Sunday, January 30, 2005
I'm going to attampt to take the Metro to the Arcade Fire show tonight. DC's wonderful train system shuts down at midnight. I have to be on the Metro at U St. by 11:51 in order to catch the last train home. I hope Arcade Fire starts on time. I don't want to have to leave early because I made the mistake of taking mass transit to the show. Metro is great on Fri/Sat. But during the week it sucks for going to shows. I think I'll be fine tonight. AF is slated to come on at 10:00. I think we'll be lucky if they play for an hour. Even if they're a little late, I should be able to make it back to the Metro on time.
Arcade Fire tonight at 9:30.
Bloc Party tickets are now on sale (4/9 at the Black Cat).
February and March are shaping up to be killer months for shows. If I can find something to see on 2/26, I'll be going to a show every single night that week. I'm getting too old for this.
Monday, January 24, 2005
I wussed-out on Casual Dots because of the snow and the inauguration. In reality I was just tired and lazy.
We went to see Dave Attell at the Improv on Friday. My first time seeing a stand-up comic live. He was friggin' hilarious. If only the lame-ass hecklers were half as funny. Dave said he'd love to do Insomniac here in DC, but a little thing called 9-11 happened and they haven't been able to get approval to do the show.
I was determined to get to a show on Saturday. I hadn't been to any so far in 2005. I made it down to The Black Cat for Hoover/Medications/City Goats. There was actually a coat check at The Cat. I've only seen that once before. I hope they keep it. City Goats were really good. They've been on my short-list for a few months now, but I've never managed to catch them until Saturday. Interesting line-up with 2 basses. One of the bassists works as a bartender at the club. He's adorable. I'm not sure if I'd pay to see them headline yet, but if they're opening for someone, I'd definitely show up early enough to catch them.
As expected, Medications totally kicked my ass. WSC is still my favorite DC band, but Medications may actually be the best band in town. I actually stood right up front for their set. I never do that. I'm always hanging out in the back. I didn't want to miss a thing. These guys are terrific.
The recently reunited Hoover was the headliner. I had only heard about them - never actually heard any of their music. Quite frankly, I thought they were a bit boring. Maybe it was because I was expecting something a little heavier, but I was pretty bored after about 5 songs. I left early. Probably my loss.
Bonus of the evening: They were selling the "Burn To Shine" DVD at the merch table. Sweet. It officially comes out tomorrow. Highly recommended.
Celebrity Sighting: Ian
Decided to swing by Blowoff before heading home. Not as crowded as I remember it, but that's probably because of the weather. Didn't stay long, but it was cool - as usual. I need to convince the BF to go there more often.
Thursday, January 20, 2005
So Long Phoebe
Sadly, Ruth Warrick (who played Phoebe Wallingford) died earlier this week. Phoebe was the character every gay man would love. The old, bitter, nasty, fiesty, meddlesome drunk who didn't give a damn about what anyone thought. Do it her way or shut the hell up.
I haven't watched AMC in years. Although, I have caught it a few times recently, since it comes on after my latest addiction (Days Of Our Lives) on the Soap Channel every night. Tad, Eric and Adam look exactly the same as they did 20 years ago. Well, Tad and Adam do anyway. But I just can't imagine watching it without Phoebe running in, drink in hand, telling them all to shut up.
So long Phoebe. You old coot.
Tuesday, January 18, 2005
There's something about being in a room with several hundred HOT leathermen that just can't be beat. There's literally something for everyone. Every fetish you can think of - and at least a few I'm sure you couldn't think of if you tried. Just as I start to think I'm becoming a total pervert, along comes MAL to show me that I'm about as vanilla as it gets. Well....almost.
As I get older, I'm starting to appreciate the leather community more. My days of the circuit party-type clubbing are over. I'm too old for that - not to mention I'm just tired of it. The leather community is much more laid-back. The nicest bunch of guys you could meet. We make new friends every year. No - not tricks. Actual nice people that are just fun to hang with. Very little attitude. No judgments. It's just an anything-goes-it's-all-good atmosphere.
The bizarre was just that. Bizarre. Lots of things you'd expect - harnesses, whips, chaps....And lots of things that I'm still not sure about. And a few more things that just scare me a bit. And a few things that peaked my interest. I'm not telling what those were though. I will say they don't involve electricity.
Friday we went to The Eagle. Great crowd. Lots of hot men. Crowded, but not overly packed. Saturday we got a room downtown, so we could stay out and play without worrying about getting home. Dinner at Mary's. Spent the rest of the night hanging out at the host hotel's lobby. Sunday we came home to regroup, then it was back to The Eagle. We didn't have energy to go to the closing party at Nation. Not to mention we didn't have the desire to pay the $30 ticket price. $1 drafts at the Eagle was a much better option.
Did I mention how hot the bartender at Hamburger Mary's is? Shaved head...tattoos...yum. Totally hot. "How could he be any hotter?" you ask? Well, he turned up later in the evening wearing a Q And Not U t-shirt. I may have actually drooled when I saw that.
Over the weekend we ran into a few old friends. Made a few new ones. I saw a few bloggers there, but since I don't actually know them, I didn't say hello. While I'm sure they would have been very friendly, MAL isn't the best place to run up to someone who doesn't know you and say "I know who you are."
What happens at MAL, stays at MAL.
Causal Dots at the Warehouse tomorrow.
Saturday, January 15, 2005
Friday, January 14, 2005
The Evens' disc is finally coming out 3/7/05.
French Toast's full-length is also coming out on 3/7/05.
Medications' full-length is due in May.
Beauty Pill will play a handful of shows in February.
El Guapo changed their name to Supersystem.
Hoover is reuniting and playing one US date - 1/22 @ The Black Cat w/ Medications and City Goats.
Available this month on Trixie Records is the first installment of the
"Burn to Shine" film series, produced by Brendan Canty and directed by
filmmaker Christoph Green. The DVD features live performances by The
Evens, Q and Not U, Ted Leo, Medications, French Toast, Bob Mould,
Weird War and Garland of Hours, all filmed in a house in Bethesda MD
prior to it's demolition. The DVD is available from January 25th the
states and Europe and from the Dischord webstore around the same date.
A second installment is to follow soon, featuring Chicago area bands
such as Shellac, Tortoise and Wilco. More information is available at
Thursday, January 13, 2005
I'm not really sure how I feel about this. I don't listen to the radio anymore. Not for music anyway. I'm not going to miss the station itself, as much as I'm just going to miss the idea that it was still there.
Ask any DC native over the age of 16 about WHFS. I guarantee they'll say something along the lines of "They used to be great" or "I remember when they didn't suck so bad." The funny thing is - no one can agree just exactly when they started to officially suck. Some people thought they were great up until the mid-90's. Others thought they started to suck when they sold-out to a conglomerate in the late-80's/early-90's (I forget exactly when that happened, but I fall into this category). Others thought they sucked when they moved from 102.3 to 99.1 in the early 80's, or when they moved from Bethesda to Annapolis. The only thing almost everyone agrees on is the fact that HFS absolutely sucked ass the last few years.
I discovered WHFS when I was in high school, back around 1980 or so. Reception was really poor. It seemed like I could only pick it up on alternate-Thursdays, if it was raining and the wind was blowing in the right direction. But what a godsend it was. They would play ANYTHING. They would play The Grateful Dead. They would play Minor Threat. They would play Laurie Anderson. They would play Top 40, if they felt like it. The DJs were incredibly passionate and knowledgeable about their music. They introduced my friends and I to the likes of Echo, Siouxsie, The Fleshtones, Dead Kennedys, Mission Of Burma, The Clash, Joe King Carrasco, etc. They turned me on to Captain Sensible ("He said Captain..."), Human Sexual Response and Jona Lewie. They played music by local bands whenever they felt like it - not just during "local music hour". MTV wasn't even around yet. The local rock stations wouldn't dare play that crazy punk stuff (you know - R.E.M., U2 and the like). There was no internet to find out about new bands. My friends and I would actually just hang out with a six-pack and listen to the radio all night, writing down the songs we liked so we could search out those records on our next record-buying excursion into DC or Y&T.
But things changed. In my opinion, they did the unforgivable by selling out to a huge radio conglomerate. I think it was Infinity, but I could be wrong. I'm too lazy to look it up. They fired the DJs that we had known for years. They started using playlists. They started playing stuff we could hear on DC101. They started to become just another radio station.
And it just got worse. Sure, the had their niche. They were still the only station in town that would play The Cure or Echo and the Bunnymen. The problem was that you had to sit through hours of Limp Bizkit and Linkin Park to get to it. The got cocky too. They started to refer to themselves as "legendary", and "The True Alternative". Please. The "legendary" aspect of your station died 15 years ago. And in the end you were an alternative to nothing. The only thing that made you any better than DC 101 or 98 Rock was the fact that I could be pretty sure you wouldn't play any Ted Nugent. Even that would be a welcome change.
By the time they pulled the plug they were already a joke to pretty much everyone who was actually a fan of alternative music. By trying to appeal to the masses they ended up shooting themselves in the ass.
Maybe WRNR can make a move to get a stronger signal now and take over as the local alternative station. For those of you who don't know, the owner of the original WHFS (Jake Einstein) started up WRNR after he sold it. A good number of the DJs went over there. And there's always XM.
So I'm sad to see WHFS disappear, but I probably won't really notice. The WHFS I loved was already dead. Gone are the days of Weasel, Damien, Neci, Kath, Tom T and (of course) the famous Bob "Here". No more unslanted opinions from yet another editor of The Daily Feed.
Tomorrow I'll be sure to play "Party Weekend" at 5:00 in memory of the good old days.
There's a nice tribute site to the old HFS at DCRTV.
Wednesday, January 12, 2005
WHFS is GONE!
HFS Goes Spanish - 1/12 - At noon Wednesday, Infinity killed off alternative rock WHFS (99.1 FM). It's now Spanish language El Zol, with a "current hit blend of Caribbean and Central American dance music."
Check out www.whfs.com.
Is this a joke? Can they really be gone? I hate what WHFS has become, but this really surprises me.
Tuesday, January 11, 2005
More upcoming shows
1/19 @ The Warehouse Next Door:
Casual Dots (Christina Billotte, Kathi Wilcox, Steve Dore)
Party Line (The Original Girls with Glasses: Allison, Angela, Crystal)
Don't know anything about Partyline, but The Casual Dots are fantastic.
2/11 @ The Black Cat
The Wrens/ Army of Me
(No word on tickets yet. I'd suggest getting them ASAP though.)
4/26 @ The Warner Theater
Todd Rundgren/Joe Jackson
Tickets on sale 1/14
Case in point: Last Wednesday I ordered groceries for a Saturday morning delivery. You get to choose a delivery window. Either a 2 hour window (9-11, 10-12, etc.) or you can choose a wider window and save a buck. I went with the 3.5 hour 9:30-1:00 window. I've had trouble with them being late in the past, but surely even their lame drivers can get to me within 3.5 hours. Right? Right?
Nope. I get a call just after 12:30 saying it's going to be around 2:30 before my groceries show up. That means I have to spend 5 hours (on a Saturday) sitting around waiting for my groceries. Rather than wasting a couple hours going to the grocery store on a Saturday morning, I've wasted my entire day. So much for convenience.
I should know better. I fall for this every time. This is like the 5th time this has happened. They're ALWAYS at least an hour late. It doesn't matter if I choose the 8-10am window, or the 8-10pm window. Once they didn't show up until almost midnight. I always get furious. I sometimes cancel my orders. I usually end up going to the store myself, even after waiting for hours. Talking to the Customer Service rep: "You know, we don't actually guarantee delivery during those times. Those are just "suggested" delivery windows.". Nice.
But the lure of having them deliver the groceries to my doorstep on a Saturday morning is sometimes too great for my lazy butt to ignore. In theory, I could roll out of bed and have enough food for a nice big breakfast. Before I'm even awake, I will have gone grocery shopping and I'll have a jump on the weekend. They have to be better this time. Things have surely improved by now. Right? Right?
Don't count on it. Peapod sucks.
Friday, January 07, 2005
Blowoff returns this week.
Unless you've been living under a DC blogging rock, you may not know about bluestate. Some swingin' DC bloggers DJing and throwing a party at the Black Cat Backstage. I don't know any of these folks, but their blogs are cool and they have good taste in music. I'm gonna try to be there. No guarantees though.
Johnny Ramone gets a statue.
Here's a site devoted to Ashlee Simpson - particularly her lip-synching and getting booed at the Orange Bowl.
Is it 5:00 yet?
Monday, January 03, 2005
Bowl of Plenty
Saturday, January 01, 2005
So This Is The New Year
The first 3 involved me going to see The Grateful Dead in Oakland, CA.
12-31-88. There ain't no place I'd rather be. Best. Party. Ever. My first trip to California. My first road-trip to see the Dead. Tom Tom Club opened. Clarence Clemons sat-in for a good part of the show. Babatunde Olatunji and Sikiru Adepoju taught me about the power of drums. Bill Graham entered the arena at midnight, dressed at Father Time, flying across the length of the arena on a giant disco ball. An amazing night.
12-31-89. After hearing me gush over 12-31-88 for a year, I convinced friends, neighbors and co-workers to head west with me. My roommate and next-door-neighbor drove from Greenbelt, MD to Oakland, CA in just under 48 hours. I wasn't even sure they were going. They got tickets, but they were both totally broke and couldn't afford to fly out there. Two days later, there's a knock on our hotel room door. They made it in plenty of time. One of my all-time favorite concert experiences. On the road with a ton of friends, the biggest New Year's party I've ever been to and 2 nights of The Grateful Dead. Oh yeah, Bonnie Raitt opened and sat-in on "Big Boss Man." That didn't suck. The midnight festivities included Bill Graham dressed as a giant psychedelic chicken dropping from the ceiling onto an huge egg, then traveling the length of the floor during the countdown. The egg broke open and there was baby new year. Maybe even a few of them. I forget.
12-31-90. Quickest trip to California I've ever done. I got to SFO at about 11:00pm on 12/30. Checked-in at the hotel. Got the rundown on that night's show and went to bed. Up early on 12/31...at the show by 2:00 or 3:00. Branford Marsalis opened. Bruce Hornsby sat in. Hamza El Din sat in too. Damn - he was amazing. A little parking lot time. Back to the hotel. Back to SFO at about 6:00am and headed home. Total California time approx. 32 hours. It was at this point my friends and family realized that this was more an addiction than just another musical phase I was going through. Now they're all jealous they didn't go with me. Midnight included Bill Graham dressed as some sort of tribal chief/witch doctor, a flaming cauldron and hot bungee jumpers dropping from the ceiling. I never understood that one. I have an old cassette of this show. It's pretty funny listening to the radio announcers trying to describe this one. Those pics are from this site.
That was my last NYE with the Dead. They only did it one more time. Uncle Bobo died in late '91.
The last great NYE I had was the big one - 12/31/99. BF and I went up to NYC for the festivities. We didn't go down to Times Square, but we did watch the ball drop from WAY up near Central Park. We were pretty far away from the madness, but even that far away, there were probably a couple thousand people around us. We had a great few days of drunken debauchery and celebrated harder than we had since we met a few years earlier. Great, great time.
Ever since these events, NYE is always a let-down. We decided to just skip it altogether this year. No parties. No bars. We spent the night taking down our Xmas decorations. Had one beer. Got the best kiss of the year at midnight, then went to bed. Probably the best NYE I've had in years.
Happy New Year.