01 Jul 2011

The Hill is Rocking!

Guest post series by Kevin Hill and ChunkyGlasses.com

Happy almost 4th of July everyone. DC/Capitol Hill is notorious for its mass holiday exodus, and this year will be no exception. For those of you who DO choose to stay and brave the tourists, it tends to be all about the backyard cookouts and maybe some Frisbee in the park. The last thing anyone is thinking about is Rock and Roll, and that’s OK because this year on the Hill, Rock and Roll isn’t thinking about you.  Yes, this year The Red Palace, with the exception of the quirky pop of NYC’s Pearl and the Beard on Friday, is all about the burlesque, with performances on both Saturday and Sunday nights. Actually, there may be nothing MORE rock and roll than burlesque not that I think about it it’s just a little more distilled. Soooo, game on?

At the Rock and Roll Hotel, once again, it’s a weekend full of DC natives. While I FIRMLY support supporting your local music scene (hey, I’m about to be IN it, so really it’s a no brainer), there’s something about the weekends that just screams for something a little…bigger. Regardless, if you’re dead set on making the Rock and Roll Hotel part of your life this weekend then you have your choice of reggae/ska/dub with Lucky Dub on Friday, or the homegrown indie-pop of Droids We’re Looking For on Saturday. BTW, that’s Star Wars reference there people. Nerds I’ll see you at 10pm on Alderan out front on Saturday.

So there are your picks for the week. But like I said before, it’s all about the cookouts. You don’t care about what’s going on in some stupid club, do you? HELL no? You care about the gentle curl of smoking rising from underneath slabs of the perfectly charred meat that covers your newly cleaned grill. Cold beer, good friends, and MUSIC is what this weekend is all about, so how about some playlist suggestions to help keep your guests entertained.

Sam Cooke – Live At The Harlem Square Club
Widely considered to be one of the greatest live albums EVER recorded, this is a snapshot of Sam Cooke at his peak. You know all the songs. EVERYONE knows all the songs. “Cupid”, “Chain Gang”, “Twisting The Night Away”…and the list goes on. It’s a perfect set of tunes for the backyard, indoors, by the pool…just about anywhere. You can’t go wrong with Sam Cooke, period. So if this record isn’t in your collection, REMEDY THAT SITUATION NOW, and happy partying!

Big Star – #1 Record
When I think of a BBQ I think of rock. 70’s rock to be specific.  It’s all about kicking back with a cold one and firing up the grill with some buddies here at ChunkyGlasses central, and nothing helps that along more than a little Big Star. Known as a band’s band thanks to the remarkable songwriting of the late Alex Chilton, #1 Record stands above its peers as the record you are most likely to play air guitar/drums/sing to EVER. And hey, it’s got the theme song to That 70’s Show on it! Who doesn’t love that!

Deer Tick  – War Elephant
Sometimes records can be comfort food, and this effort from Rhode Island native John McCauley is the most shining example of that fact that I’ve seen in over a decade. Released in 2007, it was the little record that could. And it did by showcasing McCauley’s penchant for writing fantastically personal /sentimental songs that never feel anything less than honest. Put this record on, and your guests will pay attention, if not just for McCauley’s voice that sounds like a dirtied up, THEM-era version of Van Morrison…after a case of whiskey.  This is a truly special record, regardless of the occasion. So even if you don’t follow my advice THIS weekend (and really, would I do you wrong?) this is one you need to pick up, as it’s perfect just about any time.

That’s it for this week. Hope everyone has a fantastic 4th, and if you are still in town, maybe we’ll see you down on the Mall for fireworks on Monday! Also remember, the annual Type A Hill-dweller fireworks “competition” at Lincoln Park happens about 30 minutes after the main event on the mall, so head back up the hill quick people, because it’s where the heat is every single year. Can.Not.Wait.

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