Sunday, August 31, 2008

Party With the Not So Rich

BARGAIN of The DAY- The Grandsons will be swinging JVS from 5-8 tonight. Check out this classic band in a classic little dive.
No cover.

Happy Labor Day in a working class bar.

DC Rocks.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Go Chuck Go (Say What?)

They say it's your birthday, and there's gonna be a party party over here and a party over there at the 9:30 Club- and no local celebrity deserves celebrating more than our very own DC legend-Chuck Brown. You might have caught a glimpse of him on the DC Lottery ad, but if you've ever seen him live you know he's a man that works hard at making people feel good. He might only do three songs, but the show lasts an hour and a half; he doesn't stop playing, and he never stops smiling. That said, he's performing at his own party this Saturday night with Chopteeth- another energized band who vies for the bottomless song category.

Happy Birthday, Mr Brown, and thanks for keeping this town in that go-go swing.

At Least I’ll Get My Washing Done

photo by LC

This Labor Day weekend your job is to get to The Red and the Black on Saturday, August 30, to see DC’s almost-own Prabir and the Substitutes. As a bonus you also get to see Tereu Tereu and Wakey!Wakey!. Catch them now as you might not be able to see The Substitutes in small venues for long. Lyn2 found this letter on her kitchen table one morning. We think she wrote it:

Star Date August 4, 2008

Dear Chris, Tyler, Charlie, Robbie and Prabir (that’s in order of hair color),

You guys played here Thursday and Sunday nights, so things got backed up on the home front. Tonight I’m washing clothes, sitting in the kitchen staring at the oven and wondering why I had to choke back a tear last night when I said goodbye at Iota.

You were getting ready to go on tour with the Silver Beats. I had a flash-forward of you all getting all famous and stuff, and that things might never be the same. You wouldn’t be playing for six of us at the Velvet Lounge when the (lame) opening band and their entourage leave early. You won’t have time to hang around with your parent-age fans, all the while wondering who the heck are these people and why aren’t they checking their stock portfolios and shopping at Costco?

But if that happens, things really won’t change that much. Mark Noone will still leave his own gigs early to see you play. Otherwise reasonable women (that would exclude Lyn1 and me) will abandon the kids. You’ll still crank out your own diagonal version of good old rock and roll.

So I guess I was choking up because I’m psyched for your opportunity to spread the Substitution Factor nationwide. You deserve it. This time you can quote me: Go For It!


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Don't Miss The Soul Train THIS Friday

Yes, Washington has always had a connection to New Orleans- the train with that most wonderful romantic name Southern Crescent being just one of them. And-even better-there's always been the music to help us transcend politics so if you crave a break from all that head on over to Iota in Arlington this Friday for DC's newly formed power group King Soul the first local appearance of Thousand $ Car. Here's the skinny from band members Nick Ruggieri and Jake Flack.

First the "truth and soul" from Nick:
KING SOUL put together as an extension of Tom Clifford's days down in Austin, TX, where the first King Soul Band was born. The vibe and feel of that music and those times led Tom to pursue the same musical material with a DC line-up, upon his return from the south. He got in touch with his old band mate from the Thangs, Jake Flack, who had worked with Tom in Austin and was also eager to put a southern soul band together. They gave a call to Nick Ruggieri, DC area drummer and part time musical pimp, who went about filling in the musical chairs to come up with an 8 piece unit. Nick brought in the wonderful Tam Sullivan on Soul Organ and Jon Combs on Bass. The Phat Horns fill up the sound with DC's finest: Chris Watling on Bari Sax, Matt Rippetoe on Tenor Sax & Mr. Dynamic himself, Joe Hererra, on Trumpet. This band enjoys nothing more than putting out a down and dirty dance groove that will turn any night into an all out dance party.

Opening the Show is Thousand $ Car from New Orleans. You might know Jake Flack from The Rhodes Tavern Troubadours. They are a great rocking band that always tears up the stage and will be a super compliment to the King Soul Review. This one is not to be missed, people! It will be a great night of music from musicians who love nothing better than to see people smiling and swaying and letting themselves go where the music takes them.

And the rest of the story from Mister Jake:
Thousand $ Car first pulled out of a garage in Uptown New Orleans in the mid 1990s. Four longtime friends with shared musical pasts joined forces to become one of New Orleans's favorite local bands. Their sound was based on the bedrock of Louisiana music, their songs had more hooks than a fishing boat in Bayou Teche, and their shows were all about having fun and celebrating life in New Orleans. Over a six year period they played close to 400 shows and shared the stage with dozens of great bands including The Iguanas, Alex Chilton, Wilco, The Radiators, The Bluerunners, The Continental Drifters, Cowboy Mouth, NRBQ. Their shows were like a party where most everyone knew each other.

Tom Stern and Jake Flack (guitars) lived together in Austin in the late 1980s. They both wound up in New Orleans and called old pals John Maloney (drums) and Rob Savoy (bass) to start the band. John and Rob are from Lafayette and were in the Bluerunners, a pioneering band that combined Zydeco, punk, Cajun Music, and roots rock into a new sound that got them signed to Island Records. After a year Rob left to join Cowboy Mouth and Steve Watson moved over from Austin to fill the bass chair. (Steve and Jake grew up together in DC and formed the Neptunes while still in high school. )
Thousand $ Car is thrilled to be making its first ever DC appearance opening for King Soul at Iota. It's going to be a night of old friends having a ball making music that makes you smile. It's going to be a hell of a party!

Amen, brothers.

Show starts at 9

(And if all this isn't enough formal local sax player Derek Houston will be joining the fray in The Car.)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Good Things DC Style

It's good to see the old 9:30 Club ( all be it the new location) go local now and then. Tomorrow- Sunday August 24th- there's a free go-go party celebrating the 50th anniversary of Ben's Chili Bowl. Go-go, Ben and 9:30- how DC is that?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Greenland Gets Text Messages from Beautiful UFOs

In this case Greenland is a band not a country and includes a guy named Jamie Green. After seeing them live a few times and getting their CD Call Message I'm starting to get addicted to their dreamy post punk rock thing. Lots of good song writing including the one called We Are Clipper Ships which has lyrics that kind of slay me. (and the bit about text messages from UFOs.) I asked Jamie about the other bands on the bill. Here's what he said:
We share a member. I love love this band. Two songwriters, one taking his cue from Syd Barrett the other from Nick Lowe. Amazing rhythm section and wonderful harmonies. The song writing's fluid and organic- totally not flashy. These guys actually beat us for the title of laziest band in D.C.
Tiger And The Snow- this has been a really interesting band to see develop; sort of hushed female pop vocals over shoe-gazey Stratocaster and a really cool bassist / drummer rapport-like an older and younger brother.
Also on the bill is a young band from Fredericksburg: Carlos Im Pregnant.

See all four this Saturday night at The Rock And Roll Hotel down on H Street in the Northeast quadrant of Washington DC (located somewhere on the outer edge of The Milky Way Galaxy)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

DC Is An All Ages Show

While DC ROCKS often chronicles the fabulous music scene populated by folks who are, let’s just say on the steeper side of 30, we don't want to ignore all those equally talented bands a bit younger than that. You can check FOUR of them out this Friday night, August 22, at the Rock and Roll Hotel.

Headlining is Once Okay Twice. They’ve got a violin player and my favorite song - I Have an Illness. The Frustrations say they are mostly into polka-emo-death-classical music and feature a saxophone and some great sounds that I think resist classification though I do like the image. Ra Ra Rasputin showed off their Rasputnik style at Ft. Reno earlier this summer. I’ve just got to point out that each of the above three bands has a woman in it. (Not that we don’t appreciate you men and all.) You can also see the last show for jamming rockers Must Love Trash who will be disbanding after Friday.

The Rock and Roll Hotel is at 1353 H Street, NE. It’s a great space in the heart of a neighborhood you should check out. Get on out there and create an inter-generational scene.


Monday, August 18, 2008

Ya Gotta Start Somewhere

Scott Giambusso, bass player and teacher extraordinaire (and the G in GHz) will be hosting an open mic at Mei's Asian Bistro in Arlingtron starting this Thursday. He recently sent this shout out: (Knowing Scott, I think of it as a Tarzan kind of yell ululating through the wilderness of DC.)

The party begins at 7pm and will go until 10 p.m. or till the last singer has sung.

I will provide two mics (for duets) and a guitar and of course my trusty bongos.
(I'm hoping to see an accordion and a couple of trumpets walk in the door just so you will know what you are in for) I would like to recreate the atmosphere of Greg and Ruthie's Half-moon Jamboree and the One Step Down Jam sessions, but I can't do it without your help.

I'm inviting all the singers and players I know to come out and enjoy some of the wonderful talent in the Washington area. I specialize in old jazz standards, but I have a bunch of great rock music in my hip pocket, and I am willing to accompany all the singers if I know the tune. Otherwise you can bring your instruments and do your thing. (This is really about me getting a chance to play my bongos.)

Mei's is a great venue with wonderful acoustics and lots of seating and a big bar.
Did I mention this is a Japanese / Chinese restaurant ? There is a full Sushi Bar for the raw fish aficionados, and Thursday night there is a free sake tasting during happy hour.The Washington music community is sorely lacking in a place to congregate and meet and share our craft with each other. Mei's has a lot of potential to become an entertainment venue.

Scott is a DC native and seasoned musician who just wants world peace and cannot give a straight answer if he can help it. Please come out and support his efforts to start a new scene.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Word Play

Kid Congo Powers. Pink Monkey Birds. Dracula Boots. Velvet Lounge. Can you use all these words in a sentence? (O.K. maybe not a sentence, but it would make a hell of a short story.)
Here's the scoop on the Kid Congo Powers show this Saturday night from the horse's mouth- a sometime Pink Monkey Bird and formerly of the Cramps/Gun Club/Bad Seeds- The Kid Himself:

"I have been calling my local shows Kid Congo Powers, but have been saying "and Band" because I also do solo shows that are a bit electronic. As usual, I m doing something different every time. This time I am using local DC musicians Arthur Noll (from Yell County, Electricutions) and drummer Andrew Black,( recently playing with the now defunct Georgie James and the new Title Tracks.) I just finished a new Pink Monkey Birds album that will be on InTheRed Records , titled "Dracula Boots" which will be out either end of the year or early 2009. Saturday I will play a few of the new songs, songs from my "Philosophy and Underwear" and "Solo Cholo" albums, and some blistering oldies from The Gun Club canon. Also playing are Witch Hats (an amazing young band from Australia- Six Gun Lullaby and ELECTRICUTIONS."

Can you get any more music for $10? I don't think so.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Follow the Bouncing Ball from Rockville, MD to Fort Reno, DC

You may think of Rockville as a suburban wasteland which it kind of is, but Rockville has a lot of history- like Uncle Tom's Cabin, (for real) the grave of F. Scott Fitzgerald (really) and good ole Montgomery Doughnuts. (Man, I miss them.)
Back here in the present you can catch The Hula Monsters- a band that is never lacking in talent. (and I personally know them to be a bunch of damn good sports) You can take just about anyone from 5 to 105 to catch their Hawaiian Swing thing at Town Square Plaza.
Look for Dave Chappell dominating the guitar on this gig. They'll be on from 6-8 this Thursday evening.
AND just down The Pike more history was made when General Jubal Early's troops were spotted in Rockville by look outs stationed at DC's Fort Reno during the summer of 1864. Fortunately now the biggest battles fought there this summer are on the tennis court, and the look outs have been replaced by people walking dogs. The last concert of the season is happening also on this Thursday featuring: The Jet Age, Yell County, and Title Tracks. It's definitely the coolest greenest scene and be seen spot in town.
As always the shows there go from 7-9:30.

Traffic has gotten a lot crazier since 1864 so you most probably can't make both, but at least there's no lack of musical possibilities.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Looks Like The Last Monday

These United States it's not just our country- it's a fine local band which you can see along with
Jukebox the Ghost tomorrow evening- free atop Fort Reno in Northwest DC- our fair city's coolest outdoor venue. The summer season is winding down- so if you've been meaning to go- grab a blanket and a picnic and come check out this great summer tradition which has seen the likes of Fugazi, The Slickee Boys, Grin and too many bands to mention for many a DC moon. And anyway-where else can you get the founder of Fugazi's sister to autograph your arm?

Friday, August 8, 2008

Summer Breeze

Just in time for our area's reprieve from global warming-go out and celebrate how a cool breeze can transform this hot humid quagmire into one of the most beautiful cities on the planet. Yes, we can go outside again- armed with mosquito repellent- and see one of my favorite bands- The Grandsons play a free outdoor gig early tomorrow evening in Mclean. As if that's not enough -special guest guy on sax, Derek Huston will be sitting in. Derek hails from up here, but he'll be flying in from New Orlean-a place he is proud to call home. Ask him about it if you see him.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

CD Party In NE

H Street NE has seen a lot of changes over the years. When my family lived there, almost a hundred years ago, it was a shopping district and a neighborhood full of new homes and a lot of immigrants- especially Greeks. My grandfather had a candy shop, but there were all sorts of stores, restaurants, bars and even a couple of little movie houses. H Street is now coming back with another bunch of bars and restaurants leading the way.
If you are familiar with Washington, but can't picture this area, it's only about 10 blocks from Union Station and there's a bunch of small bars right near 12th Street.
Check out the scene- ths Saturday night at The Red and The Black. A bunch of local bands are converging for 7 Door Sedan's CD release party
( I for one have been waiting for this one!)
Rambling Shadows will also be in on it with their new CD.
Dollar Bin (actually just Donald Keesing - solo) is slated to go first for a short set to kick off the madness, followed by Puptent.
Show starts promptly at 9 and the music has to stop by 12:30 a.m. Plan accordingly.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Is that Dan Hovey on guitar?

This Thursday, August 7th – Gigahertz wraps up the Sunset Serenades concert series held this summer at the National Zoo near Lion and Tiger Hill.

And THIS is their diabolical plan to shake up DC-"We’ll present a powerful 90-minute set starting at 6:30 in the evening. GHz has been VERY busy the last two months recording material for our first studio release due out this fall. The new CD will include several of our latest psychedelic originals plus new, uniquely orchestrated remakes of some Cream and Hendrix “deep tracks”. Come downtown this Thursday to get a preview of some of the best 21st Century Power Trio music you’ll find anywhere."

Lions, tigers and GHZ. Oh, My!!!!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

I'd Go If I Were You

Prabir and the Substitutes- they're here today -gone tomorrow, but they're coming back this Sunday to Iota in Arlington so all those who didn't get to see them Friday have one last reprieve.
I want everybody and I mean EVERYBODY within the sound of my voice to go since I can't be there myself. It'll be a great show with Greenland and the Nunchucks-two more local bands. I heard a band once on the radio-I'm sure they are famous in their own right-but all I could think of was wow they sound like Greenland. DC's got it all. Go find it.