Music, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: Paint The Music

Photo Courtesy of Paint The Music

Bringing two different art forms together for one performance is Dan Fisk’s goal with his new Paint The Music performance series. The concept is simple: four painters are matched with a performance artist and each painter has the duration of a full night’s worth of music to complete the visual interpretation of the performer’s first song.

The idea came to local singer-songwriter and program organizer Fisk who was inspired by a story he heard from a DJ friend in San Diego. “I remember her telling me about a show that she did years ago where an artist was painting whatever he felt like during the show,” Fisk said. “He let the music inspire his art. I thought it was a great idea!”

It has always been something Fisk wanted to bring to DC but – according to him – it had to wait until he had enough time to give the project the attention it deserved. Continue reading

Sports Fix, The Daily Feed

Nationals can’t touch Phillies, lose 8-0

Photo courtesy of philliefan99
before the warmup
courtesy of philliefan99

Baseball’s a funny game. You can face a team that you’re 16.5 games behind you in the standings and have a complete offensive meltdown, a disastrous night on the mound, and still sneak out sharing the best record in baseball.  On a night when they were short five of their starters due to injury (Ramos, Desmond, Werth, LaRoche and Zimmerman), even facing a team as hapless and gutted as the Phillies, the Nationals were playing far below their weight.

In the third inning, already trailing by 4, Bryce Harper went to make an athletic catch instead of playing a Jimmy Rollins double off the wall, and gave up the first inside-the-park home run at Nationals Park this season, putting the lead out to six.  Stephen Strasburg came up with a dud of an outing on the night, going just 4 IP, and surrendering 6 earned runs on 8 hits. He had just 3 strikeouts and allowed only one walk, but not once did we see the fireballer who was indomitable early in the year. At times, Strasburg looked frustrated, and since the All-Star Break, he has been: since the All-Star Break, he’s put up a 4.43 ERA in four starts, each time looking less and less in control.

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Sports Fix, The Daily Feed

Nationals stand pat at trade deadline

Photo courtesy of Images_of_Money
Poker hand and Chips
courtesy of Images_of_Money

Looking at the Nationals public posture was all you needed to do, it turned out, in the run-up to the trade deadline. As far back as a week or so ago, manager Davey Johnson had said that the team was in good stead, and compared favorably to the 1986 Mets team that Johnson managed to a World Series trophy. It’s hard to blame the Nationals for refusing to engage in deadline brinksmanship when they’ve had such a successful season. Currently, the squad possesses the best record in baseball after 101 games, and will likely be piling on in the coming weeks as they face depleted squads from Philadelphia and Miami for a home stand.

Moreover, it’s hard to see what they were supposed to move for. Geovany Soto, a veteran catcher? Sure, that’s possible, but the Nationals don’t have the AA pitcher to spare for the Rangers to help them fill out their minor league pitching roster as it stands. Marco Scutaro, to give them another infield option? It doesn’t make sense for the Nationals to pay cash – and another infield prospect – when they’ve got some solid options available to them at the current.

As it stands, the armchair GMs of Washington may be grousing casually, but I think all you should do is point at the standings, and the return of Jayson Werth this week, as well as Chad Tracy today, as worth standing up for, especially when there was a paucity of good trade options that would benefit the Nationals in the long term as opposed to serving as a rental agreement for talent that the team just isn’t that desperate for at the time.

There are times to be buyers, and times to be sellers, but both of those depend on the time and price being right. This time, it wasn’t.

The Features

Politics and Prose, Go-Go, and the Rashomon Book Signing

Photo courtesy of farrelley
Politics & Prose
courtesy of farrelley

Turns out, maybe Chevy Chase is ready for Go Go after all?

Natalie Hopkinson, author of Go-Go Live: The Musical Life and Death of a Chocolate City was invited to sign her book and speak at a reading at Politics & Prose in Chevy Chase this past week. As Go Go music is integral to her book, she assembled a playlist heavy on DC favorites and brought it with her to be the soundtrack for her signing. She gave the disc to Politics & Prose, they put it in, and that’s where everything went haywire.

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Food and Drink, Foodie Roundup, The Features

We Love Food: Farmers Market Tips

Photo courtesy of ekelly80
fruit & vegetables
courtesy of ekelly80

Spring and summer: every locavore’s dream. The fresh produce is abundant, the options in the kitchen are endless, and all the colors and smells are so great that you almost forget about the scorching hot sun.

So I started to think about all the different farmers markets and what I had heard about each one–the tips and tricks for stocking your fridge and pantry with local eats. After the jump, you can find out what DC eaters and chefs have to say about some of our local farmers markets. You can follow my Twitter list of DC-area farmers markets and some of the vendors and give me a holler if there are any I missed adding to the list. And feel free to share any of your farmers market tips in the comments section.

A big hat tip to Cathy of Mrs. Wheelbarrow who sparked the idea.

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘ekelly80′
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Featured Photo

Featured Photo

Photo courtesy of furcafe
courtesy of furcafe

Random sights of the city; they seem to becoming rarer and rarer. I remember growing up and driving along New York Ave and North Capitol Street, seeing unusual remnants of buildings all of the time. But as DC has gone through it’s renaissance over the last two decades, these sights have become harder to find. Chris found this fascinating building, or what’s left of it, in the H Street/Capitol Hill area. A building at least twenty years old, judging by the no area code on the phone number, but probably hasn’t seen a good day in at least thirty (and what’s with the “or 98″?). The contrasting types of bricks and colors draw the eye and make the viewer wonder what happened to the people who used (or use) this building. Quite the sight indeed.

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

Hot Ticket: Black Hills at Rock & Roll Hotel, 7/30/2012

photo by Stephanie Breijo

DC’s own Black Hills play tonight at Rock & Roll Hotel. They are opening for British electronic-rock duo The Big Pink.

Black Hills is the dreamy electronic project of Aaron Estes, former front-man of the now defunct DC indie-rock group Bellman Barker. If Air, Royksopp, and Goldfrapp had a beautiful, iridescent love-child, it would be Black Hills. A few months back I interviewed Estes- you can check that out here. I also couldn’t stop gushing in my review of Black Hills’ performance at the Black Cat in May- read that here. While the songs on the EP Black Gold (which you can hear here) are all written/produced by Estes, the live show features a full band, and is a must-see/hear. Do your ears, heart, and soul a favor and go check out Black Hills tonight!

Black Hills

opening for The Big Pink

doors 7pm/show 8pm

$13 advance/$15 door

Rock & Roll Hotel

All Politics is Local, The Daily Feed

Want to make a better DC? Run for ANC.

Photo courtesy of lightboxdc
courtesy of lightboxdc

DC may not get a vote in the House or the Senate, or have fully autonomous control of our own budget, but what we do have is local participation up the ying yang. The ANC level is without question the most approachable elected office of which I’m aware – short of dogcatcher, naturally – and has a fairly large potential to do good in your neighborhood.  The ANCs across the city handle business which includes liquor licenses in neighborhoods, new development, and other issues that are at the heart of any small part of the city.  As an ANC, you’re an unpaid volunteer without a staff, but there is great potential to affect your neighborhood for the positive.

Not sure where your ANC district is? Not sure who’s running? Local civic-minded programmer Keith Ivey has made a website to show who’s running in your part of town.  If no one has picked up petitions yet, you’ve still got 9 days to get yours and get them signed ahead of the deadline.  You only need signatures from 25 registered voters to get on the ballot, which could be accomplished in an hour or two – less if you can line up all your neighborhood friends. 

Get involved. Leave no seat empty.

Food and Drink, The Daily Feed

Churchkey Debuts Fried Chicken and Donuts

Courtesy of Samer Farha

There’s a new dish you might see parading around Churchkey these days. Don’t worry if you don’t see it on the menu–we don’t need those where we’re going. Besides, you’ll see it coming down the bar from a mile away: a big platter of fried chicken and donuts.

The beer-focused bar’s fried chicken dinner splits a whole chicken in three different styles: thighs and drumsticks in a classic buttermilk fried fashion, chicken tenders fried with a jerk seasoning and “General Satan’s” crispy wings (that’s executive chef Kyle Bailey’s version of General Tso’s). The family-style platter also comes with homemade biscuits with honey butter, corn on the cob topped with a spicy mayo, sesame seeds, cilantro and panko bread crumbs, as well as panzanella with heirloom tomatoes and house-made burrata.

Rounding off your meal are four donuts from executive pastry chef, Tiffany MacIsaac. They’re fried brioche donuts filled with passion fruit curd and topped with a strawberry glaze and a homemade Nilla wafer crumbling or a filled with a goat’s milk cheesecake and topped with a Cajeta glaze and pistachio dusting.

That’s all for only $42, so go ahead and don’t feel bad about ordering that second beer.

The fried chicken special is available on Wednesday nights only in limited quantities.

Weekend Flashback

Weekend Flashback: 7/27-7/29

Photo courtesy of cruffo
courtesy of cruffo

And then it became August. On the bright side, Congress is about to go on it’s traditional month long recess, so that means a generally lazy month for the city (and the one time of the year when they can’t mess things up). And we have the Olympics for half of the month, right? Still, I don’t know about the rest of you, but I always see summer through the eyes of a kid, and see August as the beginning of the end for summer (because school starts shortly). Well, let’s have fun with the summer we have left, starting with some great photos from the weekend. Enjoy! Continue reading

Music, Special Events, The Features

Rally Today for Pussy Riot

Photo courtesy of Person Behind the Scenes

courtesy of Person Behind the Scenes

Despite the threat of inclement weather and permit issues with the DC government, today’s Rally for Pussy Riot will go on. Join the protest from 4:30-6pm outside the Russian Embassy (2650 Wisconsin Avenue NW) with representatives from Amnesty International, Philippa Hughes of the Pink Line Project and Mark Andersen of Positive Force explaining the case’s ramifications for global human rights and the importance of free artistic expression. The event is organized by DC artist and peace activist Andrea Collins, who recently held a month-long action for Pussy Riot at Art-O-Matic.

Unfamiliar with the case? We tend to get protest-weary in Washington, sometimes completely disregarding the issues and believing they don’t affect us, but I urge you to read up on this one. Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina, and Ekaterina Samutsevich have been held without bail in a Moscow prison since their March arrest. They are charged with “hooliganism” for allegedly performing a protest song as members of the feminist punk art collective Pussy Riot at Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior on February 21. If convicted they could face up to seven years in prison. The New Yorker recently published a chilling blog article on the case, discussing the government’s use of the Russian Orthodox Church to crack down on liberal opposition.

Members of local DC bands were planning on a longer punk concert after the rally, but due to the recent permit push-back will instead go guerrilla with their performances. Keep up to date on the event’s Facebook page. Consultant Mark Yoffe will also be speaking at the event, whose sole goal is to raise international awareness of the situation to help free the three incarcerated women, who also need assistance with their legal fund and to support their children, who they have been separated from since their arrest.

“I think that DC with its venerable punk tradition should lead the American movement to help free Pussy Riot,” Yoffe said.

Agreed. If you don’t think that it could happen here, then one day it will.

We Love Weekends

We Love Weekends: July 27-29

Photo courtesy of yostinator
Draft beer
courtesy of yostinator

How can we be in the last weekend in July already? Who moved my clock forward? Surely that’s why this feature is showing up on a Friday, not because of heat-addled brain! Oh well. Here’s how we’re going to say goodbye to the 7th month. How about you?

Jenn: So close. This weekend marks the end of weeks of medication for my heart ailment (sounds so Victorian, swoon). The practical side of me will continue to take it easy out of the danger zone, but the virtual side would be out and about like crazy. There’s tons to do and I’ve missed so much already! Fringe wraps up over the next few days, with plenty drama yet to see (I’m hoping to head to The Extermination Machine at DCAC). Of course even with many bartenders out of town for Tales of the Cocktail in NOLA (damn, I wish), there are still drinks to toss back. The lively folks at Drink the District are bringing you over 40 beers in two sessions over on New York Avenue on Saturday ($30 online/$40 at the event/$10 designated driver). It’s geared towards millennials who love great beer but don’t have a lot of cash to get introduced to new brews. Full pours will be available for domestic beer, with tastings for craft beer. Saturday also sees the launch of Season of Discovery at the historic St. Elizabeth’s, with a farmers’ market and all sorts of fun entertainment. Sunday I’d enjoy some of the best local bellydancers in DC Tribal Cafe’s monthly event at Mellow Mushroom in Adams Morgan, before crossing the river to see We Love DC’s own Alexia perform with The Torches at the Galaxy Hut. Whew. Here’s to getting healthy again!

Photo courtesy of USDAgov
courtesy of USDAgov

Marissa: I’ve got not one, but TWO old roommates in town, so my weekend plans will likely turn into catching up over cocktails. Friday after work, I’m hoping to unwind to a little country music at the South on South Capitol concert down at the Fairgrounds. Saturday night I’m heading to the Howard Theatre to catch chef Marcus Samuelsson speak about his new book, Yes, Chef. Come Sunday, it’s time for some R&R before gearing up for another busy week.

Photo courtesy of jsmjr
courtesy of jsmjr
Tom: Weekend? Oh God, I get a weekend! This is the weekend I’m finally going to pull the trigger and go get a new a bicycle, so look for me out on the town riding like a fool. You’ll know me by the “wheeeeeeee” you hear as I cycle by. Add in some rug shopping and maybe a trip to Ikea for cheap furni, and you’ve got a pretty solid weekend. Also included will be a first trip to the Brixton.

Photo courtesy of yostinator
Fort Reno
courtesy of yostinator
Alexia: Weekend of rock, weekend of rock! If all goes according to plan I’ll be starting the rock tonight at Fort Reno to see Mobius Strip, More Humans, and Grammar. Friday night I hope to make it over to Comet Ping Pong for Natural ChildThe Doozies, and Birdcloud. Saturday hope to make it to an evening of music and poetry featuring the music of Chaim Rubenstein, at The Loft above City Bikes in Adams Morgan. Sunday I’m playing a show with my band The Torches and our labelmates A Lull at one of our very favorite haunts, Galaxy Hut! Come out and party with us!!

Photo courtesy of rpmaxwell
Forum (Re)Acts – Long Exposure
courtesy of rpmaxwell

Fedward: Friday we’re seeing Young Jean Lee’sChurch, produced by Forum Theatre as part of the Over the Line Festival (here’s Patrick’s review). Sunday features brunch at Brixton followed by … brunch at the Passenger, as long as the latter has reopened after the renovations happening during Tales of the Cocktail. In between, we’re spending Saturday afternoon with some friends in Virginia for ribs, and no, you’re not invited to that.

The Daily Feed

Boone from Trusty’s back at work, still needs your help

Photo courtesy of jsprig

courtesy of jsprig

It’s the kind of thing only the best people do: without thought of self, they jump into the fray to help stop a theft. That’s what Trusty’s Full Service bartender Matt Boone did this past May, and for his trouble, he was stabbed multiple times, and had to be airlifted to the hospital. Boone returned to work recently, after months of recovery, but faces a long uphill battle to pay the $55,000+ in medical bills related to the assault. 

Tonight at Capitol Lounge, there will be a fundraiser for Boone, or you can paypal him a thank you at

It’s sad and unfortunate that we live in a world where Boone’s benevolent action is met not with thanks but with a hefty medical bill.  Boone makes DC a better place, DC friends, please give what you can to help him out.

The Daily Feed

A lower fine for traffic cameras?

Photo courtesy of andradeXcobain
Need for Speed
courtesy of andradeXcobain

Councilman (and 2014 Mayoral Hopeful) Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6) has formed a Task Force to look at the fines levied by red light and speed trap cameras and adjust their amounts to make them a safety feature not just a punitive measure and revenue source. I watched recently as a whole line of Maryland out-bound commuters got nailed at the bottom of a hill in my Brookland neighborhood, each flash representing about $100 for the city coffers from cars headed back to the suburbs. Mr. Wells appears to be doing the political calculus on this one, as showing himself to be more car-friendly despite his livable/walkable slogan and reputation as an anti-car crusader, he gains credibility with a large part of the city that still drives and hate the new cameras.

The Features

A $7B, 20-year makeover for Union Station?

New Union Station animations from Tom Bridge on Vimeo.

video provided by Akridge and Shalom Baranes Associates 

I had hoped to post this yesterday as news of the redesign plan broke at an afternoon press conference. I’m glad I waited to see everything. There was much hue and cry over the redesign of one of DC’s most-beloved façades, and the modern glass and steel framing of the proposed redesign of Union Station was not small.  

Amtrak and Akridge, along side the Mayor, the Department of Transportation’s Deputy Secretary, and a number of other local officials, announced a roadmap for a modernization of Union Station and the creation of 3 million square feet of mixed-used development including 100,000 square feet of retail options, 1.5 million square feet of office space, and a number of residential options in the air-space that currently is immediately above the departure tracks.

The plan that was announced yesterday is just that, a plan for the future of the station, and it has yet to be funded by any entity public or private. Given the cost, it will likely split between several entities, and some of it will be federal in nature, due to the parentage of Amtrak. Plans include a high-speed rail link to New York along the NE Corridor routes, and a major overhaul of the terminal space, which is welcome. If you’ve ever spent more than 5 minutes in the current terminal space, you know just how dingy and awful the space is, and couple that with long queues for trains, and you’ve got pretty much the worst place short of the Metro to spend any kind of waiting time.

The new master plan includes a block long park along the station’s western edge, as well as a glass-enclosed nerve center concourse that looks to be the polar opposite of the existing terminal’s dour taciturn functionality. That would be the first phase of the plan, and would run $300M and be completed in 2017, should it ever be funded. All ideas start somewhere, and to get funding you often have to have the dream well-designed before the checkbooks come out. Union Station’s Columbus Circle façade won’t be changing, but its hideous rear entrance may be getting a makeover, sometime before 2032.

The Features, We Love Arts

Theater Spotlight: What Mike Daisey Thinks of You

Mike Daisey in The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs. Photo credit: Stan Barouh

Mike Daisey, the famous-turned-infamous creator and star of The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, has returned to Woolly Mammoth with his controversial production. The show – a monologue about all things Apple, including geekery, gadgets, and Chinese factories – inspired a national inquiry into Apple’s manufacturing process. It also caused a public outcry as his “work of nonfiction” was later revealed to be partly fiction.

I didn’t want to bore you with the ugly details, because you’ve heard them already from former staffers at Woolly Mammoth, from NPR’s This American Life (TAL), and from Daisey himself.

Instead, I headed over to Woolly Mammoth last week to see the show for a second time. Then I spoke with Mr. Daisey about coming back to our fair city and what he thinks of our very favorite thing: us.

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