Don’t Miss: Burn It Up @ Villain & Saint, 11/11/16

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Burn It Up (Photo courtesy the band)

Ska rock band Burn It Up mix it up with hard rock refrains and ska melodies. These six high energy guys from Rochester, NY, have released a new album, Toys, in October.

Now they have joined the Get Amped Tour, which is visiting Villain & Saint in Bethesda, Md., on Friday, Nov. 11.

Vocalist Joe Harmon summed up the band: “We spend a lot of time trying to explore the boundaries of what genres like ska, reggae, rock and punk can do, mixing in elements of jazz, funk, and classic and progressive rock. We all have a wide range of tastes and influences, and bring those influences in to the writing process and our performances.”

Burn It Up certainly succeed in exploring those boundaries! Hear for yourself as you listen to Toys by Burn It Up on Bandcamp:

In addition to Joe, the band includes Mike Frederick (guitar), Justin Lloyd (trumpet), Dan Carter (bass), Evan Dobbins (trombone), and Alex Bochetto (drums).

Burn It Up was formed by members of Mrs. Skannotto, which released three full-length albums and toured with names like Less Than Jake, Mad Caddies, Reel Big Fish, The Toasters, Flatfoot 56, and A Wilhelm Scream. They are sure to be entertaining at Villain & Saint, where they are joined on the Get Amped Tour by We Were Sharks and North 11.

Tickets are available online.

Get Amped Tour
Burn It Up
w/ We Were Sharks and North 11
Villain & Saint
Friday, Nov. 11
Show @9pm
$10-$12
All ages

Music Park: English Beat @ 9:30 Club — 10/11/16

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Dave Wakeling performs with The English Beat at the 9:30 Club on Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

“This song has been used by two presidential campaigns,” Dave Wakeling said of his cover of “I’ll Take You There” by The Staple Sisters, “and both presidents served two terms! So if you fancy being president of America, it appears that I’m your man! I’ll take you there!”

The number, of course, was used by the presidential campaigns of both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, but Dave wasn’t overtly political in his appearance at the 9:30 Club on Tuesday, Oct. 11. He and The English Beat got down to performing the 1994 version of “I’ll Take You There,” recorded by Dave’s former band General Public, with vigor.

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Snapshots: The Specials @ The Fillmore Silver Spring — 9/10/16

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The Specials lead singer Terry Hall performs at the Fillmore Silver Spring on Sept. 10, 2016. (Photo by Ben Eisendrath /Instagram+Twitter: GrillworksBen)

The sprawling ska band The Specials visited the Fillmore Silver Spring last month, and our friend Ben Eisendrath was there!

Ben sent over a few cool snaps he took during the show, which was a hit among all of the rude boys and girls who went on Saturday, Sept. 10. According to Setlist.fm, The Specials played several of their high-profile hits that night, including “Ghost Town,” “Friday Night, Saturday Morning,” and “Stereotype,” which are enduring dance staples that serve as reason enough to keep The Specials coming back around in their various iterations!

Revisit the official music video for “Ghost Town” by The Specials on YouTube:

The Specials wrapped up their latest US tour in Las Vegas on Sept. 30, and they are about to embark on a UK tour starting Oct. 19. Quite a few of their UK dates are sold out through October and November, but catch them if you can!

Below, The Specials guitarist Lynval Golding performs at the Fillmore Silver Spring on Sept. 10, 2016. (Photo by Ben Eisendrath /Instagram+Twitter: GrillworksBen)IMG_5525

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

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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:

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

Music Park: The Fuss @ Wonderland Ballroom — 1/21/16

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The Fuss, “In Anacostia” (Photo courtesy The Fuss)

Before the snow hit DC on Thursday night, people were in the mood to go out. Drifting from nightspot to nightspot, I could already feel the restlessness among the crowds anticipating they would soon be snowed in.

There was no snow to be found as of yet, however, and a sizeable group formed at the Wonderland Ballroom for a night of ska and reggae presented by BlueBeat DC, which produces a show every third Thursday of the month at Wonderland. The first band up last week was The Fuss, a DC collective of eight musicians who satisfied the crowd’s desire to dance the night away.

The Fuss opened with their song “Just for Show,” a laidback, jazzy and funky tune that really captures the band’s sound. To be clear, that sound is textbook rocksteady, a slower yet still dance-driven sibling of ska. The song is an ideal set opener as its tone and lyrics truly invite the listener to come into the show. In performance, The Fuss are quite fluid, orchestrating smart use of its horns, strings, and percussion. Vocalist Andi Leo has a big voice that pairs well with the big instruments.

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Music Park: English Beat @ 9:30 Club — 11/25/15

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Dave Wakeling of The English Beat performs at Bumbershoot 2010 in Seattle on Sept. 6, 2010. (Photo by Dave Lichterman)

Calling all rude boys and rude girls!

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.

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.

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Don’t Miss: The English Beat @ 9:30 Club, 11/25/15

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Dave Wakeling (Photo by Bryan Kremkau)

The English Beat are perennial favorites in the DC metro area. They turned up at the State Theatre not long ago, and now they have a show slated for the 9:30 Club.

But wait! Not only are the [English] Beat hitting our premiere concert destination on Wednesday, Nov. 25, they also are preparing to release a new album, tentatively titled Here We Go Love! The ska/reggae collective famously published three albums in the early ‘80s, and they haven’t released a new studio album since Special Beat Service in 1982.

Special Beat Service, of course, spawned some of the English Beat’s greatest hits, such as “I Confess” and “Mirror in the Bathroom,” fueling the capability of Dave Wakeling and company to continuously tour the world for years.

Watch the official video for “Mirror in the Bathroom” on YouTube:

If you haven’t seen the English Beat in a while, or somehow you have never done so (you saved it for later?), this is a perfect opportunity to see them. After all, they are playing the night before a holiday, so you have all of the time in the world to beat to the Beat.

Tickets are available online!

The English Beat
9:30 Club
Wednesday, Nov. 25
Doors @7pm
$25
All ages