Happy Halloween from DC Rocks
Friday, October 27, 2017
Looking for something musical to do this weekend?
I love the description of the next show from the Bold Deceivers, and the location is pretty spooky, too. At least from the outside.
"Mourn the passing of summer, celebrate a bitter harvest, and welcome the coming of cruel winter, in song! Join us at Hell's Bottom VFW, Saturday, October 28, 2017. It'll be a trick if it ain't a treat."
Thursday, October 26, 2017
Ten years ago a crew of motley pilgrims set forth on a beautiful fall day to attend the Ambassador Theater's 40th reunion. We were musicians, and history nerds; archivists and witnesses of the summer of 1967- the summer when Washington D.C. became experienced, and the Ambassador Theater was the epicenter of all things groovy.
Sure, we had Georgetown, and its smaller music clubs. Big name rock bands sometimes invaded the Alexandria Roller Rink, Georgetown's Gaston Hall and the Coliseum, but those venues were shared spaces. The Ambassador was opened by hippies, run by hippies and attracted hippies - which is why the Establishment did everything in its power to shut the place down.
I learned a lot that day. I learned that Washington. D.C. had its own scene which rivaled The Fillmore in San Francisco when you consider the amount of rock history compressed into the six months that the Ambassador existed in Adams Morgan. I learned that The Grateful Dead almost played there.
And that Jimi Hendrix did play there after escaping an ill thought out tour with The Monkees.
This Saturday local film maker Jeff Krulik and rock archivist/author Mark Opsasnick have organized a second reunion, and everyone is invited. It happens at the Showboat Lounge. Sorry -the Songbyrd Cafe- just across the street from The Ambassador, I mean the ugly bank plaza that took its place, at 2477 18th Street N.W. from 1-4 p.m.
Thursday, October 19, 2017
I love rock and roll piano, especially that classic boogie-woogie sound. I also love that Daryl Davis landed here. Daryl is one of DC's best bad ass piano players, and the only person I know who owns a collection of Klu Klux Klan formal wear. For many years now, Daryl has been on a remarkable one man mission to understand racists by befriending white men wearing hoods. (That is when he wasn't playing keys with Chuck Berry.) Check out Daryl's crazy amazing story here.
This Saturday Daryl will be hosting Chuck Berry's Birthday Party at one of the newest clubs in town- Pearl Street Warehouse. (Chuck would have been 91 yesterday.) If you didn't make it to last weekend's opening festivities down at the Wharf, this is a show well worth considering.
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
What's going on behind all that chain link down at the Southwest waterfront? Last night I was lucky enough to get a sneak preview when friends and I landed tickets to two of the new venues- The Anthem and Pearl Street Warehouse. We were agog (especially us DC natives) at the transformation as we walked through a surreal landscape of not yet open shops and hard hat types scurrying to finish things deep into the night.
The Anthem will remind you of the old 9:30 Club going all the way back to the F Street location with its black decor, as well as the V Street place with its movable stage, balconies, and terrific sound system. The space easily absorbed the twenty-five hundred people there last night with everyone taking advantage of all the sight points. There's even a charging wall so your date can't use the excuse that their phone died when you lose them in this six thousand capacity joint. I'm not sure there's ever been a space this size to see a rock show in our town- not to mention on the water. I was wowed.
Pearl Street is as intimate as The Anthem is grand. Now we are back on the scale of the old 9:30, but think laid back Southern roadhouse with little tables and a checkerboard floor that can be cleared for dancing. A diner complete with counter service sits just to the side of the performance space. As one of my companions said gazing at the garage doors which will open onto the promenade on nice days, it feels like we left town. This is an all day venue which will start with breakfast at 7 a.m. and serve 'til they close. At a max capacity of three hundred, there isn't a bad seat in the house.
How to get there? The funnest way would have to be by water. Check out the new Wharf water taxi line opening tomorrow with free rides throughout the day.
P.S. Update from October 11
More photos from The Anthem's Foo Fighters preview show in which case Dave "never dial it in" Grohl gave us his all.
And we discover more people can fit in here...
Tuesday, October 3, 2017
It's been a rough week already, and it's only Tuesday. Why wait around for the weekend?Break with routine tomorrow when Slash Run hosts X_X, Kohoutek, Ex-Motorcycle Couriers (XMC) and Dot Dash. My pal Bill Hanke strikes again with his precise and informed description of the bands on tap:
"Headliner Cleveland punk legends X__X feature John D. Morton from the Electric Eels which started in 1973. Band members went on to Pere Ubu and the Cramps. This is the real deal."
On the local side:
"Dot Dash brings skillfully crafted non-threatening pop music.
Kohoutek does heavy psychedelic space rock better than any. John Stanton, from dc space favorite The Redeemers, plays lead guitar.
And harDCore veterans XMC (Holy Rollers, Negative Approach) play straight up aggressive punk rock. XMC have that unique harDCore sound that sets them apart from bands that didn't come from that era. Songs that pummel the senses like a car crusher. far from mellowing after all these years, they have just gotten better. Pull the cork out and take a drink. Don't stop until the bottle is empty."
Thank you, Bill.
Monday, October 2, 2017
Takoma Park Street Fest
Ruthie & Jamboree @ New Deal Cafe
x_x/ Kahoutek/ XMC/ Dot Dash @ Slash Run
Thrillbillys @ JV
The Hall Monitors/ The Safes/ Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb @ Slash Run
Chop teeth CD Party @ The Hamilton
John Lennon Birthday Tribute @ Bethesda Blues
Little Red & Renegades @ New Deal Cafe
Ruthie & Wranglers @ JV ( 4 pm)
Mdou Moctor/The Messthetics @Comet Ping Pong
The Stents @ Slash Run
The Vi-Kings @ JV
Wayne Hancock/ Rock-A-Sonics @ Jammin Java
Tribute to Jackson Browne w/ Luke Brindley @ Jammin Java
Thrillbillys @ JV
Daryl Davis Tribute to Chuck Berry @ Pearl Street
Dan Hovey/David Kitchen Band @ JV
Dave Chappell Band
Wild Anacostias @ New Deal