The Capitol Heights

After Action Report – Rosies and Rockers

Posted 05-08-2015

Our open mic challenge series continues with an impromptu show at Rosies and Rockers boutique on 13th and U. Boy.. do we mean impromptu. Josh received an email from D.C. Music Download containing information about an open mic. Naturally – Josh was excited and forwarded the email to Kenny and included something along the lines of “make it happen…” So.. Kenny made it happen. Oh.. By the way – the show was the very next day and Josh had no idea. Nevertheless, a quick and frantic midnight call later and the show was a go. The band decided to roll with it. Good things usually come out of it when we do.

So what is Rosies and Rockers? It’s a hip-as-hell clothing boutique venue located in the heart of the U St. neighborhood. What’s more important than the heart … the brain? Rosies and Rockers is located at the cerebral cortex of U St. There’s lots of unique and bespoke pieces of clothing, jewelry, and other accoutrements at the shop that give it a unique vibe. Speaking of unique, we met one of the co-owners named Mateen who was a riot. Had we gone down in flames, it would of been worth it just to meet this guy. Using the interweb as the ultimate creepy tool, here are some of his facebook statuses:

  • My lemonade contains artificial flavoring. My laundry detergent contains real lemons. F*ck everything.
  • Never make eye contact while eating a banana.
  • Best advice I’ve ever got, Study or else you’ll have to be a stripper.
  • Some questions just answer themselves. Like, sit-ups or pizza?
  • The bills are washed, the dishes are paid, the laundry’s in the oven. I’m going to bed.
  • I bet giraffes don’t even know what farts smell like.

Even if he gets mad about us doing this… #YOLO.

Mateen decided to work with DC Music Download to have an open mic contest here. At the point of this performance, we had done well over 20 open mics in the past year, many multiple times because they were fun as hell, so we thought we might have a decent chance of winning. The grand prize? Opening for a large band at Comic Ping Pong. Well that’s enough to bring the talent out.

Before we get too far into things, here’s a wallpaper for your laptop – it’s the mural painted on the side of the Rosies & Rockers check-out counter and we absolutely loved it! So feel free to download, act like Massachusetts, and use it liberally.


One of the first folks we met was Dedwax and he was up first. We were able to speak with him both before and after his set and he seemed like a really nice guy. If memory serves us right, he gave us one of his slick business cards (which always reminds us of how we want/need some…). His set was pretty solid and he came off as if he had been doing this for a while. He had a somewhat bluesy sound that incorporated a grunge style. His voice is reminiscent of Pete Yorn, and he puts a lot of emotion with dynamic range in his music.


Our set went superb. We feel like we never say that and that we’re too hard on ourselves on this blog, so that’s great to be able to express. Everyone’s performance was acoustic, and when that’s sitch it’s much easier for us because we can hear the same sound everyone else is hearing. And this time it went off without a hitch (what the hell does that expression mean anyway?). We played Sequestered Together and You and Me and we were worried the cornet would be too loud inside, but it seemed to go well enough. We were a little nervous because everyone was so close. Proximity to crowd prolly plays a role in nerves.

TCH @ Rosies

Starranko was up after us and this dude was fun to watch and listen to. He used an amp to play his backing tracks, which were all original and really, really good. Some serious production went into them. It was awesome actually because at one point there were sirens in the background from a police car and it totally sounded like it was part of the backing track. We didn’t know until the police cruiser went by in the background, which made him look EVEN MORE cool. He also had some of his friends play some slick as hell guitar licks in the background. We actually haven’t seen many hip hop acts on our open mic tour, so Starranko was a breath of fresh air. He was practiced, articulate, and had some intelligent and funny lyrics (“My GPS can’t be tracked“). Here he is mid-set:


There were a bunch of other acts – even a 10 year old – and this one woman from NYC came in at the last minute and we thought she was a DC Music Download ringer so nobody would win the prize. Who won? Well, that was up to the judges. There were real judges. How? DC Music Download picked non-partial folks out the crowd. We were worried. But in the end – they chose us! It was really great! Josh was nervous and Kenny was going all “Kenye” acting cool like he didn’t care but he super did. It really meant a lot to us after all this work over the past year. Starranko won the second spot and we were definitely concerned he would take first.

Mateen said that there were going to be more unique performances at the store once a month, everything from drag shows to circus acts to more music, and we’re definitely glad we went and were part of the show! The only thing we sort of had an issue with is storage space for instruments . . . but it’s a clothier – what do you expect?! Shutup and get dressed, preferably with Rosie’s jeans. Hawt.

We’re apparently going to be opening for a larger act at Comet Ping Pong in June. We can’t wait!

Artist Info

We hardly know the guy, but he’s got some serious personality. You should go check out his store, which truly is one of those wonderful local shops you should be proud to have in your neighborhood.
2001 13th St NW, Washington, DC 20009
(202) 328-7625

Dedwax’s has a facebook page and his main site is His music video is fucking magical.

Here’s his Soundcloud.

Starranko has a facebook page and his twitter handle is @starranko. His soundcloud is embedded below:

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