The 9:30 Club encapsulated its upcoming night of highly intellectual dance music perfectly:
“Ah, sophisti-pop: the most elegant genre from music’s most elegant decade, the ’80s. Fusing together all the best parts — both musically and aesthetically — of new wave, soul, and jazz, Howard Jones and Midge Ure (both with Ultravox and as a solo performer) came to define the sound alongside Rough Trade royalty like The Style Council, The Human League, and Scritti Politti.
“Be warned, you may experience the following side effects at a Howard Jones & Midge Ure show: 1) feeling good, 2) dancing great, and 3) looking even better!”
I couldn’t have said it any better myself. But I do get to add some dimension to the adroit concert preview by interviewing the one and only Midge Ure himself. Parklife’s Mickey McCarter chatted about his old friend Howard Jones, the resurgent and powerful Kate Bush, and his own experiences in going viral prior to his appearance at 9:30 Club on Tuesday, July 19.
Broke Royals (Photo courtesy Tell All Your Friends PR)
DC heartland rockers Broke Royals release Local Support, their third album, via Byrdland Records on Friday, July 15. The band recently debuted a music video for “All I Have to Show,” a single from Local Support.
New Jersey-bred singer-songwriter Nicole Atkins performs at The Hamilton Live in DC on Sunday, July 10, with support from Levi. On her latest album Italian Ice, Atkins conjures the romance and danger and wild magic of a place especially close to her heart: the Jersey Shore in all its scrappy beauty.
Willie Nile is a New York City-based singer-songwriter whose recording career span reaches back to 1980. He’s hard to place in an a precise genre, as his influences range from Bob Dylan to Lou Reed, and he’s also covered The Clash. He’s a rock ‘n’ roller who, even into his 70s, is still the same guy who wasn’t afraid to fight the record companies in a legal case that set a precedent.
But he’s also a trained pianist who can just as easily do a ballad as he might just rock out. His work finds a great balance between raw musculature and cerebral refinement, managing to thread in literary and cultural references without pretension. It’s rock with brains — it sounds great, and there’s steak to go with the sizzle.
Willie released a new album, The Day the Earth Stood Still, last year, and now he’s on tour. Willie and his band perform at DC’s The Hamilton Live on Friday, July 8, and Parklife DC’s Mark Engleson talked to him in advance of that show.
Last fall, NYC indie vets We Are Scientists released their new LP HUFFY via Masterswan Records. After a delay due to the pandemic, We Are Scientists are now on tour in support of the album, and the band appears at DC9 for a show on Friday, July 8!
The band’s four members each brought a unique musical resume that resulted in songs with influences from Appalachia, blues-based rock, Bosnian folk songs, and Eno-like electronics. They are Austin Blanton: vocals, electric and stand-up bass, pocket operator, volca keys, organelle; Avy M: vocals, guitars, banjo, mandolin; Kelly Servick: vocals, violin, cello, theremin; and Antonio Skarica: percussion.
Guitarist Duane Betts, son of the famed Dickey Betts of The Allman Brothers, has been making his own name in recent years, and he’s appeared quite a few times in the DC area with the Allman Betts Band in recent years.