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Black Alley

1/22/19 - Special Guest: Dante Pope

This week on DC Music Rocks, Dante Pope, a soul drummer-vocalist based in Washington, DC, stops by for a chat.  The episode also features great tracks by Kromanauts, Dom Flemons, Jaye Wood, and Black Alley.

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Dante Pope Bio/Links:

Interview Video Link:

Dante’ Pope is a soul drummer-vocalist based in Washington, DC. As a native of Chicago, Illinois he blends his gospel roots with a soulful swing that has been showcased all around the world. Currently, he is an Artist in Resident at the illustrious Strathmore Performance Center in Bethesda, Maryland and percussion instructor for the Levine School of Music. His passion for arts in education has connected him with The Musicianship and the DC Arts and Humanities Council’s grant programs. He creates learning experiences with world class talent for 100 4th-5th graders once a month for The Musicianhsip’s Master Class Series. To date he has assisted in servicing over 1000 students in the DC area.

Most recently,  Dante’ toured with Kenny Wesley and the Soulful Nerd Band to Peru, Bolivia, Colombia, Madagascar, Gabon, and Rwanda through the State Department's, American Music Abroad Program. He served as Music Director for grammy-nominated soul artist Raheem Devaughn and the Crossrhodes, toured the country with Grammy award-winning artists Dom Flemons and Old Crow Medicine Show and has collaborated with a host of many other artists based in various genres from jazz to afrobeat. His versatility as a percussionist is indicative of his outlook on life. Whether teaching or performing, Dante’s smile and happiness is palpable to all around him. 


IG/Facebook: Dante’ Pope

Twitter: dpope25

Dante Pope
Dante Pope



  1. ***Lions in the Street, by Kromanauts (Reggae, Punk)

  2. One Summer’s Eve, by Dante Pope (Soul)

  3. ***Going Down the Road Feelin’ Bad, by Dom Flemons (Folk, Americana)

  4. ***Impatient, by Jaye Wood (Hip Hop, Urban Pop)

  5. Hellen Keler, by Black Alley (Hip Hop, Rock)

***The first time we've played this artist for you on the show, & a new artist profile added to our DC Artist Database!  There's new artists every week!

->’This Week’s Dose Of DC Music’ Spotify Playlist<-

->’DC Music Rocks Show’ MEGA Spotify Playlist<-


The Wammies are back!  What’s different? How does this work?

The Process To Decide Wammie Winners:
-In January, nominations are accepted online from the general public.  
-In February, the Top most nominated in each award category will be scored by a select panel of judges comprised of regional music industry professionals.  
-The finalist with the highest combined score from the judges in each category wins!

Wammie Award Eligibility:
-Must have been a release in 2018, from January 1st, 2018 till December 31st, 2018.
-Artists must be from the Washington, DC region.  This map can be found on our Wammie Awards FAQs page.
-Artists must have a release, that’s widely available, on at least 2 of the main commercial music platforms outlined in the FAQs.

Visit the nomination forms online and nominate as many artists and releases as you’d like for each of the categories.  You can share on your social media pages which artists you nominated and tag them! Spread the word! If you’re an artist, post on your social media page which award category you want your fans to nominate you for and ask them to go vote!  Remember, those with the most nominations from the public in each award category will become a finalist in that category, so the more people and artists involved, the more inclusive the awards show will be!

The FAQs page for The 2019 Wammie Awards contains all official details.
To Nominate:



  • Doublemotorcycle - Doublemotorcycle II
    11 Song Full Album of Hard Rock - Recommended If You Like (RIYL) Blink 182

  • Justin Shapiro - Live at the 9:30 Club
    3 Song EP from the DC Music Rocks Festival at the 9:30 Club, produced by Mark Reiter at Bias Studios



Go see a show! Research shows that it reduces stress and makes you happy!

Our local music calendar, the only place online you can find exclusively where DC’s own talent in a 50 mile driving radius around DC!





Specific playlists we update weekly:

EMAIL SIGNUP LINK - For those who don't already conveniently get all this via email!


Do you like what we're doing?  Would you support us?  We'd love to grow and do more!  There’s little give aways, but for us to evolve this online platform to cover even more we really need funds and support. We're giving away shirts, and more too!  We can do so much more with your support!

HUGE shoutout to our current Patrons! 
**Daniel Warren Hill**    **David Mohl**    **Eli Lev**
**Sarah Byrne**   **Chad Lesch** **M4TR**


Interested in spreading the word to our more than 12,000 DC region followers?

10/23/18 - All Music Episode ft Hip Hop, Funk, Pop, and R&B

We have so many artists and songs we've been wanting to share that we took a week without a guest or news so we could concentrate on playing more music!

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

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



  1. Fire (Live), by Del Florida (Pop/Progressive Pop)

  2. ***Favorite, by DameSmiff (Hip Hop/R&B)

  3. Superstition, by Mark G. Meadows (Jazz/R&B)

  4. Gravity, by Footwerk (Hip Hop/Alternative Hip Hop)

  5. Jinglin’ Janglin’, by Fort Knox Five (Funk)

  6. ***Bleu Chanel, by ARIA (Hip Hop/Trap)

  7. ***Massive Miner, by Igloo Two (Hip Hop/Instrumental)

  8. Block Party, by Chuck Brown (GoGo/Funk)

  9. Connect, by Black Alley (Hip Hop/Rock)

  10. If You Really Cared, by Billy Winn (Pop/EDM)

  11. ***The Beginning to a Beautiful Ending, by The Shinobi of Chernobyl (Hip Hop/Avant-Garde)

  12. Mismatch, by Beau Young Prince (Hip Hop/R&B)

***The first time we've played this artist for you on the show, & a new artist profile added to our DC Artist Database!  There's new artists every week!

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-

Email Signup Link
For those who don't already conveniently get all this via email!


Do you like what we're doing?  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**    **Eli Lev**
**Sarah Byrne**   ** M4TR (Music 4 The Revolution)**


We're looking for local businesses to sponsor us!  Know One?  Would you introduce us to them?

DC Music Rocks All Music Episode Oct 23 2018

6/26/18 - Special Guest: Carolyn Malachi

Thanks to Carolyn Malachi 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. ***Miss Mary Mack, by OnRaé LaTeal (Hip Hop)

  2. Beautiful Dreamer, by Carolyn Malachi (Jazz, R&B)

  3. Houston, by Black Alley (Hip Hop, Rock)

  4. ***Snow Day, by Tony Craddock, Jr. & Cold Front (Jazz, Gospel)

  5. ***Living in a Dream, by Hungry on Monday (Rock, Indie)

***The first time we've played this artist for you on the show, & a new artist profile added to our DC Artist Database!  There's new artists every week!

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-

Email Signup Link
For those who don't already conveniently get all this via email!


LATEST NEWS - DC Music Rocks Festival at 9:30 Club on Aug 18:

WINNERS OF THE TICKET GIVEAWAY - Each Band and DC Music Rocks all conducted a combined giveaway contest of 5 Free Pairs of Tickets Giveaway.  The Following are the winners of the drawing at random from everyone who entered. If you’re friends with any of these people and can tag them, please do, they need to send us a DM on facebook so we can confirm with them and let them know how they’ll pick up their tickets:

  • Jennifer Battle

  • Joellen Welch

  • Griffin Hanes

  • Simon Raqeuelme

  • Emma G

GIRLS ROCK! DC also did their own giveaway of one pair of tickets, congrats to the winner, please send us a message:

  • Lauren Hayes

Have you bought your tickets yet?  What most people often do is wait until closer to the show or on the day of, but in this case, several hundred tickets have already been sold, so I hope you’ll go ahead and buy your tickets now.  They’re only $15!

Festival facebook event link with details:



  • The Jogo Project - Dear Draylen
    (Single, Jazz/Gogo, RIYL Funk or a smooth Chuck Brown)

  • Clutch - How To Shake Hands
    (Single, Hard Rock, RIYL Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath)

  • Mystery Friends - Can’t Say
    (Single, Indie, RIYL LCD Soundsystem, Phoenix)

  • Luke James Shaffer - Last First Kiss
    (Single, Indie, The Lumineers, Mumford & Sons, Zac Brown Band)


*********Exclusive Music Video World Premier On DC Music Rocks*******
Eli Lev - Making Space

Our 2018 New Releases by DC Artists’ Spotify Playlist:

Our ‘DC Artists Official Music Videos’ Youtube Playlist:


Here’s just a few highlights for the coming week, be sure to check out the calendar for the full list of all the upcoming shows!

Jun 29 - Fri

By and By @ MilkBoy ArtHouse in College Park, MD
(Bluegrass, RIYL Nickel Creek, Alison Krauss & Union Station, Shovels & Rope)
Emma G @ District Wharf in DC
(Pop, RIYL Adele, Pink, Tracy Chapman, Alanis Morrissette)
The Duskwhales @ The Loft at The Hamilton in DC
(Indie, RIYL The Beatles, The Doors, Vampire Weekend, The Killers)

Jun 30 - Sat

Black Masala @ The Soundry in Columbia, MD
(Funk, RIYL High energy brass band with eclectic world influences ranging from balkan, funk, soul, gypsy and punk)
Paperhaus @ Rock & Roll Hotel in NE DC
(Indie, RIYL Radiohead, Deerhunter, Kraftwerk)
The Split Seconds @ Black Cat in DC
(Punk, RIYL good classic punk music, Green Day, The Buzzcocks, Deadboys)

Jul 1 - Sun

Jelly Roll Mortals @ Pearl Street Warehouse in DC
(RIYL Classic 20th Century Rock, Country)

Jul 5 - Thu

Jason Masi @ Northside Social in Arlington, VA
(Pop, RIYL Amos Lee, John Mayer, Ben Harper)
Thaylobleu @ Union Stage in DC
(Hard Rock, RIYL Bad Brains, MC5, The Dirtbombs


Do you like what we're doing?  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**    **Eli Lev**
**Sarah Byrne**   **Music 4 The Revolution (Abu Jibran)**

We're Looking For Advertisers/Sponsors

We're looking for local businesses to sponsor us!  Know One?  Would you introduce us to them?

Carolyn Malachi

Video - Bio - Links - Transcript

Carolyn Malachi Bio:

Carolyn Malachi

For Carolyn Malachi, tethering Soul, Blues and Jazz music to Trap, Afrobeat and House music is just one method of elevating the good vibes. She says, "On the path to understanding, music is the intersection where we pause for conversation." The Grammy nominated artist, Fulbright awardee and cryptocurrency enthusiast is also the creator of the GRITS & GARRI podcast. Pulsing through each beat of Carolyn Malachi's electroacoustic sound is this mantra: onward and upward. 



Carolyn Malachi
Carolyn Malachi


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.

                        For Carolyn Malachi, tethering soul, blues, and jazz music to trap, Afrobeat, and house music is just one method of elevating the good vibes. She says, "On the path to understanding music is the intersection where we pause for conversation."

Carolyn:            I said that?

Brian:               You did, and it's such a good quote. This Grammy-nominated artist, Fulbright Awardee, and cryptocurrency enthusiast is also the creator of Grits and Garri podcast, and pulsing through each beat of Carolyn Malachi's electro-acoustic sound is the mantra, "Onward and upward." I came across Carolyn when I started, gosh, many years ... I think I saw you at the Funk Parade, like two years ago-

Carolyn:            Hey, yeah. You were wearing a blue jacket.

Brian:               And you were wearing a very ... Man, it was a shirt and I can't remember what it said but I Instagrammed it because it was so good and I'll have to find it. But anyway, I've been a Carolyn Malachi fan for a long time, so I just have a little personal fanboy moment when I get to say thank you for being here, this is so cool to have you.

Carolyn:            Thanks for having me, this is a pleasure.

Brian:               And so now, talk about you and the story, your connection to DC.

Carolyn:            Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Brian:               Talk about it.

Carolyn:            Brooklyn born. Northeast, I'm a northeast girl.

Brian:               Yeah? That's it.

Carolyn:            Woman.

Brian:               And every since always been, have you ever like gone and come back, or-

Carolyn:            Yeah, you know, I went to school in West Virginia, I lived in Baltimore after that, and I am enjoying being back home now.

Brian:               Nice.

Carolyn:            It's magical.

Brian:               And when you say enjoy being back home, how long have you been back home?

Carolyn:            I've been back home for a few years. A few years, yeah, so it's definitely, when I came back in there were noticeable differences, but I think Washington has always been a city of diversity, it's been a city of change, and the culture here is just beautiful.

Brian:               Definitely. There's so much culture going on, I mean, God there's so many ... Whatever you want, like in the music, for example, on this show we play all different kinds of music and whatever kinda music you want, we have it here in DC for you, it's kind of amazing.

Carolyn:            This is true. This is true.

Brian:               And so now your vibe, have you always been kind of like that smooth jazz and Afrobeat, and has your sound evolved over time? Has it always kinda ... Or did you find your niche in the beginning?

Carolyn:            I think that the music that I've released is sort of indicative of like what my parents used to play for me on the car rides home from school, which is basically the Quiet Storm.

Brian:               The Quiet Storm, keeping you soft and warm, oh yeah.

Carolyn:            Ladies, ladies, ladies, like that vibe, right? But also I mean, I grew up with Pac in my ears, also Alanis Morissette, you know, Creed, just a bunch of different artists. Chuck Brown, you name it, Pat Metheney, Jaco Pastorious, like, Bob Marley. My great grandfather was John Malachi, who was a pianist that played for Sarah Vaughn, so. And Radiohead, I think one of my biggest musical influences is Thom Yorke.

Brian:               Wow.

Carolyn:            So, now I'm in school and I'm working with a lot of like, music tech, so my production style is even evolving to include more of the sounds that I would like to incorporate.

Brian:               Wow. That's wild.

Carolyn:            So I'm really excited about what is being created.

Brian:               And while we're talking about the past, tell us what's your earliest memory with music?

Carolyn:            I'll tell you about my best memory with music. So I saw Pat Metheney at the Strathmore a few years ago.

Brian:               And if they don't know who Pat Metheney is, how would you describe him?

Carolyn:            If you don't know who Pat Metheney is ...

Brian:               You need to get on Google.

Carolyn:            Trippin'! So Pat is like a legendary jazz guitarist. So, I went to hear him at the Strathmore, my first time hearing him live, he had just released his album Orchestrion.

Brian:               Wow.

Carolyn:            And he walked onstage, he played one note, and I was just crying. Just bawling, crying.

Brian:               Wow.

Carolyn:            And so, my dad-

Brian:               Crying ... For why?

Carolyn:            I don't ... Well, this is what I'm getting to.

Brian:               Okay, I totally forgot.

Carolyn:            Before we had walked into the theater, I saw my dad in the audience. I was like, "What are you doing here?" He's like, "I'm coming to see Pat Metheney!" So I was like, "Okay." So there's intermission and we walk into the hallway and I was like, "Dad, I could not stop crying." And he was like, "Oh, that's because I used to play Pat Metheney's music when you were in your mother's womb. Used to put headphones on."

Brian:               Oh yeah?

Carolyn:            Yeah, so I guess that was me having ... Something was triggered.

Brian:               There you go.

Carolyn:            And I guess technically that is my first musical experience.

Brian:               So to all those moms to be out there, you can put headphones on your stomach and play good music for your-

Carolyn:            Yeah, play Carolyn Malachi for your baby to be.

Brian:               You definitely should do that. If I had one on the way, I would do that.

Carolyn:            Aww.

Brian:               For sure, because man it's just such smooth sound. 'Cause you heard one of the songs on this episode, but she's got such an amazing collection, so you've gotta check out more of Carolyn's discography because it's so good.

Carolyn:            Thank you.

Brian:               Now, take a break from that and tell us about you on the personal side. So outside of Carolyn Malachi the musician and the producer, what's life like for you?

Carolyn:            You know, I love trading cryptocurrencies, it is such a fun, invigorating, depressing hobby.

Brian:               And wait a minute, trading cryptocurrencies.

Carolyn:            Yeah, like I'm super into that.

Brian:               Pretend like I don't know what that means, what is that?

Carolyn:            So, if you've heard of Bitcoin or if you've heard of blockchain technology, I'm like super into that. I don't think blockchain's gonna save the world, but I'm pretty sure it's gonna change the world, so I'm considered an early adopter I mean, on the record like I'm one of the first artists to have accepted Bitcoin for music. But now I spend a lot of time trying to get other musicians involved. Yeah.

Brian:               Interesting. And what is the incentive to get another musician involved in Bitcoin?

Carolyn:            Well I think the longterm view here is we could potentially use blockchain technology to speed up royalty payments to musicians, and to provide more accurate royalty payments to musicians. Like there are so many people who are left out because they're not properly credited or maybe they don't have access to PROs, which are performance rights organizations, and so part of getting people into that blockchain space is I think getting them to at least touch or have some experience with the most popular application of blockchain technology, which is Bitcoin.

Brian:               Wow. There it is, ways to transform the world of musicians and transform the world as a whole with blockchain technology. And if you're not familiar with the stuff we're talking about, at least Google it so you kinda know what's going on, 'cause that's ... This is, if it hasn't already touched your life, it will be touching your life in some way, shape or form very quickly here, 'cause it's an amazing technology. Even if you don't apply it to currency, I do have to say it's a very, it's a wonderful concept.

Carolyn:            Yeah, for basic recordkeeping.

Brian:               Yup, all those databases where somebody deleted something, that goes away with blockchain. So, anyway. But back to you, so now ... We were talking about you outside of music and we got Bitcoin. Share something else. What else you got?

Carolyn:            And which [inaudible 00:07:40] back to music right? I love my boo, he's amazing.

Brian:               Your boo?

Carolyn:            My boo.

Brian:               Aw, there he is. Are we gonna shout out to him specifically?

Carolyn:            Yeah, shoutout to Io.

Brian:               Oh, Io, there it is. And now what about you, so, funniest moment that comes to mind performing?

Carolyn:            Performing, so, man, I used to perform barefoot.

Brian:               Really?

Carolyn:            Yes. Until.

Brian:               Uh-oh.

Carolyn:            Well, and I don't wanna say until, this kind of was the thing that made me reconsider my choices, but I was playing, there was a show on the campus of Saint Elizabeth's and I think it was produced by public works, I think. So, somebody was really feeling the spirit, and we know we like that as musicians. Well they walked to the front of the stage, and they reached up and then they touched my feet, and it just felt really weird. And so I kinda ... I left it alone, I was like, "Okay." You know, they didn't just like tap my toes, they like, rested their hand on my feet.

Brian:               Oh, that's amazing.

Carolyn:            And so I had ... No, it's really not. So then I ...

Brian:               You're right, it's not, you're right.

Carolyn:            I like, I squatted a little bit but like in rhythm so it was like a rhythmic squat, and I like dusted their hand off of my toes, so then you know I'm kinda working the stage, going from side to side, and so I remember going to like the right side of the stage, and I turned around and this guy, the same toe toucher, had walked up the opposite side of the stage, and he was making a beeline toward me, and then security like, bum rushed him and got him off the stage. I was like, "I don't want anybody touching my feet onstage again, because apparently my feet are magical."

Brian:               There it is.

Carolyn:            So, yeah. Yeah.

Brian:               Oh, that's so funny. You got a toe toucher and it changed your life, Carolyn.

Carolyn:            That was, yeah. Yeah. But I still kick off my shoes from time to time. You gotta get in there.

Brian:               I was gonna say, if that's your tendency you can't just let it go because somebody touched 'em, so yeah, you're right. They still come off at some point. I will go on record and say that she is currently wearing shoes, just for the record, right now, there are shoes on, so.

Carolyn:            The toes are out, but the shoes are on.

Brian:               You're right, they're open-toed sandals, so it's good. Now what about biggest success moment that comes to mind for you and your musical career so far?

Carolyn:            I had a tour last year, it was with the Department of Defense.

Brian:               Excellent.

Carolyn:            And-

Brian:               To the troops?

Carolyn:            Yup. All-women band, Middle East, five countries. Middle East and North Africa, and our last city on the tour was Cairo.

Brian:               Nice.

Carolyn:            And we actually, when we landed we drove about a hour to see the Great Pyramids and the Sphinx, and so my band and I, we arrive, our host is with us, and she's like, "Would you all wanna climb the Great Pyramid?" And of course, I mean Cairo, of course! And it was, at that moment it was just really beautiful, I know two of the members of the band had never been on the continent of Africa before, so just seeing their tears and just watching them beam, that was amazing. But then we climbed this doggone pyramid, and let me tell you, if you have not climbed the Great Pyramid, and you think you want to do it, you need to like, do boot camp or something ...

Brian:               Training, physical training.

Carolyn:            ... Before, you need to train. Yes, 'cause it's not like when they built the pyramids they had central air, right? So, or stairs. So you're literally like, crawling up a slope that never ends, and when we go there, we got to the top, there was an empty tomb. That's it. And maybe like a couple hieroglyphics. We were so bummed.

Brian:               Wow. That's a lot.

Carolyn:            You know, I think I'm really proud of that moment because it sucked, but as a team we made it up there together and we made it out there together, and now whenever either of us has like a conflict in our lives we say, "You know, whatever happens, we climbed a Great Pyramid."

Brian:               This is true. And that is-

Carolyn:            We made it out.

Brian:               ... That is a, man, biggest success moment. "We climbed a pyramid."

Carolyn:            "We climbed a pyramid."

Brian:               I love it.

Carolyn:            Yes.

Brian:               And my favorite question, if you could offer one piece of advice, what would it be?

Carolyn:            Never get your eyebrows waxed. Never. Never, don't do it. Don't do it.

Brian:               Do you have a bad experience with this that you learned the hard way? Where is this coming from?

Carolyn:            I think it's less about the eyebrow waxing and more about what it represents, right?

Brian:               Okay.

Carolyn:            We pay people to hurt us.

Brian:               Fair. I guess, man when you think about it in that context we do a lot of that as humans.

Carolyn:            We do a lot of that, yeah.

Brian:               That's true. Okay, so don't get your eyebrows waxed.

Carolyn:            No eyebrow waxing.

Brian:               No eyebrow waxing.

Carolyn:            Tweeze 'em.

Brian:               Oh. Which is still hurting, but it's yourself-

Carolyn:            Exactly.

Brian:               ... So that's okay. I love it. Oh my God. For those folks who wanna find out more about you and the amazing stuff you're doing, where do they go?

Carolyn:            You know, there's always, I am more often on the Twitter and the Instagram, so if you Tweet, you can Tweet me @carolyn_malachi, or Instagram it's just Carolyn Malachi.

Brian:               There it is. And Malachi's M-A-L-A-C-H-I.

Carolyn:            Yes it is.

Brian:               That's Carolyn Malachi. And Carolyn with a Y.


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!
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, 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.

6/20/17 - Special Guest: Angie Gates, Director of DC Office of Music & Entertainment

Thanks, Director Angie Gates, of DC Office of "All Thing Entertainment" for joining us on this week's episode!

^^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. Barryism by Three Man Soul Machine (Jazz/Soul)
  2. Good Ass Love by Pebble to Pearl (R&B/Funk)
  3. Overnight Scenario by Rare Essence (Hip-Hop/Go-go)
  4. Summer Cool by Carolyn Malachi (Jazz/R&B)
  5. Bags Packed by Aaron Myers (Jazz/NeoSoul)
  6. Complicated by Black Alley (Hip-Hop/Hood Rock)


Wylder - Save A Way (single)
Will Eastman ft Furniteur - Detroit Disco (single)


There's so many!  Visit our Local Music Calendar to see the full list!  These are just the few we discussed on the show to get you started.

Fri Jun 23
Black Dog Prowl, Tempercrush, FuzzQueen, Lisa Said @ Black Cat in DC
The Jones @ Kalypsos in Reston, VA

Sat Jun 24
Will Eastman @ U Street Music Hall in DC
Black Alley @ Howard Theatre in DC

Sun Jun 25
Justin Trawick and The 9 Songwriter Series @ The Black Squirrel in DC

Tues Jun 27
The Cowards Choir @ Jammin Java in Vienna, VA

Wed Jun 28
A Shrewdness of Apes @ Iota Club in Arlington, VA

Thu Jun 29
Yellowtieguy @ Sauf Haus in DC
Annie Stokes @ Jammin Java in Vienna, VA

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-




Angie M. Gates has been appointed to serve as the Director of the newly formed Office of Cable Television, Film, Music and Entertainment.  Director Gates most recently served as the Director of the Office of Motion Picture and Television Development before that office merged (on October 1, 2015) with the District's Office of Cable Television. Before that, Gates served as the Director of Inauguration and was the former Director of Operations for Mayor Muriel Bowser’s Transition Team. During Mayor Bowser’s campaign, Gates was the Traveling Chief of Staff.

Gates made history as the first African American General Manager of the Historic Warner Theatre, located in the heart of the nation’s capital. Her extensive experience includes work with President of the United States Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. Gates began her career as a film specialist for the New Orleans Film Commission and her film projects include Interview with a Vampire and Pelican Brief. She is the former Associate General Manager of the Historic Saenger Theatre, located in New Orleans and she previously served as the Director of Engagement Relations and Marketing for the Theatrical Division of Clear Channel Entertainment.

Gates received a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication and a Master of Arts Administration Degree with a Special Concentration in Sports Management, graduating Summa Cum Laude from the University of New Orleans. Gates serves as a Board Member of the New Orleans Theatre Association and Negro League Hall of Fame. She is also a member of the DC Chapter of the Recording Academy of Arts and Sciences (The Grammy’s).




Brian:     On DC Music Rocks we're shining a spotlight on the great songs and incredible people behind the DC region's music scene. And so let's get to know one of those incredible people which is Director Angie Gates, who serves as the Director of Office of Cable Television, Film, Music and Entertainment. And I know people must ... That's a mouthful, I know they must give you a hard time about the long name.

Angie G:     Yes. Just the Entertainment Office, all things entertainment.

Brian:     Entertainment, I love it. And she began her career as a film specialist for the New Orleans Film Commission, and her film projects included Interview With A Vampire and Pelican Brief, which you might have heard of before. I recognize those names, that's exciting. She is a former Associate General Manager of the historic Saenger Theatre located in New Orleans, and she previously served as Director of Engagement Relations and Marketing for the theatrical division of Clear Channel Entertainment. But Gates made history as the first African-American General Manager of the historic Warner Theatre located right here in the heart of the nation's capital. So amazing things going on in this incredible woman's background here. She's an alumni of the University of New Orleans, and serves as a board member of the New Orleans Theatre Association and the Negro Hall of Fame. And she's also, as she mentioned, a member of the Recording Academy here in DC.

    So, I first came across Angie and the Office when I was putting together the local music calendar on the website for DC Music Rocks. And they were kind enough to help me with the funding to help get the coders to create this amazing resource that I've been able to build so it is, first and foremost, I finally get to say to you, thank you so much for helping me with that and that opportunity. And listeners, it is with great pleasure that I introduce Director Angie Gates.

Angie G:     Well, I'm delighted to be here. That's an impressive background. I did those things?

Brian:     You sound pretty incredible, right? And here you are.

Angie G:     But I'm glad we were able to support on the calendar, DC is musical icon city. Coming from a background with my father being a musician, it's just amazing to be able to be here and be in this role and be able to play a part to move the dial forward for the musicians here locally.

Brian:     Yeah. Now, so talk about ... The first and most important thing I want you to share is talk about the amazing things you guys are doing to support the music community here in DC. Because I don't think people realize just what that ... How much you support. So share with that.

Angie G:     We're doing a lot. We're doing a lot. What was important was to first listen to the music community and find out what the community felt was missing, ways that we could help, ways we could bridge the gap to help push the musicians forward. Not only locally, but to create a presence for them regionally and nationally.

     So at our office we do a few things. Not only through our networks, DCN, we have the Sound where we highlight local artists. We also have the 202, which is a new original programming. We also have Display, where we showcase videos. So I would love for any of the musicians who have videos to send them to us so we can air those. But we have dedicated ... And I have to give a shout out to our wonderful mayor, Mayor Muriel Bowser, she has the month of September dedicated to 202Creates, so we have a website,, #202Creates has done 58.6 million impressions, but that's our way to dedicate an entire month to the creative community and highlight musicians.

Brian:     And what kinds of things do people possibly can they look forward to to that September 202Creates? What does that mean?

Angie G:     Well, it's all about the creatives. It's all about the artists that we have. We make sure that we highlight the musicians and the creatives in all eight wards. We showcase and provide sponsorships. We highlight marketing opportunities and interviews, provide marketing opportunities where they can promote their craft via the electronic media kit, things of that nature. But we actually go out to the community, so we're ... The community and the musicians in DC have a seat at the table. As the Director, I'm not making the decisions, I'm responsible for executing them.

Brian:     Got it. And if folks want to ... You said there's a website? Or if they want to find out more about this 202Creates thing, where do they go?

Angie G:     So, we have a website, And you can also find out more information about our agency and what our agency is doing at, and follow us on Twitter at entertain_dc. And we also have our Facebook page, Entertain DC.

Brian:     Got it. And Instagram. You guys are pretty active on the social media, I've been following for awhile and that's exciting. Now talk about where music came into your life. Because when we went through your impressive resume that we shared, and we only shared a part of that, by the way, check out more ... We're going to have her full bio on the write up for this episode and also on you can find out more about Director Gates. Talk about where music came into your life or how music has influenced your life.

Angie G:     So, music is just part of who I am. It's part of my DNA. So my dad was a jazz saxophonist, he played the keyboards, he played the clarinet, he went to a historic black college, Jackson State, known as the Sonic Boom, so I think I was listening to music before I actually was birthed. When my mom would be on the road with my dad at different gigs, I think-

Brian:     You were in the womb, you were rocking [crosstalk 00:05:40].

Angie G:     In the womb I was rocking it out.

Brian:     I love it.

Angie G:     So, from the time I can remember, as far back, my dad would do his rehearsals and his gigs. He would do rehearsals at our house, so I would be in the living room rocking out, hitting my little keyboard as he was performing. So it's been a part of who I am. I also think that music is the universal language, so it's allowed me culturally to be able to identify with my various walks in life. I mean, when I was in New Orleans I was with Cash Money, I did the very first Cash Money concert. So, you switch over here and now I'm rocking out to Go-Go, and had an opportunity to work with the legendary Chuck Brown, recently Rare Essence. So it's a part of who I am. Without music, I'm non-existent.

Brian:     Did you ever play instruments or ... ? Or was it like the influence- ?

Angie G:     Oh, I'm a great air guitarist. And I play a mean tambourine, if you want.

Brian:     There it is. Oh my God, the tambourine. And you said a mean air guitarist. I almost want to ask you what song? What song comes to mind for playing air guitar? Somehow I think there's a picture in your mind when you said that, of you playing, was it to a song or something? That's a memory, I mean ...

Angie G:     So, Nirvana and Pearl Jam, I would always rock out to. And a little hidden secret with me, when I wake up in the morning I'll turn on the radio or play something on Pandora, and I'm just dancing. It's a constant concert going on in my head.

Brian:     I feel like it's like a T-shirt we should put out, like, "It's a constant concert going on in my head." Oh, it's so good. I think the musicians would love that for sure.

 So what about you outside ... So, you've got this whole ... You're Director of this incredible organization, you're doing great things around DC, when it comes to outside of work and like your hobbies and your personal life, who's Angie outside of work?

Angie G:     So, I would say this. I've learned to do a little bit better with my work life balance. I enjoy cooking. I really have an appreciation for quiet time. So I think I, for years, would have never-ending days, so in the world of entertainment you would start ten, eleven o'clock, your night might not end until one or two o'clock in the morning. So I would have never-ending days all the time. But for now I really take time and I sit back and reflect. I love being with my family and friends, that's very, very important to me. But cooking, I exercise, so I wake up every morning and I'm on Capital Bikeshare. I ride about-

Brian:     Is that how you get to work? Or are you exercising?

Angie G:     No, that's my exercise. I take the train, I had a Camry for 23 years, it finally died on me, and I said, "We have great transportation here in the District of Columbia," so I hop on the train, I hop on the bus. And Capital Bikeshare, I ride it every day. I do about seven miles a day.

Brian:     Oh my goodness, and you're exercising ... You ain't kidding about the exercise because those Bikeshare bikes are heavy bikes, so you get some workout.

Angie G:     They are very ... They are heavy, they are heavy. And our rec centers in DC have great aquatic centers, and so I'll do that as well. But, you know, just talking walks throughout the Capital Hill area, that's where I live. And just being with my neighbors, family and friends. I have a true appreciation for that.

Brian:     Wow, that's ... And I appreciate that you use the public transit system that we all use, I say, because it just is ... Well, that's encouraging to hear. So I appreciate that.

Angie G:     And I listen to my music along the way.

Brian:     That's right, you got the headphones in and there's something ... I don't know, I'm on the fence, because I feel like on Bikeshare you can use one earphone and that's still okay because you still hear the traffic but then you can still hear the music? I don't know what the law says about that.

Angie G:     And always wear a helmet. Always wear a helmet.

Brian:     Yes. Wear a helmet. Absolutely. All right, so now what about ... Biggest success moment that comes to mind when you think about the amazing things you've been doing with the DC government. What comes to mind?

Angie G:     A few things. Being able to be on the journey with Mayor Bowser, prior to my position I was her traveling Chief of Staff, and I was also the Operations Director when the government transitioned, so that was a big success because it was like almost reading a novel every day. And then all of a sudden it's inauguration and you're in the moment of the hard work and everything that you experienced. It's also very beneficial to me being here in DC. When I was in New Orleans, I left one entertainment venue and came here, and Katrina happened maybe about a year after I was in this area, but I was heading back to New Orleans. And the way that the DC community embraced me during that time, like ... Even though I lost what I thought was home, well DC really is home. And the welcoming that I got, not only from the musicians and the creative community, but just the people here collectively as a whole. To me that's success. To me that's success, to build those type of lifelong relationships as well. So it's twofold.

Brian:     So, I take it from what you're saying then you're not going to be going back to New Orleans, you're going to stick around DC for a little while?

Angie G:     I'm going to stick around DC for awhile longer.

Brian:     All right. I dig it.

Angie G:     I like this city.

Brian:     We get to keep her, guys. This is exciting. For at least a little while. Now, one of the things I want to make sure that ... Well, I've got two questions that I want to ask. The first question is the same question that I always ask every ... It's one of my favorite ones to ask, and that is if you could offer one piece of advice, what would it be?

Angie G:     Don't give up. So I think, especially in the entertainment industry, there's a lot of competition. There's going to be always someone that tells you you're not good enough. You didn't make this group. You're not going to get this opportunity to perform. And it's very, very important not to give up because it can become very discouraging. Sometimes you even have to change the people around you. That's another piece of advice I want to give you. If you're in a circle of negativity or people are not trying to lift you up to say, "Look, you can do this, you just have to work hard," but more importantly, it's that moment when you're like, "This is it. I'm throwing in the towel. I'm not going to do this anymore. I've heard no for the final time. There's no opportunities for me." Just think back to this moment and hear my voice saying, "Don't give up," because it's going to be that pivotal time where things will change. So you just can't give up.

Brian:     And you're talking like that's from some personal experience, too.

Angie G:     Oh, absolutely.

Brian:     What comes to mind when you think about that when a time when you didn't give up?

Angie G:     So, I can think of several. But I think a few things have been ... And I'll just tell you a quick, quick funny story. I was on tour at one point, and you're only as good as your next tour, that applies to musicians, that applies to the promoter, you're only as good as your next tour. So when the tour ends, that's a wrap. So I was in a situation where the tour had ended and-

Brian:     And you were on tour in what capacity?

Angie G:     So, Clear Channel at that time focused on the Broadway Theatre Series, but also there was an Urban Theatre Series. So a lot of the Urban Theatre, like your David Talberts who's actually from this area, Tyler Perry, a lot of musicians also perform as actors ad actresses in those type of productions. So I was the producer and the promoter for those events.

      So when the tour ended, I didn't have a job. And I remember finally thinking I was going to get this great job down in Mississippi as the Entertainment Director for a casino. I could do that with my eyes closed. I was like, "Oh, I'm winning. I got the gig." They basically had said I had the job. And then I had to take this test. And I've always been horrible at standardized tests, even in elementary school, like the CAT exam. I took the ACT, made a 14, then took a prep course for the ACT and got a 12. That's how bad it was. But I took the standardized test and out of a rating of 100% I scored a 20%. It was based on this trust factor, or this honesty component, something crazy. And I remember just feeling so shattered, and just, I'm like, "I can't ..." So not only could I not get that job, but I couldn't even work at the casino. I couldn't even be a bartender or a cocktail waitress or work at any of the restaurants. So, to have a Master's degree at that time, to have graduated summa cum laude, to have run these various venues and then have the reality that you can't even go work at the pastry shop, that was devastating. And I really thought it was the worst, but I came back with a vengeance.

Brian:     Yeah, and God, look at you now.

Angie G:     I didn't give up.

Brian:     I'm glad you didn't give up. I'm glad you ended up here.

Angie G:     And that's just one story. There's many more.

Brian:     And many more ... So next time you see Director Gates make sure you ask her for another one of those stories. I'm going to the next time I see her, that's for sure.

     All right, so now I want to ... The important thing that I think I want you to share with folks is if you are a musician, and you are interested in ... What are the opportunities to interact with the DC government or what types of things are you doing for musicians, and then for music fans? Share about that.

Angie G:     So, one of the things that's key, we have an open invitation. So it's just as simple as contacting our office and scheduling a meeting, and telling us what is it that you need that we can help with. So, there are times when we offer small sponsorships that can provide resources from a financial component, but we also are a production house. So we have studios, we have audio opportunities, videography opportunities, we have actual tangible resources that can help musicians, and we have our television shows that give you the platform ... Anyone that's a cable subscriber, and we're talking about 300,000 plus subscribers, we can put you on any of our musical platforms and have your talent showcased.

     For 202Creates, not only are we focusing on that during the month of September, but that's a year round initiative. So, we welcome any of those opportunities. I would also encourage individuals to get involved with the Recording Academy. That's a great resource, and you're surrounded by musicians that can provide opportunities there as well. But come be a part of the 202Creates family. We're here to help, we're here to serve.

April 18, 2017 - Special Guest: Sub-Radio

Big thank you to the incredible guys from Sub-Radio for coming by!

^^Episode Audio/Video/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. Feint of Heart by Pop Co-op (Pop/Power Pop)
  2. Caroline by Sub-Radio (Indie/Indie Rock)
  3. Insanity by Black Alley (Rock/Hip-Hop)
  4. Hear me out by Underdog Champs (Punk/Pop Punk)
  5. Fireworks in Autumn by Andrew Tufano (Folk/Acoustic)
  6. New Romantics by His Dream of Lions (Pop/Rock)
  7. Emerald Skates by The Duskwhales (Indie/Indie Pop Gypsy Rock)


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DC Music Rocks Sub-Radio

Washington DC's Sub-Radio makes smart, danceable pop rock that's always expanding its boundaries, with elements of funk, folk, and EDM present on their 2016 release Same Train // Different Station. The sextet's high-energy live performances and variety of outstanding vocalists have put them on the map up and down the East Coast. Sub-Radio is composed of Adam Bradley (vocals), Matt Prodanovich (guitar), Mike Chinen (guitar/keyboards), John Fengya (guitar/keyboards), Michael Pereira (drums), and Barry Siford (bass).  The band has garnered comparisons to established pop-rock acts like Maroon 5. Multiple songs have been recognized in national songwriting competitions as Sub-Radio played festivals from New York to North Carolina. Notable festivals include the Cherry Blossom Festival, Celebrate Fairfax, and LAUNCH Music Festival and Conference. The new album, Same Train // Different Station, is available on iTunes, Spotify and all other music outlets. The band is currently playing shows in support of the album up and down the East Coast. 



Brian:   Sub-Radio makes smart, danceable, pop rock that's always expanding it's boundaries. Their 2016 release entitled Smart Train Different Station incorporated elements of funk, folk, and EDM. Members include, we got Adam on vocals, Matt on guitar, Mike on guitar and keyboards, John on guitar and keyboards, Michael on drums, and Barry on base. These six guys produce high energy live shows which have become well known and have garnered comparisons to established pop acts, like the big ones like Maroon 5 and such. Great shows from these guys. I first came across them a few months ago. I caught a video for Caroline which is one of their big, it's one of my favorite music videos. They're all in the van. If you check out their profile on, that's the video I've got for them. Just cool things from these guys. Listeners, it's with great pleasure I get to formally introduce Sub-Radio. Hey guys. Welcome. Now, they can only hear your voices, so tell them who you are. Introduce yourself and what you play. I've got three of them here in the studio. Talk to us.

Michael:   Hey. I am Michael. I'm the drummer.

Adam:   My name is Adam. All I do is sing.

Matt:   My name is Matt and I play guitar.

Brian:   The other three guys who aren't here. Those guys are?

Adam:   Yeah. We are missing, we are a six piece band like you said. We are missing John who plays just about everything for us and probably could play instruments he's never heard of.

Brian:   Okay.

Adam:   We got Mike who plays guitar and keyboards and then Barry is our alterative base player.

Brian:   Got it. Those are the guys. Together you make this magic that is Sub-Radio. Now, tell us how did the band get together. Talk about that story?

Michael:   That's an old one. Matt, you should probably take this one.

Matt:   We go together in high school, actually, so it's been you know, what like 15 years now? It's been a while.

Adam:   It literally has been a decade since we were in high school.

Matt:   We all kind of met up early on and just kind of started jamming out together. Then we realized we should be in a band together in high school, because it was fun.

Brian:   Awesome.

Matt:   We kept playing music together, and here we are 10 years later almost and now we're going to be doing really cool stuff this summer.

Brian:   I applaud you guys for still being together because staying together for that long is an achievement. Congrats on that one guys. Now, the name, Sub-Radio. Where did that come from?

Adam:   The name evolved from an older band name that I won't mention for SEO purposes on the air.

Brian:   You're so politically correct. Thank you sir. I really appreciate it.

Adam:   We had a band name in high school that we weren't really happy with so we reworked it, but essentially where this name came from is the early members of the band choosing random words out of a Best Buy catalog.

Brian:   For real?

Matt:   Oh yeah.

Brian:   A Best Buy catalog?

Matt:   It's real.

Adam:   That's going to be a historic anecdote in like five years when there are no Best Buys left. We'll explain during the story.

Matt:   It could have been Circuit City man.

Brian:   Yeah. Oh man, well all right. Well Best Buy catalog. That's amazing. All right. Now, I was asking you earlier during the break for the listeners, what's the song writing process for you guys? How does it go? Does one person bring a riff? Does somebody write the whole thing? How does that work for you guys?

Michael:   Kind of bounces around from song to song, but generally we'll start with a riff. Matt is often times the riff generator. He's got such a knack for it. Yeah, he's got such good head for it. He'll come to the band with a riff and we'll jam on it. We'll just all improv stuff and Adam will sing a melody. No lyrics yet, but he'll kind of hobble something together and then we'll develop the lyrics later. That's how we've been doing things lately. Or, alternatively Bradley will come to us with chords and lyrics already written and then we'll write the music to it. It's the same kind of process where we jam out, so everyone writes their own parts, which is pretty neat.

Brian:   That's cool. Now, when you're away from the music, talk about you three personally. What do you do outside of music and the band?

Matt:   Personally, I do a lot of other music. It's just kind of all music for me right now. I'm about to graduate college and I'm studying music in college at James Madison University.

Brian:   Shout out to JMU.

Matt:   Yeah.

Brian:   All right cool.

Matt:   Yeah. Outside of the band, I'm just kind of always focused on music stuff. I really like soccer too so I'm a big DC United fan and in the EPL, [inaudible 00:04:48] is my other team. Other than that, yeah it's just all about music.

Brian:   Nice. How about you Adam?

Adam:   Oh the important stuff. Got to get the soccer team shout outs.

Brian:   DC United, yes. You're allowed to shout out to them on this show. Absolutely.

Adam:   I am a distance runner outside of the band. Between the band and between the running, that's about 90% of my waking hours. I've done the Marine Corp Marathon in DC a couple times.

Brian:   Good gracious man. Serious distance running.

Adam:   Distance, emphasis on the distance. Yeah.

Brian:   Got it.

Adam:   I live up in Silver Spring. I'm in an acapella group in DC. I try to, not to be too on the nose, with your show, but I try to get to as many local shows as I can during the week when I'm not playing my own.

Brian:   Awesome. You are allowed those [inaudible 00:05:37], sir. Those are awesome brownie points to have. Yes, local shows. I love it. What about you Michael? What's your thing?

Michael:   By day I am a mechanical engineer so I do design and manufacturing work for a telecommunications company. I do a lot of CNC machining, a lot of laser cutting, water jack kind of stuff. Yeah. That's me during the day.

Brian:   Got it.

Adam:   Peels it off so casually.

Brian:   Then he comes to be a rockstar afterwords.

Michael:   Yeah. I studied physics in school so that's my background.

Brian:   Got it.

Adam:   We're missing the other three STEM majors in the band. They're all out at the office but it's a science heavy group.

Brian:   Yet I love the combination with art. Sometimes scientists and artists, they become both. The people bridge that gap. There's a lot of really smart folks that do music on the side in DC and as a result you get things like Sub-Radio and so many other cool groups that I've got profiles for, just amazing. The technical smarts that also translate into amazing musical, artistic skills.

Adam:   Michael brings all kinds of that stuff into the band. I mean, between rhythmic things and like literally making stuff for the band.

Michael:   Yeah. I've built a few things for the band and I'm going to be building a few like custom things for the band to come. Yeah, I feel like if you're sciency or mathy for some reason that pattern practice from science and math will help you in music, especially as a drummer. A rhythm heavy, I like to focus on rhythms a lot and so it's kind of mathematical.

Brian:   Talk about the biggest success moment that comes to mind for Sub-Radio thus far. What comes to mind on that?

Adam:   Wow. That's got to be pretty recent. I mean, we had a chance back in December at JMU to play with a band called Small Pools.

Brian:   Small Pools?

Adam:   It's a band from California but they are sort of a model that we look to right now. They're playing our genre. They're getting a good deal of success with it. We got to open a show for them on campus, and played to a crowd with, to our surprise, to my surprise anyway, I don't know about you guys, that knew some of our lyrics and was there to see. We played the show with like our idols, this pop rock band that's like making it and touring with cool bands and everything and after the show, the JMU school newspaper writes an article about the show, about the student union board that organized this show. They wrote an article about it. The article is like about how nobody expected the opener to be so good.

Brian:   It's the little things in life, the surprise that the successful moment is when they write how good the opener was.

Adam:   The picture accompanying the Small Pool article is a picture of us playing. It was a cool moment. That was a win-win.

Brian:   That's amazing. I love it. Now, what about your earliest memories with music. Where does music come from for you guys?

Michael:   Oh, that's a very, very good question. I come from a family that with no background in music whatsoever. I'm the only musician of even including all of my extended family. I have a pretty large family and I'm the only dedicated musician. One of the few that plays any instrument at all. I would sit by the radio and listen when I was young. I never had any training but I would listen constantly. I would just sit there and listen. That's kind of my first experience with music.

Brian:   Wow. You guys? What do you got for first experience with music? What comes to mind?

Adam:   In contrast, my dad was in a band in college. Didn't really go anywhere but he was in a band in college. He had like a recording studio in our living room when I was a baby and he was still putting a lot of tracks down and he hid them all from me on our iTunes, our shared iTunes account for years. He didn't want me to find them. There are pictures of me at three years old with the big headphones on in front of a mic. He wanted his son's voice on the track. That and my dad raised me on the standard white guy fare of dad music. Zeppelin and The Who and all that stuff, which was good intro.

Brian:   Yeah. Matt, what about you?

Matt:   Similar to Mike, no one ever in my family at all has ever touched a musical instrument. It was kind of up to me to figure that out by myself. I wasn't really interested at all in music to be honest, until I picked up a guitar around like I want to say middle school. Sixth grade I think I touched my first guitar. Then after that I was just like, I like this.

Brian:   It started with guitar.

Matt:   Then it just went on from there. I started writing songs pretty early and that's what got me into the whole wanting to be in a band thing. That's when I met these guys and just kind of snowballed from there.

Brian:   That's awesome. I got one more question that I always love to ask, and that's to any of you who wants to answer which is, if you could offer one piece of advice, what would it be?

Adam:   Who are we advising?

Brian:   That part's up to you.

Adam:   Future musicians?

Brian:   If you want to, sure.

Adam:   Just one piece of advice, generally.

Michael:   At that Small Pool show, we got the privilege of actually hanging out with the Small Pools guys afterwards. I will pass on a piece of advice that was given to me from their drummer, and their singer, kind of both of them. I heard it from the drummer first. Don't be a jerk. Don't ever in life. You can extend that anywhere but be easy to work with. Don't be a jerk. Just be nice and everyone will have a good time for it.

Adam:   That's kind of the guiding principle of Sub-Radio to this point I think as well.

Brian:   Don't be a jerk.

Michael:   Yeah don't do it. There's no reason.

Brian:   It sounds like a really successful t-shirt campaign too. Don't be a jerk, hashtag. There you go.

Adam:   Oh man. You might have just given us something there.

Brian:   Possible band radio shirt. There you go. Make sure you get the hashtag in there so you can find all the people with the photos, right? Now for those listeners who we're going to jump into some music. For those listeners who are interested, who want to find out more about you guys, where do they go to find out more about Sub-Radio?

Adam:   We have a website. It's Obviously, we're on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram all those other apps.

Matt:   You can get our music on Spotify, Sound Cloud. It's up most places you would find music, even on the weird ones like Google Play.

Michael:   CD baby.

Brian:   All the places.