Saturday, June 28, 2008

Sunday Doldrums

Sunday- it's the traditional day to take it easy or, if you're like me, to start stressing about the crap you need to do in the upcoming week. That's why I like a distraction, and I can't think of a better one than seeing one of DC's finest local bands- The Grandsons.
They'll be performing in Mclean Central Park in what was once upon a time bucolic Virginia. (not to be confused with that green space in the Big Apple where Simon And Garfunkle played. This is much closer.)

Show starts at 4-it's free-and it's one long set.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Hula DC Style

Summer in DC reminds me of Hawaii. All that's missing are the palm trees, the beaches, the volcanoes and the island atmosphere. (If you are wondering if this writer is suffering from heat related brain fade- the answer is yes, and what of it?) (Not to mention I've never been to Hawaii, but a girl can dream.)
In actuality, we're probably missing almost everything that Hawaii has - but that's why we're lucky to have The Hula Monsters to help our metropolitan, politicking weary brains cope with living here- not there. Band leader Dave Giegerich is a master dobro and steel player- in fact all of them are accomplished musicians and Hawaiian shirt salesmen. You can even buy a shirt off their backs-or at least off the rack- at their shows. Hula Monsters will be playing The Quarry House this Friday night-just in time to catch a ride on that tropical heat wave headed our way. So if you can't make it to the beach, cruise on over to the shores of Silver Spring.


Saturday, June 21, 2008

Hold The Fort

Never mind the arsenic- the summer concert season is starting up again this Monday at Fort Reno. Check out the website for the lists of bands and how to donate a few bills or volunteer to keep this great DC rock tradition going. If you grew up here, you probably have more than one story about seeing Fugazi or The Slickee Boys way back when or meeting your friends behind the stage. Now a days you'll still see kids from Wilson around (quite possibly ignoring their parents sitting over there in the grass.)
All concerts start at 7 and end at 9:30. Bring the family.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

What's New ?

This Friday is all about new. New Surf Club owner J.B., who rescued this one of a kind place from near demise, is booking great new line-ups, and Friday's is a strong one. It seems like ages, but it was just seven months ago that I happened on 7 Door Sedan's first show. This new band gets stronger every time I see them- so much so that I find it painful to miss a show because then I'd miss a stage in their evolution.
Rambling Shadows has been around longer, (actually risen from the ashes of many DC bands as they put it) but this year with new drummer Tommy Carr, they are playing more shows, sounding trance-alicious. Plus they have a new CD out.
Tru Fax and the Insaniacs are the least new of the bunch which isn't a bad thing. This is the 4th decade in which they have agitated the scene, but this Friday night they'll be joined by a new bass player. Upon stalwart bassist Kenny Bugg's partial retirement, the one and only Jamie Cramer has agreed to try something new, being accustomed to playing lead guitar. The world eagerly awaits his debut.

If you haven't been out in a while, or if you're sick of just hearing about these bands and the Surf Club- then try something new yourself and get over there. The sounds start at 9. Some call it Hyattsville, some call it Bladensburg, and even others call it Hyattsville Beach-but what ever you call it, the drinks are reasonable, and there's pool tables to boot. Old club-new management- check it out.


Urban Verbs Revisited

(photo credit: Michael Barron)

For those who of you who missed the Urban Verbs' truly stellar performance at the 9:30 Club last month, you can hear the concert and read about it here on NPR's music page. Sometimes you really can go home again.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Subscriber's Lament

So I have been writing DC Rocks for a year, but I am still feeling my way along in the cyber dark as this whole thing has been a learning process for me. I put a subscription service in the side bar ages ago and had friends sign up to see how that worked. (A third party sends an email every time I post.) Unfortunately, the delivery times seem erratic so I try and post at least a couple of days ahead of a show date. But since my life is somewhat erratic- this isn't always possible. I do keep a calendar going on the blog itself, so if you are a subscriber hit the link that takes you back to the blog now and then, and you will see a lot more acts listed than I or my staff get around to writing about- and you might want to make a note on your calendars.

So even though it is the eleventh hour (i.e. 6:30 p.m.) I still want to write that the truly soulful (though not in the traditional sense) Alice Despard Group is playing The Galaxy Hut in Arlington this very evening at 10:30 p.m.
(Just thought I'd throw that out there for the erratic planners amongst you.)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

DC Rocks Turns ONE

I began writing DC ROCKS a year ago today. I started this whole thing in an effort to get away from my family. I love my family, but overgrown teenager that I am, I needed another place to go. I didn't know what I wanted to write about, but I wanted it to be about something else -something besides the DC/family stories that I was working on. My first posting was mostly about junking, but almost immediately local music and musicians began to creep into the format. Still I had no idea what a Godzilla of a theme this would turn out to be. Next thing I knew though the Fort Reno concerts were starting up so I wrote about that- then the Beatnik Flies had their first reunion concert, and I wrote about that. Soon music was filling the page.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised. I've always been a music fan. I got a guitar when I was ten. I sneaked into bars like Mr. Henry's to see bands. I thrived in college group houses where stereos were as necessary as air, and where The Back Room at The Varsity Grill was in staggering distance. Then came the 9:30 Club and dc Space. (I hung out there so much I once married a bartender, but that's a different story.)

Music has always been the landscape wherever I lived, and though I've scorned DC in the past, I am amazed now more than ever at the wealth of all kinds of talent here. I'm not an expert- in fact I pretty much rank myself as an advanced beginner in almost everything I've tried to do. But there are no rules here. I get to make this up as I go along, and it's been really fun to fall into it head first.

I want to thank everyone- my readers and friends for reading, encouraging and putting up with me.

You all make DC Rock.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Peep on Rocking by Lyn2

If you haven't been to Artomatic, your time is running out. Be sure to check out the Peeps exhibit, which began as a Washington Post Style Invitational contest but morphed into something sure to put the DC art scene on the map again. The deal is people create scenes from books, movies and other culturally iconic things out of- you guessed it- those marshmallow beyond sugary mind messing confections- Peeps. Having a hard time imagining this? Check it out. Once you see it-you'll think in Peeps forever.

This Friday, June 13, you can not only check out all the great "arty madness" and the scene that goes along with it, but the band PUPTENT will be there, too, bringing their diabolical skronk pop-not-pop sounds to the electric stage. Also playing are 302Acid, whom our friend, Philvis reports is "a multimedia mix of projected film/light show, upright bass, percussion, computer sound generation and more." He also recommends Artomatic for its good cheap beer. Puptent plays at 10:00 pm- 302Acid after that. You can check out all the calendars and artist profiles at

Monday, June 9, 2008

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Hula Show Tonight

Anybody just waking up and wondering can you possibly drag out to the car without sweating like a dog?
If you're smart you take it slow on these DC dog days- sleep in the basement and watch reruns of Dick Van Dyke-but if you're tired of laying low and want to venture out tonight- The Hula Monsters will be up and at 'em just after dark at JVs in Falls Church where the beer is cold, and the parking is easy.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

D DAy Rocks At The Quarry House

Beatnik Flies, one of DC's long lasting bands, are at it again this Friday night at The Quarry House with more songs both new and old, but the same groovy high energy they've always had. These guys work hard to put on a great show, and time after time they don't disappoint. See The Flies do their thing, plus Dollar Bin, the opening band for only $6 ! $10 for a couple. Being the mellow operation that they are- any two people can qualify for the couple discount so if you are on a budget walk in with just about anyone. As the ever wise Joe Dolan says- it's as much fun as you can have with your clothes on.

(Flies gearing up for a show at Dietle's last winter)

Monday, June 2, 2008

Where Did May Go?

It's the first Monday in June which means five dollars buys you a lot of local music over at Iota courtesy of the Federal Reserve Collective. Bands and parts of bands mix and match and play all night. Although every month the scene is the same-every show is also somewhat different- sort of a pot luck effect- and well worth the price to get in.