Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A New Tree House in Town

Don't know much about the Tree House Lounge except it's size (small),  and that it's a new venue for live music. That's what makes these things an adventure. This Friday a DC ROCKS perennial favorite- 7 Door Sedan will venture forth into this uncharted territory just in time for Spring. It's really quite easy to support local music- just show up when they do.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

That 70s Show

Dig deep in your sock drawer or wherever you bury the ticket stubs. Dig in the closet or maybe under a book shelf. Hey, is that a copy of "The Infiltrator" that artistic rag abut town from way back when? What've we got for 1979's calendar ? Let's see: Razz at Desperado's, Razz at the Ontario Theater, Razz at the Backstage Arlington, Razz at the Psyche Delly,  Razz at the Back Room.... and all of that was just in March.

Dig around in your brain, and you might remember that crazy pre punk rock band. They were loud, and they were wild, and now they are back.  With the exception of Ted Nicely, the original Razz line up is revving up to play the 9:30 Club's Soundbites event on May 19th.  Look for Michael Reidy, Abaad Behran, Doug Tull and Bill Craig, with former Slickee Boy, Mark Noone filling in on bass.  Stay tuned to this space for more details and a chance to win tickets early next month. (Click on the art above if you want to dig further into the DC scene in 1979.)

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Still time to Win

Don't forget - Robyn Hitchcock ticket contest ends tomorrow. Go for it today

Friday, April 19, 2013

Books Rock

When I meet a DC native these days,  I often ask if they are familiar with the books of George Pelecanos. Considering he's written over 20 crime novels all set on the streets of "real" DC,  I'm kind of surprised if I get a blank look when I mention his name. I doubt there's a dead end in Southwest or a deer path in Rock Creek Park that George hasn't prowled.

This Sunday Kensington is closing off a street of two to celebrate the Day of the Book with authors, books, music and more. Catch George reading with back ground music provided by his friends The Nighthawks at 3 p.m.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Saturday Pop Quiz

If anyone knows why this Saturday is special, please raise your hands.

Okay, all of you that said 420 can go wait in the hall with the rest of your friends. All you kids who said Rccord Store Day, stay with me.  Who remembers buying records at Kemp Mill? How about Olsson's, Melody or the Disc Shop down near Dupont Circle? Or Variety in Wheaton Plaza? Then there were the pre big box stores for the thrifty amongst us like Korvette's and Super Giant on the Pike. And last, but certainly not least, (considering his doors are still open) is Joe's Record Paradise. Joe's is not just a store, but also a resilient witness to the rise and fall and rebirth of disc like things played on turntables.

This Saturday celebrate vinyl and Record Store Day. Go by the shop and say hey to Joe. Or better yet- catch him at the AFI screening of "Record Paradise: The Musical Life of Joe Lee"
Showtime 8 p.m /$5

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Nostalgia on the Western Front

The Bird Cage

Once upon a time, if I needed a new coat or a bathing suit, my mother used to take me to the District line and pull out her Washington shopping plate. Once in a blue moon, especially if my grandmother was around, we would have lunch in the Bird Cage at Lord and Taylor's. This part of town was under construction for so long that I ended up shopping exclusively at thrift stores. Now I only venture through there to get somewhere else unless there's a band like The Vi-Kings playing at Clyde's which is a true underground experience, and The Vi-kings open up a portal to the past where I always seem to have at least one foot firmly planted. This week and this week only Bob Berberich DC drumming legend is back filling in for Rob Fisher who is out with a broken collarbone. (Get well soon RF!)

Robins Are in the Air

Spring comes no matter what madness is trying to consume our world this week, and Spring reminds me of robins. I grew up with a crush on Robin the Boy Wonder. At seven, I had no idea the TV show was based on a comic book, and I took the whole thing very seriously. Also I guess I could relate more to a boy than that old guy, Adam West. (Now I'll bet I'm older than both of those characters put together. )

Have to admit I was more into Robin than Batman

I also grew up believing the first sign of Spring was the return of the American Robin. The bird's scientific name "turdus migratorious definitely suggests movement, but it doesn't seem like mandatory migration is happening anymore. I've noticed these guys sticking around all year. (In the winter of Aught-Nine, I don't know if they were coming or going, but I saw the biggest ass flock of Robins I'd ever seen- before or since- on that snowy day in my yard.)

The third Robyn in my consciousness comes from seeing shows at the old 9:30 Club. and that Robyn is appearing at the "new" 9:30 later this month with Peter Buck. If you know who I'm talking about, then you might be interested in a pair of free tickets for this show Just write to and put "Robyn" in the subject line, and your favorite sign of spring in the message for your chance to win. (Contest ends this Sunday April 21.)

Friday, April 12, 2013

Outside the Box

All right you all. I know you're my readers today for one reason and one reason only- to avoid doing your taxes. But please, lift your heads from your computers, your receipts and your W2s and look out the window. LOOK out there. What an amazing scene here in Washington. Everywhere you look is a stunning riot of biology.

Regeneration is a beautiful thing, and no less beautiful is watching luminous musicians like Alice Despard and Marshall Keith run through the whole musical gamut of playing in bands all their lives only to emerge as solo artists who have pared themselves down to an extremely personal and pure essence of sound. Marshall Keith (Slickee Boys) and the Alice Despard Group will be at Alice's  creation- the Galaxy Hut this Sunday. Get out from under whatever you are doing, and instead of preparing returns- prepare to be amazed.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Springtime Slam

April 7th 2012 Potomac River

Warm Spring weather often seems to arrive in DC like a sledgehammer. The upside is all the blooming and budding and regenerating produces a wondrous non-stop flora and fauna show.  The bad is the sudden wardrobe adjustments. Last Tuesday the high was 51. Today the thermometer is supposed to climb to the mid 80s.  It's like that old hot/cold game: DC, you're getting warmer, warmer... oh! Now you're HOT!

But every year is different. I feel sorry for the cherry blossom people because no matter what the similar patterns are, the arrival of the sledgehammer varies wildly year to year. Last year this week, all of the leaves were out, and the grass was shin high near Fletcher's Boat House. This year the non blossoming trees still look bare naked.

But whenever the heat comes on, if you are like me, you look for the nearest cool building. Looking around today,  I see former dc space denizen, Cynthia Connolly still has her exhibition Letters on Top of Buildings going at the Corcoran Gallery of Art through June 23rd. A cool thing happening in a cool place, and something to do besides digging out the window screens.