Preview: The Ocean Blue @ Union Stage, 9/5/21

The Ocean Blue (Photo Darin Back)
The Ocean Blue (Photo by Darin Back)

The Ocean Blue, the much admired dream pop act from Hershey, Pennsylvania, was always one of those American bands that sounded more like an English act. The band continued that streak with their newest album, Kings and Queens / Knaves and Thieves, released in 2019.

The band resumes touring their fan-favorite early material alongside their consistently terrific new songs in a show at Union Stage on Sunday, Sept. 5.

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Live Review: Elizabeth Cook with Waylon Payne @ Union Stage — 8/14/21

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Elizabeth Cook (Photo courtesy the artist)

Elizabeth Cook and Waylon Payne had two of my favorite albums released last year — Aftermath and The Queer, The Harlot, the Pusher and Me — so I was extremely excited about Saturday evening’s show at the Union Stage. Payne opened the show with a 45-minute solo acoustic set, and Cook headlined with her full band, Gravy.

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Poll: What Is the Best Music Venue in DC for 2020?

Grott @ SO36 - 40 Years
A band on stage! (Photo by Montecruz Foto)

Welcome to the 2020 Thrushie Awards!

Parklife DC will name the DC best local music venue of the year with your input. The Thrushie Awards are open to DC-area music venues that host touring bands. These venues must be occupied by its owner-operator and not a “for-rent” concert hall operated by an independent agent.

Learn more about each nominee by clicking on their name in keywords. Or name your own candidate!

Vote for the best music local music venue in the DC metro area now through Dec. 11.

Around Town: Shuttered DC Music Venues Produce Livestream Concerts

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Songbyrd Music House (Photo by Ben Eisendrath)

While DC’s music venues have been shuttered during the current emergency lockdown, several prominent concert halls have moved to hosting performances online.

So, here’s a round-up of DC venues hosting concerts on Facebook or Instagram along with when you can watch!

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Livestream Preview: Ariana and the Rose @ Instagram, 4/28/20

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Ariana and the Rose (Photo by Louis Browne)

Ariana and the Rose has solidified herself as both an underground Brooklyn nightlife staple and a must-see mainstay on the NYC pop scene. She was to visit DC with Torres, but the show was canceled (for now) due to the national coronavirus emergency.

But Union Stage is bringing Ariana and the Rose to you in a livestream for its You & US: A Live Series. Catch her show via Union Stage on Instagram on Tuesday, April 28.

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Stars and Bars: Welcome to Union Stage

UnionStage08 Union Stage (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

Union Stage is perhaps the most pleasantly surprising music venue in DC.

Opened at The Wharf, located in southwest DC in December 2017, Union Stage was founded by brothers Jonathan, Luke, and Daniel Brindley, who have owned and operated Jammin’ Java in Vienna, Virginia, since 2001.

If you’ve never been to Union Stage, you might wonder if it radiates the same chill coffee house vibes as Jammin’ Java. To its credit, the 7,500 sq. ft. subterranean venue does its own thing and does it with style.

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Around Town: Emergency Relief Funds for Music Venue Staff

2020.03.16 DC People and Places in the Age of Coronavirus, Washington, DC USA 076 05012
A sign announcing a coronavirus closing (Photo by Ted Eytan)

DC has closed its music venues to efforts to contain the coronavirus (COVID-19). As such, staffers at concert halls around town are out of work.

Management at several music venues have established relief funds for their workers, allowing the public to donate directly to efforts to provide money directly to venue staff.

Should you ever have enjoyed a show at any of the venues below, please consider a donation to thank the hard-working staff who helped make it a great experience. Parklife has compiled a list below of music venues administering support funds, along with a statement posted by the management of each.

Parklife will udpate this list as relevant. Feel free to add info on relief efforts for music venue staff in the comments.

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Live Review: Wire @ Union Stage — 3/9/20

Wire @ Union Stage, Washington DC, 03/09/2020
Colin Newman performs with Wire at Union Stage on March 9, 2020. (Photo by Paivi Salonen)

For over 40 years, Wire has been one of the most innovative bands to come out of the United Kingdom, if not the world. Since their 1977 debut, Pink Flag, they’ve shifted their musical style with almost every album. Beginning as a stripped-down, breakneck-paced punk affair, Wire has embraced new textures and sounds, including electronic music.

The band’s recent show at DC’s Union Stage began with a 45-minute DJ set of electronic music, with one notable composition that sounded like a fusion of Ennio Morricone and ambient electronics.

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