Saturday, May 28, 2016

Thinkin' Lincoln

At Lincoln's Cottage with the President, unknown groom, and pick pocket.

Dear Readers

Some of you know that DC ROCKS morphed from my first site -Washington, DC  My Hometown -where I first started this experiment in cyber land. More often than not, DC ROCKS has grabbed the lion share of my very short attention span so I have neglected posting over yonder, but while pondering Memorial Day weekend,  I got back on the horse so to speak and penned a few thoughts which landed here.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Hell Bent to Party

Growing up I thought I'd never forget certain events in my life even though new memories were storming the castle every day. Now I suspect when I'm not paying attention, my brain drop kicks piles of stuff to the back of a very dark closet. My fifth birthday party? Gone. First date? Think it might have been bowling. Later in college at UMD, I remember frequenting many a smoke filled bar on Route 1 and watching a lot of live bands rock through, both on and off campus, but only Root Boy Slim sticks in my memory right now. He played the old Back Grill. (Or was it the Back Room?)

Enter my fellow Terp, Jeff Krulik. Leave it to him to think of filming the parking lot party before a Judas Priest show at the Capital Centre in late May 1986.  He and fellow film maker John Heyn somehow captured the essence of this zany little scene where everyone held Budweisers instead of cell phones and "punk belonged on Mars, man." Over the years, this project has cask aged into the vault of cult film. Who knew it would last longer than the Capital Centre itself?

The 30th anniversary of "Heavy Metal Parking Lot" will be celebrated this Friday with an exhibit opening at the Clarice Center. The party- I mean event- will include a screening of the film, discussions, music and items from UMD's newly acquired  "Jeff Krulik Collection."

Wow. Congratulations, dude.

Free- though reservations recommended. More details here.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Heads UP Old School Art Rockers

This Saturday night something rarer than a blue moon is going on at The Katzen Arts Center up at American U. Kevin MacDonald's art may still be hanging quietly on the walls, but the room is about to get a lot louder.  People you may not have seen for years and years will be crawling out of the woodwork to play music together for this one off event. And my sources tell me this might be the last time The Urban Verbs are reunited. Plus look for Kim Kane out without a leash. This can't be anything but a very memorable, unrepeatable  night.

A gallery talk discussing Kevin's work will precede the music starting at 6 pm. The wild rumpus begins at 7:30.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

A Downbeat Lost

Sad news again in the DC rock world this week with the loss of Michael Mariotte. We knew him as the drummer for Tru Fax and the Insaniacs, but Michael was also an award winning activist who worked tirelessly at NIRS to keep this planet in tact. His first wife Lynn Thorp told me she really liked this piece written by Michael's good friend Arun from Antioch days.

A gathering will be held  in Michael's honor at Busboys and Poets tomorrow, May 19,  in Hyattsville, MD from 4-8 p.m. All are welcome.
Please expect to dance.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016


photo by Ryan Holloway

This week DC ROCKS feels a little blue. The city is water logged from absorbing a record breaking streak of showers, and people say it's been raining since Prince died. But also, over the weekend, we lost a rock star closer to our own sodden back yards.  John Stabb was the consistent life force behind the hardcore band Government Issue. He was big fish thrashing about in DC's little punk pond and a hard act to follow.

Although his music was loud and wild, my best memory of John is a quiet one. A few years ago, I went to see one of his later bands at a local rock hole I can't quite recall. What I do remember is Mister Stabb, tall and thin as always, alone on stage. There was a thin chain hanging just above his head which he first regarded thoughtfully and then, ever so slowly and deliberately, he reached up and gave it a gentle pull. When the light bulb turned on over his head, you would have thought it was the first time this had happened to anyone. After appreciating the magic of light, he just as simply and wittingly turned it off. And then on again. And off again. On.....and off. Masterfully John turned a mundane act into a tiny moment of theater and joy which still makes me smile.

So long then to another sweet soul. Your light will be missed.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Get His Back

Hey, you youngins who wish you were older backs you could have been there for  the olden days of punk- go see this show and support an original who is in trouble now.  Black Cat is an all ages venue!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Grin If You Remember

I've noticed lately that cyber-land seems to have a space for everyone's madness- especially things nostalgic. DC has its own microcosms with groups from the vague...

"You Know You Grew-up in Washington DC If You Remember"

to the more specific...

"Psyche Delly Bethesda"

to the micro focused...

"Nightclub 9:30 (9:30 Club) Old School F Street Location Fans Unite."

But I think there should a squad called:

 "If You Grew Up Anywhere Near Bethesda Then You Have A Story About Nils Lofgren."

Nils is our "George Washington Slept Here" of rock n roll. Back in the day, he played every party and lived in more group houses than Abbie Hoffman. When I moved into my grandmother's house in the 1980s,  the left over hippies next door told me he used to practice there. "White Lies?" Maybe. But a lot of us knew who he was, and even more knew the band Grin which was relatively short lived, but long in local legend.

For those of you who feel like "Goin Back" (and for those who have no idea what I am talking about) Friday night the music will come alive again at Bethesda Blues under the banner of a Newmyer Flyer tribute show. Original backbone of the band (and another DC legend) Bob Berberich will be on drums playing with Tom Lofgren and other brothers (not Nils.. although we could start that  rumor now.)

Full details here.