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Thursday, July 24, 2014

All Hail Holly's



Beach season is peaking now, and it seems like half of DC is roaming the boardwalks of Bethany and Rehobeth while the other half is down in Ocean City getting a body part tattooed or pierced. Traffic can be the stuff of nightmares- especially if an accident happens near the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.  I have no solution for this problem, but there is a balm, also known as a chocolate milk shake at Holly's.

When my parents were young and short on funds, there was no Bay Bridge, only a ferry. They would load the kids, towels, bathing suits and lunch into the car and make the 4 hour trip to the shore for the day.

For the day.


Ocean City 1950

Whatever method they used to cross over to the Eastern Shore, my dad liked to stop at Holly's Restaurant for a chocolate milk shake. Holly's has been around since the 1950s, and the inside feels as if time stood still with wooden booths, tile floors and a counter top flanked by chrome and vinyl stools. There's even an old water fowl gun hanging over the kitchen door - right near the picture of the original owners- the Ewing family- not far from the antique weight machine and stoves.


You can still stop in for a bite at Holly's- although it takes a bit of tactical planning and engineering to get off Route 50 now, but it's well worth it - especially if you like endangered species like family run restaurants. If you are lucky, the iconic soft shell sandwich will be available. It's like eating a crunchy delicious spider on white bread. (and if that description turns you off, well... the more for me) Places like this are disappearing at an alarming rate, and I am truly sorry to say, Holly's is no exception. The property has been sold.

(Think Royal Farms by next year. Ugh. )

Good bye old milk shake machine. Good bye wooden booths and the weight machine near the bath rooms. Good bye Maryland crab soup, fried chicken and soft shell sandwiches.  Farewell to home made ice cream. Get that milk shake while you can.



Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Good Things in Small places

photo by Geoffrey Baker

This week's good things include Dave Chappell at JVs on Thursday and 7 Door Sedan and friends at the Treehouse Lounge on Friday


Not to mention Alma Tropicalia and Black Masala at Comet Ping Pong also on Friday. 



Just to name a few…so much to do.



Thursday, July 17, 2014

Georgetown Rocks This Saturday

David  Kitchen/ photo by Gerald Martineau
Ask any local musician who has shoehorned themselves and their band onto a stage like JVs, or stuffed themselves into an alcove flanked by a women's room and cases of beer. Why do they do it?
It's definitely not for the money, and certainly there's not much glory in lugging equipment up and down Blair-Witchy type stairs to a beer soaked basement.  Most will tell you they do it because they love to gig and because…it's just what they do.

David Kitchen and Johnny Castle /photo by Gerald Martineau

Come this Saturday however, local favorites The Thrillbillys, The Rhodes Tavern Troubadours and  the David Kitchen Band will be spreading their wings for a roots rock extravaganza which might be the DC show of the Summer in a rather spacious room that is Gypsy Sally's in Georgetown. (capacity 300)


Space to dance, tables and chairs and a separate bar on the side. The talent on this rare triple bill are one of the main reasons I keep flogging at this blog so please show up and show these guys we know they are why DC rocks.

Rhodes Tavern Troubadours/ photo by Steve Brown





Wednesday, July 16, 2014


Bethesda's Walt Whitman High must have something in the water that attracts musicians and music lovers alike. James Brown played there. A lot of local talent made it through four years there...including most of the members of The Vi-Kings- a rocking kick-ass high school reunion band that won't go away (and that's a good thing.)

 Catch them this Friday night at a new venue for them- The Harp and Fiddle on Cordell Avenue in Bethesda- a seemingly unremarkable bar with very old Psyche delly-ic vibes hiding in them there walls.



Taking A Breather


Low humidity? Blue skies? Is it a dream or are we still in DC in July? I hear the cicadas tuning up and there's a scary amount of cucumbers taking over my 'fridge so yes, it's summertime, but the next two days are supposed to be more like New England than our usual Swampoodle dog days. Fort Reno last two shows were rained out, but tomorrow night's looking good to go with Priests, Sotano and Puff Pieces on the bill.

Monday, July 7, 2014

No Blue Tuesday



Take advantage of the summer slow down. Sneak out Tuesday and see my friend Robbin light up the stage with her band Vintage 18 at  JVs- that suburban surprise in the wilds of Virginia where the music never stops- not even for a week night.

Rise Again Fort Reno



The Fort Reno concert series will endure this summer after all starting tonight with Captivators and Malatese. There's almost always a breeze here on DC's highest hill. Come see for yourself why this scene is so cool.
Mondays and Thursday throughout July.
7- 9:30 p.m.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Fourth in the Hood



Tourists may flock to Washington, DC for the Fourth of July, but for us locals, the official DC parade saunters, rolls, and dances down MacArthur Boulevard featuring everything from the classic fire truck to home made floats, judged in part by my good friend and colorfully corruptible patriot, Mat Thorp.


This year 's parade will be longer than usual with a mayoral race coming up for DC, and by the way, that's turning into a real contest rather than the expected shoe in after a primary. My favorite underdog running is Faith the candidate of the Statehood Green Party. (like Cher - no last name, please) Faith is the only contender endorsed by Marlon Brando- a show biz gal all the way.


Finally, the parade pours itself into a free for all party at Palisades Park on Sherier Place with hot dogs, watermelon. live music, as well as a live moon bounce and a water spray park for the young at heart. Meet the candidates or climb on a fire truck.
Come on out and get down with my home town.



Roll time: 11 a.m /Safeway near V Street and MacArthur Blvd.







Monday, June 30, 2014

Fort Reno's Back Thanks to Flack

Mark Noone Protesting Last Week @ Fort Reno

Hey,  DC Rockers- the tide has turned. Fort Reno is on again and ready to rock thanks in large part to collective outrage. Once the word was out that the concert series was cancelled for the summer, the word became pressure… and suddenly there was a productive meeting today between event organizer, Amanda MacKaye and the Park Service after all. You can read all about what happened here.

The first concert will kick off on July 7, and performances will continue throughout the month on Mondays and Thursdays. Bring the blankets, dogs and kids and celebrate live music.