Ticket Giveaway: Darwin Deez @ Black Cat, 12/9/15

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Darwin Smith (Photo by Krista Schlueter)

Brooklyn-based quartet Darwin Deez released a third studio album, Double Down, in September via Lucky Number — and the band, led by Darwin Smith, has been touring in support of it. They hit DC with a stop at the Black Cat on Wednesday, Dec. 9.

Last month, Darwin Deez produced a clever video for the single “The Mess She Made,” which features Darwin singing as various international currency is superimposed over his head.

Watch the official video for “The Mess She Made” on YouTube:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r40tpNUQMC8]

Joined by Charly Bliss on the current tour, Darwin Deez promises smart choreography and high energy to accompany their blend of soulful and bluesy pop.

And you have a chance to see it for yourself, as Parklife DC is giving away a pair of tickets for this show. To win, follow us on Twitter, or retweet or like the tweet announcing this ticket giveaway. (You can follow us at http://www.twitter.com/ParklifeDC!)

For the rules of this giveaway–

We will choose a winner at random from Twitter follows, retweets, and likes by 5pm on Wednesday, Dec. 2. The winner will be notified by Twitter! The winner must respond to our communication within 24 hours or they will forfeit their tickets, and we will pick another winner.

Tickets also are available online!

Darwin Deez
w/ Charly Bliss
Black Cat
Wednesday, Dec. 9
Doors @7:30pm
$15
All ages

Music Park: English Beat @ 9:30 Club — 11/25/15

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Dave Wakeling of The English Beat performs at Bumbershoot 2010 in Seattle on Sept. 6, 2010. (Photo by Dave Lichterman)

Calling all rude boys and rude girls!

The venerable English Beat have been revitalized this year with a new toaster — King Schascha. For a 2-tone band, a toaster isn’t mechanical, but in King’s case, he’s certainly electric.

The reggae rhymer from San Diego effectively got the very full house at the 9:30 Club dancing right away on Wednesday, Nov. 25, paving the way for band leader Dave Wakeling and his time-tested repertoire of ska and reggae. They kicked things off with “Rough Rider” from the debut album by the English Beat, 1980’s I Just Can’t Stop It, and the entire audience was moving and grooving from the very first note.

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Music Park: Young Empires @ U Street Music Hall — 11/25/15

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Matthew Vlahovich of Young Empires at Royal Athletic Park during Rifflandia/BreakOut West on Sept. 19, 2015 (Photo by Tyson Elder/Used with permission/See more of Tyson’s photos)

Vocalist Matthew Vlahovich has some charisma to spare, and he was ready to share it as he danced to his own music at U Street Music Hall on Wednesday, Nov. 25.

Matthew and his band Young Empires performed as openers for Canadian trio Dragonette, providing a smooth, soulful counterpoint to the sparkling house compositions of their countrymen. Technically a trio themselves, Matthew, bassist Jacob Palahnuk, and drummer Taylor Hill toured as a quintet with the support of a touring guitarist and keyboardist.

The total group produced waves of deep sound that benefited the numbers on the debut album by Young Empires, The Gates (released in September) — numbers that generally were uplifting electropop punctuated by worldbeat rhythms and carried by Matthew’s pleasing voice.

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Don’t Miss: Young Empires (Opening for Dragonette) @ U Street Music Hall, 11/25/15

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Young Empires (Photo courtesy Young Empires)

Canadian trio Young Empires have a fondness for soaring world music and themes of redemption and elevation. They are a band in search of better things, and you have an opportunity to join their soulful exploration Wednesday night at U Street Music Hall.

Young Empires released their debut album, The Gates, on Sept. 4, and they are touring in support of it as openers for another Canadian trio, Dragonette.

On The Gates, Young Empires treat us to “Mercy,” a song calling for forgiveness; “So Cruel,” about the tortures of love; and “The Gates,” about the search for a higher place spiritually.

Watch the official music video for “The Gates” on YouTube:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xpHnwNUr1UQ]

Note the doors open at 6pm for this early show, and so be sure to get there early to allow vocalist and keyboardist Matthew Vlahovich, bassist Jacob Palahnuk, and drummer Taylor Hill elevate your spirit.

Tickets are available online and at the door.

Young Empires
(Opening for Dragonette)
U Street Music Hall
Wednesday, Nov. 25
Doors @6pm
$20
All ages

Music Park: The Ocean Blue @ Jammin’ Java — 11/21/15

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The Ocean Blue perform at The Tractor Tavern in Seattle on Feb. 24, 2013. (Photo by David Lee)

The Ocean Blue embarked on an all-too-brief four-city tour last week to commemorate the remastering of their first three albums.

They only played in New York City, Philadelphia, DC metro, and Lancaster, Pa., as those were “their very favorite cities” where they first got their start, explained frontman David Schelzel at their local show on Saturday.

Last week, The Ocean Blue reissued their first three albums — The Ocean Blue, Cerulean and Beneath the Rhythm and Sound — on vinyl, and they embarked on a short tour to commemorate the occasion. It was an opportunity for the band to recapture their youth and play those cities they played early and often as a quartet from Hershey, Pa.

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Don’t Miss: Glen Hansard @ DAR Constitution Hall, 11/28/15

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Glen Hansard (Photo courtesy Sacks & Co.)

Irish folk singer Glen Hansard is well-regarded for his groundbreaking role and performance in the movie Once, and thereafter as half of The Swell Season, and he recently released his second solo album, Didn’t He Ramble, via Anti- Records.

The new album has received very good reviews, with Rolling Stone comparing Glen to another Irish great: “Didn’t He Ramble evokes a feeling similar to one of Van Morrison’s Celtic-soul fever dreams, burnishing the prevailing sense of romantic fatalism with some low-key bravado on the standout track ‘Winning Streak’ (a kissing cousin to Bob Dylan’s early-Seventies’ chestnut ‘Forever Young’).”

Glen is touring in support of the new album, and he makes a stop in DC this Saturday, Nov. 28, at DAR Constitution Hall. (Hey, St. Louis, he’s at The Pageant tonight!)

Watch the official video for “Her Mercy” from the new album on YouTube:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCxT0CnOq9s]

Don’t miss out on what is certain to be a moving show as Glen and his voice are at the top of their game. British folk artist Richard Thompson opens for Glen!

Tickets are available online.

Glen Hansard
w/ Richard Thompson
DAR Constitution Hall
Saturday, Nov. 28
Show @8pm
$38
All ages

Don’t Miss: Dragonette @ U Street Music Hall, 11/25/15

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Dragonette (Photo by Mackenzie Duncan)

If you only know the collaborations between Martin Solveig and Dragonette, like “Hello” or “Big In Japan”, you’re in for a treat when Dragonette descends on DC at the U Street Music Hall on Wednesday, November 25th.

The night before Thanksgiving, it will be “Easy” to have a good time dancing to this Canadian synthpop band (from Toronto). Dragonette is Martina Sorbara (lead singer), Dan Kurtz (bass) and Joel Stouffer (drums).

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/16720586″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”150″ iframe=”true” /]
They recently released a video for the new song “Let The Night Fall”, an anthem of almost Katy Perry proportions about having fun and letting loose.

I think you should join them at U Street Music Hall.

Check out more of Dragonette’s music here.

Dragonette
w/ Avan Lava, Young Empires
U Street Music Hall
Wednesday, November 25
Doors @ 7:00pm
$20
All ages

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MoSxKBhMXck]

Don’t Miss: Firefly Music Festival @ The Woodlands (Dover, Del.), 6/16-6/19/16

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Ellie Goulding performs at the 2013 Firefly Music Festival on June 21, 2013. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

Red Frog Events today announced the lineup for the 2016 Firefly Music Festival, to be held at The Woodlands in Dover, Del., on Thursday, June 16, through Sunday, June 19, 2016.

Returning even bigger for its fifth year, Firefly headliners will include Mumford & Sons, Kings of Leon, Florence & The Machine, and Deadmau5.

“We wanted the 2016 lineup to reach a wide audience while resonating with our core Firefly community,” said Christiane Pheil, Talent and Experience Director at Firefly Music Festival. “We’re confident this lineup does just that, and we look forward to celebrating our fifth year with music fans from around the world.”

Other prominent musicians performing at the four-day music festival include Ellie Goulding, Disclosure, Blink-182, Death Cab for Cutie, M83, Tame Impala, The 1975, A$AP Rocky, Of Monsters and Men, Major Lazer, and Chvrches (my personal favorite on this list).

Early bird general admission and VIP passes go on sale this Friday, Nov. 20.

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Music Park: Rachael Yamagata @ 9:30 Club — 11/12/15

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Rachael Yamagata (Photo by Laura Crosta)

You know you’re in for an interesting evening when Rachael Yamagata and her five-member band walk on stage accompanied by an instrumental rendition of Rage Against the Machine’s “Killing In the Name Of”. The incongruity is enough to make you smile (and nod along), as many of Rachael’s songs are actually about break-ups, and sadness and moving on, with sultry, piano-driven melodies. But maybe in using Rage’s song you could find a deeper nod to the current state of our country.

Rachael Yamagata, born in Arlington, Virginia, played a full range of atmospheric and melancholy laced songs for the intimate 9:30 Club crowd on Thursday, November 12th.

She is working on her next album, due in 2016, and as she told us, “The new record is super close. It’s a positive record, so you’re going to think, ‘What happened to her? She got happy.'”

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Don’t Miss: Shopping @ Black Cat, 11/17/15

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Shopping (Photo by Jenna Foxton)

Hey, everyone, at this very moment, I’m in New York City. That’s great because I love visiting New York.

But it’s also bad because I’m missing likely one of the best shows in DC all year! London trio Shopping are holding down a double-bill with our very own Priests! Wow, I wish I could be there. But you can still go because the show is tonight, Tuesday, Nov. 17, at the Black Cat.

You likely know hometown punk quartet Priests. They are a pretty exciting band that makes some good music. We reviewed them when they were at Black Cat previously.

You may not know UK post-punkers Shopping, who awesomely capture a lot of great things about punk and post-punk music in short ditties of powerful melodic virtue.

Shopping released their second album, Why Choose, via FatCat, in October, and they are touring the United States in support of that release.

Coming together in 2012, guitarist Rachel Aggs, bassist Billy Easter, and drummer Andrew Milk do an amazing job of capturing the spirit of The Slits, X-Ray Spex, and a great deal of DEVO (as well as the lighter side of The Gang of Four).

Be blown away by the sardonic vocals and brilliant guitar riffs of single “Straight Lines” from the new album (and try to ignore the naked women) via YouTube:
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8kkAl64I9s]

Shopping are proving prolific with the release of their debut album, Consumer Complaints, only last year! They and Priests are going to make quite a team tonight. Puff Pieces open for the bands.

Tickets are available online and at the door.

Shopping and Priests
w/ Puff Pieces
Black Cat
Tuesday, Nov. 17
Doors @730pm
$15
All ages