Mike Paarlberg leads of the arts section with a look at the National Symphony Orchestra’s new music director Christoph Eschenbach—-whose last gig in Philadelphia ended amid accusations that he couldn’t work well with musicians. Still, for an orchestra whose prestige ranks somewhere below Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, Eschenbach is a nice get for the NSO. But, Paarlberg reports, he may not have been its first choice. Read the article here.
Elsewhere, I pen an obituary for John Hansen, a longtime D.C. punk fixture who died last week. Andrew Noz talks to Wale-endorsed rapper Fat Trel about a song from his new mixtape. Geoffrey Himes reviews a new three-disc set from Chuck Brown, and says it’s kind of weird. Ryan Little reviews a new record by Daniel Higgs and Twig Harper, and says it’s really weird. Theater critic Chris Klimek also finds himself in varying states of confusion in his review of Factory 449’s The Saint Plays and GALA’s El caballero de Olmedo. Theater critic Trey Graham sits through all seven hours of The Great Game: Afghanistan at Harman Hall, and lives to say it’s so-so. Film critic Tricia Olszewski watches two flawed films with flawed romances, Jack Goes Boating and Never Let Me Go. And Eve Ottenberg praises a, ahem, clear-headed book about booze.