Wednesday, December 31, 2008

12:00 Eastern Standard Time

New Year's Eve is not my favorite rite of passage. There's something about all that forced gayety at midnight that just leaves me cold. I remember when I was a kid, my friends and I ran up and down the street a couple of times banging pots and pans. That sure was fun. Then there were the years dashing from party to party not exactly sure WHERE the hippest place to be at midnight was but boy, we needed to find it!!! Usually we ended up somewhere in between a bar and a party, usually in the car. And perhaps my favorite dud of all- the big Y 2 K moment when all the clocks were supposed to stop, the internet go haywire, aliens ready to attack- and the last place to be according to the official Y2K survival manual was in a city or an institutional setting. I managed both as I was in Georgetown Hospital in an elevator.
But there are a few good memories in my arsenal- mostly spent outdoors at a bonfire or in the country when the new year slipped in.  One year in particular does stand out though I can't remember the actual date- maybe 1981.  I do remember it was early in the evening, and a few friends and I were sitting around my group house living room pondering what to do. We could hang out in College Park and continue drinking being as we were within walking distance of the bars on Route One. We could cab it down to DC and watch the Love Stamp fall or some such weirdness. Or we could hop a plane to New York and stay at the Waldorf Astoria where my friend's brother had a suite of rooms. 
Next thing I knew we were at the airport.

Okay that was a good one- I have to admit.

At any rate- no matter what you do this evening- I do wish everyone within my readership all the best for 2009- including all my lame friends that DON"t read me and you know who you are because I will have to personally send this link to you.

Happy New Year.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Slickees Rock Baltimore

(photos by LC)

Otto Bar
Dec 26

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Slickees Rule Surf Club!

(photos by Alan Kresse)
The Surf Club was packed last night, and it was a great rocking show thanks to all three bands-Monsters from the Surf, Ottley! and The Slickee Boys.

And hats off to Marshall Keith who pulled off being in two bands back to back. My friend Alan Kresse was there snapping the memories.
Alan and I go way back in the time machine to the University of Maryland, College Park 1979 when we were housemates. It was four guys and me, and the phone rang all the time. There were outrageous parties, and people we didn't even know would show up because they'd heard of The Dog House-aptly named because we shared the couch with Alan's gynormous Great Dane, Shea. We were hippies and jocks and nerds, but we were a gregarious crew. I came home from school one Friday afternoon, and there was a guy hanging out who looked familiar. It took me a minute to realize it was because I often passed him playing guitar and panhandling on Route One. Another time I walked in, and the living room was full of Hare Krishnas dancing around and making dinner. I have a feeling our vegetarian housemate Stuart was responsible for that one.
Anyway Alan was taking pictures back then, and he is still at it now.
Thanks to the glory of the internet- you can see pix of the Dog House - (what a time capsule!) and more importantly shots of all the bands last night plus other shows if you follow the links.

Friday, December 26, 2008

N.B. Slickees Shows Tonight and Tomorrow

Lyn2 says this is a show not to miss. So does the Express Night Out.
Shake off that mistletoe and shake a leg!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Long Ago Around this Time Of Year A Child Was Born. His Name Is Bob

Tuesday Night December 22 it's the birthday bash of the year, and Bob Berberich's bringing it home with The Rosslyn Mountain Goats- a band which always draws a veritable who's who crew of our local rock 'n' roll world to The Quarry House in Silver Spring. Ottley! will also be appearing. (Perhaps they'll slip into the celebrity phone booth to change.)
Every show I've seen (and I'm not sure that I've missed one) has been different and marvelous thanks to the ever revolving gang of guest stars. Last time I saw Mark Noone (Slickee Boys) do a set that couldn't be beat until Joe Dolan (Beatnik Flies) got up and did something completely different, but equally crazy good. With all that talent in the room, it's all good.
The time is 8 sharp. No cover. Three jamming sets. It'll be over around 11 so the working man can drink a toast to Bob and still hit the hay at a reasonable hour. Any and all donations will go to benefit Jr Cline.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Sweet Home Yell County by Lyn2

While it was the band's name that first made me check out Yell County, it's the performance that keeps me going back for more. Named for a county in Arkansas that happens to be where my family lives, this trio puts together a 21st century punkish/new waveish sound in songs about being trapped and breaking out. They haven't played since bass player Arthur Noll took time out to become a Dad, so Monday night is a good chance to see them play some new songs and wash away any holiday stress you might be feeling. To top it off, you can check out The Bickersons, new to this writer. Give them a listen and you'll be heading to Virginia. Despite my bridge-crossing issues, the Galaxy Hut is growing on me. It has a remarkable beer selection for a small place, serves up good simple food and the cover is always $5.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I'm glad someone else pointed out that Prez Bush-in shrugging off the flying shoes so appropriately aimed at his head-was also shrugging off the devastation of the war in Iraq. Hats off to the people from Code Pink who showed up outside the White House and put names to shoes to honor the dead. I also liked what local DC musician, Karl Straub had to say about the whole mess in his posting "Bush Just Glad Shoe Incident Didn't Happen in Holland."

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Rally Round The Cause, Boys and Girls

The economic hard times are hitting.  I was in the bank just today and heard a guy loudly forecasting the doom we will face with the new "zero" interest rate. Closer to hitting home, a DC staple musician, JR Cline and his family are in dire need of a place to live. A benefit will be held at The Outta The Way Cafe THIS Thursday featuring a local band that was dear to my heart way back in the 70s when my cousin used to sneak me into bars- Harbison, Bond and Goddard. (You might remember their song that Weasel would include every week in his "Frantic Friday" set on WHFS.) Also look for other DC favorites including soul/blues power singer Mary Shaver with Dan Hovey (Root Boy Slim, Jr Cline and The Recliners) Rico Petrocelli, (Rosslyn Mt Boys, Mary Chapin Carpenter) and Danny Schwartz.
The show starts at 8:30.

And across town- another benefit at Bangkok Blues in Falls Church. This one is for "Hungry For Music"-a great organization that raises money so that kids can get their hands on musical instruments. A variety showcase of local music will start at 7 with Harry Blevins and continue until 10 with Little Pink. In between look for David Kitchen, Dulcie Taylor, Bumpkin Pie, Jelly Roll Mortals and Esther Haynes.
And for you guitar buffs- a Les Paul Epiphone Special II signed by Mr Paul himself will be available for gawking at. (The guitar will be raffled off at a later date.)

Both of these benefits are not high dollar events, but every little bit will help. You can make the difference here.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Get Out And Spend

(Greenland - photo by shervin lianez)

DC Rocks hopes you are not bowing under the weight of holiday angst, but if you are- don't forget there are outlets, and I'm not talking about Potomac Mills. Start the weekend early in Virginia with the annual Santa Jam thing- a benefit and lots of bands at The State Theater Thursday night- or you can head over to JVs and lay back with Dan Hovey- ace guitarist.

Saturday night in DC's northwest quadrant there's Greenland- the opening band of three at Comet Ping Pong. Also on Saturday-in the can't be two places at once category- another great show - Sister Ex and The New Standard will be rocking Surf Club Live.

Spend that hard earned dough wisely-a few dollars will go a long way in supporting our local music scene which could easily become a casualty of the economy.
Plus- gosh darn it- you could have fun.

Monday, December 8, 2008

A Close Encounter with Bo

This area is just teeming with live music, and I mean TEEMING- "abundantly filled or richly supplied; swarming."
Swarming indeed. 
I hope this blog opens the door for some of you to the lesser known DC music scene which includes a lot of musician/writers like Mystr Treefrog.
Check out his story- it's about rock and roll and serendipity or what can happen when you are open to the universe and about to be blown off a roof.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Don't miss the show this Saturday night at the Velvet Lounge-a tiny little club planted in our new/old U Street night scene. Seeing live music there is always an up close and personal experience. There are no big screens- you don't need binoculars, and the cover is always under ten bucks. The show this weekend is well worth it-a winning combination of veteran talent and new music. Here's the scoop from Glenn Kowalski of 7 Door Sedan:

This Saturday 7 Door Sedan is having the first show in over month. We slowed down a bit after a mad mad October that almost did us in, but we're back baby!

We're thrilled to perform with former members of Razz—
The Howling Mad. I've been trying to get a gig with these guys for awhile now. They have been doing this for quite some time and one of my most powerful memories is seeing them at the now legendary Keg in Georgetown. They're howling for sure.

Thanks to Phil Duarte of Pup Tent for putting this gig together, and we're happy to share the bill with them as well. They have amazing material and are a unique experience. A paranoid power trio. I just made that up. But seriously, check these guys out if you haven't yet.

This is a real "Guys with Guitars" show. We're talking major guitar slingers, seasoned singer/songrockers, and a hot Saturday night. 

My understanding is the following Velvet Lounge schedule:
Doors open at 9 for access to band area. Schmoozing, warming up with a drink, etc.
10 pm sharp: 7 Door Sedan, followed by Howling Mad, then Pup Tent.

Lyn2 would like to add: 
Puptent and 7 Door Sedan are so special to me that it should be illegal that they are playing together when I am out of town for work. Howling Mad are one of a kind and previous iterations of these guys' talents define DC music history for me. Please be there for me.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Shopping Tip #1 and A Tale

Yes. It's inevitable. Ready or not the holidays are coming and sometimes that involves hiding assorted items in colored papers and passing them off to other people. (You know what I mean.) For some of us it's a time of joy and for others a time of dread, but make it easy on yourself. For all the rock 'n' roll fans on your list-Mark Opsasnick's book "Capitol Rock" can't be beat. It's an amazing collection of local rock lore and information. Mark is scrupulous about detail, and has scoured libraries and old haunts for information. I asked him how he got started:

My interest in rock and roll goes back to my childhood when my older siblings (brother and sister) would play Beatles and Monkees albums on the family phonograph. I was hooked, and I remember how, at age ten in 1972, my mother brought me Alice Cooper’s “Killer” album from the Greenbelt Library. The music was incredible, though now, some 36 years later, I’m horrified by the lyrics of “Dead Babies.” Good thing I couldn’t understand anything those maniacs were saying back then. Anyway, after watching this shock-rock band on “In-Concert” I went out and, using my saved-up allowance, bought all their albums at the Beltway Plaza Waxie Maxie’s for $3.33 a pop (I also have a recollection of scooping up albums by Santana, Deep Purple, the Doors and Mountain on one piggy bank-depleting afternoon at that particular outlet.) I remember staring for what seemed like hours at the incredible Mothers of Invention album covers, trying to figure out what kind of music could possibly be contained on the vinyl within – I later heard the entire “We’re Only In It For the Money” album on WGTB and was completely mesmerized by the surreal waves of sound that poured out of that cheap radio. And all of this occurred before I turned eleven.

(Two of the greatest rock and roll mysteries of all time still haunt me – where did the Beatles plug in that mess of guitar wires on the cover of their “Something New” album; and what was that crap on the Coop’s face??)

I maintained my love of rock and roll music into my adult years, but it wasn’t until I started venturing into the bars and nightclubs of Prince George’s County in the 1980s that my interest took a unique turn. In places like the Paragon and the Riverdale Pizza Pub I began hearing tales of forgotten killer rock bands that had ruled Washington, D.C.-area stages (the British Walkers, the Cherry People, the Hangmen, Lawrence and the Arabians, etc.) and spellbinding guitarists who had actually resided right in my home county (Danny Gatton, Roy Clark, Link Wray, Roy Buchanan), but I was dismayed to discover on my trips to local libraries that no books existed that documented the lives and times of these remarkable musical heroes.

I decided to try to fill that void.

The rest is history; the future is a Work-in Progress!

All seven of Mark's books including “Capitol Rock” and “The Lizard King Was Here” are available at Xlibris.

Or take a break from the frenzy and read about Mark's trip down F Street, Christmas morning 1999-a Washington DC My Hometown exclusive.