Music Park: The Tallest Man On Earth @ Lincoln Theatre — 6/1/15


NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

The Tallest Man on Earth, Kristian Matsson (at a mere 5′ 7″), told the packed Lincoln Theatre, “Thank you. Straight from my heart, I won’t take this for granted.”

Clearly he didn’t. Despite the themes of lost love and melancholy that permeates many of his songs, he is full of energy and charisma in front of the crowd. He stormed the stage and then ran out into the crowd like a rock star. On stage, he was motion and dancing, switching out guitars after almost every song.

Matsson’s favorite pastime involved throwing down his guitar pick after he finished a song, almost in triumph. The stage was littered with small victories.

Born in Sweden, Matsson began with The Tallest Man on Earth stage name as a solo singer-songwriter for his first three albums. His first album, Shallow Grave, released in 2008, has strong roots in America folk music.

As Matsson made clear, “We only have sad songs, except one song.” The Tallest Man on Earth set forth songs of loss, remembrance and restlessness, weaving through sounds inspired by folk and country music.

For the fourth album, Dark Bird is Home, and latest tour, Matsson has added a full band. There is a clear delineation and complexity between the new album’s songs and the stripped down nature of many of the previous songs.

That delineation is never more apparent than the first single, “Sangres”, which almost seems out-of-place, but yet is clearly part of his overarching theme of lost love. It is also a song that showcases his vocal range, which many have likened to Bob Dylan. This song is a good example of why. His voice seemed fuller and less Dylanesque when live, compared to listening to some of his earlier recorded work. I enjoyed both, but found a deeper appreciation when listening to the songs performed live.

For a change of pace, Matsson performed the quiet “Little Nowhere Towns” on an expanded keyboard. For many songs, he performed solo with just his guitar, while the band took a breather.

Just before the break before the encore, Matsson gave the crowd the wistful title track, “Dark Bird is Home”, with the sad but hopeful line, “and suddenly the day gets you down but this is not the end, no this is fine”. And it was.

Matsson ended the night with “Like the Wheel”, a sad, soulful lament that I like to think is about the long journey to find your place on this Earth.

The Tallest Man on Earth proved to be a great live performer and worthy of the 1-1/2 hour, 21 song, musical journey he and his band lead us through.

The Tallest Man On Earth

Around Town: ALS Silent Auction Fete @ Vida Penthouse Pool Club, 5/29/15


VidaPool

VIDA Fitness’ Penthouse Pool & Lounge at The Yards

From a press release for an ALS benefit to be held at Vida Fitness Penthouse Pool and Lounge at The Yards (1212 4th St. SE, DC) on Friday, May 29:

Raise the rooftop for a great cause! Join VIDA Fitness’ Penthouse Pool & Lounge at The Yards for an upscale rooftop and poolside evening on Friday, May 29 to raise funds for ALS. The social and networking event will include a silent auction to benefit Augie’s Quest, a nonprofit research initiative dedicated to finding a cure for Amyotrophic Laterals Sclerosis (ALS). The silent auction benefit will run from 7 p.m.-12 a.m. and feature complimentary food from the Penthouse Pool Club’s new menu designed by DC Top Chef alum Spike Mendelsohn and other area restaurants.

DJ Alex Kouros will spin house tracks accompanied with live performances by the Wizard Girls and the Nationals Racing Presidents. The evening will feature numerous silent auction items from DC area retailers, theaters, sporting events and restaurants. Featured silent auction items include:

  • Canali Suits ($1000 gift voucher)
  • National Theatre: Two Opening Night Tickets to Smash-Hit Disney Musical Newsies
  • Washington Capitals: Two Autographed Jerseys ($500 each)
  • Capitol Event Stylists: $5,500 Wedding/Corporate/Social Event Planning Package
  • Dupont Circle Hotel: One Night Stay w/ Breakfast
  • Washington Nationals: Autographed Baseballs from Jordan Zimmerman, FP Santangelo and Game Tickets
  • Fabbioli Cellars: Four Wine Tastings
  • Shakespeare Theatre: Two Tickets to Tartuffe

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Excursion: The Sierra Club’s Annual One Day Hike — 4/25/15

2015 One Day Hike
Enjoying the 2015 One Day Hike

50 kilometers. Or 100 kilometers. Take your pick.

The 42nd One Day Hike (ODH) along the C&O Canal Towpath took place on Saturday, April 25th.

The 100K hikers start in Georgetown at 3am, while the 50K hikers start in White’s Ferry, Maryland at 10am. Both groups end in Bolivar, West Virginia (just up the hill from Harper’s Ferry) at the community center.

This was my 4th time participating in the 50K hike. By all accounts it was my fastest time yet, shaving 30+ minutes off of 2014’s time.

Yet the One Day Hike is not a race. It’s not meant to be competitive. Some people treat it that way, but many are happy to enjoy the scenery along the Potomac River and finish with minimal blisters and soreness.

I’ve found the ODH to be one of the most well-organized and well-supported walking or racing events in the DC area. In no small part to the volunteers that plan it, manage it and those volunteers that come out early and stay late to prepare food and drinks, give medical aid and patrol along the trail between support stations to help and give encouragement. ODH co-chair and volunteer coordinator, Mike Darzi, is at the forefront of this successfully run event, communicating with participants and sorting out the details each year.

ODH Sign

 

Diana Partridge, first-time hiking the 50K, “The hike was beautiful and very well-organized. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I’m excited to try the 100k next year.”

Each support station (four stations for the 50K; seven for the 100K) is a veritable feast of snacks, sandwiches, soup, coffee, Gatorade, fruit, candy and more. I like the popcorn and the trail mix with M&Ms. And blue Gatorade is possibly the most delicious liquid after 20 miles of walking. Then, for the finishers at the Bolivar Community Center, there is chili (turkey and veggie), salads, sodas and pizza. I probably eat better on this hike than on most days.

The support stations also feature a medical tent where volunteers give aid to the hikers, including foot care for any pesky blisters.

Mike O’Brien, first-time medical volunteer, “I was happy to volunteer and was encouraged to see the people who I had treated at the half-way mark of the 100K, finish. Next year I’m going to join the hike.”

Once you’ve finished the hike, some people take the shuttle bus back to the Shady Grove Metro stop. But you’re tired by then, and more travel is the last thing you need. The best option is to stay in Bolivar or Harper’s Ferry at a hostel or hotel and then catch the (only) train back to DC the next morning after breakfast.

A worthy event to consider for next year!

 

The Sierra Club’s One Day Hike
Registration is usually at the beginning of February and the hike takes place the last weekend in April.
$50 for either the 50K or 100K

 

Results and Tips

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Sports Park: Nationals “Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer” on Mother’s Day, 5/10/15

Nationals Park: Cardinals at Nationals

Check out the Nats this Sunday!

Nationals’ Press Release: ‘Major League Baseball has announced the winners of the 2015 Honorary Bat Girl contest, which recognizes baseball fans who have been affected by breast cancer and who demonstrate a commitment to eradicating the disease. The Honorary Bat Girl for the Washington Nationals is Tracy Lustig of Alexandria, Va. She will be recognized on the field and will be responsible for delivering the lineup card before the team plays the Atlanta Braves on Sunday, May 10.

On Mother’s Day, players and on-field personnel will wear the symbolic pink ribbon on their uniforms, along with pink wrist bands. Commemorative base jewels and dugout lineup cards also will be pink. Games will feature a pink-stitched Rawlings baseball, the official ball of MLB, as the official game ball. Many MLB players also will use pink bats, and pink Louisville Slugger bats, the Official Bat of Major League Baseball, will be stamped with the MLB breast cancer awareness logo. Many authenticated, game-used Louisville Slugger pink bats from Mother’s Day games will be auctioned exclusively on MLB.com to benefit the fight against breast cancer.

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Around Town: Celebrate National Park Week @ Shenandoah, 4/18-4/26/15

Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
This weekend, April 18-19, you can get into any National Park for free. It’s National Park Week from April 18-26.

That means, for us in DC anyway, head over to Shenandoah National Park. Unless you want to go a bit further away, like to Tennessee for the already free Great Smoky Mountains National Park…

‘Each spring, the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation invite everyone to celebrate National Park Week. This year, from April 18 – 26, celebrate all that America’s more than 400 national parks have to offer. From diverse wildlife and iconic landscapes, to vibrant culture and rich history, our National Park System has something for everyone.’

National Park Week Event Calendar

The national park system comprises 407 areas, including 59 National Parks in all 50 states, DC and territories.

Find a complete List of all the National Park System’s designated areas here.

 

Learn more on how the national park designated areas are classified.

 

Get outside and enjoy your national park system!

 

These local parks and areas are all part of the National Park System!

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Don’t Miss: Global Citizen Earth Day @ Washington Monument Grounds, 4/18/15

Washington Monument

The Global Citizen Earth Day unites two movements to address two great challenges: Ending Extreme Poverty by 2030 and Tackling Climate Change

No Doubt, Usher, Fall Out Boy, Mary J. Blige, Train and My Morning Jacket will all be playing for free near the Washington Monument this coming Saturday, April 18.

‘Marking the 45th anniversary of Earth Day, Global Citizen 2015 Earth Day comes during a pivotal time to protect the planet and ensure that world leaders address key issues facing the next generation. Timed to coincide with the spring meetings of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund, Global Citizen 2015 Earth Day will bring together global policymakers, finance ministers, environment and development NGOs, industry executives and high-profile artists.

Together, these world leaders will work to educate and inspire citizens to take immediate action to end extreme poverty and address climate change. The event is part of a widespread effort to mobilize global citizens in the climate and environmental movement, and the poverty and development movement to drive bold commitments from governments, businesses and individuals.’

There are three access points for the event:

1. Jefferson Drive and 15th Street NW
2. 17th Street and Independence (just opposite WW2 Memorial)
3. 17th Street and Constitution

Set times for specific bands will not be released, so get there early and don’t miss anything.

Global Citizen Earth Day
http://www.globalcitizen.org/2015earthday
Washington Monument Grounds
Saturday, April 18
11:00am-7:00pm
Free
All ages

Sports Park: Capitals Regular Season Report Card and Playoff Preview

Caps Report Card

Weekly Record: 1-1 (2 pts)
Final Regular Season Record: 45-26-11 (101 pts)
Clinched #2 seed in Metropolitan Division

2015 Regular Season Report Card: B

As Major League Baseball finishes its first full week, the Capitals gear up for their first round playoff match-up against the #3 New York Islanders. Yes, we still have some hockey left. Game time is 7:00pm this Wednesday, April 15. Let’s do this!

The Capitals and Islanders split the regular season series 2-2. However the Caps did get 6 points to the Islanders 4, because both their losses were in OT.

After missing the playoffs last year, the Capitals last played the Islanders in the playoffs in 1992-93, which they lost. Not much playoff history between these two teams.

The Caps finished the season strong, going 9-5-1 in their last 15, and hope to keep the momentum alive into what will likely turn into a 6 or 7 game battle with the Islanders.

Alex Ovechkin led the NHL with 52 goals. He is also now the Caps career leader in goals scored. Brandon Holtby (41-20-10) was one of the elite goalies this season, a large reason why the Caps managed to qualify for the playoffs.

Let’s go Caps!

 

Report Card Archive