Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thank You Arlo

It used to be so simple. Pilgrim hats and Indian head dresses. We'll bring the turkey; you bring the corn. We used to act out that original potluck at school and put the same characters in wax on our dinner table. America was our cornucopia.
But by high school I found out that a lot of things were left out of my history books. Early on I never thought much about the impact of people who said things like "Whoops, we thought we were in India." Times have changed immeasurably since I was a kid, but we never did burn those candles that still decorate our family's table.

Well, maybe once.

Now, when I think of Thanksgiving, I feel sad and bad on many levels and try to get over that and feel happy and thankful which I am.
I am thankful that Magruder's has such good liquor prices, and I am thankful for the wine I picked up there for Thursday's dinner which is going to make me and a lucky member or two of my family happy.
I am thankful I don't have to make the turkey.
I am happy to make my own cranberry relish which no one else in my family will eat, but that's okay- more for me. There I 'm happy again.

But let's move on.

After Thanksgiving I am usually so exhausted I cannot move even though all I did was drive a few miles and eat too much. It's all I can do to make it to a couch and lie there in lizard like lethargy. It must be all the mental hoopla which comes from consorting with too many family members in one room at one time taking up all the available air. If, however, I did want to get out (which is never out of the question) the place to go on Thursday night would be the Sunset Grille where the Thrillbillys play- even on Thanksgiving.

By Friday I usually have my get up and go back, and there is a lot going on to help dance off that dinner.

The Grandsons are playing at the Barns at Wolf Trap- a most excellent band in a most excellent venue. I love the Barns because it's one of the few places the park service will let you drink. In fact they sell it to you. Did I mention the place is beautiful? And Derek Huston, our favorite McLean-New Orleans son will be flying in to add his "cool cat" horn to the mix.

Hands down this would be the show to go to if there wasn't another excellent band in yet another favorite venue. The Nighthawks are playing the State Theater, a renovated-for-rock movie house, which features everything you need at a rock show- bars for the thirsty, tables for the hungry, a dance floor for the antsy, and a balcony overlooking the hoi polloi for the spectator who needs a break from the action.

With all that going on, it would be irresponsible of me not to say I am happy and thankful to live in D.C. where once upon a time you could always count on hearing "Alice's Restaurant" on our dearly beloved gone away radio station WHFS, and that used to make me very happy, but that's another story.


Monday, November 23, 2009

Edward Dolan Junior III Speaks:

"Mansutus Jones (as we were called in the day) was together from 1970 thru 1974. We played regularly in DC coffee houses, at The Cellar Door's "Hootenanny nights" and many other events both over and underground. We were a "White Album" band. Our whole life was based around that record, and still is. Both Mark and I realized this at a chance reunion a few months ago. We played music like we had never left.

So here we are, doing it one more time. It will be a short opening set for local rock bands Sister Ex and Pup Tent's "All Turkey's Eve" show this Wednesday- 9 p.m. at O' Shaunessy's in Alexandria."

Friday, November 20, 2009

Little Red Goes Out to Virginia

If you couldn't make it to JVs last Thursday- try to head over this Saturday night for Little Red and The Renegades for a true taste of Louisiana all the way up here at the top of Dixie.

9 p.m.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sixty Two Years Young

I met a guy named Pete visiting from San Jose last weekend at a dinner party, and one of the first things he told me was he could not believe the amount of great music around here. He presumed Washington was a stuffy little town, but Pete soon changed his mind after he saw the lights of U Street.

Even more amazing is the talent you can find crammed into places like JV's Restaurant-a lilliputian outpost hidden in a strip mall on Route 50- not too far past that Satanic intersection known as Seven Corners. JV's is a hold out; a time capsule of a 1947 bar and grill which some might describe as a dive, but for others it's why we go there.

This Thursday
go see for yourself and catch one of the area's finest guitar players- Dan Hovey when the aptly named Dan Hovey Band resumes its monthly gig with Dave Elliott on drums, and Claude Arthur on bass. 9 p.m.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Tangled Web We Weave

What do we know about the three bands playing this Saturday night November 14 at The Red and the Black other than that they're an impressive assemblage of local talent? I asked around and I found the usual DC web of connections .

I found out that 7 Door Sedan practices in the legendary Madhouse Studios in Mt. Pleasant. 7 Door Sedan drummer Norman Van der Sluys is the brains behind the Studios, the doors of which are now closed at least in the traditional location. (The history of Madhouse Studios will be a future blog post!) King Mixer drummer Danny Ingram was in Madhouse, the band from which the Studio took its name. It also appears that Danny once lived with Alex DeSeabra of XMC. This is proof of the ultimate drummer conspiracy. Come on out and weave yourself in.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Good Omen for Friday the 13th?

Friday night's show in Burtonsville might ward off any bad luck for the 13th of November. DC ROCKS readers will remember that Puptent and Sister Ex always rock your world. Check out The Slow Learners, new to this writer and very intriguing. At Chapala/Palenque bar in Burtonsville. 15530 Old Columbia Pike; Burtonsville MD.


Friday at Outpost 136

Today is the day we give veterans their due, but if you don't have the day off, or don't know exactly how to say thanks- here's an alternative way to show support- check out events at American Legion Halls.

Mark Opsasnick, local rock historian, (and I mean music, not geology) has seen and written about many, many bands in his time so when he has a recommendation, it's definitely worth paying attention. Mark sent this out yesterday:

It's been a while, but I'm still here, and I'll be coming out of self-imposed hibernation to check out the SACCHETTI BAND at the Greenbelt American Legion this Friday night. Take a look at their website, the band looks great.
The Legion is just a fantastic place to see live music. There's good food, low-priced drinks, and great people.

Time: 8pm-midnight.

Admission: $5
Drinks: CHEAP!

Also, keep in mind the Greenbelt Legion will be having an absolutely incredible Christmas dance on December 18th featuring THE BAD WEATHER BOYZ (one of the very best rock and roll-R&B bands out there today) I'll have more about that event in December.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

If it's Veteran's Day It's Not Necessarily Monday

I remember growing up when holidays actually fell on the date they were supposed to fall on. February was a good month because we had Lincoln's AND George Washington's birthdays. Then some wise guy came up with Presidents' Day.
These days I've grown to expect the holiday to be on a Monday, and that my trash day will be bumped to Friday. (Of course I remember about half the time.)
But Veteran's Day seems to have escaped the Monday format, so tonight is not a "normal" Tuesday night for DC kids and Federal types.
Need something to do?
Long time musician and hometown girl, Patty Reese will be playing tonight
for the Open Hearth Benefit for pagans of all paths at Westminster Presbyterian Church
400 I Street SW
Washington, DC

Food, beer and wine for sale. Tickets $13 at the door.

7 pm

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Reliable Rock Cures All

photo by John C Garofolo

Johnny Castle is another great player who has been hanging around this town for a long time. When he is not playing with DC's beloved Nighthawks, you can often find him Thursdays rocking with The Thrillbillys at the tiny Sunset Grille where the distance between the stage and the bar can be measured in (dancing) feet. Head off that deep pre winter end of daylight savings time seasonal depression and dose yourself with the Thrillbillys' cure this Thursday. The tireless Thrillbillys will also be on hand later this month to relieve that post Thanksgiving dare I say despondancy due to turkey/family togetherness overload- back at the Grille November 26.