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wonders never cease

a somber eve

kennedyLiving in DC, sometimes we forget that our neighborhood holds so much history. Last evening, at a pool on an Arlington hillside, the usual mayhem was interrupted by the sound of a motorcade. The sun was setting in a beautiful sky. We realized: Senator Kennedy's casket was arriving at Arlington Cemetery.

To us, Senator Kennedy was a good neighbor and a kind customer - and a champion, as he was to so many. Our thoughts are with his family.

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these united states

tus"Welcome to today. From the opening cry of empty-handed liberty to the gleaming, gliding farewell that sends us to blessed slumbers, this is a revolutionary soundtrack built for car stereos and stocking-footed bedroom dancing...These United States proffer a lean, hungry, lustily inviting manifesto for the best parts of humanism. We are no longer prisoners of the past, and the future is ours to make or break. Roll up your sleeves, grab a tambourine and a shovel and join the revival."--Dennis Cook, JAMBASE Local wonders These United States make a stop in DC tomorrow night, and they'll have their new album, Everything Touches Everything, in tow (soon to be available at Proper Topper!). Come out for an evening of incredible music. You won't be disappointed, we promise. These United States. Saturday night. At the Black Cat. We wouldn't be anywhere else.

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8 1/2 things to do.

summerlistSummer's racing to the Labor Day finish line! We're gonna try to enjoy every last second. 8 1/2 things to squeeze in this week: 1. Go swimming. (Diving board required.) 2. Take a walk in the woods (bring along a trusty hat). 3. Blow bubbles. 4. Listen to the cicadas' farewell sonata (remarkably giddy!). 5. Grill tons of food and invite EVERYONE over. 6. Ride a carousel. 7. Have a lemonade (and pancake) stand. 8. Gaze hard at the sky. Freeze the moment. (1/2) Share a big, juicy, messy wedge of watermelon with someone you love. What's on your list? Send us an email by 9/4 and let us know - maybe we'll add it to our list! (And we'll give you an End-of-Summer Play List CD!)

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farewell summer, welcome fall.

fallfashion It must be August: Vogue weighs 22 ½ lbs., “Back-to-School” emblazons every bus stop ad, and everywhere are “must-have for fall” lists. But none of us MUST have anything new for fall unless we ARE still growing and starting back to school. Plus, when it’s 95 degrees and 100% humidity (today in DC!), the thought of touching a sweater makes us sweat. And yet….. and yet. There's that longing for change, a little something to reward fall's back-to-school feeling and the packing away our childish summer ways. So, let us suggest some non-essential but delicious little indulgences. For under $100, you can toss on some new jeweled bangles, a gauzey scarf, and a new clutch. If you’ve got a little vacation cash left, how about Plenty’s Cocoa Chemise or Susana Monaco’s Tie-Back Dress? Or, fellows, how about some polished stone cufflinks or a crushable braid fedora?

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playlist of the week: end-of-summer-soundtrack

DSCN1485 The full heat of summer has finally descended on our fair city, and the cicadas have come out to play. (Considering that their ideal temperature for vocalizing is 84˚F, they must be preparing magnum opuses daily…) Nature seems determined to provide its own soundtrack. So with cicadas singing at a fever pitch, we thought we’d join in the fun. We’ve selected a few tracks that herald the end of the season. Which songs mean the same for you? 1. "Susie at the Seashore" - These United States A funky rock tune from local heroes' superb last cd, Crimes (available at Proper Topper), to whet our whistle for the Everything Touches Everything release party, Saturday at The Black Cat. 2. "There's a Girl" - The Ditty Bops This cheerful pop piece sounds like it's being performed on the beach bandstand illuminated by tiki torches and japanese lanterns. Nice surf guitar riff in the middle too. 3. "Barefootin'" - Mott the Hoople It's a classic song about dancing barefoot. What more needs to be said? 4. "Absolutely Cuckoo" - The Magnetic Fields A short, sweet, fun song from 69 Love Songs, Stephin Merritt's profound musings on all things relating to romantic love. Rockin' use of a ukelele, to boot. 5. "Middle Cyclone" - Neko Case The title track from the magical songstress' latest amazing cd, employing a music box riff that could have been recorded directly from our own beloved Smithsonian Carousel. 6. "Hello It's Me" - Joe Pernice Low key cover of Todd Rundgren's 70's hit ballad from Pernice's soundtrack accompanying his own brilliant debut novel, It Feels So Good When I Stop. 7. "Come Dancing" - The Kinks Great song, great band. Summer, like all good things, must come to an end. 8. "Hymn #101" - Joe Pug Wistful and beautiful song about holding onto hope in a rough world. 9. "Wish We'd Gotten Drunk" - Amber Rubarth From the winner of the International Songwriting Contest, (judged by Tom Waits, no less), this quirky, catchy tune will have you whistling along in no time. 10. "Love Don't Live Here" -Lady Antebellum For the country-lover in all of us: a catchy tune to play with windows down (while you still can!). 11. "Whole Wide World" - Wreckless Eric Sweet, simple, and inexplicably summery, a great song about hope or foolish dreams, depending our your outlook. Plus, how can you not love a song covered by Elvis Costello, The Monkees, Paul Westerberg, The Proclaimers, and Will Ferrell? 12. "Brown Eyed Girl" - Van Morrison Classic nostalgia, and mostly, a great song about singing. Bill Clinton's top iPod pick. Too bad Van Morrison never received a dime for writing and recording it...crazy music industry. 13. "Beverly Cleary's 115th Dream" - Vandaveer The local treasure's closing song on their breathtaking new release, Divide and Conquer (available at Proper Topper). More Dylan than Ramona Quimby, it's a beautiful duet, happy and sad, silly and serious, wistful and hopeful. Full of wonder.

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welcome to wonderment

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wonder: noun, the quality of exciting amazed admiration. We’ve started a blog! (But not your every-day blog.) This is a space for discovery. For magic. For musings. About style, song, nature. About the beautiful things in our world (from frogs to fashion). So check in often, participate in the discussions, be inspired. 

Because, after all, wonders never cease.

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wonders never cease