Thursday, July 26, 2018


Most of my pictures from the d.c. space/9:30 Club days are either blurry or badly lit, and almost all of them are chaotic shots of people who don't want to hold still.

When I think about it, it's amazing I have any pictures at all. We didn't have cell phones and good cameras were too cumbersome to take clubbing unless you were serious about taking photographs like Charles Steck was. He took this one at d.c. space for our friend Art's poetry reading.

I still have the flyer.

Back in the day, Charles was involved with both music and photography, and that hasn't changed. His band these days is called The Rambling Shadows, and they'll be playing with X-Motorcycle Couriers and 7 Door Sedan this Friday at Slash Run.  All these bands have more than a few old school members so this show will rock. Here's another cool flyer featuring a picture of Charles' grandfather's Brooklyn motorcycle club.

And don't miss the David Kitchen Band at the Takoma VFW on Saturday.  I've seen these guys tear up JV's in Virginia many times, but this is a rare river crossing for them. (Hope it doesn't rain again this weekend (!)

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Confessions of a Summer Slug

Summer may bring warm days full of flowers, and the temptation to go barefoot, but stepping on a slug is one of life's cruel little jokes. First they squish and then, like a bad sci-fi movie,  they adhere to to your skin. Ugh. I remember a backyard party long ago when my friend Dan and I were beating the heat of that extra warm night by sitting with our feet in a kiddie pool with cold beers at hand. We should have known better. 

By the time we became aware of the invasion,  at least a dozen slugs were sliming over the walls of the pool and one was happily attached to Dan's Budweiser. He screamed like a girl, and I'm pretty sure I was shrieking right along with him as we scrambled to evacuate.

Many moons later,  from the relative safety of my desk,  I realize the time has come to look for middle ground. I realize, if I look hard enough, that I have several things in common with Mister Slug. We're both mostly made of water, and we both like gardens, malted beverages and going out at night. I do have a few qualms about their sex life which, like a lot of things in Mollusk World, is not for the feint of heart.  But, just like humans, it's complicated. Embrace your inner gastropod and slime step out with me this weekend.  Saturday night is jam packed with shows including the irrepressible Tom Clifford working his show with King Soul at Villain and Saint
For those in the mood for something completely different check out Herschel Hoover, Death House Blues, Fake Bodies and A Very Special Episode. Yes, that's right, four bands, one club- all at Slash Run.

In other news, our friend Mary Battiata has a choice slot opening up for Ray Wylie Hubbard at DC's newest venue City Winery where you can get a "barstool" ticket for $22 which squeaks by as far as the DC ROCKS' price range goes.

And for those of you near Takoma Park- a ramble down the hill into the holler will bring you to Goin Goin Gone at the Takoma VFW in Hell's Bottom. Definitely a bargain to be had here both music and bar wise. 

Thursday, July 12, 2018

JuLy Calendar

It's a somewhat tumultuous weekend coming up with the 13th being Friday and Bastille Day on Saturday, but personally, I think my summer slump is hitting early. I wonder how hot it was in Paris when the crowd decided enough was enough? 

I have trouble getting up the energy to battle my own arch enemy "Mr Bindweed" never mind having the gumption to storm massive buildings on these hot summer days. 

Little Red and The Renegades want us to dismiss the bad juju and come to their Lucky Friday the 13th Dance Party at Haydees in Mount Pleasant where margaritas meet Louisiana squeezebox. Also here is the belated and imperfect DC ROCKS' calendar for July:


Messthetics @ Fort Reno


Goin Goin Gone acoustic happy hour @ JV

Little Red and The Renegades @ Haydees


The Thrillbillys @ JV


King Soul @ Villain and Saint

Herschel Hoover etc @ Slash Run

Goin Goin Gone @ Takoma VFW


Ray Wylie Hubbard ww/ Mary Battiata @ City Winery


NRIs @ Fort Reno


Cigarbox Planetarium @ Fort Reno

Dave Chappell @ JV


XMC/& Door Sedan/Rambling Shadows @ Slash Run


David Kitchen Band @ Takoma VFW

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Seems Like Old Times

A Last Hurrah on IOTA's patio September 2017
Any fan of Kevin Johnson and the Linemen, Karl Straub and the Last Train Home crew will remember many a show at the now shuttered IOTA. I recall the days when the club was really tiny, and we'd all sit on the slightly ramshackle back patio in between and after the bands- everyone smoking and yacking their heads off. In the summer, the warmer weather would allow us to linger long into the wee hours nursing a beer and gossiping - hoping for a bit of cool air from the alley.

IOTA may be gone, and we miss it, but the musicians are still alive and kicking.When I asked Eric Brace of Last Train Home to tell me something about the upcoming show,  he was eerily close to my wavelength.

"It's hard to imagine a world without IOTA, where Karl, Kevin, and I spent so many nights -- separately and together -- making music, seeing music, just hanging out. Now that it's gone, we're going to recreate that feeling at this new club, that has all the promise of delivering what IOTA delivered all those years. I play a lot of music these days, but mostly with my acoustic duo and trio. I can't wait to play with the big 8-piece LTH! It'll be a pleasure to play with all my friends again, and I hope to see more than a few in the audience as well."

Look for this reunion to happen this Saturday at the new Wharf's new club Union Stage. I do miss the old haunts, but at least DC is reinventing the wheel with three live music venues where local music and traditions can continue to thrive.