We Love Weekends

We Love Weekends: June 1 – 3

Photo courtesy of InspirationDC
courtesy of InspirationDC

Mosley: Got a business trip to the West Coast this weekend, so no fun for me.  But if I were to have the time to myself, I’d go to Artomatic Saturday night for the Meet the Artist Night.  There is so much excellent work of artists that I’d love to meet, that I’m kinda bummed I’m going to miss it.  Also happening Saturday at Artomatic is the Art-to-Go Marketplace where you can buy some of the work.

Photo courtesy of Andrew-Hyde
Ping pong arena is awesome. So is @aviel ‘s play.
courtesy of Andrew-Hyde

Alexia: starting my weekend of rock off tonight with Typefighter and Ugly Purple Sweater at the Black Cat! Saturday hope to get some chill time at my friend’s pool during the day, and then heading over to Comet Ping Pong in the evening for some shaking of tailfeathers with Coup Sauvage & The Snips and Chain and The Gang. Sunday morning starting my day with a recording session at my friend Greg’s studio, and evening brings one of my favorite bands of all-time Radiohead to the Verizon Center!

Photo courtesy of tedeytan
2011 Fast Forward Health Film Festival 6600
courtesy of tedeytan

Marissa: A regular, two-day weekend after a holiday weekend always leaves me feeling jipped. But aside from trying to make the most of my hours outside of a cubicle by lounging at the pool and barbecuing for some friends, I’m planning on taking advantage of the free summer Saturdays at the Corcoran. Then Sunday, it’s off to see Jiro Dreams of Sushi at West End Cinema, since so many friends have been raving about it. And if there’s time, I’ll try to sneak in a bowl of ramen at the newly opened Sakuramen in Adams Morgan.

Photo courtesy of M.V. Jantzen
Eat on the Street
courtesy of M.V. Jantzen

Natalia: I am loving this weather, so plan on spending every waking moment in some kind of outdoor activity. On Friday, I want to check out the new rooftop at Masa 14- margaritas and bao buns galore. On Saturday Ill head over to Georgetown and check out this year’s Taste of Georgetown event- a food and wine festival to support the homeless, if it gets too hot head into the Blues Alley for some jazz and wine pairings. Sunday, some spring cleaning and then headed to The National Gallery to check out Joan Miro’s exhibit and Jose Andres’ Garden Cafe Catalonia.

Photo courtesy of Roger Photos
Glen Echo Park, MD…#2
courtesy of Roger Photos

Fedward: This weekend the Social Chair and I are babysitting her niecelets. That means for the bulk of the weekend we’re limited to activities appropriate for the under-6 crowd. Maybe a trip to the pool, possibly a trip up to Colesville for the National Capital Trolley Museum, maybe a standard diversion to Glen Echo Park, or possibly even just a walk from their home in Mt. Pleasant to the zoo. With the Social Chair’s schedule I’m going to be a single “uncle” for part of the weekend, so if you see a tall bald guy with two blond moppets, say hi.

Photo courtesy of Roger Photos
Looking east from Bluemont Winery, VA
courtesy of Roger Photos

Photo courtesy of Roger Photos
Looking east from the Bluemont Winery VA–#2
courtesy of Roger Photos

Tom: It’s a farm weekend! Sunday we’ll head out to the boonies to get our first week of CSA produce and sit on the deck at Bluemont Vineyards and plan something interesting. But before that we’ll head out Friday night, weather depending, to watch the Nationals face off with the Braves. Going into the weekend, they’re still the First Place Nationals, but the Braves will be looking for payback after the sweep.  I’m also planning to hit the H Street Farmers’ Market which is expanding this weekend after record demand. Just call me a gentrifier already, because I’m also planning to do some bike riding on Saturday morning, that is if I’m not headed for the Capital Jazzfest at Merriweather Post Pavilion.

Photo courtesy of CanYeWong
Washington DC Lightning (1of 3)
courtesy of CanYeWong

Don: I’m about ready to wander the streets looking for someone to piñata (hit till candy falls out) so I’m all about the unwinding this weekend. I’m going to find somewhere to sit with a cold beer and watch tomorrow’s ugly weather then it’s all up for grabs. A scheduling issue kept me from going to press night for the GenX-nostaligia-fest that is Signature Theater’s Xanadu (don’t laugh (or do, whatever, I loved that movie when I was 8)) so perhaps I’ll catch up with it or maybe Servant of Two Masters, based on Jenn’s recommendation. Artomatic is always a possibility, though I tend to prefer slightly less crowded weekday nights.

Music, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: The Dandy Warhols @ 9:30 Club — 5/29/12

Photo by John Masters

Going into The Dandy Warhols show at the 9:30 Club on Wednesday night, I was skeptical as to whether the band and its frontman were going to put on a good show. My fears quickly abated, however, as the Dandys opened up slowly with “Be-In,” a slow psychedelic steamer from their second album. They then launched into the bouncier and synthier “We Used to Be Friends” from Welcome to the Monkey House, their fourth and best album.

So even though the Dandys were on tour to promote a new album, This Machine, they weren’t about to disappoint their dedicated fans, who very nearly sold out the 9:30 Club that night, by neglecting their large catalog. The band tirelessly rolled through quite a long show actually, clocking about an hour and 45 minutes, losing some of their audience in the last 30 minutes only because they felt pressured to catch the Metro train home before it got too late.

Although the band worked together remarkably well as a band, Courtney Taylor-Taylor carried the show with a jovial swagger. At times, he would evoke the grunge scene that he quickly grew beyond and mumble through some muddled lyrics and at others he would belt out his words clearly like he was channeling Iggy Pop.

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Weekend Flashback

Weekend Flashback: 5/25-5/28

Photo courtesy of Karon
Relief Commander Conducts His Inspection
courtesy of Karon

You want to know the best part about a long, three day weekend? A four day work week! After no three day weekends for all of March, April, and most of May (a true crime if you ask me) I’d say we earned this tiny reward. So you have my permission to slack off this week at work. And to get this slacking off started, here’s an up-sized Weekend Falshback. Enjoy! Continue reading

Featured Photo

Featured Photo

Photo courtesy of Nikoo's Photos
courtesy of Nikoo’s Photos

A fun people shot. Nikoo’s shot may have a high tourists ratio, but she was able to get them doing their tourist thing. There are the two people on the escalator, taking their photos; the one sitting down, looking at the Metro map; even the abandoned stroller with a massive cup in the corner (the other person sitting down, can’t tell for sure if she’s a tourists, though there’s a good chance she is). The lines of the escalators, chairs, and even the carpet mat helps to portion up the shot. On top of that, what makes this shot work is that it is a fascinating street photo, capturing people doing everyday tasks in an interesting way. The shot is well worth a couple of looks.

Entertainment, Interviews, Music, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: A Q&A with Filligar

Photo Courtesy of Filligar

The industry landscape for independent musicians in America has been in a continual state of evolution ever since the internet went and changed the game. Still, though, it come down to the fact that hard work, perseverance, raw talent, and being at the right place at the right time seem to be working out for those who hold out long enough. Filligar is an example of that.

Full disclosure: I first heard Filligar back in Chicago when I was a freshman in high school. I was 14-years-old and performing in my first “Battle of the Bands.” They were playing too. It was the day that George Harrison passed away. The date was: November 29, 2001. As it turned out, three out of the four members of Filligar just so happened to be in my high school class (Pictured Above: Casey Gibson – keyboard, Pete Mathias – drums, Teddy Mathias – bass), while lead singer and guitarist Johnny Mathias was a couple years behind us.

Back then, they went by the moniker Flipside, sported shorter haircuts, and played a very different style of rock than they do now. But that’s the beauty of age — as you grow, you learn, and Filligar’s made it a point to utilize their personal growth as the means to create one of the most engaging live rock shows in the country.

Hailed as “one of the best young bands in America,” this quintet’s been given an opportunity that they and any other independent musician can appreciate — they’re opening up for Counting Crows on the first leg of their Outlaw Roadshow this Summer. But before they leave on tour with Counting Crows, they’re playing a live show at DC9 Saturday May 26.

Filligar took a few minutes to exchange thoughts with We Love DC via e-mail. Here’s what they had to say.

Rachel: Filligar’s been a band for over a decade. How would you describe your evolution from the time you first sat down to jam and now that you’ve been touring for a few years with several albums under your belts?

Filligar: Well, the first time we sat down to jam we played a song that wasn’t our own: Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”. We butchered it, and ever since we’ve been playing original music. As times go on, our music has changed just as we’ve changed. Touring the country and experiencing America the beautiful has definitely impacted that sound. Continue reading

We Love Arts

We Love Arts: The Music Man

The cast of Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater’s production of The Music Man May 11-July 22, 2012. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Arena Stage’s production of The Music Man is an attractive show put on by talented singers and it shows some cleverness in its use of the theater-in-the-round setup of the Fichandler stage. Beyond that it’s exactly what you’d expect from a well-liked classic musical put on by a seasoned and well-funded theater company. “It does what it says on the tin,” as the saying goes, and if you want more expect different than that then what are you smoking?

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Food and Drink, Homebrewing, The Features

Homebrew DC: Classic American Pilsner

Photo courtesy of Tony DeFilippo
courtesy of Tony DeFilippo

My homebrewing club  at Kena Shriners was asked to make a batch of beer for another club, and was given little direction on what type of homebrew recipe I should use. We did a little reconnaissance work and learned that this other club loves light lagers such as Bud Light, so I decided to make something similar enough that they would be familiar with it, but also different enough that it would be a bit more interesting than their usual brews.

I got this recipe from Brew Your Own, which labeled it “Your Father’s Mustache.” I have adapted the recipe a bit to accommodate for my timeframe and equipment. Specifically, I am using an ale yeast because I need the beer to be done and in a keg in a little more than a month. Making a true pilsner takes a bit longer than an ale because it requires a lager yeast, which ferments slowly, and at a low temperature.

I will be serving this beer on Monday at a Memorial Day cookout. If you go to the Falls Church Memorial Day Parade and see those guys in the little cars, they are the ones who requested this special brew. They will have it after the parade, mind you, so go enjoy all your fine fezzed friends driving their precision patterns.

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We Love Weekends

We Love Weekends: May 25-27

Photo courtesy of Chris Rief aka Spodie Odie

courtesy of Chris Rief aka Spodie Odie

Rachel: I’ve been waiting for this weekend for what feels like forever and I AM STOKED! My weekend begins early with a Thursday night performance at Iota Club & Cafe in Arlington where I’ll be performing as part of “Fleetwood Mac” during the Classic Albums 1977 concert. We’ll be kicking off the entire show at 8:30 p.m. and admission will be $12 at the door. Can’t wait to sing “Songbird,” it’s one of my favorite songs of all-time. My little sister’s coming to town on Friday to celebrate Memorial Day Weekend in the Nation’s Capital so it’ll be nice to show her around town. Then, Saturday night’s what I’ve been looking forward to all week. I’ll be playing DC9 for the first time with a full band while sharing the stage with DC’s own The Grey Area and my old friends Filligar. It’s an early show and music starts with my band at 8 p.m. sharp (admission is $8 at the door). This is Filligar’s last show before going on tour with Counting Crows in June (they’ll be at Wolf Trap on June 20, FYI), so if you wanna catch ‘em before they make it big then I’d strongly suggest stopping by DC9 on Saturday night. The rest of the weekend will be rounded out with BBQ’s and time outside — just how it should be.

Photo courtesy of photo_secessionist
Typewriter Eraser, Scale X
courtesy of photo_secessionist

Marissa: The thought of the start of summer this weekend makes my limbs tingle in excitement (and anticipation of potential sunburns). Friday, I’ll be heading to the first of the Jazz in the Sculpture Garden. Afterwards, it’s over to New York Avenue Beach Bar, provided they’re fully open and operating. Litterbox, you say? Whatevs. Can’t a girl enjoy the feeling of sand between her toes while remaining in the city limits? Saturday will include lots of grilling with some friends and then Sunday I plan to catch some of Artomatic.

Photo courtesy of Tony DeFilippo
Handling the Heat
courtesy of Tony DeFilippo

Don: Apparently job one will be sweating – a projected high of 91 is going to make for a muggy day, given how damp everything is after this week’s rain – but I will be out in it even if I have to sit under the hose. Which would be an ironic way to celebrate the end of the rain but I contain multitudes. For some indoor relief I might try to catch STC’s Servant of Two Masters (if I can take the pain from laughing which Joanna promises is part of the package) and perhaps a little late-Sunday funk at U St. Music Hall for Afrika Bambaataa and All Good Funk Alliance. If anyone’s gonna get funked up it may as well be me.

Photo courtesy of vpickering
14th St.
courtesy of vpickering

Fedward: I haven’t had a complete day off in a couple weeks, and this three day weekend will be no exception. This weekend is our last chance to see the Unbuilt Washington exhibit at the National Building Museum, and we’ve been talking about it since before it opened, so I guess that means we have to go there. Sunday night we’ll be at Studio Theatre for the opening of Bachelorette. After a Big Work Thing today and tomorrow, though, the highlight of my weekend will be the opening of the new New York Ave Beach Bar. Look for me there with my feet up and a can of cold beer in my hand.

Entertainment, Music, Night Life, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: Black Hills @ Black Cat, 5/23/2012

Black Hills: Air apparent? photo by author

Earlier this week I chatted with DC-based Aaron Estes about his latest musical project Black Hills. Last night I got the chance to see the group play at Black Cat, along with openers Reindeer and The Fire Tapes.

I go to a lot of shows. I consider myself a music-lover. In my experience it doesn’t happen often that I am blown away by a band, especially one that is new to me. Last night Black Hills blew me away with their eight-song-set on the backstage of the Black Cat. Now, I wasn’t completely surprised that this happened- I was kind of hoping for it.

I first saw Estes and some of his musical cohorts perform at Run for Cover, a benefit show that has happened for many years at the Black Cat. The show featured all one-off cover bands, made up of DC musicians, to varying degrees of musical success, silliness, and spectacle. The acts Estes was a part of were far-and-away the most spectacular and musically spot-on, two years in a row: a C+C Music Factory cover band in 2010 and a Daft Punk group in 2011. After seeing him at Run for Cover I knew he was one to watch. Fast forward to last week, when I stumbled across the ad for Black Hills on the Black Cat website. After listening to the four songs he has up on Bandcamp, I was giddy.

For a frame of reference, there are a lot of musical comparisons that can be drawn to Black Hills. The influence of Air is apparent, with the lush synths/synth strings and the groovy bass, but at times I was also reminded a little of Genesis, and to make a more current comparison- Gotye.

Though Black Hills’ recorded music is produced by Estes as a solo effort, the live show includes four other very talented musicians. Estes plays synths and sings, and is backed by guitar, more synth, bass and drums.

The lush sounds heard on the recordings were brought to life onstage well, with added sparks from electric guitar, and extra bounce from groovy bass and drums. Highlights of the set included the beautiful “The Good News”, the infectious “In my Dreams”, and the celestial “Glass.” I must also admit that my heart skipped a beat (or three) when they played spot-on, gorgeous covers of Air’s “Run” and Goldfrapp’s “Clowns.”

The only disappointment was that they didn’t have any more songs to play at the end of their set. At least it gives me something to look forward to…

Food and Drink, Music, Special Events, The Daily Feed

Food, Music, and Charity: Sound Bites 2012

An annual fundraiser for DC Central Kitchen, Sound Bites took over the 9:30 Club – and V Street outside in block party style – on Sunday evening. The event featured music from a variety of local performers, a cocktail-mixing competition among some of the city’s top bartenders, and samples of fare by many local restaurants.

The event, now in its third year, is a different take on the many fancy charity galas that have been all over town the last few weeks. DC Central Kitchen wanted to do something casual, accessible, and lighthearted to raise funds for their vital projects. All of the restaurants involved donated their food and staff time to the cause. Attendees were able to stroll around the outdoor area tasting samples or duck out of the sun into the club to listen to a band or DJ between bites.
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Entertainment, Interviews, Music, People, The Features, We Love Music

Q&A with Black Hills

photo courtesy of Black Hills

We Love DC Music Editor Alexia Kauffman had the chance to chat with DC-based musical mastermind Aaron Estes recently. Estes previously fronted the indie band Bellman Barker, but is now focusing on going solo with his dreamy-synth-pop project Black Hills. 

Alexia Kauffman: So I never got to see Bellman Barker, but I became aware of you as a performer when I saw you at Run for Cover*, as part of my favorite acts, two years in a row.

Aaron Estes: Oh cool, which acts?

AK: In 2010 it was the C&C Music Factory cover group, and then in 2011 it was the Daft Punk group.

AE: Yeah, those were pretty fun shows. (laughing)

AK: They were so above and beyond awesome, not just the theatrics and visuals that went into them (which were both hilarious and spectacular) but really the music- it was so well done. Plus I’m a fan of anything that glows in the dark. So once I found out who you were I filed it in my mind that I needed to see what music you were doing. And time passed, and I just saw your picture up on the Black Cat website recently, that you’re performing as Black Hills, and I knew I had to check it out. I really dig the tracks you have up on Bandcamp.

AE: Oh awesome, thank you! Continue reading

We Love Arts

We Love Arts: The Servant of Two Masters

Jesse J. Perez as Florindo and Steven Epp as Truffaldino in Yale Repertory Theatre’s 2010 production of The Servant of Two Masters, directed by Christopher Bayes. Photo by Richard Termine.

When the lights at the Lansburgh Theatre go down and The Servant of Two Masters begins, you know within seconds you’re at a play. Gone is the predictable 9-5 workday, the awkwardness of happy hour networking, the pressures of politics and power struggles. It’s play time, and as such you are invited to loosen your tie, let your hair down, and prepare for an ab workout only laughter can provide.

As a classic example of commedia dell’arte by Italy’s beloved Carlo Goldoni, The Servant of Two Masters relies on only the basic outline of a plot: a young couple wants to get married, but complications arise that prevent them from tying the knot. When a servant arrives to help sort out the problem, he inevitably makes everything worse by attempting to work two jobs at once.

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Entertainment, Music, Night Life, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: Penguin Prison @ Rock & Roll Hotel, 5/19/2012

photo by Jason Coile

Last week We Love DC guest writer Jonathan Druy interviewed Chris Glover of Penguin Prison, and Saturday night he attended the Penguin Prison show at Rock & Roll Hotel. Check out his review of the show below!

By the time the unabashedly glamorous electro-pop opener Class Actress had finished, the packed, rowdy house at Rock & Roll Hotel late Saturday night was ready for Penguin Prison to come out and give them more. When Chris Glover and his three bandmates took the stage, they looked more like an indie-rock band – besides the two rows of keys, Glover sports a guitar and a leather jacket. Their brand of infectious, melodic electro-dance-pop can’t be as easy to swing as they made it look, but having been on tour as long as they have, it’s no wonder they delivered a slick, flawless, crowd-pleasing show. Once they opened with “Golden Train”, one of his best songs, Glover’s skilled voice didn’t falter throughout the set, and most of the show was a faithful live version of songs from their self-titled album. In addition, he sang the breezy new “Hollywood”, a collaboration with the remix artist RAC, and peaked with a cover of Lana Del Rey’s “Blue Jeans”, in which Glover, who’d been using his guitar mostly as a rhythm backup the entire night, busted out with a confident guitar solo. Since the dancing had been pretty much non-stop for the last hour, the crowd had probably earned the encore, as Penguin Prison closed the night with “Multi-Millionaire”.

Featured Photo

Featured Photo

Photo courtesy of yostinator
Photog in the reflection
courtesy of yostinator

A little bit of mystery for the day. A self portrait is just what it sounds like, a photo of the photographer taken by the photographer. Some people find this type of photography to be empty or egotistical. Others (like myself) think that, when done well, it can give you an amazing insight into the person taking the photograph. Like any other portrait photo it can convey an amazing amount of emotion. Now yostinator SP above isn’t a full on self portrait, but it still does a great job of capturing the mystery of the scene. We’ve all had moments where we catch our reflection in a window or a mirror and, if the light is just right, get intrigued by what is looking back at us. Yostinator catches her hand’s reflection, along with that of her camera, and along the way gets some beautiful colors and bokeh in the background, all while waiting for a Metro train. This could just as easily been an abstract painting, rather than a self portrait.

Weekend Flashback

Weekend Flashback: 5/18-5/20

Photo courtesy of ekelly80
try one
courtesy of ekelly80

Just one more week until Memorial Day; we can make…I think. Why is it the week before Memorial Day always drags by, with everyone trying to work, but instead everyone has their minds on the nice, long weekend? Mysteries of the world. Anyways, take your mind off your work, or your coming vacation, and check out the photos from our skilled photographers.  Continue reading

The Daily Feed

Nationals use Battery Power, beat Orioles 9-3

Photo courtesy of philliefan99
throwing to the promised land
courtesy of philliefan99

It is a time of feast and famine from the Nationals’ offense, with half of their last ten games over six runs, and the other half under three. Sunday was a welcome feast for Nationals fans, with a triumphant 9-3 victory over the troublesome Orioles, and an end to a three-game slide that saw the Nationals drop out of first place in the NL East. The Nationals took their lead on the power of their battery – an unlikely source if ever there was one. 

In the fourth inning, tied up at three apiece, Jesus Flores stepped in against Wei-Yin Chin and sent an 81mph change up into the second row of the stands in right center.  Three pitches later, Stephen Strasburg would join the home run club, sitting and waiting for a curveball, and launching it into the Orioles’ bullpen. Strasburg’s first career home run ran about 398 feet according to ESPN, and he had just about the slowest home run trot I’ve ever seen, though, according to the Tater Trot Tracker, he didn’t even make the ten slowest list of the year.

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