Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Swan Song For Now

Last night was the final musical happening under the old regime at the one and only Chick Hall's Surf Club as Heroes and Friends, the house band which includes Hall Family members played all evening-with an emphasis on friends sitting in like Todd Baker, Dave Sherman, and Mark Noone to name a few.

If you'd like to come by and thank Chris for keeping the joint alive for his dad, Chick Hall all these many moons- his last night is Thursday-February 28th- as in tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Wednesday Alert: A Perfect Double Date

On Wednesday night, 7 Door Sedan and Rambling Shadows take the stage at The Red and the Black on H Street. This is 7 Door's fourth show and the third in which they have been paired up with Rambling Shadows, who are out and about more these days sporting new drummer Tommy Carr. It truly is a match made in heaven. If you haven't had your mind expanded lately, here's your chance to see 8 of DC's most talented folks bringing you hypnosis, melody, psychedelia, jamming, rocking, glamming and more. Ramble on through the Door, you will be glad you did.


Almost From the Horse's Mouth

So it's pretty much official. What happened with The Surf Club deal was the Evil Drugstore Chain came within inches of the perfect real estate flip, but in the end it did not pan out so the new owners are going to make a go of the nightclub biz, and it's up to us- the little people- the salt o' the earth- to support live music there. Keep up with the latest at the new website Surf Club Live.

In the meantime come out tonight and say not necessarily good bye, but hopefully just until next time to Heroes and Friends- playing live at Chick Hall's- the end of the family run club.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Death of the Surf Club A Rumor ?? or Mark Twain All Over Again

Tomorrow night may be the last night that The Halls have custody of their Surf Club, but the rumor that a drug store chain bought the place may be just that- a rumor! Information has been hard to come by surrounding this whole issue, but I apologize for the previous posting which may turn out to be happily untrue.

Check out this item on the Surf Club list serve:

Hello everyone,

I am the new owner of the Surf Club. I hope to be able to continue the
great work and efforts that Mr. Hall has done over the years to bring
you the greatest music and live bands.

I look forward to meeting and working with each of you. Please feel
free to email me with any questions or comments regarding the future
of your favorite club. I welcome any suggestions in regards to what
you would like to see at the Surf Club.

Thanks to everyone!

Jimmy B

I think if you send an email to this address you can get on this list serve and see for yourself:

As far as I know Heroes and Friends will be playing The Surf Club tomorrow night as a final hurrah, but at this point I'd call the club to be sure...301-927-6310.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Frantic Friday as Weasel Used To Say

Why is it always piled up on one night?
On Saturday night you can wash your hair or whatever, but FRIDAY- there's stuff from one end of this town to the other including The Junkyard Saints and Chopteeth at Chick Hall's Surf Club for Pete's Sake and your dancing pleasure. As far as I know-which isn't that much really- The Surf Club is closing next Tuesday, and a certain EVIL drug store chain (whose name I won't even repeat here I'm so dismayed) will be taking over. ( It starts with a C if you must know)

Then on the opposite side of the burg, The Rhodes T. Troubadours will not be playing Irish music at Nanny O' Brien's , but knowing them they will be slogging back an Irish Whiskey or two or three and rocking that tiny joint. They are always good for a fun show, plus the price is right. (no cover)

But wait- there's more from my trusty sidekick:

Get on over to the Cue Bar on Friday night to check out DJ Tommy B. spinning 80s music that won't be like other 80s nights. You'll hear things that most have forgotten or never knew, and tunes that evoke that decade where mainstream was maddening, and the underground was alive. And you'll get it all through the ears of Tom Berard, local legend and hero. Show your support and play some pool or ping pong, dance, drink, whatever. The Cue Bar's at 1115 U Street NW.


So don't let a little snow or sleet slow you down. Is anyone else sick of the fuss this town makes over the the weather? You'd think some school bus sized spy rig was falling out of the sky.

Besides there'll be plenty of parking.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Everybody Was Dancing At The Velvet Last Friday

What happens on your birthday when your Dad is a rock star?

The Beatnik Flies played so hard that the floor bounced like jello!

Or maybe it was just the wood

(Pix by Bobby Belfiore)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Catch the Buzz

I used to go see the Beatnik Flies "back in the day." But that's not why I have been enjoying their re-emergence so much. It's because they totally rock. It's like all the creative juices got concentrated. It's no wonder they won Little Steven's Battle of the Garage Bands a few years ago. Check out Black Diamond Halo at Beatnik Flies' Page . You too can get drunk on incense at the Velvet Lounge this Friday night, February 15. It's a multi-generational celebration. Loadrunner and Repelican will join the line-up to celebrate Haley's birthday – she's the daughter of Flies Frontman, Joe Dolan and a fine musician in her own right.

The order is Loadrunner, Beatnik Flies, Repelican. Things usually start between 9:30 and 10 down there. Do it.

Lyn2 (sitting in for the fabulous Lyn1)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


I hear the benefit for Maxine went really well - it was well attended, the bands all rocked and a good deal of money was raised. Anyone who could not get there --"Gifts of assistances" would be most welcome. (not tax deductible in the form of check made out to Maxine Blank) which should be mailed to:

Matt Spielman
10724 Saint Margarets Way
Silver Spring , Md 20902

Dc Rocks is in mourning, but hopes to be back soon to all you baboons

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

We Get By With A Little Help

There's good things and bad things about being in the music world- just like anything else. The good are fairly obvious: for one- having the capability to affect people emotionally-to move them to clap or cry. (or leave the room for a beer) The downside can be literally costly- like the lack of any sort of benefits or health care. Fortunately musicians are good about banding together (yeah, pun intended) when need be, and that's what's happening this Sunday at El Boqueron II in Rockville- at a benefit for Maxine Blank. Her name may not have been on the bill, but she has run many a sound board for tons of bands and venues in this area. Now she has medical bills beyond her means, and her friends which include The Nighthawks are organizing - MAXAID featuring tons of great local music like Ruthie and The Wranglers, Patty Reese, The Nighthawks including Ratso, Janine Wilson , special guests and more. Plus there's a silent auction of rock 'n roll stuff. Eight bands for only fifteen bucks! (two get in for $25) Look at the line up on the poster above or hit this link- MAXAID to learn more about it. A bargain AND a good cause and an early event- doors open at 4- and it's over by 10.
So come out, have fun and help make this night a big success.
I'll see you there.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

This Just In From New Orleans

(Way to go, Callie!)

(Photos mostly by Derek Huston)

down in the quarter...


mardi gras day

Monday, February 4, 2008

Happy Mardi Gras Y'all

One thing about D.C.- we don't do much about Mardi Gras here-but that's as good an excuse as any to get out of town which I usually do, but this year I'll have to let memory carry me on this one.
There are a lot of misconceptions about Mardi Gras and a lot of them have to do with beads and breasts, but I'm here to tell you that's just not right.

Waking up on Mardi Gras Day in New Orleans feels just like Christmas morning. Everybody's all excited and wound up, and you never know what you're gonna get. You don't even know who you are going to be-you could dress up like a bird or a cowboy- wear a mask or not. There are no rules. It's the culmination of at least a month of parties and parades. The music on the radio is all about Mardi Gras as soon as you hit Lousiana, and it's a lot better than Christmas carols. King cakes appear- a sort of coffee cake confection buried in sugar the colors of Mardi Gras- purple, gold and green, with a tiny toy baby hidden inside for someone to find. We eat the leftovers for breakfast, and still the baby might not show up for two more days. Boudin, crawfish, red beans and rice and greens- it's all soul food- perhaps the most appropriate name ever come up with to describe nutrition.

The parades don't start; they roll. Get your spot on the neutral ground and prepare to fight for your position or just get lucky as the beads rain down- landing on your out stretched arm like so many horseshoes on a spike. The war stories come later-when and how you caught the best throw, or how a toy alligator was snatched from your kid by some frenzied woman the size of a linebacker, but then there's the guy beside you who saw the whole thing and quietly slipped his catch to your child.
The best throw of all comes from The Zulu parade- featuring the sometimes innocuous- sometimes amazing painted coconuts. But real coconuts, plastic coconuts- what ever they were giving, I was never able to get one.
Then one year I was sitting by the side of the road in the wake of Zulu- trash blowing around me-nothing left but memories and broken beads littering the street. Here comes a lone guy walking up the parade route on his way someplace else. I say Happy Mardi Gras to him, and
he returns the greeting as he passes, but then he turns and says: Where's your coconut then?
I shrug.
And suddenly out of thin air he holds out to me a plastic bag holding the best coconut I've ever seen-it's painted black and all dolled up with glitter hair, a bright red mouth and real plastic eyes outlined in white makeup.

That just made my day, and my Mardi Gras.

Mardi Gras Day. The beautiful thing is you never know what you are going to get or what is going to happen-whether it's a coconut or a flower exchanged for a kiss, or seeing The Indians in full head dress, or a band weaving through the Quarter which stops right next to you playing that New Orleans jazz. New Orleans does its best to keep on rolling even through the on going aftermath of Katrina. My hat goes off to that town. Don't ever let it go.

Everywhere else it's just Tuesday.