Mavis Staples performs at the Lincoln Theatre in DC on Oct. 19, 2021. (Photos by Ari Strauss)
Amy Helm, perhaps, put it best Tuesday evening at the Lincoln Theatre when she said, “How deeply it moves me to stand on this stage before an American treasure” in Mavis Staples. Mavis headlined the evening, which was a fundraiser for JusticeAid.
JusticeAid is an umbrella progressive fundraising organization that raises money to support various grassroots organizations. The concert was a benefit for the Neighborhood Defender Service. The Neighborhood Defender Service is concerned with police violence, particularly against communities of color. In the evening’s opening remarks, we learned that, so far this year, JusticeAid has been able to give $300,000 to NDS and, following the successful concert, they plan to donate another $100,000 to the cause.
Just before things started closing down, just before 2020 was the last time I saw Wilco perform at The Anthem and hot on the heels of the release of their last LP, Ode to Joy. Since the nearly two years since I’d seen them last, Jeff Tweedy and the band have kept fans engaged with things like the Instagram show (there has to be a better word for this) “The Tweedy Show,” broadcast from Jeff’s home with his family and sometimes guests like the other members of Wilco — a homemade variety show with Jeff, Sammy, and Spencer Tweedy often singing / guitar playing / drumming to Tweedy and Wilco songs along with some fantastic covers.
And just in the past month, Jeff has even started a weekly substack which is like a personal newsletter / inspirational / confessional, maybe called “Starship Casual” where the songwriter shares musings and even rough bits of new songs (or songs-to-be). Basically, the band has been keeping things fresh and us fans fed, so to speak. So, after the announcement that Wilco would be touring again this summer, I couldn’t wait to see the guys — Jeff, John, Mikael, Nels, Pat, and Glenn — back again in the DC area. This time at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland.
Halloween may look different this year, but Stabbing Westward is intent on making it feel special by releasing a brand-new covers EP today as a special “treat” for fans.
Hallowed Hymns, released on COP International Records, features four tracks that were instrumental to the industrial band’s beginnings and conjure the feeling of the season. One of those is a cover of “(Every Day Is) Halloween” by Ministry!
Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy releases his new solo album, Love Is the King, on Oct. 23 via dBpm Records, with the physical release following on Jan. 15. Today, Jeff gives another taste of the record with new single/video “Gwendolyn.”
Full programming details have now been revealed for the anticipated Cold Waves “The Lost Weekend” Virtual Event, to be streamed FREE via Twitch on Sept. 18-20.
Due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, the long-running and much-loved industrial music festival normally held in Chicago heads online this year, giving fans worldwide the chance to take in a variety of performances, screenings, greetings, DJ sets, and more.
Alt-rock pillars Local H share their latest single, “8:46,” following its performance and video debut at their two-night sold out drive-in concerts in Illinois last month. The intense instrumental piece is a wordless tribute to George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement.
Angel Olsen releases Whole New Mess, a new album to be released on Aug. 28 via Jagjaguwar. A super intimate and vulnerable emotional portrait that shows her grappling with a period of personal tumult, Whole New Mess presents Angel working through her open wounds and raw nerves with just a few guitars and some microphones, isolated in a century-old church in the Pacific Northwest.
Shirley King’s latest album, Blues for a King, releases June 19, 2020, via Cleopatra Records.
Just in time for Father’s Day, Shirley King, the daughter of iconic Blues legend B.B. King, releases a new album, Blues for a King, today via Cleopatra Blues, a division of Los Angeles-based Cleopatra Records.
In this latest offering, Shirley steps out of her musical comfort zone to cover diverse range of musical genre including soul, R&B, rock, and her native Blues. The album also features a roster of legendary guitarists including Steve Cropper (Booker T & the MGs), Duke Robillard (Roomful of Blues/Fabulous Thunderbirds), Elvin Bishop (Paul Butterfield Blues Band), Martin Barre (Jethro Tull), and Junior Wells to name a few.
Parklife DC’s Ari Strauss had an opportunity to speak with Shirley by phone recently to discuss the new album, her career, and what it’s like to be the daughter of Blues royalty.