Food Park: Return of Truckaroo @ Fairgrounds, 4/15/16

Red Hook Lobster Pound Food TruckRed Hook Lobster Pound Food Truck

Food trucks have definitely lost a step in the popularity department over the last couple years. The hipsters have moved on to the new, shiny thing and now food trucks are ‘simply there’, serving good food (most of the time) and acting as a proper business.

Once a month in the summer, over 20 food trucks circle together in the Fairgrounds space near Nationals Park to dish up some of the best in DC’s food truck options. There is also live music, adult beverages and games like cornhole.

Open from 11am to 11pm, it’s good for lunch, happy hour and dinner!

Some notable tasty food trucks:

  • CapMac
  • Peruvian Brothers
  • Korean BBQ Taco Box
  • Surfside

Food trucks I may need to try:

  • Tacos Matadores
  • Urban Poutine (Oh Canada, help us get on the cheese curds and gravy truck…err train)
  • Due South

See the full food truck list here.


Truckaroo 2016
Fairgrounds (M St and Half St SE) near the Nationals Park
Friday, April 15
Free Admission (pay for food and beverages)
All ages

Music Park: JD & The Straight Shot @ Lincoln Theatre — 4/7/16

James Dolan of JD & The Straight Shot (Photo Courtesy: Publicity Please)

JD & The Straight Shot warmed up the crowd trickling in for Jewel’s Picking Up the Pieces Tour last week, April 7th, at the Lincoln Theatre.

Fancied as an Americana band (from New York, started in 2005) and fronted by James Dolan (aka JD), they also include Marc Copely (guitar, vocals), Bryron House (bass), and touring musicians Erin Slaver (violin) and JJ Appelton (guitar).

James Dolan (who just so happens to be the CEO of Cablevision and the owner of the New York Knicks) is quite the character indeed, he sauntered on stage sporting a red velvet jacket and told many a tale about his son, his songs and somehow managed to fit in a costume change to get into his ‘Ballyhoo’ character. Many of the tales were about songs featured in films like August: Osage County and Jane Got a Gun.

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Snapshots: PINS @ Rock and Roll Hotel — 4/12/16

Faith Vern performs at the Rock and Roll Hotel on Tuesday, April 12. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

PINS, an all-female quintet from Manchester, England, visited the Rock and Roll Hotel on Tuesday night as openers for The Subways, and both bands took the stage by storm.

In 2015, PINS released a sophomore album, Wild Nights, via Bella Union as a follow-up to their 2013 debut, Girls Like Us. PINS are an exciting band, and they sound great. They have a fabulous noise-pop sensibility, sparkling guitars and bass that smack of their inspirations in The Jesus and Mary Chain. And they also have a great post-punk attitude with their succinct songs and alt-girl stylings.

Parklife DC doesn’t have a full review of PINS, but in this new featurette Snapshots, I wanted to share some pix of the ladies, except their excellent drummer, who was difficult to photograph from my limited position!

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Sports Park: DC United vs. Toronto FC @ RFK Stadium, 4/16/16


Season Record: 1-2-3 (6 points)

Your DC United put a hearty four goals to nil beat-down of the unmighty Vancouver Whitecaps this past Saturday.

It’s only one game, but you can’t help but feel just a whole lot better about the United getting their first win in impressive fashion.

Fabián Espíndola was named the MLS Player of the Week with two of the goals, while Álvaro Saborío also punched in the other two goals.

Now your DC United take on another of Canada’s finest this Saturday, 4/16. They face Toronto FC, who sit a mere single point behind the United in the standings.

Time to start climbing higher.

Get your tickets here.

Or find a future game from the season schedule.


MLS: Toronto FC at DC United
RFK Stadium
Saturday, April 16, 2016
All ages

Don’t Miss: High Waisted @ Black Cat, 4/17/16

Jessica Louise Dye sings at the Dead Kennedy Center on Feb. 2, 2016. (Photo by Ben Eisendrath/Instagram+Twitter: GrillworksBen)

You may recall surf rock band High Waisted from their last visit to DC! (Or at least you may recall us talking about them…) They are fronted by spunky vocalist Jessica Louise Dye, who also wields a mean guitar. They also consist of versatile guitarist Steven Nielsen, shimmering bassist Jeremy Hansen, and whip-smart drummer Jono Bernstein.

They look kinda like this when they perform — as they did at the DIY space the Dead Kennedy Center in DC on Feb. 2, 2016:

IMG_1460Jessica with bandmates drummer Jono and guitarist Steven at the Dead Kennedy Center. (Photo by Ben Eisendrath/Instagram+Twitter: GrillworksBen)

Since their last visit, they have released their debut LP, On Ludlow. It sounds a little bit like this:

And now High Waisted return to play at the Black Cat on Sunday, April 17, as the opening act for Har Mar Superstar! When I saw them, High Waisted sounded terrific, and they will make you a surf punk convert if you aren’t already. I was particularly taken by their number “Shanghai Spy,” what I considered a slick answer to the Hawaii Five-O theme. After their last DC show, I observed, “Jess Dye brings a lot of energy to the stage but at the same time she fits like an interlocking block with her bandmates…. Together, they play wonderfully loose, shimmery beats — but at the same time, they are amazingly sharp.”

Be sure to get there early to hear the NYC surf quartet rock out before LA-based Mr. Superstar lays down his smooth if irreverent soul music.

Tickets are available online!

High Waisted
(Opening for Har Mar Superstar)
Black Cat
Sunday, April 17
Doors @7:30pm
All ages

Don’t Miss: The Joy Formidable @ 9:30 Club, 4/13/16

The Joy Formidable at OsloRhiannon ‘Ritzy’ Bryan of The Joy Formidable (Photo Credit: Paul Hudson)

This Wednesday, April 13, The Joy Formidable take over the 9:30 Club for a night of rock.

Their new and third full-length album, Hitch, released in March.

The single “The Last Thing On My Mind”, a catchy, thumping song that wants to last forever. In fact, many of the songs from Hitch are quite long.

The Joy Formidable are a Welsh alternative rock band that first formed in 2007. The band is Rhiannon Bryan (lead singer, guitars), Matthew James Thomas (drums) and Rhydian Dafydd (bass).

Their second album, Wolf’s Law, was a bigger and more rock anthemesque than previous efforts, and I quite liked it when it first came out. Maybe a little Muse creeping in. Yet their first album, A Big Roar, and the original EP, are a closer match to the sound of the songs in Hitch. “The Greater Light Is the Greatest Shade” and ‘Whirring” are what originally captured my attention and led me to get each album. I’ve yet to fully listen to Hitch, but will get on that right away.

Don’t give The Joy Formidable the silent treatment, buy your tickets here.


The Joy Formidable
w/ Everything Everything
9:30 Club
Wednesday April 13
Doors @ 7:00pm
All ages

Music Park: Duran Duran and Nile Rodgers @ Verizon Center — 4/8/16

John Taylor signs my copy of his autobiography during a soiree at Il Gattopardo in New York City on Nov. 4, 2013. (Photo by Eddie Malluk)

Observers of Duran Duran, as well as the band itself, have often cited its primary inspirations as English glam band Roxy Music and New York disco funksters Chic. Listening to the sounds of boyhood friends Nick Rhodes and John Taylor, you can even discern how the primal elements of the two bands fused into the new wave gem of a band they started in 1978: Nick, stylish to synthy; John, fun to funky.

As John noted in his 2012 autobiography, In the Pleasure Groove: Love, Death, and Duran Duran, his prized possession is the bass left to him by the late Chic bassist Bernard Edwards, who helped him form Power Station while on a break from Duran Duran circa 1985. It is of course then absolutely meta that Nile Rodgers, the artistic mastermind behind Chic, opened for the band on its latest tour, The Paper Gods Tour, undertaken in celebration of the 14th album by the UK trendsetters.

Nile, for his part, knows what makes Duran Duran tick, and he mixed “The Reflex,” which became Duran Duran’s first #1 hit in the United States. And of course, Nile took to the stage with Duran Duran for several songs Friday night in a big, bright show at the Verizon Center to play two incredible songs he produced for the band — “Notorious” from the 1986 album of the same name and “Pressure Off” from last year’s Paper Gods (but sadly not “The Reflex,” despite an intense audience rally from the very full house on behalf of the ever-popular song).

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