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The Canadian rock star discusses his Bare Bones tour, working with Herb Ritts, and how a drunken fan nearly ruined his new record. By Sophie Gilbert

Bryan Adams performs acoustic versions of his biggest hits this coming Monday at Strathmore. Photograph courtesy of Marlene Palmer.

In the first of two concerts by musically diverse stars with rhyming names, Bryan Adams comes to Strathmore on Monday with his Bare Bones tour: an acoustic presentation of some of his greatest hits, such as “Summer of ’69,” “Heaven,” and “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You.” In his 30-plus years as a performer, Adams has been nominated for 15 Grammy Awards, three Academy Awards, and a staggering 56 Juno Awards in his native Canada, in addition to twice winning the Ivor Novello Award for songwriting. Adams, who became a father for the first time last year, called us from his home in London to discuss his two tours, his side career as a photographer, and how he feels about possibly being confused with Ryan Adams (who plays Strathmore on Tuesday).

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Posted at 11:36 AM/ET, 01/19/2012 | Permalink | Comments ()
The world-famous photographer comes to Washington this month with a new collection of work. By Sophie Gilbert

Photograph by Annie Leibovitz.

For a photographer whose portraits are so iconic—think Demi Moore pregnant on the cover of Vanity Fair, or a naked John Lennon draped around Yoko Ono in Rolling Stone—the concept of a series of photographs without a single human subject might sound strange. But for Annie Leibovitz, her latest book and museum show, “Pilgrimage,” offered a chance to pursue a more personal mission. For two years, Leibovitz spent her time between magazine assignments traveling across America and Europe shooting places she found meaningful, from Georgia O’Keeffe’s home to Niagara Falls to Graceland, capturing images of landscapes and still lifes. The collection was published in book form at the end of last year; more than 70 of the photographs go on display at the Smithsonian American Art Museum January 20. We talked to Leibovitz about the inspiration behind the project.

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Posted at 02:58 PM/ET, 01/11/2012 | Permalink | Comments ()
The executive producer of the new primetime drama talks about his follow-up to the John Grisham novel. By Sophie Gilbert

Juliette Lewis as Tammy Hemphill, Callum Keith Rennie as Ray McDeere, Josh Lucas as Mitch McDeere, Natasha Calis as Claire McDeere, and Molly Parker as Abby McDeere in NBC’s The Firm. Photograph by Frank Ockenfels.

It’s not unusual to get so attached to the characters in a book or film that you long for a sequel so you can find out where they end up. But for Lukas Reiter, his affection for The Firm, the 1991 legal thriller that made John Grisham a household name, led him to actually conceptualize a show that follows up with Mitch and Abby McDeere ten years later. The show, which is set in Washington and stars Josh Lucas as Mitch (played by Tom Cruise in the 1993 movie), imagines Mitch and Abby as parents, finally stepping back into their lives after spending the better part of a decade in witness protection. Also starring in the series, which premieres this Sunday at 9 PM on NBC (it will normally air Thursdays at 10), are Molly Parker as Abby McDeere, Callum Keith Rennie as Mitch’s brother, Ray, and Juliette Lewis as Tammy Hemphill. We talked to Reiter to discuss why he wanted to make the show, where it finds the main characters, and why he thought Washington was the perfect location for it.

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Posted at 12:02 PM/ET, 01/06/2012 | Permalink | Comments ()
We catch up with the Athens-based band's founders, Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley, ahead of their three-show stint at the 9:30 Club this weekend. By Chris Klimek

The Drive-By Truckers (left to right): Jay Gonzalez, John Neff, Patterson Hood, Mike Cooley, Shonna Tucker and Brad Morgan. Photograph by Danny Clinch.

Athens, Georgia’s Drive-By Truckers are one of the rare bands to contain two world-class singer-songwriters in Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley, who founded the band together in 1996 and have remained its creative nexus, giving voice to impoverished and marginalized Americans with their gift for pithy narrative and revealing characterization. Their 2001 album, Southern Rock Opera, made the hard-touring group a critical favorite, and the band’s subsequent decade has been remarkable for its quality and prolificacy, even through several major lineup changes. They’re ending 2011—and two nearly uninterrupted years on the road—with three sold-out shows at the 9:30 Club. I spoke by phone with Cooley and Hood in separate conversations on December 7 and 19, respectively, about their history with the 9:30 Club and their plans for this week’s run of shows.

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Posted at 01:32 PM/ET, 12/29/2011 | Permalink | Comments ()
The former world number one tennis champ previews the upcoming Champions Series at the Verizon Center By Kyle Gustafson

Former world's number one Jim Courier, far right, will be at the Verizon Center with Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi on September 23. Photo courtesy dkc Public Relations

Four-time Grand Slam winner Jim Courier will be one of four American tennis legends, along with Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, and Michael Chang, to take to the court at the Verizon Center on September 23 as part of the touring HSBC Champions Series. We spoke to the former world number one on Wednesday to get a preview of the event and to pick his brain on how he sees the final weekend of the US Open playing out.

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Posted at 06:00 PM/ET, 09/09/2011 | Permalink | Comments ()
The musician and restaurateur talks about his upcoming show at Kastles Stadium, the London riots, new music, and chicken tikka masala By Sophie Gilbert

Thievery Corporation will perform at Kastles Stadium on the Southwest Waterfront this Saturday. Photograph courtesy of IMP

Eric Hilton wears many hats—musician, co-founder of the ESL Music record label, and businessman behind Eighteenth Street Lounge, Marvin, and more­—but first and foremost, he’s one half of Thievery Corporation, DC’s biggest music act. Unlike other locally-raised talent (here’s looking at you, Dave Grohl and the Walkmen), Hilton and partner Rob Garza are proud Washington residents, and with stakes in eight restaurants and bars, Hilton’s culinary holdings in the District are starting to rival those of Jose Andres. This Saturday, Thievery Corporation plays its first local show since the duo's latest album, Culture of Fear, was released, at the Kastles Stadium on the Southwest Waterfront. We caught up with Hilton to talk musical influences, local pride, and more.

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Posted at 04:20 PM/ET, 08/15/2011 | Permalink | Comments ()
This Washington hip-hop star is equal parts musician, visionary, and entrepreneur By Caitlin Fairchild

DC rapper Tabi Bonney wears many hats. When Washingtonian.com caught up with him, he was busy editing the music video for his new single, “Galaxy,” continuing work on his clothing line, and preparing for the release of his third album, Fresh. Bonney has gained a loyal fan base in the Washington area and, following the tradition of fellow local rappers Rasi Caprice and Wale, consistently and proudly represents his hometown as he expands his audience.

You were born in Togo, West Africa, and you’ve lived all over the world. In what way has living in Washington influenced your music?
“All of it has influenced me. The environment, the transient culture, being in the capital, and the diversity of it.”

You’re also a clothing designer. How did you begin designing?
“I really like to make what I would wear. I started out because I couldn’t find anything I wanted. Everything was XXL, and I’m a small guy. I started with a thermal from Kmart and sewed patches on it, and people were like, ‘Where’d you get that from?’ "

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Posted at 08:31 AM/ET, 11/17/2010 | Permalink | Comments ()
An alumnus of Dischord Records, John Davis continues to sally forth with his solo project By Caitlin Fairchild
John Davis (left) with his band. Image courtesy Title Tracks.

John Davis has some history behind him. A Washington native, he grew up amidst the local punk scene. Inspired by shows such as Fugazi, Davis delved into the music scene and formed a own high-school band when he was 17. Punk icon Ian MacKaye once showed up before a performance to wish them luck. Since then, Davis has been a founding member of post-punk band Q and Not U, writing and performing with that group from 1998 to 2006. He then collaborated with Laura Burhenn for the pop duo Georgie James. In 2008, Davis struck out on his own with Title Tracks. The tunes on his first solo album, It Was Easy, are upbeat and catchy. Davis, however, is serious as a heart attack when it comes to his love of DC music. With a North American tour under his belt, he spoke with us about his eclectic listening tastes and his upcoming album.

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Posted at 08:49 AM/ET, 11/12/2010 | Permalink | Comments ()
Welcome to Local Listens, where we profile some of our favorite Washington musicians. Up this week: Punch Brothers By Elliot Kort
Image by C. Taylor Crothers, courtesy Nonesuch.

Punch Brothers is a hard band to peg. If you call it bluegrass, the members will bust out a raucous cover of “Reptilia” by the Strokes. If you call it strictly indie, they’ll figure out a way to flawlessly segue from Radiohead’s “Kid A” into Gillian Welch’s fiddle tune “Wayside (Back in Time).” The only certainties are the instrumental mix of fiddle, guitar, mandolin, banjo, and base—and that you’ll be surprised by whatever you hear.

For Chris Eldridge, the band’s guitarist, Washington is home. He was born in Fairfax and spent much of his youth in Falls Church and Fredericksburg before taking off for Nashville. Eldridge returns home with his bandmates in tow to play Strathmore in Bethesda November 12. Washingtonian caught up with him before the show.

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Posted at 09:51 AM/ET, 11/08/2010 | Permalink | Comments ()
This DC-native hip-hop artist thinks outside the box By Caitlin Fairchild

It’s not everyday you see a Grammy nominee performing on the bus—but not every Grammy nominee is Christylez Bacon. As for that bus, the progressive hip-hop artist (who was recognized for his work on a kids’ album, Banjo to Beatbox) often rides the X2 Metrobus with his guitar, and he even plans on bringing a chamber-music ensemble along for the ride at some point.

A native Washingtonian, Bacon discovered a passion for performing at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts and continued to hone his skills as an emcee at local open-mic nights. Sporting a blue velvet bow tie with a tweed vest and trousers, Christylez sat down with us to discuss his unique blend of genres.

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Posted at 08:26 AM/ET, 10/27/2010 | Permalink | Comments ()