Around Town: The Wammies @ Lincoln Theatre — 3/31/19

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Jeffrey Tribble Jr., Executive Director of The MusicianShip, addresses the Butterfly Bash in 2017. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

The MusicianShip, a nonprofit dedicated to providing music education to DC youth, sponsored its first Wammie Awards, recently choosing “the best of the best” among DC musicians for recognition to continue the mission of the dissolved Washington Area Music Association.

As editor of Parklife DC, I was a judge and a presenter for the 2019 Wammie Awards at the Lincoln Theatre on March 31, and I’m pleased to provide the full list of winners.

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Music Park: The Mynabirds @ U Street Music Hall — 9/26/15

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Laura Burhenn plays keyboards as The Mynabirds in a performance for WFUV on July 16, 2015. (Photo courtesy WFUV)

Laura Burhenn was positively giddy to be playing a show in DC, once her hometown and still home to much of her family and friends.

Addressing the attentive crowd at U Street Music Hall on Saturday, the lead singer of The Mynabirds recalled marching in protests during her time in our city, and how such experiences shaped some of her music like the terrifically upbeat “Generals” from the second Mynabirds album of the same name.

With a laugh, Laura acknowledged she sometimes has differences of political opinion with members of her own family, and she expressed an interest in building up what they have in common rather than dwelling on what separates them.

And Laura came equipped with songs to bridge that divide, such as “All My Heart” from a new album Lovers Know, which she’s been touring to support after its release this summer. The song, the first one on the tracklisting of the new album, is a smoldering folk pop number with a R&B backbeat.

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Music Park: Basement Jaxx @ 9:30 Club — 6/30/15

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Simon Ratcliffe and Felix Buxton of Basement Jaxx (Photo courtesy Atlantic Jaxx)

Felix Buxton of Basement Jaxx centered a rare live show for Americans Tuesday night, standing on stage behind his impressive array of synthesizers as madcap music and melodies unfolded around him at the 9:30 Club.

Clad as a hip wizard of synth, Felix took the stage alone toward the end of the show for an instrumental break beginning with the track “Buffalo” from the most recent Basement Jaxx album, Junto — released last summer. His mix concluded with a flourish and Handel’s “Zadak the Priest (Coronation Anthem for George II)” as performed by the Ambrosian Singers. At this point in the show, I’m completely impressed and chuckling to myself at something I would consider a Pet Shop Boys-level of synthesizer style.

Only a few songs later, the London house maestro takes to the front of the stage to dance and sing out the lyrics to “Where’s Your Head At?” in delightfully frenetic fashion, closing out the main set of the Basement Jaxx show with the 2001 U.S. dance chart topper.

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