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.
Today, we are giving away a pair of tickets to see Ha Ha Tonka at the Rock N’ Roll Hotel on Saturday, November 16th. Simply leave a comment on this post using a valid email address by 9pm on 11/14. Feel free to leave any comment; they are VERY MUCH appreciated. One entry per email address, please.
Unfortunately, I’m unable to catch the crisp guitar pickings and fast paced tempo of this veteran band who just released their fourth full-length album. BUT YOU can experience the part Americana, part indie rock, part modern country act that is Ha Ha Tonka. The band showcases tried and true vocals, musical prowess and instrument dexterity –think Arcade Fire and Trampled By Turtles with a twist of Langhorne Slim.
For the rules of this giveaway… Continue reading
Today, we are giving away a pair of tickets to see Cat Power at Sixth & I Synagogue on Wednesday, November 13th. FYI Tickets are – somehow – still available. Scoop them up now!
Admittedly, I was late to the Chan Marshall – stage named Cat Power – scene, but I’m super pumped to catch her on this stop in DC. Her latest album SUN is her and her alone, as Marshall wrote, played and produced the entirety of the album. A seasoned artist and performer, SUN showcases Marshall’s confident, evocative personality and her profound exploration of life’s challenges, failures and triumphs. A favorite of mine on this album is “Silent Machine.”
For your chance to win these tickets, simply leave a comment on this post using a valid email address by 9pm today. Feel free to leave any comment, but perhaps share your favorite song by Cat Power! One entry per email address, please.
Last night, despite a 10pm set time, a frigid Monday night and a developing cold, I bundled up and hit the 9:30 Club to check out the Seattle group The Head And The Heart (THATH).
Had THATH been some sort of electronica, disco-pop, techno-ish band, then I would have been tucked away in my apartment downing Nyquil, but as I was familiar with the group, I knew to expect country/indie folk ballads with a kick of ELO’s “Mr. Blue Sky,” The Beatles “A Day in the Life,” and Dexy Midnight Runner’s “Come On Eileen.”
The band took the stage shortly after 10pm, played about an hour and 15 minute set and produced a show identical to their recorded albums. Now when I see someone, I don’t expect a group to sound incredibly different or even “better,” but I do expect something – a tone, a sound, an energy, a vibe, a connection – that differentiates the performance from what I can listen to in my living room. Personally speaking, this show was a bit of a let down.
Heeeyyyyyyyyyyy kiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiddddz! It’s time for Mickey, Rachel and I to give you our thoughts and recommendations for the DC shows you should check out this month. I have to admit that October was a killer month in the DC music scene. But we think November can hold its own as there are WAY too many solid acts and they all seem to be coming back-to-back. So, get your daytime naps in, get your proper nutrition and hydrate well because you’re going to need to be in peak concert going form.
After the jump, Albert Hammond Jr., The Limosines, Kate Nash, Steven Kellogg with St. John, Minor Alps, Tiffany Thompsen, and many, many more.
Today we have a pair of tickets to give away for tomorrow night’s San Fermin show at DC9.
San Fermin, pronounced [SAN fur-MEEN], and their self-titled, debut album is the brainchild of Brooklyn music composer Ellis Ludwig-Leone who wrote the album in the Canadian Rocky Mountains over the course of six weeks. Tracks on the album alternate between female and male lead vocals allowing Leone’s concept for the album – a dialogue between an earnest, unhappy man and a cynical, elusive woman – to come to life. The inspiration for this concept was Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises which explains the album’s title, the bull-theme photos and the Spanish song titles.
Not surprisingly love anchors the issues explored in the album, but there is also a strong Biblical tie, in particular to forgiveness, hopelessness, lamentation and pilgrimage. These themes are acutely emphasized by the musical deftness of the eight-member group composed of Allen Tate and Rae Cassidy on lead vocals, Rebekah Durham on vocals/violin, Stephen Chen on saxophone, John Brandon on trumpet, Mike Hanf on drums, Tyler McDiarmid on guitar and Ellis Ludwig-Leone on keyboard. Whew. Hope I covered everyone there. Continue reading
If you’re like me, you’re in love with infographics because they take spreadsheets, lists, tables and large amounts of data and make them meaningful, useful and sometimes – when done right – beautiful. Case and point are two interactive infographics created by Casey Trees that are a leaf peepers dream.
The first infographic, which for me is the more useful of the two, suggests DC routes leaf peepers should take for maximum fall color viewing. On hover over, users are given the route’s length, walk or drive recommendations, number of colored trees along the route, types of trees along the route and expected level of color users will see.
I’m straight off the plane from Austin City Limits, where I had planned on catching White Denim on Day 3. Unfortunately, Day 3 was cancelled due to severe flooding and thunderstorms, which was a total bummer, but totally understandable. Fortunately, White Denim is playing this Friday at Rock N Roll Hotel, but you better act fast because tickets to see this awesome American rock band are limited.
White Denim, an Austin grown group, has put out a handful of records since they formed in 2005 with the upcoming Corsicana Lemonade to be released later this month. The group’s tracks are heavily based within the Southern rock genre with prominent percussion and bass riffs and vocal male harmonies. In my opinion the group gives off a Dire Straits and Eagles vibe but with updated, modern influences and signatures.
This show will definitely be a good start to a chill Fall weekend.
October has shaped up to be a killer month in the DC music scene – largely delivering tried and true favorites to a wide variety of Washington-era venues for a live music fan. So Mickey (our resident music buff) and myself (avid concert goer/reviewer in training) are offering up our thoughts on the acts you should put on your schedules and get your little tucki (plural of tuckus???) out there to see.
Details on Daryl Hall and John Oates, The Naked and the Famous, Islands, Sparks and more after the jump. Continue reading
While the Federal Government is currently shuttered over the two-year-old Affordable Care Act (known by its pejorative, Obamacare), the new DC Healthlink insurance exchange is now open and accepting applications for insurance beginning on January 1st. Individuals and Families living or working in the District of Columbia are eligible to apply. To know what rate you might be paying under the DC Healthlink exchange, you can use their calculator to estimate costs, or browse through plans from 30 different insurance providers in the exchange.
The plans are separate into four categories: bronze, silver, gold and platinum, running from lowest cost to highest cost, and each level carries a different structure of benefits. In addition, the program offers help finding advice concerning which plan will be best for you, through their find-an-expert option.
Plans vary in cost by benefit-level, insurer, and deductible, but if you either don’t have insurance at all (and you’ll need to, under the new law, have some come January), or your insurance is expensive through work, it might behoove you to go look at the rates that are on offer. From my own personal experience, my insurance cost was quoted at approximately half what we’re currently paying for me to be on my wife’s plan at work, for service that is roughly equivalent to what we’re getting from the exact same insurer.
Might as well go look at what’s out there, it could save you a bundle.
This the hardest season for those of us who love this city. We watch as the strife on the Hill begins to tear old friendships, hurt local residents who can’t fight back at the ballot box, and put a $200M crippling choke hold on the region. We watch as our federal workforce goes into the office today, told only to shutdown what they must and go home, there to stay until a compromise can be reached.
It’s hard to imagine this situation abating quickly, given how entrenched both sides are. Democrats are unwilling to stop the implementation of the President’s signature achievement from his first term, especially since it has only just come into effect; a faction of influential Republicans are dead-set against the expansion of government into the healthcare marketplace. There’s no endgame here that comes into existence quickly.
There’s still a lot going on in Shutdownville, DC, with wide arrays of targeted promotions, and all of the museums that aren’t free (read: The Spy Museum, the Crime & Punishment Museum, the Newseum etc) are definitely still open and running amid the government shutdown. What’s closed is all the National Parks and the National Zoo, as well as Capitol tours and White House tours.
As you go about your day, shut those Facebook windows, and ignore Twitter for a bit, as the country rages against the strife. The blame for this will be sorted at the ballot box. Best we can do as a city is to keep the doors open, keep the trash taken out, keep working if we’re allowed, and keeping our hands busy if we’re not. If you’re looking for something to keep your hands busy while they sort it out, you can always check out Serve DC.
From a ticket perspective, the upcoming Thursday and Friday night Walk The Moon shows at the 9:30 Club are the definition of a “hot ticket” as both are sold out. But don’t be dejected about the ticket situation because this “hot ticket” goes WAY beyond mere paper tickets.
If you’re unfamiliar with Walk The Moon, it’s likely you’ve heard their most popular track “Anna Sun” which spent a good while on top of the charts in 2012 and was featured in an HBO Go Campaign. You may have also seen the viral YouTube music video. Continue reading
To begin, if you’re reading this article before 9pm on Monday, go immediately over to the 9:30 Club and somehow get yourself a ticket to tonight’s sold out Empire of the Sun show. Don’t worry if you have to pay above face value, it will be worth it, trust me.
I’d been listening to the Empire of the Sun 2008 freshman album Walking On A Dream for about a year, having been introduced to them via my Ladyhawke – another Aussie music up-and-comer, Pandora channel recommendation. The strongly drum and synthesizer driven tracks combine effortlessly with lead singer Luke Steele’s brilliant, bordering on nasally, vocals. As a child of the 80s, I’m a junkie for electronic music and their 10 track album has become a staple in my music arsenal. Fortunately, I only had to wait until June for their next album Ice On The Dune and then until yesterday to catch them live.
Going into the show, while I was familiar with the group, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from a live show. Their album covers feature the duo in elaborate costumery and David Bowie-esque make up, surrounded by landscapes and creatures straight out of Dune or the Ursula K. Le Guin novel The Left Hand of Darkness; the covers could easily be Labirynth or Legend or The Dark Crystal movie poster rejects, and their music videos continue this motif, especially their latest track “Alive.” All of this plus pictures of their U.S. tour, which just kicked off, had me definitely expecting a fair amount of pagentry, but as soon as the lights went down, it was clear that Empire of the Sun was going to go far beyond. Continue reading
Jojo Ruf and The Welders / Teresa Castracane
Among many other roles in local and national theater, Jojo Ruf is the Executive and Creative Director for an exciting new playwrights’ collective called The Welders.
Over the next three years, The Welders intend to produce a new play by each of their 5 members. At the end of that time, they will pass on the entire project to a different set of writers, thus ensuring the collective continues.
I sat down with Jojo to talk about DC theater, The Welders, and the state of new plays in our area.
It’s hard to believe it’s been five years since I wrote one of these. (Not that I’m required to this time around.) During yesterday’s festivities at a friend’s house – a place my wife and I have celebrated Independence Day for the last seven years – someone new to our gathering asked me how long I’d been writing for WeLoveDC. That’s when it dawned on me that it’s been half a decade since we unveiled the site to the world.
When we initially launched, our crew of rebels all wrote a piece on why we loved DC. The more I thought about it last night, the more I realized that I needed to revisit my own thoughts on the matter. Five years is a long time here in the District, especially at the speed of digital noise in which we traverse our daily lives. Continue reading
“It can be absolutely hilarious, painful, provocative, just plain bad, surprisingly good… I guess, rather like sex itself,” is what Jenn wrote in an e-mail after we got word that the Air Sex World Championships Tour were thrusting its way into H-Street’s Rock & Roll Hotel this past weekend. I’ve heard of the event before, if you think the idea of an Air Guitar Championship is silly, I don’t want to know what you think of the idea of pretending to have sex on a stage. In front of a crowd of people.
What I saw that night was more than petty stage humping or imaginary love-making, honestly I don’t know how to describe what I saw that night. Luckily I took photos, you can judge for yourself.
It’s been a hot weekend. As someone whose air conditioning unit is currently on the fritz, I can understand if the heat can drive people to do some rather stupid stuff. My friend Mark witnessed such an act yesterday while enjoying some drinks at Tony & Joe‘s on the Georgetown Waterfront.
I didn’t always take spelling for granted. There was a time when I craved consonant clusters and reveled in vowel blends. But somehow, over the years, I’ve become completely reliant on spell check to correct my spelling errors and leave me with blemish free writing, for which I’d shamelessly take credit.
In an attempt to rekindle my affection for the English alphabet, I signed up to compete in “So U Think U Can Spell?” — the second annual adult spelling bee hosted by Politics and Prose Bookstore and the SPACIOUS Community. Two nights before the 2013 Scripps National Spelling Bee, members and non-members of the spell check generation came together at Politics and Prose Bookstore for what will surely go down in the annals of lexicography as an epic battle for the ages.
The ever-humorous Stefan Fatsis, author of Word Freak, and renowned lexicographer and editor and Merriam-Webster, Peter Sokolowski, emceed the evening. I took the very first seat in the first row of contestants and tried to remind myself that this was merely a simple bee filled with run-of-the-mill vocabulary words intended for the common man. As long as I could spell under pressure, this evening was going to be a piece of cake. Comforted by my naïve confidence, I took a deep breath, repeated “I before E except after C” in my head, and stepped up to the microphone to face my inevitable doom.
“Your word is Rapport.”
The next minute of my life was a blur. Continue reading
DC Strokes at Stonewall Regatta 2009 / Credit: M.V. Jantzen
This weekend local rowing group DC Strokes will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Stonewall Regatta, which runs Sunday from 8:30am-5:00pm at the Anacostia Community Boathouse.
The event will bring over 400 rowers from across the US to compete in high-intensity races on the Anacostia River. Admission is free, with music included and food trucks expected in abundance.
DC Strokes is the oldest LGBT club in the world and 1 of 4 independent, self-sustaining LGBT and ally rowing teams internationally. It was founded in 1991 by 8 members of DC Front Runners (a gay running group) looking for a cross training activity.
I spoke with team member and coach Elisabeth Morgan Fondriest – a founding member of the Gay and Lesbian Rowing Federation (GLRF) and an active part of the Stonewall Regatta since its opening year – about the event and why it’s a great thing for DC.
I am a runner. It feels a bit weird to say that, because only 8 months ago, I couldn’t even run a mile.
It started last August. I had been a bridesmaid in a wedding for an entire weekend, you know the drill – bridesmaids luncheon, rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, ceremony, reception. All weekend long I had been wearing the tallest of high heels, and the Sunday after the wedding I set out for a short jog, stepped off a curb and pulled my IT Band. Something about extending it and contracting it, and whatever. It ended in pain. I played tough guy for about a month, but after limping around the office for too long, my boss yelled at me and made me go into the doctor. The doctor prescribed physical therapy and I wound up in the good care of Alyssa White at PhysioTherapy Associates. (She is amazing. So is her colleague Sarah, if you’re looking for a good physical therapist.)
Somewhere in my first few weeks of PT, I got the bright idea that I should enter the Cherry Blossom 10 Mile lottery. Just on a whim. One afternoon at work, I decided that it was a brilliant idea and so I just did it. Everyone asks why, especially when the longest I’d ever run was a 5k, and I had no real explanation. I wanted a goal. I wanted to show up each week and exercise my discipline. I wanted to do it because I knew I could.
So I set about creating a team of people and DC small businesses who would help, and the first step was Alyssa and getting my ITB back in shape. The second was finding a decent training program.