'' ... [Read]

Russian Riot

Punk band Louna protests its country's anti-gay policies

''Without your fear, you can do anything,'' Russian singer Louisine Gevorkian shouts on her rock band Louna's blistering punk jam ''Fight Club.'' Gevorkian also urges listeners to ''embrace the pain'' and join the fight. The fight, of course, is against Russian President Vladimir Putin and his undemocratic policies, including his blanket crackdown on LGBT citizens. ''In our country it looks like we're getting back to the Middle Ages,'' Gevorkian says, ''when somebody is going to burn people who maybe don't ... [Read]

More Music articles >