Thursday, February 24, 2011

Take A Hike

Want to check out something different this Saturday?

Midnight Hike is having their CD Release Show at the Rock and Roll Hotel

The guys from Midnight Hike have been together since 2008, and they describe their music as "highly potent alt-rock songs... deeply rooted in their belief that it should take you to places that you may not otherwise venture...kinda like a midnight."
Also on the bill are The Cheaters, The Method and Power Pirate

All ages rock show. Starts round 8.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Stellar Line Up at Sunset This Thurday

Whatever the rumors swirling around the Sunset Grille closing, this place has to be seen to be believed, especially when the roof is being blown off by the talent that regularly plays there. Past shows have featured Bill Kirchen, The Thrillbillys and The Rhodes Tavern Troubadours.

Though Thursday nights at the Grille never fail to deliver, this week an unusual dream band is taking place. David Kitchen has lined up no less than Dan Hovey, Jack O' Dell and Mac Cridlin to hit the stage with him.

If you don't know these names, 
check out this show,
and you will.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Artisphere Swings Winter Wednesdays

Wednesday brings you a choice these days.
You can:
stay home and check weather patterns for February,
clean out your closet,
start your taxes
throw caution to the wind and put on your dancing shoes.

Yes, shun the galoshes. The award winning group Natty Beaux is this Wednesday's band at the Artisphere Dance in Rosslyn. Parking's free and the dance is just $15- well worth the price of not pulling your hair out in the face of mid winter malaise.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The State of Rock Revealed at the Wammies Tonight

Tonight WAMA- the Washington Area Music Association recognizes DC area musicians' talent by handing out awards and putting on a show at the great old State Theater in Falls Church. WAMA is a non profit organization powered by volunteers and dedicated to all who are involved in local music . Tonight's celebration will honor the late  Dave Giegerich, beloved leader of the Hula Monsters . Monsters old and new are expected on stage, but the categories of musicians being recognized this evening are vast from Hip Hop to Bluegrass, and everything in between. DC ROCKS sends out a hearty salute to all those on tonight's ballot, but here's a story of one rather young nominee from DC ROCKS' photographer Chip Py:

 “Hey Robbie, that kid is going to get up on stage with you during the second set.” I said.

“Oh good. I’m gonna like that,” Robbie Magruder said as he dumped his smoldering Marlboro  into the Eco Friendly ash tray on the deck of the Old Town Bowie Grill thus ending the Thrillbillys' first set break.

That was huge understatement coming from Robbie Magruder. Many DC music fans know Robbie from his many years as Mary Chapin Carpenter’s drummer, but few are still around to recall when Robbie banged  the drums for guitar virtuoso Roy Buchanan. Robbie is happiest on stage when he is banging out the blues.

Let me back up to a bit. The Thrillbillys were playing one of their rare gigs beyond the famed and often doomed Sunset Grille in Annandale.  The band is a side project for Nighthawks' bassist and Bill Kirchen’s former side man- Johnny Castle.  David Kitchen, Andy Rutherford and Robbie Magruder play in this band as well- not because any of these musicians needs the work; they play  because they flat out like to.

The Old Town Bowie Grill was packed for the Friday night show. The bouncer asked if I had a reservation for a table. “ No," I said, "but I'm comfortable standing in the corner, near the stage. Better for shooting.”  I showed him my worn out Nikon, now being held together with duct tape.
As I took my place near the corner of the stage, I noticed a teenager with a  huge red Afro eating dinner with his parents. I had seen this kid around at a few shows and had heard he could play guitar, but had never stuck around to hear him.

When The Thrillbillys came off stage for their first break, I asked Johnny Castle if he knew who he was. Johnny told me he was Andy Poxon, and  that he had sat in with The Nighthawks a few times.

“Is he going to get up on stage with you guys tonight?” I asked.

“He might,” Johnny replied grabbing a pen to go autograph CDs. 

I turned to Thrillbilly’s Guitarist David Kitchen and said “Would you ask him if he'd get on stage?” David obliged and went over to the table. Minutes later Andy was heading out to the car to get his guitar.

At first I thought Andy was a little lost on the stage. He stayed in the back corner and  seemed somewhat in awe of Johnny Castle’s dramatic bass solos. He threw in just a short lick or two, messing nervously with knobs on his amp as the veterans swapped leads. But by the second song, Lee Dorsey’s “Ride The Pony,” Poxon stepped up and proved himself. Not only did he throw in his own licks, but he picked up where Andy Rutherford and David Kitchen left off, and took it further still. Musically he was now standing parallel with some of the best musicians DC has to offer.
The audience responded.  A waitress grabbed a tambourine from somewhere and danced around the club throwing in her own percussion. Everyone was on their feet!

It was a great night.

Andy Poxin is just 16 years old and nominated for three Wammys.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Nils Was Here

I remember the summers of the  mini Woodstock-like concerts at Strathmore - especially one of the last which was a tribute to Nils Lofgren. That evening the sidewalks of the Pike were lined with aging hipsters carting lawn chairs and coolers, steadfastly heading towards the hill. (Boy, was it ever hard to park!)
But like all good things, cranky neighbors put the kibosh on big outdoor events. Since then Strathmore has built a truly state of the art theater while still maintaining the historic mansion that gave them their legacy as an arts venue. And Metro has a huge parking lot adjacent to the site.

This Monday Strathmore is holding an open house celebrating the guitar. Things get rolling at 11 a.m., and all events are free including two sets from the Rhodes Tavern Troubadours.

Jake Flack- guitar player for the RTTs puts it this way:
"Attention lovers of rock 'n' roll and presidential remembrance.  Combine your two passions and celebrate the President's Day with The RTTs
We'll be playing not one, but two action packed shows:

The RTTs play 1:15 – 2:00 pm in the Mansion Music Room for kids of all ages.

The Rhodes Tavern Troubadours play 3:15-4:00 in the Music Center Concert Hall for the masses.
  It will be like the NSO but without the violins, tuxedos and musical training."

This is a great opportunity to check out an amazing place- perhaps Rockville at its best- if you don't count F. Scott Fitzgerald's grave just down the road.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Get On the Rock Bus at The Quarry

Driving down Georgia Avenue, The Quarry House is a hard place to spot. For one thing it's located underground, and for another, last time I looked- it didn't even have a sign. So look for Bombay Gaylord's on the corner of Bonifant and Georgia to get a clue of where to go for Saturday night's show with Jumpin' Jupiter and Monsters fron the Surf.

Jumpin Jupiter is one of those bands you hope to find in a dive like the Quarry House- an energy driven rock band whose influences include:

"Beef brisket pie to delight the eye,
Hot sausage soup to make you cry."

I mean what's not to love?

And the absolute madness continues with Monsters from the Surf, often found on the Bohemian Party Vessel, this East Coast surf band comes roaring out of the garage to mix up a lot of fun.

This show is not recomended for the acoustic minded among you, but if you are ready to rock, no matter what age, then find your place in the universe here.

Do you Know What It Means Y'all?

Mardi Gras is late, late late this year- not until March 8th- but the season started as always on January 6th. Are you behind in getting your Carnival groove on? Make up for it this Saturday night at The Bayou when Little Red and the Renegades take over the joint.(All of you old DC rockers- no- this isn't a flashback to the club that once lurked under the Whitehurst Freeway.)

The Bayou got a pretty decent write up in the Post, and Renegade Harry Rado says this place serves up po' boys with bread flown in directly from New Orleans.
So if you can't get there...try here.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Make a Deal with the Jelly Roll Mortals

I saw the Jelly Roll Mortals at the PG Pool a few summers ago. They're a talented bunch of fun, but it's their description on facebook that makes them perfect for a Saturday night show at Greenbelt's New Deal Cafe: " Jelly Roll Mortals are a DC-area collision of after-the-fall musical vagabonds." Who wouldn't want to check that out?

The show is this Saturday, February 12 from 8 - 11 pm at the New Deal Cafe in Old Greenbelt. We told you a little about history and the cafe back in April.


Dig the Groove at the Drumming Up From Poverty Benefit

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

More Than Honorable Mention

Honor By August started out in Washington, but after winning a contest, and playing at 9:30 Club, they've opened for all kinds of bands in all kinds of venues, garnering a lot of good press on both coasts. Back here now on the Atlantic side of the country, they'll be playing IOTA both Friday and Saturday nights this weekend.

The new and much improved IOTA has a great selection of beers on tap, and in case you need somewhere to recover the day after, try their killer brunch menu and Bloody Mary bar which is available until 3 p.m. on weekends.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Little Punks

What is under four feet tall, has dozen of eyes, jumps up and down, and screams like the Beatles just came back to town?

Answer: the mosh pit at the Avalon Theater at 10 a.m. this Saturday morning when the RTTs rock the very underage very early.

Add popcorn and their new EP to the mix, and you have yourself a fracas.

What a Band Can Do

 The Vi-kings started out as a Whitman High School reunion party band, but has morphed into a 1960s time warp machine which now includes our own DC drumming legend Bob Berberich.  (formerly of Grin and the Hangman) Throw in Joe Dolan from the Beatnik Flies, Stock Wilson, Bill Euler and Matthew Maury and you have a lot of music going on- plus everybody in this band sings which is always a bonus. Vi-Kings have been happily selling out small venues around town so make a reservation if you want to be sure to get into the show this Saturday night at Bangkok Blues.

Rock and Roll at the Hotel

Rock and Roll is nothing if not creative especially on the grass roots level. And DC has more than its fair share of veteran rockers and brand new acts. This Saturday night why not check out something completely different when four original bands take over the Rock and Roll Hotel. Even the names are off the wall:

The Very Small

7 Door Sedan

No Compromise

and Savage Badger Vags.

Once again a lot of music for a very small amount of money.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Rhyme Time @ Iota and Red Hens at Big Hunt

Maybe it's impending Valentine's Day, or maybe it's this relentless winter weather, but suddenly poetry is in the air this week. Thursday night check out Poetry Night at IOTA with 3 bands playing after: Greenland, Laughing Man and Black Telephone.

Or go see the Red Hen Press authors reading their poetry at one of DC's more eclectic bars- the Big Hunt on Friday night.

One writer, Steve Kistulentz (a.k.a. Steve K. of the Vinyl Gentlemen and the Bomb Pops) alerted us to this event because his poetry might ring a bell for DC ROCKS' readers:

He writes: "The opening section of the book has quite a bit about DC. In fact, one of the poems in it is called Places That Are Gone. It's really a tribute to all the friends that we've lost over the years, especially folks like Sandy Seay, Adam Rutland, Bob Dotolo, and many of the fine 9:30 Club folk that helped us on many a night."

Both events start at 7 p.m.

Folk Out

James Hill
Eric Brace & Peter Cooper
with Mike Auldridge

Wednesday, February 2 - 7:30 pm
Takoma Park Community Center
7500 Maple Ave. Takoma Park, MD

James Hill