Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Monday, October 29, 2007

Huston Alert

Yes, he once was with The Iguanas, but now Derek Huston's a free agent, and man about town- many towns. This week he and his sax will be flying up here from New Orleans for two gigs. This Thursday November First, catch him playing with the long lost Rhodes Tavern Troubadours at the Quarry House. The next night he'll be joining Chris Watling of the Grandsons for the Swingin' Johnsons Reunion at the Sunset Grille on Friday November 2nd.
He may live in New Orleans now, but the DC area is his home turf so it's always fun when Derek's back up here.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

MY BackYard NOW

It's finally raining here- the operative word being the present participle raining, not rained or might rain or did rain. And being Washington, it's the usual wild swing of the pendulum from 80 degrees and drought to flood watch, a when it rains it pours rain. The first rain woke me up from a sound sleep around 1 a.m. Wednesday - the noise was that unfamiliar. Later that morning, a guy asked me what the school rain routine was. He didn't know because it hadn't rained since school started back in AUGUST.

So things seem different now- simple things I had forgotten like -getting wet. Puddles. The sounds cars make driving down wet streets. Plus the rain made me discover that we desperately need umbrellas- every single one has exposed spokes. And that the kid has holes in the bottoms of his shoes which explains why his socks got soaked while walking to school. It's hard getting out of bed in the morning, and people in cars are careening into each other as if we had an ice storm, but I really missed this thing called rain, and I'm glad it's finally here. I just hope it's not in my basement.

Postscript from Bob Ryan: This has been the wettest week in over a year-3 and half inches of rain so far.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Rock out Rockville This Thurs/ Oct 25

(Ottley! named themselves for this guy
Hangman,Dave Ottley)

Once upon a time there was a Band, or maybe I should say once upon a time there was a Garage which begat a band called The Reekers which begat a band called The Hangmen which were so dang hot they locally knocked the Beatles off the charts according to Garage Hangover: "What A Girl Can't Do knocked the Beatles' We Can Work It Out/Day Tripper out of the top spot of the charts for Arlington radio station WEAM on Feb. 7, 1966."

How's that for deep cut trivia?

If you don't believe it, you can ask Bob Berberich himself this Thursday night when he plays with Ottley! at the big rock show that Joe Lee (of Joe Lee's Record Paradise) and Damian Einstein are putting on. Bob was there- playing drums with The Reekers and The Hangmen, and he's here now keeping the beat in Ottley! with Marshall Keith and Martha Hull of Slickee Boys fame.

But that's not all. The Beatnik Flies and The Howling Mad are also on the bill. I could go on and on, but all three of these bands played last summer at the reunion at the 9:30 Club, and I can testify that all these veterans can still kick you know what-and are quite possibly better than ever.

So how much would you pay to see these local legends?

(Three of these guys are in The Howling Mad)

Twenty? Fifteen? Would you believe a mere 8 clams gets you into this extravaganza?
(And you can spread the love-take the kids- and get another generation going-it's an all ages show- just $5 for the student set)

(The Flies took their name from this song.)

When I was a kid I thought Rockville, MD was pretty much nowhere, (and the way things have turned out, it still pretty much is) but this Thursday, October 26 should prove the exception.
It's all happening at 7 p.m. at El Boqueron II, 1330 East Gude Drive.

Come out and see Rockville rock.

(I can only guess where The Howling Mad got their name.)

Friday, October 19, 2007

Dead Beat Dead Beat

(They are....Dead Beat)

Joe Dolan (a venerable Beatnik Fly) wants an APB put out that his lovely daughter, Hayley Baptiste and the somewhat mysterious Mr Bucket will be down at the very Velvet Lounge again this Saturday night, October 20 as their band Dead Beat takes the stage.
Afterwards there will be a dance party with DJs- Pumpkin Jones, Fruit Reader and Mustafa Mustafa (Is that like Butros Butros?) playing Afro-beat, world, disco and dance hits.

(I just want to know if there's room on Joe's dance card.)

Don't forget- the big Beatnik Flies, Ottley and The Howling Mad show coming up next Thursday, Oct 25!


Thursday, October 18, 2007

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Sun Sets on Chick Hall's Surf Club

(The sun was sinking,
but the party was just beginning)

As promised the show started shortly after three in the afternoon and went on until almost three in the morning. (At least I think that's what happened because by then I wasn't watching the clock.) I do know that the parking lot was full when I got there around 5:30. The doors were all open with good music pouring out, and sunlight streaming in, making everything feel a bit surreal- that and a ceiling full of balloons. The dance began early and went on until the cows came home.

(sun hits the surf)

Musicians were everywhere- inside and out, playing or yacking...
and it was the same scene hours later.
Every time there was a possible lag between bands,
Heroes and Friends would
take up the slack.

The only problem was that the evening came to an end. It was hard to leave knowing that even though there will still be stuff happening there, it's never going to be the same without the Halls.

Thanks again to Chris and Chick
and all the Halls that kept this place alive and kicking-
and especially to their father for starting the whole shbang.
We're going to miss it,
and all of you-true "heroes and friends".


p.s. if you click on the pix- most of them will blow up.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Aloha Chick Hall's Surf Club

It's one of those Joni Mitchell you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone things. Or maybe you do, but there just aren't enough of us out there. It isn't much to look at, but Chick Hall's Surf Club (and what a great name) is a true blue honky tonk, not an imitation. It's an anything but pretentious place to see outrageously good music. But like all good things, it must come to an end. (Why is that anyway? I find that expression incredibly annoying.) The Surf Club will soon become another venue as the time has come- after over fifty years- for the Hall family to move on.

And it's going out with a bang this Saturday, October 13.
The farewell party starts at 3 p.m. and is scheduled to go 'til 3 am
with over a dozen bands and surprise guests dropping in. No cover.
Come on by and be part of a night to remember. Bring a hankie.


Wednesday, October 10, 2007


It's official. President Bush flew over my yard and declared it a disaster area. (He's good at flying over things like that.) It hasn't rained here in recent memory. Sometime last month it rained in Baltimore; it rained in Takoma Park, and maybe even NE DC, but nary a drop here. Last night I heard thunder somewhere, but no rain. (Actually the last time I remember it raining here, lightning struck a townhouse and burned it UP. Could this possibly be Biblical?) Even the weeds are dying. My dogwood is dead, and there are tumbleweeds rolling down Macarthur Blvd. I'm not kidding.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Gear UP

Some weekends are stuffed with parties and events, and some are not.
This one's got more going on than a barrel of monkeys-
There's the Taste of Bethesda on Saturday, Oct 6 featuring that great Cream cover band GHZ- 1:45-3:45 on the Cordell Ave stage. Then Saturday evening The Stingrays are playing at the Old Angler's Inn of all places way out there on MacArthur Blvd. in what feels like the sticks, but is only about fifteen minutes outside our own fair city limits. Sounds like a cool show outdoors in the beer garden from 6:30-9:30.
Sunday, Oct 7th is the Takoma Park Street Festival which always has a ton of music. Then again you could veer west and catch The Beatnik Flies at the Capitol Rocks- Guitars Not Guns Benefit in Fort Hunt, VA. Still up for more??
The Music on the Rise people are promising a true retrospective of the 1980s at The State Theater with a showing of Langley Punk films emceed by Mark Noone, as well as a night of rocking down memory lane with the likes of Billy Hancock, Robert Gordon and Eddie Angel. That ballgame kicks off at 6. Tickets are $30, but it's yet another benefit and hey-all of the above venues are free (or give what you can at guitars not guns) so you ought to still have a little folding money left. Don't forget- Monday's a holiday for some of you...

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Same Town -Different Block

It's not a barn raising or a condo meeting that bring neighbors together around here; it's just a block party that's been happening every fall for over twenty years. It's amazing how little we see the people that live just around the corner or even next door, but at least once a year here we come- dragging food and beverages up the street. The kids go ape roaring up and down on trikes and bikes, trying to intercept the desserts before they hit the table. The older residents head for the chairs. It's a pot luck: pizza arrives, shepherd's pie, mac and cheese, bean soup and tacquitos. We pool our beverages, and the party is on. It's anarchy. We're all so busy eating and yacking that the lone car which evaded the barricades takes over fifteen minutes to make it through through the crowd. It feels like Mayberry- not DC where, just across town, in what could be should be and in many ways is just as nice a neighborhood, people are shooting at each other- eleven in all over the weekend. A teenager was killed. One of the boys that was hurt attends my daughter's school. It's a world away from my block- and yet just around the corner.