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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Unconventional Takoma Park

Free Your Mind at Rhizome

Takoma Park is fairly exploding with new things.  New restaurants. New apartments.  New bars. All are fairly cool places, but nothing really extraordinary except perhaps for RhizomeDC, a performance space and experimental arts center located in a somewhat ordinary looking house on Maple Avenue.  (Just over the D.C. line)  I've been driving to Takoma Park a lot lately, and the view from near the railroad bridge on Aspen  made me wonder...what the heck goes on in there? So I looked it up. Concerts, workshops,  a record fair, performances, book discussions, a film screening... whatever the heck artistic type individuals can dream up could possibly find a home here. And great things can happen in small spaces. A friend of mine told me he was wowed by the last concert he saw at Rhizome which would have been in what used to be an ordinary living room. Hit the link above for upcoming events to find out more.

Rhizome: Where It's At

Meanwhile on the other side of Takoma there's another atypical space - this one is not new but was reinvented by the commander of the Takoma VFW a.k.a. Hell's Bottom. Musical events have helped save this outpost from extinction, and patrons save big on their bar tab. This Friday the truly unorthodox Yachstmen and 7 Door Sedan will hold forth. (Please note this show starts promptly at 8 p. m.) Saturday look for Colonel Josh and friends to carry on into the night.




Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Rock On Campers


Good Morning Campers. Today I am happy to report that the Fort Reno Concerts are still alive and kicking off tomorrow with Weird BabiesTK Echo and Mock Identity.  Thanks to the tireless efforts of Amanda MacKaye and her crew of volunteers, this series gives new and mostly young bands a chance to strut their stuff.

Free concerts happen at 7 p.m. every Monday and Thursday throughout July, weather permitting, and, if the gods are smiling, the ice cream truck will arrive, there'll be a decent breeze and an admirable sunset thrown in to boot. A very cool and unique venue for punk rockers of all ages



Monday, July 3, 2017

Hot Diggity Dog Ziggity Boom


The United States was built on a big idea of liberty, but we sure have had a hard time figuring out what that actually means and who exactly is entitled to its benefits. It seems to be an ongoing struggle- especially in the name of fear. Here in my town, Pennsylvania Avenue and E Street are closed near "the People's House." We can't wander in and out of public buildings or eat lunch in the various department cafeterias anymore unless we have government business to conduct and run the gamut of security checks.  (Remember when the National Aquarium was holed up in the Department of Commerce? ) I haven't gone downtown for the July 4th holiday since the snow fence corrals went up.

But out here in the sticks, near the Potomac River, the District of Columbia runs a hometown parade that is free for anyone to watch or march in. It's an equal opportunity situation for firetrucks, horses and Radio Flyer wagons. Prizes are given with creativity preferred over politics athough we get a lot of both.


The parade starts near the Safeway on MacArthur at 11 a.m. and winds down the Boulevard to Edmunds Place before dumping into Palisades Park for the prize giving announcements and a party featuring free libations and frivolity. Be on the lookout for lemonade, watermelon, and hotdogs with mustard,  justice and liberty for all.







Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Hot Town



Welcome to summertime in DC y'all. There's fireflies and flowers in the back yard tonight with an unusually cool and wonderful breeze, but tomorrow the temps are climbing up to the 90s with no end in sight. The melt down arrives just in time for the 50th Smithsonian Folklife Festival which is always hot as Hades. The festival will be celebrating its own anniversary with circuses, memories, and lots of music including The Chuck Brown Band on Friday.

The Fourth of July lands on a Tuesday this year so the upcoming holiday weekend comes with a Lego Expansion set, and a flashback. Our old pal Eric Brace is bringing Last Train Home back to IOTA. Two long sets are promised Friday and Saturday nights starting promptly at 9.






Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Party Like It's 1990 Something



Grunge, rave and hip hop all came into their own during the 1990s while I was home with kids paying absolutely no attention to what was happening in the music world. Fortunately I had a former 9:30 deejay keeping our house current with the eclectic scene, especially bands not playing on the radio. So basically, if it happened in the 1990s, I missed it.

This Saturday local bands Getchoo, Dammit Josie and Dashing Bumpkins converge to reanimate that bygone decade with an all ages tribute show at the Rock n Roll Hotel.


On the other hand, if you want to see a band that has been playing since the '90s, check out the  Ubangis' Summer Fling show at Slash Run. (For you trivia fans The Ubangis' first show was with The Wanktones in December 1990 at d.c. space.)


And for those of you who fondly remember The Wanktones- be sure to listen to Takoma Park's WOWD this Sunday morning for a trip back in time.


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Trolls Redux



Once upon a time, folks lived in fear of trolls.  Cumbersome and ugly, these creatures could be found in remote caves with piles of questionable bones laying nearby. By the time I was a child, trolls had been relegated to fairy tales. This was my concept of a typical troll:

Circling back, modern day trolls function as malevolent entities again. No longer skulking in caves,  they hide on the internet, throwing up offensive tidbits like chum, hoping to deliberately provoke and disturb.

D.C.'s Comet Ping Pong, the pizza parlor with an imaginary underground dungeon, has withstood a particularly vicious onslaught of rumors. Despite it all, the ping pong tables remain busy with erratic young players and parents chasing after both balls and kids. Messages of support from young and old can be found scrawled across a poster near the bar. The phone may be oversubscribed, but you can always order your love in the form of a pizza pie online.

After dinner, Comet doubles as a concert venue and even though local musicians who once played there have been menaced as well, the music will not be silenced. This Friday ole 9:30 Club pal Norm Veenstra will be on deck with Tone, Show Pony and James Wolf. All ages show starts at 10 p.m.


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

We Like to Rock Too Much


Washington DC's federal hat tends to overshadow its true denizens- those incredibly lovable and often talented natives. Those of us lucky enough to have grown up here in the 1980s can't help but remember the supernova group Switchblade and a certain hot shot guitar player with an eye popping pompadour.


I am happy to report that DC's own Ratso is back and ready to rock again. Look for him this Thursday night at Villain and Saint in Bethesda with a new project called Lunch With Bob. According to Mr Silman, the band will be playing “kick ass American music” when they open for Colonel Josh and the Watt Brothers. Might be a raucous night considering V and S is having its first Biker's Happy Hour, too.