The Black Cat (Photo by Mickey McCarter)
The Black Cat is regarded as home to DC’s punk music scene. It hosts the likes of Discord bands like Hammered Hulls and traveling skate punk bands like FIDLAR, for sure, but there’s much more to the Black Cat.
With its 700-person capacity, the Black Cat is the touring home to indie rockers of all stripes, whether climbing their way up the charts or legacy bands that have won a consistent and loyal following.
Duran Duran performs at The Fillmore New Orleans on Feb. 19, 2019. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)
Editor’s Note: Parklife DC asked its contributors to write essays about their favorite bands. These essays appear in an occasional series, My Favorite Artist, and provide our readers with insights into our bloggers, their motivations, and their approach to covering concerts.
To my ear, music is at its best when it motivates and inspires. Popular music provides a forum for catharsis, surely, but I am most excited when I hear something that stirs my soul, lifts my head, and moves my feet.
Cue Duran Duran.
Billy Idol performs at the Pearl Theater at Palms Casino Resort on March 13, 2020. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)
Billy Idol’s dad was a helluva salesman. He worked hard all of his life, and he never really seemed to have time for Billy’s music as his son shot up the charts in the early ’80s.
In 2014, Billy was working on Kings & Queens of the Underground, his eighth studio album, and he took a mix over to his parents to get their feedback. To Billy’s delight, his dad was not only very interested in the album, but he liked the songs quite well.
Soon after, Billy’s dad passed away at the age of 90. In his bed at the time, he was listening to Billy’s “Ghosts in My Guitar,” a song that Billy performed with considerable emotion at the Pearl Theatre at Palms Resort Casino recently.
DC Mayor Muriel Bowser at the DC Funk Parade on May 12, 2018. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)
Yesterday, Parklife DC speculated under what circumstances some DC music venues might remain open in the face of the coronavirus threat. Under an emergency order clarified on Sunday, Mayor Muriel Bowser allowed music venues, such as Songbyrd Music House for example, with a tavern or restaurant license to remain open while closing those categorized as nightclubs or multipurpose facilities.
Ultimately, Songbyrd decided it was impractical to remain open under the circumstances, and the venue announced it would close its doors all the same.
Yesterday at 4pm, Mayor Bowser made our hair-splitting assessment moot by ordering the closure of all restaurants and taverns in addition to the previously closed nightclubs and multipurpose facilities in order to staunch the spread of coronavirus.
Read Mayor’s Order 2020-048: Prohibition on Mass Gatherings During Public Health Emergency – Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Parklife will continue to update our readers on the status of music venues and concerts in the DC metro area.
Music gear on DC9’s stage (Photo by Jon)
Prior the declaration of a national emergency on March 13, DC’s IMP concert venues, including 9:30 Club and The Anthem, declared they would voluntarily close down through March 31 as part of precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
But a clarified order issued by DC’s mayor on Sunday shut both venues indefinitely all the same.
IMP reacted to a call from DC Mayor Muriel Bowser to cancel all gatherings of 1,000 or more people for the month of March by canceling all concerts at 9:30 Club, The Anthem, and Lincoln Theatre, as well as its bookings at U Street Music Hall, until April 1.
The promoter made the cancellations as part of the city’s efforts to contain the coronavirus.
Bonnie “Prince” Billy (Photo courtesy The Billions Corporation)
Will Oldham, aka Bonnie “Prince” Billy, released I Made a Place, his latest studio album, last November via Drag City. He made the album with his wife while they were artists in residence in Hawaii, and the results are engrossing but also amazingly tranquil.
Bonnie “Prince” Billy performs with Jonathan Richman at the Lincoln Theatre on Saturday, March 7. Prior to the show, Parklife DC’s Mickey McCarter chatted with Will about making the record and touring with Jonathan.
Dan Boeckner sings in the dark at 9:30 Club on Feb. 22, 2020. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)
Canadian power poppers Wolf Parade recently brought a collaborative and innovative spirit to wondrously fresh music in an early show at 9:30 Club.
While new songs from Thin Mind, the band’s fifth studio album (released last month), were well received, the audience reserved its warmest reaction for a few selections from second studio record At Mount Zoomer.
Dennis Lyxzén fronts Refused at 9:30 Club on Feb. 21, 2020. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)
Until Friday, I never saw Refused, the Swedish hardcore punks. And I might never still have if a fellow blogger hadn’t missed the show due to a conflict.
I picked up the show at 9:30 Club on Feb. 21, and I was struck by the nuances of a band that I confess is a bit outside my wheelhouse. But what made the show for me was the dancing of frontman Dennis Lyxzén.
Bat for Lashes performs at Sixth & I on Feb. 18, 2020. (Photo by Nalinee Darmrong)
When Natasha Khan moved to Los Angeles not long ago, she quickly made arrangements to travel north to Santa Cruz to see The Trestle Bridge made famous by The Lost Boys movie, a favorite film. She then began reflecting on an artistic endeavor around a group of Lost Girls, and thus was born the concept for the latest album by Bat for Lashes.
Natasha reflected on the inspiration in concert at Sixth & I recently, where she presented half a dozen songs from the album along with several from her previous four records and covers of several artists who “made her the woman she is today.”