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Alejandro Escovedo Benefit At Iota

Arlington, VA

I attended the benefit for Alejandro Escovedo at Iota Club and Cafe in Arlington, VA yesterday afternoon… a wonderful event for a good cause, and great fun hanging out at Iota in the afternoon. Alejandro, after a show in Phoenix on April 26, 2003, collapsed, and was hospitalized due to complications from Hepatitis C. A trust, the Alejandro Fund was established to handle donations on his behalf, and venues around the country have hosted benefit concerts.

A really great line-up of performers was on hand, including Bill Kirchen, Last Train Home, Karl Straub, Jumpin’ Jupiter, Little Pink, Brandon Butler of Canyon, Lee Wilhoit, June Star, Scott McKnight & Naughty Pine and a reunion of the Graverobbers. I walked in just after (former band mate) Lee Wilhoit performed, apparently with a stellar combo which included Rob LeBourdais on drums, Phoebus Spiliotopoulos, Tim Bracken… damn! Would have loved to have seen that. Apparently they opened with a T. Rex cover…

Last Train Home’s Eric Brace was emcee for the afternoon, seemed like he was having a blast. I saw excellent three and four song sets by Karl Straub, Little Pink, and Naughty Pine. Eric invited me up to play two songs (and lent me his beautiful Gibson acoustic)… I did Tim Finn’s Good Together and Love Comes Down from This Time… and thank you Tom Kane for the guitar pick…

More great sets by Last Train Home, Bill Kirchen, the Graverobbers… and some one-of-a-kind jam sessions with some unlikely stage mates… I think I saw Eric at one point involved in a raucous Iggy Pop cover. A special day.

Categories
Shows

Alejandro Escovedo Benefit

Iota Club and Cafe
2832 Wilson Blvd
Arlington, VA  22201
(703) 522-8340
(solo acoustic) w/ Bill Kirchen, Last Train Home, Karl Straub, Jumpin’ Jupiter, Little Pink, Brandon Butler of Canyon, Lee Wilhoit, June Star, Scott McKnight & Naughty Pine, The Graverobbers

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Press

Tommy Keene’s Pop With Fizz, at Iota – Wash. Post

The Washington Post
SEP 8th, 2003
Style Section C.03

There’s a certain melancholy to most power-pop, reflecting a bittersweet memory of the days when jangling electric guitars ruled the Top 40, and few power-poppers are more wistful than Tommy Keene. That’s on his recordings, though. In concert, the Bethesda-bred Californian banishes regret with crashing guitar chords. Even such pensive tunes as “Places That Are Gone” and “Long Time Missing” — both of which the singer-guitarist and his trio played Saturday night at Iota — become celebrations…

…opening the show was Mike Shupp, a veteran local power-popper who still lives in the area. Aside from a slight rasp in his voice, the singer-guitarist didn’t deviate significantly from the sound of his recordings. That made his performance less dynamic than Keene’s, but it was still a pleasure to hear Shupp play his tuneful songs, the best of which should air regularly on the phantom Top 40 in every power-pop fan’s mind.

— Mark Jenkins
( September 8th, 2003 )
Copyright © 2003 The Washington Post All rights reserved

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Photos

[Photo] Iota Club and Cafe, 9/6/03

Mike Shupp at IOTA Iota Club and Cafe, 9/6/03 In Arlington, VA, opening for Tommy Keene (Photo: Kelly Kilga)
Mike Shupp at IOTA Iota Club and Cafe, 9/6/03 In Arlington, VA, opening for Tommy Keene (Photo: Kelly Kilga)
Categories
Shows

Iota Club and Cafe

Opening for Tommy Keene at Iota

Iota Club and Cafe
2832 Wilson Blvd
Arlington, VA 22201-3806
(703) 522-8340
opening for Tommy Keene

Our good friend Tom Kane fills in on bass.

Categories
Press

The Washington Post – ‘The Key’ To Success

Nightwatch
9:30 Club Pays Tribute to Image-Maker

By Eric Brace
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, February 2, 2001; Page WE06

WHEN the 9:30 club opened at 930 F St. NW on May 8, 1980, fliers announcing the event signaled the club’s eclectic and artistic side. They were designed by a young artist named Mark Holmes, and for the four years that he created posters, ads and monthly…

…‘THE KEY’ TO SUCCESS

What a great triple bill at IOTA on Saturday! Mike Shupp, Mark Helm and Scott McKnight. Each was in a prominent Washington band in the mid- to late ’80s (though none was the frontman). Each has been working solo for several years. Each has released an excellent new CD.

McKnight (who sometimes performs in my band) was in the Neighbors, Helm (then known as Mark Whiteis-Helm) was in Radio Blue and Mike Shupp was in Big Bang Theory, the only band of the three to have been signed to a major label (MCA), a deal that sadly went south soon after it was made.

Let’s check in with Shupp, whose next gig after Saturday is Feb. 17 at the Millennium Music Conference in Harrisonburg, Pa., where he hopes to grab some record executive’s ear and get a well-deserved record contract.

His release, “The Key,” is the second CD he’s put out under his name, and it’s as fine a slice of melodic rock and power-pop as I’ve heard recently. “It’s really just me and my drummer, Chris Zogby,” Shupp says. “He and I went to record with [former Washingtonian] Jeff Murphy at his studio in Zion, Ill., last year, and we did the whole thing there. I did the bass and all the guitars and vocals. We got to work really quickly like that, which was good, considering the tight budget I was on.”

This McLean boy played with Big Bang Theory from 1988 to 1992, then formed the bands Greenhouse and Nickel before deciding that his name alone said all that needed to be said. His first CD, 1997’s “October Sun,” was one of my favorites that year, and he promises the next one won’t be as long coming as “The Key” was. “I’ve already got an album’s worth of new stuff,” Shupp says, “and I want to start working on it sometime this summer.”

Meanwhile, he’s hired radio and media promoters to get the word out on “The Key,” and he’ll be playing around as much as possible with Zogby and current band mates guitarist Lee Wilhoit (who happens to be my housemate) and bassist Tony Flagg.

• To hear a free Sound Bite from “The Key,” call Post-Haste at 202/334-9000 and press 8114. (Prince William residents, call 690-4110.)

— Eric Brace
( February 2nd, 2001 )
Copyright © 2001 The Washington Post All rights reserved