Music Park: Lush @ 9:30 Club — 9/21/16

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Miki Berenyi and Emma Anderson of Lush play guitars at the 9:30 Club on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016.

Lush returned to the stage at the 9:30 Club for a first encore Wednesday, and vocalist Miki Berenyi stepped up to the microphone.

“This song is for Chris,” she told the very full house. “We all miss Chris.”

With that brief intro, Lush launched into the dreamy, introspective “Lost Boy,” a lullaby to someone who has faded away, never to return. The Chris in question of course is former Lush drummer Chris Acland, who committed suicide in 1996. Chris’ death prompted the dissolution of the band after three full-length and one extend play albums, all issued during the height of UK shoegazing in the early to mid-’90s.

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Snapshot: Lush @ 9:30 Club, 9/21/16


Lush, an English alternative rock band, formed in 1987 and disbanded in 1998. (L to R) Chris Acland, Phil King, Miki Berenyi, and Emma Anderson

In 1994, my friend and rock-n-roll photographer Chester Simpson snapped a picture of shoegaze quartet Lush at the old 9:30 Club (once at 930 F Street NW, DC). That’s his one-time caption for that picture describing it above.

But the story of Lush isn’t quite done. Lush are back, releasing new material in 2016! They published new songs on an EP, Blind Spot, back in May via their own Edamame label.

But let’s rewind to 1996 and watch the official music video for “Ladykillers,” a great song from Lush, on YouTube:

Now, Miki Berenyi and Emma Anderson (vocals and guitars) along with Phil King (bass) and drummer Justin Welch (Spitfire, Elastica) are on a world tour that stops in DC at the 9:30 Club tonight! Although many dates on their US tour sold out, the 9:30 Club show has not yet closed ticket sales!

What are you waiting for? Join us to see this fantastic band. Tickets are available online!

For more from my wise but wild photographer friend Chester, visit

w/ Tamaryn
9:30 Club
Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016
Doors @7pm
All ages

Don’t Miss: Bloody Knives @ Velvet Lounge, 9/16/16

A former lineup of Bloody Knives with Preston Maddox (voice/bass/sounds), Jake McCown (drums), and Kim Calderon (samples) pictured. (Photo courtesy Saint Marie Records)

Bloody Knives of Austin, Texas, visit the Velvet Lounge tonight, bringing with them some thrashing, psychedelic tunes.

Vocalist and bassist Preston Maddox and drummer Jake McCown have been recording together since at least 2009, and they have been joined in that time by various other rotating bandmembers. Recently, they were joined by Jack O’Hara Harris, who handles sounds and samples.

Bloody Knives’ latest release is 2013’s industrial-tinged Death, released via Saint Marie Records. You can check it out on Bandcamp:

Headling tonights show, Bloody Knives are joined by local bands Machine Drift, Stems, and Chester Hawkins. Between the acts, they cover a lot of ground, but I hear a goth/industrial streak running through their collective music.

Tickets are available at the door.

Bloody Knives
w/ Machine Drift, Stems, Chester Hawkins
Velvet Lounge
Doors @7:30pm

Ticket Giveaway: Lush @ 9:30 Club, 9/21/16


What a time for the classic shoegaze period of the ‘90s! Last year, UK music aficionados welcomed Ride to the 9:30 Club, and this year it’s going to be Lush!

Yes, Miki Berenyi and Emma Anderson (vocals and guitars) along with Phil King (bass) have returned with the addition of drummer Justin Welch (Spitfire, Elastica). And they released a new EP, Blind Spot via their own Edamame label, and they sound as amazing and beautiful as ever. Lush are now on a world tour that stops in DC at the 9:30 Club on Wednesday, Sept. 21, and you can now win tickets to go.

Revisit the official music video for “Sweetness and Light” by Lush on YouTube:

Parklife DC is giving away a pair of tickets so that you can see Lush return to DC after 20 years away! To win, simply leave a comment on this blog. Let’s hear your favorite Lush song?

For the rules of this giveaway–

Comments will be closed at 5pm on Thursday and 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!

Lush last played the 9:30 Club on August 30, 1996! See the awesome setlist.

New Zealand dream pop singer Tamaryn opens for Lush. Tickets also are available online!

w/ Tamaryn
9:30 Club
Wednesday, Sept. 21
Doors @7pm
All ages

Don’t Miss: Lush @ 9:30 Club, 9/21/16

Lush (Photo courtesy the band)

Inspired by a specific pal who’s quite a music fanatic, when discussing bands, some friends will occasionally quip, “Yeah, but are they worthy of 4AD?” – referring of course to the legendary UK record label. (It’s maybe the music nerd equivalent of “Do you even lift, bro?”)

A band clearly worthy of 4AD is shoegazing quartet Lush, who released their three full-length albums, beginning with Spooky, in the ’90s in the label’s heydey. And now the seminal shoegazers have reunited 20 years after their last studio recording, and they return with new music!

In April, Lush released the Blind Spot EP via their own Edamame label, and they have set about a world tour that brings them to the 9:30 Club on Wednesday, Sept. 21. (Lush last played the 9:30 Club almost exactly 20 years ago on August 30, 1996! See the setlist.)

How wonderful is it to hear vocalists and guitarists Miki Berenyi and Emma Anderson sing and play a new tune? Watch the official music video for “Out of Control” by Lush on YouTube:

Miki and Emma of course are joined by bassist Phil King. And admirers of Lush will recall the band dissolved upon the death of original drummer Chris Acland. To fill in for the irreplaceable Chris, Lush have recruited Justin Welch, an old friend who drummed for Spitfire and then Elastica.

New Zealand dream pop singer Tamaryn opens for Lush. Tickets are available online.

w/ Tamaryn
9:30 Club
Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016
Doors @7pm
All ages

Music Park: Casket Girls @ Songbyrd Music House — 6/11/16

Casket Girls 07 Phaedra and Elsa Greene of the Casket Girls perform at Songbyrd Music House on Saturday, June 11, 2016.

If the ’60s television incarnation of the Addams Family were to have a favorite pop band, the Casket Girls would likely fit the bill.

Cloaked in campy cemetery trappings without actually being scary, sisters Phaedra and Elsa Greene sing some rather winning dreampop. Clad in black outfits and shades, they harmonize sweetly with occasionally synchronized moves that could have been lifted directly from ’60s girl groups.

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Don’t Miss: The Dandy Warhols @ 9:30 Club, 4/17/16

The Dandy Warhols (Photo courtesy Dine Alone Records)

The Dandy Warhols have returned with their ninth studio album, released only last week, and they hit the 9:30 Club to promote it on Sunday, April 17.

With Distortland, published April 8 via Dine Alone Records, The Dandys continue their penchant for an outsider perspective set to groovy psychedelic jams. The well-regarded Portland-based quartet received generally favorable reviews with the new 10-track album, according to Metacritic.

Watch the recently released official music video for “You Are Killing Me” by The Dandy Warhols, which features cult actor Joe Dallesandro as a writer that undergoes a bad psychedelic trip:

And of course, as consummate performers, The Dandys themselves are always ready to put on a show with vocalist and guitarist Courtney Taylor, keyboardist Zia McCabe, guitarist Peter Holmström, and drummer Brent DeBoer. The band initially recorded Distortland in Courtney’s basement on and old-school cassette recorder before enlisting Jim Lowe, who’s worked with Taylor Swift and Beyoncé, to mix it. It should be fascinating to see these new songs live!

When I last saw The Dandys at the 9:30 Club in 2012, I observed: “Although the band worked together remarkably well as a band, Courtney Taylor carried the show with a jovial swagger. At times, he would evoke the grunge scene that he quickly grew beyond and mumble through some muddled lyrics and at others he would belt out his words clearly like he was channeling Iggy Pop.”

Louisiana garage gospel quartet Seratones open for The Dandy Warhols. Tickets are available online! You also can purchase a VIP Nation upgrade, Dandys Hang Out Experience Upgrade (for $75), which requires that you already have a regular ticket but which allows you to hang out with the band.

The Dandy Warhols
w/ Seratones
9:30 Club
Sunday, April 17
Doors @7pm
Regular: $25
VIP: +$75
All ages

Don’t Miss: Wray @ Black Cat, 1/26/16

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Wray (Photo by Wes Frazer)

With the return of seminal shoegaze bands like Ride and Lush from England, which really left their mark on the genre, it might be easy to forget there are many thriving new bands, and even American bands, carrying on the shoegaze sound.

Well, maybe not given the popularity of Zachary Cole Smith and DIIV, who returned with a strong new album last year. But Brooklyn isn’t the only place where you can find shoegaze stalwarts! Case in point: Wray from Birmingham, Ala.

The trio released their self-titled debut in 2014, and they have already followed it up with a second full-length album, Hypatia, which came out last Friday via Communicating Vessels. They are making a stop at the Black Cat on Tuesday, Jan. 26, in a tour to support the album.

Wray’s new album has a pleasant, easygoing vibe, as evidenced by the title track. Watch the official music video for “Hypatia,” which pays homage to the Greek mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher in Egypt, circa 400 AD, from whom the album draws its name:

Says the New York Times of Wray: “A wash of distortion, a motorik beat, an impassive and nearly drowned-out vocal: These are the essential building blocks for Wray, a three-piece band pursuing its own extrapolation of shoegaze, surf-punk and lo-fi garage-rock.”

Sounds pretty good to us! DC bands Exit Vehicles and ShowPony open for Wray. Tickets are available online.

W/ Exit Vehicles, ShowPony
Black Cat
Tuesday, Jan. 26
Doors @7:30pm
All ages

Music Park: A Sunny Day in Glasgow @ Comet Ping Pong — 1/3/16

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A Sunny Day in Glasgow (Photo by Ever Nalens)

Philadelphia-born sextet A Sunny Day in Glasgow returned to DC in lush, hazy glory Sunday evening.

The shoegaze collective hit Comet Ping Pong at the end of a short tour that provided them the opportunity to play new songs from a nine-track double EP, Planning Weed Like It’s Acid/Life is Loss, released last November. The new songs showcased the band’s well-known strengths — sweet harmonies from vocalists Annie Fredrickson and Jen Goma as well as big, fuzzy guitars from founder Ben Daniels and Josh Meakim.

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Don’t Miss: A Sunny Day in Glasgow @ Comet Ping-Pong, 1/3/16

A Sunny Day in Glasgow (Photo by Adam Herndon)

As the year 2015 winds down, we at Parklife DC are looking forward to our first recommended show of 2016!

And it’s going to be a pretty good one: Shoegazing collective A Sunny Day in Glasgow have returned with a new double EP, Planning Weed Like It’s Acid/Life Is Loss, and they are returning to DC to perform at Comet Ping-Pong on Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016.

Songwriter Ben Daniels, the band’s founder, brings regular players with him in the form of drummer Adam Herndon, vocalist and cellist Anne Fredrickson, vocalist Jen Goma, vocalist and guitarist Josh Meakim, and bassist Ryan Newmyer. The six-person cooperative are in good form with their new material, their first release since their critically applauded 2014 album, Sea When Absent, which Pitchfork said “has an atmospheric, bleeding-watercolor quality that makes it sound a little bit like a My Bloody Valentine record if the moodiness and pensiveness were replaced with a feeling of almost violently explosive joy.”

The happy, hopeful attitude continues on their most recent synthy single, “Hey, You’re Mine,” which singer Jen described to Spin as an internal conversation with yourself about moving forward.

Watch the official wrestling-themed music video for “Hey, You’re Mine” on YouTube:

NYC power poppers EZTV and Baltimore folk rockers Outer Spaces open for A Sunny Day in Glasgow. Tickets are available online and at the door. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to see these shoegazer innovators!

A Sunny Day in Glasgow
w/ EZTV and Outer Spaces
Comet Ping-Pong
Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016
Doors @9pm
All ages