by Tim Regan October 10, 2016 at 3:50 pm 0

The nationally touring roadshow that has people thrusting and gyrating alone onstage is returning to H Street next week.

The latest installment of the “Air Sex Championships” will take place at Rock and Roll Hotel (1353 H St. NE) next Thursday, Oct. 20.

During the event, performers in colorful costumes compete to see who can have fake sex better than their peers. A usual air sex routine involves lots of solitary stroking, thrusting, licking and kissing. It’s like air guitar, but, well, it’s sex, said host Chris Trew.

“They’re so brave and they … act out these routines that we’re taught are super taboo,” he said. “It’s very exciting to have all that contained within a comedy show.”

Not sure if you’re into that kind of thing?

“If you enjoy live sporting events, if you like laughing and if you think sex is fun, then this is definitely the show for you,” Trew added. “Even if you’re two of those three things.”

And you don’t have to just watch, either. Anyone in the audience can sign up to try their hand at faux-fornication, Trew explained.

“I really just want people to know they can sign up the night of the show. Oftentimes, people don’t realize that,” he said. “We want people from D.C. who have never done the show before to come and try it out.”

Tickets are $15 and can be purchased online.

More about the Air Sex Championships from a press release:


by December 2, 2010 at 12:00 pm 2,228 1 Comment

Black Cat Velvet Lounge 9:30 Club

Danny Shapiro offers up live music suggestions for the weekend at four DC venues. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Danny Shapiro is an avid music lover who has the good fortune to live very close the music scene on the 14th and U corridor. A list of his previous reviews is at the bottom of this column. Comments or questions? Send Danny an email.

• • • • • •

Music lovers, rejoice! With the incredibly rainy week behind us, the sun is now shining on a weekend chock full o’ great local gigs. I’ve painstakingly sorted through the sundry offerings and given you my top four picks below. See you at the shows!

Friday, Dec. 3: Political Scandal Begets Rock Opera Genius

Dirty Bomb ‘Welcome Back, Jack’ Release Party @ Velvet Lounge ($10)

If I told you that one of the most notorious political criminals of the past generation, Jack Abramoff, would be the inspiration and protagonist/(antagonist?) for a DC journalist-cum-musician’s entrée into the rock genre, would you believe me? Well, come see the performance of Dirty Bomb‘s rock opera ‘King of the Hill’ with your own eyes on Friday night.

‘King of the Hill’ incorporates factual details from the Abramoff scandal, with all of the emotion, drama, ambition, greed, and paranoia that only the world of the lobbyist could espouse so fondly. Launched onto the DC scene at the National Press Club’s Battle of the Bands ‘Journopalooza’ in January 2010, the performance will be every hard rock lover/politico’s dream come true.

And, for just a tenner you’ll get an action-packed triple billing; support acts Poor But Sexy (local yacht-rockers) and soul band JC Brooks & the Uptown Kids round out the night’s stellar set.

Check out more Dirty Bomb info at their official website.

Saturday, Dec. 4: Ladies, Take the Reins

Warpaint @ Rock and Roll Hotel ($12 adv/$14)

No plans yet for Saturday night? Sorted. Exploding onto the scene this year, Warpaint are a quartet of Los Angeles-based indie-rock mavens who have taken by firestorm the music scene on both sides of the pond. Gracing the District’s H Street NE corridor on the verge of embarking on a world tour in support of their debut LP, ‘Fool’ (Rough Trade Records), these ladies are not to be missed.

Warpaint shine with their lush harmonies, haunting post-punk guitar rhythms, and walking bass lines that hypnotically bring you into the focus of lead singer Emily Kokal’s unapologetic messages of austere independence. Originally gaining credence on the LA scene by scoring a #1 EP on Ameoba Records’ local artists chart with 2009’s Exquisite Corpse, Warpaint have blossomed and delivered the type of debut album that will stand the test of time.

Check out their MySpace page as well as the band’s official website for further evidence of their greatness.

Sunday, Dec. 5: Jazz Days of Yesteryear, Revisited

CapitolBop’s Jazz Loft @ Red Door, 443 I St. NW

During the Bebop era of American musical history, the Jazz Loft of New York City was a metropolitan institution; friends would gather at the top of an apartment for a trove of jazz-in-the-round treasures. Musicians across the jazz spectrum would trade off performances, culminating in a capstone sonorous jam session to end the night right.

The first-ever D.C. Jazz Loft, created by CapitolBop, is inspired by this platform, and will highlight the District’s supreme cadre of improvisational musicians, ranging from bebop, to free-jazz, to fusion, and beyond. For a truly unique night out, with free entry to boot (a small donation is requested to support the night’s fees) take a trip back in time to experience the best in jazz improv.

For an added bonus, perhaps we DC bicycle lovers can recycle our Dandies & Quaintrelles DC Tweed Ride outfits!?

Sunday, Dec. 5: Gather ‘Round the Campfire, BYOS’mores

Stornoway @ Black Cat ($10 adv/$12)

If you’re a fan of the Fleet Foxes, Travis, Liam Finn, and the Gaslight Anthem, you’ll be an instant fan of Stornoway. Taking the UK by storm, we are quite lucky to have Stornoway in our own 14th Street backyard. Their music brilliantly layers banjos, electric riffs, keyboards, and harmonic vocals into a soulful purity that sounds refreshingly and distinctly apart from their aforementioned musical peers.

I guarantee the show will be a trip back to your favorite local campsite, and the bonfire you and your friends gathered around to celebrate youth’s freedom. The indie rock influence thrives amidst their country swing, and the results are fantastic. Grab a friend or three and close the weekend right with this fantastic group. Visit the band’s MySpace page and official website to discover their catalogue of hits.

Previous Posts from Danny

by November 22, 2010 at 10:43 am 7,336 3 Comments

9:30 Club Danny Shaprio

This week Danny takes you through the process of attending a concert at DC’s 9:30 Club. (Danny Shapiro)

Danny Shapiro is an avid music lover who has the good fortune to live very close the music scene on the 14th and U corridor. A list of his previous reviews is at the bottom of this column. Comments or questions? Send Danny an email.

And now, for something different.

Attending dozens and dozens (and dozens) of concerts over the past year, I’ve acquired a sharp perception of what makes a good show: where to find tickets, when to arrive, where to stand inside and how to have a supreme gig experience. I’d like to take this opportunity to pay it forward.

A story in three acts, ‘Anatomy of a Concert’ dissects the world of my three favorite venues in DC — 9:30 Club, Black Cat, Rock & Roll Hotel — and exposes the ultimate and best methods for enjoying the show, according to Danny, the resident Borderstan expert. (This is also a live forum for debate; if you disagree with me, leave a comment below and/or send me an email!)

Staying in DC for Thanksgiving? Danny’s picks for this week: Tuesday, Nov. 23 @ Black Cat (JUNIP – Jose Gonzalez, Elias Araya, Tobias Winterkorn) ($15)… Wednesday, Nov. 24 @ 9:30 Club: Carbon Leaf ($25)… Saturday, Nov. 27 @ 9:30 Club: KT Tunstall, Hurricane Bells ($25)… and Monday, Nov. 29 @ 9:30 Club: Brandon Flowers ($30). Check out Danny’s additional recs for shows through the year’s end.

Of the 1,200-capacity crowd at my favorite venue in DC (and perhaps the world), I want you to be the most well-informed, advantageously positioned, and most highly entertained patron inside the 9:30 Club. Here is my simple tripartite surgical-like procedure to follow.

Step 1, Betadine: Tickets

Finding tickets for the best shows begins the process, and this requires a certain sense of agility. All 9:30 Club shows are sold via Ticketfly, and you can also navigate the 9:30 Club’s website to purchase tickets. (I prefer the Ticketfly site).

New shows are announced on Ticketfly every Thursday (mark your calendars!). Not every show will go on sale at that time, so pay attention to ‘on-sale’ dates for hot tickets (for example, My Chemical Romance’s presale was announced on Thursday of last week, with an on-sale date for Saturday, 11/19. Within minutes on Saturday morning, the show sold out).

“But I don’t know any of the upcoming bands” — If I hear that irresponsible statement one more time, I’m going to buy a one-way ticket on the newly-minted ‘Hipster Highway’ bus from H Street NE to Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where at least those kids have the initiative to discover new music! Jump onto MySpace, YouTube, Grooveshark, etc., and scroll through the discography of some upcoming artists. If the 9:30 Club deemed them worthy of their venue, I’d say there is some talent worth seeing.

Fees (!) Whenever possible, I prefer to buy tickets at the box office in order to avoid service fee ($4.75 per ticket) and order processing ($4.00 per order). The 9:30 Club box office is open every day a show takes place, as well as during the day on the weekends. Always call ahead to double-check before you make the trek over (202-265-0930). If you can’t make it to the box office, here’s a hint: purchase multiple tickets online at once, so you pay only one processing fee. At the Ticketfly checkout page, click on the link for another gig and keep adding to your order.

Step 2, Scalpel: Arrival and Entry

Finally, the sold-out concert day has arrived. When the pre-gaming and primping ends, a true 9:30 Club connoisseur should have an arrival and entry strategy.

First, check the 9:30 Club website for the ‘doors open’ time. For sold out shows, a long line of die-hard fans will begin to accrue far prior to this time. Fear not, fellow music lovers. That long line — sometimes stretching way down V Street and around the corner–only fills about the first 1/3 of the 9:30 Club floor space. To illustrate, that initial eager crowd to fill the front 1/3 of the floor is always the most sardine-like grouping and will only detract from the night’s enjoyment. And, the quality of sound and spatial surrounding is superior starting behind this front 1/3.

For those with Will Call tickets, take note of two separate lines: (1) will call line next to the window along the brick wall (where you want to be) and (2) main entry line (where you don’t want to be), so make sure you don’t join that latter keen queue. Once collected, I sincerely recommend frequenting a nearby establishment for a pre-concert beverage or snack until the initial wave wanes.

Following this first tranche, make your move and go inside. Once past the security and ticket check, the time is ripe to stake out the best spot in the house. From my experience, the 9:30 Club floor offers best concert experience this side of the Mississippi. The balcony offers a great bird’s eye view — and may be better suited for those who fear the Tallest Man On Earth standing directly in front of him/her — but nothing compares to the floor.

Tips to make your way to the ‘sweet spot’ right in the middle of the floor: Upon getting your 8:15 or 9:30 stamp, walk past the first entrance on the right and meander down the narrow corridor ahead of you, past the bathrooms until you reach the far side of the floor (stage right). The crowd is usually thinner on this side (away from the merch table), and will allow you to meander your way to the ‘sweet spot’ of the floor, center stage 2/3 back.

Rule of thumb: always stand behind someone who is slightly shorter than you.

Step 3, Needle & Thread: Showtime & Departure

Here are a few tips once you’ve staked your claim on the floor:

Earplugs! Earplugs! Earplugs! — We concert fiends don’t want to let the experience of incredible live music leaving us audibly impaired. Therefore, earplugs are essential. The merch table sells earplugs for a buck, grab a napkin from the bar and bunch it into each ear, or buy professionally fitted earplugs. Your future self will thank you.

Eat, drink (water) and be merry! — The 9:30 Club has its own made-to-order easy access cuisine, ‘Food Food’, located stage right on the floor next to the bar. The selection of wraps, sandwiches, and snacks–with great vegetarian options–is affordable and quite tasty. If you’ve arrived to the gig on an empty stomach, make your way over to the lighted yellow & red sign. (Note: ‘Food Food’ closes about halfway through the show).

In addition to the high quality ample selection of 9:30 Club beers, every bar in the house offers free pitchers of ice water. A concertgoer must stay hydrated throughout the night, so don’t feel embarrassed to pass on the beer and just stick to the H2O. It’s a great way to save money, too!

Head-Start Out! As a New Yorker, a major pet peeve of mine is waiting in line behind slow people. Therefore, I find it prudent to make a beeline for the exit as soon as (and even get a head start towards the rear slightly before) the artist says goodnight after the final encore. You’ll save some time (and frustration) by not inching slowly outside behind the other 1,199 folks.

Don’t Leave Empty-Handed! — The 9:30 Club plasters its walls with concert posters for upcoming gigs. Patrons are not prohibited from pulling the posters off the wall and bringing them home as a souvenir. If you see your favorite band in poster form, feel free to bring it home as a free gift. It makes great room decorations; anyone who has seen my bedroom wall can attest.

Most of All: Have Fun!

My favorite memories of the past year center around 9:30 Club concerts. So many bands express gratitude for playing at the iconic venue, so wise up and take heed to my advice, readers. The greatest concerts await you.

Previous Posts from Danny

by October 13, 2010 at 11:36 pm 5,442 3 Comments

Luis Gomez Photos 14th Street NW U Street NW Borderstan

Get information and listings for live music at 10 venues in Borderstan. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Danny Shapiro

Take my advice, and get your tickets now to see these upcoming gigs later this month and in November – all of which will be stellar shows. Please note that I’ve only included the main acts in this list. This weekend’s regular music listing is below the fold.

  • Thursday, October 21 @ Black Cat: Mayer Hawthorne & The County ($20)
  • Also Thursday, October 21 @ Rock and Roll Hotel: School of Seven Bells ($12/$14)
  • Sunday, October 24 @ Rock and Roll Hotel: Eisley ($15)
  • Also Sunday, October 24 @ DC9: Matthew Dear ($12/$14)
  • Thursday, October 28 @ 9:30 Club: Local Natives ($16)
  • Sunday, October 31 @ 9:30 Club: Blonde Redhead ($25)
  • Monday, November 1 @ 9:30 Club: Freightened Rabbit ($20)
  • Tuesday, November 2 @ 9:30 Club: The Script ($25)
  • Thursday, November 4 @ Rock and Roll Hotel: Bedouin Soundclash ($13/$15)
  • Friday, November 5 @ 9:30 Club: Ra Ra Riot ($18)
  • Saturday, November 6 @ Black Cat: Freelance Whales ($12)
  • Monday & Tuesday, November 8 & 9 @ 9:30 Club: Jonsi (of Sigur Ros) ($35)
  • Monday, November 15 @ Black Cat: Glasser ($10/$12)
  • Tuesday, November 16 @ Black Cat: Tame Impala ($15)
  • Also Tuesday, November 16 @ DC9: Jenny Owens Youngs ($10/$12)
  • Tuesday, November 23 @ Black Cat (JUNIP – Jose Gonzalez, Elias Araya, Tobias Winterkorn) ($15)

Tickets for the 9:30 Club and Black Cat can be purchased at the box office (avoiding those pesky service charges!). Black Cat only takes cash, fyi, and make sure you call ahead at the 9:30 Club to ensure that the box office is open when you want to go.

The weekly music listing for 10 venues in the Dupont-Logan-U Street area is below the fold.



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