Around Town: Farewell, U Street Music Hall

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Walking up to U Street Music Hall (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

Today, U Street Music Hall announced it is closing its doors effectively immediately due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

Although primarily a DJ club, Parklife DC covered a number of exciting live shows at U Hall, as it was affectionately known. For much of its 10-year run, U Street Music Hall hit the sweet spot as a space for upcoming touring bands with its 500-person capacity and easily accessible location.

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Required Reading: Collective Action and the Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums of All Time

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A Marvin Gaye mural by Aniekan Udofia in the 700 block of S Street, NW, DC (Photo by Elvert Barnes)

Required Reading is Parklife DC’s essay series on music appreciation.

Recently, Rolling Stone released a new list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, releasing a wave of responses. These responses to the list largely focused on content of the list, on issues of representation and of the position of various genres in the canon of popular music. Almost nothing, however, has been said about the form and structure of the list.

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Around Town: Campaign to Pass DC Music Venue Relief Legislation

Tedd Baker, saxophone and Gavin Fallow, bassThe Paul Pieper Quartet perform at the now-shuttered Twins Jazz in 2012. (Photo by Timothy Forbes)

A coalition of DC musicians and music advocates launched a grassroots campaign recently to advocate for government relief of the city’s music venues. The #SaveDCVenues campaign, which has accrued hundreds of signers within a few days, urges the DC Council and Mayor Muriel Bowser to adopt a version of the 2020 DC Music Venue Relief Act: a piece of draft legislation that provides direct relief to businesses who rely upon (now-absent) revenue from live music.

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Around Town: Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer Presses for Relief for Independent Music Venues

Schumer Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) appears in front of Brooklyn Independent Venue Baby’s All Right with Elsewhere’s Druv Chopra, NIVA Executive Director Rev Moose, Baby’s All RIght’s Billy Jones, and Independent Artist Sean McVerry. (Photo courtesy NIVA)

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer yesterday announced at a press conference that he is co-sponsoring bipartisan legislation aimed at providing relief to independent live venues, promoters and festivals across the nation. Since the pandemic shutdowns began in March, music venues, comedy clubs, and festivals have been shuttered with no revenue, high overhead and no timeline for when they can fully reopen. The National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) said that if the shutdown lasts six months or longer and there’s no meaningful federal assistance, 90 percent of its members would be forced to fold forever.

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Required Reading: What I Learned About Writing Fiction From Reviewing Concerts

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Creative writing! (Photo courtesy Microbiz Mag, http://www.microbizmag.co.uk

Required Reading is Parklife DC’s essay series on music appreciation.

When I was just starting to write concert reviews, my editor advised me to find the story and tell it. That turned out to be great advice. A concert review should be more than just what happened. It should be unified, it should have a through-line. This is true for any narrative, fiction or non. In learning to tell the stories of concerts, I’ve become a better writer, not just of concert reviews, but of fiction.

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Around Town: Senate Heavy Hitters Back Coronavirus Relief for Music Venues

The Honorable John Cornyn (R-Texas) of the U.S. Senate
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) speaks to the Brookings Institution in 2016. (Photo courtesy Brookings Institution)

U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) last week introduced the Save Our Stages Act, which would provide Small Business Administration grants for independent live music venue operators affected by COVID-19 stay-at-home orders. These grants would provide six months of financial support to keep venues afloat, pay employees, and preserve a critical economic sector for communities across America.

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Around Town: Congrats to the 2020 Wammie Award Winners

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Elizabeth II won the 2020 Wammie Award for Best Rock Song with “Lonely.” (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

The MusicianShip recognized winners of the 2020 Washington Area Music Awards, or Wammies, in a series of virtual announcements with Events DC last week.

Parklife DC salutes the 2020 Wammie Award winners!

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