Parklife DC Presents: Urgh! A Music War @ Black Cat, 10/1/18

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (often abbreviated to OMD) are a synthpop group whose founding members are originally from the Wirral Peninsula, England.

Paul Humphreys and Andy McCluskey of Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark pose in San Francisco for NME in 1981. (Photo by Chester Simpson)

Urgh! A Music war, a cult-classic concert film, straddles divides across new wave, punk, and post-punk acts performing in 1980. Parklife DC screens the film at Black Cat on Monday, Oct. 1. Admission is free!

Continue Reading

Music Park: Retro Futura Tour (Part 2 of 2) w/ Belinda Carlisle, ABC @ Bergen Performing Arts Center — 7/14/18

ABC10 Martin Fry fronts ABC during the Retro Futura Tour at the Bergen Performing Arts Center on July 14, 2018. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

Make no mistake — every act on the mini-music festival known as the Retro Futura Tour is well worth your time and money. Limahl, Tony Lewis, and Modern English are top-notch acts! But you certainly get everything you could want and more during Retro Futura with headliners Belinda Carlisle and ABC starring Martin Fry, and both absolutely stunned in their turns on the tour at the Bergen Performing Arts Center in New Jersey on Saturday.

Continue Reading

Music Park: Parklife DC Top 10 Concerts of 2016 by Mickey

CHVRCHES 008 Lauren Mayberry of Chvrches sings at Echostage on Oct. 17, 2016. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

I’ll confess that I’m a man whose taste in music is readily apparent. If you have new wave tunes to play, particularly from 1976-86, I’m going to show up and listen to them. That said, a number of incredible legacy new wave bands happened to travel through the DC metro area over the past year, and I took the opportunity to review them for our humble blog.

That said, a number of younger bands definitely broke through and seized my attention, most notably Canada’s Operators, who were the most exciting new band I’ve seen in some time. As with Operators, many of the best performances I witnessed in 2016 came from bands whose leaders are among the Masters of Synthpop, and so I have dedicated a postscript of really great synthpop shows that may have “missed” the top 10 but otherwise deserve a lot of applause.

Check out my top 10 list of concerts I saw for Parklife DC. (Click on the concert slugline to revisit the full review.)

Continue Reading

Music Park: The Go-Go’s @ Warner Theatre — 8/5/16

Go-Go's 01 Belinda Carlisle sings at The Go-Go’s concert at the Warner Theater on August 5, 2016. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

“We’re going to play a few songs from a time before the producers got a hold of us,” said Belinda Carlisle to the audience at the Warner Theatre on Friday.

It was a favorite moment in a concert that was honestly a string of favorite moments. With that pronouncement, The Go-Go’s launched into the fiery punk “Screaming,” which they dutifully followed up with “Fun with Ropes,” a song about a little bit of innocuous if kinky fun. The two songs appeared in live versions previously on the 1994 compilation Return to the Valley of The Go-Go’s, which I’ve noted previously is a prized possession in my music collection, but otherwise always remained unreleased in a nod to the band becoming more radio-friendly.

Continue Reading

Don’t Miss: Careless Memories @ Dodge City, 8/11/16

Memorie dell'adolescenza: c'era una volta MTV
MTV turned 35 on August 1. (Thanks to Televisione Streaming for the photo!)

Come to Dodge City, and celebrate the early songs of MTV, with our Careless Memories New Wave Party on August 11!

This past Monday marked the 35th anniversary of MTV. Of course, MTV was a very different animal in 1981 than it is today. So it’s a bit easy to forget its cultural impact — which at the time was tremendous!

To celebrate the animal MTV once was, Careless Memories: A New Wave Party, brought to you by Parklife DC, will present selections that helped define an era. In the middle of 1982, the second British Invasion hit US airwaves, and with the help of early MTV, America fell in love with a host of new wave artists. Of course, the underground scenes of US cities like New York and Los Angeles already saw a great deal of guitar-heavy new wave bands bubble up in their clubs. It wasn’t long before the rest of the world caught up!

Watch “Video Killed the Radio Star” by The Buggles (the first video ever played on MTV!):

So come out and listen to MTV staples like The Buggles, The Vapors, The Talking Heads, David Bowie, Split Enz, The Cars, Blondie, The Pretenders, Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, Tears for Fears, Echo and the Bunnymen, the Psychedelic Furs, Adam Ant, and more more more.

Also, this Friday, August 5 at the Warner Theatre, the Go-Gos play their final DC show as Belinda Carlisle and company embark on a farewell tour. So we will have a special salute to the California sweethearts, who also saw MTV embrace their first three albums and their spunky videos.

Watch “Our Lips Are Sealed” by the Go-Go’s:

Alas, we may not show the videos ourselves, but we have plenty of the timeless tunes that put the M into MTV!

RSVP on Facebook, or simply show up and join us. Admission is free.

Careless Memories: A New Wave Party
Celebrates MTV
Dodge City
Thursday, August 11
Show @8pm
Free admission
21+

Don’t Miss: The Go-Go’s @ Warner Theatre, 8/5/16

The-Go-Gos
The Go-Go’s (Photo courtesy Primary Wave)

It was 1996. I had recently relocted to DC, and I was digging through the stacks of discs at CDepot in College Park, Md., for a specific prize. I heard The Go-Go’s had released a new single in the previous years when I was at sea, and I was determined to add it to my collection.

The Go-Go’s! Isolated from commercial radio for a bit in the early to mid-’90s, I had missed out on the introduction of Britpop to US shores, and I previously hadn’t found many personal favorites among grunge musicians. But with the five ladies from Los Angeles, I knew I would find fantastic new wave tunes to reignite my collecting passions.

Continue Reading