Noise An Arts Blog
Q&A: Sasheer Zamata talks Lucille Ball, competitiveness on 'SNL,' and more

"Saturday Night Live" featured player Sasheer Zamata is a founding member of the University of Virginia's improv troupe, with post-grad work performing in the Upright Citizens Brigade in New York. She has also starred in the web series "Pursuit of Sexiness" and appeared in sketches on television's critically acclaimed "Totally Biased With W. Kamau Bell" and "Inside Amy Schumer." We spoke with Zamata...

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Jason Isbell outshines My Morning Jacket with powerful Merriweather set

Jason Isbell came to the Merriweather Post Pavilion Sunday evening just nine days after releasing one of the year's best albums, "Something More Than Free." In Howard County, he performed five of the record's 11 tracks, including the quieter songs, always a hard sell to a crowd of beer-drinking guys eager to hear the headlining act, My Morning Jacket.

But Isbell pulled it off. He lay down his Goldtop...

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Future, America's greatest living rock star, lights up Pier Six

A packed Pier Six Pavilion—including the usual freeloading onlookers on neighboring piers and boats—came out last Saturday to see America's greatest living rock star. His name: Nayvadius Cash, better known as Atlanta rapper Future.

Future's melodic trap-rap has little in common with guitar-based rock music, of course. And yet, as guitar music in 2015 moves ever more down crassly commercial, intimately...

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Sam Smith shows effortless talent, tasteful restraint at Merriweather show

When you have a voice as spectacular as Sam Smith's—an instrument that can glide across multiple octaves without a break or apparent effort—the temptation to show off must be tremendous. The most impressive aspect of Smith's terrific show at the Merriweather Post Pavilion Friday night was how he resisted that impulse at nearly every turn.

Prowling the stage with a buttoned-up black shirt, minimalist...

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'Square which becomes blobby': A close read of the Jelly Gummies Tumblr

I love to look at art that is hung on walls, partly for the strange joy of making security guards nervous as I get my face as close as possible to the art, taking in all of the details. And I'm still disappointed that we're usually not allowed to touch the work, because touch is such an intrinsic part of human experience. I'm not even really talking about human contact, though that's part of it too,...

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Susan Alcorn brings affection, fullness to her reinterpretation of Astor Piazzolla's tango music

"I've been working on this album in one way or another," Susan Alcorn told the overflow crowd for her CD release party at Normal's Wednesday night, "ever since I saw Astor Piazzolla in Houston in 1987."

The great, late Argentine tango master had that effect on people. Much as Duke Ellington did with jazz, Piazzolla took a barroom music and gave it an art-music depth without ever sacrificing its essential...

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