Thursday, June 14, 2018

Capitals Fan Chris



In light of hockey fever, I feel compelled to remember my irracible and ever loyal friend Chris who was a Washington native and, literally, a die hard Capitals fan. His sons grew up breathing hockey with a goal perennially set up in their front yard in Silver Spring.


Chris and his wife Adele religiously attended the boys' games, and months would go by in which the entire family was consumed by all things hockey. Practices. Hockey at school. Hockey on TV. I would text Chris to come to a rock show, and his one word answer would be "game." Even after the boys stopped playing and moved onto college and other things, the family stayed in touch, cheering and screaming through every Capitals season that came to a not so happy ending.

In April of 2015, Chris died suddenly while watching a game on TV, at home in his own living room. This is why I couldn't help but think of him all through the playoffs. And when the team finally declared a long sought victory for Washington, I know Adele and his sons couldn't have been happier except for that enormous hole in their lives that only Chris could fill.


Now that I've thoroughly bummed you all out, let me go on to say that Chris was also a huge music fan and a total gear head.  He left behind a massive vinyl and CD collection which reflected his eclectic and inclusive taste, and he was a booster for local rock. He would have loved the whole idea of Rhizome - that crazy place on the hill in Takoma Park for events outside the box. This Saturday look for another installment of Seventh Stanine, an all ages music festival with bands starting at 2 and rolling through 11 o' clock in the evening. Here's a link to the schedule. Elsewhere JV is jam packed with music all day and night, too,  including Patty Reese with Dave Chappell rocking away the afternoon and The Thrillbillys throwing it down at night.

Friday night  Ruthie and the Wranglers will be honky-tonking at Pearl Street Warehouse. Valentine Slim is mixing things up at the Takoma VFW, and The Nighthawks rock JV.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

No More Pencils No More Books


I started school again in September of 1995, and even though I was ready, with all the supplies and a cute little outfit picked out, it was still kind of scary. My daughter was four years old, and I was supposed to leave her there all day. ALL day.  This seemed very strange to me. I grew up when kindergarten was the starting line, and we only went until lunchtime.

 At first it was a relief to have her socked away in school, but then all the old anxiety triggers came rushing back. Homework. Especially math homework. Deadlines. Boring textbooks.  And don't get me started on the horrors of science projects.

When Zoe started school, I didn't stop to think about just how long I was going to be involved with DCPS which oftentimes felt like Mr Toad's Wild Ride.  Turns out it was from 1995 until this upcoming weekend, when my son will graduate from Wilson High as long as he has turned in all of his textbooks (as of today one is still missing) and if he hasn't been classified as a truant. (That might be a close one, too, with all the new restrictions. If you miss a class- you miss the day.)

I was pretty dang organized back in the Pre- K era, but this year... let's just say little things fell between the cracks. Like teacher conferences and ordering a yearbook. And getting the boy into college. Right about now I am grateful to hear Doris Day singing in my head. You know the one.




Speaking of music here's a few "school's out for summer" parties for those of you counting the days. All are good choices, and all land on Friday night because that's just the way life is. Old school prog rockers should check out The Messthetics opening for Ted Leo and the Pharmacists at the Black Cat. Or kickback to the 80s at JV's with Pile of Rocks, a Nick Lowe/ Dave Edmunds tribute kind of band with The Yachtsmen on board to warm things up first set.


And for anyone in a Cajun frame of mind, Little Red and the Renegades will throw it down at Haydees in Mount Pleasant.







Wednesday, May 30, 2018

So Long to May from June


When I was a kid, holidays fell on historic dates, not convenient Mondays. Memorial Day was always May 30th, and it used to mean the end of the school year, and the official beginning of summer.  It's also my parents' wedding anniversary.  Before we move onto June which has no federal holidays, but plenty of music, I'd like to send a shout out to George and Bebe who eloped when they were teenagers on Memorial Day 1935 and somehow stayed married for seventy two years. Here's a link to that story.

As they used to say on Hee- Haw...SA- LUTE !


Now here's DC ROCK"S Incompetent and Incomplete Calendar for June :

1

Elikeh Afro- Pop @ Gypsy Sally's

David Kitchen and Dan Hovey Happy hour @ JV

Rhodes Tavern Troubadours @ Villain and Saint

Booker T Jones w/ Ron Holloway @ Pearl Street

2

Rambling Shadows/ 7 Door Sedan/ dc charges @ Takoma VFW

The Linemen w/ Karen Jonas @ Pearl Street

3

Ruthie n the Wranglers @ JV ( 4 pm)

5

Ruthie Jamboree @ New Deal Cafe

7

Thrillbillys @ JV

8

Ted Leo and the Pharmacists/ The Messthetics @ Black Cat

The Yachtsmen/ Pile of Rocks @ JV

12

Goin' Goin Gone/ The Traveling Ones @ Hill Country

15

Ruthie and the Wranglers @Pearl Street

16

Nighthawks @ JV

Dave Chappell/ Patty Reese @ JV ( 1 pm)

Thrillbillys

21 

Thrillbillys @ JV

22

Goin' Goin' Gone @ JV

24

Jumpin Jupiter @ JV ( 4pm)

25

The Beanstalk Library/ Bal Boheme @ Galaxy Hut

28

Dave Chappell @ JV

30

Lunch with Bob @ JV

Split Seconds @ Black Cat backstage

Thursday, May 24, 2018

The Beat Goes On


The Billy Hancock tribute last Sunday was a major rocking love fest.  The event sold out, but the folks at Pearl Street generously threw open their garage doors so everyone could see and hear the show even if they couldn't go inside. The monsoons had stopped, the bar was accessible from the patio, and the music was top notch.


Everywhere you looked musicians and fans screamed at the sight of each other as happy little reunions took place.

Iona Berberich, Chaz Powers and Martha Hull
In case you missed it, here's a short photo essay from the uber talented Alan Kresse who captured moments like these:

Johnny Castle and Ratso 

Eddie Angel
Martha Hull 
Tex Rabinowitz the Original Bad Boy

As much fun as it was, this event did not happen in a vacuum. With the exception of Tex Rubinowitz, who came out of retirement to honor Billy, most of the musicians on stage have been actively rocking lo these many, many moons and are still going strong.

This Saturday Ratso will come down from the mountain once again with his slightly newer project Lunch with Bob. Look for them at the Takoma VFW.  On Friday night long time local favorites Cravin' Dogs and The Walkaways will play Pearl Street Warehouse.   Please support local music and local venues. Don't let them become history.









Wednesday, May 16, 2018

True Rock


The last time I saw Billy Hancock, he was sitting in the window at Hank Dietle's quietly playing a solo gig, just Billy and his guitar in a dark corner. My friends and I had stopped in for a drink and had no idea he would be there. Next thing I knew Mark Noone (of the Slickee Boys) got up and sang a couple of chestnuts with Billy. It was a surreal experience, and now that he is gone, it feels a bit like a dream as do a lot of memories from my DC musical past, but here's the picture to prove it really did happen.



I took a lot for granted growing up here.  Didn't every town have radio stations like WHFS and WGTB?  Plus a bunch of little bars where you could see players like Roy Buchanan, Tex Rabinowitz, Joe Stanley and Danny Gatton? Billy Hancock, while a rocking phenomenon in his own right, did projects with all of the above and more.

This Sunday's five hour tribute show at Pearl Street Warehouse will reflect that legacy and bring out names we haven't heard from in a while as well as others who have kept at it. Look for Tex Rubinowitz and the Bad Boys, The Nighthawks, the Tennessee Rockets and Switchblade as well as an army of local talent including Martha HullEddie Angel and Ratso. And more. Way more. It's going to be a humongous hometown reunion for both players and fans from a lucky era when there were real "guitar heroes,"  and before the little clubs were eaten by developers.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Waxing Nostalgic and Funky



 Once upon a time, when the District of Columbia had no shortage of music venues, Desperados or "Despos" was a Georgetown bar and the Wax Museum was in Southwest. Sadly both have been gone since the 1980s, but Desperado's former booking agent Julie Wilson is heroically pulling together a big fat reunion for the second year in a row. Both venues once featured local and national bands, and both were raging rock clubs. Survivors can party down with their memories tomorrow night at the Birchmere which is known for its "sit down and shut up" policy, but fortunately has a huge outer hall and bar where everyone can yack up the days of yore.


The Funk Parade almost didn't happen this year, but the event is ON this Saturday turning the U Street corridor into a massive celebration of soul, funk and the arts.  The street fair runs from 1 p.m. to 7, with the actual parade marching from the Howard to the Lincoln at 5. Music goes all day and all through the night.  Hit the link above for the extensive and impressive lineup.  This year daytime wristbands can be purchased for $10 to help "sustain the artists" which is a good thing for all.



And finally Jimi and Janis. Need I say more? Bring back a piece of your heart with the Newmyer Flyer gang of kick ass local musicians - also on Saturday at the Hamilton.


Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Emergent Occasions


May is finally here. Such a romantic month with winter behind us and the possibilities of  Summer just ahead. In the meantime Washington is one big fat flower show, and even though I have lived here a really, really long time, I am still discovering places like the Pentagon Lagoon.



And the Columbia Island happy hour which starts up Memorial Day weekend, but you can take a picnic there anytime. See the table? The same goes for Theodore Roosevelt and Kingman Islands.


But remember John Donne once said that "no man is an island" when he wrote "Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions, " and I am going to go ahead and give John the benefit of the doubt that he meant men AND women. And while I am at it, I'd like to appropriate that phrase "emergent occasion" to describe Spring.  Let's all make like cicadas and emerge to be a part of things like picnics and concerts.  Or maybe be part of something bigger than all of us like the Running of the Chihuahuas which is happening this Saturday at the Wharf.  Look for a free show with Jumpin' Jupiter at Pearl Street Warehouse beforehand to get everyone in the mood for funny looking creatures bolting down the afro-turf.

If that's not your thing, here's more local concerts and events emerging for May:

2

Songs of Protest @ Gypsy Sally's

3

David kitchen Band @ JV

4

Jumping' Jupiter/ Delarcos @ Hill Country


Pow Wow! DC Opening Day 

Jumping Jupiter Free @ noon at Pearl Street
Running of the Chihuahuas @ The Wharf 1-5

Little Red and the Renegades @ JV

Chopteeth @ Pearl Street Warehouse

7

Rock-A-Sonics @ Republic 

11

Desperados/ Wax Museum Reunion @ Birchmere

12

Funk Parade 

Janis Joplin Tribute @ The Hamilton

17

Silk Leash/Flooded /Culture Thief/Maulrat @ Slash Run

Thrillbillys @ JV

18

St Sophia's Greek Fest

19

Chuck Brown Band @ Pearl Street Warehouse

20 

Dave Chappell/ Patty Reese matinee @ JV

Billy Hancock Tribute @ Pearl Street Warehouse

The Yachtsmen/ Bold Deceivers @ Galaxy Hut

25

Dan Hovey (6-8 early) @ JV

Cravin' Dogs/ The Walkaways @ Pearl Street

26

Lunch With Bob @ Takoma VFW

31

Dave Chappell @ JV