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Waiting for Salvation
At the beginning of the summer, D.C. bassist and singer Rob “Kalani” Tifford wrangled his quarantine energy into Wabi Sabi: Songs for the Moon, a bare-bones psych-rock EP labeled as art of “impermanence and imperfection,” in tune with the Japanese concept at the front of the title. The plan was that Tifford’s band, Thunderpaw, would “just keep going until we are able to get together as a band again,” he says, and maybe do three EPs total. The process obviously unlocked something, though, because Thunderpaw has now released four EPs in three months, with another coming in September. Tifford’s confidence only seems to be expanding. The latest set of songs, Waiting for Salvation, is an all-too-brief tour of Thunderpaw’s sure-handed garage rock and hallucinogen-infused post-punk (check out “The Ballad of Mary Jane” in particular). Tifford, who previously led the D.C. trio Sunwolf, says he’s been recording bass, vocals, drum loops, and guitar sketches, then sending those to guitarist Kenny Pirog for his input. (Drummer Andrew Labens hasn’t been able to contribute while “living the good life” in Montana, Tifford says.) Bonus cut: a compelling cover of “Sons And Daughters,” the 2006 a cappella solo track by Fugazi’s Joe Lally. Thunderpaw’s discography is available at thunderpaw.bandcamp.com. Prices vary. —Joe Warminsky
DC Writers’ Homes
From Zora Neale Hurston to Elizabeth Bishop, an online database of more than 300 writers and their D.C. homes offers a glittering who’s who of Washington literary history. Finesse your explorations using mysterious and glamorous search terms like “genre: romance,” “showbiz,” “society hostesses,” and even “spies & their families” (where you’ll find Julia Child and her lemon meringue-colored Georgetown home). There’s an admirable category for “hosts of literary salons,” where generous intelligentsia like Hilary Tham will invite you into their homes. Tham immigrated from Malaysia to Virginia in 1971 at the age of 25, and was the poetry editor of the Potomac Review while living in her Arlington nook. Under “architecturally significant” homes, you’ll find iconic Logan Circle outposts like the home of Gil Scott-Heron. (The house, incidentally, was built by a former White House tenant and son of a president). Three miles up Connecticut Avenue is the country home-turned-Georgian mansion of Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit, the first woman to hold a cabinet position in India. She gathered materials for her memoir from her Cleveland Park residence while serving as ambassador to America in 1949. Then there’s the 12th Street YMCA, as it was known, a Renaissance Revival fortress designed by William Sidney Pittman, a trailblazing Black architect (and son-in-law of Booker T. Washington), where Langston Hughes wrote immortal lines. Explore the collection at dcwritershomes.wdchumanities.org. —Emma Francois