Archive for June, 2009

Virgin Fest Lineup Announced – And It’s Free!

Well, Virgin Fest is back for another summer.  What with Pimlico’s financial issues, there was deliberation as to whether the Preakness would actually happen, let alone another summer music fest.  However, Virgin have moved the Festival to Merriweather Post Pavilion, and renamed the Festival to “Virgin Mobile Free Fest.”  Yep, tickets this year are free!  You’ll still need to order them in advance, though (UPDATE:  tickets can be gotten via Ticketmaster starting at 10 a.m. EST on Saturday, June 27.  Free, except for those irritating “convenience” charges.).

The lineup for VF is, as usual, impressive (at least to this old fogie).  Headliners Weezer and Blink 182 will be accompanied by Franz Ferdinand, Girl Talk, Jet, Mates of State, Public Enemy, Taking Back Sunday, The Bravery, The Hold Steady, The National, St. Vincent, and Wale.  A Dance Tent will house the likes of Danny Howells, Holy F*ck (uh, that URL is NSFW), Lee Burridge, and Pete Tong.  Gates will open at 11 AM, and the show will last until 10 PM.

Tickets, as I mentioned, are Free.  They don’t seem to be yet available on Ticketmaster, but we’ll keep you posted on the “sale” date.  The Fest is encouraging attendees to donate at least $5 to The RE*Generation to help stem youth homelessness.  You can text “FREEFEST” to “20222” for a one-time $5 text charge,  or go old-school and donate online.

Get on out there and have fun, you crazy kids!

Win A Chance To Meet & See Rascal Flatts On Metblogs!

web_rascal_flattsRascal Flatts will be making a stop this Saturday at Nissan Pavillion and you can win a chance to not only go to the concert but to meet them here on DC Metblogs!

The band is on their American Living Unstoppable Tour (presented by JCPenney) and JC Penny has been gracious enough to offer me a pair of tickets and a chance to hang out with the band before the show. The winner will also get to chill at the VIP tent which will include plenty of food and beverage.

Free tickets, free food, and a chance to meet multi platinum music group? Sign me up! (Unfortunately I cannot because I run this site.)

So how do you sign up?

All you have to do is send an e-mail do please include:

  • Your full name
  • Your full address
  • Your telephone number
  • Your e-mail address

The only rule is that you have to have a valid photo ID in order to meet the band and get your tickets. And also I will have to exclude the other writing staff at DC Metblogs (sorry Frank!)

I will take all the entries and draw the names on Thursday June 25th at 11:oo PM (or whenever I get back from the Red Sox/Nationals game) the winner will be contacted Friday morning and in bloggy fashion, I’ll draw the winning entry on YouTube and post the video that night.

So what are you waiting for? Tell all your friends to e-mail DC Metblogs and get in the action!

EDIT: Please sent only one e-mail, multiple entries won’t do you any good.

DC Video: Jason Bellini Investigates Homeless Line Sitters

Below is a very interested piece on a technique lobbyists are using to get into Congressional Hearings: paying homeless people to stand in line for them.


Metro Crash Aftermath: Expect Commute From Hell This Morning

Here’s the official from WMATA, complete with everything you need to know about commuting on Tuesday:

Red Line service will be severely impacted on Tuesday, June 23, as a result of a fatal collision on the Red Line on Monday, June 22, between the Fort Totten and Takoma Metrorail stations.

Red Line riders will have several options on Tuesday morning, however if they are able to avoid the Red Line, that may be the best option for Tuesday.

The Red Line will be operating in two sections on Tuesday. Trains will run back and forth between the Glenmont and Silver Spring Metrorail stations and between the Shady Grove and the Rhode Island Avenue-Brentwood Metrorail station. All trains will be six- and eight-car trains on the Red Line and they will be running about 8 to 10 minutes apart. Trains are expected to be very crowded.

The Brookland-CUA, Fort Totten and Takoma Metrorail stations will be closed to Red Line traffic.

Free Metrobus shuttles will be available to take customers around the incident between the Silver Spring, Fort Totten, Brookland-CUA, Rhode Island Avenue-Brentwood and Georgia Avenue-Petworth Metrorail stations. People can expect long waits for buses as a full Metrorail train often carries 100 people or more per car and a bus can only hold about 50 people at a time.

Metro officials recommend that customers who normally use the Red Line between the Glenmont and Silver Spring Metrorail stations should commute to Metrorail stations between the Shady Grove and Grosvenor-Strathmore Metrorail stations, or to use the following Metrobus lines to avoid the service disruption:

• Metrobus C8 line (Glenmont to White Flint)
• Metrobus Q2 line (Wheaton to Rockville)
• Metrobus C2, C4 line (Wheaton to Twinbrook)
• Metrobus J1 line (Silver Spring to Medical Center)
• Metrobus J2, J3, J4 line (Silver Spring to Bethesda)
• Metrobus L7, L8 line (Friendship Heights)

Metro officials also recommend that people utilize the Green Line from Greenbelt to the Fort Totten Metrorail station for service into downtown DC.

Metro Crash On Red Line Between Takoma And Ft. Totten Stations

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Be careful Red Line Metro Riders! RT @metro_man Red line crashed!

That was the tweet I got from MeggiePoo as I wrapped things up at my office. I wrote it off as a routine fender bender that causes most of the Metro Fails we all experience on a daily basis. I drive home from my office down the street to my home, thinking how lucky I am not to be stuck in the Metro system.

I arrived home and turn on NBC4 to see the dramatic image of two Metro trains collide and stack on top of each other. I listen and watch while eating dinner and started to take it all in. Mid-bite I realized that the accident happened on the same line my roommate takes from her Silver Spring office back home to Arlington. I drop my things and run to my cell phone.

Those were the longest 90 seconds of my life as I waited to see if she would answer.

My roommate finally did, she missed that train by five minutes and was stuck on the platform, however she was safe and found a ride home.

Here’s what we know now (see update below)

  • At least 4 people are dead (one confirmed to be a female WMATA employee- a train operator), over 100 are injured
  • One train has appeared to rear end the other- this is not a head to head collision
  • There have been reports that there was track work scheduled on the Red Line earlier today
  • FBI is on the scene to assist but there is no reason to suspect that this was a criminal act
  • The rest of the lines appear to be working but they are moving slow
  • Adrian Fenty will hold a press conference soon

Here’s the official word from WMATA:

A six-car Red Line train headed in the direction of Shady Grove derailed between the Takoma and Fort Totten Metrorail stations today and was involved in a collision with another train at 5 p.m. today, Monday, June 22.

Metro officials advise that people avoid the Red Line this afternoon. Trains are operating between Glenmont and Takoma Metrorail and between Shady Grove and Brookland stations for the remainder of the day.

There are preliminary reports of injuries on board, some serious. Emergency officials are responding to the scene.

This being said- avoid the Red Line at all costs.

Twitter has been crazy and DCist is all over the situation.

As I return to watch more, my hopes and prayers go out to everyone in the District- I hope everyone makes it back home safe!

UPDATE 8:59 PM: As the night winds down let’s do a recap and review of the latest

  • A correction on an earlier title of the post, the Metro crash occurred on the Red Line between the Takoma and Ft. Totten Stations.
  • More detail and the actual accident: around 5 PM today a train was waiting on the tracks for the platform ahead to open up when another train slammed into it from behind. The trains were six-car trains and were headed in the same direction. The female operator of the trailing train died.
  • The Washington Post reports that at least six people are dead and scores of passengers are injured and are being described as “walking wounded” in what is being called the deadliest accident in Metro history. The last time two trains crashed was back in November 2004.
  • The Metro is still operating between Glenmont and Silver Spring and between Shady Grove and Rhode Island Avenue. Around the accident scene Metro is offering a shuttle bus service.
  • If you are seeking information on anyone that may have been riding on those trains should call the Metro Emergency Information line at 202-737-4404. If you live in Washington DC you can also call 311.
  • Metro reports that the sections of the Red Line where the accident occurred will be closed through tomorrow, so plan your commutes accordingly.

Here is video of the Mayor’s press conference earlier tonight:


After the Mayor was on, the Metro Chief provided more details on the accident:


SilverDocs 2009: Interview With Facing Ali Producer Derik Murray

I also had the chance to talk with Facing Ali producer Derik Murray, you can listen to the poorly recorded phone interview here (hey I’m a blogger- not an audio engineer!)

In the interview Murray talks about his past work doing Hockey films, “you’re based in Vancouver, you’re based in Canada and you don’t do Hockey- you don’t get a lot of work.”

He also talks about his relationship with director Peter McCormack and how the two came together to make Facing Ali a reality. Besides McCormack, Murray put together a dedicated crew, “the people I select to work on the project were passionate about and they never left my side… they are passionate about the project to this day,” and tackled the challenge of contacting families and acquiring the archival footage that em compasses the majority of the film. Murray says after SilverDocs, the film will be going to LA and NY and with luck it could reach a wider audience release.

Facing Ali premiered to a sold out crowd at SilverDocs last week, for those that haven’t had a chance to see it can catch it tonight as the festival wraps up.


Facing Ali
Showing at AFI SilverDocs
Monday June 22nd, 8:00 PM
AFI Silver Theater

DC Video: Have You Called Her Liz Yet?

If you haven’t heard of Elizabeth Becton, you will now:


Thanks to Shenanigans for this gem

SilverDocs 2009: Q&A With The Filmmakers Of "The Shutdown"

shutdownThis past week I met Scottish filmmakers Adam Stafford and Peter Gerard. They were excited to have their short The Shutdown, screen earlier at SilverDocs. The piece is described as, “a mesmerizing portrait of the influence of an oil refinery in a Scottish town.” What really interested me was the fact two quarter-lifers were already running a production company making films, so we exchanged some e-mails and here’s a little Q&A I had with the duo:

Patrick: Reading Adam’s Q&A on SilverDocs it looks like you’ve always wanted to be involved and work in film- what led you two to choose this kind of career?
Adam Stafford: To me it’s not a career; there are career film makers, but for me it’s something more than that, it’s a case of finding the truth and the narrative and bringing the two together. It’s a case of pushing the framing of the images to a point of unacceptability. Werner Herzog said you should work as a bouncer at a sex club or a car park attendant to raise money to make films. I work as an operator for the emergency services to raise funds to make mine, and that won’t stop until someone comes along and offers us money for the next project. Until then, I will work and build up my projects from the dirt.

Patrick: You talked to me last night about the unique story and approach of The Shutdown, but what do you hope audiences walk away with after they see your short?

Adam Stafford: With a sense of something that they’ve never seen before: a documentary featuring no people, but with a stunning narrative coupled with a soundtrack of ambient drone and pink smoke.

Patrick: I also commented talked how I was impressed that two young guys like yourself decided to start a production company and push stuff out there- what led you two to decide to form this group of artists? This kind of work isn’t guaranteed to pay at all and I’m sure it’s not the 9-5 job that most people do after college…

Peter Gerard: I started Accidental Media while I was still in high school in Missouri. I moved to Scotland in 2000 and eventually turned Accidental Media into a full-on production company with a focus on documentaries, short films, and innovative shorts. “The Shutdown” is our first collaboration with Adam and we see a lot of potential in developing his talents along with his collaborator, the writer Alan Bissett.

Patrick: What kind of advice would you give a person looking to get into film making but doesn’t exactly know where to start?

Peter Gerard: Always start with a good story, and make sure it’s well told. It’s also essential to create a film with cinematic beauty. There are too many films these days that ignore visual aesthetics, and really that’s what film making is all about.

Adam Stafford: I agree with the above. But I would also recommend just watching films. Don’t sit around reading books about how you should construct a narrative, or how this person did that, or what this person recommends you to do to better yourself as a filmmaker. Watch films by the masters! Go out and experiment and then decide for yourself! Listen to every kind of weird music! Look at art and photography! Read Richard Brautigan, William Burroughs and Flannery O’Conner. You can be as surreal and as experimental as you like, as long as there is an honesty in your vision.

Celebs Raid Adams Morgan, We Forget About The Real World DC For A Minute

Making a Movie

Courtesy Washington City Paper

Is DC jumping the Hollywood shark?

All of a sudden we’ve become the new Toronto or Vancouver in terms non-LA filming locations. Forget about the slew of reality shows including Real World DC which should of started filming at their house on the corner of S & 20th. Forget about SilverDocs, the film festival that’s eaten most of my time this week. We got a new Hollywood distraction in town this weekend!

If you have been living under a rock (or maybe the Bethesda Metro Station), filming on Untitled James L. Brooks Project (however it’s speculated that the title is How Do You Know?) has been under way in Adams Morgan for the past few days and will wrap up at the end of next week.

The cast is packed with names like Jack Nicholson, Owen Wilson, Reese Witherspoon and Paul Rudd. Which has caused everyone in DC to momentarily stop planning ways on how to get into the MTV hot tub and into Paul Rudd’s pants. My friends have already had their own personal encounters with the cast: The Pumpernickel made eye contact with Rudd and my friend Sarah got to go on a bike ride with Owen Wilson.

According to DCist, “other scenes will be filmed inside the lobby and outside of the office building at 875 15th Street NW, aka The Bowen Building, for big chunks of the weekend — a security notice sent to workers in the McPherson Square-adjacent building says they’ll be there pretty much all day Saturday and Sunday, and then again overnight at the end of next week.” The film is expected out this December.

Here are some clips of the filming, note Paul Rudd was filming a scene for the movie and probably wasn’t really hit by a car- but when you are trying to walk DC it’s totally possible.




SilverDocs 2009: Sweethearts Of The Prision Rodeo Screens Today

It almost sounds like the plot of a bad action film.

Take a bunch of prisoners and throw them in a rodeo where they face off against angry bulls, ready to tear them apart. Sounds like a modern day gladiator bout but it’s reality at the Oklahoma Prison Rodeo which is billed as the world’s only “behind the walls” rodeo.

Sweethearts of the Prision Rodeo profiles the female inmates of the Dr. Eddie Warrior Correctional Center, as they train and compete while struggling to live a life behind bars. Director Bradley Beesley has spent his career documenting, “oddball Americana, strange sub-cultures, and homegrown rock stars.” He has no doubt found a very interesting story and subject with the ladies of the Oklahoma Prison Rodeo.

Even though Beesley is from Oklahoma, he was inspired while on the West Coast reading The Washington Post, “I was living in San Francisco and I read an article in the Washington Post, which announced that for the first time in Oklahoma State Prison Rodeo history female inmates would be competing against the male inmates.  Because I had already thought this would make a good short film and now that females were added, I was compelled.”

The film, selected for this year’s SXSW festival, screens this afternoon and on Sunday at SilverDocs, and the film has already been sold to HBO.


Sweethearts Of The Prision Rodeo
Showing at AFI SilverDocs
Friday June 19th, 4:30 PM

AFI Silver Theater
Sunday Jun 21st, 2:30 PM
Round House Theatre

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