In 2005, District restaurateur Joe Englert embarked on a mission to transform three blocks of H Street Northeast from a row of vacant buildings and carryout food joints into a happening bar scene. His plan included Rock & Roll Hotel, the bright blue bar and live music venue, located at 1353 H St. NE. Its downstairs stage has since drawn local bands, on-the-verge acts and droves of concert-goers to the Atlas District, and it has become a nightlife staple in the transforming neighborhood.
Rock & Roll Hotel commemorates seven years this week, with a music showcase that begins tonight.
California punk rockers Ceremony bring their jagged, hardcore sound to the venue Monday. The Bay Area quintet has released four studio albums since forming in 2004. Their most recent, "Zoo," explores punk and post-punk traditions with tense rhythms, ringing power chords and Ross Farrar's future primitive vocals. Opening up the show will be Barge, GIVE and Ed Schrader's Music Beat. Tickets are $12, and the music starts at 8:30.
On Wednesday, rocker Laura Jane Grace sings the "Transgender Dysphoria Blues," the soon-to-be-released sixth studio album from Against Me! Born Thomas James Gabel, the artist is best known as the lead vocalist, songwriter and a guitarist for the Gainesville, Fla., punk rock band. In 2012, Gabel publicly came out as transgender, admitting to years of struggling with gender dysphoria and announcing her plan to medically transition to female. Gabel shared her transgender struggles on an episode of MTV's "House of Style." She plans to legally change names to Laura Jane Grace as part of the transition. Doors open at 7 p.m., and opener Mina Caputo takes the stage at 8 p.m. Tickets are $12 in advance or $15 at the door.
Friday's headliners are D.C.-born new wave group Miyazaki. The quartet rehearses its gloomy synth pop in Takoma Park and recently debuted its first full-length album, "Color of Glass." Miyazaki's tracks revolve around drums and bass, with dreamy, introspective lyrics and instrumental melodies guaranteed to get the crowd swaying. Medals, Black Hills and Denman round out the night's lineup. Tickets are $10, and the show kicks off at 9 p.m.
Punk rock culminates the anniversary showcase. On Saturday, punk rocker Kevin Seconds, founder of the hardcore band 7 Seconds, headlines as a solo act. Since its formation in 1979, 7 Seconds has released 15 records and toured North America, Europe and Japan. Seconds has focused on his solo career since 2007, performing around the U.S., U.K. and Germany with Chuck Ragan, Tim Berry, Ben Nichols and other rockers. A legend of D.C.'s 1980s punk scene opens the 8 p.m. show. Government Issue frontman John Stabb will perform acoustic versions of the band's biggest hits and read short selections from his music-based memoir "Hear the Scream." Also taking the stage is Kepi Ghouli, lead singer of the Groovie Ghoulies. He will perform punk-pop songs released over the band's 24-year career. Tickets are $10.