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Annie Stokes

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!

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FROM TODAY'S SHOW

MUSIC

  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<-

ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

Sponsorship:
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
https://www.arlingtonmedia.org/1st-annual-celebration-arts-arlington

NEW RELEASES

Music:
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)

THIS WEEK'S LOCAL DC SHOWS TO SEE

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


https://www.patreon.com/dcmusicrocks
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

VIDEO - BIO - LINKS - TRANSCRIPT

BIO:

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
Calabasas.jpg

INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT

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.

6/6/17 - Special Guest: Katie Hargrove

Thanks Katie Hargrove for joining us on this week's epic episode!  Lots of laughs and a great time!

^^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

FROM TODAY'S SHOW

MUSIC

  1. Flood by Annie Stokes (Indie/Folk)
  2. Save Me by Katie Hargrove (Pop/R&B)
  3. Good Kind of Crazy by Haley Fahey (Rock/Indie Rock)
  4. New Regent by Hyetension (Hard Rock/Rock)
  5. Devastation by Elizabeth II (Hard Rock)
  6. Hearts Intact by Ms. Fridrich (Rock/Indie Pop)

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Brian used the "Upbeat Play It Loud" playlist from DCMusicRocks.com to clean and pack his house while moving last week.  Definitely recommended next time you’ve got around the house work to do!

Donations are requested for the Fort Reno Summer Concert Series.  http://www.fortreno.com/

2017 New Releases Playlist added to the website, so you can more easily find the new ones we're referring to each week!

NEW RELEASES

Jackie & the Treehorns - Writer (single)
Annie Stokes - Flood (single)
Sub-Radio - Up (single)

THIS WEEK'S LOCAL DC SHOWS TO SEE

These are just a few we mentioned on the show, there's some every night, visit our Local Music Calendar to browse them all! 

Fri-Sun, June 9-11
VA Southpaws, Sub-Radio, Wylder, Jason Masi & MORE @ Celebrate Fairfax Festival in Fairfax, VA

Fri June 9
Vintage#18 @ Hamilton Loft in DC

Sat June 10
Hayley Fahey Band @ Piney Orchard Street Festival in Odenton, MD
Aaron Myers @ Sixth & I Synagogue in DC

Sun June 11
Heather Mae, Billy Winn @ Capital Pride Festival in DC
Teddy Chipouras @ Jammin Java in Fairfax, VA

Tues June 13
Turtle Recall @ The BullPen in DC

Thurs June 15
Color Palette @ U Street Music Hall in DC
Ken Wenzel @ Blackwall Hitch in Alexandria, VA

->UPDATED LINK! Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-



KATIE HARGROVE

VIDEO - BIO - LINKS - TRANSCRIPT

BIO:

This young, blue-eyed-soul singer is a sultrier kind of pop star. Katie Hargrove’s new self-titled debut EP, released on Transoceanic Records, is “everything I have--rolled into a few bars: it’s real, it’s painful, it’s empowering and it’s true.” Music was always an important part of Katie’s youth. The native of Knoxville, TN, began performing at age 10. She was classically trained and competed nationally in piano, but began to favor the guitar once she hit her teens. Her early influences were Carole King, Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Cash, Dixie Chicks, and Tupac. She continued to sing and write songs through high school and college, especially when things got rocky in her life. “Music is my outlet…during the ups and downs…I knew no matter how silenced I felt, my music would always give me a voice.” After graduating from the University of Florida, she moved to Washington, DC, where she now calls home. After briefly touring and playing at national charitable and community events, she was chosen by the US Dept of the Interior to perform in the Christmas Music Program at the White House this past December.

She has performed alongside Aaron Carter, “American Idol’ Kris Allen, Jason Lancaster, and Death of Paris. But when 21-year old Katie Hargrove stepped into the studio for the first time in Philadelphia, at Morningstar Studios, she almost cried she was so nervous. “I think singer-songwriters wait their whole lives hoping and dreaming of a day when their music will be more that a project,” Katie says. Together with multi-Grammy award winning producer Glenn Barratt (Elton John, Diana Ross, Shirley Caesar, Melody Gardot), producer and industry veteran Jock Wanamaker, and Morningstar engineer Dave Schonauer, Katie sought to “create something bigger than just ‘a song’ or ‘an album’ ” and to let the work resonate on its own merit.  From the hundreds Katie had written, the final songs chosen for the EP were the ones that “kept her up at night”, whose deep, forthright lyrics spoke to the subjects of love, seduction and bargaining with loss. Arranger John Conahan (The Crossing, National Cathedral Choir, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center) and the producers employed a team of luminary musicians to play on the record: strings from the Philly Pops; Grammy-winning trumpet player for Michael Jackson, Matt Cappy; guitarist for R&B legends (the Sound of Philadelphia, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, Gladys Knight, Regina Bell) Ron Jennings, and touring guitarist for Elvis Costello and Amos Lee, Ross Bellenoit. The collaboration generated just the right balance of soul and punch, vulnerability and swagger. And now, with this debut album, Katie delights in her greatest passion: sharing her music with the world. Her music embodies the new generation of strong outspoken female pop singers, and has earned her comparisons to both Adele and to Alanis Morissette.



Links

INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT

Brian:     On DC Music Rocks, we're shining a spotlight on the great songs and incredible people behind the DC region's music scene. Let's get to know our star here, Katie. This young, blue eyed, soul singer is a sultry our kind of pop star. She describes her latest EP as, "Everything I have rolled into a few bars." It's real, it's painful, it's empowering, and it's true. Music was always an important part of Katie's youth. Growing up in Knoxville, TN, she began performing at age 10. She was classically trained and competed nationally in piano. Really, piano?

Katie:     I did.

Brian:     I'm impressed. She's a piano player, but began to favor the guitar once she hit her teens. Her early influences were Carol King, Jimmy Hendrix, Johnny Cash, Dixie Chicks, and Tupac, which is an amazing collection of influences there. She continued to sing and write songs through high school and college, and after graduating from the University of Florida, which by the way I went to Florida State.

Katie:     Rivals.

Brian:     We'll talk about that off the air later. She moved to Washington DC where she now calls home, and her music embodies the new generation of strong, outspoken female pop singers, and there is an amazing generation of those. I first came across her music when I was listening to that track, Be My Baby on the Metro, and it connected with me. Now, listeners, it is such a treat to now have her here in the studio to share her with you. It's with great pleasure that I formally introduce Katie Hargrove.

Katie:     Hi.

Brian:     It is such a treat to have you here. Tell folks, the evolution of music in your life now. I brought up piano, I brought up guitar, go back for us, kind of run us through the progression of how you go to being the recording artist you are today.

Katie:     Wow, I mean, how much time do we have?

Brian:     The shorter version is good.

Katie:     Yeah, my dad played guitar, and he was a singer-songwriter growing up. I think I always heard music. I started picking it up and it was never a quiet day at our house, because someone was always playing music. Whether it was my dad and I playing music together, or us going to a show, or listening to a new album, we always picked albums and we would listen to them at dinner. If it was your night, you would play music. I think a little by little it just started to become my life. Around 10, 12, is when I switched to guitar and I started writing my own music. It just blossomed into a thing that I kept up with. Then I started performing in little talent shows, and things at school, and doing drama, and things like that. I think little by little I was like, "I like this. This is good," so I just kind of stuck with it.

Brian:     Wow, and now you moved up to DC, and you recorded this album now. The name of the album is ...

Katie:     It's self-titled, Katie Hargrove.

Brian:     Self-titled, Katie Hargrove. At what point did you decide, okay, I'm going to record this album? How did that happen?

Katie:     That's kind of a long story. Short Cliff Notes version.

Brian:     I've been asking the long story questions, I love it, it's like hitting home runs. Okay, talk to us.

Katie:     I performed for a family friend of mine, who I was introduced to on a back porch. I played Lost Our War, and Save Me, and she cried. She loved the songs, she loved them acoustic, and she has a friend, and he has a studio, and she introduced me to him, and she told me off the bat, "He a tough cookie, and if he doesn't like your music he's not going to be afraid to say that." I was terrified, and I met with him, and of course I was sick, and my voice sounded terrible, and I played, I think I played Lost Our War and The Last, which are both on the album. I remember him just shaking his head, and Jock, he's one of the producers on the album, he was like, "Yeah, okay. Well, send me all of your music and we'll start talking about this." I was like, "Nothing is ever going to happen. He hated it." At the time I was working at ...

Brian:     This is how he lets you down easy.

Katie:     Yeah I was like ...

Brian:     He's just like, "Oh yeah, yeah it's good. Yeah, we can go out on it."

Katie:     I was working at Vans, the shoe store, at the time. I was like, "I have to get to my shift, I don't know what I'm doing here." Little by little we started cultivating through email, and he was like, "I have this studio up in Philly, and you should come up," and blah, blah, blah. It just became a thing. Then it was like, "Okay, I should probably accept this is happening, that we're going to go to a studio and record this." The best part is I had never been in a studio, ever, I had never toured a studio.

Brian:     Wow.

Katie:     I had never done any of that. To walk in and be surrounded by these incredible musicians, I mean, one of the other producers, Glenn Barratt, he worked with Diana Ross, and Melody Gardot, and I mean it was just intense. You know? I'm sitting here, like little girl who wrote all of these songs in her bedroom, and then, "Oh there's Matt Cappy, Michael Jackson's trumpet player, it was just ... It was insane.

Brian:     Wow.

Katie:     Yeah.

Brian:     Now so you worked with all of them then. Well let me back up, so when I went and saw you, I caught you at the Ellipse Rooftop Bar, one of the gigs you had. Now it's just you and your guitar sometimes, you're doing the singer-songwriter thing.

Katie:     Yep.

Brian:     On the album there's a lot, all kinds of strings, and amazing sounds. Talk about how did your guitar singing turn into all of that.

Katie:     I sent them hundreds of songs and they chose a select handful of songs.

Brian:     Wait, wait, hundreds?

Katie:     I sent them a lot of songs.

Brian:     Okay.

Katie:     All recorded on my phone.

Brian:     On your iPhone. Okay.

Katie:     Yeah. They picked out the ones that they thought were the punchiest, most ear catching tunes that they could make into something that would be radio worthy, you know, I had never been on the radio, I had never really promoted myself in that way. I sent them all to them and I guess John Conahan, he was the arranger on the album, and he wrote out everybody's music, and everything. I think Jock, John, and Glenn, all kind of got together and created this musical piece. Before we would sit to record every song, they would kind of give me what they thought was going to happen. Like, "This is kind of what we've arranged. What do you think about it?" We'd kind of bounce ideas around, and come up with something we were all comfortable with. I was very comfortable in the studio, and I think they really made it a place where it wasn't just like, "Well, this is what we've figured out is going to be your song, and that's it, and here you go." It was beautiful. It was the chance to really cultivate something as a group, and it was all in like four days.

Brian:     Wow.

Katie:     Yeah.

Brian:     What an epic weekend and what a great result. My compliments to John, and Jock, and ...

Katie:     Glenn.

Brian:     ... and Glenn, for the amazing arranging.

Katie:     Yeah.

Brian:     Just amazing, I love the result that came from that. Now talk about you on the personal side. Outside of the music thing, what is life like for you? Hobbies, what's outside of music?

Katie:     I love working out. I do solid core, which is like a Pilates class. I like to think it's like a much harder version of a class I've ever done before. It's on like a reformer, and it kicks your butt hard, and I love it.

Brian:     Okay.

Katie:     Let's think, what else? Sadly, I'm really into reality TV.

Brian:     Stop, really?

Katie:     If we're being honest.

Brian:     Okay, all right.

Katie:     If we're being honest and this is the honest me, then yes.

Brian:     Okay. Now tell me more. What does that mean? What do you watch? What is that?

Katie:     I'm just intrigued by people's lives. I feel like there's no need to even watch fiction shows, because people are crazy, and they're so interesting. I don't know.

Brian:     It seems like fiction when you're watching reality TV.

Katie:     Yeah, like Real Housewives, and all these new shows, it's just ... No hate, I love it. Keep it up, you know?

Brian:     What's the latest one that you've been watching?

Katie:     Probably just some version of Real Housewives, or who knows? Yeah, probably Real Housewives.

Brian:     Real Housewives?

Katie:     Or Below Deck, the one about the deck crew.

Brian:     Yeah.

Katie:     I'm into it, yeah.

Brian:     That's awesome.

Katie:     So lame.

Brian:     Okay.

Katie:     It's so lame.

Brian:     All right, now what about ... What's something in your music collection that might surprise us?

Katie:     Like album wise?

Brian:     Yeah, or like song, or artists, or ...

Katie:     I don't know, I've always been into 80s music, I'm a big 80s person. I'm always ...

Brian:     Okay, what does that mean?

Katie:     I love Foreigner, and Been Waiting for a Girl Like You, that's like one of my favorite songs ever. Play it at gigs, and I don't think people realize how much I'm putting in to it. You know what I mean? I'm like, "Okay, you all have to clap, I'm clapping on the inside." I don't know.

Brian:     I think every musician has been through them clapping on the inside too, actually, that's a ... You're there, and you're playing music, and everybody is paying attention to what they're doing, and you are ... Yes.

Katie:     Yeah, you're giving it your all. That's all you can give it, right?

Brian:     That is wonderful.

Katie:     Yeah.

Brian:     I love it. Now you had mentioned your earliest memory with music, you had mentioned your parents, and playing music for the dinner table? Go back to that. Early memories of music.

Katie:     Early memories, we always listened to music at dinner. If it was your night, like if it was your turn, you would play a recent album, or recent song you'd heard. It was your chance to kind of be like, "Oh do you like it? Here it is," like a little indie band you found, my parents kind of just let me have free reign of the computer, which probably could have been a bad thing, but I just searched songs, and I just found all of these different musicians, and I just feel in love with music and kind of cultivated my own style from that.

Brian:     Is there a song that comes to mind that you played for them that was a home run, or something, that comes to mind?

Katie:     I don't know. I think often times I would play them songs thinking I was like the finder, like I would play Carol King, or something, and they would be like, "Yeah, sweetie. Mm-hmm (affirmative), yep, we've heard of her."

Brian:     We've been listening to that for years, yeah.

Katie:     Yeah, so I think I tried really hard to be cool, and my parents were like, "You're great."

Brian:     Excellent, excellent. Now, one of the last questions that I always love to ask on this show is if you could offer one piece of advice what would it be?

Katie:     I would say if music, and being an artist, is really what you want to do, just give it your all. Give it everything you have and even during the days when you think, "This is never going to be anything, and I'm never going to amount to anything as a musician," those are the days you really need to be your number one fan. If I hadn't been that, then I never would have had the chance to even step into a studio and create the masterpiece that I consider my album. No matter what comes of it, I'm proud of it, and that's ... You have to be proud of your work and kind of give it your all.

Brian:     That's hard, how do you get through those days where you just, "God, why am I doing this?" How do you do it? How do you deal with it?

Katie:     I write music, I write songs, I mean Save Me definitely didn't come from a place when I was having a great day. You know what I mean?

Brian:     True, okay.

Katie:     I think those are the times where you have to harness that energy, and that feeling, and emotion, and realize that you're probably not alone in feeling that. There's probably a ton of people who would really love to feel that with you, and be supported in the process.

Brian:     All right cool, and if folks want to find out more about you, and follow you, where do they go?

Katie:     I would say best site would be my website, KatieHargrove.com.

Brian:     Got it, KatieHargove.com. Social media?

Katie:     I'm on Instagram.

Brian:     I always like to ask, what's your favorite one? Because everybody has a favorite one that they always stick to.

Katie:     I mean, for the longest time it's been Instagram. I love Instagram, but recently it's been Twitter. I tweet a lot.

Brian:     A lot of tweeting.

Katie:     Yeah, a lot of tweeting.

Brian:     All right, she's a tweeter guys, look out.

October 25, 2016 - Special Guest: Sean Gotkin

^^Episode Is Live Now - Click Above (might take time to buffer/load, refresh page if issue)^^

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

 

FROM TODAY'S SHOW

NEWS

  1. The DMV Musician facebook group - one of the places to find the musicians and those interested in DC music: https://www.facebook.com/groups/188572531172523/

MUSIC

  1. The Night Is Ours - Turtle Recall (Rock)
  2. Chasing Highs - Higher Education (Reggae/Punk)
  3. Big River - Oh He Dead (Indie/Indie Soul)
  4. Strawberry Moon - Sean Gotkin (Rock/Indie Rock)
  5. Scorched Earth - Crystal Youth (Rock)
  6. Busted Cars & Broken Fences - Annie Stokes (Indie/Folk)
  7. Looking For Water - Lauren Calve (Folk/Roots Rock)
  8. Intro/Outro music by Fellowcraft (Hard Rock/Blues)

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-

SEAN GOTKIN

VIDEO - BIO - PHOTOS - TRANSCRIPT

BIO

Sean Gotkin DC Music Rocks

Sean Gotkin is a Washington D.C. based recording engineer, producer and live sound engineer. He works as FOH lead sound engineer at local, iconic nightclubs the Black Cat and Iota Club and Cafe. As owner and independent operator of Blue Hippo Recordings in Centreville, he has several recorded projects out so far this year, including local rock/R&B group Crystal Youth and singer/songwriter Annie Stokes. Currently he is working on an album with reggae bastions Nappy Riddem. In his live incarnation, Sean has worked with local, regional, and national touring acts, such as Old 97’s, Rogue Wave, Sean Hayes, Kelley Deal (R. Ring), The Peach Kings & Quiet Company. Sean continues to strive to be the best at what he does, his focus and passion constantly trained on the local music scene and the raw talent it has to offer the collective. 

LINKS

https://www.facebook.com/BlueHippoRecords/app/204974879526524/

http://www.bluehipporecordings.com

 

Sean Gotkin DC Music Rocks
sean2.jpg

INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT

Brian:     The track is Strawberry Moon and that was the music of Sean Gotkin. Let me tell you, Sean Gotkin is a fixture in the Washington DC. music scene. He's a Washington DC. based recording engineer, a producer and a live sound engineer. He's lead sound engineer at local and iconic night clubs in DC, The Black Cat and Iota Club and Café. He's the owner and independent operator of Blue Hippo Recordings in Centreville. He has several recorded projects out so far this year including local Rock/R&B group Crystal Youth and singer/song writer Annie Stokes, which we'll hear from a little later. Currently he is working on an album with Reggae Bastians Nappy Riddem, who we've proudly featured on the show, an incredible group. As a musician Sean has also worked local regional and national touring acts such as, Old 97's, Rouge Wave, Sean Hayes, Kelly Deal, The Peach Kings and Quiet Company. Sean continues to strive to be the best at what he does, and his focus and passion are constantly trained on the local music scene. The DC. music scene and the raw talent that it has to offer.

Brian:     The first time I met Sean was running sound at Iota, and he did an incredible job. I've been out to his house, I've seen the amazing things he's done with the recording space, and music is this man's life. It is such an honor and with great pleasure that I introduce to you Sean Gotkin. Say Hi.

Sean:      How you doing man?

Brian:     It is such a treat to have you here man.

Sean:      Thanks for having me here.

Brian:     Thanks so much for coming on the show.

Sean:      I appreciate the invite man. Thank you.

Brian:     That was Strawberry Moon and that was the music. So tell us about Sean Gotkin and the music and tell us about the professional.

Sean:      With Strawberry Moon basically, it's part of an EP I've been currently working on for the past 3 or 4 months. I'll probably be done by early next year and released by the early spring time. This was kind of a fast track single because it was just one of those songs that kind of just came to me very quickly, and there wasn't any waiting around it just kind of flowed out, so I just wanted to get it done and get it out there as fast as possible.

Sean:      As far as professionally, I do music really only part time now because sound pretty much takes up the rest of my free time that I might have.

Brian:     Run us through a week then. If sound takes up most of the time, what does that mean?

Sean:      During the days I'm always in the studio working on something, whether I'm mixing an audio bar, live studio project or one of the bands I'm working with, or just trying to tinker with something or play with sound and see what I can get out of the room. The rest of the time usually 6 sometimes 7 nights a week I'm either at Iota or The Black Cat doing live sound.

Brian:     Wow, so 6 or 7 nights a week, and then during the day. My goodness. Did I see on, I believe I saw on Facebook or something that there's a little one on the way too?

Sean:      There's a little baby girl coming in about 2 to 3 weeks. Cassidy Rose, very excited.

Brian:     Congratulations, that's really exciting.

Sean:      Thank you very much. Appreciate that.

Brian:     A new one on the way which means that your time is just going to get even more precious it sounds like.

Sean:      Even more precious, yes.

Brian:     What about you personally? So we got the sound guy, we've got the musician, now we're finding out that your going to be a papa bear. Tell us about ...

Sean:      For the second time.

Brian:     Already a papa bear, gonna add another one to that, which is no small feat. Tell us more, when your not doing those things what else are you doing?

Sean:      Usually hanging out with my kid Fynn, he's a little 5 year old boy, and he's one of the greatest things in my life, and I just love spending time with him, and talking with him. He's really big into music, I think he's going to be a drummer himself one day. We go down and play in the studio or he has his little toy corvette he loves driving down the street, we take that out.

Sean:      Also, I'm going out scoping out bands I love to go to shows and see new talent, see what's going on, keep my finger on the tab of what's happening here in the scene.

Brian:     You're at Iota and your at The Black Cat all the time, so when your going to shows are you going other places too?

Sean:      I am.

Brian:     Where have you found, is there a hidden gem that you found among the travels at all that you've ...?

Sean:      There's always the hidden gems. I definitely have my favorites out of those hidden gems, but I try to get around to the whole area as far as the bigger venues and the smaller venues, kind of see what's happening in both.

Brian:     Got it. Tell me one thing you love about the DC music scene?

Sean:      DC music scene, what isn't there to love about it? It's pretty amazing it really ...

Brian:     I said one thing.

Sean:      That's the problem it's so hard to narrow it down. I've been engrossed in this scene for a very long time and I grew up in an age where the DC. scene was really blowing up in the late 80's early 90's. Fugazi had made there mark on DC., GoGo had come out of here. I remember that explosion, and then it dried up for a long time. Now the well is just pouring out again with all these amazing artists.

Brian:     Every week on the show there's just so many more, it's so exciting to see them all coming out. Tell us about your, either a best show or a success moment that you have? You said you've been in the business for a long time, so talk about a big success. What comes to mind?

Sean:      A big success, probably one of my favorite shows, probably one of the hardest things I've ever had to do and it came out as close to perfect as possible, was a show that local drummer Ben Tufts put together back in the spring. Itwas an almost tribute show. They were doing two albums back to back and it was 50 interchangeable musicians.

Brian:     50, like 5-0, 50.

Sean:      50, and on top of that a packed sold out room. It was interesting, trying to manage that and get everyone sounding as best as possible and trying to get as faithfully sounding to the records as possible. It was a blast. It flew, flew by.

Brian:     I bet stuff happens really quickly in that kind of scenario, just constantly. That's amazing. Beatles tribute show, amazing one. Tell us about a time that you tried and failed?

Sean:      I've had a few of those moments and through those moments I've found ways to push through and find success. When I first started off I was really hungry, and I was kind of concerned with the amount of people that where in my field and whether I was going to break through. Especially since I started in my mid 30's. I made the mistake that a lot of engineers make at first which taking on way too much at first. Cause you think you can handle it all. Then you kind of realize after awhile, well I'm just a human being and I only have so many hours in the day, it's more important to focus on several bands or one band at a time than it is 5 or 6 bands at a time, and try to manage that with a live career at night.

Brian:     I take it you mean, when you say taking on too much, that means you had 5 or 6 bands that you were trying to record as well as the sound gigs at night.

Sean:      It was a lot. I thought for the longest time, Hey, this is no problem, I got this, and then your just like, okay, I'm kind of letting people down, I'm letting myself down so I need to reevaluate.

Brian:     At what point did you realize this isn't good, this isn't it?

Sean:      It was pretty much the moment that I was brought into the The Black Cat, which was early spring last year and I new that that was going to take up a lot of my time. I kind of quickly reevaluated my situation and ... It's all learning experiences, especially something like this. There's no rule books and you kinda of halve to make it up as you go.

Brian:     Make your way. See how it goes.

Sean:      That's it

Brian:     A lot of tries and fails and experiments and learning it sounds like. You said in there, you mentioned that this was, you started in your 30's. What were you doing before?

Sean:      I've always been into music and sound. My first job doing sound was at The Old Bayou in Georgetown when I was 20 years old. My first night there was Anthrax, Motorhead, and The Deftones playing.

Brian:     That sounds like a night.

Sean:      It was. That's where I got my start and I kind of did it off and on, but then I started doing carpentry for a long time and I owned my own carpentry business. I really just wanted to learn how to build my own house one day or build my own recording studio. After the market collapse I reevaluated that situation and I went back to school to learn Pro tools professionally and that's where I'm at now.

Brian:     That was your late 20's or early 30's?

Sean:      When I owned my construction company it was my mid 20's through my mid 30's and I started picking this up around 30, 35, around when my son was born.

Brian:     Most people are slowing down when there son is born. Look at you go. What do you have in your music collection that might surprise us?

Sean:      That's a great question. I like movie scores, believe it or not.

Brian:     Movie scores, so like tell us a top movie score?

Sean:      For right now I've been listening to a lot of John Byron he was also a masterful producer. He's done Fiona Apple, Kanye West album and Amy Mann. He's done The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind soundtrack. The things he does is unbelievable with the string sections and the back drops and texture and color that he uses, it's mind blowing.

Brian:     It is incredible, and it's a way to hear, people compose. The music comes after the show not before. They don't design the movies around the music. Music is designed around the movies, so it's amazing to see that creative element too. Do you have any rules, as a sound guy or whatever? Are there any rules that you have? There's some musicians that listen and there's some local music fans too. Any rules as a sound guy?

Sean:      Yeah. Supposing that you have a competent sound guy, which there's a lot if us out there. Try to take our advice about the room that we're working in, that's always an important thing. If we ask you to turn your guitar amp down on stage, if your a musician try not to think about that so much as, hey, we're trying to tell you to turn your guitar amp down, we're trying to control the sound as a whole and trying to get everything for the house. So just as an example.

Brian:     I want to go on record and say that I love that you used guitarists as an example. I'm thinking of a few guitarists of the top of my head who love those loud guitars. Sound men appreciate it when you turn it down, that's ... What other rules?

Sean:      Basically, try to come into the venue and not have any preconceived notions we've all as musicians had experiences with bad sound guys. And we know what's that like or less than favorable venues or sound systems. As an artist you have to go into a venue and make the best of the given situation. If your getting something less than desirable, push through and do the best that you can do. If your working in a good room with a good engineer, work with that engineer. Make sure that your, there's a give and take in the conversation there ... Because it's basically as an artist, it's your night. It's all about you and sounding engineer is just there to assist you.

Brian:     The favorite question I always love to ask is, what's one piece of advice that you have to offer?

Sean:      Work hard.

Brian:     Say more.

Sean:      The reason I've gotten where I've gotten, in kind of a short amount of time, is just because I'm out there and I'm doing it. Really is like you said, it's my life and I make it my life, because that's the only way to really be visible and to make a difference on the scene is to be out there, be doing it, work really really hard. Develop a reputation whether your a sound guy, and artist, whatever you may be. Try to be the best of that and if your really good people will start noticing.

Brian:     As evidence of the amazing career that you've had from your mid 30's on. your making tracks. That's amazing. Tell folks if we want to find out more about you and follow you, where do we go?

Sean:      You can go to bluehipporecordings.com, or there's a Facebook page for Blue Hippo Recordings that you can look up or search, or you can find me on Audio Bar on Facebook, which is a podcast that's run out of my studio.