Around Town: SAVOR: An American Craft Beer & Food Experience @ The Anthem — 6/24/22

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SAVOR welcomed 110 independent craft breweries to The Anthem in DC on June 24.

SAVOR this year was full of surprises. Yes, it was still the preeminent gathering of craft brewers serving up beers in a large conference-style format. But this year, SAVOR was held at The Anthem, DC’s 6,000-person music venue, and it decidedly felt more like a nightclub event and less like a curated exhibit.

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Live Review: Glove @ Songbyrd Music House — 6/7/22


Glove performs at Songbyrd on June 7, 2022. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

Florida new wavers Glove were a total treat for the senses at Songbyrd Music House recently. The quartet, opening for A Place to Bury Strangers, shared a fully realized sound and vision, to the satisfaction of the bustling audience that had gathered to see them as much as the headliner.

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Live Review: Air Supply @ MGM National Harbor — 6/3/22


Graham Russell performs in Air Supply at MGM National Harbor on June 3, 2022. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

I must start this review with a special appreciation for guitarist Graham Russell of Air Supply.

During Air Supply concerts, such as a recent sold-out appearance at MGM National Harbor, Graham holds centerstage while the rest of the band takes a break in the middle of the show, and he recites a poem. This time, he recited “Am I” in a clear but hushed stage whisper. It was a wonderfully theatric moment, and the audience held its collective breath as he dramatically passed through the poem of his own composition.

Graham then presented a tongue-in-cheek ode to “The Perfect Lover,” which is in fact his guitar, and sang a song of that name. The covid-era composition, recorded by Graham and some bandmates as G and the Cool Cucumbers, flowed smoothly throughout the auditorium.

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Live Review: Sleaford Mods @ Black Cat — 5/21/22

Sleaford Mods dance in the dark at Black Cat on May 21, 2022. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

When you first ever see Sleaford Mods, you might not know exactly what to make of them. Are they aging hipsters? Roadies who found their way on stage? A few pissed off guys who want to dance?

It turns out that the duo — Jason Williamson and Andrew Fearn — are serious artists who make compelling music. They recently filled Black Cat in DC with a lengthy set of about 23 songs, presenting an engrossing act that makes you reconsider what exactly constitutes a concert.

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Live Review: The Church @ Cruel World 2022 — 5/14/22

Steve Kilbey fronts The Church at Cruel World 2022 on May 14, 2022. (Photo by Nacho DelaGarza)

The inaugural Cruel World Festival was undoubtedly a smash. Fifty thousand people filed into Brookside at the Rose Bowl earlier this month to see the most impressive gathering of new wave and post-punk bands in decades thanks to a festival produced by Goldenvoice.

There are certain songs you wanted to hear and certain bands you wanted to see represented at such a thing of course. You would want to hear “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” by Bauhaus, “Whip It” by Devo, and for my money surely “Under the Milky Way” by The Church.

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Live Review: 5 Great Performances @ Cruel World 2022 — 5/14/22

DEVO steals the show at the inaugural Cruel World Festival on May 14, 2022. (Photo courtesy Cruel World)

Last weekend, California mega-festival organizer Goldenvoice finally fulfilled its pandemic-delayed vision of presenting a gala event consisting solely of alternative new wave and post-punk bands of the ’70s and ’80s coupled with younger bands who have adapted a similar sound in the 2010s and 2020s.

And so it was that an estimated 50,000 people (the capped capacity of the park) streamed into Brookside at the Rose Bowl for the first day of the newly minted, annual Cruel World Festival on Saturday, May 14.

Here is a recap of five of the best acts to play that day.

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Live Review: Jeff Goldblum & The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra @ Strathmore — 5/6/22

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Jeff Goldblum addresses the audience at the Strathmore Music Center on May 6, 2022. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

Wonderfully affable actor Jeff Goldblum could do just about anything and people would undoubtedly find it compelling. As it so happens, Jeff is a lifelong lover of playing piano, and so some years ago, he got together with a very good jazz collective and started performing around Hollywood as Jeff Goldblum & The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra.

Said orchestra has now released two studio albums, The Capitol Studios Sessions and I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This, consisting of jazz standards often given fresh arrangements by the band. The act has become a bit more ambitious, as warrants its tremendous talent, and it has hit the road recently with a stop at the Strathmore Music Center.

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Live Review: The Regrettes @ Lincoln Theatre — 5/3/22

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Lydia Night fronts The Regrettes at the Lincoln Theatre in DC on May 3, 2022. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

The stage at DC’s Lincoln Theatre suited The Regrettes frontwoman Lydia Night just fine. She bounded across it and made herself at home, jumping up and down in her Converse All Star Chuck Taylors in a blur of guitar-driven motion.

Lydia’s bandmates were equally happy and cozy on stage — if not quite as frenetic — marking an early date on their US tour in support of Further Joy, The Regrettes’ third full-length studio album, released via Warner about a month ago.

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Live Review: Daryl Hall w/ Todd Rundgren @ MGM National Harbor — 4/16/22

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Daryl Hall performs at The Theater at MGM National Harbor on April 16, 2022. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

Daryl Hall finished a rousing performance of his solo hit “Dreamtime.” And from the center of the stage, he looked to his monitors to leap into his second number during his recent DC-area concert performance.

But the monitors were out, and they stayed out a long minute before Daryl took matters into his own hands. He moved slightly to stage left, where a keyboard sat alone, monitors fully functional, and he went off-script for a soulful delivery of “Rich Girl” by Daryl Hall and John Oates.

The bustling Theatre at MGM National Harbor went wild.

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Interview: Andy McCluskey of Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (@ Lincoln Theatre, 4/26/22)

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Andy McCluskey (right) with fellow OMD co-founder Paul Humphreys (Photo courtesy Tell All Your Friends PR)

English new wavers Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, aka OMD, celebrated the 40th anniversary of their self-titled debut album in 2020. Of course, they weren’t able to tour a career retrospective at that time due to pandemic lockdowns. But they are back again now to tour North America in what promises to be a thrilling show.

Celebrating hits across their career, OMD performs at the Lincoln Theatre in Washington, DC, on Tuesday, April 26, the fourth stop on what promises to be a memorable greatest hits tour. Andy McCluskey (vocals, bass), Paul Humphreys (keyboards, vocals), Martin Cooper (keyboards, saxphone, etc.), and Stuart Kershaw (drums) promise a big production — the sort of which they usually only tour in Europe. Also on display naturally will be the band’s rare genius — their combination of thoughtful and intellectual music that also truly inspires you to dance the night away.

Parklife DC’s Mickey McCarter recently chatted with OMD frontman Andy McCluskey about 40 years of OMD, his working relationship with his co-writer Paul, and his personal art collection. Oh, and Andy shared some info about a new album as well!

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