Box Set Visit + Mansion on O. St.

I’ve been friends with Jeff from the Band Box set for a number of years. I saw them open for Huey Lewis like 15 years ago, and after emailing a little fan note, we struck up a pen pal friendship. He’s west coast though, and while I did briefly get to see him when he played in this area with Further, this was the first time Box Set itself came out East since I first saw them many years ago! The guys played a house concert at The Woodshop, which is a really cool venue, and the following week, they visited me at work for a tour. They invited Doug and I to come check out the place they were staying, the Mansion on O Street, which is a really cool rock and roll hotel in DC. Lots of famous people stay there because the owner is well connected in the music industry. It’s like 5 brownstones connected by secret passageways and all the rooms are themed and there are guitars and *stuff* everywhere. You can actually visit and wander around with a treasure hunt map and they encourage you to post pics on social media!

Jeff had invited us to a private party there but we weren’t able to make it, so I was glad we were able to get down there to see the place. We also had a nice dinner together, and we hung out for a while afterwards and it was a really fun and relaxing time. So great to meet Ben and Jim, and to get the chance to chat with Jeff at length. We also met viral juggling sensation Chris Bliss, since he was staying there, and he hung out and chatted with us for a while. He was really nice and had really thoughtful things to say. A great visit!

Here’s clips of three songs Box Set played:

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Touring Satellite Servicing:
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My co-worker Peter gave them a tour:
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Standing in the acoustic test chamber for scale!
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In the centrifuge:
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I never noticed this old timey sign on the space environment simulator:
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During the gig we saw, the band joked about Sono Bono park, this little postage sized thing near their hotel. We spotted this tiny gated median on the walk from the metro and knew it had to be it! And it was! It’s like something out of Parks & Rec!
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The Mansion on O St. It was hard to know what to photograph, it was so chock full of stuff.

Carole King might have used this piano:
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This is a secret door in the kitchen that leads to this secret room!
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This is in the elevator:
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These signs would tell you where there was NOT a secret door:
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As long as there weren’t guests, you could poke in all the rooms. Here is one of them, clearly Americana themed:
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Here’s another one:
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Also, there were guitars everywhere, like this 1960 Les Paul in one of the rooms:
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From Jorma Kaukanen, Jefferson Airplane:
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This one, from Emmy Lou Harris was in Jeff’s room!
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The Beatles themed room:
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Yep, a projection of John in front of the bidet:
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This is a CSNY guitar that John Prine decided he was going to sign.

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So many cool ceilings and chandaliers:
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Hand-written lyrics to Hotel California:
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Another secret door:
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Janis Joplin:
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I saw this set piece a the Rock Hall when Katie and I saw a Stones exhibit:
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The Mansion from the outside:
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