Don’t Miss: David Bowie’s Birthday Celebration @ Dodge City, 1/12/17

David Bowie (Photo by Jimmy King)

David Bowie would have celebrated his 70th birthday on Jan. 8, 2017.

While David is gone, his music remains. So join Careless Memories: A New Wave Party on Thursday, Jan. 12, for a night of music by Bowie in remembrance of the man.

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Music Park: Duran Duran @ MGM National Harbor — 12/31/16

Duran Duran 17 Duran Duran perform at MGM National Harbor on Dec. 31, 2016. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

“Did you get your smoked salmon and your caviar? Or is anybody hungry?” roared Simon LeBon, introducing “Hungry Like the Wolf” by Duran Duran on New Year’s Eve.

Booked for a special weekend of shows on New Year’s Eve and then New Year’s Day 2017, Duran Duran fed a ravenous sold-out crowd song after song at The Theater at MGM National Harbor Saturday, fielding one of the very first concerts in the brand new casino and entertainment complex on the cusp of DC city limits in Oxon Hill, Maryland.

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Don’t Miss: Life on Mars @ Gypsy Sally’s, 1/6/17

Bowie tribute band Life on Mars perform at Cary Street Cafe in Richmond, Va., on Feb. 18, 2016. (Photo courtesy Life on Mars)

A six-man band in Richmond, Virginia, aims to keep alive the spirit of David Bowie, and they are coming to DC to perform at Gypsy Sally’s on Friday, Jan. 6.

David Bowie would have turned 70 on Jan. 8, so this is a perfect opportunity to come out and salute the music icon. (Our own DJ dance party — Careless Memories: Happy Birthday, David Bowie — follows shortly after at Dodge City on Thursday, Jan. 12!)

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Don’t Miss: Book of Love @ U Street Music Hall, 2/11/17

Ted Ottaviano and Susan Ottaviano of Book of Love (Photo by Frank Ockenfels)

In the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, many very good UK bands adopted the synthesizer as their primary instrument and made sweeping, romantic dance tunes.

Although many US bands also adopted synthesizers, few Americans added to the canon of New Romantic synthpop. One notable exception was the exceptional New York quartet Book of Love, who released their debut album 30 years ago in 1986, serving up terrific and epic songs like “Boy,” “I Touch Roses,” “You Make Me Feel So Good,” and “Modigliani (Lost in Your Eyes).”

Susan Ottaviano, Ted Ottaviano, Lauren Johnson, and Jade Lee published a total of four albums before calling it a day in 1994. Thankfully, the band officially reunited in 2013 to start performing again. And after a long absence from DC, Book of Love will play U Street Music Hall on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017.

Watch the official music video for “Pretty Boys and Pretty Girls” by Book of Love from their sophomore album Lullaby on YouTube:

At recent shows, such as two performances in Southern California on Dec. 9 and 10, Book of Love have been revisiting all of these songs and more. Clearly, this is a show to get excited about!

Book of Love are offering a VIP ticket that includes a meet and greet and early admission to the venue. VIP check-in occurs one hour before doors. Tickets are available online.

Book of Love
U Street Music Hall
Saturday, Feb. 11
Doors @7pm
$25 GA/$50 VIP
All ages

Music Park: Careless Memories @ Dodge City, 12/8/16

Duran Duran tour visits San Francisco in 1982
Duran Duran photographed for Melody Maker Magazine in England in 1982. (Photo by Chester Simpson)

Your live concert review blog Parklife DC hosts a little music party called Careless Memories on the second Thursday of every month at Dodge City (917 U St. NW, DC). And every month, we are inspired to explore some aspect of my favorite music genre — new wave — using some upcoming concert review or related event to which our blog is committed.

As you can imagine then, it makes me very happy to focus on the music of Duran Duran for the month of December, as we take our parties name from a Duran Duran song. The boys from Birmingham are coming to DC metro for two shows at the MGM National Harbor on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. The New Year’s Eve show sold out, but tickets remain for New Year’s Day. (Check out our preview.)

Whether you’re going to MGM National Harbor or not, you can join us for a listening experience in appreciation of Duran Duran. In our next party on Thursday, Dec. 8, we’ll explore Duran Duran a bit with a look at their contemporaries and influences. But we’ll also keep in mind that it’s Christmas, so we’ll be sure to play a smattering of new wave Christmas tunes as well. Come and celebrate with us and our theme Duran Duran Save Christmas on Thursday.

I’m waaaaaay overdue in inviting you to watch the official music video for “Rio” by Duran Duran on YouTube:

At Careless Memories, you’ll hear new wave tunes from Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, Japan, Culture Club, Simple Minds, the Eurythmics, and Adam Ant (who’s visiting DC in January!). You can also count on hearing a little bit from Duran Duran influencers like David Bowie, Roxy Music, and CHIC.

Admission is free. RSVP on Facebook, or simply show up and say Merry Christmas!

For more from our fantastic photographer friend Chester Simpson, visit

Duran Duran Save Christmas
Careless Memories: A New Wave Party
Dodge City
Thursday, Dec. 8
Show @8pm

Don’t Miss: Careless Memories @ Dodge City, 12/8/16

Duran Duran 1982
Duran Duran for Melody Maker Magazine in England in 1982. (Photo by Chester Simpson)

Christmas is the season of giving, charity, and good will toward all men. Duran Duran are the band of style, optimism, and really good parties. The two go very well together, don’t you think?

And so it is that Careless Memories: A New Wave Party will celebrate Duran Duran at the Christmas edition of our dance party on Thursday, Dec. 8, at Dodge City. Join us for an evening of amazing new wave songs as Duran Duran Save Christmas.

Watch the official music video for “New Moon on Monday” by Duran Duran on YouTube:

The timing of our party is inspired by the surprise announcement of Duran Duran concerts on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day at MGM National Harbor. (Read our Parklife DC preview!) Of course, Duran Duran came through town on their Paper Gods Tour at the Verizon Center back in April. (Read our Parklife DC review and analysis of why they are so great with disco-master Nile Rodgers.)

When you attend our holiday party, Duran Duran Save Christmas, you’ll dance along to an extra dose of new wave tunes from Birmingham’s brightest stars –- Duran Duran! Alongside Simon Le Bon and company, I’ll play some of their contemporaries in bands like Spandau Ballet, Japan, Culture Club, Simple Minds, the Eurythmics, and Adam Ant (who’s visiting DC in January!). You can also count on hearing a little bit from Duran Duran influencers like David Bowie, Roxy Music, and CHIC.

Admission is free. RSVP on Facebook, or simply show up and say hello! (And what an opportunity to introduce yourself: We are named after a Duran Duran song after all.)

For more from our fantastic photographer friend Chester, visit

Duran Duran Save Christmas
Careless Memories: A New Wave Party
Dodge City
Thursday, Dec. 8
Show @8pm

Music Park: CHVRCHES @ Echostage — 10/17/16

CHVRCHES 000 Lauren Mayberry sings at Echostage in DC on Monday, Oct. 17, 2016. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

Chvrches’ plan now that they have completely finished touring the album Every Open Eye?

“We’re going to go home and nap for a long time,” said singer Lauren Mayberry during her performance at Echostage on Monday, Oct. 17. “Then, we are going to start writing another album!”

The declaration that Chvrches would return in a few years drew a happy cheer from the sold-out Echostage, where Chvrches finished an epic tour on their sophomore album with two DC shows on Oct. 17 and 18. On the first of those two shows, the crowd swelled into every corner of the warehouse venue to show their appreciation for Chvrches, dancing excitedly to every one of 17 songs performed by the band.

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Music Park: Midge Ure @ Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club — 10/4/16

Midge Ure  18
Midge Ure performs at Bethesda Blues and Jazz on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016.

The magnificent Midge Ure brought passion and pathos to Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club on Tuesday, performing locally with a backing band for the first time in quite some time!

Early last year, Midge warmed our hearts in Bethesda on his Fragile Troubadour Tour, where he came only with an acoustic guitar in hand and songs in his heart. This time around, he was “Live and Electric” with the able assistance of drummer BC Taylor and guitarist Tony Solis, who also played keyboards.

Midge shined in a 75-minute set that covered highlights from his years as lead singer of Ultravox, as well as some of his solo hits and the ever-remarkable “Fade to Grey,” the famed UK #1 hit he wrote for his former band Visage. Midge’s voice soared with rich liveliness as he roared or whispered the words to the amazing, powerful songs that have become his signature.

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Interview: Midge Ure (@Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club, 10/4/16)

Midge Ure (Photo courtesy Erika Tooker)

Midge Ure may have famously sang, “This means nothing to me” in the Ultravox song “Vienna,” but don’t be fooled. The influential musician and humanitarian invests quite a lot of himself in his music and his causes, touring the world and arranging endeavors like Live Aid, Band Aid, and Live 8 concert festivals. After being away from the United States for a very long time, Midge has been returning regularly in recent years, performing material from his solo albums, from Ultravox, and from other projects.

Midge’s next US tour starts on Sept. 30 in Amityville, NY, and ends Oct. 15 in Atlanta. (Find tickets for Midge’s shows via Songkick.)

On this tour, Midge performs in the DC area on Oct. 4 at Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club — the same venue he visited when he was last here in early 2015. Joining Midge in a three-piece band are drummer BC Taylor and keyboard player Tony Solis, both of whom will also play other instruments for this “Live and Electric” tour.

Parklife DC was honored to catch up with Midge to ask him about the tour and his other current projects as well as the future of Ultravox and meaning in a world without David Bowie.

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Music Park: Culture Club @ Strathmore Music Center — 9/11/16

Culture Club 07
Boy George sings at Strathmore Music Center on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016.

Boy George has embraced a new level of maturity, inspired in part by one of his heroes, funk musician Sly Stone.

Recalling a magazine interview with Sly during a performance by Culture Club on Sunday night, George quoted Sly as saying, “I have many regrets, but none that I can remember right now.”

George discussed personal growth during a show at Strathmore Music Hall in Bethesda, Maryland, in the introduction to new Culture Club song “Different Man,” which will tentatively appear on a new album set for 2017 on Culture Club’s own label, Different Man Music. (There’s a theme for you!) George emphasized that you don’t become a different person like Sly, who may have done some reckless things in his youth, simply by growing older. Wisdom doesn’t simply manifest itself, and people must have the will to change, like Sly — or like George.

“You have to decide to change and become a different man,” George acknowledged. With that, George launches into the soulful song about turning a new leaf. We understand clearly that George is apologizing for his own past behavior, and that he’s here now with his bandmates in Culture Club for the better.

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