Monday, June 30, 2014

Fort Reno's Back Thanks to Flack

Mark Noone Protesting Last Week @ Fort Reno

Hey,  DC Rockers- the tide has turned. Fort Reno is on again and ready to rock thanks in large part to collective outrage. Once the word was out that the concert series was cancelled for the summer, the word became pressure… and suddenly there was a productive meeting today between event organizer, Amanda MacKaye and the Park Service after all. You can read all about what happened here.

The first concert will kick off on July 7, and performances will continue throughout the month on Mondays and Thursdays. Bring the blankets, dogs and kids and celebrate live music.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

What's Up with Fort Reno?

Fort Reno is one of the very few outdoor venues which features experimental music- most often youth oriented rock and rollers trying to break into the scene, but this year,  I'm sad to say, the park will be dark.

The whole shooting match is in jeopardy thanks to the indifference and bureaucracy of the Park Police who have stalled issuing this season's permit along with a new, and as yet, unexplained demand requiring a paid officer attend every event according to the venue organizer Amanda MacKaye. Please read what she has to say and decide for your self, but I get the feeling if we don't tell the Park Service this concert series is too important to lose, Fort Reno may be relegated back to the history buffs and the ghosts of the Civil War.

P.S. I hear some people had trouble with the link above so here's teh park service info.
National Capital Parks-East
1900 Anacostia Drive, SE
Washington, D.C. 20020
Phone: 202-426-5961
Fax: 202-690-1425

And now there's a petition, too. Check it out here.

Yes My Goodness Yes

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Twenty Five Years and Twang Proud

All you people who were out and about 25 years ago might remember when a DC original roots/country band came to life. (Can it really be 25 years?)

The year was 1989. You remember 1989… right?

(Metallica was big, but I never really dug them)

Come to think of it, nothing about that year really stands out for me... so maybe it's safe to say that Ruthie and the Wranglers was what was going on because when I google the year in images this is what I get:

That being said, let's turn our eyes forward to this Saturday when a celebration/reunion party/throw down will be going on at Gypsy Sally's, a night club which is trying to create a niche in a part of town where we all used to want to be: Georgetown. Get there early ( around 7) to reminisce in the Vinyl Lounge; get there a later for the music, but make sure you catch The Bumper Jacksons who will be bringing their creative and crazy retro sound to the mix as the opening band.

A fun night no matter how you look at it.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Keepin Body and Soul Alive

I saw the extravaganza that is  "A Southern Soul Tribute" twice.

Enough said?

This Saturday will most likely be the last chance to see it because wrangling this many musicians together isn't even like herding cats- it's more like herding flies. The line up is a variation on the last two performances, but still smoking hot, and in one of my favorite venues in DC-the Hamilton. (once upon a time the old Garfinckel's on 14th and F)

The Hamilton takes full advantage of this formidable and grand building (which dates back to 1929) with completely reinvented spaces featuring uptown bars, an extensive restaurant and a top of the line performance space in the basement. Good food; great service. Tickets are a little pricier than most shows I write about, but still quite a bargain.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Tiger Pride

At first I was annoyed that people from Westboro Baptist Church took it upon themselves to come all the way up here to protest Washington's Wilson High School Pride Day events. Personally, I wouldn't give the time of day to a group whose home page boasts the hashtag "godhatesfags." (a rather loose translation of the Bible if I ever heard one. ) No one knew what to expect at the clash of protests this morning, but their tiny band of Baptists was vastly out numbered and, as my 13 year old astutely observed, "Their signs were stupid."

photo by Deean Rubin

 In the end I have to hand it to the hate mongers for inspiring students, families and school staff to come out in droves to show their support of inclusion and love.  The counter protest was peaceful, and everything was over by 9 a.m.

photo by Deean Rubin
Afterwards, I registered my youngest at Wilson for next year, and I am happy he is going to a school with a courageous man like Pete Cahall in charge.


Sunday, June 8, 2014

What the Punk?

This week there are two events involving two films - both fascinated with the HarDCore scene here in the Nation's Capital. Thanks to the efforts of a kick-starter campaign, "Punk the Capital" is well on its way,  but the film makers could still use your help to meet their goal. That could be as easy as attending a party at Black Cat this Tuesday. Our old friend, DJ Tommy B from old 9:30 days will provide the music. Film maker James Schneider and Paul Bishow will screen rare  punk films circa 1979 and a section or two of the film.

How much of a fan are you?

Wednesday DC Salon will be hosting Scott Crawford at Shaw Library where he is showing sneak previews of his film "Salad Days." (As far as I can tell this film covers the punk scene of the 1980s from its birth and throughout the decade, where as "Punk the Capital" gives you the back story of how DC bands like Slickee Boys inspired that scene.) Tommy B. will be at both- as most of us probably should be.

Both events hope to bring old friends, band members and fans out of the woodwork so please come join the fray if you can.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Full Throttle Weekend


Sunday, June 1, 2014

When Ratso Met Kinky

Here's a little quiz for you long time DC music fans:

Who was in a band with Eddie Angel of Los Straightjackets?
Who was featured as a character in more than one mystery?
What DC musician plays with that crazy ass Texan Kinky Friedman ?
Who is an Emmy award winning news camera man?

Who can lay claim to all the above?

None other than DC Ratso. 

If you hop into the way back machine with me, back when the Cellar Door was still happening in Georgetown circa 1978, Kinky liked to do a solo show back then, but he also liked to "turn on the juice and cut the damn thing loose" by the end of the night.  Through mutual friends, Kinky found just the man to hook him up with local musicians that could fill that bill: Jim Silman (aka Ratso since college days. ) Those of you who remember Switchblade and Tex Rubinowitz and the Bad Boys will know exactly whom I am talking about; those of you who don't can read all about it here thanks to Buzz McClain. 

Cellar Door might be a thing of the past and Switchblade is no longer together,  but DC Ratso, a not so fictional character, and Kinky Friedman, a character in his own rite, are still making beautiful music together.  Kinky next comes to town June 11 as part of the Washington Jewish Music Festival. (Apropos considering Kinky calls his home band "the Texas Jew Boys.") The festival runs today through June 14th, and features ALL kinds of music from klezmer to reggae, jazz to Broadway; ticketed shows as well as out door free events. Something for everyone, and that's the point.