BTS = Back to School, right? Nope. Built to Spill, bizitches. That’s the visceral reaction I have (though entirely internally) whenever I see these three simple letters together. You see, while I now pump Kidz Bop jams out my car speakers and subscribe to Real Simple over CMJ, I used to have a decent music sense (says moi). Indie rock shows & distortion pedals used to be a part of my regular ear candy. But then, kids + life + moving out of NYC + DC = what happened?
Thankfully, I recently took off my lazy blinders and opened my eyes to the live music scene we have going on right here, right now along Route One in Prince George’s County. From porchfests to pop-ups to bricks & mortar, there are plenty of options if you so choose to seek. And seek I will. I’ll be featuring many of them right here. Kicking it off with this post about a great live show I caught at the The Brentwood Arts Exchange‘s Listening Room.
The Brentwood Arts Exchange (BAE!) wears many hats: It’s a gallery + studio space + craft store + art classes + camp space + live music venue. I had observed the BAE in action in all but the music side of things, so when I was feeling the itch for a show but didn’t want to traipse into DC, I took a look at their lineup and was intrigued by the loop pedal-ing ways of upcoming performer Be Steadwell.
Tickets purchased, we pregamed it at Mt. Rainier’s Mediterranean Cafe and then walked to BAE a little ahead of opening as we wanted to get good seats for this sold out show. After doing so, we moseyed around and checked out some of the artwork on exhibit as well as the goods at the fine craft store (think jewelry, ceramics, scarves, etc).
|“Sound Board” by Melissa Burley|
Lucky for us, there was a lovely spread of fingerfoods and tasty adult beverages to enjoy before and during the show. This was a high-five type of bonus as I was not expecting anything of the sort! 🙂
We took our seats and were treated to the queer pop sounds in Be Steadwell & her 8 person crew in an intimate and fabulously local setting.
|Pre-show, seats beginning to fill up.|
Throughout the show, the standing-room only crowd sang along, responded to Steadwell’s calls and nodded along with chuckled along when the chorus proclaimed “Netflix is f*cking up my sex life”! True, true. In sage, witch 2, Steadwell got the audience going with her “Powerful women cast dangerous spells” refrain. Many nods / fist bumps were seen. 😆
In addition to sharing her latest album with us, Steadwell’s rounded out the night with seriously well-received covers of Use Somebody (Kings of Leon) and Creep (Radiohead). Here’s a snippet:
The acoustics were great and deftly handled by Mt. Rainier’s own Tom Liddle. Tom also does the programming for the shows – so he’s responsible for the fab lineups! (Tom’s also a musician – check out his band – Run Come See.) And PG Park’s & Rec’s Countywide Arts Coordinator, Phil Davis, is always brainstorming ways to continue to bring more arts (in every sense of the word) to our fabulous county. Thank you, guys!
|Tom doing his sound-y thang. Phil doing everything else!|
Another bonus was the chance to chat with the performers after the show. No big stage barriers keeping you/me/us from hanging with the musicians whose tunes we really dig.
If you’re a fan of live music (or used to be and now aspire to be one again!), check out this season’s performances at the Brentwood Arts Exchange.