My Favorite Albums: 2019 Records for the Lockdown by Chris

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Duff McKagan (second from left) and Shooter Jennings (center) with their band (Photo courtesy BWR)

It’s difficult being stuck inside, unable to interact with others face to face. We here at Parklife DC are feeling that along with everyone else. I am regularly looking at my calendar, trying to guess when I’ll be able to get back in a club or arena and do what I love, photograph concerts.

I certainly don’t have the answer to when we’ll all be back to our normal lives, but one thing that is helping me get through this time is listening to music. We are fortunate that so much great music is still being created. Even in these trying times, bands and artists are finding ways to entertain us with live streams and basic recordings from their homes.

But it can be difficult to keep track of who will be performing and when. And if you’re like me, you may just want to throw on an album and let it play. So I have put together a list of some of my favorite albums that came out in 2019.

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Interview: Marc Labelle of Dirty Honey

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Dirty Honey performs at MECU Pavilion on Sept. 22, 2019. (Photo by Chris Smyth)

Los Angeles-based rock and roll band Dirty Honey are beating the odds. As an unsigned band, Dirty Honey has overcome the obstacles that come with not having a major label in their corner, and the band saw their debut single, “When I’m Gone,” become a #1 US rock radio hit in late 2019.

Dirty Honey was supposed to be in Australia right now recording their new album, but the travel restrictions caused by the coronavirus have stuck the band in Los Angeles.

Lead singer Marc Labelle recently spoke with Parklife DC’s Chris Smyth about what it’s like to write and record in this time of coronavirus, the band’s relationship with Slash and Myles Kennedy, their upcoming European tour with Alter Bridge, and when we may see Dirty Honey make their first stop in Washington, DC.

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Livestream Preview: Metallica Mondays @ YouTube, 3/30/20

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Metallica (Photo by Herring & Herring)

With much of the world practicing social distancing and self quarantine, musicians are stepping up to help fill the time that many of us suddenly have on our hands. Some are jumping on Instagram or Facebook live and playing to their fans from the comfort of their living room. Others are diving into their archives and looking back on their past performances.

Thrash metal icons Metallica have joined in to help the cause with Metallica Mondays, the next edition of which appears on YouTube on Monday, March 30.

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Interview: John Cooper of Skillet @ The Fillmore Silver Spring — 3/8/20

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John Cooper fronts Skillet at The Fillmore Silver Spring on March 8, 2020. (Photo by Chris Smyth)

After rocking the city of Baltimore in the fall of 2019, Skillet returned to the area recently by playing to a jam-packed crowd at The Fillmore Silver Spring.

Mixing in hit songs “Feel Invincible,” “Hero,” and “Monster,” along with five tracks — “You Ain’t Ready,” “Legendary,” “Victorious,” “Save Me,” and “Anchor” — off their 2019 Album, Victorious, Skillet balanced a good mix of new and old music to keep the fans cheering throughout the show.

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Live Review: Art Alexakis @ City Winery — 1/10/20

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Art Alexakis performs at City Winery in DC on Jan. 10, 2020. (Photo by Chris Smyth)

“Don’t you feel old being at a dinner theater and listening to ’90s rock?” the affable Art Alexakis quipped during his recent performance at City Winery DC. In the small, quiet venue, Art appeared comfortable on stage all by himself, regularly joking and telling stories to the fans in attendance.

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Best of the Year: Top 10 Photos of 2019 by Chris

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Judas Priest made the list of Chris Smyth’s Top 10 photos of the Year (but not this particular one). (Photo by Chris Smyth)

Editor’s Note: This year, we asked our bloggers to name their Top 10 shows of 2019 or choose their Top 10 photos of the year. We will run them over the course of mid-December as our Best of the Year posts.

It is an odd feeling when you love and hate something simultaneously. The emotions don’t make sense, yet it’s fully real. That is how I feel each time I am tasked with creating this year-end list. I love looking through my old photographs and remembering each concert that I was fortunate enough to attend, and reliving each show through the images that I was able to capture along the way.

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Snapshots: Killing Joke @ Capital One Arena — 11/25/19

Killing Joke 7Killing Joke performs at Capital One Arena on Nov. 25, 2019. (Photo by Chris Smyth)

Tool burned through DC recently to close the band’s Fear Inoculum Tour in spectacular fashion, and to our surprise the prog rockers brought along perhaps the best possible opening act — English post-punks Killing Joke.

The gothic quartet even shared a bow with Tool at the end of the stage. Given that this was quite a combination, Chris Smyth took some photos of Killing Joke performing at Capital One Arena to open Tool recently.

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