Thursday, November 22, 2007

Silver Spring Thanksgiving Parade

On November 17, we went w/ my brother and his family to watch the Silver Spring Thanksgiving Parade. Here are some pictures.

Rev. Horton Heat

It's always a good time going to see the Rev. He doesn't disappoint, and the show on Nov. 15 was no exception. The line up was pretty packed: Nashville Pussy, Hank III, and the Rev. Maybe because of that line-up the crowd seemed to be more edgy than a usual Rev show.

We totally missed Nashville Pussy, mostly because it was a Thursday and we couldn't get down to the 930 club that early. We were bummed. I haven't seen them in years so I would've liked to have seen what they're up to now.

I've never seen Hank III and have always wanted to, so I was a bit excited when they came on. They started off by playing a bunch of hopped up, sh*tkicker hillbilly music which sounded pretty good. The bad was entertaining to watch, especially the bassist who had a maniaical grin on his face the whole show. He was also channeling a sort of Misfits-like look w/ a mohawk that hung down over his face a la the devilock. After the hillbilly set, Hank III launched into a full on hardcore/metal set. I wasn't so into the hardcore stuff as much. To be honest, it just sounded like a bunch of noise. I know -- showing signs of old age!

Next, the Rev came on and immediately launched into several songs from Liquor in the Front to start the set off. Of course, they smoked! We had a great spot right up front and could see all the action. One new thing they did for this show was go into a set of covers representing the 50s, 60s, and 70s. It was very cool. From the 50s, they did That's All Right (Elvis), then the 60s was King of the Road (Roger Miller), and then a great and surprising cover of Paranoid (Black Sabbath). Rocked the place. So, the Rev can count 6 more satisfied customers! One unfortunate thing happened where my brother was taking pictures during the show (frowned upon) and had his camera taken away. They put it in the 930 office and told him he could pick it up after the show. Per the staff: "The Reverend doesn't like to have his picture taken." Turns out they took the camera during the last song, so no big deal. We'll be back next year!

Next Stop: Silver Spring

This is sorta interesting... it's a trailer of a new PBS special about the restoration of the Silver Spring Railroad Station. Here's the youtube description:

"Next Stop: Silver Spring" (from director, Walter Gottlieb)is about the history and restoration of the B&O railroad station in Silver Spring, MD. Scheduled to debut on WETA TV in March 2008 and also to be released on DVD. It is a sequel to the documentary, "Silver Spring: Story of an American Suburb," released in 2002. The trailer features the theme song, "Next Stop: Silver Spring" written and performed by Sharon Freedman Gruber. Reserve an advance copy of the DVD by emailing Visit our blog

Soul City

So, I'm reading Sweat, by my good friend Joe, and I just got to the part early in the book (I'm a slow reader) that discusses the Soul City video. And here it is.

Monday, November 19, 2007

What's in a DC identity?

In the WashingtonPost, there have been some recent articles/postings regarding what it means to be living in DC. On one hand, there was a Marc Fisher post from his blog that disputes the fact that, as is usually said, "nobody's from here".

Then, there's an article here that sort of contradicts that by playing into the idea that most people that live in the DC area are not from here. This article asks "transplants" to name aspects or places about DC that remind them of their home. So that kind of made me think they were implying that DC can be viewed as a place that is representational of the country. Or that it should be viewed that way. As is appropriate for the capital of the country. That idea would make it okay that nobody was from here and give the city more of an identity, although one that fits in w/ the "DC-as-only-a-government-town" identity. (And it also provides DC with an identity that is not "look how many things we have that NYC has! We're cool too!")

But as Marc Fisher points out, the identity suggested in the second article is not really accurate. His post was refreshing, since it is a common thought that most people that live and work here were not born here. I, for one, was born in DC and have lived in the metro area my whole life. Sometimes I wish I had at least lived in another city somewhere else, but I'm not losing sleep over it.

Monkey Man

Via the HypeMachine, here's a link to Amy Winehouse covering Toots & the Maytals on Jools Holland show.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Crime in the old 'hood

We still pay (distant) attention to what's happening in our old Columbia Heights neighborhood, usually via listservs, blogs, etc. It seemed like Shaw was really the hot spot in terms of scary amounts of shootings and gunfire. But things have been bad down in CH lately, at least from what's coming into our browsers. The below links are to stories on the, but we also heard about these incidents from the various listservs we still subscribe to. Call us vicarious DC residents, for lack of a better term. Or maybe the interest is that we lived there for 2 years (not a huge amount of time in terms of residencies) and still are curious to see and hear what's happening there. What new development is opening? What ridiculous thing will Jim Graham say or do? Is the crime getting better or worse? It appears that crime is getting worse... Pretty bad when a drive-by occurs a block away from where a cop car is stationed and on watch.

Halloween violence

Then, 2 days later...

Thursday, November 01, 2007

First Halloween in the Spring

Our first Halloween in Silver Spring was a good one, and a learning experience. Both Liz and I haven't participated in a Halloween, ie, giving out candy, in many, many years. So we were not sure what to expect not only because we were in a new neighborhood but also because we haven't done this a while. It went well but we had a couple of lessons learned.

Lesson 1: When your side of the street has no sidewalk, kids will not come to your house. This may necessitate you chasing kids down in order to give out your candy (see Lesson 2).

Lesson 2: Buying too much candy is always better than not buying enough. But in our neighborhood, it appears that 10 bags of candy is way too much.

Lesson 3: When you leave a bowl of candy out on your front stoop in order to try to get rid of the excess, the kids will swarm around the bowl like sharks (I watched safely from inside). And in that situation, the oldest girls will always try to maintain order by insisting that the other kids only take 2 pieces of candy. Usually not that effective to try to regulate candy in a "free market" front stoop (I watched safely from inside).

Lesson 4: Dressing your infant daughter in a ridiculous costume is awesome (but that kind of goes without saying, don't it?).