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 )
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