Friday, September 21, 2018

Let Them Eat Pie

For those of you dreading the end of Summer, now is the time to remember a few silver linings about Fall. I for one am looking forward to the day that the mosquitoes drop dead and the leaves start to turn. When I lived in San Fransisco, I don't remember having to battle insects,  but one drawback for me was the lack of seasons. There were only two. Rain and not rain. Green or brown. I really missed the big trees with their vaudeville routine of raucous colors.  Fall also makes me think of apples which brings me directly to pie.

Happily enough, Washington has a great pie shop on H Street NE called Dangerously Delicious Pies. The first store in Baltimore came into being thanks to rocker Rodney Henry of the Glenmont Popes who got into the pie biz trying to make ends meet at the merch table. Fortunately for us he a really good baker, and he was able to start another branch here almost ten years ago with friends Sandra Basanti and her husband Stevie McKeever.  This summer they expanded the business and created a 75 person capacity venue - nowadays a rare thing in DC - above the pie shop. (Not an easy thing to do in a 100 year old building.)

The space has been thoughtfully renovated by sound engineer Dennis Manuel and musician/ carpenter/ pie man Stevie McKeever. (Get the full scoop here at DCist.)  This Saturday Jake Starr and the Delicious Fullness front a show with Lazlo Lee and the Motherless Children and Dominy. No cover.  Music starts at 8:30.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Everybody's Missing the Sun

As I write, a ray of sun is cutting through the trees outside my window looking startlingly beautiful and noteworthy. It is 8:00 a.m. Friday morning, but now - just a moment later,  the light is fading, and we're back to our new normal- perpetually grey skies.  I do love a rainy day, but a lot of things were shifted out of Florence's way this weekend including several boxes of books in my basement and the H Street Festival which had to be rescheduled for October 13.

Hurricane dodging fatigue or a cloudy mood can be handily cured with music under a sturdy roof that is not your own. Tonight The Rhodes Tavern Troubadours take over that crazy little Takoma VFW they call Hell's Bottom with a "hurricane dance party." Elsewhere this weekend nostalgia seems to be the order of the day what with The Vi-Kings working their 1960s throwback magic at JV, and Nils Lofgren playing three shows Friday- Sunday at the Birchmere. (Saturday is sold out.)  The Newmyer Flyer show also happens Saturday at the Hamilton. Twenty two local musicians will endeavor to reanimate both Bruce Springsteen's "The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle" and Van Morrison's " Moondance." Spinning vinyl is cool again, but hearing it live is out of sight. 

Friday, September 7, 2018

September Sloth Song

I've always said that I lose the will to function properly around July when the relentless heat and humidity of our "swamp" drive me into hibernation. Even so I usually get up early and hack at my garden for a little while before the sun announces another scorcher.  This past week I didn't even go outside if I could help it. Reverting to sloth mode, I fell to worshipping the buzzy drone of my AC unit and the misty fog of my ice maker.

Meanwhile the DC ROCKS' Creative Overachiever Award has to go to George Pelecanos who is home this week promoting his newest book The Man Who Came Uptown.  This will be George's twentieth crime novel, all of which are set in real life Washington, D. C. His characters inhabit a city which has been relieved of reference to the federal government. Quackenbos and Fort Stevens? Yes. Pennsylvania Avenue? Hell, no.  Additionally George will be shoehorning his book tour between producing Season Two and Season Three of the HBO series The Deuce- his latest collaboration with David Simon and the folks who brought you The Wire and Treme.  I hereby and forthwith dub George the anti-sloth.

Catch him if you can- he will be reading his latest at Politics and Prose this Sunday from 3-4 p.m.

And here's the belated DC ROCKS Calendar of Industrious and Mostly Musical Achievers:


George Pelecanos Reading @ Politics and Prose


Rhodes Tavern Troubadours @ Takoma VFW

Johnny and The Headhunters @ Pearl Street 


H St Festival

Moondance/ Wild, Innocent & E St Shuffle @ Hamilton ( Newmyer Flyer)

The Vi-Kings @ JV


Fuzz Queen @ Dangerous Pies


Thrillbillys @ JV


Split Seconds @ Slash Run


Jake Starr @ Dangerous Pies


DC State Fair

Human Country Jukebox @ Pearl Street free (12:30)

SW Sessions w/ Elijah Balbed & Isabelle De Leon 
@ Pearl Street ( free)


Dave Chappell Band @ JV


Sister Ex/ Menage a Garage @ Dangerous Pies


Bumper Jacksons @ Hill Country BBQ

Art All Night Dupont

Johnny Grave w/ Uptown Boys Choir @ Dangerous Pies*


Alex the Red Parez/ Derek Evry @ Galaxy Hut

(* Size of print due to incomprehensible vagaries of html)

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.

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