Thursday, April 26, 2012

Red Flag Warning this Saturday

What can happen when The Yachtsmen, those preppy inmates of Gilligan's Island, meet up with Igor and the Red Elvises at IOTA this Saturday? Nothing more than barely contained international insanity disguised as a really fun rock show.
What to drink?
Why, what else but vodka martinis, darling?

9 p.m. and only $15 rocks the boat at the door.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Spark Up a Tuesday Night in Takoma Park

Once upon a time The Electric Maid was a diner in Takoma Park where Mark's Kitchen is now, but the sign has moved around the corner to a place with no connection to the little eatery.
Electric Maid these days is a space for art and performance, and this TUESDAY The Black Sparks will definitely rock this space. If you haven't had a chance to see this very young punk band, take an aspiring musician and check them out. Their age does not define their talent. EARLY EARLY show starts at 6 p.m.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

High Jinks At Quarry House

Here's a show that nobody's going to sit still for: The Ubangis* and Jumpin Jupiter at the Quarry House this Saturday night. Both bands have more energy than a barrel  full of monkeys in a hen house full of hungry poultry chasing June bugs. Or perhaps think jungle drums meet Elvis. Did I mention high jinks and shenanigans?

These are seriously crazy bands at a tiny venue where somebody's sure to lose an eye, but hey, it's sure to be good (almost clean) fun.

********Ubangis had to cancel due to illness, but Jumpin Jupiter will still go on****************

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Captured By Pirates

A lot of music rolls across DC ROCKS's desk, but now and then a band really catches our attention, and We Were Pirates is one of those bands. Their CD "Change" has been in heavy rotation in the DC ROCKS office this past month. Check out their somewhat haunting and captivating pop sound yourself THIS FRIDAY when they play with Dance for the Dying, Tomio and The Silver Liners at the Rock n Roll Hotel on H Street NE. Just ten bucks for live human bands playing all night long.

For those of you looking for something a little less urban, Cravin' Dogs will be playing the Friday Night Eclectic series at the Strathmore Mansion which is a fun place to hang out and pretend you live in high on the hog.  $10 in advance/ $12 at the door.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Man with the Ankh

If you have ever frequented the Galaxy Hut, then you've most probably encountered Art Daniels in one of  his roles as bouncer, door man, sound man and bartender. Art has been there through two owners, and maintains a sense of calm and decorum which permeates the room. What brought Art and his beatific smile here to this tiny place, and what keeps him here? I suspect the music, and Art is a music maker himself.

This MONDAY evening look for  The Art Daniels Band. appearing with The Curious Mystery at the Galaxy Hut.  Hopefully you all were unaware that taxes are not due until April 17th this year so you will have already dealt with that mess early.


Friday, April 13, 2012

Easter Redux Depending on Your Moon or Song of the Month

DC Rocks has come to an understanding with itself that it needs something new now and then to keep things interesting. And though we don't do reviews here, I can make up the rules as we go along and have decided to create a Local Song of the Month column to shed a bit of light on local music for all you shut ins who cannot get out as often as you'd like.

April's selection is "Matter and Light" by Marshall Keith - a song that fits in with this mystical season of natural and spiritual renewal when seemingly dead things come back to life. I take some delight in the fact that Easter,  the most important date on the Christian calendar, still bows to Mother Nature, and therefore must fall on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the Vernal Equinox. (No wonder it's so hard to keep track of Mardi Gras.)

And to further muddy the holy waters, here comes Greek Easter which will take place this weekend. The Greeks like to use an astronomical full moon and a Gregorian calendar just to keep everybody guessing and practicing their algorithms.  This is why I shy away from organized religion which has way too many rules and exclusion clauses.

And so it was a Sunday when I first listened to Marshall's CD Roadside Shrine, and my first thought was to take a nap. I figured I'd lay down on the couch, take in the music and fall into a lovely stupor. But the music was too powerful; I had to sit up, entranced, with both my eyes and ears wide open.

"Matter and Light" is my favorite track on this CD, and what I refer to as my kind of church music though not in the traditional sensibility of 100 years of boring. This is a song which feeds and soothes the angst filled modern soul and gives us the possibility of renewal just like Spring.

Give it a listen and see what you think.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Please Make It Stop

Taxes and Death. Here we go again. Nothing puts a pall on a weekend like the thought of sitting down with yourself, adding up what you are worth and forking part of that over to Uncle Sam (who we think might drink a bit despite his best intentions to take care of business).  Still distractions abound this SATURDAY with a rather astounding mix of music on a single night -mostly for free.

Chopteeth brings its multinational groove to IOTA in Arlington with enough people in the band to make it a party wherever they go. Over in Bethesda there are two shows to check out: long time local rockers The Loggers plan to take over Parker's and for all you Dead heads, The Black Muddy River Band is over at the Mussell Bar taking no prisoners. If you want to go a little further afield, you'll find Cream inspired  GHZ at Outta the Way Cafe in delightful downtown Derwood- well worth the drive if you can find it on the map. Last but certainly not least check out this hardcore line up featuring Scream playing a benefit at St Stephen's Church in Mt Pleasant:

All shows are tax free and non deductible unless you happen to be a band member. No cover at Outta the Way, Mussel Bar and Parker's. IOTA $15. Scream just $10- a benefit for DC Jobs With Justice so
if you donate more you can write it off next year.

Monday, April 9, 2012

I Was So Much Older Then

DC ROCKS started as an experimental writing exercise, but early on the topic of music dominated this page,  perhaps because I used to do music reviews or maybe because I've always been surrounded by music living in this town. This week alone, DC's musical past rears up to nip our brains with no less than three events exploring just how rich our history is.

First the Arlington Central Library has a punk rock exhibit being established by an anonymous curator who was deep into the scene back in The Day including a large selection of posters and other collectibles. In keeping with the theme,  the library will be showing the documentary "Instrument-Ten Years with the Band Fugazi" on April 18th at 7 p.m.

Coming up this Wednesday evening-this month's DC Music Salon topic is concentrating on the notable bluegrass scene here. The salon will include stories from local musicians including Tom Gray of The Seldom Scene and the Country Gentleman, and ethnomusicologist Kip Lornell, as well as film clips of local bands and more. 7-9 p.m. at The Shaw Library.

Lastly our local rock curators- film maker, Jeff Krulik and writer, Mark Opsasnick are giving a presentation on the History of Rock and Roll in Prince George's County (1950s-1970s) this Friday evening at the College Park Arts Exchange on Knox Road. Topics include everything from teen dances at the Hyattsville Armory to rock shows at The Varsity Grill and Richie Stadium. The event starts at 7:30 p.m., but seating is very limited.

Both the DC Salon and College Park events are interactive so listeners as well as talkers are welcome.
All three of these events are labors of love, free, and open to the public.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Breeding Lilacs Out of the Dead

Spring in Washington is a wonderful thing to behold. This year has been especially spectacular and bewildering-a virtual Venn diagram of flummoxed flora; tulips blooming with azaleas, daffodils overlapping roses and my collards just exploded. Cherry blossoms came and went faster than you could say tour bus while last year's old leaves continue to cling.

This weekend Passover begins, and Easter crops up on top of that, but for those seeking relief from ritual, two shows are flanking the egg hunts: King Soul is back* at Hill Country BBQ to save your souls on Saturday night, and our old favorite Prabir, with his new band Goldrush, will be at my favorite little escape from this world-The Galaxy Hut on Sunday night with local companion band The NRIs

King Soul = No Cover
Galaxy Hut charges its standard $5 shipping cost for all live shows.
Both a bargain!

*King Soul fans beware- if you've been meaning to go- this is their last gig at Hill Country until fall.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A Different Kind of Rock Show

The first and last time I went to Carderock to rock climb, I was sixteen. It was a cold and grey December day, and my boyfriend and his friends wanted to teach me the ropes. ( ha ha) I was halfway up the cliff when I learned that clinging to unforgiving stone by my fingernails was not my idea of fun. Still it's a beautiful and a wonderful place. Yesterday was particularly spectacular with the temperature around 70 under a cloudless sky.

Hard to believe the city is only fifteen minutes down the road, and suburbia sprawls all around here, but  Carderock provides a perfect little Spring break and a chance to come eye to eye with a frog a world away from DC's chattering talking heads.