Live Review: Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark @ Lincoln Theatre — 4/26/22

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Andy McCluskey fronts OMD at the Lincoln Theatre in DC on April 26, 2022. (Photos by Jason Nicholson; Words by Mickey McCarter)

The most extraordinary musical acts in modern pop history have emerged from groundbreaking scenes that imbue them with mythic powers. And so it was wholly satisfying to witness Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, one of the very finest UK bands, fully embrace their own mythology in a pandemic-delayed 40th-anniversary celebration of hits at DC’s Lincoln Theatre this week, when frontman Andy McCluskey and company smartly acknowledged the creative ground that forged OMD in late ’70s England.

In the concert’s most extraordinary moment, OMD reset their positions during the show’s midpoint to place the four band members at the lip of the stage in a Kraftwerk formation, whereupon Andy dedicated the live rarity “Statues” to the group’s long-departed friend Ian Curtis.

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Interview: Andy McCluskey of Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (@ Lincoln Theatre, 4/26/22)

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Andy McCluskey (right) with fellow OMD co-founder Paul Humphreys (Photo courtesy Tell All Your Friends PR)

English new wavers Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, aka OMD, celebrated the 40th anniversary of their self-titled debut album in 2020. Of course, they weren’t able to tour a career retrospective at that time due to pandemic lockdowns. But they are back again now to tour North America in what promises to be a thrilling show.

Celebrating hits across their career, OMD performs at the Lincoln Theatre in Washington, DC, on Tuesday, April 26, the fourth stop on what promises to be a memorable greatest hits tour. Andy McCluskey (vocals, bass), Paul Humphreys (keyboards, vocals), Martin Cooper (keyboards, saxphone, etc.), and Stuart Kershaw (drums) promise a big production — the sort of which they usually only tour in Europe. Also on display naturally will be the band’s rare genius — their combination of thoughtful and intellectual music that also truly inspires you to dance the night away.

Parklife DC’s Mickey McCarter recently chatted with OMD frontman Andy McCluskey about 40 years of OMD, his working relationship with his co-writer Paul, and his personal art collection. Oh, and Andy shared some info about a new album as well!

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Live Review: Boy Harsher @ Black Cat — 4/10/22

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Boy Harsher perform at Black Cat on April 10, 2022. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

Boy Harsher have begun to break out of a niche and find a wider audience, and this is quite a good thing, as evidenced by the very crowded room in their recent show at Black Cat.

Early in their set, Boy Harsher, a duo of vocalist Jae Matthews and synthesist Gus Muller, presented “Give Me a Reason,” a song from their most recent project, this year’s soundtrack album to their film, The Runner. Left to its own devices, the song sounded 100 percent as if it could have sprung from the chart lists of eastern Europe in the very early ’80s. Jae intoned huskily over a bounding synthline, each allowing the sound plenty of room to breathe and a lot of space to mesmerize the enthralled gathering.

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Preview: Boy Harsher @ Black Cat, 4/10/22

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Boy Harsher (Photo by Courtney Brooke)

Boy Harsher — the duo of Jae Matthews and producer Augustus Muller — recently released the video for “Autonomy,” a standout track from their new album, The Runner (Original Soundtrack), out now via Nude Club/City Slang. The synthpop duo bring their new tunes to a show at Black Cat on Sunday, April 10.

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Live Review: Sparks @ Lincoln Theatre — 3/26/22

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Sparks perform at the Lincoln Theatre in DC on March 26, 2022. (Photos by Jason Nicholson; Words by Mickey McCarter)

Russell and Ron Mael are the quintessential two-fisted auteurs of art rock. You say go one way, they choose their own path. As Sparks, Russell and Ron now celebrate 50 years of being pop pioneers — forging and changing course in unique and surprising ways while still managing to cultivate a tremendous following.

Sparks had a remarkably successful year in which they received recognition for their movie musical Annette and they gained enhanced public exposure from a very good and very thorough documentary about their band directed by Edgar Wright. On this highest of highs, Sparks descended upon the Lincoln Theatre in DC recently to share their idiosyncratic talents with a happily sold-out venue.

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Live Review: CHVRCHES @ The Anthem — 11/30/21

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Lauren Mayberry fronts CHVRCHES at The Anthem in DC on Nov. 30, 2021. (Photos by Katherine Gaines (ambienteye.com); Words by Mickey McCarter)

“My social skills are gone,” quipped Lauren Mayberry. “I stayed inside for two years, staring at a wall. Now, I’m talking to you guys, and this is normal.”

Well, those guys were ecstatic that the CHVRCHES frontwoman was indeed talking to them, singing to them, and emoting like never before at a show bursting with energy at The Anthem DC recently. Maybe, however, it takes two years of lockdown experiences might result in a brilliant, memorable show like those on this tour, which has sent CHVRCHES around the world in support of their very good fourth album, Screen Violence.

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Song of the Day: “Nothing Prevails” by Information Society

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Information Society (Photo by Jonathan Shelgosh)

One of electronic music’s most influential bands, Information Society (or INSOC as they are affectionately known) return with ODDfellows (via Hakatak International (digitally on Aug. 6).

The band recently released a single, “Nothing Prevails,” for which they produced a video.

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