The Capitol Heights

After Action Report – Libertine

Posted 10-07-2015

The following is scrolled on the top the Libertine’s kitchen entrance:

1.) A free thinker, especially in religious matters.
2.) A person who is unrestrained by convention or morality.

We’re such libertines…except Kenny.

About 2 months ago, we played The Black Squirrel in Adams Morgan thanks to an invite from Len & J (now LATO). That show went well, but Josh forgot his glasses onstage. When going back off-hours to retrieve them, The Capitol Heights met the fabled owners of The Black Squirrel (Amy and Tom) in person. Turns out, they are nice folks, and they also own the Libertine. A few emails later we were put in contact with a gent named Anders who helps book music for a few venues in Admo, including The Black Squirrel and Libertine. Anders said we should take over booking for the Libertine for Adams Morgan Day 2015 and Len & J would take The Black Squirrel. Sounds like a plan and that’s what we did.

Basically this turned into a “best of” show for The Capitol Heights – featuring those who we’ve played with over the past year or so. We had a few of the folks we scheduled end up over on The Black Squirrel’s side, due to scheduling conflicts, and Len & J had the same thing happen at the Libertine. But we’re glad we hosted this event because we met some new folks and got exposed to new tunes. And we tried our hand at organization! Turns out organizing is harder than we thought but we didn’t mess things up too bad.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s tell the story. How did we get to the show? After we booked all the bands, Anders did a magnificent job of promoting the show with a killer website, graphics, and great social media engagement. Seriously – we can’t express enough of well of a job he did (and as a direct result we have more than 100 followers on Twitter now!) We’ve played the Libertine once before, and we knew they had a brand new PA. So the day of, we didn’t have to bring that much gear outside of our own equipment.

This day was particularly hairy because it was the day Kenny’s car battery decided to die. After frantically deciding what to do to fix it (thanks wives!), Kenny hopped in the proverbial Uber and made his way to meet Josh. Speaking of Uber – I feel like we should get a loyalty discount or something. I digress – We arrived in Admo to what can only be called utter and complete madness. Adams Morgan was packed! People everywhere, no parking, and no room on the sidewalks to drag equipment into the venue. Like that handshake your grandpa tried to teach you, we gently, but firmly, fought our way into the Libertine.

Once there, Anders had already set up everything. Good man! We reveled in our ability to chat with him in person versus using email, and one of the coolest things we found is that Anders actually designed the interior of the Libertine. Very. Cool. Eventually, we had to trek on over to The Black Squirrel to loot their store of cables and mics for some of the larger acts that we had scheduled for the day. But other than that no real equipment issues. We kicked off the show at 2 PM to a fairly packed house. We played for an hour and loved every second of it.

Our friend Colleen whom we met at Sauf Haus a while back was scheduled to play immediately after us. She brought her Ukelele and sang songs that escaped the bar area and drew in others from outside. She played Scare Away the Dark by Passenger, which is an AMAZING but not well known song. Josh had just heard it the week before and it was in that indefatigable phase of constantly playing in his head. (Josh recently read that word in Huxley’s A Brave New World and he really wanted to use it.) As usual, Colleen did a bang-up job made it rain at the Libertine.


You may remember Jeff Farias, who guest starred in our USO show and St. Elmos’s Cafe open mic. He’s like 6 foot forever tall, has a big presence, and plays music like a very determined and methodical madman. Well he’s got a wife. And she’s just as estimable. In fact, we’ve been trying to play a show with the both of ’em for some time, and lo and behold this was that day! We got them onstage to play some of their songs and it was such a treat. We were jealous of their giant songbook containing all originals, and they effortlessly pulled things from their back catalog for an hour. Tammy sang, and Jeff played his guitar and tried his resonator abit. It was worth the wait. They sounded wonderful and brought a sizable crowed. Maybe we’ll get them to abandon southern Maryland and join up with the DC music scene. We could use ’em. See below!


Our friend Jahnel, who’s been going on tours, blogging, and generally thundering around the east coast music scene came out to play mid-day. And for the first time ever, we saw her full band! She’s been playing off and on with a bassist named Pierce, who we hung out with and found to be a generally nice dude. Jahnel also had Chris Compton ripping the guitar for her. Unfortunately, we didn’t get any pictures of all of them in their glory. And oh that they were glorious. Sadly, we had a cancellation following their performance. We asked Chris to sit in, and it was amazing. We’ve played with him any number of times, but that day, Chris had it what it is. His voice was crisp, fingers agile, and the crowd loved ’em! It was a fortuitous turn of events for all involved. Chris sang his favorite covers, and we’re loving some of his original country/folk songs like Sweet By and By and Highway Girl. See Chris go. Go Chris Go you music-playin’ hound.


Next up is Nardo Lilly. We had no idea who this was, since it was a Len & J pick. But when she showed up… we were like OOOOOOOHHHH it’s CUMBERBATCH! Why do we say that? She has an absolutely delightful song about Benedict Cumberbatch that was obviously memorable enough that we recognized her from an Iota Club open mic over a year ago. Now Nardo Lilly’s music is difficult to describe. Because she’s basically a lyrical genius. She’s basically like Steve Jobs writing a keynote speech, with every word having an appreciable impact that’s often delightfully funny – sometimes self-deprecatingly so. When we listened to her bandcamp, we were absolutely aghast that she has many of her great songs recorded (listen to hot Hot Park Ranger), Benedict Cumberbatch is not available! Ah, why is the world so cruel?! ** Edit ** – She’s informed us that it is available on iTunes and on Spotify! Here she is making the magic happen.


The cap in the evening was Cassie Urbany. When I hear the name Cassie, I think of the Animorphs character who turns into a wolf, like everyone else does I’m sure. Now I’m going to be thinking of a woman showing up STOKED about the Eagles in her war jersey ready to serve up a massive dose of country-rock-folk that’s a little bit dark, but a little uplifing at the same time. We ended the evening listening to her musical stories and sweet voice in the outside seating area of Libertine, and it was a great way to just have nighttime wash over us. Her music was a great soundtrack to our very tired bodies after hosting this event for over 8 hours. When Cassie’s last sonorous note concluded, we knew something important had come to a close, and we were excited to talk to her about her great music. Here she is before the curtain went down.


So that’s about it. We were hosting the event all day! There were a number of acts we didn’t hit in this post and we’re sorry to everyone we missed. It was a long day full of some wonderful music. Amy and Tom, owners of the establishment, were great to the musicians, offering free drinks and a cornucopia of food available in the back. Anders was wonderful in helping to get this whole event off the ground. The Liberine & Black Squirrel staff put up with us for an entire day, which mind you, is a tribulation in and of itself. Adams Morgan Day – we’ll see you next year!

Artist Info

Colleen McCracken
Since Colleen’s just gettin’ started, she ain’t got too much of a web presence, but you can check her out here.

Tammy Patrick Band
Tammy’s website is nice and easy: and a single is embedded below. Check it out!

Jahnel and her Band
Jahnel’s been mentioned here before but we’ll repeat her info because it’s super important! She’s got her music consultancy company Bearhawk Artist Management, a twitter account, and her facebook page!

Chris Compton
Chris Compton can be found on his reverb nation page and his newly designed homepage:

Nardo Lilly
You can find this woman’s facebook and bandcamp readily available. See below for an embed.

Cassie Urbany
Cassie’s main page is, she also has a bandcamp and facebook page.

Here’s her album, make sure to take a look!

Like this post? Share it with your friends! If you’re into general hilarity and local DMV music, consider signing up for our mailing list. A big thanks goes to you for reading.