David Schelzel fronts The Ocean Blue at Union Stage on Oct. 4, 2019. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)
Here’s how I like to imagine it happened: Teenaged David Schelzel stood on an overlook above Hershey Park in Pennsylvania and pondered the decade that was coming to a close. “I’m going to take the very best of the ’80s and synthesize it into one band,” he said, reaching deep into England, where the very best new wave and psychedelia had emerged, and scooping all of those sounds into one impossibly sweet band.
And so was born The Ocean Blue, which published its first self-titled album in 1989, and captured the zeitgeist of cool alternative music in one quartet (or so we say!). Quite active in recent years, The Ocean Blue again reminded us just how cool they are in a sold-out show at Union Stage last week.
The Rocket Summer (Photo by Braverijah Gregg)
Bryce Avary, aka The Rocket Summer, released his first EP nearly two decades ago at the age of 17. Earlier this year, Bryce released his latest album Sweet Shivers, and he showed fans that he’s still going strong with no signs of stopping soon. The multi-instrumentalist Texas native stopped by DC’s waterfront at Union Stage recently in support of the latest album.
Orville Peck croons the night away at Union Stage on Sept. 21, 2019. (Photo by David LaMason)
Whether it’s the smooth baritone croon, the old west cowboy veneer, or perhaps the well talked about mystery behind the fringed black mask that draws you in: Once you witness Orville Peck, it’s hard not to be a fan.
Stabbing Westward (Photo courtesy Ticketfly)
Stabbing Westward celebrated the 20th anniversary of their third studio album, Darkest Days, with a tour last year. The industrial rockers remain on the road, and now the quartet hit Union Stage on Sunday, Sept. 8. You can win tickets to see Stabbing Westward with Parklife DC!
Drab Majesty performs at Union Stage on Aug. 8, 2019. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)
When I first saw Drab Majesty, I admittedly wasn’t 100 percent open to what the duo were doing. Clad in impenetrable makeup and reaching into a mentally calculcated genre of music, Drab Majesty struck me as a bit too artificial and maybe too confining.
After seeing them again at Union Stage recently touring on third album Modern Mirror, I embraced the concept more and if nothing else, gained a deeper appreciation for the splendor of Drab Majesty’s music.
Drab Majesty (Photo by Nedda Afsari)
On their new album Modern Mirror, Drab Majesty continue to dig their heels into modern paranoia, hypnotic melodies, and mystical lyricism. Deb Demure and Mona D released Modern Mirror in July via Dais Records, and now the duo visit Union Stage for a performance on Thursday, Aug. 8.
Juliana Hatfield rocks out at Union Stage on June 26, 2019.
“Feel better!” an audience member called out to Juliana Hatfield at the end of her show recently at Union Stage. When she returned for her encore, Juliana came out alone, and explained that she was having trouble projecting her voice because of chest congestion. The crowd was sympathetic and assured her that she still sounded great — and she did!
The Mowgli’s (Photo by Cortney Armitage)
Alternative rockers The Mowgli’s released American Feelings, a four-track EP, via CandyShop Recordings in March. The band performs at Union Stage on Sunday, July 14, and you can win tickets to go with Parklife DC!
Juliana Hatfield (Photo by David Doobinin)
Juliana Hatfield released Weird, her 17th solo record, in January via American Laundromat Records. She’s touring with the Juliana Hatfield Three with a date at Union Stage on Wednesday, June 26!
Hey Violet performs at Union Stage on June 6, 2019. (Photo by Angel Kim)
Closing out their brief first run of shows in almost two years, Hey Violet performed at Union Stage recently with support from Sage Charmaine.