Sunday, January 31, 2010

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Paradise Not Lost

Chip Py, DC ROCK's roving staff photographer, (emphasis on roving) got a peek inside the new Joe's Record Paradise in Silver Spring recently. Joe's store has been open since 1974 and has weathered the storm of eight tracks, cassettes and cds only to see the world revolve right back to vinyl again. Anchored in Rockville for many moons, the new store will open on Monday February 1st at 8216 Georgia Avenue.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Local Soul Delivery

(photo by Tom Clifford)

Soul food feeds the spirit as much as the body, and soul music does much the same thing, but without the calories. I'm not sure what the equivalent of soul food is in Thailand, but I do know that the all powerful King Soul will deliver Memphis Stax to Bangkok Blues in Falls Church this FRIDAY night. The Cravin'Dogs a long time, upstanding roots rock type group will open.

Show starts at 7. $7 All ages.

Eat, drink and groove, baby.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Something Old and Something New

Last week within 48 hours I saw two shows that had almost nothing in common except that Philvis and I were there - the old and the new . My favorite event of the year - Thievery Corporation's 5 -day run at the 9:30 Club - commenced last Wednesday and we caught the Thursday show. On Saturday, Philvis had won tickets to Cheap Trick at Ramshead Live in Baltimore.

Though Thievery Corporation started in 1995, it's fair to call them new compared to Cheap Trick, whose first wave of fame was nearly 40 years ago. I repeat myselfwhen I say that the Corporation is one of DC's greatest gifts to the world of amusement, along with the half-smoke and Chuck Brown. They could only happen here, but they're hugely popular in many parts of the world. For those not familiar with their sound, their empire and their history it's worth exploring.

Cheap Trick rocked more than I expected, and I'm quite taken with "Closer" on their new record, which sounds like Bad Finger the Nuggets collections wrapped up together. Baltimore's Power Plant Live, where Ramshead Live is located, is Disney World for night-life. You get carded at a gate to a complex of bars and clubs. I'm not sure it's my kind of place but I'm glad I got to witness it.


Monday, January 25, 2010

Dispatch From New Orleans

Football has meaning here in the Crescent City that doesn't exist anywhere else on this planet. When I got to New Orleans last Thursday, I was here to see my daughter first, my friends second and music third. The Saints game was not really on my radar though I knew it was important to my friends who live here. But tonight I found myself glued to the television laughing, screaming and even crying with a roomful of people doing the same.

(Mostly screaming.)

Laughing because I have seen New Orleans before and I have seen New Orleans survive after The Storm. Laughing because I have never seen so many people dressed in black and gold.

Screaming because this sporting event is wrapped up in the identity and spirit of this unique and amazing place unlike any other on this planet. Only people who have been here can understand. Where else do people greet you and hug you before they know your name?
("Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans?")

And crying because where else has such tradgedy and joy existed under the roof of a sports arena?

Congratulations Saints.
(Who dat? Drew dat.)
Thanks for lifting up the spirits of people who have endured so much for so long.

Congratulations New Orleans!!!!!!!
Thank you for making this country a better place.

Friday, January 15, 2010

You Don't Have To Go Hungry- Just Go

Twelve dollars is very little money to see a great show like this, but even better, the money is going to a really good cause: Hungry For Music.
It's a long weekend, but even if Monday's not a holiday for you- it's an early show for everyone. This Sunday 7 p.m. @ Jammin' Java in Vienna.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Local Power

We are woefully behind when it comes to capitalizing on the power that is given to us via the sun, wind and water. Eons ago some fairly bright individuals (probably Greek) thought up things like boats, but we have yet to build a solar car for the masses. And while Congress dithers about environment issues up on Capitol Hill there is an untapped resource of energy right here in Washington DC.


That's right- the local rock scene: it's cleaner and a lot less expensive than fossil fuel, and the energy is infectious. Try it. Hit the Velvet Lounge this Saturday night when three forces of nature will be crammed into one fairly small room courtesy of Sister Ex, Rustbuckit and The Beatnick Flies.

Veteran rockers that just can't stop. Feel the power for only $8. You can't even fill your tank for that.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Wednesday Night : Make a Snow Monkey or... Rock

This week I'm two shows and one school night away from being a bad girl: Seven Door Sedan plays Asylum in Adam's Morgan and Greenland will be at the Black Cat.
Why are two of my favorite bands playing on - of all things- a Wednesday?
Because DC can't help but rock as anyone who was at the Sunset Grille last Sunday can attest when they saw Bill Kirchen earn his Purple Heart of Rock. (And I'm not kidding when I say Bill bled for the Cause, but that's another story.)
Even now I am plotting with myself-can I get a nap in on Thursday?- because these bands are definitely worth the extracurricular behavior.
See for yourself.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Your Car is Here

You've got two chances to check out the unparalleled sounds of 7 Door Sedan in the next week. Saturday night (January 9) they'll be in Baltimore at The Depot with Retrogramme. (Check these guys out for sure with the link. Something new. Then on Wednesday, January 13, 7DS will be at Asylum in Adams Morgan with The Public Good. This is another new find for this writer and I'm looking forward to seeing them. Plus they have a song called "If I Still Had Hair."

Asylum is a great place to see a show and it's only $5! Not to mention that on a Wednesday you can actually park in Adams Morgan so you almost have to go just for that. Both of these shows are your chance to hear the rumored new 7DS song and to congratulate Glenn Kowalski ("The Man with the Blue and Orange Guitars") on his Washington Area Music Award nomination.


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Bach to Rock Show This Saturday

The Bach to Rock show fell victim to the Blizzard of December 09 and has been rescheduled for this Saturday, January 9 at 9:30 Club. My friend Ray's bands will be on at 1:00 pm (Bobblehead Boys) and 1:40 pm (The Black Sparks.) Check out last month's Makes Me Want to Shout for background!


The Bar You Save May Be Your Own

Little places like the Sunset Grille in Annandale, Virginia are always in danger of going under, and once they are gone- it's pretty much the way of the pterodactyl because these days it's hard to find honest dives like this, and we are lucky to have the few that are still around. Bill Kirchen, known far and wide for his break neck guitar playing, used to be a regular performer here which is just amazing when you see how small it is. Bill is coming back this weekend, along with a host of other bands, to save the Grille (and Grillbillys) from extinction. This a cause you can get behind without breaking the bank- a $5 cover gets you excellent music and plenty o' fun.

Out With Aulde and In with the Gras

photo by Jeff Shrier

Yesterday was Epiphany or King's Day- the official end of the Twelve Days of Christmas and the beginning of Carnival Season. The people of Louisiana never have to suffer the dysphoria of taking down the Christmas lights because they are already onto the next thing- breaking out the King Cake and starting a round of parties that will last until, you guessed it, Fat Tuesday- this year on February 16th.

King cakes contain a baby figurine baked inside; whomever gets the piece with the baby customarily provides the next cake and party. This goes on with celebrations and parades building until everything comes to an abrupt halt at midnight on Mardi Gras Day- then all bets are off. It's back to church, and Ash Wednesday ushers in the season of deprivation- Lent. (Last year I explained all this to my Catholic nieces which could be the closest I ever come to religious training.)

(photo by Beth Rado)

Here in the frozen North we have Little Red and the Renegades to save us from missing out on all the fun, and they'll be playing Friday night at Haydee's In Mt Pleasant.

Here's the scoop from band member Harry Rado:

"Little Red will lay down his booty shakin’ versions of all the classic New Orleans Carnival tunes by Professor Longhair, Earl King, and other Crescent City greats, and then rock the club with his swampy Zydeco.

Haydee’s is the perfect place to party in these tough economic times—they serve great Salvadorian/Mexican food in huge portions at pocketbook friendly prices.

The cordial crowd there will be a mix of people from Latin America, local Mt. Pleasant/Adams Morgan/Columbia Heights hipsters, swing dancers, roots music fans, and folks with New Orleans/Louisiana connections. Come on down and party!"

No cover! Laissez les bon temps roulez DC!

Monday, January 4, 2010

DC Has a Brand New Bag

The bloggers here at DC ROCKS are sill waking  up to what exactly is new about 2010 except for the date. I was lurking at the Four Seasons on New Year's Eve. There were balloons everywhere, people in funny hats and the band was playing Auld Lang Syne, but nothing really changed at the stroke of midnight except most people were now really drunk and ready to dance. 

By Saturday, however, a visible change did occur here in Washington. A new law was in effect which imposes a five cent fee on any bag handed out at stores that sell either food or liquor. (And that about covers all of my shopping needs except for the thrift stores.) This is the first law of its kind nation wide, and maybe the most progressive thing out of DC since Chuck Brown. 

I think this action was way overdue. We have too much stuff in this country. Just go into any large thrift store like Value Village and feel the magnitude of the castoffs- the crush of discarded stuffed animals, clothes and even vanity style light bulbs. A lot of those things originally came in plastic bags like the ones making up a good part of the Anacostia's pollution problem. 

Besides the environmental thing though, there's an additional perhaps unforeseen benefit occurring. I already see people walking around town sporting all kinds of new totes, and every one of them looks better than a bag with CVS in red letters on white plastic. This is our chance to save a fish, cut down on waste and make a fashion statement all at the same time. The question is no longer "paper or plastic," but "did you bring a bag?" It's cool; it's different (unless you happen to live in Paris) and it virtually happened overnight.

Once again DC ROCKS.

Happy New Year, Washington.