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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Get the Rockin Pneumonia

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

A New Hood in Town

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

Punk Rock Bucks the Week Night

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

October Rocks



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

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.