May 30, 2005

Look at me


I'm an a**hole.

I drive a Porsche. Due to this, I am can get messed up on who knows what on the Sunday night of a long weekend and leave my car wherever I please for retrieval on Monday morning, provided I can remember where it is.

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Best weekend ever

Friday was the big private bluestate gig in a lovely LeDroit Park house. Itís an area I used to speed through on the way to Baltimore and certainly never thought Iíd visit. It seems that Logan Circle gentrification has pushed out along Rhode Island Avenue and the interest in Shaw extends east on Florida Avenue all the way to North Capitol Street.

The party itself went from about 7:30 to 1:30 in the morning, enough for four half-hour sets for me, Kyle and N.M. I remember a large margarita machine and some tapas, but not a setlist, as I just burned a lot of songs and tossed some CDs into my backpack with no plans on how to play them.

But perhaps the most interesting part of the evening came when Kanishka walked in the door and before I could whisper to N.M., "Hey, doesnít that girl that came in with Kanishka look a lot like Jessica Cutler?" he introduced her as Jessica.

There we were, face to face with Number 25, in town to publicize her new book.


A blurry photo of Cutler, Kanishka and myself, looking retaahted

She seemed very nice and impressed all my friends at the party who talked to her as a decent person who is quite honest in her surprise that all these people had made such a big deal about some stories from her personal life that took place over a year ago, which makes me think that she doesnít understand what makes this town tick. Look at Gary Hart: he makes honest foreign policy suggestions and all anyone can remember is the Monkey Business, from 15-odd years ago.

One down, 27 to go. I'm lookin' at you, Istook!

Saturday, I saw the Raveonettes.

Eeh, I was never a big fan and this show didnít do much to swing me. The idiots in front of me swinging backpacks around and tossing elbows hither and yon in a pathetic imitation of a 1960s surf movie, sans sand and surf, didnít help either.

Sunday was Taint. The DJ's set consisted almost entirely of songs that weíve played at bluestate, with the difference being that nearly everybody danced. As a DJ, the number of people dancing is important to me as a form of feedback, so I was quite envious of that kind of crowd. Maybe if we move from working at joints on 14th Street to bars on 17th Street, weíd get a better reactionÖ

Itís good to go home safe in the knowledge that you were at the most fun event of the night bar none, and Taint was certainly that. The musical guest, with the former term used loosely, was an electroclash-performance art act, dressed in nothing but red "DANGER" tape and backed up by synthesizer and a Minidisc of drum machine beats. I think some of the people watching her performance were genuinely scared.

Also, for nearly half the night, the DC9 screens ran Aphex Twin videos. Yes, theyíre artistic, but they donít mesh well with Franz Ferdinand, The Rapture and The Cardigans.

Now, itís Monday and Iím doing work. These days, that translates to "blogging."

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May 27, 2005

I'll Link For Ya

(Alternate title: "Do You Really Want To Win Me?")

Like Culture Club? Bluestate has a contest for a free copy of their new CD/DVD and some classic albums.

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May 26, 2005

Double Whammy

If someone decided to try to design an automobile that would piss me off more than anything else on four wheels, they could start with a Hummer. Then, they could put a big picture of Sean Hannity on the side.

20th and M, NW, 2 p.m.

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Cleaning up around the house, I decided to finally clean up the pile of reciepts, ticket stubs and coupons that sit in a box on top of my dresser. In addition to free sandwich cards at Cosi and Subway, I found ticket stubs for many of the shows I've seen since I moved here nearly two years ago. I don't have stubs for the shows where I purchased tickets at the box office on the night of the show or when I came as a plus-one, but these stubs are a fairly good representation of what I've been listening to since 2003 or so:

  • Radiohead, 8/20/03, Merriweather Post Pavillion. It takes an act like Radiohead to overcome the sh*ttiness of MPP. They even played "Creep"! Also, I got my job from this gig by giving a ride to the previous holder of my newly-former position.
  • The Ravonettes, 9/6/03, Black Cat. My birthday present. I was drunkety-drunk-drunk.
  • Hot Hot Heat, 10/10/03, 9:30 Club. The third HHH show I've been to. Each time they're more sober and playing a bigger venue. At this rate, they'll be playing RFK as a straightedge act.
  • Yeah Yeah Yeahs, 11/8/03, 9:30 Club. A "special midnight show" that started at around 1. Karen O tore it up true to form. When will they release another album?
  • Franz Ferdinand, 6/30/04, 9:30 Club. The most hyped show of the year. It was good, but in retrospect, I wish I was standing front and center instead of on the balcony.
  • The Streets, 7/1/04, 9:30 Club. I got close to the stage for this one and was rewarded with a little too much Mike Skinner sweat. But still awesome. Opener Dizzee Rascal was pretty good too, but the crowd wasn't into it quite yet.
  • Ted Leo/Pharmacists, 12/2/04, Black Cat. Plagued by technical problems and a crowd that thinned out midway through to catch the last train out, they were better at the Ottobar a few months before (no stub).
  • Q and not U, 12/30/04, Black Cat. Hotness, pure and simple. Packed to the gills and jumping up and down for the length of the show.

I think there are some trends here. First, I go to shows in bursts of a few at a time, then none at all for a while. This year is a particular long lull, although I did see a few shows not listed here (Futureheads, Monopoli, etc.) but I lack the stubs. Second, I tend to see what's hot at the moment. Am I that much of a trend follower?

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May 25, 2005

Off the plane, into the club

Good times last night at Saint-Ex. We went for a more laid-back approach realizing that there is no way we can get most people to dance in that tiny little space. It worked well, I think, even though we were up against Cloneplay at the 9:30 and Cartel/Snowden down the block at the Black Cat.

Out setlists are here.

There's a super-secret Bluestate private gig some time this weekend, so if you're invited, consider yourself cool. If you're not, consider yourself a member in good standing of the Cleveland Park Men's Club (just kidding). Highlights to come -- I'm off to Baltimore to get my bike.

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May 24, 2005

The S.O.B. has landed


See you at Saint-Ex!

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May 23, 2005


If all goes well, I will arrive at National with just enough time to shower, change and pack for Bluestate at Saint-Ex. Should my plane arrive late, I'll have to cut out one of these things, so if I show up naked and sopping wet, you'll know why.

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May 20, 2005

What I get for posting without reading DCist first

If it didn't rain this morning, I would have taken the Metro to National and got an Express from a hawker. Then, I wouldn't have been 14 hours late in knowing that I made the paper.

What I like so much about the reference (it's a PDF I'm having trouble copying and pasting from) is that it's so nonchalant about this site and the loathsome list because, you know, everybody knows about it. Have I reached the point of ubiquity? Complete market saturation?

I really need to work on my neck muscles. Every time something like this happens, my ego gets too big to be supported by these tired shoulders. So I'll just go to bed now, and when I wake up, I'll still be broke and anonymous.

PS: Let's just get this straight for the record: DCSOB gives its seal of approval to the Washington Socialities, but enjoys pushing CPMC's buttons. Try not to spill any single-malt scotch on the keyboard, guys.

They are not the same. Are we clear?

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Travel day


Weather at 8 a.m.: D-
The cabdriver trying to figure whether or not he could rip me off by asking me if I lived in D.C.: C- (no, he wasn't just making conversation)
DCA securty lines: A- (!!)
American Airlines: B-
Chicago El: B+

I'll be back soon, I promise.

UPDATE: For no reason, here is a picture of the webmaster posing with giant fish carasses. Knife goes in, guts come out, that's what Smorgasblog is all about.

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May 19, 2005

OK, this is sorta funny

Props to the Ex? Here?

Intern humor will get you far, grasshoppa.

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In praise of the D.C. DMV


I've had to deal with motor vehicle agencies here and in New York, Maryland and Massachusetts and I can safely say that the D.C. DMV is the fastest, most efficient agency I've dealt with so far. Never have I had to wait more than half an hour for any service in D.C., something I can't say for the other states (I waited an hour to change title in Maryland and 90 minutes to get my learner's permit in New York).

New York and Maryland force you to spend money for inspections every one or two years (I spent $62 in Maryland once) at an independent shop that may or may not require an appointment. There is one big inspection location in Washington, and as long as you avoid the lunch rush, you're in and out fairly quickly. On top of that, if you renew your inspection on time in D.C., it's free. I went today, and they even scraped off my old inspection sticker!

So three cheers for this oddity of local government: the relatively efficient DMV.

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May 18, 2005

Midweek culture roundup

Here are some things I have been listening to/watching in my idleness:

Hot Chip, Coming on Strong: I think I might enjoy this U.K. next next next big thing if I was sitting in an all-white Swedish modern apartment and took two shots of Nyquil. It's not downtempo per se, but it lacks excitement and feels clean and soothing, like witch hazel. Expect all the people who were going nuts over the Postal Service last year and are currently going nuts over Headphones to go nuts over this once it gets released stateside.

Weird War, If You Can't Beat 'Em, Bite 'Em: Like most people, I never understood The Make-Up's whole "Gospel Yeah Yeah" thing either, and I read the manifesto on the record sleeve of In Mass Mind three times. Ian Svenonious's newest band keeps rollin' with the white boy funk, but adds harder guitars that muddle the requisite odd lyrics. Standout tracks include "AK-47" and "Store Bought Pot."

Season 1 of "Sex and the City": Thank goodness TBS finished the series and is starting over again. Since it's been forever since I saw the first season, and it's a bit jarring to see how much it has changed since the beginning. Gone are the man-on-the-street clips and the honest-sounding monologues of the bit part. I understand that in order to get past the material in the original book, the writers had to wrap everyone up in season-long plotlines and cut the cast down to a few regulars. Sure, it was good up to the very end, but something was lost in the process.

SNL with Will Farrell: The "more cowbell" act during QOTSA's performance was funny. Nothing else was.

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May 17, 2005

Silly tourists

Mercilessly mock these D.C. tourist photos.

Then, when you visit another city, pretend that you don't do the same things.

(via BoingBoing).

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Tinfoil hat transit

Most people who work for WMATA and the Washington Times are complete idiots. When they get together, magic happens:

"According to the new policy, personal SmarTrip information may be released by Metro only in what are called "limited instances" -- the request must be made by the registered user of the SmarTrip card, there must be a court order, or the request must come from law enforcement when the information is required in the course of an investigation in which time is of the essence.

"Basically, it means nobody can get an individual's SmarTrip data," said Lisa Farbstein, a Metro spokeswoman."

So nobody can see my SmartTrip data.

Or The Man can see my SmartTrip data.

Which is it?

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May 16, 2005

The merch table


Bluestate has a CafePress store. All proceeds go to our legal defense fund.

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May 13, 2005

Day 5: I've mastered this game


What are you doing today? I'm at CyberSTOP Cafe on 17th and Church, sitting outside and eating cheesecake. If I could get paid for sitting outside and eating cake, I'd be made.

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Does Merriam-Webster have a SWAT team?

Metro Pike Center, Rockville, Md.

When I'm the Supreme All-Powerful Dictator of the Metro Area (any day now...), I'll force every sign factory, shop and shoppe to hire a full-time copy editor.

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May 12, 2005

Maybe we shouldn't be telling them to 'follow the light' quite yet

Business brought me to Union Station this morning, where I saw a new twist on a familiar site. Outside the station during the noontime light rain walked a bus full of old ladies, ready for the weather in clear rain bonnets. In front of them, a tour guide stood with his closed umbrella aloft, a traditional guidepost for tour groups. But this time, a new twist: he had a flashing bicycle light on top.

It's like the cars that go in front of and behind wide loads on the highway.

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Some things shouldn't leave K Street

Greetings from 17th Street's Steam Cafe, a quiet little joint that has free WiFi, paninis, crepes and strange fruit drinks, none of which I have the least intention of trying. The WiFi is a little slower than SoHo, but it's nonsmoking and slightly quieter, so I can prepare for the next Bluestate. No hot new tunes for your dancing pleasure so far, but I'm thrasing in my seat to Rage's cover of "Maggie's Farm." Although I think Audioslave is complete DC101 cr*p, I still loves me some Rage.

So anyway, I was walking through Dupont Circle after iPod Jukebox last night when a severely dolled-up tart who couldn't have been a day over 19 walked up to me and asked for a light.

"Sorry, don't have one," I said.

"I'm looking for something to do. Going anywhere?" she said.

"Naah, heading home. Try the Front Page across the street over there. They usually have people there on a Wednesday."

"Do you think that there will be guys there who wanna spend some money and have a good time?"

"Umm, no."

Then I high-tailed it up the street. Am I so out of touch with today's youth that I can't tell the difference between a new-in-town intern separated from her pack of 20 ASU undergrads and an actual, genuine hooker? Perhaps it would have been different if I was on the traditional prostitute streets (16th and K).

But seriously, a Dupont streetwalker? Say it ain't so!

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May 11, 2005

Out of Step

This time last week, I could see the Capitol from outside of my office building.

Today, I spent the length of the evacuation scare at SoHo Tea & Coffee, blissfully unaware of what was happening on the hill. When I had my fill of coffee and wifi, I went to the gym (ugh, so... much... pain...) and watched Law & Order: S[pecial]. Epatha Merkerson Unit while rockin' the elliptical.

I got home, did some dishes, nurse my wounds and then finally turned on the set about 15 minutes ago. People running from the Hill? Screaming tourists? How did I get through the day in central D.C. without knowing anything about this? The streets around Farragut and Dupont were about as full as they normally are and I didn't see any more cops on the street. A few miles, and one job, really do make a big difference.

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Day 3: Call it irony

Picnicing yesterday afternoon in the shadow of the Gandhi sculpture on Q street, I quipped to Jeff that my recent problems during this current unemployment phase are completely attributable to my desire to get out and do things. Had I never gone to the gym, I wouldn't have nearly passed out and I would be able to move my arms and legs without pain today. If I hadn't applied for the temp gig, I wouldn't have been labeled a sociopath. Perhaps staying in is the best option: no activity, no trouble.

Well, I left the house at 9:50 this morning, only to find a parking ticket on my car. I was in a Wednesday street cleaning zone that runs from 9:30-11:30 a.m., so now I'm out $30.

You just can't win.

So now I'm at SoHo, trying not to touch anything or interact with anyone.

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May 10, 2005

Day 2: Menace 2 Da Office


I've always been told that when you don't have a job (or school), it's best to get out of the house to do something, whether job-search-related or not. So far, that hasn't proven to be too wise.

I set off for the gym to get a free trial membership, something that will likely become a running gag around here as I bounce from gym to gym every 1, 3 or 5 days, depending on the coupon. Freebies are nice, but the only catch is that you have to sound interested for the sales pitch and be willing to discuss your goals, such as "find something to replace blogging as the most physically-demanding activity I do on any given day."

This gym set me up with a personal trainer after the sales pitch, a nice guy who talked to me about what I wanted to do and my previous workout/sports history (I got cut from middle school wrestling in tryouts). We worked for about half an hour, exercising muscle groups I forgot I had, when all of a sudden I started to see fuzzy rainbows and lose my balance mid-lunge. I stopped, had some water, then went back to work. Then it happened again, with the addition of temporarily losing hearing. Since the trainer didn't want me to faint, he told me to rest up, drink water and go home. Probably a good idea, since I don't usually get the vapours and today isn't a good day to start.

I went home on my own power and checked my email to find that the temp agency with which I signed up had a problem with my application and would not hire me. After verbally darting and weaving with the temp agency woman to get her to tell me why I'm not qualified to stuff envelopes for $11 per hour, she eventually stopped blaming my references and fessed up that I had failed the computer-administered personality test, doing miserably on nearly every category, including punctuality (I'm annoyingly on-time, even when drunk) and working with others, even though everyone in Bluestate will tell you that I'm a dream coworker.

So, what's next? A new temp agency with lower standards for sociopaths like myself? Selling blood plasma? We'll see. Right now, I have an appointment with Mr. Vodka and Mr. Potato Salad.

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Important Bluestate note

Yes, I read this (last item).

No, Jenna Bush will not be at our Saint-Ex event on May 24.

Not even if she asks nicely.

Why? Because she will request "Candyshop."* I just know it.

*Yes, there are some people, notably my neighbors K and K, whom I would like to see there and who would request "Candyshop" if given the chance. It's called a double standard and you should start getting used to it.

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May 9, 2005

Unemployment, Day 1

It really is different waking up late on a workday than on a weekend or a holiday. There is construction outside, somewhere east of here, and it served as a more gradual and pleasant start to the day than Russ Parr's Chuck D imitation (which I set my alarm clock to solely because it would motivate me to get up to turn it off).

Walking down the street, passing all the well-dressed people sans dogs and shopping bags, everything seems a bit crisper and quicker.

If I can keep up this whole "leaving the house at a reasonable hour" thing, this jobless thing might be a lot of fun.

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May 6, 2005

Fire in the disco!


Photos and setlists here.

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Are we talking about the same 1223?

From a previously unknown bar guide site linked by Kelly Ann Collins, we have perhaps the most wildly incorrect bar review ever:

"Known as Twelve Twenty Three and ideally located in the heart of the Dupont district, DC's 'Premier Champagne and Caviar Club' is not easy to get into. Drop names or dress in Dolce and you might make it past the velvet rope. Once you do though you're in a classy inner sanctum that's well worth the wait. The dimly-lit bar has large cream couches that must be reserved in advance if you want to sit, but why not head for the VIP lounge which can be accessed with a few well-chosen words. There's a packed dance floor out back where DJs spin hip-hop, house and trance, while at various bar stations every cocktail known to man is being boldly built. Sure, it's a plastic-flashing designer-wearing kind of place, but regulars are fun, friendly and surprisingly unpretentious. Hey, our barman even asked for our names!"

Holy complete misrepresentation, Batman! I have been to 1223 (screw the roman numerals) on several occasions, and it's always been drunk 20-something corporates, Eurotrash or knock-off-label wannabe thugs. The music is unoriginal generic electronica or chart-whore rap, the bartenders are inattentive and the people are all obnoxious drunks -- by midnight, the women are loud and sloppy, the men are aggressive. Aside from peak hours when they make you wait until a few people leave to free up some room inside, I've never had to wait to get in and I certainly never had to drop any names. The fact that 1223 is the "premier" anything stuns me, since champagne, caviar, attitude and exclusivity can be found in greater quantities and of higher quality elsewhere.

But maybe this review is in some ways accurate. It correctly gauges what people who go to 1223 really think of themselves. If you've just started your first job and are living in your first non-college apartment, you want to ditch the beer pong and t-shirt phase of your life in exchange for drinks in actual glasses and threads that are a little more, well, striped. Or perhaps you're a "consultant" of some sort, (illegally) yapping into your $500 smartphone while driving up Connecticut Avenue in the BMW roadster you've gone into unwise levels of debt to lease. Either way, you think you're the bees knees and any bar/club you frequent is, just like you, the height of coolness.

And when you're on the right side of the velvet rope, it's all good at the 'Premier Champagne and Caviar Club' of your own mind.

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¡Jueves Gigante!

Best. Bluestate. Ever.

Really, I don't say that every time.

This is the first Bluestate in which:

  • We went for six hours straight (and short-staffed, too!);
  • People were dancing the entire time from about 8 p.m. on;
  • We had to play a slow song to get people off the dance floor at the end of the night;
  • I completely ditched my setlist and played whatever the heck I felt like;
  • Thriller got busted out;
  • Someone broke the ladies' room toilet.

OK, so that last one isn't really a point of pride, but it does give you an idea of the wild and crazy nature of the night. Since we were playing a new venue (the now-confirmed-to-be-totally-awesome Chief Ike's), it took a little getting used to the crowd. As the night went on, we had a lot of spillover from other Adams Morgan bars and with each group of new people, new requests. For the record, if you go to Bluestate, you will not hear:

  • 50 Cent
  • Big & Rich (apparently either a country band or a brand of cheesecake)
  • AC/DC (although we *heart* them)
  • 311
  • Three Doors Down
  • "Some rap, because you aren't, like, playing anything we can, like dance to" (said while getting jostled and bumped by other people dancing)

That being said, I was able to a few several requests, which made me happy, because I aim to please.

More generally, I adapted to the uptown crowd by playing lots and lots and lots of 80s music, which was fine by me. There's a reason why it's so easy to go from !!! to Talking Heads to Interpol to A Flock of Seagulls.

I felt like I was straddling the line between Pitchfork and The Wedding Singer.

Special thanks to DCist for hosting the Cinco de Mayo event, and to Jeff, who literally danced for four and a half hours straight, bringing in anyone who got within twirling range. Following his stellar performance inspiring everyone to dance, we promote Jeff to the honorary position of Dance Commander of the U.S.S. Bluestate.

And of course, thanks to everyone who came out to Chief Ike's!

A Dance Commander.

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May 5, 2005

"Do you mean that there's a NEW Mexico?"


7pm. Chief Ike's. Cinco de Mayo.

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May 3, 2005

Happy days are here again

I marvel at how fast I can go from being a social butterfly, hosting and attending parties, seeing shows, exploring new areas and otherwise being an active member of the community to falling asleep at 8:30 and working seven days a week. I haven't had a full two-day weekend without work (no, bluestate doesn't count) in months, and I haven't seen a show in nearly as long. My trip on Saturday to see The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was my first new movie in five weeks.

That being said, the blog has been a little dry over the last couple of days, and that's completely my fault.


As we speak, I have 3.5 days left at my current job and counting. Just like someone else, I don't have anything else lined up, so I should be free for a little while. For you, that means more bloggy goodness. For me, it may eventually mean food stamps.

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May 2, 2005

We put the sin in synergy

DCFÜD ranks D.C. and finds some joints that are surprisingly not rank.

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The drink specials for Thursday's bluestate/DCist happy hour:

$3 Corona & Pacifico bottles $5 Cuervo & Sauza tequila $5 margueritas (rail) $3 domestic bottles (Bud/Budlight/Miller Lite) $4 rail drinks

No excuse to be sober.

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