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Jesse Hughes tries to learn a bit of the local language wherever he is. The charismatic frontman for garage act The Eagles of Death Metal said addressing someone in their own language - even if just to tell them you don't speak it - is always much appreciated.
Chicago instrumental icons Pelican often get filed under the post-metal genre, sharing the label with atmospheric forbearers like Isis and Neurosis. But 2007's "City of Echoes," the record the band stopped at the Black Cat in support of this past Wednesday, draws inspiration more from Midwestern shoegaze and the towering soundscapes of Mogwai than it does Metallica. Laurent Schroeder-Lebec, the band's guitarist, just calls it rock music.
Ama Wertz never had a proper last day at Olsson's Books and Records, the independent bookstore she managed in Dupont Circle. Chapter 7 bankruptcy strikes quickly - locks are changed in the night, professional liquidators auction off company assets. The workers - and the customers - never know what hit them.
Stephen Merritt has never been one to rest on his laurels. The pop virtuoso has added numerous side projects to the already impressive discography of his main group, indie rock darlings The Magnetic Fields. The band's performance Sunday night at George Washington University's Lisner Auditorium was enough to leave the heads of Merritt's fans spinning for its career-spanning set list.
For William E. Smith, being a jazz musician is a lot like being a kung-fu master. The saxophonist, composer and former College of Arts and Sciences professor said he sees similarities in his approach to music and Bruce Lee's approach to martial arts.
On a sinister-looking mountain road on the border of Montenegro, Richard Gere sits brooding - his perpetually squinting eyes squinting over some deep truths about war. This is the description of most frames of Richard Shepard's latest film "The Hunting Party." Somewhere between a black comedy and a journalistic action flick, the kiddie coaster of a thrill ride tries to offer up a biting indictment of the international community's culpability in the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. But what it underlines more effectively is the machismo ethic at work in war correspondence.
VHS or Beta
"Bring on the Comets"
Sounds like: A harmless dance-rock record that wants to be a party playlist anchor.
Memories of my first party at AU: "Hey, what's your major?" "Are you a freshman?" "I've got some great Dave bootlegs up in my room." There are better ways to spend your evenings with that cute new classmate you're looking to impress than at the party those weird dudes are offering you a ride to. Dinner and a movie may be outdated, but here are some fresh (and cheap) combinations that will take you out of Tenleytown and into the heart of your latest crush.
The other night I caved. I fell asleep on the streetcar and missed my stop, and when I woke up, there it was - its golden arches shining through the Zagreb evening like the fleece on the mast of the Argo.
Studying in the former Yugoslavia, it is hard not to see history everywhere. The place that once was a country has played a pivotal role in world politics for over a century. In Sarajevo, the situation is no different.
One of the tough things about studying abroad in the former Yugoslavia is that every successor state uses its own currency. Every time I travel across borders, I need to get my money exchanged. Slovenia, the self-described "heart of Europe," switched over to the Euro on Jan. 1. For the Slovenian media, it seemed to symbolize even more than the 2004 ascension to the European Union. Membership in the EU was great, but the Euro was a physical manifestation. It was a little piece of Europe that Slovenes could hold in their hands, stuff in their pockets and pay for their groceries with. It was a message to the rest of the former Yugoslavia: We are Europe, and you are the Balkans. This "Balkanization" of the five other successor states has been standard operating procedure for Slovenia since independence in 1991.
It happened yesterday, when I was finishing my morning coffee. Croatian coffee is cooked twice, resulting in thick and grainy syrup at the bottom of every cup. I'd gotten used to it after my third or fourth cup in Zagreb, but yesterday morning I realized how completely alien that last sip is to anything I'd ever drank back home.
When Americans think of Eastern Europe, I believe there are a lot of characteristics we impose on the countries here: wild lands of unfiltered cigarettes, communist-era architecture and a general fascination with all things Western.
Remember watching the spring break coverage on MTV in junior high? The body shots, human taco contests and infamous three-way kisses? "The Vice Guide to Travel" feels a lot like a spring break special for pseudo-intellectual hipsters.
With less psychedelic drugs than Bonnaroo and less, uh, Red Hot Chili Peppers than Lollapalooza, the College Music Journal's Music Marathon isn't the first music festival that comes to mind when musing on the topic.
If nerd rap has a spokesperson, it is reluctantly mc chris. The cough syrup-sipping, helium-voiced rapper, born Chris Ward, made a stop at the Rock and Roll Hotel last Monday to promote his new album, "Dungeon Master of Ceremonies." Though Ward's set was sprinkled with references to Star Wars and DQ Blizzards, he doesn't even see himself as part of the nerd rap scene, much less its leader.
There is something desperately wrong with American metalcore. The fusion genre, which blends elements of metal and hardcore punk into blisteringly technical, mosh-worthy anthems, is in a period where it is struggling to find itself. Every Time I Die and Atreyu personified this identity crisis Monday night at the 9:30 club.
There is a scene in Nicholas Maw's opera "Sophie's Choice" where schizophrenic Nathan Landau (Scott Hendricks) assures the title character in his most comforting baritone, "Please, just let Nathan take charge, this is my show." He's not kidding.
Thomas Johnson, known internationally by stage name Tommy the Clown, is equal parts hip-hop hype man and street preacher. On Saturday, Johnson's competitive dance movement, known alternately as "krumping" and "clowning," was the subject of his performance with his troupe of Hip Hop Clowns at the Music Center at Strathmore in North Bethesda. Taking the stage in an oversized camouflage clown suit, the Father of Krump explained how his movement kept the 10 teenage clowns he'd brought with him out of L.A.'s violent gang culture.
In the opening scene of the B-movie horror classic "Re-Animator," mad scientist Herbert West reanimates the corpse of his mentor with disastrous side effects. The lumbering corpse is just a zombie, nothing like the person that it used to be. "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning" has the same problem. Instead of living up to the gritty suspense of Tobe Hooper's original film, Jonathan Liebesman's prelude feels more like Marcus Nispel's 2003 remake: a flashy, bloodthirsty imitator.