Guitarist Phil Manzanera, Drummer Paul Thompson, and vocalist Bryan Ferry perform as Roxy Music at Capital One Arena on Sept. 9, 2022. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)
Fifty years ago, glam rockers Roxy Music released their self-titled debut album, shifting the tide of pop music in the United Kingdom certainly and eventually elevating the sophistication of the modern musical conversation globally.
Never particularly chart toppers in the United States, Roxy Music nonetheless have embarked on an entirely spectacular if slightly surprising 50th-anniversary tour of our country. During the band’s recent performance at Capital One Arena, frontman Bryan Ferry referenced their longevity, saying it was challenging to sort songs from a long career when mounting a retrospective show.
“But we had to do this one from our first album,” Ferry said, introducing “If There Is Something.”
Daryl Hall performs at The Theater at MGM National Harbor on April 16, 2022. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)
Daryl Hall finished a rousing performance of his solo hit “Dreamtime.” And from the center of the stage, he looked to his monitors to leap into his second number during his recent DC-area concert performance.
But the monitors were out, and they stayed out a long minute before Daryl took matters into his own hands. He moved slightly to stage left, where a keyboard sat alone, monitors fully functional, and he went off-script for a soulful delivery of “Rich Girl” by Daryl Hall and John Oates.
The bustling Theatre at MGM National Harbor went wild.
Sparks perform at the Lincoln Theatre in DC on March 26, 2022. (Photos by Jason Nicholson; Words by Mickey McCarter)
Russell and Ron Mael are the quintessential two-fisted auteurs of art rock. You say go one way, they choose their own path. As Sparks, Russell and Ron now celebrate 50 years of being pop pioneers — forging and changing course in unique and surprising ways while still managing to cultivate a tremendous following.
Sparks had a remarkably successful year in which they received recognition for their movie musical Annette and they gained enhanced public exposure from a very good and very thorough documentary about their band directed by Edgar Wright. On this highest of highs, Sparks descended upon the Lincoln Theatre in DC recently to share their idiosyncratic talents with a happily sold-out venue.
Building upon the excitement from the announcement of his sophomore album The Ides of March, Myles Kennedy shares its title track to the masses.
“The Ides Of March” is the longest song on the album clocking in at 7:39 and showcases the musicianship of Myles and cohorts — longtime friend and drummer Zia Uddin and bassist/manager Tim Tournier. The band stretch out musically as Myles sings an ominous warning “beware the ides of March.”
Jed Elliott (left) with The Struts (Photo by Beth Saravo)
On Oct. 16, The Struts released the band’s third album, Strange Days. Managing to record a new album in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic proved difficult. But after a round of tests to ensure everyone’s health and safety, the band moved in together and recorded the entire album from a home-studio over the course of just 10 days. Recording in a way they hadn’t before, during a time unlike any other, The Struts managed to capture the emotions of this moment in history, while balancing it with the fun escapism that many seek through their music.
With the addition of multiple major artists featured throughout the album, and even a cover of a Kiss deep-cut, The Struts pulled off an album that is true to their style, while simultaneously advancing their sound to levels not heard before.
Soon after the album’s release, The Struts bassist Jed Elliott spoke with Parklife DC’s Chris Smyth about all things Strange Days and how the band has been keeping busy during the pandemic.
On a late-afternoon earlier this month, with Dodger Stadium and the downtown Los Angeles skyline in the background, Dirty Honey took to the hills — with suitcase in hand — and shot an acoustic performance clip of their song “Down the Road” as the newest installment in their “Suitcase Sessions” video series.
THE 69 EYES released their apocalyptically titled new album, West End, last fall and started their 30th anniversary world tour. On Friday, June 26, they celebrate three decades by streaming a live show from Helsinki.
Duff McKagan (second from left) and Shooter Jennings (center) with their band (Photo courtesy BWR)
It’s difficult being stuck inside, unable to interact with others face to face. We here at Parklife DC are feeling that along with everyone else. I am regularly looking at my calendar, trying to guess when I’ll be able to get back in a club or arena and do what I love, photograph concerts.
I certainly don’t have the answer to when we’ll all be back to our normal lives, but one thing that is helping me get through this time is listening to music. We are fortunate that so much great music is still being created. Even in these trying times, bands and artists are finding ways to entertain us with live streams and basic recordings from their homes.
But it can be difficult to keep track of who will be performing and when. And if you’re like me, you may just want to throw on an album and let it play. So I have put together a list of some of my favorite albums that came out in 2019.