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Sports Park: Capitals Weekly Report Card — 3/16-3/22/15


Caps Report Card

Weekly Record: 2-1 (4 pts)

Overall: 39-24-10 (88 pts)
+5 pt advantage for playoff spot


The Capitals found what they were looking for in Buffalo and Minneapolis, taking two hard-fought points in each city.

Then they crossed over into Canada, and couldn’t get anything done against the playoff charging Jets.

Fine. It was the third road game in six days and Winnipeg looks like they’re hot at the right time, winning 4-games in a row.

The points lead for a playoff berth is quickly dwindling, however. Ottawa is playing out of this world, on a 6-game winning streak, behind their goalie’s, Andrew Hammond (13-0-1 in his first 14 NHL starts), ridiculous start to his career.

No time to get complacent. Both Boston and Ottawa are right behind the Caps.

There is a strange gap in the schedule, and the Caps don’t play again until next Thursday, March 26 at home against New Jersey.



March 16, 2015: Capitals at Sabres – WIN (4-3 SO)

March 19, 2015: Capitals at Wild – WIN (3-2)

March 21, 2015: Capitals at Jets – LOSS (0-3)


March 16-March 22 Weekly Report Card: B-


Report Card Archive

Stars and Bars: Decide the Best Bar on Capitol Hill


The Irish Times
Kelly’s Irish Times, one of 64 Capitol Hill bars in Bar Madness

In the spirit of the March Madness that is the NCAA basketball tournament, everyone and their mother has created a bracket of some sort. Here at Parklife DC, we didn’t have time for that this year.

However, the Hill is Home has created one that I like.

Bar Madness. Pitting all the Capitol Hill bars against each other.

This year’s version has the requisite 64 entrants.

With upsets on everyone’s mind, who will wear the crown for 2015?

Music Park: Polyon @ DC9 — 3/20/15


[vimeo 118766060 w=640 h=360]

Polyon – ‘Crest’ from Polyon on Vimeo.

On their Facebook page, trio Polyon describe themselves as “sludgie fuzzpop b/w of post-grunge.” While the sludgie part is hard to argue, critics (like WAMU and DCist) generally have agreed that Polyon represent an interesting addition to post-rock — and for good reason. The avant-garde mix of synths to a rock band along with an untraditional approach to songwriting have produced something that sounds like it could have emerged from an early ’90s basement recording session, but then took wing once emerged.

Their first EP, appropriately titled Three Songs, includes the tracks “Crest,” “More” and “Cough,” which they performed in concert to several dozen appreciative people at DC9 (1940 9th St. NW, DC) on Thursday night.

I’m really splitting hairs here, but “Crest” and “Cough” each soar amthetically in performance while “More” is more down to earth in the post-grunge that the band finds in itself.

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/195240461″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

In Polyon, each of the band members pull their own weight. Vocalist and guitarist Ryan McLaughlin (also of Typefighter and other projects) marks the proceedings with a gruff voice but convivial spirit. Adam Lake on synths adds an element of playfulness to the “sludgieness,” while drummer Brandon Korch is really loud with arena-like stickplay.

The band have played roughly a dozen shows since their debut roughly six months ago, and Ryan announced they were set to go into the studio next week to record another EP, likely to be released online and in cassette format soon, which will include new songs already being performed such as the catchy “False.”

Polyon is an interesting project, and worth checking out if you are looking for something that isn’t afraid to sound different while still rocking out. While their next show has yet to be announced, they are likely to turn up with their new EP at DC9, the Pinch, or another DC venue very soon!

[bandcamp width=100% height=120 album=3866664579 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5 tracklist=false artwork=small]

Around Town: National Cherry Blossom Festival Celebration @ Union Market Shops, 3/20-4/12/15


Cordial Fine Wine & Spirits Rosé Tastings

This spring, Union Market (1309 5th St. NE, DC) will get in the pink spirit to honor DC’s most prized floral tradition, the National Cherry Blossom Festival. From Friday, March 20 through Sunday, April 12, 2015, the vibrant district in Northeast DC will offer a handful of blossom-inspired perks, including free rosé tastings, unique dinnerware discounts and a deliciously sweet Sakura Black tea blend commemorating the festival’s Japanese origins. These shops will offer specials to correspond with the Tidal Basin’s three-week long treat.

Salt & Sundry
What: The hip lifestyle boutique will endow any customer who utters the words, “Cherry Blossom,” a 10% discount off all Japanese dinnerware.

Cordial Fine Wine & Spirits
What: Bubbly enthusiasts should head to Cordial Fine Wine & Spirits, which will be offering free, celebratory rosé tastings every Saturday from 12 to 3 pm, and Sunday from 1 to 4 pm.

Peregrine Espresso
What: Union Market’s favorite coffee connoisseurs will switch things up by offering patrons Sakura Black – a delicious Japanese black tea blended with sweet sakura cherry blossom leaves and flowers.

Bazaar Spices
What: Bazaar Spices will celebrate with a pop of style! The shop’s gourmet pink-hued popcorn kernels are guaranteed to blossom into perfectly Pink Popcorn that is high in antioxidants and full of fiber & flavor.

For more information, visit http://www.unionmarketdc.com.

Don’t Miss: Firefly Music Festival @ The Woodlands of Dover International Speedway, 6/18-6/21/15


The crowd goes crazy at Firefly Music Festival 2014. (Photo courtesy Firefly Music Festival)

The Firefly Music Festival is returning for its fourth year to The Woodlands of Dover International Speedway in Dover, Del., for a long weekend of Thursday, June 18 to Sunday, June 21.

Festival ticket sales are underway, and early bird tickets already have sold out. Currently, music lovers can purchase $299 festival passes for the entire weekend or VIP packages at higher rates.

But the festival will not offer single-day passes this year, as it anticipates selling out its capacity of 90,000 attendees with full weekend passes, Red Frog Events, the organizer of the festival, announced Wednesday.

“We’ve seen an unprecedented increase each year since Firefly’s inaugural 2012 festival derived from our success in multiple areas,” said Greg Bostrom, director of Firefly Music Festival, in a press release. “This, in turn, eliminated our ability to offer single day general admission passes in 2015 as we plan to welcome 90,000 attendees, which will bring us to capacity this year.”

Headliners for the festival this year include the legendary Paul McCartney, who will close out Friday night. Kings of Leon headline Saturday night and the Killers close out the festival on Sunday. On Thursday, indie pop movers and shakers like Chari XCX and the Kooks are set to appear.

The 2015 lineup also includes Morrissey, Snoop Dogg, Foster the People, Bastille, Modest Mouse, Zedd, Hozier, Empire of the Sun, Kid Cudi and nearly 100 additional acts performing across seven stages, according to Red Frog.

Once the festival sells out of four-day passes at the general admission price of $299, it may offer “Encore” passes at $329.

Tickets are available online, and a payment plan is available for those who purchase before March 31. For more information, visit http://www.FireflyFestival.com.

Firefly Music Festival
The Woodlands of Dover International Speedway
Dover, DE
June 18-21, 2015
$299 general admission
All ages

Music Park: Experience ShamrockFest 2015 @ RFK Stadium Festival Grounds, 3/21/15


ShamrockFest ShamrockFest (photo courtesy of Red Frog Events, LLC)

St. Patrick’s Day. Your day to revel in overambitious imbibery while flashing green.

After you’ve had your fun tonight, keep the party going into the weekend.

This Saturday, March 21, celebrate the 15th annual ShamrockFest held at the RFK Stadium Festival Grounds (aka outside the stadium). Tickets are available.

Along with Irish and Celtic themed live music (almost 30 bands and DJs on five stages), expect to find plenty of food and beer options, contests, games, Irish performers, and an Irish market.

This year, notable bands include ShamrockFest stalwarts like Scythian and Carbon Leaf, as well as Gaelic Storm and for the first time, Blues Traveler. Local bands include the aforementioned Scythian, Turtle Recall, The Fighting Jamesons (Virginia Beach) and Gaelic Mishap (Baltimore).

From the press release: “As the largest St. Patrick’s Day festival in the United States, we’re excited to deliver yet another memorable day for all those looking to celebrate the Irish holiday,” says ShamrockFest Director Amanda Hogue. “ShamrockFest has been a staple in the DC-area for over a decade and our team has been working hard to improve efficiencies and plans to provide an unforgettable 2015 experience.”

This year, Red Frog Events (who also produce the Firefly Music Festival, Warrior Dash and the American Beer Classic) hosts the festival for the first time since acquiring ShamrockFest from DC’s GoCity Events late last year.

Come out and flash your green!


ShamrockFest 2015
RFK Stadium Festival Grounds
Saturday, March 21
Tickets: $29.99 (Groups of 4 or more $24.99)
VIP tickets: $74.99, includes all you can drink. VIP for 21+ only

Around Town: DC Craft Beer Festival @ Washington Convention Center, 5/9/15


Beer sampler

3/17 Update: The next edition of the DC Craft Beer Festival has been postponed until May 9. The full statement from the organizers today:

“Due to unforeseen circumstances, we’ve had to change the date of our festival to Saturday, May 9. All previously purchased tickets will be honored, or refunds will be available through Friday to guests that cannot attend at the new date. We are truly sorry for the last minute nature of the date change. We know it is little consolation but the change was unavoidable. Major logistical obstacles, that did not previously exist, just now presented themselves. These obstacles would have resulted in unacceptably long wait times for beer replenishment and lines at tasting stations. As attendee experience is of paramount importance to us this is unacceptable. The only solution is to move to our previous space, Hall D. Mountains were moved by the Convention Center in order to open the space for us…unfortunately it had to be May 9. This is unfortunate but we had absolutely no choice. For over three years we have been committed to presenting the best craft beer festivals, across the country, in multiple cities and without issues such as this. This stalwart commitment is the only reason for the change. We humbly ask for your understanding and continued patronage if not at this event, at the many others to come in the future.”

There are limited tickets remaining for the DC Craft Beer Festival, spring edition, scheduled for Saturday at the Washington Convention Center, announced organizers at the Hand Crafted Tasting Co. recently.

DC Craft Beer Festival has two sessions — an afternoon session from 1-4:30pm and an evening session from 6-9:30pm. Tickets are currently available for both.

Last week, the festival announced special beer and food pairings. The menu follows:

Vendor: Chef Jess
Food: Thai Chicken Wrap: Grilled chicken, cilantro-jalapeño slaw and coconut curry sauce
Steak and Cheese Wrap: Thinly sliced steak, caramelized onions and provolone cheese sauce
Roasted Vegetable and Hummus Wrap: Balsamic roasted vegetables, red pepper hummus and chimichurri sauce

Beer: Atlantic Brewing Co.
Bar Harbor Blueberry Ale
Mount Desert Island Ginger

Vendor: Farm to Feast Catering
Food: The Konig: German Bratwurst on a Pretzel Bun: Seasoned pork or vegetarian sausage, beer-simmered for extra flavor
The Burgermeister: Make your Bratwurst a Currywurst!: Add this traditional German curry sauce and make your bratwurst a German icon!
Fully Loaded Combo:
Curry/Bratwurst on a bed of our delicious 4 Cheese Mac & Cheese

Beer (or Cider in this case): Original Sin Hard Cider
Hard Apple Cider
Cherry Tree Hard Cider

Vendor: Tres Creole
Food: Creole Style Red Beans & Rice: Vegetarian or choice of Andouille sausage. Camellia red beans slow cooked with the “holy trinity” and vegetable stock served over a bed or rice seasoned to perfection.
Cajun Chicken Sausage Jambalaya: Mix of bell pepper, onion, celery, cooked with chicken, beef sausage and rice, spiced with Cajun seasoning for taste.
Beer: Lancaster Brewing Co.
Strawberry Wheat
Hop Hog IPA

Vendor: NeatMeatDC
Food: Classy Joe Slider
Sweet and spicy ground brisket slider
Thanksgiving Joe Slider
Roasted pulled turkey topped with fresh cranberry sauce
Dirty Chips
BBQ, Sea Salt, Salt & Vinegar, Sour

Beer: Calvert Brewing Co.
Good Company Pale Ale
Wye Rye

Tickets are available online for the first session and the second session. You can pay a little extra to get an extra hour in the beer hall for each session.

DC Craft Beef Festival
Saturday, May 9, 2015
Walter E. Washington Convention Center
Session 1
Session 2
$49.95-$65.95 (Designated drivers, $15)

Sports Park: Capitals Weekly Report Card — 3/9-3/15/15


Caps Report Card

Weekly Record: 1-2 (2 pts)

Overall: 37-23-10 (84 pts)
+7 pt advantage for playoff spot

The Capitals capped off their 5-game home stand with a 2-0 shutout of Boston. About time they did something at home. They finished with only two wins in those five games.

The road to the playoffs is not getting any easier.

Alex Ovechkin scored another goal (45), and continues to lead the league with a six goal advantage over Rick Nash of the Rangers.

This week the Caps have three road games. They need to get some points.



March 11, 2015: Rangers at Capitals – LOSS (1-3)

March 13, 2015: Stars at Capitals – LOSS (2-4)

March 15, 2015: Bruins at Capitals – WIN (2-0)


March 9-March 15 Weekly Report Card: D+


Report Card Archive

Music Park: Pleasure Curses @ DC9 — 3/12/15


Jahn Alexander and Evan Maxwell of the Pleasure Curses

A couple of cool synth aficionados and a sultry blonde sophisticate are leading bands that are quickly becoming DC’s most reliably entertaining double bill.

I’ve taken the opportunity to write about Furniteur, led by Brittany Sims, not long ago, but I haven’t yet had the chance to spotlight duo Jahn Alexander Teetsov and Evan Maxwell Grice of the Pleasure Curses. The two bands, which are labelmates at Prince George Records, have been pairing up for opportunities like opening for New York’s Vérité on Thursday at DC9 and DC groovemaster Outputmessage on Feb. 12 in a POV Live performance at the W Hotel.

The Pleasure Curses have been leading the charge among DC electronic bands for a few years now, refining their concert performances along the way. Last October, they released the single “Burn,” which kicked off their concert at DC9 Thursday. The song is a smoldering tribute to overcoming desire, and vocalist Jahn Alexander delivers the lyrics with smooth aplomb as he sways along to the beat.

Music Park: Craft Spells @ Comet Ping Pong — 3/10/15


Craft Spells by Greg Barnes
Craft Spells (Photo by Greg Barnes)

In 2010, Justin Vallesteros released his first song “Party Talk” as Craft Spells, recording the lo-fi single on his own.

The song is pleasing, straightforward number expressing sentiment of a desire for something more out of a chance meeting.

“Is this new? ‘cause I’m falling for you/
This better not be party talk”

The lovelorn lyrics represent an attempt at identification with the rest of humanity in general and a pretty girl in particular. Fast forward to 2014, and Craft Spells have released their second full-length LP, Nausea — the title track of which almost seems to reference the 1938 Jean-Paul Sartre novel of the same name!

You’ve kept youself away from everyone you used know/
You brought yourself here now everybody’s gonna know”