Wednesday, February 29, 2012
It's been a while since Ginger Baker, Jack Bruce and Eric Clapton gave us the sound that only a band named Cream could deliver. I was fourteen when I first discovered the "Tales of Brave Ulysses" mural painted on an inner wall of a hen house, but that's another story.
Ten odd years later, after the band broke up, I remember sitting on the floor of a party somewhere in the wilds of College Park listening to "Disraeli Gears" while guys spoke in rapturous tones about the meaning of the songs and the guitar solos, and all that stuff men love to dissect.
Even now- type the word "cream" into the Google image search box, and three pictures of the band crop up before there's one of a dairy product. The guys in Gigahertz understand all this, and they not only bring the music of those times back, but sometimes offer originals which can be a seamless fit. Come see them this Friday in DC's very cool new venue- The Hamilton. Unlike most places DC ROCKS covers, this joint is not a dive. It's not even a joint. I would have to call it a performance space with the night club downstairs and a very uptown dining room plus more bars upstairs all contained within the walls of what was the grand old Garfinkle's Department Store on 14th and F NW.
Opening band- The Yachtsmen, the closest Mark Noone (former Slickee Boy) can get to playing rock originals on Gilligan's Island, has got to be seen to be believed.
All this for a rock bottom cover of $5 at the door.
Show starts at 8:30 p.m.
Friday, February 24, 2012
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Thursday, February 9, 2012
DC is a relatively small town with a big music scene...a big fat incestuous music scene as far as bands go.
This Friday see what I mean at IOTA when The Rhodes Tavern Troubadours open for King Soul, and don't be surprised if you see three of those Troubadours in soul suits later on in the night.
It's just a DC party kind of thing with good music all around.
Saturday, February 4, 2012
Thursday, February 2, 2012
Driving down Route One from College Park to the District is not the most scenic of journeys.
The landscape mostly consists of suburban sprawl- even when you cross into the city. Not much changes except for the names of the road, but there are places to fortify your soul for this journey.
Anyone who attended the University of Maryland since 1950 may or may not remember wandering into the lounge side of Town Hall Liquors. Here Route One is Baltimore Avenue, and last week brought me back to this place- now an outstanding landmark for me because all of the other watering holes I knew-the Varsity Grill, Italian Gardens and even the Rendezvous are gone.
Town Hall has a slightly scary feel from the outside, but the inside remains virtually unchanged since visits during my college career in the late 1970s. Dead animal heads and aquatic type trophies still decorate the walls. The booths look original as does the vomit proof concrete floor. It can basically be described as a drinking bunker with pool and pinball. And prices couldn't be more reasonable with or without happy hour specials. (One hand written poster proclaimed: Knob Creek $3 on Wednesdays!) There is no way to further describe this place without resorting towards ugly, but it's a mooring to the past where you can dock yourself at the bar and hoist one to the Terrapin.
A little less than three miles down the road, Franklin's Brewery and General Store in Hyattsville is now a favorite for those in need of fresh beer and decent grub. With one foot in the past, the building dates back to the 1890s, but slightly ahead of its time, Franklin's began producing its own beer and good food in 2002. The recipes are a success. Happy hour is every day from 4-6, but towards the week's end, evenings are generally PACKED with very happy patrons- families and students alike. Although the beer menu changes according to what's being brewed-the quality does not.
If you have a driver, from Franklin's you have to jog back north just a bit on Route One to the first right which gets you onto Route One Alternate South or Bladensburg Road. ( I told you you'd need a driver now.) Our next stop- again only about 3 miles- is DC Brau one of only two breweries located within the confines of the District of Columbia. This is not a pub, but the brewery is open for tours, tastings and growler fillings most Saturdays usually from 1-4. It's a bit hard to find- but their website shows the secret passage to get you behind the post office. The beer is DC centric- owned by DC guys with DC pride- and it's a dang good potation on top of all that.