Live Review: Mike Campbell & The Dirty Knobs @ The Birchmere — 3/28/22

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Mike Campbell performs at The Birchmere on March 28, 2022. (Photo by Marc Caicedo)

“I was born to play guitar and I sure do love my job!”

One might think that a Monday night is a time for quiet reflection and preparation for the week ahead: planning dinners, work schedules, going to bed early. But this time was a little different. Mike Campbell & The Dirty Knobs recently rolled into town and delivered a performance that, for nearly three hours, rocked from beginning to end at The Birchmere. No quiet reflection or getting to bed early this night!

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Live Review: The War on Drugs @ The Anthem — 2/2/22

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The Ward on Drugs performs at The Anthem on Feb. 2, 2022. (Photo by Ben Eisendrath for IMP)

From the late ’70s into the ’80s, two of the most vibrant strands of American popular music were heartland rock and the American underground. These two traditions were very distinct, and there was no overlap. The former, the more mainstream of the two, was the domain of rock gods like Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty, as well as acts like Bruce Hornsby. These artists and bands often employed keys and the saxophone, although they were primarily guitar-driven.

The American Underground evolved from the fast, aggressive, stripped-down attack of punk into the no-wave sound of bands like Sonic Youth and the shoegaze of My Bloody Valentine. Distortion was a key feature of their sound, and they tended to eschew large arrangements, often sticking to guitar, bass, and drums.

Formed in Philadelphia in the early ‘oughts by Adam Granduciel and Kurt Vile, The War on Drugs combines these two disparate traditions, with a heavily guitar-based sound that uses lots of distortion.

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Live Review: Red Wanting Blue @ Tally Ho Theater — 1/27/22

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Red Wanting Blue frontman, Scott Terry performs at Tally Ho Theater in Leesburg, VA, Jan. 28, 2022. (Photo by Ari Strauss)

Red Wanting Blue’s “Hey 22!” tour rolled through Leesburg, Virginia, recently for a performance at Tally Ho Theater. Remarkably, for the band who recently celebrated its 25th anniversary and regularly plays over 200 shows a year, it was their first ever visit to Leesburg and the Tally Ho.

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Preview: Red Wanting Blue @ Tally Ho Theater, 1/27/22

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Red Wanting Blue (Photo courtesy Michael J. Media Group)

Midwestern Rock Heroes Red Wanting Blue Bring Passionate Longevity to the Concert Stage
By Mario Tarradell

Red Wanting Blue, armed with material from 11 studio albums, takes the stage for a powerful performance on Thursday, Jan. 27, at Tally Ho Theater in Leesburg, Virginia.

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Snapshots: Red Wanting Blue @ The Hamilton Live — 9/17/21

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Red Wanting Blue frontman Scott Terry performing at The Hamilton Live, Sept. 17, 2021. (Photo by Ari Strauss)

Red Wanting Blue, the heartland rock band from Columbus, OH, kicked off its “25 and Still Alive,” tour on September 17th with a stop at DC’s Hamilton Live. Parklife DC’s Ari Strauss had an opportunity to interview RWB lead singer, Scott Terry prior to the tour opener.

Read Ari’s interview with Red Wanting Blue lead singer, Scott Terry HERE.

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Live Review: Ratboys and Wild Pink @ Songbyrd Music House — 9/14/21

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Ratboys perform at the new location of Songbyrd Music House  on Sept. 14, 2021. (Photo by Casey Vock)

Not often does a double bill work to evenly showcase the best of two bands, but on occasion, there can be a symbiotic relationship between two touring musical acts that is so wholesome that each can get the most out of valuable, even if in some ways taxing, time on the road.

It does appear as though the current tour co-headlined by Ratboys and Wild Pink is so far a success, the local evidence being a highly enjoyable show put on Sept. 14 by this pair of bands at the newly launched Songbyrd Music House on Penn Street NE, near Union Market.

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Song of the Day: “Crescent Bridge” by Joe Pug

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Joe Pug (Photo by Vivian Wang)

Singer-songwriter Joe Pug recently announced a new album, The Diving Sun, which brings together lost gems from his various studio sessions with producers Duane Lundy (Jim James, Ben Sollee) and Kenneth Pattengale (The Milk Carton Kids, Joy Williams) along with new songs recorded in quarantine.

To accompany the announcement, Joe shared the album’s romping summer romance lead track, “Crescent Bridge.”

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Song of the Day: “Goldbrick Champion” by Broke Royals featuring Bartees Strange

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Broke Royals (Photo courtesy the band)

Broke Royals is rewriting doubts. Turning negative self-talk into positive affirmations. Hokey as it sounds, the band was willing to try anything after the world, and their income stream, came to a grinding halt this year.

On “Goldbrick Champion,” the band is exalting its weaknesses to the tune of an ’80s-inspired slacker anthem. Propelled by a drum machine and an infectious bass groove, the DC band is spinning their insecurities into pop-rock gold.

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Interview: Broke Royals (New Single: “U + Me + WWIII”)

Broke RoyalsBroke Royals (Photo courtesy the band)

DC heartland rockers Broke Royals release a new single, “U + Me + WWIII,” on Friday, Sept. 4. The song focuses on anxiety-related insomnia largely stemming from the political and social unrest facing the world today.

This track sprang from Broke Royals’ Alone, Together series where the band creates a new song every week. Season 1 of Alone, Together, a livestream chat and music series, wrapped on July 31 after 10 episodes and 10 accompanying new songs. Broke Royals launches Season 2 of Alone, Together on Sept. 18.

Parklife DC’s Mickey McCarter chatted with Philip Basnight and Colin Cross of Broke Royals in advance of the new single and upcoming livestream series for an inside look at the band’s creative process. And of course, Parklife DC readers named Broke Royals as the Best DC Band of 2018 in our inaugural Thrushie Awards, so you know the gents started out strong, and they are only getting better.

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