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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.

Summer Camp camps out at DC9

WASHINGTON, May 27, 2014 – DC9 is the kind of bar venue that doesn’t usually lend itself to thematic elements. But paradoxically, a band like Summer Camp is all about themes in their music, at least in a sense. Fortunately, for both the band and the audience, it didn’t take much work to turn the ...

The Pack AD performs at DC9

WASHINGTON, May 7, 2014 – When discussing the performance of The Pack A.D. and their recent show here at DC9, one’s first impulse is to compare them to some other act. Whether it has more to do with their particular composition or the vague aura of blues-rock that permeates their sound their sound, comparisons seem ...

Candy Hearts and Loveland at Jammin’ Java

WASHINGTON, April 29, 2014 – Observing Candy Hearts up on stage recently at Jammin’ Java, it was almost impossible not to give in to the million puns that can spontaneously be associated with this band. Some bands try to fight their nature. But up on stage, this one looks like a four piece that intends ...

Eternal Summers performs at U Street Music Hall

WASHINGTON, April 24, 2014 – Eternal Summers is the perfect kind of band to present at a venue like U Street Music Hall. The basement club – which reverses its stage set-up for DJ sets during late nights, normally after live bands have come and gone – casts a lovingly dingy atmosphere. The Hall offers ...

Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr performs at DC’s 9:30 Club

WASHINGTON, April 18, 2014 – Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr is the kind of cumbersome band name that’s difficult to take seriously. The name in and of itself is kind of silly, starting with the double juniors in the title. But then, to top it off, the band borrows the name of a sports figure not ...

‘Into the Wild’: L.P. at the U Street Music Hall

WASHINGTON, April 15, 2014 – There are some singers who have been in the music biz a lot longer than you’d imagine. When L.P. (short for Laura Pergolizzi) performed at the U Street Music Hall recently, your initial reaction might have been that this was the perfect venue for someone like her whom some might ...

St Lucia performs at the Black Cat

WASHINGTON, April 03, 2014 – It’s sometimes easy to overlook that when someone like St. Lucia is up on stage, the individual you’re watching and hearing is not only part of a band, but a solo artist in his own right. That was certainly the reality when this artist recently performed at the Black Cat. ...

Into It. Over it. Evan Weiss ‘band’ up on stage at DC9

WASHINGTON, March 26, 2014 – When Evan Weiss of Into It. Over It. is up on stage at DC9, there’s an entire band with him. So why is this such a big deal? That’s because, for all intents and purposes, the word “band” should probably be in quotations because with Weiss, it doesn’t exist as ...

Cowboy Mouth energizes the 9:30 Club

WASHINGTON, March 24, 2014 – When Cowboy Mouth started their set at the 9:30 Club recently, there was certain kind of energy in the air that almost seemed uncommon for an opening song. At first, the energy came in a quick burst. But what was really surprising was the way this band was able to ...

Norwegian-born singer, songwriter Ane Brun at Jammin’ Java

WASHINGTON, March 21, 2014 – Ane Brun’s recent show at Jammin’ Java as well as the tour it’s a part of is a departure from what she is normally used to doing. On the other hand, it’s nothing that’s entirely foreign to her, either. The Norwegian born singer/songwriter has been performing for a long time ...

Communion Residency Tour at the Black Cat: The Weeks, Team Spirit, Avers

WASHINGTON, March 19, 2014 – When people showed up at the Black Cat backstage for the Communion Residency Tour, it’s unlikely they were there for some idealistic reason like supporting the tour. Many may not even have been aware this has been a monthly affair at the Black Cat as well as at several other ...

Review: Grace & Tony perform at Jammin’ Java

WASHINGTON, February 24, 2014 – When discussing the duo of Grace & Tony and their live performance at Jammin’ Java in print or on the web, it is absolutely vital to include the ampersand. Traditionally, the ampersand is generally accepted as indicating a closer collaboration than when just “and” is often employed in the title ...

Review: Welsh band Los Campesinos! at the 9:30 Club

WASHINGTON, February 21, 2014 – The one thing no one should ever forget when seeing Los Campesinos! – or just listening to them in general – is this: Los Campesinos! are just plain fun. Anyone standing in the crowd at the 9:30 Club who were familiar with Los Campesinos! understood this as a truism during ...

The Ocean Blue surfs into Jammin’ Java

WASHINGTON, February 05, 2014 – The crowds at Jammin’ Java have a consistent tendency to swing dramatically in the direction of whatever band is currently performing there. For whatever reason, the level of crossover-openness in this audience isn’t very high, making it relatively easy guess what era the band on stage is known for, based ...

French Horn Rebellion performs at LivingSocial’s 918 F Street space

WASHINGTON, February 03, 2014 – French Horn Rebellion, who recently performed here at the LivingSocial building at 918 F St. NW—consists of brothers Robert and Patrick Perlick-Molinari, so it’s hardly surprising that the two hold a strong belief in community. The brothers appear to be close. As a duo, they seem to have made it ...

Music review: Mazzy Star performs at the Fillmore

WASHINGTON, January 30, 2014 – The subtle lighting on the stage at the Fillmore in Silver Spring Maryland only slightly obscured Mazzy Star’s singer Hope Sandoval. Along with the stage arrangements, the evening’s look and feel provided Mazzy Star with a dark and brooding atmosphere, conjuring up images of coven rituals in their recent appearance ...

Margot MacDonald at the Black Cat

WASHINGTON, January 28, 2014 – When Margot MacDonald stepped onto the performance space in the Black Cat’s backstage area—the local stop on the record-release tour highlighting her new album “Canvas”—the contradictions that exist were present and just about bursting at the seams. Her appearance here was literally bursting with vibrant, youthful energy. Yet at the ...