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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Ticket Giveaway: The Pietasters @ 9:30 Club, 12/28/19

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The Pietasters (Photo courtesy the artist)

It’s the Annual Pie Party, and you’re invited! That’s right — ska collective The Pietasters take over 9:30 Club once a year, and this year, Stephen Jackson and company throw a big ol’ party on Saturday, Dec. 28. You can win tickets to go with Parklife DC.

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Snapshots: Reel Big Fish @ The Fillmore Silver Spring — 6/25/19

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Reel Big Fish frontman Aaron Barrett poses for the camera during a performance at The Fillmore Silver Spring, June 25, 2019. (Photo by Ari Strauss)

Reel Big Fish played to a packed house recently at The Fillmore Silver Spring. The southern California ska-punk band co-headlined a show with Texas-based Bowling for Soup.

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Live Review: The Specials @ The Fillmore Silver Spring — 6/10/19

TheSpecials-17_DSC09159 Lynval Golding fronts The Specials at The Fillmore Silver Spring on June 10, 2019. (Photos by Jason Nicholson; Words by Mickey McCarter)

There is a certain pleasure in watching seasoned masters of any genre showcase their chops. And so it was that the masters of ska in The Specials returned to The Fillmore Silver Spring recently, stabilized by three experienced musicians and rejuvenated by a UK #1 hit record.

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Live Review: Eastern Standard Time w/ The Fuss @ Songbyrd Music House — 5/24/19

Eastern Standard Time @ Songbyrd, Washington DC, 24/05/2019 Eastern Standard Time performs at Songbyrd Music House on May 24, 2019. (Photos by Paivi Salonen; Words by Mickey McCarter)

DC heroes Eastern Standard Time rounded up a lot of friends for a record release show recently at Songbyrd Music House, and the place was positively jumping for a big night of dance tunes.

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Preview: Capital Ska & Reggae Review @ Songbyrd Music Cafe, 5/24/19

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Bluebeat DC, Jump Up Records, and Songbyrd have teamed up to present the inaugural Capital Ska & Reggae Review, showcasing vintage Jamaican sounds from four incredible DC bands — ska-jazz legends Eastern Standard Time, fresh off their European tour for their hometown record release party for new studio album Time For Change, along with The Fuss, The Scotch Bonnets, and The Loving Paupers, and DJs Chuck Wren, Crown Vic’s Weird World, and Bobby Babylon — at Songbyrd Music Café on Friday, May 24.

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