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Black Cat

Photo courtesy of Bencoolen.

Photo courtesy of Bencoolen.

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Elliot Greiner. 

It’s tough enough for new bands to advance past the realm of dive bars and basement shows in D.C. after years of performing together.

But GW indie rock effort Bencoolen got a shot to perform at the popular U Street club Black Cat – a venue that’s hosted bands like Arcade Fire, Radiohead and The White Stripes – only four months after the group’s first live performance together.

“It gives us legitimacy with fans and hopefully momentum into future shows. It could be a step to get us to a point where people recognize our name beyond friends and friends of friends,” junior Teddy Scott, Bencoolen’s lead guitarist, said.

Tickets for the May 12 show cost $12, and doors open at 8 p.m.

Formed last fall in the wake of Scott’s former band Dr. No, Bencoolen has a sound reminiscent of post-2000 alternative-rock: a mix of Bon Iver, Pearl Jam and the Arctic Monkeys, with bluesy sax thrown in.

Boston-based alt-rock bands Little War Twins and Thaylobleu asked Bencoolen to open for them at the Black Cat last month after the students sent them a demo.

They’ve performed at smaller venues like Mellow Mushroom and DC9, but the Black Cat marks a turning point for the band. The music hall, with multiple stages and broad dance floors, stands in stark contrast to the shows Bencoolen is used to playing.

The group partially credits its success to GW’s Student Musicians Coalition, a student organization founded in 2010 that allots on-campus practice space in the basement of Ivory Tower.

The coalition’s support, particularly its promotional work, helps build student fanbases on campus.

In addition to Scott and saxophone player Ian Braker, who are both juniors in the engineering school, the band includes sophomore vocalist and guitarist Paul Gregg, freshman drummer Kevin Mathieu and junior bassist Eric Burke.

This summer, the band plans to record and release their first professional-grade EP, while continuing to strengthen their repertoire. Scott also hopes to have a hand in building the campus music community.

“I hope that other bands could [have the same successes], and we could play a GW music festival,” Scott said. “Or just try to build a music culture here because that’s what you need in an indie rock scene.”

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The 2012 undie run

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Jennifer Fendt. 

Red roses, mouth-watering heart shaped chocolates and romance will fill the air Friday Friday, but you want nothing to do with it because you’re single. Don’t let a Hallmark holiday get you down this year by enjoying these D.C. events.

Chad America’s 15th Annual Valentine’s Day Rock and Roll Dance Party

The Black Cat at 1811 14th St. NW

Put on your dancing shoes and flashback to the ‘50s and ‘60s doo-wop, rock ‘n’ roll era at this fine D.C. institution. Bartender Chad America’s oldies playlist will leave you dancing the night away for free with the doors opening at 9 p.m.

Cupid’s Undie Run

Pour House, Hawk N’ Dove & Capitol Lounge at 319 Pennsylvania Ave SE

Join hundreds of others and strip down to your bedroom-best while doing something good. This 1.5-mile fun run on Capitol Hill benefits the Children’s Tumor Foundation. Festivities begin at noon on Saturday, with the run/dance around the streets beginning at 2 pm.

Arlington Cinema & Draft House: Best Date Night Ever

2903 Columbia Pike, Arlington. Screenings at 7:00 p.m. and 9:50 p.m. Admission $10.

Who needs an actually date when you have wine, comedy and “The Princess Bride”? Friday night Arlington Cinema will host two showings of the classic movie “The Princess Bride” – and if that can’t renew your faith in love, nothing will. But with a stand-up comic act and an optional wine tasting on the side, even a romantic skeptic will feel at ease.

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This post was written by Hatchet reporter Morgan Baskin.

Some paid homage to Lou Reed’s passing by playing tribute performances or writing open letters to the rock god.

Macaulay Culkin singing in 2010. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Macaulay Culkin singing in 2010. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

But “Home Alone” wunderkind Macaulay Culkin decided to pay his respects another way: assembling his friends-turned-bandmates to record the first demo of his Velvet Underground cover band. Or rather, his pizza-themed Velvet Underground cover band.

What it is:

They call themselves The Pizza Underground–recording bootleg versions of Velvet Underground songs and reimagining the track titles with names like “I’m Waiting for the Delivery Man” “Papa John Says” and “All the Pizza Parties.” The group formed in early 2012 but didn’t record a demo until November of this year. As of late, Culkin and his friends (Matt Colbourn, Phoebe Kreutz, Deenah Vollmer and Austin Kilham) have only played a handful of shows in NYC, but are about to embark on a tour of the East Coast.

And they’re coming to the Black Cat backstage on March 21.

Things to look out for:

Culkin’s kazoo solo in “Take a Bite of the Wild Slice” and these lyrics from “Cheese Days:” “I don’t do too much toppings these days / [These] days I seem to order cheese, and don’t say please, and then I walk away.”

The details:

Tickets $15, on sale Dec. 27 here

1811 14th St NW

Doors open 9:30

 

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Friday, Feb. 8, 2013 12:02 p.m.

Weekend Outlook

 

Mardi Gras beads adorn a fence in New Orleans. This weekend, Mardi Gras celebrations will take place in the District. Photo courtesy of Derek Bridges under the Creative Commons License.

It’s a festive, celebratory weekend with food, skivvies and Mardi Gras beads right in our backyard.

- Get in the mood for Mardi Gras at the Black Cat Friday. With three musical acts, a burlesque show and a series of sideshow spectacles, the Carnivale features all you’d want in a Mardi Gras weekend. Tickets for the 9 p.m. show are $12.

- Take advantage of D.C.’s greatest eateries at Metropolitan Washington Restaurant Week going on through Sunday. For $20.13 and $35.13 for three-course lunch and dinner meals, respectively, you can enjoy food from over 50 restaurants throughout the Washington area.

- Brave and altruistic souls will traverse the city in nothing but undergarments Saturday for Cupid’s Undie Run. Benefiting The Children’s Tumor Foundation, the charity run starts at 2 p.m. at the Capitol.

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Monday, Oct. 8, 2012 11:30 a.m.

It’s Monday…

Take refuge from the nearing cold with these upcoming events.

Lisner Auditorium. Photo used under the Creative Commons License

- Renowned author Salman Rushdie will speak about his latest novel, “Joseph Anton: A Memoir,” Monday at Lisner Auditorium. Students can buy $10 tickets for the 7 p.m. show.

- On tour to promote their latest album, Moms, Portland rockers Menomena perform at Black Cat Tuesday. The $15 show starts at 8 p.m.

And in case you missed Saturday’s on-campus debate between Bill O’Reilly and Jon Stewart, check out our story on the showdown here.

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Max Bemis, the lead vocalist for emo-punk band Say Anything, performs at the Rock N Roll Hotel to a sold-out audience Tuesday. Elise Apelian | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Rock band Say Anything made a prediction at the start of their sold out show Tuesday at Black Cat.

Frontman Max Bemis believed the crowd and band would to have a lot of fun that night and, on cue, the audience responded with cheers, outstretched hands and shouts of excited agreement. The enthusiasm didn’t wane  during the band’s mix of both new and familiar music.

The crowd remained mostly still and silent throughout the openers Tallhart, Fake Problems and Kevin Devine and The Goddamn Band but as Say Anything stepped on the gated-off upstairs stage the energy exploded.

Halfway through their nearly two-hour set, after playing “Hate Everyone” from 2009 and “Wow, I Can Get Sexual Too” from 2006, Bemis introduced a special surprise guest – his wife, Sherri DuPree, the lead singer of the band Eisley.

Dressed in a sleeveless Misfits T-shirt, plaid skirt and short pink-tinted hair, she performed “So Good” with the band, a love song from Say Anything’s newest album “Anarchy, My Dear.”

The romantic lyrics, including the repeated lines “you look so good tonight, I gotta have you,” are atypical of the band’s usually harder, angrier lyrics.

Inciting the crowd’s sustained high-energy enthusiasm throughout the show with flailing gestures, a swinging mic and even performing a few dance moves, Bemis returned the appreciative favor, calling the D.C. audience one of the best he has met on tour.

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Thursday, April 5, 2012 8:35 a.m.

Weekend Outlook

For those of you not spending Easter and Passover with your family this weekend, here are some off-campus events you can check out.

The Phillips Collection. Photo used under the Creative Commons License

Thursday:

Learn all about Japanese culture at The Phillips Collection’s “Phillips After 5: Journey to Japan.” The event, which lasts from 5 to 8 p.m., will include gallery talks, language lesson and traditional Japanese food and drink. Students pay $10.

Friday:

See indie rock band Cursive perform live at Black Cat. Doors open at 9 p.m. Tickets cost $16 in advance, $18 at the door.

Saturday:

Take a free yoga class on the National Mall, hosted by the National Cherry Blossom Festival. The class starts at 10 a.m. at Sylvan Theater.

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Monday, March 5, 2012 9:17 a.m.

It’s Monday…

Korallreven. Photo courtesy of Flickr user acb under the Creative Commons License

Don’t let midterms get you down. Enjoy the last week before break with all D.C. has to offer:

  • See Swedish duo Korallreven perform at Black Cat tonight at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $15.
  • Catch the last week of the Contemporary Wing pop-up gallery’s exhibition, “Next Generation: Selections by Artists from the 30 Americans Collection.” Admission is free.

And here’s something to brighten your day:
Watch this baby “get jiggy with it” to Will Smith.

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Monday, Feb. 13, 2012 11:07 a.m.

It’s Monday…

It’s the day before Valentine’s Day, and love is in the air. Whether you’re spending this week with your significant other or eating your body weight in chocolate, consider celebrating by visiting these events across the city.

  • The National Portrait Gallery's Kogod Courtyard. Photo courtesy of Billy Hathorn under the Creative Commons License

    MotherTongue, a community-based organization that encourages women to express themselves through the art of spoken word, will be hosting its annual “Anti-Valentine’s Day Slam” at Black Cat Monday night. Admission is $8 starting at 8 p.m.

  • The National Portrait Gallery is hosting a special exhibition for Valentine’s Day, “Portraits After 5: Art of Love,” from 5 to 7 p.m in Kogod Courtyard. Admission is free, but RSVP to participate in the speed dating event that will accompany the exhibit.

And here’s something unfortunate, but still eye opening:
Cape Cod’s dolphin death toll has reached 103.

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Monday, Jan. 30, 2012 1:03 p.m.

It’s Monday…

It’s definitely not syllabus week anymore. Here are a few ideas to help you relieve your stress this week.

  • Adam Johnson, author and professor at Stanford University, will read from his new novel, “The Orphan Master’s Son,” at Politics & Prose Bookstore tonight at 7 p.m. A book signing will follow.
  • Check out Couch Night at the Black Cat Tuesday night, where you can kick back in the Red Room and enjoy the music of DJ Tariq and Friends. Doors open at 8 p.m.

    Snowy owl. Photo used under the Creative Commons License.

And here’s something that will really make you flap your wings:

Researchers have observed an “unbelievable” mass southern migration of snowy owls from the Arctic. So don’t be alarmed if you think you spot Hedwig on your way to class!

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