Monday, March 2, 2015

Adventures in Audio - Catch Up: Part II : Adventures 11-13

Continuing on my quest to catch live music at 50 different venues:

On the top of the list of things that I have learned to appreciate about the music community in DC is its use of space. Shows and concerts are not  restricted to clubs, bars, and venues that charge service and handling fees.   From libraries to museums, house basements and churches, all kinds of spaces around the District open up their doors to community events, especially musical performance of all tastes and flavors. I have especially been moved by the amount of churches that exemplify community by becoming welcoming, safe and unique venues, even for music that  falls outside of the realm of so called churchy music . No proselyting, no guilt ridden sermons, not even a needed pronouncement of faith when you walk through the doors, just a heart and ear for some really good music, which at times is the perfect solace for the soul.  It just goes to show that something is sacred because you make it sacred.

Adventures in Audio #11: Jazz Night @ Westminister Church, SW (The Jazz Church), Washington DC
Started over a decade ago, Jazz Night at the Westminster Church in Southwest, known by the locals simply as the Jazz Church, has become a most beloved tradition. Every Friday night local and nationally known Jazz groups play in the main sancutary area and Soul Food is served in the basement, and if you don't think listening to a trumpet player so good it makes you want to cry while eating red beans and rice and pie is the greatest thing, then I don't think we can ever be friends. The night that I went with a friend, we ended up sitting by a couple who have been coming to Jazz Night since the beginning. They were both in their 80's, married for over 60 years and have been living in DC since the 1950's. In between sets, they shared with us stories of living under segregation, traveling to all 7 continent, raising 6 kids and all the secrets of a happy life. I honestly felted honored to be hearing their story. 


Adventures in Audio #12: Punk Rock Show @ St. Stephen & the Incarnation Episcopal Church, Washington, DC
“So I went to this punk rock show at a church on Saturday . . .  It sounds like the set up for a joke, but in reality it is the beginning a great true story.  Actually, St. Stephen's has been hosting all kinds of community events for decades:  country square dancing, breakdance contests, punk rock shows. If lost souls need somewhere to go, the doors of this church up in Columbia Heights, will always be open. On the night that I went, the first band that played, the Black Sparks are young kids, like high schoolers, but when the singer grabbed the microphone he ROARED. This was the first time I saw this local band, so I was a little taken back, but then I just had to smile. If this the future of America, we are all going to just fine. 
Bands played: Black Sparks, The Rememberables, Radiator Hospital, Max Levine Ensemble 

Adventures in Audio #13: John C. Reilly and Friends at Sixth and I Synagogue, Washington DC
Picture this: Oscar nominated actor John C. Reilly and friends playing old tymey American folk songs in the sanctuary of a synagogue, makes perfect sense, right? Totally.  The friends Mr. Reilly brought included vocalist Becky Stark and singer-songwriter Tom Brosseau I’ve been to several events at this historical synagogue, from musical performances to community events and each time has been a wonderful experience in such a lovely peaceful place. During their DC visit the group also stopped by NPR to tape a Tiny Desk Concert of their sad cowboy songs. 

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