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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

What I Don't Know

Local singer songwriter Billy Coulter wrote me a while back and asked if I would cover his show coming up at Jammin Java this Thursday with John Eddie. I didn't want to betray my ignorance, but I had no idea who John Eddie is, much less that he had an album with that sentiment in mind. 

Since I can surf the 'net as well as the next guy, I now know John Eddie is a singer songwriter from Richmond who moved to New Jersey once but lives in Nashville now. He is my age, he's played with Bruce Springsteen and once opened for the Kinks, but for the real low down, here's the skinny from  Billy who is both a musician and a far more knowledgable fan:

"I admire the earnest and confessional sort of songwriting that Ian Hunter and John Lennon practiced. It's something I strive for in my own songs. John Eddie has that talent and also possesses a wry sense of humor, so he doesn't take himself too seriously. Plus, his live shows rival the kind of energy and enthusiasm that his pal Bruce Springsteen made famous. My band is gonna rock an opening set of nothing but our best material to get this audience pumped."

What I do know is that's a bargain. 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Calling All Juvenile Delinquent Wrecks

Once upon a time children used to have all kinds of fun in Washington DC. Look at my cousin Peter Sclavounos, above, tooling about town in style sometime around 1940. Used to be you could wade in the reflecting pool, skateboard down the Washington Monument path, and climb on that weird Giant that used to live at Hain's Point.

But now there's no sledding on the State Department steps much less on Capitol Hill which last time I looked was supposed to belong to WE the people.

What's a kid to do? Write to their congressperson ? Well, no. You can't do that either if you live in Washington, D.C. because we don't have one.

And that, my friends, is why they invented rock and roll. Teach your children well; teach 'em how to stick it to the man. Take them to the Avalon tomorrow morning and let them see the RTTS transform this historic landmark of a movie theater into a roiling mosh pit of tots. Concert starts at 10 a.m. sharp.

Come out and have some fun before that becomes a misdemeanor, too.

rtf fans olivia and august 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

A Tale of Two Streetcars

Last week I survived a journey on a jam packed street car which included a concert by howling drunk college students who were belting out everything from pop tunes to the "Star Spangled Banner" at the top of their daiquiri soaked lungs. Yes, this scene was set in New Orleans- a beautiful city which is notorious for sometimes not having its act together. As we rattled down St Charles early Thursday evening, sometimes the bare naked light bulbs that illuminate the cars blinked out; sometimes there was a crack and spark of electricity above the overloaded little vehicle, but we all made it to our destination in one piece- even the girl who almost passed out, and the kid who was leaning backwards with his head dropping out the open window.

Back in Washington DC, we have a more modern, state of the art street car system running on brand new tracks. Only problem? Nobody is on board. Our last mayor hoped to have the big opening before he left office.  Bureaucratic delays may be inevitable, but it's been eight years since this project started, and over a year since testing began in December 2013. Today's news brought nothing but uncertainty about what will happen next. More reviews. More testing even though for months now the cars have crept its petty pace up and down the two mile track on H Street Northeast, carrying no passengers and going absolutely nowhere.

And I'll bet the windows don't even open.

 October 2014

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Throw Back Your Valentine

Here's a fun old fashioned thing to do on what can be a heart breaking holiday- Eric Felten and his Orchestra are having a vintage dance party this Saturday night at Glen Echo in a building that is both classy and classic. The Spanish Ballroom at Glen Echo is the real deal- a restored and rescued art deco dance hall dating back to the 1930s. You don't need a date- just your two left feet. Bring a friend or two, and

 as David Bowie would say: "take a chance…put on your red shoes and dance."

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Every Day

It's a getting closer...

Oh, Boy! This Friday, yes, that'll be the day when a mob of musicians take over Bethesda Blues and Jazz right there on Wisconsin Avenue.  Too many bands to mention will be paying tribute to Charles Hardin Holley, one of our founding fathers of rock n roll, sadly lost too soon in a plane crash 56 years ago this month. Come out and celebrate the man who refuses to fade away at this mash up dance party and rave on for Buddy's sake.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Mardi Gras Mambo Time

Living here on the semi frozen tundra of the Mid-Atlantic, it is hard to remember that Carnival season is upon us, and indeed, almost half over. Mardi Gras falls on a Tuesday this year, (hah) on February 17th to be exact.  A mere 18 days, 11 hours, and 33 minutes from now. (Make that 32 minutes.)

In New Orleans parades are already rolling and gaudy as all get out King cakes are stacked eye high in the grocery stores. Mardi Gras "carols" are playing on the radio- especially on WWOZ , "guardians of the groove." Through the magic of the internet you can tune in live -just like I am now. As I write "Treme Mardi Gras" featuring Kermit Ruffins just played followed by Louis Armstrong, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band and the Creole Clarinets.

But if you cant 't buy a ticket South, DC has a couple of local bands playing this Saturday night, January 31st that could fit the bill.  Little Red and the Renegades are promising an accordion and steel drum driven "Mardi Gras blow out," at the New Deal Cafe in Greenbelt, and The Beat Hotellodging at the Harp and Fiddle in Bethesda, are going for "Mardi Gras swamp funk," complete with horns.

Only 18 days and 10 hours to go y'all.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Old Schoolin' It

I've mentioned Gypsy Sally's many times since it opened a little over a year ago. It was great to hear about a new club, and it's a lot nicer than bars I remember frequenting "back in the day." The room has wonderful bones complete with a real stage, a nice long bar, elevated tables, and a dance floor, but the owners of the club are a bit at sea. They just let one of the best booking agents in the area slip through their fingers, so I have to wonder how long this venue will last. It would be a shame to lose this club considering the dearth of Places to Go in Georgetown.

That being said an intriguing show is coming up at Gypsy Sally's this Friday, harkening back to a time when DC was chock full of saloons. Two retro-inspired bands: Miss Tess and the Talkbacks and the Bumper Jacksons will bring their own twist to old school jazz, vintage country, and deep roots rock. The Bumper Jacksons say their sound covers music from "the brothels of New Orleans to Appalachian hollers," if that gives you a better clue. Both bands are fronted by women, (hear us roar) and both look like a barrel of fun. A lot of music for $15.

Saturday night, those Southern slingers of Memphis stax, King Soul, will stage a comeback at the Takoma VFW- down in the holler off Eastern Avenue. Old school music, dancing and cheap drinks served up in a true blue dive. Cover just 10 clams. Or head over to the Quarry House where Monsters from the Surf and El Quatro take charge. (No cover there)