Thursday, July 29, 2010


It's a term I had never heard before, but it makes a lot of sense: the stay-cation. You take time off, but you don't take off. Or you take time off, but you don't go far.

This weekend there are a bunch of stay-cation type things to do starting with Ruthie and the Wranglers who will be out in Purcellville, Virginia recording a live concert. Click on the poster for details. Ruth has been singing her heart out for many a moon now, and the girl has it down.

Or you could go in a completely different direction to the Columbia Lakefront in Maryland to see Billy Coulter- yet another local musician who is chock full of talent.

Both bands play this Saturday which gives you plenty of time to get lost and make the downbeat.

Finally if all of the above is too far away, and you are in a Deadhead frame of mine, check out the U-Liners' Jerry Garcia tribute show at Iota. 9 p.m. $15

(Or you could take the whole staycation thing to the nth degree and hole up with a pint of Cherry Garcia, but..)

Fort Reno Hotline

for weather, information and updates : 202-355-6356

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

GHz Rocks the Zoo

(photo by Wayan Vota)

The National Zoo is a fun place. It's free, and it's big, and people who live in Mt. Pleasant like my mother once did, can hear the lions roaring at night. My father didn't have much time to goof off when I was a child, but I have a fond memory of playing hooky at the zoo. We were running errands around town when he said he had a surprise for me. Next thing I knew we were off the main street and pulling up next to a low building. I didn't quite know where we were until he put a delivery sign up on the dash, and I realized he had created his own parking place right near the giraffe house.

The place has changed quite a bit since I was a pup. It's vastly improved for the animals. Parking is still a trial, but now there are two Metro stops nearby. ("Creative" parking spaces are long gone.)

So here is my hint for this Thursday night's "sunset serenade" with Gigahertz- the '60s throw back band I can't seem to stop raving about. Get there early and park at the bottom, or be sure to wear really comfortable shoes for the hike back up to Connecticut Avenue. You can bring a picnic or buy food there along with beer and wine.
(How civilized.)

Showtime: 6:30-8 on Lion Hill. Free.

And if you can't make this one- the Grandsons will be there August 5. Same bat time: same bat place.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Quarry House Goes to the Beach

(poster by Stephen Blickenstaff)
If the artwork involved is any indication, the Quarry House has lots of good music going on this Friday when two oceanic themed groups hit the stage.

All bands should be lucky enough to have an artist like Stephen Blickenstaff on board, but rocking surf band Atomic Mosquitos take advantage of his unique talent with the thereminophone. (If you've never seen one played live, now is the hour.)

Chip Py, DC ROCKS' house photographer, has been out doing himself shooting live bands these days. Check out DC ROCKS new facebook page to see what he's been up to. He also captured the cheeky spirit of The Yachtsmen who will be shoving the show off the dock at 9:45 Friday night. (All you fans missing the Slickee Boys and Troubadours- please note this is now the band where Mark Noone debuts his newest songs.)

Come early- it takes a good half hour to study the beer and bourbon menu which you're gonna need to wash down those tater tots.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Once and Future Place

The Harp and Fiddle in Bethesda is a typical American Irish bar, but it ONCE was a truly unique place called The Psyche Delly where many local legends played including Razz, the Nighthawks, Slickee Boys and Root Boy Slim. Bethesda was a pretty sleepy town then compared to now, but looking back it was cooler than I thought at the time. There was our home grown radio WHFS, the Sunshine House Surf Shop, Montgomery Donuts, Tastee Diner and Shakey's Pizza. (All gone now except the diner.)

But Gigahertz will be at the Psyche Delly, I mean, the Harp and Fiddle this Thursday and their music- both originals and covers- call up the psychedelic spirit of those days long ago when we used to drive up to the roof of a two story parking lot for the view.

(By the by their new CD "Morbid Curiosity" is killer.)

Set time- 8:30 p.m. Year- 1968.

Rock on, Bethesda.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Get Away On the Bay

My friends, Hugh and Sylvia, are always on the hunt for a good sunset- especially one that involves sky and  water, and that's how they found- Kentmorr. Kentmorr is a bar, a seafood joint and a private beach all rolled into one. An oasis just across the Bridge. You can get there by boat, car or airplane. (Yes airplane- which explains the big honking garages some of the neighbors have.) 
I can't decide what I like best about it. The food is good. Eat indoors, or on the dock or take carry-out down to the beach.  No, wait I know what I like best- you can get a beer at the bar and carry THAT  down to the beach and sit in a hammock chair. (Sylvia says they have good Bloody Marys, too, so bear that in mind) Though the place has been there since the 1950s, owners Dave Harper and his wife Tammy took over in 1993. Dave, a California boy has installed hammocks as well as a few seasonal palm trees on the beach to add to that island feel. Only about an hour from DC- it's a world away from here.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Aliens Invade Quarry House: Bring the Kiddies

Special Matinee this SUNDAY afternoon at the Quarry House! 

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Doctors Are IN.

Hey, Sports Fans- local longtime favorite Four Out of Five Doctors  will be at Jammin' Java this Saturday night. Band leader Cal Everett says this is the last show ever so better get your diagnosis while you can.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Rock Creek Park Rocks with Chopteeth

Carter Barron Amphitheater is tucked away in Rock Creek Park just off 16th Street.  I remember going to see shows there when I was younger, and I couldn't believe who would play there for free. All kinds of things are going on nowadays so keep your eye out for poetry, film and music events all summer. This Friday it's International Beat Night. Salsa kings Sin Miedo and world funk ensemble Funk Ark will open the show at 7 p.m. followed by the sprited Afrofunk rythms of Wammie award winners- ChopteethTickets are free but you need to go to Carter Barron or the Washington Post on Friday show to pick them up.
Limit four per adult.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Ra Ra Rasputin: Lover of the Russian Queen

I've always meant to ask Ra Ra Rasputin what their name means, but I asked Wikipedia instead. It might provoke a 1970s German disco phase. Meanwhile, check them out at Ft. Reno on Thursday, July 15. With Give and Hiding Places. Remember your instructions: shows start at 7:00 and end at 9:30 and don't bring glass containers or alcohol. It's the best night of free friendly entertainment you can find and it's always an all ages show.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Pondering Week Night Night Life

You want to go out now and then- maybe even on a week night, but you have a job, and/or kids and a goldfish. But instead of thinking things like "Woe is me, my clubbing days are numbered," try thinking along the lines of "dinner." Yes, as in you can have your entree and cake and eat it, too.

Fort Reno concerts start at 7 every Monday and Thursday, and it's the perfect spot for a picnic while catching the latest local rock scene. A DC ROCKS' favorite, 7 Door Sedan, will be playing there July 19, but this week you can catch their early show on Wednesday at Wonderland Ballroom in Columbia Heights.

Here's the scoop from 7 Door's Glenn Kowalski:

"We go on first about 9, so you can stick around to see Her Next Friend, or you can make it home in time for your usual lights out. This a happening spot along 11th Street with cool vintage decor. It's close to the Columbia Heights Metro station on the Green line. They've got a good dinner menu including quesadillas, burgers, veggie burgers, fried pickles(!), eggplant fries and all kind of interesting things."

And don't forget- music for dessert!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Galaxy Stars Returns

Star gazers alert. Mark your calendars-the Perseid meteor showers won't be peaking until August 12 this year, but  Alice Despard, creator of one of the coolest little bars in the universe, will be playing the Galaxy Hut this SUNDAY night with Crowd Scene. Both these bands play out about as often as a full lunar eclipse (the next one in the U.S. being December 21) and both groups are stellar. I won't say more as there's not much room over there-it is a Hut after all- but this is a cosmic event.

Five bucks gets you into another galaxy.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Submit to Summer

(photos by Beth Rado)

Hot days, steamy nights. That's the program here for July.  If you are ready to become one with the heat Haydee's  has a spicy menu, cold margaritas and most importantly the New Orleans sound provided by Little Red and the Renegades this Friday night in the once upon a time get away from it all neighborhood of Mt Pleasant. NO cover charge and a band that plays all night long.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

DC Weather Not Fit For Man Nor Beast

But Chia pets are a different story....
Hope you all are staying cool out there.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Hometown Fourth

The Boulevard. You might not know what that means unless you are from here, but that was what it was called back in the day. And before those days it was called "out the road." Nowadays you hear this area called the Palisades more often than not and the Palisades Parade is coming up this Sunday. What makes the parade unique is it is the O-fficial July Fourth Parade of the voteless colony known as District of Columbia (not to be confused with the more showy federal type celebrations)

It's a true hometown thing.  Anyone can be in it, and afterwards there's a picnic in the park featuring free hot dogs, a moon bounce, prize giving and often live music. To show the true nature of this spectacle DC ROCKS went into deep background to get this quote from one of the venerable parade judges, Mat Thorp: "The Awards Committee members are pushovers for family groups. A cat on a leash would be a plus. "

Parade starts at noon down near Safeway at 4865 MacArthur Boulevard and winds up in  Palisades Park. View it on "the Boulevard" or Sherier Place.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Pop Prevails on H Street

There's an interesting show coming up in a part of town that is definitely making its way back from the ravages of 1968. My father was born only a few blocks from here so whenever I go to the H Street clubs (which are in old buildings) I try and imagine what it was like back then in 1915 when this was a bustling business district and my grandfather was selling candy.
 But I digress.
Here is the scoop on this Friday's line up at the Red and The Black from Jerry H. front man for the Color School:
"A night when styles mix, but pop prevails.  Round About and The Walkaways lend themselves to Americana done in the DC tradition.The Walkaways have  good pop songs and the added attraction of pedal steel guitar player, Bobby Birdsong.
Color School is very simply a three piece pop band with ex-members of The High Back Chairs and Young Caucasians. No song is longer than 2:30 so you can bash from one to the next, and Bob's your uncle. 
The Red and the Black offers a great beer selection, including decent choices on tap.
Red painted tin ceilings, old DC iron work around the wood and the customary black curtains make it fit as alternate rock club."  
 Show starts at 9- and just a $5 cover in keeping with the  DC ROCKS traditon-it's  a rock bottom bargain. (emphasis on rock)