Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Tiny Purple Fishes

When I hear "Tales of Brave Ulysses," I see in my mind a psychedelic mermaid and lyrics painted on the wall of a chicken house on the property of E. Howard Hunt- a not so imaginary wire tapper. Nope. It's not a drug induced flashback- at least not for me. I wasn't cool enough to have drawn it.  It's just a memory. I was about fourteen and barely aware of who Eric Clapton was, but I was learning fast. The Yardbirds, Cream, Blind Faith. That short lived group produced just six songs, but it's one of my favorite albums ever. What a band!

This Friday, Ron Newmyer, has wrangled up yet another crew of musicians; this time to pay homage to Clapton at Bethesda Blues. Imagine tiny purple fishes...

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Adios For Now

DC ROCKS would be remiss not to note the passing of Evan Johns in Austin last week. Although Evan left Washington many years ago, his name and energy will always live on here in the DC scene- at least for those of us old enough to know better. The name Danny Gatton is on his resume, but he was a force of nature in his own right, and Austin was lucky to have him in the end. A crazy fun guy making crazy good music is hard to forget.

Here's Evan with another man we miss Michael Maye. (Thanks for posting this where I could find it, Linda Parker. )

And one more from the Austin archives with Danny Gatton.

While we are on a nostalgic note, music connoisseur and archivist Robbie White and former 'HFS deejay Weasel have been curating the local scene this past year with a radio show called "Forbidden Alliance" on WOWD. Past shows include members of the Nighthawks, The Slickee Boys and Razz as well as writers, film makers and deejays. The bad news is the show happens live every Sunday morning from 9 until noon which means many a bleary eyed player staggers in. The good news? Robbie has uploaded the shows for posterity so that we, the lazy people, can listen anytime. Here is that link.

WOWD Takoma Park has a very limited range, but it is a great alternative to "normal radio." You can stream it here.

More good news. Robbie's has a new show- just music this time- called "Put a Bullet Thru the Jukebox" on Wednesday mornings 8-10 a.m. Robbie has pretty much dedicated his life to collecting all kinds of music. He plays everything from the recognizable to 11 and 1/2 minutes of psychedelic 80s rock that I guarantee no one else is putting out there. He is knowledgable and eclectic and will share that talent with you which means never having to turn the channel. Again wickedly early, but you know what to do.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

DST and Other Anomalies

What is going on with this winter that never happened? There are things flowering in my yard that are not supposed to start blooming this early. The birds are freaking out. I'm freaking out. And as my friends said at a bonfire last night: What good is there in finding seven new planets if we can't even go there?

My hero back here on Earth, however, is my favorite kind of human- the smart and funny John Oliver.

He deftly sifts through the facts and fictions of our present reality with brilliance and humor. Especially appropriate for watching this weekend: "How Is Daylight Savings Time Still a Thing?" And two of my current favorites: Trump vs Truth and this astounding visit with the Dalai Lama which sheds light on many levels.

Aside from arming ourselves with truth and resisting the trolls, we all need a throw down. My suggestion for this weekend is lose yourself to dance. 

Turn up the decibels with Daft Punk at home and energize to go out. If you are wondering what's so funny 'bout peace love and understanding then head to Wolf Trap for the Elvis Costello tribute. Or (in keeping with the tribute thing) Allman Others play with Steal Your Peach at Gypsy Sally's. For swampy zydeco rockers: The Wild Anacostias are whooping it up at the Takoma VFW. And finally what would an insurgency be without punk rock? Priests at Black Cat.
 All on Saturday because Friday just isn't a thing anymore except for this:

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Glover Park Once Knave's Disappointment

Glover Park is a bit off the beaten path. Just above "upper Georgetown" and below Cathedral Heights,  the neighborhood was first settled in the early 1800s and included a chunk of land called Knave's Disappointment. (I gleaned this fun tidbit from a Brief History of Glover Park for my fellow history geeks.)

GP today remains relatively unaffected by time- perhaps due to the lack of a Metro station. This might be a silver lining considering how much of Washington is raging upscale. The neighborhood still includes the Russian Embassy, a community garden, and good ole Guy Mason Rec Center where the Old Poor House once stood.

Although many of the storefronts have changed, Old Europe and Pearson's are among the living. For those of you who remember blurry nights and a full range of bands from gawdawful to up and coming at "the Grog," the same space is somewhat cleaned up in it's reincarnation as The Mason Inn, where Herschel Hoover will be opening this Saturday for Austin band The Mammoths.

Also on the docket for Saturday, Bill Hanke, local rock connoisseur, tells me it's well worth the drive up to the Music Cafe in Damascus, Maryland. Looking at the stellar line up, I have to agree: Dave Chappell, Anthony Pirog, Jan Zukowski and Pete Ragusa will hit it at 8 p.m.  (Get there early - it's a small joint.)