Friday, July 27, 2007

Britney, Paris, Lindsay: Is There a Pattern Here?

Lohan: "Toxicology reports will prove I'm completely innocent. It was just a tip for the valet. Now will you please just let me resume ruining my once-promising career?"

So, stop me if you've heard this one: Britney Spears, Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan drive into a bar...

Hold up. It's easy to make light of this. But really, this is a serious matter.

We must join together to save our vanishing bimbos!

One of America's greatest resources, a seemingly endless supply of dumb, marginally- talented bimbos (many of whom are only blondes because our abundant springs of naturally- occurring peroxide), seem to be disappearing like spotted owls, dodos, and good five cent cigars, into rehabilitation centers, correctional facilities, and off-Broadway dinner theater. Who will be left to joke about? How will Springer keep his show on? And will the "Girls Gone Wild" franchise fold?
We can't sit idly by and let this happen. Help us protect these young, fragile, flatlining, egomaniacal, spoiled rotten multi-millionairesses from themselves. Send your generous donations today to:

Tonya Harding and Pamela Anderson's Etiquette and Finishing School for Young Ladies
c/o Selma's Trailer Park
P.O. Box #673
Wheeling, West Virginia 26004

Ladies, call ahead for reservations- the double wides fill up mighty early, especially after Bike Week at Daytona. And tell 'em 1600 sent ya!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Support a Local Legend

On Sunday, July 29th, a benefit will be held at the WORLD FAMOUS 9:30 Club, 815 V St., in Washington DC, for a much-beloved local music hero, Tom Terrell. In addition to his music journalism and photography exploits, Tom turned heads and turntables at both the old 9:30 Club, and host of the Cafe C'est What? on WHFS-FM radio (you remember- back when they still rocked!) before pursuing a career as a rep for Mango/Antilles and Verve Records. His many friends in the DC area, including bands such as 9353, the Beatnik Flies, Tommy Osborne, Bobby Donovan, and Virginia and the Blue Dots, among many others, will be entertaining that evening, in a star-studded gala to help contribute to Tom's medical expenses. The doors open at 4 p.m., and tickets are only $20. Be there and show your support for one of the iconic figures in the D.C. music scene, a legendary DJ and all around nice guy. And if you can't make it to the club, your contributions (in checks or money orders, no cash) will also be gratefully accepted by:

The Tom Terrell Benefit Fund
c/o Dr. Bevadine Z. Terrell
1839 Otis Street NE
Washington, DC 20018

I can't think of a better way to spend a summer Sunday night, and reminisce with one of the folks that welcomed me to Washington, turned me on to a lot of great music, and made me decide to settle down here. I don't know if I remembered to say it then, but thanks for everything, Tom. I look forward to seeing you there!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Live Earthed to Death

Madonna- reinventing herself as a guitar player now? I don't think so!

OK, I'm sorry- I lied. It wasn't intentional. Really.

This isn't exactly about music. It's about benefits, and the beneficiaries of benefits from concerts for good causes, whether Bangladesh, Kampuchea, Amnesty International, or the Red Cross.
Did anyone try to watch that Live Earth debacle last week? What a train wreck.

Hatfield: Squeezing out a "Monster," or just getting zapped by his amp again? You decide!

As if we didn't get enough lame bands, lousy coverage, and pleas to our collective conscience to open our hearts (and wallets) to save the world at Live Eight, blah blah blah. At least they learned (or, did they?) not to have the VJs and guest commentators talking over the acts while they were still on, telling us how great it is to see the Chilis or a reunited Pink Floyd and how spectacular their performances are, which we would know ourselves, of course, if these numbskulls would get off the damn TV and let us watch, already!

But the biggest problem is, they're preaching to the choir.

The people that needed to have their collective consciences raised weren't the ones watching or listening. And they dismissed it all as lefty, tree-hugging propaganda. They don't care about the rest of the world, they don't care about music, they weren't tuned in and they weren't giving up a fucking dime. And on top of that, they (the networks, the sponsors, the folks that provided the services sold to the people that attended, from port-a-johns to beer and popcorn) actually made a shitload of money off of this thing!

I will refrain from getting into the whole "global warming- climate change" argument first because there's already a lot of facts as well as tons of disinformation out there about it, and I believe that if you're honest, you reach a logical conclusion very quickly that because of our sheer numbers, the activities we undertake, and our complacency and lack of respect for the environment, we're destroying this planet at breakneck speed. And also, I don't want to get into who's at fault because we all are, in some cases, for the mere reason we eat, breathe, consume, make garbage, and regularly defecate.

Finally, I'm not gonna get into this because Jerry will probably beat me senseless if I write another long diatribe. Whoops, but here we go again...

Left: Steve liked Kelly Clarkson; to me, she's just one more reason to want to pummel Simon

BECAUSE, as of 1998, Americans making less than $10,000 a year were donating approximately 4.3% of their annual incomes to charity, whereas the average of people making between $75,000 and $99,000 was under 2 percent! Back then, the national average for American households donating to charitable causes was something like $754 annually, and 7/10 households claimed to donate to at least some charities each year. Now, you might think that this figure is skewed because of the big corporate donors out there, right? Well, not so fast. In 1999, "Americans gave $190 billion in charitable gifts. $143.71 billion came from individual givers."

Not what you might think, huh? So more than 3/4 of the gifts to various different social, environmental, medical, political and religious charities were from private individuals. And mostly from ones we'd consider "poor."

(Note: statistics cited are provided courtesy of, and Independent Sector (, based on national surveys conducted among US households in May, 1999, as well as CNN, AAFRC's Trust for Philanthropy, the Chronicle of Philanthropy, and other sources. So I'm not making this shit up.) And keep in mind, too, that the US government trails the governments of nearly ALL OTHER DEVELOPED COUNTRIES for annual charitable giving. Like everything else, they want it to come from the people, while they spend our tax dollars on more prisons, and sell off our national parks to predatory developers and speculators....

Now what's the impact of all this dough, and perhaps more importantly, the increase in the awareness of the people watching and listening to do something for: [name your flavor of the day social cause here] ?

Zero. Zilch. Nada. Zip. Goose eggs.

They were the ones that tuned in. Their consciences are already aware, duh. And if they weren't aware before they tuned in, they'd have to be by the time AFI and the rest of the pontificators that were out there posturing about their own awareness were finished. Apart from his time and debatable "talent,"I wonder how much the jokers in AFI ponyed up that day for charity? Were all the bands playing free, or were their "expenses" (like travel, hotels, and salaries for their crews, and I'm sure, AFI's personal assistants, wardrobe, hairdressers and manicurists) deducted from the gate first?
(AFI: "We're so lame, you probably think that song was about us."
Even their haircuts suck.)

It's not to say this wasn't a good cause. And it should be a non-partisan one. Nobody really wants to ruin our air, water, and environment, and doesn't care about what we leave behind to the next generation, or the ones after that. Right? I'd like to think so. But I'd be deluding myself. Many of us are just complacent, but a few see money to be made in stripping the earth of non-renewable resources, letting poisonous bi-products contaminate the air and water so that the factories can make steel, chemicals, plastic, and all the other things we need and consume every day, bigger and faster and cheaper. And good luck finding a way around trying to buy their products, or products made from materials they furnish. There aren't any easy answers- that's why these things never get off the ground, no matter how many people are involved or how many countries they play in. Or to. Or for.

No doubt about it- some people do profit from the destruction of our planet- and profit BIG. They don't see themselves as the bad guys. And they don't give any more to charity than they can get away with in order to avoid taxes on their profits, or to avoid the bricks and barbs mobs would hurl at them for being acknowledged as the greedy, rapacious, self-centered looters they are. But Big Business today is hardly the benefactor and "steward of the public weal" that once upon a time, governments called upon the "captains of industry" to be, when their record profits would be reinvested in the economy and create more jobs and a better standard of living for all - you recall, the "trickle down" economics theory? Yeah, and I remember my Mom telling me about Snow White and a bunch of short guys when I was an impressionable tad, too. That's what it is- fairy tales. Never happened, never will. Or as Steinbeck put it, "Tell me about the rabbits, George."

How prescient.

So, shouldn't the musicians be the first ones in line to donate to these things, if they really believe in them? Not just playing free after expenses, but footing their own portion of the bill AND coughing up some real coin, too. As much as I dislike them, I gotta say, the fact that Smashing Pumpkins actually put their money where their mouths are and donated all proceeds from their 1998 tour to charities in 13 cities, and an additional $ 419,000 to Hale House (which cares for abandoned children) makes me think they're sincere about what they believe. To their credit, they didn't grandstand. It wasn't noted widely in the press. I can support a band like that (I may actually have to go out and buy Gish now!) and that does make a difference.

Smashing Pumpkins: practicing what they don't preach about

Alternatively, when me and 50,000+ other people at RFK Stadium were told by Michael Stipe that the Tibetan Freedom Festival was not going to continue after a woman on the infield was hit by lightning, and that they weren't giving refunds ("It's supposed to be a benefit, man") my immediate thought was, "Gee, Mike, you're the millionaire- why not donate the profits from your next album, or write a check? You can afford it! We paid $75 a head and saw about 4 bands, 2 of which I couldn't have cared less about. And we got charged $7 for a piss- warm beer, or $10 for a personal sized cheese pizza? Fuck YOU!" And then I don't want to ever buy another REM album: in fact, I want to turn the ones I already have into frisbees. Even though I like them a whole lot more than Smashing Pumpkins.

What's that? I hear Jerry snoring. Or is it Steve? I better wrap this up, quick.

The point is, they're going about this all wrong. Make a pay per view that I can record and edit later, and I'll pay a reasonable fee (not a pro wrestling steroid fest or championship fight-type charge in the $50 range, but maybe half of that) so I can get it and watch at my leisure. And keep ALL the money for charity. Or let us download the performances we want to see and keep for a donation (let's say, $1 or $2 per band) and avoid all of the acts you don't want to see, and the ads, the pontificating, and the whiny pleas to our humanity. Hell, I'll pay extra not to see that! C'mon, I got my checkbook out and pen in hand, get me while I'm vulnerable.

And then the inevitable multi-CD set will come out, missing most of the performances by the bands I like. And like Live 8, it'll also probably be a multi- DVD set, which I'll buy, and fast-forward with my remote through all the bands I can't stand, leaving maybe 2 good hours out of the 22 broadcast that I'll actually want to watch. Hopefully, at least some of the money raised by that will go toward what was intended- figuring out how to stop melting the polar icecaps before the coasts of every country look like New Orleans after Katrina, only more so. But most of the performance CD/DVD's that get released will best serve me as coasters.

Don't care enough to do that? Or just sick of the constant nagging to give what you can't really afford? CBS and other channels broadcast "highlights." That was free, and you can tune out the message and just watch the dinosaur bands and a bunch of talentless multi-millionaires tell you about how much they're doing and how much you should be like them. "And- oh yeah, stop downloading my songs because I can't afford the gas for my limo and the fleet of humvees at my 300 acre compound."

And thanks again to the gang on Capitol Hill for making sure it can't happen here!

Worst of all, it was supposed to be a free show, here, on the mall, until the overzealous reactionary assholes on the hill decided that it was both partisan and political, and killed it. That's why it was in New Jersey (that really didn't need the extra pollution the traffic caused any more than we did) and tickets cost between $55 for nosebleed and $355 for front and center seats. Plus imagine what they could have raked in if Anheiser Busch, Miller and Pepsi donated a portion of their receipts, and vendors did likewise on sales of hot dogs, popcorn, and nachos? Once again- I wouldn't be holding your breath waiting for all that money to kick in and start solving the problem.

A benefit is supposed to be a benefit, and a charity is supposed to be a charity. Do the research- see if the money actually reaches the people that it was intended for, or if the majority gets absorbed in "administrative costs" and other nefarious ways that sidetrack the money into some oily, self-proclaimed "humanitarian" rip-off artist's pocket. Ask the folks at the United Way, or a hundred other charities that were fleeced by their leaders to silence sexual harassment charges, grease their buddies' palms, or channel funds to election campaigns. There are a lot of analyses online about who does what with donations, look 'em up. Give where it matters, and buy from the people that give back. Don't throw what you have away.

Steve and Jerry are awake again, and coming after me with the wood chipper.

1600: now looking for someone to fill 3rd chair

I better get out of here. Sorry for the long gripefest again- really. But it was disappointing all the way around.

Trying to keep his limbs intact,


Thursday, July 12, 2007

Free Phil Spector!

Because accidents will happen.

Hello From Jerry!

Originally Posted by 1600 at 6/14/2007 10:01 PM

Comments will be "subject to moderation"?? Moderation is for pussies!!

If you're gonna do it, go whole hog, go wild, go nuts, go go go! We want the good, the bad and the ugly (much like the hosts of the show) not some PC censorship bullshit - this is not Fox (or is it Faux?) News holding onto the party line with the white-knuckled death grip of those who know deep in their bones that they are utterly, embarrassingly wrong and even dumber for knowing it and refusing to repent. OK, death threats would be extreme, and we're not interested in any kind of NAMBLA-type propaganda, but don't hold back on what you think about us, the show, or the state of RnR in this, the Grim Era, this Golden Age of Stupidity, the flowering Renaissance of Narcissism and Undue Entitlement, throbbing to the beat of manufactured pushbutton masturbation. We want you to wail like an extended Hendrix solo, to shine like the chrome on Keith Moon's drum kit, to pierce the darkness with that high, keening white light they throw onto the audience when it's their turn to sing along. Your words will be to us like the Bic (or Zippo, for you classicists) lighters that wave in a cavernous hall as a symbol of solidarity nd understanding, letting us know that, yes, we are not alone in understanding that our only relief and respite from the brutal naked greed of this idiot's circus is found in the tribal thump, joyous, anguished howls and ringing chords of whatever group of miscreants we choose to help us make sense of it all.

As Lennon said, whatever gets you through the night, it's alright, it's alright.

Unless of course it sucks.

Everybody's got an opinion and a reason for liking or disliking anything, and if you can present that reason in an intelligent and friendly fashion, we'll listen to it and possibly discuss it further. If not, prepare to be quickly dispatched with vicious severity and unrelenting scorn. Being foolish is fun - being a fool is not, as they are not suffered gladly, least by us.

So, have fun, enjoy, contribute and know you are now part of the family, dysfunctional as it may be.




Originally Posted by 1600 at 6/25/2007 8:38 PM

So, everything always happens at once, right?

Yeah, don't I know it. In spades!

Take concerts. Even in the entertainment mecca that is Washington, DC (and its surrounding metropolitan area) weeks and months may go by during which time maybe no show, or at most, only an act or two will catch my eye and motivate me to stop channel surfing, and get off my big behind to go to the box office at some venue (since I still will drive many miles and spend hours in traffic to avoid paying Ticketbastard so much as a plugged nickel for their monopoly fee- oh, excuse me, convenience charge). Convenient for them, maybe. (But to save yourself anywhere from $4-$8 off a ticket for any given show, get them at box office.) Save up all that dough you would have shelled out to the Evil Empire, and instead, buy yourselves dinner when you get there- or maybe even end up with an extra ticket or two over the course of a year- it really adds up. Or, you can use it to buy drinks for your pals from 1600 next time you see us out- we'll appreciate it!

But, as usual, I digress.

When concert season hits in DC, usually toward the end of spring when school is getting out, gas prices are going up, lawns need to be mowed, people flock to the beaches, the touristas come flocking in to see the monuments, the museums, the cherry blossoms- and all hell breaks loose simultaneously, demanding your attention in eighty seven different ways at once.

But I tell you, good people, don't neglect your live music appreciation. You've gotta make the time to be good to yourselves, at least once or twice a month, to see some of the great acts that perennially appear at Wolf Trap, the 9:30 Club, the Birchmere, The Warner Theater, Black Cat, the State Theater, The Iota, Jammin' Java, RFK and the Phone Booth- and for you really brave musicphiles, Merriweather Post and Nissan Pavilion. It takes wild horses to get us to drive that far, but for some bands, I'll even suffer that, if not without regrets: the crappy sound, obscured viewing, uncomfortable SRO, (and the $6 beers) 'cause I might not EVER get a chance to see some of these bands again. And it's especially important to jump on those show held in the intimate setting that some of the smaller venues provide- they do sell out. (And make sure you bring ID- even if your as old as the 1600 gang, you still have to show a valid picture ID in many places to be served. Don't say I didn't warn ya!)

Note: Wolf Trap actually lets you bring in your own food and beverages, including alcohol, for a picnic on their lawn. Just clean up after yourselves, and you'll be welcomed back again and again- a far cheaper way to enjoy dinner and a show! And charges zero fees at their box office!!!

So, after catching up on a rather soggy and cool Memorial Day weekend with our old pals, the Smithereens when they rolled into town for a free show at Herndon, we only saw a few of you out there dancing in the rain, hearing their classics and rallying around the band getting autographs and congratulating them on their latest release and loving homage to the Fab Four, "Meet the Smithereens."

Summer hadn't quite broken, but fortunately for you, your friends at 1600 were there to get the latest dirt straight from Pat, Thrilla, Jim and Dennis about their upcoming Christmas album, and the next new project already in the works. Since they played in San Francisco the night before and caught a red-eye into Dulles about 3 am, these poor guys must have been exhausted!

Nonetheless, fueled by beer, tobacco, fresh fruit, and your requests, they played an outstanding, energetic show jamming through the rain on their repertoire from Behind the Wall of Sleep to Yesterday Girl, Blood and Roses, and A Girl Like You, as well a few amped up Beatles' covers! (We had to wake poor Pat out of a dead sleep to do the interview, but he recovered pretty quickly!) Watch for that (to be aired soon!) and hear more about what the Boys from Jersey have up their sleeves next...and also check out for more Smithereens news- there's a link to his site and the band right on the links page!

(Right: The Smithereens: Jim, Pat, Thrilla & Dennis will be back in DC soon! Look for an announcement here!)

By the time June came around, we were all itching for the shows to start, and they did with a vengeance! Steve saw remnants of Black Sabbath touring under the name Heaven and Hell, with Megadeth. I'll let him tell you more about that one. We all saw- well, uh- heard Live from the Fairfax Public Access booth when they appeared at the Fairfax County Fair. We wondered out loud how they managed to get the incredible heat lightning to start forming when they did "Lightning Crashes." It must have taken a pretty big special effects budget- I wonder if Lucas and Spielberg were involved?

But as the dog days of June wore on, an opportunity of a lifetime surfaced as three solid days of can't miss music loomed closer. To start things off on the right foot, the one and only Twang Bar King, Adrian Belew and his Power Trio treated us to an earful of sonic fury, on Thursday June 21 at the cozy Vienna club, Jammin' Java. Wild noise was coupled with beautiful, delicate sounds that spanned his entire career, and the band previewed their upcoming release, "Side Four, " co-produced by Saul Zonana, who opened for the Power Trio with an impressive display of original songs that showcased a unique voice and some skillful guitar work in his own right. We were lucky enough to catch up to all of the touring musicians in Mr. Belew's company that night, and after a great interview (see it soon on Fairfax County Public Access Channel 10 and right here on supplemented by more stories and the general good spirits that followed, the Power Trio turned up the juice and performed a blazing show. It was a special night, indeed.

photo courtesy of Slick

From Beat Box Guitar to Matchless Man and Drive, from early solo favorites like Big Electric Cat to new arrangements of signature King Crimson tunes like Thela Hun Ginjeet, Elephant Talk, Neurotica, Dinosaur, and Three of a Perfect Pair, this well-rehearsed band had the chops to faithfully interpret the songs, while reinventing them with their own style and savvy. School of Rock alumnae Julie Slick on bass, and her brother Eric Slick on drums filled out the sound with poise and muscle. Eric never missed a beat, grinning and laughing as he traded licks with Adrian, while Julie stood serenely, calmly thumping her bass with a confidence, authority and ease that Tony Levin would have admired. All of this sheer enthusiasm created an unusual atmosphere of playfulness, not often seen among musicians of this calibre. The buoyant mood clearly made it an enjoyable night for players and audience alike, allowing Adrian the freedom to take off in different directions not always pursued in other bands, and he made the most of it- jamming, improvising, and putting on a virtuoso show. As always, he coaxed a jungleful of animal sounds out of his Parker guitar- seagulls, elephants, cats, rhinos, and yes, even a dinosaur.

One of many highlights of the show was a solo Lone Rhinoceros, the words lending empathy for a proud, endangered relic of a simpler time. This was followed (or was it preceded?) by a seemingly- spontaneous instrumental rendition of Within You Without You from Sgt. Pepper, imbued with his own touch and still unmistakable from the first note.

But it wasn't just the effects, the solos, the volume, or the complexity of what they were playing- the Adrian Belew Power Trio are a force to be reckoned with because they actually listened to each other, played off each other and they had a steady groove going all night long! The space they generously gave to create, to urge each other on, to jam, take risks, and explore the songs and make them their own- that was truly unique, and powerful. It's something I'll never forget because it is both rare and genuine. We really saw a spectacular, yet very intimate show. Thanks again, guys- you SHRED! The Adrian Belew Power Trio are in New York and next week, on their way to Japan as the tour continues, but stay tuned to this space for when they return to the area. You'll hear it here FIRST! In the meantime, check out the pics, news and a great bio video called "Life in a Nutshell" at (also on the infamous 1600 links page, with other planned domestic dates coming up and Side Four release info SOON!)

Well, after that earful, I had to rally to get psyched for Friday night: An Evening with the Richard Thompson Band at the 9:30 Club. As usual, the ubiquitous Simon Tassano, Thompson's co-producer on Sweet Warrior, his latest release, was on hand to masterfully handle the sound chores for the band. Whatever the problems their monitors might have had, it was unnoticed by the thousand or so fans who packed in on that steamy evening, and heard a band playing in good form, despite losing bassist Danny Thompson for an unexpected hiatus.

And let me just say a couple of words about Chris Richards' indelicate review of the show for the Washington Post: Apparently, you were at a different concert than the one I saw. Your tasteless, humorless, tone-deaf insults show a lack of appreciation and obnoxious disrespect for players that have spent their lives mastering their instruments. So stick to typing up reviews for the Journey/Styx/Foreigner arena shows or maybe the next Madonna tour, asshole. The subtlety of this show was clearly wasted on an ignorant neanderthal like you. Next time, stay home.

Thompson was accompanied by multi-instrumentalist Pete Zorn, Michael Jerome on drums, and Taras Prodaniuk filling in capably on bass. The band played a solid two hours + change set, featuring much of the new record. Singer- guitarist Thompson, ever the storyteller and glib stand-up comic worked the crowd with jokes and asides between songs. Zorn, always a crowd pleaser, did yeoman's duty on guitar, saxes, flute and vocals (and maybe even some mandolin?) and is as good an accompanist as Thompson has ever had in his band, which is saying quite a lot. Michael Jerome is a solid addition, playing atmospherically and then hard, fast and solid as the particular piece demanded. On this particular night, Thompson's anti-war paeans stood out, including an old favorite, Al Bowlly's in Heaven (And I'm In Limbo Now) about a WW II vet that was crippled in the war and reduced to being homeless for his loyal service, and the brand new Dad's Gonna Kill Me, a rocking lament by a soldier on the mission in Baghdad that doesn't expect to ever see home again. Unfortunately, these songs seem to become more and more timely with every new headline.

And classics such as Wall of Death, Gypsy Love Songs, 1952 Vincent Black Lightning, Read About Love and I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight sounded fresher than they have in years, perhaps because Thompson played with unusual aggressiveness and fire for much of the show, occasionally breaking up the frenetic pace with a slower tune like I Still Dream, as he almost crooned with his eyes closed, swaying behind the mike. But those moments were more the exception than the rule, as the quartet blazed with a gritty resolve and pulled out a few old chestnuts that hadn't been heard in years, prompting him to remark as he introduced one song "I don't even remember which album this was on." Yeah, there were a lot of solos-good ones, too- which is what you'd expect from a band playing with a last minute substitute on bass. Because maybe he wasn't quite as familiar with the material as the guy Thompson's been playing with for about the last 15 years. If you'd been paying attention, Chris, you'd have noticed that the only wanker there was you.

Note: If you visit, you can hear the show in it's entirety as it was streamed on National Public Radio. So judge for yourself. He's just played Bonnaroo and the band is touring the country now (tour dates are also posted there), so once again, try to catch this talented band next time through town- Richard Thompson is typically in the area a couple of times a year, and whether with his band or solo, outdoors or in, he doesn't disappoint.

Finally, on a bittersweet note, Saturday night local music fans were treated to a triple threat show at Chief Ike's as Colonel Klink, Los Hermanos Rodriguez, and The Originators took the stage for a music- packed free show. First, the trio Col. Klink provided some tasty surf guitar in their farewell performance, dishing out some deadpan humor and hot licks that made me wish they could have stuck together a little longer. Hoss, whether an original or a cover (smacking of classic surf rock hooks) was particularly good. The Hermanos, also bidding farewell to the DC area as their drummer leaves for Albania, would follow them almost immediately, playing a punkier, rowdy set that was uptempo and fun. The crowd got behind them, and danced and sang along with Odd Boy and other LHR favorites. They too, shall be missed.

Finally, the Originators launched into their high-octane original set. Boasting two bassists, dueling drummers, a keytarist and new guitarist (belated happy birthday, Robert!), Jessica was unfortunately drowned out in many instances by the limited sound quality that the venue provided. Still, their energy is infectious, and the group is beginning to develop a tighter sound that will be interesting to see as they evolve and progress. Stick around and see what happens, we'll be there to let you know when they get back on the road for a few more shows. And look for them next at Nanny O'Brien's, 3319 Connecticut Ave., NW, on June 30- get out and show your support! And if you miss that, there's the benefit for Miriam's Kitchen, Fri. July 13th at Club Asylum, 2471 18th Street, NW, in the heart of Adams Morgan, @ 9:00 pm! For a mere $7, your ears will be treated to the sounds of the Originators, the Omega Band and Chief Joseph- all for a worthy cause.

So be there- aloha.

Well, that was my "Lost Weekend."

I better rest up some before the next one. Sunday we were back at the studio working on some new 1600 shows for you. More surprises are on the way, so keep tuned in- and if we catch you watching American Idol in the meantime there will be hell to pay!

Love Ya,

Monday, July 9, 2007

Washington DC: Dante's Ninth Circle?

(from Dante's Inferno, illustrated by Gustav Dore
or, what's the just reward waiting for our elite misleaders in the next life?)

(NOTE: This is Bob, and I do not presume to speak for Jerry or Steve. And this may be offensive to some of our viewers. It's certainly long enough to make people angry I wrote so much, or alternatively, to put them to sleep. Please try to resist that. I make no apologies, and I welcome your comments.)

PS- I had to make some edits because I'm a lousy typist, and still had some vitriol left to aim at a few lowlife culprits I had forgotten...

So now it's even longer...get out the No-Doz! Stop me before I blog AGAIN!

Is Washington DC the Ninth Circle of Hell? It seems that way sometimes- I think Hell's geographic center is somewhere between Thomas Circle and Dupont Circle, and about 10,000 miles SOUTH. You can almost hear the laughter echoing. In the midst of what should be a paradise, they have forged new sins, baser depravities, and greater evils than our forefathers ever dreamed of- right under our noses! The traffic, the pollution, the greed, the hypocrisy, the crime, the unmitigated audacity....and, of course, the politicians. Or is that redundant? Yet here we sit, eyes glazed over as we watch day after day, year after year, chewing our Happy Meals with a double dose of Soma, placidly staring in morbid curiosity while we are talked down to by condescending con men, pushing cheap diversions, fast food, national pride and self-righteousness with the same sincerity one commonly finds in used car salesmen. Actually, they're a step (or two) up on the evolutionary ladder from politicians.

Turned down third term in Congress to make a comparatively honest living

So what do we do about clearing the air, having a real dialogue, and getting away from talking points, spin doctors, hidden agendas, cowardly media, and self-appointed guardians of the public interest fomenting class war and maintaining the inequities of the status quo? How do we fight back and bring this country back to the citizens that live here, fight for our country, and do the work that hasn't yet been outsourced to Calcutta? Bitching about stuff to your neighbor between the cans in the six pack doesn't change anything. Populism can still be meaningful, if you want it to be. Act locally, think globally. But above all, THINK! - and take an interest in your community and what's going on there, and then look at how issues affect YOU and the people around you- here, up the street, in the next county, over in Maryland, or near your Aunt Petunia in Boise. And then imagine, if you can, how our actions might look to some poor shnook living in a hut with a dirt floor, on the receiving end of a daisy cutter, or maybe a transfusion, a new school, or running water...all because of something that started in a little room, a back yard, or a block party half a world away.

So hold people accountable, including each other. Or US (as long as you don't really mistake our show for journalism!). Educate yourselves on the issues that matter to you, whether it's education, civil rights, medical insurance, the right to choice, the war, balancing the budget, curing AIDS, or election reform. Find out WHO voted to support what you believe. WHO kept their promises to you. And you ORGANIZE. You SPREAD THE WORD. And VOTE. Caucuses among the grass roots electorate, voters like you and me, are already beginning. You know them- the people you see every day that want safe neighborhoods for our kids to play in and better pay for cops and teachers. We, the People that can't go to $10,000 a plate fundraisers, that don't have our local Senator or Congressman's number on the speed dial and are on a first name basis with their Executive Secretary. In the schools, churches, and living rooms all over the country, people have begun to deliberate on the course of our country. The primaries are just around the corner. Which candidates represent your aspirations for what this country stands for, and what it should be? Do any of them REALLY speak for you? Can we trust them to honor their promises? I'm still wondering about that, and expect I will for the next 16 months.
I was always told that it wasn't polite to talk about sex, religion, or politics. Sex and religion are front page news. Maybe it's not polite, but we have to live with it. It's part of our collective reality. And they don't go away if we ignore them.

I truly wish that politicians would go away if we ignored them, but if anything, they tend to accumulate instead. The answer is the reverse: watch 'em like hawks. Make them run on (or more typically, away from) their records. Hold their feet to the fire. Vote with your HEADS, not for some calculated dog and pony show meant to tug at your hearts. It's not about who you love or hate reflexively. It's making certain that the most qualified, RATIONAL person is calling the shots, someone intelligent enough to learn from history and our past mistakes, who will look out not just for their buddies, but ALL of us. That's their JOB. That's why we all have a voice in electing those leaders- to make the decisions that are best for OUR COUNTRY, not just the most vocal, most wealthy, those with access to the decision makers who creep in the shadows and control the priorities of our country as its de facto ruling class.

Uber- lobbyist Jack Abramoff: I hear that horizontal stripes will be all the rage this year

We need to level the playing field, and the best way to do that is with HARD FACTS and INFORMATION. Verifiable information, not anecdotal tales that spin some myth and make heroes out of heels. TRUTH- that which we can all agree on is REAL and can be PROVEN by our senses, not rumors, innuendo, slurs, spin, advertising, and mudslinging. Not the nonsense you see on TV or hear on talk (hate) radio. I mean like from the Library of Congress, or the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal. There aren't many objective sources left, but there's so much mis- information out there, we have to fight back. Blogs have become another form of spreading information, whether true or bullshit. I invite you to use this blog. Share your ideas. But don't just bullshit- have some integrity! I promise we won't shoot you down if we disagree, as long as you can back it up with FACTS! Not just "I hate" (name that candidate) "because I heard they stab unborn baby squirrels in the heart with screwdrivers and bathe in their saliva." 'Cause then I'm gonna ask for a picture, or a signed confession from said candidate and witnesses that they did. Or we won't let you post again when you can't back it up.

And DON'T just take it as true because it was in Newsweek or the Post or the Trib or on NBC or the Heritage Foundation, a political action committee, or (God forbid) Fox, who would lie about who won the Bud Bowl, if they thought they could get something out of it! DON'T GET SUCKERED! MAKE THEM GIVE SOURCES FOR THEIR CLAIMS! These guys write stories for 1) whoever pays them, and 2) whatever distortion of the truth will sell the most papers...or detergent...or used cars... Don't let them hide between the lines and insinuate- that's how we got into this war!!! If they say it or print it, they should be able to back it up with something more than false arguments and bigoted doctrines that have had no responsible place in the last two centuries. Something REAL. Something they can "hang their hats on," not just the rumors and lies that are repeated ad nauseum about one party, or one person, that are untrue and distract from the real culprits, and the things that make a difference in the world.

The hacks of the mainstream media squander their forum on the things that divide us, and marginal (or incredibly emotional and inflammatory issues) issues like illegal aliens, flag burning, and amending the Constitution to ban gay marriage. No offense intended, I know these are legitimate issues that affect peoples' interests and pursuit of happiness. But these are narrowly focused, intended to inflame passions whether pro or con, take up time, allocations of money for investigations and studies, and distract everyone from issues that touch everyone in the country, and even the world- such as the war in Iraq, the growing abyss between the wealthy and the rest of the people in this country, a floundering housing market, expensive oil and energy, and (lest we forget) the dismantling of the Constitution. The Ann Coulters, Sean Hannitys and Bill O'Reillys spreading disinformation and posing sophistic arguments where anyone not taking their side can be cast as either a fool or a traitor. And we've wasted waaaaaay too much time on these charlatans, the ignorant, conniving hate-mongers, hypocrites, and inbreds already. Ignore all irresponsible, sensationalist attention junkies: they can't do anything but hurt us, or our country. We're stronger than they are, and they know it.

Hypocrisy: A Washington Family Value?

And they know that there's a lot of us out there that don't buy it, and that deserve (and now DEMAND) to be heard. So they shut us up, take away our right to dissent. Refuse to answer questions. Stonewall. Obfuscate. Ignore. Pretend. Spin. Blame. That's why so many politicians constantly talk down to us, keep us living in fear and paranoid (to lean on the government to protect us from our "enemies") like frightened children. They're afraid of us, and rightly so. Afraid of what we might do if we ever see through the facade, and rise up to thwart them. They want us divided, uninformed, and at war with one another- black vs. white, Christian vs. Muslim, immigrant vs. working poor- while they steal us blind and then blame us for not being more frugal with our savings- like a guy making minimum wage can afford rent and utilities, much less investing in a stock portfolio. Let's make him think about how rough Paris Hilton's got it- or give him a first person shooter game so he can vent his frustrations...until he decides he needs the real thing...and then you'll get a lecture on the Second Amendment, the only part of the Bill of Rights apparently still recognized.

Et tu, Omega Man? From your cold dead hands, you say? Go ahead-make my day!

Don't let them kid you one minute- they don't give a DAMN about the majority of the people in this country. We're statistics. We're a "demographic." Among the 99% of the people in this country that do not make millions of dollars each year, casualties will always be "acceptable." And they want it this way, because bickering, poor and divided people will never stand up to their oppressors. So don't let 'em Tony Snow ya!

(Tony- In the name of God, for once, just tell the truth: it's opposite day)

BTW, thanks to our twisted friends at Beer and Meat, a highly recommended blog conveniently located at sharing this handsome image! Wotta maroon! What an imbecile! Oh, brudder- you slay me!!!

Show them up for the transparent con artists they are!!! Stop rubbernecking over distractions and get on with the job of getting the reins of power back in the hands of its citizens. Instead of repeating the rumors that pass for news on TV, and the statistics manufactured and manipulated by a paid think-tank, do your homework. Expect more. Demand accountability, like they do from our schools and teachers. Don't let them graduate to another term if they keep miserably failing at every test given to them! Don't believe in some lazy snake oil salesmen who'll use their power to bully and connive solely to perpetuate their own power, and make money for their cronies! Don't elect the people that promise you the world now, and take their orders from lobbyists, big business, and other sordid pondscum that take advantage of us every day!

If a candidate resorts to to mudslinging, to making false claims and smearing their opponent, or appealing to your emotions to inspire hate and fear of people that are different than you, WHAT DO YOU THINK THEY'LL DO ONCE THEY'RE ELECTED AND AREN'T ANSWERABLE TO ANYONE FOR 2, 4, OR 6 YEARS?!?! Our best defense against getting the wool pulled over our eyes is to keep them both OPEN.

And FUCK APATHY- YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE! And don't let anybody stop you from speaking up and voting your conscience. It's your RIGHT, and your HERITAGE! Challenge, demand answers, don't go along with the crowd, be skeptical- and most importantly, QUESTION AUTHORITY! That's the premise this country was founded upon! And WE THE PEOPLE should be proud of that.

The powers that be have been telling us all this time, "If you don't have anything to hide, why are you so afraid of having warrantless wiretaps or other invasions of your personal privacy?" Well, maybe it's because we're ENTITLED to some privacy, to believe and worship and act as we see fit, within the framework of the laws that AMERICANS have fought and died to establish, uphold, and agreed to be governed by for the last 220 years. Unless, of course, you work for the Government itself, and have low friends in high places, with money and clout. Ask Scooter about that.

Why is this man smiling? Didn't he just get sentenced to 2 1/2 years?

But it's supposed to apply to them too- and every time people avoid giving information, resist testifying in public, under oath, and refuse to give their side of the story that would show them to be blameless, I have to think: What is it that they don't want us to know? And why should we trust them to do the right thing when they have to spend weeks "practicing" to simply tell the truth to investigating Congressmen and Senators? The principle of transparent government must apply to the leaders we elect, whose salaries WE pay- not to be persuaded to do what's in the best interest of their campaign contributors and the influence peddlers. And not to cloak their sleazy side deals in the all-encompassing shrouds of "the war on terror" or "national security."

It's maddening. But we, collectively, have the power to stop this charade, and it's time we exercise it. Or as John Lennon put it, Gimme Some Truth!!!! Please? (There! Finally a musical tie-in!)

Talk about irony: the FBI kept a file on this guy as thick as his accent!

OK, I'll stop ranting for now. And I promise that my next blog will actually be about music. But I also guarantee that someone will disagree with that too. And I welcome the opportunity to have my mind changed. It wouldn't be the first time.

The ball's in your court now.

Your pal,


Sunday, July 8, 2007

1600 New Site!

The all new website for 1600 is now up and running! Log on at to learn more about 1600 and view some of the shows.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007


The new 1600 blog will be up and running soon. Please visit