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Casey Trees Member Event at Fathom Gallery – 10/02/13

I went to the Casey Trees Autumn Member Event held at the Fathom Gallery on 14th St. NW Washington, DC.
This event was to thank donors and increase their membership. Casey Trees works with the city of Washington, DC to increase the percentage of greenery within the city. Their mission is to “To restore, enhance and protect the tree canopy of the nation’s capital.”
To learn more or to become a member can be done by visiting the Casey Trees Website.

You can get updated information by following the Casey Trees Facebook page.

It was a very nice event and the space at Fathom Gallery was lovely, particularly the outdoor deck in the rear of the building with two skylights that give you a view of Fathom Creative below.

As always, remember to water your neighborhood trees. They need more water than we realize. I saw this for myself within the last 3 years of living in my neighborhood. I have watered one of 3 trees in my block, and the one in front of our house stands tall and strong, while the other two appear to be struggling.

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Casey Trees Staff

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Mark Buscaino, Casey Trees Executive Director

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Future planting plans

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Friends of McMillan Park, Washington, DC

I volunteered for the Annual Crafty Bastards Arts and Crafts fair held over two days this past weekend at Union Market in Washington, DC. On the first of many trips back and forth to the car to drop off a load of multiple purchases, I ran into a guy standing by the western gate holding a clipboard and asking me if I wanted to sign a petition. I learned that he was with Friends of McMillan Park and he gave me a brief history of an area of land that I have driven by for the last 22 years. Whether I was criss-crossing the city on Michigan Avenue next to the Washington Hospital Center or barreling down the length of the city on North Capitol Street, I always admired the look of what I thought was just the water reservoir with its low lying silos and fenced in expanse of land. I did not know that  I was looking at The Sand Filtration Site which is part of the larger historic McMillan Park Reservoir.

My new friend explained that starting with Mayor Fenty, the city has eagerly wanted to redevelop the land with condominiums, apartments, retail shopping, and parks. Of course many people are against this, and though I didn’t even know this was going on before this past weekend, I am against it too. I signed the petition, and urged anyone I knew at the fair to do the same.

A good friend of mine told me that she went on a tour of the site about a year ago, and a large part of it is underground, which was spectacular to see. The site is now closed to the public, which is unfortunate. I want to see it for myself.

Besides taking a look at the Friends of McMillan website where you can take action and sign their petition, I also learned more on the New Columbia Heights blog which had a post back in June 2013 on the same subject.

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Honky Tonk saved my life and introduced me to Jim McCoy’s Troubadour Lounge & Park in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia three times in one year.

Headed off to Berkeley Springs, West Virginia for another episode of “Colonel Josh & the Honky Tonk Heroes plays at Jim McCoy’s Troubadour Lounge and Park”.

We play on Saturday, September 7th from 9pm until close, and then again on Sunday, September 8th for Jim McCoy’s Patsy Cline Tribute, although we’ll be playing all George Jones songs that day since his birthday is coming up too.

We are considering this event our long awaited CD Release Party.

Check out Jim McCoy’s Troubadour Lounge and Park’s website for more information.

Print off a poster for yourself:

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Jim McCoy’s Troubadour Lounge and Park

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Photo by Joseph P. McRedmond

 

Meet Jim McCoy himself

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Photo by Joseph P. McRedmond

Grill some meats on this special smoker

Photo by Joseph P. McRedmond

Photo by Joseph P. McRedmond

And experience views like this

Photo by Joseph P. McRedmond

Photo by Joseph P. McRedmond

and hear tunes like this

 

We do sure hope y’all can make it.

 

 

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Stories from the Porch

ADVAETA records 2 songs in a rowhouse music studio next to my house

I was sitting on the front porch smoking a roll up when a SUV with New Jersey license plates pulls up filled with young women who looked like they were lost, but then their looks turned to open hostility when they pulled into the alley and stared me down from their open windows. They drove around back and pulled into my neighbor’s backyard and started to unload guitars and a bunch of big amplifiers.  I watched them a bit as I took the trash out, and then I went back out to the front porch. My neighbor comes out onto his porch with a bowl of guac, and a bag of hard shell tortillas, and I ask him if he is recording a band today. He says “Yeah, I met this band last night, they played at a house over on Delafield, and someone videoed them, but the sound didn’t come out, so I’m recording two of their songs to go with the video.” I asked him what they were called, and he said he did not know.  He went outside when they played the night before because they were so loud, and he already has done some severe damage to his right ear. I thought to myself, great, a super loud band recording in the row house next to mine on a Saturday afternoon, what have I done to deserve this?

So after they finished bringing their equipment into the back of the house, they pulled back around front and headed for the house, and I overcame my shyness and asked them what the name of the band was.

Two of the ladies both had to say it twice before I could understand.

ADVAETA

I prepared myself to be extremely annoyed at having my peaceful day ruined by loud noises coming through the walls, the bass rattling the pipes, the floor vibrating, but I was resigned to accept what was about to happen to me, as I have when Paperhaus, or Lightfoot, or  other bands would rehearse or record at various hours on various days for the past year. I wasn’t going to be “The Pumpkin Eater”, who lived next door to us in Mt. Pleasant and called the cops on us multiple times while we were working out our lurid traversals.

Turns out that ADVAETA is great and quite the professionals. They busted out two tunes in the time it took me to dry off from a shower and perform my home dental hygienic routine.

For some reason they brought to mind Nisennenmondai, who graced us all with their presence here in DC a few years back at the Warehouse Nextdoor, along with another quick show in Baltimore, and who stayed with my wife and I in our former apartment over by the Cathedral. While their manager, Katoman, and I went out to Aroma, the Nisennenmondais crafted with the wife. I also remember that Katoman’s suitcase was so heavy at 100 lbs that the check in staff at BWI Airport made him split everything into several other bags. His suitcase was so heavy, in fact, that when I started to pull out of the airport onto the on ramp after getting them settled in, my muffler fell off of my Oldsmobile.

I started to seek ADVAETA out on the googleplex machine though I didn’t really know how to spell their name. Kept finding information about a similarly named Indian fusion band.

The rest is the best of what I found and I hope to catch them next time they come back to town. I wanted to ask them if I could take a picture, especially when one of them was standing on top of their SUV, but I was too shy to ask them. It turned out to be a good day after all and I learned something new.

If this keeps up, I will never have to leave the house.

“Advaeta Made Me Brunch” from My Social List Blog

This tune on the youtube is powerfully moving.

Advaeta Blogspot

ADVAETA Indian Summer Tour Dates from Hear.Say Press

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The Thai Room is Under New Managment, and They’re Serving Smoked Ribs and Chicken, and a lot of Bourbon

From what I can tell, the Thai Room that used to be on Connecticut Avenue in NW DC up there where Nebraska Avenue crosses, closed up shop in 2005 after a 30 year run.  I think there’s some kind of ping pong pizza restaurant with an even better known locally famous sign there these days that lets free form jazz pick up combos make experimental noises in the back.

I moved to the Washington, DC area in 1991, first to Arlington, then finally helping to start up a group house in Mt. Pleasant in 1993 with some other musicians that only liked to play in odd time signatures. The Thai Room was just always there. I know I went there on at least one date, maybe two, and I can’t remember if there were many other Thai restaurants around at the time. Couldn’t tell you if the food was good or not. Not sure if my palate was advanced enough at the time, probably isn’t that advanced even now.

But I do remember liking two things:

– All the green plants they had in the windows

– And their sign

I am not sure where the plants ended up, and if they are still living healthy plant lives or not.

I hope they are.

But I know where the sign is.

It’s in my friend’s backyard.

The Thai Room sign lives on. Photo by Joseph P. McRedmond

The Thai Room sign lives on.
Photo by Joseph P. McRedmond

The new Thai Room is now located in the old Walter Reed area of Washington, DC and serves a seasonal prix fixe menu. Last time I was there I was offered deliciously smoked pork ribs, a green bean salad brought by another guest, and teeny tiny roasted potatoes. They have a strict BYOB policy, so I accompanied my meal with a 24 pack of Modelo Especial. Usually there is bourbon readily available, but the chef had finished it off two nights before, and finished all the Hornitos Tequila before I had arrived. Since the actual Thai Room Restaurant portion of the new site is only located outside, within the confines of a worn down fence that at times may catch fire from randomly placed candles, they have a smoking “at-will” policy, which is pretty nice (I almost wrote “sweet” here, but everyone knows I don’t actually talk that way). The new owners smoke more cigarettes than are usually available, and you may at a moment’s notice be sent out on a “ciggy run” to one of the many nearby liquor stores to make a transaction through bullet proof glass. One of the last times I visited this establishment, I was smoking on the upper deck waiting for an order of fish tacos with smoked jalapeno peppers, when I and all of the other guests were pelted by unripened pears tossed over the fence by neighborhood youths who immediately fled when I stood on my rocking chair and pointed directly at them with a look that said “you little mongrel pricks”.  Other nights I had enjoyed smoked chicken without incident. And I vaguely remember a special holiday dinner for St. Patrick’s one year that featured corned beef hash nicely done and accompanied with Jameson’s and those big bottles of Guinness Extra Stout.

Other pluses that make this joint favorable to me are:

– The availability of parking though it’s on a one way street

– The human jukebox who only plays 78 rpm records through one of those furniture pieces your grand pappy used to have

– The utilization of grown on the premises vegetables (tomatoes, lettuces, peppers, cucumbers)

– The homemade pickles

– The puppy who doesn’t bark and smells good.  Really good. The puppy in fact provided the after dinner entertainment the other night by leaping back and forth into the sprinkler.

The biggest plus for me is that if there is a queue for the single occupancy water closet sandwiched between two bedrooms , it is encouraged by the management that you piss in the garden.

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Unemployable (Time to Make the Buttons)

I lost my job this week, and moments after it happened my first great big creative idea that came out of nowhere was to make “Unemployable” buttons with my American Button Machine that I ordered from their official site .

American Button Machine Photo by Joseph P. McRedmond

American Button Machine
Photo by Joseph P. McRedmond

I was excited and figured with my new found freedom that if I worked hard enough all I had to do was make 500 thousand and sell them for a dollar each.

As soon as I got home I searched the internet to see if this idea had been done yet to date and immediately found that it had. First website I looked at was Zazzle and I saw that they had already thought this through at their own site and they are selling them for much more than a dollar.

I think though, with your help, we could improve upon the design.

I am free most of the week if you want to help me get started on this project.

First Button Attempts Photo by Joseph P. McRedmond

First Button Attempts
Photo by Joseph P. McRedmond

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