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Thursday, September 14, 2017

How We Get Our Rocks Off


I'm not a fan of stadium rock. These arenas are fine for people who like to watch other people chase a ball around, but jumbo-trons just don't cut it for me. If I have to look at a screen to catch a glimpse of the band I just forked over a pile of money to see, well, you know what I'm thinking?
I'm thinking I've got a screen of my own.
Plus I'm not good about sitting in my assigned seat.

When I saw the Stones at the Cap Centre a long long time ago, I ended up sitting on the stairs for most of the show with my am around an over-served companion. We were somewhere up near the roof as I recall, while Mick Jagger strutted around on stage in a sparkly white get-up, looking about two inches high from my point of view.  A memorable night, but not necessarily for the music.

But why wait for the Stones?  This Saturday at the Hamilton, Newmyer Flyer presents a gaggle of local musicians recreating the sounds of "Sticky Fingers" and Tom Petty's "Damn the Torpedos." Both albums will be played in their entirety, and you could probably meet some of those talented players in real size at the bar. (And there are choices between table seats and wandering around the bar area tickets for the restless.) Beware these shows can and do sell out.

Sunday night David Kitchen will unveil his new EP at JV's out in the wilds of Falls Church. David plays constantly with the Thrillbillys and the David Kitchen band, and he's even on the Hamilton gig mentioned above. He has got the guitar playing /singing thing down, but he rarely plays his own most excellent music.  Truly an original. Show starts at 8:30. Don't be late.


Speaking of screens at home check out "Rocks Off" accompanied by this Super 8 street scene montage of the Stones from 1971. An "Exile on Main Street" time capsule.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Abide with Hank


Hank Dietle's, a tiny drinking establishment on the Pike, not only withstood the construction of White Flint Mall,  but also oversaw its demise. I remember the hubbub when White Flint first opened in 1977. We flocked there just to gawk at how shiny and white everything was. We had to try this new phenomenon called a "food court" after a trip on their glass elevator. Now the mall has been razed while the little tavern across the street hunkers down- unchanged as thirsty customers come and go.

Live music is relatively new at Hank's- a product of the old Quarry House scene before a fire closed its doors. Bands play every Saturday night including this week when Cravin' Dogs shake up the usual rockabilly scene. This Friday, however, don't miss a special psychedelic/punk kind of show with Seven Door Sedan and Spidercake.



We are lucky to still have this endangered species of a honky- tonk. There is no food court- in fact no food at all, but you are welcome to bring your own sustenance as long as you belly up to the bar for liquid refreshment.


Thursday, August 31, 2017

Dancing In September


My cousin John who lives out in Ashton, Maryland declared he saw a leaf fall yesterday, but Autumn officially doesn't actually arrive until September 22 this year, and many a warm day and beautiful night lie in between. Stave off that seasonal disorder by focusing on the positive. September starts handily on a Friday which means five weekends, people!

Kick up your heels starting with Valentine Slim who will take over the Takoma VFW this Friday night. "Slim" has a long musical history in D.C. which includes dancing for the Psychedelic Power and Light Company at the Ambassador Theater- an amazing tale there, and I could digress, but I won't so hit the link for more. Nowadays Slim concentrates on bringing out a country blues rock kind of thing, and the Hells Bottom VFW is the perfect venue for the sound.


Saturday night catch Dede and the Do-Rights in an all star line up at Hank Dietle's - another perfect little honky tonk. On a larger scale, local bands invade the 9:30 Club. Look for The Split Seconds, Thaylobleu and more at the rare night club where all ages can see live music.


Thursday, August 17, 2017

The British Are Coming... Again.



April 18, 1775. February 7, 1964. August 19, 2017. What do these dates have in common?  All three mark British invasions and, like kudzu, there's no escaping their impact on our landscape. We may have repelled the Red Coats, but when The Beatles landed, they kicked open the door and in marched The Stones, The Who, Led Zeppelin, and The Kinks. Cream, Elton John, Jethro Tull and The Hollies. It seems like "Long Cool Woman" was covered at every school dance I went to, but I missed seeing most of these bands in person.

But while we've been "lazing on a summer afternoon," many local musicians spent the last few months holed up in the woodshed, working on a show bent on recreating the hellacious sounds of 1967-1974 with music from all the bands listed above plus Queen, Traffic, Donovan and more. The "invasion" happens this Saturday night at The Fillmore in Silver Spring.

For those of you looking for a more intimate show, check out Jau Ocean and Boat Burning at Bossa on 18th Street. Boat Burning's last EP was produced by Roger Miller of Mission of Burma, and these psychedelic cats are ready to go. Early show 8 p.m. to 10:30 on Saturday as well.


Monday, August 7, 2017

Local Rock Alerts



DC's public library is archiving a lot more than books these days. A compilation of local music came out last February called "Rock the Stacks," and for those still unaware or simply curious, Songbird in Adams Morgan will be hosting an all ages listening party tomorrow from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. More information about that event can be found here

And on Wednesday the DCPL Punk Archive will be host a live show on the rooftop of the Woodridge Neighborhood Library of all things. No whispering allowed.


Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Ghost Town

Union Station 1920s


Look to your left.
Now look to your right.
Anybody home?

Anybody?

Are you feeding your neighbor's cat?
Taking in the mail for another?
Is that a parking place right in front of the Tune Inn?

Yes,  it's August in Washington when the town shrinks down to just us chickens. And the crickets. For other signs of life on Planet DC, check out the DC ROCKS' incredibly incomplete but better than nothing calendar as well as Fort Reno this Thursday. Share in the sugar love of Night of 1,000 Cakes while being serenaded by Weird Babies, Aaron Leitko and Herschel Hoover. Last show of the summer! And a hearty shout out to to Amanda MacKaye and all her volunteers for keeping this venue alive.


Friday, July 21, 2017

Dog Daze



It's hot. Hot. Hot. Hot. Hot. Hot. Hot.  It's hot at 8 a.m. It's hot at 9:30 p.m. It's hot in the car. It's So Hot I. Can't. Think. Can you?

It's July in D.C. -historically our hottest month and living up to its reputation. Go hide in the Smithsonian. (Or the dairy aisle depending on your ambition and energy level.)  If outside,  I recommend a personal atomizer filled with water as a constant companion and new best friend.


But kudos to WAMU for bringing us a little good news on the weather front. It may be hotter than ever, but despite the increasing density of Washington's population and the in pouring of cars, our skies are cleaner than they used to be. Blue Skies are in. Smog is out. (And as I write, so is Sean Spicer.)

This Saturday Catfish Hodge is in at JV's.  Col Josh is out at Hank Dietle's for those of you looking for something to do. Cold beer can beat the heat- especially if you don't forget to bring your new best friend.