Wow, I can’t believe how insane things have been the past couple of weeks. I have entirely too much to talk about — but don’t want to turn this into a PhD dissertation. I’ll try and post a couple of times before I dive head first into the Jazz Fest’s weekend concerts — try.
The new job is going VERY well, we had a very successful Advocacy Day (for those of you outside the Washington, DC “Beltway,” this is an event that brings in volunteers to meet with their Members of Congress about a specific topic) and I’m settling into my social media guru-ness. However, if there are any random stories/ideas you would like to share with me about successful social media campaigns you’ve been involved in…let me know. I’m open to anything.
Music-wise, I’ve been in heaven since June 20. The past week has included seeing Alice Smith and the Brass-A-Holics in concert, and finding out that some my my favs are swinging through here in the coming months (I have absolutely no shame with buying tickets 6 months out — none). So, let me do these posts chronologically so I don’t get lost in my own rabbit hole.
Most of you know, I’m probably one concert away from receiving a “cease and desist” order from Alice Smith’s management. I’ve been a fan for years, and — other than the concert when she opened up for Gary Clark, Jr. (sold out before I could get my credit card out) — I’ve seen Alice every time she’s come to D.C. Shoot, I went with friends two both concerts when Citizen Cope and Alice played the 9:30 Club Thanksgiving 2012. I’m a professional groupie, but don’t judge, I’m not alone as I’m now recognizing people from previous Cope and Alice concerts on a regular — I have family I don’t recognize.
Let me get to the point — last Friday, a crew of friends and I descended on the Howard Theatre to take in the songstress. I can’t begin to describe how the second she walks on the stage, Alice takes over your world. Over-priced drinks? Oh well. Bad service? At least the waitress isn’t disturbing us. When it comes to experiencing Alice Smith live, you only care about one singular entity – Alice Smith. At one point she was just finished one of the singles from her latest album, “She,” if I can remember it was “Another Love,” when you start hearing a crew of men just losing it and the main level of the theater turned into the Dogg Pound from the “original” Arsenio Hall Show. We were rollin’ when you started hearing the barking — and, it was loud, we were on the balcony level.
The first time I saw Alice was at The Birchmere back 2009. What I love about her is that, even after all these years, I never see the same performance twice. Alice doesn’t shy away from tweaking her songs, and the phenomenal relationship she has with her band members comes through with the playful way we interacts with them — and how flawless they switch up songs.
Last week, we got a raw and dirty Alice –not in a bad way…I mean that with the utmost respect. I got to listen to a woman who was so obviously influenced by the same female rockers I was growing up. She threw on some covers from The Pretenders and Fleetwood Mac, and switched up her own songs to add even more edge to them. I’ll be honest, I LOVE LOVE LOVE edgy women singers, there’s something about them and the stories they share with you.
Unfortunately, I have noticed that although the packed house (which included men and women of all backgrounds and skin colors) was jamming hard to each and every song — and knew all the words to the Don’t Get Me Wrong and Dreams — the record industry just doesn’t know what to do with singers like Alice, Res or even MeShell NdgeOcello (all of whom have a VERY dedicated fan base).
So…if you haven’t had a chance to see Alice perform live (and BET’s Black Girls Rock doesn’t count!), keep an eye out for her via your Bandsintown or Song Kick app — you’ll be amazed. And remember, sometimes the best music out there isn’t on contact loop on the radio.
Tomorrow: Why I love the Brass-A-Holics (and why I either need to move to New Orleans, or they need to move up here).