Washington has sold out. Want evidence? Try going to a concert.
Last weekend’s St. Vincent shows at the 9:30 Club sold out so quickly many people didn’t even feel like they had a chance to score a ticket. And while the folks at the 9:30 Club say they don’t keep track of their previous sell-outs, their upcoming schedule shows that if want to hear music there, even from acts not at the top of the charts, you’d best be organized. This Sunday’s Broken Bells show is sold out. The March 14 Dr. Dog show sold out, prompting a second show on March 15. The Drive-By Truckers have sold out their March 22 show. Grouplove has sold out three nights in a row, March 30, March 31 and April 1. The Kraftwerk 3-D Concert has sold out two shows on April 4.
And it’s not just 9:30. At the Black Cat, Wednesday night’s Ex Hex show is sold out and low ticket alerts have been prompted by sales for Thursday’s Speedy Ortiz show and Friday’s We Were Promised Jetpacks show.
Lesson? The first time you even think you want to see someone at one of the medium-sized venues, just buy the tickets, post haste.
If you missed the Beatlemania Now concert Tuesday night, which celebrated the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ first U.S. concert, right here in Washington, fret not. CQ Roll Call photographer Tom Williams had the goods and killed it with great images of the event, inside and outside the old Washington Coliseum venue at Third and M streets Northeast, complete with pictures of people who were at that Feb. 11, 1964, show and returned 50 years later to the scene of the screams. For a full slideshow of Williams’ photos from the event, click here.
Beatlemania Now, a Fab Four tribute band, played 50 years on. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
As the District prepares for the 50th anniversary celebration of the Beatles’ first concert in the United States, which happened to be right up the street from CQ Roll Call HQ at Uline Arena, chairs from the venue are being raffled off to benefit the DC Preservation League.
On Feb. 11, the league and Douglas Development, which owns the arena, will present a tribute concert to the Fab Four’s Feb. 11, 1964, show at the arena. The tribute band Beatlemania will play the Beatles’ set list from that night, as well as other favorites.
Five pairs of the arena’s wooden bleacher-style chairs will be raffled off at the concert. Raffle tickets are $20 each and can be purchased online. To buy tickets to the event, go here.
The arena, located at Third and M streets Northeast, was built in 1941 and is a designated DC landmark that has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places. On a normal day, it’s used primarily as a parking lot.
And how does one withstand the latest polar vortex assault? Hunker down, hang out, listen to music, watch movies, eat beet fries and hoist a few drinks.
Real Life Monuments Men
The National Archives on Thursday, is showing a documentary about some of the real-life Monuments Men who helped safeguard Europe’s great art from the Nazis during World War II.
The Archives will screen “The Rape of Europa” at noon at the William G. McGowan Theater, a 2006 documentary about the Allies’ attempts to protect the continent’s cultural heritage.
Sound familiar? That’s the premise of the highly anticipated film by George Clooney, “The Monuments Men,” which is set to be released Feb. 7.
Both flicks look like they’re worth a gander. Free. The Archives is at Constitution Avenue, between Seventh and Ninth streets Northwest.
Toki Gets Taken Over
Austin-based food-trailer-turned-mini-dynasty East Side King roars into town Friday to take over Toki Underground at 1234 H St. NE. Visiting ESK chefs Paul Qui, Moto Utsunomiya, and Jorge Luis Hernandez will sling away for lunch and dinner from 11:30 a.m. until closing time. No reservations, and space is, as any visitor to Toki knows, small. It’s a first-come, first-served shot at noshing at some of ESK’s Thai Chicken Karaage, Beef Tongue Kare Kare Buns, Beet Home Fries, Fried Brussels Sprout Salad, Liberty Rie and Tori Meshi.
Get a ‘Rope’
Hill Center and Friends of the Southeast Library are showcasing some of Alfred Hitchcock’s pre-”Psycho” work over the next month, starting on Friday with 1948′s “Rope,” a Jimmy Stewart flick about the consequences of philosophical musings.
Future screenings will bring “Shadow of a Doubt,” “Strangers on a Train” and “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” to 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. Discussions will be lead by Tom Zaniello, facilitator of Capitol Hill Village’s Cinephiles film discussion group and author of a forthcoming book on Hitch. They’re all free, but register ahead of time for a spot at hillcenterdc.org.
District-based U.S. Royalty celebrates the release of its newest album, “Blue Sunshine,” this Saturday with a show at the Rock and Roll Hotel at 1353 H St. NE, followed by an after party at Little Miss Whiskey’s Golden Dollar just down the street at 1104 H St. NE.
The show is $15 at Rock and Roll Hotel, with doors at 7 p.m. and show starting at 8 p.m. Spires opens. No cover at Little Miss Whiskey’s, where the party is slated to start at 10 p.m.
As official Washington begins to trickle back to work in this new year, the city’s cultural institutions are getting back into the swing of things, too.
American Letters From Abroad
Politics and Prose bookstore is hosting a couple of American literature’s heaviest hitters on back-to-back days: Chang-rae Lee and Gary Shteyngart. Lee, a Korean-American, and Shteyngart, a Russian-American, present vivid and weird representations of the American experience. Both were born abroad (in Seoul and Leningrad, respectively) and are tied closely to their respective immigrant communities. They are also thoroughly American, having come to the United States at young ages and having succeeded in a profession among the most difficult to break into: writing novels. And, as they are both 40-something and firmly in Generation X, there’s a bit of desperation, humor and sadness in their writing. Perfect for the times.
Lee, the author of such books as “Aloft,” will read from his latest novel, “On Such a Full Sea,” on Jan. 8 at 7 p.m. Shteyngart, the author of “The Russian Debutante’s Handbook” and the more recent “Super Sad True Love Story,” will read from his forthcoming memoir, “Little Failure,” on Jan. 9 at 7 p.m. Both events are free at the Politics and Prose flagship at 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW.
Hill Center’s Packed Schedule
Hill Center here on Capitol Hill has a dense set of upcoming events. On Jan. 7, the cultural center at 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE will partner with ITVS Community Cinema to present a free screening of “Las Marthas,” a documentary about the monthlong (!) annual debutante ball in Laredo, Texas. The Society of Martha Washington’s coming-out ceremonies are quite a sight to see, and provide a look at American culture that will be news indeed for many. The film starts at 7 p.m.
The National Symphony Orchestra fills up the calendar later in the week, with its NSO in Your Neighborhood program. On Jan. 9, the NSO will present a chamber performance featuring flautist Aaron Goldman, clarinetist Eugene Mondie and bassoonist Sue Heineman, starting at 7:30 p.m. and going until 9:30 p.m. On Jan. 10, the NSO brings in its “Jazz Night Club,” featuring several musicians including violinists Glenn Donnellan, Terri Lee and Jan Chong, from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Both events are free, but those interested are encouraged to register at Hill Center’s website.
Cracker, Camper Check In
If you don’t get your fill of Gen X signifiers from Lee and Shteyngart, you’re in luck: Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven are playing the 9:30 Club on Jan. 11. Cracker, which initially grew out of the disbanding of Camper, headlines. Perhaps to show how all of us Gen Xers roll these days, it’s an early, 6 p.m. show at 815 V St. NW. Twenty-five bucks to get in.
Panic about Friday’s impending snowstorm is starting to set in, as it so often does in Washington, but if you’re ready to brave a chilly or wet night out, the D.C. rock duo CATSCAN! is headlining a show at Rock and Roll Hotel.
The two, Mason Shelby and Paul Tsiaperas, bill their group as an experimental experience, where they try out different instruments and arrangements with pop songs from the recent past. Opening are Mobius Strip, The Dead Women and Electric Grandmother.
Doors open at 1353 H St. NE at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $12 in advance or at the door.
So long, Thanksgiving. Hello, holiday party season! This week the Senate may be away, but the festivities are in play, starting with the lighting of the Capitol Christmas Tree at 5 p.m. Tuesday on the West Front and the Capitol Hill Chanukah Celebration at 5 p.m. Tuesday in the Capitol’s Mansfield Room.
And even if you’re not into indulging your inner Scrooge, there’s still plenty to do around Capitol Hill this week, including taking a look at some of the capital city’s dark secrets through the eyes of its most storied detective, and a concert at the Library of Congress by country royalty Rosanne Cash, daughter of the Man in Black.
Bill Press sits down on Tuesday at Hill Center with Terry Lenzner, arguably the District’s most seasoned private investigator. Lenzner has a memoir out, “The Investigator: Fifty Years of Uncovering the Truth,” which the two will discuss. Lenzner’s seen it all in a long career, including the murders of civil rights workers in the South, Watergate, the Unabomber and any number of high and low crimes. Lenzner will sign copies afterward. At the Hill Center’s Abraham Lincoln Hall at 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, 7-9 p.m. Free, but register at Hill Center’s website.
LOC to Cash In
Roseanne Cash will be at the Library of Congress for a three-day residency that starts Thursday and goes through Sunday, a project that will reveal to the public her new album, “The River and the Thread,” and include a “round robin” with other singer-songwriters and talk with a fellow Southerner, Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey. The eldest child of the late Johnny Cash has a more-than-three-decades-long career and is a country legend in her own right. The fact that she’s kicking off her tour in D.C. at the library speaks to her enduring cultural imprint. On Thursday, Cash will premiere her new album in a concert at the Thomas Jefferson Building’s Coolidge Auditorium at 101 Independence Ave. SE. The tunes start at 8 p.m. The concert is free, sort of: You have to get tickets through Ticketmaster, which will charge a processing fee. The LOC says advance tickets are sold out, but there should be a decent number of “rush” tickets at the door. Friday’s round robin with Cash, John Leventhal, Cory Chisel, Rodney Crowell and Amy Helm is at the Coolidge at 8 p.m. Her Saturday conversation with Trethewey at the Jefferson Building’s Whittall Pavilion is free.
Eat, Drink, Vote, Read
The Roll Call Book Club wraps up its 2013 series with Marion Nestle, who’ll drop by CQ Roll Call HQ at 77 K St. NE on Thursday night to discuss her new book, “Eat Drink Vote: An Illustrated Guide to Food Politics.” Co-hosted by our pals at Hooks Books, drop by at 6 p.m. for a little wine, some cheese and a discussion on what’s on everyone’s mind: What’s to eat?
Union Market continues to proceed with what can only be regarded as a plan to take over the world. Need evidence? How about its plans to be open six days a week and having The Walkmen play at the buzzy food and food-stuffs market.
(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Starting Nov. 12, the market will expand from being open five days a week to six. Currently, the market is open Wednesday through Sunday with current hours from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. On Nov. 12, the market will open on Tuesdays from here on out.
But the new hours are just the latest expansion into the D.C. consciousness. They pick people up for lunch with their Roadie shuttle, host a pop-up Toki Underground stall, project drive-in movies, provide a landing zone for Crafty Bastards and are even clearing some space for The Walkmen to help inaugurate the new second-floor performance space, Dock 5, on Nov. 30.
The indie-rock faves, all of whom are D.C. natives, will perform with Sunwolf and DJ Will Eastman.
Tickets start at $25 for the gig and can be purchased at Ticketfly. Doors open at 7 p.m., tunes at 8 p.m.
Sometimes it’s easy to forget that Washington has long been an epicenter for bluegrass and jazz. If you’re interested in checking out both proud genres on Capitol Hill, Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital is hosting some fine performers in its Abraham Lincoln Hall this week.
Bluegrass on Pennsylvania Avenue
First up is Jim Hurst, a performer who has been shortlisted for the 2013 International Bluegrass Music Association’s Guitarist of the Year, who will play at Hill Center on Monday at 7 p.m. To prime the pump, Hurst will be on local station WAMU’s bluegrass program at 9 a.m. with Katy Daley (which can be found at 105.5 FM in D.C.) It’s $15 in advance and $20 at the door at 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. To get tickets, go to Hill Center’s website.
Jazz Things Up
On Wednesday, bassist Eric Wheeler will perform a variety of jazz styles at Hill Center that show the range of the form — particularly how it relates to jazz musicians in the District, such as Duke Ellington, Billy Taylor and many more. Wheeler is a District native who leads the Hill Center Jazz Ensemble and is a fixture at such jazz venues at Bohemian Caverns on U Street.
Winston Groom Stops By
Winston Groom is set to helm the latest installment of the Roll Call Book Club on Friday at 6 p.m. The author of “Forrest Gump” has a new book out this week, “The Aviators,” which takes a look at the early years of aviation and three men who helped define it: Eddie Rickenbacker, Jimmy Doolittle and Charles Lindbergh. The event, at the CQ Roll Call offices at 77 K St. NE, is sold out and bulging at the seams, so if you’ve RSVP’d “yes” but know you won’t be able to make it, please let the folks at Eventbrite know so that others can come see Groom and get their book signed.
The Last Picture Show
Friday is the last show of the season for Union Market’s fall drive-in movie series. The summer series was so popular that the folks at 1309 Fifth St. NE arranged an autumn go-round, and gave us free outdoor showings of “Caddyshack,” “Julie and Julia,” “Good Will Hunting” and “Evan Almighty.” So what’s on tap for Friday? That’s up to you. Union Market is hosting a people’s choice vote for the flick — you can cast your ballot via their Facebook and Twitter accounts. Gates open at 6 p.m. and the show, whichever it is, begins at 7:30 p.m.
Halloween isn’t technically until Oct. 31, but it’s always a good idea to get a head start. Lucky for us, Capitol Hill obliges a-plenty. Here are a few choice options to get ready for All Hallow’s Eve.
The Fridge, the multipurpose gallery/performance space on Barracks Row at 516 1/2 Eighth St. SE is hosting a little Halloween carnival: Alley Cats Halloween/Dia de Muertos Artists Market from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. The Fridge bills it as a place to pick up “some inexpensive, but artsy, party favors for your Halloween shindig” and a place to meet folks from “D.C.’s unique art community.”
What better place to hang out this time of year than Congressional Cemetery? Last week, the cemetery hosted its annual Dead Man’s Run 5K. This Saturday, they’ve got their Ghosts and Goblets Soiree. A general admission ticket for $60 gets you four drinks, live entertainment, a heated tent and “visits from some of the 65,000 local ‘residents.’” At 1801 E St. SE. Purchase tickets at eventbrite.
Belga Café’s Halloween plans coincide with their ninth anniversary celebration. Saturday brings their Pajama Brunch, which will provide those who dress in their jammies some free bubbly, while Sunday brings their Early Halloween Brunch. Come in a costume and the restaurant says they’ll have a surprise. Trick or treat, or moules frites? At 514 Eighth St. SE.
Now that the shutdown is behind us, the full parking lots around the Capitol complex show clearly that Hill staffers have come back to work in full force this week. Because the next shutdown and debt crisis won’t start developing for a couple more months hence, there’s plenty of time to settle back in to regular life on Capitol Hill.
Karaoke in the Capital
The American Association of Political Consultants’ Mid-Atlantic chapter is putting on its third annual Karaoke in the Capital at the Rock & Roll Hotel on Wednesday. Hacks, flacks, lobbyists, pros, Democrats and Republicans are all welcome to belt out a few tunes at 1353 H St. NE. Proceeds go to the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, a charity that donates instruments to schools and helps bring musical education to kids who wouldn’t otherwise be exposed to it. It’s $15 in advance or at the door. Doors open at 7 p.m., and the alleged entertainment begins at 8 p.m.
Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital will be a hothouse for documentary films this week. “The Graduates/Los Graduados,” the story of several Latino students in the United States, screens Tuesday at 7 p.m. On Wednesday, “Herman’s House” screens at 7 p.m. The movie is about Herman Wallace, a prisoner who spent more than 40 years in solitary confinement in Louisiana and worked with artist Jackie Sumell on a “dream house,” as well as the human rights issue his case has brought to the fore. And on Friday, the Smithsonian Channel’s “Incredible Flying Cars” series will touch down for a showing of “Vertical Take-Off.” All screenings are free, but registration ahead of time on Hill Center’s website is appreciated.
Middleburg Film Festival
The maiden voyage of the Middleburg Film Festival gets under way Thursday, and the intimate venues and vibe in horse country provide a full slate of great looking movies for the capital’s cinematic set. Alexander Payne’s “Nebraska” kicks things off on Thursday, and Friday, Saturday and Sunday are packed with fare such as Alex Gibney’s documentary “The Armstrong Lie” about Lance Armstrong’s doping, “Capital,” the latest political thriller from legendary director Costa-Gavras, and “August: Osage County” by John Wells.
Every good production needs a playlist, and here’s one for the superdupercommittee, House Republicans’ proposal to sit down and talk, really talk, about the debt limit, government shutdown, maybe the best oyster mushroom stuffing recipes for Thanksgiving.
And what makes long meetings late into the night go better than some good tunes? Without further ado, here is the inaugural Roll Call After Dark Superdupercommittee Playlist:
1. “Super Trouper” by Abba. Don’t the Swedish supergroup’s lyrics tug at the superdupercommittee’s whole reason for being? “There are moments when I think I’m going crazy/(Think I’m going crazy)/But it’s gonna be alright/(You’ll soon be changing everything)/Everything will be so different.”
2. “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” by The Rolling Stones. It’s always a good idea to go into negotiations with realistic expectations. This could be the Democrats’ theme.
3. “Mo Money, Mo Problems” by Notorious B.I.G. Superdupercommittee members would be wise to remember that more money can’t solve everything. This reflects the GOP view.
4. “Whip It” by Devo. Popular with Reps. Kevin McCarthy, Steny H. Hoyer and Sens. Richard J. Durbin and John Cornyn: “When a problem comes along/You must whip it/ … Now whip it/Into shape/Shape it up/Get straight/Go forward/Move ahead/Try to detect it/It’s not too late/To whip it/Whip it good.”
5. “Metal Health (Bang Your Head)” by Quiet Riot. This sums up how we’ll all feel after a season of superdupercommittee: “Well I’m frustrated/Outdated I really want to be over-rated/ … I got the boys to make the noise/Won’t ever let up/Hope it annoys you/Join the pack/Fill the crack/Well now you’re here/There’s no way back/Bang your head!”
Roll Call After Dark is about what Washington does when it's not at work.
The District of Columbia is a cultural capital where you can you get your kicks from movies projected on the National Mall, lectures on vermouth or Russian avant-garde art. There's always something to do.
Jason Dick is the Hill Life editor for Roll Call and has also worked at Greenwire, CongressDaily and National Journal Daily during his time in Washington. @jasonjdick