Sunday, December 25, 2016


Good Morning DC Rockers! This week's posting, "A Ghost of Christmas Past," ended up on Washington DC My Hometown,  but I wanted to wish you all a happy holiday here as well.

If family or other manifestations of the season are getting you down, Goin' Goin' Gone will be rocking JV's tonight starting at 8:30 p.m. until the wee hours. Also, my good friend and stellar musician Alice Despard returns to the Galaxy Hut for one night only with Crowd Scene on Monday night. Music gets going round 9. Hang in there, y'all and godblessuseveryone.

Thursday, December 15, 2016


"Responsibility" by Bill Owens

Most of us spend too much time taking care of an overabundance of stuff that we heedlessly accumulate. Then come the holidays which can cause incoming angst as much as outgoing packages of anxiety wrapped up in colorful paper and disguised as love. Or sometimes you just gotta buy the boss a tie. This weekend we have a lot of rock shows laying around. Give yourself (or a favorite companion)  the gift of live music.  Here are just a few of the rocking things going on Friday, Saturday and Sunday: 

Friday Dec 16

Johnny Bombay and the Reactions/Rockaway Birch @ Slash Run

Little Red and the Renegades @ Villain and Saint


Sat Dec 17 

Hendrix Tribute w/ Anthony @ IOTA

Rhodes Tavern Troubadours @ Hank Dietle's

Sun Dec 18

Anthony Pirog @ JV
w/ Dave Chappell

All of the above feature tried and true musicians, and will be a lot more fun than cleaning your room.  Another bonus? None of these outings will break the bank or end up in the basement behind the furnace.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Slickee Boys Split

The Slickee Boys may hold the "Cal Ripken" award for playing the most shows at the 9:30 Cub, but it's been over five years since the band broke up, and still people refuse to believe it.  I know it won't help to present facts here since the popular trend these days is to deny reality, but two of the boys will be playing this Thursday in two separate towns.

 Marshall Keith will be opening for Andy Bopp at the Wind Up Space in Baltimore. (If you live up that way, you are lucky, if not, this show is worth the drive.)

 Meanwhile Mark Noone and his Yachtsmen will set sail for IOTA in Arlington. (Always a raucous event in the guise of civility.) So once again we have one show in Maryland, one in Virginia. Both on Thursday.  Believe It or Not.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Coping Mechanisms

This has been an especially weird and dark autumn. The recent election turned lives upside down, and trolls are erupting with glee. The gunfire at Comet Pizza last Sunday, our most local example, was a direct result of false news stories that won't go away.  Joel Achenbach, of the Washington Post, wrote a great article this week explaining why things are. He writes:

 "The Information Age has become the Misinformation Age. Pizzagate is not an anomaly it’s the natural consequence of advances in information technology, the erosion of traditional media and the strenuous efforts of demagogues to tribalize our civic life....The fake news epidemic is a lethal combination of technology and human nature. It’s supply and demand. We probe for missing information, what’s hidden, what’s secret. Digging up secrets has survival advantages. We’re programmed that way."  

My survival response to the election and seasonal disorder was to fortify myself with nourishment. I started with scrapple, eggs and biscuits. And then I made myself a chocolate cake.  (Clearly I am taking the fight not flight route here.) I also derive comfort from old routines. Christmas, whether we are believers or not, brings a whole season of reprises. To set the mood, I like to watch my favorite version of  "A Christmas Carol" with Reginald Owen. (1938) 

Also I'm all in favor of hanging lights with impudence to combat the early evenings brought on by a retreating sun. An old standby in itself, Martin's Tavern, is the bomb when it comes to combining lights with decking the halls every year- an effort that takes, according to undisclosed sources, two weeks and three days to accomplish - mostly after hours. This year I am torn between the race horse adorned with glittering antlers and a plaid scarf, and the large fish wearing a glittering silver garland- sporting what I think might be a miniature Mount Vernon in its mouth. All of which are sadly not displayed here:

And then there are holiday concerts. I'm not a big fan of Christmas music per se, but live music played well is a gift. This weekend  Last Train Home takes over IOTA all weekend long with a matinee show on Sunday (which my older kids remember fondly and would gladly attend if they weren't all grown up and moved away.) Look for the David Kitchen Band and guests making merry at JV's Saturday night.  And last but not least - Eric Felten does a bang up Nutcracker every year about this time at Blues Alley.

Friday, December 2, 2016

United States of What Now?

Neighbors rally with banner/photo by Bill Hanke

My friend Bill Hanke wrote me this week to commiserate over the furor going on about Comet Ping Pong. We are both astounded and disturbed by the "fake news" story concerning this local pizzeria which has become the target of outrageous rumor and cyber bullying. Even the New York Times and the BBC have picked up on the unsubstantiated stories of child trafficking in their basement.

protestor/ photo by Bill Hanke


Somehow I never noticed this going on in the last ten years that this very cool place has been open- serving up pizza and providing ping pong for us hyperactive types who can't just sit and wait for our food to be served. Comet is also a big supporter of the DC music and art scene, often leaning towards punk rock. I sometimes forget to check the calendar, but will make a bigger effort now.  Please join me in supporting this local business which does not even have a basement.

And while we are in Chevy Chase, kudos to the folks who are making a rainbow connection by creatively welcoming their new but temporary neighbor Mike Pence with gay pride flags. DC ROCKS salutes you.