As I predicted last week, Los Angeles noise outfit HEALTH smashed Rock & Roll Hotel into a million tiny pieces on Saturday night with a spectacular show of guitar and drum demolition. Constantly shifting gears between raw noise, power electronics, and their unique brand of danceable noise-pop HEALTH kept the audience gleefully off-balance for the duration. Their set was an audio killdozer, rolling over the crowd with its well-timed dual percussion, mad scientist guitar sounds, and deranged vocal manipulation. It was the most joyous and inventive celebration of controlled noise that I have seen come through DC so far this year.
This Saturday Rock & Roll Hotel is going to be demolished by HEALTH.
HEALTH are perhaps the most exciting American noise-rock band right now. They hail from California and are touring to support “Disco2” an great new remix disc featuring remixes of tracks from there amazing 2009 album “Get Colors”. I was sold on HEALTH when Pitchfork compared them to Japanese noise-rock/percussion royalty The Boredoms. The Boredoms are a band I have seen a gazillion times because their shows are legendary every single time. I even tracked them down while on my honeymoon! HEALTH’s albums are a great mix of electronic and physical noise/percussion and you can hear the influence of The Boredoms on almost every track.
If HEALTH in concert are just one percent as good as they are on their fantastic albums or as The Boredoms are live, then Saturday’s show at Rock & Roll Hotel will be one you will be talking about for a long time.
Tomorrow is National Wear Red Day – show your support for the fight against heart disease by wearing some red (or any variation of the color for that matter). According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the number one health threat for women. Although DC, Arlington, and Alexandria collectively ranked in at number two for the nation’s top 10 heart healthy cities for women, we can still help to spread the word. So when you wake-up tomorrow morning, in addition to remembering to wear your snow gear for the evening, GO RED!
This past week, Time Magazine ran an article on why southerners are so fat. The article was in response to a new report showing Mississippi as the state with the highest rate of obesity for the fifth year in a row. The top five heaviest states are all in the south: Mississippi, West Virginia, Alabama, Lousiana, and South Carolina. The typical causes of obesity are all there: southerners tend to be poorer, so they have less money to buy nutritious food; southern food is greasy and fried; it’s too hot to exercise outdoors; the list goes on. But this article also included the fact that many southern towns lack access to public transportation, that many places lack sidewalks, and that there are few safe places to bike.
It’s refreshing to see a national publication tie the physical environment to obesity. Suburbs and more rural areas have typically been home to more overweight residents than central cities: by driving everywhere, you’re not getting the exercise you would be by walking to the bus stop, or biking down the block. Suburbs also have fewer destinations within walking distance: going to the grocery store or heading to the movies require car trips, rather than bike or walking trips. We’re lucky in the District that we have a great public transportation system, lots of sidewalks and crosswalks, and a growing system of bike lanes and paths– things that encourage us to lead more active lives. Because of that, we’re on average about 6 pounds lighter than our exurban counterparts.
In the aftermath of yesterday’s Metro crash I went with my backup plan today of skipping the Red Line in favor of the Orange. A malfunction had just occurred at Eastern Market, causing some delays, but a train arrived soon enough at Capitol South — then was held for ten minutes due to a sick passenger (photographed above). The train got moving faster than expected, however, and as it passed Metro Center I spotted yet another sick passenger being removed from another train on the New Carrolton side. Later still in the day, there was notice of more Orange Line delays due to a sick passenger on the train at Landover. Lots of sick people today.
To WMATA’s credit they got trains moving faster than I expected given the all-manual mode the trains are running in. And I must give kudos to Foggy Bottom Station for having the escalators all running with relative reliability for the past week. Yay.
Good news: according to the American Fitness Index, D.C. is the fittest metro area in the United States. Our combination of general good health, admirable dietary habits and frequent physical activity placed us at the top of the study released by the America College of Sports Medicine this week. The news wasn’t all good, though. Our fair city lags behind in the number of park acres per 1000 residents (surprising to me), as well as playgrounds and dog parks. Even so, D.C. was well above the mean in most categories and we beat the competition handily. You can see the full read out on D.C. here.
One of DC’s superstars of food, Chef José Andrés, will be along side one of the world’s most awesome food writers, Mark Bittman, at the Center for American Progress at noon today (just in time to make you hungry!) talking about nutrition, and food. I love both of these guys, and this couldn’t be a topic nearer or dearer to my heart, so I’m pleased to see people talking about this in a national and public forum.
We’ve got their stream embedded below, so check back in with us at noon or so, and you can watch the appearance. Bittman’s How to Cook Everything is probably one of the most awesome cookbooks of all time, so if you’ve got tickets to today’s little shindig at CfAP gig, you are officially totally on my “Jealous-Of” list.