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Stories by Stephen Bradley

Stephen Bradley is an avid music listener and an occasional writer. He grew up in the Washington DC area and has been embedded in the local music scene for years. Currently he lives in Vienna, VA. He enjoys bands that have been broken up for at least a decade.

‘Terminator: Genisys’: Franchise reboot uneven but interesting

WASHINGTON, Aug. 30, 2015 – Franchises are the name of the game in the summer cinematic landscape. They dominate critical and popular reviews, articles, discussions and comments for at least a quarter of the calendar year each. As they get bigger – and rake in more money – the space they occupy in the public ...

‘Inside Out’: Pixar film returns studio to its Golden Age

WASHINGTON, Aug. 21, 2015 – Pixar’s latest animation effort, “Inside Out,” has made an impressive splash this summer, making it crystal clear that someone, somewhere has apparently changed the Pixar shop’s current philosophy and outlook dramatically. Here’s why. There was a point very recently where people thought Pixar had departed from its unique Golden Age ...

The Wicked + The Divine – Pop and online culture converge in comic form

WASHINGTON, Aug. 11, 2015  – The Wicked + the Divine fantasy comic book series was created by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie a little over a year ago, being published monthly by Image Comics. The series is largely influenced by pop music and various mythological deities. With the Wicked + the Divine issue #13, Gillen and Lotay ...

Supreme Commander to perform at DC9

WASHINGTON, July 27, 2015 – Hardcore punk had its place and time. In fact, the entire expressed purpose of the subgenre was that it was not to exist forever. Not surprisingly, the best bands performing during its wave of relevance were never popular by mainstream standards. But they significantly influenced many bands that held sway ...

Film Review: Could ‘Dope’ be 2015’s underground summer hit?

WASHINGTON, July 20, 2015 – When it comes to a film like “Dope,” you have to think: Every year needs its enduring summer movie. This movie doesn’t necessarily have to become wildly popular the summer it’s introduced. It really doesn’t even need to be about the summer and summer fun, but instead should pulsate with ...

‘When Marnie Was There”: Last-ever anime film from Studio Ghibli?

WASHINGTON, July 09, 2015 – In the opening scene of “When Marnie Was There,” Anna is first encountered sitting by herself on a bench. It happens that she is not only detached from the kids at her school. Peacefully, seated by herself and drawing in her sketchbook, we get the sense that she’s off in ...

Chris Pratt and raptors.

‘Jurassic World’: Nothing is ‘natural,’ especially the plot

WASHINGTON, June 29, 2015 – “Nothing about Jurassic World is natural.” That line is delivered about halfway through “Jurassic World” by the park’s geneticist, Henry Wu, played by B.D. Wong, formerly of “Law & Order: SVU.” While Wu’s observation accurately describes the predicament the characters in the movie have gotten themselves into, it also serves ...

Jann Klose encounters surreal situation at Electric Maid

WASHINGTON, May 20, 2015 – There are times when you simply can’t prepare for the show you’re going to actually encounter or the obstacles you’re likely going to face before, during, or after the performance. At any point during a tour, musicians comes face to face with situations that would make nearly anyone’s head spin ...

Review: José González at the 9:30 Club

WASHINGTON, May 18, 2015 – Often, DC’s 9:30 Club can bring on the flash and pop when it comes to lighting their shows, though in some cases, it’s the performer’s light crew. As for the venue itself, the lighting system is not overly complex. But the 9:30 Club’s capacity for putting on a show in ...

Julia Weldon at Arlington’s Iota Club

WASHINGTON, April 23, 2015 – The last time Julia Weldon appeared in the D.C. Metro Area was when she added her talents to the “D.C. Pride” event in the summer of 2013. It was an all-day festival that involved, among other special effects, three performance stages. Since the festival was held outdoors, Weldon brought an ...

Review: Emmy the Great brings her unique brand to DC9

WASHINGTON, April 8, 2015 – Virtually every performing artist is going to show evidence of a strong or even inflated ego, at least to some extent. There’s a good and simple reason for this. To get up and play music in front of an audience of any size takes the kind of self-confidence and sense ...

JJ Grey and Mofro: Southern rock at the 9:30 Club

WASHINGTON, March 19, 2015 – The recent JJ Grey and Mofro show at the 9:30 Club might not have been sold out. But at various times during their set, it certainly had the appearance of a sold-out show. People were swirling and chanting along with JJ Grey’s voice. They weren’t really dancing in a traditional ...

French psyche-punk band La Femme at U St. Music Hall

WASHINGTON, January 20, 2015 – When you step into the U Street Music Hall, the space always has a bit of an eclectic air about it. The venue never quite feels like it really exists in this decade, or even this century. That doesn’t mean it reflects some antiquated notion of a concert hall, since ...

Music Review: New Politics at DC’s 9:30 Club

WASHINGTON, January 15, 2015 – From the moment New Politics stepped on stage at the 9:30 Club in a flash of light, everything that followed during their set happened in a burst. It might be something that’s expected of a pop band these days. But in their recent appearance here, New Politics seemed to take ...

RDGLDGRN and the DMV celebrate at DC’s 9:30 Club

WASHINGTON, January 12, 2015 – The greater Washington D.C. metropolitan area is a good deal more diverse than many people outside the Beltway tend to realize upon first glance. Since the Constitution effectively limits the District of Columbia to its original boundaries (minus Arlington), it can’t annex or grow like other cities. So its effective ...