Live Review: Julia Jacklin @ 9:30 Club — 9/15/22

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Julia Jacklin (Photo by Nick Mcck)

Australian singer-songwriter Julia Jacklin walked onstage at the 9:30 Club recently to Celine Dion singing “My Heart Will Go On.” “Just having a bit of fun,” she told the audience, who had come to see the native of the Blue Mountains’ first North American tour since before the Covid pandemic hit. The joke, of course, is that deep emotional conflicts and introspection in Jacklin’s lyrics contrast so powerfully with the cheap emotional string-pulling of a love theme engineered for the blockbuster Titanic

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Preview: Pet Shop Boys and New Order @ Merriweather Post Pavilion — 9/21/22

Pet Shop Boys (Photo by Phil Fisk)

Pet Shop Boys and New Order’s long-awaited joint The Unity Tour kicks off in North American tonight and then stops at Merriweather Post Pavilion on Wednesday, Sept. 21.

Both bands alternate as opening and closing acts throughout the co-headline tour, with Paul Oakenfold playing a special DJ set before each act.

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Snapshots: Lacuna Coil @ The Fillmore Silver Spring — 9/15/22

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Lacuna Coil performs at The Fillmore Silver Spring on Sept. 15, 2022. (Photo by Katherine Gaines)

Italian goths Lacuna Coil are sweeping the United States with tour dates that landed them at The Fillmore Silver Spring recently. Katherine Gaines was there to photograph the show!

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Live Review: IDLES @ The Anthem — 9/14/22

IDLES perform at The Anthem on Sept. 14, 2022. (Photo by Kyle Gustafson / @kgustafson)

Are IDLES the hardest working band in show business? 140 shows in 2018, 119 in 2019, 48 in post-pandemic 2021, and 91 and counting so far in 2022. They’ve played DC proper six times since 2019 (seven if you count their Tiny Desk appearance) and released two albums in that time. This is a band that’s always on the move.

Their live show is still electric and they show no signs of slowing down. After seeing them absolutely destroy the Rock n Roll Hotel in 2019 I wondered how they’d do at a place as large as The Anthem. As seen at The Anthem recently, basically the only change was there were now a lot more people going bananas during the punk bit at the end of show opener “Colossus.”

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Snapshots: Marcus King and Neal Francis @ MGM National Harbor — 9/10/22

Marcus King performs at the theater at MGM National Harbor on Sept. 10, 2022. (Photo by Casey Vock)

It’s not every day you see musicians and comedians team up on stage, but when it happens, it can offer a refreshed approach for both types of entertainers to connect with their audiences.

Longtime friends, ascending guitar god Marcus King and comedian Dean Delray, well known on the national comedy circuit, had said to one another for years that they would one day tour together.

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Interview: Martyn Ware of Heaven 17 (@ The Birchmere, 9/25/22)

Heaven 17 Photo 1 (credit - Chris Youd)
Heaven 17 with Glenn Gregory and Martyn Ware (right) (Photo by Chris Youd)

In the early days of pop electronic music, Martyn Ware was full of big ideas in Sheffield, England. He teamed up with vocalist Phil Oakey to establish the original incarnation of The Human League. The band revamped after two studio albums, and Martyn and collaborator Ian Craig Marsh moved on to form Heaven 17 with singer Glenn Gregory.

Full of sophistication and soul, Heaven 17 (named for a fictitious band referenced in A Clockwork Orange) became UK chart fixtures from 1981-1986, releasing acclaimed albums such as debut Penthouse and Pavement, UK platinum record The Luxury Gap, and more. Their songs “(We Don’t Need This) Fascist Groove Thang,” “The Height of the Fighting (He-La-Hu),” “Let Me Go,” and “Temptation,” among others, remain in heavy rotation on satellite radio and the internet.

Heaven 17 never toured until 1997, and the band never mounted a full USA tour. That is about to change as Martyn and Glenn lead a Heaven 17 Tour starting tonight, Sept. 16, in New York. The tour hits the DC metro area at The Birchmere in Alexandria, Virginia, on Sunday, Sept. 25.

Parklife DC’s Mickey McCarter chatted with synthesist Martyn Ware about this long-awaited US tour, his autobiography and podcast, and what’s next for Heaven 17. He was, as you would expect, warm, witty, and welcoming.

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Live Review: Snail Mail @ The Fillmore Silver Spring — 9/9/22

Lindsey Jordan leads her band Snail Mail in a performance at The Fillmore Silver Spring on Sept. 9, 2022. (Photo by Casey Vock)

Marylanders, Marylandians, whatever you label them, tend to be a boastful people.

Ellicott City native Lindsey Jordan, who’s made a global name for herself recording as Snail Mail, might be as proud as any you’ll meet.

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Preview: All Things Go Music Festival @ Merriweather Post Pavilion, 10/1/22

Lorde (Photo by Ophelia-Mikkelson-Jones)

The 2022 All Things Go Music Festival returns to the Merriweather Post Pavilion on Saturday, Oct. 1, where it will host 16 artists across multiple stages. ATG Festival 2022 headliners include Lorde, Mitski, Bleachers, and Lucy Dacus.

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Live Review: Roxy Music w/ St. Vincent @ Capital One Arena — 9/9/22

Guitarist Phil Manzanera, Drummer Paul Thompson, and vocalist Bryan Ferry perform as Roxy Music at Capital One Arena on Sept. 9, 2022. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

Fifty years ago, glam rockers Roxy Music released their self-titled debut album, shifting the tide of pop music in the United Kingdom certainly and eventually elevating the sophistication of the modern musical conversation globally.

Never particularly chart toppers in the United States, Roxy Music nonetheless have embarked on an entirely spectacular if slightly surprising 50th-anniversary tour of our country. During the band’s recent performance at Capital One Arena, frontman Bryan Ferry referenced their longevity, saying it was challenging to sort songs from a long career when mounting a retrospective show.

“But we had to do this one from our first album,” Ferry said, introducing “If There Is Something.”

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