Big Bad Voodoo Daddy performs at The Birchmere on March 28, 2019. (Photo by Ari Strauss)
The Birchmere transformed into a swing lounge one evening recently when Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, the OGs of contemporary swing revival, made their 15th appearance at the iconic music venue. The band offered a 90-minute performance that featured past and present hits from their vast catalog, along with a few numbers in tribute to the New Orleans music scene from which Scotty Morris, the band’s leader, draws deep influence.
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy (Photo by Don Miller)
Swing revivalists Big Bad Voodoo Daddy are on tour this month, and the collective performs at The Birchmere on Thursday, March 28.
Thievery Corporation (Photo courtesy Elliptic Management)
Downtempo duo Thievery Corporation formed at the height of lounge culture in the mid ‘90s but Rob Garza and Eric Hilton make music perhaps even more powerful and relevant to our increasingly interconnected world today. Thievery Corporation are now coming home for a three-night run at 9:30 Club. While the first two nights have sold out, tickets are still available for the show on Saturday, Dec. 15.
For 23 years on New Years Eve at the Black Cat, Ms. Peaches O’Dell leads her big band through classic dance numbers from the ’20s to the ’50s.
And every year, it’s a hit that cultiminates in a famous conga line. Come out to the Black Cat, where Peaches O’Dell & Her Orchestra will do it again this year! Peaches and company roll through Latin dance classics, swing, jazz, and more. You can check out some live recordings on YouTube, which are presented in a quirky retro style that captures her taste and style.
Watch a video for a “retro sci-fi” version of “Mambo No. 5” by Peaches O’Dell & Her Orchestra on YouTube:
“My ultimate goal is happines and celebration for one and all through some remarkable music and crowd energy,” Peaches said in an email to Parklife DC.
Lounge act Tony Anthony & His Malvivants will provide entertainment between sets when Peaches and Her Orchestra take a break. Downstairs in the back stage, DJ Dredd provides more contemporary entertainment.
Metrorail will run until 3am on New Year’s Eve, and the Black Cat is conveniently located a few blocks away from the U Street Metro Station. Make plans to dance the night away with Peaches O’Dell & Her Orchestra.
Tickets are available online.
Peaches O’Dell & Her Orchestra
w/ Tony Anthony & His Malvivants, DJ Dredd
Saturday, Dec. 31
Mari Vanna’s house infused vodkas
Russian restaurant Mari Vanna (1141 Connecticut Ave. NW, DC) kicked off its second anniversary Tuesday with a birthday party in its swank third level, welcoming guests with a DJ spinning the likes of “Mr. Saxobeat” by Alexandra Stan and “Cool Kids” by Echosmith.
The lovely third floor lounge of the restaurant is playfully adorned with Russian records and photos of Russian musicians along its walls, and guests were seated in comfortable booths and homey settees.
Although the ambience was cozy, the real draw of the night for Mari Vanna’s patrons was its wide selection of house infused vodkas.
The house infused vodka bar includes such diverse delights as horseradish, cowberry, honey pepper, plum, cucumber and dill, and seaberry vodkas. This reporter, purely in the interest of exploring the vodkas, sampled tastes of less adventurous raspberry and apple and cinnamon vodkas. Both are absolutely wonderful full-bodied drinks with a plentifully powerful fruit flavor. The juiciness of the raspberry vodka particularly made it surprisingly easy to drink.
Records adorn the walls of Mari Vanna’s third floor lounge
Outside of the DJ on the third floor, guests on all three levels of the restaurant were treated to the music of accordionist Peter Dranga, who wandered minstrel-like among diners and revelers as he played traditional folks tunes.
Since its DC opening in February 2013 (its fourth location after the original in St. Petersburg, Russia, and expansions to London and New York), Mari Vanna has offered its Slavic food and kitschy atmosphere to enthusiastic crowds, and judging from its birthday party celebrations, we can expect it to continue to do so for years to come!