Saturday, December 27, 2008

Benjamin Button @ Courthouse AMC

I had a great spur of the moment opportunity to watch the Curious Case of Benjamin Button tonight, and Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett both had amazing performances. The storyline was superb, and the 160 minute film flew by. It reminded me of Big Fish and The Fall in different ways. Its a really amazing tale that I full heartily recommend for anyone.

On a side note, I also just found that that Listrani's in Courthouse hosts Standup Comedy nights! They have free open mic nights hosted by All Stars Comedy on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Mr. Greengenes @ Clarendon Ballroom

Ballroom was packed tonight as many Arlingtoners celebrated their last non-work night out before Christmas. The cold weather kept the rooftop closed and crowded people onto the sticky dance floor and the basement which was DJed by Pat Premier.

Cover band Mr. Greengenes made another appearance to the Ballroom, after their last show for DC101's Bad Holiday Sweater party a few weeks ago. They made loud and solid covers of Oasis and Blink182, but then angered the crowd with their Eagles flag waving.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Salsa Dancing @ Lucky Bar

Got the chance tonight to catch the weekly class of salsa dancing in the second level of the Lucky Bar. The 8 to 9pm class is free and full of people with no previous experience, so its perfect for beginners. The instructor does a good job of keeping the class moving quickly without leaving anyone behind.

After the class is over the floor opened up to general dancing including salsa, maranga, and two other styles of dancing that I can't remember the names of.

As the night progressed the floor became more crowded with dancers, and you needed to watch out for the occasional flying elbow or spinning lady!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Ten Out Of Tenn @ Iota

I've been looking forward to Ten Out Of Tenn returning to Iota all week and they exceeded my expectations. They are in the middle of their Christmas tour, with half of their songs being their takes of holiday tunes ("Santa's Lost his Mojo" to "Silent Night") mixed in with their usual songs.

I'm almost speechless at how talented and enthusiastic the group is on stage. This is to date the best live show I've ever attended. Plus I was able to gush to K. S. Rhoads and Andy Davis about how awesome they are afterwords!

Buying their CD's afterwords involved getting a deal on all their current albums, as well as a free CD by Erin McCarley. They were also in the Christmas spirit with their shoes for sale. For each pair of Ten Out Of Tenn decorated shoes you buy, a pair of shoes is donated to a child in Ethiopia.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Juniper Lane @ Iota

Vivion Smith, the gorgeous vocalist and keyboardist of Juniper Lane, was stunning tonight at Iota with great stage presence and sense of humor. It surprised no one that Juniper Lane drew a crowd tonight, as the DC native band has been featured on The Hills as well as opened for Coldplay recently.

Plus the band has been featured in Washington Post's Picks as well giving them a positive album review.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Karaoke Championship @ Rock And Roll Hotel

Tonight featured a battle of amateur singers at the Rock And Roll Hotel on H street. Usually the karaoke contest is held at the nearby Sticky Rice sushi lounge. The Hotel was pretty well attended for a Tuesday night, and several of the karaoke performances featured creative props and memorable performances, for the better or worse.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Salsa Dancing @ Lucky Bar

Went down to Dupont Circle tonight for another round of salsa dancing at Lucky Bar. I missed the free 8pm class, which I hear was very popular.

This was the most crowded I've ever seen this venue. The combination of many people getting off work tomorrow for Veteran's Day and the temporary closing of another nearby salsa bar lead to a massive crowd of people packed into Lucky Bar.

Dancing isn't easy for me, but its even more challenging when the floor is completely full. We had to constantly dodge other couple's elbows flying our way and try to avoid drunkies spilling their glasses over us as they jostled past.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Salsa Dancing @ Cecilias Restaurant

Got a second dose of salsa dancing tonight at Cecilias near Arlington Cinema Drafthouse. About one third of the building is a Spanish restaurant and the rest is a large open dancefloor, bar, and stage for a live band.

Tonight was the first night of lessons for their new dance instructor, and although men outnumbered women for this class (unusual for this venue) it was alot of fun and worth the $10. Its a very reasonable price considering you get both a beginner's class and an intermediate class back to back.

No expierence needed, but of course it never hurts to stock up on some liquid confidence at the bar first.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Celebrations in Clarendon

I figured the election was practically over at 10pm tonight when it appeared that Ohio was going blue, and I stopped watching the political coverage.

But then I was startled by yelling and cheering from Wilson Blvd at 11pm. As soon as it was announced that Senator Obama would sweep past 270 elector votes, a loud and energy filled hoopla erupted from Liberty Tavern.

I believe Liberty was one of the gathering spots for Democrats to watch the election outcome tonight, with the GOP hanging out at Mister Days.

Celebrations are sure to continue all night long in Clarendon.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Salsa Dancing @ Lucky Bar

Lucky Bar near Dupont Circle is a dynamic multi-level little hangout tucked away on Connecticut Avenue. When entering the first level it seems like a small sports themed dive bar, but on the next level behind the bar is a narrow dance floor flanked by a pool table and a row of booths. A giant projector screen allowed me to witness the Redskins getting pumelled by the Steelers. There is also a third level tucked away between a staircase that I didn't explore.

The place really comes alive after 8pm on Mondays when the free Salsa dancing lessons begin. Unfortuately tonight the instructor called in sick, so I had to dive into the new experience of the four step dance on my first time. Still a very fun night in a relaxed bar thats an easy walk from Farraguat North metro station!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

La Strada @ Iota

The six musician strong La Strada took me by surprise tonight at Iota with their folk beats and incredible energy.

They brought a wealth of instruments to the stage, including guitars, bass, violin, viola, xylophone and even an accordion! I loved how the performers switched easily between the mediums, even changing between a bass and the accordion during a song.

Every song seemed noteworthy, but I'll be concise and just point out how entertained I was when one set included the violinist whistling instead of singing. They are in my top five live shows I've seen so far.

RC Groups @ Kennmore Middle School

Got the chance to hang out with some RC Groups members at Kennmore Middle School. Building and flying remote controlled planes and helicopters can be a very addictive hobby once you get bit by the RC bug.

The afternoon was mostly dominated by homemade foam airpanes ("foamies") of different scales. A few T-Rex model helicopters made an appearance, deftly executing rolls and loops.

The members are very friendly and range from amateurs flying Air Hogs toys (like me) to experts willing to share all their flying knowledge.

The group usually meets up every week at local school soccer or baseball fields, and I would recommend anyone check it out sometime.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween in Clarendon

Tonight was much more alive than last year in Clarendon. The excellent weather combined with Halloween falling on a Friday night brought droves of costumed party goers. It really was a fun and energetic night!

Clarendon Ballroom was the place to be, as the line seemed endless (about three blocks).
Even though it was impossible for everyone waiting to get in, the Ballroom's line transformed Wilson Blvd into the place to show off your costume or ogle other people's get ups. Both Clarendon Grill and Mister Day's also were packed and popular, as to be expected.

There were plenty of creative costumes, such as rubik cubes, human tetris players, and even a guy dressed as "the shocker". If you don't know what that is, please don't google it at work.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Broken Social Scene @ State Theatre

Broken Social Scene received a warm welcome on a cold night to the State Theatre in Falls Church. The sold out show had fans waiting in line around the block for seats in the art deco venue.

Land Of Talk woke the crowd up with some energetic, if unrefined, indie rock lead by frontwoman Liz Powell. Liz also provided the female vocals for BSS tonight as Amy Millan from Stars fame was not present.

The indie supergroup Broken Social Scene did not disappoint anyone, playing some of their popular songs as well as a hour long encore. And they brought cake for the audience! Well only a small cake enough for a few in the first row to dig their hands into, but still a cool gesture.

I have to mention Andrew Whiteman's and Charles Spearin's performance skit of impersonating his neighbor lady's voice with a sax, simply incredible and hilarioius.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Sonya Kitchell @ Iota

Sonya Kitchell's soothing indie folk melodies came to Iota on Saturday night. I missed The Slip, who is on tour with her across the country, opening up for her band.

I like Sonya's vocals on "For Every Drop", which has a little alternative flair to the melody. I like that song much more than her most popular beat "Let Me Go". Her other songs are more folkish, and lead to a relatively quiet night in the venue.

The 80's tribute band The Reflex was also back at Clarendon Grill tonight for some retro fun.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Clarendon Day

Despite a battering of rain earlier in the day, the outdoor festivities of Clarendon Day took place. Three stages for live music with dozens of musicians filled the crisp air while vendors set up stands selling crafts, jewelry, posters, and baked goods. Many of the local restaurants including Hard Times, Eleventh, and Liberty Tavern sold mobile versions of their meals. Entertainment for the kids included a moon bounce, bungee trampoline, and a skate park.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Everyone But Pete @ Iota

I got into Clarendon too late to catch Rome In A Day open at Iota tonight. Pretty disappointed about that as they are quickly becoming one of my favorite local bands. Everyone But Pete played afterward to a packed and energetic house.

And now I have a serious problem - both Minus The Bear and Broken Social Scene are playing in the DC area on the same night! That is one tough decision to make.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Charlie Maddox @ Big Meadows Lodge

I had the chance to escape the urban cityscape this weekend and camped out in the Shenandoah Park. It was beautiful weather at Big Meadows campground, which is a park ideal for a city goer like me because they offer full facilities like showers, bathrooms, fire pits, and a lodge with a restaurant and bar.

While taking advantage of the latter I caught some live folk music by veteran Shenandoah musician Charlie Maddox. Charlie specialized in pre-1920s mountain folk music played on guitar, banjo, and the ancient mandrake pictured here.

I'm not big on folk tunes, but I really enjoyed his talent and appreciation for the origins of the music. His piano-like melodies of the mandrake created some beautiful British isle songs.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Minus The Bear coming to 9:30 Club

Can't wait until Oct 22nd when inspiring tunes of Minus The Bear makes its way to DC again! This time they are coming to the 9:30 club.

While browsing for some of their awesome music videos, I stumbled upon this compilation of a fan playing guitar taps of some of their best songs. Now I really want to learn how to tap like this:

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

True Womanhood at Black Cat

There's alot going on this week at Black Cat, but I'll probably will miss it all due to bronchitis. Immune system fail =(

True Womanhood is playing on Wednesday! Been meaning to check out bassist Melissa Beattie's beats live.

Friday the entertaining Jupiter One is attacking the Rock and Roll Hotel in DC. I feel bad missing the Rasputina show on Monday.

Thanks to DCist for keeping me up to date.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

New Fitness Center Coming on Highland Street

Nobody should be surprised that the attorney's office that used to occupy the space next to Eleventh is gone. I can't imagine they got any business, plus the place looks horrible.

Now Potomac Cross Fitness is taking the space left vacant after the Post Office moved across the street. It should do well there, and will give Gold's Gym down the street on Fillmore some more competition.

Although most of the condo and apartment buildings in Clarendon are new enough to have gyms as one of their amenities. So I wonder who are they targeting as their customers?

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Strathmore Outdoor Film Festival

Arrived just in time to catch the latest Harry Potter movie (actually the only one I've watched all the way through) at the Comcast Outdoor Film Festival in Bethesda. Conveniently located off the Strathmore-Grosvenor Metro exit on the red line, it hosts outdoor movies during August.

Too bad the summer is almost over, I would have liked to take advantage of this great venue again as its a nice alternative to the traditional movie theater night.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Standup Comedy @ Arlington Cinema Drafthouse

Finally caught a stand up comedy show at Arlington Cinema Drafthouse tonight featuring three local comics.

The setting was very casual, with the comedians performing right in the grill area. With about 20 people in the crowd, it made for a cozy and light hearted show.

The food is decent, mostly typical American fare. I like the creative menu descriptions (with movie themes, so 'Deserts' were labeled 'Credits', etc).

Cinema 'n' Drafthouse
2903 Columbia Pike
Arlington, VA 22204
(703) 486-2345

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Exit Clov and The Toothaches @ Iota

The Toothaches opened at Iota on Saturday, and I was very enthusiastic about lead singer Rose's xylophone playing. Seriously, a xylophone! That automatically makes them cool.

The progressive and politically charged tunes of Exit Clov started at 11pm. I was impressed by their diversity of instruments. Their band consisted of a guitarist who played so fast his hand was a blur who also beat a propane tank with a drum stick; a drummer that really got into the beat; and a bassist with the smallest full size bass I've seen who used a pick ala punk style.

Susan and Emily are the stars of the show and were very multi-talented. Excellent vocals, keyboard, dual violins and two cowbells were expertly played by the petite ladies. Yes, actual cowbells! What more could you ask for with only a $10 cover?

Friday, August 15, 2008

Clarendon Center Under Construction

I've been wondering exactly what is going to eventually rise out of the ground from the hole between Highland and Garfield street across from the Metro for a while. A helpful neighbor pointed me to this page depicting what the massive Clarendon Center will be like.

The huge 12 story multi-building project will be comprised of two office complexes, an apartment building and street level retail. When completed in 2010 it will have cost a whooping $118 million.

I'm starting to get a little worried about the possibility of over-building Clarendon. I'm all for urban development, but this project looks like it will force out Hard Times and Delhi Club, so I'm concerned.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Exit Clov is coming to Iota Saturday

I just stumbled upon Exit Clov on MySpace, and I'm looking forward to seeing them perform at Iota this Saturday night. Their melodies seem softly upbeat, with two cute singers who could be singers, and a smattering of violins. Yes, violins. Any band that incorporates violins automatically gets 5 awesome points.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Speed Dating @ Gua-Rapo

Never thought I'd attend a Speed Dating event, but why not try something new once? And it seemed like a good way to meet new people in the area.

Professionals In The City organized this one in Gua-Rapo. The fashionable Courthouse restaurant featured a colorful and modern lounge upstairs with a full bar.

The place was packed and it became difficult in some areas to talk as the combined conversations of 52 couples was quite loud. There was a diverse range of female personalities present, although I was worried about the male turnout. A few of the guys are creeping me out, and I'm not even talking to them obviously. Oh well, those idiots just made me look better in contrast I suppose =)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Nightstars the movie

Got a chance to be an extra in the movie Nightstars currently being films in the area by Playart Productions. First time I've ever seen a feature length film being made up close, and it was great to hang out with all the very cool actors. Looking forward to seeing the final product on screen!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

New CVS on Wilson

The Clarendon CVS has finally relocated from their old location behind Sala Thai to right next to the metro on Wilson Blvd.

The new store is open 24 hours and will be good complement to the 7-Eleven on Highland Street.

Its also a very convenient place to pick up some aspirin on your way back to the metro after being kicked out of the Ballroom thats one block away =P

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Ten Out Of Tenn @ Iota

I'm really glad I got to see Ten Out Of Tenn perform tonight, it one of the biggest shows ever at the smallest venue in Clarendon. Talk about getting alot for your money, this band combines ten outstanding musical talents into one phenomenal show. They even managed to squeeze as many as nine performers on Iota's minimalist stage at once!

Calling them a "band" is a gross understatement, like calling Batman "a guy in a cape." This is a group of 10 friends who share some great charisma and musical abilities with each other. I love watching them perform and enjoyed how easily they changed their lineup with every song. It seemed as if every member of the group was comfortable with every instrument, giving a very fluid and flowing feeling to the night.

Each one of the ten could have easily had their own solo performance that would have been worth seeing. Here's a quick synopsis of my favorite members:

This British Australian bombshell impressed me with both her vocal and guitar skills, but then she picked up the bass just as easily! Every part of her oozed with coolness, from her red heels to that great accent.

Erin's soft spoken demeanor was completely contradicted by her incredible stage presence, as her vocal talents match her beauty.

This guy was one of the funnest to watch, as his talent varied from bass to keyboards to "swamp" style guitar to politically charged rap.

Katie was ducking back in forth between selling CDs at the door and performing vocals and guitar for us. She did not disappoint the audience with her awesome rendition of "Hologram".

I'm kicking myself that I missed a chance to talk to her before the show started, but I didn't recognize her with that hat on.

Andy' finesse with the keyboard was impressive enough, but then I was even more amazed by both his voice and his ability to get the audience involved in his music.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Ten out of Tenn on July 24

A very large indie band (10 members!) is coming to Iota this Thursday night. Their music sounds promising, as it sounds heavy on progressive/rock influences and very light on any country sounds.

I'm not a fan of country music if you haven't noticed, but I'm definately looking forward to seeing Ten Out of Tenn on the 24th!

Listen to their music on the band's MySpace here.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Tripp Fabulous @ Clarendon Grill

Tripp Fabulous made their third appearance at the Grill tonight, and awesome vocalist Laura Lea did not disappoint.

My only complaint was that Laura didn't perform every song. With talent and beauty like hers I was looking forward to seeing her on stage, and didn't care too much about the rest of the band. They played a range of covers, with a couple of Sublime songs that got the crowd going.

I didn't get any quality photos tonight, so here is an excellent example of Laura's vocal abilities when they played in Philidelphia:

Friday, July 18, 2008

Drama at Murky Coffee

The Washington Post ran an article yesterday about Clarendon's hipster anti-Starbucks coffee joint, Murky Coffee. The story is about a customer from New York demanding a beverage that was not offered by Murky, actually the beverage was "against company policy" and the barista said preparing a drink that way would ruin the integrity of the coffee.

I'm going to be loyal and side with owner Nicholas Cho, especially since Murky's response seemed the most mature:

"The customer in question, when told that it's our policy NOT to offer "espresso over ice," got angry right away. Regardless of how you feel about the merits of our policy, the fact that he got angry (in my opinion) is the crux of the matter. There are things in life to get angry about. There are matters that demand an elevated heart rate. This is not one of them."

Apparently all this coffee drama has taken the Arlington blogosphere by storm, so of course I had to jump on it too =)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Spider Kelly's

Spider Kelly's just opened up on Wilson, and it advertises itself as a more casual nightlife alternative. They promise no cover charges or dress codes, ever. Located next to the Ballroom, its a small restaurant with a promising menu and a bar that seats a little more than a dozen patrons.

The place seems to be trying to be the anti-Ballroom, and so far is succeeding. The candle lit black leather booths looked like a nice place to catch up with friends. But not too many friends, as I heard the comment "Could this place be any smaller?" more than once.

Looks like this place is building some positive buzz so far.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Rome In A Day @ Clarendon Grill

Once again I got the privilege to watch Rome In A Day perform at the Grill. James Stevens lead the band with great energy and is a great on-stage performer. Jay Brazao made the thumb-slap/finger-pluck technique look easy on his two bass guitars. Ali DiPippo was incredible, with ferocious guitaring and backup vocals. I couldn't tell you anything about Adam Lee's drumming because I've never played drums and have no context to judge him, and I was just a little distracted by Ali's hotness =)

Ali's performance was so good she could easily do her own solo guitar act at Iota sometime, but their style is more 90's rock and cover songs.

For only a $5 cover these guys are a bargin! I would have easily paid alot more to see them live. They will be playing again at Dogfish Head on August 7th!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Open Mic @ Iota

Got to the open mic night a little late, and I missed Arlington Public TV filming some of the early acoustic sets for a local segment. Despite this I got to see a few talented regulars, including the famous Eric Summers. You know someone is a serious performer when they bring six guitars and their own custom mic on stage with them.

Eric's extreme talent with the guitar was evident even if the P.A. system wasn't co-operating. You can't go wrong with a guitarist who tapes individual picks to each finger of their right hand.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Rome In A Day on July 10

Looking forward to Rome In A Day's next performance nearby at the Grill on July 10.

The gorgeous and talented guitarist Ali DiPippo is alone worth the trip out.

Their name is meant as "a satire, intended to convey the point that in an industry where there is such a focus on instant gratification, great things still take time, patience, dedication and, most of all, hard work. "

Friday, June 27, 2008

Tristan Prettyman @ Iota

This was as close as I got to Tristan tonight. Turns out she is more popular than I anticipated, as the show as sold out before I arrived.

It didn't help that I only live a minute away from Iota where she was playing so I thought I could just walk in at 9pm.

Sadly I think Tristan is getting too big for little Iota, as her sales have skyrocketed since her song "Madly" was featured on "The Hills." I heard that she was the number three download on iTunes a couple months back.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Open Mic Comedy @ RiRa

Made my second appearance at RiRa's open mic standup show named "HaHa." The comedy seemed a little darker and dirtier than last time, which wasn't the best of luck for me since I brought my Dad this time =P Although veterans like Lisa Fine and Roger Mursick made solid performances.

Wednesday nights 8 to 10 pm
2915 Wilson Blvd
Arlington,VA 22201

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Charity Date Auction @ Clarendon Grill

Tomorrow night at the Grill a friend of mine is having a charity event to benefit the Alzheimer's Association. Besides a raffle, there will be a date auction featuring some of Arlington's finest singles, with 100% of the proceeds going towards Alzheimer's research.

The details:
Clarendon Grill in Arlington, VA
June 25th, 2008
6:00-8:30 - Happy Hour, Silent Auctions, & Raffles
9:00-10:00 - Date Auctions and Live Auctions
Happy Hour - $1 off select appetizers and drinks starting at $1.75

Monday, June 16, 2008

Flash Mob @ Eleventh

I completely missed the flash mob at Eleventh last week. The online organized spontaneous event was designed to promote their new policy of going smokeless. Thanks to this new rule I didn't smell like cigarettes Saturday night, so I wish I had participated.

Thanks to What's Up Arlington for keeping me informed of local events like this.

Also, looking forward to the Tristan Prettyman make-up show at Iota on the 27th!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

DJ Stephen Patrick @ Eleventh

When it started raining Saturday night I was afraid that the evening might be washed out, but the rain just cooled the streets off just enough to make it perfect bar hopping weather.

We hit up Eleventh first. This trendy and slightly more upscale lounge attracted a good size crowd of party goers throughout the night. The upstairs bar and the downstairs VIP room alternated between being very packed to being sparsely occupied.

Stephen Patrick mixed electronic/techno styles of dance music throughout the night. His beats were energetic enough to convince more than one of the females to groove to the music.

Mister Days also proved to be worthwhile, even though I don't care much for that types of drunken and drama-causing stupid people that scene attracts.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

CVS is ripping me off

Someone got a little bored working at the CVS on 10th and Washington Blvd today. Guess playing with the pricing gun kills some time. And makes for a good photo op.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Open Mic Comedy @ RiRa

Very happy I made it out to RiRa's open mic stand up comedy tonight. They feature professional and amateur comedians every Wednesday night in the upstairs party room. The small room was packed, but that didn't deter the diligent waitress Sarah from coming by frequently to check on everyone.

I wasn't expecting much since it was a free event, so I was very surprised at the quality of comedians that took the stage. Tonight featured Lisa Fine, Roger Mursick, Jared, James Ryan, and Dan Nainan (sorry I can't remember all their names). Definitely worth checking out next week.

At the end of the show someone and said I was really funny on stage. I took the compliment even though he mistook me for Roger (all us Irish guys do look alike).

FREE Live standup comedy show
by local standup comics
$25 cash prize joke contest for non-com audience members after the show
Wednesday nights 8 to 10 pm
Ha-Ha at Ri-Ra
Ri-Ra Irish Pub FREE SHOW
2915 Wilson Blvd
Arlington,VA 22201

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Shane Hines and the Trance @ IOTA

Caught the last three song's tonight and was happy with their diverse performance.
Some of the songs where very upbeat and everyone dancing, while others were more sober.

The five members of the band used acoustic and electric guitars, bass, drums, keyboard, bongos, chello, and a shaker! Any band that is able to successfully incorporate bongos into their songs are automatically cool.

I can imagine Christopher Walken charging in and saying "I need more shaker!"

I was impressed not only by the variety of music, but also with his ability to get scores of young women to the dancefloor.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Leukemia & Lymphoma Benefit @ Iota

I learned about the benefit night at Iota tonight at the last minute, so wasn't able to round up anyone to go with. I thought it was a great idea to have a charity night there, even though there was a small turnout for a Tuesday evening.

I got there early and saw some of Justin Trawick's performance, which featured his great voice and acoustic talent as well as a solid backup sound by a double bass.

Donations at the door went to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, which is a great organization that my friends are also currently raising money for.

Help my friends out by donating online!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Open Mic @ IOTA

Wednesday night is here again and that means no cover at IOTA for open mic night. Can't wait until Friday when Boxcar Collision makes another appearance there. BTW they are now scheduled to go on stage at 9:45pm.

Lucky Day is debuting their new album and also performing with Boxcar. With mega-hottie Victoria Patchen on stage there is no excuse to miss this Friday's lineup.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Radiohead @ Nissan Pavilion

Alot of people including me are regretting going anywhere near the Radiohead show this weekend in Bristow. Not many fans got to see them perform, as a domino effect of horrible traffic, insane rain and wind, flooded side streets, and other craziness turned the night into chaos.

Read a typical fan's story on the dcist blog for a taste of the night. Did I mention ending up in a hosptial room with hypothermia is not how any of us planned to end Mother's Day? Thanks Nissian Pavilion, thanks alot for charging $80 a ticket and most people get turned away due to poor crowd management.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Battle of the Boulevard

Today was the 12th annual Neighborhood Day festival on Wilson and Clarendon Blvds. The day started with the Battle of the Boulevard 10k run and 2k walk that unfortunately got rained on.

Still some athletes refused to let the weather stop them and stayed around for the events after the race. Live music by Dr Foo started off the day. A multi-cultural parade at 1pm included an impressive number of Mexican and Bolivian dancers. And the Clarendon Grill hosted an arts and crafts fair if you wanted to pick up some last minute handmade jewelry for Mother's Day.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Shane Hines and the Trance @ IOTA

Iota's open mic Wednesday had a good selection of acoustic players, and one unexpected surprise: Shane Hines and the Trance.

His "Acoustic Trio Industry Showcase" was comprised of two energetic guitars and a solid bassist. Shane Hines' ode to his anti-depressants "Way Up Again" was both fun and thoughtful. He finished the night off with his powerful solo song "Beautiful Day" about the death of his mother.

Shane is coming back to Iota on May 31st for a show of his own.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Rome In A Day @ Clarendon Grill

My friends were having a happy hour fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society at the Grill's patio, and I noticed this great sound coming from the stage. Rome For A Day was getting ready to play, a band I've never heard of but won't soon forget.

The group had a energetic and strong sound and did a perfect rendition of a Queens of the Stone Age cover. They played a few of their own songs that I really enjoyed.

Too bad the crowd wasn't responding to them, the Thursday night audience consisted of too many drunk guys trying to dance and hit on girls and failing at both embarrassingly.

They will be back in Clarendon at the end of May for shows at RiRa and Whitlow's, I will definitely be there to see them again, especially with their uber-hot back up guitarist Ali.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Nadas @ Iota

I caught the beginning of The Nadas playing at Iota tonight, and wasn't really feeling any of the enthusiasms I was expected.

I gave them some slack since they did have four guitarists (acoustic, bass, and two electrics) to get set up. I thought that a band with that many guitars on stage would have alot of potential for an interesting sound. But they were playing country themed music, harmonica and all, which I'm not a fan off.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Honor By August @ IOTA

Caught the end of Honor By August's show at Iota and was very impressed with their performance. They had great energy on stage and a solid, worthwhile sound. So much so that I felt compelled to buy their CD afterward.

The night was a pretty good deal, for a total of $26 you get a live show, their CD, and a beer.

Another reason I like Iota: If you stick around after the band's last song, you can usually hang out with the performers. I spoke to the guest chello player for a minute who seemed like a cool guy.

If Honor By August comes around again in the area I'd definitely would recommend them.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Tristan Prettyman Cancelled

I was going to see Tristan Prettyman play at IOTA tonight, but the show got cancelled. Her website states that she's sick and both the Arlington and Philadelphia shows this weekend have been canned.

Too bad because I was really looking forward to seeing her perform in person. Below is a sample of some of her music from her site: