Friday, November 29, 2013

Save Your Soul

Shop less. Dance more. If you have to buy anything, buy a ticket to a rock show. And maybe a beer.  Or a cocktail. Think of all the money you will save on those ugly ass storage pods that announce to everyone you've bought too much of just about everything. Not to mention no one gets hurt, there's no stampede, you don't have to get up at the crack of dawn, and it's a lot more fun.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

After Dinner Mint

This Thursday you may or may not find yourself sitting down with a bunch of people, drinking and eating and laughing. Or you might find yourself sitting with well meaning relatives, resisting the urge to scream or, in quiet desperation, steal a glance at your time piece.

Whatever you are doing (or not doing) Thursday evening, you might want to consider slipping out to JVs later - say about 9? Dave Chappell will be there commandeering the stage with another guitar crazy throw down. This week's band includes local boy genius Andy Poxton, Barry the Phoenix Hart on drums, and Claude Arthur sewing up the bass line like a trussed out bird. The show rocks 'til midnight or later so with any luck, you might be able to sleep right on through that evil plague also known as Black Friday.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Kitchen's in the House

Too much going on this weekend as usual. I'm still trying to get to Gypsy Sally's in Georgetown; everyone I know that has gone there really likes the place for live music. This Saturday David Kitchen will be in the house with a great line up: Jack O'Dell on drums, Anthony Pirog on guitar, Jon Combs on bass and Ariel Francis on keys. David's a very talented songwriter and musician, and doesn't get to play his own music as much as I wish he could. David's opening for Randy Thompson- another gifted local whose band includes his son (an amazing guitar player according to David) and fiddle player Ricky Simpkins who also plays with Emmy Lou Harris and Robert Plant.  Check out this new club and all this music for just $12.

Rao Rocks DC

Film maker and musician Rohit Colin Rao will be going solo with his indie rock sound at the Velvet Lounge this Saturday.  Rohit's a busy guy. His award winning full length independent film "Utrasonic" was an all local production, shot here in DC and made with a DSLR camera. Rojit co-wrote the script, produced and directed this project, and made the movie as soon as he could afford that camera. He creates websites by day and still has time to play guitar- and- he's planning on getting a new album out next spring. The Velvet Lounge is a place where you can meet a happening guy like Mr Rao. No back stage pass required.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Real Life Guitar Heroes on Fire

This poster is not exaggerating. Two of the best guitar players I know in this burg are on the same bill at JVs Friday. And bass player, Claude Arthur plus Jack O' Dell on drums? Someone call the fire department- JVs will be smoking.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Old School Rock

Walt Whitman High, home of the Vi-kings, has been a strong school for as far back as I can remember. Its siren song lures DC parents to pack up and move to Bethesda, and Whitman, in turn, has churned out quite a few musical people. The class of 1970 was especially lucky to spawn a reunion band which included Joe Dolan, Stock Wilson, Matt Maury and Bill Euler, and now they've picked up Rob Fisher. (Class of '77)  Every time these guys play Clyde's in Chevy Chase, it's a fun and crazy throw back party, and it'll be happening again this Friday. No cover and a happy hour that starts back up at 10 p.m.  Go team!

photo by Ed Kirkpatrick

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Farewell Summer Pizza

Washington DC heartily embraces four seasons, but sometimes two can coincide in one day- especially around the equinoxes. A warm morning suddenly collapses under the weight of an angry eyebrow of dark clouds. In comes a cold front leaving us scurrying to bring the house plants back in doors, but then, a few days later, the temperature can be back up in the sixties.

The forecasters love the cold. They get right on the bandwagon of doom with cheery broadcasts of gloomy warnings: Bundle up, it's going to be cold out there! First frost in the region! Chance of snow flurries ! This week even though the sun seemed sweet and warm in the afternoon, by evening the chill was on; the dark definite. The day ends at 5.

So last night while scrounging around the kitchen for dinner makings, I was happy to find neighbor Murphy's home grown tomato sauce still lingering in the Grey Poupon jar he had used as a bottle. Bedraggled but serviceable basil sprigs were harvested from the windowsill, and kale from the back yard combined into an Italian sort of pizza. The other crust featured roasted peppers from someone's garden in Delaware and leaned Southwest in flavor. Both were wonderful and savory, reminiscent of warm days and nights, but slightly melancholy. Ciao, Bella Basil. Hasta la vista, mis amigos Poblanos. So long, Old Sol. Thanks for bringing my garden to life.
See you next June.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Feeling Groovy

Dear DC Rocks Contestants for the Flamin Groovies drawing:

        This was not a writing contest; our lucky winner, Gary, was picked at random. Still I want to share the grooviest entry which came from the irrepressible Vi-Kings and Beatnik Flies' ringleader, Mister Joe Dolan with his own custom ordered punctuation:

Why am I groovy ? Let me count the ways ...

1. My name is joe dolan.

2. I always spell my name in lower case letters rather than upper case.

3. I bought a Flamin Groovies record in the latter part of the 1960s at Empire Records in Bethesda, Maryland. (I had never heard of them, but I liked the cover.) I still have the record which I'd bring with me to have them sign.

4. Everyone tells me I look like John Lennon :(
but  all I ever wanted was to look like was Ringo:)

So there you go. I could go on and on,  but I get tired of blowing my own horn. 
But ask anyone who knows me :( 
but not too well :) 
and they will tell you I am groovy !!!

Wish we had more tickets to give away, but hope to see you all at the show. It'll be a blast.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Wanna Get Groovie?

Last chance to throw your hat in the ring to win two tickets for the Flamin Groovies show at U Hall next Tuesday night. Opening will be The Young Sinclairs, also part of this "garage rock festacular." (Looks like a perfect fit considering they have Flammin Groovies down as an influence.)

Really early set times with the house clearing out for a late show with Alex Young at 10. Here's the details in case you were out playing guitar in the garage the first time I posted. Contest ends at midnight tonight.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Rolling with the Red

I like autumn. I might like spring better because it has a happier tone to it, but fall days like the ones we've been having here in DC have really got me jazzed. I love the fluctuating temperatures and the mix of clouds and sun. The craziness of Halloween- not to mention the trees which shifted gears seemingly overnight this year. Maybe it was the golden tint of my sunglasses, but while driving to Annapolis last weekend, I couldn't help but enthusiastically point out the fantastic hues round every bend to my companion. What a variety of oranges, reds and yellows. Look at that, I yelled. And that!

He, however, likens turning leaves to harbingers of death....

while I prefer blazing little miracle.

Whatever your view on Nature's crimson show, you can cheer up or get down with Little Red and The Renegades. Little Red brings a Cajun kind of dance party with them wherever they go, and this Friday, you'll find them at  Haydees in beautiful tree lined Mount Pleasant. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Shake Some DC Action

In 1965 The Flamin Groovies were born in a far away town called San Francisco. (Sound familiar, but can't quite remember them? You might best recall the song "Shake Some Action. ")  Since hitting the scene with their "protopunk power pop" sound, they've had their share of fame, and travelled all over the world. They've played Japan. They've played Australia. They've played Cleveland.  But where haven't they played?

Washington D.C.

Yes, somehow the Flamin Groovies never made it here, but that's about to change on November 12 when the band finally lands at U Street Music Hall.  DC ROCKS has a pair of tickets to give away. Just send an email to Please put GROOVY in the subject box, and why you are in the message. A winner will be picked at random. Contest ends this Thursday at midnight.