Music Park: Zola Jesus @ Black Cat — 1/29/15

Zola Jesus (Photo by Santiago Felipe)

A little over halfway through her performance at the Black Cat on Thursday, the petite Nika Roza Danilova climbed a mountain of speakers to her left and lounged upon the very top of them like a cat watching down from somewhere high as she continued to sing.

The song she was singing was “Lawless,” which starts as a slowly drifting number marked by its percussion until it erupts into a soaring chorus about making it on your own.

Of course Ms. Danilova is better known as Zola Jesus, she typically quickly and rather inaccurately labeled “goth” or “gloompop,” and of course she’s known for having a good stage presence. But seeing is believing, and Zola Jesus throws herself, literally, into her songs as she sweeps across the stage, disappears into an interpretive dance or climbs speakers to sit, cat-like, along the ceiling.

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Don’t Miss: Zola Jesus @ Black Cat, 1/29/15


Late last year, Zola Jesus released her fifth studio album, Taiga, and did so on perhaps my favorite record label ever — London’s Mute Records.

Tonight she brings the tour in support of the album to the Black Cat, and tickets are still available.

In a press statement, Zola Jesus said of the record: “I used to be very scared of failure, of the responsibility of doing the one thing I knew I was born to do. This record was made in an effort to try to make the most massive record I could, shunning all fear and any sense of smallness I ever once had.”

To record the album, she retired to the isolation of Vashon Island in the Puget Sound. The album’s name similarly comes from the Northwoods, or taiga, encompassing where she grew up in Wisconsin. At first listen, the new album sounds orchestral, haunting and thunderous all at the same time.

As reported by Noisey, Zola Jesus hasn’t been afraid to be different, as usual, on this tour. In Brooklyn on Jan. 26, while performing at Saint Vitus, she took her show out onto the street and into the snow. Watch a video of her performing “Nail” from Taiga in the snow below.

L.A. musician Deradoorian opens for Zola Jesus. Tickets are available online and at the door.

Zola Jesus
w/ Deradoorian
Black Cat
Thursday, Jan. 29
Doors @8pm
All ages

Food Park: Brooklyn’s Fatty Sundays Pop-Up @ Union Market, 2/5/15

Fatty Sundays 1

A Brooklyn-based shop specializing in chocolate-covered pretzels will pop up in Union Market (1309 5th St. NE, DC) in February.

Look for Fatty Sundays in a temporary shop on Feb. 5-8 and again Feb. 13-15.

“Fatty Sundays at Union Market will offer the brand’s signature salty-sweet mashups, including the PB&J, Salty Toffee, and Birthday Cake pretzel rods, the delectably crunchy pretzel brittle and the dark chocolate, generously dipped strawberry licorice, among others. The gourmet sweet shop will also serve up a tasty selection of indulgences for gluten-free customers,” the shop said in a press release.

Customers also can choose to dip and top their own pretzels during “Do It Yourself” workshops. You also can buy your own DIY Pretzel Kit to take home.

Founders and sisters Ali and Lauren Borowick started Fatty Sundays in 2010. “Since 2010, we’ve spent many Fatty Sundays together as a family tasting, testing and modernizing a sweet and salty classic,” say the New York natives. “We can’t wait to pop-up at Union Market and share the sweet and colorful world of Fatty Sundays pretzels with DC.”

For more info, visit

Sports Park: Where to Watch Super Bowl XLIX in DC


We are less than one week away from the greatest sporting event on Earth*.

Super Bowl XLIX pits the New England Patriots vs. the Seattle Seahawks in Glendale, Arizona. (Author’s note: Insert amazing joke about balls, deflated or otherwise, here.)

Where are you watching the game this year?

This match-up is no surprise. The two best teams in the NFL in their respective conferences took advantage of their home turf to advance to the big game. The Seahawks in a jaw-dropping comeback over the Packers. The Patriots in a ho-hum dismantling of the Colts.

The earthquake inducing Seahawks, as the defending champs, make their second straight Super Bowl appearance. The ‘potential’ cheating Patriots last made it in 2012, losing to the New York Giants.

None of that matters now. 60 minutes to decide the next champion.

Patriots and Seahawks’ fans have some choices to make on where to watch.

Fans of the New England Patriots in DC

Capitol Lounge (229 Pennsylvania SE, DC)

Cap Lounge on gamedays is a wall of jerseys, red/white/blue, with heads held high. Some of the more loyal Pats fans, they know how to party, cheer and support a team. It is expected to be busy and should be a blast.

Specials: Free Sam Adams Boston Lager, Cold Snap and Bud Light drafts with clam chowder from 5:30pm until kickoff.

Other places where Pats fans gather: Murphy’s of Alexandria.

Fans of the Seattle Seahawks in DC

Acre121 (1400 Irving Street NW, DC)

Acre121 transforms its bar into the official Hawks Nest on gamedays. See the flyer. They update their food and drink menu with Seahawks’ themed items, like the Beast Quake cocktail, the Hawks Nest (an epic burger) and The Largent Classic.

There is also a raffle giving away free swag during halftime. Come early, because it should be packed out.

Specials: Blue and green Skittles packs and Hawks-themed Mardi Gras beads for 12s during the Pregame. Free “Beast Mode” Skittles shots at halftime.

Other places where Hawks fans gather: Solly’s U St Tavern and Penn Quarter Sports Tavern.

Go (your team here)!!!**

Write in the comments where you plan on watching the game.
Super Bowl XLIX
February 1, 2015

* Yes, I said that.

** I say: Go Hawks!

Music Park: Juggernaut: Alpha/Omega from the Periphery, 1/27/15

The Periphery (Photo by Jonathan Thorpe)

The Periphery, DC’s preeminent progressive metal band, released a double album today on Sumerian Records—Juggernaut: Alpha and Juggernaut: Omega.

The band currently are on the Juggernaut tour on the West Coast (in Portland, Ore., tonight, and Seattle, Wash., tomorrow), and they play locally at The Fillmore (8656 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, Md.) on Friday, Feb. 13. (Buy tix online!)

Rolling Stone had a good word to say about the double album recently:

“The group’s most ambitious project yet, it features some of the band’s most accessible music; there’s plenty of the heavily syncopated Meshuggah-worshipping tech metal with which Periphery first made their name, but there’s also pulsing electronica, emo-inflected hard rock, spacey jazz-fusion and hooky acoustic pop – sometimes in the same song.”

The Juggernaut double album is the Periphery’s third full-length release since their debut album in 2010. Juggernaut: Alpha and Juggernaut: Omega tell the story of a character who is torn between good and evil.

“Given the nature and complexity of the Juggernaut story, we’ve actually done something different and exciting in regards to the release,” drummer Matt Halpern said in a press release. “Juggernaut is a story that is told through our music, and we want our audience to fully digest the whole experience. Because Juggernaut is very detailed and dense in terms of character development, peaks and valleys, climaxes and resolutions we’ve divided the story and music in two, in the form of two separate albums. Juggernaut: Alpha, the first part of the story, focuses on the back story and character development, while part two/album two, Juggernaut: Omega, focuses on some pretty serious and gut-wrenching events, taking you for a thrill ride along the main character’s complex journey. Although the albums are split in two physically, the story is only complete when the albums are digested consecutively, allowing the listener to recognize and hear the lyrical and musical overlapping themes, foreshadowing, and connected ideas.”

In addition to Halpern, the Periphery include vocalist Spencer Sotelo, guitarist Misha Mansoor, guitarist Jake Bowen, guitarist Mark Holcomb, and bassist Adam Getgood.

Buy “Juggernaut: Alpha/Omega” today on iTunes and all digital outlets!

iTunes “Alpha”:

iTunes “Omega”:

Google Play “Alpha”:

Google Play “Omega”:

Food Park: DC’s Meat Week Means…Lot’s of BBQ, Jan. 25-Feb. 1

barbecue ribs, pork

Meat Week kicked off in DC yesterday.

Eight days of BBQ. Nine BBQ places, including Hill Country, Acre 121 and Fat Pete’s.

From the Press Release:

“Meat Week is the only national week-long holiday devoted to the celebration of barbecued meats. Started in 2005 in Tallahassee, Florida by co-workers Chris Cantey and Erni Walker, Meat Week has now spread across the country. Some years there have been as many as 15-20 cities celebrating Meat Week with their own chapters. The longest-consecutively-running chapters are: Tallahassee, Los Angeles, Atlanta, New York, Washington DC, and Baltimore.

There are no “rules” to Meat Week, but there are plenty of traditions that have evolved over the years. One of our original traditions is that of “meatography.” Everyone who attends Meat Week gets a photo with their meat each night. We also get a big group photo underneath the restaurant’s sign.

There are also plenty of vegetarians in attendance, including a few vegetarian captains. Most of them come for the camaraderie but stay for the sides.”

Tonight (1/26) is Hill Country Barbecue Market DC at 6:30pm.

Tomorrow (1/27) is at Pork Barrel BBQ at 7pm.

Saturday (1/31) is brunch at Acre 121 at 11am and dinner with BBQ Bus at Denizens Brewing Company at 6pm.

See the full schedule here.

There’s no need to register. Once there, look for the big Meat Week banner and the on-site captain if you’d like to strike up some conversation with people who also enjoy BBQ, or just enjoy whatever you’ve ordered.

Meat Week in DC
Various Locations in DC
Jan. 25-Feb. 1 (8 days)

Sports Park: Washington Capitals Midterm Report Card

090127 Ovechkin

Alex Ovechkin

The Washington Wizards are in the midst of a fine season, but I loathe the NBA, so you will find nothing more about them here.

I do like the Washington Capitals. Consider them one of three DC sports teams I’ve adopted since moving here in 2004. The other two are the Nationals and DC United.

I will attempt to give out a weekly report card on the Capitals progress for the rest of the season as they vie to get back into the playoffs after missing out last year for the first time in seven seasons.

The Capitals have tantalized us with good teams in the regular season over the past few years, but can never put it all together when it matters.


The NHL’s All-Star Game is Sunday, January 25 at 5pm. The league has five days off as they prepare for the All-Star festivities.

The Capitals only have one player in the All-Star Game this year, Alex Ovechkin (LW).

They currently sit in 4th place (24-13-9, 57 pts) in the Metropolitan Division, and WOULD qualify for a playoff berth if the season ended today. It doesn’t. More work to do.

Go Caps!

Midterm Report Card = B-

Around Town: Orwellian America @ DC Public Library, Through January

Outside the Newseum
We’ve been remiss in mentioning that the DC Public Library has an interesting 10-day series of events on government transparency and personal privacy, Orwellian America, being held in municipal libraries and other locations.

On Saturday, Jan. 24 at 2pm, the DC Public Library hosts the next event in the series at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library (901 G St. NW, DC)

From the DC Public Library: “Join Frontline producer Mike Wiser for a special screening and discussion of United States of Secrets, Part 1. Learn about the evolution of “The Program”: a top secret surveillance operation that began in the Bush administration and continued at the National Security Agency until Edward Snowden’s revelations in 2013. The screening will be followed by a discussion with Wiser.” (This program is made possible thanks to a grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Studies.)

Another event is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 31 at 2pm: Orwellian America: Government Transparency vs. National Security. This event is hosted by the Newseum (555 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, DC) in its Knight Studio.

From the DC Public Library: “Join us at the Newseum’s Knight Studio as representatives from the International Spy Museum and the Newseum Institute discuss issues of government transparency and national security, moderated by the Newseum. Voice your opinion afterwards with our electronic voting system. See a TV studio in action as the conversation is live streamed to the DC Public Library, Newseum and International Spy Museum websites.” (This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.)

For more information on other events in the Orwellian America series, visit

Don’t Miss: The First Mappy Hour in DC for Outdoor Enthusiasts @ Penn Social, 1/29/15


Hiking the Appalachian Trail

Do you wish you were hiking at this very moment?

Do you like to pour over maps and plan hikes and adventures?

Would to you like to find others in DC with the same passion for the outdoors?

Come check out the first ‘Mappy Hour’, hosted by OutdoorFest, on Thursday, January 29th at Penn Social.

OutdoorFest is a community of outdoor enthusiasts formed in New York City.

Since early 2014, OutdoorFest has hosted monthly Mappy Hours in New York for ‘outdoor enthusiasts to come together and share their passion for adventure, offer insider info on trip locations, trade books/maps, and be inspired’.

Now they are expanding Mappy Hour to DC.


Sarah Knapp, founder of OutdoorFest, explains:

ParkLife DC: Do you envision this being a monthly event like New York?

Sarah: “Absolutely, one of the most important factors to the success of Mappy Hour in NYC is it’s consistency. We’re not looking to just educate or entertain but also create a long term outdoor enthusiast community.”

ParkLife DC: Is someone from your team coming to DC to host this or is someone volunteering from DC?

Sarah: “While I will be traveling to DC for the first Mappy Hour – the real organization is coming from Jesi and Lauren – both DC area based. They both reached out to me because they heard about Mappy Hour NYC and were interested in bringing it to DC. Without either of them this wouldn’t be happening.”


Register for the first Mappy Hour here.

Mappy Hour in DC
Penn Social
Thursday, January 29
Free (bring maps and an adventurous spirit)