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.
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.)
“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.
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.
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.
The legendary Echo & The Bunnymen have been no strangers to DC in recent years, performing shows at venues like the Fillmore Silver Spring and the Black Cat.
However, arguably, a local Echo & The Bunnymen show belongs at the 9:30 Club, the perfect venue to capture the timelessness of the band’s hazy neo-psychedelia. Thankfully, justice and opportunity are about to meet as The Bunnymen are hitting the 9:30 Club on a perfect date: Friday, Sept. 9.
Led by founders in vocalist Ian McCulloch and guitarist Will Sergeant, the Liverpool iconoclasts have been doing some great work lately, publishing their most recent album Meteorites in 2014 via 429 Records with some signature production assistance from Youth and Andrea Wright. The result was 10 terrific songs of super-psych pop that recaptures the glory days of The Bunnymen.
Watch the official music video for “Lovers on the Run” from the latest album by Echo & The Bunnymen via YouTube:
Said Ian of the album, “At long last, we’ve made the worthy successor to Crocodiles, Heaven Up Here, Porcupine, and Ocean Rain. Meteorites is what Echo and the Bunnymen mean and are meant to be up there in heaven — untouchable, celestial, beautiful, and real. It has changed my life.”
If that doesn’t get you excited, I don’t know what will. Go see this show!
Echo & The Bunnymen
Friday, Sept. 9