Tuesday, June 19, 2012

good beats, good eats

instagram collage - concerts
Before I got sick, I was on a bit of a pre-summer fun frenzy. My evening social calendar was more packed than it's been in years. In a nine day period, I went to three concerts, ate dinner at five restaurants, and had three Girls' Nights Outs in a row with some of my oldest and closest friends who all happened to be in town at once. The schedule was going to continue with Larry's birthday dinner, Truckeroo, and perhaps a weekend at the beach - all of those cancelled/postponed due to me getting sick and Larry's work schedule.

Our greatest pleasures in life are good music and good food (this is probably obvious by the names of our dogs!), so needless to say, that nine day concert and restaurant filled stretch was fabulous. It was also probably the reason I got sick. Wop wop. But let's focus on the fun stuff:

The Beats:

JASON ISBELL at The Mansion on O
I don't really have the words to describe this show. The Mansion on O was one of the coolest and weirdest places I've ever been. Four levels and 100 rooms full of art, junk, and everything in between. There were 32 secret doors, a shower in a phone booth, a giant bubble gum machine, and art guitars. Valuable antiques and yard sale crap. Sensory overload. Fascinating. The performance space had dozens of crystal chandeliers and held only about 200 people.

And Jason Isbell - an amazing songwriter and musician performing in such an intimate venue? It was pure magic. I hate to even admit this because it sounds so corny, but at several points during the concert I had tears in my eyes and goosebumps. He's that good. (I admitted this to Larry and he confessed the same, so evidently we're both corndogs.) This show is definitely being added to my list of best musical experiences. Unforgettable.

One of the most fun concerts I've been to. I liked Joe Pug before, but he was phenomenal in person. Amazing songwriter and such an energetic performer - I swayed and danced the whole show. I was super excited to see the opening band - David Wax Museum, after seeing a few of their videos on YouTube. They did not disappoint - they have such a unique sound (described as Mexo-Americana) and play rare instruments including a donkey's jawbone! Plus, I have a bit of a girl-crush on Suz.

And when the two bands teamed up and sang a Gillian Welch song at the end of the show? Well, let's just add that to my list of best musical experiences, too. Bravo.

This video is beautiful and look how much fun they're having:

One of the main reasons I was excited about this show is - confession time! - Rhett Miller is easy on the eyes. He also puts on a rockin' concert. But the best part of this show was The Spring Standards - the best performance by an opening band that I've ever seen. All three band members are multi-instrumentalists and they sound fabulous live. Pure fun.

The Eats:

Love this place and it was the perfect location for a girls' night with two of my best and oldest friends who were visiting from out of town. The best part about dining with your oldest friends? No one's shy about ordering the mac and cheese (truffled, no less!), the cheese plate, entrees, AND dessert and washing it all down with a few glasses of wine. Also, I highly suggest the halibut. And the ricotta dumplings. And the olive oil panna cotta...

Clarendon's newest hot spot lives up to the hype! Oh boy, this place was delicious, had great atmosphere, and was another perfect spot to meet up with girlfriends for a gabfest. Try the pork tacos - rumor has it they contain pigs' ears - and let me tell you, they are delicious! (As was the cornbread, the beet and burrata salad, the shrimp roll, the mac and cheese (yes, again!), the dressed crab, the cheesecake, and the donut topped with peanut butter ice cream. What? I'm not going to eat at a restaurant with PIG in its name and not take the opportunity to pig out!)

This is the upstairs/bar portion of Birch & Barley. We found ourselves here for dinner and happy hour to celebrate Larry's birthday before the Joe Pug concert. The original plan was to go to Standard, but there was a two hour wait. No worries - the 555 beers on Churchkey's menu plus multiple orders of tater tots kept us more than satisfied!

Delicious tacos and the best sangria I've ever had! Love this adorable little Mexican place next to Bazin's in Vienna and it was the perfect spot to celebrate our ninth anniversary before heading to Jammin' Java for a concert.

Yeah, yeah, it's a burger joint and it's a chain. So what? It's freaking delicious! (Especially after a night of drinking and concert-going!) Yes to the Shackburger, yes to the crinkle fries, and yes to splitting a cup of frozen custard! Mmmm!

1 comment:

Lauren McKenna said...

Now I have a list of places to eat AND music to listen to! Thanks Rachel! :)