Thursday, August 16, 2018

Post Jurrasic

photo circa Vinyl Cretaceous Period

Hey you all, remember Milo from WHFS? When I hit the Google Image Wand looking for old school things, the above photo popped up of Milo with Mark Noone of The Slickee Boys. Not a great shot of Milo, but doesn't this pic pretty much say it all about deejays?  They are the unseen voices who connect the dots of the music they choose to play for  us. Check out the pale flesh colored phone on the console. Classic, eh ? 

It's been a while since Milo had a radio gig, but he's back every other Wednesday morning from 10-12 on Takoma Park's low powered highly diverse WOWD. The show is called Borderlines, and due to the miracle of modern times, we can all tune in over the internet waves. Milo promises to play "just records from home" which sounds good to me. His next show is August 22.

This weekend The NRIS are at Jammin Java - an early show on Friday. A Dead-Head Alert is being issued for Black Muddy River Band at JV on Saturday and Rock -A- Sonics are at Glen Echo Ballroom if you are feeling another kind of retro. 

these shows.  

Friday, August 10, 2018

Gimme Shelter

The relentless downpours of July and early August have had their natural consequences. The Potomac is roaring. Weeds are ecstatic, and brigades of ants are living it up in my couch where my son likes to leave them offerings like wrappers from Fruit by the Foot or popsicles. Mosquitos are mocking me from the other side of the screen door, and even though my basement finally dried out,  the Georgetown library had to close for four days this past week after snakes were found congregating near a meeting room.

Speaking of congregating, this Sunday marks a grim anniversary in Charlottesville. As an antidote, check out this video from The Fishermen Band and please don't forget to support live music this weekend.  Valentine Slim celebrates a birthday at Takoma VFW and Goin' Goin Gone will hold forth at Villain and Saint. Both on Friday.

Spread the love.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Zany Postcards

I went on a vacation of sorts last week and learned a lot about Zanesville, Ohio. The town was founded in 1797 and named for Ebenezer Zane who was the great grandfather of the fiction writer Zane Grey.

Zane grew up in Zanesville, dreaming about the wild west and getting into numerous fights as a boy, quite possibly because his first name was actually Pearl. As in Pearl Grey. His middle name was Zane. As in Pearl Zane Grey.  I admit the name has a nice ring to it, but what were they thinking?

Zanesville was once a thriving town, perhaps best known for American pottery. Amelia Earhart called it the most recognizable city in America because of the remarkable "Y" shaped bridge which spans both the Muskingum and the Licking Rivers. (Unfortunately you have to be up in a small plane with Amelia to get that perspective.)  Back on the ground, the Y bridge leads from downtown proper to "Vasehenge" where one can contemplate those bygone days.

One of the best pit stops in Zanesville is Weasel Boy, a local brewpub come living room kind of a bar with an outdoor patio overlooking the mighty Muskingum. Coal Fired Bicycle, a cool little band from Columbus, was playing on the stage right next to the brewing equipment.

Back in Washington this month our town is emptying out a bit as Congress takes a recess and leaves us locals to our own devices. Here is DC ROCKS' belated and changeable concert schedule for AUGUST:


(Is Anybody out there?)


Parthenon Huxley @ Jammin Java

Catfish Hodge @ JV

The NRIs @ Fort Reno


Valentine Slim @ Takoma VFW

Goin Goin Gone @ Villain and Saint


Thrillbillys@ JV


NRIs @ Jammin Java ( early)


Thrillbillys @ JV


Ruthie and the Wranglers @ JV 4pm


David Kitchen Band @ Takoma VFW


Dave Chappell @ JV


Split Seconds @ The Pinch

Thursday, July 26, 2018


Most of my pictures from the d.c. space/9:30 Club days are either blurry or badly lit, and almost all of them are chaotic shots of people who don't want to hold still.

When I think about it, it's amazing I have any pictures at all. We didn't have cell phones and good cameras were too cumbersome to take clubbing unless you were serious about taking photographs like Charles Steck was. He took this one at d.c. space for our friend Art's poetry reading.

I still have the flyer.

Back in the day, Charles was involved with both music and photography, and that hasn't changed. His band these days is called The Rambling Shadows, and they'll be playing with X-Motorcycle Couriers and 7 Door Sedan this Friday at Slash Run.  All these bands have more than a few old school members so this show will rock. Here's another cool flyer featuring a picture of Charles' grandfather's Brooklyn motorcycle club.

And don't miss the David Kitchen Band at the Takoma VFW on Saturday.  I've seen these guys tear up JV's in Virginia many times, but this is a rare river crossing for them. (Hope it doesn't rain again this weekend (!)

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Confessions of a Summer Slug

Summer may bring warm days full of flowers, and the temptation to go barefoot, but stepping on a slug is one of life's cruel little jokes. First they squish and then, like a bad sci-fi movie,  they adhere to to your skin. Ugh. I remember a backyard party long ago when my friend Dan and I were beating the heat of that extra warm night by sitting with our feet in a kiddie pool with cold beers at hand. We should have known better. 

By the time we became aware of the invasion,  at least a dozen slugs were sliming over the walls of the pool and one was happily attached to Dan's Budweiser. He screamed like a girl, and I'm pretty sure I was shrieking right along with him as we scrambled to evacuate.

Many moons later,  from the relative safety of my desk,  I realize the time has come to look for middle ground. I realize, if I look hard enough, that I have several things in common with Mister Slug. We're both mostly made of water, and we both like gardens, malted beverages and going out at night. I do have a few qualms about their sex life which, like a lot of things in Mollusk World, is not for the feint of heart.  But, just like humans, it's complicated. Embrace your inner gastropod and slime step out with me this weekend.  Saturday night is jam packed with shows including the irrepressible Tom Clifford working his show with King Soul at Villain and Saint
For those in the mood for something completely different check out Herschel Hoover, Death House Blues, Fake Bodies and A Very Special Episode. Yes, that's right, four bands, one club- all at Slash Run.

In other news, our friend Mary Battiata has a choice slot opening up for Ray Wylie Hubbard at DC's newest venue City Winery where you can get a "barstool" ticket for $22 which squeaks by as far as the DC ROCKS' price range goes.

And for those of you near Takoma Park- a ramble down the hill into the holler will bring you to Goin Goin Gone at the Takoma VFW in Hell's Bottom. Definitely a bargain to be had here both music and bar wise. 

Thursday, July 12, 2018

JuLy Calendar

It's a somewhat tumultuous weekend coming up with the 13th being Friday and Bastille Day on Saturday, but personally, I think my summer slump is hitting early. I wonder how hot it was in Paris when the crowd decided enough was enough? 

I have trouble getting up the energy to battle my own arch enemy "Mr Bindweed" never mind having the gumption to storm massive buildings on these hot summer days. 

Little Red and The Renegades want us to dismiss the bad juju and come to their Lucky Friday the 13th Dance Party at Haydees in Mount Pleasant where margaritas meet Louisiana squeezebox. Also here is the belated and imperfect DC ROCKS' calendar for July:


Messthetics @ Fort Reno


Goin Goin Gone acoustic happy hour @ JV

Little Red and The Renegades @ Haydees


The Thrillbillys @ JV


King Soul @ Villain and Saint

Herschel Hoover etc @ Slash Run

Goin Goin Gone @ Takoma VFW


Ray Wylie Hubbard ww/ Mary Battiata @ City Winery


NRIs @ Fort Reno


Cigarbox Planetarium @ Fort Reno

Dave Chappell @ JV


XMC/& Door Sedan/Rambling Shadows @ Slash Run


David Kitchen Band @ Takoma VFW

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Seems Like Old Times

A Last Hurrah on IOTA's patio September 2017
Any fan of Kevin Johnson and the Linemen, Karl Straub and the Last Train Home crew will remember many a show at the now shuttered IOTA. I recall the days when the club was really tiny, and we'd all sit on the slightly ramshackle back patio in between and after the bands- everyone smoking and yacking their heads off. In the summer, the warmer weather would allow us to linger long into the wee hours nursing a beer and gossiping - hoping for a bit of cool air from the alley.

IOTA may be gone, and we miss it, but the musicians are still alive and kicking.When I asked Eric Brace of Last Train Home to tell me something about the upcoming show,  he was eerily close to my wavelength.

"It's hard to imagine a world without IOTA, where Karl, Kevin, and I spent so many nights -- separately and together -- making music, seeing music, just hanging out. Now that it's gone, we're going to recreate that feeling at this new club, that has all the promise of delivering what IOTA delivered all those years. I play a lot of music these days, but mostly with my acoustic duo and trio. I can't wait to play with the big 8-piece LTH! It'll be a pleasure to play with all my friends again, and I hope to see more than a few in the audience as well."

Look for this reunion to happen this Saturday at the new Wharf's new club Union Stage. I do miss the old haunts, but at least DC is reinventing the wheel with three live music venues where local music and traditions can continue to thrive.