Interview: Midge Ure (@ City Winery, 11/2/21)

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Midge Ure (Photo courtesy Erika Tooker)

Midge Ure, the legendary voice of new romantic outfit Ultravox, returns to the United States for a fresh solo tour this month. Taking time off his successful livestream series, Midge presents “Un-Zoomed And Face To Face” at City Winery DC on Tuesday, Nov. 2!

And speaking of Zoom, Parklife DC’s Mickey McCarter recently chatted with Midge via Zoom to get details on the tour and all of Midge’s other current creative endeavors.

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Live Review: Jungle @ The Anthem — 10/4/21

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Jungle perform at The Anthem on Oct. 4, 2021. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

The most remarkable thing about Josh Lloyd-Watson and Tom McFarland is that they seem like two very approachable and laidback — if more hip than most — guys who would be really cool to chat with over a few pints.

Their breezy demeanor, however, hides the fact that the two Brits are fine tunesmiths who have a keen ear for hooks and beats in their work as electronic duo Jungle. As evidence, Jungle pulled a host of those tunes from their three studio albums at The Anthem recently, spinning the crowded venue into dancefloor mania with their upbeat and funky music.

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Preview: Outtakes: Tales of a Rock-N-Roll Photographer @ Principle Gallery, 10/15 + 10/16/21

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Photos by Chester Simpson

It’s been my pleasure to know photographer Chester Simpson for roughly 23 years now, all the more so because he has colorful stories to share from his days in the ’70s and ’80s as a shutterbug for Rolling Stone, NME, Melody Maker, and other big music publications.

While by no means all he has photographed in his long and memorable career, Chester was at ground zero for the punk and new wave scenes in San Francisco after his art school days, and I love to hear about his encounters with Debbie Harry, Duran Duran, Nick Cave, Siouxsie Sioux, and a host of other favorite musicians of the day.

You can hear some of those tales too, as Chester hosts a solo exhibition of his photographs at Principle Gallery in Alexandria, Virginia, on Friday, Oct. 15, and Saturday, Oct. 16.

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Live Review: Bleachers @ The Anthem — 9/24/21

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Bleachers performs at The Anthem on Sept. 24, 2021. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

“There is no cynicism in live music,” declared Jack Antonoff, adding, “We fucking missed you.”

And a sold-out audience at The Anthem clearly missed Jack, embracing the sincere narratives of new songs by Bleachers from album Take the Sadness Out of Saturday Night in a recent life-affirming performance.

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Live Review: The Ocean Blue @ Union Stage — 9/5/21

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The Ocean Blue perform at Union Stage on Sept. 5, 2021. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

In a very well-received show at Union Stage recently, The Ocean Blue, the dreampop quartet originating from Hershey, Pennsylvania, favored their sophomore album Cerulean, choosing to showcase five of its songs.

In introducing one of those songs — “When Life Was Easy” — frontman David Schelzel reflected on how some songs take on a new meaning for the writers as they get older.

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Interview: Christian O’Mahony of Wentworth Gallery on Ric Ocasek and His Art

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Art by Ric Ocasek (Image courtesy of Wentworth Gallery)

Starting on Sept. 1, Wentworth Gallery, with locations in both Westfield Montgomery Mall in Maryland and Tysons Galleria in Virginia, began a new exhibition of the artwork of musician Ric Ocasek.

Famous as the frontman of influential new wave band The Cars, Ocasek took a turn as a painter later in his life. He appeared in person at the first displays of his artwork at the Wentworth Galleries in 2018. Sadly, Ric passed away soon after at his home in New York City in 2019.

Wentworth Gallery has brought Ric’s art back on display, and the galleries currently have much of his remaining collection for sale. Parklife DC’s Mickey McCarter chatted with Christian O’Mahony about Ric’s art and the exhibition.

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Live Review: Colin Hay @ The Birchmere — 8/17/21

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Colin Hay performs at The Birchmere on Aug. 17, 2021. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

Colin Hay was in lockdown at home in California, searching for ways to pass the time like the rest of us. He concluded, as perhaps many others did, “I Just Don’t Know What to Do With Myself.”

Thankfully, the quick-witted Scotsman immediately connected the thought to a hit song of that title, written by Burt Bacharach and covered by Dusty Springfield in 1964. It was a song Colin loved from his youth, and he scoured his memories of his father’s record store in the ’50s and ’60s for other inspirational tunes. Colin recorded and released 10 of them as a covers album

So it turns out that Colin did in fact know what to do with himself, which was abundantly evident in a wonderfully engrossing show by the drily humorous veteran in the first of two nights at The Birchmere recently.

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Live Review: Air Supply @ The Birchmere — 8/6/21

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Russell Hitchcock fronts Air Supply at The Birchmere on Aug. 6, 2021. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

Multi-platinum romantic rockers Air Supply delighted a sold-out crowd at The Birchmere recently, enchanting an audience at a much smaller venue than the core duo of Russell Hitchcock and Graham Russell have become accustomed to playing.

The gentlemen swashbucklers responded well to the intimate setting, dialing up the charm and churning out the hits as men and women alike sang along, laughing and crying, all the while transfixed by the veteran performers.

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Live Review: Too Free and Exotiq Int’l @ Black Cat — 7/16/21

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Gideon Jaguar performs with Exotiq Int’l at Black Cat on July 16, 2021. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

In a recent show at Black Cat, Sister Polygon Records flexed its indie dance muscles and revealed how it’s poised to keep our feet moving with the disco and funk of lablelmates Too Free and Exotiq Int’l respectively.

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Video Interview: Dear Daria (Debut Single: “Best Life”)

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Dear Daria (Photo art courtesy of the band)

DC indie music fans may well be familiar with the music of Maryjo Mattea, the effervescent local musician known for her love of The Beatles and wry lyrical observations on life and love. Over the pandemic, her solo act has grown into a band called Dear Daria, a power pop quartet that offers a catchy sonic mix of elements.

Parklife DC recently interviewed the band via Zoom about their origins and their pending debut album.

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