Music Park: 10 Top Live Bowie Covers of 2016

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Duran Duran perform a medley of “Planet Earth”/”Space Oddity” at the Klipsch Amphitheater at Bayfront Park in Miami on April 1, 2016. (Photo courtesy YouTube)

In the past year, I’ve reminisced much on the passing of David Bowie, whose unexpected death in January marked a year of remembrances of the great musician and his legacy.

And many of these remembrances involved a good deal of dancing and absorbing live performances from wonderful artists that took the time to remember Bowie as well. Here then are 10 top Bowie covers that I saw in my time reviewing shows for Parklife DC in 2016.

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Music Park: Electric Six @ Black Cat — 10/2/16

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Dick Valentine fronts the Electric Six at the Black Cat on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016. (Photo by Ben Eisendrath /Instagram+Twitter: GrillworksBen)

The Electric Six are a band that gets straight to the point.

“Buy our new album so the Electric Six can continue touring,” said Electric Six frontman Dick Valentine at the Black Cat on Sunday night. “Buy our new album so that we can buy gas and pay tolls on our way to Philadelphia — including that one expensive toll over that bridge in Maryland where you don’t know why you have to pay a toll.”

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Snapshots: In the Whale @ Black Cat — 10/2/16

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In the Whale perform at the Black Cat on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016. (Photo by Ben Eisendrath /Instagram+Twitter: GrillworksBen)

In the Whale, a punk rock duo from Denver, Colorado, performed at the Black Cat on Sunday night as the opening act for the Electric Six. They played loud and fast, and they left a good impression on folks who turned up for the main act.

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Don’t Miss: Electric Six @ Black Cat — 10/2/16

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Dick Valentine vamps it up. (Photo by Cortney Armitage)

Detroit dance funk band Electric Six are celebrating Halloween in October with the release of a new album — Fresh Blood for Tired Vampyres, out Oct. 7 via Metropolis Records!

Electric Six frontman Dick Valentine sure seems like he’s going to live forever given the way his band knocks out a new album every year. And with this new album, Dick and company have strived to group all of their past lives in one place by combining electropop, R&B, dance and more genres into one album.

And with the new album comes a tour! Electric Six return to the Black Cat this Sunday, Oct. 2!

Listen to “I’ll Be in Touch” from the new album by Electric Six via YouTube:

Fresh Blood for Tired Vampyres covers a lot of ground from the Grandmaster Flash-inspired “Number of the Beast” to the smooth tour of the NYC outer boroughs “Mood Is Improving” as well as radio-ready pop tracks “Dance with Dark Forces” and “I’ll Be in Touch.”

And never fear! The Electric Six have long memories, and after 12 albums they still remember how much everyone loves their 2003 debut, so we may well hear “Dance Commander” or “Danger! High Voltage” or “Gay Bar” also!

Tickets are available online.

Electric Six
w/ In the Whale
Black Cat
Sunday, Oct. 2
Doors @7:30pm
$15
All ages

Music Park: Electric Six @ Black Cat — 10/11/15

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Electric Six with Dick Valentine (left) (Photo by Frank Nash)

Much of the appeal of the Electric Six comes from the band’s desire to have fun and to make you dance by any music necessary.

And that sense of fun was on full display Sunday night at the Black Cat, where frontman Dick Valentine (born Tyler Spencer) and company absolutely packed the backstage beyond capacity. To be fair, the band originally were slated to play on the larger mainstage, but were moved backstage for some reason as the DC federal holiday weekend approached.

“The Electric Six were demoted!” Dick proclaimed early in the set. “Write to the Speaker of the House, whoever that may be, and have us remoted!”

I personally have never been in a more crowded show backstage, so I fully embrace Dick’s sentiment. At the end of the day, however, the Electric Six brought everything it had to bear in a genre-bending stampede of music that went from funk to punk to metal and even to country. It was a double-barrel shotgun blast of raucous dance music.

At a midpoint in the concert, Dick declared that it was time to break out the dance music, although 99 percent of the show consisted of dance music, as evidenced by an audience that was actively bopping and hopping. The declaration came as an intro to a medley of the band’s songs “Improper Dancing” and “(Who the Hell Just) Call My Phone,” one song from the band’s popular debut album Fire and another from their 2014 album Human Zoo.

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Don’t Miss: Electric Six @ Black Cat, 10/11/15

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Electric Six (Photo by Chris Betea)

It’s a long holiday weekend in DC, and many of us have Monday off thanks to Columbus Day. In this case, what better way to spend your Sunday night than seeing a concert?

For our money, your best bet may be Detroit-based collective Electric Six, appearing at the Black Cat on Sunday, Oct. 11. Headed by Dick Valentine, the Electric Six are electric, eclectic, and loud! The official lineup of Electric Six today has only five members: Dick Valentine (vocals), Da Ve (guitar), Johnny Na$hinal (guitar), Tait Nucleus? (synths), and Percussion World (drums). They are still best known perhaps for their 2003 debut album, Fire, which spawned several hits in the United Kingdom — “Danger! High Voltage,” “Gay Bar,” and “Dance Commander.”

As you can see from those three songs alone, Electric Six have a unique way of traversing genres — going from the depths of hard rock to positively new wave. They keep the pace high with their 11th studio album, Bitch, Don’t Let Me Die!, released on Oct. 2 via Metropolis Records. They also stay absolutely quirky with song titles like “Slow Motion Man,” “When Cowboys File for Divorce,” and “Kids Are Evil.” If anything on this new album, Electric Six are more than ever crossing the hard rock lyrics of early AC/DC with the sweeping progressiveness of a middle-period Styx.

Electric Six don’t seem to have released a new music video in a while, so let’s revisit “Danger! High Voltage” and recall how damn catchy it is.

Watch the official video for “Danger! High Voltage” on YouTube:

Oh, hey, Baltimore, we see Electric Six had to cancel their show tonight at Metro Gallery due to a personal emergency. Come party with us on Sunday! Tickets are available online and at the door.

Electric Six
w/ Yip Deceiver
Black Cat
Sunday, Oct. 11
Doors @7:30pm
$15
All ages