Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Get Together

What comes to mind when you hear the word reunion?

Perhaps a great old beach house in Bethany with knotty pine paneling that the family rents every summer? That is until the year Cousin Bob brought his three Cocker Spaniels. He denies it, but one of them threw up on the rug, and from then on you had to rent the ugly house across the street.

Or maybe High school? Dance committees and name tags? The high school quarterback turned rotund car salesman who confesses to you after one too many that he dreams  of planting corn on other planets?

Reunions can be complicated and very hard to pull off- especially for musicians who have moved on to other projects and  lives. However, this Fall look for the return of Mother May I and Hyaa at Iota on October 2 and Government Issue at the Black Cat on December 11 -both shows are happening because they are benefits.

So please - mark your calendars. Come out and support people who are working hard to come together to help others in need and  join the reunion.

It'll be fun.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A Window on the Weekend

We at DC ROCKS would be the first to tell you that we only cover a tiny niche of the very local scene here in Washington- trying to concentrate on local musicians in local venues. Often it is whatever blows in the window or music we stumble onto while out and about.
Please send us your imput if you see a band you think is a great deal for the money.

That said here's what came up for this weekend:

Friday the Nighthawks are playing in Wheaton from 7-9. (free)
On Saturday they'll swing over to Jammin' Java in Virginia for those of you who are Maryland challenged. ($20 cover)

Also on Saturday there's Chuck Brown's birthday with the man himself at the venerable 9:30 Club.($25)
And if downtown's too far away for some-Gigahertz will be rocking the  Outta the Way Cafe which is definitely out there somewhere, but they are well worth the trip. (No cover)

All of the above shows are at all ages venues so now is the time to impress the younger set with the Power of Live Music up close and personal brought to you by Masters of Rock.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Talent Hunt- You Don't Have to Look Far

DC is full of small town joints with big city talents- you just need to know where to find them which is part of what DC ROCKS is all about- places like JV's and the Galaxy Hut, Velvet lounge and Rock and Roll Hotel. Write us here and tell us your favorite place to see really good music for little or no cover.

In the meantime- Thrilbilly Thursday is coming up at the Sunset Grille this week.

If you have no idea what that means- check out Chip Py's article "The Thrill Is Not Gone" from last week to get the scoop.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Jeff On Jeff

Here is the scoop from local film maker Jeff Krulik on local film maker Jeff Mentges:

" In the late 1980s, Jeff Mentges turned his attention from fronting infamous DC band No Trend to attending film school. Not content to graduate with a short film like the rest of his classmates, he decided to produce and direct a 16 mm narrative feature film. The result: OF FLESH AND BLOOD, a black-and-white noir retelling of porn star John Holmes' sordid descent into drugs, mayhem and murder. Shot for just $15K and featuring his former co-workers and denizens from Joe's Record Paradise, as well as beloved school janitor Al Breon in the starring role, the film had its grand premiere on August 15, 1990, at the Biograph Theater in Washington, DC. This special anniversary screening on Friday at   the AFI Silver Theater in Silver Spring is as much a celebration of low-budget 16mm independent film making before digital video took over as it is a 20-year reunion for everyone who was involved in making it happen.

Plus, for those NO TREND fans out there, now's your chance to meet Jeff Mentges, in a rare local appearance. Also invited is the entire cast and crew, including Dr. Joe Sasfy, Dick Bangham, Steve Lorber, Cha Cha Lemeaux and Brian Horrorwitz of The Ubangis."

Show time 9:30. Cash meet and greet before and after at the bar.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Thrill Is Not Gone by Chip Py

A lot has been said in the last few years about the future of Annandale's old hold out honkey tonk,The Sunset Grille, but one thing is certain: the future of fun begins most Thursday nights around 9. That's when Johnny Castle and his Thrillbillys take to the tiny stage and bring a huge sound to the tiny room. This month you can catch them next week on AUGUST 26th.

Johnny Castle has been playing the Sunset Grille on Thursday nights for over 18 years and one can tell that he feels at home there. First with Bill Kirchen's Too Much Fun and for the last six years with his own band Johnny Castle and The Thrillbillys.

Very few bands in the DC Area bring as much talent to the stage as this aptly named quartet. Most folks know of Johnny from his early days with Switchblade, his many years with Bill Kirchen and currently touring the world with DC's own Nighthawks.  Wammie Award winning Singer /Song writer, David Kitchen, is on guitar and vocals. David has been playing around town for years and heads up his own band The David Kitchen Band. Tearing it up on lead guitar and standing behind not one but two lap steel guitars is Andy Rutherford. Andy has been known to play with DC's own Kathy Ponton King and Ruthie and the Wranglers. Knocking it out behind these guys at the kit is Robbie Magruder. Robbie is known for his years with legend Roy Buchanan and ten years with Mary Chapin Carpenter.

But enough about the band, one couldn't describe Thrillbilly Thursdays without mentioning the scene. Many, many regulars line the bar and call themselves Grillbillys, and just about every night local musicians stop by to play a few with the band. Just this summer I have seen Esther Haynes, Mark Noone, Dave Chapel, JP McDermot and Andrea Leblanc perform impromptu with the band.

Fortunately this scene has been captured on Bloody Fingers Music 2006 Thrillbillys Live at The Sunset Grille  album and a much anticipated studio release from the band is coming out this fall.

So if you want to jump start your weekend on a Thursday night The Sunset Grille in Annandale is a great place to do this. It should be noted that while "The Grille" has had somewhat of a rowdy roadhouse reputation David Kitchen is quick to point out that "not a single fight has ever broken out while the Thrillbillys are on stage."

Friday, August 13, 2010

Party Like It's 1968

Joe Dolan of the Beatnik Flies has a new trick up his sleeve. Check out his latest band- The Vi-Kings which started out as a high school reunion  project, but turned into something  too good to abandon after just one gig. Here's the scoop from Joe:

"The VI-Kings are finally doing our debut full fledged rock show this Saturday, Aug 14th at Bangkok Blues. The VI-Kings are Stock Wilson, Bill Euler, Matt Maury, Rob Howe, Rob Fisher and myself. Bill, Stock, Matt and I go back to the Junior High teen club scenes of Pyle and Western. We play all 60s rock-what we consider the coolest songs, both hits and non hits. Lots of Stones, Yard Birds, Kinks and Dylan to name a few.

We will be one man short because Bill has fallen ill.  All  proceeds will go towards his recovery. Bill and I go back to 1965 when we both played in The Blue Diamonds, a teen club band from Pyle Junior High. Starting the VI-Kings with all these old rock friends has been like a dream come true."

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A Very Small Big Show

The Very Small have been out on tour for the past two weeks, but they're coming home this FRIDAY to play at the Velvet Lounge. They've got a lot of sound for a small band, and  these guys look like they may know a thing or two about having fun.  They're playing with Social Hero from New York and local band Trif Store Magic.  Check 'em out.

Girl Rock

The boys of The Black Sparks rocked Fort Reno this week, but this weekend the girls get a chance to shine. Girls Rock!DC is a non- profit program staffed by volunteers dedicated to giving young girls a chance to play in rock bands with no apologies. Check out their site to learn more, or better yet come to their performance this Saturday at 11 AM when they take the coveted stage of the 9:30 Club.

$10 admission to support the mission- kids 12 and under free.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Fort Reno's Last Stand

Pint sized punk rockers - The Black Sparks  stole the show at Fort Reno Tuesday night with their complete devotion to energy through music. Indeed, we at DC ROCKS think they may have stolen the entire summer, but veteran DC rockers The Nighthawks have a chance to steal it back this THURSDAY.
The Hawks will be  returning to hold down the fort for the first time in something like 35 years. This is the LAST show of the season so please buy a Fort Reno t shirt while you are there to help get things rolling next year. Only $10 and you can help support a whole summer of music.

(Get there EARLY, y'all. Parking very very limited due to construction zones all around Wilson High school.)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Ft. Reno Tonight - A Truly All Ages Show

I'm going to Ft. Reno tonight to see bands that include a friend I've known the longest and a friend I've only known for 12 years because that's how old he is. That's Danny Ingram in Dot Dash and Ray Brown in The Black Sparks. The Public Good round off the line-up. Shows start at 7 and end at 9:30 and it's a great summer evening spot for everyone. You can find Ft. Reno near the Tenleytown Metro stop or via via 30's Metrobus. Feet, bikes and cars also get you there.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Haskett & Sansyou - Acoustic Mayhem Sunday by Lyn2

Check out Chris Haskett and Sansyou at the Galaxy Hut this Sunday night. Both conduct acoustic experimentation, a perfect activity for a hot summer Sunday evening. Sansyou includes 6 and 12 string guitars, cello and percussion and hail from Fairfax. Haskett hails from the Universe, but we claim him as our own. He can't help it that his compositions turn themselves into songs about cats.

Galaxy Hut can be found on Wilson Boulevard near Clarendon Metro. It's cozy, has good food and beer, a welcoming atmosphere, and the cover is always just $5.

Girls Rock DC Correction

The Girls Rock DC 9:30 concert is Saturday August 14- not this Saturday.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Hula Hump Day

It's August. Things slow down- people leave town, and sneaking out mid week might be a lot easier this month.

Hula Monsters- Maryland's answer to the 49th State- will swing the Columbia Lakefront this Wednesday evening 8-10. See 'em while you can as their public gigs are not so common lately. Not to mention this one, like the Aloha Spirit, is FREE.