Wednesday, June 13, 2012

DC ROCKS Summer Break

Summer is upon us.

Schools are out as of this Thursday in the District and just hatched graduates are already wreaking havoc in places like Ocean City and the Tastee Diner. "Sometimes things are slightly wonderful" as our friends in 7 Door Sedan would sing and "other days you have..."
Well, they leave it at that.

Mosquitoes are already ravenous, and threatening to take over DC. Ants have raised a tiny flag on my roof declaring the house a 24 hour cafeteria. The heat and humidity are pretty much only good for growing tomatoes and chia pets, but the weirdly warm winter did produce perks such as an abundance of mint which came in handy for the Mint Julep/ Mojito cocktail clash on Cinco de Mayo/ Derby Day this year.

Beaches beckon, and life does slow down as Congress empties out, and tourists wander in.  There's usually a breeze down at Fletcher's even on the hottest days, and there's plenty of free music out there this time of year including DC ROCKS' favorite venue Fort Reno which is off and running starting Monday, June 18th.

 Please note: DC ROCKS will miss Fort Reno's opening day as well as a good part of the next 10 days here on line due to that other slightly wonderful thing- Summer Vacation. Please feel free to post about upcoming concerts or other things DC centric, on the face book page.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

A Refuge for Writer's Block

I'm fond of Busboys and Poets because it's one of the few places I know where the hostess gives you the option of eating at a table with chairs or a couch. Big or small, it's nice to have choices in life, and Busboys and Poets offers variety: part bookstore, part bar, part cafe, but perhaps most importantly, it's a place to gather with a big room set aside for parties, readings and music.

I'm also fond of  George Pelecanos, a prolific and talented local writer that uses the real Washington as his location- a place which tourists and national politicians rarely see. Monday evening George will be reading from his book The Cut at Busboys and Poets' original store on 14th and V N.W. at 7:30 p.m.
(And if you can't make it to this event, look for George later this month out in Hyattsville.)

Friday, June 8, 2012

Don't Wait 'Til The Thrill Is Gone

(Photo courtesy of Google Maps with Tom Cruise sitting in?)

Sometimes places are here for so long that you forget that they are still in existence. This could well be the case for Hank Dietles' Tavern on the Rockville Pike- one of those endangered species type bars that qualify for the Genuine Dive Status Requirements as follows:

1. There's a real good chance it's older than you are.

2. It's about the size of a large shed.

3. Modern stuff like a sound system and a flat screen TV may have  been added, but here's more important criteria:

A gum ball machine? Check

Old wooden booths? Check.

Plastic lawn chairs on site? Check.

4. And this- this might be the MOST important thing of all....It still has a phone booth. ( Yes, a very small enclosed confined space dedicated to the task of communicating with other humans for a small fee using a blunt instrument which we once called a "pay phone.")

Where better to see a band that's been around long enough to use pay phones and be packed with atmosphere and talent.  Catch the raw and powerful Johnny Castle with his Thrillbillys this SUNDAY evening at this classic dive starting at 5 p.m. (Early enough to have your fun and not be late enough to regret your choice on  Monday morning.)

Update- JUNE 8th:
Sadly- inexplicably- the phone booth has gone with the winds of change. Just another sad reminder to catch what you can when you can. On the flip side this reporter walked into Hank Dietles' tonight and found Billy Hancock playing a killer set with Warner Williams, plus Mark Noone, formerly of the Slickee Boys, sitting in for two songs. Enough said?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Art is Where It's At

If you haven't had a chance to check out ARTOMATIC,  Saturday might be a good time to get over there. Evening events include "Zombie Prom Night," plus our friends in Dear Season and 7 Door Sedan are just two of the bands on the bill for that evening's entertainment. But music is only part of what goes on here. A massive amount of energy has been poured into this temporary station for the mildly insane including workshops for all ages, talks and demonstrations, wine tastings and performances. Meet all kinds of area artists who are volunteering, exhibiting, teaching and creating mayhem- a refreshing detour from the usual.

Artomatic runs every day except Monday and Tuesday through June 23rd opening at noon.