Sports Fix

Nats Rally in the Ninth to Beat Los Angeles 5-4

Photo courtesy of dmbosstone
Nationals Walk-Off Win Vs. Mets
courtesy of dmbosstone

The Washington Nationals were left with two outs and down 4-1 in the bottom of the ninth inning against the Los Angeles Angels when Wednesday night’s game took a positive turn. The Nats ended up beating the Angels 5-4 thanks to a walk-off RBI-single hit by first baseman Adam LaRoche sending outfielder Jayson Werth home as the go-ahead run.

Given how the rest of the night (and the series) went for Washington, that ninth inning was the turnaround they desperately needed to avoid a three-game sweep.

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Sports Fix

Pujols Hits 500, Nats Fall to Angels

This was Albert Pujols night. In the first inning Taylor Jordan gave up a chalk line double to JB Schuck followed by an Anthony Rendon error on a Mike Trout ground ball. To the plate stepped Albert Pujols and after one swing he was one home run away from the magic number of 500 and the Nats were down 3-0. Taylor Jordan would allow one more run before the inning was over and would push the Nats total of first inning runs allowed to 25.

Of those 25 first inning runs 11 have been given up by Taylor Jordan who now looks like the pitcher who will be leaving town when Doug Fister returns to the rotation. Earlier today Fister threw his second simulated game and is scheduled for a rehab start in Potomac on Sunday. It isn’t an accident that he lines up with Taylor Jordan’s spot in the rotation and the Nats could use him back as soon as possible.

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Music, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: Boy George @ 9:30 Club — 4/21/14

As Boy George covered a song by Yoko Ono, “Death of Samantha,” in the first song of his encore Monday night at the 9:30 Club, two gents broke out in dramatic dance in front of the coffee bar upstairs. They, like much of the audience at the sold-out show, had giddily enjoyed the entertainment and could no longer hide it. So they seized what opportunity they could to throw themselves into it.

Similar sentiments broke out around the club as Boy George received a hero’s welcome from a diverse crowd of young and old, gay and straight, black and white. Concert-goers expressed their enthusiasm in generally raucous cheer, happy to receive the maverick performer who clearly had been missing from the United States for far too long.

George, for his part, was a professional and gracious performer. At a point about two-thirds through the main set, he attempted to engage audience enthusiasm for an acoustic cover of “It Ain’t Me Babe” by Bob Dylan. After realizing that the dance-hungry crowd wasn’t going to focus enough for the quiet hush of the song, George merely used it as an interlude to segue into other songs from his new album, This Is What I Do, and the new material was very well received by those looking for more of what they expected from the former Culture Club frontman.

That’s not to say Boy George has become a one-trick pony at this point in his career. He wasn’t afraid to go glam or even country from song to song. His voice these days has a husky sweetness that suits the older George, a little weathered, a little wiser. And he used it well in the reggae-flavored dance tunes that dominated most of his set.

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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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Sports Fix

Clippard Implodes, Nats Fall 4-2 to Angels

Photo courtesy of MudflapDC
courtesy of MudflapDC

A game that was well-within the Washington Nationals’ grasp got away from them on Monday night during an eighth inning implosion from right-handed reliever Tyler Clippard allowing the Los Angeles Angels to win 4-2 in D.C.

Clippard’s 2/3 innings of work resulted in three hits, a walk, a strike out, and four unearned runs. Manager Matt Williams emphasized that he thinks Clippard is making quality pitches but he hasn’t found much consistency with his fast ball and couldn’t find his change-up either. Williams is confident that Clippard is still the Nats’ eighth inning man but with more outings like Monday night’s he’ll really have to start to find some consistency if possible. Continue reading

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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Weekend Flashback

Weekend Flashback: 4/18-4/20

It’s Monday again but that’s okay. There are worse things in life than “suffering” through another Monday; unrelenting tooth pain for one (ask me how I know…). We’re still looking for a few good writers to help out with our photo posts and if you think you’re up to the task don’t hesitate to drop us a line. We’re waiting to hear from YOU! And with that you are now free to enjoy the Weekend Flashback at your leisure. Happy Monday! Continue reading

Sports Fix

Nats Beat The Cardinals 3-1 in a Friday Night Pitching Duel

Photo courtesy of ekelly80
perfect night for a game
courtesy of ekelly80

The Washington Nationals secured a much needed 3-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals Friday night thanks to a strong pitching performance from left-handed starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez and a few timely hits. The night’s victory helped snap the 8-0 losing skid between Washington and St. Louis, which dates back to 2012.

Gonzalez threw 101 pitches and 65 strikes against St. Louis over seven innings. The Cardinals managed four hits, one run, and a walk against the lefty but Gonzalez fought back with seven strike outs on the night. That strong outing was exactly what the Nats needed in order to fend off a hot-hitting and defensively sound Cardinals squad.

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Sports Fix

Nats Get Shut Out 0-8 By The Cardinals and Wainwright

Photo courtesy of MudflapDC
courtesy of MudflapDC

The Washington Nationals’ struggles against top-tier teams in 2014 continued on Thursday night with a 0-8 loss at home against the St. Louis Cardinals. Right-handed pitcher Adam Wainwright held the Nats to just two hits in the complete game shutout at Nationals Park.

Washington’s right-handed starter Taylor Jordan had a shaky first inning which did not increase the Nats’ odds of finally beating a team they’ve dropped seven consecutive games to (eight counting last night). Jordan lasted five and a third innings and gave up seven hits and seven runs (five earned), walked two, struck out four, and hit a batter on 96 pitches (61 strikes).

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We Love Weekends

We Love Weekends – April 18-20

Fedward: After last week’s movie-and-grill-a-palooza we’ve got another packed weekend coming up.  In theatre, there’s Arguendo at Woolly Mammoth, and Moth at Studio Theatre 2ndstage. Saturday is Customer Appreciation Day at Ace Photo, and I’ve been itching for a camera upgrade. We also need to start prepping our garden this weekend for the Franciscan Monastery Garden Guild annual plant sale next weekend (if you go this weekend it’ll be pretty, I’m sure, because it always is, but there won’t be anything for sale). And then Sunday, it’s over the river we go to see Don, his Darling Wife, and That Darn Toddler for Easter dinner.

Esther:  In honor of Thomas Jefferson, who would have celebrated his 271st birthday this week, I’m spending my weekend honoring the man who did a bunch of important stuff for the country, including inventing the swivel chair. Starting Friday night by unwinding from the week, I’m going to hit Quill, the upscale bar located in the Jefferson Hotel at 16th and M St NW in DC, where specialty cocktails are the order of the night.  Saturday, I will enjoy the last vestiges of the cherry blossoms on the Tidal Basin and visit Mr. Jefferson himself at his memorial, which celebrates its 70th birthday this year.  Saturday night, I’ll be at the rooftop bar and lounge at the Graham Georgetown, since it’s located on Thomas Jefferson St NW and has an amazing view of the Potomac.  And Sunday, brunch will be had at one of Thom’s former hangouts, Gadsby’s Tavern in Old Town Alexandria.  I’m sure Thomas Jefferson couldn’t envision a better birthday weekend.

Tom: This weekend we’re cleaning up the neighborhood, starting with 12th St NE. BNCA is doing a cleanup starting at 12th and Newton from 10a-12p followed by margaritas at San Antonio Bar & Grill. After that, it’s flyering for the Great Brookland Yard Sale in May. After that it’s time to roll down to Nats Park for their weekend series against the Cardinals.

Don: I’m defying the expectations of all the “mundanes” in my life and NOT going to AwesomeCon  Apparently I’m cheaper than I am nerdy, and most of the appeal to me would be wandering the vendor floor. And paying an admission fee to be allowed to pay more money for things offends my sensibilities. If I didn’t have to work the day away in the code mines I might go watch the Guinness attempt by the Capitol Reflecting Pool at noon Friday, though, since the price – free – is right. I’m skeptical they’ll get more than 1,500 people in costume but I would think once you break a few hundred you’ve got something worth seeing. Beyond that we’ve got some family in town to meet That Darned Toddler for the first time, but I’m hoping they’d be interested in some cheap seats at Nats Stadium for Saturday or Sunday’s afternoon games.

Rebecca:  Friday evening I’ll be over at Union Market for their first Drive-In movie of the season, National Lampoon’s Vacation.  Saturday morning I’ll be back there to drop off some old electronics as part of Earth Day. The drop off event goes from 10am-4pm. Sunday, it’s Easter so to celebrate Lent ending I’ll be slow cooking the most delicious pot roast imaginable which I’ll pick up from Smith Family Farms at the Palisades Market.

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
All ages

Food and Drink, Interviews, Music, People, We Love Arts, We Love Drinks, We Love Food, We Love Music

Spotlight: Carlie Steiner and Tea Time DC

Hey DC, it’s time for tea with one of my new favorite bartenders, Carlie Steiner. I first met Carlie a few weeks ago, and after a few coffees and a rather short meeting, we were already scooting all over town in her new Vespa, Sophia, shooting back and forth about classic cocktails, and quickly becoming fast friends.

If there’s one piece of advice I can give about the food and bev scene in DC, is don’t follow places, follow people. No matter where you go and what you like, I guarantee that if you develop a relationship with a bartender, server, manager, barista, whatever, you will love wherever it is they are working or whatever it is they are doing. Try to get less caught up in what new bars are opening and instead try to make connections with industry people that you like and respect, because if I follow them wherever they go, you’ll have the same great experience every time. And Carlie is one of those people to follow.

Fairly young to the DC bar scene, Carlie started in New York at culinary school, where she honed her skills as a chef, learning valuable techniques to put to use behind the bar and in the kitchen. It’s no wonder then that she was hired right out of school to work the bar at José Andrés’ Minibar, where she made such an impression that she was moved over to his new, experimental cocktail lab, Barmini. Continue reading

Featured Photo

Featured Photo

There have been a lot, A LOT of cherry blossom photos posted over the past week. One could argue that every angle and vantage point around the Tidal Basin has been used and abused, that it’s hard to create a unique and unseen photograph of those fluffy little flowers. While that may be true to a certain extent I’d argue that that just makes it more of a challenge. It used to be that you could get down to the water by 8 am and still have the place (mostly) to yourself with a good hour or two until the tour buses and sandal-clad tourists started making the rounds.  Now only the most dedicated, those who are willing to forgo those extra moments of shut eye just so they can have a moment with the trees without the distraction of fellow human beings, are the ones who get the photographs of the bloom in all it’s glory. Cathy Hammer got down to the Tidal Basin before sunrise on a Sunday to get this amazing shot. She set her f-stop at 13, set the shutter for 30 seconds and let it go. The result is stunning. The water seems to be frozen and the whole scene shows crisp detail. A scroll through her photostream offers some wonderful evening shots as well. It may be an angle we’ve seen before but certainly never quite like this. Great job, Cathy.

Music, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: London Grammar w/Haerts @ 9:30 Club — 4/14/14

A booming sad voice fills the air from the very first song.

“Hey now, letters burning by my bed for you.”

Melancholy yet so very strong, the voice of Hannah Reid of London Grammar is so powerful an instrument that you are forced to wonder if she could simply tour as an a cappella act and be tremendously successful solo.

But no. Given a bit of time at Monday night’s sold-out performance by London Grammar at the 9:30 Club, the gentle guitar of Dan Rothman and playful keyboards and drums from Dot Major swell under the vocals and provide each song with a full sound, as with the opener, “Hey Now.”

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Music, The Features, We Love Music

Hot Ticket: Pat Green @ 9:30 Club, 4/16/14

patgreenCountry singer Pat Green released a second album of covers, Songs We Wish We’d Written II, in 2012. With his cover series, the Texas country artist explores more of the influences in his nearly 20-year career with songs like Joe Ely’s “All Just to Get to You.” But he also surprises by reaching outside of his genre with a song like “Even the Losers” by Tom Petty, to which he adds his affable demeanor and mellow croon.

Green is probably best known for his song “Wave on Wave,” which hit #3 on the U.S. Country chart in 2003. He makes his mark with his easygoing, laidback style, which serves as hallmark to that song and others. Tomorrow, Green performs at the 9:30 Club, which may not be a traditional venue for country artists. But after selling out shows by Loretta Lynn, why shouldn’t the 9:30 Club host some country folks who can work D.C.’s best space? Pat Green might just fit that bill.

Pat Green
w/ Cory Morrow
9:30 Club
Wednesday, April 16
Doors @7pm
All ages

Music, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: The Sounds @ 9:30 Club — 4/12/14

Maja sings at Jesper in Philadelphia

Maja sings at Jesper in Philadelphia

The Sounds brought plenty of shake-shake-shake to the 9:30 Club Saturday.

In a very nearly totally sold-out room, the Swedish quintet kicked off the night with “Emperor,” a song from their new album. If some in the audience didn’t know it that well, the band got their attention with better-known “Song with a Mission” from their popular second album, Dying to Say This to You, and kept the crowd jumping and squealing in delight for the rest of the night.

All members of The Sounds performed with a furious energy. Vocalist Maja Ivarsson was in good form, singing huskily through selections from all five of the band’s albums as she writhed, hopped and slinked across the floor. Ivarsson however did not perform too many of her trademark kicks Saturday. I caught The Sounds earlier in the week at the Union Transfer in Philadelphia, and Ivarsson was striking out with her legs in dramatic fashion as she pranced along the stage in heels with some disregard as to how much of her underwear she showed off. Still, Ivarsson stomped and vamped through the set — at one point during the end of the show, she even slid down on her belly to sing seductively into a microphone that had fallen on the ground.

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Weekend Flashback

Weekend Flashback: 4/11-4/13

Perfect weekend. These past few days were exactly what make living in DC so great. Sun, warmth, and great weather. We waited through a hellacious winter for this, and it was worth it. Next two days aren’t great, but I’ll happily take it if that means we get weekends like we just got.

BTW: do you love reading Weekend Flashback? Ever considered writing it? If so, here’s your chance because we’re looking for photo writers! If interested, please send in your info and we’ll be in touch. Continue reading

We Love Weekends

We Love Weekends – April 11-13

Rebecca J: Friday I’ll be taking it easy with some wind down the week yoga at Down Dog Yoga. Saturday I’m playing footie in morning, BBQing down in the Palisades in the afternoon and then headed to the much anticipated – makes me SOOOOO happy they’re in town – The Sounds show at the 9:30. Sunday more footie in the morning followed by a scrumptious Easter Sunday lunch supplied from the fresh fares at the Palisades Farmer’s Market.

Tom: This is a weekend for visiting the parks and enjoying the outdoors, so we’ll be starting with Noyes Park, Ft. Bunker Hill, and Turkey Thicket, to do some outside enjoyment of the city with our son Charlie. We may venture down to the Cherries, but with the crowds and the perfect weather does beauty trump hassle? We may head for the DC Insider’s favorite spot instead. There’s discussion of outdoor margaritas for the weekend, but Mike Madden from the City Paper has me thinking some time outside with a stroller at Meridian Pint is where all the cool parents hang out. Great job with the Best of DC, guys.

Fedward:  while my first inclination would be to go to Red Apron and buy All The Meats for a weekend of non-stop grilling and eating, we can’t actually just skip everything on the schedule.  Sigh.  There’s some good theater closing this weekend so we’re seeing Water by the Spoonful at Studio, and we caught Brief Encounter at Shakespeare Theatre last night, and can recommend it highly.  Saturday, because irony, we’ll be spending the glorious day inside the AFI Silver Theater for free movies thanks to Car2Go.  Sunday I finally get to do my grilling and I can’t wait.  60-day aged rib-eye, here I come.

Don: Fedward beat me to the cheapskate punch in mentioning the AFI free movie outing but he can’t take Roosevelt Island from me. If we decide we’re in the mood for a long walk we may peep some cherry blossoms by the tidal basin. Last year we had family along so we took them to the Arboretum which also has cherry trees and is more doable if you have mobility challenged folks along and have no choice but to drive. There’s even a Saturday tram tour which, as of 1pm today, still has openings. That’s pricier than free at $22 a head, but if you need it, you need it. Entry and parking is still free if you just need a more accessible and less crowded (though only by so much) place than the Tidal Basin.

Music, The Features, We Love Music

Hot Ticket: Space Oddity: A David Bowie Dance Party

There is no more important figure in modern rock history than David Bowie. And there’s a Bowie party you should put on your calendar for Thursday, April 10, at the Satellite Room–Space Oddity: A David Bowie Dance Party!

I’ve long called Bowie “The Godfather of New Wave,” as he married glam guitar to synthesizers and produced a blueprint that revolutionized European pop music in the late 1970s. An entire subset of fashionistas, the New Romantics, took their inspirations directly from him and wrote amazingly intricate dance songs that still endure today.

Bowie the man, the myth, the icon still inspires today, as he has for more than four decades.

In my opinion, Hunky Dory with the likes of “Life on Mars?” and “Queen Bitch” was his first thoroughly great album, but he then followed that up with the opus The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, perhaps everyone’s favorite Bowie album. During the very prolific years that followed, Bowie produced the famous Berlin trilogy—Low, Heroes and Lodger—and then hit his commercial zenith with the amazing Let’s Dance soon after. He put out a new album every several years, taking any significant break only recently 2003-2013. Last year’s The Next Day was an absolutely wonderful return, for which Bowie deservedly won a BRIT Award.

So a Bowie party should be an impressive undertaking as diverse and as captivating as the man himself. In New York City, they have an excellent fellow named Michael T., who performs regularly at Bowie parties (hosted by Twig the Wonderkid) and himself is practically a Bowie impersonator. But here in DC, we haven’t had as many Bowie parties. The last major one that I recall was in 2007 at the Rock and Roll Hotel—hosted in part by our own perfect fellow to produce a Bowie party, DJ Chris Strange (who always capably adapts, like Bowie, to his environment with his partner in crime DJ Medusa).

DJ Ed Metaphysical will spin Thursday’s Bowie party, and I’ve heard good things, although I’ve never personally caught the man in action. All of the cool cats will be there, and so should you!

Space Oddity: A David Bowie Dance Party
Satellite Room
Thursday, April 10
Show @10pm
21+ to drink

Featured Photo

Featured Photo

The mood of a photograph can be important. If the light and color are bright, that tends to give the photo a good, happy feel; if the shadows are dark and colors subdued, the viewer can start to get an ominous feeling. Then you have a photo like Laura’s above, where you feel like you’re eavesdropping on a high level meeting of Bond villains.

Granted, a lot of the mood comes from the processing of the photo. However, the underlining composition and lighting do more than a little to make this image work. Capturing the people in the bright light from the skylights, while framing the shot so that they are the only people present, gives the sense that we’re intruding on a conversation. Adding in the modern, and subterranean, architecture of the National Gallery’s cafeteria, and the black and white treatment, and the villain layer feel is complete. All that’s left is to have an over-sized laser and someone telling James Bond that he is expected to die.

Friendly reminder, WLDC is looking for some new blood to be photo writers. If interested, there’s till plenty of time to voice your interest.