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Photo Reel: Blossom Watch

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DC blossoms - YevaFoto

Spring has sprung. Let’s hope summer holds off for just a bit!

Around Town: Anacostia River Festival @ Anacostia Park, 4/12/15

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11th Street Bridges - Washington DC - 2014-05-08

11th Street Bridge and Anacostia Park

This Sunday, April 12th, after you’ve seen the cherry blossoms on the Tidal Basin, come out to the first Anacostia River Festival from 12:00-4:00pm.

From the press release:

‘The first-ever Anacostia River Festival will celebrate the history, ecology and communities along the banks of the Anacostia River.

The 11th Street Bridge Park and the National Park Service present the event, which will offer free kayaking and canoeing, musical performances, fishing and water filtration workshops, live birds of prey demonstration, a photography exhibition and a bike parade. The Anacostia River Festival is the official closing of the 2015 National Cherry Blossom Festival.

“We are so excited to be a part of this year’s National Cherry Blossom Festival and look forward to the positive exposure it will bring to East of the River neighborhoods as well as the 11th Street Bridge Park,” said Scott Kratz, director of the 11th Street Bridge Park, a collaborative project of the D.C. City Government and non-profit Building Bridges Across the River at THEARC transforming an old freeway into a new civic space scheduled to open in 2018.

The event will offer hands-on art workshops, dragon boat rides, a community sing along, urban archaeology, community bicycle rides, boating and other fun activities to connect families with the natural world. “The Anacostia is poised for a renaissance,” National Park Service Superintendent Gopaul Noojibail said.

“The National Park Service is committed to helping people discover the beauty, fun and possibilities in Anacostia Park, and I hope that events like the River Festival inspire people – especially young people – to visit and get involved.”

Held in Anacostia Park, one of America’s national parks, and steps away from the future 11th Street Bridge Park, the event is free of charge.’

Anacostia River Festival
Anacostia Park (Good Hope Road and Anacostia Drive SE)
Sunday, April 12, 2015
12:00-4:00pm
Free
All ages

Stars and Bars: DC Brau Tap Takeover @ Capitol Lounge, 4/8/15

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This sign could be yours!

Looking for a last-minute plan for tonight? Hit the Capital Lounge (231 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, DC) for a DC Brau tap takeover.

Among the taps undoubtedly will be the brewery’s new 4.6 percent German pilsner, Brau Pils, which it just introduced.

The word from DC Brau on the new pilsner: Brau Pils is a straight forward Pilsner with a light body, moderate carbonation and an assertive yet restrained hop character. Aromas of earthy, spicy noble hops are chased by a rich, cracker-like note backed up with clean, malty notes and a neutral lager yeast profile. This beer is made to help refresh on those hot summer dog days of DC.

DC Brau also will raffle off a DC Brau neon sign for the first time ever, according to owner Brandon Skall, who will be in attendance!

DC Brau Tap Takeover
Capitol Lounge
Wednesday, April 8
6-9pm
Free
21+

Don’t Miss: The Ting Tings @ 9:30 Club, 4/11/15

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Jules De Martino and Katie White go disco with Super Critical.

A few years ago, Katie White and Jules De Martino took to the island of Ibiza. There, the pop duo known as the Ting Tings found Andy Taylor, formerly guitarist of Duran Duran.

The Ting Tings enlisted Andy to assist with producing their third studio album, Super Critical, which finally saw release last fall. And frankly, it was a match made in heaven.

The Ting Tings were looking for a different sound, and Andy comes armed with a deep love and admiration for the music of David Bowie and Chic, among others. And so they produced a wonderful little dance album of nine tracks that remind you of why you fell in love with the band when they debuted in 2007.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7U8Q6qCZsY]

Now, Super Critical is not the same lightning bolt of glossy electropop that is debut album We Started Nothing. But the smooth funky tracks like “Wrong Club” and “Do It Again” make equally good use of Katie White’s alluring vocals and Jules De Martino’s ability to strike a perfect note on almost any instrument. The sound fits them very well, and Katie’s upbeat, kinetic voice and Jules’ beats make for a perfect dance record.

In a press release, Katie said of the track “Wrong Club,” “It’s about what happened to nightclubs that made them not sexy, how the tempo became so fast that nobody moves any more, they just jerk, its gesture not rhythm. We wanted to make a song that felt exactly like the opposite of that. It’s very Ting Tings to do a sad song with uplifting music. That’s just who we are.”

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7CTEdDvsdk]

The Ting Tings have launched a tour in support of Super Critical, and they visit the 9:30 Club on Saturday, April 11 in an early show. Take our word for it, this is going to be a great show.

Brooklyn soul duo Kaneholler open for the Ting Tings.

The Ting Tings
w/ Kaneholler
9:30 Club
Saturday, April 11
Doors @6pm
$25
All ages

Sports Park: Capitals Weekly Report Card — 3/30-4/5/15

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Caps Report Card

Weekly Record: 3-1 (7 pts)

Overall: 44-25-11 (99 pts)
Clinched playoff berth!

The Caps are in the playoffs! The Caps are in the playoffs!

In other news, Alex Ovechkin scored his 50th goal. This marks the sixth time in his career he has reached this milestone. And he’s only the sixth player in NHL history to do this. Not bad.

Then, on Thursday, he scored two more goals to become the Capitals all-time franchise leader in goals scored with 472. Pretty good.

During the week the Capitals moved into 2nd place in the Metropolitan division for a brief drop of the puck. It didn’t last as the Caps fell to the pesky Senators, who would not bow out of the playoff race gracefully, in a shoot-out. The Caps made a furious three goal really to send the game into overtime and get a point for their efforts. Nice.

Now after beating the Red Wings 2-1 on Sunday, they move back into 2nd place and clinched a playoff spot. Excellent.

Two games left to decide who they play in the 1st round.

Today you can celebrate by enjoying the Washington Nationals’ Opening Day.

 

Results

March 31, 2015: Hurricanes at Capitals – WIN (4-2)

April 2, 2015: Capitals at Canadiens – WIN (5-4 SO)

April 4, 2015: Capitals at Senators – LOSS (3-4 SO)

April 5, 2015: Capitals at Red Wings – WIN (2-1)

 

March 30-April 5 Weekly Report Card: A

Report Card Archive

Music Park: Funk Parade @ U Street, 5/2/15

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Members of Batala Percussion band performing at 2014 Funk Parade in DC on May 3, 2014 (Photo by Pabak Sarkar)

The second annual Funk Parade promises to be even funkier than the first.

The street and music festival certainly impressed enough people in its inaugural year to convince Mayor Muriel Bowser to close U Street NW on Saturday, May 2 for the daylong festival.

“The U Street Funk Parade embodies the spirit of the District,” said Mayor Bowser in a press release on April 3. “It brings our communities together and honors the city’s cultural heritage that we’ve all come to know and love.”

The Funk Parade organizers sought to close down U Street for their parade last year as well, but they were denied by then-Mayor Vince Grey. With this year’s closing, U Street will shut down for the first time in 17 years, according to reports.

“We’re grateful to the city and Mayor Muriel Bowser for acknowledging U Street’s historic significance to the District as the soul of music, culture and celebration, a place that’s unlike anywhere else in the city,” said Justin Rood, co-founder of Funk Parade, in the press release.

Rood and fellow co-founder Chris Naoum of Listen Local First have been running an Indiegogo campaign to raise $15,000 for the Funk Parade. As of this morning, it has raised roughly $9,300 toward that goal with only four days of fundraising remaining.

The organizes estimate last year’s Funk Parade drew more than 25,000 participants with more than 100 hours of music programming from more than four dozen acts in 30 locations throughout the day. The literal Funk Parade marched down V Street NW last year after Grey denied its application to march down U Street.

Funk Parade activities planned for May 2 include a day fair, the parade, and a music festival.

The following info is from the Funk Parade Indiegogo site:

Day Fair (12-5pm): Before the parade, the neighborhood will host a day fair, full of music, dance, art, and spontaneous acts of soul and creativity. It’s a chance to gather and celebrate and prepare for the mighty parade!

The Main Event – Funk Parade (5-7pm): See dancers, your friends and neighbors, a marching band behind them, and a drum corps. See costumes and getups and shiny things. Hear beat-boxers and junkyard drummers. See pot-bangers and clappers and kids on their parents’ shoulders. Horn players wander in and out of the crowd. A thunderous syncopated procession of groove, winding its way through the neighborhood, calling the city to the funk.

Music Festival (7-10pm): After the parade winds down, the U Street neighborhood’s historic venues open their doors for the city to hear some of the best music DC has to offer. One night, one city, one groove: the subatomic particle of love.

The Funk Parade
U Street Corridor
Saturday, May 2
12-10pm
Free
All ages

FunkParadePoster

Music Park: Black Masala Indiegogo Campaign (Deadline: 5/15/15)

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Black Masala

Eight-piece Gypsy brass band Black Masala has started an Indiegogo campaign to raise money for their new album.

The DC swing octet plans to enter the studio in May, and so they are hoping to raise $5,000 by May 15. If Black Masala raises any extra money, they will put it toward publicity and travel costs in support of a tour to support the album.

“The past three years have been a wild ride for Black Masala, the eclectic brass band from Washington, DC. The band has quickly become a crowd favorite and is excited to get into the studio and record a brand new album soon,” the band said on its Indiegogo page.

Contributors can donate amounts from $5 to $1,500. Perks and prizes for donating include:

  • Black Masala’s New Album Bundles
  • T-Shirt / Hoodie Bundles
  • Singing Telegrams
  • Skype or In-person Music Lessons with the Band Member of Your Choice
  • Studio Invites to Sit-in on the Recording of Black Masala’s New Album
  • Custom Artwork and Clothing
  • VIP Passes to a Live Show of Your Choice
  • Live Performance/Private Party Packages and Educational Clinics Packages

Watch a video of Black Masala performing “Super Good” at the 9:30 Club on Jan. 10, 2015, while opening for the Pietasters:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7CFRl_DKJFo&w=640&h=360]

Black Masala won two 2013 WAMMIE Awards from the Washington Area Music Association for Best New Artist and Best World Album of the Year. Its members include:

  • Mike Ounallah – Vocals, Drums, Percussion
  • Kristen Long – Vocals, Percussion
  • Monty Montgomery – Sousaphone, Vocals, Percussion
  • Yannick LePage – Accordion
  • Kirsten Warfield – Trombone
  • Steven Cunningham – Trumpet
  • Duff Davis – Electric Guitar
  • Tomas Drgon – Guitar, Vocals, Percussion

For more information on the band, visit its website at http://www.blackmasala.com. The band is offering a free track, “Bhangra V,” to visitors to http://blackmasala.com/dl. Enter code 2zci-ik3c.

Don’t Miss: Spandau Ballet @ 9:30 Club, 4/28/15

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Spandau Ballet (Photo by Scarlet Page)

They are the most significant band never to perform in Washington, DC.

But against the odds, they are about to rectify that situation in what could be the concert of the year. I say against the odds because the five members of Spandau Ballet notoriously split after a falling out with band leader Gary Kemp for decades, last touring North America in 1983.

Last year, the reunited Spandau Ballet hit their first shows on the U.S. west coast after their hiatus, and this month, they are returning to tour the east coast. The tour includes a stop at the 9:30 Club on Tuesday, April 28, and in a video message from London on March 27, lead singer Tony Hadley made it clear, saying on the 9:30 Facebook page: “It’s the first time we’ve ever played in Washington!”

But the most significant band never to perform in DC? Really, Mickey?

Well, yes, I think so. Spandau Ballet came together in 1978 during a tumultuous time in London as the poster band for the New Romantic movement, a group of club savants who valued sexy sophistication and optimism as an antidote to the grit and pessimism of some of the punk bands at the time. The cultural movement and resulting music genre had its roots in the glam rock of David Bowie and Roxy Music, and its flagship bands came to embrace smart suits and synthesizers.

Spandau Ballet started out as the house band for Ground Zero of this movement, The Blitz Club, run by Steve Strange. They quickly got to work on powerful dance albums, the first two of which were produced by Richard James Burgess, who is now a DC-area resident who has taught at the Annapolis Music School and The Omega Studios’ School of Applied Recording Arts and Sciences in addition to serving as director of marketing at Smithsonian Folkways, the nonprofit record label of the Smithsonian Institution.

Of course, Spandau Ballet are most famous in the United States for their third album, True, which produced two U.S. top 40 hits in 1983—“True” (#4) and “Gold” (#27). Here are Spandau Ballet performing “True” on Jimmy Kimmel Live in November 2014:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-ykE6WkZbI]

After years apart, the band reunited in 2009, and I flew to Glasgow to see them at S.E.C.C. on Oct. 27, 2009. They were in fine form and high spirits, and they easily lived up to the hype generated by the legacy of their original six studio albums and resulting cultural dominance. Spandau Ballet are every bit as worth seeing in concert as their friendly rivals Duran Duran, with whom they share the ideals and banner of the New Romantics.

Spandau Ballet’s current world tour is inspired in part by a documentary covering their career and reunion, Soul Boys of the Western World. As the title of this post says, don’t miss this show! (An opening act has yet to be confirmed, but with any luck, we may get DJ Rusty Egan, the world-famous Blitz DJ and drummer for the band Visage, who has been supporting them in Europe recently.)

Spandau Ballet
9:30 Club
Tuesday, April 28
Doors @7pm
$45 (VIP packages, $95/$200)
All ages

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

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OneEight_Exterior
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 Flying
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)