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Music Park: Marrow @ Black Cat, 4/23/15


[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YA_NRn5yGOo]

Marrow, a bluesy pop rock group out of Chicago, checks in to the Black Cat Backstage on Thursday, April 23.

The band, which formed in 2013, is composed of three former members of another Chicago band that parted ways, Kids These Days.

They list David Bowie, Deerhoof, St. Vincent and Grizzly Bear, among others, as influences.

“Paulson”, about a long-distance break-up (via a VHS tape no less), is the lead single off their forthcoming debut album, The Gold Standard.

“Mother of Maladies”, another song from The Gold Standard, showcases the sultry, smooth voice of vocalist, Macie Stewart.
[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/194045618″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

Phantomweight, a local indie funk band from DC, will open.


Come out to the Cat and enjoy the show!

Tickets are available online and at the venue.

w/ Phantomweight
Black Cat
Thursday, April 23, 2015
Doors @7:30pm

Music Park: Mittenfields @ Black Cat, 4/30/15 (Album Release Show!)


[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W327zifZCEs&w=640&h=360]

Mittenfields, a DC noise pop quintent, are set to self-release their debut album Optimists on Tuesday, April 28. They have released a video for the title track “Optimists,” which you can watch above.

For vocalist Dave Mann, drummer Brian Moran, and guitarists Sam Sherwood, Michael Ball and Donald Seale, Optimists is the long-awaited follow up to their 2011 EP The Fresh Sum, after which they took a little time off. The band cite influences such as Pavement, The Pixies and Built to Spill in their work. (I also think maybe you can hear a little power pop like Cheap Trick in “Optimists” above, but maybe that’s just me.)

The band is streaming the latest single from Optimists, “We’ve Become Numbers,” on Soundcloud:
[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/192298727″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

After releasing their album Tuesday, Mittenfields will play an album release show at the Black Cat on Thursday, April 30. (They will hop up to Philadelphia to perform at Kung Fu Necktie the following night.) It’s a great opportunity to catch up with the gents and to check out opening bands Greenland, Magnetar Flares and Night Streets. Tickets are available online and at the door!

w/ Greenland, Magnetar Flares and Night Streets
Black Cat
Thursday, April 30
Doors @7:30pm
All ages

Music Park: Martha Davis and The Motels @ The Hamilton Live, 4/21/15



In 1979, Martha Davis launched The Motels from California with sultry, catchy songs like “Total Control,” and then charged into a prolific period of seven albums over the ensuing decade, each demonstrating a penchant for fresh rhythms and clever wordplay.

In recent years, Ms. Davis has reformed a version of her band and took to the road, appearing in the extended DC metro area back in 2013 as part of a “Totally 80s Summer Tour” in Leesburg, Va. Now, Martha Davis and The Motels are here headlining tonight at the Hamilton (600 14th St. NW, DC) in what promises to be an absorbing show.

Watch a performance of “Total Control” below:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4CuX98W-9vg]

I reviewed the performance by The Motels in 2013 for We Love DC, noting that the full set that included classics like “Danger,” “Little Robbers,” “Suddenly Last Summer” and “Only the Lonely.”

It was reinvigorating to hear Davis revisit her catalog, particularly the lush but maudlin “Suddenly Last Summer.” Her voice sounded timeless, and she’s handily evaded the fate that befell some of her contemporaries who don’t sound quite the same as they once did. With Davis, I could close my eyes and it was exactly as if I were listening to her on the radio 30 years ago.

I added, “The band has good chemistry and a big, full sound that casually slides in around Davis’ sultry vocals without ever threatening to overwhelm them. They are a good combination, and Davis has suggested the lineup will make an album, which could be a very good thing.”

So join them tonight at the Hamilton for the “Suddenly This Spring Tour 2015,” where they are certain to entertain.

Tickets are available online and at the venue. Greg Hawkes, best known for being the keyboard player of The Cars, opens for Martha Davis and The Motels

Martha Davis and The Motels
w/ Greg Hawkes
The Hamilton Live
Tuesday, April 21, 2015
Doors @6:30pm
Show @7:30pm
All ages

Stars and Bars: Back in Business @ Quarry House Tavern, 4/20/15



Late at night on March 18, the Bombay Gaylord Indian restaurant (8401 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, Md.) caught on fire, and the resulting conflagration damaged the long-standing pub beneath it.

Now the Quarry House Tavern has temporarily relocated after being closed for the ensuing weeks. It’s new location (8402 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, Md.) is directly across the street from its old location. The Quarry House Tavern is temporarily occupying the space that once belonged to Piratz Tavern, which closed April 4 after struggling to stay in business for quite a few years.

The Quarry House Tavern relaunches operations today, Monday, April 20, with its regular half-price burger night. The tavern made the announcement on Facebook this afternoon:

“The rumors are true, we took over the old Piratz space as a temporary home. Join us tonight for friends and family (that’s you) at Quarry House Temporary. Opening doors around 6 ish. (Mostly) half priced burger night. Beer & whiskey list a work in progress. We can’t wait to see you. Come if you can and spread the word (Tonight is CASH only, no cc’s yet). Love, QHT.”

No word yet on the outlook for restoring and reopening the former basement location, beloved by many, but at least the #1 dive bar in Silver Spring is back in business in some form!

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!

Music Park: The Ting Tings @ 9:30 Club — 4/11/15


The Ting Tings bang the drums at 9:30 Club in 2009

Katie White, in a space age dress with a sweater around the waist, was all about destroying the stage with dance. Nothing was safe from her furious motion. Not the microphone stands or the cords that got twisted and unplugged or the drum, the drum, the drum that fell after repeated banging.

After awhile, she gave the stage hand a shout out for being the hero of the night, repeatedly putting things back in perfect order, until she danced back through.

After a 3-year absence, Katie White and Jules de Martino, who make up The Ting Tings out of Manchester, returned in full dance mode to the 9:30 Club with their new album, Super Critical, and tour. The new songs are part disco and a few, like “Only Love”, are reminiscent of their first album, We Started Nothing.

This marked he fifth time I’ve seen The Ting Tings play live, and this was most certainly their best performance yet. With three albums worth of material to play, they took the packed club on a 13 song odyssey.

They spent much of the night doling out gems from Super Critical and We Started Nothing. They largely skipped their second album except to play “Hang It Up” and “Give It Back” early on in the show.

New songs like “Communication”, takes one back to early 90’s electronic dance, and “Green Poison” gives off a whiff of funk. Katie opened the latter by requesting the light crew to shine the nastiest green lights they can find.

The crowd was constantly in motion, feeding off of Katie’s smooth vocals and the peppy beats from Jules.

The Ting Tings are back. You need to pick up their new album and start your own dance party.


KANEHOLLER opened for The Ting Ting’s during this early Saturday show. The electro singing-songwriting duo of Chelsea Tyler and Jon Foster formed in Brooklyn in 2011 under the name “badbad” and are now based in Venice, CA.

This was their first show ever in DC. They seemed pleased to be here and played a number of catchy electro-dance songs like “Paper Games” and “Evermore”. Chelsea Tyler often resembled an electronic version of Alanis Morissette in motion.

A fine set that got the crowd loose and ready for The Ting Tings.


The Ting Ting’s Set List

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
Washington Monument Grounds
Saturday, April 18
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

Excursion: Happy Hour Brewery Hike


Hellbender Brewing Company
Hellbender Brewing Company

It’s Thursday, your workday is almost over, you’re bored with the normal happy hour spots, and you want to get some exercise but don’t feel like going to the gym.

Consider something completely different.

Why not check out some of your local breweries on foot?

Skip the car and the bikes. Strap on your walking shoes and visit Hellbender, 3 Stars and Denizens all in a few hours.

Since DC breweries can now sell full pints and beer flights in the evenings (expanding from the traditional growler hours they operated on the weekends), many have opened their doors for a few hours on Thursday and Friday evenings.

Most are located in the Northeast quadrant, and are not easily accessible without a car. Easy fix. Walk. Besides, drinking and driving is never a good idea…

Here is one hike you can consider, completed successfully on April 9, 2015.

What: Happy Hour Brewery Hike
Days to try: Thursday or Friday evening
Breweries to visit: 3
Distance: 4.1 miles
Time walking: 1 hour 30 minutes

Start: Fort Totten Metro (between 5:00 and 6:00pm)
1st Brewery: Hellbender Brewing Company (Hours: TH/FRI 4:00-8:00pm)
2nd Brewery: 3 Stars Brewing Company (Hours: TH/FRI 4:00-8:00pm)
3rd Brewery: Denizens Brewing Company (Hours: TH/FRI 4:00-11:00pm)
Depart: Silver Springs Metro