Live Review: Colin Hay @ The Birchmere — 8/17/21

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Colin Hay performs at The Birchmere on Aug. 17, 2021. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

Colin Hay was in lockdown at home in California, searching for ways to pass the time like the rest of us. He concluded, as perhaps many others did, “I Just Don’t Know What to Do With Myself.”

Thankfully, the quick-witted Scotsman immediately connected the thought to a hit song of that title, written by Burt Bacharach and covered by Dusty Springfield in 1964. It was a song Colin loved from his youth, and he scoured his memories of his father’s record store in the ’50s and ’60s for other inspirational tunes. Colin recorded and released 10 of them as a covers album

So it turns out that Colin did in fact know what to do with himself, which was abundantly evident in a wonderfully engrossing show by the drily humorous veteran in the first of two nights at The Birchmere recently.

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Song of the Day: “How Not to Drown” by CHVRCHES featuring Robert Smith

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CHVRCHES and Robert Smith (Photo by Sebastian Mlynarski & Kevin J Thomson)

CHVRCHES recently announced their highly anticipated fourth studio album, Screen Violence, due out Aug. 27 on Glassnote Records. The band has also shared the second single from the forthcoming record, titled “How Not to Drown,” featuring one of the trio’s ultimate heroes, Robert Smith.

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Song of the Day: David Bowie’s “Five Years” by Duran Duran

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Duran Duran (Photo by Stephanie Pistel)

New wave legends Duran Duran long have embraced their David Bowie influences. And the quartet also have covered Bowie’s songs, first grabbing attention with their fantastic cover of “Fame,” which they introduced on their first-ever US tour (which included a date at The Bayou here in DC back in 1981).

Today, in celebration of what would have been Bowie’s 74th birthday, Duran Duran release a cover of his epic “Five Years” from The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.

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Livestream Preview: Culture Club @ SSE Arena, Wembley, 12/19/20

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Culture Club (Photo courtesy Ticketmaster)

New wave icons Culture Club sound better than ever, and you can hear and see for yourself when they take to the stage at SSE Arena, Wembley, on Saturday, Dec. 19, for a special livestream performance, Rainbow in the Dark!

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Song of the Day: “One Wish for Christmas” by Limahl

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Limahl (center) and company (Photo courtesy Reybee Inc.)

UK music icon Limahl releases the festive single and video “One Wish For Christmas.” The holiday-themed track is an update to his previously -released song “London for Christmas” (originally released in 2012), reflecting the effect that the COVID-19 pandemic has had.

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Livestream Preview: Colin Hay Plays Men at Work @ Mandolin, 11/1/20

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Colin Hay (Photo by Sebastian Smith)

Singer-songwriter Colin Hay burst onto the global music scene as frontman for Aussies Men at Work. Colin revisits the greatest songs and other surprises of that remarkable band with his Los Angeles-based Men at Work Touring Band in a livestream show via Mandolin on Sunday, Nov. 1!

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Interview: Midge Ure Chats About 40 Years of Ultravox’s “Vienna”

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Midge Ure (Photo courtesy Erika Tooker)

The brilliantly talented Midge Ure inaugurated his Backstage Lockdown Club — a series of live performances, presentations, and chat — via his Patreon site over the last few months. The gregarious singer-songwriter takes requests, performs acoustically, shares tales, greets guests, and more several times a month for a very reasonable subscription fee! In a time of very few concerts due to the pandemic, Midge has thrown us a live music lifeline, and it’s an absolute pleasure to be greeted in song or story by his distinctive Scottish vocal.

During the concert series, Midge performs songs from his solo back catalogue as well as covers and selections from his other bands, including of course Ultravox, the influential New Romantic band he fronted from 1979-1988 (and again circa 2008-2013). Parklife DC’s Mickey McCarter caught up with Midge via Skype to chat about Backstage Lockdown Club, the 40th anniversary of Ultravox’s breakthrough album Vienna, and more.

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Livestream Preview: Future Islands @ Noon Chorus, 10/9/20

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Future Islands (Photo by Justin Flythe)

Baltimore new wavers Future Islands release As Long As You Are, the band’s sixth studio album, this week via 4AD. That same day, Future Islands livestreams a special concert performance, titled “A Stream of You and Me” via Noon Chorus on Friday, Oct. 9.

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