Entertainment, Music, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: A Q&A with Erin and The Wildfire

Provided by Red Dust Music

Provided by Red Dust Music

I’ll never forget the first time I heard Erin and The Wildfire live. I’ve always been a firm believer that the live music experience tends to trump any recording (within reason) and this band captured my attention from their very first song of their live set back in March 2014 at Iota Club in Arlington, Va. Since then, the band — featuring vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Erin Lunsford, guitarist Ryan Lipps, bassist Matt Wood, and drummer Nick Quillen — continues to make waves regionally and has a stop at Jammin’ Java planned for this Sunday night, July 27. They’ll be joined by Tim Jones and Zach Broocke as part of a Buncearoo Presents show in Vienna, Va.

Tell us a little bit about yourselves. How did you all get together to start this band and why? There’s got to be a story there!

Met through a student-run musicians’ collective called O Records. Erin needed a band for a frat party so we learned some terrible covers, took our shirts off, and the rest is history.

How would you describe Erin & The Wildfire’s sound to someone who’s trying to decide if they should come to a show?

“It’s a rock show.” Particularly, Irish mellow bog-punk. But seriously, soul + blues + funk. Continue reading

Entertainment, Music, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: The Morrison Brothers Band

Pictured (L to R): Kevin Nolan, Matt Nolan, Willie Morrison, Dave Benson, and Truman Morrison.

Pictured (L to R): Kevin Nolan, Matt Nolan, Willie Morrison, Dave Benson, and Truman Morrison.

Washington, D.C. is a city internationally known as being the hub of American politics as opposed to it being the home of Country music but the home-grown Morrison Brothers Band has made D.C. their Nashville. Seven years ago, the current lineup of D.C.’s own Southern Rock band was set and now they’re headlining the 9:30 Club for the second time on Friday, July 11.

As their moniker points out, The Morrison Brothers Band does actually consist of two sets of brothers from D.C. including lead vocalist Willie Morrison and his older brother/guitar player Truman as well as drummer Matt Nolan and his younger brother/multi-instrumentalist Kevin Nolan. Then, to round out the group, there’s multi-instrumentalist Dave Benson and vocals from Alyson Gilbert.

Willie and Truman were college students away from home in Los Angeles at the same time when they originally started the band. They even ended up playing the group’s first show at the infamous Roxy. Upon graduation, Truman moved back to D.C. and started the migration of the band from California to its current D.C. home. During that summer, Willie and his big brother were introduced to drummer Matt Nolan (who was attending school in New Orleans) out of necessity and he seemingly passed the audition to fill a much needed void before casually mentioning that he knew a bass player and would bring him next time. That bass player ended up being Matt’s 12-year-old brother Kevin.

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Entertainment, The Features, We Love Arts

We Love Arts: West Side Story

©Amy Boyle Photography

(Maryjoanna Grisso and Jarrad Biron Green. Photo: Amy Boyle)

The “Tonight Quintet” in West Side Story, the song that ushers in the show’s first act finale, is one of my all-time favorite ensemble numbers. It is second only to “One Day More” from Les MiserablesWhen I first heard the opening brass vamps of the Quintet song I bounced a little bit in my seat inside the National Theatre. However there was something different about this particular performance of the song. The verses sung by the Sharks were in Spanish, like many other numbers throughout the show that were sung by Puerto Rican characters. Those changes, new to me and perhaps those that haven’t seen the West Side Story apart from previous versions or the iconic 1961 film, were originally incorporated into the 2009 Broadway revival of the show for which the current tour is based off of. The result is a West Side Story that is more modern and offers something different to audiences who think they know the Bernstein and Sondheim masterpiece.

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Concert Round Up, Entertainment, Essential DC, Fun & Games, Get Out & About, Music, The District

May 2014 Concert Round Up

As usual there’s tons of stellar music in our fair city this month, so Mickey and I have pulled together recommendations that span venues and music genres. Enjoy!

The 1975
Monday, May 12
9:30 Club
SOLD OUT

YouTube Preview Image

You’ve likely heard The 1975′s “Chocolate” all over the radio, but they’re so much more than what the corporate DJs of the world would have you hear. Heralding from Manchester, UK, the quartet’s songs focus on sex, love, drugs, hope, death, and fear – you know all the stuff that’s on a millennials mind. Definitely going to be an energy filled way to kick off the week. — Rebecca

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Entertainment, Music, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: Owen Danoff

Photo courtesy of Owen Danoff

Photo courtesy of Owen Danoff

Owen Danoff is a singer-songwriter who has a roadmap laid out in front of him. He knows where he wants to go, has a plan of how he wants to get there, and has a support system ready to encourage him along the way.

With the impending release show for his first full-length album, “Twelve Stories,” at Jammin’ Java on May 4, Danoff is eager to use this collection of songs as a springboard to the next level of his musical career.

After a stint as a Strathmore Artist in Residence and a successful Kickstarter campaign in June 2013, Danoff exceeded his intended monetary goal and now finds himself overwhelmed by the support he’s received for not just “Twelve Stories” but for his songwriting endeavors as well.

Born and raised in Washington, D.C., Danoff was brought up in a musical family. His dad is songwriter Bill Danoff of the Starland Vocal Band. So clearly, music runs in the kid’s blood. At the age of 15, Danoff wrote and self-produced his first original song and subsequent recording on the same day his dad first gave him an audio recorder. But he didn’t always know he wanted to pursue music as a career.

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Entertainment, The Daily Feed, We Love Arts

We Love Arts: The Threepenny Opera

Polly Peachum (Erin Driscoll) and Lucy Brown (Rick Hammerly) vie for the love of Macheath in “The Threepenny Opera,” now playing at Signature Theatre through June 1, 2014. Photo by Margot Schulman.

Polly Peachum (Erin Driscoll) and Lucy Brown (Rick Hammerly) vie for the love of Macheath in “The Threepenny Opera,” now playing at Signature Theatre through June 1, 2014. Photo by Margot Schulman.

Meh. That’s the best way to describe Signature Theatre’s production of The Threepenny Opera. But I can’t blame them for it. After all, it was written to be that way. Sort of.

Playwright Bertolt Brecht, who lived in Germany through the mid 20th century, believed that theatre was meant to be a forum for political ideas, in the hopes that it would result in actual social and bureaucratic change. Most notably authoring plays such as The Caucasian Chalk Circle and Mother Courage and Her Children, he is also credited with establishing the genre of Epic Theatre, of which almost all his plays, including The Threepenny Opera, are a part of.

Epic Theatre is based on the idea that a play should not create any type of emotional cartharsis or cause the spectator to identify emotionally at all with the characters or action on stage. By denying the audience any type of impassioned feeling, he believed it would instead allow them to adopt a critical socio-political view designed to provoke self-reflection and be moved to effect real change in the world.

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Entertainment

Two Tickets to Marketplace, Pack Your Bags and Leave Tonight

29prolu jpg

If I had to pick one public radio program that I could not live without, it actually wouldn’t be any of the ones produced by NPR at all. It would be American Public Media’s Marketplace hosted by Kai Ryssdal, which airs on WAMU at 6:00pm on weeknights. Full of witty and smart banter about the financial world, this is one program that makes you a helluva lot smarter at the end of the day.

Marketplace has taken their show on the road, and they’re doing an episode of Marketplace live at Strathmore tomorrow night, and we’ve got two tickets to give away. Enter below using your name and email and leave a comment, and we’ll close the contest tomorrow at 12pm, and notify the winner immediately. If you’d rather, though, we’ve also got access to a few half-price tickets as well, so click through if you are looking for a deal.

This show promises to be a real fun one and will feature Kai Ryssdal, weekend host Lizzie O’Leary, and regular reporters Rob Schmitz, Adriene Hill, Stacey Vanek Smith and Paddy Hirsch, and there will be a live interview with Vox Media CEO Jim Bankoff, and Congressional Budget Director Douglas Elmendorf.

Marketplace Live
Thursday, April 24th at 7pm
Strathmore Center
Bethesda, MD

Entertainment, Special Events, The Features

A 2014 Helen Hayes Awards (Drama Prom) Diary

Helen Hayes Awards 2014

Last night marked the 30th anniversary of the Helen Hayes Awards, and theatreWashington spared no expense in creating a blow-out bash. The annual celebration of Washington DC Theatre, aka Drama Prom, sported a new format and venue. Moving from the Warner Theatre to the National Building Museum gave the awards ceremony a much more casual feel as patrons mingled about throughout the three-act show. Victor Shargai received the Helen Hayes Tribute and Woolly Mammoth’s Stupid Fucking Bird, Ford & Signature’s Hello Dolly!, and Olney Theatre Center’s A Chorus Line went home with Best Resident Play and Musical honors.

However if you want a complete list of the winners you can find those here. Instead I offer you a tradition now four years running: my complete breakdown of my day (and night) with Helen (and others).

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Entertainment, The Features

Five Awesome Things About Awesome Con

01-R2A major science-fiction and comic book convention came to the Washington Convention Center over the weekend in the form of Awesome Con, which boasted about 40,000 attendees, according to reports.

The second-ever Awesome Con grew quickly with the help of a Kickstarter campaign and thus offered enough, perhaps barely enough, spectacle and content to fill an exhibit hall and related rooms dedicated to panel discussions during its three-day run from Friday, April 18, through Sunday, April 20.

And so here are in our opinion five things that helped make Awesome Con pretty awesome.

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Entertainment, The Features, We Love Arts

Hot Ticket: Awesome Con @ Washington Convention Center, 4/18-4/20/14

ACDC_Billie_PostWith the success of Captain America: The Winter Soldier and other movies storming out of the Marvel Studios stables, there is little question that comic books and associated media have definitely been embraced by mainstream audiences.

Which may leave us to question why hasn’t D.C. had its own comic book convention, particularly with Wizard World popping up in almost every other major U.S. city these days?

Well, we don’t have to wait any longer, as D.C. now has the locally produced Awesome Con, scheduled for this weekend, Friday, April 18, through Sunday, April 20, at the Washington Convention Center!

Awesome Con will feature guests from movies and television, most notably Billie Piper, well regarded for several seasons of Doctor Who; Cary Elwes, always memorable for The Princess Bride; Sean Astin, who played a hobbit in the trilogy Lord of the Rings; and many others. I personally may be most excited by Dirk Benedict of the A-Team and the original Battlestar Galactica.

Representing the literary world, Awesome Con will host guests such as award-winning science fiction author Timothy Zahn, who is responsible for 10 Star Wars Expanded Universe novels, including seven novels featuring Grand Admiral Thrawn: the Thrawn Trilogy, the Hand of Thrawn duology, Outbound Flight and Choices of One. Awesome Con also will feature more than 200 artists, including the likes of George Perez and John K. Snyder III.

Of course, Awesome Con will feature a large floor of more than 100 dealers and exhibitors, serving up a large amount of comic books and science-fiction merchandise. It also has an impressive number of panel discussions, including Q&A sessions with your favorite celebrities and chats on everything from tabletop gaming to improv comedy to surviving the zombie apocalypse (honestly).

Check out the full schedule to see all of your options, and hit the exhibitor floor between sci-fi speed dating and quizzing Doctor Who creators about the show. (I’d rather queue up for Ms. Piper myself!) Some VIP tix are still available!

Awesome Con
The Walter E. Washington Convention Center
801 Mount Vernon Place NW
Washington, DC 20001
Friday, April 18-Sunday, April 20
Friday 3-8pm; Saturday 10am-7pm; Sunday 10am-5pm
$30-$200
All ages

Adventures, Education, Entertainment, Essential DC, Fun & Games, Get Out & About, Life in the Capital, The District, Throwback Thursday

We Love Future Friday: 04/11/14

New Bus Rapid Transit proposal from 2010
Yeah so this week’s Throwback Thursday got a tad hindered by me deciding to take the entire day off to enjoy yesterday’s GLORIOUS-ness. I mean who could resist the temperature, the sun, the light breeze, the blossoms, the flowers, the birds…..I could go on and on, but you know exactly what I’m talking about. To remedy the situation I’ve come up with 5 posts that can seriously help shape the future of your DC weekend.

In that spirit, it’s been real hard to find a futuristic photo of DC that doesn’t have the Capitol exploding or zombies running down Pennsylvania Avenue tearing out entrails, so I ran with a vision of DC-VA-MD rapid bus transit routes. This proposal, from WAY back (cough 2010), would have buses “act somewhat like rail in that vehicles would make few stops and run between them fairly quickly. It would most resemble the Metro lines that are currently on or near freeways, since these stations would be close to the freeway and therefore more like park and ride lots with potential for development rather than serving commercial corridors as underground Metro lines do.” Alas, I don’t see this happening, but it does propose a pretty awesome hypothetical DC transit system. Silver line, why hast thou forsaken us?!!!!

Without further adieu, here are 5 articles that should shape your future DC plans – be they not already be predetermined….think on that peoples and Neil deGrasse Tyson!

  1. IMHO the concert of the weekend is The Sounds at the 9:30 Club, and Mickey tells you why in his recent Love Letter To The Sounds.
  2. The weekend is gonna be packed with tourist and have beautiful weather, so here’s our reco on where to escape to in Getaway: Sherpardstown, WV
  3. With spring comes new, of-the-season alcoholic beverages and Aaron’s throws down some ideas for you with Top Drink Picks for Spring.
  4. Get off the tourist beaten path with a hidden DC springtime gem that has serious history. Monumental: White House Rose Garden.
  5. This evening I literally heard another person lament the height limit in DC, so knowing that this will inevitably come up…again….and again….and again…..get your facts straight with DC Mythbusting: The Height Limit. This way you can speak eloquently the next zillion times someones brings it up.
Adventures, Entertainment, Essential DC, Fun & Games, Life in the Capital, The District

2014 DC March Madness Champion: Capital Weather Gang

2014 DC March Madness Champions
Congratulations to you, Capital Weather Gang, you DC weather of weather people, you forecasters among meteorological forecasters, you are the WeLoveDC 2014 DC March Madness Champions.

In your first round versus the Swachos at American Ice, you showed poise, control and desire. Your Elite Eight game proved a tough and combative match against the #1 seed DC Music Scene and despite the haters and naysayers you pulled off the upset. Which didn’t give you much time to rest up and strategize for your match up against the much loved Half Smoke at Ben’s. But despite its chili cheese goodness, this hot dog could not hold off your appetite for winning. In fact, it probably fueled your fire, as you entered the Championship match against the National Gallery of Art. Who would have known you’d curbstomp those paintings and sculptures, but you did, and you did it with the utmost respect for the Fine Arts.

So congratulations again and the 2015 season begins today.

Entertainment, Essential DC, Fun & Games, Life in the Capital, The District

2014 DC’s Championship Match – Cast Your Vote

Untitled

The Championship game is upon us. The Capital Weather Gang and National Gallery of Art have both been going strong since the tournament kick off and have bested some top seed favorites. It will be very interesting to see who pulls off this win and takes the crown as the 2014 DC March Madness Tournament Champion. You’ve got until 11:59pm tonight to cast your vote.

#8 Capital Weather Gang: This gang of weather nerds is the area’s go-to team for (mostly) accurate news and information on the region’s weather. Actually, it’s really one guy surrounded by a bunch of weather-loving people – but to us, they’re the Gang. They do their own forecasts, analyze models, insert physics, and use their own knowledge in formulating forecasts that are more often than not, right on target. They update their blog on WaPo with reader photos and comments, stay on top of updates during big weather events, and are highly interactive. They’re clear without being condescending; they answer all your questions without your even asking. They tell you what they know and what they don’t. They know they’re not perfect and aren’t afraid to admit when they’re wrong. Best of all? They show you how the science is relevant and uncover its beauty for all to enjoy.

VS.

#14 National Gallery of Art: A perennial powerhouse, the National Gallery isn’t just one of the finest museums in DC, it’s one of the finest in the world. It’s easy to lose yourself in the West Wing’s (no, not THAT West Wing) collection of Dutch masters, although my favorite works in the building are the Rodin sculptures. Ride through the tunnel to the East Wing and take in a Matisse and some Calder mobiles and you’ve got yourself a lovely day. This year’s news sees the National Gallery potentially taking over the Corcoran’s collection (subject to approvals, of course) so expect a higher seed next year if that goes well (and if we repeat this idea).

Adventures, Entertainment, Essential DC, Get Out & About, History, Life in the Capital, The District, Throwback Thursday

We Love Throwback Thursdays: 04/03/14

Washington Navy Yard circa 1950

With the groundbreaking of The Wharf, this week’s We Love Throwback Thursday takes a gander back at this rapidly developing Southwest corner of DC. The above photo captures Navy Yard as it existed circa 1950, and looking at the Google, things really haven’t change much from the exterior which, as a fan of refurbished buildings, I’m digging. If you haven’t been down to Navy Yard recently, definitely get there, as a ton is going on.

  1. Get the history behind this neighborhood, learn about its character and see how it’s changed since Shannon covered it back in 2009 with We Where Live: Southwest Waterfront.
  2. Exposed DC is up and running until April 6th at the Longview Gallery. Tom has the details in We Love Arts: Exposed DC Opens Tonight.
  3. Yards Park is on the top of Katie’s Best Picnic Spots in DC. Check that spot and others out for weekend picnic plans.
  4. Been to Bluejacket Brewery? Get to know their Beer Director in Fashion Plate: Greg Engert of Neighborhood Restaurant Group.
  5. Break your gym rut, challenge your core and cure your fear of heights with Trapeze School in DC: What More Can I Say?

Concert Round Up, Entertainment, Get Out & About, Life in the Capital

April 2014 Concert Round Up

This chick knows exactly how I feel about the shows going on in DC this month. KA-POW! Our music scene is always strong, but this month it’s on steroids or GHG or whatever Lance Armstrong was doping with. Yeh, some shows are sold out, but don’t be disheartened because there are a ton of options still out there and Mickey, Rachel and I have got your covered. And BTW, if a show you want to see is sold out, don’t be defeated. Nothing worth having ever came easy ;).

After the jump: The Sounds, TRUST, Boy George, The Dreamscapes Project, I Break Horses, and LOADS more. Continue reading

Entertainment, Essential DC, Fun & Games, History, Legacy articles, Life in the Capital, The District

2014 DC’s Final Four – Cast Your Vote

2014 DC March Madness Bracket

Great Goo-Ga-Moo-Ga! The #1 seed – The DC Music Scene – suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of the Capital Weather Gang. Was the wretched, stay-at-home and batten down the hatches, “why is it snowing at the end of March?!!” weekend weather to blame? Who knows. In the other Elite Eight matchups, Ben’s Half Smokes said “adios” to Lauriol Plaza, Food Trucks trucked over the Annual DC Sports Playoff Collapse, and NGA told the Repeal Day Ball to sober the f*&k up!

The Final Four matchups pit the Half Smoke at Ben’s against #1 seed killers the Capital Weather Gang, and the National Gallery of Art against Food Trucks. It’s food versus meteorology and food versus culture. Get your votes in by April 5th. Vote early and vote often.

#6 Half Smoke at Ben’s: The half smoke, DC’s own sui generis special hotdog, is a marvel, but cover it in lightly spicy chili, with yellow mustard and white onions and you have this amazing diner classic that has dominated the DC food landscape for decades. Having it at the counter at Ben’s on U Street (there is really only one Ben’s, despite what the marquee says in Arlington and at National), with the happiest staff in DC’s restaurants putting on the best of a show? There are few DC things I love so much as going to see Mo and his cadre of amazing people behind the counter. The best part? they’ve all got perfect pitch, and they’re not afraid to sing along with the classic R&B jukebox there. Sit at the bar. Get some cheese fries to go with. You will regret nothing.

VS.

#8 Capital Weather Gang: This gang of weather nerds is the area’s go-to team for (mostly) accurate news and information on the region’s weather. Actually, it’s really one guy surrounded by a bunch of weather-loving people – but to us, they’re the Gang. They do their own forecasts, analyze models, insert physics, and use their own knowledge in formulating forecasts that are more often than not, right on target. They update their blog on WaPo with reader photos and comments, stay on top of updates during big weather events, and are highly interactive. They’re clear without being condescending; they answer all your questions without your even asking. They tell you what they know and what they don’t. They know they’re not perfect and aren’t afraid to admit when they’re wrong. Best of all? They show you how the science is relevant and uncover its beauty for all to enjoy.

#4 Food Trucks: Long gone are the days when lunch meant the same old deli/buffet or chain sandwich shop offerings day in and day out. Food trucks have taken over. Literally, have you seen Franklin Park at noon? These culinary delights on wheels bring street food fare from all corners of the world, giving us sweet sweet access to arepas, kabobs, lobster rolls, decadent mac n’ cheese, ice cream sandwiches, curries and beyond. Food trucks make lunch an ever changing adventure, as you never quite know what your options are until you roll up to the various food truck congregation points, see the players and make your elections. This is an invaluable source of inspiration and elan during the work week that keep your spirits and/or tastebuds alive. Lunch will never be the same in DC.

VS.

#14 National Gallery of Art: A perennial powerhouse, the National Gallery isn’t just one of the finest museums in DC, it’s one of the finest in the world. It’s easy to lose yourself in the West Wing’s (no, not THAT West Wing) collection of Dutch masters, although my favorite works in the building are the Rodin sculptures. Ride through the tunnel to the East Wing and take in a Matisse and some Calder mobiles and you’ve got yourself a lovely day. This year’s news sees the National Gallery potentially taking over the Corcoran’s collection (subject to approvals, of course) so expect a higher seed next year if that goes well (and if we repeat this idea).

Entertainment, We Love Arts

We Love Arts: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

The cast of "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee." Photo by Scott Suchman.

The cast of “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.” Photo by Scott Suchman.

Although Broadway musicals throughout history have been written about a tireless myriad of topics and events, few plot lines seem weaker or less full of suspense at the onset than The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. With the entire storyline centering on the events at a Midwest American spelling bee, the only initial enthusiasm for the show seems to be in wondering who the winner will be. Yet despite the fact that the entire plot really is exactly what it seems to be—contestants competing in a small-town spelling bee—The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is a work of musical genius and one of the most amusing and entertaining shows I have ever seen.

The cleverness of the show lies in its complex simplicity. The plot is simple, with the audience knowing that as the show progresses, each of the contestants will be eliminated from the competition until there is only one winner. But book writer Rachel Sheinkin and composer/lyricist William Finn have added a wonderful layer of complexity to the show by leaving the audience asking more than just “who will win,” but also “what will cause the others to lose”, “how did the contestants come to be at the spelling bee in the first place”, and “how will this one event shape the remainder of the contestants lives (if at all)”. To be answered through short musical vignettes woven in between the actual bits of competition, and to all be done in a way that is uproariously hysterical is sheer brilliance. Continue reading

Adventures, Entertainment, Essential DC, Fun & Games, Life in the Capital, Special Events, The District

DC’s 2014 Sweet Sixteen – Cast Your Vote

WeLoveDC_SweetSixteen_2014
In the spirit of March Madness, we’ve decided to create our own Sweet Sixteen bracket to find out who (or what) you think should be DC’s 2014 champion. Culled from a rather large author submitted list, these sixteen contestants represent the heart and soul (and headslaps) of our fair city. We’ve randomly paired them up in eight killer match ups where you get to decide who makes it to the Elite Eight. Voting goes until tomorrow night (the 27th at 12am) with the next round opening up on the 28th.

#1 The DC Music Scene: The 9:30 Club, Black Cat (mainstage and red room), DC9, Rock N’ Hotel, U Street Music Hall, Gypsy Sally’s, Patty Boom Boom, Echo Stage, Flash, DAR, The Hamilton….I could and should go on but there are just WAY too many awesome DC music venues to list. You want an intimate show? You got it. You want a sell out ~20,000 person experience? Done. You want to get your dancing sweat on in a darkish, light parade? Boom! And it’s not just that they’re great places to see music, it’s that they bring in an utterly fantastic array of acts. On any given night, there are nationally known groups, up-and-comers, awesome cover bands and true indie artists showing us their stuff. What. To. Choose?!!!! Did I mention that the venues have awesome food and drink, and that they’re staff are some of the coolest people in DC?

VS.

#16 Swachos at American Ice CompanyThe concept is a simple one, but it’s the execution that makes this salty bar favorite into something that I crave. The house-made queso is rich but not too thick, the jalapeños are spicy, but not overwhelming, and the house pickle brine they’re steeped in has just the right balance of sugar and vinegar to bring out their playful flavor. And then the pork. Oh the pork. The shredded pork is the king’s crown atop this marvelous plate. Wash it down with a DC Brau Citizen and a Bulleit Rye pickleback, and you have my favorite bar meal in the entirety of the city on a warm spring day on their patio. This is a reminder that simple can be good all on its own, when executed with diligence and care.

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Entertainment, The Features, We Love Arts

We Love Arts: Loveland

Loveland at Arena Stage

(Ann Randolph in Loveland Photo: Teresa Wood)

As she struts up and down the imaginary aircraft cabin on the stage of Arena’s Kogod Cradle, Franny Potts (Ann Randolph) achieves a level of adorkable that dates back before Zooey Deschanel put on a pair of plastic frames. I’m not talking about today’s awkward yet cute look, I’m talking about an unfiltered mouth passionately spouting out factoids about America’s National Parks. I’m talking about a mouthful of adult braces and the lisp it causes. I’m talking about proudly and unabashedly being a dork because you love it and you don’t care what everybody else thinks.

The protagonist in Randolph’s Loveland reminded me of Molly Shannon’s Sally O’Malley character on SNL, down to Franny’s black stretch pants. I wouldn’t have been surprised if Potts spoke about her love of kicking, stretching, and kicking while shouting, “I’m 50!”

Loveland is a semi-autobiographical tale of humor, love, and loss. In this one-act, one-woman play, Randolph is awkwardly hilarious, occasionally endearing, and is very comfortable in her pair of stretchy pants.

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Entertainment, Life in the Capital, Music, Night Life, The District, We Love Music

We Love Music: NO. @ DC9 – 03/20/14

NO

Try to Google “NO.” and you’ll have a hard time finding this LA – Echo Park specifically – based rock group. But keep looking (hint: add “Echo Park”,) the extra 5 seconds of typing/navigation will land you with a band that, after their performance at DC9 last Thursday night, is a strong contender for my artist of the year.

I stumbled across this relatively unknown indie rock group after returning home from another concert and mindlessly turning on my basic cable TV while I fixed myself some noms. Unfortunately, Carson Daly was on. Fortunately, NO. had just begun their set.

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