Essay: Why I Support #SaveOurStages

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River Whyless perform at DC9 in 2017. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

“Just as we talked about the community, I think it’s one thing to see an artist or a song in a one dimensional way, but what’s really inspiring is when you see an actual human being onstage with an instrument made of wood and wires, and one microphone, do something so moving that it conjures emotion and you fall into like a romantic state of loving life because people do great things.” — Dave Grohl, Alternative Nation, October 2019

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Preview: Vinyl Nation @ Brown Paper Tickets, 4/18 + 4/19/20

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Songbyrd Music House (Photo by Ben Eisendrath/ Instagram+Twitter: Insomnigraphic/ GrillworksBen)

To help record stores during these challenging times and closures due to COVID-19, the documentary Vinyl Nation presents a one-time special online screening of the film in association with Record Store Day on Saturday, April 18, and Sunday, April 19.

All ticket proceeds go to local record stores, including Songbyrd Music House in DC, participating in this special screening.

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Essay: Parallels in the Development of Country Music and Genre Fiction

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A peek inside the Country Music Museum (Photo by Adinda Uneputty)

Country music and genre fiction (specifically science-fiction and fantasy, hereafter just “sff”) might not seem like they have much in common. In fact, they have developed along strikingly similar lines. Both are popular art forms subject to a certain devaluation, especially by cultural elites. And in both cases, there is a divide between a more conservative mainstream that appeals to the masses and more political progressive, artistically ambitious element.

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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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My Favorite Concert: Failure @ 9:30 Club — 3/28/19

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Failure playing during their tour with Swervedriver in March of 2019. (Photo by Marc Shea)

Editor’s note: Parklife asked our contributors to revisit some of the best shows they’ve ever seen in a series titled My Favorite Concert.

One of the best concerts I ever saw took place almost a year ago. Failure was co-headlining a bill with Swervedriver at 9:30 Club. I’ve been a fan of both bands since the mid-90’s and this was a chance to see two bands that I had never been able to see.

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My Favorite Artist: Duran Duran

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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.

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Live Review: Billy Idol @ Pearl Theater at Palms Casino Resort — 3/13/20

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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.

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