Don’t Miss: George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic @ 9:30 Club, 9/24/16

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George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic perform at The Beacon Theatre, Hopewell, Virginia, on Nov. 20, 2015. (Photo by Tom Saunders)

Mark your calendars for Saturday, Sept. 24. If you see no other bands the rest of this year, go see George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic!

I have seen P-Funk several times, and it is one of the best shows you can see. The thing is, you don’t even need to know their music to enjoy the show. The other thing is, you probably already know some of their music and you just didn’t realize it.

Check out these two songs and see if they sound familiar:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJvjWh2Vhu4&w=640&h=360]

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LuyS9M8T03A&w=640&h=360]

You will hear George or one of the band members say, “Ain’t nothin’ but a party” at least once throughout the night, and that’s exactly what it will be. It is great music to dance to, great music to chill to, great music to rock out to. You name it, there is something for everyone.

What I was most surprised and impressed by when I first saw them was how musically talented they are. This is not just a dance party. There will be three or four guitarists, a few drummers that switch off throughout the night, LOTS of people singing, and all kinds of other fun stuff.

You may know the backstory. Basically, George created two groups — Parliament and Funkadelic. The two bands ultimately became one, which was logical because most of the members were in both groups anyway. George started his musical journey back in 1956 and is still going strong at the age of 75!

The 9:30 Club is going to be rocking! I encourage you to put that on your calendar; you’ll be glad you did. If you are going to come, you might want to get yourself some caffeine. (Thanks for that upstairs coffee bar, 9:30 Club!) The doors don’t open until 8pm and once P-Funk comes onstage, there’s no telling how late they will play. I think if it was up to the band they might throughout the night. This is going to be a great show!

Tickets are available online.

George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic
9:30 Club
Saturday, Sept. 24
Doors @8pm
$45
All ages

Music Park: Culture Club @ Strathmore Music Center — 9/11/16

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Boy George sings at Strathmore Music Center on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016.

Boy George has embraced a new level of maturity, inspired in part by one of his heroes, funk musician Sly Stone.

Recalling a magazine interview with Sly during a performance by Culture Club on Sunday night, George quoted Sly as saying, “I have many regrets, but none that I can remember right now.”

George discussed personal growth during a show at Strathmore Music Hall in Bethesda, Maryland, in the introduction to new Culture Club song “Different Man,” which will tentatively appear on a new album set for 2017 on Culture Club’s own label, Different Man Music. (There’s a theme for you!) George emphasized that you don’t become a different person like Sly, who may have done some reckless things in his youth, simply by growing older. Wisdom doesn’t simply manifest itself, and people must have the will to change, like Sly — or like George.

“You have to decide to change and become a different man,” George acknowledged. With that, George launches into the soulful song about turning a new leaf. We understand clearly that George is apologizing for his own past behavior, and that he’s here now with his bandmates in Culture Club for the better.

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Don’t Miss: Culture Club @ Strathmore, 9/11/16

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Culture Club (Photo courtesy the band)

Culture Club eyed releasing a new album in 2016, but they seem to have cooled off on it for the time being.

That said, the soulful UK quartet has been hard at work on touring! The original members — including bassist Mikey Craig, guitarist Roy Hay, drummer Jon Moss, and vocalist Boy George — have been traveling the world together in the last few years, and they appear to be having the time of their lives.

As evidence of how good touring has been for the group, Parklife DC gave their live show a very positive review when it stopped by Wolf Trap in 2015, and Boy George himself came around again with his friend Cyndi Lauper (again at Wolf Trap) in June. But the local touring doesn’t end there! The restless band now are planning to hit the Music Center at Strathmore on Sunday, Sept. 11.

Watch Culture Club perform their classic hit “Miss Me Blind” for Jimmy Kimmel Live! on June 28, 2016:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Ez6dOsMg0I]

Last year, we wrote, “It’s a miracle — that we were able to witness the reformation of these remarkable musicians, and I say that because Culture Club doesn’t work when it’s just the Boy George show. Surely, the flamboyant vocalist is a key ingredient of the act, but he needs his compatriots to pull it off. For their part, the other three were in remarkably good spirits, waving, shaking hands, smiling along with the audience. Their high spirits buoyed a strong performance and fed into making the band seem like a band.”

Tonight, Culture Club perform in San Antonio, Texas, hitting the road on the journey to their DC-area show. Don’t miss them blind — go see them in concert!

Tickets for the DC show are available online. (Check out the VIP package as well for a meet and greet with Culture Club!)

Culture Club
Strathmore Music Center
Sunday, Sept. 11
Show @8pm
$65-$165
All ages

Don’t Miss: Matt Corby @ 9:30 Club, 6/13/16

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Matt Corby (Photo by Bryce Jepson)

Bluesy folk singer Matt Corby has released his full-length debut album Telluric via Elektra Records, and he’s touring in support of it with a visit to the 9:30 Club on Monday, June 13.

Matt gained a lot of attention in his native Australia with several EP releases, but he’s now breaking through in the United States with his new album.

Initially, Matt wrote songs for the album in Los Angeles two years ago, but he threw those songs out and doubled down on his effort to become as proficient as possible in all aspects of music. Matt turned to home studios and wrapped up in a rural cottage in Australia. He wrote and recorded new music for Telluric, and then co-produced it with Dan Hume. MOJO calls the new songs “transcendent gospel-soul.”

Check out the results for yourself! Watch Matt Corby perform “Sooth Lady Wine” live at Electric Brixton on YouTube:

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

The Wild Honey Pie is presenting Matt’s appearance at the 9:30 Club. Of the show, The Wild Honey Pie says, “His catchy melodies will make you hum along, his soulful voice will captivate you and the rhythm will keep you on your feet.”

Overcoats open for Matt Corby. Tickets are available online.

Matt Corby
w/ Overcoats
9:30 Club
Monday, June 13
Doors @ 7pm
$25
All ages

Ticket Giveaway: VinoFest @ Yards Park, 5/7/16

Jonathan Batiste and Stay Human
Jon Batiste and Stay Human (Photo courtesy VinoFest)

VinoFest, the DC metro’s top festival for bringing together music and wine, returns for a third year this Saturday, May 7, from 3-10pm at Yards Park. And you have a chance to win a pair of tickets to go with Parklife DC!

VinoFest DC Wine and Music Festival has been at a different location each year so far, first at Union Market, then at Storey Park, but its new home in the attractive and well-maintained Yards Park is the best location for the festival yet! Yards Park is big, clean, and easily accessible by public transportation.

The 2016 edition of VinoFest also features its most ambitious music lineup to date, with the likes of The Original Wailers, Jon Batiste and Stay Human, and Trouble Funk, among others, providing the festival’s entertainment! And of course, guests enjoy eight 2-ounce wine tastings from a selection of 20+ vineyards with their admission.

Here is the full VinoFest music lineup:

  • Jon Batiste and Stay Human
  • The Original Wailers
  • Trouble Funk
  • Paperhaus
  • Tigers are Bad for Horses
  • Anastasia Antoinette

You can buy tickets online, but Parklife DC is giving you a chance to win a pair of general admission tickets right now!

For your chance to win these tickets, simply leave a comment on this post using a valid email address between now and 5pm on Wednesday, May 4. Feel free to leave any comment, but perhaps share your favorite song from the festival musicians! One entry per email address, please. Tickets for VinoFest are also available online.

For the rules of this giveaway…

Comments will close on Wednesday, May 4, at 5pm, and we will randomly select a winner. 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.

Tickets will be available to the winner at the check-in desk at VinoFest 2016. The tickets must be claimed with a valid ID. The winner must be old enough to drink (21+ years of age as of Friday, May 6). You can see the full list of wine offerings on the VinoFest Eventbrite page.

Good luck!

VinoFest
Yards Park
Saturday, May 7
3-10pm
General admission $55
VIP $99
21+

RIP, Prince

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Prince performs at the Warner Theatre in DC on June 14, 2015. (Photo by Karrah Kobus / NPG Records)

We at Parklife DC are shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of the legendary musician Prince, who was found dead today at his Paisley Park studio complex in Minnesota.

Reportedly, Prince was hospitalized with the flu a few days ago. You can read the latest on the situation via the Associated Press.

Last year, I saw Prince twice — once on my birthday weekend at Warner Theater in DC on June 14, and prior to that at Royal Farms Arena for the Rally 4 Peace concert in Baltimore last May.

I ranked the DC show as my #1 concert of 2015, describing it as follows:

“Soon into a 2.5 hour set, Prince reached down into the audience and grabbed the hand of my favorite lady Yasmin –- and then Prince brought her up out of the front row and ONTO STAGE TO DANCE WITH HIM. Yasmin kicked off her shoes and danced up there with Prince for three songs or so as he sang through ‘U Got the Look,’ ‘Shake!,’ and ‘Cool’ (covering the Time).

If that wasn’t enough to set the night on fire, Stevie Wonder snuck onto stage during our late-night show at the Warner Theatre to take over keyboards at some point, perhaps around the time of ‘Controversy,’ the title track to the amazing Prince album from 1981. Stevie stayed on stage for the strongest segment of Sunday’s late show, rolling from ‘Controversy’ to ‘1999’ to ‘Little Red Corvette.’ Prince himself was full of delicious swagger, and the audience ate it up. The man often took center stage during his performances, dancing up a funky two-step or thrashing away on his guitar while strident before his microphone. He was in good form, and he sounded fantastic and looked as fit as fuck.”

We loved your music, Prince, and we loved how you broke barriers from soul to funk to R&B to new wave. Bless you, my friend.

Don’t Miss: The Arcs @ 9:30 Club, 12/14 & 12/15/15

thearcs_officialThe Arcs (Photo Credit: thearcs.com)

The Arcs come to the 9:30 Club for two shows, December 14 and 15th, touring in support of their first album, Yours, Dreamily,.

The band is composed of Dan Auerbach, as a side-project of the Black Keys, on lead vocals (and many other instruments) with a slew of other members, like Leon Michels, Nick Movshon, Homer Steimweiss, Richard Swift and Kenny Vaughan. The ladies from Flor de Toloache also contribute. No less than four members contribute to drums and percussion, so the R in their brand of R&B is well established.

“Outta My Mind” reminds me of the Black Keys’ energetic garage rock, with Dan’s unmistakable voice a powerful force beyond the song. It also hints at something psychedelic, as do many of the songs on their first album.
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k84Fpso2cBY]

 

“Stay In My Corner” is a slow, fuzzy jam that soulfully pleads for two people to stay together and fight for each other.
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHCO6CRTLT8]

 

Tonight’s show is sold out (Editor’s correction: There are still tickets available for December 14 here), but there are tickets available for the Tuesday, December 15 show. Find them here.

 

The Arcs
w/ Mariachi Flor de Toloache (see our preview here)
9:30 Club
Monday, December 14
Tuesday, December 15
Doors @ 7:00pm
$40
All ages

Music Park: Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings @ The Lincoln Theatre – 12/8/15

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Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings perform in May, 2014 (Photo by wcmickle)

You haven’t seen Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings until you’ve seen Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings. By which I mean that you’ve heard the music and the voice, and seen some videos or clips of live shows, but that isn’t really seeing her. Because to see Sharon Jones is to feel her. The energy, the presence, the command that she brings into a room. And I’m not speaking of just any room, but a sold out, standing room only night at The Lincoln Theatre in Washington, DC.

This past Tuesday marked one of just two live performance scheduled for this holiday season and Jones brought a dynamic collection of originals, holiday standards, and holiday originals, which were released on her first holiday album, It’s a Holiday Soul Party. The audience hung on every soulful word she sang and every tight, clean note that The Dap-Kings played.

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/4252841″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /] 

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Don’t Miss: Mariachi Flor De Toloache (Opening for The Arcs) @ 9:30 Club, 12/14-12/15/15

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Flor de Toloache (Photo by Andrei Averbuch)

The Arcs are the new band helmed by Dan Auerbach, guitarist and vocalist of The Black Keys. They are a bit unusual in several aspects, being a kind of large garage chamber pop band.

One of the unusual aspects of the band is that they are backed by members of Mariachi Flor De Toloache in concert. The all-female mariachi band from New York City provides vocals, horns, and strings to the bluesy ensemble.

The Arcs are touring in support of their debut album, and they are bringing Flor De Toloache along with them as the opening act with two nights at the 9:30 Club on Monday, Dec. 14, and Tuesday, Dec. 15.

Founded by Mireya Ramos, Mariachi Flor de Toloache themselves released a self-titled debut album in April. The band today includes up to 13 rotating members who play traditional mariachi instruments: violin, trumpet, guitarrón (bass), and vihuela (five-string guitar). Mireya and co-leader Shae Fiol provide vocals, and Shae also designs the band’s outfits.

Watch Mariachi Flor De Toloache play Blue Note’s Subrosa in New York City for their record release party on April 4, 2015:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHy_NPd-1lI]

Taking its name from a poisonous night flower used as a love potion in Central America in the past, Flor De Toloache infuse various musical genres into their mariachi mix, including salsa, bachata, cumbia, gypsy music, and Latin jazz as well as pop, hip-hop, and soul, according to a profile of the band in the Wall Street Journal published earlier this year.

The first show on Monday, Dec. 14, sold out, but tickets are still available online for a second show on Tuesday, Dec. 15!

Mariachi Flor De Toloache
(Opening for The Arcs)
9:30 Club
Monday, Dec. 14
Tuesday, Dec. 15
Doors @7pm
$40
All ages

Ticket Giveaway: Darwin Deez @ Black Cat, 12/9/15

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Darwin Smith (Photo by Krista Schlueter)

Brooklyn-based quartet Darwin Deez released a third studio album, Double Down, in September via Lucky Number — and the band, led by Darwin Smith, has been touring in support of it. They hit DC with a stop at the Black Cat on Wednesday, Dec. 9.

Last month, Darwin Deez produced a clever video for the single “The Mess She Made,” which features Darwin singing as various international currency is superimposed over his head.

Watch the official video for “The Mess She Made” on YouTube:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r40tpNUQMC8]

Joined by Charly Bliss on the current tour, Darwin Deez promises smart choreography and high energy to accompany their blend of soulful and bluesy pop.

And you have a chance to see it for yourself, as Parklife DC is giving away a pair of tickets for this show. To win, follow us on Twitter, or retweet or like the tweet announcing this ticket giveaway. (You can follow us at http://www.twitter.com/ParklifeDC!)

For the rules of this giveaway–

We will choose a winner at random from Twitter follows, retweets, and likes by 5pm on Wednesday, Dec. 2. The winner will be notified by Twitter! The winner must respond to our communication within 24 hours or they will forfeit their tickets, and we will pick another winner.

Tickets also are available online!

Darwin Deez
w/ Charly Bliss
Black Cat
Wednesday, Dec. 9
Doors @7:30pm
$15
All ages