The Daily Feed

Nationals trade for Denard Span

Photo courtesy of Keith Allison
Denard Span
courtesy of Keith Allison

Late yesterday, the Nationals announced that they had completed a deal with the Minnesota Twins to bring center fielder Denard Span to DC in exchange for minor league pitcher Alex Meyer. Span’s early career has been nothing short of impressive, with a .746 career OPS, a slash line of .284/.357/.389, and some plus defensive skills that will make a Harper/Span/Werth outfield a place where balls go to die.

Span was 9th in the AL last year among position players in Wins Above Replacement, which determines a player’s overall contribution level to their club.

Continue reading

We Love Weekends

We Love Weekends – Nov 30-Dec 2

Addison: I was supposed to be on vacation in the Caribbean starting Saturday, but unfortunately had to cancel my plans at the last minute, so I’m here in DC this weekend. While I don’t believe in doing anything Christmas-related before December, that all changes on Saturday! In the morning, I will be cooking brunch for some friends, then heading out to Old Town Alexandria to watch the 42nd Annual Scottish Christmas Parade. After that, I plan on popping in to one of the fine neighborhood drinking establishments, such as Bilbo Baggins, to warm up a bit and wait for the Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights, where decorated pleasure boats light up the sky along the Potomac River including 50 powerboats, sailboats and the District’s fireboat, the John Glenn. Sunday is for taking the pup to the park and enjoying brunch. I haven’t decided on a place yet, so if anyone has any Alexandria brunch recommendations, please let me know!

Fedward: KITTENS!. We adopted these two from the Washington Humane Society‘s New York Avenue shelter. Their mom (only slightly less cute) is still available for adoption and we can vouch for the awesomeness of Mustafa and Smoke, two sweet adult cats available from the Society’s Georgia Avenue shelter. You can also swing by the Washington Animal Rescue League and have a look at their adoptable pets, including the stars of the Too Cute Kitten Cam (Marge, Selma, Patty, Lisa, and Maggie). So what I’m saying is there are a lot of adorable cats and kittens out there who could use homes (oh, and dogs and puppies too, I guess). Maybe yours is one?

Tom: The Holidays are upon us! This weekend is about figuring out how to heck to put up lights and where they all go. That will mean some trips to the Home Depot, or maybe the newly open Ward 5 Costco, fresh off its christening by Vice President Biden. We’ve also got friends coming for dinner, so prep of some Border Springs Farm lamb is in order, also. I need to figure out where I’m working out this winter, so any suggestions for a place with good cycle trainers is welcome. If you’re looking for something fun on Friday, hit up Wonderland Ballroom for the taping of the 3-year anniversary special from our friends at You, Me, Them, Everybody, who are putting together an all-star show of their first three years. Congratulations, guys!

Marissa: In addition to the copious amounts of Christmas music I’ll be pumping in my ears, I’ve got a few things on my list to check out this weekend. Specifically, the newly opened Hanoi House over on 14th street. I’m also planning on swinging by the downtown holiday market in the hopes of finding gifts for the people in my life that already have everything and have made no specific requests. Having heard lots of good things from friends, maybe I’ll make my way over to Biker Barre on Sunday to sweat out some stress before a new week starts.

Jenn: I need some elegance and festive cheer this weekend. “Holidays through History” to the rescue! Tour four of Washington’s most exquisite historic mansions on Saturday from 4-8pm: Tudor Place, Anderson House, Dumbarton House, and the Woodrow Wilson House will all be decorated for the holidays with music and refreshments. Shuttle bus service is provided between all sites, and all ticket proceeds benefit those noble houses. You want more? See an artistic explosion in honor of the Sackler’s 25th anniversary as Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang combines fireworks and optical illusion at the north entrance of the Freer at 3pm Friday afternoon. Transformer’s 9th Annual Silent Auction and Benefit Party is Friday night, celebrating one of the coolest galleries in town. The sure-to-be-amazing immersive exhibit Pure Land opens at the Sackler on Saturday, taking you digitally inside the Magao Grottoes of China. DC Arts Studios holds its Holiday Open House and Gift Sale on Sunday afternoon. And oh, I’m actually venturing over the river for the first time in ages to have Saturday brunch at Lyon Hall with my favorite bon vivant photographer. If you see me there overdosing on coffee and house made doughnuts, please say hi.

Don: My weekend is a hint slow but it starts strong – with the Faction of Fools A Commedia Christmas Carol. I’ve got high hopes for this one, based on Joanna’s experience with their Fringe show. Possibly not for everyone – my darling wife declined to join me, saying that with the use of masks they looks too much like clowns. Saturday I’m going to go support a friend and see what sort of goodies are for sale at the Aurora Hills Women’s Club Holiday Boutique. If nothing else I’ll pick up some homemade dog biscuits for Casey; we’ve enjoyed Martha’s cooking over the years so he shouldn’t be left out.

Patrick: My weekend kicks on Barrack’s Row where I’ll be at the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop to Dog & Pony’s latest creation: A Killing Game. If I’m lucky maybe a certain Arts editor will join me for the show as well. Saturday I will be checking out the Exquisitely Evil exhibit at the Spy Museum for an upcoming piece. Not sure what I’m doing Saturday night but considering December marks the end of my personal “No Drink November” month of sobriety, it will be something very fun.

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

Q&A with Shana Falana

photo courtesy of Shana Falana

Shana Falana is a shoegaze/dream-pop band, currently based in New York. They mix dreamy female vocals, often looped and layered, with reverb-drenched guitar sometimes heavy, sometimes airy, for beautiful and sometimes hypnotic results. They are currently on tour, and play DC’s Comet Ping Pong this Friday, November 30th.  We Love DC’s Alexia got the chance to ask the group’s founder/front-woman Shana a few questions this week, and here’s what she had to say.

Alexia: How did you first start playing music?

Shana: Started playing in San Francisco in 1992- got an electric guitar and reverby amp to learn some surf guitar, The Cramps and Mazzy Star.

Alexia: Was there one artist or song that first made you fall in love with rock music?

Shana: PJ Harvey!!!

Alexia: How did Shana Falana come together as a band?

Shana: I have had so many bands for each of my projects with different band names, to separate out all my different songwriting sounds, but 2 years ago I decided to not pick them apart and to make them all one band with different sounds, under my own name Shana Falana. My sound is complex!!!

Alexia: You used to be in a Bulgarian Women’s choir, and mention that it has some influence on your music- can you tell us a little about that?

Shana: Dissonant harmonies are so interesting!!! For me it’s so much more stimulating to my senses and I use them throughout my music. I sang medieval harmonies as well and try to sneak them in there too! In the Bulgarian choir we would sing these chants that are very circular and layered, and when I perform my live vocal looping I incorporate that layering and dissonance.

Alexia: I read that you have more than two years sober now. I am also a musician, with a little over five years sober. I really admire hearing about musicians who are still doing their thing in the rock scene after finding sobriety. How did you realize you needed to stop using? Are there any challenges you’ve found?

Shana: There was a voice in my head four years ago telling me that I wouldn’t have a career in music unless I got completely sober. I will have three years December first! I do everything for my music so I did sobriety too. It’s not hard being around people that are drinking- I really don’t crave it at all, and I don’t lose my gear, and I perform better. The only downside is touring and staying at someone’s house who’s partying and waiting for them to get sleepy.

Alexia: Is there anyone you’re listening to right now that you are really excited about?

Shana: Thee Oh Sees, Naomi Punk, Mac DeMarco. Bands to “watch”: Breakfast In Fur, out of New Paltz, New York, and a band we tour with, Crawlbabies out of Brooklyn.

Alexia: What’s next?

Shana: Canadian tour in April, and Europe in May and June. Possibly a 7″ release with two new tracks this spring 2013.


See Shana Falana at Comet Ping Pong this Friday, November 30th!

Shana Falana

with The Deads

and Pinkish Black

All Ages/$10/10pm/Comet Ping Pong


Music, The Daily Feed

Hot Ticket: Sky Ferreira @ DC9, 11/30/12

Photo courtesy of David Boyle
Sky Ferreira
courtesy of David Boyle

Sky Ferreira last month released Ghost, an EP with a set of songs that sound so diverse that you have to wonder if she’s ready to take on the world or just too easily distracted.

But Liberation Dance Party put the video for “Everything Is Embarrassing” into rotation these last few months — and it’s got a great DIY new wave vibe for a slow dance. The song certainly offers echoes of Ferreira’s reported heroes, Nico and Debbie Harry. Her husky voice captivates. By the time the song is over, it seemed way too short (and it kind of wisely is, clocking less than 3 minutes).

Ferreira’s debut album is due to drop very soon — after clashes with label EMI last year over the direction they expected of her as The Next Big Thing.  But the 20-year-old Ferreira wanted to be more “indie” than “mainstream.” Interestingly, instead of breaking off the relationship, EMI chose to nurture her.

So what’s she really all about? I’m curious to find out when she performs this Friday, Nov. 30, as part of Liberation Dance Party at DC9. (All I truly know about her is that she really can’t wait for the release of The Hobbit.) Doors for Liberation usually open at 9pm and bands generally start up around 11pm. In the meantime, watch videos and dance dance dance the night away.

Sky Ferreira
Nov. 30

Sports Fix, The Daily Feed

Wizards Finally Win A Game With A Last Second Thriller Against Portland

On the eve of a $550 million Powerball jackpot, the Washington Wizards tried to hit it big with a jackpot of their own: their first win of the season. Entering Wednesday night 0-12, the Wizards faced off against the Portland Trailblazers in an effort to avoid falling to 0-13 and another step closer to matching the NBA record of most losses to start a season.

Portland, in the midst of a seven game road trip playing their third game in four nights, kept things interesting. After eliminating a 15 points Washington lead late in the final quarter, the Trailblazers refused to call it quits. After gaining possession of the ball with .2 seconds left on the clock, the Trailblazers were left with a desperation inbound shot that bounced off the basket without a rebound or tip-in to spoil the Wizards first victory 84-82.

Continue reading

The Features

This makes Dickpunchgate look like a civil transaction

You may remember Dickpunchgate from 2008, wherein a local coffeeshop manager threatened to punch a customer in his dick, but our friends at We Love Beantown have one-upped it with a frightening display of bad behavior on behalf of Pigalle in Boston, which ends with someone with access to their social media account telling a patron with a (snippy) complaint about bad pie on Thanskgiving to go fuck themselves.

The quick descent from “call me” to “judging by how fat your face looks, you most likely shouldn’t be eating anymore desserts anyway,” seems to indicate that the usual social media person may have been cut out of the loop in favor of someone a little more personally involved in the restaurant.

While restaurants are the sites of some bad behavior by the hyper-invested, behavior like whomever at Pigalle did that just isn’t acceptable, unfortunately, it’s far from a rare occasion.

I’m thinking here of some Mike Isabella’s twitter combat with Tom Sietsema, or Gillian Clark’s YouTube channel, or the “diner agreement” at Rogue 24, or Daniel O’Brien’s recent blog comments freakout, or the local hyper-aggressive PR maven who only represents out of town clients because her behavior is so bad inside the beltway… and none seem to compare with what happened after Thanksgiving in Boston at Pigalle. 

For that, we can be thankful.

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

Q&A with Jesse Tabish of Other Lives

photo by Jeremy Charles

My first exposure to Oklahoma’s Other Lives was at this year’s Coachella music festival. I had never heard them before, but had heard the name, and decided to check them out. I was blown away. The five-piece band’s sound is orchestral and lush, blending dreamy, melancholic vocals with beautiful and unconventional instrumental arrangements. Earlier in the year they spent some time opening for Radiohead on tour in the US and Mexico, and are now on their own US tour supporting their latest album, Tamer Animals- a gorgeous, dark, musical fantasy. They play DC’s Rock & Roll Hotel this Friday, November 30th. I recently got the chance to talk with singer Jesse Tabish, and here’s what he had to say.

Alexia Kauffman: How’s your tour going?

Jesse Tabish: Really nice! We’re about halfway through, and we’re headed to Austin right now, so I can’t complain. It’s been very nice.

Alexia: Cool! So how did you first start playing music?

Jesse: Well I started very young, playing the piano, maybe four or five, and you know played music my whole life. Picked up the guitar when I heard Nirvana, just like many kids, and I’ve been writing music for the last fifteen years. That’s kind of all I’ve ever done, from when I was little.

Alexia: So you mentioned Nirvana, who I love- was there any one artist or album that made you fall in love with rock?

Jesse: Oh yeah, I remember one Christmas, when I was very young, my parents got me a little single of “Hey Jude” on a tape. And I remember it was the first time I was really truly taken aback by something, and I listened to that the whole day. I probably listened to that song forty times, just on repeat and repeat and repeat. It was kind of the first moment I was like “Wow!”, really powerful.

Alexia: So do you feel like there’s a scene where you all are from?

Jesse: You know, it’s like an anti-scene, really. We’ve been doing music in Oklahoma for the last ten years, and I say anti in the sense that there’s no collective sound of bands. Which I think is really fantastic. Oklahoma’s a little bit of a lonely place- there’s not a whole lot of things coming in and out of it. In some ways it has this feel of isolation to it, and I think, you know, it can leave artists to kind of have that meditation and to be and grow individually from that, rather than sometimes you get too much of a scene, you get too many bands that are influencing each other too much. But in Oklahoma it’s kind of the opposite. Continue reading

Music, The Daily Feed

Hot Ticket: Men Without Hats @ The State Theatre, 11/29/12

Photo courtesy of Epiclectic
My Hot, Fury Myth
courtesy of Epiclectic

We can dance if we want to
We can leave your friends behind
Cause your friends don’t dance
And if they don’t dance
Well they’re no friends of mine!

I have trouble telling you my favorite song on any given day, but I can absolutely list in perfect order my top 10 dance anthems of the 1980s. Clocking in at #3 is the eternally awesome “Safety Dance” by Men Without Hats, who broke out from Montreal in 1982 with their first album, Rhythm of Youth.

Before Men Without Hats broke up less than 10 years later, they hit the international charts a big way a second time with “Pop Goes the World.”

The classic lineup of the band consisted of three brothers and a drummer but singer and keyboardist Ivan Doroschuk reformed the band in 2010 with three new musicians, a la Terri Nunn and Berlin and similar reenergized bands. The new band has a new album, Love in the Age of War, which itself could have broke out in 1982. The Montreal new wavers come to the State Threatre in Falls Church, Va., tomorrow on Nov. 29, marking the first time to catch Doroschuk and company locally in quite a while!

They band has been touring with The Human League and the B-52s — and they once were set to join Martin Fry and ABC on one of those Regeneration Tours — but they haven’t made it to the DC area until now. Buy a ticket but bring your friends along! (Because they *will* dance…)

Los Angeles quartet Right the Stars serve as openers.

Men Without Hats
w/ Right the Stars
Thursday, Nov. 29
Doors 7pm; show 8:30pm
$19 advance/$23 door
The State Theatre

The Features

Q&A with Playwright Mia Chung

Mia Chung / Courtesy Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

Playwright Mia Chung is a member of New Dramatists and the Ma-Yi Writers Lab. She is a Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA) playwriting fellow and a Theatre Communications Group (TCG) Global Connections grantee.

Her work has appeared on many stages, but most recently can be seen at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company’s You for Me for You—a magical realism play about two North Korean sisters separated from each other against their wills. You for Me for You is the first show of Woolly Mammoth’s Free the Beast initiative, which aims to produce 25 new plays over a ten-year period (2013-2022).

Mia recently spoke with me about playwriting, Asian-American representation in theater, and what the DC theater world has done to encourage her continued success.

Continue reading

Entertainment, The Features, We Love Arts

We Love Arts: Seussical

Attending a performance of Imagination Stage’s Seussical marked a new milestone in my career as a pretend theatre critic (I say pretend because I’m no Peter Marks… yet.) It was the first show where I could say that the majority of the audience were younger than me. Much younger. Usually it is the other way around. That’s the norm when it comes to Children’s Theatre. 12 years later from it’s original Broadway debut, the musical based on the works of Dr. Seuss continues to delight crowds wherever it’s produced thanks to Seuss’ continued purveyance in Children’s literature.

Imagination Stage brings Seuss’ world to life in a way that’s sure to engage even today’s digital age youngsters. With the holidays in full swing, Seussical is the perfect answer for families looking for a wholesome entertainment experience this winter.

Continue reading

Music, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: Paul van Dyk @ Echostage — 11/24/12

When going to a concert, an important element for a good show is good visuals — something you can see at the show that you cannot necessarily get from listening to the music at home.

A good visual experience is a pleasure for any type of show, and Paul van Dyk reminded dancers that it is no less true for a DJ concert, particularly a good trance performance. Awash in a beautiful digital screen that enveloped his booth, PvD was incredibly effective at matching visuals to sound at Echostage Saturday night.

Take for example an extended mix of Linkin Park’s “Burn It Down” — a surprising selection to me personally from the start considering the metal roots of the California-based band. But PvD was more interested in keeping things fresh than dealing with labels. His hands-on remix of “Burn It Down” not only meshed seamlessly with the rest of his set but came with a stunning visual display as well. Flames engulfed the screen in which he sat from floor to ceiling.

PvD himself was a sight to behold as he worked his gear, mixing and matching different beats into different songs with gusto. At times, he would frenetically perform a mix and then cheer the crowd on triumphantly. At other times, he would dance in his booth when an extended song played. In PvD’s case, the DJ also is clearly a showman.

Continue reading

Weekend Flashback

Weekend Flashback, Nov 24-25

For some of us the weekend was a lot longer than that, comprising a mix of Thanksgiving, family, shopping, and all sorts of leisure. Some of you no doubt spent it feeling like it would never end, slaving away in the retail salt mines. If you’re sorry it’s over, look back dreamily while you drink the first of many cups of coffee. If this is the first chance you’ve had to relax then maybe you can pretend you did these things rather than say “no, we only had 3 Peggy Pickle Purple dolls at that price.”

Sports Fix

Redskins defeat Cowboys 38-31

Photo courtesy of Matthew Straubmuller
RG3 waiting for the ball to be snapped
courtesy of Matthew Straubmuller

RGIII. What else needs to be said about him or this game. Every game he does something new to amaze. After throwing four touchdown passes against the Eagles Sunday he throws four touchdown passes against the Cowboys on Thursday. Every touchdown pass was beautiful in its own way. The first one to Aldrick Robinson had the flare of Dallas being flat out run by a speed demon and Robert Griffin finding him down field. Being able to hit a wide open receiver streaking down the field seems like a small thing for a quarterback, but arm strength doesn’t always mean accuracy. RGIII isn’t just about to make the long throws. He is able to make them accurately whereas Redskins quarterbacks of the past would consistently overthrow wide open targets.

The second touchdown pass was not as great a job by RGIII, but he did float it high enough to tempt the Dallas defender to go for it and take a tackler out of the play when Pierre Garcon was able to leap, twist, come down with the ball, and then turn and run it in for a 59 yard touchdown. While Garcon did make the play happen RGIII deserves credit for taking care of the football. Later in the game he would throw a costly interception, but it was his fourth of the season. Even with that interception RGIII has done a ridiculously good job of taking care of the football. The only quarterback with less interceptions is Tom Brady with three.

Continue reading

The Daily Feed

Walk for Women’s Hearts with Chef Ris Lacoste

Photo courtesy of bonappetitfoodie
Chef Ris Lacoste
courtesy of bonappetitfoodie

Feeling a little stuffed from Thanksgiving and all those leftovers? You can walk it off this Saturday with chef Ris Lacoste.

Back in January, Lacoste started walking an hour each day and encouraged others to do the same with her and contribute $1 per mile to donate to the GW Women’s Heart Center. In an effort to reach the final goal of donating $25,000 and raising awareness for heart disease among women, she’s hosting a walk this Saturday at noon. Head to RIS with your $4 donation and you can join the chef and others on a four-mile walk from the restaurant down to the National mall and around the World War II, Vietnam and Korean Wars memorials, and then loop back to RIS for light refreshments.

If you’re planning on joining the walk, you can RSVP by calling 202-730-2500 or emailing natalie (at) RIS is located at 2275 L Street NW, Washington, DC 20037.

Music, The Daily Feed

Hot Ticket: Paul van Dyk @ Echostage, 11/24/12

Photo courtesy Paul van Dyk

Before WHFS went off the air at 99.1 FM, it ran a late-night show on the weekend called Trancemissions. As the title suggests, the program played a great deal of trance music.

I would listen and learn. So much of the music seemed peaceful and elegant, and I quickly found some favorites not the least of which were compositions by Paul van Dyk.

Radio stations come and go but electronic dance music endures and so PvD returns to Washington, DC, this Saturday at the relatively new Echostage in support of a new studio album, Evolution, which features collaborations with Adam Young of Owl City and several vocalists like folk vocalist Sue McLaren and Christian musician Plumb, whose voices mange to add a great deal of warm to PvD’s shimmering beats. The new album bears all of the hallmarks of PvD’s classic sound while incorporating more global contributions from new collaborators and longtime partners. Listen for yourself!

PvD is wrapping up an intense mini-tour that included a benefit for victims of Hurricane Sand in New York City Thanksgiving night. Come to think of it, dancing Saturday night away is the best way to wrap up a long weekend and work off some Thanksgiving calories before getting back to the grind Monday. Glow resident DJ Roberto Gonzalez (at 9pm) and House DJ Robbie Rivera (11pm) warm things up before PvD (1am). Buy tickets here.

Paul van Dyk
w/Robbie Rivera and Roberto Gonzalez
Saturday, Nov. 24
Show 9pm

Entertainment, The Features, We Love Arts

We Love Arts: Jekyll & Hyde

When Jekyll & Hyde first hit Broadway in 1997, it was met with four Tony nominations including a nomination for Robert Cuccioli in the Best Actor category for his performance as Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde. In a new production gearing up for a 2013 Broadway revival, American Idol’s Constantine Maroulis has taken the reins held by many other notables including Sebastian Bach and David Hasselhoff. Jekyll & Hyde arrives to the Kennedy Center for a holiday engagement while on a pre-revival cross-country tour.

Continue reading

The Features

Thankful in DC

Jenn: This year I almost left DC. Not by choice, but by catastrophe. What happened? Well, I almost died, and now am living through my very own episode of House. Thankfully, I’m still here. For that, I owe an enormous debt to the DC I hadn’t really known before: our extraordinary medical professionals. From doctors both wise and humble, to kind nurses and savvy technicians, they made sure I’m still here today. 

I’m thankful for Sibley Hospital, whose caring atmosphere was invaluable. I’m thankful for Uber, a service I had to use not for luxury but necessity, as reliably getting to frequent medical visits proved not possible with cabs. And I’m thankful for my fellow editors and writers at We Love DC, and for our readers, who kept me going with something valuable to focus on outside of ruminating on health woes. While I haven’t been able to write consistently, my role here has been something I could hold on to while everything else fell apart. 

I’m especially thankful for my tribe of friends, a collection of amazing people I love deeply, who keep pulling me back from isolation and inspire me to stay hopeful and interested in life. Finally, I’m thankful that my beloved city keeps me fascinated still. There’s always another intriguing conversation to fall into, always another street I haven’t walked down, always something else to discover. We often don’t know what’s truly important until it’s almost gone. Thank you, DC, for reminding me.

Continue reading

Sports Fix

Week Eleven Preview: The Cowboys

Photo courtesy of AJ Guel Photography
Dez Bryant
courtesy of AJ Guel Photography

It doesn’t get much bigger than this. That is a lie. It gets a lot bigger. Let’s face facts here this is a 5-5 Cowboys team taking on a 4-6 Redskins team for second place in a bad division. Whichever team wins this game will be given a little bit of false hope that they can win the division, and while possible for both either would need some help from the Giants. The Cowboys at 6-5 would be closer than the Redskins at 5-6, but either way the winner of this game will be in second place in a weak division with five games left in the season. Realistically the Redskins would have to win today and go 4-1 the rest of the way to have an outside shot at the playoffs.

While this game isn’t for the division crown, a playoff spot, or anything meaningful it is the Redskins vs. Cowboys on Thanksgiving day. No matter the number of people that argue that this is no longer a rivalry it is still one of the storied rivalries of sports. If you are old enough to remember when both teams were good at the same time this is an important match-up, but both teams in recent years have been hurt by overactive ownership. The Cowboys get more of the attention and are more of a disappointment because, for some reason, people keep expecting them to be good.

Continue reading

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

Q&A with Silo Halo

photo courtesy of Silo Halo

Silo Halo are a DC-based trio that combines guitar, bass, keys and male and female vocals into a dark shoegaze-indie-dream-fuzz sound. Christin Durham(bass, vox), Christopher Goett (guitar, vox) and Greg Svitil (guitar, keys, vox) have all been players in the DC music scene for years (in bands including The Antiques, Girl Loves Distortion, Victor Victoria, Soft Complex, The Parlor Scouts…) but came to play together in 2010, first under the name Night and the City, and in 2011 as Silo Halo. They released their first album this year, titled Night and the City, on Etxe Records, an independent label founded by Goett. Full disclosure- I first met Greg when I joined the band Soft Complex in 2004, and have remained friends with him since then. I’ve always been in awe of his musicianship, creativity, kindness, and general awesomeness as a human being. I’ve been lucky enough to get to know Christin and Chris through Greg in the past year, and one thing that really impressed me about the trio is their dedication to contributing to the creative community in the DC area, not just with their own music, but with tireless enthusiasm and support of others. You can see Silo Halo play Black Cat tonight along with The Mean Season and Golden Looks!


Alexia: How did Silo Halo come together as a band?

Christin: I asked Greg if The Antiques would like to play in my basement when I lived in Arlington. I was playing in a queer-centric 80s cover band at the time, and we would practice and play parties down there, so I eventually decided to put on more formal shows, calling the venue The Basement Speakeasy. That first show with The Antiques and Screen Vinyl Image was December 2008, and it ended up being The Antiques last show. Greg asked if I’d like to collaborate with him for a new project not long after that.

Greg: I saw Christin’s band Victor Victoria and was energized by hearing her sing and play bass, which suited what I had in mind as far as forming a band in which I wouldn’t be the main singer and songwriter.  At the same time I was connecting a lot with Chris, but his band Girl Loves Distortion was still pretty active, and so it was a few months before we could bring him in to write, play, and sing.

Chris: Greg and I met via a regular community potluck of musicians, independent music label types, and recordists.  We connected on several levels musically and personally.  As The Antiques reached antiquity, I became aware of the new musical project. Christin and I met at We Fought The Big One, and that was another strong and instant connection.

Alexia: What song or artist first made you fall in love with rock music?

Greg:  There’s a clear moment when rock n roll gripped me, which happened when I was ten years old, sitting two feet in front of the TV.  The Ronettes came on, singing “Be My Baby.”  Years later, I learned that the clip I saw was from Shindig in 1965.  Their time and place was mysterious to me.  At ten years old, I couldn’t place where or when they came from, and the music didn’t sound like anything I’d ever heard before.  It still doesn’t.  The sound was just enormous.  I was mesmerized by their voices and how they looked and how they moved.  A few months later, I discovered that my older sister had a tape of the song- it was the Dirty Dancing soundtrack- and I thought that she must be the coolest person on earth to have the capability to cue up the Ronettes at the drop of a hat.  During my teenage years, the whole Ronettes catalog became some of the most important music in the world to me, and as an adult, it still is.

Christin: Speaking of The Ronettes, one of the songs Greg saw Victor Victoria perform was “Take Me Home Tonight” by Eddie Money, so seeing me sing Ronnie’s parts probably solidified his notion to ask me to make music with him, or at least that’s the theory I like, haha.  A friend at the Christian school I attended for grades K through 3 played me “Crazy For You” by Madonna on her walkman.  I’ve loved the devil’s music ever since.  My older sister got me into bands like The Cure and REM at an early age.

Chris: I would have to credit my older sisters with my musical tastes and exposure as well.  I have vivid recollection of my sisters and their friends sitting around and spinning their vinyl, socializing and discussing music.  Most of this would now be classified as “first wave” music.  However, the first really transformative musical experience for me was seeing Public Enemy play to a stadium full of people in 1992.  The visual imagery, the ferocity, the command of the crowd, and the message were amazing and changed how I thought about recorded music.  I’ve been an avid concert goer ever since.

Alexia: What inspires you?

Chris: My loved ones, friends, and neighborhood.  Ordinary folks doing extraordinary things in their own way, on their own scale.

Greg: People’s lives, whether they’re those who I know, or those who I see on screen or hear or read about.

Christin: I’m a highly empathetic and emotional person, so I’m easily moved and inspired.  Like most people, it’s easier for me to say what I don’t like and what doesn’t inspire me: indie brodeo, reality television, money, career, capitalism, suburbia, shopping malls…

Continue reading

Downtown, Entertainment, Georgetown, Life in the Capital, Music, The Daily Feed, The District, WTF?!

That Time I Walked Around DC In A Gangnam Style Costume

Gangnam Style has certainly taken America by storm this summer, and if this week’s appearance at the American Music Awards says anything- Psy might be around just a bit longer to be more than a one-hit wonder. On YouTube the video is currently the second most viewed of all-time and is poised to beat out the Biebz as #1.

Recently I took to the streets of DC to bring some local flavor to everybody’s favorite galloping dance. Watch the video below to see what happens when you walk around The Mall, White House, and U.S. Capitol dressed up as your favorite Korean rapper.

Continue reading