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wonders never cease

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 21st, 2009 how to build a muse.

543120th518283th961190thWe're sneaking a peek at "Bright Star" tonight, and we've been invited to present our interpretation of Keats' muse, circa fall 2009. Here's what we've got so far... what do you think?
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MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 21st, 2009 is it too early in the week…

seastones...and too early in the fall to be missing wine and the beach? Hmmm. We're feeling it anyway. Our remedy: take one lovely bottle stopper with sea stone (the stones are collected, with permission, from private rivers and beaches, and a fresh stone is "planted" in the water for every stone taken). Add one bottle of wine (collected, with permission, from our cabinet, and, don't you worry, we'll plant another one later). Add at least one loved one (we're fairly liberal in definition of love when looking to share wine). Enjoy! (If no need for stopper in 1st bottle, repeat.)

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18th, 2009 music for starry nights

053a7191eac6fc7709fd0514c1c840df Likely as not, if you've ever spent time in our shops, you've had the treat of hearing Vandaveer's music. Our friends return to DC this weekend, playing Saturday night at Comet Ping Pong, then on Thursday evening at The Kennedy Center Millenium Stage.

We like the Kennedy Center's description (and Rolling Stone's): "This is the alt-folk song-singing/record-making/globetrotting project by DC-by-way-of-Kentucky tunesmith Mark Charles Heidinger, whose recently released Divide & Conquer was hailed by Rolling Stone as “jarring new folk.” See more great praise for Vandaveer and Divide & Conquer in today's Washington Post: Aaron Leitko's review is entitled "The Well-Read Folk Singer."

Hail, conquering minstral! Welcome home!


FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18th, 2009 starry september nights

lettersofvangogh On September 8, 1888, Vincent Van Gogh wrote to his sister Wil: “It often seems to me that the night is much more alive and richly colored than the day." He told her: "I definitely want to paint a starry night now.” Twelve days later, on September 20th, he began his masterpiece.

Look up tonight. Even far from the Rhone, even in the heart of Washington, DC, 121 years later, you can see why.

If the beauty of the sky and the poetry in The Letters of Van Gogh inspire you, spend an afternoon with your favorite little one and create your own masterpieces.


THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 17th, 2009 a contest! isn't it romantic?

BS - one sheet-resizedHere's your chance for great Romance. Enter our "How To Be a Muse" Contest to win tickets to an advance screening of Jane Campion’s "Bright Star," chronicling 19th-century Romantic poet John Keats and his 18-year-old muse-next-door, Fanny Brawne. To enter: post a comment telling us why YOU would be a great muse - or why you NEED a great muse. The 5 most entertaining pitches win. (Who knows, maybe you'll become our muse!) The screening - and a special cocktail party beforehand - are on Monday, September 21st. Cocktails begin at 6 pm at Degrees Lounge in the Ritz Carlton; the screening follows at 7 just around the corner, at AMC Georgetown. (Our winners, of course, will have special VIP entry. La de da.) Good luck! Enter by noon on Sunday the 20th. And, should you fail to sufficiently amuse us: "Bright Star" will open in theaters on Friday, September 25th.

play list of the week: pirate primer

[caption id="attachment_659" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="click to listen"]Pirate[/caption]Ahoy, mateys! In case your calendar is missing all of the important holidays, International "Talk Like a Pirate Day" is this Saturday, September 19th. This week’s playlist is a preparatory primer on all things pirate, so dust off the old eye patch, polish your cutlass, and cover your parrot’s ears…

1. Arrh! – Mike Mennard An elementary course in pirate diction, complete with a hapless landlubber trying to come aboard. “A hook for a hand is handy, but mostly you need a good arrrrh…” 2. The Worst Pirate Song – Ceann Pittsburgh’s clever songsmiths seem to feel the seas are no place for a lady these days, musically disputable in Golden Bough’s “Sea Queen of Connemara”, They Might Be Giants “Pirate Girls Nine”, and countless other homages to famous female pirates. Still, they make some points with “you’ve got no hook hand, no secret island, and pirates never go to the bathroom in twos.” 3. Le Chant du Pirate – Edith Piaf Parisian icon adds the international to International Talk Like a Pirate Day, with a voice that could have a whole fleet of pirates hoisting sails and swabbing decks until sunset. 4. Recruitin’ the Crew – Captain Bogg and Salty Pure pirate fun. “Shut yer scuppers, step up, ye knock-kneed scallywags, and weigh anchor with Captain Angus Bogg” 5. Rhymin’ and Stealin’ – Beastie Boys Because mutiny on the Bounty is what they’re all about, this song is a treasure chest of pirate pathos from the Beastie’s debut album, from “terrorizing suckers on the seven seas”, to “deliver(ing) Colonel Sanders down to Davy Jones’ locker” and killing Captain Bly (by breaking his face, no less). Ouch. Tough way to go. 6. Medicine Cabinet Pirate – The Long Winters Technically not a pirate song, but since it has “pirate” in the title and chorus and starts with the line “We could have a baby to keep us awake, or we could get a radio…”, it’s pirate enough for us. 7. Drunken Sailor – Storm Weather Shanty Choir A traditional rendition of this seafaring classic, done with buckets of enthusiasm by a band with a really piratey sounding name. A for effort, you’re on the playlist, Shanty Choir. 8. Redemption Song – Bob Marley “Old Pirates, yes they rob I, sold I to the merchant ships…” Sorry to put a damper on the romance of it all, but this is a beautiful reminder that pirating isn’t all rum, beach parties, and booty. These guys are criminals, kids, doing horrible things. And they stink! 9. Blymy the Pirate – A Halo Called Fred Back to the drunken fun of pirate bluster, all rudeness and roughness and lots of “Oi”s. 10. The Legend of Davy Jones (Forty Fathoms Deep) – David Jeremiah Dramatic retelling of classic tale of the grim reaper of the seas, replete with pipe organs and crashing waves. 11. Friggin’ in the Riggin’ – The Sex Pistols Not for the kids, this one, but how many chances will there be to work the Pistols into a playlist? Trademark mayhem from post-Bollocks punk pioneers. 12. Yo-Ho, Yo-Ho, A Pirate’s Life for Me – Xavier Atencio Maybe the first playlist ever where a Sex Pistols romp is followed by a Disney song covered by the Jonas Brothers (and censored for content – apparently the Disney version was too risqué for Jonas Brothers’ fans), but we’re going to go with the Johnny Depp and Keira Knightly shanty from Pirates of the Caribbean, sung by firelight with the proper abandon.