Friday, March 29, 2013

Easter Prank

Some people do Easter. Some people do not. I for one am excited this year because every time Orthodox Easter happens later than regular old Easter, we Greeks get to run out and snap up all the good chocolate deals the next day. Whatever you are doing this Sunday, make sure to remember to plan your April Fool's Day prank, and if you want to go out and do something different  The Highballers- an alt country kind of thing- are playing at  IOTA opening for Rachel Brooke. 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Rock Plus Roll on Saturday

The DC Jitters (does the band Going Going Gone ring a bell?) are revving up this Saturday at the Majestic in Bethesda. Once known as the Shambells- people in this band have been around the block a couple times and may have learned a thing or two about playing music.  Along those lines if you missed the sold out Vi-kings show last week, here's your second chance. They'll be at the Quarry House. No cover and quite groovy.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Sometimes On A Sunday

Sundays always struck fear in my heart dating back to the third grade when Mrs Jackson ruled my world. (We called her Battle-Ax Jackson) My classmates knew we were in for it when we came back from recess one day, and she'd overturned some poor kid's desk because she thought it was too messy. That woman scared the pants off everyone. And Sunday night meant there was only so much time left to do homework. On Monday mornings my solution would often be to fake a stomach ache.  My mom usually relented, but my dad would see right through me and make me go to school. Then I'd get in trouble both for not finishing my homework and for being late. Thank god that's over.

Instead of feeling scared and depressed on Sunday, now I can try and shake those old psychic chains by going out to take in a show. Bars are less crowded, and usually set  times start earlier than over the weekend. This Sunday rock blues influenced DC veterans The Nighthawks will be out at the Golden Bull in Gaithersburg. Here in town the Grogan Social Scene- an indie kind of folk alt rock poetic band will be at DC9. (We here at DC ROCKS try to get in all the musical genre adjectives.) The Galaxy Hut in Arlington has bands only on Sundays and Mondays so that's often worth looking into. Beats doing homework any night of the week.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Wudda Ya Have?

This Saturday there's a full smorgasbord of musical choices out there and pretty much no excuse to stay at home now that Spring has arrived. DC has every flavor of sound. Looking for rockabilly?  A garage-surf band? Try the Quarry House which will be hopping with both The Taildraggers and Monsters from the Surf playing one tiny beer alcove. NO cover.

Live in Virginia with River Crossing Issues? Check out soul rockers The Courtesans who are taking over one of my favorite venues- IOTA in Clarendon. This will be their last show for a while due to a the impending arrival of a brand new human being for one of the band members.

And right smack in the middle of all of the above is Chief Ike's Mambo Room in the heart of Adam's Morgan. This Saturday look for The Black Muddy River Band to satisfy those guilty pleasures seeking deadheads amongst you. Chief Ike's is one of DC's older dives, and I don't remember many a night there.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Beltway Battle Cry

Beltway Opening August 1964/photo from DC Public Library

The Washington Beltway. Imagine a highway with no stop lights - a place where cars could orbit DC like space ships and drivers never worried about traffic jams. Well, that may have been what it was like in 1964, but the picture above ironically depicts what its like now with back ups happening at the drop of a dime and rush hours that last...well, for hours. At certain times of day we might as well get out of our cars and walk. 

But more on topic- remember those battle of the bands shows at high schools and youth centers?  Just such a rumble is a brewing this Saturday at the Greenbelt American Legion. Here's the word from  Bethesda boy Stock Wilson of the Vi-Kings:

"The Battle of the Beltway Bands is a throwback to the days of the great battle shows at venues like the Wedge* in Bethesda.The original NoWhere Men will pit the best of blue eyed soul against the pop/rock British invasion of the VI-Kings. This should be a great show for our friends who love to dance, loved the 60s and remember the great times they had at the teen-clubs and community center dances in around the DC area. Tickets are available on line or at the door." 

7-11 pm/ doors at 6/ $20

 And you, too, can get there on that pathway back to a simpler time- the Beltway.

*The Wedge was also called the Bethesda Youth the Writer's Center and for more of that musical story click here.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Wanted: A Cub Reporting Nighthawks' Fan

Hey Music Fans

The Golden Bull up in Gaithersburg is having live music these days, and they want to get the word out. It's supposed to be a pretty big place with lots of room for dancing.

Want to win a pair of tickets to go see the Nighthawks on Sunday March 24th?

Just write in to DC, and put "Nighthawks Contest" in the subject header and why you want to go in the message box. Winner will be selected at random. We want to hear what you think of the place so it'd be great if the winner would be willing to write a short report for DC ROCKS when you get home.

Contest ends this Wednesday March 20.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Bayou X Two

1979 ad in Unicorn Times

With all the nostalgia between The Bayou documentary and the ongoing punk/funk exhibit at the Corcoran, there might be some confusion when I mention that King Soul is playing The Bayou this Saturday night. Same name, different clubs, different times.

I'm not sure how the first Bayou got its name, but I'm guessing it was the location- down by the river under the Whitehurst Freeway in Georgetown. As far as I remember, it was a roomy place for a small venue with a balconied second floor that was a great spot to watch bands and the melee below, but in later years, the mean roving bouncers wouldn't  let you stand up there. I think you had to sit at a table most of the time which was hard to do when a band was rocking or you couldn't find a seat. Some shows I remember having to wander around the whole time.

The new Bayou, just outside Georgetown on Pennsylvania Avenue, is clearly named for its New Orleans' style food and cocktails. It feels a lot smaller than the old Bayou, and it's just as funky, but the second floor is devoted to drinking and music. When the band comes on,  all the tables are moved for dancing. If you want to, you can still  retreat downstairs to the other bar for a drink or to have a bite, and no one will stop you. (The food is a bit pricey, but the oyster po'boy I had last time was top notch.) King Soul has more than its share of soul driven musicians who know what it means to miss NewOrleans, and last time they played here, the band took no prisoners when it came to filling that dance floor.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Saturday Rocks

Whichever way you want to shake it, sports fans, you've got choices here and around DC this Saturday. Look for DC brewed funky hip hop/ go-go from Godishues playing at Adrinka Cultural Arts Studio. Or up in Silver Spring,  Jay Jencs and that raucous rockabilly crew of Jumpin Jupiter are shaking things up at the Quarry House.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Charm City Field Trip

With shades of Slickee Boys and Razz involved, this gig's worth the drive to Baltimore which has ammenities that DC lacks like that whole city thing. (It doesn't matter if we are a Seat of Power, we're still just a small town with a big government problem.) O Baltimore. The City That Reads. Home of Utz, Lexington Market, John Waters, Rafael Alvarez and Edgar Alan Poe. My friend "Captain Dan" left DC to reside up on Butcher's Hill many moons ago. He is within walking distance of the Pagoda that watches over Patterson Park and the tugboat he presided over down at Fell's Point. But I digress. A lot of DC characters including Boyd Farrell will be playing the Metro Gallery this Saturday.

Better Than A Mt Pleasant Riot

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Vinyl Rocks

Greetings music lovers. DC ROCKS would like to veer off the subject of who is playing where this weekend to get back to what this site is supposed to be about which is this writer's whims. Last weekend after a successful upgrade to the resident sound system, it was time to sit down and listen to an album. Ironically since the turntable was broken, I had to pick from CDs. I chose Jackson Browne's "For Every Man," but soon found myself digging out the original album to look at while listening. I've always been a backwards looking person. I was okay with the cassette tape technology because we could make our own mixes and play them in the car, but I resisted CDs like a cat getting in a bath tub figuring it was the next passing phase which it kind of was. Over the years it's become clear that you just can't have the same relationship with ipods or little plastic boxes like you can holding a large and artistic cardboard square with more information to glean than a cereal box. And all your questions are answered without having to use a magnifying glass. (Is that Bonnie Raitt singing harmony? Yep. And David Crosby, too.)

So if the pending snow storm does force us all in for a couple of days- and you are still lucky enough to have vinyl lying around, you might want to take the time dig them out. Or, when the skies clear, you can jump start your collection again at Joe's Record Paradise over in Silver Spring or the CD Cellar in Arlington where you might even find  piece or two if your past.

By the way anyone still reading will be rewarded with a chance to win a pair of tickets to see live music which is still the way to go for any music fan. The DC based now national Jukebox the Ghost will be at the 9:30 Club on March 16th. Just write to Please put "jukebox contest" in the subject heading and mention a favorite album in the email, and we'll pick a winner at random.