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: John Doe @ Jammin’ Java — 6/14/22

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John Doe (Photo by Jim Herrington)

In its review of his new album, Fables in a Foreign Land, the site Allmusic praised John Doe for having one of the finest voices in roots music. John’s fine singing voice was on full display when he appeared on Tuesday night at Jammin’ Java with his folk trio, playing songs from that new album, along with old favorites from his solo catalog, hits from his band X, and an eclectic collection of covers that absolutely worked even if you might not have pictured a stalwart of the punk scene performing them.

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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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Ticket Giveaway: Flogging Molly and The Interrupters @ The Anthem, 6/22/22

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Flogging Molly (Photo by Katie Hovland)

Legendary Celtic punk band Flogging Molly return with their first new album in five years, Anthem (Sept. 9, Rise Records), a collection that finds the raucous Los Angeles-by-way-of-Dublin outfit reunited with Swagger and Drunken Lullabies engineer Steve Albini. In support of the album Anthem, Flogging Molly perform with The Interrupters at The Anthem on Wednesday, June 22!

You can win tickets to go to the show with Parklife DC.

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Live Review: Sleaford Mods @ Black Cat — 5/21/22

Sleaford Mods dance in the dark at Black Cat on May 21, 2022. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

When you first ever see Sleaford Mods, you might not know exactly what to make of them. Are they aging hipsters? Roadies who found their way on stage? A few pissed off guys who want to dance?

It turns out that the duo — Jason Williamson and Andrew Fearn — are serious artists who make compelling music. They recently filled Black Cat in DC with a lengthy set of about 23 songs, presenting an engrossing act that makes you reconsider what exactly constitutes a concert.

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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: PEARS @ Pie Shop — 4/23/22

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PEARS (Photo courtesy Fat Wreck Chords)

“Well, this is a blasty blast.”

For the past couple rotations around the Sun, that thing got in the way of live music for me. It had been over two years since I had seen a band perform in the flesh…to be more specific, 773 days have come and gone since I saw Dead Kennedys rock the shit out of 9:30 Club. So I don’t need to tell you just how goddam excited I was that one of my favorite Fat Wreck Chords bands, PEARS, was gonna be playing at one of my favorite (and crustiest) venues the District has to offer, the Pie Shop.

Not to paint too crass a picture, but like, we’re talking full-on, pre-pubescent hormones excitement level. And boy oh boy, PEARS did not disappoint.

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Live Review: Public Figures @ DC9 — 2/25/22

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Public Figures perform at DC9 on Feb. 25, 2022. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

Punk duo Public Figures rock out in the very best way, throwing drum and bass into a classic punk rock mix that inspires the audience to dance your way out the door while flipping the bird to the world.

At DC9 recently, Public Figures opened fellow punks Weird Babies, and the world, or at least the personal hubris of those who live in it, was squarely in their sights as they thumped away to the beat of songs from their debut album, Year of the Garada, released last year during the pandemic lockdown.

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Live Review: Tommy Stinson w/ Diane Gentile @ Pearl Street Warehouse — 1/5/22

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Tommy Stinson performs at Pearl Street Warehouse on Jan. 5, 2022. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

When Tommy Stinson came to town to play some tunes at Pearl Street Warehouse recently, he probably didn’t expect to do so with a ribbing from his former manager, seated squarely in front of him in the audience.

But there he was on stage, playing solo songs and selections from his group Bash & Pop, and there she was at a table, serving him drinks to the stage, shouting requests, and affectionately goading him throughout the show.

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