Parklife DC Presents: Urgh! A Music War @ Black Cat, 10/1/18

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (often abbreviated to OMD) are a synthpop group whose founding members are originally from the Wirral Peninsula, England.

Paul Humphreys and Andy McCluskey of Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark pose in San Francisco for NME in 1981. (Photo by Chester Simpson)

Urgh! A Music war, a cult-classic concert film, straddles divides across new wave, punk, and post-punk acts performing in 1980. Parklife DC screens the film at Black Cat on Monday, Oct. 1. Admission is free!

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Music Park: Echo and the Bunnymen @ The Anthem — 7/25/18

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Ian McCulloch fronts Echo and the Bunnymen at The Anthem on July 25, 2018. (Photos by Jason Nicholson and words by Mickey McCarter)

Toward the end of a welcome appearance by Echo and the Bunnymen, Ian McCulloch’s microphone appeared to go out during “The Killing Moon” on Wednesday — nominally the worst possible calamity ever, made more glaring in that the rest of the show had been picture perfect.

But the very giddy audience didn’t miss a beat, and the crowd started singing the song when Ian went momentarily silent: “He will wait until/You give yourself to himmmmmm!” A briefly confounded look gave way to a smile with the affirmation that Ian and the audience were very happy to see each other indeed.

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Don’t Miss: Echo & The Bunnymen @ The Anthem, 7/25/18

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Echo & The Bunnymen (Photo courtesy the band)

Legendary neo-pscyh outfit Echo & The Bunnymen recently signed to BMG. The group will release The Stars, The Oceans & The Moon, an album featuring re-recordings of 13 Bunnymen classics as well as two new songs, on Oct. 5. Meanwhile, they currently have teamed with the Violent Femmes for a 11-date summer tour that concludes at The Anthem in DC on Wednesday, July 25.

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Music Park: Parklife DC Top 10 Concerts of 2016 by Mickey

CHVRCHES 008 Lauren Mayberry of Chvrches sings at Echostage on Oct. 17, 2016. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

I’ll confess that I’m a man whose taste in music is readily apparent. If you have new wave tunes to play, particularly from 1976-86, I’m going to show up and listen to them. That said, a number of incredible legacy new wave bands happened to travel through the DC metro area over the past year, and I took the opportunity to review them for our humble blog.

That said, a number of younger bands definitely broke through and seized my attention, most notably Canada’s Operators, who were the most exciting new band I’ve seen in some time. As with Operators, many of the best performances I witnessed in 2016 came from bands whose leaders are among the Masters of Synthpop, and so I have dedicated a postscript of really great synthpop shows that may have “missed” the top 10 but otherwise deserve a lot of applause.

Check out my top 10 list of concerts I saw for Parklife DC. (Click on the concert slugline to revisit the full review.)

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Music Park: Echo & The Bunnymen @ 9:30 Club — 9/9/16

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Ian McCulloch sings at the 9:30 Club on Friday, Sept. 9, 2016.

“Yes!” exclaimed DJ Rick Taylor with his characteristic exuberance. “Echo & The Bunnymen are playing ‘Angels and Devils’ — this is a B-side that I’ve never before seen live!”

And so it was that Ian McCulloch and his band took up the rarely played song, originally the B-side to “Silver” from Ocean Rain, as Rick explained to me, recorded as an homage to the Velvet Underground by Echo & The Bunnymen during their Ocean Rain sessions. (And it was actually included on the 2008 remastered edition of the album.)

Ocean Rain, the fourth studio album by Echo & The Bunnymen in 1984, figured prominently into the set Friday night at the 9:30 Club as an overly crowded house clamored for every little bit of cool they could suck out of Ian, much as he sucked down cigarettes from in front of the drum kit right on stage. (Who, after all, was going to stop him from smoking during the show? He’s Ian Fuckin’ McCulloch.) Ian and his studious compatriot Will Sergeant, who focused intently on his guitar the entire show, obliged the overly sold-out house by generating the coolest damn sound, which wafted into the heads and hearts of their patrons.

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Ticket Giveaway: Echo & The Bunnymen @ 9:30 Club, 9/9/16

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Ian McCulloch (Photo courtesy Echo & The Bunnymen)

Ian McCulloch and Will Sergeant are bringing Echo & The Bunnymen back to DC in a sold-out show at the 9:30 Club on Friday, Sept. 9! To celebrate, Parklife DC is throwing a little new wave party that we are calling Careless Memories: A Salute to Psych, where we will play a lot of the neo-psychedelic jams that gave classic new wave a hazy electronic edge.

I invite you to join our party, which will be held at Dodge City on Thursday, Sept. 8 (right around the corner from the 9:30 Club on the night before The Bunnymen perform)! You can RSVP on Facebook or show up — admission is free.

But wait! To take the celebration to the next level, we are giving away a pair of tickets to the sold-out Bunnymen concert! Now, that’s smart thinking! Ian would be proud.

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Don’t Miss: Careless Memories @ Dodge City, 9/8/16

Echo and the Bunnymen, Clapham Common, Calling Festival, London
Echo & The Bunnymen, Clapham Common, Calling Festival, London, on July 4, 2015. (Photo by Drew de F Fawkes)

Last month’s edition of Careless Memories: A New Wave Party at Dodge City was a hit! And it also had a theme: the songs of early MTV.

Well, this month I return with a fresh theme: A Salute to Psych. You see, I’m inspired that Echo & The Bunnymen perform at the 9:30 Club on Friday, Sept. 9! And so Careless Memories (A New Wave Party) salutes the neo-psychedelic artists that had great crossover hits between the parallel lines of new wave and neo-psychedelia.

Watch the official music video for “Lips Like Sugar” by Echo & The Bunnymen on YouTube:

Turn up at Dodge City on Thursday, Sept. 8 (the night before The Bunnymen perform) for an extra dose of The Bunnymen, The Teardrop Explodes, The Church, The Psychedelic Furs, XTC, probably even The Bangles, and other bands that produced hazy electronic cool.

You can RSVP on Facebook or simply join us — admission is free!  And let me give you an early word for reading this: We’re giving away a pair of tickets to see the sold-out Echo & The Bunnymen show at the 9:30 Club! Check back here tomorrow for details.

Careless Memories:
A New Wave Party
Dodge City
Thursday, Sept. 8
Show @8pm
Free Admission
21+

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