Food and Drink, We Love Drinks

Friday Happy Hour: Holiday Gin Giving Guide

The holidays are upon us and if there’s one thing I’ve learned from tending bar, preparation is half the battle. So let’s get an early start on gift giving. It is Black Friday, after all. My holiday gift giving secret is I buy people booze and only booze. You can buy it online, have it shipped, and avoid all that normal holiday shopping madness. Everyone loves booze or all of my friends do, at least (admittedly, all of my friends are lushes or in Industry). And no matter how well stocked your loved ones’ bars, there’s always something they don’t have. So what do you get the drinkophile in your life when it seems like they have everything? More gin. And lucky for us, this month saw the release of three new gins on the DC market.

New Columbia Distillers released its Green Hat fall/winter selection, Ginavit, a hybrid spirit that is a mix of barrel aged and non barrel aged gins with akvavit. Before we continue, I owe you guys a bit of a disclaimer, I HATE akvavit. It is one of the only things that I have difficulty mixing with. Kümmel, malört, black pepper-infused belgian ale? No problem! But this esoteric, pervasively caraway-flavored spirit is my one weakness. And I really, really like caraway too. Just not in a liquid, high test medium. But I was excited to try Green Hat’s new seasonal offering nonetheless.

The Ginavit release party was held at Boundary Road, a refreshingly understated H Street bar. I started the night cautiously, opting for one of the cocktails that featured Ginavit, rather than the spirit straight up. I chickened out, admittedly. I told you akvavit scares me. The first drink I tried was a Ginarac, a gin based sazerac with malört rather than absinthe rinse. It was dry on the palate, not too sweet, a bit savory. With the bitter, herbal malört and the herbaceous Green Hat, it worked great as an aperitivo. And, thankfully, the malört helped settle my stomach (Five Guys wasn’t such a great idea afterall).

After a bit of liquid courage, I had finally built up the nerve the try Ginavit neat. Continue reading

We Love Weekends

We Thank DC

Part of our tradition of giving thanks here at WLDC is to tell you what we’re thankful for about DC this year. How about you? Leave your DC thanks in the comments, and enjoy your festive food coma.

Tiffany: Since late January, 2013 has been all about preparation for and the arrival of this guy. So I’ve clearly got something special to be thankful for this year. But our little DC Native has broadened my appreciation for DC as well. I’m more thankful than ever for DC’s diversity and the breadth of perspectives it will bring him as he grows up. I’m grateful to live in a city with not only local but national cultural amenities, so we can go from story time at our neighborhood DC Public Library branch and head out to the Air & Space museum after lunch. I’m thankful for the tree-lined streets and parks in Brookland, as well as our neighbors who are also putting down roots and starting their families there. And finally, I’m thankful for organizations like Neighbors United for DC Statehood who work to ensure Charlie will be able to vote for a senator when he’s 18 like his peers across the country. Happy Thanksgiving, DC. When I’m counting my blessings this year, you are definitely on the list.

Rachel: As of this month, it’s been two years since I started working on my first full band EP (due out in 2014) with Dave Mallen of Innovation Station Music in Arlington, VA. Since then, I’ve worked to embed myself in the DC music community and can proudly say that I call many of the hard-working names in local music dear friends. I still remember what it felt like to play my first show with The 9 Songwriter Series in February 2012. Fast-forward to November 2013 and I feel like the majority of the friends I’ve made in the past year were all from playing concerts and attending live shows throughout the DC metropolitan area. What I’m most grateful for in 2013 is the fact that music really does bring people together. The DC scene’s got a wealth of talent whether it’s vocalists, songwriters, musicians, producers, sound engineers, videographers, etc. but the scene can only exist if there are fans to support it. And let me tell you, there are lot of great people in this town supporting that talent. To all of the folks who support those of us who love making music and performing it live I say, “THANK YOU!” We couldn’t keep taking the stage in these parts if it were not for your continual support.

Esther:  A full decade of living in DC without killing anyone from road rage or ending up homeless because of the astronomical cost of living is enough to be thankful for this season.  But there are many other things that ten years in DC has made me grateful for, too.  First, the awesome people from a million walks of life who I have been blessed to meet.  Second, the tourist sites and museums.  Yes, I generally loathe the tourists, but they are a constant reminder that many people spend millions of dollars each year to see the things we have in our backyard and should appreciate. Third, my dog.  I know he’s not “DC” but he’s awesome and has pretty much marked the entire city, so I think that counts.  Fourth, the wonderful community of local actors, musicians, dancers and artists.  They have been my bread and butter and my continuous inspiration.  Fifth, congress…… okay, I couldn’t even type that without bursting out laughing from how ridiculous that sounds and what a huge fat lie it is.  Last, but not least, I am grateful to live in a place that matters. Where what happens in our little hamlet affects the country and the entire planet.  We’re living in a place of historical importance and I love it.  Having been raised in Idaho (which people consistently mix up with Iowa), the chance to be in a place people have actually heard of and know generally where it is is really cool.  Oh, and pie.  Wherever you live,  pie is worth giving thanks for.   Continue reading

Featured Photo

Featured Photo

So, this photo. Parents need to take a lesson from this photo by Jennifer (and the other similar shots in her stream). Do you see what this baby has that yours does not? That’s right, a mustache. He’s got the baby chub, the adorable striped socks, and the very dapper tuxedo onesie but, let’s be honest, that mustache really takes it to a whole other level. Jennifer did an excellent job of capturing it as well through this wonderful high contrast black and white image with its yin and yang composition.

I know he only grew it in honor of Movember but I think we can all agree that the world would be a much better place if this little cutie kept it year round. Congratulations on your adorable baby Jennifer and maybe try and convince him to keep the ‘stache just a little longer?


Entertainment, We Love Arts

We Love Arts: If/Then

Idina Menzel and company in If/Then at the National Theatre. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Idina Menzel and company in If/Then at the National Theatre. Photo by Joan Marcus.

IF seeing a world-premiere musical before it went to Broadway weren’t exciting enough, THEN learning that Tony-award winners Idina Menzel and LaChanze were in it, along with Anthony Rapp and James Snyder, I was elated beyond comprehension. IF the writer/composer team of Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey could write a great musical, like Next To Normal, THEN their new show was probably going to be awesome. IF, after seeing it, I told you it was perfect, THEN I’d be lying. But IF I told you that If/Then at the National Theatre has something compelling to it, THEN that would be the absolute truth.

Set around the premise that one tiny, seemingly insignificant decision can alter the course of one’s life, If/Then addresses the ultimate existential question. What if…? In this case, Elizabeth (Menzel) simultaneously experiences dueling, but separate, existences based on the events that follow when she is faced with choosing whether to get coffee with a neighbor or attend a protest rally with a friend. In one scenario, she joins her neighbor Kate (LaChanze) for coffee, and in the process meets her future husband, becomes an adjunct professor, has a family, and is eventually faced with terrible tragedy that forces her to question whether she made the right choice that day she went out for coffee. In the other scenario, she joins her friend Lucas (Rapp) at a protest rally where she runs into an old colleague who offers her a corporate job as a New York city planner, becomes a successful professional, choosing a career over marriage and falling into a series of unsuccessful romantic relationships, eventually facing a terrible tragedy that forces her to question whether she made the right choice that day she followed Lucas to the rally.

While this was an interesting concept, I found that I didn’t fully understand exactly what was happening, or who was who in which scenario, until about 30 minutes into the show. Once I figured out that a red background was referring to the events of the coffee scenario, a blue background meant the rally scenario, that Elizabeth was Liz in one scenario and Beth in another, that her friends remained constant in both, but her careers and personal relationships didn’t cross over into both worlds, it made more sense. Both lives that Elizabeth leads are fun to see juxtaposed side by side and director Michael Greif has seamlessly woven them together. Events in each of the separate scenarios show the audience how, together, Elizabeth is a whole person, but separately, she’s incomplete, longing for something more. Because both lives find her wanting, it’s difficult to know which scenario you hope is the ‘true’ one, and about halfway through Act II, I realized that somehow the two would have to converge in order to have a satisfactory ending.

However, that ending, while it found a way to tie the two worlds together into a fairly complete conclusion, also negated the whole point of the show in doing so. This entire premise, based on the fact that destiny is created by the individual choices humans make, is erased by the realization that regardless of which simple choice Elizabeth made five years prior, it really didn’t matter because, in the end, fate was going to step in and make the choice for her. And, if fate is going to decide the course of human life, why bother considering whether you made the right choice if there is, ultimately, no actual choice? Continue reading

Music, The Features, We Love Music

The Winning Ticket: Matisyahu’s “Festival of Light,” 12/9/13

MatisyahuFAs a way to say thanks to our loyal readers, We Love DC will be giving away a pair of tickets to a 9:30 Club concert to one lucky reader periodically. Keep your eyes open for opportunities to find out what tickets we’re giving away, and leave a comment for your chance to be the lucky winner!

Today, we are giving away a pair of tickets to see Matisyahu at the 9:30 Club on Monday, Dec. 9.

Jewish reggae artist Matisyahu last year put out a new album, Spark Seeker, which hit the top of the reggae charts. More importantly, however, Matisyahu is bringing his annual celebration of Hanukkah to the 9:30 Club this year, which makes this a particularly unique performance! How often can you celebrate the holiday with your favorite artist? And Matisyahu’s cool, laidback attitude is certain to spread holiday cheer for everyone who goes, regardless of religion.

For your chance to win these tickets, simply leave a comment on this post using a valid email address between 10am and 5pm today. Feel free to leave any comment, but perhaps share your favorite song by Matisyahu! One entry per email address, please. Tickets for this show are also available through Ticketfly. (Check out that VIP package!)

For the rules of this giveaway…

Comments will be closed at 5pm and a winner will be randomly selected. The winner will be notified by email. The winner must respond to our email within 24 hours or they will forfeit their tickets and we will pick another winner.

Tickets will be available to the winner at the 9:30 Club Guest List window one hour before doors open on the night of the concert. The tickets must be claimed with a valid ID. The winner must be old enough to attend the specific concert or must have a parent’s permission to enter if he/she is under 18 years old.

Matisyahu’s “Festival of Light”
9:30 Club
Monday, Dec. 9
doors @7pm
All ages


Entertainment, We Love Arts

We Love Arts: Maurice Hines is Tappin’ Thru Life

Maurice Hines is Tappin' Thru Life

Maurice Hines in Arena Stage’s Maurice Hines is Tappin’ Thru Life. Photo credit: Teresa Wood

When I was 7 years old, I saw an episode of Sesame Street, where two brothers used choreography in the foreground and background to demonstrate the difference between near and far. I was completely mesmerized. That’s when I fell in love with tap dancing and with the Hines brothers. To have the opportunity to see Maurice Hines himself in Maurice Hines is Tappin’ Thru Life at Arena Stage, therefore, was the fulfillment of a childhood dream and I had extremely high expectations. I mean, here was one-half of the partnership that so creatively taught me the difference between things that were close and further away, using nothing but his feet, rhythm and charisma. How could it be anything less than great? To be honest, though, it was not great. It was phenomenal.

Less a traditional theatrical format and more a tribute to some of the greatest talents in American music history, Tappin’ Thru Life reminded me of a multi-mode art installation, the likes of which are rarely seen on stage anywhere. Although I was born and raised in the era of disco and big hair bands, to see a performance that so richly entertained based purely on the bare talents of a nine-piece jazz orchestra playing standards, two sets of tap dancing brothers, and a 70-year old legendary performer without any pyrotechnics, technological enhancement, or schmaltzy glitz was a rare gift.

Although less well-known, perhaps, than his younger brother Gregory (who died of liver cancer in 2003), Maurice Hines is still a performing force not to be trifled with. Continue reading

Music, The Features, We Love Music

Hot Ticket: Temples @ DC9, 11/27/13

Temples (courtesy Pitch Perfect PR)

Temples (courtesy Pitch Perfect PR)

Pysch-pop outfit Temples seem to be one of those bands that broke into UK public consciousness faster than the band could keep up with it! Not due to release their premiere LP Sun Structures until February, they already have opened for the likes of Suede and Kasabian. Now they are making their first solo tour in the United States, and they are hitting very accessible venues like DC9 this Wednesday, Nov. 27.

James Baghaw (vocals, guitar) and Tom Warmsley (bass) only formed the band in Kettering, England, in 2012, enlisted Sam Toms (drums) and Adam Smith (keyboards) and promptly started releasing singles on Heavenly Recordings in the same year.

As you can see in the band’s latest video above, for the song “Keep in the Dark,” they have a flair for classic psychedelic sounds and looks with modern theatrics and visuals. They might get too big to ever see them at a venue as intimate as DC9 again, so don’t miss out on this opportunity–particularly since the next day is a holiday!

Local shoegazers Myrrh Myrrh open.

w/ Myrrh Myrrh
Wednesday, Nov. 27
Doors @8pm
All ages

Weekend Flashback

Weekend Flashback: 11/22-11/24

It’s really nice that we decided to completely forgo all that nonsense with “the Holidays” and just go right into the depths of late January and February. Not only do we save money because we won’t have to buy presents, but we also avoid all those extra calories we pack on with the holiday feasts…wait…wait…yes, I’m being told we did NOT travel forward in time, it’s just really, really freakin’ cold outside. I think I can be excused for making this mistake, as I have frostbite from sleeping in only three layers of clothes. Oh yeah, and flurries! In November!

Despite the cold weather all weekend, our intrepid photo contributors got out and about. I’d recommend a hot cup of coffee, tea, or chocolate (not because of the pictures but because it’s a generally good idea; did you not read what I wrote in the paragraph before?) and then kick your feet up to enjoy some stunning images. Enjoy! Continue reading

We Love Arts

A Christmas Carol Plethora

Production photo from A Commedia Christmas Carol. Presented at Gallaudet University, Nov 29 – Dec 23. Left to Right: Joel David Santner, Toby Mulford, Tyler Herman, Sandra Mae Frank, Jessica Willoughby and Paul Reisman. Photo by Second Glance Photography.

Production photo from A Commedia Christmas Carol in 2012, photo by Second Glance Photography.

If the shops have all started their pre-xmas decoration and planning why shouldn’t you? Not the decorating part – that’s borderline criminal to do before turkey day. But some planning is in order, as tickets – unlike tacky tinsel – are a finite resource.

In D.C. theater the end of the year means it’s A Christmas Carol time. There’s three I’m aware of that you can choose from and they’re either here or about to open. Here’s the rundown on your choices.

The every-year annual appearance is, of course, Ford’s Theater’s offering. This article actually arrives a bit late by Ford’s standard – their first show was last night, November 21st. How you could possibly be in the mood for this show that early is beyond me, but if you started humming along with Frosty several weeks ago then maybe you’re game.

You’ll have to wait a week till November 29th for the next opening, Faction of Fools’ A Commedia Christmas Carol. I saw and reviewed this show last year and can recommend it. Four shows will be sign language interpreted – check the list on the bottom – and there’s a pay-what-you-can offering on November 30th. So if you need something affordable to break up the day on Saturday when your family has really started to make you nuts, there you go – hie on over to Gallaudet’s campus for the show at 2p and take them to Union Market for an early dinner afterwards.

Paul Morella in ‘A Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story of Christmas.” Photo by Stan Barouh.

Paul Morella in ‘A Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story of Christmas.” Photo by Stan Barouh.

Also opening on the 29th is Paul Morella’s one man production of A Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story of Christmas at Olney Theater. I saw this last year but didn’t get a chance to review it – the first thing I ever blamed on That Darned Baby, whose surprise arrival cut into my writing time. So I’ll tell you here: it’s well worth the sometimes infinite-seeming drive to Olney. Morella manages to control the stage – such as it is in the black box that is the theater lab at Olney – and makes you and your 149 seat mates feel like you’re just a half-dozen folks sitting on the floor, listening to the tale of Scrooge’s last chance to reform.

A Commedia Christmas Carol runs November 29 through Sunday, December 22, 2013 and is at the Elstad Auditorium at Gallaudet University, 800 Florida Ave NE. Free parking is available and the closest metro stop is NoMa-Gallaudet U.

A Christmas Carol at Ford’s Theater runs November 21, 2013 through January 1, 2014, 511 Tenth St, NW, Washington, DC 20004. Metro Center is marginally the closest stop of the four stations (Federal Triangle, Gallery Place/Chinatown, Archives) that box the theater.

A Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story of Christmas at Olney Theater runs November 29 through December 29, 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Road, Olney, MD 20832. The closest metro stop is you must be kidding. It’s about a 30 minute drive but there is the possibility of bussing it, though it’s not a minor time commitment.

Food and Drink, We Love Drinks

Friday Happy Hour: Flipping Out

It’s less than a week until Thanksgiving, people, which means it’s time to start gearing up for holiday parties. Are you guys flipping out? Because I am planning to flip out. Hosting a holiday party for friends and family with quality cocktails on the menu can be a tough feat to pull off. I certainly learned my lesson last year when I volunteered to make a proper boozy egg nog with whipped eggs whites and all. Let me tell you… never again. Even with my trusty all-in-one immersion blender/egg white frother/home defense weapon, it was impossible to keep a mixture of cream, eggs, sugar, and booze warm and frothy all night. If only I had known about flips back then. The flavor and texture is not exactly like egg nog, but it’s close enough that flips are a worthy shortcut. That said, not all flips are created equal.

A tale of two flips: there are two schools of thought concerning flips. One way is the old school mix of eggs, spirit, sweetener, and (very optional) citrus and soda. Which is more akin to egg nog, especially without the citrus and soda. Then there’s the stuff that sailors used to drink, a mix of spirits, sweetener and beer. That’s the old, old school method, so old that it ranks up there with grog, rock and rye (low and slow, baby!), and colonial-era punches in its historical street cred. And there’s the question of serving temperature, hot or cold? Egg flips are traditionally served cold but can be served warm–though I can’t say that I recommend it, unless you don’t mind the occasional scrambled egg in your cocktail–and beer flips are almost exclusively served warm.

Where can you get a good flip in this city? Continue reading

Week in Review

Week in Review: 11/18-11/21

The season is almost upon us. Which season? The season of eating. Starting next week it’ll be a non-stop food binge until January and I am very excited. I used to think stuffing was some fancy dish that I was only allowed to eat once a year and then I became an adult. The realization that I could eat stuffing every day if I wanted to just blew my mind. (It’s the simple things in life…) Anyway, here is your Week in Review currently devoid of photos of tasty food but full of other goodies for your viewing pleasure.

By the way, if you do snap some shots of your Turkey Day meals go ahead and post them to the Flickr group if for no other reason than because it’s what the internets would want. Continue reading

We Love Weekends

We Love Weekends: Nov 22-24

Rachel: It’s a music-filled weekend for me! We’ll start things off at Ebenezers Coffeehouse on Friday night while Tiffany Thompson and Amanda Lee serenade the room. These two ladies are spectacular entertainers and well worth hearing live. I encourage you to stop by and hang with us. Then, Saturday’s a big day. Fellow singer-songwriter Louisa Hall and I are going to THREE shows … or at least we’re trying to. We’ll start with a Ben Folds “Master Session” at the Kennedy Center in the afternoon followed by dinner on H Street before popping into Rock & Roll Hotel for The Circus Life Podcast LIVE show featuring The Cowards Choir, The Sweater Set, The Justin Trawick Group, M.H. & His Orchestra, and Black Masala. And then, we’ll round out the night in Adams Morgan to watch one of my favorite people — Don Kim — perform as part of The Capital City Showcase. All in all, a busy and crazy fun weekend of music!

Rebecca: It’s a jam packed weekend for me starting with some QT with WeLoveDC editor and fellow whiskey lover Jenn. We’ll be grabbing drinks and food at Drafting Table before hitting the modern disco-dance party Escort will be laying down at the Blackcat. Saturday it’s brunch with the WeLoveDC gang to organize and get some new initiatives going – more to come on that in the coming months, so keep tuned. Then I’m FINALLY catching a DC Rollergirls bout at the DC Armory at 4pm. I’m super pumped to learn the rules and watch the ladies battle. Sunday will mostly be dedicated to resting up from my Friday and Saturday, but I will hit the 930 club to catch Lissie and bond with my inner girl rocker.

Tom: If it’s the last weekend before Thanksgiving, that means it’s cranberry relish weekend. You get two bags of cranberries, an apple and a good orange, and an old-fashioned hand-crank meat grinder. Wash the produce, core the apple, and then slice the orange and apple like you remember from soccer games. Put the produce, peels and all, through the meat grinder on a coarse grind. Add some sugar to taste, and you’ve got the best cranberry sauce out there. It also has enough Vitamin C to brutalize colds all winter long.

Fedward:  Woo! Nine-day weekend!  Next week I’m taking comp days earned working through the Labor Day weekend in honor of, well, everything, so I won’t go back to work until December.  Friday’s my birthday, Monday is the anniversary of my first date with the Social Chair, and then there’s Thanksgiving.  It won’t all be fun and games as we do have to finish unpacking so there’s room for my family to stay over Christmas, but I plan to enjoy my time off as much as possible.  This weekend there’s not a whole lot on the calendar.  Friday night we’re hosting a party at home.  Saturday we might treat ourselves to dinner out somewhere (maybe so-hot-right-now Rose’s Luxury, maybe runner-up Doi Moi) but we have no set plans.  We may also try to squeeze in Mies Julie on either Saturday or Sunday before it closes. Sunday we’ll close with our usual Passenger brunch, and Monday you might find the Social Chair and me at Bedrock Billiards in honor of our first date.

Jenn: I’m loading up on the coconut water now, in extreme hydration preparation for this weekend. An old theater friend I haven’t seen in some fourteen years is hitting DC after a long absence, and it’s about time. Back in the day we were part of a tribe that rivaled the exploits of O’Toole, Harris, Burton and Reed, so…it’s going to be quite the reunion. As he completely missed the 14th Street revitalization, I’ll be sure to take him on a crawl up the strip: champagne and steak tartare at Le Diplomate (“wasn’t this a dry cleaners?”), pizza at Ghibellina, punch at 2 Birds 1 Stone, and a return to Bar Pilar just to prove the oldies still rock (new cocktail menu, Papa Hemingway!). Then we’ll waltz up U Street to show off sexy Tropicalia, down some beers at Dodge City, and breeze by a birthday party at Brixton. After that he’ll be completely shocked by the development on 7th Street, my new digs, enjoying sherry and ham at Mockingbird Hill before slurping oyster shooters (and probably everything else on the amazing food menu) at Eat the Rich. That’s just the appetizer portion of the evening! Plenty more to hit. There are new cocktails at Daikaya, and tiki nuevo at Hogo, and my god, what about H Street? Good grief, I better take him to Baby Wale for dinner first. It’s going to be a long night. I take my role as a DC ambassador very seriously, and I vow that my San Franciscan comrade is going to leave singing our praises. Or die in the attempt.

Paul: Okay I wish I could clone myself this weekend, or at least semi-retire, because there are just too many things to do! I’m planning to shirk a bunch of professional obligations in order to see Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles at The Dumbarton House. Then it’s off from a night at the theatre to get dirty and sweaty at Jimmy Valentine’s Tropic of Bass because alcohol-fueled dance parties are the only form of exercise I can fit into my schedule. Saturday means Movember Pride on H Street, where I’m finally going to cash in on this lip warmer with deals at Dangerously Delicious and the Queen Vic. After a night of slinging drinks followed by a long seat warming session at The Pug Saturday, I’m going to revive my groggy, bleary-eyed self at The Grill Room’s Sausage and Rye Brunch. Here’s hoping drinking rye whiskey in sunglasses doesn’t violate the dress code. Then any free time I have between now and Sunday evening will be spent under my covers with many mugs o’ gløgg, celebrating my favorite winter tradition: hygge.

Don: It’s the last free weekend of November for me, what with Thanksgiving coming up and family things consuming the days after the turkey gorging. So that means a little pre-family relaxation and home improvement. Friday is a little combined birthday celebration and that’s about all the baby-free time we get. Saturday, if the rain holds out, we may take the sprog on a stroll – either go-tos Roosevelt Island or the National Zoo or maybe just the path along Rock Creek. Sunday will be reserved for preparing for the onslaught holiday.

Esther:  On the weekend before Americans give thanks for turkey, cranberry sauce, and football, I decided to participate in a bit of USA pride myself by taking a stroll down one of the most famous streets in the country– Pennsylvania Avenue NW.  Starting with a fall food favorite (and relative of the Thanksgiving sweet potato), I plan on indulging in a lunch of warm butternut salad and butternut squash agnolotti at 701 Restaurant.  Following a sumptuous afternoon feast, I’m going to take in the new Anchorman: The Exhibit at the Newseum because I enjoy wearing polyester leisure suits and listening to jazz flute.  Plus, I just have to stay classy, San Diego.  Continuing along the inaugural parade route, I plan on paying my respects to the American men and women who have served this country at the United States Navy Memorial.  While recognizing our Naval service-persons on Pennsylvania Avenue, I also plan on getting a photo op with a little-known memorial dedicated to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who asked that, if a memorial was created to him, it be a stone slab no larger than his desk and placed in front of the National Archives.  Evening will find me at the National Theatre for the world premiere of If/Then, starring Broadway sensation Idina Menzel.  After the show, I will warm up with an adult beverage at The Round Robin Bar in the historic Willard Hotel.  And no visit to Pennsylvania Avenue would be complete without a visit to number 1600, the White House, where I’m hoping to catch a glance of the finest American ever– Bo the dog.  Happy Thanksgiving, Bo.  Hope you get some turkey in your dish.
Entertainment, Get Out & About, Life in the Capital, Music, The District

Hot Ticket: Escort @ Blackcat, 11/22/13


Do you like dancing? Do you like disco? Do you like flashing lights? Do you like live ensemble bands? Then Escort at the Blackcat this Friday is for you.

The ensemble (we’re talking like 17 people!) released their first album last year and made it onto Rolling Stone’s top 40 albums of 2012, so they’re legit. The album is chock full of disco-based tracks that artfully take the musical genre modern with tribal beats, synth-based remixes and electrifying energy. But make no mistake this is a disco, so if that’s not your thing, this isn’t your show. If you’re looking to get your weekend started with a live music dance party, then I’ll see you there.




Featured Photo

Featured Photo

Let’s take a short trip back in time. Not a long trip, just to April of 2012; the 17th day of the month, to be exact. On that day, NASA did the really awesome thing of buzzing DC with the Space Shuttle Discovery on top of the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft. It was a great sight and one not likely to happen again. A whole slew of photographers got shots of the flyover; be sure to check out some of their work.

Chris was able to get a shot of the event that was both unique and yet iconic of that morning. Using a very old film camera, specifically a Kodak Ektra from the 1940s, and some grainy black and white film, Chris is able to treat us to a sight that looks more UFO-ish and less Post-Modern. It’s a shot that makes me imagine a bunch of well dress Feds, in a 1950s smoke filled room, looking over this shot with a magnifying glass trying to figure out what flew by the Washington Monument. And yet, we know what actually happened and when the shot was taken. Truly fascinating and well done!

Music, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: Deleted Scenes @ Iota Club —11/15/13

Photo Courtesy of Big Hassle

There was an energy in the room at Iota Club Friday night just before Deleted Scenes took the stage. Local alt-rockers Young Rapids started things off with a performance showcasing their musicianship and Canadian rock band The Grounders continued suit with a precise performance but the crowd made it quite obvious who they were at Iota to see by the night’s end.

Deleted Scenes played a wide-range of previously released material and fan favorites like “Bed Bed Bed Bed” as well as selections from their upcoming record Lithium Burn. Closer to the end of their set, lead singer and Olney, Md. native Dan Scheuerman found himself in the middle of the crowd which ended up being one of the night’s most memorable moments. One second he’s bending over the vocal stage monitor in front of his mic stand singing as if there was no tomorrow and the next second he’s crowd-surfing in the front three rows of people being “air-lifted” back to the stage. The crowd gladly obliged as they became vicarious members of the band if even just for a moment.

Bass player Matt Dowling took a few minutes to follow up with We Love DC about Friday’s show and what it felt like to be back in the DC area.

How did it feel to play back in the DC area after some time away?

It’s always great for us to play DC. Prior to last month’s show with the D-Plan, it had been a while. Getting to do both that show at 9:30, and then this one at Iota has been a really fun/fortunate double-header in DC. Continue reading

Music, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: Charli XCX @ U Street Music Hall—11/16/13

The fashionable Charli XCX was perfectly at home at U Street Music Hall, backed by a talented all-girl band, as she purred and roared to a sold-out audience in the packed underground club.

But U Street Music Hall was absolutely packed so full that space to breathe was difficult to find unless you were far at the back end of the hall, suggesting that Charli really ought to be in the 9:30 Club or some other larger venue next time she comes to DC!

Charli’s cool visual style—in a pale dress and white leather jacket, contrasted to the short black dresses of her band—set the tone visually for a buoyant and electric show. She opened, however, with a rap song, “What I Like,” which isn’t in step with her overall darkly new wave sound. Once into the set, she really hits her stride with “Nuclear Seasons” and “Lock You Up”—both stunningly lush yet spiky pop songs that really set the tone for her album True Romance. It’s songs like these—songs of loneliness and alienation set to a powerful dance beat—that really form the foundation of True Romance, and I was absolutely thrilled to her sing them with vitality and passion.

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Music, The Features, We Love Music

The Winning Ticket: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds @ DAR Constitution Hall, 7/23/14

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds (Photo by Cat Stevens)

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds (Photo by Cat Stevens)

As a way to say thanks to our loyal readers, We Love DC will be giving away a pair of tickets to a 9:30 Club concert to one lucky reader periodically. Keep your eyes open for opportunities to find out what tickets we’re giving away, and leave a comment for your chance to be the lucky winner!

Today, the 9:30 Club has announced that it is presenting Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds at DAR Constitution Hall on Wednesday, July 23, 2014–and we are giving away a pair of tickets before you can buy them!

Wow! Lots of my friends sure adore Nick Cave and his often bluesy take on Americana-flavored post-punk. He’s certainly blazed his own trail throughout his career, beginning in the 70s with The Birthday Party and for much longer with the Bad Seeds. For many, his iconoclastic, bad boy image is part of his appeal, but the man and the band certainly are prolific so there is no shortage of music to explore.

The latest album by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Push the Sky Away, is a mostly compact race through nine songs dealing with seemingly unconnected sources of inspiration that Cave and his writing partner Warren Ellis picked up through some spare reading. On the whole, it may be a good jumping on point for those new to the works of Nick Cave, as it’s not terribly fussy or complicated outside some ornate arrangements.

For your chance to win these tickets, simply leave a comment on this post using a valid email address between 10am and 5pm today. Feel free to leave any comment, but perhaps share your favorite song by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds! (Grinderman doesn’t count…. although I’ll tally your entry either way.) One entry per email address, please. Tickets for this show are available to the public through Ticketmaster beginning Friday, Nov. 22, at 10am.

For the rules of this giveaway…

Comments will be closed at 5pm and a winner will be randomly selected. The winner will be notified by email. The winner must respond to our email within 24 hours or they will forfeit their tickets and we will pick another winner.

Tickets will be available to the winner at the box office of DAR Constitution Hall one hour before doors open on the night of the concert. The tickets must be claimed with a valid ID. The winner must be old enough to attend the specific concert or must have a parent’s permission to enter if he/she is under 18 years old.

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
DAR Constitution Hall
Wednesday, July 23
show @8pm
All ages

Entertainment, We Love Arts

We Love Arts: The King and I

Paolo Montalban and Eileen Ward in Olney Theatre Center’s The King and I. Photo credit: Stan Barouh

To be considered a lover or scholar of musical theatre, there is an essential repertoire of work that a person must know. Alongside shows like Oklahoma, Fiddler on the Roof, and Guys & Dolls, The King and I stands proudly as one of these classic standards. When it opened on Broadway in 1951, it broke thematic ground, with a plot based on actual historical events and character’s relationships focused on respect and understanding, rather than romantic love. Following the story of English schoolteacher Anna Leonowens’ experience teaching the children and wives of Siamese King Mongkut in 1863 Bangkok, The King and I is as much a tale of political diplomacy and an examination of the post-colonial cultural struggle as it is a heartfelt musical with beautiful songs.

In closing out their 75th season, Olney Theatre Center’s production of this Rodgers and Hammerstein classic presents a fine balance between these light-hearted tunes and the more dramatic themes of imperialism and honor. Without getting overly sentimental or insufficiently serious, director Mark Waldrop has created the perfect blend of elements and reminded me why The King and I has been so beloved for more than 60 years. He has assembled a large cast (36 actors, although the children are double-cast, so there’s never more than 28 in a show) and an impressive 12-person design team, and yet not allowed the 2 hour 45 minute show fall prey to its own mammoth size, or even feel like it was nearly three hours. The show was clean, clear, and well-paced, with a very talented cast. Continue reading

Entertainment, The Features, We Love Arts

We Love Arts: Appropriate


Deborah Hazlett and David Bishins in Woolly Mammoth’s Appropriate. Photo credit: Stan Barouh

“I try to go back home to visit family when I can.”

These were the words spoken to me by my cousin, who was in Washington, DC attending a medical conference. We were enjoying the delectable cuisine of José Andrés at Jaleo, right down the block from where I would soon be reviewing Woolly Mammoth‘s latest production: Appropriate.

“Otherwise the only time you see them is either when someone gets married or when someone dies. ”

It only seems fitting that we had this conversation before I attended Appropriate‘s opening night. Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’s dramedy brings a family together in a situation similar to what my cousin and I discussed: taking care of the estate of their recently deceased father. Three siblings meet at the Southern plantation home of their late father to sell it off to the highest bidder in hopes of covering the debts and expenses he left behind. However instead of feeling a sense of unity through the ability to grieve with family, the three grow even further apart as their dysfunctional relationships have to support the weight of a startling discovery about their father. The ensuing drama will push and pull the audience in every direction.

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Weekend Flashback

Weekend Flashback: 11/15-11/17

T-minus 10 days until turkey. I won’t ask if you are ready because it never sounds like anyone is ready for Thanksgiving. Just make do with what you can with this week: the last full, useful work week for about a month and a half. Next week is the partial week where nothing gets done. After that starts December, the lead up to Christmas and such, and Christmas shopping, all where nothing gets done. It’s really not until some time in January where things get back to normal. So, enjoy (and I don’t really mean enjoy) this week.

Our loyal photogs were out in force this weekend and captured the sights of the season. Put your feet up and prepare yourself for the week with a trip back in time. Continue reading