Thursday, September 28, 2017

Long Time Gone

Comings and goings are a part of life, but when the days slip into years, it seems as if some places will always be the same. Fast food joints and 7/11s may reliably litter our landscape, but the more fragile local venue can fall prey to economic battering. And so away went Chick Hall's Surf Club and sadly, after this weekend, we will be adding IOTA to the "places that are gone" list. Appropriately enough Last Train Home will be playing tonight and Friday night when the Graverobbers come out of hiding.

Saturday, the show starts at noon and will feature a long list of IOTA alumni onstage and many a wistful smile deep into the night. A special shout out and thank you to Jane and Stephen Negrey who kept these doors open since 1994 and welcomed thousands of musicians and thirsty people. In particular I will miss the little back patio which was once one of my favorite hangs on a summer evening.

If IOTA wasn't on your radar, but you are still feeling nostalgic, The Allman Others are playing Gypsy Sally's with Beat Hotel on Friday night. On Saturday all axe wielders/lovers should join the pilgrimage to Bethesda Blues and Jazz for the Roy Buchanan Tribute. My friend and rock connoisseur, Bill Hanke, who faithfully occupies the trenches supporting the music scene, summed up this show most eloquently:

"Although this is a gee-tar show, I'm most excited about seeing local legend and Roy Buchanan Band alum Vince Santoro on drums. There are NONE better. He's moved on to Nashville for fame and fortune, but he's still OURS!!! I'm probably gonna cry when he comes out. No, I WILL cry.  I'm not kidding." 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

How We Get Our Rocks Off

I'm not a fan of stadium rock. These arenas are fine for people who like to watch other people chase a ball around, but jumbo-trons just don't cut it for me. If I have to look at a screen to catch a glimpse of the band I just forked over a pile of money to see, well, you know what I'm thinking?
I'm thinking I've got a screen of my own.
Plus I'm not good about sitting in my assigned seat.

When I saw the Stones at the Cap Centre a long long time ago, I ended up sitting on the stairs for most of the show with my am around an over-served companion. We were somewhere up near the roof as I recall, while Mick Jagger strutted around on stage in a sparkly white get-up, looking about two inches high from my point of view.  A memorable night, but not necessarily for the music.

But why wait for the Stones?  This Saturday at the Hamilton, Newmyer Flyer presents a gaggle of local musicians recreating the sounds of "Sticky Fingers" and Tom Petty's "Damn the Torpedos." Both albums will be played in their entirety, and you could probably meet some of those talented players in real size at the bar. (And there are choices between table seats and wandering around the bar area tickets for the restless.) Beware these shows can and do sell out.

Sunday night David Kitchen will unveil his new EP at JV's out in the wilds of Falls Church. David plays constantly with the Thrillbillys and the David Kitchen band, and he's even on the Hamilton gig mentioned above. He has got the guitar playing /singing thing down, but he rarely plays his own most excellent music.  Truly an original. Show starts at 8:30. Don't be late.

Speaking of screens at home check out "Rocks Off" accompanied by this Super 8 street scene montage of the Stones from 1971. An "Exile on Main Street" time capsule.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Abide with Hank

Hank Dietle's, a tiny drinking establishment on the Pike, not only withstood the construction of White Flint Mall,  but also oversaw its demise. I remember the hubbub when White Flint first opened in 1977. We flocked there just to gawk at how shiny and white everything was. We had to try this new phenomenon called a "food court" after a trip on their glass elevator. Now the mall has been razed while the little tavern across the street hunkers down- unchanged as thirsty customers come and go.

Live music is relatively new at Hank's- a product of the old Quarry House scene before a fire closed its doors. Bands play every Saturday night including this week when Cravin' Dogs shake up the usual rockabilly scene. This Friday, however, don't miss a special psychedelic/punk kind of show with Seven Door Sedan and Spidercake.

We are lucky to still have this endangered species of a honky- tonk. There is no food court- in fact no food at all, but you are welcome to bring your own sustenance as long as you belly up to the bar for liquid refreshment.