Interview: John Notto and Justin Smolian of Dirty Honey (New Album: Dirty Honey)

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After garnering national acclaim off of their 2019 EP, hard rock band Dirty Honey are finally set to release their first full-length album on April 23. Originally scheduled to record the album in Australia in the spring of 2020, Dirty Honey were forced to put their plans on hold after the travel restrictions were implemented due to Covid-19.

In a conversation with Parklife DC’s Chris Smyth, Dirty Honey guitarist John Notto and bassist Justin Smolian explained how the forced downtime actually helped them become a better band, and in turn allowed them to create a better record. The pair spoke about the entire preproduction and recording process, which famous musician was recording in the studio beside them, and their plans for potential upcoming tours.

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Interview: Jed Elliott of The Struts (New Album: Strange Days)

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Jed Elliott (left) with The Struts (Photo by Beth Saravo)

On Oct. 16, The Struts released the band’s third album, Strange Days. Managing to record a new album in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic proved difficult. But after a round of tests to ensure everyone’s health and safety, the band moved in together and recorded the entire album from a home-studio over the course of just 10 days. Recording in a way they hadn’t before, during a time unlike any other, The Struts managed to capture the emotions of this moment in history, while balancing it with the fun escapism that many seek through their music.

With the addition of multiple major artists featured throughout the album, and even a cover of a Kiss deep-cut, The Struts pulled off an album that is true to their style, while simultaneously advancing their sound to levels not heard before.

Soon after the album’s release, The Struts bassist Jed Elliott spoke with Parklife DC’s Chris Smyth about all things Strange Days and how the band has been keeping busy during the pandemic.

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Livestream Preview: Sully and Friends Live @ YouTube, 8/6/20

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Godsmack performs at Jiffy Lube Live on Aug. 19, 2018. (Photo by Chris Smyth)

Sully Erna of Godsmack is bringing together many of his rock and roll friends for a marathon fundraiser to benefit The Scars Foundation, which he founded. The benefit on Thursday, Aug. 6 will stream on Sully’s Youtube Channel, and on the The Scars Foundation’s Facebook Page.

In addition to special sets from Godsmack, and Sully solo, there will be performances by Brent Smith and Zach Myers of Shinedown, Papa Roach, Clint Lowery of Sevendust, Aaron Lewis of Staind, Nuno Bettencourt, and Mike Mushok and Adam Gontier of Saint Asonia.

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Livestream Preview: Rock for Relief @ RockForRelief.Net, 7/3/20

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Lzzy Hale fronts Halestorm at the UMBC Event Center in Baltimore, Maryland, on July 31, 2018. (Photo by Chris Smyth)

A traditional 4th of July holiday weekend is filled with food, fireworks, and music. And even though much of the country is still shut down due to the pandemic, music will still play a large part in the celebrations.

This year, many of rock’s top artists are coming together on Friday, July 3, to help kick off the holiday weekend with Rock for Relief, a virtual benefit to help raise money and awareness for Feeding America. Presented by United Stations Media Network and Storic Media Podcast Network, the online show is hosted by Lou Brutus and Riki Rachtman, with interviews conducted by Alice Cooper and guitar great Joe Satriani. The show premiers at 8pm ET, and replays at 11pm ET, on Rock for Relief’s website.

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Preview: A Capitol Fourth @ PBS, 7/4/20

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July 4th fireworks in DC in 2008 (Photo courtesy The Library of Congress)

On Saturday night, a 4th of July tradition continues, as A Capitol Fourth will take place for its 40th anniversary, starting at 8pm ET on PBS.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the traditional live A Capitol Fourth will not be held on the West Lawn of the US Capitol. To ensure the health and safety of everyone involved, this year’s performances were pre-taped across the country without a live audience.

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Interview: Vinny Appice (of Black Sabbath, Dio, and Last in Line)

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Vinny Appice (Photo courtesy John Lappen Enterprises)

Saturday, May 16, marked the 10th anniversary of the death of legendary singer Ronnie James Dio from cancer. Tributes poured out across the internet from his contemporaries like Rob Halford and artists he influenced such as Lzzy Hale and Scott Ian to his former bandmates in Black Sabbath.

Vinny Appice, the drummer for Ronnie James Dio in both Black Sabbath and Dio, along with his older brother Carmine, took their tribute a step further and released “Monsters & Heroes,” a tribute video honoring their departed band mate and friend.

Earlier this week, Vinny Appice spoke with Parklife DC’s Chris Smyth about why the brothers decided to make the tribute video and his memories of Dio.

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Stream Preview: PlayOn Fest, 4/24-4/26/20

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Gary Clark Jr. performs at The Anthem on March 20, 2019. (Photo by Christopher Smyth)

In the new era of at home performances and live streams with lower production, Warner Music Group has decided to go the opposite direction, with PlayOn Fest, a first-of-its-kind, virtual music festival, full of high-quality broadcasts of past performances from some of music’s biggest acts, including Ed Sheeran, Coldplay, Cardi B., Weezer, Flaming Lips, Andra Day, Janelle Monae, Bruno Mars, Lizzo, Gary Clark Jr., Brandi Carlile, Panic! at the Disco, Green Day, Slipknot, and many more.

Watch PlayOn Fest streamed on the Songkick YouTube channel for three days beginning at noon on Friday, April 24.

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Livestream Preview: David Ellefson’s Oh Say Can You Stream @ Facebook Live, 4/11/20

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Megadeth (Photo courtesy 5B Artist Management)

Many of hard rock and heavy metal’s top musicians are coming together online to do a little good on Saturday, April 11, via Facebook Live.

Headed up by Megadeth bassist, David Ellefson, the livestream event, titled “Oh Say Can You Stream,” is an online fundraiser to help raise money for Ellefson’s School’s Out initiative which provides online lessons, instruments, and gear to kids and aspiring musicians during quarantine, and other COVID-19 relief charities.

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Stream Preview: Knotfest Online @ Knotfest.com, 4/10/20

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Knotfest (Photo courtesy Cosa Nostra PR)

The heavy metal festival Knotfest has taken on many forms. Created by Slipknot in 2012, Knotfest originated as a destination festival taking place over the course of a few days. Later iterations of the festival took it to various countries around the world, and even teamed up with Ozzfest along the way.

With the entire globe in social isolation, Knotfest has gone online every Friday, including Friday, April 10, via Knotfest.com.

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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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