And the night shall be filled with music.
And the cares that infest the day
Shall fold their tents, like the Arabs.
And as silently steal away.
You know the feeling - it's Sunday night, the parentheses that surround the weekend are starting to close, here comes Monday and you haven't done your homework, and like that.
Well, no sense worrying about that now. The thing to do is make sure the weekend ends on the right note - a Dixieland note, say, accompanied by a beer or several and maybe something to eat, but nothing elaborate.
The Pierce St. Annex (1210 19th St. NW) offers "Hot Mustard" and a free plate of spaghetti with any alcoholic drink bought between 7 and 11 on a Sunday night. As the ashtrays will tell you, if you forgot or never knew, this place used to be The Embers, and the atmosphere's more West Coast singles' bar than barrelhouse: The lighting's hooked up to the sound system so it blinks at you, the rest-rooms are marked "woofers" and "tweeters", and hanging signs reserve bar space for Anchorage and San Francisco and Newport Beach Pierce Street regulars. And the band uses an electric keyboard rather than a rickety-tick piano, but the music and the spaghetti - and, yes, the beer - will help stave Monday off for a few hours.
If your're less hungry and more traditional about what's real Dixieland and what's not.
The crowd here is older - and, in a curious way, livelier - than at the Pierce St. Annex. They dance more, call from table to table, and in general seem to have a better time. You can get "something light" to eat, like sandwiches, and in the early part of the evening you have a great view of planes flying right at your table as they take off from National Airport. But the main attraction is, of course, the music, and to my taste it's the perfect way to wind up a weekend.
There are other places to go for Sunday night Dixieland, most of which you can learn about by calling the PRJC's "jazz hotline" (703/573-8723), but it recently guided a caller to a keyboard, bass, drums, and sax playing supper-club cool and a ragtime man with funny hats who was singing to an empty room - both in the suburbs. It was enough to mold your fig, and the drive alone brought Monday morning an hour closer.