Thursday, November 29, 2012

Pining for Music?

Here's a concert that could be worth the drive to Damascus- especially if you are in the mood to go upcountry and pick up something large and green to drag inside as a seasonal sacrifice to the gods of colored lights. And if you do go- I'd get there early; it's a little place for a big show.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Old Flyer But Bethesda Still Going

It's about twenty years too late to go see this show, but there's still music in Bethesda.
The Dupont Circles take their garage psychedelic sound to the Harp and Fiddle this Thursday evening. If the genre seems familiar, so might the venue which once was the Psyche Deli back in the days when Bethesda had more than a few little dive bars and a lot of more night life.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thank You DC

Thanks Washington for keeping me writing.

Thanks for being such a small town that while I'm in line to vote, I meet the woman who bought Julia Childe's Washington home.  (And thank you NPR for throwing recordings of Julia on the radio just about every Thanksgiving. )

Thanks for warm golden days this late in November.

Thanks for my DC born parents who managed to pull together a Thanksgiving dinner for 40 some people for 40 some years even though it included my father doggedly staying out to rake leaves until dark which drove my mother up one wall and down the other.

Thank you for bands like The Thrillbillys who are playing JV's on Thanksgiving itself for all of those who really, really want to do something else. Plus:  The Grandsons have their annual Wolf Trap thing with special guests Derek Huston and Jon Carroll on Friday night. The ever nimble fingered Dan Hovey's at the Quarry House on Saturday.

And thanks to all of you who keep reading. You'll never know how much you all keep me going.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Rats WIn

Dear Readers, 

We have a winner in the DC Rocks' Dive Bar Story Contest.  After reading all the entries with identifying bands and names removed, an independent panel voted unanimously for Anthony Piazza's rodent infested tale which happened at the old 9:30 Club on F Street:

Sometime in the mid-eighties my band, Eubie Hayve was playing the club. We were hanging out in the basement dressing room enjoying the beer and pizza the club had graciously provided. We decided to save most of the pizza for after the show, and we all headed upstairs to play our set. I was the last one out, and halfway up the stairs, I realized I had forgotten something, guitar picks, cigarettes, I can't remember. But when I went back down into that dressing room, only 30 seconds or so after leaving, the table with the pizza box was covered in rats tearing it to bits!!! In fact there were rats everywhere, crawling over our clothes, on the backs of the chairs, and on all of our belongings. We made it a point to never eat food or leave anything we cared about down there again---ever!!!

Congratulations, Tony. You survived that night, and you've won two tickets to see X at the new non- rat infested 9:30 Club. Thanks to everyone who wrote in and a special shout out to Kendall Church who came in second with this memory:

I was playing drums with my band The Nuclear Crayons. I wasn't sure if, with our approach,that was rather outside even for punk, that we had reached our audience at the Dirty Thirty....That is until a really stunning young girl with dark hair and miniskirt came directly up to me in the front hall of the club. She smiled, planted one right on my lips, and then handed me a small piece of leopard-print stationary with her phone number on it. I knew right then that not only did God not hate me, but playing drums in a punk band was the exact right thing that I should be doing!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Write Now Rock Later

Kids, be sure and get your homework done. Enter the contest to win tickets to the upcoming X and Reverend Horton Heat show now so you can go out this weekend and raise hell. The Vi-kings are at Clyde's and Jumpin Jupiter's at Iota on FridayHard Core Troubadours are playing rockabilly Saturday at Quarry House or catch Soul Gravity at Clare and Don's on the Virginia side of things.

Contest ends at midnight Friday November 16. Pencils down.

Monday, November 12, 2012

DC ROCKS 9:30 Club Ticket Give Away


DC ROCKS likes old dive bars.  Their atmosphere can't be manufactured even though the experience might include uneven sound and a decent chance of being christened by your neighbor's beer while watching a band. The flip side is being able to hear live music for little or no cover, and usually being able to worm your way up front. The 9:30 Club used to meet all these qualifications and then some. We called it "the dirty thirty," and the rats that cohabited the space were legendary, but the club was magical, the shows sometimes historic.  In 1996 The 9:30 moved from its namesake address at 930 F Street to occupy the WUST Radio Music Hall on V Street. The original back bar was installed in the basement of the new club, and if you go down there you'll get a sense of what the old place was like- kind of dark and a little bit scary

But upstairs is nothing like the old club. Upstairs is a premiere venue for bands with an outstanding sound system, two floors of watching and three huge bars. One thing that does remain the same: some of the bands that played the old space still play the new including X and the Reverend Horton Heat. For those of you still reading this post, your reward is a chance to win tickets for this show at the (new) 9:30 Club on December 4. To win send an email to Put "Ticket Contest" in the subject heading and include a short anecdote about the old club, or about your favorite DC dive. The winner will receive a pair of tickets and have their anecdote published in DC ROCKS. Contest ends at midnight Friday, November 16.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Beleive in Hank

photo by DC Rocks

Seeing is believing as the old adage barks, and only  people who have been to Hank Dietle's Tavern can truly believe it. The first amazing thing is that the Rockville Hank Dietle's is still there. This tiny bar has survived the over developed Rockville Pike since 1955, and remains almost unchanged although the inside phone booth seems to have gone missing. Another unbelievable thing  is the musicians who play there. One night last spring, we walked in to find Billy Hancock holding forth in the corner.

If you want to become a believer, make your pilgrimage this Sunday when The Thrillbillys cross the mighty Potomac to give Virgina-phobes a chance to come out of hiding.
EARLY early show 5-9 p.m.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Just Not Sayin

I'm not plugging the Marshall Keith/ Ubangis show at the Quarry House this Saturday because it's going to be crowded and fun no matter what I say even though last time I looked there was still no sign indicating that an unmarked slightly creepy stairwell under Bombay Gaylord's leads to two overstuffed rooms full of laughing people, good music, plenty of beer and fried pickles. I'm not.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

DC Votes ?

Greetings from the territory known as the District of Columbia. We may not have a legal voice in Congress, but at least we have a very cool flag which became official in 1938 and was based on George Washington's coat of arms. 

It's election day, and though we have the right to vote for president, our ballot is pretty dang skimpy since Congress thinks collecting taxes without representation from us is A-OKAY.  Congress people also like to talk about how anti- Washington they are even while they are campaigning to come here to clog up the streets so I'm not sure why we want one of our own, but we do. (That being said, I want to thank Eleanor Holmes Norton for taking on what might be the epitome of a thankless job.)

My son, who is extremely politically aware, told me he considers his vote is pointless, but he voted anyway just for the absolute thrill of it, and I relieved he feels that way. Maybe one day he will believe his voice really does matter, and maybe it will be his generation that finally brings about that right to all of the denizens of DC.

In the meantime we still have a very cool flag.

Library of Congress 1938