Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Put Down That To Do List and Get OUT!!!!!

I am having a busy week and part of that is due to too many great local bands playing and to my wanting to see them all. What a problem to have. On Friday night downtown at The Red and The Black, The New Standard, Sister Ex, Ottley, and Lisa Said are playing-in that order. With the exception of Lisa Said who hails from Tennessee, that's a whole lot of DC's home town talent and history crammed into one upstairs room. It's unbelievable how much great music you can see here, from here and for so little money.
Also- get your beauty rest Saturday for the big Beatnik Flies/Rambling Shadows show at historic Hank Dietles' Tavern this Saturday night. I'm so busy I can't write more, but I will try to go. That's because it really matters when we show up. Please come, too, and help these folks play to a full house. You can make all the difference in a local band's life. It makes them do it again. It keeps the scene going. It could all be up to you. ( yeah, you!)

penned by LYN2

Monday, July 28, 2008

Are You A Believer?

I saw it. I swear. I saw a girl converted at the last show. She came in a skeptic and went out a fan. It's that simple. Prabir and The Substitutes. There can be no imitation, and they are playing THIS Thursday July 31, at The Quarry House in Silver Spring. Opening up for Prabir will be Puptent. Lyn2 thinks the "oddball boys" is the best description she has heard yet. I found them somewhat mesmerizing last time I saw them at Fort Reno.

And speaking of Fort Reno-ALSO this Thursday- the ambitious rocker can catch Kid Congo Powers*, The Shirks and Girl Loves Distortion. (a favorite of Roddy Franz from The Urban Verbs) between 7 and 9:30- then hit The Quarry House almost in time for Puptent.

And that's not all- there's NO excuse to stay home July 31- go west and find Susan Cowsill at Iota; go east and catch Sleepy Labeef and The Rhodes Tavern Troubadours at Surf Club Live. Too much for one cat, but plenty for all.)

*Check out Kid- he has quite the rock pedigree.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Why Go Anywhere Else?

Friday night. Date night. Get out and see friends night- and a lot of talented friends are playing this Friday night. Two totally different shows at two very different venues- but if you are an ambitious night owl, you can catch them both.

First the venerable Alice Despard, former owner of The Galaxy Hut, is playing at The New Deal Cafe in that all American socialist experiment- Greenbelt, Md.
Alice has pared down her band to The Alice Despard Group. Bare essentials here: she plays guitar with a rich and amazing energy that is all her own. You might want to ease Alice into the folk category, but she has always leaned towards an edgier side and her drummer, Evan Pollack is in total sync with what she has going on. Add to the mix Alice's voice which I could listen to all day even though girl singers are not usually my thing. The opening band, The Lost Patrol starts at 8; Alice goes on around 9:30.

Meanwhile just down the road the honky tonk which was once Chick Hall's but is now Surf Club Live will be feature two true blue road house classics: The Thrillbillys and Ruthie and The Wranglers. (The one and only Johnny Castle)

The Thrillbillys, one of our local super groups, usually play the TINY Sunset Grille in Annandale so this is a great chance to see them in action over on the other side of DC in a much larger venue. (Though they have such a strong fan base that I wouldn't be surprised to see Sunset Grille pilgrims showin' up.)And Ruthie and The Wranglers are no strangers to The Surf Club. They recorded one of their earlier CDs right here on the Surf Club stage. When the band doesn't have you up and dancing, Ruth can bring about a sea change: she has the kind of cry in your beer voice that will make you ask the bartender to leave the bottle.

Things get rolling at Surf Club around 9 or so, but go on fairly late-until 1 or so.

Please support these local bands and venues before they go the way of Starbucks and Hard Rock Cafes-just what this corrupted capital DOESN'T need!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Summer in the City

Ft. Reno concerts are one of my favorite things about DC summers. They bring back the true meaning of free music. This Monday, July 21, check out Puptent and Ra Ra Rasputin. Puptent's Ben Azzara, Phil Duarte and Ted Watts are the shamans of sound, often re-inventing their songs and never playing the same set twice. There's some punk in there, and a lot of other ingredients too. The melange of energetic melodies, invention that's never noodling and a "pop not pop" sound is perfect for a hot summer night in the grass. Given that Ra Ra Rasputin call themselves "Rasputniks" and lists among their influences LCD Soundsystem, the Feelies and Q and Not U, I am looking forward to seeing this band, too. Shows start at 7:15 and end by 9:30. You can walk from the Tenleytown Metro stop.(the above brought to you by Lyn2)

Friday, July 18, 2008

4 Out of 5 Doctors Agree

There's a heck of a lot to do this weekend and for once it's kind of spread out- The Cutaways at Quarry tonight (see below) and a couple of bands tomorrow night.
(Unlike July 31 which I don't even want to talk about)

Anyway DC seems to be full of musical reunions/ re-inventions these days, but the 4 Out of 5 Doctor's show at Jammin Java is pure reunion with all four original members coming out. For those too young or with flickering memory synapses-the band was something of a pop sensation around here before they broke up in 1983. They got back together only once in 1991 for a show at the now defunct Bayou in Georgetown. This time The Doctors are celebrating their thirtieth anniversary with a show and a newly remastered CD. The music starts at 7- two sets- $15 in advance and $20 at the door.

And for those with leanings in a somewhat different direction- The Junkyard Saints will do their cool funky thing at Surf Club on Sunday as well.

Relax-see a band- see three- that's what summers are all about.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Drum Man Speaks

Nick Ruggieri is busy guy and pops up playing drums all over town in all kinds of bands.
You can see him hitting it tomorrow night in The Cutaways featuring songster David Kitchen, killer guitar man, Dan Hovey, and on the bass-Jon Combs (filling in). Here's the scoop from Nick himself:

"Looking for that cool thing to do this Saturday night, but you can't make it to the beach? I got ya covered. C'mon down to see my group, The Cutaways, playing at the Quarry House in beautiful downtown Silver Spring. It's billed as a Rockabilly night so we'll be doing a lot of that plus a lot of everything else that makes us a rockin' good night out on the town. Get yourselves a babysitter or get your baby and swing on down to the Quarry House- a place that's been in existence since the days my Dad was playing Saxophone in big bands. He played a New Years gig there back in the 1940s when they served Whiskey in a Bell Jar."

Now how cool is that?

Yell County AR Meets DC IN a 7 Door Sedan

When I first heard of Yell County, it seemed unlikely the band had anything to do with my mother's home - Yell County, Arkansas- but Y. County front man, Joel Maupin grew up right over the mountain from my people and knew some of them. Within 7 seconds of meeting Joel my Arkansas accent, nurtured by summers in Yell County, was back. Friday I will finally get to check out the band. One of my music authorities says Yell County is like "The Jam with a Southern drawl." Maybe you'll hear the accent, too.

As for 7 Door Sedan, I still feel lucky to have gotten in on the ground floor. 7 Door Sedan is rising. If you haven't seen them yet you can still get in on say the 2nd or 3rd floor, but do it soon as they have a CD coming out and new songs. Band member, Glenn Kowalski has a hard time coming up with a description of their style- a mix of glam, punK and psychedelic rock. (glunkedelic?) But whatever you call it -this is a band that's fast becoming the hottest force on the scene.

All of this happens on Friday, July 18, at the place that feels like home, Silver Spring's legendary Quarry House. It's right near the Metro, just on the other side of the DC line, has a great beer selection and the best tater tots west of the Ozarks.


Monday, July 14, 2008

Free Zilch Nada

Depending on which side of the city you end up on this Wednesday evening, there's free music to picnic by in nearby Virginia and Maryland. Eric Brace and his band Last Train Home * are an old home town favorite now flown the coop to Nashville. You can catch them Wednesday evening around 7:30 in Lee Park-in Franconia. (Did they make that name up?)

Then, on the other side of 495, another long time DC band, The Grandsons will do their thing at Strathmore in Rockville at 7. Of course it could all depend on where rush hour holds you up or spits you out-but either way you just can't lose.

*LTH will also be opening for Richie Furay @ The Birchmere Thursday Eve. (not free)

Fort Reno: Live Music ToniGht!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Spectacular Shindig of the Summer

(Martha Hull of Ottley!)

The Surf Club. You might mistake it for a strip bar-it's a windowless unassuming little building right there on Kenilworth Avenue, but walk inside, and you'll find a spacious dance floor replete with disco ball, tables, chairs, a full sized bar and pool tables. This former honky tonk is THE place to be on July 12th -Saturday night.
Why? Because it's the biggest show since The Slickee Boys, Beatnik Flies and Prabir event last winter. If you missed that- at least you can catch a lot of the same players this time.
The shbang kicks off with the antics of Shortstaxx who turns a talent for burlesque into true performance art. Then Ottley!- which includes former Slickees Marshall Keith and Martha Hull, plus Bob Berberich, drummer to the stars.

Next on the line up are the venerable Beatnik Flies who will be dusting off their old surf instrumentals to go along with their outstanding original material. Both of these bands know how to deliver the goods and how.

And as if that weren't quite enough thank you, like icing on a three layer chocolate cake, here comes the band I'd let stay with my brother-no kidding--the man of a 1,00 faces- Prabir and the Substututes. Life is full of disappointment, strife and woe, but this band provides the antidote.
I have never been disappointed by these guys. Ever.
In fact all three of these bands-plus Ms Staxx- never fail to make me happy because they have something- and they want to share it with you. Ten dollars for all this talent. No excuses.
Things get going around 9.
Be there.

The View from the Top

Tonight's another chance to sit on top of one of Washington's highest hills and catch the cool breezes plus three DC bands for absolutely nothing-no money down. A lot of venues around the area offer free music in the summertime, but Fort Reno has the edge on raw (and sometimes seasoned) talent. Tonight's line up includes: Black and White Jacksons, John Wayne Hero and Friends of the Library.

Monday, July 7, 2008

In case you don't know- right next to Wilson High school just off Nebraska is a great big hill- once a Civil War Fort- now just mostly green space with a little wooden stage sitting very close to Chesapeake Street. During the school year you might see kids hanging out with their friends there, but during the summer Fort Reno is home to a very local- very vibrant rock scene.

Concerts are free- now we can boast arsenic free- and start at 7 or so. It's a summer tradition for all DC rockers of a certain age. And now for rockers with kids. (Though if they are in high school, they often go up to see each other as much as the bands.)

Tonight- three groups are playing including Sarah Azzara, The City Veins and The Boom Orangutangs.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Rusty Bogart WON"T Be At Zoo Bar tonight

Just got a message that he is out of town....so I guess you all need to look for him the first Saturday in August...

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Saturday Night Blues

I confess- the blues don't turn me on too often. (I know this could be considered a form of heresy.) It's not that I don't appreciate that one four five thing, but it's just not my thing. I got an email though from Donald Keesing who had this to say for all you blues buffs:

"You need to catch my man, Rusty Bogart at the Zoobar sometime, for a real great blues player- he keeps it really interesting, knows jazz, jump and all that. Ask any blues person in town, they'll confirm it. Big tall redhead guy from Alabama, curly hair. He plays the first Saturday of every month w/ Big Boy Littel. No cover. Great cheese fries (avoid the nachos)."

He'll be there this Saturday- July 5.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Renegades Run Wild At The Zoo

(photo by Beth Rado)

Living in this city can give a person ample opportunity to complain. City services are riddled with ineptitude, if not down right corruption. When tax time comes, I wonder why I'm giving money to them. Shouldn't some of those people who lined their own pockets be kicking a little back this way by now? Even my children- though they love their DC public schools- are occasionally stunned at how shabby they are, or at the bad decisions made in running them. Still it is a beautiful city, and to make up for some of the down side we do have a boatload of free entertainment here including The National Zoo.
I like the Zoo, but I am way too lazy to walk the whole thing. I'll park near the elephant house-then I can hit the pachyderms, giraffes and pandas all in one cluster and go home. (By the by, pandas are okay, but it was even better when the prairie dogs were around.)
But the best lazy thing to do is to go visit the lions and tigers on a summer Thursday, and then literally drop down on Lion Hill for a free concert. This Thursday Little Red and The Renegades will be there, and they are a really fun band. Though listed as zydeco by the Zoo, their music is definitely not limited to that. I'd say it's more encompassing of the whole state of Louisiana and then some.

Concerts are early- 6:30-8. Picnic optional.