1/16/18 - Special Guest: Maxx Myrick, of DC Radio HD

Thanks to Maxx Myrick, Director of Programming for 96.3 HD4, DC Radio HD, for hanging out with us in the studio this week!

^^Episode Audio/Post Is Live - Click Above (might need to buffer/load, refresh page if you have any issues)^^

Podcast:  iTunesGoogle PlayStitcher, TuneInPocket CastsPodBeanPlayerFM, or THIS URL in your app of choice




  1. The Towns, by Honest Haloway (Indie, Indie-Rock)
  2. The State of the Union, by Thievery Corporation (World)
  3. Fall Winter Spring Fall, by Carolyn Malachi (Jazz, R&B)
  4. Possibilities, by Bronsen and the Expedition (Pop, Funk)
  5. The Island (Comecar De Novo), by Lori Williams (Jazz, NeoSoul)

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-


Brian and DC Music Rocks were a feature story on an episode of the TV Show ‘The 202’ recently.  Brian’s interview aired and will re-air on the cable network DCN around the city.  We’ve also shared the link below, it starts around the 8 minute mark!  If you’ve ever wondered about Brian’s band Fellowcraft, they’re featured immediately after the DC Music Rocks interview so we hope you’ll keep watching for that too!

We’ve expanded our partnership and DC Music Rocks product line with Amazon to include sweatshirts and hoodies!  So cool!


Our 2018 New Releases by DC Artists’ Spotify Playlist:


Backbeat Underground ft Aaron Abernathy - She Don’t Love Me (Like I Do)

Our ‘DC Artists Official Music Videos’ Youtube Playlist:


Check the calendar, linked below, for the full list!

Jan 19 Fri
Carter Lou & The Project and Elizabeth ii @ DC9 by U St
Jonny Grave & Nah. @ Pearl Street Warehouse in The Wharf area by the SW Waterfront

Jan 20 Sat
AM - Rocknoceros Free show @ National Theatre by Metro Center
Wanted Man & Bottled Up @ Rock & Roll Hotel on H St NE
Sub-Radio @ Gypsy Sally’s in Georgetown

Jan 21 Sun
Kypin Martin @ Milkboy Arthouse in College Park

Jan 23 Tue
Maryjo Mattea @ DC9 by U St in NW
The North Country @ Gypsy Sally’s in Georgetown

Jan 24 Thu
Near Northeast @ Gypsy Sally’s in Georgetown


Would you support us?  We'd love to grow and do more!  We're giving away shirts, access to our private facebook group, and more!  We also intend to set aside 10% to contribute directly in the DC Local Music Scene through charities, sponsorships, events, etc.  We want to continue to pay it forward!

HUGE shoutout to our current Patrons! 
--Daniel Warren Hill

Maxx Myrick


Maxx Myrick's Bio:

Maxx Myrick photo

Winfred “Maxx” Myrick was raised in Toledo, Ohio where he first went on the air at age 14 as a teen reporter at WKLR.  After High School and the Marine Corps, he enrolled at the University of Toledo where he began his career on college radio.  From there he worked his way up in radio markets including Cincinnati, Greenville, SC, Shreveport, Richmond, Cleveland, Pensacola, Washington, DC and New York.  In 1988 he was the first voice on the air doing midday’s at the launch of WVAZ in Chicago.  In 1990 Maxx and consultant Tony Gray signed on UAC WALR-Atlanta where he was the Operations Manager and Program Director and in 1993 he returned to WVAZ-Chicago as Operations Manager and Program Director until 2000 when he left to help launch XM Satellite Radio where he created the Real Jazz channel, programmed the Neo Soul channel “The Flow”, the Latin Jazz channel “Luna” and worked with and produced Wynton Marsalis at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City.  In 2008 he left radio for four years, finally returning to his true love in 2011 as Operations Manager and Program Director of Heritage UAC WHUR, the flagship station of the Howard University Radio Network.  Maxx is a divorced father of four wonderful adults Tondalaya, Khalfani, Akili and Nyasha Myrick.

Maxx Myrick Pic
Maxx Myrick


Brian:     On DC Music Rocks, we're shining a spotlight on the great songs, artists, and incredible people behind the DC region's local music scene. Maxx Myrick is an award-winning air personality, radio programmer, and content expert with over 40 years of experience, providing content on local and national levels. He's currently the talent buyer for Bethesda, Jazz and Blues Supper Club, and programming director for DC Radio, which is 96.3FMHD4 or dcradio.gov. His past experience includes work for XM Satellite Radio, like he just mentioned in New York City. He created the Real Jazz Channel and then he also was operations manager, and programming director at Clear Channel Chicago's WVAC and 106 Jams. Maxx is the recipient of every major radio award including Music Association's Icon Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Association of Black Broadcasters. After saying all that, it's just exciting that I met him, because through doing DC Music Rocks, my show airs also on 96.3HD4 on DC Radio and I was honored when I first got connected with him back when we were talking about doing that connection and having the episodes air. I've been working with him ever since and he's truly an incredible dude. I'm just honored that you'd be here and you'd do this with me, Maxx. This is exciting to have you on the show.

Maxx Myrick:     It's an honor to be here with you after listening to your show. It's an honor to be here in the studio with you.

Brian:     My goodness. Now, can you talk a little bit about we talked about Bethesda Jazz and Blues and we talked about DC Radio. Can you expand on those just a little? What's your involvement?

Maxx Myrick:     DC Radio, I've spent my career building radio stations around the country, Chicago, Atlanta, New York, DC. I was also at WHUR here in DC for four years prior to coming to the DC office of Cable Television, Film, Music and Entertainment, which is what DC Radio is a part of.

Brian:     Oh fantastic.

Maxx Myrick:     Extent of that wonderful brand, which also had the DC and television DK and television and DCC television.

Brian:     Wow. There's three channels. There's radio now. DC has really got a lot going on with the entertainment.

Maxx Myrick:     The office of film is in there as well, film, television, DC Office of Cable Television, Film, Music and Entertainment.

Brian:     It's the longest acronym.

Maxx Myrick:     It really is right.

Brian:     I know they must catch some heat for that. It's OCTFME.

Maxx Myrick:     OCTFME.

Brian:     All together. I met somebody and they're like, "No, it's music and entertainment. It's the office of music and entertainment."

Maxx Myrick:     That's what it is. I mean, we're trying to. Our goal is to give the people of DC a reason to stay here.

Brian:     Yeah.

Maxx Myrick:     We have the tools. We have a mayor and a director who are devoted to giving the citizens of DC an opportunity and that's what they're there for.

Brian:     Wow. The result is pretty amazing. If you check out some of the content you guys have, it truly it really is targeted for the local scene. Actually, talk about that. Talk about the station and what's on there.

Maxx Myrick:     Well, one of the shows that we cover of course is DC Music Rocks.

Brian:     Oh, you flatter me sir. You flatter me.

Maxx Myrick:     No seriously, when we were first trying to figure out, the station has governmental programming of course. We have a show with the Congresswoman Eleanore Holmes Norton. We have a show with the Metro Police Department. We have a show with the Mayor's Office, and Latoya Foster. We have shows with the business, different agencies. We also wanted to have an outlet for the local creative community. We've also created 202 Creates. That's part of our wheelhouse as well.

Brian:     Yeah, we've talked about that tagline on the show. Absolutely.

Maxx Myrick:     We wanted to also give the talent and the creatives in DC a place to get exposure. One of the first people that we reached out to was Brian Nelson Palmer, and DC Music Rocks because you play.

Brian:     I'm blushing over here. I'm blushing.

Maxx Myrick:     We have to service all eight wards and we have to provide programming for the entire city.

Brian:     Yeah.

Maxx Myrick:     Your program addresses that.

Brian:     It's true.

Maxx Myrick:     We were pleased that you said you would allow us to put your program on DC Radio.

Brian:     I am honored to be a part of the family Maxx. It really is a treat. Talk briefly about, you've got experience as a talent buyer now too. Is that like a side thing that you do, or how does that fit into the career?

Maxx Myrick:     It's a part-time thing I do? I've been in this business for 40 years.

Brian:     Yeah.

Maxx Myrick:     I've done all kinds of things. I've done small events, big events. When I was in Chicago, we used to do something called Unity Day, which was an annual free concert that was in Washington Park on the south side of Chicago. We had a million people show up every year.

Brian:     Holy smokes.

Maxx Myrick:     It was so big we had to film it from a helicopter. It was just crazy.

Brian:     That's a pretty big event. Oh wow.

Maxx Myrick:     We did other events and I'm used to doing big scale things.

Brian:     Yeah.

Maxx Myrick:     The same thing with the radio stations. All the radio stations that I've built have gone on to become big radio stations and that's the plan, to make this radio station, a station that the other cities want to have.

Brian:     Yeah.

Maxx Myrick:     We want to be the model for that. We have a very diverse array of programming for the artists, local artists and creatives and also we provide. Our goal is to be as transparent as we possibly can for the local government to give the local government a voice, to keep people informed.

Brian:     Yeah.

Maxx Myrick:     It's a combination of those things.

Brian:     Now, that kid of ties right into one of my next questions or the thing I love to ask too is so what makes DC Radio special do you think?

Maxx Myrick:     Well, first of all it's a local radio station. It's in DC, for DC.

Brian:     Yeah.

Maxx Myrick:     By DC.

Brian:     Yeah.

Maxx Myrick:     I mean, that right there makes it pretty special.

Brian:     In today's day and age of top 40 radio of national broadcast, that's definitely special.

Maxx Myrick:     I mean, radio has changed. It's very difficult for content to get on commercial radio. We're a non-commercial radio station. We don't have any constraints of commercials. We're commercial free all the time.

Brian:     Yeah.

Maxx Myrick:     We run long form programming. Our programs have depth. I mean, it's not just a little short interview. Our shows are hour and a half, hour and they're very diverse. We have as I mentioned earlier, world music programs. We got [inaudible 00:07:02] World Music Hour.

Brian:     Yeah.

Maxx Myrick:     We have a show called The Brazilian Hour that we do in conjunction with the Brazilian Embassy. We've got a few more surprises coming down the pike.

Brian:     Absolutely. I feel like this is something definitely to stay tuned because there's exciting things coming from you and what you got planned for DC Radio.

Maxx Myrick:     Oh yeah. We want to make it really big.

Brian:     Talk about your connection with DC. You've been in the scene for, you've been back and forth. You've lived here multiple times. What's your history with DC?

Maxx Myrick:     I was in Chicago. V103 in Chicago for about a decade.

Brian:     Okay.

Maxx Myrick:     Then, I had been studying technology. I've been in radio since I was 14, since I was in high school.

Brian:     Since you're like 21 now.

Maxx Myrick:     Yeah, so just a couple of years. The way I got started was back whenever that was, I would always be the DJ at my family's parties. I would go to the store and get, and so I was very fascinated by radio. I grew up in Toledo, Ohio, which is right next to Detroit, and also next to the Canadian border. We listened to Canadian radio, a station called CKLW, which was bigger than life, everything about it was just bigger. I was fascinated with that.

     Then, I high school I got an opportunity to go on the local radio station, the local FM because AM was still king at that time and do the high school update. Here's what's happening at all the high schools.

Brian:     Wow.

Maxx Myrick:     That was where I got bitten by the radio bug and then I went in the Marine Corp.

Brian:     Okay.

Maxx Myrick:     We were out overseas and on a ship, for like a year, in the Mediterranean. They had a ship's entertainment system.

Brian:     You were the DJ of that.

Maxx Myrick:     I of course was the DJ.

Brian:     I'm sensing a theme here. There's a lot of DJ. Bring it back then to the DC part.

Maxx Myrick:     What happened was I was in Chicago and I had been studying the technology.

Brian:     Sure.

Maxx Myrick:     I've seen the technology go from 45 to eight track, and then just all the way through.

Brian:     Yeah.

Maxx Myrick:     I had been studying satellite radio because I put the country's first satellite radio station on in Richmond, Virginia back in 1989.

Brian:     Wow.

Maxx Myrick:     It was what we did was we had a signal in Petersburg and then their station in Spotsylvania came on and interfered with our signal in Richmond. We bought the station in Spotsylvania. Now, then we took the signal, unlinked it in Richmond, and then we set it back down via satellite and then we increased our signal.

Brian:     That's right, okay.

Maxx Myrick:     That was the first satellite radio.

Brian:     First satellite radio.

Maxx Myrick:     You know, having been familiar with the technology when XM Satellite Radio was about to launch, a friend of mind contacted me and asked if I'd be interested in going. At a certain point in your career, you want new challenges.

Brian:     Sure.

Maxx Myrick:     I could see where that was going. I came to Washington DC and built The Real Jazz Channel. There's another channel called The Flow, which was the new soul channel.

Brian:     Wow.

Maxx Myrick:     Luna, which was the Latin Jazz channel.

Brian:     Good gracious.

Maxx Myrick:     I produced, Wynton Marcalis, Quincy Jones.

Brian:     Some of the jazz greats.

Maxx Myrick:     Yeah, and the whole station was done from a jazz fan's point of view.

Brian:     Sure.

Maxx Myrick:     Which is what they wanted. Then I stayed there for eight years, and then I took four years off.

Brian:     You took a break?

Maxx Myrick:     I took a break and moved to Nashville, Tennessee.

Brian:     I love it. That's a music fan's dream.

Maxx Myrick:     It was a music town, yeah. It's a music town.

Brian:     Good gracious.

Maxx Myrick:     Then, it was time to come back. I came back. Went to WHUR for about four years, and took another little break and then I got asked to come over and help build this radio station, so now we're blowing up here.

Brian:     I was going to say, I'm excited that you're here at the helm of this one now too. It's awesome that you came back. Now, talk to us outside of this work thing, what kind of hobbies do you got, your personal life and what kind of things do you do outside of work?

Maxx Myrick:     Besides music? I see a lot of live music. Of course, I book talent as well too and I play music on the radio, but I really like going to see live music. I'm a real music fan.

Brian:     What kind? I'm guessing jazz.

Maxx Myrick:     I like everything. I like jazz. I like EDM. I like world music. I like everything. I just heard, I went to see an artist from some island off of Finland. It was the most interesting music. I go to a lot of those embassy events.

Brian:     Sure.

Maxx Myrick:     They always showcase their countryman. I like that. I like traveling.

Brian:     Absolutely. Where have you been to lately?

Maxx Myrick:     I used to go to Brazil a lot.

Brian:     Nice.

Maxx Myrick:     It's been a while, but I think I'm going to reengage.

Brian:     Make a trip back there.

Maxx Myrick:     That country soon. Yeah.

Brian:     I like reengage with that country. Some people make a trip. Maxx chooses to reengage with that country. I love it.

Maxx Myrick:     I love the culture.

Brian:     That sounds like a much better trip, than just taking a trip, is to reengage with Brazil. It sounds so much better.

Maxx Myrick:     It's a wonderful culture.

Brian:     Now, one of my favorite questions to ask when folks are on the show, is if you could offer one piece of advice, what would it be?

Maxx Myrick:     Well, this is a tough business. It's gotten tougher over time because of various reasons. One thing somebody told me at the beginning was to keep your integrity. There's lots of temptations along the way.

Brian:     Like what's an example of that, when you say a temptation?

Maxx Myrick:     Well, I never succumb to the things that some people succumb to, sex, drugs and rock and roll.

Brian:     I see.

Maxx Myrick:     There are people who did and I saw people go down. I saw people's whole careers get ruined and then you have to be a stand up person. You have to be honest. You have to keep your integrity. The reason that I'm still in the game 40 years later is because I kept my integrity. I never sacrificed that. I never would do it.

Brian:     Don't sacrifice your integrity. Keep that.

Maxx Myrick:     That's a big that.

Brian:     Keep morals.

Maxx Myrick:     Then, stick with it. Right now, there's a wonderful opportunity for those who want to get into the business because we're at a paradigm shift with the internet.

Brian:     It's true. Tell a little bit about that.

Maxx Myrick:     Well, the technology keeps moving on but right now, the next superstars of radio are going to come online.

Brian:     It's true. Podcasts and some of that other stuff.

Maxx Myrick:     If you think about Apple Radio for example. They pay this guy from England all this money to be a curator. It's all online.

Brian:     It's all there.

Maxx Myrick:     If you can create something, as an individual, and generate enough interest, they'll come looking for you.

Brian:     That's pretty incredible. Maxx I like it. Now, one more time, for those folks who want to get in touch with you, or find out the cool things that you're doing with DC Radio and stuff, where do they go?

Maxx Myrick:     Just go to dcradio.gov.

1/9/18 - Special Guest: Caustic Casanova

Thanks to Stefanie, Andrew, and Francis of Caustic Casanova, for hanging out with us in the studio this week!

^^Episode Audio/Post Is Live - Click Above (might need to buffer/load, refresh page if you have any issues)^^

Podcast:  iTunesGoogle PlayStitcher, TuneInPocket CastsPodBeanPlayerFM, or THIS URL in your app of choice




  1. Benedict Cumberbatch, by Nardo Lilly (Folk, Singer-Songwriter)
  2. Lord Pinto, by Caustic Casanova (Hard Rock, Psychedelic Metal)
  3. Carrying Curses, by Spirit Plots (Rock, Garage)
  4. Flying, by Nah (Indie, Psychedelic Rock)
  5. Sometimes Dogs Perceive Other Dogs Differently When They're Wearing Hats, by ShowPony (Indie, Instrumental)

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-


DC’s Funk Parade is looking for artists.  Know of one?  Fill this out or send this to your favorite one!

We’re on Google Home!  So cool!  Do you have one of these little speakers?  Try saying this, “Hey google, play the podcast DC Music Rocks on Tunein”  It worked for us!?
Funny P.S. - First thought that came to mind when this worked was to shout “Oh Snap!  DC Music Rocks is IN DA HOUSE!  Literally!”  So clever sometimes...HAHA!

Amazon Alexa owners, we haven’t figured out what the magic words are on there.  Can you try a few?  Please send us a note if you figure out a command that works!  


Our 2018 New Releases by DC Artists’ Spotify Playlist:


Area 301 - Product of Hip Hop

Soldiers of Suburbia - Where Do We Go

Our ‘DC Artists Official Music Videos’ Youtube Playlist:


Check the calendar, linked below, for the full list!

Jan 12 Fri
Free Lobster Buffet @ Villain & Saint in Bethesda, MD
The Woodshedders @ Gypsy Sally’s in Georgetown

Jan 13 Sat
Elana Los Fulanos & Run Come See @ Pearl Street Warehouse at The Wharf by SW Waterfront
19th St Band @ Hill Country in Chinatown/Archives

Jan 14 Sun
Black Alley @ The Fillmore in Silver Spring, MD
Rare Essence @ The Howard Theatre by Shaw

Jan 16 Tues
Annie Stokes @ Gypsy Sally’s in Georgetown

Jan 18 Thurs
Cassie Urbany @ Jammin Java in Vienna, VA


Would you support us?  We'd love to grow and do more!  We're giving away shirts, access to our private facebook group, and more!  We also intend to set aside 10% to contribute directly in the DC Local Music Scene through charities, sponsorships, events, etc.  We want to continue to pay it forward!

HUGE shoutout to our current Patrons! 
--Daniel Warren Hill

Caustic Casanova


Caustic Casanova's Bio:

Caustic Casanova Pic

Caustic Casanova is a loud, heavy rock band from Washington, DC that has learned the power of constant motion. Since 2013 they’ve practiced and toured tirelessly, showcasing their brands of “absurdly muscled uber-psyche” (Indy Week Raleigh) and “beautiful aural assault” (KnowYourScene) all across North America while releasing new music regularly, with no intention of slowing down.

After forming as teenagers at the College of William and Mary in 2005 and recording several albums and EPs there and in DC, CausticCasanova found itself at a critical juncture in 2012 following the departure of the band’s original guitarist. The rhythm section of drummer/vocalist Stefanie Zaenker and bassist/vocalist Francis Beringer wanted to play even heavier, more experimental music in the vein of Rush and the Melvins, and wanted to tour relentlessly, but weren’t sure if they could find a guitar player who would match their ambition. After a few sets as a bass/drum duo, rounds of guitar player auditions finally yielded the missing element to the new CausticCasanova, longtime fan, friend and all-around six string wizard Andrew Yonki.

In Andrew’s four years with the band, the rejuvenated Caustic Casanova has played hundreds of shows, doing all their own booking in DC and throughout North America, with plans for more touring throughout the world. Even a life-threatening wrist and back injury to drummer Stefanie Zaenker barely curtailed the band’s forward momentum. The CC was back rehearsing less than three months after her second round of surgeries, recorded a 7" (Pantheon: Vol 1) and a full-length (Breaks), and was back on another full US tour within the year.

Since opening for sludge rock titans Kylesa in 2014 and signing to their eclectic label Retro Futurist, Caustic Casanova's relentlessly intense live show has earned plenty of notoriety, and their 2015 LP Breaks has garnered much praise for its uniquely diverse take on heavy.

Caustic Casanova is released their second 7 inch, Pantheon: Vol 2, on September 8th. It features original song “Lord Pinto” and a theremin/guitar/noise freakout cover of the Melvins’ classic “Cow." Catch them on tour in 2018!

“CC...presented a noticeably eccentric set of what could be described as organized chaos, showcased undeniably great musicianship and ripped the stage to shreds.” - Metal Assault (Los Angeles)

“This trio has long been a favorite of mine as they’ve graced many stages in the DC area for several years with their creative, twisted psychedelic metal.” -  DC Rock Live

“I have seen a lot of bands over the years, and I am sure that Caustic Casanova is one of the loudest I have ever witnessed.” - NewsWhistle (Minneapolis)

“For me, the thing that sets CC apart from a lot of heavy rock and metal bands is that their songs are so various — they manage to surprise with different rhythms and textures, avoiding one continuous dark, thrummy sound that blurs from one song to another.Their delivery is pretty flawless — you hear the craft and care that have gone into the songs, which also feature some thoughtful, literate vocals.” - Louisville.com

CC Alec Berry Dino Egg Promo.jpg


Brian:    On DC Music Rocks, we're shining a spotlight on the great songs, artists and incredible people behind the DC region's local music scene. Caustic Casanova is a loud, heavy rock band from Washington DC. They formed as teenagers at the College of William and Mary in 2005 and recorded several albums and EPs there and in DC. Since 2013 they've practiced and toured tirelessly, showcasing their talents all across North America while releasing new music regularly, just like the one you just heard. There's no intentions of slowing down either. They've played hundreds of shows and they're doing all their own booking in DC and throughout North America with plans for more touring throughout the world. They released their latest EP, That One, on September 8th, is the exact date.

    I first came across these guys when I was introduced to their music. Somebody said, "Oh, you should check out Caustic Casanova." It was like, "Oh my God, they're so powerful. I love this band." Now I've gotten to play them on the show before and now I actually get to have you guys here, so this is a treat, thanks for being here guys.

Stefanie:    Thank you so much.

Brian:    Now first and foremost, talk about the name. Where does the name Caustic Casanova come from?

Francis:    The name, it just comes from me liking alliteration and wanting to just have ... We wanted to call the band The Casanovas. The real story is we wanted to call the band The Casanovas and there was already some band from Australia or something called that. Then I just looked up another word in the dictionary, Caustic Casanova. It sounds really good. I've had a lot of different stories about it but it just sounds cool. I really like it. I think it stands up to this day. A lot of people regret their band names. I think it's cool. We always get questions about it.

Stefanie:    Many mispronunciations also.

Brian:    Oh, I can only imagine. Somebody's trying to introduce you guys and then-

Andrew:    Misprints as well. We once received a payment in an envelope addressed to "Caustic Casablanca."

Stefanie:    We've also gotten Acoustic Casanova, which is pretty far from the truth.

Brian:    I was going to say, there is nothing acoustic about you guys.

Andrew:    The fact that I used acoustic guitar on one song on an album is still, I cannot fathom it. Cannot believe I let that happen.

Stefanie:    It'll be really cool though.

Francis:    It sounds great.

Brian:    Which song is that, now that you're talking about it?

Andrew:    It's yet to be released.

Brian:    Upcoming. All right.

Andrew:    Upcoming.

Brian:    You know, speaking of that. You talked about these new releases and stuff. Where do they go if they want to follow you guys to find out when that stuff comes out? Where do they go?

Francis:    Facebook.com/CausticCasanova, CausticCasanova.com.

Andrew:    @CausticCasanova on Twitter.

Francis:    And CausticCasanova on Instagram.

Brian:    There it is.

Francis:    We update all of those pretty regularly and ... yeah.

Brian:    What is it that makes you guys special or different, in your opinion.

Stefanie:    I think the style of music that we play is what comes to mind because it's not really categorizable. I don't know. We get everything from heavy metal B-52s to the Breeders to, "You guys sound like Caius." People are always getting different inspirations from our ... from seeing us live or just listening to a recording. That is definitely one thing that makes us unique musically.

Andrew:    We all listen to a lot of different styles and our individual tastes inform a lot how we approach our individual instruments, but I think what really makes us special is that we have a really bizarre and weird sense of humor. We take our music really seriously, but as far as ourselves and our personalities, we don't take it too seriously at all. We like to have pun-offs in the van to see who can make Stefanie groan the loudest with the puns.

Stefanie:    That makes it sound like I'm not involved in these pun-offs. I very much am.

Andrew:    That's because you have the worst.

Brian:    Oh my God, I can only imagine what road trips with you guys are like. That must be amazing.

Andrew:    I've also come up with nicknames for all of us using the Caustic Casanova template. Thank you Stefanie.

Brian:    Oh, this is so good. I love it. What is it now that ... Talk about the DC region connection now. You've always been DC. We said William and Mary's where you got together and then you've been based in DC ever since?

Stefanie:    Francis and I are two of the original members of the band. We formed at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. Then I was two years younger than him so we took a few years off. Fran is from the area originally, I moved here in 2008 and Andrew moved here in 2004, because he went to American. Since then we've all kind of been in the area.

Brian:    How did you guys get together?

Francis:    The original guitar player and Stefanie and I, I lived in the same hall as the original guitar player in college when I was 17. Then we found Stefanie through an exciting new thing called Facebook, which was very, we just searched for drumming.

Stefanie:    It was the first year that it was around, actually. 2004.

Brian:    That's right, 2004.

Francis:    We found someone through just searching "drumming" and four people came up and we talked to them and she came in and we were so desperate for just anyone that she played a beat for just half a second, we said, "Okay, that's good."

Brian:    Then you found out how absolutely incredible she is.

Francis:    Yeah.

Brian:    It was like your best decision.

Stefanie:    I don't know if I'd say that then. That was a long time ago.

Brian:    But you've come a long way. If you watch videos of these guys, Stefanie puts it down for sure. All these guys put it down, let's be real, but ... wow. Love it.

Francis:    We formed ... I just want to make sure that Andrew gets ...

Brian:    Oh yeah, talk about Andrew. That's right.

Francis:    We sort of disbanded in 2012 for a little bit, mostly because we wanted on tour a lot and it just wasn't possible with the situation we were in in 2012. Our guitar player left the band and then we decided we were going to continue, but only if we could get someone who was really, really, really good. We tried out a lot of people and it just turned out that our really good friend, who had mostly played in punk bands that we knew, had a lot more to offer as far as space rock and all sorts of things. We ended up asking him and it's been a joy ever since. Take it away, Andrew.

Brian:    Andrew, I love that, man.

Andrew:    In case you couldn't figure it out, I was the really good friend that they were talking about.

Brian:    I started to wonder for a second, but then I realized, no there can't be another plot twist here. That must be you he's talking about.

Andrew:    They were hoping to get their really good friend in the band but they wound up with me instead. This is what it's like, this is what it's like in the van.

Brian:    I'm getting more ... I was going to say. I'm imaging what it's like in the van. This is so good.

Stefanie:    But it's also a lot smellier.

Francis:    I knew she wouldn't be able to hold back from getting that in.

Brian:    Oh, [crosstalk 00:07:32]. We don't have to ... We don't have to go down that road.

Stefanie:    We don't have to go there.

Francis:    Don't go blue. This is a family show.

Brian:    Well, hold on.

Francis:    Keep it clean.

Brian:    On that then, we'll talk about you guys outside of the music then. On the personal side, hobbies, or what do you do in your free time. Talk about that. Each of you.

Stefanie:    Well, I really like to spend time outside. Francis always makes fun of me because I use, "I was an outside kid," as an excuse for why I don't know a lot ...

Francis:    Know what the Cloud is.

Stefanie:    ... of popular culture or that I didn't really understand what the Cloud was, yes I'll say it. A couple years ago I was like, "What is it? Is it a physical cloud?" Anyway, I won't go there. I really like cycling, I like running, I like staying active, basically doing anything outside. I like trying new food, new beer. I really like sour beer and I like attending shows. Those are some of my favorite things to do.

Brian:    Nice. Francis, what about you, man?

Francis:    I like to do all of those things. The amount of time that the three of us spend together is pretty ridiculous since it seems like we do everything together both in and out of the band. We all pretty much do a lot of the same things. We all love food. That's part of what we love about touring is finding new restaurants and new beers and new cocktails and different things in different cities.

     I personally, just the only thing that Stef didn't mention, I love reading books. I tried to read 40 books last year.

Brian:    How'd you do?

Francis:    I failed, but ...

Brian:    How many did you do?

Francis:    Fewer than 30. A real 700 page doorstop about North Korea really hung me up. That was the one that killed me. More light reading for 2018.

Brian:    A doorstop about North Korea. God, that's such a current event thing too, I love it. Andrew, what about you, man?

Andrew:    Well, I mentioned earlier, I live in Frederick so my girlfriend and I, we spend a lot of time just wandering around downtown Frederick. We like to try the restaurants there and a lot of really good breweries up there that we like to sample and some really good hiking. We love cooking and I love to see what fun stuff I can do with my cast iron pan. There's some deliciousness.

Brian:    You mentioned breweries, just out of curiosity, is there one that comes to mind as like the latest one you tried recently that was, "Oh God, that was such a good brewery?" You like that one?

Andrew:    My favorite brewery up in Frederick is Attaboy. It started out as just a brewery where you could do growler fills on the weekends and now they're starting to distribute on draft lines in Frederick. It's still a really small operation and they make really, really delicious beers. The brewery space is super nice. It's a great way to spend an afternoon, get something from the food truck and play giant Jenga.

Brian:    Nice. That's cool. All right now, back to you guys as a band, one of the things I'm curious about, because you've been at this for lot of years, what's the biggest success moment that comes to mind for you guys so far?

Stefanie:    I guess that means there have been none. Just kidding.

Brian:    There's so many.

Stefanie:    I think ... I'll keep it short but I'll speak for all three of us when I say, getting signed to Retro Futurist Records, the label that Kylesa, the psychedelic metal band owns was a highlight. We played with them once in 2012 or something like that.

Andrew:    2013.

Stefanie:    They really liked us and they asked, "Do you guys have anyone to release your upcoming record?" We didn't and then we kind of just kept talking with them and that's how we got signed to the label and that's the first label that we had ever been on. Yeah, I think all three of us were pretty floored by that.

Francis:    That was going to be my choice, to get to open for one of your heroes and then for them, based on a 25 minute performance, to come up to you and say, "We'd love to release your record and to be associated with you," and how great we were. That's something I'll never forget for the rest of my life. That was pretty awesome.

Brian:    That's amazing. One more, now this one's for each of you. One of my favorite questions to ask is, if you could offer one piece of advice, what would it be? Andrew, start with you, man.

Andrew:    Well my one piece of advice would be, if you want to play music just get whatever instrument it is that you want to learn how to play and start making noise with it. Don't wait for somebody to teach you what you're doing, just start making noise and when something you do sounds good to you, do it again and keep building off of that. Don't wait for anyone.

Brian:    That's awesome. I like that one. What about you, Francis?

Francis:    This is something that I would say is advice maybe for younger musicians or people in the area, this is just basically aimed at musicians, but one is you do not ... It is absolutely wrong that you need to have a local following to tour. If you want to tour and you think your band is good, you should just start doing it right way, as soon as possible. A lot of the success that happened to our band would never have happened if we had abided by the very wrong rule that you need to have built up a local following before you tour. We built up a local following by touring, by impressing people that we had been on tour, that wanted to see us when we came back here.

Brian:    Nice.

Francis:    Secondly is that when you are trying to become a musician, you're trying to write, you're trying to get really good, listening to as much music as humanly possible is just as important as playing and different kinds of things and getting exposed to stuff outside your comfort zone is what will make you good, as much as practicing.

Brian:    I love it and you get a pass, because I asked for one piece of advice and that was two.

Francis:    Sorry.

Brian:    I love how, you're such an overachiever, I love it, man. Francis is good. Stefanie, talk to us, what do you got?

Stefanie:    If you're a band that's preparing to go into the studio, I would say practice ... you know, for the first time or the second time, if you haven't done this before, practice your songs to a metronome during your practice, if there are parts that you can do that to. We didn't do that the first few times that we went into the studio and now we're in the habit of doing that and it just makes things so much easier for us and for the engineer, for the producer, both parties are just way happier. It creates a better product, it's more fun and, yeah. Definitely, it might be hard at first, but you'll get used to it and it definitely helps a lot in the studio.

Brian:    Practice with a metronome. I love it guys. One more time, if they want to follow you guys and find out more about what's happening with Caustic Casanova, where do they go?

Andrew:    Facebook.com/CausticCasanova, @CausticCasanova on Twitter, CausticCasanova on Instagram, CausticCasanova.com, oh and by the way, no spaces in between Caustic and Casanova on Instagram.

1/2/18 - Special Guest: Andras Fekete of Boat Burning

Thanks to Andy Fekete of Boat Burning, for hanging out with us in the studio this week!

^^Episode Audio/Post Is Live - Click Above (might need to buffer/load, refresh page if you have any issues)^^

Podcast:  iTunesGoogle PlayStitcherPocket CastsPodBeanPlayerFM, or THIS URL in your app of choice




  1. Sometime, by Free Lobster Buffet (Pop, Ska)
  2. Dangerous Ground, by Lavender (Indie, Indie Pop)
  3. King for a Day, by Emma G (Pop, R&B)
  4. Little Thing Called Love, by Melodime (Rock, Alt Country)
  5. Silent Cry, by Adwela and the Uprising (Reggae, Root Reggae)

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-


2017 DC Music Rocks Highlights:

  • Received grant from city of DC which allowed the creation and launch of our automated Local Music Calendar on our website.  The only one of its’ kind exclusively about the local music scene in the city!
  • First annual DC Music Rocks festival at the 9:30 Club in September!
  • Became a syndicated radio show across 2 FM stations in the region!
  • Surpassed 300 artists in our DC Local Artist Database
  • There were multiple TV and media appearances recognizing the show including a CBS Prime Time segment in DC.

Note from Brian: “I went to see the movie, Coco, over the holiday with my family.  The story is about a young kid who aspires to be a great musician, and discovering he has a family heritage of great musicians which he didn’t know.  The movie shows the 2 ends of the spectrum, the just starting out musician, and the mega-famous musician.  It really made me think about the fact that I really support the in-between stage on DC Music Rocks.  I love that I get to shine a spotlight on the incredible local scene of really talented people who I believe could be stars.  You following this show, sharing the social media posts, bands & guests you like, it brings me so much joy and gives me energy!  I’m honored you choose to follow DC Music Rocks and to find out more about this local music scene, and for that, Thank You!  Happy New Year DC, here’s wishing you a Rockin’ 2018!”


Our ‘2017 New Releases by DC Artists’ Spotify Playlist:


Soldiers of Suburbia - Pulp Fiction

Our ‘DC Artists Official Music Videos’ Youtube Playlist:


Check the calendar, linked below, for the full list!

Jan 5 Fri
Throwing Plates, Vim & Vigor @ Songbyrd Music House in Adams Morgan
Karen Jonas @ Roofers Union in Adams Morgan

Jan 6 Sat
Adwela & The Uprising @ Bungalow Billiards in Chantilly, VA

Jan 7 Sun
Boat Burning 100 Guitars event at 9:30 Club by U St in NW DC

Jan 9 Tue
Bottled Up @ DC9 Nightclub by U ST in NW DC
QOK Music & Dangerous Curves at the battle of the bands event @ Jammin Java in Vienna, VA

Jan 10 Wed
Three Man Soul Machine @ Gypsy Sally's in Georgetown

Jan 11 Thur
Mystery Friends @ Gypsy Sally’s in Georgetown
Thaylobleu & Fuzzqueen @ Milkboy Arthouse in College Park, MD

All Month, Jan 6 to Feb 2, in Falls Church, VA - Creative Cauldron is hosting a month long “Passport To The World Concert Series featuring local groups such as Veronneau, The Bumper Jacksons (Duo) and more.


Would you support us?  We'd love to grow and do more!  We're giving away shirts, access to our private facebook group, and more!  We also intend to set aside 10% to contribute directly in the DC Local Music Scene through charities, sponsorships, events, etc.  We want to continue to pay it forward!

HUGE shoutout to our current Patrons! 
--Daniel Warren Hill  --David Mohl

Andy Fekete of Boat Burning


Andy Fekete of Boat Burning's Bio:

boat burning pic

"Enlisting the help of musicians from some of the city’s most high-profile bands, BOAT BURNING’s founder Andras Fekete unfolds a stunning massed guitar event...” --DC Music Download

Boat Burning, a five-guitar experimental rock collective from Washington D.C., plays "maximal minimalism," an intricate hybrid of composition and improvisation where simple passages played by a multitude of instruments --sometimes 70 guitars or more-- produce shimmering towers of densely-stacked harmonics. The result is majestic, evocative music that combines the wide-screen, panoramic sweep of classical with the sheer visceral thrill of punk.

Boat Burning's debut ep, produced by Mission of Burma's Roger Miller and recorded by legendary Dischord Records engineer Don Zientara, is being readied for release.

Boat Burning's core ensemble includes guitarists
Andras Fekete (Triangle Rhysing: Music for Massed Guitars), Geordie Grindle (The Teen Idles, TONE), Jonathan Matis (DC Improvisers Collective (DCIC)) and Norm Veenstra (TONE); guitarist / keyboardist Robin Diamond (Triangle Rhysing: Music for Massed Guitars The Probes); and Mark Sherman on drums and percussion.


boat burning pic


Brian:     On DC Music Rocks, we're shining a spotlight on the great songs, artists, and incredible people behind the DC region's local music scene.

     Boat Burning is a five-guitar experimental rock collective from DC, plays a "maximal minimalism," an intricate hybrid of composition and improvisation where simple passages played by a multitude of instruments, in this case, like this weekend, sometimes even 100 guitars produce shimmering towers, literally towers of harmonics and sound. The result is majestic. It's evocative music that combines a widescreen, panoramic sweep of the classical and with the sheer visceral thrill of punk. There's just so much power happening.

     I first came across Boat Burning last year when they did the show. It was 70 guitars last year at the Black Cat, and that was an overpowering event that was really cool to experience. So now I am so excited, Andras, to have you here with me to talk about it this year, so thanks for being here.

Andras:     Oh, thanks so much. Yeah, it's an honor, really.

Brian:     So now tell people a little more, then. So the Boat Burning event, let's ... First, let's talk about the band Boat Burning and then the event. First, there's the band, and the band is ... What's the instrumentation of the band and how did the band, Boat Burning, get its start?

Andras:     Okay, the instrumentation of the band right now is five electric guitars, we don't have a bass, and we have a drummer.

Brian:     So five guitars and drums.

Andras:     And drums.

Brian:     Got it. Okay.

Andras:     And that's it. And that's it. Sometimes we have an occasional keyboard, but that's usually it. The way we compensate for not having a bass is we put the guitars in a really unusual tuning that allow the guitars to sort of do clashing harmonics that sort of naturally synthesize the sound of a bass. So when you listen to the music, you don't really think that there's a missing bass. You don't really miss it. And because we also have these clashing harmonics, we don't think you need vocals with it because you also get this soaring sort of vocal component to it.

Brian:     So it's an instrumental show, too.

Andras:     Yeah. This entire show, the Music for Mass Guitars at the 9:30 Club coming up this Sunday, for the 100 guitars, it's going to be entirely instrumental, yeah.

Brian:     I see. So it's five guitars normally, and then you scale it up to be 100 guitars for this special event that you're doing at the 9:30 Club.

Andras:     Exactly right, yeah.

Brian:     I see now. Okay.

Andras:     Yeah, yeah. Boat Burning, you will see we play out in clubs like Rock & Roll Hotel and DC9 and places like that about once every month or two. I think we played at Comet Ping Pong recently. And we play in the smaller configuration, but we play the same pieces that we play in the mass guitar shows. Most of the same. Some of them are a little bit more complex, and so we're able to do more complex things when we have the smaller ensemble. And so they sound a little math rock-y whereas-

Brian:     Math rock-y, I've never heard that term. Okay.

Andras:     Well, yeah, so interesting time signatures and a little bit trickier than what you'd want to attempt with 100 guitars. But for the mass guitar shows, we take certain pieces, rework them such that we can spread out the sound among four to seven groups of electric guitars and each of them acting independently. So the staging is kind of interesting. You have an immersive sound. So you'll see that at 9:30 Club.

Brian:     The name Boat Burning, where does that come from?

Andras:     We wanted something that was light and signaled buoyancy and something airy but also kind of ominous and edgy. We thought that "Boat Burning" kind of fit the bill. There's another story that goes to that. When Boat Burning first started, it was a pure improvisational outfit, so that meant that when we got on stage, we had nothing. We would just start playing. It was kind of like improvisation without a net, so it was not like-

Brian:     We just turned this into a full-contact sport here. It's improvisation without a net. I mean, this is ... Oh, yeah.

Andras:     It was interesting. The idea was to make a full-on improvisation where you're creating everything. No preconceived notions. No jazzy sort of things where you start out with a motif and then everybody plays a theme and then does a little solo, then everybody returns to the ... No. We would just start playing. But the idea was to also, it was called "conprovisation." The idea is sort of create improvisation that had the shape and flow and narrative thrust of a composed piece. So it was like improvisation with heft. It sounded pretty good, but because we went without a net like that ...

     We like the idea of Boat Burning because it's a reference to, and this may sound a little corny, but it's kind of a reference to Alexander the Great. There's a story about him when he arrived to invade Persia. His men were faced with this gigantic army, and they had just landed on the beaches. They came to him, and they said, "We got to get out of here," and he ordered them to burn the boats. And he said, "We go home in Persian ships or we die."

Brian:     Wow, that's intense.

Andras:     It was kind of a dramatic way to look at this sort of do-or-die effort to do improvisation.

Brian:     That's it. Do or die, meaning you go up there, and you do it, there's no net, and it's on. Just go for it.

Andras:     Yeah, yeah. But we didn't end up doing an official recording of any of that period. So when I came up here, we did that for a little bit, but then we started moving-

Brian:     You said, "Come up here." Where were you?

Andras:     Boat Burning was formed in Chapel Hill, so in 2000-

Brian:     Oh, North Carolina. Wow. Cool.

Andras:     Yeah. It's a great scene down there. It was really nice working with all the bands down there. We got to make a lot of great friends down there. It was hard to leave, but when I came up here-

Brian:     And you came up to DC when?

Andras:     It was 2010.

Brian:     Wow, okay. Got it. And how long after you got up here did the big Boat Burning events like the 70 guitars or 100 guitars, how long after you got up here did those start?

Andras:     We finally started the first one in 2015, and that was at Union Arts DC. Boat Burning was still a reformed improvisational ensemble here in DC. The drummer, our current drummer, Mark Sherman, he joined Boat Burning during that period.

Brian:     Yeah. With the event coming up on Sunday, then, describe what's going to happen when somebody goes to this event. What are they going to see? There's a lot of pieces here. What are they walking into?

Andras:     Okay. You're going to walk into the 9:30 Club, and you'll see guitars lining the perimeter of the room. So we'll have a group of guitars in front of the stage on the floor, another group of guitars in front of the left bar, another group lining up in front of the right bar. Each of these guitars will have their own amplifiers, and they'll all be facing-

Brian:     So you're going to have 100 amplifiers.

Andras:     100 amplifiers.

Brian:     You are walking to a wall of sound.

Andras:     Yes.

Brian:     Holy smokes.

Andras:     Then there will be a line of guitars in the back, and then there will be a line of guitars along the balcony all pointing down to the audience.

Brian:     Holy smokes. So cool.

Andras:     Now, the stage, we're going to be using the stage. The stage will be used for three drum kits. We have a three-drum attack commanded by Mark Sherman. One of the drummers is from Time Is Fire. He also played in Gwar. And then we'll have some cellists and violinists and double bassists. They will be going through the PAs, but all the guitars will be going through their own amps.

Brian:     God, what an incredible thing. Now, there's more to this show than just the 100 Guitar event, so talk about some of the other things that are coming. You said there's an opening group that's really special. What else is happening?

Andras:     Oh, yeah, wow. The opening group, we are honored to have Trinary Systems from Boston to be coming down. Trinary System is the solo project of Roger Miller of Mission of Burma. Mission of Burma is a famous post-punk band from Boston that had a resurgence in 2000. The band, and Roger Miller especially, has been heroes of mine forever. I went to school in Boston back in the day, so I used to see them when they were a thing in the '80s, so it's quite an honor to have Roger Miller opening for us. Roger also produced our debut EP, so that's a big thing for us. Roger's Trinary System is a very angular, very tough art rock band. I think they're a suitable opening for Boat Burning, and they're going to go on at 9:00.

Brian:     Wow. You had mentioned there's some visual stuff going on, too. Talk about Robin Bell and the Bell Visuals.

Andras:     Oh, gosh. Yes. We are really pleased and honored to have Robin Bell, the DC-based guerrilla projectionist who has been dogging Donald Trump for the past year. Yes. He's the guy who has been projecting provocative statements on Trump Hotel. Recently, he followed Donald Trump to Japan and harassed him there.

Brian:     By projecting things on buildings and stuff?

Andras:     By projecting things on ... Not on little things. He's got these gigantic projectors, so these are building-size projections, so he's going to be bringing this-

Brian:     And he's bringing that to the 9:30 Club?

Andras:     Yes.

Brian:     Inside the club?

Andras:     Yes, inside the club. Yeah.

Brian:     Holy smokes. So it's a visual thing, not just a sonic ... There's 100 guitars and then a guerrilla projectionist. This has the makings for one hell of an experience. Holy cow.

Andras:     It will be immersive and kind of a full sensory experience. If you've never experienced a mass guitar show, understand that it's not this wall of noise, even though people say it's all really loud. We never use distortion. We never use any effects. So each guitarist has a really strong, clean sound. But what you get from all these amplifiers pointed at the audience, and you get to wander around in the middle and sort of change the mix just by wandering around, what you get is this incredible sound pressure level, so you feel ...

     It's kind of like Sensurround. Remember the old Sensurround movies where you felt this low, double bass rumble? It's kind of like that. You feel these subsonics, and because the guitars are in this very strange tuning, you get these phantom instruments that sort of appear and disappear. So you'll think like, "Whoa, I just heard piccolos." No, there's no piccolos. Or "I just heard bassoons or French horn." No, they're not there. It has to do with the tuning and the-

Brian:     It's just the sonic and the tuning.

Andras:     Yeah, it's really cool.

Brian:     Oh, man. That's incredible. Now, my favorite question to ask before we finish up here is, if you could offer one piece of advice, what would it be?

Andras:     Oh, gosh. Do what you love. Life is short and hard. Don't get to the end of your life and realize you could've, should've. You don't know if you haven't tried, and the audacity generally wins out.

Brian:     I feel like that's so relevant in today's day and age, too, because there's a lot of questions about everything these days. So "do what you love" is an incredibly simple answer to that question, and yet so relevant.

Andras:     Don't wait. Don't wait.

Brian:     Andras, I love it.

12/26/17 - Best of DC's Holiday Playlist - All Music Episode

Some of our favorite tracks by DC Music Rocks artists on the Listen Local First Holiday Playlist we released!  Next week we have Andy Fekete of Boat Burning joining us in the studio!

^^Episode Audio/Post Is Live - Click Above (might need to buffer/load, refresh page if you have any issues)^^

Podcast:  iTunesGoogle PlayStitcherPocket CastsPodBeanPlayerFM, or THIS URL in your app of choice




  1. Christmas Time, by Jason Masi (Pop)
  2. Santa Baby, by Veronneau (Jazz)
  3. Merry Christmas Baby, by Chuck Brown (Go-Go)
  4. More Than Presents, by Luke James Shaffer (Pop/Rock)
  5. Let It Snow, by The Harry Bells (World/Jazz)
  6. Santa Tell Me, by Sub-Radio (Pop)
  7. Give Love On Christmas Day, By Rare Essence (Go-Go)
  8. A Creditory Christmas, by Dan Wolff (Country/Folk)
  9. Up On The Rooftop, by Rocknoceros (Pop/Rock)
  10. Christmas Time Is Here, by Christos DC (Reggae)
  11. Love All Year, by Aaron Myers (Jazz)
  12. I'll Be Home by Christmas, by Staunton (Rock)
  13. Christmas Time, by Justin Jones (Rock)

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-

Happy Holidays, from all of us at DC Music Rocks!


Would you support us?  We'd love to grow and do more!  We're giving away shirts, access to our private facebook group, and more!  We also intend to set aside 10% to contribute directly in the DC Local Music Scene through charities, sponsorships, events, etc.  We want to continue to pay it forward!

HUGE shoutout to our current Patrons! 
--Daniel Warren Hill  --David Mohl

12-26-17 All Music Social B4.jpg

12/19/17 - Special Guest: Backbeat Underground, a DC Jazz Funk Band

Thanks to Satya and RJ from DC jazz funk band, Backbeat Underground, for hanging out with us in the studio this week!

^^Episode Audio/Post Is Live - Click Above (might need to buffer/load, refresh page if you have any issues)^^

Podcast:  iTunesGoogle PlayStitcherPocket CastsPodBeanPlayerFM, or THIS URL in your app of choice




  1. The Way I Love You, by Exit 10 (Blues, Jazz)
  2. She Don't Love Me(Like I Do), by Backbeat Underground f/ Aaron Abernathy (Funk, Jazz)
    -Interview Break-
  3. Angels, by Time Is Fire (Rock)
  4. Bad Girl (Live), by Black Alley (Rock, Hip Hop)
  5. Winter Wonderland, by The Harry Bells (World, Calypso)

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-



We collaborated with the team over at Listen Local First and put together a holiday playlist of exclusively DC region artist’s holiday music.  It’s about 4 hours long!  Finally, a way to celebrate the holidays without those same old tired Holiday Tunes!  It will play at local businesses as well as events around town for the holidays.  We hope you’ll use it at your get togethers as well!  

(Last time we’ll share this, promise!) DC Music Rocks T-shirts and Long Sleeve Shirts are up on our website and available through Amazon, they make a great gift idea for your musician friends and family for the holidays!

It’s a great opportunity for local businesses wanting to connect specifically with the local DMV music crowd!  If you have ideas on who would make great sponsors, please do reach out to us!


Backbeat Underground announced their new release with Aaron Abernathy which we played on the show!  Hope you'll go pick up a copy!

Our ‘2017 New Releases by DC Artists’ Spotify Playlist:



Dec 22 Fri
Yellow Dubmarine & The Loving Paupers @ Hamilton Live by Metro Center (in NW DC)

Dec 23 Sat
Hayley Fahey Band for ‘A Derwood Christmas’ at Outta The Way Cafe in Derwood Md

Dec 27 Wed
Run Come See @ The Kennedy Center Millenium Stage near Foggy Bottom (in NW DC)

Dec 28 Thu
Broke Royals & Owen Danoff @ (The Brand New) Union Stage (Grand Opening) in The Wharf (in SW DC)
Aztec Sun @ Gypsy Sally’s in Georgetown (in NW DC)

Dec 29 Fri
Rocknoceros, The Duskwhales, Milo in the Doldrums @ Union Stage in The Wharf (in SW DC)

Dec 30 Sat
Wings Denied, Technicians, Calm & Crisis @ Rock N Roll Hotel on H St (in NE DC)

Dec 31 Sun
Too many to choose! Check them all out! http://www.dcmusicrocks.com/local-music-calendar
Caustic Casanova, Lionize, Thievery Corporation, The Beanstalk Library, Dangerous Curves, Sub-Radio, Higher Education, Run Come See, 19th St Band, Black Alley, Vintage#18

Jan 2 Tues
Venn @ Milkboy Arthouse in College Park, MD

Jan 4 Thu
Cinema Hearts @ Comet Ping Pong up on Connecticut (in NW DC)

Backbeat Underground Upcoming Show to See - Feb 5, Millenium Stage at the Kennedy Center!  Mark Your Calendar!


Would you support us?  We'd love to grow and do more!  We're giving away shirts, access to our private facebook group, and more!  We also intend to set aside 10% to contribute directly in the DC Local Music Scene through charities, sponsorships, events, etc.  We want to continue to pay it forward!

HUGE shoutout to our current Patrons! 
--Daniel Warren Hill  --David Mohl

Backbeat Underground


Backbeat Undergound's Bio:


Born in the depths of subterranean groove gatherings, Backbeat Underground is a Washington, DC based instrumental funk group with soul jazz influences. Bringing their years of collective experience in the DC and NYC music scenes, the band delivers tight, energetic sets steeped in fresh improvisation and head-bopping, booty-shaking pockets. 

Bandleader Satya Thallam is also one half of the production duo Astronaut Jones which recently completed the original score for the series "Superhuman" now premiering Season 2.


Backbeat Underground pic.jpg


Brian:     Backbeat Underground featuring Aaron Abernathy and the track is, 'She don't love me like I do' and that's the single that they released and holy smokes guys! It's so freaking good, man!

Satya:     Thank you sir.

Brian:     There's all the good feels that are happening with that thing.

Satya:     We recorded it live as a band and I hope that comes across. It's not stacked up isolated instruments and parts.

Brian:     Everybody together. [crosstalk 00:00:30] And Aaron singing at the same time?

Satya:     I think we may have kind of [crosstalk 00:00:33]dubbed him layer by layer, but he's singing along in the booth with us so we can- [crosstalk 00:00:36]

Brian:     Yeah. Scratch vocal track or something. Holy smokes, guys. Amazing. Well, let me give a proper introduction here. So on DC Music Rocks we're shining a spotlight on the great songs, artists and incredible people behind the DC region's local music scene. And born in the depths of subterranean groove gatherings, Backbeat Underground is a Washington, D.C. based instrumental funk group with soul jazz influences. The band delivers tight, energetic sets steeped in fresh improvisation and head bopping, booty shaking beats. So it's so good. I first came across these guys when I had Andy Cerutti from Fort Knox Recording was one of the guests on the show and he turned me on to you guys, and I've been such a fan. So thank you for being here, guys.

Satya:     Also, we gotta say, thank you for having us on, but also thank you for doing this. For doing the show and putting D.C., and Virginia, Maryland and D&V, because it is an amazing scene and I think people, especially that come from other parts of the country, they think of D.C. in one way and I don't think that's accurate. And I think you know what I mean.

Brian:     Right.

RJ:     Yeah.

Satya:     They see one version of it on TV and all the noise... but there's an amazing culture happening- [crosstalk 00:01:54]

RJ:     Because our arts scene is somewhat underground really.

Brian:     That's true.

RJ:     But big shout outs to you-

Brian:     Well we're bringing it out from underground absolutely and I'm glad you guys came out from underground too with those subterranean groove gatherings we were talking about. Before I go on introduce yourselves to the folks because they can hear you. So tell them your name and what you play with Backbeat Underground and say where Backbeat Underground came from.

Satya:     This is Satya. I play sax and percussion and do a lot of the writing in Backbeat Underground.

RJ:     My name is RJ and I rumpa-tum-tum on the drums.

Brian:     I'm sorry. How does that go?

RJ:     Rumpa-tum-tums.

Brian:     Oh god, it's so good.

RJ:     Happy Holidays.

Brian:     I love it. And Backbeat Underground: how did it start? Where did it come from?

Satya:     So at George Washington University they have these rehearsal rooms- I don't even know if most people, even the people that go there, know about it, but there's a cafeteria, like a mall food court in one of the buildings and off to the side there's these music rehearsal rooms and they have instruments and speakers and microphones you can use. And one of our partners in the band, John, plays guitar and was going to school there. If you're a student you can use it for free or for a pretty nominal fee so we started- there was no intent. We would do Grant Green covers and Meters tunes and jam sessions that we kind of knew.

     And from there we thought there's kind of a sound, we kind of thought of ourselves as a- you know those like crate digging DJs who find those break beats and go through- like down the street here there's the CD Cellar. They try to find those hidden sort of drum, funky breaks? We thought of ourselves as like a live version of that. Like what if that was a live band that was doing it? But not the original band that was doing it, but anyway... And I think the name came out of that because these groups are literally underground. You wouldn't know they're there. No one can hear them. They're kind of like "in the dark no one can hear you scream." Like that kind of thing that's like that weird thing where-

Brian:     You just became a horror movie. No no no.

Satya:     So I think that the band came out of those- there was no intent. We just got together to play. And then the name was- I think the band rejected every idea that I had. And at some point I just became like "whatever. Whatever you guys want to do. That's fine." So I think the Underground was sort of a nod to that.

Brian:     Underground was a nod, and then the backbeat gives it to that kind of funk and soul and some of the stuff you're going on [crosstalk 00:04:34]

Satya:     Yeah it's kind of literal. I don't love the name. I'll be honest with you. It's just-

RJ:     You're engaged to it at this point.

Satya:     I guess.

Brian:     I was gonna say at this point you've come a long way

Satya:     Divorce would be so expensive at this point. We've got kids and everything. Man, we stayed together for the kids, but you know when the kids are out of the house I guess.

RJ:     As soon as they hit 18.

Brian:     Yeah, once they've gone off to college they might have a [inaudible 00:05:02]

Satya:     Yeah, get a one bedroom in the city, visit my songs on the weekend, like I don't know.

Brian:     Oh, this is so good.

Satya:     I don't know. Let's do it. Let's get weird.

Brian:     What's the... what's your D.C. region connection then? You started at Foggybottom. Is everybody from here or what's the connection to this region?

RJ:     Well, I'm from Sterling, born and raised.

Satya:     That's RJ.

RJ:     Oh yeah, RJ, sorry. I'm from Sterling. Shout out Park View High school. Patriot pride. But no here, so that's where I'm from. Currently live in Arlington and all of us currently live in or near- we're all in Arlington now right?

Satya:     Yeah, I think so. [crosstalk 00:05:46] Yeah, I mean RJ's a native and I love it because we always like word thing about the city and how things have changed over time. The rest of us are from all over. Two of us are from New York City. Just kind of all over.

Brian:     And where are you from? Are you one of the ones from New York City?

Satya:     Yeah, I'm from New York, and I've been here about eleven, twelve years.

Brian:     Nice.

Satya:     I feel like official Washingtonian coming on WERA.

Brian:     There you go, right? This is legit local stuff man. Absolutely. You'll be on multiple local stations and podcasts and all over the local scene. I love it. Now, talk about you guys on the personal side. So outside of this whole music thing, are there hobbies? What do you do with your free time?

RJ:     I love live music so I'm very grateful for this [inaudible 00:06:36] and then I just- If I'm not on the stage I try to be in front of the stage somewhere. And that takes a lot of my time.

Satya:     RJ, you love museums and art installations.

RJ:     Oh yeah, I forgot about that. I'm somewhat of a-

Satya:     It's kinda low key, but he's kind of a slut for art.

RJ:     I'm into the D.C. arts, not just music I guess. I'm in all the pop-up exhibits, all the pop-up whatever.

Brian:     Have you been to one recently? What's most recent?

Satya:     Arctic House? [crosstalk 00:07:09]

RJ:     Yeah, I went to Arctic House not that long ago. I know coming up I'm going to the miracle on whatever street that is- the pop-up, the Christmas bar?

Satya:     On 7th street.

Brian:     Yeah

RJ:     Yeah. 7th. Yeah.

Brian:     Nice. What about you Satya?

Satya:     Same. I try to be around musicians and my friends are kind of broken up between musicians and folks in the service industry and restaurant industry so "everyone's a little bit of a foodie these days", but I-

Brian:     I hope they sound just like that when you talk about it too- [crosstalk 00:07:44]

Satya:     It just sounds so basic at this point when someone says like, "I'm really into- I'm a foodie." It just sounds so basic.

RJ:     Yeah.

Satya:     But a lot of my friends work in the wine industry, distributors and stuff like that so I like to think that I'm- I get kind of pedantic about music. "You've got to listen to this. Here's why this important. Check this out." But it's a reverse for things like that: food and wine. I just love being around them and they tell me and they say, "This is good." And I say, "Okay, it's good. I'll drink it. I don't have an opinion. [crosstalk 00:08:13] I'll just absorb it.

Brian:     I wish I could reach out to all those people and say, "Listen to D.C. Music rocks so that I can tell you about the local music scene-

Satya:     Yeah

Brian:     Because that's almost the idea right? We're presenting this in a way that people who don't know anything about it, they can just listen. I'll share it with you. We just- it's so good.

Satya:     Yeah, hopefully they're receptive. [crosstalk 00:08:30]

Brian:     Yeah. Now what about the biggest success moment that comes to mind for you guys when you think on Backbeat Underground?

RJ:     For me that would be playing on Lincoln Theater.

Satya:     Oh, that's right.

RJ:     Yeah. That was amazing because like-

Brian:     When was that?

Satya:     September last-

RJ:     2016.

Satya:     2016, so a little over a year ago.

RJ:     It was the D.C. Arts Music Festival.

Satya:     It was Labor Day, 2016, or Labor Day weekend. Around that. I totally forgot about that, not that it's not important. I mean it's a historic venue. That was- I think that theater, Lincoln Theater, was around during the heyday of Black Broadway.

RJ:     Yeah, it was. Yeah, yeah.

Satya:     One of the few venues that are still around from the pre-riots and even before that, the Duke Ellington era. So it was cool just standing on that stage. The crowd was great. The sound was amazing. I think a future accomplishment that I'm proud of preemptively is we're gonna be playing at the Kennedy Center this upcoming February.

Brian:     That's right. February 5th, which is gonna be big too.

Satya:     You've had a lot of artists here play the Millennium Stage, but it's just a cool thing to be able to say you've played at the Kennedy Center. The last thing I would say, I think it's not a single thing, but there's this event that happens every year in May for the last four or five years called Fun Parade and it takes place, usually in the first or second weekend of May on U Street and if you haven't been they close down the whole street. And it's not just a parade. There are literally fifties, hundreds of bands, all over. It's kind of like South by Southwest but just way more colorful

RJ:     And one day.

Satya:     Like less square. And we've played it every year, and that's just- Every year I look forward to that because it is people bring it. People bring it.

RJ:     They dance.

Satya:     They dance. They're there all day. Even last year it rained and no one cared. They just went out and they loved it. It's free too, so-

Brian:     Yeah. Check that one out. Now, my favorite question to ask: If you could offer one piece of advice, what would it be?

RJ:     Man, perfect your craft, whatever it is. Whether it's playing drums, whether it's singing, whether it's drawing, whatever. Perfect your craft and just always be ready and open to the ways of the world because you never know what can happen.

Satya:     Yeah man. This is how I do good. A couple years ago I made the concerted effort to always say yes. Just say yes because every opportunity will have some part of it where you think, "Well that's not quite right. That's not the people that I wanna play with," or "that's not that great of a venue." The worst case scenario if you accept a gig or a jam session is you got to play some music and at the end of it you go on to the next thing.

     I actually met RJ that way. We did- it would take a long time to explain the gig, but it was a mutual friend and the gig was fine, but afterwards we were packing up and we had the room for a little bit and we just spontaneously started jamming. And we were like, "Well this is great." And he made sure as we were packing up to say, "Seriously, if you got something call me." We'll do it. And it was maybe a couple years later actually, but I did. But I remembered him. I remembered how open he was and just his energy and spirit and, just say yes.

RJ:     Yeah.

Brian:     I've caught myself doing that lately when sometimes you're looking at it like, "No," and shame on

Satya:     Yeah, you get around town and-

Brian:     Shame on me for- cause yes. Say yes, man. You got opportunities, [crosstalk 00:12:16] and that's true outside of music too or whatever it is that you're doing, say yes to these opportunities. Don't say no. Now, for folks who want to find out more about the cool things happening with Backbeat Underground where's the best place to go?

Satya:     The website is Backbeatunderground.com, but you can search us out on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. It's all Backbeat Underground. You'll find us.

Brian:     Backbeat Underground. Very awesome. And now, if you wanna be guests on this show you gotta bring good music with you and these guys have definitely come through. I've never heard this band until you guys brought them up and I love that we have them. So tell us what you have first here guys.

Satya:     This is Angels by Time is Fire.

12/12/17 - Special Guest: Aaron Miller, of DC Sound Company 'Gold Pants Rentals'

Thanks to Aaron Miller, of Gold Pants Rentals & bassist for local cover band The Perfectionists, for hanging out with us in the studio this week!

^^Episode Audio/Post Is Live - Click Above (might need to buffer/load, refresh page if you have any issues)^^

Podcast:  iTunesGoogle PlayStitcherPocket CastsPodBeanPlayerFM, or THIS URL in your app of choice




  1. Chemical, by The CooLots (Rock, Soul)
  2. Confetti, by allthebestkids (Hip Hop, Alternative Hip Hop)
  3. Purple, by Black Dog Prowl (Hard Rock, Grunge)
  4. Magdela, by Prah Dukt (Hard Rock, Alternative)
  5. Revolution (The People Will Rise Again), by AZTEC SUN (Funk, Soul)

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-


We collaborated with the team over at Listen Local First and put together a holiday playlist of exclusively DC region artist’s holiday music.  It’s about 4 hours long!  Finally, a way to celebrate the holidays without those same old tired Holiday Tunes!  It will play at local businesses as well as events around town for the holidays.  We hope you’ll use it at your get togethers as well!  

DC Music Rocks T-shirts and Long Sleeve Shirts are up on our website and available through Amazon, they make a great gift idea for your musician friends and family for the holidays!  Men’s, Women’s, and Youth sizes are even available in the T-shirts!

It’s a great opportunity for local businesses!  If you have ideas on who would make great sponsors, please do reach out to us!



Our ‘DC Artists Official Music Videos’ Youtube Playlist:



Dec 15 Fri
Soldiers of Suburbia & His Dream Of Lions @ Epicure Cafe in Fairfax, VA
“Cool Yule W/ Mark G Meadows” @ Kentland’s Mansion in Gaithersburg, MD
Throwing Plates @ Mason Inn just north of Georgetown in NW DC

Dec 16 Sat
Killer Deluxe @ Jammin Java in Vienna, VA
Two Ton Twig & The VA Southpaws at Rock N Roll Hotel on H St in NE DC

Dec 20 Wed
French Admirals @ Slash Run in Petworth (in NW DC)

Dec 21 Thu
The 9 Holiday Holiday Extravaganza @ The Kenndy Center Millenium Stage by Foggy Bottom (in NW DC)


Would you support us?  We'd love to grow and do more!  We're giving away shirts, access to our private facebook group, and more!  We also intend to set aside 10% to contribute directly in the DC Local Music Scene through charities, sponsorships, events, etc.  We want to continue to pay it forward!

HUGE shoutout to our current Patrons! 
--Daniel Warren Hill  --David Mohl

Aaron Miller of Gold Pants Rentals



Aaron Miller.jpg

Without music, life would not be fair. Born in CT, grew up in NJ, live in DC. I started and run a PA rental and sound services business called GoldPants Rentals. I'm the bassist in local cover band The Perfectionists. I'm the operations manager for a full service storage company called MakeSpace Storage.

I'm a self-taught live sound engineer, and have taken some studio recording/mixing classes with local engineer Howard Rabach. I'm also self-taught on bass, guitar and ukulele...but classically trained on the piano. I have a melodica that’s a ton of fun to play. I recommend any keyboardist picking one up; it’s like $40 and a sure-fire way to annoy a significant other.

Gold Pants Rentals.jpg
The Perfectionists.jpg


Brian:     On DC Music Rocks, we're shining a spotlight on the great songs, artists and incredible people behind the DC region's local music scene. Aaron Miller started and runs a PA rental and sounds services business called Gold Pants Rentals. He was born in Connecticut, grew up in New Jersey and now is living in DC. Aaron's the bassist for the local cover band The Perfectionists, so he knows what it's like to be a performer and that live, that performance side of things. He's also a self-taught live sound engineer, and has taken some studio, recording and mixing classes with local engineer Howard [Rivuck 00:00:36]. Also he's self-taught on bass, guitar and ukulele, but he does have classical training in the piano. Holy smokes, Aaron. That's a lot of stuff, man. And I've worked with this guy. I've played shows with The Perfectionists, with his band, I've also worked with him as a sound guy, and he's just overall a freaking amazing guy. So thank you for being here with me today, man.

Aaron Miller:     Well gee thanks. Thanks for having me.

Brian:     Absolutely. Not so talk about, we brought up some things here, so what is it ... talk about Gold Pants Rentals and what makes it special.

Aaron Miller:     Yeah, so I started the company because well for a few reasons. One I had recently been laid off from my day job and I really wanted to build a business, and build another stream of income so I wouldn't be caught with my pants down, so to speak.

Brian:     Not with your gold pants down?

Aaron Miller:     My gold pants down, yeah. If you dig deep enough into my Facebook profile, you will find the picture to which my business name refers.

Brian:     Oh my God, don't tease me like that. Okay, got it.

Aaron Miller:     Yeah, you're going to have to do-

Brian:     So you're going to have to share that.

Aaron Miller:     ... some serious, serious Facebook stalking.

Brian:     Okay.

Aaron Miller:     I started the business, I was looking for a niche, and my band we, as a cover band, we play venues that typically don't have any sort of PA or sound engineer, or if they do it's very minimal. Usually half the channels are broken, like it's tough to put on a good show if you don't have the right gear, and I was chatting with Miles, because he owns-

Brian:     Seven Drum City.

Aaron Miller:     ... Seven Drum City, and he said, "Yeah, I get requests for a PA all the time and I just can't take it off my walls and rent it out, but I think that that would be something that people would be interested in." So I did some more research. I put together a basic rig, and just sort of hit go, and people for whatever reason keep hiring me, which is great.

Brian:     Yeah, and what is forever ... you said for whatever reason, what makes Gold Pants special? What is it even?

Aaron Miller:     Well I've researched my competition and I think we occupy this sort of niche between the really, really high-end pro shops that will drop a stage in the middle of a field and Paul McCartney can play there, and then guys who will just put up an ad on Craigslist and just keeping renewing it. Hey, you know rent my rig, come visit me and I'll set you up with gear. I wanted something with a professional feel but also more of a home-y type of touch. So you can go to my website, you can rent all my gear through my website.

Brian:     What is the website?

Aaron Miller:     Goldpantsllc.com

Brian:     Got it, okay.

Aaron Miller:     I don't know why Gold Pants was taken, but otherwise ...

Brian:     And while you're at it, check out what goldpants.com is, but then go to goldpantsllc. Got it, okay.

Aaron Miller:     All my prices are upfront. Service fees and rental fees, and I just try to be really upfront and you know what you're getting. Once you know that, I deliver. I'm going to be there early, I'm going to have everything you need. If something does break, I'll have a replacement there. I'll take care of you, I'll make sure your show goes on.

Brian:     So it's like a full service thing but it's not at a huge incredible price. It's a good deal.

Aaron Miller:     I think it's a very good value for what we provide, yeah.

Brian:     That's amazing, man. Alright, and so now gold pants, tell the story. We don't have the picture, but tell the story. Were you wearing gold pants? Why is it called Gold Pants?

Aaron Miller:     Alright, so I don't drink a lot, which ends up making me a very lightweight when I do drink, and I don't know maybe 10 years ago, I went to a New Year's Eve party. The New Year's Eve party was 70's themed, and my girlfriend now wife, at the time she married me, whatever reason, she married me.

Brian:     Because you're an amazing dude, and she's an amazing woman. I love it.

Aaron Miller:     She was wearing a set of gold tights. She looked spectacular in them. I thought I would look even more spectacular in them-

Brian:     Oh please tell me you put them on.

Aaron Miller:     I surely did, and-

Brian:     Stop it.

Aaron Miller:     Yes.

Brian:     Oh, that's awesome. Okay.

Aaron Miller:     So when I did something so dumb as to start my own business, I thought I would name it after that dumb thing I did in my twenties.

Brian:     Oh my God, that's amazing.

Aaron Miller:     Yeah.

Brian:     And now it's turning out that both of those ended up being smart things that you did.

Aaron Miller:     Yeah, like-

Brian:     You started a business and you put on some gold pants and came up with a name for your business.

Aaron Miller:     Yeah, I think so.

Brian:     I love it. Oh my God, that's amazing. What's your DC region connection? You said you was some from New Jersey. When did you get here?

Aaron Miller:     Well I went to GW. New Jersey's greatest export is college students, because we all want to leave.

Brian:     Okay, got it.

Aaron Miller:     So I went to GW. I got a job at the now defunct DC Snacks. We were such a stoner company. We would deliver ice cream and cigarettes to you at 2 in the morning. From there I went to another DC institution, Georgetown Cupcake. I handled their local deliveries, and then I ran their national shipping business.

Brian:     Holy smokes.

Aaron Miller:     Then I started delivering flowers for a company called H Bloom, and from there, yeah-

Brian:     So basically you've been at all these different businesses, but how long ago did you get to DC?

Aaron Miller:     I guess-

Brian:     What year would have that been?

Aaron Miller:     ... in 2005, fall of 2005.

Brian:     2005.

Aaron Miller:     Yeah.

Brian:     Wow. Amazing time, and now look at you. You got this wife that looks great in gold pants apparently, and-

Aaron Miller:     Not as good as me.

Brian:     ... this cool business. Not as good as you, though.

Aaron Miller:     No.

Brian:     Yes, we did establish this. My God, if we ever do an event, you're going to have to wear the gold pants one time, just I don't know, for old times' sake. That's amazing. Alright, now talk about you on the personal side. What do you do as hobbies or outside of all this work that you do?

Aaron Miller:     Well, you know it's when I'm done for the weekend, I really like to unwind with my wife Caroline. We binge watch Netflix a lot. I mean I know-

Brian:     Excellent.

Aaron Miller:     ... that's pretty-

Brian:     What are you watching?

Aaron Miller:     ... standard. Right now we're watching Mindhunters which is-

Brian:     I've heard such good things.

Aaron Miller:     ... amazingly creepy. It'll give you bad dreams, so yeah-

Brian:     Oh man, alright. Got it. So Mindhunters for nightmares, got it. Okay.

Aaron Miller:     So then on a lighter side we're watching Maron, which is Marc Maron's, I guess it's sitcom, or his show about his, you know, sort of a great comedian, not a great guy really. Just you know show the-

Brian:     I got it, yeah. Oh man, amazing. So a little bit of Netflix. Any other stuff that you do to kind of wind down as you're ... is it just a lot of relaxing?

Aaron Miller:     A lot of relaxing. Can I mention that I do Crossfit now? I totally do Crossfit.

Brian:     You do Crossfit now? I love it.

Aaron Miller:     Yeah.

Brian:     Yeah, there's a lot of ... I feel like there's people that love Crossfit and hate Crossfit. Which one are you?

Aaron Miller:     Oh I hate it. It is the worst.

Brian:     But it's so good for you.

Aaron Miller:     I am so sore all the time. It just hurts.

Brian:     I love it. Well you're looking trim, dude. So I love that-

Aaron Miller:     Oh, well thanks.

Brian:     ... you're doing it, man. This is good stuff.

Aaron Miller:     But one of the rules is that I have to mention it in every conversation, so-

Brian:     Yes, one of the first rules of Crossfit is that you talk about Crossfit.

Aaron Miller:     Exactly.

Brian:     Yes. I love it. Alright, now if you could offer ... one of my favorite questions to ask. If you could offer one piece of advice, what would it be?

Aaron Miller:     Just do it.

Brian:     Just do it.

Aaron Miller:     Just like Nike, you know, but actually just do it. I was always talking about starting a business. When I finally just pushed myself to spend some money and do it, it all tumbled forward.

Brian:     There it is. So just do it, and that's where Gold Pants came from. Has other things come from that too? Is that where The Perfectionists came from? You've been playing music too. Yeah, the music. You've been playing classically trained piano. Talk a little bit about the music.

Aaron Miller:     Sure. So I started playing piano when I was six, did the classical, all the scales and all that. You know, I can play For Elise with the best of them. I got bored with that. I started taking some jazz lessons. I don't know if you know this, but you can actually play piano in a marching band. I did that.

Brian:     How do you do that?

Aaron Miller:     Well they have a pit, so I'm not being dragged around.

Brian:     Oh okay. I was going to say-

Aaron Miller:     Yeah.

Brian:     ... the pit orchestra. Yes, I did know that.

Aaron Miller:     Yeah, so I was technically a part of the percussion section and that was in high school-

Brian:     Sure, excellent.

Aaron Miller:     ... so I got to wear a wonderful uniform.

Brian:     Oh man, but then you play bass now.

Aaron Miller:     I do.

Brian:     When did that happen?

Aaron Miller:     So I took ... GW has a music program, and you can take lessons for non-majors. So I wanted to take more piano lessons, and I guess I wasn't very good at it, because my teacher said, "Hey, one of my other students, he's starting a band. Why don't you play bass for him? You said you had a bass, right?"

Brian:     Wow, so you got kind of bumped into doing some bass.

Aaron Miller:     But I love the instrument. I started listening to Victor Wooten, and he's just incredible.

Brian:     Phenomenal bassist.

Aaron Miller:     And it's like, "Oh, the bass can do that." And then you start listening to bass lines in all the Beatles songs, and it just ... it's just a wonderful instrument. I love playing it.

Brian:     [inaudible 00:10:31] there's a lot of bass. I love that, man. Now last thing, folks if they want to find out more about the stuff that you're doing, we talked about Gold Pants, and where are the places they go online to find that stuff?

Aaron Miller:     Facebook. Yeah, all Facebook. I am on it way too much, so you should go there.

Brian:     Facebook. So it's facebook.com/ ...

Aaron Miller:     Goldpantsrentals.

Brian:     Goldpantsrentals.

Aaron Miller:     Or perfectionistdc.

Brian:     Or perfectionistdc, that's the band.

Aaron Miller:     Yeah.

Brian:     Very cool, and Seven Drum City.

Aaron Miller:     Of course.

Brian:     And the other, the business partner there. Great, great things happening there.

12/05/17 - Special Guest: Mark Reiter; of Daycare Swindlers, Bias Studios, & Furnace Record Pressing

Thanks to Mark Reiter, of Bias Studios, Furnace Record Pressing, and Daycare Swindler's drummer, for hanging out with us in the studio this week!

^^Episode Audio/Post Is Live - Click Above (might need to buffer/load, refresh page if you have any issues)^^

Podcast:  iTunesGoogle PlayStitcherPocket CastsPodBeanPlayerFM, or THIS URL in your app of choice




  1. Beloved, by Touch the Buffalo (Rock, Grunge)
  2. Darkness, by Daycare Swindlers (Hard Rock)
  3. The Same, by Cabin Creek (Folk, Bluegrass)
  4. Plenty of Blues, by The Roustabouts (Blues, Blues-Rock)
  5. Appalachian Witch, by Gallows Bound (Bluegrass, Punk)
  6. Slow Down, Jerusalem, by The Duskwhales (Indie, Retro Rock)

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-


We’re excited to share that we’ve reached this epic milestone!  We’re going to plan some kind of party to celebrate this milestone, stay tuned!   www.facebook.com/dcmusicrocks

We collaborated with the team over at Listen Local First and put together a holiday playlist of exclusively DC region artist’s holiday music.  It’s about 4 hours long!  Finally, a way to celebrate the holidays without those same old tired Holiday Tunes!  It will play at local businesses as well as events around town for the holidays.  We hope you’ll use it at your get togethers as well!  

Our live shows air on WERA 96.7FM, and the station is celebrating its second anniversary this week. To commemorate this occasion, we’re reaching out, hoping you’ll participate in keeping WERA as a valuable and lasting piece of the Arlington Community.  This week, from December 4th through 10th, we are hosting our first Winter Fund Drive.  It’s a great chance to support the broadcast of local programs about your local community here in Arlington and DC.  Just visit http://WERA.FM and click DONATE. Thanks for your support!

DC Music Rocks T-shirts and Long Sleeve Shirts are up on our website and available through Amazon, they make a great gift idea for your musician friends and family for the holidays!  Men’s, Women’s, and Youth sizes are even available in the T-shirts!

It’s a great opportunity for local businesses!  If you have ideas on who would make great sponsors, please do reach out to us!



--The North Country - In Defense of Cosmic Altruism (10 Song Album - from Sept 29 2017!)
--Backbeat Underground - Outrun (single)
--Better Homes - Your Love (single)

Our ‘2017 New Releases by DC Artists’ Spotify Playlist:


Our ‘DC Artists Official Music Videos’ Youtube Playlist:



Dec 8 Fri
Black Dog Prowl @ Villian & Saint in Bethesda, MD
Bencoolen @ Lost Rhino in Ashburn, VA
Soldiers of Suburbia & A Shrewdness of Apes @ O’Shaughnessy’s Pub in Alexandria, VA

Dec 9 Sat
Vim & Vigor @ Upshur St Art & Craft Fair in Petworth (in NW DC)
Chris Timbers @ Biergarten in Mclean, VA
Rare Essence @ AQUA near Brentwood/Ivy City (in NE DC)

Dec 10 Sun
Uptown Boys Choir @ Songbyrd Music House in Admo (in NW DC)

Dec 12 Tues
Cinema Hearts @ Black Cat on 14th St (in NW DC)

Dec 13 Wed
Maryjo Mattea @ Ugly Sweater Holiday Party @ Roofers Union in Admo (in NW DC)


Would you support us?  We'd love to grow and do more!  We're giving away shirts, access to our private facebook group, and more!  We also intend to set aside 10% to contribute directly in the DC Local Music Scene through charities, sponsorships, events, etc.  We want to continue to pay it forward!

HUGE shoutout to our current Patrons! 
--Daniel Warren Hill  --David Mohl

Mark Reiter, of Daycare Swindlers, Bias Studios, & Furnace MFG



Mark Reiter Pic

Mark Reiter is a mixer, record producer and audio engineer. He is also a drummer and plays in the rock group Daycare Swindlers. His ADHD prevents him from enjoying fishing but he can tap his foot in time for prolonged periods. After two or three cups of strong black coffee he has been called “irritating” and “intolerable.” He enjoys recording analog and has worked with many local and national acts which do not include Rush, Genesis, Peter Frampton or anyone related to Frank Zappa. His mixes frequently invoke the feeling of a feudal lord surveying his lands atop a hill during a misty summer dawn. His production style is highly collaborative but he is woefully illiterate across a wide spectrum of Asian tone languages and dialects. While he is harshly criticized for his inability to perform on-the-spot conversions rates of pre-Hellenic currencies into modern legal tender, he can “use the hell” out of a compressor and has had many experiences involving microphones. He was drawn to engineering by “all the lights and buttons” and secretly enjoys a Teutonic feeling of power and dominion when recording. He understands ProTools but established a near-legendary ability for being able to fatten snare drum tones at the DOS prompt. His interests include werewolves, Vikings, dinosaurs, comic books and a wide spectrum of sundry passions that adults with fully-formed central nervous systems eschewed long ago in pursuit of economic security and furthering their respective bloodlines. He will/will not accept tattoos, Star Wars figures and/or heartfelt platitudes as payment for recording services. He is anecdotally credited as being the first audio engineer to say “What the hell is wrong with this thing?” and “I know someone who can fix this.” He works at Bias Studios just outside Washington, DC, is one-third of the Castathetic Podcast team and is the steely-eyed, handsome creator of the BitCoin.

Some of Mark's credits:

  • Craig Enger
  • Weird Wolf
  • Risk Ray
  • Collider
  • Ruin By Design
  • Wildlove
  • Fire Street
  • Charles Barrett/Direct Connection
  • Rodent Popsicle Records
  • XK Scenario
  • The Good Fight
  • Walkabout
  • Japan in the 80's
  • The Walkabouts
  • Lions in the Grass
  • Supreme Commander
  • Two Man Advantage
  • Gallows Bound
  • Walk the Plank
  • Daycare Swindlers
  • The Pietasters
  • The Idle Gossip
  • Max Levine Ensemble
  • Save the Arcadian
  • Poorboy
  • Charlie Bear Quartet
  • Say-10 Records
  • No Less Records
  • Becca Levy - Drums
  • The House, The Old - Drums
  • Bob Kelley - Drums
  • The Overprivileged
  • VMS Records
  • Brother Bill
  • Castathetic Podcast
  • Michelle McTierney
  • Beatville/VileBeat Records
  • Hudson Falcons
  • Go-Kart Records
  • Mark Linskey
  • The AKs
  • Senores Jovenes
  • Lucky So Far
  • Iron Lung Remedy
  • Oasis CD Duplication
  • No Cash
  • Jose Maria
  • Shwa
  • The Twats
  • Rocket City Riot
  • Nice Guy Records
  • Yum
  • Drytown
  • The Duskwhales
  • Last Armistice
  • Static Scene
  • Cabin Creek
  • Karla and the Brotherhood
  • Alex Rhodes - Drums
  • Julianna McDowell - Drums
  • Azura
  • Aerial Escape
  • Sam Sade and Alpha Krav Maga
  • Vim and Vigor - Mastering
mark reiter.jpg


Brian:     On DC Music Rocks, we're shining a spotlight on the great songs, artists and incredible people behind the DC region's local music scene. Mark Reiter is a mixer, record producer and audio engineer along with an operations manager and a drummer. He works at Bias Studios just outside Washington DC, and is one third of the Castathetic podcast team. He's also the drummer in the rock group Daycare Swindlers, and he enjoys recording analog and has worked with many local and national acts. I first came across Mark's name when I was talking with the ... not the Daycare Swindlers, the Duskwhales when they were they were on the show. They spoke so highly of you, man. Then, I started looking into all the cool things you're doing and was just was blown away. Thank you for now coming and being here with me. This is awesome.

Mark Reiter:     Thank you for having me.

Brian:     Now, talk about ... Quickly go over the things that you said you're involved in, because I just brought up a few of them there. List them out for us so that they know.

Mark Reiter:     Yeah, the engineering and producing stuff that I'm doing out of Bias.

Brian:     Where is Bias located?

Mark Reiter:     Bias is in Springfield. Did you know that?

Brian:     Okay.

Mark Reiter:     I'm technically a freelancer, but they let me in the door and you know.

Brian:     Got it.

Mark Reiter:     They give me some assignments from time to time. Just the audio and production work. Then, the operations management stuff at Furnace and helping ... Basically what I do is I run the production side of it and oversee a bunch of really hard working people who put records and press records and get records out the door in time and learn the art and craft of record pressing. Then, I also get to be in the Daycare Swindlers, which is ... we're in the our 20th year.

Brian:     Holy smokes. 20 years.

Mark Reiter:     Yeah, a lot of smokes. Yeah, it's crazy.

Brian:     A lot of smokes. Oh, man. There's a great Daycare Swindlers history if they want to look into that. That's for sure.

Mark Reiter:     Yeah. Don't look too closely.

Brian:     That's there. Then, I brought up Castathetic podcast. That is something you do or ...

Mark Reiter:     That is the thing that Ken Barnum who also works at Bias and a crazy guy named Keaton Beus, we do this together, and every few weeks we do something kind of similar to this. We have bands come to Bias, they play live. Keaton will interview them. Then, we do a mix and put it out, and it's a good way for bands to accomplish. Kind of the same thing that you're doing.

Brian:     That's amazing.

Mark Reiter:     Get the word out there.

Brian:     If they want to check out the Castathetic podcast, if they're listening, where would they go to find that?

Mark Reiter:     The best way to get it, you can go to castathetic.com. It's there. I think we're ... I'm embarrassed to say that I don't really handle any of the technical side of it. [crosstalk 00:02:57] recording.

Brian:     No. There's no worries.

Mark Reiter:     Yeah, castathetic.com is the best way to do it. You can also find it on my website. There's a link to it, which is markreitermusic.com. Shameless plug.

Brian:     Shameless plug Mark Reiter music. That's Reiter, is R-E-I-T-E-R.

Mark Reiter:     Yup.

Brian:     Got it. Now, what ... Tell me the story behind the Daycare Swindlers name.

Mark Reiter:     No one ever asks this question.

Brian:     No? Well, I'm glad that I could be the first.

Mark Reiter:     All right.

Brian:     Tell us.

Mark Reiter:     I'll try to do it really quickly. We started in the late '90s. There was another wave of ska revolution going on, and DC was a hotbed for that stuff. We sort of did our own version of ska music, which is a poor version of it with electric guitars and no horns and sort Operation Ivy thing. Right? There's a band called Dance Hall Crashers, and we really liked the way that that name sounded. It's got a lot of syllables and it's kind of rhymey. We did that horrible thing that all bands do, which is to sit around in the basement and drink a lot of beer and come up with a name. I'm looking at the Dungeons and Dragons monster manual. We could be Gelatinous Cube. No, we can't be Gelatinous Cube. Our guitar player Mark O'Connor came up with Daycare Swindlers and it stuck, and we get asked about the name a lot.

      I think it's a great name, but it does come ... People sort of raise their eyebrows sometimes. We got asked in an interview once if we had named ourselves after the Ronald Reagan speech about the daycare swindlers from Chicago who were hustling the government for funding to run daycare centers out of their homes.

Brian:     That's not a good association.

Mark Reiter:     That's where we got the name from.

Brian:     There it is. Can you confirm that is in fact where that came from or no-

Mark Reiter:     It didn't come from the monster manual.

Brian:     ... that came from the dictionary and the monster manual and all of that stuff.

Mark Reiter:     Yeah.

Brian:     Okay. All this stuff. Wow. Cool history. I love that. All right. Now, you've been in DC for ... what's your connection to the DC region? For a while, immigrated here, moved here.

Mark Reiter:     Yeah. I was born in central New York in Binghamton, and lived in Buffalo for my childhood. My dad is a government guy, was a government guy. He got an opportunity and came down here. I did high school down here and ...

Brian:     When you say down here, what part of are you talking about?

Mark Reiter:     The beautiful Dumfries triangle Quantico area.

Brian:     Excellent. Okay.

Mark Reiter:     Home to your [inaudible 00:05:33] Mills. It was in high school, I was always sort of a music nerd. I apologize. I'm going to say you know. It's a verbal crutch. I can't get rid of it today.

Brian:     We're not listening. Just tell us. It's okay, man.

Mark Reiter:     I sort of fell in love with the storied musical past of DC, especially the discord, the hard core, punk rock thing. That was really my point of entry into music, and it's still not totally even though the Daycare Swindlers were originally a punk band. Being part of that scene is super exciting to me.

Brian:     Wow. Now, what about ... You on the personal side. Now, outside of all this, this music stuff, and you told us all the jobs and the things you're involved in. In your free time, what do you do, Mark?

Mark Reiter:     I got married last year.

Brian:     Congratulations.

Mark Reiter:     Thanks, man. Thank you.

Brian:     Yeah.

Mark Reiter:     My wife and I, we have no human children, but we have two furry children.

Brian:     Oh, furry children.

Mark Reiter:     Two Siberian Huskies. [crosstalk 00:06:40].

Brian:     Wow.

Mark Reiter:     We're both big Star Wars nerds. My wife is training to be an MMA fighter.

Brian:     Really?

Mark Reiter:     Yeah. Which is awesome and also-

Brian:     Are you training with her? Have you [crosstalk 00:06:51].

Mark Reiter:     I am a test dummy for Jujutsu moves. Every few days I get to find out what she learned.

Brian:     She kicks your butt.

Mark Reiter:     Yeah. I can't breathe, and the room goes gray, and she's proud and I'm terrified.

Brian:     That's fantastic. Your home life just sound so fantastic, man. Two fur babies and some MMA fights when you're home.

Mark Reiter:     Yeah. I'm a very grateful dude.

Brian:     That's awesome, man. I love it. Do you guys ... are you into ... She does that. What do you do with some of your free time, the little that you have? It's not just Star Wars.

Mark Reiter:     Well, I don't know. I'm also an avid reader. Yeah, it's weird. The past couple of years, I've not had a lot of free time. The time that we do get to spend not working and not doing the music is kind of veg out time. My wife and I are very protective of those handful of moments when, you know.

Brian:     Yeah.

Mark Reiter:     Because I really am working two gigs and sometimes three. Again, I'm grateful for that work. I would rather be that busy than have none of these things coming across the plate.

Brian:     Yeah. Got it, man.

Mark Reiter:     It seems mundane, but it's actually kind of magical to just be able to spend a night with my wife and a [sahee ball 00:08:27] and eight episodes of Stranger Things.

Brian:     Nice. Oh god, so good. Absolutely. I totally get it, man. One of my favorite questions to ask on the show is, if you could offer one piece of advice, what would it be?

Mark Reiter:     I think in this gig, in the music world, being aware of your motives and trying to figure why you're doing something. Why is this important to you? Is it important to you because it's placating some kind of deep need that your ego has presented to you? I find in my own life that when I've operated that way, I've caused problems for myself and for other people. I think that part of this especially being in a band, and the Daycare Swindlers were fairly successful for a good number of years, and you can lose yourself a little bit in that and the tension that comes along with it. You can tend to feed that inner self and in a kind of negative and dangerous way.

     I've come to a place in my life where I realize that everything that I'm a part of that's cool is because I'm part of a bigger whole. You know, sort of the notion that together we are what we can't be alone. When I find myself operating from that standpoint, whether it's at Furnace or at Bias, in the band, then really cool things begin to happen not to me, but to us. That's the kind of energy that I want to be a part of. It takes some discipline to keep the ego and the things that it wants at bay. I find when that's happening, that's when the really cool stuff begins to flow.

Brian:     That's amazing, man. Such good words. A part of something bigger. I love it. Now, you brought up a lot of things. If people want to find out more about what you brought up, so there's Furnace, and there's Daycare Swindlers, and there's ...

Mark Reiter:     Bias.

Brian:     Bias Studios. Where do they go to find those things?

Mark Reiter:     The internet.

Brian:     They all have websites.

Mark Reiter:     Yeah. Biasstudios.com, the S's are together.

Brian:     That's B-I-A-S Studios.

Mark Reiter:     Exactly.

Brian:     Okay.

Mark Reiter:     You can find Furnace at furnacemfg, that's Mary, Frank, George, dot com.

Brian:     Got it.

Mark Reiter:     Then, you can find me at markreitermusic.com, and the Daycare Swindlers are Daycare-Swindlers.

Brian:     Daycare-Swindlers.

Mark Reiter:     Dot com.

Brian:     Got it.

Mark Reiter:     We're on Bandcamp at Facebook and Instagram and Twitter.

Brian:     All those places.   

11/28/17 - Special Guest: Lisa White, Talent Buyer for Pearl Street Warehouse!

Thanks to Lisa V. White, Talent Buyer for Pearl Street Warehouse down at The Wharf in DC, for hanging out with us in the studio this week!

^^Episode Audio/Post Is Live - Click Above (might need to buffer/load, refresh page if you have any issues)^^

Podcast:  iTunesGoogle PlayStitcherPocket CastsPodBeanPlayerFM, or THIS URL in your app of choice




  1. Always, by QOK (Pop, Pop Rock)
  2. Lighters, by The Chuck Brown Band (Funk, GoGo)
  3. Trouble Maker, by Eli Cook (Blues, Americana)
  4. Singing the Chorus, by Olivia Mancini and the Mates (Pop, Rock)
  5. My Baby Girl, by Justin Jones (Rock, Folk)

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-


We collaborated with the team over at Listen Local First and put together a holiday playlist of music by exclusively DC region artists.  It’s about 4 hours long!  It will play at local businesses as well as events around town for the holidays.  We hope you’ll use it at your get togethers as well!  If you’re aware of other music which should be on the playlist, send us a note, we’d love to hear about them!

Congrats to the winner of our car-dancing video contest, Chip Py!  I’ll be reaching out to invite him to be a guest of the show in 2018!  
See his winning video to Rare Essence here: https://www.facebook.com/chip.py.52/videos/vb.708319911/10155225437994912/?type=3

DC Music Rocks T-shirts and Long Sleeve Shirts are up on our website and available through Amazon, they make a great gift idea for your musician friends and family for the holidays!  Men’s, Women’s, and Youth sizes are even available in the T-shirts!

It’s a great opportunity for local businesses!  If you have ideas for us, please do reach out!

On Tuesday, December 12, Pearl Street Warehouse  is throwing one big holiday party for all the small businesses in the area. Complete with holiday rock n' roll by local favorite Jonny Grave and the Tombstones, food, booze and decorations, Pearl Street Warehouse offers teams of 1 to 31 people, the holiday party they deserve. 
     Participating offices will have the opportunity to name a specialty cocktail, display their logo on the screens in the venue, and contribute a piece of swag to the event gift bag. Equal opportunity networking and partying. 
     There are two separate packages for the event, $75 per person for open bar, and $40 per person with beverage purchases on top. Companies can reserve their spot by emailing events@pearlstreetwarehouse.com.


Holiday New Releases
--Jason Masi - Christmas Songs & Musings (3 Song EP)
--Staunton - I’ll Be Home by Christmas

New Releases
--Lesson Zero - Lesson Won (14 Song Album)
--Broke Royals - Broke Royals (12 Song Album)
--By and By - Songs for This Old Heart (11 song album)
--Backbeat Underground, Aaron Abernathy - She don’t love me like I do (single)
--Peter Maybarduk - All That’s Left (single)
--Rent Party - Wasted (single)
--Area 301 - Can I Still Hit It (single)
--Luke James Shaffer - We’re All A Little Crazy (single)
Partnered up Mental Health Alliance (www.wereallalittlecrazy.org)

Our ‘2017 New Releases by DC Artists’ Spotify Playlist:


Our ‘DC Artists Official Music Videos’ Youtube Playlist:




Dec 1 Fri
Olivia Mancini @ Pearl Street Warehouse at The Wharf (in SW DC)
Nappy Riddem @ Gypsy Sally’s in Georgetown (in NW DC)
Luke James Shaffer @ Shaw’s Tavern (in NW DC)

Dec 2 Sat
Of Tomorrow @ Gypsy Sally’s in Georgetown (in NW DC)
Sub-Radio @ Sauf Haus by Dupont (in NW DC)
Vintage #18 @ Hamilton Loft by Metro Center (in NW DC)

Dec 3 Sun
Caustic Casanova @ Rhizome (PR Benefit Concert) by Takoma (in NW DC)
Laura Tsaggaris @ Songbyrd Music House in Adams Morgan (in NW DC)

Dec 6 Wed
Lauren Calve @ Gypsy Sally’s in Georgetown (in NW DC)

Dec 7 Thu
Mystery Friends @ Black Cat in 14th St (in NW DC)


Would you support us?  We'd love to grow and do more!  We're giving away shirts, access to our private facebook group, and more!  We also intend to set aside 10% to contribute directly in the DC Local Music Scene through charities, sponsorships, events, etc.  We want to continue to pay it forward!

HUGE shoutout to our current Patrons! 
--Daniel Warren Hill  --David Mohl

Lisa White, Talent Buyer for Pearl Street Warehouse



Lisa White pic

Lisa V. White has been involved in the Washington, DC music scene in one way or another for nearly 30 years, first as a DJ in video dance clubs, later as a music writer and editor for a local free arts tabloid, artist manager, independent band promoter, board member of the Washington Area Music Association, and as a talent buyer for 21 years at one of the country’s most respected live music venues, the 9:30 Club (capacity 500-1200), from 1991-2013. 

The 9:30 Club has presented the best talent in all music genres, from Tony Bennett to Slayer and everything in between, and has won industry resource Pollstar's Best Live Music Venue award multiple times. While at the 9:30 Club Lisa also was part of the marketing, promotion and advertising teams; handled day-to-day operations for the club’s in-house record label, 9:30 Records; coordinated production and logistics for many multi-act events; and also booked and managed several smaller artist development rooms: Republic Gardens, one of the pioneers in the resurgence of Washington, DC’s U St neighborhood, in 1995 (250 capacity); Fletcher’s in Baltimore, MD’s Fells Point (325 capacity) 1996-2002; and more recently booked shows on the 9:30 Club's behalf at U St Music Hall (500 capacity) from 2010 until leaving the 9:30 Club organization in 2013. 

After a year off for relaxation, spent mostly at her secondary home in Austin, TX, Lisa was head talent buyer and operations consultant for Gypsy Sally's, a start-up 450-capacity Americana music club in Washington, DC’s Georgetown neighborhood in 2014. Following that she was a talent buyer/operations consultant for the Harrisburg Mid-Town Arts Center, comprising a 200-capacity music venue, and launching an 800-capacity venue for live music and other events in Harrisburg, PA. 

Website: PearlStreetWarehouse.com

Instagram & Twitter: @PearlStreetLive

Facebook: @PearlStreetWarehouse

pearl st.png


Brian:     On DC Music Rocks, we're shining a spotlight on the great songs, artists and incredible people behind the D.C. region's local music scene. So, Lisa V. White has been involved in the Washington D.C. music scene in one way or another, for nearly 30 years.

     First as a DJ, later as a music writer and editor and artist manager and independent band promoter, a board member of the Washington Area Music Association and as talent buyer for 21 years at the 9:30 Club from 1991 to 2013.

     After a year off for relaxation she spent mostly at her secondary home in Austin, Texas, Lisa was head talent buyer and operations consultant for Gypsy Sally's, which is start-up, 450 capacity Americana and music club in Washington D.C.'s Georgetown neighborhood. That was in 2014 and she's now at the new Pearl Street Warehouse.

     Let me say, it is such an honor to have you here, thank you for coming here and being with us today.

Lisa White:     Oh, well, thank you for having me in.

Brian:     And, now, that was my way of describing you, how would you describe yourself?

Lisa White:     Well, I did all that stuff.

Brian:     Sum up years and years of work in a matter of 30 seconds, yeah.

Lisa White:     Yeah, yeah.

Brian:     "That was me."

Lisa White:     I did all that stuff, yeah.

Brian:     Sounds right. Is there anything that I left out of there?

Lisa White:     Not really, I mean-

Brian:     Pretty much sums it up?

Lisa White:     I did college radio.

Brian:     Wow.

Lisa White:     I had my own radio show, in like 1980-something.

Brian:     Well, [crosstalk 01:29] it's an honor to have you back on the radio here, yeah.

Lisa White:     Yeah, yeah. It's nice to be back.

Brian:     It's a treat, my goodness. Now, share with us, it's called Pearl Street Warehouse, is there a story behind the name or is it really on Pearl Street, so they just called it Pearl Street Warehouse?

Lisa White:     Well, there's a story behind the name of the street.

Brian:     Oh?

Lisa White:     Pearl Street is a brand new street created in this development. It's really just a couple of blocks long, running from the water, which is the Washington Channel, to Maine Avenue. Pearl Street is named after a ship, it was a slave ship and the slaves tried to escape, with the ship. They made it all the way down the Potomac, almost to Mount Vernon before they were captured.

     The name of their ship was The Pearl, and so Pearl Street is named after The Pearl. That was in, I believe, the 1830s, it was certainly well before the Civil War. I was aware of that story, as part of the Washington D.C. history and so, I was interested in Pearl Street Warehouse for that reason. I liked the fact that the developers kind of paid tribute to them by naming the street after them.

     Pearl Street Warehouse, the owners of Pearl Street Warehouse, they also own Cantina Marina and the new Cantina Bambina, which is going to be down on The Wharf as well. They also have a record label, a couple of them, called Warehouse Records.

Brian:     Holy smokes, there's so much going on here.

Lisa White:     So, Pearl Street Warehouse, that's sort of the name, that's a long-winded way of telling you the name of the club.

Brian:     Lisa, I had no idea that was all connected, that is amazing.

Lisa White:     Yeah.

Brian:     Wow. Now, speaking of connected, how did you get connected into this?

Lisa White:     Well, I got connected through the 9:30 Club people, the owners of Pearl Street Warehouse, they reached out to the 9:30 Club to see if they were interested in booking Pearl Street Warehouse. The 9:30 Club said, "Well, no, you know, we kind of have our hands full with The Anthem and all the other stuff that we do, Americana's not our particular forte, but we know somebody who might be a really good fit for you."

     They put us in touch and I met with those guys and got along with them right away and I really liked their vision for the club. I felt like my background and the connections that I have could be an asset for them. I felt like I would really enjoy helping them to fulfill their vision for the club, so that's how it happened.

Brian:     Wow. When were you connected? This all happened in?

Lisa White:     March.

Brian:     March of 2017?

Lisa White:     Yeah.

Brian:     Oh, god.

Lisa White:     It was still very much a construction zone, going in there and doing a walkthrough, it was really hard to see how beautiful the club was going to become. It was really fascinating to be able to go through there and do regular walkthroughs and see the progress that was being made. To now be able to be in there, especially for something like Chuck Brown Band when it's packed and everybody's dancing and having a good time, just to feel that coming to fruition, it's great.

Brian:     That's it. Now, for folks who haven't been to Pearl Street Warehouse, there's chairs down in front, but if it turns into a dance party, in the middle of a show, will you guys take the tables out?

Lisa White:     No.

Brian:     Or, how does it work?

Lisa White:     Well, it's a very flexible space, so some shows will be like a full dance floor. On Saturday, we had another great D.C. band, Human Country Jukebox?

Brian:     Yeah.

Lisa White:     We did a dance lesson at that, too, a two-step lesson and we had an open dance floor for that.

Brian:     Awesome.

Lisa White:     But then, for somebody like, oh, who do we have coming up that's like an all-seated show? It'll be all-seated.

Brian:     Oh.

Lisa White:     We have a mezzanine level that's always all-seated.

Brian:     All right.

Lisa White:     That's up above and that's got a really nice view of the stage, but then otherwise, we just kind of figure out who's coming to the show, how many tables and chairs should we have, if any? We just kind of move them around.

Brian:     Yeah.

Lisa White:     If we need to have a dance floor, we can have a dance floor, if we need to have all-seated, we can, and we do anything in between.

Brian:     That's amazing. What is the, I guess what I was, I totally had a question and then it just flew out of my mind, it will come back, I'm sure it will.

Lisa White:     Well, I'll be here.

Brian:     Let me track that down. But, anyway, now, talk about you. You do this booking and, what about you on the personal side? Hobbies? What else do you do, aside from this?

Lisa White:     Well, I like dancing a lot and I live in Austin part-time, so I go down there and I mean, there's just so many great musicians in Austin. I really enjoy going out to see them, but then also, dancing's a really big part of the culture down there, so I'll go out dancing, you know, three, four, sometimes five times a week. Saturday afternoon, there's a really great dance thing, Sunday afternoon, there's a couple of great dance things.

Brian:     Wow.

Lisa White:     Yeah.

Brian:     What kind of music are you dancing to?

Lisa White:     Country, mostly, like honky-tonk kind of country.

Brian:     Ah, I got you.

Lisa White:     Yeah, yeah, so I'm two-stepping. Not line dancing.

Brian:     Oh, there it is.

Lisa White:     I'm not line dancing, I'm two-stepping.

Brian:     You said there was a dance lesson, did you teach the dance lesson?

Lisa White:     Actually, I did participate in the two-step lesson. There was-

Brian:     Awesome.

Lisa White:     Somebody else, Ben [Pajak 07:10] was teaching the lesson and then I was his dance partner. So, I helped with that.

Brian:     Wow, you got to demo the two-steps, though. I love it.

Lisa White:     Yeah, I did. It was fun.

Brian:     This is where-

Lisa White:     People were into it, I mean, really, I think we had about 50 people get up, to do the lesson.

Brian:     Do the lesson.

Lisa White:     Yeah.

Brian:     Oh, that is so cool.

Lisa White:     Yeah.

Brian:     I love [inaudible 07:30] Now, and when you think back on your career then, it sounds like you have so many memories, what is the biggest success moment that comes to mind for you, personally?

Lisa White:     Well, you know, it's always great to stand in the back of the room at a sold-out show and watch everybody singing along or dancing or whatever is called for the show. That's really the best kind of moment to have, I think, probably booking Booker T. Jones for the grand opening of Pearl Street Warehouse. He's from Booker T. & The M.G.'s and he's playing his Hammond B3 organ and he's playing that famous song, Green Onions, right there.

Brian:     Wow.

Lisa White:     Yeah, I mean, that was a real career highlight for me. It was a personal highlight to get to meet him and talk with him, he discovered and produced Bill Withers.

Brian:     Wow, that's just-

Lisa White:     He also worked with Willie Nelson and the Drive-By Truckers and a lot of other, you know, too many to mention. So, to be able to work with him and his family and his band.

Brian:     Yeah.

Lisa White:     Yeah, that was, yeah.

Brian:     You just reminded me, I wanted to ask you, when bands reach out to you, what are you looking for, when you're considering booking them? How does it work on your side, when they, "Hey, I'd love to book a show." What happens on your side?

Lisa White:     Well, I mean, you know, I have to look at the economics of it.

Brian:     Okay, what does that mean?

Lisa White:     The economics of it means, how many people are going to come?

Brian:     Got it.

Lisa White:     You know, how many tickets can they sell? I mean, it's going benefit them to play to an empty room and we're going to lose money if they do.

Brian:     Right. Exactly. So, if they reach out, what's the capacity of Pearl Street Warehouse?

Lisa White:     Well, if we do an all-seated, it's 150, if we do all-standing, it's 280.

Brian:     Wow, okay.

Lisa White:     Then we can, depending on seated, standing-

Brian:     Anywhere in between.

Lisa White:     We can do something between, yeah.

Brian:     So, if a band reached out to you and just said, "Look, we anticipate being able to bring 150." Does that make your job easier or is there still same amount of research that goes into it?

Lisa White:     Well, I still do my research, you know? Just to see, well, where are they drawing 150? Because, if I have somebody saying, "Well, we'd pull 500 people when we play in New York." Well, that doesn't mean, necessarily, that they're going to draw anybody when they play in Washington D.C., so I still have to do my research. I have people that I ask about certain musical genres that tend to know about those things.

Brian:     Yeah.

Lisa White:     I look at social media, but the thing about social media, it's so hard to tell where the followers are. Are the followers in this area and physically able to come to a show at Pearl Street Warehouse? Or, are they all over the country? I just don't know.

Brian:     What is the number that is the number that, if you go lower than that, you lose money, but this is the break-even point? What is that, at a venue like Pearl Street? Or how does that work?

Lisa White:     Well, I mean, you know, it all depends on how much I'm paying the band.

Brian:     Ah, okay.

Lisa White:     You know, that's my break-even point, is partly dependent on what I'm paying the band. How many people are in the band, because we feed everybody, you know? We give them dinner.

Brian:     Okay.

Lisa White:     So, if we've got a 20-person band, we're going to be spending a lot more, just on food alone. Not to mention beers, so, you know.

Brian:     Wow, yeah.

Lisa White:     Yeah, so it kind of varies. I mean, generally speaking, I need to be at least, just as a rule of thumb, I need to be at least 50% of capacity to have any hope of breaking even.

Brian:     Got it.

Lisa White:     Generally.

Brian:     Okay.

Lisa White:     Yeah.

Brian:     That makes sense. My favorite question is, if you could offer one piece of advice, what would it be?

Lisa White:     Oh, boy. Well, you know, there's just so many more than one pieces of advice that I could come up with, but I guess if I had to pick one thing, I would say, just be nice, you know? Just be nice, follow through, do what you say you're going to do.

Brian:     Be true to your word?

Lisa White:     Yeah.

Brian:     And be nice?

Lisa White:     Yeah.

Brian:     At the same time.

Lisa White:     Yeah.

Brian:     Got it. Do you have experience with that? Is that your own, personal mantra? That's what you do too, or is that more from experience from dealing with people for so many years?

Lisa White:     Yeah, I mean, you know, I think just life in general, you know? I feel like so many of the bands that we've had coming through Pearl Street Warehouse, recently, have just been like, "You guys have been so nice, you've taken such good care of us, it means a lot." It means a lot from our point of view too, when people show up on time, that's another one, please be on time.

Brian:     Public service announcement, I love it. Be on time.

Lisa White:     Yeah, you know, when people are on time and they're friendly, it means a lot.

Brian:     Got it. Now, one more time, for those folks who want to find out more about you and what you're doing and the cool things that you're doing at Pearl Street, where do they go?

Lisa White:     Pearlstreetwarehouse.com.

11/21/17 - 2017 New Releases All Music Episode

Next week we have Lisa W. and Clare Z. from Pearl Street Warehouse for coming on the show!

^^Episode Audio/Post Is Live - Click Above (might need to buffer/load, refresh page if you have any issues)^^

Podcast:  iTunesGoogle PlayStitcherPocket CastsPodBeanPlayerFM, or THIS URL in your app of choice




  1. Daily Prayer, by Aaron Abernathy (Hip Hop/R&B)
  2. Inside Out, by Staunton (Rock/Hard Rock)
  3. Product Of Hip Hop, by Area 301 (Hip Hop/R&B)
  4. Crash, by Billy Winn (Pop/Dance)
  5. New, by Rent Party (Rock/Alternative Rock)
  6. Armageddon, by Derek Evry (Rock/Alternative Rock)
  7. The Crown, by Bencoolen (Rock/Pop)
  8. Ponle Fin, by Elena & Los Fulanos (Latin/World)
  9. Fine (feat Eros), by Jen Miller (Indie/Pop)
  10. Train Of Thought, by Timberbrooke (Rock, Hard Rock)
  11. Fire, by Hayley Fahey (Rock/Indie Rock)
  12. Or So It Seemed, by Sara Curtin (Indie/Folk)
  13. Cow, by Caustic Casanova (Hard Rock/Psychedelic Metal)

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-

Happy Thanksgiving, from all of us at DC Music Rocks!


Would you support us?  We'd love to grow and do more!  We're giving away shirts, access to our private facebook group, and more!  We also intend to set aside 10% to contribute directly in the DC Local Music Scene through charities, sponsorships, events, etc.  We want to continue to pay it forward!

HUGE shoutout to our current Patrons! 
--Daniel Warren Hill  --David Mohl

11-21-17 All Music Social B4.jpg

11/14/17 - Special Guest: Data Recovery Project

Thanks to, Christopher and Daniel of Data Recovery Project, for hanging out with us in the studio this week!

^^Episode Audio/Post Is Live - Click Above (might need to buffer/load, refresh page if you have any issues)^^

Podcast:  iTunesGoogle PlayStitcherPocket CastsPodBeanPlayerFM, or THIS URL in your app of choice




  1. November 8, 2016, by Two Dragons and a Cheetah (Rock, Alt Rock)
  2. We're Coming For You, by Data Recovery Project (Techno)
  3. Dawn, by Rorie (Pop, Singer-songwriter)
  4. The Record, by Doublemotorcycle (Hard Rock, Pop)
  5. Selfless and Undyed,by Milo in the Doldrums (Rock, Indie Rock)
  6. Good Day, by Yellowtieguy (Rock, Indie Rock)

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-



!!Submission Deadline 11/25!!
Shoutout to Chip Py for the video submitted dancing to Rare Essence in his car!  Love it!

Car Dance Party playlist link:  https://open.spotify.com/user/dcmusicrocks/playlist/4j84nMTEEXUB0tWIQu83Yn


SHIRTS - Just released Long Sleeve Shirts as well!  DC Music Rocks T-shirt’s are up on our website and available through Amazon, they make a great gift idea for your musician friends and family for the holidays!  Men’s, Women’s, and Youth sizes available for short sleeves!



Two Dragons and A Cheetah - November 8, 2016 (Single)
Oddisee - Beneath The Surface (Album)

Our ‘2017 New Releases by DC Artists’ Spotify Playlist:


Two Dragons and A Cheetah - November 8, 2016
"November 8, 2016," a protest song inspired by band member Maryjo Mattea's emotions and experiences following the election, is a cathartic expression of anger as well as a call to action. It reflects the somber mood that blanketed the DC area in the days and weeks following election night and gives voice to the plights of the oppressed. The song is accompanied by a powerful video produced and directed by Stephanie Sapienza and shot by Casey McAdams.

The Duskwhales - Slow Down, Jerusalem

Our ‘DC Artists Official Music Videos’ Youtube Playlist:




Nov 17 Fri
The Sidleys @ Villain & Saint in Bethesda MD
Vim & Vigor @ World of Beer in Ashburn, VA
Turtle Recall @ The Ugly Mug in Eastern Market in SE DC

Nov 18 Sat
By & By and Jonny Grave at Solly’s Tavern on U St in DC
Pebble To Pearl at The Hamilton by Metro Center in NW DC

Nov 19 Sun
Humble Fire at The Blact Cat on 14th St in NW DC

Nov 22 Wed
Hayley Fahey & Higher Education at Looney’s in College Park MD


Would you support us?  We'd love to grow and do more!  We're giving away shirts, access to our private facebook group, and more!  We also intend to set aside 10% to contribute directly in the DC Local Music Scene through charities, sponsorships, events, etc.  We want to continue to pay it forward!

HUGE shoutout to our current Patrons! 
--Daniel Warren Hill  --David Mohl

Data Recovery Project



data recovery project

Data Recovery Project is a Synth/Pop Electronic band that explores dark subject matter in a way that incorporates dance beats. Data Recovery Project pays homage to a variety of genres included in electronic music and its sub-genres, but also plays on the inner explorations of the subject matter.

Data Recovery Project consists of C.P. Kush, a DC songwriter and electronic music producer, and Daniel Warren Hill, producer and backing vocalist, and front man for Alternative Rock band YellowTieGuy.

Official Website URL: www.datarecoveryproject.com

Facebook URL:  https://www.facebook.com/datarecovprojct/

iTunes Link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/apocalapse-ep/id1273903140

Spotify Link: https://open.spotify.com/artist/27aC4AOTOGtXS2zZ1SHndU

Other Links: Twitter: @DataRecovProjct

data recovery project


Brian:     On DC Music Rocks, we're shining a spotlight on the great songs, artists, and incredible people behind the DC region's local music scene.

     Now, Data Recovery Project is a synth-pop-electronic band that explores dark subject matter in a way that incorporates dance beats. Data Recovery Project pays homage to a variety of genres, including the electronic music and its sub-genres, but also plays on the inner explorations of the subject matter. It's music and topic together and you get Data Recovery Project.  Thanks for being here, guys.

Christopher:     Thank you. It's good to be here.

Brian:     This is a treat.   Now, talk about ... For those, how did the band come together and where did Data Recovery Project come from?

Christopher:     Well-

Daniel:     Christopher-

Christopher:     How to start it? Well, anyone who's familiar with the KLF ... Anyone who's familiar with the KLF, they had this great song called "Justified Mansion" in the '90s.

Brian:     Oh, okay.

Christopher:     They wrote a book that you can pay a lot of money for, that I paid a lot of money for. They wrote this book called "How to Have a Number One Single." I bought it-

Brian:     Nice.

Christopher:     Because I love that song so much. I thought, "God, I wonder if this really works."

 One of the first things about having a number one single, you have to rent studio time and get somebody in there who will give you a bassline. This is literally how it all starts. I actually-

Brian:     Really?

Christopher:     I did that, kind of.

Brian:     Okay.

Christopher:     Here, in DC. I started working with somebody else until I ran into Daniel. Then I had my beats and I had my machines. I asked Daniel to come along and help with not just the songwriting and the vocals but also the production.

Brian:     Sure.

Christopher:     So that DRP could get going.

Daniel:     Christopher is just an excellent storyteller, songwriter. If you're following along with it, he really weaves the dark subject matter into really upbeat, dance-y grooves. One of the things that I really loved about working with it is, coming from a background where there's more traditional song structures, like verse, and chorus, and bridge, he incorporates all of those elements.

      You're not just listening to the same kick, snare, kick, snare, like, "Here's some spacey effects to make you follow a simple note," you know? The song actually does evolve and progress and want to take you somewhere, lyrically, in addition to all of these really cool space effects, you know?

Brian:     Wow.

Daniel:     That's one of the things I like the most.

Brian:     I love the way that it comes together.

Christopher:     We are heavily invested in special effects because, if we're being honest ... A lot of songwriters will have that core ... You know, they'll have that guitar and they'll have that core song.

Brian:     Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Christopher:     For me, the produce music and all those special treat ear candy things are, for a music fan, that's as much a part of the show.

Brian:     Yeah.

Christopher:     To the point that when I see a band live and they don't take care of their little production sound effects, that drives me crazy.

      Data Recovery Project sounds big and it has a lot of that going on, a lot of those sounds. We try to make it a maximalist kind of music, rather than a thin, electronic music.

Daniel:     It's definitely very produced and there is a lot of stuff going on. It's the kind of song where, if you think of your favorite artist and you've heard the song a million times, and this time you're using a new pair of headphones, and you hear something in the background that you've never heard before, and you've heard the song 100, 1,000 times.

Brian:     Wow.

Daniel:     That's definitely what will happen, the longer that you listen to Data Recovery Project stuff. You'll just hear this little trill somewhere or a different sound effect that came out of nowhere. It'll just surprise you.

Brian:     Where does the name come from?

Christopher:     The name came from

Daniel:     It was meant to troll companies, right? True story.

Christopher:     Yeah, we thought it would be a great search engine. We thought those were the people who would like us.   You know, it comes from-

Brian:     How's that doing? Is that working for you?

Christopher:     We don't know, but you certainly get a lot of things when you type it in the internet.

Brian:     Absolutely.

Christopher:     Some of the stuff that it's built around ... You know, in electronic music, there was this time of high-energy music, which really had these basslines that were ... They used to be done with octaves. Anyway, they were these basslines that were awesome, and they were loud, and they were electronic.

     Part of what we were doing was looking back. When we started, I thought we might do a whole lot of covers. It turns out we had stuff to say about what's going on now.

Brian:     Yeah, mm-hmm (affirmative).

Christopher:     I don't know what to say. We're sort of looking backwards but then we're sort of futuristic. We're just happy that we're finding a place where we can do this. We don't quite fit into a pre-cut genre.

Brian:     In the name, you just were inspired by?

Christopher:     It was sort of talking about the electronic nature, and that we were going to be reaching back.

Brian:     Okay, I see.

Christopher:     Then the subject matter, which Daniel said, we wanted to signal that we weren't going to do all of our songs about, you know, getting lucky on the dance floor. All those times, we're going to be on the dance floor, but we wanted to go wider.

Brian:     Right.

Christopher:     We just wanted to have something that evoked the subject matter would go all over the place, you know?

Brian:     That's cool. I love it. Fantastic.   What part of the region are you guys? The DC region?

Christopher:     I am from DC, northwest DC.

Brian:     Oh, I just realized, you said, "I." Introduce yourself too.

Christopher:     Oh.

Brian:     Who are you? They can only hear you if they're listening.

Christopher:     I am Christopher with Data Recovery Project.

Brian:     Yeah.

Christopher:     Daniel to my left.

Daniel:     Hi, Christopher to my right.

Christopher:     Daniel's from?

Daniel:     I'm in Waldorf, Maryland.

Brian:     Fantastic.

Daniel:     Which is part of our live tremors joke bit, actually.

Christopher:     Yes.

Brian:     You're from? Say it again. You're from which part?

Christopher:     I'm from northwest Washington DC.

Brian:     From the northwest DC. Fantastic.   Now, you brought up the live tremors, so let's talk about that too.

Christopher:     Okay.

Brian:     What is that?

Christopher:     Well, music videos ... You know, three minutes of video sounds easy, but when DRP was starting, we did a couple music videos, but they were long, they were expensive, and there's great, great videos out there. We decided Daniel and I would do something faster and simpler. We released these live tremors videos. They're about 30 second comedy videos and they're little shorts of us breaking in, playing our first gigs, fighting in the studio. They're all based on true things.

Brian:     Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Daniel:     Not necessarily things that have actually occurred to us negatively, or anything. We're just taking some of those moments that everybody seems to have when they're a performer and they're out and about, trying to be performers.

Brian:     Nice.

Daniel:     You run into these similar kinds of scenarios over [crsstalk 00:07:06]

Brian:     It's a YouTube series? What is it?

Daniel:     Yeah.

Christopher:     It's a YouTube series.

Brian:     Awesome.

Christopher:     We just sent away our musical DNA and got it back from 23andMe.

Daniel:     The swab [crosstalk 00:07:17] your results.

Christopher:     We were able to see what our musical DNA was.

Brian:     Oh, fantastic.

Christopher:     Daniel, we discovered, had some Red Hot Chili Peppers, and he had some Oasis, and he had a lot of Good Charlotte.

Daniel:     Because I'm from Waldorf.

Christopher:     I had Erasure and Nine Inch Nails, of course, if you listen to the songs.

Brian:     Got it.

Christopher:     That was it, right?

Daniel:     Oh no, what was the other one?

Christopher:     I don't want to say it. You have to watch live tremors. It was too humiliating.

Brian:     You've got to check out live tremors to hear what that other piece of DNA is. I love it.

Daniel:     It's just a segment that goes on the Data Recovery Project YouTube channel. If you find the Data Recovery Project YouTube channel, you'll find the live tremors.

Brian:     See the live tremors videos, all right. In for a good laugh, I love it.

     Talk about you guys outside of music now. Hobbies on the side? What do you do in your personal time?

Christopher:     Well, in my personal time, I'm making music.

Brian:     Ah, fair. Yeah.

Christopher:     In the rest of my life, I divide my time between Washington, DC and Florida.

Brian:     Okay.

Christopher:     I kind of am traveling around. In a previous life, I owned a bookstore.

Brian:     Really?

Christopher:     I've done work in Washington, DC in government relations kind of stuff. Yeah, so-

Daniel:     Creative writing.

Christopher:     Oh, that's right. I've written some books. Yeah. All that's in the misty past. Now, I'm full on music. Actually, I came to music as a fan.

Brian:     Okay.

Christopher:     It was the most surprising thing when I discovered that we could write songs. I mean, that was such a shock.

Brian:     How long ago was that?

Christopher:     That was three years ago.

Brian:     Wow! All this came in the last three years?

Christopher:     Yeah. I couldn't play an instrument. Some people did ... Daniel ... Some people say I still can't, since it's all electronic.

Brian:     True.

Christopher:     Yeah, that was just loving the music and then hearing it slip away and wanting to hold on to some pieces of things that I liked. It's really been the last three years that I've learned how to do it. Now, I'm obsessed and wondering why I-

Daniel:     He's sold. He's in.

Christopher:     Didn't do this when I was like 12.

Brian:     That's amazing. I love that you found it.   Really cool.

 I've got time for one more question, and it's my favorite question to ask, which is if you could offer one piece of advice, what would it be?

Christopher:     To aspiring musicians?

Brian:     You get to answer however you'd like.

Christopher:     My piece of advice is ... My big thing is to have flavor. When I hear bands, there's bands that are trying to hear something that they think will be commercial and then do it, and do it correctly, and do it perfectly. That's not my thing. I love point of view and I love flavor. When I say flavor, I love an artist that has their own voice, that has their own way to sing, their own use of words. I think that really shows up. It's harder to get people on the dance floor when they don't know your songs, but it's much more lasting. My advice is to try your hardest to find out what your unique sound is. It's going to feel, in a way, like maybe that's not the commercially thing you could be doing but-

Brian:     Got it. Good stuff, guys.   One more time, for those folks who want to find out more about Data Recovery Project, where do they go?

Christopher:     They can go to DataRecoveryProject.com, they can like us on Facebook, they can follow us on Twitter and on Instagram.

Brian:     Do you have a favorite of those? Which one are you more active on?

Daniel:     Christopher's on Facebook.

Christopher:     I sort of do the Facebook thing, but you can find us on Spotify and iTunes.

Brian:     Of course.

Christopher:     We're releasing an EP every month.

Brian:     Yeah. That's right! Once a month.

Christopher:     Yeah, with our own remixes every month. We've got a new song to jam to.

Brian:     Nice.

Daniel:     Four or five tracks. There's an acoustic version, an instrumental version for "We Are Coming For You." We did a radio-friendly version and a sitting in your car, yelling out the window version.

Brian:     Hell yeah! I love it. A yelling out your window ... Yelling out your car window version. I feel like that was almost like a really funny DJ name is like, "This is the remix by the Yelling Out Your Car."

Daniel:     Right.

11/7/17 - Special Guest: DC Drummer, Ben Tufts

Thanks to DC's incredible drummer, Ben Tufts, for hanging out with us in the studio this week!

^^Episode Audio/Post Is Live - Click Above (might take time to buffer/load, refresh page if you have any issues)^^

Podcast:  iTunesGoogle PlayStitcherPocket CastsPodBeanPlayerFM, or THIS URL in your app of choice




  1. As Long As I Can See, by Broke Royals (Rock, Alt Rock)
  2. Ribbons & Flowers, by FuzzQueen (Rock, Indie Rock)
  3. Titanic, by Exit Vehicles (Indie, Rock)
  4. Anchor, by Crys Matthews (Folk, Americana)
  5. Get It While You Can, by By and By (Folk, Indie Rock)
  6. Irish Demon, by Virginia Creep (Hard Rock, Noise Rock)

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-



DANCING IN A CAR VIDEO CONTEST - We’re celebrating the release of our Car Dance Party playlist with a super simple & fun contest.  Yes, there’s prizes!  Tag and Share with friends/family you know with good car dancing skills!

1) Take a 10+ second video of yourself dancing in a car while playing one of your favorite DC artist’s songs!
2) Artist must be DC region - that means not baltimore, not richmond, DC and surrounding region
3) Upload the video as a comment to this post, tagging the artist’s facebook page and giving the song title.
4) click “like” on this facebook post!

--WINNERS decided by the DC Music Rocks team based on 1) number of “likes” on their video by others, 2) energy/enthusiasm/humor, 3) car dance skills!  Current Deadline for submissions 11/25/17

--PRIZES - One (1) Grand Prize winner will have the opportunity to co-host the live radio show with Brian on the air.  Two (2) runners up will receive DC Music Rocks shirts in the mail.

--Tech note: Some phones won’t let you record video and play music on them at the same time normally, but apps like snapchat WILL let you do this or you can use a friend’s phone (company is always fun)!  Be resourceful, you got this!

Car Dance Party playlist link:  https://open.spotify.com/user/dcmusicrocks/playlist/4j84nMTEEXUB0tWIQu83Yn


SPONSORS - Our sponsorship program is live on our website, we're now looking for sponsors.  The link to the page is below, if you have ideas for businesses who would be a good sponsors or partners for DC Music Rocks, please do reach out, share them with us!


SHIRTS - DC Music Rocks T-shirt’s are up on our website and available through Amazon, they make a great gift idea for your musician friends and family for the holidays!



Timberbrooke - Train Of Thought (Single)

Oddisee - Like Really (Live) (Single)

Our ‘2017 New Releases by DC Artists’ Spotify Playlist:


Timberbrooke - Train of Thought (Official Music Video)

Our ‘DC Artists Official Music Videos’ Youtube Playlist:



Just the one's we talked about on the show, which is just a taste.  Don't forget to visit the full calendar to see all the upcoming shows!

Nov 10 Fri
-Swampcandy @ Songbyrd Music House in Adams Morgan DC
-Jonny Grave @ Pearl Street Warehouse at The Wharf in SW DC
-Come see Brian as a part of PerfectionCraft 2017 (Fellowcraft & The Perfectionists) @ The Ugly Mug in Eastern Market in SE DC

Nov 11 Sat
In DC - Cinema Hearts @ Catharsis on the Mall
In MD - Veronneau @ World-Jazz Summit! @ Amp By Strathmore in North Bethesda, MD
In VA - The Sidleys @ Clydes at Mark Center in Alexandria, VA

Nov 12 Sun
-Broke Royals @ U Street Music Hall on U St in NW DC

Nov 13 Mon
-Bottled up @ Comet Ping Pong in NW DC
-Hayley Fahey Music @ Pearl Street Warehouse at The Wharf in SW DC

Nov 16 Thu
-Skribe @ GYPSY SALLY'S supporting ZACH DEPUTY in Georgetown in NW DC


Would you support us?  We'd love to grow and do more!  We're giving away shirts, access to our private facebook group, and more!  We also intend to set aside 10% to contribute directly in the DC Local Music Scene through charities, sponsorships, events, etc.  We want to continue to pay it forward!

HUGE shoutout to our current Patrons! 
--Daniel Warren Hill  --David Mohl

Ben Tufts



Ben Tufts

I grew up in Sterling, VA and bought my own drumset in 8th grade from the money I earned delivering newspapers.  I spent a lot of my early youth listening to my parents' record collection--especially The Beatles and Led Zeppelin.  My first band in high school was called "J'aunt."  The apostrophe is silent.  We were an instrumental spazz core band of which there are no existing digital recordings.  We probably played less than a dozen shows ever.  I went to college at Longwood University, where I got a double music major--concentrating in both education and composition.  It was there that I discovered jazz, falling in love with the music of Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk, especially.  I discovered during my student teaching that I didn't feel prepared to be a band director, so upon graduating I got a data entry job and started playing bass guitar in bands in the DC area.  I started teaching private lessons in 1999, something I still do and feel is an integral part of who I am as an artist.

I went back to school in 2003 to study jazz at University of Maryland with Steve Fidyk, then the drummer for the Army Blues.  Steve's teaching changed my playing AND my teaching.  In 2009 I got divorced and my dad died from cancer, and I threw myself into teaching and performing more than ever.  By 2012, I was touring five or six months out of the year, playing 200 shows a year, teaching dozens of students, etc.  At this point I've played with over 100 artists/bands in the DC region and beyond.  I love the recording process, and studio work is something that has really ramped up for me in recent years.

I do own bentufts.com but my website probably won't be back up by then, so urls:




Ben Tufts


Brian:     On DC Music Rocks, we're shining a spotlight on the great songs, artists, and incredible people behind the DC region's local music scene. Ben Tum ... Ben Tum? I'm so excited you're here, I just can't speak your name right, man. Gosh darn it!

Ben Tufts:     We'll fix that in post.

Brian:     Ben Tufts, one of the premier drummers in the DC region, grew up in Sterling, Virginia and bought his own drum set in 8th grade from the money he earned delivering newspapers. He spent a lot of his early youth listening to his parents' record collections, including and especially, the Beatles and Led Zeppelin. He's played with over 100 bands and artists in the DC region and beyond over the years. I met Ben through the scene. We're both drummers, but then, I also ... I took a lesson with this guy at 7DrumCity. I've looked up to you for ages, man, so it is a treat to actually have you here live so I get to share the news about Ben with everybody. Thanks for being here, man.

Ben Tufts:     I appreciate it. It's my pleasure to be here. May I say, I wanted to at some point say this. What you're doing with this show for the scene is really remarkable. It's one of the things that I think doesn't get said enough. So, thank you for that

Brian:     I appreciate it. Absolutely. Now, let's talk about you. Talk about you professionally. You're a musician. You're a drummer. How would you describe yourself [crosstalk 00:01:24] front?

Ben Tufts:     I would describe myself as a drummer. I do also play bass guitar and a bunch of different percussion instruments, and I'm dangerous enough on keyboard and guitar to sit down and plunk out some chords, but I wouldn't dare to perform on those instruments most of the time, because I'm in bands with people who are much better at it than I am.

Brian:     Got it.

Ben Tufts:     But I'm a drummer, and a teacher. Teaching is actually a huge piece of what I do and who I am.

Brian:     Yeah, talk about that. The teaching. We said earlier, 7DRumCity, and the place out in Chantilly. What was the name?

Ben Tufts:     Contemporary Music Center. I've been at Contemporary Music Center for over 10 years now. I've been teaching in the area for almost 20, actually. 7DrumCity, I was actually the first drum teacher that 7DrumCity hired. Miles Ryan, who runs that place, is a visionary. If you had told me four years ago that the DC area would embrace a lessons and rehearsal studio, but a lesson studio that was dedicated to just drums, I would have laughed you off the sidewalk. I've never been happier to be so wrong, because Miles identified a real need within the scene. It's a beautiful place, not just because I get to teach drums there. I really appreciate that, but there's just a sense of community there, which you've witnessed.

Brian:     Yes.

Ben Tufts:     It's really unlike any other place I've worked, and I've taught at a lot of places.

Brian:     Definitely, if you're a musician or you're looking to be involved in the music scene, 7DrumCity is a great place to go to at least find an entry point and find people like you, for sure.

Ben Tufts:     Yep.

Brian:     Absolutely. So, there's lessons, and then you play with a lot of different artists. How many currently? Can you even keep track? Does it get crazy?

Ben Tufts:     Well, it's kind of a boring answer, so I'll try to get through really quickly. Essentially, when you're a freelance drummer, there's a little bit of a gray area, but there's bands that you're invested in where you rehearse every week and everybody's on the hook for money stuff, and everybody gets to make decisions about the band. A show doesn't get booked without everybody being on board. That's a band.

Brian:     Yes.

Ben Tufts:     And then, I also play with a number of artists, and with some of these folks, I have an even longer musical relationship than the bands I've been in. But folks who ... Generally singer/songwriters. Folks who play many shows where they don't even need ... not only do they not need a drummer, but they don't need a band. They might play wineries. They might play coffee shops. They might play open mics. It's just them and a guitar. When they need to make a record with a full band, or when they need to play a bigger show, I might be on the list of drummers that they would call.

      If you include just bands, the projects that I'm invested in right now are FuzzQueen, who we just heard, a band called Uptown Boys Choir, which is a band formed around Kevin de Souza, who's the primary songwriter there, and a noise rock outfit called Virginia Creep.

Brian:     Nice.

Ben Tufts:     J.R. Hayes, who's also the vocalist for Pig Destroyer.

Brian:     Wow. Now you said ... I meant to ask you. So, FuzzQueen. Where does the name come from for that?

Ben Tufts:     FuzzQueen is a relatively new band. At least, that's what we tell people. Because people like to hear new. We'd been playing shows for about a year. Chris Stelloh and Erin Frisby, who are in the band, have a long association going back five years, because all three of us were in another band called Miss Shevaughn & Yuma Wray.

Brian:     Wow.

Ben Tufts:     Yeah, it's a mouthful, which is one of the reasons why we changed the name. Essentially what happened is we had some personnel changes a couple years ago, went through some kinda band soul-searching, and we had a record that we decided we needed to shelve and not put out. We came away from that ... We decided originally to rebrand. But we very quickly realized with the election and a couple of other influences ... I like to say that Erin's songwriting (she's the primary songwriter for FuzzQueen) kinda became weaponized. She was very inspired by the events surrounding the election. Everybody in the band has always been pretty socially conscious, but we realize that we were suddenly in a new band. The band's name, FuzzQueen, was actually the name of an ill-fated side project that Erin and Chris had when they used to live on the other side of the country from me and the old bassist in that old band.

Brian:     Oh.

Ben Tufts:     The already had all the social media, but they'd never really done anything with it. When we were talking about rebranding, I had serious band name envy. I was like, "I want to be in a band called FuzzQueen." They're like, "No, no, no. That was our other thing. We can't call it ... That was something else."

Brian:     That was something else.

Ben Tufts:     I advocated for it and advocated for it. We made lists, and anybody who's in a band knows how that goes. It's the least fun thing and the hardest thing about being in a band is picking a good name.

Brian:     Yeah.

Ben Tufts:     Finally, one day, I forget who said it, but Erin and/or Chris was just like, "Okay, you know what? It's FuzzQueen." Immediately, it made sense, because the band is a lot more aggressive than our older outfit. We hardly play any of the same songs. They use a lot pedals and some of those pedals are ...

Brian:     Fuzzy.

Ben Tufts:     Fuzz pedals. People joke when they meet us at clubs, they're like, "Oh, so you guys are the fuzz," because Chris and I both have quite long beards, "and you must be the queen." Pointing at Erin. Which is kind of goofy. So, that's our name and it couldn't have worked out better.

Brian:     That's awesome! So you do all this stuff with drumming. I do want to touch on what do you do outside of drumming, like hobbies. What else do you do?

Ben Tufts:     If you'd asked me a few years ago, I would have told you nothing, but being a workaholic, there's an end game to that that's not pretty, where you can really burn yourself out. Several years ago, after a couple life events, I started to think about what I wanted in my life besides music, was just something that since leaving college I never even considered for a moment, because every second, every minute, was about teaching or recording or performing. I started running. At this point, I'm a pretty avid runner. I run between 10 and 20 miles a week.

Brian:     Holy smokes!

Ben Tufts:     I haven't done a lot of racing this year, but I enjoy racing also. Officially, I've run a half-marathon. I've not run a full marathon yet. That's something that I aspire to do eventually.

Brian:     When you can find the time.

Ben Tufts:     Yeah. Also for a couple years, I've been a pretty avid kayaker, and I actually bought my own boat in July, and recently completed a three day, 45 mile kayaking trip with an old friend of mine. That's another thing I really enjoy. Being out on the water.

Brian:     That's amazing. Running and kayaking. I love it, man. Very cool. One of my favorite questions to ask is if you could offer one piece of advice, what would it be?

Ben Tufts:     Don't stop. Say more. Do you mean to musicians in particular?

Brian:     It's up to you.

Ben Tufts:     I think one of my favorite things to say, and I don't actually remember where I heard this or if I read this somewhere is would you rather live with the answer or the question? That tends to be a motivator for me with a lot of my more important life decisions.

Brian:     Which way do you lean?

Ben Tufts:     Always ... Ten times out of ten, I always have to know the answer. I'd rather know the answer than live with the question. Sometimes it gets me in a lot of trouble.

Brian:     Yeah, but, you know what? My personal is I live life without regrets and it's almost the same idea, which is, I'd regret it if I didn't ask, so I ask, I get it. Now, if folks want to find out more about you and the cool things that are going on, where do they go to find you.

Ben Tufts:     As I mentioned earlier, I'm pretty active on social media, so my Instagram account is just my name, bentufts, B-E-N-T-U-F-T-S. I'm on Twitter at bentuftsdrums, and you can also find my Facebook fan page where I list a lot of my shows and I also post a lot of educational content from lessons, transcriptions, photos of my students, and that sort of thing. My Facebook fan page. You can find that pretty easily by searching my name.

Brian:     Quickly. I'd regret it if we didn't mention it. Talk about Ben Tufts and Friends real quick.

Ben Tufts:     For the past few years, seven or eight years now, I've been hosting yearly concerts that are fundraisers for the Craig Tufts Educational Scholarship Fund. My father, Craig Tufts, was the Chief Naturalist at the National Wildlife Federation for my entire life growing up. He passed away nine years ago, and it was one of his wishes that any funds would be put in a scholarship fund to send kids to study nature. I host a yearly concert of original music, which we actually skipped on this past summer, because I was needing to regroup, but there's generally been a Jammin' Job in Vienna where we, for an entire day, host original artists. In the past few years, in the late winter, I've been hosting tribute shows. Coming up this February, we don't have a location yet, but we're going to be doing a tribute to the Police. All of the proceeds from those shows go to the fund.

Brian:     That's amazing.

Ben Tufts:     That's the Ben Tufts and Friends concept, yeah.

Brian:     I love it.

10/31/17 - Special Guests: Daniel & Taylor of The DC Music Rocks Team

Thanks to, Daniel Hill, the show Coordinator for DC Music Rocks & Taylor Thomas, DCMR's PR/Social Media/web content rock star, for hanging out with us in the studio this week!

^^Episode Audio/Post Is Live - Click Above (might take time to buffer/load, refresh page if you have any issues)^^

Podcast:  iTunesGoogle PlayStitcherPocket CastsPodBeanPlayerFM, or THIS URL in your app of choice



  1. Brood (Another Line), by Yellowtieguy (Rock, Indie Rock)
  2. Arrows, by Brave Like Us (Indie, Rock)
  3. Intellectual Property, by Staycation (Funk/Rock)
  4. Apocalapse, by Data Recovery Project (Techno)
  5. Best Part of My Day, by Slow Creek (Folk,Indie Rock)
  6. She Keep Me High, by Beau Young Prince (Hip-Hop, R&B)
  7. Red Head Walking, by Root Deco (Rock, Blues Rock)

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-


Want to take a tour of NPR?  The tours are free and open to the public.  If you’re interested, here’s the link below!  
(FAQ: No, you can’t just attend a tiny desk concert, you’ll need to be the guest of someone who actually works there)

Listeners we’re reaching out.  Have you heard about something DC Music Rocks could be involved in?  Interested in hosting a meetup to go see local musician’s shows?  Organizations that have similar missions to ours we could partner with?  We’d love to hear other ways you have that come to mind, send us a note, we’re looking for other ways to collaborate with the local music community.

Shoutout to Stephanie Mathias, featured on last week’s program, she Facebook live streamed listening to herself on the radio for the first time ever last week, and it was so cool for us to get to see that moment.  We loved it and are happy to share the link so you can watch the moment too:


Creedence Clearwater Revival - "Fortunate Son" - (Cover By His Dream Of Lions) - They made it like a music video, good stuff!

Our ‘DC Artists Official Music Videos’ Youtube Playlist:


Just the one's we talked about on the show, which is just a taste.  Don't forget to visit the full calendar to see all the upcoming shows!

Nov 3 Fri
DC - Justin Jones & The Cowards Choir @ Pearl Street Warehouse by The Wharf, at the SW Waterfront
VA - Ken Wenzel Music @ Tavern 64 in Reston, VA
MD - Rare Essence @ Fast Eddies in Camp Springs, MD

Nov 4 Sat
DC - Sub-Radio @ Pearl Street Warehouse in the SW Waterfront
VA - Chris Cassaday @ Crafthouse in Arlington, VA
MD - Round About @ 7 Locks Brewing in North Bethesda, MD

Nov 8 Wed
19th Street Band @ Lahinch Tavern & Grill in Glen Echo, MD

Nov 9 Thu
Venn @ Black Cat in Washington, DC
Owen Danoff @ Jammin Java in Vienna, VA

Would you support us?  We'd love to grow and do more!  We're giving away shirts, cohost spots on the show, access to our private facebook group, and more!  We also intend to set aside 10% to contribute directly in the DC Local Music Scene through charities, sponsorships, events, etc.  We want to continue to pay it forward!

Daniel Hill & Taylor Thomas


DC Music Rocks Selfie
Daniel Hill Taylor Thomas DC Music Rocks


Daniel Hill and Taylor Thomas

Daniel Warren Hill:

Band/Artist Name: YellowTieGuy

Each current band member: First&Last name, nickname (if any) and instrument: Daniel Hill - guitar & vocals, Jason McKinney -guitar, Steve Syzbowski -drums, Jamie Rasmussen -bass

What part of the DC region is the artist tied to and how? Where is the artist's current home base if not DC? : Waldorf, MD

Atleast 3 interesting/entertaining facts about the band that are related to persons/places/things/events that happened in the Washington DC area. Give us fun stuff, not normal bio stuff!: Daniel's primary car is a 1994 Toyota Camry with 325,000+ miles...bought from another area musician,Bill Holter, guitarist for Vintage #18.

Jamie is also a nude art photographer with 66.1k followers on Instagram @randompantsfoto

YellowTieGuy once performed a festival in Lexington Park MD, where a live tornado touched down 10-15 minutes after finishing our set.

Anything else we should know, or you want to share?: Gosh...where do we begin!? Please do read the long bio on our website. We are actively involved in trying to revolutionize the DC, MD, VA music community. We are so grateful for all the support we've received and, there are so many great people that have contributed to us in so many ways, other talented performers we've had the pleasure of working with...We are spoiled and loving it, and we don't take it for granted!

Band/Artist Website (not Facebook): Www.yellowtieguy.us

About Taylor Thomas: 

Taylor has been involved in the media since she was in high school back in the good ol' state of Indiana! From on screen TV hosting a regional sports show on Fox Sports, to sideline reporting for the Indianapolis Colts and Indiana Pacers & nearly years in the TV Commercial sales - she's seen and heard it all. Taylor has since taken all of her knowledge of marketing, sales, & dealing with people with her to her current career in DC as a Real Estate Agent on the #1 selling team at Compass Real Estate - The Mandy & David Team. 

Three interesting facts: 

1) I also have the self-proclaimed "coolest dog in the DMV." Our boxer-bullmastif, Murphy, has the biggest personality and I often refer to her as my "furbaby."

2) If anyone knows how big the Indianapolis 500 in Indiana is you might be able to appreciate this one: I was crowned the 2012 Indianapolis 500 Festival Queen & got to give winner Dario Franchitti a smooch on the cheek in the famous "Winners Circle"

3) I work on a show that promotes all types of amazing singers & I too sing - but only in my car or when I'm in the kitchen cooking by myself LOL 

Instagram: @curls.pearlsandclosings

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/taylorjadams/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/taylor.adams.39108



10/24/17 - Special Guest: Joshua Rich

Thanks to, Joshua Rich, the "Piano Virtuoso" for hanging out with us in the studio this week!

^^Episode Audio/Post Is Live - Click Above (might take time to buffer/load, refresh page if you have any issues)^^

Podcast:  iTunesGoogle PlayStitcherPocket CastsPodBeanPlayerFM, or THIS URL in your app of choice



  1. Annabelle, by Cater Lou & The Project (Rock, Alternative Rock)
  2. Talking to Furniture, by Joshua Rich (Pop, Solo-Pianist)
  3. I'm Into You, by Eric Scott (Pop/Soul)
  4. Red Flag, by Cassie Urbany (Country, Alternative Folk)
  5. Run the Way, by Stephanie Mathias (Pop, Singer-Songwriter)
  6. When I Rise, by Michael R.J. Roth (Indie, Folk)

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-


Cool Data about DC vs Baltimore Music Releases since 2009!
Kate and her husband are DC music fans, and they actually data-mined the music website, Bandcamp, to find how much music the two cities put out in the since 2009. I asked them what surprised them about the data, they said, “What stood out to us was how much alternative and rock was being released. We thought we wouldn't see quite as much on Bandcamp. We also thought the hip-hop releases wouldn't be as strong for DC as they were for Baltimore. Punk having as many releases as it did was surprising.”  Link to chart showing data:


Billy Winn - Crash (Single)
Aaron ‘AB’ Abernathy - Dialogue (9 Song Album)
Elena & Los Fulanos - Volcan (12 Song Album)
Oddisee - Hold It Back - Live (Single)
Staunton - Inside Out (Single)

Our ‘2017 New Releases by DC Artists’ Spotify Playlist:

Sara Curtin - Blame Time
Paperhaus - Told You What To Say

Our ‘DC Artists Official Music Videos’ Youtube Playlist:


Oct 27 Fri
-Paperhaus @ Black Cat on 14th St in NW DC
-LIONIZE @ Milkboy ArtHouse in College Park, MD
-Dangerous Curves @ Villain & Saint in Bethesda, MD
-Chris Cassaday @ Ragtime in Arlington, VA

Oct 28 Sat
-Clutch @ Anthem at the SW Waterfront in DC
-Of Tomorrow & Tomato Dodgers @ Rock & Roll Hotel on H St in NE DC
-Rachel Levitin @ The Capital City Showcase's Screamin' Halloween at Mason Inn on Connecticut in NW DC
-Nappy Riddem @ Gypsy Sally's in Georgetown in NW DC
-Chris Timbers Music @ Bar Louie in Ashburn, VA
-Surprise Attack @ Jammin Java in Vienna, VA
-Will Eastman @ U Street Music Hall in Washington, DC

Oct 29 Sun
-Jason Masi @ Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard in Dickerson, MD

Oct 30 Mon
-Better Homes, MILO in the Doldrums, Soldiers Of Suburbia @ Jammin Java in Vienna, VA

Nov 2 Thu
-Loud BoyZ @ Black Cat on 14th St in NW DC
-The Duskwhales @ The Hamilton by Metro Center in NW DC
-Black Dog Prowl & Stone Driver @ DC9 Nightclub by U St in NW DC
-19th Street Band @ Samuel Becketts in Arlington, VA

Would you support us?  We'd love to grow and do more!  We're giving away shirts, cohost spots on the show, access to our private facebook group, and more!  We also intend to set aside 10% to contribute directly in the DC Local Music Scene through charities, sponsorships, events, etc.  We want to continue to pay it forward!

Joshua Rich



Joshua Rich

Joshua Rich, a child prodigy who began playing the piano and composing when he was only eight years old, has become an internationally known performer, despite never having had a lesson in his life.  A truly transcendent and cross-generational artist, Joshua has been sharing his dazzling and magical piano style, beautiful, heartfelt original songs and fantastically creative renditions of well-known pieces with audiences of every age, gender and race, leaving them breathless, awestruck, and always completely entertained.

In addition to being a full-time touring musician, Joshua has released a multitude of original CDs, and several recordings of his masterful improvisations of both jazz and classical music.  His unique and versatile performing and composing style have been compared to such vast musical luminaries as Mozart, Billy Joel, Randy Newman and George Gershwin.

Joshua is also an accomplished actor, screenwriter, playwright, and producer.

Joshua Rich is a one-of-a-kind artist who truly must be seen to be believed.  Please visit www.joshuarich.com for more info!

Website: www.joshuarich.com
Music: http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/JoshuaRich1
Videos: https://www.youtube.com/user/jjrjrjrjjrjrjr/videos
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/joshuarichpianoman/
Pandora: https://www.pandora.com/artist/joshua-rich/AR6Z2j6c3PPtnfk
SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/joshua-3-1/tracks
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/1nZIjFDz9cnGal6DQeefD6?play=true&utm_source=open.spotify.com&utm_medium=open
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/joshua-rich/id148247859


Joshua Rich
Joshua Rich


Brian:     On DC Music Rocks, we're shining a spotlight on great songs, artists, and incredible people behind the DC region's local music scene. Joshua Rich describes himself as a child prodigy, who began playing piano and composing when he was only eight years old. He's become an internationally known performer, despite never having had a lesson in his life, which I can't wait to talk more about. In addition to being a full-time touring musician, Joshua has released a multitude of original CDs and several recordings of masterful improvisations of both jazz and classical music. He's also an actor, screenwriter, playwright, and a producer. He's a very busy man. When I started doing DC Music Rocks, I came across his music and I've been a fan of his skills on the keys for quite some time. It is a treat to have you here. Thanks for being here.

Joshua:     Thank you, Brian. I really appreciate the opportunity.

Brian:     Talk to us about, you said you started when you were eight years old and you've never had a lesson. Does that mean you just hear it? How does that work when you're creating what we just heard on the show?

Joshua:     Well, I'm definitely a unique artist in that I did teach myself all the theory that I needed to know because I started making a living at the piano at the age of 17. Every job, I got, I would teach myself the theory needed to be able to do that job. I've done every job you can imagine on the piano, music director, choir director, accompanyist, et cetera, as well as performer. Yes, I really do have great ears, and I can hear a song, and I can immediately play it. What I would do is I would hear a song, and then I would look at the music and figure out what it meant theory-wise, so I did learn how to read. It's been like remembering. It's never been like learning. I've always felt like I've been remembering. I believe in my past lives and things.  Very natural process. I've never really have had to work at it. I never practice. I just have always felt really connected to the piano. I can hear, but I can [inaudible 00:01:51] myself and I can read it too.

Brian:     You can read the music, and if they put a composition in front of you, you can certainly play it that way, but then you can also hear it and just play it?

Joshua:     Right. I'm just a very improvisational player. I guess it goes with my creative nature. I can't really ever play the same thing twice and whenever I play things live, I always open things up and I never play the same thing twice. When I record, I like to get it exactly a certain way, and a real specific form. I think it came from my studying the Beatles when I was growing up. I love things recorded really well. When I perform, I'm always. In my days when I was still accompanying and doing some piano playing for hire, I have to force myself to read the music and actually play what's written. I just have this natural innate ability to just, inclination to just open things up and be experimental with it and fool around with them.

Brian:     Now, rewind to the part where you said you started at eight years old. You didn't just start being a piano virtuoso at eight years old, and you've never had a lesson. How did it start then? Did you just hear things and keep hitting the keys until you found it? How did it evolve?

Joshua:     No, that's what's so, I really just started playing. My dad was an amateur piano player. I later found out that his brother, my uncle was a successful side man in the 50s and 60s. That was kind of cool. He played with some pretty big guys. He's on some recordings of Charlie Parker and some other notable people. It was cool. I was looking at his discography. My dad was playing the piano at a party. I came up and sat on his lap. He took my hand. He put it on the piano. He showed me a C chord. That was it. I literally the next day was just playing. Just like, I don't remember what I first started playing. I'm sure I was just noodling. I was adept. I was able to really play and then, I was just listening to music, and then whatever I would listen to, I would go to the piano and I would play it. I think between eight and 12 I would say were the formative years where I was really learning how to really play and really read and then at 12 I started writing. I actually wrote my first song, Trying Vegetables, which is on the same album. Everything comes full circle.

Brian:     Wow. One of the big things that I've seen in pop culture now is they've got dueling piano bars where the guy gets up there and hey just call out a song and they play it. This is the kind of thing that you do.

Joshua:     Yeah, I made my living for a long time. I still play at the DC, the Georgetown Piano Bar actually on Fridays. That's coming to a close soon as I get more in to performing and getting too busy to do it. I've been there for a little bit. That's a fun environment. That's actually been a fun way to make a living. That's when I discovered actually, when I got my first piano bar job, I was actually underage. I wasn't even legally able to be in the bar, but I discovered that my ear was so good, that people were calling out songs and I just knew them. I discovered that my gift could actually make me money. That was a nice realization.

Brian:     That is a great realization to make, yeah. The making the money part is often times the challenge.

Joshua:     Correct.

Brian:     It's good that you at least knew that that could happen.

Joshua:     Yeah.

Brian:     That doesn't make it any easier. You still got to find, get a gig.

Joshua:     I want to be a full time artist in the true sense of the word, but I've been able to make my living in the arts my whole life, so at least I'm blessed in that way. Yeah, that's sort of when I learned the piano can be a vehicle for making a living.

Brian:     That's incredible Joshua. I love it. Now, in your connection to the DC region, you live where? You work in the area. How long have you been here?

Joshua:     Right now I'm living in the Palisades, which is near Georgetown. I've been kind of in the Virginia, the Maryland, the DC area for a bunch of years, and probably about a good 10, 15 years now. I've kind of lived all over that area. I mostly resonate with DC. I'm originally from New England and I just came down here. It's sort of a second home. Yeah.

Brian:     When did you come down? How long ago was that?

Joshua:     Wow, it's got to be maybe 20 years ago now. Yeah.

Brian:     Been a while now, that's awesome. Okay. What about-

Joshua:     My daughter is 19, so it's about as long as she's been alive, so yeah.

Brian:     There you go. Now, what about talk about you on a personal side now. Outside of the music thing, do you have other hobbies? What else do you do?

Joshua:     Yeah. One of the things I'm most, that I most need in my life that's really vital is called Bikram Yoga. Some people call it hot yoga, but there is hot yoga, which is just sort of an add hot, bunch of postures with different varying kinds of heat. It's whatever. Bikram Yoga is a specific 26 postures, same ones every time, 105 111 degree heat. You're staring at a mirror. I never in a million years thought I would ever do yoga. I swear by this. It's amazing. It's very healing. You're sweating a lot. It's really hot. It's not easy at all.

Brian:     Do you do this at a studio? Is it in your closet?

Joshua:     Yeah. You could do it in your closet, if you got like a heater. No, I do it at, I can plug it. It's called Hot Spot DuPont in DuPont Circle, really, really great studio run by a woman named Carolyn Hoffman, who's a really wonderful person. I've been practicing that for about seven years. It's really changed my life.

Brian:     Wow.

Joshua:     The postures themselves are amazing, but then you're doing it with the heat, and so that's something that's actually now, it's not really working out. It's really part of my lifestyle. Yeah. That and I play chess.

Brian:     Oh.

Joshua:     I like chess a lot.

Brian:     Excellent. It's fun to think about the two mental exercise because composing and piano and making things up on the fly and improv and then there's chess, which are both very creative but using your brain in totally different ways.

Joshua:     Yeah, I'm really like I said, I'm kind of a unique artist because I don't have that typical. Some musicians it's hard for them to kind of look at the business side of things. The artistic tents to be not quite as grounded. I have a real grounded nature and I like rules and I'm good at thinking ahead. That's what is good about chess. It keeps that part of my brain. You have to think about what you're doing before yo udo it. Then, I also am very creative. There are those two parts. Chess is fun because there is a connection between a lot of the chess players and musicians I think. A lot of musicians like chess. There is the math to it and the patterns. Then there is like, you know I'm just going to try my pawn here and see where that brings you. There is a creativity involves.

Brian:     That's amazing.

Joshua:     Yeah.

Brian:     What's one thing in your music collection that might surprise us?

Joshua:     You mean in terms of like songs?

Brian:     No, in your personal music collection that you might listen to in the car or something like that.

Joshua:     I don't know. That's a good question. I really love all different kinds of music. I love classical. I love Jazz. I love pop. I don't know, something that is from like the 1920s because when I was growing up, my dad had this fake book. I learned all these really great old songs, like Bicycle Built for Two, from 1890 something. I can listen to songs like that. That might be surprising I guess, but yeah, I gravitate towards, I love the old fashioned nature of those songs. That might be something.

Brian:     Is this, you're listening to these on an actual, like vinyl record?

Joshua:     No I don't have those anymore.

Brian:     Recordings.

Joshua:     It's Spotify or where ever I can find them now.

Brian:     Where you can get them. I get them.

Joshua:     I've moved a lot and lost a lot of those records. It's funny how they're coming back now. It's like, oh I should have kept them all. Vinyl is making its comeback.

Brian:     Now, biggest success moment that comes to mind from your music career.

Joshua:     I did a show at a church in Orlando probably two or three years ago, whenever it was. For a while, I was trying. You know what it's like. You're trying to find your genre, trying to find your audience. For a while I was looking at the new age or some kind of movement as far as non-denominational churches. They're open air.

Brian:     Sure, yeah, yeah.

Joshua:     Really open hearted people and I've always gone over well in those kinds of environments. This is a specific one of those down in Orlando. I think it's called The Orlando Unity. It was just like three or 400 people, standing ovation. People were coming up and touching my arms afterwards and just really, really affected by the music. Any of those kinds of moments are definitely most memorable for me, when I really feel like I've connected.

Brian:     That's really cool. Now, my favorite question to ask on the show is, if you could offer one piece of advice, what would it be?

Joshua:     I would say check out whatever kind of deserving issues you have, because that has been the thing I've had to really work through the most, to get to where I'm starting to get to know.

Brian:     Check out deserving issues, kind of like entitlement? What do you mean by deserving issues?

Joshua:     Figure out what you might think you don't deserve. What subconscious decisions have you made about what you don't think you deserve, because those are what is holding you back. Your subconscious is in charge, even though we don't think it is.

Brian:     Right.

Joshua:     You just look at your life, look at what's happening.

Brian:     You don't think you're worth it, but you are.

Joshua:     Right. Really just look at what you're not getting and then think about why you might think you don't deserve it, and kind of do some head work. It doesn't take long. Just being aware of it I think is the first step. That would be, I think people that are in their own way a lot, unknowingly. I've done a lot of work lately about that. You know what? I do deserve it. Kind of like looking at the reasons why I might have decided I didn't and work through those. Yeah. I'd say that.

Brian:     It's one of my favorites. I always love hearing what the artists say on that one, or the guest in general, not always artists. I mean, bookers and photographers and everyone else that's been on the show. Now, if folks want to find out more about you and follow what you're doing, where do they go?

Joshua:     They just have to go to joshuarich.com. It's very easy. I'm also on Facebook but my website has all my links. If you Google my name, Joshua Rich, you'll find out all that stuff. Yeah, I'm all over the place, Spotify, Instagram, and Facebook, et cetera.

10/17/17 - Special Guest: Chris Cassaday

Thanks to Chris Cassaday for hanging out with us in the studio this week!

^^Episode Audio/Post Is Live - Click Above (might take time to buffer/load, refresh page if you have any issues)^^

Podcast:  iTunesGoogle PlayStitcherPocket CastsPodBeanPlayerFM, or THIS URL in your app of choice



  1. Blood Moon, by Chris Timbers (Rock, Americana)
  2. The Bad Man, by Chris Cassaday (Folk, Folk-Rock)
  3. Red Herring (Alternate), by Surprise Attack (Funk/Jam)
  4. Lion's Den, by Bottled Up (Punk, Surf)
  5. Hold, by Wally Worsley (Hard Rock, Rock)
  6. After All Is Said and Done, by Justin Trawick (Bluegrass, Rock)

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-


We have a whole series of playlists on Spotify for you to enjoy.  The DC Music Rocks Show playlist is up to 422 songs and features all the songs we’ve played on this show in the past, set it to “shuffle” and enjoy!  We hope you’ll click “Follow” on that one!  We also have mood and genre playlists for you on our playlist page. www.dcmusicrocks.com/playlists

Our DC Music Rocks Show Playlist: https://open.spotify.com/user/dcmusicrocks/playlist/5tNIZ3Afg1vz6gkqvHpDjE


Ddespair - Next To Me (Single)
Alecia Renece - The Struggle (Single)

Our ‘2017 New Releases by DC Artists’ Spotify Playlist:

Sara Curtin - Wellish Home
Edjacated Phools - Life Is What You Make Of It
Higher Education - Wait
The Fringe Benefits Band - Step Out
Bumper Jacksons - Old Birds

Our ‘DC Artists Official Music Videos’ Youtube Playlist:


Fri Oct 20
Edjacated Fools & Higher Education @ U Maryland in College Park
Juliet Lloyd @ Rocklands Farm Winery in Poolesville, MD
Chris Cassaday @ Songbyrd Music House in Adams Morgan in NW DC
Den-Mate @ Black Cat on 14th St in NW DC
Black Masala @ Gypsy Sally’s in Georgetown in NW DC
Oh He Dead & Soldier’s of Suburbia @ Rock and Roll Hotel on H St in NE DC

Sat Oct 21
Sub-Radio @ Sauf Haus Bier Garden by Dupont in NW DC
Vim & Vigor @ World Of Beer in Ashburn, VA

Sun Oct 22
Rare Essence @ Warner Theatre by Metro Center in NW DC

Thu Oct 26
Sara Curtin & The North Country @ Black Cat on 14th St in NW DC
Alex Vaughn @ Songbyrd Music House in Adams Morgan in NW DC
Flasher @ Rock N Roll Hotel on H St in NE DC

Would you support us?  We'd love to grow and do more!  We're giving away shirts, cohost spots on the show, access to our private facebook group, and more!  We also intend to set aside 10% to contribute directly in the DC Local Music Scene through charities, sponsorships, events, etc.  We want to continue to pay it forward!

Chris Cassaday



Chris Cassaday_30Jul2017-48.JPG

Chris Cassaday is a folk-funk singer/songwriter from Arlington, Virginia. Chris's unique blend of blues, folk and funk, his crafty songwriting style, his unpredictable set lists, and his thunderous, distinctive voice have captivated audiences in the DMV, up and down the east coast, and around the country. With two albums released, a song being played on SiriusXM radio's the Coffeehouse, and a resume of hundreds of amazing performances under his belt, Chris has proven himself as a must-see act in the Washington D.C. music scene. 

WEBSITE: http://chriscassadaymusic.wixsite.com/chriscassaday

FACEBOOK: facebook.com/chriscassadaymusic

TWITTER: @ccassadaymusic

INSTAGRAM: @chriscassadaymusic

chris cassaday.jpg


Brian:     Here on DC Music Rocks we are shining a spotlight on the great songs, artists, and incredible people behind the DC region's local music scene. Chris Cassaday is a singer-songwriter from Arlington, Virginia, with a unique blend of blues, folk, and funk. His crafty songwriting style, his unpredictable set lists, and his thunderous, distinctive voice have captivated audience in the DMV for a while. With two albums released, a song being played on Sirius XM Radio's The Coffeehouse, and a resume of hundreds of amazing performances under his belt, Chris is an awesome act, and I hope you get to see him live at some point.  I first came across him doing this show, and I've been such a fan of his music, and now I actually get to have him here in the studio with me and this is such a treat, man. Thanks for being here.

Chris Cassaday:     Thanks for having me.

Brian:     Now talk about, so you're born and raised in Virginia ...

Chris Cassaday:     Yes sir.

Brian:     Wow. So, Great Falls and then into Arlington. Now did you go away for school, or have you really been Virginia the whole time?

Chris Cassaday:     I don't know if I would call it going away. I went to JMU in Harrisonburg. It's a couple hours away. It's far enough where your parents can't bother you, but close enough where it's not a hike to get home.

Brian:     So you've really been in the area for your whole life pretty much.

Chris Cassaday:     Yeah pretty much. Always been around Virginia in some way, shape, or form.

Brian:     And where and when, how did music start?

Chris Cassaday:     Well my dad got me my first guitar when I was 14 years old. And I had always been singing, when I was a little kid, singing in the backseat. I had a really deep voice as a kid and everyone used to make fun of me for it.

Brian:     Oh yeah?

Chris Cassaday:     My dad was like, "You sounded like Rod Stewart when you were like six years old." But I was always singing. So he was finally like, he got me a guitar, and I took lessons for a brief period. And it always just stuck with me; I loved it. And it kind of developed as I got older; I was in bands in high school. And when I went to college at JMU I kind of got into the whole solo acoustic thing, just sitting in my dorm strumming and writing down lyrics. And really fell in love with it.

Brian:     And it's always been guitar, or other instruments too?

Chris Cassaday:     You know, I actually started on bass. I was a bass player first.

Brian:     Really?

Chris Cassaday:     Yeah. But was taking guitar lessons while I was playing bass in the band, you know, and then we kind of did a whole switcheroo thing in my high school band where we got to play different instruments, so ... I was kind of learning two instruments at the same time.

Brian:     Nice. So guitar and bass.

Chris Cassaday:     Yeah.

Brian:     Wow. And what age was this again? When did that start?

Chris Cassaday:     That was like age 14 probably, yeah.

Brian:     Got it. So high school is really when ...

Chris Cassaday:     High school, exactly.

Brian:     The music education kicked in. Got it. Wow. So then what's your earliest memory with music? What comes to mind?

Chris Cassaday:     Oh man. My earliest memory with music is ... Oh boy. This is tough. Probably singing, I can't believe I'm saying this on the air. So, I sang a Nickleback song in the sixth grade talent show, when I went to the [inaudible 00:02:48].

Brian:     Don't judge him! Don't judge him! He did.

Chris Cassaday:     No judgment here, folks. I sang "How You Remind Me."

Brian:     Oh, excellent.

Chris Cassaday:     Which was a good song at the time. I mean, you know ...

Brian:     Yeah. Oh, that was huge back then.

Chris Cassaday:     But, we played the karaoke track of that and I sang it and, needless to say I was a stud at my elementary school for the next few weeks.

Brian:     Did you win? Did you win that talent- [crosstalk 00:03:09]

Chris Cassaday:     It was just like everyone performs; there wasn't an actual winner, yeah.

Brian:     Oh a showcase, I gotcha. Wow.

Chris Cassaday:     But, I think I won.

Brian:     Oh that's funny. So you are secretly a Nickelback fan. We'll keep that a secret between us.

Chris Cassaday:     Uh, yeah.

Brian:     And whoever's listening. No. And that was your first memory I guess performing too.

Chris Cassaday:     Yes sir.

Brian:     It would have been that one. Wow. Alright now, so outside of music then, you've got to have some hobbies and stuff. What do you do outside of music?

Chris Cassaday:     Well me and my girlfriend Haley live up the street in Rosalind, and we go to a lot of concerts, whoever's in town.

Brian:     Do you?

Chris Cassaday:     Yeah, we went to a ton of concerts this summer. I mean, I love music, local and big shows. Also, I love hockey, a big hockey guy. I play adult league hockey.

Brian:     Nice. Do you?

Chris Cassaday:     In fact I have to meet up tonight at Kettler.

Brian:     Wow.

Chris Cassaday:     At like, 11 p.m. tonight; it's late.

Brian:     Wow.

Chris Cassaday:     Late till ... but I love hockey.

Brian:     And this isn't roller hockey; we're talking ice hockey.

Chris Cassaday:     This is ice hockey. Yeah, I played when I was growing up, played at JMU and still trying to keep it going. Needless to say I'm horribly out of shape now, so it's getting tougher, but ...

Brian:     Oh, you seem pretty trim to me man. You don't look terrible.

Chris Cassaday:     It's like riding a bike, except way more humiliating if you mess up.

Brian:     When you mess up, I got it. And like shows, or other, there's a little bit of ice hockey and some going to see concerts. And anything else? What else is his life like?

Chris Cassaday:     Um, I'm trying to think here. Traveling. Love to travel. I like getting out of town whenever I can. In fact we were talking, Haley and I just got back from Ireland; I was there for nine days.

Brian:     Get out of here!

Chris Cassaday:     Yeah, I loved it.

Brian:     Where in Ireland did you go?

Chris Cassaday:     We started in Dublin and rented a car and drove around the country. Which is terrifying by the way, driving on the other side of the road.

Brian:     Really?

Chris Cassaday:     It was terrifying.

Brian:     Oh, because they drive on the opposite side.

Chris Cassaday:     And the roads are so narrow there ...

Brian:     Ah, man!

Chris Cassaday:     I'm like, how can this be okay? Where we stayed in Cork ...

Brian:     Wait, who drive, did you or Haley drive?

Chris Cassaday:     We switched off, but you felt safer in the driver's seat because, you know, everything's backwards so you're just like ...

Brian:     You want to be in control.

Chris Cassaday:     But it was fantastic, my first time in Europe. I had a blast.

Brian:     Wow. First time. Congratulations on making it to the Euro Theater for the first time, man.

Chris Cassaday:     Thanks man.

Brian:     Holy smokes. Alright now, so funniest moment that comes to mind in performing now?

Chris Cassaday:     Like a funny incident, or ...

Brian:     Sure! That's good. Yeah.

Chris Cassaday:     Okay. There's a few, but the one that always comes to mind when people ask me like, about embarrassing moments was, I was playing with this high school band I was mentioning. In front of the whole school; we had this place called The Commons, which was like the middle of the school, and we were playing, and the whole school was watching, and I was jumping around, you know, playing bass, and my strap broke and my bass just fell to the floor.

Brian:     Oh my god!

Chris Cassaday:     In the middle of a song. And I was just like, "Uhhhh ..."

Brian:     Did it break too?

Chris Cassaday:     No it didn't break, thank god. But I just had to like scoop it up and strap it back on, and ...

Brian:     Hoping nobody saw that.

Chris Cassaday:     No, but it broke.

Brian:     But everybody did.

Chris Cassaday:     Since then I got the locks you know, so the strap won't go anywhere.

Brian:     Right, yeah, the strap locks. By the way, a public service announcement for any guitar players, make sure you have strap locks.

Chris Cassaday:     Good advice.

Brian:     A best practice. Nice. Courtesy of Chris Cassaday's amazing moment from performing.   Alright, so tell us a story about a time you tried and failed.

Chris Cassaday:     Tried and failed? Oh boy. One time I tried to cover a Bruno Mars song and just absolutely failed.

Brian:     Oh! Which one? Do you remember?

Chris Cassaday:     It was ... (singing).

Brian:     Oh, nice.

Chris Cassaday:     That was a while ago though ...

Brian:     Okay wait a minute. Just for the record, how does it go, one more time?

Chris Cassaday:     (Singing.) Yeah, see that's exactly why I tried right there.

Brian:     Oh, trying.

Chris Cassaday:     That was a long time ago. A lot of people, I don't even think Haley knows about that, but it was at an open mic and I was like, "You know I'm going to go for it," and it didn't go well.

Brian:     Didn't go well. Oh my gosh, that's amazing. Now, and what do you have in your musical, aside from Bruno Mars now, what do you have in your music collection that might surprise us?

Chris Cassaday:     I love doing like mashups of songs. I've got a lot of Dave Matthews in there; I do this Dave Matthews song "Jimi Thing" and I mash it up with "For What It's Worth" by Buffalo Springfield.

Brian:     Wow.

Chris Cassaday:     In addition to old songs like Buffalo Springfield, I'll do newer, like rap songs. "Hold On We're Going Home" by Drake. And I've got a lot of reggae in my repertoire. Love reggae music.

Brian:     Nice.

Chris Cassaday:     A lot of Sublime in there, stuff of that nature. And I also do a mean "Lose Yourself" by Eminem.

Brian:     Oh yeah?

Chris Cassaday:     Like at the end of a show. Like, if the crowd's kind of dying down, I'll just do like the (singing) and [inaudible 00:07:43].

Brian:     Wow. Oh man.

Chris Cassaday:     Yeah, that's one of the biggest surprises in the set.

Brian:     That's so funny. And so these are when you're playing two and three hour sets, just you and your guitar, you're tossing these covers into it?

Chris Cassaday:     Yeah.

Brian:     You have anything that you don't cover, that's in your music collection that you're a fan of, but you don't necessarily cover? Or do you really play it all?

Chris Cassaday:     I try to play it all. My setlist is always super diverse. I try to like, surprise you with the next song, you know? It could be anything, you never know.

Brian:     God, that's amazing. I can't wait to catch another one of these shows, man. Now, do you have any rules that you always end up breaking? That you've set for yourself?

Chris Cassaday:     Not drinking the night before a big show.

Brian:     And is that because of peer pressure, or just because, you know, a beer sounds good, or ...

Chris Cassaday:     A little bit of both, yeah. Also, going to bed on time. "I've got to go to bed on time!" No, it's-

Brian:     Alright, so it's "I'm not going to drink" and "I'm going to go to bed on time," and "I'm not going to be hungover before the show." Except, that might happen.

Chris Cassaday:     Yeah, you never know. But, it can affect you big time, you know. I've learned the hard way, and I'm always like, "Now you know! Don't do it." And then I just ...

Brian:     Right, and then it happens again. Oh, that's really funny. So now, one of my favorite questions to ask, actually I've got, I'm going to do this one in two parts. What is the best piece of advice you have ever gotten from someone? And this can be in general, it doesn't have to be music.

Chris Cassaday:     Best piece of advice I've ever gotten from someone was, Dave Matthews, who said, in an interview he said, "Play for anyone you can, anywhere you can, at any time. You never know who's going to hear you."

Brian:     That's amazing. And is there like a story that comes to mind as to like, someone you've ended up playing for that, that was a surprise?

Chris Cassaday:     Well, I mean, the way I started getting all of these gigs was, I went to an open mic on like a Monday night out in Sterling and a promoter guy by the name of Dave [Mastell 00:09:40] heard me and started booking me at pubs and restaurants, and that's how I started booking these big gigs, was through him. And I just happened to be at that open mic at that night and he heard me, and now I'm, paid gigs on the way. You never know what's going to happen or who's going to be there.

Brian:     Wow. That's amazing. And, are you entirely a musician? Do you have other jobs, like part-time jobs as well?

Chris Cassaday:     By day I am a financial planning administrator at a wealth management firm. And then by night I'm a singer-songwriter.

Brian:     Fantastic. See, and I love it; and you know, sometimes we, I don't want to say "joke" about it, but sometimes I feel like there is this conception that, "Oh, well no I do have a day job." But what's amazing is that so many folks in the DC region that, very, a lot of folks have that same story, they work during the day and then they play shows at night, and they really are incredible at both of them, which is kind of, it's amazing to see, so that's awesome, man.

Chris Cassaday:     Thanks man.

Brian:     Alright, so now what's one piece of advice you would offer?

Chris Cassaday:     "Practice makes perfect," is what I always say. My bandmates hate me because I'm all about practicing, I'm like-

Brian:     So say more on that; what does that mean?

Chris Cassaday:     I mean, just practice as much as you can. There's no, you can never practice too much, in my mind. There's nothing wrong with being overly prepared for your shows.

Brian:     So what does that look like in, does that mean you play with the band but then you go home and play for two more hours?

Chris Cassaday:     You've got to, in a band particularly, you've got to practice on your own, not just band practice.

Brian:     Yeah.

Chris Cassaday:     You know, working on your own so when you get together with the group, everybody's done their part, you know?

Brian:     And when you practice, is there a certain like, do you break down the parts? Like do you play one segment at a time over and over again until you nail that one perfectly? Do you break it up, or ...

Chris Cassaday:     It's usually like, I'll listen to the whole song, if it's a cover. And then I'll just try to play the whole song. And if I get stuck at a part I'll fast forward to that part, learn it, et cetera et cetera.

Brian:     And then rewind that one part until you can play that, and then you play it all the way through.

Chris Cassaday:     Exactly.

Brian:     Wow. That's amazing. Alright. Now, for those folks who are interested in learning more about you and the cool things happening, where do they go?

Chris Cassaday:     Well, you can check me out on Facebook, Facebook.com/ChrisCassadayMusic; it's got all my info on my shows. All social media, for that matter, Instagram @ChrisCassadayMusic, Twitter.

10/10/17 - Special Guest: Black Masala

Thanks to Mike Ounallah and Andy Cerutti of Black Masala for hanging out with us in the studio this week!

^^Episode Audio/Post Is Live - Click Above (might take time to buffer/load, refresh page if you have any issues)^^

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  1. Jump in the Water, by The 19th Street Band (Folk, Americana)
  2. Bhangra Ramo, by Black Masala (Funk)
  3. Let Me Be the One, by Juliet Lloyd (Pop/Pop Rock)
  4. Turn the World Around, by The Harry Bells (World, Calypso)
  5. The Less I Know The Better, by Backbeat Underground (Funk)

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-


Oct 10th is National Hug A Drummer Day. If you know one, like James Brown said…”Give the Drummer Some!”  If you make it out to Rock And Roll Hotel on Saturday Oct 14th, our host, Brian, is a drummer and would love all the hugs he can get!

Do you know any singer-songwriters around DC?  Send this to them!  The Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District announces the fourth annual Bernard/Ebb Songwriting Awards. They will award one talented songwriter a Grand Prize of $10,000 and 25 hours of recording studio time with Innovation Station Music which is run by Dave Mallen, a past guest with us on the DC Music Rocks.  Entries must be received by Monday, November 6, 2017.

Local Music/Arts Conference Alert!
Event Name:  DC Talks Music/FilmDocs/Media: A Cross-Sector Dialogue at Georgetown University
10:00AM - 5:00PM
FACEBOOK EVENT PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/events/616564645399219/


Sara Curtin - Or So It Seemed (9 Song Album)
Rent Party - New (Single)   

Reminder:  If you ever want to catch up on 2017 New Releases by DC Artists, we’re collecting them for you, check out our playlist!


Fri-Sat Weekend Oct 13
Pebble To Pearl, Justin Trawick @ The DC Wharf Grand Opening Weekend by the SW Waterfront, DC

Fri Oct 13
Venn @ DC9 by U St in NW DC

Sat Oct 14
Nah. & Fellowcraft @ Rock N Roll Hotel by H St NE in DC

Sun Oct 15
Taylor Carson @ Pearl St Warehouse by The SW Waterfront in DC
Cinema Hearts @ Slash Run by Petworth in NW DC

Mon Oct 16
Electric Grandmother & Catscan! @ Uptown Art House on Connecticut Ave in NW DC

Tues Oct 17
19th St Band @ Ireland Four Provinces in Falls Church, VA

Thurs Oct 19
Hayley Fahey Music @ Westover Beer Garden in Arlington, VA
The Sidleys @ Bethesda Blues & Jazz in Bethesda, MD
Jackie & The Treehorns @ Villain & Saint in Bethesda, MD

Would you support us?  We'd love to grow and do more!  We're giving away shirts, cohost spots on the show, access to our private facebook group, and more!  We also intend to set aside 10% to contribute directly in the DC Local Music Scene through charities, sponsorships, events, etc.  We want to continue to pay it forward!

Black Masala



Black Masala

Can you hear that? Can you feel it? It’s the sound of Washington, DC’s eclectic high energy brass band Black Masala. Ranging from Gypsy music, Balkan brass and New Orleans funk, to Bhangra and Dance music., the band creates an irresistible dance groove packed with funk, gypsy punk, and soul. Black Masala has made a big impact as one of the most exciting live acts in the region and is the winner of four Washington, DC Area Music Awards (“WAMMIES”), including ‘Best New Artist’ and ‘Best World Music Album.’

In just a few short years, Black Masala has released its debut album, multiple remixes, live recordings, and its follow up second album, “I Love You Madly”. The new album showcases the band’s variety of influences and moods, ranging from Bhangra and bounce to New Orleans funk and Balkan brass. This sound was forged on the road, playing countless shows up and down the East Coast to enthusiastic crowds. Black Masala is part of a new generation of go anywhere brass bands, and when they take the stage, their infectious grooves result in dance party that leaves smiling concert goers eager for the next song. 

Press Kit

Black Masala


Brian:     On DC Music Rocks, we're shining a spot light on the great songs, artists, and incredible people behind the DC region's local music scene.

     Black Masala is Washington DC's eclectic, high energy, brass band. Ranging from gypsy music, Balkan brass and New Orleans funk to Bong-Ra and dance music. The band creates an irresistible dance grove pact with funk, gypsy punk and soul. Did you get all of that? Because that was a lot of influences there.

     Black Masala has made a big impact on one of the most exciting live acts and as ... Well, they are one of the most exciting live acts in the region, they're part of new generation of go anywhere brass bands. And when they take the stage, their infectious groves result in dance ... In a dance party that leave smiling, concert goers eager for the next song.

     I first came across these guys when I first started doing the show. I've been a Black Masala fan. The bassist in my band, Brandon Williams, he was like, "Hey. Listen. You're doing local music. You got to check out Black Masala." And that was about two weeks into doing this show. And I've been a fan ever since. So now I have you here. This is a treat. Thanks for being here guys.

Mike:     That's so cool. Thanks for having us.

Brian:     Absolutely.  Now so talk about Black Masala and how did the band come together.

Mike:     So, basically it happened about, we're going on five, six years now. I met a trombone player. He used to live in DC and he wanted to do just gypsy brass music. So it started off just me and him in my basement in DC just working on this music and trying to learn about it a little more and then do our own sort of spin with it.

     And then the word spread. We went through about 15 bass players and 100 horn players and eventually we had a band of stable people. But it was great because all the people -

Brian:     Those stable people. Mentally stable and emotionally stable and no maybe not, but they were ... They came religiously.

Mike:     Yeah. I mean, everyone who was involved in with the band had such a huge impact on the group. And I'm talking about before the band was even, even had a band name. We went through like a ton of different people.

     And so we just developed from there. We were playing locally like once a month in some now de-funked venues like The Getaway. There was another venue above there. I can't remember the name. Then we slowly built. I remember our first big show was at Rock and Roll Hotel, actually, with Congo Sanchez, who's the drummer from Thievery Corporation and then it just expanded. Then I started trying to get us out of town and things like that.

     And so now, we pretty much have the same group. It's always the same people. Before we had to kind of mix and match quite a bit. You know? When you have a band of seven or eight people, it's kind of like that.

     And the music's expanded, obviously from like just being Balkan influenced to like everything else we do, everything else we listen to. And yeah. So now we're doing about 120 shows a year. On the road a lot.

Brian:     Holy smokes. Now does that mean you're doing it full time? Is this your job or is this ...

Mike:     It's like ... It's not a full time job. I also teach music lessons throughout the week. Like private lessons and stuff like that.

Brian:     I see.

Mike:     Yeah.

Brian:     So it's the band and then more music. It's lots of music.

Mike:     Yeah. Pretty much. All music. But yeah. I mean, when you're handling a band of this size and then at the time booking and managing, it's like its own full time gig.

Brian:     Oh. Absolutely.

Mike:     You know? And there's many days where you're doing like ... Or many weeks where you're doing like 40 hours on the band then like 40 hours at your job. And then you're on the road all weekend. And you're just like ... And it was like for years.

Brian:     Wow. Yeah.

Mike:     We've been fortunate to start to build a team around us over the last couple years. So it's taken the pressure off like the one person, but ...

Brian:     That's ... And you ... What kind of lessons are you teaching? You said you teach lessons on the side, too.

Mike:     Yeah. I teach drums and I teach piano.

Brian:     Wow. Look at that.

Mike:     Yeah. Private lessons.

Brian:     And Andy, you're here with us too. Talk about you and your role with the band.

Andy:     Yeah. Absolutely. I'm part of that team Mike was just talking about. And you know, right after these guys started, maybe a year or so into the project, I checked them out. Went to a couple of shows. And I became a fan. And that's really how it started.

      I went to see these guys live and, you know, like you were saying earlier, they have something special. You know, that unique mix of genres, that high energy that they bring to the show and it's just a lot of fun. And then, you know, if you go to enough shows, eventually you've seen it all, so to speak. But then when I would go out to see Black Masala, that was something totally new, something different, something exciting that got me out of the house. So, after going to enough shows, I just started talking to these guys. I was like, "Hey, guys. You have so much potential. I would love to work with you and take things to the next level, help out any way I can."   And now, I don't even know, three or four years later, this is where we are. So it's pretty cool.

Brian:     That's amazing. And talk about the name. Where did ... Black Masala.

Mike:     So, it was kind of ... It was kind of tricky to [crosstalk 00:04:48] name. I just like the word masala. I remember going over it and then we wanted a color to go with it and black was like kind of like the vibe that people were kind of going for. So it was really that simple. Just take this word masala and put black in front of it. And it's kind of the signifies sort of like masala is like a spice that's comprised of a bunch of different spices, so it's like a mixture. So it kind of works in that way, too, if you wanna take some of the meaning.

Brian:     By the way, is not to be confused with Marsala.

Mike:     No.

Brian:     Which is ... Does that ever happen?

Mike:     That happens all the time. Happens all time.

Brian:     Oh, man.

Mike:     Yeah.   We rage in the background and try not to show it, but we're secretly very upset about that.

Brian:     Oops. When they say, "This is Black Marsala." That is so wrong?

Mike:     Well, I mean, I gotta tell you. We drove all the way to Pittsburgh one time for a show, which was like about seven hours that day. We got to the venue and it said, "Black Marsala" and then underneath it "Pasta Night." I lost it. I just lost it. I mean, we just like fell over. True story.

Brian:     Oh no.

Mike:     Yeah. Yeah. It was that awesome.

Brian:     Oh man, Mike. That's crazy.

Mike:     Yeah.

Brian:     Alright so, now what about ... So you, outside of the music family ... Obviously this is a lot of your life then, but you must have some other hobbies. Talk about that.

Mike:     We like to drive. A lot of driving. And when we're not driving, we like to sleep.  No. Some other hobbies. We just try to stay ... And I'm gonna speak for the rest of the band, too, because they're not here, but try to stay healthy. Just enjoy like going out hiking. Doing things like that. Especially when we're on the road because we get to hit a bunch of beautiful places like West Virginia. So we'll spend the day going out hiking and go swimming, you know, whatever.

     So, but it's so much ... So much of this group is working. So it's a lot of time spent writing. A lot of time spent organizing. Things like that. So ...

Brian:     Wow. And is it mostly, do you a lot of the heavy lifting. Or does all the band pitch in for the writing and the organizing and all that?

Mike:     Well, I think it's just kind of fallen on me. I never really wanted to be just the sole person, but people kind of like look at me that way. I do a lot of the writing, it's just 'cause I like writing music and try to get better at it.

     But I definitely have help when it comes to like when we're on the road, all the guys chip in and gals chip in and, you know, help with like the daily whatever.

Brian:     Got it. Do you guys car pool or does everybody get there on their own? Is it like everybody in a van or something?

Mike:     Well, we almost got a van, but we decided against it. So it's two cars, usually, and put 7 people and the gear [crosstalk 00:07:14]

Brian:     Holy smokes. In two cars. That's impressive.

Mike:     Yeah.

Brian:     I hope there's some pictures on social media somewhere of that because that must be an amazing ... It must be packed to the brim. Unless there are huge vans or something. Two cars and seven people and all the gear for the band. Come on, man.

Mike:     Yeah. Yeah. No we do it. Of course, I have a big car. So ...

Brian:     Okay. That works.

Mike:     I got a drummer's car.

Brian:     Yep. A drummer's car. I'm like, "Gotta have at least a hatchback and room in the back."

Mike:     Yeah.

Brian:     Alright. So, now what about ... Something in your music collection that might surprise us.

Mike:     That might surprise you? That's a good question. Well ... Well, I have a lot of 90s rock and roll. That's a huge part of my music collection. So people listening to the band probably wouldn't think like, "Oh. That guys like Dinosaur Junior or like stuff like that." And I have this huge collection of like 90s rock and roll, you know. Fishbone, Rage Against the Machine, all that stuff I'm really heavy into 'cause I was like Lalapalooza kid when I was younger.

Brian:     Nice.

Mike:     Yeah.

Brian:     Oh. That's fun. Alright.

Mike:     And more bands than that, but yeah.

Brian:     Oh, god. That's funny. Now what about ... Talk about a biggest success moment for Black Masala. What comes to mind?

Mike:     Well, it was pretty amazing 'cause ... Right? We were a band for six months and then we got booked at the Kennedy Center and so we kind of thought we were doing something right at that point. If you watch the video, it's really funny. We're just so like kind of nervous and kind of new. We wanted to be perfect. And people's, people using music stands and stuff like that. And there's music flying on the stage. That was like a huge moment for us as a band.

     But I think anytime you book like your first tour, even if it's not successful, you're just excited because you took something that was nothing, wrote music and then someone in like North Carolina wants to book you. And so that was great.

     And DC government been very supportive to our band, you know. We've gotten some nice grants from them over the years that's helped with recording and things like that. Those all nice moments for us.

Brian:     Those are great moments. Holy smokes. And the DC government, I give them credit. They are very supportive. They supported me and DC Music Rocks, too. And the arts. If you're ... For the artists in town, they do good things for the artists, for sure.

Mike:     Absolutely.

Brian:     Alright. Now this one's for both of you guys. This is my favorite question to ask. If you could offer one piece of advice, what would it be?

Mike:     Andy?

Andy:     Oh. Honestly, Black Masala, I think, is a great example of the advice that I always give to people. And that's just how much hard work it takes, how much dedication. I feel like ... I've even had this conversation with you before, Brian.

Brian:     If you go back and listen when Andy was on the show with Fort Knox Recording a little while ago. And still remember the advice.

Andy:     It just came back to me. But honestly, like I said, I've been working with Mike here now for a few years and it's great working with him because of what he brings, like his work ethic and then the whole band. They're professionals. And that just really makes a huge difference. Even just ... So a specific advice, return your phone calls and your emails promptly when you're booking gigs and when you're making arrangements. It might seem like a small thing to do and you're busy, but just making that time to return those emails or phone calls like promptly shows people how serious you are, professional. And it really just sets the tone for everything going forward. And that kind of advice, I think, is what really makes a difference.  And if you wanna know what it'll get you, it'll get you all the great success that Black Masala's had 'cause these guys just work so hard. It's incredible.

Brian:     That's good advice, too. I mean, we reach out to artists for DC Music Rocks, "Hey. I wanna play you on the show." And we never hear back from them. So, I mean, it really is return those emails. I love it, Andy. What about you, Mike? What do you got?

Mike:     Yeah. I mean, I think that's great. I think when you're in a band, especially if you have someone in the structure of like kind of being responsible for a lot of things, you have to learn how to be a people person with your band because you're dealing with artists. And artists, I've learned this over the years, are a little bit different. They're more ... They're gonna be sensitive about things and people are gonna be moody. You just have to kind of like work around all these issues.  So, you know, you just wanna like be patient and try your best and try to keep it going forward. I guess.

Brian:     Be patient. Try to be nice.

Mike:     Try to be nice.

Brian:     Especially via email.

Mike:     I recommend ...

Brian:     Mike is nodding. That's a huge nod that just happened.

Mike:     Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely.

Brian:     It is true. I ... Absolutely.  And for those who wanna find out more about Black Masala and following you guys, where do they go?

Mike:     So we have a website, www.blackmasala.com. Super easy. You can just type the band's name in Google and you can find just about everything. Facebook, SoundCloud, Bandcamp, Spotify, we're everywhere.

Brian:     All that stuff. Is there one social media you guys like just a little more than the others?

Mike:     I've been really enjoying Instagram, recently. But our go-to has always been Facebook.

10/3/17 - Special Guest: Pleasure Train

Thanks to Valerie, Richard, and Will of Pleasure Train for hanging out with us in the studio this week!

^^Episode Audio/Post Is Live - Click Above (might take time to buffer/load, refresh page if you have any issues)^^

Podcast:  iTunesGoogle PlayStitcherPocket CastsPodBeanPlayerFM, or THIS URL in your app of choice



  1. What Happens Next I, by Mitchell Kenyon (Hard Rock, Punk Rock)
  2. Touch the Ground, by Pleasure Train (Rock, #SEXGROOVE)
  3. Farp, by NAH. (Indie/Psychedelic Rock)
  4. Flood, by Annie Stokes (Indie, Folk)
  5. Tread Lightly, by Drop Electric (Rock, Post-Rock)

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-


DC Music Rocks Shirts have launched!  Hello Holiday Gift Ideas for musical friends!  Washington DC is continuously voted as one of the best local music scenes in the country, why not show your pride and wear it on your shirt because “DC Music Rocks!”  We’ve partnered with Amazon for distribution so free prime shipping is available!  Men’s, Women’s and Youth sizes are all available!  10% of all proceeds will be used to support the DC Music Scene whether through charity, sponsorships, events, etc.
Front Side Design: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0756R16W2
Front&Back Design: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07646NHSY

We’ve begun putting together a media kit and will be seeking sponsors for DC Music Rocks.  Please reach out to us if:
1) If you’re knowledgeable about sponsorships or work with them in your profession, and would be willing to provide us feedback on what we’re putting together!
2) You are connected with a business or a person in a business who you think would be a good sponsor for DC Music Rocks!

1st Annual Celebration of the Arts in Arlington. This fun evening will feature live music, performances from local arts groups, food from area restaurants, beer and wine, and more. Thursday Oct 4, 7-10pm, near Ballston


Soldiers of Suburbia - Eating Cigarettes (6 Song EP)
Bencoolen - The Crown (Single)
Paperhaus - Told You What To Say (Single)
Matt Tarka - Vision Hazy (4 Song EP)
Higher Education - The Ballad of Alexander Henry (11 Song Full Album)
The Fringe Benefits - Step Out (7 Song EP)


Fri Oct 6
Surprise Attack @ Westover Beer Garden in Arlington, VA

Sat Oct 7
Vintage#18 @ Art On The Avenue in Del Ray near Alexandria, VA
allthebestkids @ Black Cat Near 14th & U in NW DC
Venn @ Songbyrd Music Hall in Adams Morgan in NW DC
Black Masala & Tomato Dodgers @ Milkboy Arthouse in College Park, MD

Sun Oct 8
The Duskwhales @ Jammin Java in Vienna, VA
Sub-Radio @ Gypsy Sally’s in Georgetown in NW DC

Thu Oct 12
Oh He Dead @ DC Wharf Grand Opening by L’enfant Plaza in SW DC
Milo & The Doldrums @ DC9 by U St in NW DC

Would you support us?  We'd love to grow and do more!  We're giving away shirts, cohost spots on the show, access to our private facebook group, and more!  We also intend to set aside 10% to contribute directly in the DC Local Music Scene through charities, sponsorships, events, etc.  We want to continue to pay it forward!

Pleasure Train



Pleasure Train

 "Pleasure Train is a Washington DC area band that incorporates a fusion of styles rooted in groove, alternative, jam, jazz, pop, and house. The band formed after longtime friends and guitarists Ian Dandridge and Richard Fiegel had a conversation about the future of music and what genres would define their generation. After a long discussion of personal influences (ranging from 70’s giants such as Led Zeppelin and the Grateful Dead to modern acts including Tame Impala and Deadmau5), the two began envisioning the style of music they wanted to see develop in the future and began to search for like-minded musicians. Keyboardist Mike Paquette was initially recruited, bringing wide-ranging influences to the table including jazz and electronica. Vocalist Valerie Vega was connected with the band seemingly by chance after her rich, soulful voice caught the attention of Fiegel while he was browsing YouTube videos of local singers. The lineup was completed when drummer Andrew Gabor and bassist Will Berger were brought on board, rounding out the band with an upbeat funk and R&B-influenced rhythm section. Pleasure Train has been a staple in the local music scene since the summer of 2014, and the band has enjoyed making their own unique contribution to the soundscape of the greater Washington DC area."

Website: www.pleasuretrainmusic.net

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pleasur3train/
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/pleasure-train

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/0CeIg7L8sY1eFcskQy0jvO

PT Velvet Lounge.jpg


Brian:     On DC Music Rocks, we're shining a spotlight on the great songs, artists, and incredible people behind the DC region's local music scene. Pleasure Train is a Washing DC area band that incorporates a fusion of styles, rooted in groove, alternative, jam, jazz, pop, and house. Pleasure Train has been a staple in the local music scene since the summer of 2014 and the band has enjoyed making their own unique contribution to the soundscape of the greater DC area. I first came across these guys when they released their first single, Calabasas, and I used it in my exercise classes. I played it in the car. I jammed it as loud as I could. I sang in the shower with it. There's just so much Calabasas in my life. Now they released an EP and now they're here with me. God, this is exciting. Thank you guys for being here.

Valerie:     Thank you for having us.

Will:     Thank you. That's a high compliment because we wanted to be a party band first and foremost.

Valerie:     Yeah.

Will:     There's a lot of ways we ca define ourselves but that's number one.

Brian:     You know, being played in the shower is status.

Richard:     I was going to say, that's basically what I had in mind when writing it, was we want people to be able to dance in the shower.

Valerie:     After a hard day, I want you in your shower, blasting Calabasas.

Brian:     Calabasas, there it is. Alright. Now, talk about the band and how it came together.

Richard:     I can take that one.

Valerie:     Yeah, you take that one.

Richard:     Actually, three of us actually went to high school together, Robinson High School in Fairfax and funny enough, we really didn't know each other at the time. I mean, through most of high school, but met our other guitar player [inaudible 00:01:35] towards end of senior year and started playing music together. He was a big, big [inaudible 00:01:42] from a guitar stand point.

Will:     Me too, he's a [inaudible 00:01:43].

Valerie:     He's amazing.

Richard:     I mean, we just kind of took it from there. We all went out separate ways, went to college and knew when we came back, we wanted to play together.

Brian:     That's amazing.

Valerie:     They found me off YouTube.

Will:     Yeah, with the wonders of the internet.

Valerie:     Yeah.

Brian:     Now, so it all came together, one of you met another one and then another band member came together and slowly we became six.

Will:     I was actually the last puzzle piece to fall into place. Shortly before me, our drummer Andrew David fell into place. Once the rhythm section fell into place, that's how our current sound came to be.

Brian:     Speaking of current sounds, I realize they can't see you and if they don't know you, introduce yourselves and say your name and your role in the band. Then, the other three guys too.

Will:     I'm Will Berger. I play the bass.

Valerie:     Valerie Vega, I'm the vocalist.

Richard:     Richard Fiegal, one of two guitars.

Valerie:     We have Ian Dandridge who is the other guitarist, and we have Andrew Gabor who is our drummer and we have Michael Paquette who is our keyboardist.

Brian:     Wow, so lots of sound from six instruments and some vocals. I love that. Now, talk about the name. What is Pleasure Train? Where does that come from?

Valerie:     Me, Ian and Mike, when we first started the band would have these nights where we would get really drunk and just jam in this barn. We were like, we're going to have a band. What is the name going to be? We were so torn between making it something serious, and emotional, and creative, and then when we were very drunk, Mike was like Pleasure Train. Richard and some others were not for it, but I was like, that's brilliant. It's different and it's fun. I wanted to be fun but make good music.

Richard:     It got to the point where we just started looking around and naming things in the room and wondering if that would be a good band name.

Will:     I came around to realize that it's like a brilliant band name because it's just, it's evocative and memorable. Yeah, it's very memorable. People don't forget it.

Brian:     That's a train you want to get on.

Valerie:     Exactly.

Will:     I mean really, like our band, evocative and memorable.

Brian:     There you go. If you take nothing away from this interview, I want you to remember that Pleasure Train is evocative and memorable. That is awesome.

Valerie:     Great word. That's our genre.

Brian:     Now, you guys are local DC. You're from DC?

Valerie:     Yeah, we're from DC pretty much.

Will:     Five out of the six band members are from the DC area, Virginia side of the DC area. I am originally from Pennsylvania, but I made my way down to the area a couple years ago. I came into contact with Ian first and knew I had to jam with him. I came into contact with him at the open jams.

Valerie:     Like Fats right?

Will:     Yeah, Fats. I was like, dude. We have to start a band. Then, low and behold, Pleasure Train needed a bassist and that's how I kind of fell in with everyone.

Brian:     That's amazing. Now, talk about you guys on the personal side. You've got this whole music thing that you do, and then outside of the music thing, what's life like for each of you?

Valerie:     We're busy people.

Will:     Yeah, we're very busy.

Valerie:     I'm a nurse, a DJ, and a realtor.

Brian:     Okay, wait a minute. One more time, you're a nurse at a hospital in town?

Valerie:     Yeah, I do home care to make this part of my life, it's flexible.

Brian:     Yeah, so home care. Then, a DJ?

Valerie:     I'm DJ Dilate and I played at Old Engine 12 in DC, U-Street, Back Bar. I'm part of the dance group, Dance Collective.

Brian:     Oh, and wait there were three. Nurse, DJ-

Valerie:     A realtor.

Brian:     A realtor.

Valerie:     Yeah. Capital Homes, yeah.

Brian:     Good gracious.

Will:     Valerie doesn't sleep much.

Brian:     Alright, fellas she set the bar high. What about you?

Will:     Well I can't quite get it that high. Well, in addition to playing bass in Pleasure Train, I also play bass with Andy Stokes and Apple Juice Jones, which is a Philly based band of my old buddies. Then I also am an environmental consulting engineer by day, to get a little money in my pocket.

Valerie:     Smart man.

Brian:     Holy smokes. Alright. What about you Richard?

Richard:     Myself, not as busy as these guys. I am a loan officer for a local mortgage company, Church Hill Mortgage and that's where I spend most of my day.

Brian:     Wow.

Richard:     Helping people get into homes.

Brian:     Doing loans and getting into homes. Nice one. I know right? That's amazing.

Richard:     You heard it first.

Brian:     You heard it here first, absolutely. What about funnies moment as the band? What comes to mind?

Valerie:     Alright. We talked about this. It would have to be two separate occasions. One at the Clifton Bar Jam and then one at our first not fade away where separate moments, members of our band had to flee off the state for bathroom issues.

Will:     Emergency.

Brian:     Wow.

Valerie:     Bathroom emergencies.

Brian:     Emergency issues.

Will:     Could not-

Brian:     It was a really long set.

Valerie:     No.

Will:     We have one song, Filthy Ladder. That's the last one on the EP. It has this really epic long jam out at the end, and it's usually a set closer. We like to really hit it and ride the wave.

Valerie:     We were riding the wave.

Will:     Andrew on drums is looking at me. I can't. After two seconds he just ran off. He was looking at me. I'm like, you can. You can. You can. Don't you leave.

Valerie:     Take one for the team. No, he couldn't. I was just like, what happened?

Richard:     I'm pretty sure there's video of it.

Brian:     Oh my god.

Valerie:     You held yours right?

Richard:     It was getting dangerous but, I made it.

Brian:     Where does music enter your lives? What's your background with music each of you?

Valerie:     I have been songwriting and singing sine like in third grade, choir. I mostly did like R&B stuff because I'm a vocalist. I unfortunately don't play instruments. I would just sing for producers in DC and Maryland. Wow, that's what I did until I found Pleasure Train.

Will:     For me, like a lot of kids around 12 or 13 fell in love with rock and roll music. I really liked the bass, so I picked up the bass around there and started playing in bands all through college and after. When I moved down here to take a job, I started attending open jams and just looking for people to play with. That's how I eventually crossed paths with Ian. Through that whole scene I've learned to find other people to play with, like the other and so for instance. That's what got me to where I am today.

Brian:     Wow. What about you Richard?

Richard:     For me, I was a pretty wild child. My parents wanted me to play some sort of instrument as an outlet. I played piano, violin. By the time I got to guitar, my parents were done with it. They were like we're not paying for any more lessons for this. I mean I took that as a challenge.

Brian:     Did you reject the other instruments?

Richard:     No, no.

Brian:     Just didn't like them? What was it?

Richard:     I played them for years. I mean, it got to the point where I wasn't practicing anymore and they kind of gave up on me.

Brian:     Got it.

Richard:     Guitar, I took that as a challenge. I was like, alright. You're not going to pay for it? Well, shoot I'll teach myself.

Brian:     There it is, self incentive is an amazing thing. It really is.

Richard:     They might have known that. They may have done it on purpose.

Brian:     That may be so. That really can be true. What's something in your music collection that might surprise us, each of you?

Will:     Oh man.

Valerie:     A lot of Spanish music.

Will:     Two ukulele and three mandolins and four cats.

Brian:     Wait, actual music that you listen to. [crosstalk 00:09:10] We're going to come back to how you play a cat, but-

Will:     Oh there it is.

Valerie:     Oh wow.

Will:     Yeah.

Brian:     Oh goodness. Okay.

Will:     You're talking about-

Valerie:     Yeah, like music.

Will:     Artists we listen to.

Valerie:     Do you have anything in your collection?

Will:     More of a Tupac kind of.

Valerie:     Oh okay.

Brian:     A Tupac guy.

Will:     Let's see, surprising. Yeah. You go first.

Valerie:     Oh, I don't know. I don't know, Marc Anthony? I'm from Puerto Rico so that's not surprising if you know that. If you don't know that, yes I have a lot of like Cheyenne and Marc Anthony and Spanish songs.

Brian:     Got it. You do more reggaeton or more traditional salsa.

Valerie:     No, traditional salsa merengue, yeah. I like reggaeton. It's good, but no.

Brian:     Right.

Valerie:     It's very redundant.

Brian:     What about you Richard?

Richard:     I'm kind of all over the place, but more recently the Lion King 2 soundtrack.

Valerie:     Oh.

Brian:     Yes.

Valerie:     We jammed very hard to that.

Richard:     [inaudible 00:10:23] very surprised yes.

Valerie:     Our piano player likes that one too.

Brian:     More Disney in your life.

Will:     I was singing the Pocahontas today, the Paint with the Colors of the Wind. It entered my head for some reason.

Valerie:     Oh my.

Brian:     That's amazing. What about you? You skipped away. Now, we're coming back to you.

Will:     For me, probably I don't know, afrobeat is one of the things that I've been listening to.

Brian:     Really?

Will:     Yeah.

Brian:     Okay.

Will:     I love the repetitive baseline. It's just like getting lost in a groove, repetition is underrated.

Brian:     Absolutely. Now, I've got to put you on the spot because you said you play a cat?

Will:     Not in the same sense as you play an instrument. More the cat is a muse and a tool for inspiration.

Brian:     You should see the face he's making right now. He's like, oh what am I going to say?

Valerie:     Make melodies to the meows.

Will:     Oh I know exactly.

Valerie:     Oh my.

Brian:     Oh this is going such good places fast. I love it. Alright, now so one of my favorite questions to ask is if you could offer one piece of advice, what would it be, for each of you?

Will:     Well, for me, you know I think the best advice is very simple advice. If you want to make music, then never stop making music. There's a lot of reasons to get discouraged. There's a lot of reasons to talk yourself out of doing it, but you like doing it, and you want to do it, do it.

Brian:     Has something in your life happened? Do you have a personal example of that?

Will:     Well, for me I guess the example is it's just kind of like something I have always made space for in my life because I feel the need to do it. It's similar to sleeping if I don't do it for long enough, I'd go crazy. I think it's just something you're compelled to do.

Brian:     Yeah. What about you Valerie?

Valerie:     I would tell people that are in the music scene just to try and not let the competitiveness of it all get in toxic or too overbearing in your creativity. We're all in the music scene together, and of course there's venues we all want to achieve and there's all festivals we all want to achieve. If you get too competitive with it, it can really get down on your creativity and the whole point of why you're making music in the first place. I would say, look at your fellow musicians as companions and inspiration and not competition.

Brian:     What's a personal example for you of something like that? Is there something that you've been gunning for that you wish could happen faster?

Valerie:     Yeah, I mean there's a ton of venues and music festivals that I believe we should be playing and that we are very capable. We make great music. I love this band. I and the number one fan and advocate for Pleasure Train. Yeah, there's definitely venues and stuff that-

Will:     I always feel like we could be doing more.

Valerie:     Yeah, I always feel like we could be doing more and that we're deserving of it, because we've worked so hard. I'm a female, so there's always going to be competition and jealousy. Did I just break a feminist?

Brian:     I was going to say, no wait a minute. That's not a female thing. That's a human being thing.

Valerie:     I'm a human too. I'm like the least feminist. I love females but I'm non passive aggressive.

Brian:     Oh my god.

Valerie:     I'm just saying, it's a human feeling to want to be competitive and be like we deserve that. Well, no. We are all in this together and we all deserve to make music. Just focus on making beautiful music and that's all that matters.

Brian:     That's what gets you places. That's what it comes down to. If you make that good music, that's what opens doors. Yep.

Valerie:     I like everyone, all females.

Brian:     What about you Richard? What have you got?

Richard:     Professionally man, what I would say is don't get caught up in the trends. Play what you know, what you love. Play from the heart. I mean, like I said, you can't go wrong with it if you're playing stuff that means something to you. With all the stuff that's going around now days, it can be tough to stick to your guns and what you really want to play, and not what you think people want to hear.

Brian:     Yeah. For real. That's the truth.

Will:     It's almost a paradox because we love inspiring people with our music, and after we play a show, you love it when people walk up to you and say, "Oh that was amazing. That inspired me." That's one of the reasons we do it obviously but also you can't get too caught up in playing what you think people want to hear. Sometimes if we're doing song writing and one of us is like, "Oh well I don't know if people would like that." We got to be like, wait a sec.

Valerie:     Doesn't matter.

Will:     Don't do that.

Valerie:     Yeah.

Will:     Whatever we want to do here.

Valerie:     What do we want to do?

Will:     What is our vision for this?

Brian:     Make the best songs you can do, but don't compromise. What makes you happy, right? You're doing this. What could you do that would make this the most fulfilling experience? If you just keep having the fulfilling experiences, it's going to end up being rewarding. There's always more that you can want, but it's true. You got to keep going.

      Now, for those folks who want to find you guys, follow on more aout the amazing. Man, my words today.

Valerie:     Oh my.

Brian:     Who want to follow you and find out more about you guys, where do they go?

Will:     You can check out our worldwide website at www.pleasuretrainmusic.net.

Valerie:     Yes.

Will:     Also our Facebook page obviously and we're on Spotify. We're on iTunes.

Valerie:     Instagram.

Will:     Instagram.

Valerie:     Yeah, we're very active on social media.

Will:     @pleasuretrainmusic

Brian:     Got it.

Will:     We like posting. Occasionally we post weird selfies. Occasionally we post animal pictures.

Valerie:     Yeah.

Brian:     Selfies and animal pictures, the cats that you play at home sometimes

Valerie:     We love our cats.

9/26/17 - Special Guest: Dan Wolff of The Muddy Crows

Thanks Dan Wolff of The Muddy Crows for coming by the studio this week!

^^Episode Audio/Post Is Live - Click Above (might take time to buffer/load, refresh page if you have any issues)^^

Podcast:  iTunesGoogle PlayStitcherPocket CastsPodBeanPlayerFM, or THIS URL in your app of choice



  1. The Lost Ones, by Mystery Friends (Indie, Dance Rock)
  2. Jezebel, by Dan Wolff & The Muddy Crows (Rock, Americana)
  3. Oceanside (Rooftop in Kingston), by The Pocket (Reggae/Rock)
  4. Royalty (feat. Goldface Richy), by Milk$ (Hip Hop, Indie)
  5. Honestly, by Caleb Hacker (Indie, Pop Soul)
  6. When I Get Low I Get High, by The Bumper Jacksons (Country, Americana)

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-


202Creates Month of September - Closing Night Celebration - Fri Sept 29
“Come join us as we wind down the month of September with Mayor Muriel Bowser's 202Creates month. This event brings together sports, arts, music, media and tech!”


Area-301 - Product of Hip Hop (Single)
G.U.M.P. - Flight Song (Single)
Jen Miller ft Eros - Fine (Single)
Thunderball - Bulletproof: B-Sides & Rarities (16 Song Album)
Derek Evry - Pop Perspective (8 Song Album)

Teething Veils - Webbed


Soldiers of Suburbia - Rollercoasters

Stone Driver - Baggage Claim

Jen Miller - Fine (ft Eros)


Fri Sep 29
Black Masala @ Jambrew in Herndon, VA
Vim & Vigor @ Silver New American Brasserie in NW DC

Sat Sep 30
Alex The Red Robert Parez Album Release Show with Two Ton Twig @ Iota Club & Cafe in Arlington VA
Memphis Gold @ Holy Trinity Church in Mclean, VA
Bencoolen @ Tropicalia on U St in NW DC
Throwing Plates @ JamBrew OktoBrewFest in Herndon, VA
Turtle Recall @ Fado in Chinatown in NW DC

Sun Oct 1
Wylder @ Jammin Java in Vienna, VA

Tues Oct 3
Rachel Levitin @ Jammin Java in Vienna, VA

Wed Oct 4
Matt Tarka @ Gypsy Sally’s in Georgetown in NW DC

Thurs Oct 5
Albino Rhino @ Gypsy Sally’s in Georgetown in NW DC

Would you support us?  We'd love to grow and do more!  We're giving away shirts, cohost spots on the show, access to our private facebook group, and more!  We also intend to set aside 10% to contribute directly in the DC Local Music Scene through charities, sponsorships, events, etc.  We want to continue to pay it forward!

Dan Wolff & The Muddy Crows



The Muddy Crows

Hailing from Washington DC, Dan Wolff & The Muddy Crows are an exciting up-and-coming Americana/Roots-Rock group. Specializing in original music they also maintain an extensive repertoire of covers in a variety of genres. Twice, The Washington City Paper Readers Poll declared TMC the ‘Best Original Local Band’ for the Washington, DC area!

Official Website: www.DanWolffMusic.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/DanWolffMusic
Twitter: www.twitter.com/DanWolffMusic



The Muddy Crows Fillmore.jpg


Brian:     On DC Music Rocks, we're shining a spotlight on the great songs artists and incredible people behind the DC region's local music scene. And hailing from Washington DC, Dan Wolff and the Muddy Crows are an exciting up and coming Americana roots rock group specializing in original music, they also maintain an extensive repertoire of covers in a variety of genres and twice the Washington City Paper reader's poll has declared the Muddy Crows as the best original local band for the Washington DC area.

     So, it is such an honor to have the winner right here. I mean my God, I first heard about them because of last year's win of the, of course I'm doing the show, and I'm going, "The best original local band? Who are these guys?" Dan's awesome and got back to me and now he's here on the show. So, Dan, thanks for being here, man.

Dan Wolff:     Thank you for having me. Yeah, we've been emailing a while.

Brian:     Yeah, this is true.

Dan Wolff:     Glad the schedules have finally aligned.

Brian:     Now, so talk to us about the Muddy Crows and how did all of it come about?

Dan Wolff:     I moved down here in 2009, I guess and I started recording some solo stuff with Ambience Recording Studios, Josh in Sail out of Germantown, which is actually how I came to know a lot of the artists. Your show is like a "Who's Who?" Of the DC music scene, which is what you're going for so that makes sense.

     I met a number of them through him and I started recording a solo album. As part of doing that solo album I had needed that played instruments that I didn't play or didn't play well enough. I started looking around, the truth is Craigslist was a life saver-

Brian:     Get out of here. It's a Craigslist thing, too? I love it. There are so many horror stories that come from that but it's amazing that we get to hear the success stories on the show. If you're listening, there's so many that talk about Craigslist but we should clarify that there's so many bad stories. I love the fact that we share the good stories, they do happen.

Dan Wolff:     They do. We had to replace a few people throughout the years DC's an interview train, it's a city and people move and take different career opportunities elsewhere. I think Craigslist has usually come through and got us replacements on short notice. We've had great success. I would agree, it used to be fairy tales and horror stories started with, "Once upon a time," now they start with, "I was on Craigslist,"

Brian:     Now, talk about the difference. You've got Dan Wolff and you've got the Muddy Crows. What's the relationship there? How does that work?

Dan Wolff:     Sure, the Muddy Crows is sort of formed out of trying to get the people together to record the solo album. Obviously, when we started performing live we needed a name so we can maybe go back to how we named the band. But over time the Muddy Crows became popular and often times there was need to build myself as a solo artist or as a trio and people seemed to think I didn't exist as a musician outside of the band-

Brian:     Also, the Muddy Crows are nothing so we had to clarify Dan Wolff is his own artist on occasion-

Dan Wolff:     Yeah, so for a while I referred to it as the Muddy Trio to kind of separate what the trio was. We had a few opportunities for duets and I thought that the Muddy Deuce no longer served its purpose as a good name for a band.

Brian:     That is really not, that is really not a good name for a band. I'm glad you didn't do that.

Dan Wolff:     Duo sounded better at the end.

Brian:     Speaking of names, how did the Muddy Crows come around? You teased us with that, what's that story?

Dan Wolff:     I think it would have been easier, as some of your other guests said that a name generator would have been its, it's tough to find a band name. Something that everyone can agree on, something that represents what you think you are as artists and something that when you Google brings up your name. That's-

Brian:     That's an important thing, absolutely.

Dan Wolff:     We went through a lot of iterations of different names and I would say, that we decided that we liked the idea of having a distinctive "the" so we thought about "The Dirty Birds" which is obviously already taken so we thought we'd make it dirtier and a bit birdier, we went to Muddy Crows.

Brian:     It's the dirtier, birdier version of the Dirty Birds is the Muddy Crows. Oh my God, it's amazing. It's another tshirt, that's two tshirt ideas on today's show, man. You are on fire, I love it. The dirtier, birdier band.

Dan Wolff:     I think on Twitter or some social media does say, "Dirtier than dirt, birdier than birds were the Muddy Crows." I don't know. The true story is we actually, that's an interesting story it's maybe not wholly true. There's a road out in Virginia, I guess people can Google it just to see where it is. I used to drive through a lot of some wealthy looking houses on the way to some training courses I was taking and I saw this, I think it's called Crooked Crow Lane.

     I like the idea of Crooked Crow and while we were trying to come up with a band I was trying to write a song called a Crooked Crow, which it never got finished because instead it went to a band name. We like the idea of the Crooked Crows, the distinctive "the" and the adjective, noun. The Crooked Crows, but there was already a Crooked Crow band that does, I think they're heavy metal or something, in DC. So CCB was out, the Crooked Crow Band was out so we tried some other options. I don't know, crooked things and rusty things and we ended up stumbling onto the Muddy Crows and when we Googled it we got zero results from Google and we said, "Great. That's our name."

Brian:     Success, there it is. Oh my God, I love it. Talk about you on the personal side, what do you outside of the music stuff?

Dan Wolff:     There's life outside of music?

Brian:     Yes. You are required to give me at least one. There's more than sleep and music, talk to me man. What's life like?

Dan Wolff:     I work a lot, I have a cyber security job in the DC area. I would say that's a high stress day job and then to relieve stress I play and sing music to people.

Brian:     Fantastic. How long has the music thing been going on?

Dan Wolff:     In the DC area I'd say since 2009 I really started taking it seriously. I think the band, despite the lack of name for a while, probably around 2012, 2013 is when we really started playing a lot more serious. It used to be we'd play short shows here and there and now in the last two years we've probably been doing over, in different configurations, about 100 shows a year.  When I say there's not much life outside of music; it's work, music and sleep.

Brian:     So wait a minute, are there TV shows? Do you go to the gym at all? There has to be something?

Dan Wolff:     I don't go to the gym but I do watch TV if I have to confess to things. It's what everyone would think; it's Game of Thrones, it's-

Brian:     Don't say that with shame, there's a lot of people who are listening who would love that.

Dan Wolff:     I feel like I should have an answer that everyone's like, "Whoa, that's a show? I never heard of that." No, it's the stuff that you have to keep up with otherwise people spoil it for you the next day in the office.

Brian:     Right. It's something that when you're talking to fans it shows. This is something other people are watching. It makes sense to me, I got it. How did music start for you? Were you a childhood prodigy in the music department? Did it start in school? Where did it go?

Dan Wolff:     Prodigy is a strong word, I think.

Brian:     I won't hold you to that one.

Dan Wolff:     My mom has cassette tapes, they used to make in the boom boxes and you'd press record and your kid would sing into them for all sorts of hours as you made them do embarrassing things. Those exist, they haven't seen the light of day in a long time and if that streak continues I think everyone's the better for it. My parents were very big into pushing all four of us into music. We had to take a band instrument in junior high, high school. I played trombone.

Brian:     Really?

Dan Wolff:     Yeah, people probably don't expect that and I have not found a way to work it into our act yet.

Brian:     There's a lot of awesome brass bands around so if you ever want to pull that out. There might be an opportunity. It's a trend right now.

Dan Wolff:     I played trombone for a number of years and it wasn't that I got into college that I really started playing guitar.

Brian:     Wow, man. You just knew it was going to be guitar or did you dabble and try out some other ones too? Some people go back and forth; bass, guitar, not sure or was it definitely guitar?

Dan Wolff:     I remember as a kid my dad always played banjo. There's be cookouts and things and everyone always thought it was awesome, he was kind of like the showman. I think I was a freshman in high school when he tried to teach me banjo and I realized pretty quickly at the time, 3 Doors Down was big, those kind of things, right? If, you wanted to play songs that people knew-

Brian:     You needed to play guitar-

Dan Wolff:     Not that I really wanted to play 3 Doors Down necessarily but just the songs you heard on the radio did not feature banjo. If only Mumford & Sons had come out sooner maybe I would have stuck with it but it seemed at the time that there wasn't a big market for a banjo player. I gave it up and didn't play anything again for another four years until I really picked up guitar in college.

Brian:     Wow. All right, that's cool. My favorite question to ask on this show is; if you could offer one piece of advice, what would it be?

Dan Wolff:     I would say, Google your band name and make sure it doesn't bring up anything embarrassing.

Brian:     Yes, search engine optimization results. That is a reality for the bands out there.

Dan Wolff:     Also, right off the bat, I've seen this with other bands and it always bothers me. We got lucky, you want to get on every social media you want to have the same band name. For me, go to Dan Wolff music Facebook, Twitter or Instagram or go to the Muddy Crows on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram social media flavor of the week and not to have different URLs for everything because it makes it hard for people to find you. I think that marketing sometimes hurts bands because even I'm trying to find them online at a show and I can't find them. Sometimes it makes it easier.

Brian:     When my team does this every week and we're tagging everybody. It's really easy if you get on the roll and you do the Facebook post and you know what it is and then you get the Instagram and it's like, "Oh, now what is it?" And then you got to open another window and you got to Google. Oh man, truly appreciate that. Good idea, same name, which by the way, DC Music Rocks. Same one in all the platforms, I truly appreciate it. It's one of those things.

     Now, one more time for those folks who are interested in finding more about following you and finding out more about what you and the Muddy Crows are doing, where do they go?

Dan Wolff:     Sure, you can go to Danwolffmusic.com that's Dan with two "Fs", W-O-L-F-F. Danwollfmusic.com or Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, all your social media flavors of the month, week, day, whatever. At danwolffmusic.

Brian:     Got it, and the Muddy Crows are same thing?

Dan Wolff:     Muddy Crows are all the same URLs, all the same usernames; @TheMuddyCrows.

Brian:     There it is. And the difference between the two really is the Muddy Crows is going to be more of the full band music and Dan Wolff means it's going to be more about you, personally? We connect with you personally?

Dan Wolff:     Yeah, circling back to that. Yes, I would say DanWolffmusic will have all the full band shows listed as well but will also include trios and solo shows. If you're looking for a really wild party and you want to make sure who you're going to see when you show up, you should go to themuddycrows.com, look at the schedule, it's on the front page.

Brian:     Go to the Muddy Crows for the wild party. I like it. The dirtier, birdier party. Oh my God, I'm telling you man. Please make a shirt, I would totally wear that shirt. That's amazing.

9/19/17 - Special Guest: The Duskwhales

Thanks to Seth, Brian, & Chris, The Duskwhales, for coming by the studio this week!

^^Episode Audio/Post Is Live - Click Above (might take time to buffer/load, refresh page if you have any issues)^^

Podcast:  iTunesGoogle PlayStitcherPocket CastsPodBeanPlayerFM, or THIS URL in your app of choice



  1. Gotta Have Your Love, by Area-301 (Hip Hop, R&B)
  2. In the Year of Jubilee, by The Duskwhales (Indie, Pop Rock)
  3. Birds and Bees, by Milo in the Doldrums (Indie/Indie Rock)
  4. Coldest Summer Nights, by Alecia Renece (R&B, Soul)
  5. Bicycle Seat, by Daycare Swindlers (Hard Rock)
  6. Washing My Hands, by Rocknoceros (Pop/Kiddie Pop)

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-


--We’ve joined Patreon!  Your support on Patreon will help give us the means to get better, do more, evolve, and be more involved!  Please visit our Patreon page, and support us so we can grow and do more!  We also intend to set aside 10% of all incomes to reinvest directly in the DC Music Community, whether through charities, sponsorships, events, etc.  We want to continue to pay it forward in that way as well.  Thanks for considering!   https://www.patreon.com/dcmusicrocks

--DC Music Rocks is now syndicated!  Episodes will also be aired on 96.3FM HD4.  This is the DC Government’s Radio Station which officially launched Sept 19.  Check us out, here’s the link to our program page on the station!  We’ll let you know when episodes will air once we get more information about the schedule.  This is High Power FM, you can tune in from anywhere in the region on your FM dial, 96.3FM HD4.


Staunton - Sunrise (Single)
Hayley Fahey - Fire (Single)

Hayley Fahey - Fire
Elena & Los Fulanos - PONLE FIN (with English subtitles hit the CC)


Fri Sep 22
Swampcandy @ The Hamilton near MetroCenter in NW DC
Rocknoceros @ Jammin Java in Vienna, VA

Fri-Sat Sep 23
Surprise Attack, Moogatu, Nappy Riddem @ Hometown Get Down in Clarksville, MD

Sat Sep 23
Matt Tarka, Tomato Dodgers, Leo & Cygnus @ Mainstreet Music Fest in Ellicott City, MD
A Shrewdness Of Apes @ Autumn Music Fest in Alexandria, VA
Hayley Fahey, Fellowcraft @ Clarendon Day in Clarendon in Arlington, VA
See-I @ Oyster Fest at The Salt Line in SE DC

Sun Sep 24
Rare Essence @ U Street Music Hall on U St, in NW DC

Tues Sep 26
Caz Gardiner @ Black Cat by 14th & U St in NW DC

Would you support us?  We'd love to grow and do more!  We also intend to set aside 10% to contribute directly in the DC Local Music Scene through charities, sponsorships, events, etc.  We want to continue to pay it forward!

The Duskwhales



Duskwhales Promo Photo DC Music Rocks

The Duskwhales - The Duskwhales are a three-piece indie rock band formed in Manassas, Virginia in 2010.  Their sound is reminiscent of 60's groups such as The Beatles and The Doors through prominent use of keyboards and memorable vocal harmonies. While incorporating the best elements of their psychedelic roots, the young trio creates a sophisticated style of their own in both studio and live settings. They have shared the stage with national acts Car Seat Headrest, Diane Coffee, Little Green Cars, and Frankie Cosmos, as well as performed to packed audiences across the East Coast. The Duskwhales are currently touring in support of their latest album Sorrowful Mysteries. 

When The Duskwhales are not touring in support of their own music, they can be seen performing a variety of oldies and classic rock covers at local venues and events. Their cover repertoire includes hits songs from The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Elvis, The Cure, Tears for Fears, MGMT, and many more! They have performed at a number of notable events such as The National Cherry Blossom Festival, Herndon Festival, World Police & Fire Games, Thomas Jefferson Poplar Wine Festival, and Arlington County Fair. The band has also provided live entertainment for private events including parties, dances, and weddings.

The Duskwhales DC Music Rocks
The Duskwhales DC Music Rocks


Brian (DCMR):    On DC Music Rocks, we're shining the spotlight on the great songs and incredible people behind the DC region's local music scene. The Duskwhales are a three-piece indie rock band formed in Manassas, Virginia in 2010. Through prominent use of keyboards and memorable vocal harmonies, and some sweet vocal harmonies by the way, their sound is reminiscent of the '60s groups, such as The Beatles and The Doors. While incorporating the best elements of their psychedelic roots, the young trio creates a sophisticated style of their own and are currently touring in support of their latest album, which you just heard a track off of, The Sorrowful Mysteries. These are the guys. Guys, thanks for being here.

Chris:     Thanks for having us.

Seth:     Thank you.

Brian (DCMR):    And now, since they're listening to you, introduce yourselves and what you play in the band.

Seth:     I'm Seth. I play guitar and I sing.

Brian:     Well, Brian, I am Brian, and I play keyboards.

Brian (DCMR):    Another Brian. I love it. All right.

Chris:     Too many Brians. I'm Chris. I play the drums.

Brian (DCMR):    And Chris on drums. So there's only three of you that made all that sound we just heard?

Seth:     Yes.

Chris:     Hard to know.

Seth:     There's ghosts in the machine.

Brian:     I think it was just us.

Brian (DCMR):    Excellent.

Seth:     Really good producer.

Brian (DCMR):    I was, yeah.

Brian:     Yeah.

Brian (DCMR):    You guys are awesome. So talk about ... First, I want to know the name. The Duskwhales. Where does that name come from?

Seth:     Our parents came up with it.

Chris:     That's not even true.

Brian (DCMR):    Oh stop it. For real.

Brian:     They definitely helped.

Brian (DCMR):    How did that happen?

Brian:     Well, we were-

Seth:     We just have good parents.

Brian:     Yeah, we got good parents. We were very, very young. We started the band in early high school. Seth wasn't even in high school.

Seth:     Yeah.

Chris:     Seth wasn't even born, actually.

Brian:     Yeah, it was kind of just a goofy name that we liked and our parents liked.

Seth:     They had to name me first because I wasn't born yet. Then we named the band. That's how it goes.

Chris:     Just put the words together and thought it sounded funny, and here we are.

Brian (DCMR):    Wow, so Dusk and Whales just came together, and then it became The Duskwhales.

Brian:     Yup.

Brian (DCMR):    And how long has that ... It's been ... You guys have been doing this for a few years, then.

Chris:     Yeah.

Brian (DCMR):    And it's always been The Duskwhales? That was it?

Seth:     Yeah.

Brian:     Almost eight years now.

Brian (DCMR):    That's amazing. And talk about ... Now, how did the band come together? Did you know each other? What was the ... How did it start?

Seth:     I knew Chris when I was really young, and then I met Brian when I was ...

Brian:     Pretty young as well.

Seth:     In, like, seventh grade.

Chris:     Seth and I played soccer together, so we'd been tripping over each other for many years.

Seth:     Yeah, now we just do it in music.

Chris:     Yeah. We were in high school and it was a very small high school, so everybody knew each other, so we kind of gravitated towards each other and then just started playing music together.

Brian (DCMR):    So in high school you started playing music together?

Chris:     Yeah, in high school.

Seth:     Well, I guess you were in high school. I wasn't.

Chris:     Junior high.

Brian (DCMR):    Fair.

Seth:     Junior high.

Chris:     The same building, though.

Brian (DCMR):    The baby. Yep, all right. And was it like talent shows or you were all in band or after, it was purely after school?

Chris:     [inaudible 00:02:42] music, so ...

Brian:     Our first show was a sweet 16 party.

Seth:     Yeah.

Brian:     For one of our classmates. One of your classmates.

Chris:     Yep.

Brian:     And then ...

Brian (DCMR):    You said "you" pointing to ...

Seth:     Chris.

Brian (DCMR):    Chris' classmate.

Brian:     Yeah, sorry. Yeah, because we were all in different grades. Chris was ...

Brian (DCMR):    I see.

Brian:     Yeah, Chris was in the grade above me and then Seth was in the grade below me.

Brian (DCMR):    Got it.

Brian:     Yeah, it's a little confusing there. But then we played ... We would do spiritual teen night. [crosstalk 00:03:12] That was an interesting experience. That was one of our early shows.

Chris:     Yeah. School events and then non-school events. We kind of gravitated away from those and then, yeah, just kind of started doing our own thing and learning a lot of cover songs and writing progressively less worse songs, I think is the important part.

Brian (DCMR):    It's evolved over time.

Chris:     Yeah.

Brian (DCMR):    Where did the harmonies come in. Did you all automatically know how to do that or did you learn over time?

Brian:     Well, we started doing a lot of cover shows, so we started covering a lot of The Beatles. Chris is a huge fan of The Beatles, and so he really likes to get it, dig into all the different harmonies so that we can authentically replicate the harmonies that are in The Beatles' songs. So we've kind of been learning from them.

Chris:     There's a really great YouTube series by this Italian ex-opera singer-producer.

Seth:     I didn't even know you liked The Beatles until now.

Chris:     There's this guy named [Gagliasso Fudu 00:04:01]. I'm probably butchering his name, but he's this crazy opera singer and he has a series where he analyzes all The Beatles' tracks, going through each of the individual harmonies. The stuff that he uncovers is pretty mind-boggling. You listen through She Loves You and all that.

Brian (DCMR):    Wow.

Chris:     Yeah, so we study that. It's like our Bible.

Seth:     Yeah.

Brian (DCMR):    So studying The Beatles and then incorporating some of that knowledge into your own music.

Brian:     Absolutely.

Chris:     Just copying it, basically.

Seth:     A lot of the harmonies, though, like before that, they would just come about naturally, just figuring out ideas.

Chris:     I was just copying Seth most of the time.

Seth:     That's true.

Brian (DCMR):    I guess the key is you're playing a lot of chords anyway, so you already kind of know what the notes would be.

Brian:     Oh yeah. We do, sometimes if we're stuck we'll go to the keyboard and we'll just figure out what's going to be the coolest little chord that we could come up with?

Seth:     That's what The Beach Boys would do, honestly.

Chris:     It works well because we have different ranges. I tend to gravitate towards the higher stuff, Brian goes lower, and Seth can kind of go wherever he wants, but he ends up somewhere in the middle.

Seth:     Sometimes I just stay there.

Chris:     To make it sound good, so ...

Brian (DCMR):    Wow. That's awesome. So now, what about you guys outside of music, then? Are you, like personal hobbies or what do you do other than the band? What is life like?

Seth:     I tend to go wherever I want. Chris goes for the high. Brian stays low. [inaudible 00:05:22] I have just recently got back into roller blading. We learned how to roller blade for a music video last year, and I put it away for a while, but I'm starting to roller blade again, so I'm having fun with that.

Chris:     All of the scabs are reopened.

Seth:     Yeah. On my knees already.

Brian (DCMR):    That tough learning curve. Roller blading.

Brian:     We started a Dungeons and Dragons group.

Brian (DCMR):    For real?

Seth:     Yeah.

Brian (DCMR):    That's awesome.

Chris:     It's not that awesome.

Brian:     It's a lot of fun, but ...

Brian (DCMR):    Who's the most Dungeons and Dragons of the three of you?

Brian:     Well, I'm the dungeon master.

Brian (DCMR):    Okay. So Brian is the one.

Brian:     Yeah, so guiding them along in the story. But we've got Hargrove Milk, Seth's character, and then Chris is Brody Brown.

Chris:     Oh my gosh. Brian killed off my character.

Brian:     It's a good time.

Seth:     Yeah, Brian killed his character.

Brian:     In the most recent session, yeah.

Chris:     He's a ghost now, as far as I'm concerned.

Brian (DCMR):    There it is. All right, so we're messing with dungeons, dragons, and ghosts now.

Brian:     Yeah, Dungeons and Dragons and Duskwhales.

Brian (DCMR):    What about you, Chris? Outside of music.

Chris:     Oh boy. Jeez, I eat a lot of salad. [crosstalk 00:06:23] Hanging out in the basement. Go for long walks. I don't know.

Seth:     You read.

Chris:     Yeah, I started reading It. The movie just came out, so I wanted to read that book. It's pretty spooky, so if you want a good scare, pick it up at your local library.

Brian (DCMR):    Like actually having nightmares from reading this?

Chris:     Yeah, if you enjoy having nightmares, this is the place to go.

Brian (DCMR):    This is the, okay.

Chris:     Stephen King.

Brian (DCMR):    Oh man, yeah, Stephen King, he delivers on that for sure.

Seth:     Oh yeah.

Brian (DCMR):    What about you guys? What's the ... Let's say the biggest success moment that comes to mind when you think about The Duskwhales?

Seth:     I'd say playing at the 9:30 Club.

Brian (DCMR):    Awesome. When was that? Tell me that story.

Seth:     We'd just, it was the last day of our, not the tour, but the tour before that. So it was end of our tour and we got to just play at the 9:30 Club, which was ridiculous because it's the best venue in DC, possibly that I've ever been to or have seen a show. I've seen every band that I love there, like Of Montreal and ... There's too many bands to even think of, but it was just, to be on that stage was humbling and empowering. It was really cool.

Brian (DCMR):    That's awesome. All right, 9:30 Club. That'd be it. Now, what about ... You were talking about those other bands, so let's have fun with this one. Each of you guys, what's one thing in your music collection that might surprise us?

Brian:     One thing in our music collection.

Brian (DCMR):    They're laughing, by the way, right now, so this is going to be good, if you can't see them.

Seth:     That's real extreme, though.

Brian:     Something that we listen to. Oh my goodness. Yeah, that's the crucial one.

Chris:     Maybe we should pick one for the other person.

Brian:     Yeah, I like that idea.

Brian (DCMR):    All right, so call them out.

Seth:     For Brian, it's Katy Perry Teenage Dream, which is probably one of our best pop albums.

Brian:     Oh my goodness, it's brilliant.

Seth:     It's really good.

Brian (DCMR):    Excellent.

Brian:     It's a geniusly crafted pop album.

Brian (DCMR):    Oh God, Brian, I'm so impressed right now.

Brian:     And everything she's done since then, it hasn't quite been Teenage Dream. That's, what an amazing album.

Brian (DCMR):    It hasn't quite been the same.

Seth:     She had a video where she burned the wig from that era, which was a huge mistake.

Brian:     Yeah.

Seth:     Can't go back. That's Brian's.

Brian (DCMR):    So that's Brian. What have we got?

Brian:     All right, let's see.

Chris:     Digging into Seth's roots, he had a big Emo era.

Seth:     Yeah

Brian:     That's true.

Chris:     So he hit hard on the My Chemical Romance.

Seth:     Still do.

Chris:     And all those ...

Brian:     Yeah, no shame.

Brian (DCMR):    Excellent. This is where if we pulled up next to him at the stoplight, you'd see him in the car, just absolutely singing his brains out.

Chris:     Yeah, just losing it.

Brian (DCMR):    Going for it.

Seth:     Yeah, my car's actually falling apart on the inside because of just hitting it, listening to music.

Chris:     It's a bit on the inside [inaudible 00:08:56]

Brian:     Seth, let's think though. Chris has such good taste in music.

Chris:     What have you got on me?

Brian:     Yeah, what?

Chris:     You got nothing.

Brian:     There's got to be something.

Seth:     What about if we just question what he listens to, like you don't like that he listens to that Australian band Pogo, like that really strange band that just takes Disney songs and-

Brian:     Oh yeah.

Chris:     Oh yeah, well that's ...

Brian:     He likes Disney music.

Chris:     No, okay, so this is-

Brian (DCMR):    Disney music. Oh, so good. [inaudible 00:09:20]

Chris:     Obviously Disney music is great.

Seth:     I'm just thinking of something you didn't like that he listens to.

Chris:     There's this Australian DJ named Pogo who takes little samples from Disney movies and he works them into these weird arrangements. So it's like the entire song is composed up of little bits of Pinocchio and there's a little bit of Snow White, and look, there it goes!

Brian:     It actually is really cool.

Chris:     It's super strange, yeah, and it's ...

Brian (DCMR):    Oh my God. That's amazing.

Chris:     It's kind of electronic stuff.

Brian (DCMR):    Now, one, so my favorite question that I love to ask is if you could offer one piece of advice, what would it be?

Seth:     To anyone?

Chris:     Don't quit.

Brian (DCMR):    It's up to you. Answer it however you like.

Brian:     Yeah, don't quit.

Brian (DCMR):    Don't quit. Say more.

Chris:     Keep at it. Don't get discouraged, because you're probably going to play a lot of shows that don't make you feel the inside, but you might play something that you feel pretty good about yourself. Practice a lot.

Brian:     Yeah, practice.

Chris:     Practice with your full band and with yourself.

Seth:     Practice instrumentally and then practice only with the vocals.

Chris:     Yeah.

Brian:     Yeah, and know who you are and be true to yourself, which is very vague, but know what your dream really is. If your dream is to become famous, then that's ridiculous. That can't be your dream.

Brian (DCMR):    Right. That makes sense.

Brian:     Yeah, but to make music, to make music for other people, you've really got to get your priorities in check.

Brian (DCMR):    Know the direction you're headed in. I like that, guys. Now, if they want to find out more about you and the cool things that are happening with The Duskwhales, where do they go to follow you guys?

Chris:     TheDuskWhales.com, Facebook/TheDuskWhales, @TheDuskWhales on Twitter and Instagram are the main ones.

Brian (DCMR):    Excellent.

Seth:     Or come to a show and get to know us.

Chris:     Yep.

Brian (DCMR):    I was going to say, in person they're ... I'm sitting here with them and they're amazing guys. I hope you get to meet these guys someday.

9/12/17 - Special Guest: EXNATIONS

Thanks to Taylor of the pop group, Exnations, for coming by the studio this week!

^^Episode Audio/Post Is Live - Click Above (might take time to buffer/load, refresh page if you have any issues)^^

Podcast:  iTunesGoogle PlayStitcherPocket CastsPodBeanPlayerFM, or THIS URL in your app of choice



  1. Never About The Money, by EXNATIONS (Pop, Alternative Pop)
  2. Balance it all, by Night Train 357 (Hip Hop)
  3. High Class Girl, by Spencer Joyce (Indie/Indie Rock)
  4. Daylight, by Color Palette (Pop/Rock)
  5. Burn Blue, by Flasher (Rock)
  6. Voodoo Dollhouse, by Catscan! (Indie/Electronic Rock)

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-


Parklife DC article about DC Music Rocks Festival:

The DC Mayor’s 202Creates September celebration of the creative economy is here. All September, there’s going to be events all over the city!  Go attend an event!  Events are listed on the website, and if you know of an event that’s not listed, certainly contact them through the website.  


Edjacated Phools - Check Out The Vibes (13 Song Full Album)
Sub-Radio - Steady (Single)
Pleasure Train - Pleasure Train Vol II (4 Song EP)
The Electric Grandmother - Cancelled (17 Song Full Album)
Caustic Casanova - Pantheon, Vol. 2 (2 song Single)
Lionize - Nuclear Soul (11 Song Full Album)
Soldiers of Suburbia - Rollercoasters (Single)
More Am Than FM - Oh The Places I've Been (5 Song EP)
Surprise Attack - Live At Groove (4 Song Live EP)
The Woodshedders - Talisman (11 Song Full Album

Alex Vaughn - Gotta Have It


Fri Sep 15
Nelly’s Echo @ Rockville Town Square in Rockville MD

Sat Sep 16
Christos DC & Many More @ H Street NE Festival in H St in NE DC

Sun Sep 17
Drive TFC on Boomerang Pirate Ship in Georgetown in NW DC

Wed Sep 20
Human Country Jukebox @ Madam’s Organ in Adams Morgan in NW DC

Thurs Sep 21
Backbeat Underground @ Gypsy Sallys in Georgetown in NW DC
Vintage #18 @ Backyard BBQ at the National Building Museum in Chinatown in DC





Exnations DC Music Rocks

It sounds exaggerated to say that EXNATIONS’ love of creating music knows no bounds, but that is quite literally case. Sal Mastrocola (vocals/guitar/synth) resides in Brooklyn, just a few state boundaries away from Dan Ciarrocchi (guitar) and Taylor Hughes (drums, synth) in the DMV . Through the miracles of file sharing, home-recording software and caffeine, they present “Never About the Money," their latest single that came to life from multiple East Coast cities. Drummer, Taylor Hughes says, “We were never all in the same room during this process, Sal recorded vocals in his bedroom, Dan recorded guitars with Chris Freeland(Future Islands, Wye Oak) and drums were done with JK Royston out of his studio in Richmond, VA. We’re literally all over the place”. The band plans to release an EP in the coming months in addition to playing shows throughout the East Coast to support its release. 

All your links/URLs:



Twitter: @exnationsband

Instagram: @exnations

Exnations DC Music Rocks
Poodell, The Poodle, as discussed at the end of the interview with Taylor!

Poodell, The Poodle, as discussed at the end of the interview with Taylor!


Brian:     On DC Music Rocks, we are shining a spotlight on the great songs and incredible people behind the DC region's local music scene. EXNATIONS is a pop trio with connections to northwest DC. It sounds exaggerated to say that EXNATIONS' love of creating music knows no bounds, but that is quite literally the case.  While Sal resides in Brooklyn, Dan and Taylor are in the DMV region. And through the miracle of file-sharing, home recording software, and caffeine-

Taylor:     So much caffeine.

Brian:     So much caffeine, they present their latest single that you just heard, Never About the Money. I first stumbled across these guys back, last year, I just, I became an EXNATIONS fan, and I've been following them ever since. And it is such a treat to now have you hear live with me. Taylor, this is awesome, thanks for being here.

Taylor:     I feel like I've known you forever, but through the internet.

Brian:     Right? I was gonna ...

Taylor:     Internet is a weird place.

Brian:     It really is, but it's an amazing place, I love it, very cool. Alright so, right off the bat, talk about EXNATIONS. It's a three state deal, like how did EXNATIONS come together?

Taylor:     Okay, well, I had met Dan, the guitar player, long time ago on the internet of all places.

Brian:     Excellent.

Taylor:     We've been Facebook friends for forever, we've been kind of in the same circle. He was in a band called Parks Landing a while back, and I'd always liked the work he'd done. And when I was going through a line up change, Dan was one of the first people that came to mind.

     So I met up with Dan and we clicked right off the bat. And we're like, "We need to find a singer." And he hit up an old college friend, Sal, to see if he'd be interested, or know anybody who'd be interested in doing this project. And Sal was interested, so the next week probably, I went up to Brooklyn, I met him in a record shop in Brooklyn.

Brian:     Wow.

Taylor:     And about an hour of just chatting and looking at records together, I was like, "I want him in my band. I'm not gonna meet with anybody else while I'm here," because I was supposed to meet up with someone. I went over my time with Sal, and I was like, "This is the man, I want him," so that's kind of how it started.

Brian:     Wow, very cool. And now, the name EXNATIONS, where does that come from?

Taylor:     Well originally, we were going to be called Nations, and we realized that was a really hard name to pull off, because when you Google Nations ...

Brian:     So true, you would never win the SEO or the search engine optimization battle on Google to find your band in the keyword, Nations. This is so true.

Taylor:     Yeah. So we thought the EX was cool we had all come from different bands before, so it was kind of all these ex band members making one new thing, I.e., nation, so it just kind of rolled into the same name, and that's how it was born.

Brian:     Nice. So the exes were your influence on your name, that's really ... It's sort of, there are so many ways to take that, but I really dig it. That's fun.

     Alright, and now, you're DC, where are you from? You're local here.

Taylor:     I am local. I was actually born in Baltimore. I spent the shortest stint of time in Georgetown, I was working at Madewell in Georgetown. But I actually moved back to Baltimore, but I still frequent this area because I love it so much.

Brian:     And then more about the DC connection then ... Well okay, so a little bit of time in Georgetown, and then here quite often?

Taylor:     Yeah, and my previous members of EXNATIONS, who I originally met you with, they are actually from DC. So that was kind of like the big DC connection. I was here with them.

Brian:     Cool, so it's a whole generation of DC going on here, in a way.

Taylor:     Yes.

Brian:     Wow. Alright, and now, talk about you on the personal side now, outside of the music thing, what's life like for you outside of that?

Taylor:     I have a poodle who's named Poodle.

Brian:     No, no, you have a poodle named Poodle, for real?

Taylor:     Yes, yes I do.

 You guys can check him out on Instagram. His username is Poodell

Brian:     And that way you can never forget what type of dog he is.

Taylor:     Exactly.

Brian:     Because if you're wondering, Poodle is a poodle. Oh my god, that's funny.

Taylor:     In a bow tie.

Brian:     Oh no, alright, I'm gonna go stalk you on Instagram for that, that's really funny. Alright, and what else, so there's a poodle.

Taylor:     There is the Poodle.

Brian:     Okay.

Taylor:     I like to skateboard, I like to just generally goof off. I watch a lot of really really bad TV on purpose.

Brian:     Okay, like what? When you say really bad TV, what does that mean?

Taylor:     I just finished the new version of 90210 the other day.

Brian:     Really?

Taylor:     I put myself thought the trauma of terrible TV. One Tree Hill? Been watching it nonstop since 2004. And I love it, it's like something comforting about how horrible it is, I love it.

Brian:     Oh, man. And to every body out there who loves those shows, we show appreciate you too, but that's really funny.

Taylor:     We should talk about it, like I do love it.

Brian:     Reach out and talk to her about 90210 and One Tree Hill for sure. Oh, man, that's funny.

    Alright, so now back to you as a performer then, talk about the funniest moment that comes to mind when you think about performances and EXNATIONS.

Taylor:     Yes, okay. So this is a fairly new story, it happened over the weekend. I was at Shadow of the City in New Jersey, it's a festival that Jack Antonoff from Bleachers put together, and since we're super close in sound, I thought it'd be a good idea to promote the band there. So I grabbed a bunch of postcards and went in there, and we were right up front on the stage, and I was passing out some postcards or whatever. And this girl just came up to me after I gave her a postcard, right then and there, she came out to me, number one ...

Brian:     Came out to you meaning, so she's a lesbian? Came out to you.

Taylor:     She's a lesbian. I guess I just scream lesbian because ...

Brian:     That's something important that people want to tell you, okay, that's funny.

Taylor:     Yeah, so she came up to me, and she just came out to me, grabbed my face, and kissed me. Like tried to kiss me, and I backed away, I was like, "Ah!" I backed away really quickly. And when she could tell that I was visibly uncomfortable, she tried to give me $6. That's really weird.

Brian:     I don't know whether to take that as a complement because she even almost wanted to pay you for the kiss, or whether that's an insult because it's only freaking six bucks, what the heck.

Taylor:     Well the way that I took it, I was worth more than $5, and worth more than $1, so she combined them and gave me the most ultimate gift that she possibly could put together in her inebriated state.

Brian:     Oh, alcohol was involved, now I get it.

Taylor:     Oh yeah.

Brian:     Okay. Oh man, I love that. Alright, so now, so what's something in your music collection that might surprise us?

Taylor:     I am a huge, huge pop fan. Buried beneath all of the Sonic Youth and ...

Brian:     Wait a minute, but you are a pop artist?

Taylor:     But I mean like pop pop, like Taylor Swift, Spice Girls, yes.

Brian:     Yes, okay.

Taylor:     Yes, I love, love, love top 40s pop. And I'm so open about it. I used to have it as like a guilty pleasure kind of thing, but now I'm so open and honest about the pop that I hold dear to my heart.

Brian:     So favorite Spice Girl's song, it's time to admit it.

Taylor:     Am I gonna basic if I say, If You Wanna Be My Lover?

Brian:     You gotta be with my friends.

Taylor:     Yeah, I had all the Spice Girl Barbie dolls as a child. Still have them, still have them, guys.

Brian:     Oh, that is excellent, I love it.

     Alright, so now, go back to the beginning now. When you started performing then, what's your first memory with music? How did music enter your life?

Taylor:     I was five, and I actually asked for a drum kit. I always knew that I wanted to play drums, and my parents hated that. They're like, "We cannot give this rambunctious five year old a drum kit, like we cannot do it." So they took me to the music store and got me an electric guitar with no amplifier, and closed the door.

Brian:     And how old were you when this happened?

Taylor:     I was five.

Brian:     Wow, okay.

Taylor:     So I had this Fender Strat that I would take to elementary school with me, that was pretty much the same size of me, because we had show and tell at school.

Brian:     Right. Oh, excellent.

Taylor:     So I would always take my guitar that was bigger than me, and play them, I think Mary Had a Little Lamb was my strong suit at the time.

Brian:     Oh my goodness.

Taylor:     Yeah, it was pretty long.

Brian:     So it started with guitar. And now ... and you know I realized we didn't even mention, so what do you play in the band? And what does everybody else play in the band? Who are the members now?

Taylor:     I'm the drummer. I also play synth and dabble in bass in the studio, I don't play bass live or anything.

Brian:     Okay.

Taylor:     Dan is the guitarist, and he does vocals. And Sal is the singer, guitarist, and he also does some synth.

Brian:     Got it. And so it's three pieces going on?

Taylor:     Yep.

Brian:     That's it, and you're the drummer, nice. Along with synth and some other things.

     Well so then your earliest ... I'm gonna switch gears. If you could offer, and this is just my favorite question, and I just want to jump to it because I'm excited about it. If you could offer one piece of advice, what would it be?

Taylor:     This is geared towards all the ladies that are playing music, and it's something that you'll experience time and time again, especially when you go to a music store, stand your ground. Don't let people try and school you on something you already know. Does that make sense? I feel like I get the ...

Brian:     Yeah, what's an example? It seems like you have experience with this. What comes to mind?

Taylor:     Oh yeah. I almost feel like I'm being tested sometimes with the guys in the industry. They don't really believe that you know what you're talking about, or that you can play, you always kind of have prove yourself time and time again. So when you're at the music shop, and you're going in there for something specific, and they try and explain to you what you're looking for ...

Brian:     Don't take that.

Taylor:     Don't take it.

Brian:     Tell them you already know. I love it. Alright, all the ladies out there, you heard it, stand your ground in the music store.

Taylor:     Do it.

Brian:     I love it. That is really cool. And for those folks who liked the song and want to follow you and the upcoming EP you said that's gonna be released, where do they go to follow EXNATIONS?

Taylor:     You can find everything at exnations.com. We're on Spotify, Apple Music, super easy to find.

Brian:     Fantastic. And exnations.com, and then are you social media as well?

Taylor:     Oh yeah, you can find all of that right on EXNATIONS. And more importantly, for social media, you have to go to instagram.com/poodell.

Brian:     Spell that, what is that, P ...

Taylor:     It's P-O-O-D-E-L-L, that's my poodle's Instagram.

Brian:     Oh my god, your poodle has an Instagram. Oh god, I don't know what to say, I don't know whether to be really excited or just laugh hysterically.

9/5/17 - Special Guest: Singer-Songwriter, Matt Tarka

Thanks to Matt Tarka, Singer-Songwriter from Montgomery County, for coming by the studio this week!

^^Episode Audio/Post Is Live - Click Above (might take time to buffer/load, refresh page if you have any issues)^^

Podcast:  iTunesGoogle PlayStitcherPocket CastsPodBeanPlayerFM, or THIS URL in your app of choice



  1. Battle Scars, by Laura Farrell (Indie, Folk)
  2. Very Little, by Matt Tarka (Rock)
  3. You and I, by The Sidleys (Rock/Soul)
  4.  Afraid of the Rain, by Yellowtieguy (Rock)
  5. Woman in Black, by Tomato Dodgers (Funk/Interstellar Funk)
  6. Bruises, by Bells and Hunters (Rock/ Blues Rock)

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-


     Thank you so much for your love and support of the DC Music Rocks Festival, which happened on Saturday 9/2.  To see 100+ pictures and videos everyone took at the event, go on instagram and check out the hashtag #dcmusicrocks930.  Thank you so much to everyone for supporting and coming out to this event.  A BIG thank you to the bands, Christian Hunt of the Capital City Showcase for MCing the evening, Tara G of Logan Circle Events, Rachel Levitin, Taylor Thomas and her husband JD, the 9:30 Club team, and so many more, there’s just so many people that we’re grateful for which helped in the creation of this event!   

     DC Music Rocks was featured in the DCist’s Article “DC’s 9 Best Local Music Podcasts.  Also featured friends of ours such as Sean Russell who was last week’s featured guest and his podcast “The Circus Life”, another one of our favorites, “Hometown Sounds”, the guys from “chunky glasses” that we’re dying to meet, and so many others.  Hope you’ll check it out, and thank you so much to Julie Strupp and the DCist for the spotlight!  We’re grateful and honored!


Allthebestkids - Confetti/Unafraid (2 Song Single)
Ms. Fridrich - Last Brick Laid (4 song EP)
Joshua Rich - Come On Over (14 Song Album)

Allthebestkids - Confetti

Paperhaus - Nanana


Fri Sep 8
Black Masala @ Songbyrd Music House in Adams Morgan in NW DC
Lauren Calve @ Gypsy Sally’s in Georgetown in NW DC
Taylor Carson @ Jammin Java in Vienna, VA

Sat Sep 9
Nappy Riddem & Rare Essence @ 202 Arts & Music Festival on M St in SW DC

Sun Sep 10
Leo & Cygnus, Hayley Fahey Music @ Takoma Park Folk Festival near Silver Spring, MD
Den-Mate @ DC9 Nightclub by U St in NW DC

Mon Sep 11
FuzzQueen @ Black Cat near 14th & U in NW DC

Wed Sep 13
Lionize, Tomato Dodgers @ Black Cat near 14th & U in NW DC
Veronneau CD/Album Release Party @ Blues Alley in NW DC

Matt Tarka



Matt Tarka DC Music Rocks

Have you ever had a moment where you’ve realized that you were late to the party, that you’ve spent too much energy on trying to please the wrong people or you’ve been deceived by those closest to you? If the answer is yes then the rock-inflected folk music of DC-based artist Matt Tarka will speak directly to you. Weaving isolated moments of heartbreak and rejection into his songs he continues the traditions of artists such as Tom Petty, Wilco and Carole King.

These themes flow from his new EP, Vision Hazy - recorded at Low Watt Recording in Savannah, GA with Ted Comerford (Jukebox The Ghost, Jonas Sees in Color) at the production helm, and subsequently mixed by Mitch Easter (R.E.M, Pavement, Dinosaur Jr.) at The Fidelitorium in North Carolina. Taking his folk origins and unleashing them, with the help of the occasional guitar flourish or fluttering drumbeat, the record sees Tarka bolster his sound with a rockier element. Sonically it’s his most advanced creation to date.

The considered nature of the tracks belies the slightly chaotic nature of his creative process. Ideas are roughly written down on index cards, notebooks, on scraps of paper left under the bed in case of night-time inspiration, or recorded into a dictation machine. Out of these assorted thoughts come the lyrics, which then shape the sound of his music. Demos are recorded onto an old cassette recorder, giving them a timeless feel from the very outset, and order is finally formed from his disorderly ruminations.

It’s a process that has evolved since his debut in 2008, as Tarka continues to follow his muse. As he says himself, ‘don’t let anyone tell you what kind of music you should be making, or how you should be making it. There are enough outside distractions in the world. Be true to yourself.’ You can hear this mantra ringing out in his honest lyrics and heartfelt delivery.

In an intimate live setting Tarka’s music takes on a different lease of life, careening and questing further from his tight recordings. Having already played in Baltimore, Philadelphia, NYC and DC (anywhere with a barbeque joint nearby), with new shows coming up there’ll be plenty of chances to hear the songs of Vision Hazy performed live. You needn’t worry if you’re late in discovering the sounds of Matt Tarka …. Now’s the perfect chance to catch up! 

EPK: http://www.reverbnation.com/rpk/matttarka

Web: www.matttarkamusic.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/MattTarkaMusic

Twitter: @MattTarka
Instagram: @MattTarka

Matt Tarka DC Music Rocks
Matt Tarka 2.jpg


Brian:     On DC Music Rocks, we're shining a spotlight the great songs, and incredible people behind the DC region's local music scene. So Matt Tarka is an artist from Montgomery County. He describes his style as rock inflected folk, which we definitely heard in that track right there, for sure. He continues the tradition of artists such as Tom Petty, Wilco, and Carol King, by weaving isolated moments of heartbreak and rejection into his songs. And yet, he's a smiley, positive dude. He's sitting here with me. I first came across this guy because my Show coordinator, Daniel Hill, the yellow tie guy helps me put this together, and he and Matt know each other. He introduced me to Matt's music, and I've been a huge fan. So Matt, thanks for being here man.

Matt:     Yeah, thanks for talking to me.

Brian:     You're welcome. I'm glad we got that out of the way. So now tell us about you. When did music enter your life? How did that happen?

Matt:     Probably fourth grade. I started off playing alto sax in elementary school, and middle school band. Continued that track for about four or five years, just playing in elementary school and middle school band, and then later on I think ... What eventually happened was it was baseball season, and I was in early high school. A friend of mine to convince my mom and dad that I should join a band that he's starting right now, that it kind of looked like I could play bass. So without really any knowledge of what was going on, my friend Jeff decided to con my parents into buying four string Peavey Fury bass guitar. So I think that was really ... I always really enjoyed rock and roll music and stuff before that, but I think that really kind of solidified the deal.

Brian:     The four string bass sucked you in, huh?

Matt:     Sucked me in-

Brian:     That's amazing-

Matt:     [crosstalk 00:02:02] Peavey Basic 60 solid-state amp, that I just tormented my parents with for years [crosstalk 00:02:09]-

Brian:     It sounds like such fond memories that you and them both have, absolutely. Now Montgomery County, were you born and raised there? Or was that-

Matt:     No, I'm not originally from Montgomery County. I'm originally from Hershey, Pennsylvania.

Brian:     No way, Hershey Park, Pennsylvania?

Matt:     Hershey Park, yeah-

Brian:     That's what you're talking about, okay.

Matt:     So I had an amusement park and a chocolate factory in my backyard. It was a charmed life.

Brian:     Every kid's dream.

Matt:     Yeah-

Brian:     Right there-

Matt:     Yeah, charmed life I led.

Brian:     And when did you get to DC?

Matt:     Late 2001.

Brian:     Got it.

Matt:     I came down here for work.

Brian:     Awesome, have you been here ever since?

Matt:     Yeah.

Brian:     That's awesome, and now what about, so obviously music is a big part of your life, outside of music, what do you do? Hobbies, interests, what do you got?

Matt:     I'm an avid swimmer.

Brian:     What does that mean?

Matt:     Well, I-

Brian:     Twice a week, three times a week? How far?

Matt:     About three times a week. I usually swim consistently for about an hour or so, just continuously swimming laps.  Focus on freestyle, and breaststroke, and all that good stuff. I think it's a good cardiovascular activity, and [crosstalk 00:03:22]-

Brian:     Were you on the swim team as a kid or something?

Matt:     Meditative as well.

Brian:     Yeah.

Matt:     Yeah, I was on a swim team growing up. I think beginning of first or second grade.

Brian:     Oh wow-

Matt:     And continued on through middle school. So about the time that the saxophone lessons ended was when I decided to end my time on the swim team.

Brian:     Wow, alright-

Matt:     And really focused on music.

Brian:     I gotcha, so lots of swimming. What else?

Matt:     Let's see, I'm a huge college basketball fan.

Brian:     Really? Which team?

Matt:     Go Tar Heels. UNC-

Brian:     There it is-

Matt:     I'm a diehard Tar Heels basketball fan. It originates back to ... In the late '80s I was a fan of a player named Jeff Lebo, who kind of grew up around my hometown in Carlisle. So I sort of followed his career when I was younger and-

Brian:     Yeah-

Matt:     Yeah, went to he and his dad's basketball camp that he had, growing up around my house. So getting that sort of encouragement from somebody that I idolized I thought, this seems like a good school, a good college basketball school to follow. So that was my indoctrination into the world of the Carolina Tar Heels basketball-

Brian:     There it is. Go Tar Heels-

Matt:     History-

Brian:     I love it. Alright, now what do you have in your music collection that might surprise us?

Matt:     Well, I'm a huge fan of Dinosaur Jr., even though a lot of the music that tends to fall out of my head is more folk rock. A band like Dinosaur is just extremely aggressive from a decibel point of view.

Brian:     For those folks who don't know Dinosaur, what kind of music is it? Are we talking hardcore heavy metal?

Matt:     I think it originated in hardcore, but it just gradually worked its way out of hardcore somehow, and it's just really loud, melodic metal, with a little bit of a classic rock, Black Sabbath bend towards it.

Brian:     Wow, alright-

Matt:     But the main vocalist has I think a lot of influences with Neil Young.

Brian:     Got it, and that name one more time, if people want to check that out.

Matt:     Dinosaur Jr.

Brian:     Dinosaur Jr.

Matt:     They're a band based in Amherst, Massachusetts-

Brian:     Oh, look at that-

Matt:     They've been around for I think a little over 30 years.

Brian:     Wow, okay-

Matt:     Yeah, so they've got some history.

Brian:     And what about ... So funniest moment that comes to mind when you think on your music career so far?

Matt:     The funniest moment that comes to mind? Well, I was playing an open mic at now a defunct music venue in Bethesda. I was playing an original song called Indigo Bunting. That's off my first EP called Motorcycle Breakfast. One of the owners of this particular establishment told me, "Hey, I really like that song, but it sounds like you are doing a really terrible job of impersonating Elvis Costello." I was just kind of like, "What the heck are you even saying right now?"

Brian:     I see-

Matt:     It sounds nothing like Elvis Costello, but if I was a sucky version of Elvis Costello at that point in time, there are worse compliments, or lack thereof, that could be shared with you after you performed.

Brian:     I was gonna say, that'd be a funny moment, but I think I'd try to find a way to look at that one positively, just because I got compared to Elvis Costello. So I guess if that's what he thinks of when he hears you, then there's a lot worse ways that could go. That's for sure.

Matt:     Yeah, I took it a little bit harsh at first, but afterwards I just thought, whatever.

Brian:     It's kind of funny.

Matt:     Yeah.

Brian:     Wow, that's wild. Now tell us a story about a time you tried and failed.

Matt:     Tried and failed? There were plenty to count, but to really just pinpoint one in particular, I was at an IOTA Open Mic trying out some new material. And for some reason, my body temperature was going all over the place. Some of it might've had to do with the fact that it was over 100 degrees outside. My instrument was all out of whack. I hadn't humidified, probably the way that I should have, leading up to this Wednesday night open mic. My pick hand just was really clamming up. I just couldn't get my act together. There were at least two or three instances where I just dropped my pick halfway through certain songs. It felt very, deeply pathetic at the time. You get people saying, "Yeah, keep going, keep going." But at that point, the songs are just kind of ... It's sort of a done deal. I wasn't going to make the impression with this material that I was really proud to share for the first time.

Brian:     Yeah, man-

Matt:     So that was a sincere failure.

Brian:     So how'd you pick yourself up off the ground from that one? Because I mean, you gotta move past these things. You're still here doing this, so that didn't kill it for you.

Matt:     Honestly, I just picked up the pick and said, "Well, let's give it another shot. Let's keep going."

Brian:     Yep.

Matt:     Let's just keep going.

Brian:     You know, sometimes you have to do that. So then, my favorite question to ask on this one is, if you could offer one piece of advice, what would it be?

Matt:     Play shows. Honestly, play shows. Don't be afraid to try new material. Connect with your local artist. Go out and support them. Utilize any open mics that are happening in your hometown to meet other musicians. It's a great opportunity to not just hear new music, but potentially show swap, or set up shows with one another. I think the more opportunities you give yourself to bounce your own ideas off of your fellow artists, you create that sort of support, and reciprocity. I think you grow as a person, you grow as an artist. People, they will be more inclined to come out to one of your shows, and follow what you're up to on a regular basis.

Brian:     Absolutely-

Matt:     For me, it's all about giving back to a scene that you're a part of in whatever way you feel is true to you.

Brian:     Yep, I mean, I created a radio show about it. So I feel you on that, pay it forward, absolutely. So if folks want to find out more about you, and follow what you got going on, where do they go?

Matt:     Well, they can go to MattTarkaMusic.com. The easiest way to remember my last name is that it rhymes with parka.

Brian:     You clever man you, look at you go, parka-

Matt:     With a T-

Brian:     Parka with a T, okay-

Matt:     [crosstalk 00:10:42] music, MattTarkaMusic.com. You can follow me on all kinds of different social media-

Brian:     Yep, which one is your favorite?

Matt:     [crosstalk 00:10:49]. My favorite right now is probably Instagram.

Brian:     Lot of Instagram?

Matt:     I haven't used it as much as I've wanted to, but I really enjoy the sort of instant gratification of it. I also like Twitter. Facebook is okay. I also put out a newsletter through ReverbNation that you can sign up for as well.

Brian:     Cool, and so all of these places, obviously if they tune into those, they'll also find out about that upcoming EP you've got coming out?

Matt:     Absolutely, yes.

Brian:     Fantastic, and what was that date again? September-

Matt:     It's September 29.

Brian:     Nice, and it's called?

Matt:     It's called Vision Hazy.