Snapshots: Sting w/ The Last Bandoleros and Joe Sumner @ Wolf Trap — 9/2/22

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Sting performs at Wolf Trap on Sept. 2, 2022. (Photos by Jason Nicholson)

Sting, the famed musician born Gordon Sumner, recently played three nights at Wolf Trap on his 2022 My Songs Tour. Jason Nicholson was there to photograph the first of three nights.

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Live Review: Culture Club w/ The English Beat @ Wolf Trap — 9/1/22

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Roy Hay (left) and Boy George (right) strum up some fantastic Culture Club tunes at Wolf Trap on Sept. 1, 2022. (Photos by Jason Nicholson; Words by Mickey McCarter)

Dave Wakeling wrapped a performance of “Tenderness,” originally recorded for his former band General Public, and he paused a beat before addressing the audience on a recent warm evening at the Filene Center at Wolf Trap.

“Very political times, the 1980s,” Dave said. “Politics showed up in a fair bit of music. It seems like The Beat and UB40 were going on about it all the time! But interestingly, 40-odd years later, George affected more social change than any of us — not by singing about politics but just by being George.”

“That’s one of the reasons I’m so happy to be on these shows right now,” Dave added.

The George in question, of course, was none other than George Alan O’Dowd, better known as Boy George, and the shows in question were The English Beat’s opening run for Culture Club for a few dates last week. And Dave Wakeling was right. But just as critically, Culture Club and The English Beat, two pop music giants of the ’80s, made for a very grand night of music.

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Song of the Day: “Badfish” by OAR

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LAW Records, in conjunction with The Nowell Family Foundation, are due to release a very special compilation, The House That Bradley Built, on Sept. 4. The new compilation features never-before-released acoustic covers from the catalogue of Bradley Nowell’s band Sublime performed by 20+ bands.

From that compilation, today’s Song of the Day is Rockville roots rockers OAR’s cover of “Badfish,” which hails from Sublime’s first album, 40oz. to Freedom (1992).

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Song of the Day: “SOS” by Scarlet Pleasure

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Scarlet Pleasure (Photo courtesy Magnum PR)

Danish trio Scarlet Pleasure have been on a meteoric rise since 2014 with their unique brand of sunny, alternative pop. On a planet far, far away where the grass is always green and only the blue sky is the limit, the band hope to bring some optimism and good cheer back to 2020 with the release for “SOS,” their latest top charting single from forthcoming LP, Garden.

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Live Review: Spafford @ 9:30 Club — 2/5/20

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Spafford performs at 9:30 Club on Feb. 5, 2020. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

One of the many pleasures of blogging for Parklife DC is getting exposed to myriad types of music throughout the DC metro area. Whether it’s experiencing a new local player putting her/ his voice out there in the cacophony of great area performers or seeing established national touring bands with huge loyal followings, the thrill of documenting live music (to my mind, its purest form) is indeed a privilege. For someone like me, with a foot in the past and one stepping into the future, I get to tread a musical path that stretches out in many directions.

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Live Review: The Fuss @ 9:30 Club — 12/28/19

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The Fuss performs at 9:30 Club on Dec. 28, 2019. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

The Fuss already had the party started by the time the reggae band hit “Red Hot Trainwreck” from their latest album at 9:30 Club recently. But the swinging call-and-response tune took their set to another level when the octet opened The Pietasters for the DC ska legend’s annual holiday season hometown show.

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Live Review: The Pietasters @ 9:30 Club — 12/28/19

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The Pietasters perform at 9:30 Club on Dec. 28, 2019. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

Should ever you feel down during the holidays, get yourself to The Pietasters’ annual holiday show at 9:30 Club. Any Pietasters show is a boisterous, singalong good time, but the hometown holiday edition always seems to have a little bit more meaning.

2019 went skanking out the door as frontman Stephen Jackson, with the good looks of Jon Hamm and showmanship that recalled the halcyon days of the Rat Pack, led his merry ska collective through an hour of well-regarded favorites as the last band in a four-band bill at 9:30 Club recently.

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Snapshots: Thievery Corporation @ 9:30 Club — 12/21/19

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The Thievery Corporation performs at DC’s 9:30 Club, Dec. 21, 2019. (Photo by Ari Strauss)

Thievery Corporation recently concluded its 10-week Babylon Falling Tour with a weekend pair of hometown shows at DC’s 9:30 Club on Dec. 21 and 22. The tour, which began Oct. 10 at the Bowery Ballroom in NYC, hearkens back to the 2002 album The Richest Man in Babylon and its 2004 reworking, Babylon Rewound.

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Live Review: Madonna @ The Met Philadelphia — 12/7/19

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Madonna and dancers perform on the Madame X Tour at Howard Gilman Opera House in Brooklyn on Sept. 17, 2019. (Photo copyright and courtesy Stufish)

How on earth do you express your admiration for an artist who is a global icon?

Maybe like me, you met Madonna when she was quite young and ambitious — and she took her ambition to Manhattan dance halls. At this street level, you fell in love with her, and she grew. And grew. And grew.

Now, Madonna, the best-selling female singer of all time, hasn’t belonged to New York City, or any one place for that matter, for a long time. With Madame X, her 14th studio album, she’s declared her concerns to be worldwide. She is touring that album right now in Philadelphia.

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