Don’t Miss: Parquet Courts @ 9:30 Club, 2/13/17

ParquetCourts
Parquet Courts (Photo courtesy Pitch Perfect PR)

In case you missed it, Brooklyn punks Parquet Courts released Human Performance, a fourth studio album in early April via Rough Trade Records. The talented rockers already continually impressed with their earlier releases, but they surely set a new bar with the latest, pooling their collective strengths into a set of songs that thematically center on estrangement, abandonment, and loneliness in a powerfully affecting way.

Andrew Savage (vocals, guitar), Austin Brown (vocals, guitar), Sean Yeaton (bass), and Max Savage (drums) toured extensively upon release of the album, and they stopped at the 9:30 Club on May 17. (Read our Parklife DC review!) While that show was pretty darn good, the band dedicated much of their stage banter to protesting their early set time. Lucky for us then that Parquet Courts have announced a brief 2017 tour that will include a return visit to the 9:30 Club on Monday, Feb. 13.

It’s timely to mention also that the band will perform a few dates this week — Dec. 9 in Asbury Park, NJ, and Dec. 10 in Queens, New York City. The Dec. 10 show at the Knockdown Center in Queens will feature the band’s multimedia show and also include a performance by DC’s own Flasher. (Parquet Courts and members of Priests, including Flasher’s Taylor Mulitz, struck up a friendship on a previous tour together.)

Watch the official music video for the title track “Human Performance,” which features puppets, by Parquet Courts on YouTube:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1D6-8eXlMV4]

Of their May show at the 9:30 Club, I said of Parquet Courts, “Despite the needling at their early booking (a later show followed that night), or maybe because of it, Parquet Courts set themselves to the task of metaphorically burning the stage down with a blistering punk performance. But its finer moments truly came in powerful, poignant numbers from their new album, Human Performance. The prolific Texans-turned-Brooklyners released [their new album recently], and their stop at the 9:30 Club heavily featured the new songs, which were well received by the very full (if not quite sold out) room. While plenty of crowd surfers took to the air during earlier Parquet Courts numbers (yay to the 9:30 Club for smartly if watchfully permitting such things), the new songs are mostly about loneliness and solitude, or at least situations where you find yourself alone, if not abandoned.”

The experience of catching Parquet Courts in concert then is wholly cathartic and absorbing, and one that you should not miss.

Tickets are available online.

Parquet Courts
w/ Mary Lattimore
9:30 Club
Monday, Feb. 13
Doors @7pm
$25
All ages

Ticket Giveaway: Peter Hook and The Light @ Howard Theatre, 11/23/16

Hooky-6Music
Peter Hook (Photo courtesy BBC)

Parklife DC is giving away five pairs of tickets to see Peter Hook and The Light live in DC during our next party — Careless Memories at Dodge City on Thursday! (Check it out on Facebook.) We are going to celebrate the bassist of Joy Division and New Order by playing a lot of music from both of his bands.

But for the sake of argument, let’s say maybe you cannot make it out to Dodge City (917 U St. NW, DC) on Thursday (although the next day is a federal holiday)! What might you do then? Go winless while one of Manchester’s favorite sons brings those awesomely splendid basslines to the Howard Theatre, where Peter Hook and The Light play on Nov. 23?

Well, love may tear us apart, but tickets will bring us together! In case you really cannot make it out on Thursday, we will give away a pair of tickets to see Peter Hook and The Light perform the songs of Joy Division and New Order right here on this blog.

Watch a young Peter Hook play in New Order as they perform “Bizarre Love Triangle” at Strawberry Studios Stockport on YouTube (exact date unknown) — and read Billboard’s “10 Reasons Why New Order’s ‘Bizarre Love Triangle’ Is One of the Greatest Songs of All Time“:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r91OO8D1Oys]

Parklife DC is giving away a pair of tickets to see Peter Hook and The Light. To win, simply leave a comment on this blog. You can leave any comment but we would like to know your favorite song by New Order or Joy Division. (Hey, I’m also going to use your responses to inspire my playlist at Dodge City on Thursday at 8pm. Come out to hear the songs.)

For the rules of this giveaway–

Comments will be closed at 8pm on Thursday, Nov. 10, and then we’re all going to Careless Memories at Dodge City, where we will give away five more pairs of tickets in person! For this drawing, 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 win, tickets are available online!

An Evening with Peter Hook and The Light
Performing “Substance” – Joy Division and New Order
Howard Theatre
Wednesday, Nov. 23
Doors @6pm
$35
All ages

Don’t Miss: Priests @ Black Cat, 3/11/17

Priests
Priests (Photo courtesy Pitch Perfect PR)

DC’s explosive punks Priests are set to release their first full-length album in January — Nothing Feels Natural via their own Sister Polygon Records. The band is launching a US tour to support it, and that tour ends at the Black Cat in a belated record release party on March 11, 2017.

Priests recently released a second video for a track from the album, satirizing greed and consumerism with their song “Pink White House.” The video paints a grim picture of people sometimes literally murdering others for a buck. Even a seamonster gets on the action, mugging a hapless fisherman (portrayed by guitarist Gideon Jaguar).

Watch the official music video for “Pink White House” by Priests on YouTube:

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

In a press release, singer Katie Alice Greer said this of the song and video: “Lyrically, this is a Priests song I am maybe most proud of to date. I am very inspired by the filmmaker Adam Curtis, the first time I saw ‘It Felt Like A Kiss,’ I thought, man, I want to start a band where I can write lyrics the way this guy makes films, like these politically pointed surreal avant-garde narratives, and then I met Daniele and we started Priests.

“So for me, ‘Pink White House’ is a step towards achieving this style of lyricism. I’m excited about that. Musically we wrote the first half and then were like, ‘where do we go from here?’ We wanted the second half of the song to feel like you’re in a new scene of the story, where ‘come on palm trees’ starts. It was very fun and adventurous for us, writing this way! For the video, I wanted to do something playing on the notion that pop culture repackages your identity and sells it back to you for ‘entertainment.’”

Add to this that Priests are a thrilling live band, and you know you can’t miss this date. (Check out our Parklife DC reviews from Black Cat shows on May 10, 2016, Feb. 14, 2016, and Feb. 7, 2015.) Tickets are available online.

BTW, as we reported previously, Priests have launched an official website, and they also recently appeared on Twitter. Follow them at @PRIESTS_TWEET.

Priests
Black Cat
Saturday, March 11
Doors @8pm
$15
All ages

New Release: ‘Nothing Feels Natural’ by Priests, 1/27/17

priests-by-Audrey-Melton
Priests (Photo by Audrey Melton)

DC punk quartet Priests announced their debut full-length album, Nothing Feels Natural, which will see release on Jan. 27, 2017, via Sister Polygon Records, their own label.

In 2014, Priests grabbed our attention with a significant EP, Bodies and Control and Money and Power, which contained seven songs of punk rock fury. Since that time, Priests have been playing new songs live, suggesting that another release was in the works. Those songs have now culminated into this new album, announced today.

The band — consisting of Daniele Daniele (drums), Katie Alice Greer (vocals), GL Jaguar (guitar), and Taylor Mulitz (bass) — has matured a great deal sonically since the release of Bodies and Control and Money and Power, and I find that Gideon Jaguar’s surf-forward rockabilly guitar has become a more pronounced pillar of Priests’ overall sound.

Watch the official music video for “JJ” by Priests on YouTube:

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

According to a press release today, the Nothing Feels Natural album materializes thematically as “nine stories that crystallize into a bigger picture about the economics of human relationships, the invisibility of feminized labor, and the dual purpose of art for both the group and the individual.”

Sister Polygon also has supported various Priests side projects in recent months, including the bands Gauche and Flasher as well as an EP from Katie under the moniker KAG — EP A, released only this past Friday, Oct. 7.

Nothing Feels Natural Tracklist
1. Appropriate
2. JJ
3. Nicki
4. Lelia 20
5. No Big Bang
6. Interlude
7. Nothing Feels Natural
8. Pink White House
9. Puff
10. Suck

Pre-order Nothing Feels Natural from Sister Polygon at http://sisterpolygonrecords.bigcartel.com. Priests also have launched an official website at http://www.666priests666.com.

Music Park: Sex Stains @ Comet Ping Pong — 9/15/16

Sex Stains
Allison Wolfe of Sex Stains (Photo by Theresa Sanchez)

In 2016 riot grrrls use Snapchat.

Don’t believe me? Not punk enough?

Boisterous, bespectacled redhead Allison Wolfe would beg to differ.

“I’m learning Snapchat,” said Allison to the capacity audience at Comet Ping Pong in Washington, D.C., last Thursday, September 15. She was thanking Governess and Coup Souvage & The Snips for opening and had captured part of each local band’s session with her phone using social media app popularized by Millennials. “You can’t see it because it disappears in like 2 seconds. I’m supposed to be learning [technology] though. I am taking a class for that.” She’s enrolled at the University of Southern California and even wrote a song about it called “USC,” which kicked of the Sex Stains set that night.

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Don’t Miss: Sex Stains @ Comet Ping Pong, 9/15/16

Sex Stains_Debi Del Grande-2
Sex Stains (Photo by Debi Del Grande)

Forty years after the debut record by The Ramones, Sex Stains are here to remind us that women are also a kinetic part of punk rock history. And so welcome the return of Allison Wolfe of riot grrrl bands Bratmobile and Cold Cold Hearts as she takes up lead vocals in new band Sex Stains.

Sex Stains, a Los Angeles-based punk quintet, released its debut self-titled record on Sept. 2 via Don Giovanni Records, and they launched a national tour to promote it! They slide into our ears locally at Comet Ping Pong on Thursday, Sept. 15, courtesy of Sasha Lord Presents.

Inspired by late ‘70s and early ‘80s post-punk, Sex Stains recorded 12 rapid-fire dance tracks rife with discord. Sex Stains previously released the lead single, “Don’t Hate Me ‘Cuz I’m Beautiful,” a brief, perfect punk punch.

Listen to “Don’t Hate Me ‘Cuz I’m Beautiful” by Sex Stains on YouTube:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B77OYk8yPjk]

Formed in 2014, Sex Stains consists of Allison, fellow lead vocalist Mecca Vazie Andrews, drummer David Orlando, guitarist Sharif Dumani, and bassist Pachy Garcia. Turn up to dance to sassy tracks with catchy cadences and buoyant melodies!

DC bands Coup Savage & the Snips and Governess open for Sex Stains. Tickets are available at the door.

Sex Stains
w/ Coup Savage & the Snips, Governess
Comet Ping Pong
Thursday, Sept. 15
Doors @9pm
$12
All ages

Music Park: Hockey Dad @ DC9 — 8/29/16

Hockey Dad 07 Hockey Dad perform at DC9 on Monday.

Hockey Dad surfed into DC9 from Australia on Monday and thrashed their way through a sunny set of punk, rolling in with a surprisingly robust crowd.

I say “surprisingly” not because Hockey Dad didn’t deserve the audience but here we are in the waning days of summer and DC City is a bit empty. But clearly, Hockey Dad drew enough admirers, including a number of fellow Ozzies, who were ready to ride a wave of summertime music.

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Don’t Miss: The English Beat @ Bottle & Cork, 8/28/16 + @ 9:30 Club, 10/11/16

DaveWakeling
Dave Wakeling of the English Beat (Photo by Eugenio Iglesias)

Well, the English Beat recently sold out a show at the 9:30 Club, but I’m going to take a moment any way to remind you of why.

Dave Wakeling, forever Birmingham-born #1 ska singer, is bringing the English Beat around to the 9:30 Club again, this time to open for their friends Squeeze in a dynamite show on Tuesday, Oct. 11. (But wait! They also are playing at nearby Bottle & Cork in Dewey Beach, Delaware! Read on for details.)

The English Beat is on the cusp of releasing its first new album in more than 30 years with its upcoming full length Here We Go Love later this year.

The band of course have a string of well-regarded hits that have formed the backbone of a very successful touring act for quite some time now. Dave and company enjoy stirring live renditions of popular tunes like “Save it for Later,” “Mirror in the Bathroom,” and “Twist and Crawl.”

Remind yourself of the fresh energy of the English Beat with a listen of “Whine & Grine/Stand Down Margaret” on “Rude Boy’s Revenge & Coffee Hour” from a few years ago via Soundcloud:

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/87188166″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

We at Parklife DC last saw the English Beat at the 9:30 Club on Nov. 25, 2015, and we were mighty impressed!

“The venerable English Beat have been revitalized this year with a new toaster — King Schascha. For a 2-tone band, a toaster isn’t mechanical, but in King’s case, he’s certainly electric,” I wrote. “The reggae rhymer from San Diego effectively got the very full house at the 9:30 Club dancing right away on Wednesday, Nov. 25, paving the way for band leader Dave Wakeling and his time-tested repertoire of ska and reggae. They kicked things off with ‘Rough Rider’ from the debut album by the English Beat, 1980’s I Just Can’t Stop It, and the entire audience was moving and grooving from the very first note.”

If you’re coming to see Squeeze at the 9:30 Club, get there early for the English Beat! There are no tickets available, as the show has sold out. Keep your eyes open for resales (at fair prices) or maybe a last-minute release of any extra tickets the 9:30 Club may be holding back?

Oh, wait, if you cannot wait to see the English Beat, you can catch them at the Bottle & Cork in Dewey Beach, Delaware, on Sunday, August 28. That’s this weekend! What better way to celebrate the waning days of summer than to hit the beach with Dave and company? Tickets for that show are indeed available online (and at the door).

The English Beat
Bottle & Cork
Sunday, August 28
Doors @9pm
$20
21+

The English Beat
Opening for Squeeze
9:30 Club
Tuesday, Oct. 11
Doors @7pm
Sold Out
All ages

Don’t Miss: The Go-Go’s @ Warner Theatre, 8/5/16

The-Go-Gos
The Go-Go’s (Photo courtesy Primary Wave)

It was 1996. I had recently relocted to DC, and I was digging through the stacks of discs at CDepot in College Park, Md., for a specific prize. I heard The Go-Go’s had released a new single in the previous years when I was at sea, and I was determined to add it to my collection.

The Go-Go’s! Isolated from commercial radio for a bit in the early to mid-’90s, I had missed out on the introduction of Britpop to US shores, and I previously hadn’t found many personal favorites among grunge musicians. But with the five ladies from Los Angeles, I knew I would find fantastic new wave tunes to reignite my collecting passions.

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Don’t Miss: Mikey Erg (Opening for Hemlines) @ DC9, 6/26/16

mikeyerg01
Mikey Erg (Photo by Toni Skotcher)

Mikey Erg is a punk-rocker from New Jersey who plays some furious guitar!

And the prolific punk released his debut album recently — Tentative Decisions via Don Giovanni Records. He did so after performing with a mess of other bands, including The Ergs!.

On the second and latest single from the album, Mikey spits about lost love in a track called “Apart Time.”

Listen to the audio for “Apart Time” by Mikey Erg on YouTube:
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=019sYZaLUI8]

The first track from Tentative Decisions was the mocking, clever “Comme Si About Me,” a play on words referencing the French phrase for “like this.” I’m going to be bold and say that Mikey sounds a bit like a very young (angry) Elvis Costello on the track (and he strikes a similar figure with his lanky frame and glasses). Mikey is touring to support the album, and he comes to DC9 on Sunday, June 26, filling out a big bill as an opening act for Hemlines.

Remember how we said Mikey is prolific? Well, Mikey is also the drummer for Worriers, a post-punk band fronted by Lauren Denitzio, and Worriers also are opening for Hemlines. Worriers released a new record Imaginary Life last year via Don Giovanni.

Tickets are available online.

Mikey Erg
(Opening for Hemlines)
Sunday, June 26
Doors @7:30pm
$10-$12
All ages