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Snapshots: Blood Orange @ Lincoln Theatre — 9/13/16


Dev Hynes aka Blood Orange performs at the Lincoln Theatre in DC on Sept. 13, 2016. (Photo by Kristie Chua)

Earlier this summer, Blood Orange released a third studio album, Freetown Sound, and recently launched a world tour that included only a handful of US dates.

One of those dates included a stop at the Lincoln Theatre in DC on Tuesday, Sept. 13, where Blood Orange, born Dev Hynes, mesmerized the crowd with funky synthpop and orchestral R&B. Of the 21 songs he performed, only about half a dozen came from his previous work. This show was truly “Welcome to Freetown,” and it was a hit.

Music Park: Haley Bonar @ Black Cat — 9/14/16


Haley Bonar 01 Haley Bonar plays guitar at the Black Cat on Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2016.

Haley Bonar struck the perfect note from opening with new song “Hometown” in concert on Wednesday at the Black Cat. It’s sweet and melancholic yet peppy all at the same time. Her music will feel empowering to you but also haunting in ways that make you consider your past.

“Hometown goes wherever you go,” she warns with her signature cool Midwestern flavor, voicing the thought that your past follows you from place to place. In a similar manner, the past of Haley’s music follows it. The pep in her step comes from an embrace of synthesizers and other materials that build her folk and slowcore songs into power pop — an energizing move that suits her well.

Don’t Miss: Thrival Innovation + Music Festival @ Carrie Furnaces, Pittsburgh, Pa., 5/23-24


Lauren Mayberry of Chvrches performs in Baltimore, Md., on June 12, 2016.

Much of Pittsburgh has been embracing a new economy that encompasses industries outside of its traditional steel-town past. Thrill Mill Inc., a nonprofit that provides local entrepreneurs with free resources to grow business, supports the growth of Pittsburgh companies in new frontiers.

To call attention to its mission and raise some money to fund these resources, Thrill Mill this week presents the Thrival Innovation + Music Festival. Starting on Tuesday, Thrival Innovation + Music Festival presents programming around the city to position Pittsburgh as the world leader in post-industrial economic development, and the festival caps the week with a two-day music festival. (Check out all of the programming online.)

Thrival executive producer Dan Law said in a statement, “Recently, Pittsburgh finds itself on a number of ‘top’ lists, but so much of our city remains undiscovered to a broader audience. The festival offers that unique opportunity to witness why Pittsburgh is a modern comeback story.”

Stars and Bars: Grand Opening @ Vieux Carre — 9/14/16


Vieux Carre 03 Bartender Chris makes a slow gin fizz at the Vieux Carre grand opening party on Sept. 14, 2016.

Cocktails mecca Vieux Carre opened on K Street in July, and last week the bar welcomed guests for a grand opening party.

Creative Director Seth McClelland personally greeted people at the door like a proud father, and he’s got a lot to be proud of. Vieux Carre is a lovely place, recreating the experience of being in an old-school French Quarter bar from New Orleans. You can immediately make yourself comfortable at small tables around the first floor or balcony or pull up to the grand bar that dominates the first floor at the right of the door.

Snapshots: GROVES @ Strathmore Music Center — 9/11/16


Groves 11 Groves vocalist Stephen Salisbury sings at Strathmore on Sept. 11, 2016.

LA-based power pop trio Groves opened for Culture Club on Sunday at Strathmore Music Center. Also on Sunday, Parklife DC told you the story of how Groves, named after their hometown in Texas, came hire The Madden Brothers as managers, and then came to the attention of Boy George and Culture Club, who picked the young band as openers for a 38-date US tour.

Revisit our interview with the lead singer of Groves to find out all about it.

Music Park: Ra Ra Riot (Opened for Young the Giant) @ 9:30 Club — 9/13/16


Ra Ra RiotRa Ra Riot (Photo Credit: Shervin Lainez)

Three consecutive nights at the 9:30 Club? Who wouldn’t love such an opportunity?

Ra Ra Riot opened for all three of the sold out Young the Giant shows (9/12-9/14). I was able to catch the second show on Tuesday, September 13th.

And Wes Miles, lead singer of Ra Ra Riot, seemed to agree about playing at the 9:30 Club, “Amazing to be here for the 2nd night in a row! The best venue in the world!”

Around Town: Third Beer @ Snallygaster 2016, 9/17/16


snallygasterCheers! (Photo Credit: theupper)

Friends, Snallygaster is a mere day away! Start checking your notes, making your lists and cleansing your palette.

Let’s look at a couple more beers we will be drinking.

Mickey’s Beer of the Day: Wicked Weed Brewing Garçon de Ferme, Foeder-Aged Saison, ABV 6.2%
Perhaps the best block in all of Asheville, North Carolina encompasses 91 Biltmore Ave., where sits the Wicked Weed Brewing Pub. It’s an idyllic street to be sure, and the famous microbrewery sits next to The Orange Peel, Asheville’s answer to the 9:30 Club, adding to the appeal of the location. But lest I forget — those beers! Only this week on Sept. 12, Wicked Weed Brewing officially arrived in the DC metro market, going on sale at various bars around town. Well, they have arrived just in time for the Snallygaster, and while everything they do is good, I’m going to have to reacquaint myself with the Garçon de Ferme, the company’s 6.2% saison. They are quite well-regarded for their saisons down there in Asheville, and this one tastes like peaches and champagne with a big tart nose. Salut, mes amis!

Jeremy’s Beer of the Day: Avery Rumpkin, Barrel-Aged Pumpkin Ale, ABV 18.1%
Ah, let’s take a peek at pumpkin beers! One thing I appreciate about Snallygaster, is that it signifies the beginning of autumn and the season when pumpkin beers start to appear in stores and on tap. I recently visited Colorado and had Avery Brewing Co. on my list of places to visit. Sadly, I didn’t make it that trip (but did find myself in many a brewery in Denver and elsewhere in Colorado). I like Avery’s porter and brown ale, and the sound of rum flavors mixed in with pumpkin (rum barrel-aged – hence Rumpkin) is too much to pass up. I’m not sure how the high ABV will affect the taste (usually I find 18% too much), but I’m willing to find out! Let’s be honest, I’ll probably also try Avery’s Pump(ky)n, an imperial porter with pumpkin spices, and any of the only (!!) 13 pumpkin beers available at Snallygaster.

Make your own beer list.

Get your tickets here.

Snallygaster 2016
The Yards (1300 First Street Southeast, Washington, DC 20003)
Saturday, September 17, 2016
1-6pm (VIP 11:30am-6pm)
$35 (VIP $60 SOLD OUT)

Don’t Miss: George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic @ 9:30 Club, 9/24/16


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George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic perform at The Beacon Theatre, Hopewell, Virginia, on Nov. 20, 2015. (Photo by Tom Saunders)

Mark your calendars for Saturday, Sept. 24. If you see no other bands the rest of this year, go see George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic!

I have seen P-Funk several times, and it is one of the best shows you can see. The thing is, you don’t even need to know their music to enjoy the show. The other thing is, you probably already know some of their music and you just didn’t realize it.

Check out these two songs and see if they sound familiar:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJvjWh2Vhu4&w=640&h=360]

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LuyS9M8T03A&w=640&h=360]

You will hear George or one of the band members say, “Ain’t nothin’ but a party” at least once throughout the night, and that’s exactly what it will be. It is great music to dance to, great music to chill to, great music to rock out to. You name it, there is something for everyone.

What I was most surprised and impressed by when I first saw them was how musically talented they are. This is not just a dance party. There will be three or four guitarists, a few drummers that switch off throughout the night, LOTS of people singing, and all kinds of other fun stuff.

You may know the backstory. Basically, George created two groups — Parliament and Funkadelic. The two bands ultimately became one, which was logical because most of the members were in both groups anyway. George started his musical journey back in 1956 and is still going strong at the age of 75!

The 9:30 Club is going to be rocking! I encourage you to put that on your calendar; you’ll be glad you did. If you are going to come, you might want to get yourself some caffeine. (Thanks for that upstairs coffee bar, 9:30 Club!) The doors don’t open until 8pm and once P-Funk comes onstage, there’s no telling how late they will play. I think if it was up to the band they might throughout the night. This is going to be a great show!

Tickets are available online.

George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic
9:30 Club
Saturday, Sept. 24
Doors @8pm
All ages

Don’t Miss: Bloody Knives @ Velvet Lounge, 9/16/16


A former lineup of Bloody Knives with Preston Maddox (voice/bass/sounds), Jake McCown (drums), and Kim Calderon (samples) pictured. (Photo courtesy Saint Marie Records)

Bloody Knives of Austin, Texas, visit the Velvet Lounge tonight, bringing with them some thrashing, psychedelic tunes.

Vocalist and bassist Preston Maddox and drummer Jake McCown have been recording together since at least 2009, and they have been joined in that time by various other rotating bandmembers. Recently, they were joined by Jack O’Hara Harris, who handles sounds and samples.

Bloody Knives’ latest release is 2013’s industrial-tinged Death, released via Saint Marie Records. You can check it out on Bandcamp:

[bandcamp width=100% height=120 album=2981350389 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5 tracklist=false artwork=small]

Headling tonights show, Bloody Knives are joined by local bands Machine Drift, Stems, and Chester Hawkins. Between the acts, they cover a lot of ground, but I hear a goth/industrial streak running through their collective music.

Tickets are available at the door.

Bloody Knives
w/ Machine Drift, Stems, Chester Hawkins
Velvet Lounge
Doors @7:30pm

DJ Park: Kidnap Kid (Opening Duke Dumont) @ Echostage — 9/10/16


Kidnap Kid (Photo courtesy Stack House Management Ltd.)

Last weekend, Echostage welcomed some of Matt Relton, better known as the Kidnap Kid. It was a great night with a great crowd filled with great music. Kidnap Kid brought the crowd to its “happy place” with his melodic tracks, smooth transitions, and upbeat atmosphere made for a great start to the night!