The Game of Thrones Live Experience @ Verizon Center

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Wednesday, March 1st. 7:59 pm. More than five thousand giddy Game of Thrones fans sit in the Verizon Center, eagerly awaiting the most epic showing of the HBO hit-series they will ever experience. One minute later, at 8 pm on the dot, hissing fog emanates from the center stage and through the thick of it, a tell-tale, chilling shape begins to emerge, welcomed by a thunder of cheering only five thousand fanatic Game of Thrones addicts could muster. It is the Iron Throne of Westeros. And with that, more than 65 musicians begin to play the now infamous main title. Thus commences the Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience.

Photo by Anour Esa

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Day for Night Festival 2016

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Day for Night, Houston’s unique celebration of counter culture’s approach to art and music, revealed its latest creations in December. Since 2009, Day For Night organizers have explored integrative experiences with diverse and well researched line-ups of truly innovative music and visual arts, and this year was the most impressive to date. With artists including Aphex Twin, RZA from the Wu-tang Clan, and the iconic director of Halloween, John Carpenter, Day For Night created an environment full of legends. Check out photos from the festival below. Don’t miss your chance to get the best priced tickets for next year with blind presale passes out now!

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Marcel Khalife @ Lincoln Theatre

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Written by MOJIB GHAZNAWI and edited by ANOUR ESA

Marcel Khalife is one of the most prolific Arab singers, composers, and oud (Arab 10-stringed lute) performers. Given his legacy of social critique and a longing for peace, Marcel is often regarded as the Bob Dylan of the Arab world. Despite this comparison, the two singer-songwriter legends could not have had more different upbringings. While Bob Dylan debuted on the stages of his high school talent shows, Marcel Khalife’s first public performance was amid the rubble of bombed-out buildings in Beirut during Lebanon’s civil war.

On December 8th, hundreds from the DMV packed into the Lincoln Theatre to see the critically acclaimed Lebanese musician, Marcel Khalife perform alongside his two sons, Bachar and Rami Khalife. Just like Khalife’s music and lyrics (poems written by the late Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish), this concert was politically charged. Presented by the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), the concert was framed as a chance for the “Arab community to take back their culture.” The performance was seen as a tool to fight discrimination, racism and intolerance, giving the Arab community a chance to define themselves rather than Hollywood or the media forcing that definition. This message is especially important for the world that we live in today, with’s word of the year being “xenophobia.”

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Andy Shauf @ DC9

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In a packed room on Monday night, Andy Shauf brought The Party and all the characters from his 2016 release to DC9.

Chris Cohen and his band opened things up with some jazzy melodies. Psychedelic guitar riffs intermingled with bass. A keyboard phrase, aptly substituting for a horn or saxophone in the piece, ran through a persistent minor key while the former Deerhoof band member’s lo-fi guitar chords brought “Drink from a Silver Cup” together in a slow swing piece with dramatic drum fills. Continue reading “Andy Shauf @ DC9”

The Paper Kites @ U Street Music Hall

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This past Thursday, The Paper Kites, an indie-folk-rock quintet hailing from Melbourne, Australia, made their DC debut, performing at U Street Music Hall. The band is on their second North American tour of 2016, this time hitting many of the big cities on the east coast of the US and Canada. The band released their latest album, twelvefour, just over a year ago, and has been touring since, with a few breathers in between.

The band, which has risen in popularity in the US in recent years, managed to almost fill the entirety of U Street Music Hall with eager and awaiting fans. The band delivered its lulling and sweet tunes to a delighted audience, playing with confidence and comfort in the intimate venue. Vocalist Sam Bentley kept the audience laughing in between songs with an impressive array of dry humor and fun anecdotes.

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