Sunday, July 5, 2015
Now that we are deep in the heart of summer, the Fort Reno Concert Series is back in business starting tomorrow at 7 p.m. and happening Mondays and Thursdays through out the month of July. If you've always wondered why that little stage is there- set seemingly at random in a park on the highest hill in Washington, then now is the time to find out. Tomorrow's bands are East West Hwy, Sara Curtin and The Fuss. I'll be there for a lot of the shows, but will sadly miss Jack On Fire July 27 so somebody please let me know how that goes.
Friday, July 3, 2015
Goin' Goin' Gone hasn't been around for a long long time, but now the band is back, back back with members whose names will be familiar to people who have been in the DC music scene for a while: David Goodfriend, Russ Beeker, Nick Ruggieri and Mitch Mitchell. GGG has already had a few gigs under its new belt, so they are ready to go, go go. See them live and in person Saturday night at Hank Dietles on da Pike, and bring bring back some memories. Here is the scoop from David Goodfriend:
"Late last year Russ and I talked about putting the band back together, and I knew he was ready to do it. Mitch Mitchell, who played bass in GGG for over a decade, and I have been playing together for the last 5 years. Both he and Nick Ruggieri, who played drums in GGG for a few years, were up for another go round.
It's the four of us for now. We will add a 5th piece when we find the right one. We really miss being onstage and rocking,and Russ and I have gotten much better at writing through the years.For now we have a few originals in the mix including one I just wrote. We've gone through old set lists and brought back the songs we thought were our best.
While it is of course a reunion, we look at it as more of a continuation. We'll do some of the old tunes we know people dug and add lots of new ones as we go along."
Wednesday, July 1, 2015
I like rock and I like stars, but the last time I went to a super star rock concert, I wondered why am I paying all this money to sit in the back of a sports stadium and look at a gigantic screen?
Instead, for a mere $10 I can see four hard rocking working bands including The Beatnik Flies this Thursday at the Tree House Lounge- a joint not even big enough to hold a jumbo-tron. The Flies are a hard act to catch these days, and they never fail to knock me out.
By the by- speaking of knock-outs-we get two full moons this month. Moon Number One will be working its show all night long tonight- literally from sunset until sunrise. (none of that sneaking up during the day biz here) The "once in a blue moon" will be happening July 31. Watch them both alive and in person if you can.
Wednesday, June 17, 2015
The Split Seconds have a history of the DC music scene wrapped up in their new project of original music. Lead singer Drew grew up listening to Discord bands and seeing DC players out and about. You can check their sound out here, but better yet- go see them. Live music is always an experiment so get in the laboratory with these guys and see what happens at Wonderland Ballroom Thursday with The Long Knives and fellow DC group The Prahns.
Thursday, June 11, 2015
For those of you who wonder where the heck the writer of this blog came from- I'd have to say it all started with a bizarre little haunt down on F Street called the 9:30 Club. I grew up wandering Georgetown listening to street musicians and going to concerts in little places like the Pour House Pub or big ones like Constitution Hall and the Capital Centre, but the 9:30 Club was … well, different. It drew a certain kind of a person- crazy, creative, passionate people. Current co-owner Seth Hurwitz called it "the Island of Misfit Toys."
I couldn't agree more.
I was in college when Dody DiSanto and John Bowers turned a decrepit building into an art venue. My first show sometime in the early '80s was Kurtis Blow although I had no idea just where we were headed or what we were going to see the night a bunch of my Maryland housemates and I decamped for F Street in a Ford Falcon station wagon. It was such a cool place that I was surprised they let me in.
Thanks to my friend and music muse, Peter Alsberg, dc space and the 9:30 Club became the places we wanted to be, and that in turn led to meeting a lot of local artists and musicians- many of whom worked in bars. (Imagine that.) Some of you might remember Mark Hall with his black cap, black jeans (black pretty much everything) serving drinks and video dee-jaying behind the bar during happy hour Wednesday through Friday.
Music videos were the rage, and Mark's taste ran from Dear God by XTC to Run-DMC's Walk This Way with Aerosmith. At the end of his shift, Mark would chase customers away with strategically quiet classical music while the doormen extracted cover charges from patrons wishing to stay for the show. Quite a few bands like Troublefunk, Tru-fax, Insect Surfers and Beatnik Flies are still playing- giving me fodder to write about.
A lot of art and music erupted from that tiny hole in the wall, but no film or book has yet to fully capture this "place and time." While we are waiting for that project to happen, "Salad Days" (showing again tomorrow at AFI) gives a nod to that community, as does the recently re-released book Banned in DC. A must for any DC punk rock lover.
Saturday, June 6, 2015
Thursday, June 4, 2015
I can't be. I don't know what one is. I hear the word bandied about; I also hear that hipsters are annoying. My high school aged son tried to explain it to me, but he had to give up. He did tell me a few jokes which shed some light:
Q: How many hipsters does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A: You wouldn’t know, it’s kind of an obscure number.
Q: How much does a hipster weigh?
A: An instagram.
Q: How many hipsters can you get into a phone booth?
A: One, any more and it would be too mainstream.
Plus this: Two hipsters walk into a bar. The first one did it before it was cool, and the second one did it ironically.
Where does that leave me who loves funky old dives and walked into a bar (without irony or an ID) way before most hipsters were born? Now that I think about it, I must have waded through crowds of hipsters in the front bar at the Quarry House Saturday nights on my way to the back room where the bands play. Oh, and good news on that front- I saw Jackie a few weeks ago, and she is confident the Quarry House will reopen in its original digs. In the meantime the bar life is malingering across Georgia Avenue at the now defunct Pirate Bar. And the music? The Saturday night music scene has temporarily shifted to Hank Dietles on the Pike- not a place hipsters are likely to stumble upon, but definitely the spot for the motley crew of musicians I know and love.
Look for Marshall Keith (ex Slickee) and Ubangis up to bat this Saturday. Definitely hip not square.