Category Archives: DC Rocks

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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Hot Diggity Dog Ziggity Boom

Source: DC Rocks

Hot Diggity Dog Ziggity Boom

The United States was built on a big idea of liberty, but we sure have had a hard time figuring out what that actually means and who exactly is entitled to its benefits. It seems to be an ongoing struggle- especially in the name of fear. Here in my town, Pennsylvania Avenue and E Street are closed near “the People’s House.” We can’t wander in and out of public buildings or eat lunch in the various department cafeterias anymore unless we have government business to conduct and run the gamut of security checks.  (Remember when the National Aquarium was holed ...

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Hot Town

Source: DC Rocks

Hot Town

Welcome to summertime in DC y’all. There’s fireflies and flowers in the back yard tonight with an unusually cool and wonderful breeze, but tomorrow the temps are climbing up to the 90s with no end in sight. The melt down arrives just in time for the 50th Smithsonian Folklife Festival which is always hot as Hades. The festival will be celebrating its own anniversary with circuses, memories, and lots of music including The Chuck Brown Band on Friday.

The Fourth of July lands on a Tuesday this year so the upcoming holiday weekend comes with a Lego Expansion set, ...

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Party Like It’s 1990 Something

Source: DC Rocks

Party Like It's 1990 Something

Grunge, rave and hip hop all came into their own during the 1990s while I was home with kids paying absolutely no attention to what was happening in the music world. Fortunately I had a former 9:30 deejay keeping our house current with the eclectic scene, especially bands not playing on the radio. So basically, if it happened in the 1990s, I missed it.

This Saturday local bands Getchoo, Dammit Josie and Dashing Bumpkins converge to reanimate that bygone decade with an all ages tribute show at the Rock n Roll Hotel.

Party Like It's 1990 Something

On the other hand, if you ...

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Trolls Redux

Source: DC Rocks

Trolls Redux

Once upon a time, folks lived in fear of trolls.  Cumbersome and ugly, these creatures could be found in remote caves with piles of questionable bones laying nearby. By the time I was a child, trolls had been relegated to fairy tales. This was my concept of a typical troll:

Trolls Redux

Circling back, modern day trolls function as malevolent entities again. No longer skulking in caves,  they hide on the internet, throwing up offensive tidbits like chum, hoping to deliberately provoke and disturb.

D.C.’s Comet Ping Pong, the pizza parlor with an imaginary underground dungeon, has withstood a particularly vicious onslaught ...

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We Like to Rock Too Much

Source: DC Rocks

We Like to Rock Too Much
Washington DC’s federal hat tends to overshadow its true denizens- those incredibly lovable and often talented natives. Those of us lucky enough to have grown up here in the 1980s can’t help but remember the supernova group Switchblade and a certain hot shot guitar player with an eye popping pompadour.

We Like to Rock Too Much

I am happy to report that DC’s own Ratso is back and ready to rock again. Look for him this Thursday night at Villain and Saint in Bethesda with a new project called Lunch With Bob. According to Mr Silman, the band will be playing “kick ass American music” ...

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Long Live Rock n Roll

Source: DC Rocks

Long Live Rock n Roll

Once upon a time, most of us lived in a world relatively untouched by digital logic circuits. Yes, we had transistor radios, but we still had to be at home to answer the phone.  We lived in caves, but we did have lots of live music starting with middle school mixers and high school proms. (Fancy Colors, y’all.)  Plus there were loads of little clubs. Emergency, Babe’s, The Far Inn, One Step Down,  One Flight Up,  Takoma Tap Room, Columbia Station,  Childe Harold, L.B.J Club, Italian Gardens, Friendship Station,  My Friend’s Place, Gallagher’s, The Keg.

Now it’s deejays at school ...

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Porch Time

Source: DC Rocks

Porch Time

One memorable year a ways back, two of my children briefly became vegetarians while they were  in school. Not at the same time, of course, because that would have been too easy for the resident chef. They transformed separately and consecutively. The girl child was moved by a film she saw in class- a somewhat brutal exposition on the beef industry. It was “the next cow watching” that sent her over the edge. The boy, on the other hand, was a committed consumer of bacon, and had always eschewed anything remotely colored green. He converted on a bet.

This teenage ...

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Not Fade Away

Source: DC Rocks

Not Fade Away
Bob Weir /from Diamondback archives

I was never a huge Grateful Dead fan, but my UMD housemates sure were. If memory serves me, Dougal, Chauncy, Stuart and Pete all camped out in the snow to get tickets for the Dead’s show at Ritchie Coliseum back in the 1980s. It was a big deal. Pete even designed commemorative tee shirts featuring Jerry Garcia’s head on a terrapin’s body. And thanks to my housemates, I found myself sitting on a folding chair close to the front. And thanks to the internet,  I can tell you exactly when that show was: Saturday March ...

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Connect the Dots?

Source: DC Rocks

Connect the Dots?

A plethora of shows this weekend line up with a galaxy of genres: Psychedelic Prog Rock, Polyrhythmic Post Punk, Americana, Shoegaze, Roots Rock, Psych Dance, Street Blues, Gonzo Folk, Bar Prog, Party Metal, Math Rock just to name a few. Something for everyone. Right?  If you’re left a bit dazed by all these monikers, get a magic marker and try to connect the bands to their ilk. Or just go with the flow and throw a dart. One thing they all have in common? As per DC ROCKS’ credo- nothing here over $20 – most under $15- or no cover. ...

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Ten Bands You Haven’t Seen in Bethesda Lately

Source: DC Rocks

Ten Bands You Haven't Seen in Bethesda Lately

Bethesda back in the day was mostly a two story sort of town, but now it’s easy for natives to get lost looking for familiar landmarks.  As developers knock down one block after another with Godzilla like indifference, rumors are running rampant. What next on the chopping block ?  The Farm Women’s Market? Pines of Rome? Tastee Diner? The Psyche Delly? (Okay, the Psyche Delly’s gone, but the block is still there.)

Here are ten bands you might remember playing that old rock haunt:
Evan Johns and the H-Bombs, Switchblade, Insect Surfers, King Soul, Tru Fax, Nightman, both The Slickee ...

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The Spawn of Travesty

Source: DC Rocks

The Spawn of Travesty

If you remember Cap’n Tugg and Gore de Vol, you grew up when TV programming was anything but generic. Every day after school we watched Cap’n Tugg, cruising the Potomac with Fantail the Parrot, fighting villains like Axel Graxle and Captain Flashflood while pushing “Bosco” to pay the bills.  

The Spawn of Travesty

He communicated with Mister Flanagan in the engine room with something that looked like (and probably was) a vacuum cleaner hose and received updates from Commander Salamander. The humor of it all sailed right over my elementary school head, but I was a loyal viewer.

The Spawn of Travesty

Another local celebrity, Creature ...

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Can This Date Be Saved?

Source: DC Rocks

Can This Date Be Saved?

I don’t want to tell you procrastinating types that tax day is not April 15th this year. Why?

Because April 15th is a Saturday, and then comes Sunday which is Emancipation Day, but the holiday shifts to Monday April 17th which is my father’s birthday as cited on his birth certificate, but since he was born at home in DC, and since Greeks aren’t big on birthdays per se, and perhaps because there was a bit of a language barrier thrown in, we celebrated his birthday on April 18th  his whole life long without knowing any better, which is why ...

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What Goes Around

Source: DC Rocks

What Goes Around

Glen Echo Park has come full circle since it was first envisioned as a Chautauqua community. An artists’ utopia. In the 1890s, it was touted as “Glen Echo on the Potomac: the Washington Rhine.” Original plans called for a large sylvan amphitheater, a hall of philosophy, a women’s temple, and a school of fine arts, as well as hotels and cottages.

What Goes Around

Clara Barton, who was a rock star at the time, was convinced to join the community with a donation of land for her Red Cross headquarters, but by 1897, when she left her offices in Washington, (above d.c ...

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Two Ply Plea

Source: DC Rocks

Two Ply Plea

Spring is here, D.C. Opening Day is tomorrow. Everything is blooming. Birds going ape. Summer is around the bend and that means rocking out at Fort Reno. We hope. From the Slickee Boys to the boys from Fugazi – collectively we’ve got a lot of memories:  Grin. Tinseled Sin. Babe. Crank. Going Going Gone. Razz. Liz Meyer with Danny Gatton. The Neptunes. Claude Jones. Dinettes. Priests. Tru Fax.  No Trend. The Upsetters. And more recently: Greenland. Nunchucks, Hello Dharma. The Evens. Sleeper Agent. Pup Tent. The Black Sparks.
Davis White recalls: “Fugazi playing on the fringes of a thunderstorm, and if ...

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Tiny Purple Fishes

Source: DC Rocks

Tiny Purple Fishes

When I hear “Tales of Brave Ulysses,” I see in my mind a psychedelic mermaid and lyrics painted on the wall of a chicken house on the property of E. Howard Hunt- a not so imaginary wire tapper. Nope. It’s not a drug induced flashback- at least not for me. I wasn’t cool enough to have drawn it.  It’s just a memory. I was about fourteen and barely aware of who Eric Clapton was, but I was learning fast. The Yardbirds, Cream, Blind Faith. That short lived group produced just six songs, but it’s one of my favorite ...

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