Don’t Miss: Blondie and Garbage @ Wolf Trap, 8/3/17

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Blondie (Photo by Alexander Thompson)

At age 71, Debbie Harry is still rocking out with the best of them, and indeed she will soon release an 11th studio album with Blondie — Pollinator on May 5 via BMG.

To celebrate, Blondie have teamed up with Garbage for a summer tour, the Rage and Rapture Tour, which lands at Wolf Trap on Thursday, Aug. 3.

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Snapshots: Parklife DC More Best Pictures of 2016

Savages @ 930 Club 26 Savages at 9:30 Club on March 27, 2016 (See the full blog)

As we wrap up 2016 here at Parklife DC, we looked back on our best concert photos of the year, where reviewed our 10 (actually 11) favorite photos on our blog.

But while Paivi and Kristie considerably brightened up our blog with their pictures, Theresa C. Sanchez and myself also have been out there photographing some concerts. So now we are rounding up the best of the rest to present some cool photos that Theresa and I captured over the year as well.

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Music Park: Barenaked Ladies @ Wolf Trap — 6/15/16

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Ed Robertson and Jim Creeggan of Barenaked Ladies perform at Wolf Trap on Wednesday, June 15, 2016. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

Canadian rockers Barenaked Ladies hit the stage at Wolf Trap on Wednesday with an appropriate speculation:

“Maybe it would be cool/If I rocked it old school/Try to break a gold rule/And a sweat,” sang vocalist Ed Robertson in opening number “Testing 1, 2, 3” from the band’s 2003 album, Everything to Everyone. The refrain goes: “Testing 1, 2, 3, Can anybody hear me?” And the answer at the very full pavilion at Wolf Trap is a resounding yes!

Warmed up by openers Howard Jones and Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, the roughly 7,000 people in Wolf Trap’s Filene Center were ready to party down with their favorite jangle-rock icons, who are sweeping the United States through July 24 on the strength of a new live album, BNL Rocks Red Rocks, released in February via Concord Records, in a show titled “Last Summer on Earth.”

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Music Park: Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD) @ Wolf Trap — 6/15/16

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Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys of OMD perform at Wolf Trap on Wednesday, June 15, 2016. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

“We’re going to play that famous song from that famous movie,” said Andy McCluskey, frontman for Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD) at Wolf Trap Wednesday.

“No, not that one,” he added, rejecting the notion the band were about to play their biggest US hit — “If You Leave” from the movie Pretty in Pink. “The other one!”

Andy and his three bandmates launched into “Tesla Girls,” which in fact appeared on the soundtrack of another John Hughes movie, Weird Science. And so it was that OMD electrified roughly 7,000 people in a smash-up set as openers for Barenaked Ladies.

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Music Park: Dolly Parton @ Wolf Trap — 6/8/16

Dolly Parton 01 Dolly Parton performs at Wolf Trap National Park on Wednesday, June 8, 2016.

Dolly Parton famously grew up poor in the Tennessee Smokey Mountains, and her late father worked hard to provide for her large family.

At one point, her father traveled to Detroit for work in an effort to improve their finances. After missing his home and family, he returned.

In tribute to his dedication, Dolly wrote a song “Smokey Mountain Memories,” which appeared on a live album Heartsongs: Live from Home, recorded at Dollywood in 1994.

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Interview: Cyndi Lauper @ Wolf Trap — 6/1/16

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Cyndi Lauper and Boy George (Photo courtesy True Colors Fund)

Cyndi Lauper performed in a sold-out show Wednesday at the Filene Center at Wolf Trap, at times fiery and at times sentimental but always irrepressible!

Nominally, she was touring in support of her new album Detour, a collection of country music covers released last month on Sire Records. But the concert sold out in part because it was the last of seven dates where she shared the spotlight with another ‘80s icon, Boy George.

In performance, Cyndi and George sang three songs together — at the end of George’s set, they covered “Bang a Gong” by T. Rex, a favorite of George. And at the end of Cyndi’s set, they performed “You’re the Reason Our Kids Are Ugly,” originally by Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty, and covered on Cyndi’s new album with Vince Gill. Afterward, Cyndi and George joined forces for “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!”

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Interview: Andy McCluskey of OMD (@ Wolf Trap, 6/15/16)

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Andy McCluskey (left) and Paul Humphreys of OMD (Photo courtesy Big Hassle)

As a champion of new wave music in general and synthesizers specifically, one of my biggest musical heroes is Andy McCluskey, frontman for the groundbreaking British synthpop band Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD). A decade ago, Andy reunited with collaborator Paul Humphreys and relaunched the classic OMD lineup, which has been publishing new albums in recent years. And here in the United States, OMD remains celebrated for ‘80s singles such as “Enola Gay,” “So in Love,” and of course “If You Leave” (the band’s contribution to the soundtrack of the John Hughes film Pretty in Pink).

I had the singular honor of chatting with Andy recently about OMD’s upcoming tour of America, recent projects (including a new OMD album in the making), and matters of state in the European Union! [We also discussed more politics, but I cut some of that in favor of length and focus.]

Mickey McCarter: Hello, Andy!

Andy McCluskey: Mickey, hello again, how are you?

MM: Great! How are you?

AM: Great! I just got home from a very successful concert in Stockholm over the weekend, and the sun is shining in England, so all is good. [OMD played in Stockholm recently on May 21.]

MM: Fantastic! Since you mention that concert, you’ve been doing quite a bit of live album shows and releases, and that all seems to be going very well.

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