Live Review: Weezer @ Royal Farms Arena — 3/17/19

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Weezer performs at the Royal Farms Arena on March 17, 2019. (Photos by Rashad Polk)

Weezer’s set at Royal Farms Arena during their co-headlining tour with The Pixies highlighted the importance of having fun while performing. Weezer is currently on tour in support of their Weezer (Teal) and (Black) Albums, both of which were released this year, but they are also contending with the fortunate problem of their ability to write hit songs.

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Live Review: Teenage Fanclub @ 9:30 Club — 3/16/19

Photo by Kyle Gustafson
Teenage Fanclub performs at 9:30 Club on March 16, 2019. (Photo by Kyle Gustafson)

It seems wrong to start a concert review by mentioning the one guy that wasn’t there, but we might as well address the elephant in the room first thing. Last fall, Gerry Love, bassist and founding member of Teenage Fanclub, announced he would leave the group after their winter run of shows in the UK.

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Live Review: Ty Segall & White Fence @ Ottobar — 2/25/19

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Ty Segall performs at Ottobar on Feb. 25, 2019. (Photo by Andy Jillson)

As a rule, I never miss an opportunity to catch a performance by prolific garage rocker and rock ‘n’ roll slave Ty Segall. This time around, he paid a visit to Ottobar in Baltimore with fellow musical genius and American musician/singer-songwriter Tim Presley aka White Fence.

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Live Review: EYELIDS @ Comet Ping Pong — 2/11/19

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Chris Slusarenko of Eyelids performs at Comet Ping Pong on Feb. 11, 2019. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

How could anyone not like the music of Eyelids? Those bouncy songs reminiscent of Big Star and Badfinger, the infectious sense of fun, the sweet melodies and bummer vibes that infuse it with something more than your typical power pop. It was all there at Comet Ping Pong recently.

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Interview: Chris Slusarenko of Eyelids (@ Comet Ping Pong, 2/11/19)

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Chris Slusarenko of Eyelids performs at the Black Cat on Nov. 19, 2017. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

Mark Caicedo of Parklife DC caught up with Chris Slusarenko, frontman of Portland-based power pop band Eyelids, prior to the group’s performance at Comet Ping Pong on Monday, Feb. 11!

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Live Review: The Smithereens @ State Theatre — 1/18/19

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The Smithereens perform at State Theatre on Jan. 18, 2019. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

Much has been written about the redemptive power of rock and roll; its ability to transport us to another place and time or to a cherished memory — as well as its power of community and the way a widely disparate audience can revel in a shared moment of unparalleled spontaneous joy. Those moments repeated themselves over and over at the State Theatre recently when The Smithereens featuring Robin Wilson dropped into town for their 19th performance at the historic Falls Church music venue.

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Interview: Jim Babjak of The Smithereens (@ State Theater, 1/18/19 )

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The Smithereens for the State Theatre show, left to right: Jim Babjak (guitar), Robin Wilson (lead vocals), Dennis Diken (drums), and Mark Mesaros (bass) (Photo courtesy Lappen Enterprises)

Power pop aficionados think of the ’70s and ’80s as the genre’s heyday — an era that included performers like Nick Lowe and Dave Edmunds, years that saw the emergence of bands like Big Star and Cheap Trick, and a time that culminated with the Gin Blossoms and Matthew Sweet.

For many music lovers (myself included), The Smithereens captured all the salient characteristics of a classic power pop band: the jangly ringing Byrds-like guitars, the Beach Boys’ high harmonies, the Beatles melodic lyricism… and perhaps the crunching heaviness of Black Sabbath? But The Smithereens added an East-Coast, Jersey Shore roots-rock sensibility.

Mark Caicedo of Parklife DC recently chatted with Jim Babjak, guitarist of The Smithereens, in anticipation of the band’s show at the State Theatre in Falls Church, Virginia, on Jan. 18.

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