Wednesday, June 30, 2010

It's DC and the Music's Free by Lyn2

It's not just Ft. Reno in the summer, folks. There is free music at several spots downtown throughout the summer. One of them is at Woodrow Wilson Plaza EVERY DAY through September. That's the big courtyard in between the International Trade Center (O.K. Ronald Reagan Building) and the Ariel Rios Buildings. You can walk straight in to the courtyard off 13th and Constitution Ave. N.W., use Federal Triangle Metro stop or find out more here. Note the finale is a late afternoon performance in September - DC's own Chuck Brown, all y'all! (Apparently that is the plural for "y'all" in Texas-ese.)

This Friday, July 2, you can improve your lunch hour by catching Workingman's Dead/now Black Muddy River Band (featuring the one and only Jamie Daly)for some homage to the Grateful Dead from Noon until 1:30. There is a food court in the Trade Building, a restaurant in the Courtyard or bring your own.

You can find other free summer music events here.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Chill Out at Fort Reno This Summer

Fort Reno's first concert of the season was cancelled Monday- so you can still make "opening day" this Thursday when former Government Issue still rocking punk, post punk, John Stabb hits the stage with Sleeper AgentGangland Buries Its Own and the Black Sparks which bill themselves as a "not-at- all-kid-friendly DC punk band of 9 and 12 year olds with TOO much energy" fill out the line up.

Keep your eye on Fort Reno's calendar this summer- there's something for everyone- from the newest young punks to seasoned pros like the Nighthawks. The Fort Reno series features DC area bands and the coolest, highest, natural venue in the city. Bring kids and dogs, bug spray, a picnic, and a blanket, but please bear in mind-no glass or alcohol.

Concerts start at 7 and everything is cleared out by 9:30.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Prabir and the Hellmouth!!! Sunday!!!

Prabir (DC is my Second Hometown) Mehta will play a special solo set tomorrow night, Sunday July 27, at Galaxy Hut with Hoots and Hellmouth. I wonder if they got their name from Buffy the Vampire Slayer?

Prabir is know for his work with Prabir and the Substitutes, with Goldrush and with the forces of mayhem. As for Philadelphia's Hoots and Hellmouth, they play "new music for old souls"I first saw them at Dogfish Head in Rehoboth, where their unique roof-raising performance had everyone marching around the room, climbing on tables and generally whooping it up.

As for the Galaxy Hut near Clarendon Metro, it's small, cozy and has a nice menu including a remarkably sophisticated selection of microbrews at a fair price. The cover is always $5.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Sometimes You Should Go Back to Rockville

Like tomorrow night, Friday June 25, when 7 Door Sedan will play all evening at the Austin Grill in Rockville. They will play 3 sets starting at 9:30. 36 Maryland Avenue.

DC History Buffs Alert (and We Are Not talking Federal! Here)

This just in from my fellow local history chronicler and compatriot,  Jeff Krulik- Film Captain of Heavy Metal Parking Lot and beyond...

On Saturday, June 26 at 2:30PM, the Historical Society of Washington will host an encore of a popular conference panel discussion, EAT DRINK AND BE MERRY IN 1950-60s DC, a nostalgic journey using images from the HSW Emil Press Collection. As a hobby, Mr. Press shot nearly 4000 color slides of Washington DC between 1959 and 1979, and many are images of our lost buildings.We'll revisit the DC nightlife, entertainment districts, culinary meccas and watering holes that existed in an era before the internet, cable television, video games and ubiquitous chain restaurants.

Guiding us will be local writer Vance Garnett, longtime music fan Mike Baker and Washington Post On The Town columnist John Pagones (1959-65). More panelists to be announced.
Audience participation will be encouraged. 

This event is free and open to the public. Rock on.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Some of the Best Things in DC Are Free

DC natives often have a hard time remembering to take advantage of the riches of this city that are here for the taking. Recently Lyn2 deliberately carved out part of a Sunday to take herself to the National Gallery for the Allen Ginsberg show. Last week she climbed Capitol Hill for business purposes and that was still a thrill. I know what she means - it's like going home again- only we live here- we just don't necessarily go there.

DC ROCKS loves pointing out that the biggest mall in Washington (unlike Tyson's Corner) is that great long green space between the Capitol and the Lincoln Memorial. Go there late on a summer day when there are a lot fewer tourists to dodge. Plus some museums are open until 7:30.

Another good thing to do "after hours" is to check out the Sculpture Garden Concert series.(I used to love roaming the monuments really late at night, but that's another story.)
Head down there this Friday when those very cool cats that comprise Natty Beaux will do their best to jump start your evening from 5-8:30 p.m. Bring a picnic and let the coolness of music take the edge off the heat.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Troubadours Gots Soul

The Rhodes Tavern Troubadours got together about ten years ago, and quickly became a regular fixture at the Half Moon Barbecue in Silver Spring which featured great pulled pork up front and a tiny sometimes too hot sometimes too cold but much beloved space in the back where the bands played, but when it got too hot in there- they'd open the door to the back alley, and you could see a car go by now and then behind the band.*

But Time Marches On.

Now the Half Moon is gone, and the Troubadours' days are waning as all four members have fallen into different projects. Gigs are rare which is why the IOTA show with King Soul last December sold out EARLY- by 9 p.m. So heads up my fellow music lovers- this Saturday the band will be back at IOTA with original member/guitar hero Dave Chappell on board.

And you get your money's worth with the eight piece outfit that is King Soul. Way out front man, Tom Clifford is committed to looking after each and every one of y'all's soulful needs, as are those Troubadours turned soul men- Jake Flack and Mark Noone.(At least they didn't go far.) Chris Watling, Tom Ruggieri and Vince McCool (his real name) on horns and Arif Durrani on keyboards. Hula Monster Ben Holmes keeps the beat. Get there early-have a bite to eat and relax. Show starts at 9.

*That first run on sentence was brought to you in honor of Bloomsday- June 16th- when this article was actually written whilst contemplating Rockville and whether or not it was going to rain. Please pass the Guiness.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Rockville and ROADDOGS

Rockville, Maryland was once a beautiful town. It looked more like Andy Griffith's Mayberry than the suburban sprawl we have to contend with now. From Chestnut Lodge in the west to F. Scott Fitzgerald's grave right on the Pike, it's gone through more face lifts than Joan Rivers, and each one seems worse than the last. That said I've driven all the way to a sports bar in Laurel to see the band ROADDOG. They are playing the Potomac Grill in Rockville this Friday night, and they are worth the trip.

Arif Durrani stalkers can get their fill- see that happy crazy keyboard player in ROADDOG Friday, and then stake out Iota on Saturday when he plays with King Soul.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Dot Dash-Something New for a Monday by Lyn2

Pop legends The Trashcan Sinatras from Scotland hit the Rock and Roll Hotel Monday night along with the debut of the hot new local line-up Dot Dash and The Candles from New York.

Dot Dash is a DC mix: Danny Ingram (Youth Brigade, Strange Boutique, King Mixer), Bill Crandall (Adam West, Modest Proposal) and Terry Banks and Hunter Bennett from Julie Ocean. Get there by 8:30 to see the much-anticipated first show of this  talent-laden act.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Black Cat Keeps DC Rocking

DC ROCKS would like to take a moment and salute the Black Cat for their Second Saturdays program which gives DC based bands a chance to get on stage. Also the Black Cat is one of the FEW all ages music venues in this town. Please support this club and local music which is what keeps this city alive.

This from Jess of America Hearts-

"This month's Second Saturdays features The Cheniers and America Hearts. The Cheniers debut 7" on Windian Records has three songs. One sounds like the Fall, one like Half Japanese, one sounds like the Doublehappys. Most of their songs fit nicely into one of those three categories. America Hearts songs are all about two minutes long and honest and straightforward and catchy. Think Jonathan Richman or Beat Happening.  Both bands enjoy heckling each other, and there will probably be a lot of that at this show."
June 12 @ Black Cat backstage
8 p.m., $8

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Hey, Meet Me at Haydees

When the Mount Pleasant venue, Haydees first caught my attention, I admit I was skeptical. Primarily a Salvadoran restaurant, I thought it might be the kind of place that shoves the band in a corner while people are eating. Happily I was converted the first time Lyn2 and I walked in the door. The band was rocking, and a frightfully accommodating staff took our margarita orders even before we could make our way to the bar. Yes, it's primarily an eatery, but there's a welcoming corner pub vibe here which might explain the great mix of people. More points were scored when the dinner hour subsided, and the staff pulled back tables to make room for dancing. This Friday the irrepressible Little Red and The Renegades will play until everyone is happily worn out- band and patrons alike. Music starts at 9 and continues until 1 a.m. with no cover!!

Come for dinner (the food is really good) or just a drink- but be fully prepared to meet new people and have fun.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

You Can Take the Guy out of DC by Lyn2

Chris Haskett lives many places now, but he's still one of ours. Catch his acoustic set at Bossa on Wednesday night. He goes on early- at 8- and you can avoid the Adams Morgan weekend madhouse. Bossa is next door to Madams Organ at 2463 18th Street NW and has two floors. Both are good spots to hang out.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Ping Pong, Pizza and Bands? by Lyn2

That's the ideal Friday night, and it's business as usual at Comet Ping Pong on Connecticut Avenue NW. This intriguing venue has great wood fired pizza, funky decor, and a full bar up, but that's not all.  There's also free ping pong and occasionally live late night music. The Urban Verbs did a sneak preview here once so this place is worth keeping an eye on.

This Friday, it's 7 Door Sedan - who are turning out new songs and continually refining their sounds. They'll be joined by Silver Spring's Ravenous and Tiny Animals from New York. This is a solid line-up, and it's FREE at 10:30 pm!

Please note the kitchen closes at 10:30 on Friday so come early if you are hungry.

It's Summer in the City

Summer in DC- what do we get?
Hazy hot and humid- hopefully lots of days at the beach. Ever optimistic gardeners digging up their yards and dreaming of back yard tomatos. Balmy nights, fireflies, and lots of free music. Later this month Fort Reno will start rolling again, but in the meantime-The Nighthawks- a long time DC favorite- are unplugged this Thursday 6-9 p.m. in Rockville Town Center.