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*Weekly event, drinks and style musings from Lukas Smith of PBR DCDerringer Friday*

The Epicure for What Fails You

IV.XXV.MMXI

What a stretch it has been, readers(!)(?).  This spring (proper spring, weather-wise, that is) is off to such a cracking start that I would slow the world’s whirling so as to soak it up the more.  Where to begin?

April 14th brought us fashion:district III at Long View Gallery on 9th St.  Appearing as Dutch Derringer, your Pabstist provided lagers and punch to stoke the fires of merriment, and strode the runway in a display both of mock gallantry and my lovely Derringer Friday ties.  “Who else was there,” you ask?  I mean, really, who wasn’t?  If your answer is, “me,” you should surely mend your ways.  Facebook is crawling with the excellent video, so I won’t bother detailing it here.  Check it and yourself.  Toro y Moi apparently annihilated RNR, also.

Friday the 15th we celebrated the return of the old Schlitz into the DC market.  I can personally attest to the undeniable charm of the Schlitz we’d grown to love. . . .  How many stacks of $1 cans did I and mine assemble at the Manhattan bar in Athens, GA in the grad school days?  If I could remember, I’d never forget, for those were damned good times.  The goodness had more to do with the can than the contents, admittedly, and the price didn’t hurt a’tall, but you get the idea.  At any rate, the good folks in corporate ether-space decided that they’d rather make the good beer our grandfathers faithfully drank than to keep making the less-good beer our fathers sometimes would deign to chug on down (and/or permit to be stolen by their know-nothing spawn).  Naturally, I had some silly shirts made up and rode out to the Red Derby to serve a thousand new Tallboys in some newfangled koozies (sp?) and then I headed over to Little Miss Whiskey’s to serve a thousand new bottles in the same fashion.  Whoever was on the numbers had my mind and attention in the palm of his nifty little hands and put me through my paces.  One normally doesn’t see the ‘Dougie’ performed in seersucker, but, in the best of times, the best of men do the best things; meanwhile, I’m off doing the Dougie in green seersucker trousers.  Where did I wake up?  I tell no tales.

Saturday the 16th witnessed the mother of all cockblocks at SoFar Sounds 3 at the Moishe House.  The bar was set up, the chalice of truth was abundantly flowing, the bands and soundboard were razor sharp, the crowd was building on a rising tide of twitterfuzz, and cantankerous downstairs neighbors were licking their chops in anticipation of the ruination of their afterlife as they repeatedly called the police on our mellow crowd of social pacifists.  This is just the sort of abortion that should be illegal.  (More on this later.)

The law of averages did its small part on Sunday the 17th, atoning for the misery of the night before with a wonderfully wayward sojourn of a day wherein ‘bar’ and ‘barbecue’ seamlessly wove into and out of one another.  Cases were ferried, hatchets were buried, alarming child-rearing practices were observed, ribs were carefully cooked and gleefully eaten, a sun of Shakespearean sublimity incessantly glowed, car-leaping injuries were sustained, pacts were sworn, potential lovers were pursued and captured (while others were avoided), tread was worn from the tires of cycles and autos, phones sustained fatal wounds, and then night fell.  The undisputed highlight was the suggestion by one Mr Thornley of an app called ‘The Studfinder,’ which is designed for use in, um, society rather than carpentry.  Guess its use in the space reserved for comments, below.

The past week didn’t really begin for me until Wednesday, when Jonny Corndawg and J Roddy Walston and the Business burned the Rock & Roll Hotel to the ground.  Having seen J Roddy at the 930 last month I was anxious to see this show.  My anticipation was grandly rewarded.  I was pleasantly surprised by the excellence of the night’s opening act, Jonny Corndawg.  He’d fit right in with the Nashville crowd of 1950, talent-wise, but his humorously blue lyrics would scarcely have flown in those days.  He currently resides in NYC, and displays a fierce but not unforgiving assessment of his southern upbringing, a trait that’s often characteristic of Dixie expats.  He alone with his guitar stole the crowd’s collective heart.  In a song about the tough loveliness of country women, a female character sings in the chorus that “(she) ain’t scared of nothin’, ’cept for Jesus and my daddy and my ex-boyfriend Wayne.”  Think “White Lightnin’” in tempo and style as played by a redneck John Waters; and that’s just a wordy way of saying, “wonderful.”  His closing number was performed a capella, and warned of the dangers of the kindliness of strangers when offered in a busy bar on a lonely night.  The closing lyrics were funny, beautiful, and craftily well-staged:  “I’m sorry I regret this/ but I know that we’ll forget this/ yet the only thing that I’m able to sing to you now is . . . goodbye.”*  Yikes:  is it, “I’m sorry that I regret this” or an appositive “I’m sorry, I regret this”?  And what the hell is the “yet” doing there?  In these lines, is he addressing her, giving her the old “thanks but no thanks”?  Or is he describing an arc in which he wishes he could help himself, can’t, but nevertheless has the wherewithal and honesty to say “goodbye” rather to engage in soul-withering pillow talk?  And aren’t we all amazed that he managed to address her, himself, and the audience all at the same time?

*He typed those lyrics into my phone without any punctuation at all, meaning that the ellipses are mine. – JtP

Five minutes later, J Roddy Walston and the Business crushed even my highest expectations.  You could drown out the seas with the magnitude of that night’s performance of “Brave Man’s Death,” a song which somehow turns a sordidly tragic tale of fratricide and matricide* into an epically heroic anthem of universal relevance.  Find me a better live band.  They’ll continue to smash up the place each of the next three Wednesdays at the same location.  Look for the honey badger in the Wednesday column on BYT All City for details.  I’ll be handing around tall boys like it’s my job.

*Yes, both.

Thursday and Friday were bureaucratic nightmares, where everything I least liked to do I had to do to the exclusion of all preferred activities.  Dammit.

Saturday, on the other hand, went swimmingly.  The Dunes and Sofar Sounds crew took over 2010 9th St NW to make-up for the previous Saturday’s debacle.  Beers were super cheap while entrance and punch were free until 11 on a gloriously cool night.  Following the trajectory of popular opinion, Ora Nwabueze refused a cup of Blast.  Philip Goyette, following the path that tends to stray, did not.  Let’s enjoy it while we still can. . . ?

Happy birthday to Claire M.

Exeunt John the Pabstist, Dutch Derringer, and Lukas B. Smith

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