Don’t be alarmed if you see a baby grand piano in Dupont Circle park Friday.
Local events group Dupont Festival is set to host a Red Bull Flying Bach pop-up performance near the fountain Friday afternoon from 3 to 6 p.m.
Red Bull Flying Bach is a touring “clash of cultures” that combines classical music, breakdancing and modern dance. The show is coming to the Warner Theatre (513 13th St. NW) on Jan. 6-8.
Tomorrow’s performance will feature classical music performed live on a baby grand piano, according to Dupont Festival principal Aaron DeNu. Each performance will be accompanied by dancers and will last about 15 minutes.
“As far as I know, in the 130-plus year history of the park, we’ve never had a baby grand piano temporarily situated for live performances,” he told Borderstan.
Between performances, those who want to play a couple bars on the piano are welcome to try, DeNu added.
“I’d love to have someone swing by and play ‘Rhapsody in Blue,'” he said.
Photo via Facebook / Bomster Jabs
Singer David Bowie has died. But love for the Thin White Duke endures around town.
Several locals and area businesses have taken to social media to pay homage to his music and his time in the District.
Do you have a tribute to Bowie you want to share? Tweet it at us or write it in the comments. We might include it in this post later today.
Here’s what some people are saying:
✨There's a starman waiting in the sky✨ May one of our all-time biggest music heroes rest in peace. pic.twitter.com/IMdsjz2uvi
— 9:30 Club (@930Club) January 11, 2016
Mexo-Americana band David Wax Museum is pretty psyched to play U Street Music Hall on Nov. 21, but they’re definitely not above performing at a good house show. Though vocalists and instrumentalists David Wax and Susan “Suz” Slezak have roots in Boston, some of the duo’s fondest memories were forged during nights spent playing shows in D.C. living rooms.
We spoke with Wax earlier this week to preview the band’s upcoming show:
Borderstan: What are your expectations for U Street Music Hall?
David Wax: I think the sense I’ve got is that it’s like a little bit more of like a sweaty rock group than the 9:30 Club, which has a little bit of that kind of like majestic rock room feel. I think that to [perform in] a packed U Street Music Hall is going to feel really good.
Susan’s from Virginia, that’s where we live nowadays so we started coming to D.C. really early on and building up. One of the most unique ways of building up the band for us in terms of doing these 15 house concerts in D.C.
I feel like we’ve made a real personal connection with a lot of our fans there and [I] kind of really just won people over one person at a time and one living room at a time. There’s just a real special vibe when we play D.C. People who have got to see us from our earliest early stages have kind of grown along with the band.
Take me back to some of those house shows starting out. How did you get hooked up with them and what was your very first house show in D.C. like?
There was a guy I grew up with in Missouri who was living in D.C. and he organized the first one and he sat in with us. He was someone who played with us a lot when we were in D.C. And so he was kind of a real, you know, person that was super involved in community life there and was able to get 40 people together in a living room to see a band that nobody’s ever heard of.
It was kind of like a raucous party with 40 people in a room and a little house in D.C. and I think from that, three or four people that saw us there were like, oh, could you do this at my place? There was just like an instant like oh, I wanna have this at my house and have my friends come and see this.
And so it really like was this kind of viral thing that just something kind of resonated with people. And there was a high concentration of young people in their 20s that, you know, were connected and could get a bunch of people together. It really fit with what peoples’ interests were and there was just some kind of line that really clicked.
Has the comfort level changed now that you’re playing in actual music venues?
In some ways you’re almost more exposed than the house show setting. Both Susan and I have been really comfortable performing since we were little kids and that’s what really draws us to being in the band. One of the most sustaining parts of the stress is getting to perform every night. There’s lessons to be learned about what connected with people in the house concert setting and the feeling of community and intimacy that you have to work harder to create in the larger venue.
We’ve been in D.C. a couple times at the 9:30 Club where we just came out in the middle of the room and everyone sat down on the floor and I feel like we’ve been able to have that kind of intimacy in those experiences that feel like some kind of sense that there’s like a transcendence.
That’s why I play music and that’s why we go and hear music. That’s why live music is still relevant to people and matters in peoples’ lives.
This interview was edited for length and clarity. Photo by Todd Roeth.
Crock ‘n’ roll: Roughly 20 local bands will trade instruments for ladles in a new chili cookbook.
The forthcoming DC Rock ‘N’ Roll Chili Cookbook will feature chili and chili-esque recipes from local musicians. All proceeds from its sale will go toward benefiting Bread for the City, a nonprofit that provides food, clothing, medical care and social services to at-need District residents.
Mogavero said the idea for the cookbook arose during a conversation with Sam Sherwood of indie rock band Mittenfields.
“The idea started, as many wonderful things do, over whiskey and beers at Showtime,” Mogavero said. “I was talking with Sam Sherwood about the Jack White guacamole recipe and that evolved into a conversation about our guacamole recipes and eventually our chili recipes.”
Mogavero said it wasn’t hard to get other bands and musicians to contribute recipes. To date, he’s already gathered submissions from Booby Trap, BRNDA, Granny & The Boys, Head-Roc, Hemlines, Incredible Change, journalist Kriston Capps, Mittenfields, Miyazaki, Nice Breeze, Not Bored, Pat Walsh, Plums, Polyon, Puff Pieces, Sara Curtin, Technicians and Tereu Tereu.
Though many groups contributed classic meat-and-beans chili recipes, Mogavero said there are plenty of vegetarian and vegan recipes as well as some recipes for things to eat with your chili. Feminist punk band Hemlines named its recipe “Dana-Friendly Veggie Chili” after its vegetarian bassist Dana Liebelson. Folk-pop musician Sara Curtin contributed a recipe for beet soup and semi-anonymous Fort Reno Rumors will also contribute to the list, Mogavero added.
Isn’t chili mostly the same no matter how it’s made? Not really, Mogavero said.
“Incredible Change has a recipe that sounds pretty promising involving McClure’s Pickles and black beans, so I’m eager to try that,” he said. “I haven’t tried Granny and The Boys’ recipe because I feared that it would give me a heart attack; it has like 80 different kinds of meat in it.”
The cookbook, which is available for pre-order and due out in November, will come with a download code for a compilation album featuring all the musicians whose recipes are in the book. Jack on Fire and BRNDA have recorded new songs for the release, and Sara Curtin’s song “Summer” will also be on the list.
Many of the bands also added some non-tangible ingredients into the recipes themselves. Jack on Fire’s chili recipe, for example, calls for a Stooges album to be playing while you cook and stir.
“A lot of the recipes are over-the-top and silly,” Mogavero said.
Music fans will get a chance to taste some of the recipes before they buy the book at a kickoff event Nov. 8 at 4-7 p.m. at Showtime Lounge in Bloomingdale (113 Rhode Island Ave. NW). Mogavero is still hammering out the details for the event, but says he expects some intense competition between the bands to crop up.
“I imagine that everyone is saving their trash talk for Showtime and that a full-on Animal House-style food fight will go on,” he joked. “Probably a few people will be hospitalized with chili-related injuries.”
Photo courtesy of Brendan Polmer/ Tereu Tereu
Morning commutes might be a little quieter for a while: The well-known public performers behind DuPont Brass are moving on from busking to become a “professional ensemble.”
The band shared the bittersweet news with its fans over the weekend.
“We are no longer the DuPont Brass that started out at Dupont Circle in the winter of 2011,” read an e-mail from the group. “With our brand continuing to grow and our members wrapping up their perspective degrees, we’ve decided to stray from busking and focus on developing ourselves as a performance group/service.”
DuPont Brass will play a “send-off show” for its fans tomorrow at the Marion Street Intergenerational Community Garden in Shaw at 2 p.m.
Flugelhorn and trumpet player Jared Bailey said his bandmates are looking forward to giving up early mornings and lugging heavy instruments onto the train.
“Doing it every day is very draining,” Bailey said. “As far as doing other things, we’re definitely ready for that.”
Bailey added the main reason for quitting busking was that the group — made up of mostly Howard University students — was on the verge of graduating. “We don’t want go out there and fool people that we’re raising for tuition,” he said.
Tomorrow’s show will be a blowout brass bash meant to celebrate the band’s four-year run as street performers.
“We’re trying to introduce people to our new sound,” Bailey said. “The send-off is meant to introduce them to the new sound that we’ve been working on.”
In addition to the usual brass and drums, tomorrow’s performance will pack the stage with a keyboard player, a guitarist and a second drummer. Expect the old arrangements and some new stuff, said Bailey.
“It’s probably something that you’ve heard before, but we’ve added to it to make it even better,” Bailey added.
The performance will also include other local performers, a food truck, live painting and an auction to kickstart the group’s professional career.
As for what’s next, Bailey said the band has some grand plans.
“We’re trying to raise money for a tour that we’re putting together that’s in the works, a college tour,” he said. “We’ll be going to colleges and putting on seminars.”
Bailey said he hopes his band can teach small ensembles across the country how to form their own DuPont Brass-like busking groups.
“Not just performing for them, but also showing them what we did to make it to where we are,” said Bailey. “That’s something we want to share for people, just how we did this.”
Photo via Facebook/DPBrass
MRP Realty, along with Ellis Development and JBG Companies, will host the free event at the proposed future site of a mixed-use development at 965 Florida Avenue NW on Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon.
During the event, which will feature appearances from D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and Fresh FM’s Tommy McFly, attendees will be able to dine on free breakfast sandwiches from future tenant Whole Foods and listen to live music from local brass band Brass Connection.
Despite the pomp and circumstance slated for Saturday, plans for the new store looked murky as recently as July. An MRP spokesperson said the D.C. Council will vote on whether to approve the plan to build next Tuesday.
Photo courtesy of MRP Realty
A crowd of strangers will sing in unison this Thursday evening at Stetson’s on U Street, but it won’t be a sporadic event.
Instead, the sing-along is organized by A People’s Choir DC, a monthly meetup group devoted to hosting public singing sessions.
“A People’s Choir DC is a casual sing-along,” reads the event’s Facebook page. “It isn’t a performance; it’s a group effort.”
The idea works like this: People get together at a bar, order drinks and sing loudly over popular songs. And, well, that’s about it.
Each month, the group belts out tunes related to a specific theme. This month’s sing-along is an ode to D.C. weather, and as such, the group will sing along with such songs as Vanilla Ice’s “Ice Ice Baby,” AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck,” and “California Dreamin'” by the Mamas and the Papas.
Attendees will receive a lineup of the night’s songs and a printout of the lyrics at the door.
Though you might be skittish singing in front of people you don’t know, People’s Choir D.C. founder Jenny Koch says it’s really not a big deal. If you don’t know a song, make up the words. If you want to sit one out and chat, that’s okay too. And newcomers are always welcome.
“Although we have a bunch of people who come regularly, we also get lots of new people every time,” she says.
The singing begins at 8 p.m. at Stetson’s, located at 1610 U Street NW.
Photo via Facebook.com/APeoplesChoirDC; This post features reporting by contributor Octavia Silva
(Updated at 2:30 p.m.) Live music will fill the air around Dupont Circle during D.C.’s own Fete de la Musique celebration.
The event, organized by Alliance Francaise and Dupont Festival, coincides with the worldwide holiday that first began in Paris in 1982.
Though the celebration started in France, musicians will perform several genres of music during the all-day performance.
There will also be an area for kids with lessons on creating musical instruments, calligraphy and face painting.
Attendees are encouraged to bring their own seating and arrive early.
Here’s the full setlist for the day:
- 11:00 a.m. Children’s songs with Gaspard
- 11:45 a.m. Story time with Madeline
- 12:45 p.m. Children’s songs with Gaspard
- 1:30 p.m. French songs with Jean-Jacques
- 2:15 p.m. French vintage songs with The Jennifer Scott Quartet
- 3:15 p.m. Brass Band music with the Brass Connection Band
- 4:15 p.m. Latin/Salsa music with El Clan DC
- 5:30 p.m. French songs with Jean-Jacques
- 6:15 p.m. Roots-rock/Americana music with Gramophonic
Photo courtesy of Dupont Festival
Borderstan residents will soon be able to participate in yet another “silent disco” party.
During the event, three DJs will spin tunes that can only be heard through wireless headsets. Dancers can switch between the DJs and control the volume to their liking.
This is the third such event for the Silent Dance Society, which has also held similar rooftop parties at the Graham Hotel in Georgetown and at the Embassy Row Hotel in Dupont Circle.
Tickets are $20 and must be purchased in advance.
Photo courtesy of Silent Dance Society
Hundreds of quiet dancers packed Dupont Circle last Saturday for With Love DC’s Silent Disco Party. Some donned silly costumes. Others dressed in party attire. All wore headphones.
From 8 to 9 p.m., attendees danced to a playlist of songs ranging in style from dubsteb to disco. And they probably freaked out some casual observers in the process.
Photos by Luis Gomez Photos
From Mathew Harkins. Email him at mharkins[AT]borderstan.com.
When thinking of live music venues, listening stations are generally not the first things that come to mind. But The Sunshine District, a new venue opening up this Saturday, June 22, is looking to change that. Located at 2010 9th Street NW, this brand new, two-story, two-stage venue is looking to bring something new and something local to the music scene.
Local Music Listening Stations
The reasoning behind the listening stations is that DC has a quality local music scene but it isn’t always easy to learn or hear about these bands. There’s a lot of local music and lot of national acts that come careening through this city, so it can be difficult for bands to be discovered. Enter the Local Music Listening Stations.
There will be five listening stations at The Sunshine District, each one with a CD player and a record player. There will also, naturally, be a selection of CDs and vinyl, all supplied by local artists. This means that patrons will be able to listen to some good new music and local artists have a new method of being discovered. What more could you ask for in a new music venue?
Drinks To Match The Music
Oh, you could ask for specialty drinks based off local music acts? Well luckily for you, they have that covered. The specialty drinks at The Sunshine District include: The Time Columns (Band: Time Columns), The Echo Wallbanger (Band: The Echo Wall), Good Clean Fun (Band: Good Clean Fun), MacKaye Side of Things (Musician: Ian MacKaye) and more. You get to see live bands, discover local acts in the listening stations and get a slight history lesson at the bar. Sounds like my kind of venue.
You can find out more about the drinks, the venue, upcoming acts, and even possibly win a spot on the guest list plus one for the soft opening on Friday, the 21st, by checking out The Sunshine District’s Facebook page.
From Khelan Bhatia. Follow Khelan on Twitter @KhelanB or email him at khelan[AT]borderstan.com.
Hello, music lovers. Very excited to shed some light on an event that’s happening this Friday, June 14. Kick Kick Snare takes over LivingSocial for the first ever Pop Up show! They’ve flown in U.K. Electro wonder (and sexy Welshman) Bright Light Bright Light for his first trip to DC to headline the night!
If you’re into Robyn and the Pet Shop Boys, then trust me, you’re gonna love his sound. We’re bringing you the best new pop music from all over the world to DC, along side the best new pop DC has to offer!
This is easily gonna be one the best pop show of the summer and it’s coming the LivingSocial’s 918 F Street NW location on June 14, 2013 at 7 pm. Tickets are only $19, and space is limited for this once-in-a-lifetime live pop show. Be sure to get your tickets before they sell out!
If you’re looking for something to do this weekend, then look no further. We have your list of the food, music and cultural events going on in (and around) Borderstan February 15, 16 and 17.
Friday, February 15
- Sip on the most expensive cocktail at Heist: On Friday and Saturday, Heist is celebrating the largest diamond heist on record this weekend. And what better way to celebrate than with three $1,500 cocktails mixed by Kristopher Carr? Each drink will contain a genuine loose diamond and a portion of the weekend’s proceeds will benefit Wake Up And Dream.
- BreakfastClub: Join DJs Adam Koussari-Amin and Khelan Bhatia on Friday, February 15, at Duplex Diner for an 80s Remix Dance Party. Just like they’ve done in the past, the duo will spin new wave, synthpop, one-hit wonders and 80s hits (and remixes). The party starts at 9 pm. For more information, visit the Facebook event page.
- Musical/entertainment options for the evening: Yo La Tengo’s sold-out show at the 9:30 Club is guaranteed to be a good one. The show starts at 8 pm. Don’t have tickets? Head on over to the Black Cat for a Burlesque and Variety show, instead. It’s $10; doors open to the first show at 8:45 pm. If you’re looking to dance, U Street Music Hall and Tropicalia both have booty-shakin’ line-ups for the evening. And MOVA and Cobalt have DJs and drink specials.
- DRGN KING at 9th and Beats: Go witness the musical marriage of Philly-based singer/songwriter and hip hop producer duo at Shaw’s new 9th and Beats Friday night. Tickets are $7, doors open at 7:30 pm.
Saturday, February 16
- Spend the afternoon in the Age of Enlightenment at the Corcoran: McLean High School students are turning the gallery into a time capsule. Travel back in time and enjoy the music and conversation of a salon from the Age of Enlightenment. The event runs from 1-4 pm and is free with museum admission.
- The Loving Market: The Loving Market will take place this Saturday, February 16, from 10 am until 8 pm at Epic Yoga (1323 Connecticut Avenue NW) and will feature a daytime pop-up shop, silent auction, art exhibit, panel discussion, craft-making activity and evening cocktail reception.
- Music at Velvet Lounge: If you’re in the mood for some live music, check-out the line-up at Velvet Lounge for Saturday night, including Lindsey Buckingham Palace, The Treading Lemmings and The Remaindermen.
Sunday, February 17
- Grab some brunch: Get you and start your day off with some eggs and a mimosa or two. Here are some favorite places the Borderstan contributors like to brunch.
- Burlesque at the Howard Theatre: Spice up your typical Sunday with this sexy evening at the Howard Theatre, featuring GiGi Holliday. Tickets are $15 and the show starts at 8 pm.
Here at “Borderstan People,” we like to profile local movers and shakers who are spicing up the neighborhood in a variety of ways. Recently, we caught up with two new-ish neighborhood D.J.s who are bringing back the ’80’s in a modern-sort-of-way.
Khelan Bhatia and Adam Koussari-Amin are the two musician masterminds behind BreakfastClub, an ‘8o’s remix dance party held at Duplex Diner. This Friday, October 26, Bhatia and Koussari-Amin will host a Halloween-themed Thriller dance party at 9 pm.
Luckily for us, we had a chance to catch up with the D.J.s before the big night to discuss BreakfastClub, their favorite music and the District D.J. scene.
Borderstan: How and when did you guys first get into D.J.-ing? And when did you start working with each other?
Khelan: I started by creating playlists for myself and friends. Before long, I was my friends’ go-to-guy for providing music – usually through my iPod — at parties and other gatherings. I D.J.’d my first set about two years ago at Duplex Diner on a Thursday evening, their busiest night during the week. In all honesty, I was a nervous wreck. I thought I was going to screw up pretty badly. Well, I must have managed to do OK because they keep inviting me back! Adam and I met a few months ago through mutual friends. We first worked together in mid-August at a party called CTRL, where Adam is a regular D.J.
Adam: My experience began in college where I was part of a hip-hop dance troupe at UVA. As a choreographer, we had to cut and edit our own music for our shows. In terms of live performances, beyond friends’ parties, CTRL was my kickstarter at the beginning early this year. I had been watching my friend Jeff Prior perform some great sets at bars and clubs in the area, and we decided to throw our hats into the ring for a monthly party… And I am so glad we did, because its ongoing success has given me a lot of opportunities, including connecting with Khelan.
Borderstan: One of your main D.J.-ing events is BreakfastClub – How did you come up with the concept for this event and how frequently do you host it?
Khelan: After I guest DJ’d at CTRL, we lamented that DC doesn’t have a regular 80’s night…at least, to the best of our knowledge. After going through a few ’80’s-inspired names, Adam and I both thought that BreakfastClub fit pretty well with what we wanted to convey, especially as we wanted to host it at Duplex.
Adam: In order to make sure it stood out, we had the idea to incorporate remixes of ’80’s songs, in addition to the originals. Not only does it ensure that our catalog of songs never gets stale, it also puts a fresh feel on a ton of songs people have heard before. Songs that were once “head-nod” worthy only are now “break it down on the dance floor” awesome.
Khelan: We’ve only had one BreakfastClub so far, but due to continued interest, we’re going to try to make it a monthly event. The next one is this Friday, October 26th. Since Halloween is right around the corner, it’s going to be Thriller-themed. Costumes more than allowed (hell, they’re encouraged!).
Borderstan: Where are some of your favorite places in DC to D.J.?
Khelan: Duplex, obviously. They’ve got a great vibe and a wonderful staff. Kevin Lee, the owner, has been incredibly supportive. I’ve also D.J.’d at Dahlak, Saint-Ex’s Gate 54, L’Enfant, and most recently, at Town.
Adam: I have to give love to Dahlak on 18th and U. It’s where CTRL is hosted. The staff is super friendly, the drinks are strong, and the space is intimate, which lets me and the other D.J.s stay ground-level with the crowd and really interact with them. It’s also got a lot of history in terms of events that have started there…and a lot of great memories for me of being on the other side of the booth.
Borderstan: What is your favorite thing about D.J.-ing?
Khelan: To be able to contribute to the mood of a party… and make people dance.
Adam: The crowd reaction, bar none. The minute you play a song that everyone instantly loves, or even just gets that thumbs up or scream from a random person for a more obscure song, it’s an awesome feeling.
Borderstan: What is your favorite music to play and how do you go about making a playlist for a party? Can you tell us a bit about the process? How long it takes, how it evolves, etc.?
Khelan: I love electro, synthpop, hip-hop, french house, ’80’s pop, indie…you name it. If it’s got a beat, I’ll find a way to work it into a set. Putting together a setlist can take anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks — it all just depends. I try to guess, in advance, the mood of the party or event and tailor the set to the best of my ability. Before the first BreakfastClub, I started putting together the set a month or so before the event. Mostly because I’m a blend of a type A Washingtonian and nervous wreck.
Adam: Khelan’s a bit more methodical than I am… blame it on being a New Yorker. I usually start a week in advance collecting three times as many songs as I need and cram up till the last minute, whittling them down into something that the audience will hopefully appreciate. Timing is super important for playlists…things that get people jumping after midnight when they’ve had a few cocktails might actually turn them off if you play them at the beginning of the night. I’m pretty happy playing everything except country – sorry country fans – so long as it makes people dance. I’ve been told I tend to shy from top 40’s — even remixes — and play slightly more obscure songs, no matter what the genre. I want people to discover new music for themselves when they go out.
Borderstan: What are some of your favorite things to do, or favorite places to go in the Borderstan area?
Khelan: Borderstan is definitely the best part of DC. I love just wandering through some of the side streets with a coffee from Peregrine in hand and my iPod on full blast (at this rate, I’m probably going to be deaf by my next birthday). Long-time Borderstanis know that I love fashion and live music. Rue 14 is still my favorite boutique but I love going to vintage stores like Treasury too. For live music, 9:30 club is easily the greatest venue in the country while U Street Music Hall is the greatest club. And I’m (not-so) patiently waiting for the re-opening of DC Noodles… best comfort food. EVER!
Adam: I’ve been in the city for five years, but moved to the 16th and U area about two years ago… it is such a fantastic place! I love working out or laying out in Meridian Hill park, grabbing weekend bottomless brunches — Masa 14 is life — and catching local comedy and improv shows at Source Theater and other local bars. Most importantly, I live to go out dancing with my friends… especially if it involves us on the speakers at DC9. I’ve also been told I have an unhealthy addiction to Lauriol Plaza and have dragged almost every friend I’ve had there.
Need a last-minute idea for the weekend?
The National Climate Rally is tomorrow (Sunday) on the National Mall from 11 am to 7 pm. Sponsored by the Earth Day Network, you can expect a lineup of notables at the podium. But, there is also music, with Sting the top act:
The Climate Rally will also feature live music from Sting, John Legend, The Roots, Jimmy Cliff, Passion Pit, Bob Weir, Willie Colón, Joss Stone, Robert Randolph, Patrick Stump, Mavis Staples, Booker T, Honor Society and Tao Rodriguez-Seeger.
If you don’t want to deal with the crowds on the Mall, here are lists of art galleries and their exhibits… theaters with their shows… and venues with live music. Or, if you want to stay home, check out Alejandra’s recipe for strawberry mascarpone bars in the post below–rainy weather is predicted for the weekend.