Interview: Willie Nile (@ The Hamilton Live, 7/8/22)

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Willie Nile (Photo by Cristina Arrigoni)

Willie Nile is a New York City-based singer-songwriter whose recording career span reaches back to 1980. He’s hard to place in an a precise genre, as his influences range from Bob Dylan to Lou Reed, and he’s also covered The Clash. He’s a rock ‘n’ roller who, even into his 70s, is still the same  guy who wasn’t afraid to fight the record companies in a legal case that set a precedent.

But he’s also a trained pianist who can just as easily do a ballad as he might just rock out. His work finds a great balance between raw musculature and cerebral refinement, managing to thread in literary and cultural references without pretension. It’s rock with brains — it sounds great, and there’s steak to go with the sizzle.

Willie released a new album, The Day the Earth Stood Still, last year, and now he’s on tour. Willie and his band perform at DC’s The Hamilton Live on Friday, July 8, and Parklife DC’s Mark Engleson talked to him in advance of that show.

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Live Review: Jesse Malin @ The Hamilton Live — 6/11/22


Jesse Malin (Photo courtesy Partisan Arts PR)

Punk was a reaction to the increasingly sophisticated nature of rock music, especially the rise of progressive rock in the early ’70s. Punk stripped rock music backed down to its bare essentials, to a fast, hard-charging, guitar-based attack.

It’s not surprising then, that Jesse Malin, who grew up in the NYC hardcore band Heart Attack and later fronted D Generation, later turned to roots rock, becoming widely respected figure and working with luminaries like Lucinda Williams and Bruce Springsteen. Even though Jesse is in his early 50s, he’s still full of fire, and he put a ton of energy into his performance at The Hamilton Live recently, even climbing on tables and chairs to work up the crowd.

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Preview: They Might Be Giants @ 9:30 Club + Lincoln Theatre, 6/9, 6/10 + 6/11/22


They Might Be Giants (Photo by Sam Graff)

They Might Be Giants released the dazzling album and coffee table art book project, BOOK, last Fall. And now they are finally hitting the road for an oft-delayed tour, rescheduled due to pandemic lockdowns.

Many dates on the tour are sold out, including three DC dates — at 9:30 Club on Thursday, June 9, and at the Lincoln Theatre on Friday, June 10, and Saturday, June 11. For those of us attending, these are sure to be shows to remember!

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Snapshots: Sofi Tukker @ 9:30 Club — 5/21/22

Sofi Tukker perform at 9:30 Club on May 21, 2022. (Photo by Katherine Gaines / AmbientEye.com)

Earlier this month, Sofi Tukker’s sophomore album, WET TENNIS, debuted at No. 1 on Chartbeat’s Current Electronic Albums chart and No. 12 on the Dance/Electronic Billboard 200 chart. The duo dropped by 9:30 Club in a celebratory tour, and Katherine Gaines shot them in action.

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Live Review: Interpol @ The Anthem — 5/10/22

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Interpol performs at The Anthem on May 10, 2022. (Photos by Casey Vock; Words by Mickey McCarter)

Interpol came to The Anthem in DC recently to turn on the bright lights!

The trio have a new album, The Other Side of Make-Believe, due in July, but you wouldn’t have known it for all of the love lavished on the band’s 2002 debut record. But that made sense when you consider it’s given us 20 years of frontman Paul Banks and company!

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Live Review: Gogol Bordello @ 9:30 Club — 5/7/22

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Gogol Bordello performs at 9:30 Club on May 7, 2022. (Photo by Ben Eisendrath/ Instagram: @insomnigraphic)

This is not your babushka’s polka.

In normal times, when you’re about to catch an infamously party-centric, rambunctious act of the likes of Gogol Bordello, your headspace is filled with thoughts of dancing, drinking, and living life to the fullest. You’re not necessarily worried about the geopolitical machinations that insidiously weave its way into the fabric of everyday existence; indeed, performance art is often a means of escape from those quotidien worries.

But, as we are all too well aware, these are not normal times. Strolling up to the venerable 9:30 Club on a cold, wet night in May, I was surreptitiously conscious of the significance of this concert.

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Live Review: Marilyn Hucek @ Songbyrd Music House — 5/3/22

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Marilyn Hucek encourages her fans to sing along during her DC debut at Songbyrd Music House, May 3, 2022. (Photo by Ari Strauss)

As long as she can recall, Marilyn Hucek has had one dream: to be a pop star. The pursuit of that dream advanced to a new chapter on a recent evening when Marilyn made her DC debut as the headliner at Songbyrd Music House in DC’s hip Union Market neighborhood.

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Live Review: Big Thief @ The Anthem — 4/21/22

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Adrianne Lenker leads Big Thief in a performance at The Anthem on April 21, 2022. (Photo by Casey Vock)

How do the very best musicians keep their creative focus amid skyrocketing popularity and success? Aiming to reduce external noise and interruption might very well help a band or a group preserve and even hone its identity in the same direction and with a similar rationale that inspired the endeavor to begin with.

Big Thief, the beloved and inexplicably bewitching indie rock group out of Brooklyn, has somehow adhered to what appears to be a fundamental set of guiding principles while managing meteoric growth since its inception less than seven years ago.

At a highly anticipated appearance at The Anthem in DC recently, Big Thief was able to shrink the ultramodern venue, effectively diffusing any potential distraction presented by its large size and cutting through its deep space to reach the audience clear and to emotional effect.

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