The Decemberists perform at Wolf Trap on Aug. 24, 2022. (Photos by Jason Nicholson)
“Never applaud a guy putting on a harmonica,” The Decemberists frontman Colin Meloy joked as he prepared for “Down By The Water” near the end of their set at Wolf Trap recently. It was the indie-meets-folk-rock band’s first time at the venue, which Meloy repeatedly referred to as “The Trap.” Reflecting on this verbal tic, he pondered, “Does anyone call it ‘The Trap?'”
To answer his question, I don’t know I’ve ever heard it said out loud. I’ve definitely thought of both the larger national park and the music venue itself as ‘The Trap,’ but it’s not something I’ve said.
The Shins perform at The Anthem in DC on Aug. 19, 2022. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)
James Mercer of The Shins called upon folk trio Joseph to join his band on stage. The three sisters stepped gently into an accommodating space to his left and began to harmonize through the soothing yet vaguely haunting vocables that launch the live rendition of “New Slang.”
Performing at The Anthem recently, James turned his sharp eyes to the audience and began to strum his guitar. He eased into the lyrics of “New Slang,” which hails from the 2001 debut album of The Shins — Oh, Inverted World. Although the song’s narrator is lost and unhappy, there is something very reassuring in Mercer’s comforting voice and unharrowed stage presence.
The Decemberists (Photo by Holly Andres)
Chamber pop collective The Decemberists hit the road for a summer tour with a show at Wolf Trap on Wednesday, Aug. 24, in their Arise from the Bunkers Tour.
Laura Veirs (Photo by Shelby Brakken)
When Laura Veirs played at Union State recently, it was the second to last date on a tour of the northeast with supporting act Andy Jenkins. Before that, she’d spent four weeks in the UK. Despite receiving critical acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic, she has developed a larger following overseas. That’s a shame, because she makes fantastic music, and she deserves a larger audience here at home.
Eyelids performs to a standing-room crowd at Comet Ping Pong, March 26, 2022. (Photo by Ari Strauss)
Northwest DC’s beloved pizzeria and concert, Comet Ping Pong, recently hosted Eyelids, the beloved Pacific Northwest power-pop group currently on tour to promote The Accidental Falls, the band’s most recent album which released via Jealous Butcher Records in 2020. I was there to photograph the show!
Eyelids perform at Black Cat on Nov. 19, 2017. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)
The last time Parklife DC talked to Chris Slusarenko of Eyelids was back in February 2019. At the time, Eyelids had started a musical project with Larry Beckett, famed poet and lyricist for singer songwriter Tim Buckley, slated to become “The Accidental Falls” (Jealous Butcher Records). Released at the beginning of 2020, the band was on the verge of mounting an extensive tour in support of the new album when the world shut down. We all know what happened next: tours were canceled, music venues shut down, and audiences went into isolation.
Now as music venues open and audiences return, Eyelids is once again heading out on the road, this time with a new bandmember and a renewed sense of gratitude, awareness, and optimism. After the stress and chaos we’re experienced since March of 2020, most of us have come to appreciate just how precious is the gift of music, and the joy of live performance — a feeling not lost on Eyelids’ members. In addition to Chris, we also had the pleasure of speaking with guitarist John Moen and new bass player Victor Krummenacher (Monks of Doom, Camper Van Beethoven).
Mark Caicedo of Parklife DC caught up with Chris Slusarenko, John Moen, and Victor Krummenacher of Portland-based power pop band Eyelids, prior to the group’s performance at Comet Ping Pong on Saturday, March 26!
Aminé performs at The Fillmore Silver Spring on March 2, 2022. (Photo by AJ Waugh)
Portland powerhouse Aminé’s The Best Tour Ever blew the doors off The Fillmore Silver Spring recently, selling out the venue out even on a Wednesday night. The energy was high from the first moment with opening performances from 454 and Cochise getting the crowd moving. After the openers, curtains were pulled back to reveal the stage and all the pieces of home Amine brought on tour with him, including an 8-foot tall statue of his labradoodle, Oliver.
John Craigie performs at DC’s Union Stage on Oct. 6, 2021. (Photo by Casey Vock)
Standing on stage as a performing musician is likely daunting enough for anyone who is brave enough to put themselves out there. Imagine also tasking yourself with trying to earnestly engage and entertain an audience in between each and every song?
It’s a lesser-embraced style these days, but there’s one gentleman who has built his reputation and his career on the same kind of performances as those that defined the careers of the most famous proponents of the talking blues, men like Woodie Guthrie decades ago, and maybe someone like a Todd Snyder these days. That man is John Craigie, and he brought that style to Union Stage recently.
Modest Mouse (Photo by James Joiner)
In June, Modest Mouse returned with their first new album in six years. Their anxiously awaited seventh full-length, The Golden Casket, is out via Epic Records.
Modest Mouse has embarked on a tour to support the new album, and the band performs at The Anthem in DC on Tuesday, Aug. 17.
Joseph (Photo by Louis Browne)
Pop-rock sister trio Joseph “use harmony like an emotional conveyor belt” (so says Paste), and they are sure to fill your home with harmony during a three-show run via NoonChorus on Thursday, Oct. 8, Friday, Oct. 9, and Saturday, Oct. 10, with each night dedicated to a different album by the band.