Category Archives: DC Rocks

We Go On and On

Source: DC Rocks

We Go On and On

Dear Readers,
As of today you have officially survived almost 348 days of 2017-a remarkably dark and weird year. On the musical side of things, we lost IOTA and Tommy Keene- one of our dearest rock stars. (Ironically IOTA is the last place I saw him.) Tommy came to light here in Washington in the 1980s playing in a kick ass band called The Razz, but he soon rocketed beyond our universe on a solo career.  We will miss him deeply.

We Go On and On

In Tommy’s honor, I would like to give a shout out to a few places that have not gone, ...

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We Go On and On

Source: DC Rocks

We Go On and On

Dear Readers,
As of today you have officially survived almost 348 days of 2017-a remarkably dark and weird year. On the musical side of things, we lost IOTA and Tommy Keene- one of our dearest rock stars. (Ironically IOTA is the last place I saw him.) Tommy came to light here in Washington in the 1980s playing in a kick ass band called The Razz, but he soon rocketed beyond our universe on a solo career.  We will miss him deeply.

We Go On and On

In Tommy’s honor, I would like to give a shout out to a few places that have not gone, ...

Read full article >>

Panic in Pine Needle Park

Source: DC Rocks

Panic in Pine Needle Park

The first shot over the bow arrived in the form of a Christmas card on December One. I’d like to say I was happy to see a message from a friend, but it just reminded me of all the cards I need to send. And meant to send. Last year.

Anxiety sets in the form of a creeping pre-holiday panic which only serves to produce bad ideas like listening to music in the car while waiting in an illegal parking space for forty five minutes without jumper cables.
Or misusing a Q tip. (I won’t go into the details, but ...

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Going Back to Rockville

Source: DC Rocks

Going Back to Rockville
Rockville 1920s

Once upon a time tiny Rockville, Maryland was a beautiful Mayberry kind of town surrounded by farmland. Then came what some call “progress.”

Going Back to Rockville

Later still Rockville was torn up and became a mall.

Going Back to Rockville

Then the mall went away, and it became a “town center” again. Meanwhile, somehow, both Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald landed here, and thankfully have slept though the ruckus just across the Pike in St Mary’s churchyard.

Going Back to Rockville

I can’t help but think that they would have approved of the VisArts Center which gives Rockvillians sanctuary beyond the headlights and head aches of 355. This ...

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Thanksgiving Chill Zones

Source: DC Rocks

Thanksgiving Chill Zones

I stupidly took my life in my hands last Sunday night when I made the mistake of going to the grocery store. Lost in some kind of holiday denying bubble, I was caught unawares by the cart pushing frenzy happening inside. Suddenly hunting and gathering felt dangerous again- like cave man times. Food was flying off the shelves. It was fight or flight, people! We who cringe during holiday mania need escape hatches. Thinking not too far outside the box of home and hearth,  below are places that feel like a comfortable little house party without the labor intensive in-laws ...

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Baby It’s Cold

Source: DC Rocks

Baby It's Cold

Resist the cold weather coming our way. Shows are lining up this weekend like those valiant Old Dominion voters at the polls yesterday,  and any one of them would be a great source of warmth. Please see DC ROCKS calendar for even more choices, but for reasons only known to the gods of Random, there are too many to write about so I’ll just mention a few.

Friday night Bill Hanke recommends the free “proletarian” rock show with The Taildraggers and XMC at Hank Dietle’s – a change of pace from the usual rockabilly Saturdays.

Baby It's Cold




On Saturday catch up with ...

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Winter is Coming

Source: DC Rocks


Winter is Coming

Getting that somber feeling that summer has finally left the building? We may have had an unusually warm October, but now Mother Earth is determined to tilt away from our dear old Sun- at least in this hemisphere. Time to head inside for warm things like steam heat, apple pies and live music. Here’s your convenient and remarkably incomplete local music listings for November. 

(Further suggestions and additions welcome.)

NOVEMBER

1

The Conrads / Vinyl Lounge

2

Thrillbillys @ JV

3

Justin Jones @ Pearl Street Warehouse

4

Rock A Sonics @ Hank Dietle’s
5

Linwood Taylor @ JV

7

Ruthie’s Jamboree ...

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Spooky Is As Spooky Does

Source: DC Rocks


Spooky Is As Spooky Does


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.”



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DC is Experienced

Source: DC Rocks

DC is Experienced


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. 

DC is Experienced


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 ...

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Get the Rockin Pneumonia

Source: DC Rocks

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 ...

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A New Hood in Town

Source: DC Rocks

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.

A New Hood in Town

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, ...

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Punk Rock Bucks the Week Night

Source: DC Rocks

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 ...

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October Rocks

Source: DC Rocks

OCTOBER

1
Takoma Park Street Fest
3
Ruthie & Jamboree @ New Deal Cafe
4
x_x/ Kahoutek/ XMC/ Dot Dash @ Slash Run
5
Thrillbillys @ JV
The Hall Monitors/ The Safes/ Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb @ Slash Run
6
Chop teeth CD Party @ The Hamilton
7
John Lennon Birthday Tribute @ Bethesda Blues
Little Red & Renegades @ New Deal Cafe
8
Ruthie & Wranglers @ JV ( 4 pm)
12
Mdou Moctor/The Messthetics @Comet Ping Pong
The Stents @ Slash Run
14
The Vi-Kings @ JV
Wayne Hancock/ Rock-A-Sonics @ Jammin Java
15
Tribute to ...

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Long Time Gone

Source: DC Rocks

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.

Long Time Gone



Saturday, the show starts at noon and ...

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Long Time Gone

Source: DC Rocks

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.

Long Time Gone



Saturday, the show starts at noon and ...

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How We Get Our Rocks Off

Source: DC Rocks

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 ...

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Abide with Hank

Source: DC Rocks

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 ...

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Dancing In September

Source: DC Rocks

Dancing In September

My cousin John who lives out in Ashton, Maryland declared he saw a leaf fall yesterday, but Autumn officially doesn’t actually arrive until September 22 this year, and many a warm day and beautiful night lie in between. Stave off that seasonal disorder by focusing on the positive. September starts handily on a Friday which means five weekends, people!

Kick up your heels starting with Valentine Slim who will take over the Takoma VFW this Friday night. “Slim” has a long musical history in D.C. which includes dancing for the Psychedelic Power and Light Company at the Ambassador Theater– an ...

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The British Are Coming… Again.

Source: DC Rocks

The British Are Coming... Again.

April 18, 1775. February 7, 1964. August 19, 2017. What do these dates have in common?  All three mark British invasions and, like kudzu, there’s no escaping their impact on our landscape. We may have repelled the Red Coats, but when The Beatles landed, they kicked open the door and in marched The Stones, The Who, Led Zeppelin, and The Kinks. Cream, Elton John, Jethro Tull and The Hollies. It seems like “Long Cool Woman” was covered at every school dance I went to, but I missed seeing most of these bands in person.

But while we’ve been “lazing on ...

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Local Rock Alerts

Source: DC Rocks


Local Rock Alerts

DC’s public library is archiving a lot more than books these days. A compilation of local music came out last February called “Rock the Stacks,” and for those still unaware or simply curious, Songbird in Adams Morgan will be hosting an all ages listening party tomorrow from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. More information about that event can be found here

And on Wednesday the DCPL Punk Archive will be host a live show on the rooftop of the Woodridge Neighborhood Library of all things. No whispering allowed.

Local Rock Alerts

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Ghost Town

Source: DC Rocks

Ghost Town
Union Station 1920s

Look to your left.
Now look to your right.
Anybody home?

Anybody?

Are you feeding your neighbor’s cat?
Taking in the mail for another?
Is that a parking place right in front of the Tune Inn?

Yes,  it’s August in Washington when the town shrinks down to just us chickens. And the crickets. For other signs of life on Planet DC, check out the DC ROCKS‘ incredibly incomplete but better than nothing calendar as well as Fort Reno this Thursday. Share in the sugar love of Night of 1,000 Cakes while being serenaded by Weird Babies ...

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Dog Daze

Source: DC Rocks

Dog Daze

It’s hot. Hot. Hot. Hot. Hot. Hot. Hot.  It’s hot at 8 a.m. It’s hot at 9:30 p.m. It’s hot in the car. It’s So Hot I. Can’t. Think. Can you?

It’s July in D.C. -historically our hottest month and living up to its reputation. Go hide in the Smithsonian. (Or the dairy aisle depending on your ambition and energy level.)  If outside,  I recommend a personal atomizer filled with water as a constant companion and new best friend.

Dog Daze

But kudos to WAMU for bringing us a little good news on the weather front. It may be hotter than ...

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Unconventional Takoma Park

Source: DC Rocks

Unconventional Takoma Park
Free Your Mind at Rhizome

Takoma Park is fairly exploding with new things.  New restaurants. New apartments.  New bars. All are fairly cool places, but nothing really extraordinary except perhaps for RhizomeDC, a performance space and experimental arts center located in a somewhat ordinary looking house on Maple Avenue.  (Just over the D.C. line)  I’ve been driving to Takoma Park a lot lately, and the view from near the railroad bridge on Aspen  made me wonder…what the heck goes on in there? So I looked it up. Concerts, workshops,  a record fair, performances, book discussions, a film screening… whatever ...

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Rock On Campers

Source: DC Rocks

Rock On Campers

Good Morning Campers. Today I am happy to report that the Fort Reno Concerts are still alive and kicking off tomorrow with Weird BabiesTK Echo and Mock Identity.  Thanks to the tireless efforts of Amanda MacKaye and her crew of volunteers, this series gives new and mostly young bands a chance to strut their stuff.

Free concerts happen at 7 p.m. every Monday and Thursday throughout July, weather permitting, and, if the gods are smiling, the ice cream truck will arrive, there’ll be a decent breeze and an admirable sunset thrown in to boot. A very ...

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