Ticket Giveaway: Princess @ 9:30 Club, 9/25/16

princess Maya Rudolph and Gretchen Lieberum are Princess. (Photo courtesy the band)

In April of this year, a great man left us too soon. Popstar Prince passed away, leaving behind a tremendous legacy of tremendously good music.

While we of course should always mourn his loss, we also should celebrate his work. And that’s the idea behind tribute band Princess. Princess is no ordinary tribute band. It consists of Saturday Night Live’s Maya Rudolph and musician Gretchen Lieberum, best friends since college.

It’s important to note that Princess has been around since at least 2012, when they first appeared nationally on The Tonight Show to perform Darling Nikki on the show. Princess have launched a short tour this month, and that tour stops at the 9:30 Club on Sunday, Sept. 25.

Watch Princess perform “Darling Nikki” on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon on YouTube:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BclKB9cJUGo]

Parklife DC is giving away a pair of tickets so that you can celebrate the music of Prince with this loving tribute by Princess! To win, simply leave a comment on this blog, but you know I have to ask: What is your favorite Prince song?

For the rules of this giveaway–

Comments will be closed at 5pm on Thursday and a winner will be randomly selected. The winner will be notified by email. The winner must respond to our email within 24 hours or they will forfeit their tickets and we will pick another winner. We will email you instructions on claiming your ticket. Good luck!

If you don’t enter or win our contest, you also can buy tickets online!

Princess
featuring Maya Rudolph and Gretchen Lieberum
9:30 Club
Sunday, Sept. 25
Doors @7pm
$30
All ages

Princess_Flyer

Music Park: SHAED (Opened for Marian Hill) @ 9:30 Club — 9/10/16

SHAED EPA signed copy of SHAED’s new EP, Just Wanna See (Photo Credit: Jeremy Bailey)

As the members of SHAED walked triumphantly off the stage at the 9:30 Club, the audience exploded with cheer and began to chant mightily, “One more song! One more song!”

SHAED opened (along with VÉRITÉ) for Marian Hill on Saturday, September 10th, part of the early show at the club that night (scheduled before a separate DJ set at 11pm). Opening bands don’t get an encore in that situation, but the crowd was not having it. Finally, with the expectant crowd in full chant mode, Chelsea Lee (lead singer) had to come back on stage to put the nix on our hopes.

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Don’t Miss: SHAED (Opening for Marian Hill) @ 9:30 Club, 9/10/16

SHAEDSHAED (Photo courtesy of Gold Atlas)

Formerly known as The Walking Sticks, local DC band SHAED performs at the 9:30 Club on Saturday, September 10th, opening for Marian Hill, an electronic duo with R&B influences from Philadelphia.

Get your tickets here.

With new music to their credit, SHAED looks to keep winning over DC denizens to their cause.

SHAED is Chelsea Lee on vocals and the twin brothers Max and Spencer Ernst on all instruments.

They released two new singles recently, “Thunder” and “Running Through the Fields”, both highlighting their groovy, pop sounds and Chelsea’s powerful voice.

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/279565517″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”150″ iframe=”true” /]

I first saw them play a few times when they were still The Walking Sticks, and enjoyed their performances then. With their new songs now available, it’s time to give them a another listen and come down to the 9:30 Club!

Also on the three-act bill is VÉRITÉ, electropop songstress Kelsey Byrne.

SHAED (Opening for Marian Hill)
w/ VÉRITÉ
9:30 Club
Saturday, September 10, 2016
Doors 6:00pm
$25
All ages

Music Park: Yumi Zouma @ DC9 — 6/8/16

Yumi-Zouma-Yoncalla-2-1-LEADYumi Zouma (Photo Courtesy of Pitch Perfect PR)

Yumi Zouma, by way of New Zealand, captivated the DC9 crowd on Wednesday, June 8th with a fine mix of dreamy pop, synth hooks and Christie Simpson’s exuberantly clear voice.

With their name etched in cursive, hovering in the stage background in bright lights, Yumi Zouma played 14 fun, breezy songs from their new album and two previous EPs.

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Don’t Miss: Yumi Zouma @ DC9, 6/8/16

Yumi-Zouma-Yoncalla-1-new-lead-photoYumi Zouma (Photo Courtesy of Pitch Perfect PR)

Yumi Zouma comes to DC9 on Wednesday, June 8th, bringing an effortless, breezy dreampop sound.

From New Zealand, the band includes Christie Simpson (lead vocals), Sam Perry, Charlie Ryder (guitar) and Josh Burgess.

Their new album, Yoncalla, came out today, May 27th, just in time for their US tour (started on May 25th in San Francisco). I recommend you buy yourself a copy quick, on iTunes or even a vinyl copy.

Songs like “Barricade (Matter Of Fact)” and “Keep It Close To Me” are the perfect complement to our newly found summer (or is it going to rain again?). Light, airy and completely catchy.

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/260706071″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”150″ iframe=”true” /]

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/257281181″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”150″ iframe=”true” /]

 

Yumi Zouma
DC9
Wednesday, June 8
Doors 8:30pm
$10
All ages

Don’t Miss: Julia Holter @ Rock and Roll Hotel, 2/25/16

Julia HolterJulia Holter (Photo Courtesy of Motor Mouth Media)

Julia Holter makes a stop in DC on her 3-month tour on February 25th.

From and based in LA, Julia brings her experimental pop vibe to the Rock and Roll Hotel, with Circuit des Yeux opening.

Her fourth and most recent album, Have You In My Wilderness, got good press in the UK ranking #1 on a few Year-End Lists. Here in the US, the press has described the album as, “Enchanting” by Rolling Stone and, “A breathtaking headphone record that rewards amplified, focused listening.” by the LA Times. Our own Washington Post wrote, “An alluring bundle of pop songs.”

The experimental part of her sound, is the eclectic range of genres she infuses and samples, from classical to jazz to rock to pop.

The “Sea Calls Me Home”, from the new album, is an airy song, that builds towards a horn driven solo. “I can’t swim. It lucidity. So clear!’ is the chorus, which is interesting but may or may not be as lucid as declared.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OERixQR-hxY]

 

“Feel You”, also from Have You In My Wilderness, takes place on an optimistic rainy day, and reminds me a little of an Ingrid Michaelson song, yet slightly more adventurous.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2JgMniIpRM]

 

Get your tickets to the show here.

Julia Holter will be ready to entertain you at the Rock and Roll Hotel in just under a month’s time. Come and see what all the fuss is about.

 

Julia Holter
w/ Circuit des Yeux
Rock and Roll Hotel
Thursday, February 25
Doors @ 7:00pm
$15
All ages

Music Park: Marina and the Diamonds @ Lincoln Theatre — 11/6/15

Marina and the Diamonds
Marina Diamandis performs at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles on Oct. 19, 2015. (Photo by Frank Mojica)

I saw Marina and the Diamonds perform twice in 2015, for the fourth and fifth times respectively, in Las Vegas and DC.

The first time in April at the Boulevard Pool at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas was a decidedly mature affair. Stopping between showcases at the Coachella Valley Music Festival on Monday, April 13, Marina Diamandis performed in a diva’s gown, meant to seduce us in the moonlight, opening her set with “Bubblegum Bitch” from the 2012 album, Electra Heart. The Welch beauty was staggering — her fantastic voice impossibly perfect and her striking poise formidable.

The second time on Friday, Nov. 6, at the Lincoln Theatre in DC as part of the Neon Nature tour was a decidedly different, albeit still quite enjoyable, experience. As a fully conceived tour stop for her most successful album to date — Froot, released in March 2015 — the tour was designed to take us through three phases of Marina beginning with her first album, 2010’s The Family Jewels, and ending with her third in three acts. The new wave diva didn’t change the content of her songs or some of their overt sexuality, which is often philosophical rather than physical in expression, but her audience on the official tour date was tremendously younger! As an attendee of the two shows, the difference was jarring.

Nonetheless, Marina and the Diamonds — she’s a solo act (Marina) and we are the diamonds — performed her heart out leaping into three different skintight outfits to strut, pout and dance away the evening in a thoroughly memorable concert performance.

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Don’t Miss: Back to the 80s Show w/ Jessie’s Girl and Rob Base @ Howard Theatre, 10/16/15

8498_jessiesgirl_canalroom_20130427_1517
Jenna O’Gara of Jessie’s Girl killing it at the Canal Room in New York City (Photo by Manish Gosalia)

If there’s one thing my old friends know about me, it’s that I like an ’80s dance party. (Check out my Parklife DC list of 80s parties if you want some evidence!)

And that’s one reason why I absolutely must check out a performance by New York City’s biggest ’80s cover band, Jessie’s Girl, who are visiting DC to perform at the Howard Theatre in a late show tomorrow night, Friday, Oct. 16.

And they are bringing along with them Rob Base, the hip hop artist perhaps best known for the ’80s hit “It Takes Two” with the late DJ E-Z Rock. In concert with Jessie’s Girl, Rob Base has performed his signature songs “It Takes Two” and “Joy & Pain” (…are like sunshine and rain)!

Watch Jessie’s Girl get a little new wave with their cover of “Take on Me” by A-ha on YouTube:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0vktzLKAP0]

And lest you make the mistake of thinking that Jessie’s Girl are heavy on flash and light on talent, watch this charming acoustic studio cover of “Time After Time” by Cyndi Lauper:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HB-cHlJxk2k]

Tickets are available online. This is a great opportunity for all of us to see this fun cover band in our own backyard. See you there for a totally awesome time!

Back to the 80s
Jessie’s Girl
Special Performance by Rob Base
Howard Theatre
Friday, Oct. 16
Show @10pm
$20
21+

Music Park: Farao @ U Street Music Hall — 9/23/15

Farao
Farao (Photo by Kristin Slotterøy)

On her debut album Till It’s All Forgotten, Farao sings the song “Bodies” in a haunting manner over layered instrumentation that sometimes sounds like a train gaining speed. Lyrically, the song about trust, or the lack thereof, in a relationship, and the churning music adds some punch to the words.

In live performance, the native Norwegian herself gravitates toward acoustic instruments, leaving her synths to a touring bandmate. The result is much less urgent, giving the lyrics more room to breathe. In so doing, Farao, born Kari Jahnsen, emphasizes the mesmerizing quality of her voice.

Farao treated a half-full room to such a delivery at U Street Music Hall on Wednesday night, touring in support of Till It’s All Forgotten, which was released earlier this month, as the opening act for UK punk trio The Cribs.

Watch Farao perform “Bodies” for Le Bruit des Graviers on Sept. 4, 2015:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpRS9sdkaKM]

On the album, another song — “Fragments” — starts out almost like a chiptune but then blossoms into layers of instruments and voice as Farao paces herself alongside the music. Singing in almost a hushed nursery rhyme style, she uses repetition of words to mirror what is happening instrumentally to pleasing effect. The song is about not being able to see the full picture with its refrain “If you don’t believe me, no one will.”

It’s also a song ready-made for performance as its appealing structure translates well to the stage.

Watch Farao play “Fragments” live at Træna Festival 2014, published July 16 2014:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CvwuHVewScI?list=PLnuBnM8PFlsTGfBeXRmDhTTLgp3xYY9wq]

Although Farao plays many different instruments, seeing her live is truly the best opportunity to listen to her voice, which she uses to good effect in concert.

Up until last night, Farao was touring at the opening act for The Cribs. Now, she has three more dates in the United States without them — tonight in Portsmouth, NH, and Tuesday in Los Angeles and Wednesday in San Francisco. She’s a worthy opener and well worth contemplating if she happens to perform solo.

Don’t Miss: Madonna @ Verizon Center, 9/12/15

Madonna_Credit-Mert-Alas-and-Marcus-Piggot1-e1437448394368-crop
Madonna, still the woman of dreams (Photo by Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott)

In the fall of 1983, I bought my very first cassette tape — Madonna’s self-titled debut album.

I had seen the once and future Material Girl on television, most remarkably while listening to her perfect garage disco videos on Night Flight, which then aired on USA Network.

While this may signify that I’m a man of a certain age, Madonna has remained interesting and relevant even as she celebrated her 57th birthday last month. Her latest album, Rebel Heart, manages to capture all of the things that we know and love about Madonna as signified with the new hits “Living for Love” and “Ghosttown” while also catching some modern dance zeitgeist in collaborations with Diplo on house pastiche of “Bitch I’m Madonna” or with Avicii on the reggae vibes of “Devil Pray.”

All the same, it’s a solid album that has begat another incredible tour, and that tour stops at the Verizon Center in DC tomorrow, Saturday, Sept. 12. And although this show is tomorrow, it’s not too late to go! Tickets are still available.

Watch Madonna deliver an intimate performance of “Ghosttown” on “Le Grand Journal” on CANAL+ on March 3, 2015:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5ChLlvkr44]

When Madonna last visited DC three years ago (also at the Verizon Center), I then wrote for the blog We Love DC: “She went through at least four different acts over two hours, which comes to an end with a totally giddy and exuberant celebration of all of the reasons the dance floor has loved her for so long.”

She tirelessly performed a career-spanning set, occasionally addressing the audience directly during moments of downtime and forging connections with her magnetic personality.

In addition to songs from the new album, setlist reports reveal Madonna has been performing an acoustic version of “True Blue” along with other significant songs from previous albums, including “Vogue,” “Like a Virgin,” “Who’s That Girl” and “Music.”

There are still good seats available in prime 100-section seats without paying resale prices. Don’t miss out!

Madonna
Verizon Center
Saturday, Sept. 12
Doors @7pm
$43-$358
All ages