Thursday, August 30, 2018

After Dark Redux

The Evening Star May 1968
Mark Segraves, local reporter and music aficionado should be the poster dude for DC ROCKS. This man doesn't just go out occasionally- he often goes to two or more shows a night where he records a bit of the action and sends out little reminders to the social media universe that our local scene is still alive and beaming. Mark's roots here in DC run deep. His father,  John Segraves, wrote the "After Dark" column for The Washington Star.  Now Mark and local musician Tommy Bowes have decided they want to help out both the scene and the artists with a new idea.

Here are a few details from Mark:

I’m excited to announce the formation of a new non-profit aimed at helping musicians who fall on hard times as well as promoting local music. After Dark Productions will raise money primarily by producing concerts. The proceeds from these events, that would normally go to the promoter, will go into this new fund instead. Funds raised will be distributed to musicians to assist them with a range of expenses including medical bills, lost or stolen equipment and other hardships.
After Dark Productions is the brainchild of Tommy Bowes and myself. Tommy and I recently were on teams that raised tens of thousands of dollars by producing the Hank Dietle’s Benefit, The Billy Hancock Tribute and most recently the Vinyl Acres Flood Relief Concert and we’ve decided to move forward with this idea. 
Our goal is to produce great shows that are affordable and accessible for audiences, promote local artists by giving them more opportunities to perform while paying them for their work and raise money that can be a resource in the future.
Our name is an homage to the work of my father, John Segraves. During the 1960s & 1970s he penned the After Dark column for the Washington Star newspaper covering the local music scene.

Be a good social animal and like the After Dark  Facebook page to keep up or help out. Their first official event happens this Sunday at Pearl Street Warehouse when the Rock-A- Sonics meet the Ray Apollo Allen Band.  Bands will come out swinging. 

And for all of you history nerds - Pearl Street Warehouse is part of Washington's completely redeveloped wharf on Maine Avenue.  Here's part of an article Mark's father wrote about the "new" waterfront which included the Channel Inn and Hogate's in 1972.  (Click on the picture for a readable size.)
The Evening Star October 1972

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Summer Reading

School started without me. For the first time in 23 years, I'm not yelling at someone to finish their summer reading or scrounging up 3 ring binders and composition notebooks. (I've  always loved to read, but pretty much NONE of the books on any summer reading list has ever grabbed me.)

We celebrated with a round of mini golf in East Potomac Park.

DC's public schools seem to start earlier every year, but now that my summer has been reverted to extended play, a celebratory trip to Alexandria's Grist Mill Park might be in order to catch Bill Kirchen and Too Much Fun on Friday.

On the other hand, back in town there's a cool psychedelic, multi-sonic show at the Black Cat with Gringo Starr, Boat Burning and Heavy Breathing.

If chilling out in a road house is more your vibe, while away a summer afternoon on Sunday at JVs in the beautiful 'burbs of Falls Church.  City Farm Bluegrass will hit at 1, followed by Ruthie and The Wranglers bringing on a full court press of country-rock-honky-tonk at 4.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Post Jurrasic

photo circa Vinyl Cretaceous Period

Hey you all, remember Milo from WHFS? When I hit the Google Image Wand looking for old school things, the above photo popped up of Milo with Mark Noone of The Slickee Boys. Not a great shot of Milo, but doesn't this pic pretty much say it all about deejays?  They are the unseen voices who connect the dots of the music they choose to play for  us. Check out the pale flesh colored phone on the console. Classic, eh ? 

It's been a while since Milo had a radio gig, but he's back every other Wednesday morning from 10-12 on Takoma Park's low powered highly diverse WOWD. The show is called Borderlines, and due to the miracle of modern times, we can all tune in over the internet waves. Milo promises to play "just records from home" which sounds good to me. His next show is August 22.

This weekend The NRIS are at Jammin Java - an early show on Friday. A Dead-Head Alert is being issued for Black Muddy River Band at JV on Saturday and Rock -A- Sonics are at Glen Echo Ballroom if you are feeling another kind of retro. 

these shows.  

Friday, August 10, 2018

Gimme Shelter

The relentless downpours of July and early August have had their natural consequences. The Potomac is roaring. Weeds are ecstatic, and brigades of ants are living it up in my couch where my son likes to leave them offerings like wrappers from Fruit by the Foot or popsicles. Mosquitos are mocking me from the other side of the screen door, and even though my basement finally dried out,  the Georgetown library had to close for four days this past week after snakes were found congregating near a meeting room.

Speaking of congregating, this Sunday marks a grim anniversary in Charlottesville. As an antidote, check out this video from The Fishermen Band and please don't forget to support live music this weekend.  Valentine Slim celebrates a birthday at Takoma VFW and Goin' Goin Gone will hold forth at Villain and Saint. Both on Friday.

Spread the love.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Zany Postcards

I went on a vacation of sorts last week and learned a lot about Zanesville, Ohio. The town was founded in 1797 and named for Ebenezer Zane who was the great grandfather of the fiction writer Zane Grey.

Zane grew up in Zanesville, dreaming about the wild west and getting into numerous fights as a boy, quite possibly because his first name was actually Pearl. As in Pearl Grey. His middle name was Zane. As in Pearl Zane Grey.  I admit the name has a nice ring to it, but what were they thinking?

Zanesville was once a thriving town, perhaps best known for American pottery. Amelia Earhart called it the most recognizable city in America because of the remarkable "Y" shaped bridge which spans both the Muskingum and the Licking Rivers. (Unfortunately you have to be up in a small plane with Amelia to get that perspective.)  Back on the ground, the Y bridge leads from downtown proper to "Vasehenge" where one can contemplate those bygone days.

One of the best pit stops in Zanesville is Weasel Boy, a local brewpub come living room kind of a bar with an outdoor patio overlooking the mighty Muskingum. Coal Fired Bicycle, a cool little band from Columbus, was playing on the stage right next to the brewing equipment.

Back in Washington this month our town is emptying out a bit as Congress takes a recess and leaves us locals to our own devices. Here is DC ROCKS' belated and changeable concert schedule for AUGUST:


(Is Anybody out there?)


Parthenon Huxley @ Jammin Java

Catfish Hodge @ JV

The NRIs @ Fort Reno


Valentine Slim @ Takoma VFW

Goin Goin Gone @ Villain and Saint


Thrillbillys@ JV


NRIs @ Jammin Java ( early)


Thrillbillys @ JV


Ruthie and the Wranglers @ JV 4pm


David Kitchen Band @ Takoma VFW


Dave Chappell @ JV


Split Seconds @ The Pinch