Entertainment, Get Out & About, Life in the Capital, Music, Night Life, The District, We Love Music

We Love Music: The Head And The Heart @ 9:30 Club – 11/04/13

The Head And The Heart

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.

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Concert Round Up, Concert Roundup, Entertainment, Essential DC, Get Out & About, Life in the Capital, Music, The District

November 2013 Concert Round Up

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.

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Concert Roundup, Entertainment, Essential DC, Get Out & About, Life in the Capital, Music, The District

The Winning Ticket: San Fermin @ DC9, 10/24/13


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

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

DC Fall Foliage Gets Digitized & Meaningful

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.Screen Shot 2013-10-21 at 10.36.32 AM

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Adventures, Entertainment, Essential DC, Get Out & About, Life in the Capital, Music, Night Life, The District

Hot Ticket: White Denim @ Rock N Roll Hotel 10/18/13

YouTube Preview Image

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.

Concert Roundup, Entertainment, Essential DC, Get Out & About, Life in the Capital, Music, Night Life, The Daily Feed

October Concert Round Up

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

Get Out & About, The District, The Features

The Insider’s Guide: Golfing in Golf Breaks Turkey

With summer heat comes the heart of golf season. The AT&T National is this weekend in Bethesda, and August’s PGA Championships round out this year’s crop of majors. You can learn more about best iron set for beginner and where to play and find equipment while you are on the city just by visiting www.pineclubgolf.com.

I prefer other sports (and can’t sit through a minute of golf on TV), but on a hot summer day, far away from a river, ocean, or pool, the mood to compete at something that doesn’t involve running occasionally does strike. It did this past Sunday, when I visited the driving range at DC’s East Potomac Golf Course with my new uneekor eye xo.

DC has three public golf courses, unbeknownst to many, and there’s a good chance that you’ve passed at least one of them without realizing it. The East Potomac Golf Course sits on Thomas Jefferson’s marble doorstep within spitting distance of the Mall. The Rock Creek Golf Course is at 16th Street and Military, in the bloated belly-section of DC’s largest parks system. And the TimberStone Golf Course has called Benning Road home, just past where H Street ends, since 1939. see TimberStone Golf Course website to learn more about the course.

All three locations have 18-hole courses, a pro-shop, carts and clubs for rent, and extremely reasonable greens fees. Visit guys weekend golf courses and have fun winning with your friends. The East Potomac and Langston courses also sport driving ranges and full-service restaurants. My favorite thing about any of them, however, is the White Course at East Potomac. It’s an easy and fun 9-hole course with no holes longer than a par-4, making it perfect for a quick jaunt with friends, an outing with the family, or a practice session for beginners like myself. Check out Golf Holidays Direct for the Latest golf deal offers.

It may not be a world-class stretch of links, but for $13/person on weekdays and $16/person on weekends, it’s an absolute steal. Weekday greens fees at Congressional – where the AT&T National is hosted – sit somewhere around $165.

Note: The official DC website for these courses is awful (www.golfdc.com), but it does let you reserve tee times online, and provides some additional information for those brave enough to explore.

Get Out & About

Florida Avenue (9th to 15th Streets) in Photographs

Washington DC is a great city. It’s a place where dense, immutable history is intersected with a whirling landscape of constant urban change. Restaurants open and close, green spaces appear and recede, events are inaugurated and ended, and this constant movement is threaded around a city bursting with social, architectural, and historical significance. It’s overwhelming at times, but it’s also what makes DC great. The old and the new collide. Cracks are opened. And within these cracks, residents can lose themselves in an endless space of exploration.

I’ve lived in the DC area for almost my entire life, and I’m perpetually finding new places to explore. It’s one of my favorite things to do. I’ll pick something – a neighborhood, a restaurant, a landmark, it doesn’t matter how large or small – and set out on an expedition. I don’t always stumble into the unforgettable, as I did along Florida Avenue, but more often than not, I see something new. These little exploratory experiences refresh me, and remind me that when you live in a city as diverse and expansive as DC, you can always find something you haven’t seen before.

The bell shaped stretch of Florida Avenue, between 9th and 15th streets NW, was recently the subject of my exploration. It’s a beautiful and meaningful strip of road, wedged between U Street and Columbia Heights, with a story to tell about the history of the city, the diversity of its population, and the speed of its change. My westward route started at the 9:30 Club, took me past The Blind Dog Cafe and the Florida Avenue Grill, stopped off at Pica Taco, and ended at Meridian Hill Park. I took a camera with me. Click below to see what I saw.

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Get Out & About, History

The Insider’s Guide: Gatsby’s Grave

IMG_8637 (photo by the author)

F. Scott Fitzgerald is buried in Rockville, MD. You heard that right. Francis Scott Fitzgerald, author of The Great Gatsby and This Side of Paradise and one of the seminal American writers of the 20th century, is not buried in Paris, or New York, or Los Angeles, or even Princeton, but rests next to his wife, Zelda, and his daughter, Scottie, in a small, forgotten graveyard nestled between a thoroughfare and a train track in Rockville, MD.

The story of how he wound up there goes like this. Fitzgerald’s family had a long-standing history in the area. His father, Edward, grew up in Montgomery County, and F. Scott would often visit his Aunt, who lived near Rockville, as a child. He was named after Maryland’s own Francis Scott Key, composer of “The Star-Spangled Banner” and a direct relative of his somewhere along the cousin spectrum. His father was buried in the family plot at St. Mary’s Church in Rockville, and by all accounts, that’s where F. Scott always planned to be buried. Yet, his connection to the city, and the state of Maryland, was significantly more ancestral than biographical. The only place Fitzgerald actually lived in Maryland was Towson, 50 miles from Rockville, where he rented a house to be by his wife’s side as she underwent psychiatric treatment, presumably for schizophrenia, at Johns Hopkins Hospital in the early 30’s. Continue reading

Get Out & About

Get Out & About: The Arlington Loop

Continuing with the bike path meme, our next stop is the Arlington Loop, a contiguous 16.5-mile loop that runs along four trails: Four Mile Run, W&OD, Custis and Mt. Vernon. This loop, depending on where you pick it up and which direction you go will either be about a 5 on the difficulty scale or it’ll be an 8. Clockwise, starting from the 14th Street Bridge, and you have a good ride with light to moderate ascents and some quality downhill. Counter-clockwise starting from Theodore Roosevelt Island, you have a brutal ascent up the Custis Trail, followed by relatively flat descent to National and back around.

Personally, because I hate hills except to go down them, I chose to pickup the Mt. Vernon Trail at the 14th Street Bridge on my way through town. This approach is one of three I’d recommend: Starting in DC, head to the Mall, then down & around 15th street past the Jefferson Memorial and then up the bike path over the Potomac there. At the foot of the bridge is the Mt. Vernon Trail, and you can head North if you love a good steep climb up the Custis Trail, or you can head South past National Airport.

I opted for the latter not because I’m afraid of hills, but because my knees just aren’t all the way down with the standing climbs necessary for a few of those Custis beasts.. If you want that extra cardio workout, though, go North by all means. The Mt. Vernon Trail along the Potomac is serene, with some incredible vistas.

My favorite part of this whole ride, though, is right at Gravelly Point near the Airport. Depending on the wind and the aircraft direction, planes will be taking off and landing right over your head, and the photographic possibilities from here are absolutely endless. Don’t miss this one if you can avoid it. It’s worth your time & attention. There are also a couple portapotties here, making it one of the few likely restroom breaks on this particular route. Your other options are pretty limited in this regard.

There are several entry/egress points for this ride, with clear access at the 14th Street and Memorial Bridges, as well as the Teddy Roosevelt Island path entrance from Rosslyn at Lee Highway & North Lynn Street. The Custis Path has a number of Arlington access points and listing all of those would take quite some time.  The W&OD Trail also has a number of access points, but the clearest are along Four Mile Run Drive in South Arlington.  From there, the Four Mile Run trail also has a number of entry points, including Shirlington, South Glebe Rd, and near the sewage treatment plant. 

Don’t forget to hydrate and fill your bottles before you get on the trail, your opportunities for refreshment are pretty few & far between on this ride. 

Get Out & About, The Great Outdoors, Travel

The Insider’s Guide: Bear. Church. Rock?

When I’m hit with an urge to get outdoors, you might find me cruising down Route 29 towards Shenandoah National Park. Shenandoah is the most extensive wilderness space easily accessible to DC, and encircles almost 200,000 untouched acres of Northern Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains.

The places that I visit most often in the park are Old Rag Mountain, a challenging day hike with rock scrambling sections and breathtaking summit views, and Skyline Drive, a 105-mile undulating, ridge-hugging highway that’s best to drive in the spring or fall when tree colors are changing. I’m sure I’ll be returning to both spots soon, but on an early spring day I convinced a couple of friends to try a destination we’d never been to before.

We got a late start on the day (as we usually do), and overshot our intended noon departure time by almost an hour, sailing down Constitution Ave heading west out of the city. As anyone familiar with I-66 might expect though, we quickly found ourselves in traffic. How that road has backups on it seven days a week I’ll never understand, but it did eventually ease up and we decided that with the sun staying out well past 7:00, we’d still have time to complete the four hour hike as planned.
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Fitness District, Fun & Games, Get Out & About, Life in the Capital, The Great Outdoors

On Running and Falling In Love Again

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.

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Get Out & About

Get Out & About: The Rock Creek Park Trail

As part of a new series, we’re going to be talking about some of the pedestrian and bike paths through the District and surrounding areas while it’s perfect for using them. Looking for a new place to go out, or just a reminder of some old familiar paths? We’ve got you covered. Leave suggestions for future routes in the comments.

When the biking bug bit me last year, I started asking around: where can I go ride where I won’t have to dodge cars the whole time? Some were quick to say the Capital Crescent Trail, while others suggested the Mt. Vernon Trail and the Custis Trail, and we’ll get to all of those this summer, but the one that made me fall in love with biking again was the Rock Creek Park Trail.

The trail is split into two sections: one from the District line down Beach Drive, one from Blagden Avenue down to the National Mall. Each has its moments, but they’re very different beasts.  On Saturday and Sunday, the northern section is a cyclist’s paradise, a gently sloping and curving road two lanes wide and closed to motorized traffic. You will see the spandex set climbing from Blagden Avenue northward to East-West Highway, it’s a phenomenal workout, but me, I prefer to cruise down it, having done all my climbing up Sligo Creek Parkway. The southern section is more narrow, but in my opinion, far more beautiful. Recognize, though, that this is a heavily trafficked trail, so I would not expect to get a lot of speed work done here. This is a good trail for cruising, not for booking it. It’s also a commuter route during the week, so you are

The trail itself has multiple entrances in DC, from Beach Drive at the northern end, to Military Trail NW, Blagden Avenue, and Tilden St NW in the middle, to 24th Street NW, P Street NW and Pennsylvania Avenue NW at the south end, so you’ve got a lot of ins & outs if you want to work this into a regular rotation with other rides, and its accessibility from some major thoroughfares gives you options for using some of the many

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Entertainment, Get Out & About, Music, The Features, We Love Music

The Winning Ticket: Paint The Music at The Dunes 4/13/13

Photo Courtesy of Paint The Music

Photo Courtesy of Paint The Music

Today We Love DC is giving away a pair of tickets to Paint The Music, a live art series bringing together local musicians and area painters for a showcase where visual artists paint an entirely new piece —  on stage — inspired by the first song of a singer-songwriter’s set in real-time. Paint The Music will be at The Dunes this Saturday night April 13th and features music from event creator and singer-songwriter Dan Fisk as well as Nita Chawla and Zahra Universe with artwork by SardarNadia Janjua, and Margret Kroyer.

For your chance to win a pair of tickets to Paint The Music at The Dunes, simply leave a comment on this post using a valid email address until 6pm today. One entry per email address, please.

For the rules of this giveaway…

Comments will be closed at 6pm 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 Dunes on the day of the event. The tickets must be claimed with a valid ID.

Comment away!

Entertainment, Get Out & About, Music, The Features, We Love Music

The Winning Ticket: Soundbites 2013

soundbites 2013 email flyer

Today We Love DC is giving away a pair of tickets to Soundbites 2013, a benefit for DC Central Kitchen, at the 930 Club on Sunday, May 19th. This event features music from Deathfix (Brendan Canty of Fugazi, Richard Morel, Devin Ocampo of Faraquet & Mark Cisneros of Medications), DJ WIll Eastman, Batala, Kid Congo Power Hour and more. In addition to the music there will be free food tastings from dozens of area restaurants and food trucks, plus a mixologist competition.

For your chance to win a pair of tickets to Soundbites 2013, simply leave a comment on this post using a valid email address until 4pm today. One entry per email address, please.

For the rules of this giveaway…

Comments will be closed at 4pm 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 930 Club on the day of the event. 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.

Comment away!