Friday, May 29, 2015

The Art of Summer

Into the Woods with James

 Summer sure sank its teeth into Washington this week. I'm not sure what happened, but I think a high pressure system puts its feet up on our coffee table and is refusing to budge. Suddenly fledglings are out of the nest, and bugs are on the move. (Even as I write I am being distracted by the occasional ant which seems to be popping out of my laptop. Oh oh. This may stem back to the Icing Incident that happened a few months ago when the computer was sitting on the kitchen counter.)

On the bright side there's a lot of free music and movies around in the Great Outdoors this summer. Here's a handy music list the Washington Post compiled, and here's the outdoor movie line up from Thrillist. One item that didn't make their list, however, was the Doug Dupin Film Festival last week which featured his latest short "Into the Woods with James."  Check it out. Art is a wonderful thing to find where you least expect it.

p.s. to email subscibers- apologies for that January posting being sent out by feed burner. That was some kind of cyber fluke.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Surf Is UP

I don't usually post twice in one week about a band, but Monday's Insect Surfers' show was so energetic and so much fun that I want to make sure people know they will be back playing IOTA tomorrow night before winging their way back West.  (Also I can never resist a poster by the theremin master of the Atomic Mosquitos and artist extraordinaire Stephen Blickenstaff. )

Monday night was a love-in throwback sort of affair with long standing DC musicians and music fans  coming out for the show and the camaraderie. And speaking of love-ins , if you haven't yet, check out Insect's fearless leader David Arnson's article about "Georgetown," a nostalgic walk back in time that he wrote for my other site "Washington, DC My Hometown."

This show will be different from Monday's with surf oriented Atomic Mosquitos opening as well as the high energy SuperSwank.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Stay Tuned to Your Favorite Local Station

Thursday. Probably the best night of the week to go out. Not too crowded, and they don't call it casual Fridays for nothing. But where to go?
Two excellent choices come to my mind. The Traveling Wilburys Tribute at IOTA or The Staying Put Thrillbillys at JV with special guest -the guitar wielding wizard that is Dan Hovey)

Sunday, May 17, 2015

What's the Buzz?

Two more old timer punk ass rock shows to report. The Denizens of Washington, 7 Door Sedan and Sister-Ex are all lined up at the Black Cat back room tonight. I don't want to do the math here, but there's about 100 years of experience going on between band members of all these acts including  tomorrow when the Insect Surfers, The Yachtsmen and Col Josh invade Jackie's Side bar in Silver Spring for a rare show indeed this side of the river. (Virginians be on the look out for Insect Surfers to swim over your way when they infest IOTA next Friday.)

Friday, May 15, 2015

All Stacked Up

King Soul. Eight guys in shiny suits and vintage ties seem to belong in an upscale night club with little candles on the tables and a dance floor. There isn't a bad apple to be found in this Memphis Stax based soul band of pros. One night only- this Saturday at Bethesda Blues and all that Jazz.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Remember the Time?

What does it mean that this is the first time Last Train Home has played since 2013? It means that band leader Eric Brace felt like putting on a show, and where better than at Iota, where as Eric puts it "the whole thing kind of got started back in 1987 with B-Time."


Good grief. Has it been that long? The eighties once stretched out like an endless sea of time for me. I was at University of Maryland at the beginning, lived in California in the middle, and got married on the other end. One common thread through it all was my pal Peter Alsberg who was part of a motley crew of housemates on Guildford Road in College Park….

who drove out West to visit with another buddy when I lived in San Francisco,

and served as best guy in my wedding.  (He cleaned up well, didn't he?)

A lot of other fuzzy stuff happened in the middle at 9:30 Club where Pete and I met many a life long friend, but I digress.

Coming full circle, Pete is the one who introduced me to Alan and Eric Brace back in that magical year of 1987 when I convinced him to have an old fashioned cocktail party like our parents used to have.  (We were way ahead of our time.) Check back for a picture of that event.

We saw B- Time and Last Train Home many times before Pete moved on to another plane.  Otherwise he most likely would be coming to this concert which will be one of those congenial reunion type affairs featuring long standing (and outstanding) band members and guests like Jimmy Gray, Scott McKnight, Kevin Cordt and Dave Van Allen.  Also, Evan Pollock, the original drummer for B- Time will be playing with LTH for the first time! These guys ( including now Nashville based Eric) will be coming from near and far, so come join the party this Friday at Iota. Invite your friends, buy them a drink, and enjoy the evening.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Mucho Music Inside 495

Holy Crap. I've got one cartridge pen, (so to speak) and too much music in all directions to write about this week. Considering we are supposedly a buttoned down inside the Beltway kind of town, we are actually way ahead of the curve on gay marriage and legalized marijuana- especially if Congress would stop sticking their big fat noses in our faces. If you look closely you will see that we have musicians coming out of our ears. Let's start with Thursday when horns a plenty will be celebrating Matt Rippetoe's birthday at Bohemian Caverns.

Also on Thursday the Thrillbillys and Highballers throw down at Gypsy Sally's -the only place in Georgetown to go see live music if you are way way too old to need a fake ID.

Betty is back in town for a series of events at the Smithsonian which seems like the perfect place to see this long running and very artistic (now NewYork based) trio who used to grace dc space.

But wait there's more. Takoma Park Porch Festival will run all day Saturday with a cast of thousands including the U-Liners, the Bold Deceivers and Doug Stevenson and the Spades. Might be bands you never heard of, but faces you well could recognize since many have deep roots in the DC scene from punk to bluegrass.

Then later catch long time locals Goin' Goin' Gone reunite with a soft debut at Adam's Morgan Sumer Concert thing. 5-7 p.m.

This is about as far my attention span goes. Stay tuned for more listings tomorrow.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Adams Morgan and Other Places Revisited

This Saturday think about moseying down memory lane to the corner of 18th and Columbia Road in Adams Morgan, a neighborhood we once frequented many a moon ago- back when bands played at Columbia Station and Perry's was that new place that sold something called sushi on the roof.  Dot Dash will be playing outside on the bank plaza- the former site of the Ambassador Theater  which was Washington's answer to the Filmore West in 1967.  That's when Jimi Hendrix jumped off tour with the Monkeys for five nights in August and played the Ambassador. It might have been fitting if after that burst of combustible energy, it had burned to the ground, but the place was demolished by a wrecking ball in 1969 in the name of "progress."

Before or after Dot-Dash, walk around the corner to Idle Times books on 18th Street which has been in business longer than a lot of the books. It's the perfect place to spend a little time rooting around the stacks for something exciting to read. Or go across the street to Millie and Al's for a beer. Yes,  Millie's and Al's. Virtually unchanged.

If you are looking for something to do on FRIDAY wander a little north to Mt Pleasant Street, the Raven has been serving eclectics of all stripes since 1935. Cheap beer, great juke box and cash only. And last but not least right down the street Little Red and the Renegades will be throwing it down with margaritas at Haydee's. No cover here and always a great party.