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Exnations

9/12/17 - Special Guest: EXNATIONS

Thanks to Taylor of the pop group, Exnations, for coming by the studio this week!

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

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

FROM TODAY'S SHOW

MUSIC

  1. Never About The Money, by EXNATIONS (Pop, Alternative Pop)
  2. Balance it all, by Night Train 357 (Hip Hop)
  3. High Class Girl, by Spencer Joyce (Indie/Indie Rock)
  4. Daylight, by Color Palette (Pop/Rock)
  5. Burn Blue, by Flasher (Rock)
  6. Voodoo Dollhouse, by Catscan! (Indie/Electronic Rock)

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Parklife DC article about DC Music Rocks Festival:
http://parklifedc.com/2017/09/06/music-park-dc-music-rocks-festival-930-club-9217/

The DC Mayor’s 202Creates September celebration of the creative economy is here. All September, there’s going to be events all over the city!  Go attend an event!  Events are listed on the website, and if you know of an event that’s not listed, certainly contact them through the website.  
http://www.202creates.com/

NEW RELEASES

Music:
Edjacated Phools - Check Out The Vibes (13 Song Full Album)
Sub-Radio - Steady (Single)
Pleasure Train - Pleasure Train Vol II (4 Song EP)
The Electric Grandmother - Cancelled (17 Song Full Album)
Caustic Casanova - Pantheon, Vol. 2 (2 song Single)
Lionize - Nuclear Soul (11 Song Full Album)
Soldiers of Suburbia - Rollercoasters (Single)
More Am Than FM - Oh The Places I've Been (5 Song EP)
Surprise Attack - Live At Groove (4 Song Live EP)
The Woodshedders - Talisman (11 Song Full Album

Video:
Alex Vaughn - Gotta Have It
https://youtu.be/iiHR8BYKoqE

THIS WEEK'S LOCAL DC SHOWS TO SEE 

Fri Sep 15
Nelly’s Echo @ Rockville Town Square in Rockville MD

Sat Sep 16
Christos DC & Many More @ H Street NE Festival in H St in NE DC

Sun Sep 17
Drive TFC on Boomerang Pirate Ship in Georgetown in NW DC

Wed Sep 20
Human Country Jukebox @ Madam’s Organ in Adams Morgan in NW DC

Thurs Sep 21
Backbeat Underground @ Gypsy Sallys in Georgetown in NW DC
Vintage #18 @ Backyard BBQ at the National Building Museum in Chinatown in DC



Exnations

 

VIDEO - BIO - LINKS - TRANSCRIPT

BIO:

Exnations DC Music Rocks

It sounds exaggerated to say that EXNATIONS’ love of creating music knows no bounds, but that is quite literally case. Sal Mastrocola (vocals/guitar/synth) resides in Brooklyn, just a few state boundaries away from Dan Ciarrocchi (guitar) and Taylor Hughes (drums, synth) in the DMV . Through the miracles of file sharing, home-recording software and caffeine, they present “Never About the Money," their latest single that came to life from multiple East Coast cities. Drummer, Taylor Hughes says, “We were never all in the same room during this process, Sal recorded vocals in his bedroom, Dan recorded guitars with Chris Freeland(Future Islands, Wye Oak) and drums were done with JK Royston out of his studio in Richmond, VA. We’re literally all over the place”. The band plans to release an EP in the coming months in addition to playing shows throughout the East Coast to support its release. 

All your links/URLs:

Websiteexnations.com

Facebookfacebook.com/exnations

Twitter: @exnationsband

Instagram: @exnations

Exnations DC Music Rocks
Exnations.jpg
Poodell, The Poodle, as discussed at the end of the interview with Taylor!

Poodell, The Poodle, as discussed at the end of the interview with Taylor!

INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT

Brian:     On DC Music Rocks, we are shining a spotlight on the great songs and incredible people behind the DC region's local music scene. EXNATIONS is a pop trio with connections to northwest DC. It sounds exaggerated to say that EXNATIONS' love of creating music knows no bounds, but that is quite literally the case.  While Sal resides in Brooklyn, Dan and Taylor are in the DMV region. And through the miracle of file-sharing, home recording software, and caffeine-

Taylor:     So much caffeine.

Brian:     So much caffeine, they present their latest single that you just heard, Never About the Money. I first stumbled across these guys back, last year, I just, I became an EXNATIONS fan, and I've been following them ever since. And it is such a treat to now have you hear live with me. Taylor, this is awesome, thanks for being here.

Taylor:     I feel like I've known you forever, but through the internet.

Brian:     Right? I was gonna ...

Taylor:     Internet is a weird place.

Brian:     It really is, but it's an amazing place, I love it, very cool. Alright so, right off the bat, talk about EXNATIONS. It's a three state deal, like how did EXNATIONS come together?

Taylor:     Okay, well, I had met Dan, the guitar player, long time ago on the internet of all places.

Brian:     Excellent.

Taylor:     We've been Facebook friends for forever, we've been kind of in the same circle. He was in a band called Parks Landing a while back, and I'd always liked the work he'd done. And when I was going through a line up change, Dan was one of the first people that came to mind.

     So I met up with Dan and we clicked right off the bat. And we're like, "We need to find a singer." And he hit up an old college friend, Sal, to see if he'd be interested, or know anybody who'd be interested in doing this project. And Sal was interested, so the next week probably, I went up to Brooklyn, I met him in a record shop in Brooklyn.

Brian:     Wow.

Taylor:     And about an hour of just chatting and looking at records together, I was like, "I want him in my band. I'm not gonna meet with anybody else while I'm here," because I was supposed to meet up with someone. I went over my time with Sal, and I was like, "This is the man, I want him," so that's kind of how it started.

Brian:     Wow, very cool. And now, the name EXNATIONS, where does that come from?

Taylor:     Well originally, we were going to be called Nations, and we realized that was a really hard name to pull off, because when you Google Nations ...

Brian:     So true, you would never win the SEO or the search engine optimization battle on Google to find your band in the keyword, Nations. This is so true.

Taylor:     Yeah. So we thought the EX was cool we had all come from different bands before, so it was kind of all these ex band members making one new thing, I.e., nation, so it just kind of rolled into the same name, and that's how it was born.

Brian:     Nice. So the exes were your influence on your name, that's really ... It's sort of, there are so many ways to take that, but I really dig it. That's fun.

     Alright, and now, you're DC, where are you from? You're local here.

Taylor:     I am local. I was actually born in Baltimore. I spent the shortest stint of time in Georgetown, I was working at Madewell in Georgetown. But I actually moved back to Baltimore, but I still frequent this area because I love it so much.

Brian:     And then more about the DC connection then ... Well okay, so a little bit of time in Georgetown, and then here quite often?

Taylor:     Yeah, and my previous members of EXNATIONS, who I originally met you with, they are actually from DC. So that was kind of like the big DC connection. I was here with them.

Brian:     Cool, so it's a whole generation of DC going on here, in a way.

Taylor:     Yes.

Brian:     Wow. Alright, and now, talk about you on the personal side now, outside of the music thing, what's life like for you outside of that?

Taylor:     I have a poodle who's named Poodle.

Brian:     No, no, you have a poodle named Poodle, for real?

Taylor:     Yes, yes I do.

 You guys can check him out on Instagram. His username is Poodell

Brian:     And that way you can never forget what type of dog he is.

Taylor:     Exactly.

Brian:     Because if you're wondering, Poodle is a poodle. Oh my god, that's funny.

Taylor:     In a bow tie.

Brian:     Oh no, alright, I'm gonna go stalk you on Instagram for that, that's really funny. Alright, and what else, so there's a poodle.

Taylor:     There is the Poodle.

Brian:     Okay.

Taylor:     I like to skateboard, I like to just generally goof off. I watch a lot of really really bad TV on purpose.

Brian:     Okay, like what? When you say really bad TV, what does that mean?

Taylor:     I just finished the new version of 90210 the other day.

Brian:     Really?

Taylor:     I put myself thought the trauma of terrible TV. One Tree Hill? Been watching it nonstop since 2004. And I love it, it's like something comforting about how horrible it is, I love it.

Brian:     Oh, man. And to every body out there who loves those shows, we show appreciate you too, but that's really funny.

Taylor:     We should talk about it, like I do love it.

Brian:     Reach out and talk to her about 90210 and One Tree Hill for sure. Oh, man, that's funny.

    Alright, so now back to you as a performer then, talk about the funniest moment that comes to mind when you think about performances and EXNATIONS.

Taylor:     Yes, okay. So this is a fairly new story, it happened over the weekend. I was at Shadow of the City in New Jersey, it's a festival that Jack Antonoff from Bleachers put together, and since we're super close in sound, I thought it'd be a good idea to promote the band there. So I grabbed a bunch of postcards and went in there, and we were right up front on the stage, and I was passing out some postcards or whatever. And this girl just came up to me after I gave her a postcard, right then and there, she came out to me, number one ...

Brian:     Came out to you meaning, so she's a lesbian? Came out to you.

Taylor:     She's a lesbian. I guess I just scream lesbian because ...

Brian:     That's something important that people want to tell you, okay, that's funny.

Taylor:     Yeah, so she came up to me, and she just came out to me, grabbed my face, and kissed me. Like tried to kiss me, and I backed away, I was like, "Ah!" I backed away really quickly. And when she could tell that I was visibly uncomfortable, she tried to give me $6. That's really weird.

Brian:     I don't know whether to take that as a complement because she even almost wanted to pay you for the kiss, or whether that's an insult because it's only freaking six bucks, what the heck.

Taylor:     Well the way that I took it, I was worth more than $5, and worth more than $1, so she combined them and gave me the most ultimate gift that she possibly could put together in her inebriated state.

Brian:     Oh, alcohol was involved, now I get it.

Taylor:     Oh yeah.

Brian:     Okay. Oh man, I love that. Alright, so now, so what's something in your music collection that might surprise us?

Taylor:     I am a huge, huge pop fan. Buried beneath all of the Sonic Youth and ...

Brian:     Wait a minute, but you are a pop artist?

Taylor:     But I mean like pop pop, like Taylor Swift, Spice Girls, yes.

Brian:     Yes, okay.

Taylor:     Yes, I love, love, love top 40s pop. And I'm so open about it. I used to have it as like a guilty pleasure kind of thing, but now I'm so open and honest about the pop that I hold dear to my heart.

Brian:     So favorite Spice Girl's song, it's time to admit it.

Taylor:     Am I gonna basic if I say, If You Wanna Be My Lover?

Brian:     You gotta be with my friends.

Taylor:     Yeah, I had all the Spice Girl Barbie dolls as a child. Still have them, still have them, guys.

Brian:     Oh, that is excellent, I love it.

     Alright, so now, go back to the beginning now. When you started performing then, what's your first memory with music? How did music enter your life?

Taylor:     I was five, and I actually asked for a drum kit. I always knew that I wanted to play drums, and my parents hated that. They're like, "We cannot give this rambunctious five year old a drum kit, like we cannot do it." So they took me to the music store and got me an electric guitar with no amplifier, and closed the door.

Brian:     And how old were you when this happened?

Taylor:     I was five.

Brian:     Wow, okay.

Taylor:     So I had this Fender Strat that I would take to elementary school with me, that was pretty much the same size of me, because we had show and tell at school.

Brian:     Right. Oh, excellent.

Taylor:     So I would always take my guitar that was bigger than me, and play them, I think Mary Had a Little Lamb was my strong suit at the time.

Brian:     Oh my goodness.

Taylor:     Yeah, it was pretty long.

Brian:     So it started with guitar. And now ... and you know I realized we didn't even mention, so what do you play in the band? And what does everybody else play in the band? Who are the members now?

Taylor:     I'm the drummer. I also play synth and dabble in bass in the studio, I don't play bass live or anything.

Brian:     Okay.

Taylor:     Dan is the guitarist, and he does vocals. And Sal is the singer, guitarist, and he also does some synth.

Brian:     Got it. And so it's three pieces going on?

Taylor:     Yep.

Brian:     That's it, and you're the drummer, nice. Along with synth and some other things.

     Well so then your earliest ... I'm gonna switch gears. If you could offer, and this is just my favorite question, and I just want to jump to it because I'm excited about it. If you could offer one piece of advice, what would it be?

Taylor:     This is geared towards all the ladies that are playing music, and it's something that you'll experience time and time again, especially when you go to a music store, stand your ground. Don't let people try and school you on something you already know. Does that make sense? I feel like I get the ...

Brian:     Yeah, what's an example? It seems like you have experience with this. What comes to mind?

Taylor:     Oh yeah. I almost feel like I'm being tested sometimes with the guys in the industry. They don't really believe that you know what you're talking about, or that you can play, you always kind of have prove yourself time and time again. So when you're at the music shop, and you're going in there for something specific, and they try and explain to you what you're looking for ...

Brian:     Don't take that.

Taylor:     Don't take it.

Brian:     Tell them you already know. I love it. Alright, all the ladies out there, you heard it, stand your ground in the music store.

Taylor:     Do it.

Brian:     I love it. That is really cool. And for those folks who liked the song and want to follow you and the upcoming EP you said that's gonna be released, where do they go to follow EXNATIONS?

Taylor:     You can find everything at exnations.com. We're on Spotify, Apple Music, super easy to find.

Brian:     Fantastic. And exnations.com, and then are you social media as well?

Taylor:     Oh yeah, you can find all of that right on EXNATIONS. And more importantly, for social media, you have to go to instagram.com/poodell.

Brian:     Spell that, what is that, P ...

Taylor:     It's P-O-O-D-E-L-L, that's my poodle's Instagram.

Brian:     Oh my god, your poodle has an Instagram. Oh god, I don't know what to say, I don't know whether to be really excited or just laugh hysterically.

October 18, 2016 - Special Guest: Mark Lyons of Acre 121

^^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. World Premier and exclusive preview for DC Music Rocks listeners of the hit new single, Get Back Up by Rachel Levitin, available 10/21/16.

MUSIC

  1. Never Gonna Change - Sub-Radio (Indie/Indie Rock)
  2. I Don't Want To Love You - Scott Thorn (Rock/Americana)
  3. World Premier - Get Back Up - Rachel Levitin (Pop/Pop Rock)
  4. New Release - Free - Exnations (Pop/Alternative Pop)
  5. Someday - The Fishermen Band (Pop/Reggae)
  6. Don't Make Me Feel - The DCeivers (Rock/Indie)
  7. The End - Yellow Dubmarine (Reggae/Rock & Roll)
  8. Intro/Outro music by Fellowcraft (Hard Rock/Blues)

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-


MARK LYONS

VIDEO - BIO - PHOTOS - TRANSCRIPT

BIO

Mark Lyons DC Music Rocks

Originally from DC, the early years were spent studying Technical Theater at the Duke Ellington School for the Arts which is where I first gained my appreciation for live music and stage performance. Fast forward a few years and you could find me spinning house and techno records (yes... vinyl!!) with my friends in my basement during my free time; earning the nickname "Crateworm" for my ability to dig through a stack of vinyl and come up with the best deep cuts. After a couple of years as an IT Professional, I ditched the business world and moved to El Salvador where I worked for three years teaching English before finally coming back to the DC area. Upon my return, I took up bartending at the old Austin Grill in Rockville where I also got my first experience booking talent. Many years (and several bars) later, I wound up at Acre 121 in Columbia Heights as their night manager. When the opportunity arose to take over the live music program, I jumped at the chance to put my skills to use. Aside from booking acts, I also serve as our in-house audio engineer and graphics designer which keeps me pretty occupied. Still, I find time to enjoy Miller Lites and Jameson with my friends, long walks with my pit bull Jamo, and riding my bike.

Links:

https://www.facebook.com/Acre121

https://www.acre121.com

Mark Lyons Acre 121 DC Music Rocks
Mark Lyons DC Music Rocks

INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT

Brian:  It's that time that I get to introduce to you my special guest. Today, I've got Mark Lyons, who is the talent buyer for Acre 121. Originally from Washington D. C.., his early years were spent studying technical theater at Duke Ellington School for the Arts, which is where he first gained appreciation for live music and stage performance. Fast forward a few years and you could find him spinning house and techno records ... Yes, I just said records. He was spinning records with his friends in his basement during his free time, and he earned the nickname "Crate Worm" for his ability to dig through a stack of vinyl and come up with the best deep cuts. 

After a couple of years as an IT professional, he gave up IT, thank goodness. I did that too, Mark, by the way. He gave up IT, and he ran away. He ditched the business world completely and moved to El Salvador, where he worked for three years teaching English before finally coming back to the Washington D. C.. area. When he came back, he took up bartending at the old Austin Grill in Rockville, if any of you guys remember that one, where he also got his first experience booking talent. Many years and several bars later, he wound up at Acre 121 in Columbia Heights as their night manager. When the opportunity arose to take over the live music program at Acre 121, he jumped at the chance to put these skills to use.

Aside from booking acts, he wears a lot of hats. He also serves as their in-house audio engineer, their graphics designer, and, well, he's overall just an amazing dude. He keeps them pretty occupied. In his free time, you can actually find Mark enjoying Miller Lights and Jameson with his friends, on long walks with his pit bull, Jaymo? Jamo?

Mark:  Jamo.

Brian:  Jamo, and also riding his bike. Guys, the first time I met Mark I'll never forget because he's just such a laid-back, really cool dude, and at the same time, he's one of those people where, when you meet him, he's just got one of those hearts that you just, you believe that he is a good dude within ... It must have been less than two minutes, I was just convinced that he was an amazing guy. It is with great pleasure that I introduce Mark Lyons. Say hi to everybody, Mark.

Mark:  Wow, thank you, Brian. Hello, everybody. I'm over here blushing now.

Brian:  Mark, it's such a treat to have you here, such a treat. One of the mission of this show is also to shine a spotlight on the incredible folks and the talent behind D. C.. music. The things you do at Acre are just incredible stuff. I want to find out some more about you. Tell us about Mark professionally. Tell us about Acre 121 and Mark. Tell us about that.

Mark:  All right. Acre 121, that's an easy place to start. We're a small little venue in Columbia Heights, right on the corner of 14th Street and Irving in Northwest D. C..

Brian:  Got it.

Mark:  Right over by the Metro stop. We do great food, barbecue. I believe someone here has a penchant for our barbecue wings.

Brian:  Oh my God, the wings, guys, the wings are real. I am addicted to their barbecue wings. I come in at least every two, three weeks just to get a fix on the wings. Yes, wings.

Mark:  Then when the lights come down, the music comes up. We do live music Friday, Saturday nights. We've got all kinds of events during the week. We do trivia. We do open mic nights, karaoke, basically anything to fill your bill for live music and entertainment.

Brian:  Wow, that's awesome. Now, if folks want to find out about what's going on in Acre 121 in terms of what's happening and the events and who's playing, where do they go to get that?

Mark:  You can always, you can like us on Facebook. We do have an active Facebook page. We also have our website, www.acre121.com. You can also go to /calendar. That will give you all the calendar of events.

Brian:  Oh, you got the calendar. Now I know there are some musicians that listen too. If they're interested in potentially being on stage at Acre 121, how does that work?

Mark:  It's very easy. You can just send us an email to bookings, that's with an S, plural...

Mark:  Bookings@acre121.com. That ends up in my inbox. We definitely just ask that artists, if you have electronic press kit or some videos that we can check out, we're always looking to bring in Washington D. C.. music.

Brian:  Fantastic. It's such a treat. Just in your intro, I got to talk about you got a pit bull named Jamo and riding a bike. What's Mark outside of the talent buyer at Acre 121?

Mark:  Outside of work, I'm actually pretty mellow and quiet. I'm not out late at night. I mean I work most weekends so ...

Brian:  I was going to say, "Wait a minute, you're out late at night almost every night, so hold on just a second." Okay.

Mark:  Wild and crazy Mondays and Wednesdays, that's how I do it. That's how I do it. I just enjoy living life and meeting people and just having a good time, having a good time.

Brian:  That's awesome. What's one thing you like about the D. C.. music scene, specifically here in D. C..?

Mark:  There's so much of it. For a city that has a metro that won't stay open past midnight, we still have a very vibrant live music community, everything from country and bluegrass to rock and roll to pop music covers, you name it, you name it, it's out there. They're all very talented musicians.

Brian:  I bet, definitely. I've been to Acre 121 randomly getting wings on a Friday or a Saturday night and happen to sit down and the music came on, and it was like just .. God, one night, there was an incredible cover band. There was another that was a guitarist, phenomenal stuff that's come across that stage, that's for sure. Now, tell us the story about the best show or a success moment you've had, tell us, in Acre.

Mark:  See, I mean that's tough because in my opinion, they're all great shows. There is just something to be said about having, finding a band that nobody's ever heard of before and you bring 'em in and they bring their crowd, we bring our crowd, and next thing you know, you've got 100 people just dancing and having a good time. We've been blessed to have a few of those nights, and we look forward to each and every one of them.

Brian:  Yeah. Well, we, as fans, do as well, that's for sure. It's going to be a good night when you go to Acre 121. I've had this experience as a fan and also as a performer. It's truly a good time. Now tell us the story about a time you tried and failed, something you tried and it didn't go over. Share one of those with us.

Mark:  Oh, I mean there are lots of failures in my life, but you learn from each one. Probably one of my earliest failures was just out of high school, I moved out to the West Coast, I lived in Oregon for a little while, and I just-

Brian:  Wow, way out there, okay.

Mark:  Yeah.

Brian:  Ran away as far as you could.

Mark:  If you noticed, there's a theme, there's a trend in my behavior patterns.

Brian:  Oh, okay.

Mark:  I'm definitely trying to put some roots down now.

Mark:  I was out on the West Coast, and this was still when I was into the house and techno and dance music. Actually, I started throwing parties out there. I had one really great successful party and thought I could duplicate it. I learned that, one of the biggest lessons is, is that it's also in the preparation. If you don't take the time to actually set these parties, these events up right, promote them, give them time, get the word out, you go from having 1,000 people at your first party to about 150 at the second one.

Brian:  Oh my goodness.

Mark:  Yeah.

Brian:  Okay. The people involved in that second party were probably not as excited about 150 versus 1,000.

Mark:  No, no, not at all.

Brian:  Oh man. Mark, that must have been brutal.

Mark:  But you learn. You learn from your mistakes.

Brian:  Wow. What's one thing in your music collection that might surprise us? 

Mark:  I like country music.

Brian:  Yeah?

Mark:  I do like country music. This was a recent development through the last 10 years or so because I was always-

Brian:  Really? Later in life country guy?

Mark:  I was always one of those people who was, like, "Oh no, country, that's just 'my wife left me and my dog died' kind of music."

Mark:  But I was helping a friend who would buy houses and then he would flip them. This was before the old, the market crash, so everybody was in on that. I would help him out, and so we were fixing up these houses, and it was just the two of us, and he would bring the radio. I don't know if anybody out there has ever worked in a contractor construction job, but whoever brings the radio gets to pick the music.

Brian:  Oh, they get control of the radio.

Mark:  They get to pick the music, yes.

Brian:  It's a power role.

Mark:  It is, it is. It's something that a lot of people don't know.

Brian:  Okay, it's a power play. Whoa.

Mark:  And he loved country music. For about three months, for eight hours a day, five days a week, I listened to country music, and I started to love it.

Brian:  Country music.

Mark:  Yes, so that's something that you would be shocked. You would be shocked.

Brian:  I love that. All right, well, at Acre 121, do you have any rules that you live by while you're there? Are there any that you have them and then you always break them anyway?

Mark:  No, I would say we don't like to set rules, aside from the obvious rules as far as don't be a, can I say "jerk" 

Brian:  A jerk, okay. [crosstalk 00:10:48]

Mark:  Don't be a jerk, we'll leave it at that. We don't like to pigeonhole ourselves into one genre or into one style, so we don't like to set rules. Even if we did, I think rules are definitely made to be broken.

Brian:  Amen to that because sometimes, sometimes they're good. It's always interesting to hear the rules that people have and then the rules that people break. Between the diets and there are so many things that people have rules and then they break 'em, so it's also nice to hear that you don't have any rules for Acre as a performance thing. What about personally? You got any rules personally that you have and then you end up-

Mark:  Absolutely not, absolutely not. There are no rules in my life.

Brian:  And nothing that you'd admit on the radio, got it, okay, very good. Now, this is one thing that I love to ask, and it's do you have one piece of advice that you would offer with your experience in your life that's brought you to here?

Mark:  It's an obvious one, but just follow your heart. I've been in the service restaurant industry for well over 15 years. I've been behind the bar managing for almost seven. At Acre 121, I found that I was able to come back to what I love, which is the live music and the audio engineering and just the working with bands. There have obviously been times when the paychecks in the service industry aren't the greatest and I've thought about going back into the corporate world, but it's just, it's not as much fun.

Brian:  I was going to ask is that how you ended up in ... How did you end up in the restaurant? Did you stumble across it? Did you just want to make some money and then ... How did you end up in the restaurant industry?

Mark:  It's pretty well known the restaurant industry is pretty forgiving when it comes to past sins and transgressions.

Brian:  I see, okay.

Mark:  There was a long period of time when I was out of work and just wasn't ... There are a few gaps in my resume, let's just put it that way. 

Mark:  When I did come back to the D. C.. area, the restaurant industry has been very nice to me and treated me very well, so ....

Brian:  Fantastic. I love how you pay it forward, Acre 121 paying it forward to you and you pay it forward to us each time with all these incredible acts that you bring in. I just love what you're doing over there, love what you're doing.

Now, where do we go, if we want to find out more about you and Acre 121, where do we go?

Mark:  Like I said, you can find us on Facebook. I think you can find me on Facebook too. I don't know if my profile is public or not. I think you can. I think you can.

Brian:  Awesome.

Mark:  Or at www.acre121.com.

Brian:  Easy enough.

Mark:  Yeah, you can check us out.

Brian:  Mark, thank you so much for sharing a little bit about you. It's a treat because I have known you for a little while, but I've actually never gotten to hear some of these stories about how you came to D. C.. I had no idea, so thanks for sharing about you too.

Mark:  Absolutely.

Brian:  It was a treat having you here.

 

September 27, 2016 - Special Guest: JR MacDonald

^^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

MUSIC

  1. Exnations - Found You (Pop/Alternative)
  2. The Pocket - Lila Rose (Reggae/Rock)
  3. Fellowcraft - Glass House (Hard Rock/Blues)
  4. Clutch - D.C. Sound Attack! (Hard Rock)
  5. Hundredth Nomad - Dosed (Hard Rock/Grunge Rock)
  6. Laura Tsaggaris - Dig (Rock/Americana)
  7. The Duskwhales - Lavander Ladies (Indie/Pop)
  8. Intro/Outro music by Fellowcraft (Hard Rock/Blues)

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JR Macdonald

Video - Bio - Photos - Transcript

BIO  

JR MacDonald is the Guitarist and Frontman for Fellowcraft, an original Rock and Roll band from Washington DC. He started playing guitar at age 17, and wrote his first song in a matter of months. He's a veteran of the US Air Force, and spent 13 months overseas while enlisted. He has been an active fixture in the DC Music Community for over two years. JR has been featured as part of Fellowcraft on numerous worldwide podcasts, Television, and Radio. He has never put milk in his coffee; he favors simplicity. 

LINKS: FELLOWCRAFT PRESS KIT / FACEBOOK TWITTER YOUTUBE

JR Macdonald Live on DC Music Rocks

Interview Transcript

Interviewer:  Tell us about J.R.? Then tell us about J.R. and Fellowcraft?

J.R.:  Well, J.R. is short for Jon Ryan, I have been a musician since I was about 17 years old. My mother was a singer/songwriter and a worship director, she used to do worship music. Still does. She has been playing guitar as long as I can remember. She taught me how to play at a very young age when my brother was taking lessons and decided he wanted to move over to the bass guitar, so I picked up his acoustic, I still own it, and I started playing. My mother taught me a couple of riffs, and she's like, "I'm not going to teach you if you're not going to learn," and I said, "All right, I'm in this, I'm learning." That riff that I learned became a song, that song kind of followed me and that's how it all started. It started by learning a few chords and then picking up from other people what they would teach me.

Interviewer:  Wow, so you brought that and so now J.R. is the front-man for Fellowcraft. What are your roles in the band, how does that part work?

 J.R.:  Being a front-man for band really is just another way of saying lead singer, or at least just the connection to the audience. I think you mentioned earlier, I really do enjoy jumping around and getting wild and crazy on stage because it's really where I draw my energy from. The songs themselves, the band members, like you and Brandon, and then the connection through the music to the crowd itself. You know we've played so many shows, I mean I jump around for the sound-man, you know, so if it's just me and the sound-man-

Interviewer:  This is true, and listeners, he keeps referring to talking about may as well because I am the drummer in Fellowcraft, which is the same band that J.R. is in, so I have my band-mate on today, and that's why we're going to talk about some things sounds like we're talking to each other because we're in the same band because we are. I have seen him jump around for the sound man.

J.R.:  Yeah.

 Interviewer:  You know what? He still does it just for the sound-man. It doesn't change, it's kind of incredible to watch him do his thing. It doesn't matter whether it's for two people or a sold out show at the Black Cat, he's the same crazy performer and it's amazing. J.R., speaking of like jumping around at the Black Cat and stuff what's proudest and or coolest moments that come to mind from your music career so far?

 J.R.:  Two of them specifically, one was our Black Cat show. We played the Black Cat in the summer and we were opening up for an incredibly talented band called Rainbow Kitten Surprise, and I love their music I was really looking forward to opening for them. When we loaded in the back I was bringing all my gear into what I call hallowed ground, the Black Cat is holy ground to a musician in this area. I saw Johnny Graves' sticker right there on the dumpster and I just thought to myself, "Like, I'm walking in the shadow of my heroes," I've looked up to Johnny from the moment I met him. That was really cool. Being backstage and feeling the energy, like Dave Grohl was here, you know.

 The other thing that comes to mind is playing at Rock and Roll Hotel specifically, like as y favorite show I've had but I think one thing stuck out, it was recording at Inner Ear Studios and not just at Inner Ear, but with Don Zientara. I mean, he did Fugazi, he did the Bad Brains, he did the Slicky Boys, I mean this guy is a DC institution, and there we were as a band. Not only in his presence, but under his tutelage in his studio. It was an amazing experience. I walk in the shadow of the heroes I grew up looking up to.

Interviewer:  Really, and it truly was an incredible experience working with Don, I could say. I was definitely an institution ad listeners if you've got questions or thoughts for J.R. you can send them over on Twitter, just tag at DC music rocks. I will get them over to him while he's here on the show. With that I want to hear about, so talk about the biggest lesson that you've learned?

J.R.:  You got to respect the hustle. I mean, as a musician its a hustle. It's hard. It's half business, it's half songwriting. Its a relationship. Every band that I know of, every single one of them, the band-mates are like boyfriends and girlfriends, or boyfriends and boyfriends, or girlfriends and girlfriends. It's wild to see it happen. It's a hustle and it's hard. There's people's feelings, there's people's opinions, and then on top of that you've got all of this marketing that you have to do, image coordination, and let's not forget, your main reason you got into this was because you wanted to make music. In my case like, I wanted to write music, and play music, and perform, so that's one little sliver of it. I would tell any musician that's getting in the game, "Respect the hustle. Be good to those people around you, be polite, be professional, but respect how much work this really is."

Interviewer:  There is certainly a lot that goes into it, and becomes a team effort, that's for sure. The better the team the better it is. Absolutely. Share with you us, how do you find your music? How does that come to you?

J.R.:  Typically I find my music through shoes that I go to, or friends that are into a band and tell me about it. I don't have one place that I go. I'm not a Spotify guy, I'm not a Bandcamp dude. I'll go anywhere if you have an album out, I can find it. I just Google you. You know? As an artist you get to control the direction and medium of where your music goes. If you don't want to put anything on the internet and you just want to sell CD's out of the back of your car, if I've heard your music and like it I'm going to buy a CD out of the back of your car.

 Interviewer:  Right.

 J.R.:  Most of the time, it's shows. Like I go to a show, one of songs that's on listed was a band that I saw at the 9:30 Club, and I'm like, check this band out, going to get their stuff. That's as simple as it is for me. If I like your stuff, I will ask you where I can find it and I'll go get it. I hope other people do the same.

Interviewer:  Definitely. It's a blessing, well fans like you are certainly a blessing because it's just not ... sometimes everybody has their different approaches and I love that about you, man. You do go out, I've seen you go out and get the CD's. With bands that we're playing with, too. I've seen it. All right. One piece of advice? I love to end with this question because I think it appeals to everybody and I love hearing the responses that I get from guests, so for you, what's one piece of advice you have for DC musicians, and one piece of advice you'd offer for DC music fans?

J.R.:  For DC musicians my advice is simple as possible and that is just support the scene. Help bands out. Go to shows that aren't on your bill. Help a band out when they need a guitar, if one breaks. I had a musician who [inaudible 00:06:36] who was on a bill with me at Rock and Roll Hotel and I blew out two strings during a solo and it was going to take me a hot minute to fix it up, we can a plan for it, but he just walked over and just handed it to me. "Here is a guitar, J.R.," I think that's the kind of thing that makes this scene so amazing to me. Support the scene. Go to their shows, help them out when they need it, get on bills when you can, be as professional and polite as possible, but support them.

To fans it's really simple, go see bands play live. It's that easy. I mean, I relish every bit of support I can get. I am so thankful to anyone if you've liked my video online, if you've followed us on Spotify, anything. Anything you do, thank you so much. I won't ask you to do anything beyond that, but if you really want to make a different just pay the cover charge and get in the venue. You can buy merch, you can buy drinks to support the businesses, but that's it, just go to shows.

Interviewer:  I think that's a, going to shows is an interesting thing if you go to shows, please by all means introduce yourself to the band, to the bands and to the musicians because for me, and I know for J.R., it is truly a treat when people after the show, we love to stick around and talk to folks. If you enjoyed the show, or if there's a part of it that you enjoyed, same thing with your comments on the videos. That personal connection is a powerful thing, but go on to that shows, in person.

J.R.:  I would say the same thing to the artists. Be good to your fans, they're the reason that we get do this. You and I don't get to play music in DC for any other reason other than people come out and watch us do it so I want to make sure that every single on of them is taken care of and has a great experience.

Interviewer:  Absolutely. Thank you J.R. for the words of wisdom and for sharing a little bit about you. It's a treat to get to know the man behind the music which is why I love this part of the show in the interviews, it's truly a treat. Then the next part of the show, has to do with bringing great music. One of the things that I challenge all my guest to do is to bring us great music and J.R. has delivered ten-fold on that on. First up for today, J.R. what do you have for us?

J.R.:  This is a song by one of my favorite bands of all time, this is Clutch, with DC Sound Attack.

Interviewer:  Sweet. Thanks guys, you're awesome.