Gaining recognition for your band can be difficult in today's YouTube-choked entertainment world, but local group Super Deluxe found a way to stand out: by throwing a rollicking party. Partnering with artist Scott Parsons, the funk band hosted the Taste of D.C. shindig at Brick House Kitchen last Wednesday. Musician Wilton Elder explained that the band would be performing go-go, a type of dance hall music that originated in the D.C. area, hence the theme. The District of Columbia was also represented by Maryland crab cakes, Ben's Chili Bowl half-smokes, and D.C. Brau Brewing Company cans.
Before the band started, we grabbed a beer in the small bar behind the restaurant. Imagine if one of your Dad's friends opened a bar in his garage, and you'll get the feeling of this cozy establishment. Super Deluxe brought its extended band out for the performance, and the stage was completely packed with horn players, vocalists, and just about any funk instrument you can imagine. The inclement weather from earlier in the day led to a cool, crisp evening that encouraged the audience to relax and enjoy the music.
Later in the week, with the sky darkening and clouds threatening, we thought of skipping First Friday celebrations so we wouldn't have to wade through the floods, but within an hour, the storm lessened and we pulled on our rain boots and went searching for aesthetic inspiration. We passed a few galleries on Broad Street but our soaked umbrellas and soggy feet kept us on the outside, peeping through the windows at the pricey art. We carried on to the space shared by Alice & Daisy Vintage and Gypsy Lady Antiques to view Rebecca West Fraser's new work. The PBR-and-popcorn atmosphere was a welcome refuge from the rain, and the walls were filled with Fraser's work — we loved all the red rhinestones they used to signify a sold piece instead of the typical red dots.
Dried-off and full of licorice from the store's candy stash, we ventured east to check out a few more galleries, and we poked our heads into the Martin Gallery to see what was new. Normally, we have to jostle around in this large space to see all the works, but the rain seemed to keep most of the normal Art Walk crowd at home. From Broad Street, we skipped over to Queen to check out the always-happening Robert Lange Studios. Their new exhibition, In Thought, features ocean-themed paintings from Charles Williams that mirrored the wet atmosphere outside.
We hoped the rain wouldn't keep the crowds away from the Palmetto Invitational Classic on Sunday at Johnson-Hagood Stadium. Fortunately, the clouds held off and the event went on without a hitch. While many of our friends were at home watching NFL, we were cheering on flag girls, dancers, and band members from local high schools and historically black universities throughout the South. Half-time performances were always our favorite part of high school football games, so a chance to see a dozen in a row was amusing — the hometown kids from Burke High School were among our favorites.