Food Park: International Carrot Day @ One Eight Distilling, 4/4/15

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One Eight Distilling

Good news if you love carrots. They have a day of their own — International Carrot Day on Saturday, April 4.

And better news if you like carrot cake and gin, as Karat Cakery and One Eight Distilling (1135 Okei St. NE, DC) are teaming up to celebrate.

The press release from Karat Cakery says:

Let us count the ways we love carrots because on Saturday, April 4, carrots will make a delicious appearance at One Eight Distilling thanks to local food truck Karat Cakery.

Carrot lovers can enjoy both sweet and savory carrot treats from Karat Cakery’s food truck, including carrot cupcakes and surprise savory carrot dishes and of course spirits from One Eight Distilling to wash it all down.

The spirits portion of this carrot celebration will be located in the Tasting Room at One Eight Distilling (1135 Okie Street, NE). One Eight will host tours and tastings of its latest spirits on Saturday from 1pm to 4pm every half-hour, first-come, first-served. Guests must be 21+ with valid I.D. in order to participate. Admission is free, and advance registration is NOT required and there will be free on-street parking.

Guests can show their love for carrots by participating in Karat Cakery’s challenges like the “place your order using your best bunny imitation” and rounds of imaginary hoola hoop while holding Mr. Carrot. “We are thrilled to bring our carrot love to One Eight Distilling on International Carrot Day,” said Robert Hogans. “Carrots are the perfect ingredient for a fantastic day of fun, food and drink.”

The undisputed star of International Carrot Day and the centerpiece of Karat Cakery’s lineup are the carrot cupcakes, which are based on our Grandma Hogans’ family recipe. This recipe has been fashioned not only into breathtaking cupcakes, but also into irresistible carrot cakes and loaves available via Washington, DC’s only dedicated carrot cake food truck — Karat Cakery’s Goldie.

“This Saturday’s partnership with Karat Cakery is particularly special because it’s International Carrot Day,” said Jared Earley at One Eight Distilling. Yes, you can have your carrot cake and eat it too!

Around Town: Opening Day Fest by Bluejacket, 4/6/15

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Teddy flys in for the Nationals’ Opening Day

Monday, April 6, marks the glorious return of Major League Baseball and the Washington Nationals.

Has it really been 5 months since Game 7 of the World Series? Did the damn Giants really win it all again?

The Nationals have bolstered their pitching staff to such a degree, they have to be the odds on favorite to make the World Series this year. Seriously; Strasburg, Zimmermann, Scherzer, Fister and Gonzalez…this will be a fun year. Especially if Bryce Harper finally comes into his own at the plate.

Let’s celebrate. On a school night.

Bluejacket is here to help. They are hosting a free Opening Day Fest from 11:00am-4:00pm at Lot O, next to Yards Park and the Trapeze school, on Monday, April 6. Note: The Nationals opener against the Mets starts at 4:05pm.

There will be a batting cage, a fast pitch booth, corn-hole, live music and some family friendly games.

Bluejacket will offer eight of their beers. This includes two new ones, Goldfinch (a hoppy Belgian blond ale) and Swirl (a sour strawberry brown ale). I don’t know how I feel about Swirl yet, it sound both amazing and unlikely at the same time. Let’s find out.

There will also be food, like burgers, sausages (from Red Apron Butcher), and brioche doughnuts and fried chicken sandwiches (from GBD). Okay!

It is free to enter, but the food, drinks and games will cost between $7-10. You can also buy a package deal in advance, which includes games, food and beer.

 

Opening Day Fest by Bluejacket
Lot O (next to Bluejacket and directly behind the Trapeze School at 4th & Tingey St. SE)
Monday, April 6
11:00am-4:00pm
Free admission (with $7-10 food and drink)
or the advance Triple Play Package ($30)
All ages (bring ID to consume alcohol)

Music Park: Torche @ DC9 — 3/29/15

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Torche (Photo by Janette Valentine)

Steve Brooks, frontman of Torche, celebrated his birthday Sunday night at DC9. And DC bought him the best gift ever — a very solidly sold out show.

Concert-goers were packed in like sardines for the hard rock quartet’s last night in support of their new album, Restarter.

Although this was Torche’s fourth album, it was my first encounter with the group, formed in Florida more than 10 years ago. So I’m going to focus on talking about the new album and the strong performance Torche brought in support of it.

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Music Park: “Concrete” by the Pleasure Curses (New Release on 3/31/15)

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The Pleasure Curses, DC’s premier disco dance duo, Tuesday released a new song, “Concrete.”

Here it is!

It’s one of their best, in my opinion. It starts out with a crunchier, blockier sound, but the song gets more sparkly as the band, and we, get more invested in it.

They lyrics also serve as a wonderfully polite snub to the subject of the song:

“everyone is something to someone/
nobody is nothing to no one/
but hanging out with you seems like no fun/
hanging out with you seems like no fun, no”

Essentially, some experiences can be as grey and lifeless as concrete.

Jahn Alexander and Evan Maxwell are certain to play the song live at their next gig on Thursday, April 2, at the Martin Lurther King DC Public Library.

After that, their next scheduled show, at the moment, is apparently part of an event at the Smithsonian American Art Museum on Friday, May 22 (Memorial Day weekend!).

Sports Park: Capitals Weekly Report Card — 3/23-3/29/15

Caps Report Card

Weekly Record: 2-1 (4 pts)

Overall: 41-25-10 (92 pts)
+6 pt advantage for playoff spot

The Capitals needed that overtime win against the Devils last Thursday. After conceding a heartbreaking goal that tied the game with 30 seconds remaining, the Caps got a quick OT goal and salvaged the two points.

After a huge letdown against Nashville at home on Saturday, the Capitals went into New York and skated away with a 5-2 victory over the 1st place Rangers. Alex Ovechkin scored two more goals to increase his lead over 2nd place by nine goals (49).

Thankfully the Ottawa Senators turned cold this past week, losing 3 straight, largely due to an injury to their goalie. The Caps have some breathing room in the playoff hunt.

Only six games remain. Let’s go Caps!

 

Results

March 26, 2015: Devils at Capitals – WIN (3-2 OT)

March 28, 2015: Predators at Capitals – LOSS (3-4)

March 29, 2015: Capitals at Rangers – WIN (5-2)

 

March 23-March 29 Weekly Report Card: B

 

Report Card Archive

Around Town: The Breakfast Club @ Local Theaters, 3/31/15

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Allison Reynolds, portrayed by Ally Sheedy, in The Breakfast Club

Editor’s Note: The Breakfast Club is playing in some DC movie theaters tomorrow in a restored print for its 30th anniversary. Neal Keller, DJ at the long-running 80s Dance Party, recently caught the screening, and he was compelled to share some thoughts on it, inspired by a documentary featurette that runs before the film. Keep up with Neal and the 80s Dance Party on Facebook. And stay tuned for the next 80s Dance Party, monthly at Tropicalia (2001 14th St. NW, DC).

Did Allison Sell Out?

Allison is one of the essential cinematic Goth Chicks of the 1980s. If you don’t know her, it might be because she likes it that way. She is one of five high school kids “forced to sacrifice her Saturday to detention” in the John Hughes movie “The Breakfast Club.” Draped in black clothing, beneath thick dark bangs and blackened eyes, she is determined to be ignored. And for the first part of the film, she more or less succeeds.

Unfortunately, her best efforts at going unnoticed are undermined by her subconscious longing to be noticed. The film originally came out in 1985, and in the many times I’ve seen it since, I never noticed her very much — at least not before my latest screening of it. At a recent theatrical reissue held to mark the 30th anniversary of the movie’s release, I found myself spending much more time focused on her character. This was prompted in no small part by a featurette that preceded the screening, in which the cast and guests offered their perspectives about the work 30 years later.

Filmmaker Diablo Cody (best known as the writer of “Juno”) accused Allison (played by Ally Sheedy) of “selling out” by the end of the film when she transforms from gloomy caterpillar to radiant butterfly at the film’s climax. I mean, no self-respecting Goth Chick would give up her black eyeliner, ESPECIALLY in order to *gasp* catch the eye of the star athlete, would she?! Did Allison allow Claire (played by Molly Ringwald) to recreate her image just to get his attention?

My 20-year-old self would say — did say: “SELL OUT!” But my 50-year-old self started to see it differently as I watched the film again, and pondered the question anew. I was surrounded by my current peer group at this anniversary screening, most of whom are about the same age. I suspect I wasn’t the only one wondering if I too had sold out, which proves that the film is still striking a nerve deep within us after three decades.

Of all of the films John Hughes created, this is the necessary one.

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Stars and Bars: Jim Beam Bonded Returns @ Harold Black — 3/23/15

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Theo Rutherford of Jim Beam

Bourbon lovers and media had a chance to taste Jim Beam’s new Pre-Prohibition Style Rye whiskey and the return of their Bonded bourbon at a most apt venue. Harold Black, a speakeasy-style bar tucked away in Eastern Market (above Acqua Al 2).

The friendly staff at Harold Black mixed four agreeable cocktails designed for this event, showcasing the two bourbons. The Gingerly brought out the best in the Rye and the Blueberry Hill, with mashed blueberries, proved to be a fine complement to the Bonded.

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Theo Rutherford, of Jim Beam, hosted a brief tutorial for guests to learn how to properly drink bourbon. It involves proper breathing and ample use of smell. Guests then were given the ingredients and tools to make their own ‘delicious’ cocktail. Mine was not Harold Black quality, but I was happy with it.

The overall old-timey, Prohibition theme was well done throughout the speakeasy; in the decor, the lighting, and the attire of the bartenders and organizers.

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Don’t Miss: Torche @ DC9, 3/29/15

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Torche are a metal band that’s not metal. They have a metalesque sound, and they have signed to metal label Relapse, but to hear the band tell it, they are here to rock.

And I have to agree. On first listens to new songs like “Loose Men” from their most recent album Restarter, released in February, the hard rocker quartet — consisting of lead singer and guitarist Steve Brooks, bassist Jonathan Nuñez, drummer Rick Smith, and guitarist/vocalist Andrew Elstne — are more apt to remind me of Van Halen than they are Avenged Sevenfold. (Although make no mistake, they sound like neither one.)

Press for the band say the band merges “huge infectious melodies with down-tuned, crushing sludgy rock,” which could appeal to those who like Dinosaur Jr., Sonic Youth or the Melvins.

Pitchfork called Restarter “an absolutely killer rock record — one that’s likely to appeal to listeners into any stripe of heavy music from the past 20 years.”

You have the chance to put this to the test, as Torche hit DC9 on Sunday, March 29 for the last date of their current tour in support of Restarter. You’ll get a lot of bang for your buck, as Torche bring along opening act Wrong (from their shared hometown of Miami) and local acts Jeff Carey and Black Clouds jump onto the bill as well.

Torche
w/ Wrong, Jeff Carey, Black Clouds
DC9
Sunday, March 29
Doors @7pm
$12
All ages

Music Park: ShamrockFest @ RFK Stadium Festival Grounds — 3/21/15

gaelic-stormGaelic Storm

It is clear, after attending the 2015 edition of ShamrockFest, that I need to get myself to Galway, Ireland.

Because the girls.

Scythian, DC’s native purveyor of Irish tunes, crooned ‘and I lost my heart to a Galway girl’, in a lively cover of Steve Earle’s “Galway Girl”. Then later, Gaelic Storm performed their brand new “Girls Night in Galway”, an ode to the multitude of bachelorette parties that festoon the city.

ShamrockFest is an exercise in excess. An excessive amount of Irish and Celtic music. An excessive number of people dressed in elaborate green costumes. An excessive desire to visit Galway (for me, at least).

Strolling around the RFK Stadium Festival Grounds, there is no question that DC loves St. Patrick’s Day. Taking a cue from Carbon Leaf’s dance ready “The Donnybroke Affair”, you might describe ShamrockFest as ‘a rough-n-tumble free-for-all’ and ‘a ruckus to be reckoned with’.

Festival goers were ready for a day of music and beer. I would guess a large percentage of the sold-out crowd partook in the VIP package, which included access to an expansive VIP area and bottomless beer within.

The VIP area spread between the Gold stage and the Green stage. Aside from the dedicated beer stalls and a small DJ booth, it also provided cordoned off and up-close access to both stages. The lines for beer were so long that Red Frog Events eventually opened up VIP member’s access to all festival beer stands. Which then made all the lines long. We want our beer.

The sprawling Festival Grounds is not attractive (after all, it is a parking lot), but the three stages and the electronic tent were spaced apart so that you never felt overwhelmed by crowd movements and spontaneous dancing.

The beer selection was small, but with three choices and a cider (Guinness, Guinness Blond, Yuengling and Angry Orchard Cider), it was both appropriate and better than many festivals. The food offered was nothing beyond typical festival fare to further the St. Patrick’s Day theme. But Bailey’s Irish Coffee was on offer. Yes and thank you.

Other activities included Bear Pong (an outsized version of the classic beer pong) and Cornhole hosted by NAKID Social Sports. There were also stalls selling green things, kilts and alcohol infused cigars. Nice. There could have been more to do, if you wanted a break from the music.

The music options were an eclectic mix of Irish standards, electronic dance, covers, folk, fiddles, Celtic songs and a pinch of blues (Traveler) thrown in for good measure.

I was able to listen to a good number of bands on the Gold, Green and Dewey Beach stages, and did also poke my head into the DJ tent (Electric Isle).

The main complaint for the Electric Isle tent was there was a sizable pool of water in the middle, towards the back, courtesy of the rain from the previous day. People danced around it.

Here is my music lineup and brief notes on each.

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