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Episodes 61-90

3/27/18 - Special Guest: Mystery Friends

Thanks to Mystery Friends for hanging out with us in the studio this week!

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




  1. Voodoo Woman, by Stone Driver (Hard Rock, Rock)

  2. Keflavik, by Mystery Friends (Indie, Dance Rock)

  3. ***Aimless Kid, by Queue (Indie, Indie Rock)

  4. Fade, by Lavender (Indie,Indie Pop)

  5. ***Graves, by Kid Brother (Rock/Folk)

***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<-


We need your help supporting WERA 96.7FM, a big supporter of the local music scene in DC, & the station where the live version of our show airs!  Arlington County is planning to cut funding for the station by 20%, which would gut the station staff, drive up costs to the station’s community considerably, and potentially even cause the loss of the station itself.

The county board will vote on the proposed budget on April 21st. Here’s how we need your help before the vote:

1) If you live in Arlington, or know someone who does, forward them this link and sign our petition - Urging the County Board to restore AIM's funding.

2) Share Your Feedback on Arlington's FY 2019 Proposed Budget - This county survey asks Arlington residents to give feedback on the proposed budget. Must be completed by April 9, 2018

3) Write your County Board members - - Tell them you want AIM's funding restored!!  Sample letter here -

4) Speak with a County Board member at an Open Door Monday. Open to all Arlington residents.  No appointment is necessary to talk one-on-one with a County Board member on any topic. Mondays, 7 - 9PM, at locations around the Arlington. See schedule below:
Open Door Monday at Langston Brown Community Center - Monday, April 2nd


  • Stone Driver - Voodoo Woman (Single - Hard Rock - RIYL AC/DC)

  • Time Is Fire - Stories Untold (3 Song EP - Hard Rock - RIYL Gang of Four)

Our 2018 New Releases by DC Artists’ Spotify Playlist:


The Split Seconds - Come To Mary

Thievery Corporation - Depth of My Soul ft Shana Halligan

2018 Tiny Desk Contest Videos By Your Local Artist (See Youtube Playlist below)

  • Sub-Radio

  • Lavender

  • Crys Matthews

  • Nardo Lilly

  • Justin Trawick

  • Thaylobleu

  • Aztec Sun

  • Near Northeast

  • Skribe

  • Leo & Cygnus

  • Flo Anito

  • Mystery Friends

Our ‘DC Artists 2018 Tiny Desk Videos’ Youtube 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!

(RIYL = Recommended If You Like)
Fri Mar 30
-Queue @ Black Cat on 14th St (Spacy Indie Vibe, RIYL The Nationals, The Cranberries)
-Bencoolen & FeelFree @ Gypsy Sally’s (Reggae, RIYL Red Hot Chili Peppers, SOJA, Steely Dan)
-Oh He Dead @ DC9 Nightclub (RIYL Alabama Shakes, Amy Winehouse, EP Release Show)

Sat Mar 31
-Lionize & Tomato Dodgers @ Rock & Roll Hotel on H St (Hard Rock & Funk, RIYL Metallica & Cake)

Sun Apr 1
-Rare Essence @ Society Lounge in Silver Spring (Go-Go, RIYL Chuck Brown

Tue Apr 3
-Rachel Levitin @ Pearl Street Warehouse (Rock, RIYL Sheryl Crow)

Thu Apr 5
-Chris Cassaday & Sol Roots @ Union Stage (Funk Blues, RIYL Eric Lindell, The Wood Brothers, Dave Matthews, Sublime)
-FuzzQueen & Nah. @ DC9 (Rock Indie, RIYL PJ Harvey, Waxahachie, Courtney Barnett, Hospitality)

Mark Your Calendar FUTURE shows discussed during the show:

Apr 23
Mystery Friends @ DC9

May 26
Stone Driver, Black Dog Prowl, and Fellowcraft (Brian's Band) at Union Stage
Epic Hard Rock Show - RIYL: AC/DC, Metallica, Guns & Roses,   


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)**

Mystery Friends

Video - Bio - Links - Transcript

Mystery Friends's Bio:

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Mystery Friends is a band rooted in the DC-music tradition while forging its own path forward. Since forming in 2016, the band finds its sound from a variety of influences, but they all fit together like a weird, wonderful puzzle. The band has been likened to Chvrches and Talking Heads, among others, but never looks to copy someone else’s sound. Combining powerful vocals, angular guitars, woozy synths, and a funky rhythm section, Mystery Friends makes moderately danceable rock music for a time when people need a reason to dance.



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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. Mystery Friends formed in 2016 and finds its sound from a variety of influences that all fit together like a weird wonderful puzzle. The band has been likened to Chvrches and Talking Heads among others and combining powerful vocals from Abby over there with angular guitars, woozy sense, and a funky rhythm section.

     Mystery friends makes moderately danceable rock, which we established means only extreme dancing sometimes, regular dancing other times. Moderately danceable rock I love it. Moderately danceable rock music for a time when people need a reason to dance. So and I first came across these guys, God it was probably a couple years ago. I've been following you guys for a long time since the first EP came out and I've been such a fan so for me it's a fanboy moment for me where I get to say thank you guys so much for being here. This is really cool.

Dave:     Well thank you.

Brian:     Absolutely. Now so for those folks who haven't heard it what is it that makes you guys special do you think? I hear all the time that like, "Oh we have great energy." Or something but what else, what makes you guys special or different you think?

Danny:     Reverse guitar.

Brian:     And if they don't know what a reverse guitar is what is that exactly?

Danny:     That's a guitar that you play backwards and put it into a sample pad.

Brian:     Play backwards meaning upside down and in your left hand? What does that mean?

Danny:     Yeah well that's what we tried it first.

Dave:     That's phase two.

Abby:     Yeah.

Dave:     So yeah I mean I would say part of what I think makes us unique or special would be that we take, we're a band with many influences and many, we bring a lot of different things to the table and that's could be a detriment but I think it's actually an asset because you know none of us are of the same exact musical taste and I think that ultimately that means we have like we try to write in that you know summary the combination can be interesting. You don't hear a lot of things like that because we're not all going from, "Oh I have to play like Radiohead. I have to play like whatever." Everybody has a different influence so therefore those are all represented in the music we ultimately produce.

Brian:     Got it and how did you guys come together?

Danny:     Very slowly. So I think actually the way that the name kind of works for us is that we all, so me and Dave went to high school together, but I met Robbie through his now fiancee. I met Abby through my girlfriend Kate's friend's sister. Is who Abby is. And I knew about Abby moving to DC months before she actually did and you know kind of probably scared her at a party one time when I told her I put a track on the playlist of the party that we were at. And so we kind of, yeah, so we kind of come from everywhere.

Abby:     Yeah.

Brian:     So in it, but what I'm collecting from this is that you all some how knew each other a little bit it wasn't like a Craigslist thing?

Dave:     Yeah. That's right.

Abby:     Correct. Yeah.

Danny:     Except for our drummer who's not here. Who Robbie met-

Dave:     Who was Robbie with?

Robbie:     I met his sister at-

Danny:     I met his sister at a wedding.

Robbie:     Yes.

Danny:     Yeah.

Dave:     So instead of Craigslist-

Danny:     And we needed a drummer.

Dave:     Robbie found someone at a wedding and through persuasion-

Brian:     You found someone at a wedding.

Dave:     Yeah.

Brian:     I love this combination. Holy smokes. I can't even keep track of all the things you just said but at the same time the level of connections it's like three degrees of separation from what's his name? Kevin Spacey?

Abby:     Yep.

Danny:     We probably know everybody in the DC area if-

Dave:     Yeah. Yeah.

Abby:     Somehow.

Danny:     [crosstalk 00:03:26] powers.

Abby:     Someone's connected or yeah well connected. If they're capable of something.

Brian:     That's amazing. And the name itself where does Mystery Friends come from?

Abby:     We joke 'cause it was a random name generator actually. But then we kind of landed on that and we're like that's actually really good. So-

Brian:     Now wait were you all like sitting around the name generator together at a rehearsal or did somebody find it and was like, "Hey what about this?"

Abby:     It was one of those rehearsals were I think we were let's rehearse but then it ended up being let's just eat pizza. So yeah I think there were instruments there but I don't think you can call it a rehearsal.

Brian:     So you had your phones out and you were looking on name generators and oh Mystery Friends.

Abby:     Yeah. It might've been Robbie. Yeah I don't, we had a list of like reject names and I think Mystery Friends was actually listed there and I'm like wait a minute that actually works for us. So you know all the odd connections and the friend tree that we have of how we all kind of came together so it worked out well.

Brian:     That's amazing and re-introduce yourselves real quick one more time. It's your name and what your role is in the band. Run through it for me real quick.

Abby:     Yeah Abby I'm the vocalist and the synth player.

Dave:     I'm Dave and I play guitar and synth and other stuff.

Brian:     Got it.

Danny:     And I'm Danny I play guitar and sample pad.

Brian:     Yeah.

Robbie:     Robbie here. I play bass.

Brian:     Yep and there's one more he is ...

Robbie:     Greg.

Abby:     Greg.

Brian:     Greg [crosstalk 00:04:38] he plays drums.

Abby:     Greg on the drums.

Dave:     Yeah on behalf of Greg he plays drums.

Brian:     On behalf of Greg.

Robbie:     The most mysterious of all the friends.

Brian:     Yeah I was going to say and I'm a drummer so you're the most important part and I love you man. Just so you know.

Dave:     Oh yeah. I can attest we tried playing without a drummer and I can attest that it is not as good as it sounds.

Brian:     See now you're just sucking up to me. Don't stop. Don't stop. That's so good. So now talk about you guys outside of the music. So then on the personal side, all of you guys, what are your hobbies? What do you do outside of Mystery Friends? Abby you first.

Abby:     Well it's funny because we all kind of have our corporate work jobs which kind of consume but we still find time for the band and for other things and yeah I'm really heavily involved in the events. You know industry out here in DC so I'm working a lot of events and going to a lot of events.

Brian:     Nice. What kind of events are your favorite kind of events?

Abby:     I, this is so cheesy but I love weddings. It's just, I cry at every single one of them.

Brian:     Oh my goodness. Oh that's so adorable stop it. I got ...

Robbie:     Even though she's missing mine.

Brian:     Oh.

Abby:     We're gonna do that right now aren't we.

Brian:     That's a shot over the bower. Alright.

Dave:     All out.

Abby:     That's just [crosstalk 00:05:43].

Brian:     He was waiting until now to do that. He really was.

Abby:     He was.

Brian:     Oh God that's hilarious. Alright Dave what about you man?

Dave:     So I am a also a tax lawyer. So that's less fun than music but it is what I do.

Brian:     That's so nerdy.

Dave:     Even for the synthesizers that I have. And then I also play, well I don't play so much baseball these days, but used to play baseball and now I'm auditing my [inaudible 00:06:05] shop because I'm playing music instead.

Brian:     Oh that's-

Dave:     And also Abby's being modest. She's also a successful solo artist and she just released a really cool video so you should check that out.

Brian:     Nice. And if they want to check out that video where do they go?

Abby:     It's on YouTube now and the official music video is up as of yesterday. Two days ago.

Brian:     And they should search for?

Abby:     Escape Plan by Abby Sevcik. And if you need help spelling that it's S-E-V-C-I-K.

Brian:     There it is. Alright and so next up. What do we got?

Danny:     I don't do a whole lot. I program professionally so I spend a lot of time around a computer and then I go home and play video games on my Nintendo Switch.

Brian:     Fantastic. [crosstalk 00:06:42] top two video games?

Danny:     Top two video games right now are we talking?

Brian:     Yeah. Like if you were going home now what two would you likely play?

Danny:     Probably Breath of the Wild and Golf Stories the current one. It's an RPG revolving around golf.

Brian:     And if they don't happen to know what game system are those on?

Danny:     Those are on Nintendo Switch.

Brian:     Got it.

Dave:     You thought the tax lawyer was nerdy?

Danny:     I was kind of like, "You made a mistake there."

Brian:     Oh well if you guys want to compete you know I got, that's cool. Alright and now what else? Talk to me man Robbie what do you got?

Robbie:     Yeah so I'll follow up with the day job as we all have them. I'm a real estate agent so I spend a lot of time looking at houses and et cetera. In my free time me and the fiancee [Bria 00:07:27] we love to go outdoors. We do a lot of hiking and skiing all those types of things.

Brian:     And what's the latest outdoor thing that you've done that comes to mind?

Robbie:     This is kind of weird but I'll go with it anyways. My buddy lives out in Alexandria and he decided he wanted to recycle a bunch of beer cans so we were outside. We built a kiln in his backyard and melted down beer cans and turned them into art. So ...

Abby:     Very outdoorsy.

Brian:     Oh my God.

Danny:     Yeah that's the type of outdoorsy

Dave:     Yeah the destructive fire based outdoorsy.

Brian:     Oh my God that's like, I didn't know what I was expecting but I wasn't expecting that. And then we were just talking about the nerdy level of the other two guys and now, oh wow. It's so good. I love you guys. Now one of my other favorite questions that I love to ask is if you could offer one piece of advice and this is for all of you guys, I want you to answer, if you can offer one piece of advice what would it be? Abby you're first.

Abby:     I think the best piece of advice I've been offered that I often relay is don't ever get to a point where you feel like you made it. I think that there's a lot of little success that come about that you're like "Oh my gosh this is so cool." You know I think you can kind of level yourself off if you're not careful. So just always you know remaining humble but also reaching for the next level of whatever you just obtained.

Brian:     Yeah and just out of curiosity what's the most recent success moment that comes to mind for you when you say that? Don't let it get to you but what comes to mind for you?

Abby:     It's crazy 'cause I'm sure a lot of people have experienced but this was my like, "Oh my gosh I made it." Dangerous but somebody saw me off the street and was like, "Are you in that band Mystery Friends?" I was like [crosstalk 00:09:03]. And I didn't want to know 'cause I'm sure like that was probably a friend of a friend but I'm like no I'm just going to go ahead and assume that that was a complete stranger.

Brian:     I am so glad that that happened to you. That's amazing. Alright Dave you're next man talk to me.

Dave:     I would say don't be lazy. I think, you know, if this band has been nothing else but exercise and you try there's a good chance you might just succeed even when you don't think your qualified or very good and you might not be. But if you're willing to go for it. I mean we basically shown that just trying and asking and just going of rit can be remarkably successful and it's really easy to do nothing so if you have a passion for it don't be lazy. Go for it.

Brian:     Don't be lazy. Right. I like it. And what is, is music an example of where you weren't lazy or didn't be lazy?

Dave:     Yeah I would say so. I would say I don't think the band collectively is very lazy with music. I think the first couple months we played or the first six months we played. We probably were pretty lazy you know. We sat around and played and just kind of you know tried out some sounds and hung out and ate pizza and once we decided we're actually going to do it and put a focus to it and like spend the time and money to make it right it was you know eye opening how much you can go by just being willing to go for it.

Brian:     That's awesome. Very cool. Alright next up talk to us.

Danny:     I think I mean this kind of plays into what Dave was saying but it's always worth asking the question so I mean that's how we kind of got a lot of our gigs around DC was just saying, "Hey can we play here?" And reaching out to different people I mean I think we even reached out to DC Music Rocks at some point and we're like, "Hey you know I don't think we know you but we'd love to." So I really do feel like kind of, you know, it's kind of like the Michael Scott quote, "You miss a 100% of the shots you don't take." Yeah.

Brian:     Is it Michael Scott? I feel like everybody [crosstalk 00:10:45] has been quoted. So many people have been quoted saying that actually. I heard it so many times. It was Michael Jordan, [Gramsky 00:10:52] I mean there are so many. Absolutely. Charles Barclay I'm sure one day I said it.

Danny:     He said a lot of things.

Brian:     Oh my God that's amazing. Alright Robbie. You're up man. You're in here too get up here. What do you got?

Robbie:     Keep throwing me near the mic so I'll take one from some personal experience. I think that I spent a lot of time growing up around some very talented musicians and always felt that I would not be able to play at their level and that if I did try to play along with them that I would be wrong and one thing I've learned from the band and from a lot of reading that I've done recently is you know there is no right or wrong in music until you've defined it, right? So music is supposed to be a conversation and the only way to get better is to play with other people and you know if you're lucky you'll find people who are better than you like all these folks here that'll make you become a better musician.

Brian:     That's awesome. I love it. Alright keep exploring keep doing it. I love it guys. And for those folks who want to find out more about you guys and the cool stuff that's happening with Mystery Friends where do they go?

Danny: We're on Facebook at Mystery Friends. Mystery Friends on Twitter, Mystery Friends on Instagram.

Dave:     Technically Mystery Friends band on Facebook but everything else is Mystery Friends.

Danny:     Okay. Fair.

Dave:     Some reason somebody else has Mystery Friends that is not us.

Brian:     Go figure right. And it's not a Scooby-Doo reference?

Dave:     It's not a Scooby-Doo reference.

Brian:     There it is. Okay.

Robbie:     But we are taking a mystery ...

Dave:     Yeah we are taking a van on tour which is effectively the mystery van but-

Brian:     Oh my God.

Dave:     But we will not be hopefully solving a crime.

Brian:     Please put a sticker on it or something. It would-

Dave:     We'd get sued is the only [crosstalk 00:12:23].

Brian:     Oh my God you're taking a band van. That's so good.

3/20/18 - Special Guest: Surprise Attack

Thanks to Ian, Jay, and Tom, of Surprise Attack, 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. ***You and Me and Howard Cosell, by Quiet Life Motel (World, Jazz)

  2. M.D.M.A., by Surprise Attack (Funk, Jam)

  3. Petrified, by Chris Cassaday (Folk, Folk Rock)

  4. ***Come Up, by Jae Alexander (R&B)

  5. Dopener, by Of Tomorrow (Rock/Funk)

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

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-


We need your help supporting WERA 96.7FM, the station where the live version of our show airs!  Arlington County is planning to cut funding for the station by 20%, which would gut the station staff, drive up costs to the station’s community considerably, and potentially even cause the loss of the station itself.

The county board will vote on the proposed budget on April 21st. Here’s how we need your help before the vote:

1) If you live in Arlington, or know someone who does, forward them this link and sign our petition - Urging the County Board to restore AIM's funding.

2) Share Your Feedback on Arlington's FY 2019 Proposed Budget - This county survey asks Arlington residents to give feedback on the proposed budget. Must be completed by April 9, 2018

3) Write your County Board members - - Tell them you want AIM's funding restored!!  Sample letter here -

4) Speak with a County Board member at an Open Door Monday. Open to all Arlington residents.  No appointment is necessary to talk one-on-one with a County Board member on any topic. Mondays, 7 - 9PM, at locations around the Arlington. See schedule below:

Open Door Monday at Aurora Hills Library - Monday March 26th
Open Door Monday at Langston Brown Community Center - Monday, April 2nd


Our 2018 New Releases by DC Artists’ Spotify Playlist:


Thievery Corporation - Voyage Libre

Handsome Hounds Tiny Desk Video 2018

Our ‘DC Artists Official Music Videos’ Youtube Playlist:


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

Fri Mar 23
Human Country Jukebox @ Hill Country in Downtown DC

Sat Mar 24
Womxn Screw Stuff Up (Clean Words) Festival @ Songbyrd Music House in Admo
Split Seconds & Curse Words @ Milkboy Arthouse in MD

Sun Mar 25
Two Ton Twig @ Solly’s on U St

Wed Mar 28
Ardamus @ Milkboy Arthouse in College Park, MD


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

HUGE shoutout to our current Patrons! 
**Daniel Warren Hill**    **David Mohl**    **Eli Lev**
**Sarah Byrne**   **Music 4 The Revolution (Abu Jibran)**

Surprise Attack

Video - Bio - Links - Transcript

Surprise Attack's Bio:

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Drawing inspiration from across the musical spectrum to create their unique "Mountain Funk" sound, Surprise Attack thrives on collaboration and improvisation. The group’s five members share a deep connection and a passion for uncompromising, progressive music that keeps listeners guessing and always lands somewhere unexpectedly familiar.


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Brian:     On DC Music Rocks, we're shining a spotlight on the great songs, artists, and incredible people behind the DC region's local music scene. And Surprise Attack pushes the envelope when it comes to seamlessly blending genres and improvisation. Their unexpectedly eclectic blend of funk, jazz, rock, roots music, and hip-hop, is something they often call Mountain Funk. Multi part harmonies, searing instrumental leads, dynamic rhythmic breaks, and nostalgic covers are only a few of the tools Surprise Attack uses to entertain and delight you when you come and see them.  This five piece group demonstrates a keen ability to reflect the energy of an audience back at them, and creating unique and unforgettable experiences. They're also great dudes. I came across these guys way back when I started the show, and I've been following them for two years ... two plus years, at this point, and I love all these releases. It is such a treat to now get to share you guys with everybody listening. Thanks for being here, guys.

Tom:     [crosstalk 00:00:57]. Thanks, Brian, yeah, it's great to be here.

Brian:     This is awesome. What is it that makes Surprise Attack special? I talked about the blend of the different genres of the Mountain Funk, and then there's also that ... I talked about the ... sending the energy back to the audience. What else? What makes you special?

Tom:     It's the friendship at the core. Really, we've been extremely close friends for a really long time. We're all odd. We're quirky. And I really think when we get together, we just ... we really click in a way that is special, and I think the music that we put out is a direct reflection of that.

Brian:     Absolutely. And if they haven't been to a Surprise Attack show, what's it like?

Jay:     We try to project fun. Fun is what we've got from a lot of people, so we try to read the crowd and sort of the venue, and try to cater the musical experience to that, because you don't want to just come up there with the same couple songs that you always do.

Brian:     Right.

Jay:     People might get bored of that really quickly, so we like to really ... Our name is Surprise Attack. We like to really [crosstalk 00:02:12].

Brian:     Surprise attack them?

Jay:     ... any idea of what's coming, so when you hear, it's supposed to give that feeling.

Brian:     That's awesome. So now, right along those lines then, when it comes to memorable moments where you surprise attacked someone, what comes to mind for the most successful moment for surprise attacking people?

Ian:     Well actually, recently we played ... What was the name of that bar we played?

Tom:     The Midlands?

Ian:     Yeah, the Midlands. And we went into ... Oh, sorry. And we went into Cali Love ... California Love, but Tupac.

Brian:     Stop it. Really?

Ian:     Yeah. That surprise attacked the hell out of everybody.

Brian:     I can only imagine. Wow. And knew all the words? Rapped to it?

Ian:     Yeah, the bartenders were all taking videos and everything. They loved it.

Brian:     That's awesome. What a cool thing. I love it.  And now, the story behind the name. Surprise Attack, where did that come from?

Tom:     Believe it or not, Surprise Attack formed a little over 10 years ago, the first time. We were a pop/punk sort of outfit.

Brian:     Really?

Tom:     Yeah, we were a pop/punk sort of outfit, so Surprise Attack was a great name for us then, and then we came back, we all loved jam music, and yeah, just the [segging 00:03:29] from one song to the other, the unexpected songs that come in and out of the sets. Surprise Attack just worked, and we've kept it ever since.

Brian:     Got it. The name was actually ... That was the name of the pop/punk group too?

Tom:     Yes.

Brian:     So, it's been Surprise Attack since the beginning.

Tom:     Yes.

Brian:     Wow. And how long of a break was it between when you stopped and came back?

Tom:     It was like eight, nine years after our pretty much permanent hiatus, that we all decided to move back to DC and then start playing music again.

Brian:     And when you say, "We all", describe all the members and the pieces of the band. What makes up Surprise Attack?

Ian:     Well, at first was me and Tom, the guitar ... Sorry, this is Ian on the drums and Tom the guitar player, and then we had [Gerry 00:04:13] on the keys and Danny on the base, originally. That was when we were in high school. Then once we split up, got back together, and [Jayro 00:04:23], the percussion player joined the band, and that's been over a year now.

Jay:     Yeah, it was kind of ... I knew all these guys back then too, as well, but we all ended up going to different colleges, and so we were spread out.

Brian:     Oh, of course.

Ian:     Except for Tom and I. We both went to Virginia Tech, and that's where ... I had my electronic drum kit there that I could make work in the townhouse that I had. Then Tom would come over and jam, so that's kind of how me and him started musically collaborating. Once we all sort of moved back to this area, after the college period kind of, then got back into it.

Brian:     You described ... I hear six people. Yeah? There's six?

Tom:     There's five of us.

Brian:     Five of us. Got it. And the instrumentation is two drums ... What is it? Tell me the rest.

Tom:     We've got the standard traditional drum kit. We got Jayro who plays percussion, like [tongos 00:05:25], bongos, all sorts of random fun loud-making stuff.

Brian:     Okay.

Tom:     Guitar. We got keyboards, and we've got base.

Brian:     And base. What a great ... And that means you can play any cover too, because you've got all the instruments you need to do that. Oh man, guys, that's fun.  What about ... Outside of the music thing in your personal time, I want you guys to each share. What do you do for fun? Outside of that.

Ian:     Well actually, coincidentally, I started doing music lessons. I know this is music related, but that's actually what I do for my job now.

Brian:     Really? What kind of ... so you teach lessons?

Ian:     I teach drums, guitar and piano.

Brian:     Where is that? Where do you do that?

Ian:     It's at a place called Bach to Rock.

Brian:     Nice.

Ian:     Yeah. Teaching kind of from six to 13 or so. Younger kids.

Brian:     Very cool.

Ian:     Yeah. It's a lot of fun.

Brian:     Teaching music lessons.

Ian:     Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jay:     This guy can play everything, man.

Brian:     Everything drums, or everything ...

Jay:     Like everything.

Brian:     [crosstalk 00:06:29], like whatever you want. Wow, man. That's amazing.

Ian:     All the rock instruments.

Brian:     Awesome. And what else? About the rest of you?

Tom:     This is Tom, and I'm a huge yoga advocate. That's probably-

Brian:     Really?

Tom:     ... the thing that eats up the most of my time outside of the band.

Brian:     Now, when you say, "Huge", does that mean daily, twice daily?

Tom:     Not twice daily. It's definitely a daily thing for me. Sometimes more than others, but it's just been a huge part of my life for the past four or five years. It really keeps me grounded.

Brian:     Grounded is such a good yoga word, that they use. [crosstalk 00:07:02] associated with it. Do you go to a studio to do this, or do you teach it, or do you just do it at home, or what?

Tom:     There's a ton of great studios around Arlington, Virginia. Everywhere in northern Virginia and DC has them. I'll do stuff at home. I'll do stuff at studios. I like experimenting. Doing with a community is nice, and then practicing on my own can be nice too sometimes.

Brian:     Very cool.

Jay:     And this is Jay, and I started skateboarding at six years old and used to do it competitively. I don't do it as much anymore. I'm kind of a big guy to be skating. It hurts when I fall.

Brian:     Now, when you say a big guy, if they don't know how big you are ...

Jay:     Well, I'm 6'4" and weigh about 200 pounds.

Brian:     Got it. Yeah, that is pretty tall for skateboarding. You're right.

Ian:     Everybody in this band is really tall, except for me. Everybody is six feet and above, and I'm standing here over here, 5'9".

Brian:     So Ian, the 5'9" under the giants.

Ian:     Yeah, exactly.

Brian:     Oh god, that's amazing.

Jay:     But yeah. I don't do it as much anymore, but I still get out there a lot, and still try to do some crazy stuff from time to time.

Brian:     Nice. I like it, guys. One of my favorite questions to ask, and I want each of you to answer it is, if you could offer one piece of advice, what would it be?

Ian:     To other bands, or ...

Brian:     I'm going to leave it entirely up to you.

Ian:     Oh, okay.

Brian:     It's just your piece of advice to whoever.

Jay:     Listen to Surprise Attack.

Tom:     This is why we put Jay [crosstalk 00:08:28].

Brian:     That was Jay, and Jay, you still got to come up with something else. But we do love that advice. I do. I do.

Ian:     That's just good advice for life, in general. Listen to Surprise Attack.

Brian:     Absolutely. I would say, "And then go to a show and be surprised and attacked." There's that too. Go ahead, Ian, what do you got?

Ian:     Well, I guess for bands in the area starting up and stuff, just going to a bunch of different shows and supporting local music and stuff is definitely ... definitely was a big help for us, as far as just making friends and also seeing different styles and stuff like that. Listen to as many people as you can, I would say.

Brian:     Awesome. That's cool. What about you, Tom?

Tom:     I got to say, just in general, do your do.

Brian:     Do your do. It sounds like a Mountain Dew commercial.

Tom:     It's not a Mountain Dew commercial. There's a lot of things that we're told that we can't do, we shouldn't do, things that are just a bad idea for us to go down. In particular, as a musician, that one really strikes home for me. Really, just if you've got the passion to do something, absolutely go for it, and give it everything you've got.

Brian:     Absolutely.

Ian:     I like that.

Brian:     I like that one. Absolutely. All right, Jay. Your second shot. More advice. I was only asking for one, but you're allowed two.

Jay:     Drink a lot coffee, so that it can support you to ... As a musician and everything, it's ... As you're coming up and trying to really make it work, you still got other things in your life you try to balance and get everything together, but just every time that I'm ... just kind of notice I'm sitting around and doing nothing, I just kind of have the realization, and just try to stay energetic, and stay on the path towards achieving whatever I've set out to achieve. I just try to have a lot of energy when it comes to that, just so that I can achieve kind of a good balance with my goals and living life.

Brian:     Absolutely. When you have those moments, take advantage of them and do the stuff that's important, not just [inaudible 00:10:44]. I like that. I like that.  Cool. And for those folks who want to find out more about Surprise Attack, where do they go?

Tom: is the definite place to get any and all Surprise Attack information. Looking us up on Facebook also. There's a ton of information, and all of our music is available for free for download; Band Camp, SoundCloud, Spotify, iTunes.

Brian:     That's amazing. All right. And is there one social media that you guys do more on than the others?

Ian:     Probably Facebook, at this point, but we're getting more involved with Instagram and stuff. We've been thinking about getting a Twitter, but ...

Brian:     Facebook and Instagram


3/13/18 - Special Guest: The Fringe Benefits

Thanks to Bruce and Dave with The Fringe Benefits 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. Until They Find Us, by The Grey A (Indie, Rock)

  2. Step Out, by The Fringe Benefits (Pop, Motown)

  3. Hurricane, by Hayley Fahey (Rock, Indie Rock)

  4. Diamonds Are Optional, by Vintage#18 (Blues, Soul)

  5. Someone Special, by Stephen Ascone (Pop)

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-


Brian was interviewed! Somehow word got around about DC Music Rocks, and I was contacted via Linkedin to do a "12 Minute Convo" (Podcast). Sometimes you just have to say yes and try things in life, and this was so random, I was skeptical, and turned out fun! Also fun to be the one answering the questions for a change!


We need your help supporting WERA 96.7FM, the station where the live version of our show airs!  Arlington County is planning to cut funding for the station by 20%, which would gut the station staff, drive up costs to the station’s community considerably, and potentially even cause the loss of the station itself.

The county board will vote on the proposed budget on April 21st. Here’s how we need your help before the vote:

  1. If you live in Arlington, or know someone who does, forward them this link and sign our petition - Urging the County Board to restore AIM's funding.

  2. Share Your Feedback on Arlington's FY 2019 Proposed Budget - This county survey asks Arlington residents to give feedback on the proposed budget. Must be completed by April 9, 2018

  3. Write your County Board members - - Tell them you want AIM's funding restored!! Sample letter here -

Speak with a County Board member at an Open Door Monday. Open to all Arlington residents.  No appointment is necessary to talk one-on-one with a County Board member on any topic. Mondays, 7 - 9PM, at locations around the Arlington. See schedule below:

  • Open Door Monday at Arlington Mill Community Center- Monday, March 12th

  • Open Door Monday at Central Library - Monday, March 19th

  • Open Door Monday at Aurora Hills Library - Monday March 26th

  • Open Door Monday at Langston Brown Community Center - Monday, April 2nd


Our 2018 New Releases by DC Artists’ Spotify Playlist:


Our ‘DC Artists Official Music Videos’ Youtube Playlist:


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

Fri Mar 16
Karen Jonas & Skribe @ Lost Rhino in Ashburn, VA
Vim & Vigor @ The Ugly Mug on 8th St SE in DC
Sub-Radio @ Whitlow’s in Arlington

Sat Mar 17
Tabi Bonney @ Anacostia Arts Center
Justin Trawick and Pebble 2 Pearl @ Shamrock & Roll Festival in Loudon

Tues Mar 20
Mystery Friends @ Union Stage in DC

Wed Mar 21
Lavender @ Milkboy Arthouse in College Park MD


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

HUGE shoutout to our current Patrons! 
**Daniel Warren Hill**    **David Mohl**    **Eli Lev**
**Sarah Byrne**   **Music 4 The Revolution (Abu Jibran)**

The Fringe Benefits

Video - Bio - Links - Transcript

The Fringe Benefit's Bio:

The Fringe Benefits.jpg

The Fringe Benefits began forming at the end of 2013 with talented and experienced musicians from northern Virginia. The 5 piece band based in Gainesville Virginia features drums, guitar, bass, guitar synth and 5 vocalists. Julianna Smith, lead vocalist has a big, powerful and soulful voice that makes the band’s recordings instantly recognizable.

The band performs regularly in Northern Virginia. Playing songs that draw ladies to the dance floor, the band creatively “mashes-up” covers of songs from 80’s to today. The band also plays a original songs including "You're On My Time Now" that went to #1 on the Radio Indie Alliance chart in 2017 and just released Oct 2017, “Step Out” which won an honorable mention in the pop category at the recent Songwriters Association of Washington. On March 3rd at our 4 year anniversary show, we introduced a new original “Mama Knows Blessed”.

Twitter- @fringebenefitsb

3yrCakePose Fringe Benefits


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. The Fringe Benefit's is a 5 piece band based in Gainesville, Virginia featuring drums, guitar, bass, guitar synth and vocalists. Five vocalists. I mean, everybody sings. We've got Juliana Smith, who's lead vocalist, has big, powerful and soulful voice that makes the bands recordings instantly recognizable. They were born in 2013. The band performs regularly around northern Virginia and they play originally music and creatively mash up covers of songs of the 80's to today. So, I first came across them when I was doing the show a while back and I've been A Friend's Benefit's fan. The album Step Out came out and I've just been following them and I love the stuff that you're doing. So, basically, for me, being the fan boy, it's an honor to have you here man. Bruce, thanks and Dave, thanks for coming down guys. Thanks for being here.

Bruce:     It's an honor to be here Brian and I've gotta tell you, you know, the things that you're doing for the local music scene. As I mentioned earlier, it's kind of like you're the Paul Shaffer of golden Virginia music. You know everybody now.

Brian:     Wait, they don't know who Paul Shaffer is, who's Paul Shaffer?

Bruce:     He's the guy that knows everybody in the music business and actually performed with everybody from James Brown to Aretha Franklin to on and on.

Brian:     God. Okay. I take that as a compliment then. Holy smokes. I like to say I know of them. I don't know all of them yet but I'm trying. Thanks Bruce. I appreciate that man. So, now, what is it that makes the Fringe Benefit's special? That's what I want to know off the bat.

Bruce:     I don't think this was on the list.

Brian:     There's a lot of bands out there. So, what is it that makes the Fringe Benefit's show or the Fringe Benefit's a little different from the others?

Bruce:     Yeah. So, I would say it's really stage presence. The covers consist of the core of the shore. We do the original songs as self promotion and give us something unique but really I would say, truly, honest, it's stage presence. We used to have different ones that were singing lead vocal and when you're singing to the people in the audience, they're looking at you and you make eye contact. So, a year ago John said you know, I'm singing lead vocal in the song. Nobody's looking at me. Everybody's looking at Juliana and I said well dude, I'm not gonna tell her to cut her stage presence. You gotta increase your stage presence.

Brian:     You gotta step it up buddy.

Bruce:     Yeah. Step it up and we have so, it's happening but yeah, we go from song to song well. We play popular songs that people know and enjoy and we mix in a couple originals but I think it's the stage presence. We do have a little bit different instrumentation. I'm sure you have some listeners out there that are musicians. I'm playing guitar synth. So, while you see me play guitar, you hear piano, organ, saxophone, different instruments and I do all that live. There's no track. Every note is played.

Brian:     That's amazing and Dave you're here with us too. Now, talk about, what do you think is special? You're working with the band, you're doing some of the booking too. So, talk about what you do and then talk about what you think makes Fringe Benefit's a little different? What are you booking for?

Dave:     Sure. Well, I like to work with them because they're just all about having fun and the music industry can be crazy and it can be hard to get gigs and how to get motivated to go out and knock on doors, make phone calls, and send emails. Working for these guys has been a privilege because I see just how much fun they have playing and how much fun their fans have coming out and dancing and grooving to their music all night long. I think that goes a really long way to have a group of people that are good friends, that enjoy each other's company and they just have a lot of fun.

Bruce:     You really get three aspects of playing in music. You get the gigs, the music and then the relationships and we take advantage and have fun with all that but as you talk about having fun, this is a big contrast to one of your artists that you played earlier. They're all political. We have nothing political in what we're doing unless it's in a popular cover tune. Then it's not us saying it.

Brian:     True. That's one of the great things I love about the DC scenes too is that you really get everything. [crosstalk 00:04:43] People sing about what's close to their heart and if you're writing, you're writing a song about step out - which is about your friends that are coming out and one of your other songs might be about something else that happened to you. For some people, this is how they air their political frustrations and for others it's where you get your inspiration from and it changes every time.

Bruce:     Beautiful.

Brian:     So, it's a cool thing. Now, talk about where does the name come from? Fringe Benefits. What's the story there?

Bruce:     So, my version of the story is we were coming together long about the time Obama Care was coming in and it was my belief that no one could afford health insurance for their employees. So, maybe they could provide some fringe benefits. Maybe one of those could be having the Fringe Benefits band at the company party.

Brian:     So, I liked to point out how you just talked about how you weren't political and yet that's the story of your name Bruce.

Bruce:     Well, I didn't ask the question.

Brian:     Man, that's funny.

Bruce:     There's nothing wrong with having Fringe Benefits, right?

Brian:     That's darn right. I enjoy Fringe Benefits. Fringe Benefit's are nice.

Bruce:     Yeah, I get dinged for that one. Okay.

Brian:     I just had to call you out there for a second because that's really funny. All right. So, your connection to the DC scene, how long have you guys both been in the DC area and what part of the area?

Bruce:     So, I've been here and gone and come back. So, I went to high school - Jeb Stuart, [Oakton 00:06:06]. We're on Wilson Boulevard now. So, down at Seven Quarters, the Eaton Center was [Lafiat 00:06:13] Radio and I worked there. A lot of people don't realize this but the CB boom, nationwide, started in that store and I was a witness to it. So, it was pretty cool but now I've been living in Manassas for 20 years.

Brian:     Got it and what about you Dave?

Dave:     I grew up in Gray Falls and went to Langley High School. My first concert I remember was at the Patriot's Center and it was with the Deaf Tones, Incubus and Tape Root and I just remember having the time of my life and I knew from then on, music was a passion of mine.

Brian:     Yep. [inaudible 00:06:52] I love it. Bruce, you brought up memory with music, Bruce, what's your earliest memory with music?

Bruce:     So, I think it's a pretty cool story. So, one of the kids in the neighborhood got a silk shier, several tone, acoustic guitar and one of the other kids came up and said hey, yo, Ed's got a guitar! We gotta go check it out!  So, we went over to Ed's house and we were pulling the guitar out of each other's hands playing The Lick From Dirty Water. It was a hit song.

Brian:     Okay.

Bruce:     By the Stand Bells and so, that was my earliest memory. Well, about five years ago, I had a beer with the bass player from the Stand Bells.

Brian:     Really? Oh my god.

Bruce:     Pretty cool.

Brian:     That's amazing. Wow. Oh, man. That must have been wild. Oh goodness and while we're on the topic of moments in history here, talk about the funniest moment for the band. What comes to mind?

Bruce:     Two years, maybe three years ago, we dressed up for Halloween. We wanted to do dead rock stars. I did Elvis and many of you may know that Elvis died on the toilet and so, at the end of my choreographed, heart break hotel, there's a turd on the stage. Juliana said I'm not going up there.

Brian:     Oh, that's awful. Oh, man. What did you do?

Bruce:     So, we had a good laugh. Well, actually one of our friends picked it up and pretended to eat it. So, that was [crosstalk 00:08:30].

Brian:     But this was supposed to be funny.

Bruce:     You know who you are.

Brian:     Oh my god. That's unbelievable. All right. Wow. So, when we're not talking about the music stuff then. So, on the personal side, talk about your hobbies and interests. What do you guys do outside of the music? Bruce you first.

Bruce:     Okay. The music is like a therapy for me and kind of powers me for everything else I do. My day job is internet advertising but I also have a company where I do software for printing companies and then community service stuff. I served on the board of the Prince William Chamber of Commerce.

Brian:     Oh.

Bruce:     And the Center for the Arts and the Candy Factory in Manassas. I'm a member of the Manassas Rotary Club and as a band, the Fringe Benefit's have cooked for the homeless a couple times at the serve shelter in Manassas.  So, I'm gonna sign us up and do that again. So, we have a lot of fun just doing stuff for other people.

Brian:     Man, community service stuff. I like that Bruce. Dave, what about you?

Dave:     I'm actually big on the gardening.

Brian:     Really?

Dave:     Yeah.

Brian:     Fantastic.

Dave:     I'm on 5 acres and just planting fruit trees and vegetables and we got chickens. Just big into that and connecting with nature and going hiking and traveling. I just got back from Costa Rica.

Brian:     Costa Rica.

Dave:     I was there for two weeks-

Brian:     Nice.

Dave:     It's an amazing place. I highly suggest it.

Brian:     That's cool. All right. Lots of stuff going on outside and now, I guess to tag onto that then, let's say it's the weekend and you've got nothing on the schedule, you actually have open time. What would you do? If it's Saturday, Sunday and you don't have anything on the schedule, what would you do?

Bruce:     Me? I'm working.

Brian:     What does that mean? For one of the companies or for-

Bruce:     Yeah. Doing ads for clients or either I'm goofing off. Actually, last weekend what I did was working on new technology for the guitar synth. So, that's a fun thing.

Brian:     That's right. You get your guitar synth. That's your thing. What about you Dave? What would you do if you had a weekend off?

Dave:     I will literally be in my garden at like midnight pulling out weeds and planting stuff. I'll have my head lamp on and you know-

Brian:     Oh my god. Those amazing head lamps? You have to see a picture. I took a selfie with them so you can see it and I'm just envisioning him with a headlamp on at midnight. That's really funny. I love that. Gardening.

Dave:     Gardening.

Brian:     Gardening's a thing. I love it.

Dave:     Very therapeutic.

Brian:     Okay, cool. Well, and this questions to both of you guys. This is one of my favorite questions to ask in these interviews is if you could offer one piece of advice, what would it be? And I want to hear from both of you actually. So, Dave, why don't you go first?

Dave:     So, piece of advice for bands, correct?

Brian:     It's up to you. You can offer whatever piece of advice to whoever you want.

Dave:     Okay. Well, I mean the first piece of advice would be to have fun like we talked about with the Fringe Benefits. That's so important. If you're going to be in a band, you're going to be committed to being with these set of people and practicing and going to shows and be committed to this. Have fun and pick people that you're going to get along with and then practice. Really prepare yourself for the gigs, get your songs down, your set list and know what direction you want to go and have a clear vision. Have a plan.

Brian:     Yeah.

Dave:     And then execute it. Go out, get gigs, get a booking agent - someone that's going to represent you.

Brian:     What's the best way to get a booking agent? You just reach out?

Dave:     Yeah, you can give me a call.

Brian:     There you go. Go ahead and say your name is-

Dave:     My name is Dave. Dave [Maskatello 00:12:14]-

Brian:     And how do they find you?

Dave:     Planetary music is my company. You can go on I just bought a new domain. It's going to be, which I'm now building but Facebook's great. Anyway, Planetary Music but there's plenty of agents and you can find some great managers in the area and a manager, if you're an original band, is really important because they'll help you manage your day to day stuff and get the right recording study and get into interviews like this.

Brian:     There you go, yeah.

Dave:     A band called Foot Work that needs to get out here.

Brian:     Oh, there it is. Please do welcome Foot Work, whenever they want to come on, I would love to have them because Foot Work's a great hip hop. I love the hip hop scene in DC and man, Foot Work is one of the early ones I found and I love them so that would be cool.

Dave:     They're about to go on tour in April but anyway, back to the advice. Yeah, promote your shows.

Brian:     Yep.

Dave:     Definitely promote your shows.

Brian:     It's huge.

Dave:     Venues, yes, they're going to do their part and band's gotta do their part.

Brian:     And Bruce, what about you man? One piece of advice.

Bruce:     So, on the fun side, it's never go to a radio interview unprepared.

Brian:     Public service announcement. Thank you Bruce. I appreciate that and the man is prepared. I give him credit. He's got notes in front of him right now. This man is ready. So, I love it. I truly appreciate that man. I appreciate that. That's good. All right. One more time. For those folks who want to find and follow more about the Fringe Benefits and the things you're doing and where you're playing and all that stuff, where do they go?


3/6/18 - Some of Brian's All Time Favorite Jams - All Music Episode

We're on Spring Break here at DC Music Rocks.  Brian's put together an episode of some of his favorite tracks which he'll be jamming out to during this vacation, we wanted to share them with you too!  Turn it up for this one!  

^^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. Be Your Baby, by Katie Hargrove (Pop)

  2. WDYG (Where Did You Go), by All The Best Kids (Hip Hop/Pop)

  3. Vapor, by Black Dog Prowl (Hard Rock)

  4. The Remedy, by Dr. Badlove & The Remedies (Hip Hop)

  5. Simple Reunion, by The Jones (Hard Rock)

  6. Pa Ra Ra, by Aztec Sun (Funk)

  7. Send Me, by Stone Driver (Hard Rock)

  8. Mrs. Piano, by Kenny Sway (R&B)

  9. The West Texas Blues, by Fellowcraft (Rock)

  10. Gotta Have Your Love, by Area 301 (Hip Hop)

  11. Annabelle, by Carter Lou & The Project (Rock)

  12. Red Flag, by Cassie Urbany (Rock)

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-



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)**

3-6-18 All Music Social B4.jpg

2/27/18 - New Music Release Highlights From 2018 So Far - All Music Episode

We're on Spring Break here at DC Music Rocks.  During this vacation time for us, we're listening to the new releases just from 2018 so far, and we think they're SO GOOD!  Here's an episode full of some of the good ones we've found, we hope you enjoy!  

^^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. This Is Love, by Justin Trawick and the Common Good (Folk/Bluegrass)

  2. Blessings, by Alex Vaughn (Hip Hop/R&B)

  3. Flight 232, by Dan Wolff (Rock/Pop Rock)

  4. Be My Home, by Lauren Calve (Folk/Indie)

  5. Wide Eyed and Reckless, by Mystery Friends (Indie/Synth Pop)

  6. What Are We, by Sub-Radio (Pop/Synth Pop)

  7. The Lake, by Wylder (Indie)

  8. Dance With You, by Mista Fingaz (Electronic Pop/R&B)

  9. Pressure, by Luke James Shaffer (Rock/Pop Rock)

  10. Downtown, by Dupont Brass (Funk/Brass Band)

  11. Devastation, by Elizabeth II (Rock/Pop Rock)

  12. Boss's Dime, by Two Ton Twig (Bluegrass)

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-



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)**

2-27-18 All Music 2018 New Releases.jpg

2/20/18 - Special Guest: Edjacated Phools

Thanks to Edjacted Phools 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. Chicken Soup, by Matt Waller (Reggae, Alternative Rock)

  2. The Seams, by Edjacted Phools (Rock/Punk)

  3. Trying to be Heard, by The Radiographers (Rock, Blues Rock)

  4. Vanity, by Higher Education (Country)

  5. Mountain Home, by Kitchen Noise (Rock)

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-


Ben Tufts and the Craig Tufts Foundation Hosts Tribute Benefit Event - ‘100 musicians cover The Police’.

On Saturday and Sunday, March 3-4, 2018, over 100 of the area’s top artists will gather at Gypsy Sally’s to pay homage to rock band The Police. This musical showcase is the eleventh event and fourth tribute show in the popular Ben Tufts and Friends series, hosted by local musician Ben Tufts. Tickets are $15 and available through the Gypsy Sally’s website. All profits from the event will benefit The Craig Tufts Educational Scholarship Fund, established in memory of Ben’s late father, which provides scholarships for youth studying nature through exploration and adventure. The Craig Tufts Educational Scholarship Fund was co-established by the Tufts family and The National Wildlife Federation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.



Alex The Red Parez - Raining Down

Soundproof Genie - Hollow Love

Our ‘DC Artists Official Music Videos’ Youtube Playlist:


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

Fri Feb 23
Uptown Boys Choir @ Rock N Roll Hotel on H St NE

Sat Feb 24
Ardamus @ DC9 by U St NW
Three Man Soul Machine @ Pearl Street Warehouse by Waterfront in SW

Sun Feb 25
Two Ton Twig @ Solly’s on U St NW
A Shrewdness of Apes @ Villain & Saint in Bethesda

Mon Feb 26
Caustic Casanova @ DC9 Nightclub by U St NW

Tues Feb 27
Time Is Fire @ Rock N Roll Hotel on H St NE

Thu Mar 1
Touch The Buffalo @ Villain & Saint in Bethesda


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)**

Edjacated Phools

Video - Bio - Links - Transcript

Edjacted Phool's Bio:

DC Music Rocks Guest Edjacated Phools.JPG

The Edjacated Phools are a 6-piece fusion band based in Baltimore, MD. Comprised of Devin Barone (drums), Tyler Garrison (bass), Nick Hatzis, (vocals) Kyle Sappington (vocals), Logan Sappington (guitar, vocals), and Ben Yancheski (keys), they combine an energetic blend of rock, reggae, hip-hop, ska and punk influences into a unique sound.

The band had an exciting 2017, having been selected to open for The Expendables for the second time on March 14th at Rams Head Live in Baltimore, as well Badfish at The Fillmore in Silver Spring, MD on May 5th. Edjacated Phools also signed with Raised Fist Records in August and released their debut album, Check The Vibes, on September 1st. The band also presented the 2nd Annual Hightopps Backstage Bash on September 9th.





DC Music Rocks Edjacated Phools.jpg
edjacted phools.jpg


Brian:     On DC Music Rocks we're shining a spotlight on the great songs, artists, and incredible people behind the DC region's local music scene. The Edjacated Phools are a six-piece fusion band based in Baltimore, Maryland, with members in DC and in Baltimore. They combine an energetic blend of rock, reggae, hip-hop, ska, and punk influences into a unique sound.

     The band signed with Raised Fist Records in August of 2017 and released their debut album you just heard that track from called "Check the Vibes," back on September first of 2017, and I've been a fan of these guys since, gosh, close to when I started the show, I've been an ... I've been following these guys since before they were with the record company, and before ... Like, way back in the beginning. I've been following you guys, and I've been such a fan of the work that you're doing and the incredible songs that you guys are putting out.

    So, the bottom line for me, personally, is let me just fanboy for a moment and just say, it is so freaking awesome to have you guys here, man. Thanks for coming and doing this.

Logan:     Thank you.

Kyle:     Much love, much love.

Nick:     [crosstalk 00:00:58] thank you so much.

Brian:     This is ... Now, describe, for those folks who aren't familiar with Edjacated Phools, what is it that makes you guys special, would you say, if they see you guys?

Nick:     I would say the one thing that sticks out is our energy on stage. I think we try to keep it very, very upbeat, and so our kind of in your face dynamic, our energy on the stage and just getting people's face, getting people to kind of dance and move around a lot. And our songs are really ... A lot of them are uptempo. A lot of them are really dynamic and very high energy. So, we try to convey that on stage, and I think people feel that for sure when they come to our shows, so ...

Brian:     And what is ... So, if they come to a show, what will they likely see? What's an Edjacated Phools show like?

Logan:     It's definitely going to be smokey in the room.

Brian:     Because you like those fog machines?

Logan:     Yes.

Kyle:     Yes.

Nick:     Yeah, we love smoke machines.

Logan:     Fog machine supporters over here. Now, if you're gonna come to an Edjacated Phools show is what you're gonna get is a whole mix of good people, great music, better vibes, I think that at all of our shows you can always find really diverse, you know, flow of an environment of people. You can always find everybody who's in there jamming out, drinking, having a good time, and just enjoying the music with us.

Kyle:     Yeah. Bottom line is you're gonna have fun if you come to one of our shows. I've never had someone tell me they didn't enjoy one of our shows and that's kinda like what we pride ourselves on, whether we're playing a three hour bar gig or a 30 minute set opening up for a touring band. We just bring the heat, you know. That's what we like to say to each other, "Let's bring the heater."

Logan:     The heater.

Kyle:     And when we go on stage we like to bring that heat with us, you know what I'm saying?

Logan:     That's awesome. Where does the name come from? Edjacated Phools cause it's spelled funny too. It's E-e-d-j ...

Kyle:     So, originally, there's a couple songs called "Educated Fools" by Rebelution, Damien Marley, and those are both kind of big influences to us, at least me, and we were doing the whole Reggae scene thing so the e-d-j-a ... The original spelling was j-a-h, Ed-jah-cated Phools, but we dropped the jah and we just stuck with Edjacated Phools cause we thought it was more us.

Brian:     And you should know, Phools is spelled p-h-o-o-l-s. Edjacated Phools.

Nick:     Always play with their minds.

Kyle:     E-d-j-a-c-a-t-e-d. Edjacated.

Brian:     Edjacated Phools. That's it.

Logan:     We educate ...

Brian:     [crosstalk 00:03:22] right along with the Reggae vibe that you guys, like in that song we just heard it's a more ... I really like that one. Now, talk about the ... So there's some DC and then some Baltimore connections. So, talk about the DC connection that you guys have. You talked about University of Maryland earlier. You played football at University of Maryland.

Kyle:     Yes, sir.

Brian:     That's Nick. What's the ... And there's another connection. What ...

Kyle:     So, my name's Kyle and I own the head shop in DC, like a glass, borosilicate glass studio, basically. We're a gallery. We've represented a collaborative of artists. We represent over 70 artists and, yeah, we sell smoking devices and high end one of one art pieces.

Brian:     Nice. Wow. All right. So definitely connected to the head and smoking art scene here in DC.

Kyle:     Yup. Exactly man. You don't put premium gas into a Hoop D, if you know what I mean, you know? You've gotta put that stuff into something nice.

Brian:     God, I hope not.

Nick:     Put it into something nice.

Kyle:     Exactly.

Brian:     Oh, that's it. Hold it up. One love. I love it. All right, now and what about ... So now, you guys ... Well, first of all, introduce yourselves cause we've had you talking for a little bit, so introduce yourselves and then the other members of the band. Talk about that real quick.

Kyle:     Well, my name's Kyle. I'm Logan's older brother. Me and Logan kinda started this whole music journey together a couple years ago and we've kinda met everybody else along the way and formed this amazing group. To my right, I have Nick. He's my co-vocalist. He's the sexy one. I'm the mean one.

Logan:     So sexy. So sexy, Nick.

Brian:     The sexy one?

Nick:     The mean one.

Kyle:     Well I wouldn't say mean, but I definitely have a mean beard. I've been working on this for a while so ...

Brian:     Yes, you do. You should appreciate pictures of this man's beard. If you check out the episode details, I've got one there.

Kyle:     It's flawless.

Brian:     It's pretty serious.

Kyle:     But yeah, we've got Logan. who's my little brother. He's been bothering me my whole life, playing guitar, so finally one day he was like, "Hey, man. Why don't you just play with me?" And I was like, "Cool." And uh ...

Brian:     And then who else? There's 3 more members.

Kyle:     Yeah, we have Devin, who's Nick's cousin actually and he's a monster drummer, super talented. We have Tyler Garrison who's a bassist. He was actually in the classical orchestra band at Talsom University.

Logan:     Fingers.

Kyle:     Yeah, we call him Fingers. When we met this kid, he had the most calloused hands.

Logan:     His fingers were gross.

Kyle:     Like, really. They were disgusting.

Logan:     Come on. Let them know. It was really [crosstalk 00:05:44]

Kyle:     Yeah. It was bad.

Logan:     He's playing a lot of bass.

Brian:     Okay. [crosstalk 00:05:47]

Logan:     He's slappin the bass, man.

Kyle:     But he just has peeled callouses all over his hands.

Brian:     Wow.

Kyle:     And I was like, "Your fingers are special." Then we got Ben who's like Logan's childhood best friend, who

Logan:     Ben Mancheski.

Kyle:     We didn't originally want Ben in the band. We were like, "Oh, no. Ben can be in the band." And then Ben just put in work and learned how to play the keyboard, taught himself, and he's been a huge asset for us.

Nick:     He's like a utility member. He started off on Melodica. He's really just well-versed in music in general ...

Kyle:     Super talented.

Logan:     Got a great ear, honestly.

Brian:     Wow. That's awesome, guys. Now, talk about you guys ... So on the personal side, outside of music now. You guys, are there hobbies ... What do you do in your free time besides this?

Logan:     I work and I play music. That's about it.

Brian:     Say more. You work what? You play music just with Edjacated Phools? Is there a [crosstalk 00:06:40] too?

Logan:     Yeah. We do the whole band thing, and then on nights when the whole band can't get together, Nick and me, we actually, we play a lot around Baltimore and we do a lot of acoustic sets together where we'll go play.

Kyle:     The dynamic duo.

Logan:     Yeah. The dynamic duo.

Nick:     Yeah, we try to stay involved with music any way we can. We play local bar gigs, do cover shows. I mean, I'm really big into fitness and stuff so I try to stay pretty active. I still skateboard, snowboard, you know. Even wake board on occasion.

Logan:     Yeah, it's a lot of fun.

Nick:     Surf whenever we can. We like traveling so ... We're all are really family oriented, too so we have really big families. Spend as much time with family as possible.

Brian:     Really?

Nick:     And, you know, just try to have a well-rounded lifestyle where, you know, we are balanced and always involved in something cool.

Kyle:     Yeah, I just became a dad in August so I have 6 ...

Brian:     Congratulations.

Kyle:     I have a 6 month old daughter.

Brian:     Holy smokes.

Logan:     Carter Jean.

Kyle:     Her name's Carter. Yeah, she's beautiful. Shout out to my wife for doing that.

Brian:     To both of you. You had to put it together.

Kyle:     She did the hard part.

Brian:     Clearly, clearly. Wow, man. Congratulations. And the family vibe sticks with you guys, too, cause you just said that you're all parts of different family. Your family members here in the band, too, which is [crosstalk 00:07:54].

Kyle:     I mean, really, I look at everyone of these guys like my brother so ... And if any of them ever needed anything, I'd do it at the drop of a hat, you know.

Brian:     Absolutely. Golly. All right, so now, talk about funniest moment as a band that comes to mind.

Kyle:     Oh my God. I don't know if I can tell this story.

Logan:     Are you all thinking what I'm thinking?

Kyle:     I'm thinking about the Expendables show.

Logan:     Yeah. Go ahead. You wanna take this or you want me to take this?

Kyle:     All right. I'll try to say it as nicely as possible. So basically, we had our first show at Sound Stage. We played with Pacifier and the Expendables. We opened the show up for them.

Logan:     And Tunnel Vision.

Kyle:     And Tunnel Vision. But, long story short, we all wanted to get pretty, you know, intoxicated that night so we decided to be responsible adults and get a AirBNB.

Logan:     We BNB'd it.

Kyle:     And us being the fools, we thought, "Why not just get the nicest Air BNB we can find in Baltimore for the night?" So we end up booking this mansion in Fed hill that's like 6 stories. It has libraries in it.

Brian:     Oh my God.

Logan:     The shower could hold 25 people.

Kyle:     It was like a Project X style house.

Brian:     Holy cow.

Logan:     It was amazing.

Nick:     You could read in every room.

Kyle:     But yeah, so Logan basically lied to the guy on AirBNB. He's like, "Yeah, I'm in town doing a video shoot." And I think the guy thought that Logan was doing porn at his place.

Brian:     Oh yeah?

Kyle:     So the guy decides to ...

Logan:     He stuck around.

Kyle:     Drop back in a little bit later that night.

Brian:     Oh good.

Kyle:     He comes home and there's like 55, 60 people just absolutely partying in this mansion like ...

Brian:     Oh my [crosstalk 00:09:25].

Logan:     It's getting wild.

Kyle:     No reservations, you know what I mean. Pretty much anything goes. The guy walks in and I'm just sitting at the table and I'm like, "Who's this old guy?"

Brian:     Oh, God.

Kyle:     He's like, "Where's Logan?"

Logan:     I'm literally in the corner talking to Fernando like, "Dude, we're screwed. We're so screwed, bro." And he's like, "What's wrong?" I'm like, "I don't know if this is gonna work out in our favor." And literally, right as I said that the guy tapped me on my shoulder and I turn around and it's the guy I rented the house from and he goes, "This is a lot more than 8 people." I was pretty much caught red-handed, [inaudible 00:10:02], but you know what, he was really chill about it. He thanked me for having all the people in the house take their shoes off. But the funniest part of this whole story is, right at the heat of the moment when I'm like freaking out and thinking this guy is gonna be so upset ...

Kyle:     Kick us out.

Logan:     He's coming down on me. I've got 65 people raging in his house. Our bass player, Tyler, walks right up to me and him in the middle of the conversation and says ...

Kyle:     He goes, "Yeah, this would be a great house to get weird in." And the guy's standing right there and just starts shaking his head and just like, "You guys need to go."

Brian:     Wow. So did you end up having to shut it down and leave or did you just [crosstalk 00:10:41]

Logan:     No.

Kyle:     No. We ended up just talking it out with him and we explained to him that we had some touring bands crashing at the house and we just got finished with a show.

Brian:     Thank you, Lance.

Kyle:     Yeah, he ended up being pretty cool, but there was definitely a designated talker on that night cause he walked into quite a party.

Brian:     Holy smokes. Now, talk about biggest success moment for Edjacated Phools so far. What comes to mind?

Logan:     Album release. No doubt. Our album release in July was definitely my proudest moment as a musician.

Brian:     Say more. How so?

Kyle:     Just, everyone came to support us that night, you know what I mean? It wasn't a show for anyone else. We had a great supporting cast. We had Never Ending Fall. We had Joint Operation. We had, you know, Foggy May. We had a number of super awesome bands, but the great thing about the Baltimore scene is that it's one big family, you know. Once you play with any of these bands, they're like family to you. They love you like you're their brother or sister and they definitely look out and show support whenever they can. And I think that's the most beautiful part about being in this scene is just the love that gets shared between, not only fans, but musicians amongst each other.

Logan:     For sure. The support is amazing.

Kyle:     But yeah, we had about 500 people come out to our album release party at Sound Stage in Baltimore and it was definitely one of the most fun nights for me. I thought we played a killer set and it was an extremely positive experience.

Brian:     Wow. That sounds amazing, guys.

Kyle:     What about you, Nick?

Nick:     So we do a ... It's called a Back Stage Bash. We do it at High Tops in Timonium. We put that festival on ourselves so to see kind of a festival that's being put on by us and a bunch of other bands coming out, pretty much the whole neighborhood gets together, and it's just a big festival style event that we put on and ... We're able to expose other groups, touring artists, DC artists, and just people, you know, you get on the bill and are into playing a big festival style show that we put on every year. We've been doing that now three years. We have another one coming up in September of this year and so that's one of our, I think that's one of our biggest accomplishments. Setting up a mini festival style event.

Brian:     Who's idea was that? How'd that come around?

Logan:     So, the original idea started with Fernando and me were talking about getting a whole festival together with Nick and Kyle at this winery ...

Nick:     Fernando's our manager.

Kyle:     Shout to Fern.

Logan:     Fernando Delgado. God, we love you. So it started out with just this idea like, "Hey, let's try to throw this festival at a winery." We ended up getting a bunch of good bands to respond and want to play the festival, but when we went to close the deal with the winery, the guy only wanted to sell one. So eventually, we decided ... I was talking for Fernando. I was like, "Hey, well why don't we just talk to our buddy Stink." And then we gave him a call up and we sat down and we had a meeting and we planned out the whole first event between Edjacated Phools and High Tops team. It really came together and I'm so proud of it. I couldn't be more proud of it. This year's gonna blow the roof off Baltimore.

Kyle:     Yeah, last year we had People's Blues of Richmond, Lits, Choppadelic, Bumping Uglies, us, Never Ending Falls, Stack Like Pancakes, Oogy Wah Wah. We had the Vibesman, Joint Operation, Neff. All those guys. It was a stacked line up and it's gonna just get ...

Nick:     Higher Education.

Kyle:     Higher Ed was the first year, they weren't the second year. It's just always a stacked line up and we always, you know, have a good time.

Brian:     That's awesome, guys. And now, one more question that I have ... This is one of my favorite questions to ask and it's for all three of you guys individually. It's if you could offer one piece of advice, what would it be?

Logan:     Work hard. I would just say keep working hard. Don't give up. Music is always an uphill battle and you never know really where you're at, but as long as you're doing it for the right reasons ... I think we all do music because we love to express ourselves and express a message that we can't do in our day to day lives that we do as a group of men and I love it.

Kyle:     Yeah.  I would say don't sweat the small stuff. At the end of the day ... There's things that happen in this life that you can control and there's things that you can't and at the end of the day you just should pay attention to what's important and what really matters and don't pay attention to little things that will just, you know, bother you, eat you up.

Brian:     What's an example of that, that comes to mind when you say that?

Kyle:     I'll give an example. Me and my brother were fighting a little bit earlier today cause we have two shows on Saturday. I'm supposed to work, you know what I mean? And I'm like, "Well, what if I can't make both shows?" You know. What's really important here? Should I come make this show or should I make the one later or ... What's more important? How do I make it work? You know what I mean? What's the point of getting all focused on the details? As long as it works out, it doesn't really matter.

Logan:     Don't sweat the small stuff.

Kyle:     Yeah. Don't worry about the details. Don't worry about everything. It's gonna all come together like it should in the end.

Brian:     Got it. What about ...

Nick:     I would say check your ego at the door, you now. We're all ... At the end of the day, we're all creators, but we're very opinionated and, you know ...

Kyle:     Passionate.

Nick:     We all have a place we wanna come from, musically. You can't really have an ego and be creatively collaborative at the same time, so as long as you leave that at the door then you can really be open to, you know, really creating something as a collaborative and having something that's really organically yours as a group, as opposed to imposing your creative will when we're in writing sessions or whatever it may be. So yeah ...

Brian:     Love it, guys. All right, and for those folks who want to find out more about you guys and follow what you're doing, where's the best place for them to go?

Logan:     Facebook. We're all over Facebook and our homepage, Please check it out. We have our website up. It's got all of our show dates. It's got videos. It's not news. It's got reminders for the band. Our Facebook, our website. We are on Spotify, iTunes, all of the social media sources so please, Google us if you want. Check out our music. We'd love to have you guys.

Brian:     Spell the name for them real quick.

Logan:     Yeah. It's e-d-j-a-c-a-t-e-d p-h-o-o-l-s.

2/13/18 - Special Guests: Alex, Paige, & Dan of DC's Open Mic Scene

Many thanks to Alex, Paige, and Dan from DC's thriving open mic show scene for being with us in the studio this week!  SCROLL DOWN to see the video, info, and transcript

^^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. Long Way Back to Shonot, by Eli Lev ( Indie, Indie Rock)

  2. Chemistry, by Paige Powell (Indie, Jazz)

  3. January Silver, by Alex The Red Parez and The Hell Rojos (Rock, Acoustic Rock)

  4. Too Many Times, by Colourtheory (Punk, Pop Rock)

  5. Listen, by One Way Out (Hard Rock, Rock)

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-


Our 2018 New Releases by DC Artists’ Spotify Playlist:


Higher Education - Gift Called Life

The making of Prinze George’s new track, Dividends

Rare Essence ft Kacey Williams of Black Alley - How I Wish You Could Love Me

Our ‘DC Artists Official Music Videos’ Youtube Playlist:


So many shows everyday!  Click this calendar link to see them all!

Fri Feb 16
Handsome Hound @ Union Stage at The Wharf by Waterfront
Vim & Vigor, Justin Trawick, & Oh He Dead @ Rock N Roll Hotel on H St NE
Two Ton Twig @ Songbyrd Music House in Adams Morgan

Sat Feb 17
Surprise Attack EP Release Party @ Pearl Street Warehouse by Waterfront
Wylder @ U Street Music Hall on U St

Sun Feb 18
Eli Lev @ Milkboy Arthouse in College Park, MD

Wed Feb 21
Bottled Up @ Black Cat on 14th St


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)**

Alex, Paige, and Dan 


Paige Powell's Bio:

Paige Powell serves on the Board of Directors of the Songwriters Association of Washington (SAW) and hosts 2 open mics each month in the D.C. area for the organization. Paige has a real passion for songwriting, having written more than 150 songs, recording more than 60 of them, generating 2 CDs and 20+ singles released on iTunes and

Two of her songs, "Blackeyed Peas" and “Give Me A Beach” won honorable mentions from the Mid-Atlantic Song Contest. She continues to study songwriting, participating in many of SAW's workshops and seminars, which has included a 2-day workshop with Pat Pattison, lyric-writing teacher from the Berkley School of Music.

Open Mic Episode.jpg

Dan's Bio: 

Dan Magnolia: Singer / Songwriter / Storyteller / Speaker / Soundguy / Photographer

DAN MAGNOLIA is a contemporary troubadour who draws on his love of folk, outlaw country, Americana, and pop music to create unique and unforgettable songs that touch the heart, stimulate the mind, and move the soul.

Heavily influenced by singer-songwriters such as Steve Earle, Guy Clark, Bob Dylan, John Prine, and Josh Ritter, Dan’s music explores an array of timeless themes including life, love, family, history, nature, and the human condition. Dan has been an artist, a teacher, a guitar repair tech, a writer, and an entrepreneur and from these diverse experiences he has found that his passion in life lies in creating something from nothing. Whether he is using his hands and his toolbox or his imagination and his guitar, Dan has a unique gift for creating one-of-a kind works for the whole world to enjoy.

Among his career highlights, Dan has sung The Star Spangled Banner for The First Lady of Maryland, performed at the Jefferson Memorial, contributed a song to The Acoustic Guitar Project, told a story at The Moth, and appeared on the NPR game show, Ask Me Another with Ophira Eisenberg and Jonathan Coulton. Currently he hosts the open mic at The Black Squirrel Dunn Loring Va (1st+3rd Tuesdays) and the popular Marble & Rye Open Mic in Arlington Va until the bar shut down at the end of December 2017.

Web Online Links in order of most-to-least used:

Alex's Bio: 

Alex The Red Parez aka El Rojo has been bringing acoustic rock and old-time country to the Washington DC Metro Area since 2006. Whether performing original music or classic material, Alex’s voice is “reminiscent of Johnny Cash, though often sung with Jello Biafra’s inflection” (Matthew Stabley, and “sounds like Nick Cave reinterpreting the early songbook of Bill Callahan” (The Big Easy - “El Rojo” to his friends, Parez takes inspiration from epic troubadours Johnny Cash, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty and local balladeer John Bustine amongst various other artists. In trio mode, Alex is flanked by accomplished harmonica sideman Terry Boes and prolific bassist Jason Mendelson of MetroSongs notoriety. Alex has also performed with several other local musicians for various tribute shows.


Brian:     On DC Music Rocks, we're shining a spotlight on the greatest songs, artists and incredible people behind the DC region's local music scene. Paige, Dan, and Alex all host open mics in the DC region. These type of events are happening all over the city every week, almost every day of the week, and mostly are pretty much unknown except for those who happen to have stumbled across them at some point. So today on the show, we're shining a spotlight on it, and I want to talk more about this largely unrecognized and intriguing open mic community that's here in our city. So guys, thanks for being here.

Dan Magnolia:     Thank you.

Alex Parez:     Yeah, thanks.

Paige Powell:     You're welcome.

Brian:     This is such a treat. Now, for those folks who share a little bit about what, describe, once again, share with them where the location and time of your open mic, and then share what makes your open mic special and or different in your opinion. So Alex, we'll start with you.

Alex Parez:     Well, I host the open mic at Roadside Grill every Wednesday night at 7:00 PM. We do two sign-ups at 7:30 and 10:00. We have a featured artist, usually as well. I guess, to me what really makes all the open mics special because I go to a lot of different open mics, including Dan's open mics. I haven't been to Paige's yet. I'm sorry, Paige.

Paige Powell:     That's okay. It's okay.

Alex Parez:     Is the people there and how much love they have for the open mic and coming and supporting it. I think that's special to every open mic. They all have that certain group of people that just love being there and the camaraderie, I think, is what really does it. And that's with every open mic you go to really.

Brian:     Absolutely. It's such a great community. It really is. Paige, talk about yours.

Paige Powell:     Well, the one coming up this Friday on February the 16th is sponsored by the Songwriter's Association of Washington. And one thing that makes these open mics that I host a little different is that we really encourage people who are writing original songs. They can come and they can kind of test their song that they wrote maybe this week or last week, and see how the audience reacts to it, and see if there's a line that really rings with one of the audience members. So you can also go to the Songwriter's Association of Washington website and SAW sponsors a lot of open mics in the area, more than I host. That would be a good thing for local songwriters.

     Then also, sponsored by the Songwriter's Association of Washington is the one that's in Greenbelt at the New Deal Café. And that's on the fourth Thursday of every month. And the next one is gonna be February the 22nd. Now that starts at 7:00 PM. We encourage original songwriters, but you can play a cover song.

Brian:     Sure.

Paige Powell:     That's allowed. Yeah. And I encourage people who've never done it. It's okay to come and just do one song. You don't have to do three just because three are allowed. You know, you just maybe want to take a baby step and do one song, and maybe your first time out, just come and attend. Just see what the scene is like.

Brian:     Awesome. And Dan, talk about yours and what you've got going on.

Dan Magnolia:     I host the open mic at the Black Squirrel. Like I mentioned earlier, there's one at Adams Morgan and there's a new one in Vienna Dunn Loring right by the metro, so it's super convenient. There's parking there, but you can easily take the metro. It's on the first and third Tuesdays of the month so far, but we're gonna increase that to every week soon. Not yet, since today is Tuesday. This is airing on Tuesday, so not tonight. February 20th.

Brian:     Well whenever you hear this, starting around February 20th.

Dan Magnolia:     There you go.

Brian:     Check with Dan Magnolia.

Dan Magnolia:     Exactly. We also do advanced sign-ups for that, which is nice for something that goes on during the week. So, if you're going to make the trek that you know that you have an exact spot with an exact time that you know that you have set down. So, that's something that we do online. You can sign up. One of the best things that I love about open mics, like Alex was saying, is that I think I wouldn't go so far as to say that they're unknown so much. They do have a niche market. You know, there's the rock market, and then there's the singer-songwriter folky market. And the thing that I love to do most of all is try to embrace everybody in the music scene. I used to host something called The Musician's Workshop, which would help get people out of their living rooms and into the public space. So my open mics are very similar the same. We love being able to welcome everybody, even newcomers and even young people. We have a lot of young kids that come in, too. So we always try to make it as open and accessible to everybody.

Brian:     That's awesome. And now, for those folks listening who might not, what are the differences between different open mics? You talked about how you have advanced sign-ups versus only when you're there. You mentioned something about three songs versus just one. So if they haven't really done much open mics, what are the differences between them generally? Dan, start with you.

Dan Magnolia:     So, Ginny Hill, who is the singer in The Perfectionists, she has a new open mic. She relaunched the South House one in DC. So she came out to check out mine and asked me some questions and sort of get the idea. And what I told her was that every open mic reflects the host and the neighborhood. So you can have the same host in a different neighborhood, like I did. I used to do the Marble and Rye one in Arlington. And now I have one in Vienna. It does reflect my personality, but it also reflects the neighborhood. So, it's kind of an organic thing that develops over time.

Brian:     Got it. Now, is it always music? On all three of your open mics, is it welcome to any kind of art? I mean, poetry and rapping and all of that, or is it just music?

Paige Powell:     I've had a couple of poets come in. Although they're rare. The last open mic at the Church of Clarendon, we had someone who wanted to come and do a couple rap songs, and actually it was ideal to fit him in. I asked him if he could do a rap song while we were setting up for the next person who had a keyboard, and it was gonna take a few minutes, and he had it. He had a rap song that would fill that space. And another thing that's different between the two open mics that I host, one's real quiet. People listen to the music. There's candlelight and tablecloths and all that. And then over in Greenbelt at the New Deal Café, I mean everybody's talking. It's a noisy place. You just have to do your best to get people's attention.

Brian:     Got it. So it's that vibe can change, but really it sounds like at all three of yours, any kind of talent that you want to showcase, it really is an open mic. It's not just the music, it's an open mic for whatever you want to do.

Dan Magnolia:     Yeah, absolutely.

Alex Parez:     Yes, sir. For sure. Anything you want to do, come do it. That's legal.

Brian:     Now how far ... You said advanced sign-ups. How far in advance do people sign up?

Dan Magnolia:     So, the way that I do it, especially because it's unique in that it's not every week, so I will do it on the Wednesday before the next open mic, so that people don't have any confusion about when it's supposed to be, because if you give people too much time, then they forget or they might just freak out and not come, so you want to give them enough time that they can sign-up comfortably, but you don't want to give them too much time that they just end up forgetting about it.

Paige Powell:     Dan's right. About a week.

Brian:     And this isn't like an online sign-up thing.

Dan Magnolia:     Mine is, yeah.

Brian:     This is like in person, or it's online as well?

Dan Magnolia:     Mine is, yeah. I use a service called Calendly. I forget how you spell it. And I can specifically put the day and the time slots, and people will go in and they will pick a specific time that they want, and it actually reminds them twice, so it will remind them a couple of days in advance and then like eight hours in advance.

Brian:     Wow. That's very sophisticated, Dan. I love it. Do you guys, I take it, it's the sign-up in advance, but probably in person, or do you guys have an online thing, too?

Paige Powell:     Old fashioned email with me.

Brian:     Excellent. All right. Send an email. Alex, I'm taking it, show up and sign up, right?

Alex Parez:     Yeah, just in person. I've kept the same format as we had at Iota open mic. Just show up and I promise I'll get you up on stage.

Brian:     We'll figure it out.

Dan Magnolia:     It's true, because I've come very late on his and he's always gotten me on. Alex, you also do something else that's unique at yours. You do the lottery.

Alex Parez:     Yeah, yeah. With numbered guitar picks, so that it's kind of even Steven and it's not, "Oh you've got to hurry up and get here and sign up, so you can pick your spot." This way it's fair and square.

Brian:     So everybody puts-

Alex Parez:     You get what you get.

Brian:     Everybody puts their name on the list and then you draw for your order.

Alex Parez:     They're numbered guitar picks and we put them in a sack. You pull out a guitar pick. That's the number you go.

Brian:     Oh, cool.

Alex Parez:     I write your name on the chalkboard.

Brian:     That's awesome. And see, I love all the different personalities because everybody has one. I mean, I've heard great things about Ginny Hill's thing at South House, too. Now if somebody's looking for where do I find open mics, I'm gonna share these links on the page because I know Dan sent me there's a couple Facebook groups that talk about this stuff, but if somebody has never been to an open mic or they want to find these, where would you guys say is the best place to find them if you're looking for them?

Dan Magnolia:     I publish my open mics on two places, two websites specifically, which is I think, and then there's Open Mikes, like M-I-K-E, like the person's name, You know, it's up to each host to make sure that they're up to date. So, there's always that, but I try to keep mine up to date. There's a ton of others out there that you can actually sort by city. So even if you're looking for something outside of DC in other areas, they have those as well.

Brian:     Wow. Paige, what about you?

Paige Powell:     I would say especially if you're a songwriter, go to

Brian:     Yep, got it. And that is the Songwriter's Association of Washington.

Paige Powell:     That's right.

Brian:     And that's where you can find ... That'll be where you'll find yours and some other ones. I'm assuming they sponsor several.

Paige Powell:     Oh, many.

Brian:     Many in the area.

Paige Powell:     They've got like nine or 10 every week.

Dan Magnolia:     Actually all of mine, too.

Brian:     There you go. And Alex, any other ideas for where to find open mics, aside from those places?

Alex Parez:     No. I think you got it covered.

Brian:     We got a good place. Obviously social media would be another place to find out about them, too.

Alex Parez:     Social media, Facebook. There's the open mic listings on Facebook. The old Iota Facebook open mic page is still there. I update it regularly and put all kinds of stuff on there.

Brian:     Got it. All right. Now, what's ... We don't have too much more time on the interview, but my favorite question to ask and I don't want to miss it because I love asking this question, and that's for each of you. Let's start with down with you, Dan. If you could offer one piece of advice, what would it be?

Dan Magnolia:     Well, since we're talking about open mics in general, I think one thing that I would give people who are hesitant about open mics. Let's say that you're new to performing and you're not quite sure that you're ready or something is keeping you from doing it. My big advice to those people is always no one to date, as far as I know, has ever died of embarrassment. So no matter how bad you bomb, it's not gonna be the end of the world and you just go out and you try again the next day and the day after that, and the day after that. And you're just gonna get better and nobody's gonna remember how badly you bombed maybe that first time.

Brian:     I love it. You've never died from embarrassment. I love it. So, go try it. Dan says just go for it. Paige, what about you?

Paige Powell:     Yes, I would definitely say it's okay to just come and do one song. If you're not sure, just come and just attend. Just check it out. And sometimes you'll come and you'll say, "Gosh, I think I'm a little bit better than that guy over there that really bombed."

Brian:     Yeah, okay. I don't want you to compare each other to the worst.

Paige Powell:     We shouldn't. We shouldn't. And another piece of advice that I'd like to give everybody is that people are more important than things. And people are more important than your song. You've got to remember that you're singing to people.

Brian:     Yeah, so make sure you entertain. Include them. Talk to them.

Paige Powell:     Yeah.

Brian:     I love it. Alex, what about you, man?

Alex Parez:     I would definitely reiterate what Paige said earlier. Just into the open mic and checking it out first. I did that when I was first starting to play out. Went and checked out the Iota open mic, and the next week I went and played it, and then it turned out to be one of the owners' birthdays, Steven, and he was there. And all the other big hot shot local bands and musicians were all there. You want to talk about nerveracking experience? Having to play in front of those people for the very first time, that was my wonderful experience, but then I wound up hosting that open mic and working at Iota for over three years, and it turned into something really cool.

Brian:     So, go check it out first. You can always go observe first and then come back and do the performance. Now, really quickly, just share with folks where do they find, because we've got to jump back into the music, but where do we find, if they want to follow your open mic specifically, is there a Facebook group or where do they find about you specifically? Dan?

Dan Magnolia:     You can find me on Facebook at Dan Magnolia Music, but I also have a specific page for the Black Squirrel, which is Black Squirrel Music, and Black Squirrel VA is the restaurant slash bar's page, as well.

Brian:     Got it.

Dan Magnolia:     But I just want to point out one last quick note, and that I think a lot of people might gloss over for open mics is I think open mics are equally three parts, which is entertainment, practice, and networking. And I think a lot of people who are new to open mics or don't quite get them always neglect the networking aspect of it, and that is super important to be part of the music scene.

Brian:     Nice. I love it. And Paige, where do they find your open mic if they want to follow you specifically?

Paige Powell:

Brian:     There it is. And Alex?

Alex Parez: or the old Iota Facebook page.

Brian:     And we should note that it's Alex, Parez is P-A-R-E-Z, right?

Alex Parez:     For sure.

Brian:     Alex Parez.

2/6/18 - Special Guest: Ian MacKaye of Dischord Records, Fugazi, & Much More

What an honor to have Ian MacKaye co-founder/owner of local DC independent recording label, Dischord Records, with us in the studio this week!  SCROLL DOWN to see the video, info, and transcript

^^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. Trans Am, by Teen Idles

  2. Waiting Room, by Fugazi

  3. King of Kings, by The Evens

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

Fri Feb 9
Aztec Sun @ Pearl Street Warehouse by the SW Waterfront

Sat Feb 10
--@ The Hamilton by Metro Center - Love Songs: the Beatles Vol 5 ft Ken Wenzel, The Cowards Choir, and the 19th St Band up in the Loft
--Turtle Recall @ Whitlows in Clarendon, VA

Wed Feb 14
Uptown Boys Choir @ Pearl Street Warehouse by the SW Waterfront in DC

Thu Feb 15
Black Dog Prowl & Technicians @ The Black Cat on 14th St in DC


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

HUGE shoutout to our current Patrons! 
**Daniel Warren Hill**    **David Mohl**    **Eli Lev**
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Ian MacKaye 



Ian MacKaye.jpg

Ian Thomas Garner MacKaye is an American singer, songwriter, guitarist, musician, label owner, and producer. Active since 1979, MacKaye is best known for being the frontman of the influential hardcore punk bands such as Minor Threat, and post-hardcore bands such as  Embrace and Fugazi  He is a co-founder and owner of Dischord Records, a Washington, D.C.-based independent record label.  He started it as a teenager in 1980 with partner Jeff Nelson. Their original intent was simply to release a single to document their recently defunct band, at the time, the Teen Idles. However, the label has since gone on to release music from more than 60 bands, with more than 160 albums.  

More resources about Ian:
Dischord Records:

Ian band.jpg


Ian MacKaye:     The Teen Idles, which is I-D-L-E-S idles, and after a year of playing, we put out this first record, which I think this track is from.

Brian:     There it is. Let's do it. This is Trans AM from Teen Idles and the album Self Titled, Teen Idles.

[Plays Song]

Ian MacKaye:     Alrighty then.

Brian:     There it is.

Ian MacKaye:     First off, I should say that there's no self titled album. This is a seven inch. This is Dischord number 100'd, and this is not even actually their first record. This is ... When that song was record, it was actually our first recording. It was done at Hit and Run studios in Rockville, Maryland. It was done the Spring of 1980. It's a demo version that we just sat on for decades and we finally put it out to celebrate Dischord number 100. It's a seven inch. It's a six or eight song seven inch and that song Trans AM actually was a slinky song originally. That was one of the songs ... Yeah, yeah. So, I wrote that with my friend Mark Sullivan. It's funny you played that of all songs. That one's actually even before the record. That's not even the first Dischord record. That's like our first demo. It's probably my first recording session, ever.

     That was in the Spring of 1979 and it was weird to go into a studio. First off, we were not a particularly accomplished band. We were kids trying to figure out how to play instruments. Going to the studio was exciting, it was also rather humbling, because you don't know ... You just don't know what you're going to come out with and I think that situation, it's funny when I hear that. Like, I love it now, 'cause I have this perspective, but at the time, I think that's not the way it feels to me when I play it in practice. That's not the way it feels to me when we played it live. That's one of the issues with recording. Sometimes recording, it's like the wrong mirror. It gives you the wrong reflection. That's why it's very important to find studios that really actively try to support your vision with what it is you're trying to do with your music. It's a funny track to play. It's appropriate in one sense, but it's also funny, because it's even more rudimentary than I was expecting. It's funny.

Brian:     Right. I mean, it's way back in the beginning, which I guess is ... And, you know we talk about in the beginning. I've been wanting to ask, can you describe the scene when you decided that Dischord records was going to become like, we're going to put out a label, can you tell that story? Were you sitting in a garage with, his name was Jeff, I believe-

Ian MacKaye:     Jeff Nelson.

Brian:     Whose idea was it? Like, you said "Oh, let's do it" and Jeff was like "Okay", or how did actually it come around?

Ian MacKaye:     Well, earlier in the show I think I was just saying that Teen Idles had at the end ... We had this tape, we had this money. We thought well, we can split the money up or make copies of the tape just for ourselves, or we can document it. It was a band decision to use that money to put out this first record and ask I think we talked about earlier, there's no other label in the world that was going to put out our record. Why would they? I mean, why would they put out our record? It's ridiculous. We were some little bunch of kids from Washington, DC, and I have to tell you that Washington, DC was ... I mean, it was a convenient stop for bands that were playing in New York, but that's about it. There was no ... I mean, can you name for instance, a rock band from the 1970's that really identifies as Washingtonian?

Brian:     I would say not many. I mean, it seems like punk and Go-GO are the ones that identified DC, but the other ones tend to shy away.

Ian MacKaye:     That's right, but did you know for instance, like members of Jefferson Airplane went to Wilson? People who came out of ... There's a lot of great music in the Washington history, but for some reason, I think people who are living here, they play music here until they could get out. I think it really has to do with the fact that the town does not support, as a whole, there's no industry here. If that's the way you think about music, you can't really be supported. That's the way this town works. Now, in the Go-GO situation, they're super regional and they made it work. The Go-Go guys, they really created something that was regular, they were tenacious about it, and they were so localized they couldn't really get out of Washington. Go-Go has never really taken hold anywhere else with the exception of maybe Hampton Roads down there and Virginia Beach down that way, and maybe somewhere in North Carolina, a little piece of it or something, but by in large, all Go-Go bands come from Washington DC, or the surrounds, right? That's just the way it is.

     Go-Go music was much more difficult to take out on the road. Punk bands, conversely, we lived to go on the road, and if you're from DC, you had a chip on your shoulder, 'cause you're the people that didn't move to New York, right? Like, everybody said you gotta move to New York. People would tell me-

Brian:     It's true, yep.

Ian MacKaye:     I mean, straight up. There was a guy. He had a store right near here as a matter of fact, in Arlington, and he told me "If you want to be in a punk band, you have to move to New York City." That's crazy. That's crazy to tell someone who wants to create that you have to move to New York or somewhere else to create. That is nuts. Creativity, passion, boredom, anger, expression. These are not geographic terms. These occur in all places. So, I think our position was, and again, as I mentioned earlier, we were in high school. So, we weren't moving anywhere anyway, I mean, I was an elder and I was 18.

Brian:     We'll be here and we'll do it-

Ian MacKaye:     Right. So, we're going to make it happen here. That was the thing about punk. Punk gave that permission. When I saw the Bad Brains, I mean, my god. What an incredible band. Or, the Slickee Boys, a phenomenal band. There were bands like The Razz, there were bands you know, The Urban Verbs, and White Boy. There's all these bands that you would see and they were just great bands, and we were just like that's ... We don't need to move anywhere, all the music is here. The thing is, if you identify as a punk, for instance, or a new waver, at that time, if you wanted to see them ... You could listen to records, but if you actually wanted to see it, you had to see local bands. Those bands that took that form, 'cause there weren't that many bands of that ilk touring, right? So, if you wanted to see punk or new wave music, the bands who were playing it were local bands. So, it developed into a really hyper-local scene.

     I think it's worth pointing out. This is a very interesting and weird factoid, but by the late 80's, the DC music scene, the punk scene was so strong that touring bands had to open for local bands.

Brian:     Wow.

Ian MacKaye:     That's for real. The touring bands would open for the locals, because the local bands had the following. Now, this also had to do with the fact that there was no radio here. There was no punk or new wave radio, so you only knew about bands through record stores and friends talking about records, or magazines.

Brian:     Oh, that makes sense.

Ian MacKaye:     But, the bands you saw and heard all the time were local bands. So, they developed these devout followings. So, you had bands like Artificial Peace, and Marginal Man, and Government Issue, and Scream, and I could just name ... Black Market Baby, I could go on, and on, and on with these names, but those are the bands we went to go see. So, if a band was touring and they wanted to play a show in DC, they would open for these bands, because these were the bands that were ... So, Washington is a fascinating town. It's a fascinating town, because there's so much emphasis on the federal government that there's this shade that's created, and what grows in the shade? Something nutritious and profound. It may not be marketable necessarily, but man, it's something good-

Brian:     I love that phrase, "What grows in the shade?" Yep.

Ian MacKaye:     Yeah, it's something good, you know? My father told me, he said that DC is the town where movements are started, and New York is the town where they're sold.

Brian:     Got it.

Ian MacKaye:     Right?

Brian:     It makes sense.

Ian MacKaye:     So, I think that in way, so the idea that you can actually present a new idea here, you could have a new idea and you could work on it, and no one's racing it to market, but if you're in other places like in New York of Los Angeles, anywhere the entertainment industry is really strong, the moment you have anything that could be potentially sold, somebody's try to sell it for you. But, here, people just ignore you.

Brian:     That's really, I mean, true of the local music scene today. There's so much great ... I mean, we've got 300-400 bands in the database of local artists, and most folks don't know about them. So, it's kind of what we're doing with DC Music Rocks, but it's also true of the DC scene, which is there's beautiful art, and beautiful music that's available here, and you have to find it.

Ian MacKaye:     And, theater. My god, there's a profound theater community here, there's great art here, and I'm not a booster. Don't get me wrong. I come at this weird. I'm a fifth generation Washingtonian, so, I know this town. I know the sights, the smells, the rhythms. This is where I choose to live. My family's here. I don't think this is the greatest place in the world. I don't think like that. I think that wherever you wake up is probably okay. You know? If you're waking up, you're in better shape than most, when you think about it.

Brian:     That's a really low bar, Ian, but I love it.

Ian MacKaye:     Yo, that is the highest bar.

Brian:     True.

Ian MacKaye:     Every day's a good day in the land of the living, right? So, that's the highest bar. So, I feel like because I'm here though, I want to make good music, or be a part of music. Music speaks to me and I should point out, by the way, two things [inaudible 00:10:44] I think it's worth pointing out, 'cause I use the word "Punk" all the time, and I just want to define it for people. That might be helpful, 'cause punk obviously has a lot of different definitions. There is clearly a sound or a look that is associated with punk, an attitude that has been associated with punk. These things are ... There's some general kind of consistency, but largely, it's geographic. So, someone in one place may be a punk that I don't think is very ... They may do things that I think are just, I think they're just jerks. They might think it's punk and I don't think it's punk. I'm like the punk that doesn't do vandalism, doesn't do graffiti. I'm the guy that doesn't get high, didn't drink. I didn't steal. Other people think it's punk to steal, I don't. I think it's greedy to steal-

Brian:     I think that's where the term straightedge came from, right? If you look online, you're kind of associated with that term?

Ian MacKaye:     Well, I coined it. I wrote the song.

Brian:     Was that in an interview? No, it was the song.

Ian MacKaye:     I wrote a song called Straightedge in 1980, yeah.

Brian:     And, it became a movement in the [inaudible 00:11:50]-

Ian MacKaye:     It became a movement that I'm not a part of that movement, but I wrote a song about the fact that in the 70's while everybody was partying, I didn't drink, or get high, and I didn't want to, and I was ridiculed by my friends. So, I wrote a song about my right to live my life the way I want to. That's it. Ironically, my probably all time favorite musician is Jimi Hendrix, and there's a song called A Six for a Nine by Jimi Hendrix, and in that song, the tail of that song he says, "I'm the one who has to die when it's time for me to die, so let me live my life the way I want to" and I thought, "I agree with him." So, even though it could be argued that he was singing about being a freak, or getting high, or whatever, 'cause clearly he used a lot of drugs, it's what killed him. What I heard was the right to decide how someone wants to live his or her life. That's what I was singing about and it became, when I wrote this song, it resonated with so many kids around the country. I was surprised, actually, that it did.

     Then, out of that, it started to develop into, actually ironically, first there was a reaction. There was a thing called the bent edge movement. So, I wrote this song called straightedge and we were on tour, Minor Threat, and we get to a town like Phoenix, Arizona, and a gang would show up, and they were identified as bent edge, and they tried to beat us up. They thought we were a straightedge gang. We weren't a gang. We were just a band and I was singing a song about my right to live my life the way I want to. So then, later, a straightedge movement formed that was actually ... We say movement, it wasn't organized. There wasn't meetings or anything, but there were people who really felt like this was a ... Religion is too strong of language, but it was a code of behavior that they defined, and then they tried to hold other people to. That is contrary to my point, which was people should be able to live their life the way they want to.

     Having said that, I stand behind the lyrics. I still live my life the way I want to. I still don't drink. I still don't get high. It was just never something I was interested in. I don't think poorly of people who do. People I love the most in my life certainly do. It's not an issue. If they're destroying themselves and I'm worried about them, that would be true if they either were using heroin or a hammer. Either way, I would tell them that's probably not a good idea. But, going back to this thing about this definition of punk. About five or six years ago, I thought my definition of punk is, it's the free space. What I mean by that is a place in which new ideas can be presented without having to serve profit. So, this is interesting. If you're an artist or a musician and you have a new idea, you make sounds that no one's heard before, good luck getting a gig at a local club, because local clubs, they are a business. Usually they're a bar and bars require clientele. Our audience is their clientele. So, if you have a new idea, what's the audience for a new idea?

Brian:     Zero.

Ian MacKaye:     Right, 'cause it hasn't been thought of, yet.

Brian:     So, you have to build it, which is a challenge.

Ian MacKaye:     Right. So, punk for me was an environment where people gathered and said "Give us your new idea". It didn't matter. People think of punk like ... When I was going to see shows, it wasn't just a bunch of guys with Mohawks beating the crap out of each other. I was seeing crazy stuff. I saw people playing on kitchen equipment. I saw people ... Just so many weird performances and really, they were challenging our ideas of formality, and formality is precisely the ideas that need to be challenged. You want to play a song?

Brian:     I do. I want to play one and I want to hear about life now today for you, but first I want to play, this is one of those songs that goes way back to ... Many people know this one, but I want to share it with the listeners who might not know you and this one. It's the Fugazi song, I want to play Waiting Room and have you talk about it, but here's the song Waiting Room by Fugazi.

[Plays Song]

     And, that was Waiting Room by Fugazi. While the song was playing, you mentioned a funny mashup. You were saying-

Ian MacKaye:     Oh. Someone did a mashup on line, I'm sure you can find it. A Destiny Child's song called Independent Woman and they've taken the two songs and put them together, and made it ... It's pretty incredible sounding. They did a really, really good job. I like when I hear that kind of stuff. I like people messing around, taking ingredients and making something new. I think it's fascinating.

Brian:     It kind of goes back to that mindset about punk, right? You're doing something different that-

Ian MacKaye:     Of course.

Brian:     ... Didn't exist before, so trying something new.

Ian MacKaye:     Right, you know.

Brian:     I do want to hear aBout life today for you today nowadays. What part of the city are you in? What is a regular day in Ian's life like now?

Ian MacKaye:     I live in Mount Pleasant. I've been there for 15 years. I have a nine year old son. Amy and I have a nine year old son. I still work at the label pretty much every day. I mean-

Brian:     Where is that located? [inaudible 00:17:28] record label?

Ian MacKaye:     It's here, it's here. Still in Arlington. Dischord House is still ... I mean, we moved in Arlington. I mean, I grew up in Glover Park in DC. Then, when I was 19 years old, and we all graduated from high school, and we were just kind of living at home. Our parents were about to say "You know, if you're not going to go to college ..." It's all right. We'll find a spot. We also needed a place to practice.

Brian:     That makes sense.

Ian MacKaye:     We needed a house that was detached, right? Because, you're going to make music and I grew up in a row house, and you can't do that there, be that loud, you know? 'Cause, people complain. It had to be cheap, 'cause we were broke. Super broke. We were high school kids. I mean, a year out, I had a little bit of money, but I was working at that time in a movie theater and an ice cream shop in Georgetown. Then, it had to be relatively safe, because we knew that when we opened this house up that all the other punk kids would come hang out. They were all still in high school. So, they could be 14, 15 year old kids, and they would come to wherever we are. We'd be a place that kids would go hang out. So, we had to be in a neighborhood that was relatively safe. Especially at that time. We were punk rock kids and though it's, I mean, I wish in a way I could somehow illustrate to people, or give people some sense of how much the other we were at the time. I mean, it's cliché to talk about people jumping out of their cars and trying to beat you up for the way you looked, but that was a reality.

     So, we found this house. It's ironic actually, we looked in a newspaper under houses for rent, and we found this house over in Lyon Park here in Arlington. It's the first house we ever looked at. We walked in and I remember there's some college dudes there and I go "What's it like living out here?" They were like "It's cool." I'm like, okay. We kind of looked around like [inaudible 00:19:36], none of us had ever gotten a house before, we didn't know what was involved. Then, the landlord came. It was an independent guy and he brought this lease. I said, "Oh, I don't know if..." I just took a pen and drew a line through one year and put six months, because I thought there was no way I was going to live for more than six months in this house. I just couldn't imagine being in Arlington for a year. It seemed crazy. A year is too much. At that point, it would've been the 18th of my life, right? So, I ended up living there for 21 years.

Brian:     Wow.

Ian MacKaye:     Yep, and I bought it in 1994. So, it is still the house. It's still where the label is based. We have a separate office where the actual work is done, but I still work out of the house. So, I come out here four or five days a week. Practice four days a week in the morning, I play with Amy and Joe in the morning. We have a new musical project. We don't have a name, like I mentioned earlier. So, we practice from 9:30 till noon. I play guitar. I write all the time, just always. I don't finish things, but I always riff. Just write, write, write, write. I do a lot of time studying. I'll listen to music. I study music. I read stuff. I'm always thinking about things. And, I do a lot of interviews like this. I do a lot of talking.

Brian:     When you say studying, does that mean studying to play the songs, or are you studying different kinds of music for influence? What do you mean by studying?

Ian MacKaye:     Some years ago, I stopped saying that I listen to music. I say I study it, because I take it seriously. When I say study it, I mean, I can't play something honestly. My best way ... I can't read music, I've never been able to read music really, and I can't ... Unlike other people I know who I really very much respect, I can't listen to a song and play it. I can't do it. Now, I can understand the movement of the song, and I might be able to replicate it, but I could never do what people do, like if I hear someone else do it, I can't do that. The general shape, the chord changes, I can figure out by ear, but that's what I can play. I have relative pitch. So, if you get me started, I can go from there. But, I know people who can listen to a record and just play it. Blows my mind. I am not one of those people. But, when I say study it means that I think about music and I go in deep. I study it.

       So, I might go into ... Like, some years ago, maybe 15 or 20 years ago, I went to a Fela Kuti study. He's a Nigerian musician and I studied, and studied, and studied. I listened and studied. And, I'm still studying Hendrix. Today, on the way out here, I was listening to a bootleg recording of just him in the studio working out ideas, just him talking to the engineer, trying something out, and talking thread bare, but hearing him singing a song like Dolly Dagger in its infancy, when he's still working out the words and working out the ideas. I'm fascinated to hear how people work. It's just interesting. Also, I think this has to do with the fact that having played in some [music 00:22:55] for so many years, it's given me a new understanding of the process of what they're doing. I know what's going on now, so hearing people who before existed only in like a Pantheon, like Gods, now I understand the process. I'm like, well that is fascinating to hear ... To understand the genius that was at play there is mind blowing, you know?

      I stand in awe of great musicians. So, it could be Jimi Hendrix, or Fela Kuti, or Nina Simone. It could be Black Flag, who I think they're ... Like, it could be all these bands. I'm constantly ... I listen to all kinds of music. Someone said to me "What's your favorite genre? It must be punk?" I said, "No, my favorite genre of music is the music made by people who don't have a choice in the matter." That's the music I like. If it's a job that's fine, but I'm not that interested in it. But, if it's because you have to play, because something is buzzing in your head, and you gotta get it out of your head to go forward? I want to hear that song. That's what I want to hear.

Brian:     Right, I love that. So, I want to make sure that we say thanks and share with the folks, what is, if they're looking for ... If they want to follow what's happening at Dischord and the things that are happening with you, and over there, where's the best place for them to find that information nowadays?

Ian MacKaye:     I mean, I only just look at the web [inaudible 00:24:17], to me, because it's, but I'm sure that if you go there, you'll find ... I don't pay any attention to social media stuff. I'm sure that they've ... I know that there are social media things. I don't really care about any of it, but I'm glad that it's there and people like it. Go have a look at it. Dischord That site, I mean it's been up for many, many years. I should say one thing, if you're interested in Fugazi, that one of the projects I worked on that I've been doing for last, well, it's been almost eight years now, is that we created the Fugazi Live Series, and this is a section of the Dischord website that we've created a page for every one of the thousand plus gigs we've played and of 900 of those things, we have recordings.

Brian:     Wow.

Ian MacKaye:     And, on every one of them there's information about the show, how many people were there, who played with us. If we have photos or other ephemera, ticket scans, or fliers, we'll post those things. For people who are interested, it's a deep dive, but it's there. I mean, it's an interesting project. I felt like we had the recordings, we had the materials, why? We weren't listening to this stuff. I was looking through this stuff, so let's make them available to people. What's interesting is even when you create a site of that magnitude, which is massive, the internet is a giant ocean. I don't think we even ... We don't even stand to be a fraction of a drop, but it's there if you give a damn.

Brian:     If you want to go find it.

1/30/18 - Special Guest: Eugene & Dion of the DC Music Video TV Show 'Display'

Thanks to Eugene & Dion, creators of the DC Artist Music Video TV Show 'Display' 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. Vernacular(Blue), by Dior Ashley Brown (Hip Hop, Funk)

  2. Above It, by Tabi Bonney (Pop/Electronic)

  3. Money, by MICCA (Hip Hop)

  4. Blowing Smoke, by Carolyn Malachi ft Trey Eley (Jazz, R&B)

  5. Hate, by Eta Money Roe (Hip Hop)

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-


We’re continuing our work on good playlists for you, this one is for the Blues!  If you love the Blues, we hope you’ll follow this playlist and check out these artists, go see them live.  We’ll keep adding to this playlist as we find more great tracks!


Our 2018 New Releases by DC Artists’ Spotify Playlist:


Exclusive WORLD PREMIERE - Carter Lou & The Project - Annabelle

Caz Gardiner - Everybody

Our ‘DC Artists Official Music Videos’ Youtube Playlist:


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

Fri Feb 2
Honest Haloway @ U Street Music Hall on U St
Black Masala @ Pearl Street Warehouse at The Wharf
Adwela & The Uprising @ Jammin Java in Vienna

Sat Feb 3
Feelfree & Nappy Riddem @ Gypsy Sally’s in Georgetown

Mon Feb 5
Backbeat Underground @ Kennedy Center Millenium Stage by Foggy Bottom

Tues Feb 6
Wanted Man @ Union Stage at The Wharf by Waterfront

Wed Feb 7
Kipyn Martin @ Pearl Street Warehouse at The Wharf by Waterfront


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

Eugene Thorpe & Dion Dove of "Display"


Display's Bio:

Eugene & Dion

"Display" was created in the spring of 2016 by Eugene Thorpe and Dion Dove. The show serves as a vehicle for DC area artists to have their work showcased as part of the DC Office of Film, Television and Entertainment. Airing on DC cable channel 16, Display illuminates DC in a different light, away from the Capitol Building and the National Mall.

The show features a very eclectic array of performers celebrating the abundant diversity the DC region has to offer.

Now in its fourth season, Display has been able to expand its audience by way of the RCN cable network. The show now airs in Chicago, Philadelphia, New York and Boston as well as Washington D.C.


Link to Display S1 E1:

'Display' Youtube Playlist (Watch all the episodes here, great for parties too, just let it run):

DC OCTFME Facebook:

Eugene Thorpe & Dion Dove pic


Brian:     On DC Music Rocks we're shining a spotlight on the great songs, artists, and incredible people behind the DC regions local music scene. Display was created in the spring of 2016 by Eugene and Dion of the DC office of music and entertainment. The TV show showcases the music videos of DC area artists. It airs on DC cable channel 16. Display illuminates DC's musical talent, leaving behind the politics and government and it celebrates the abundant diversity the DC region has to offer. So, now entering yet another season, the fourth season, Display's been able to expand its audience by way of the RCN cable network because it's now airing in Chicago, Philadelphia, New York, those other cities that they were just talking about. So, display is great things.  I met Eugene when my band Fellowcraft was fortunate enough to play on the show, The Sound, that he was talking about. It's a TV show and I met him either and he was talking about this music video thing and it was like, "Well, gosh, I have a whole collection of music video's. I've got a youtube playlist of more than ... I think I'm approaching 200 or more music videos by local artists. Hey we should collaborate," and we've been collaborating ever since.

Eugene:     And one of the reasons we came here was to personally say thank you.

Dion:     Much love. [inaudible 00:01:12] Much love.

Eugene:     That's funny because when we started this show I went to Dion and I said, "What if we put together a music video show?" He had shot some videos. He had made some videos. I knew a few guys who had made video's. So, I said, "What if we made a show out of the things that we had." So, we sort of counted them up and we had enough videos for one show. It was hilarious because we were like, "Okay, we're going to make this show but we're gonna make this show. We're gonna make the whole thing." So, we're actually sneaking into work early ...

Dion:     An hour early.

Eugene:     An hour early and shooting it while nobody's around.

Dion:     Right.

Brian:     Wow.

Eugene:     The thing I love about the first ... If you guys go on the website, you look at the first episode, there's a clock above Dion's head and as you can se us working through the show and it says, 8:02 and then it says 8:23, 8:47. So, as he's signing off it says, 8:53.

Dion:     We got to start work at 9:00am.

Eugene:     Right there. So, we would get right up to the end oof it ad so we did the whole thing. We put commercials in it. WE did the whole show as if it was already on the air.

Dion:     Right, the craziest part is we had to take it up to Miss Gates, to let her check it out. So, we would take it up there to her and Derrick, who's our chief of staff. We had to cut the lights off and try to set the mood. If we handed out popcorn that would have made it a little bit better. We had the lights off and we just put it on and just let the day face us more than anything and they was very appreciative of the show and man it's our full season now.

Eugene:     Yeah, and to Angie's credit, one of the first things she said when she came, was, "Look if there's something that we can put together, as long as it conforms to the rules and it doesn't get us in trouble, then let's go ahead and do it." So, I sort of looked at Dion and he looked at me like, "Okay, I got something for you," and we put the whole thing together and so we put it together. We kicked the names around. The name Display comes from Trouble Folk actually. When they used to come on they used to have a thing where they would say, "Who we gonna put on display," meaning, who are we gonna shine the light on. Who are we going to present to this audience? That's what Display means. That's where the name comes from.   So, once we explained that to here and she was like, "Okay. I like that. I like the way that goes."

Brian:     Who's idea was that? Was that you? Dion? Or was that Eugene? Who was that? Display?

Eugene:     That wasn't the first title. I forgot what the first one was but we sort of came around to Display because I think it was two words at first but then we sort of shortened it and everything but yeah that was the idea was to use that same thing that Trouble Folk did, where we gonna put these artists on display. We're gonna put these videos on display.

Brian:     That's awesome.

Eugene:     That's where the name came from.

Brian:     I get it now.

Eugene:     Yeah.

Dion:     Display.

Brian:     That's amazing. What is it that makes Display unique or different or ...

Dion:     The locals. The locals make it unique. The local music. The local clothing. The food that is in the videos, you know we like a lot of restaurants from the area and that's what make it unique rather than looking at a big video show and seeing all these spots you've already seen before. A lot of people haven't seen a lot of the shots that we have in DC. I feel that's a good look for us.

Brian:     I do have to say in some of the music videos, if you actually watch the videos you guys have and you watch, you'll see your neighborhood. You'll see places you've been. You were just there last night, it might have been a bar and alley. I used to walk down that alley on the way to get to somewhere. I'm mean there's so many places that come up in people lives in these videos too.

Eugene:     That's one of the things we wanted to key on was to look for videos that showed the city. That showed different parts of the city.

Brian:     Nice.

Eugene:     And amazingly, thanks to you, we were able to expand that and the thing that I lie about what we've been able to do over time is I think it's a real eclectic play list. You know what I mean?

Brian:     Oh, it is. You guys have a real collection.

Eugene:     It's a real range of things that are on there. There's a lot of different things on there and we don't ... It takes a lot for us to say no. Say, "Okay, we can't put this on." Almost anything else, we will try. We will try very hard to get it on and there's so many people that have messages and points. One of the ... Elena & Los Fulanos.

Brian:     Elana & Los Fulanos.

Eugene:     Los Fulanos, thank you. I love her videos. Her videos are so great because of the message. I watch the videos. I was like, "Okay, we got to put this on the show." This is important to put this on this show. You know what I mean?

Brian:     Yes. It's very current. I mean current events, stuff that's happening right now.

Eugene:     Right.

Brian:     It's true.

Eugene:     Right, and a lot of the videos are that and a lot of the videos have that. A lot of the videos are talking about current things and politics and we didn't want to shy away from that. We wanted to make sure that those videos had a place to be shown, a place for people to see them and for the points that they're making to get further out. That was a really important thing for us.

Brian:     That's amazing guys. Let switch the spotlight to you guys personally now. What are your DC connections? Have you guys always been DC? Did you come from somewhere? What part of the city are you in? You go first.

Dion:     I'm from here. My mother Robin [inaudible 00:07:17]. Hey mom. She from South East. My fathers from Uptown, fourth and [inaudible 00:07:22]. Hello. I grew up in Hillcrest Heights, right by [inaudible 00:07:26] avenue.

Brian:     Nice.

Eugene:     Which is ironic because that's where my wife grew up.

Brian:     Yeah, and now you've got this Display project together. You got a baby called Display together. There you go.

Eugene:     My wife grew up in the same place but I moved down here from Jersey when I was a kid in the fifth grade. So, I've been here ever since, okay.

Brian:     Okay. [inaudible 00:07:49] And what part of the city are you in?

Eugene:     I'm in Silver Spring. I've been in Silver Spring the whole time. It's been an interesting to be that close to a major city and to be close to this city in particular, I think was a real tremendous thing to grow up, to be in this particular place too. You can drive down North Capitol Street and you see the Capitol Building. You go, "Wow," you know what I mean? I used to trip out about stuff like that and just being able to see the government, you know, the official Washington DC, and then the neighborhoods of Washington DC. The city where everybody lives in Washington DC. So, it's been a terrific experience to be here, to come back to work here, and now to work as part of the city government.

Brian:     City government, absolutely. What are you guys ... On the personal side now, talk about outside of work. So, we know you do Display, and you work down at that OCTFME, the Office of Music entertainment. What outside of that? Hobbies? What do you guys do?

Eugene:     We work on a lot of music. In fact, that's how we got started. That's how we got started working together. We worked at the agency, and we had a Christmas party one year, and I was very new to the agency at the time. I had only been there about a year, maybe two years or so. So, it was still very new. I didn't know a lot of people at the agency. So, one Christmas party, this guy gets up and he performs this rap song, and I said, "This song is corny."

Brian:     Please tell me that was Dion.

Eugene:     It was Dion.

Brian:     Oh. So good. All right, corny rap. Dion. Really?

Eugene:     I was like, "You know what though I want to hear him really run, not in front of the boss" ...

Dion:     I had the boss there. I was really just PG. PG 11. It wasn't even 13.

Eugene:     Right. So, I was like, "I want to hear this guy really rhyme." We linked up that day and maybe two weeks to a month later, we started making songs.

Dion:     I actually did the theme song for the show.

Brian:     For Display when you watch the show. That's Dion.

Dion:     That's my voice you hear when we're coming on.

Brian:     What about hobbies do you guys like? Are you into TV or around town?

Dion:     Hobbies. We're pretty much into a lot of the same things and right now we're into movies. That's our next venture. We actually just won a film festival in DC. Gene was the editor. I was the sound man and the clapper and everything else.

Brian:     Little bit of everything.

Dion:     I was the director.

Brian:     Good gracious. Well congratulations, which film festival was that?

Dion:     The DC Independent Go Film Festival.

Brian:     Nice.

Dion:     We went to the Black Home Festival in Miami, came in the top 20. In Atlanta, we had the Peace Tree Film Festival but I missed the email, so we missed going to the event.

Eugene:     It was a 30 minute short film called Stay Tuned and it was a comedy, which to me made it interesting because you go to film festivals and all these things and everybody wants to be deep, you know, [inaudible 00:11:20] staring out a window for 20 minutes. So, the fact that we made a comedy and made people laugh. We were like, "If we made one person laugh, then we did it."

Dion:     The first person we showed was Angie Gates and if she didn't green light it we wouldn't have showed nobody but she laughed when it first came on and that gave us a little confidence to keep on rolling.

Brian:     I love how supportive she is. She's so supportive, her and mayor [inaudible 00:11:49], both of them.

Eugene:     Yes indeed.

Brian:     So supportive of the arts and stuff and people don't know that necessarily because it's such a government town but yeah, DC definitely has 202 creates. If you go to you'll see some of that stuff that they're doing with that local music. I just gotta get a shout out to both of them. I love that she green lit your little project and all that stuff. Eugene I want to give you a shout out too because you shared with me you made music on the side too. So, let me just play ... This is you right? This is some of the stuff you made.

Dion:     Give em something. Give em something.

Eugene:     Yeah, this is a ...

Dion:     Let it go. Let it go.

Eugene:     Yeah.

Brian:     Nice.

Dion:     That's geno right there baby. Sound good.

Brian:     So, you do that stuff and that's the music for Display. You use it around work?

Eugene:     The version 23 project, it began as a file really. A file in my computer.

Brian:     There were 22 not good versions. Keep version 23.

Eugene:     Right. Right.

Brian:     It takes practice guys. It takes practice.

Dion:     [inaudible 00:12:58]

Brian:     You want to know how long it took us to make an album, 23 times, that's how.

Eugene:     Exactly. That became just the file name and it was sort of an outlet just do the music that was sort of in between the beats that I was doing for Dion or the beats that I was doing for somebody else. I had a bunch of other stuff that I kept and some of it I use for whatever we're working on, some of the shows, some of the TV shows, some of the other things but it's something that, to answer your question, that is my hobby. That is definitely my hobby right there.

Brian:     You guys, my favorite question to ask is if you could offer one piece of advice what would it be?

Dion:     Oh man.

Eugene:     Eat before the gig. That's the first piece of advice somebody told me and I'm passing it on.

Dion:     My would be treat other people how you want to be treated.

Eugene:     For sure.

Brian:     Say more on that. What does that mean?

Eugene:     I mean however you want to be treated. If you go into a building and you see somebody the janitor or the president in the building treat both of them the same. Don't treat one of them no different than the other. If you treat both of them the same I'm pretty sure they'll treat you the same as well.

Brian:     That's awesome. Be nice. It's like that common stuff but people forget sometimes and so remember to be nice and eat before the gig.

Eugene:     Eat before the gig.

Brian:     Oh my god, I love it. All right. Now, for those folks who want to follow the cool stuff you're doing and more about Display and the show, where do they go?

Eugene:     The links for Display are on our YouTube on the agency ...

Brian:     Website.

Eugene:     Website. And the YouTube page ...

Brian:     What's the website?

Dion:     Entertain_@DC.

Eugene:     Entertain_@DC

Brian:     I think it's I think was the one.

Eugene: and then on our YouTube page under entertain_DC we have a YouTube page and all of the shows have their own tab so that you'll see a separate tab for Display and all of the shows, all three seasons are there.

Brian:     So, if you're listening I hope you go to YouTube. Type in entertain_DC and then go check out episodes of Display and watch all these amazing music videos that these guys have.

Dion:     Check us out.

Eugene:     And it's interesting because a lot of people have said that they just put he show on and just leave it like it's a regular show and they'll binge watch two or three of them.

Brian:     I feel like it's old school MTV when you used to have it on and that was your music and there's a video to go with it, you've got that.

Eugene:     And that was the idea. That was what we wanted to do and I also have a big shout out to our number one viewer and it's Dion's mom. That's Dion's mom.

Brian:     Hi mom. I love it.

Eugene:     Mr. and Mrs. [inaudible 00:15:51].

Brian:     I love it.

Eugene:     They sit in the house each Friday.

Dion:     A popcorn.

Eugene:     A thing of popcorn and they watch their son on the show.

Brian:     That's amazing. I love it.

1/23/18 - Special Guest: Turtle Recall

Thanks to Erin and Guido of Turtle Recall for hanging out with us in the studio this week!

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

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




  1. The Motions, by FeelFree (Reggae, Alternative Rock)

  2. DC Tour Company, by Turtle Recall (Rock/Punk)

  3. Time Bomb, by Bells and Hunters (Rock, Blues Rock)

  4. Fort Worth Lady, by Human Country Jukebox (Country)

  5. Vision Hazy, by Matt Tarka (Rock)

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-


Are you a parent?  Have a young niece/nephew/cousin?  Did you know DC’s local music scene has kid-targeted family friendly music?  We caught Rocknoceros at The National Theatre in DC on Sat Jan 20.  Picture kids everywhere dancing, mom’s dancing with babies, and even a few dads showing their moves!  Everyone was smiling and laughing, it was hard to believe we were in the middle of dc with demonstrations and a government shutdown surrounding us within 2 blocks.  Songs we caught included: What Is Your Favorite Animal,  I Wish We Used The Metric System, Harry Elephante, and The United States Of America (they named all 50 states). We have a profile for these guys in our DC Artist Database so you can catch them around, they play regularly in the area.  We hope you’ll bring the kids and check them out

Our Instagram, @dcmusicrocks, started 6 months later than our facebook, but just surpassed 1000 followers and is about to overtake our facebook presence!  On instagram each week, we post pictures of the artists we share on the show and include interesting facts about them.  We also share concert shots of artists we’ve featured on the show when we’re at their shows.  We’ll keep the good content comin!  If you don’t follow us already, we hope you’ll come join the fun!  Thanks for making us a part of your instagram!



Jonny Grave - Fever

Ras Slick New Mini Documentary

Our ‘DC Artists Official Music Videos’ Youtube Playlist:


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

Fri Jan 26
-Exnations, My French Roommate, Mystery Friends @ Rock N Roll Hotel on H St in NE
-Justin Trawick Album Release Show @ Pearl Street Warehouse in SW at the Wharf

Sat Jan 27
-Elikeh @ Gypsy Sally’s & Scott Thorn @ Gypsy Sally’s Vinyl Lounge in Georgetown

Sun Jan 28
-Venn @ DC9 Nightclub by U St

Tues Jan 30
-Tomato Dodgers @ DC9 Nightclub by U St


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

Turtle Recall


Turtle Recall's Bio:

turtle recall pic.jpg

Turtle Recall is pop/folk/rock that does mashups and medleys of Top 40, Rock, 90s, oldies, and country. No backing tracks here tho it’s 100% live music and we bring the energy and the party to every show. We have two albums of original music including our own happy birthday song so we never get stuck playing that dirge. Featuring vocal harmonies and electric fiddle atop punk-inspired rhythms is sure to bring the hype.

Housy (john currie’s house) has had so many parties it has it’s own Facebook page and our new drummer Clayton hosts an annual open jam front yard party called Farmaroo that is attended by so many musicians it’s like having a legit cover band playing all day. Farmaroo IX is in May 2018. We are playing Clarendon Grill on New Year’s Eve!


Turtle Recall pic.jpg
turtle recall pic.jpg


Brian:     So, on DC Music Rocks, we're shedding a spotlight on the great songs, artists, and incredible people behind the DC region's local music scene. Turtle Recall is a pope ... A pope. It's a pope. No, it's definitely not a pope.

Erin:     Could be.

Guido:     A religious band.

Brian:     Wrong. It is a pop/folk/rock ...

Erin:     All the above.

Brian:     ... band that does mashups and medleys of top 40 rock, 90s, oldies, and country. There's no backing tracks. It's 100% live music, and they bring so much energy with every party that they do. They've got two albums of original music, including their own Happy Birthday song, which I want to hear one day. I haven't heard that one yet. They feature vocal harmonies, electric fiddle, atop punk-inspired rhythms, which bring some serious hype to every show. I've seen them live, I've seen them do this, and it's phenomenal.

Guido:     Oh, thanks.

Brian:     So, I've been a fan for a while, and it's freakin' awesome to actually have you guys here. Thanks for doing this.

Erin:     Thank you.

Guido:     Your show's cool.

Brian:     Thanks guys. So now, first, actually let me ... Tell me about the name. Where does Turtle Recall come from?

Guido:     I like turtles.

Erin:     Well, basically, yeah. We like turtles. I think we ... There's been an inside joke between all of us since high school. Most of us went to high school together, South Lakes High School, in fact.

Brian:     Nice, okay.

Erin:     Yeah. We were all in different areas of the art wing.

Guido:     You were, like, chorus.

Erin:     Chorus.

Guido:     I was the band kid.

Erin:     Yeah. Then, Matt was-

Guido:     Orchestra.

Erin:     ... orchestra, yeah. I was also in the fine arts. I did actual, you know, painting.

Guido:     John-Currie's your theater boy.

Erin:     Theater. He's the thespian.

Guido:     The theater.

Erin:     Yeah. So, we all knew each other in different ways, which was really fun.

Brian:     How many of the ... Now, there's six people. Introduce the names and instruments in the band.

Erin:     We have John-Currie-

Guido:     He plays the bass and sings.

Erin:     Yeah. And this was his New Year's resolution, to start this band. So, he gets a lot of credit.

Brian:     When was that? What year was that?

Erin:     I don't know, two-

Guido:     Would've been January 1st, 2009.

Brian:     Wow.

Erin:     But I was not in the band back then though.

Brian:     Got it.

Guido:     Yeah, we didn't pick up Matt and Erin until 2010. That's really when the band started.

Erin:     Yeah, he suckered me into it later.

Brian:     Oh, that's awesome. All right.

Erin:     Yeah, and then we have Guido who also does guitar and vocals. We have Matt who we call the talent. He's on fiddle, but he also does sound, he does lights, he created this crazy light board, and he can stomp on it and change the whole vibe of the show whenever he feels like it. And he also does harmonies, so you can tell why we call him talent.

Brian:     Get out of here. God, talent, yeah, seriously. Okay.

Erin:     We have Sam who does lead guitar.

Guido:     And trying to keep his eyes open.

Erin:     That's another, yeah, another one of his tasks.

Brian:     Okay, we'll stick with guitar then. All right, he's lead guitar, and then there's got to be drums.

Guido:     Clayton.

Erin:     Clayton.

Guido:     We kind of have a running Spinal Tap joke almost with the drummers in this band. We've easily clipped a baker's dozen, but we're really, really happy playing with Clayton right now. He's a great guy.

Brian:     That's awesome. So, Clayton's the current drummer. And then, of course, Erin on lead vocals, and harmonies, and all kinds of magical vocal things, right?

Erin:     Vocals, yep. I clap in one song, so I would like to be known for that.

Brian:     I've seen you with a tambourine. Some tambourine action.

Guido:     She plays a mean tambourine.

Erin:     I've been known to tamb-o.

Brian:     Nice. I love it. Now wait, where was that ... So, for folks who don't know that school that you mentioned, where is that?

Erin:     Reston, Virginia.

Brian:     So, you're all local Reston guys.

Erin:     Yeah.

Brian:     Wow, that's amazing.

Erin:     Yeah. Can never leave.

Brian:     Now, what is it that makes ... If people go see a Turtle show, what makes a Turtle Recall show special from maybe some of the other shows they could catch?

Guido:     I mean, I guess I'd have to go back to sort of what you mentioned in the intro. I really think the fact that we do everything live. It's just six people, we're ebbing and flowing tempo-wise as necessary for the feel, we can go to the next thing, and you can just do things that you can't do when you have piped-in music.

Erin:     We're also constantly rotating music. We mix up old school stuff, like a lot of classic rock, with the newer pop music. So, it kind of hits every crowd, I think, which is really fun.

Brian:     Nice. I mean, I've seen ... They have a medley they do, which I'm inspired-

Erin:     We have a couple medleys.

Brian:     Well, it's a medley, but it's also, like, 40, 50, 60 minutes, something straight where there's no stopping all the way though.

Erin:     Yeah.

Guido:     I think we're almost up to an hour now, and it probably covers about 30 songs.

Brian:     Holy smokes.

Guido:     So, I'm not trying to encroach on power hour territory here-

Erin:     We're close.

Guido:     ... but if you wanted to drink while we change songs, I wouldn't hold it against you.

Brian:     Please say that next time you do it. That's actually a really fun drinking game.

Erin:     I'm pretty sure Guido did encourage that at the last show.

Brian:     Yeah? Okay. That's amazing. I love that idea. All right, so now, you guys have a lot of fun, and you know each other. So, talk about funniest moment that comes to mind with Turtle.

Erin:     Funniest moment?

Guido:     Yeah, I think I got a good one for this one.

Brian:     Yeah?

Erin:     Go for it, go for it.

Guido:     I believe it was at Level X Lounge. I don't even know if it's called that anymore. That's up on U Street. So, they had a movie on. It was probably a Cinemax movie or something. That movie ended, and they were still projecting that channel on the wall. We were playing, I think it was Magic, you know, that B.o.B song with Rivers on the-

Erin:     (singing)

Brian:     Nice, okay.

Guido:     Well, let's just say, Cinemax turns to other forms of entertainment at that time of night.

Brian:     So, you were playing the soundtrack to a very interesting display on the screen? No way.

Guido:     Particularly, you know, not-

Erin:     Graphic.

Guido:     ... just not the right song for, you know.

Erin:     It definitely changed the vibe of the whole thing.

Guido:     But I didn't even know it was happening at the time. Our friend had a video of us, and he kind of just panned to the left to it.

Brian:     Oh man, that's amazing.

Guido:     I saw it the next day.

Brian:     Little did you know, you guys became a backing band for incredible cinema experience? That's awesome.

Erin:     Yeah, I've always wanted to be famous for something like that, so I feel like we checked it off the list, you know?

Brian:     That's awesome. What about you guys on a personal side? So, outside of this music thing, what do you guys do? Are you hobbies? What do you do outside of that?

Guido:     Can I be, like, super DC right now because this is what I do with all of my free time. This is what I do to have fun. What I do during the day is I work for the Department of Energy.

Erin:     Boo.

Guido:     So, we can be super DC and, "What do you do for a living?"

Brian:     Got it.

Erin:     I think I just fell asleep.

Brian:     Oh, okay. All right. So, there's Department of Energy during the day, and then there's all this music stuff. And speaking of all this music stuff, share the other bands because you're in some other bands now.

Erin:     I think there's seven now? Guido, are there seven?

Brian:     Seven? Stop it, Jesus.

Guido:     You know, I'm kind of getting a lot of flack for this, you know. I may be on the easy side.

Erin:     But we love him the most. So, let that be known.

Brian:     All right. We'll share him then. What do you got?

Guido:     But I'm really excited about a new project I'm starting with Casey, formerly of Tempercrush, called Boayt, B-O-A-Y-T. We don't really have anything up yet, but look out because we've got, like, a discord feel coming.

Brian:     Oh, nice.

Erin:     Look out.

Guido:     It's along the high-energy vibe-

Brian:     Got it.

Guido:     ... again.

Brian:     And then I know there's Bells and Hunters too. We're going to play one of those songs coming up, so you get to taste that.

Guido:     Bells and Hunters is, like, second band family. I mean, I just love everyone, and that band is such a good group of friends.

Brian:     That's awesome.

Erin:     I can vouch for them all too. They're all great.

Brian:     That's amazing. What about you, Erin?

Erin:     Oh, I don't do much. No, I have a pretty big family, so I try to prioritize them. They all live back in the area now. I have a couple of nieces.

Brian:     When you say "pretty big family" and "they all", how many people are we talking?

Erin:     I have four siblings, and a mom.

Brian:     Four siblings including you, or that means five kids altogether?

Erin:     No, five total.

Brian:     Wow, okay.

Erin:     We're all musical, so we all like to sing together.

Brian:     Oh, that's adorable.

Erin:     We've been singing together since we were little. But I try to hang out with them as much as I can. I also have a small business of my own doing marketing, and websites, and graphics, and stuff like that. So, it's an aside.

Brian:     Nice, yeah, I know man, it's like-

Erin:     I ride my bike, you know. I'm really cool, so I just want everyone to know.

Brian:     I was going to say, speaking of all this stuff you're sharing, you do sound pretty freakin' cool, I got to say.

Erin:     I'm super cool.

Brian:     I love it. And this marketing thing on the side, if people want to know about that, do you want to share that, or is that-

Erin:     Sure. I guess I've never advertised for it before, it's all been word of mouth, and it's just been really fun for me. I mean, you could go to if you want.


Erin:     I've never said that out loud before, but it's a thing.

Brian:     That's Erin, E-R-I-N, and Girardi is G-I-R-A-

Erin:     A-R-D-I.

Brian:     There it is.

Erin:     Dot com.

Brian: Check it out. Check her out.

Erin:     I'm impressed that you even got most of the way there.

Brian:     I feel cool now, thanks.

Erin:     You are very cool.

Brian:     I appreciate it. All right. Now, what about ... One of my favorite questions to ask on these interviews is, if you could offer one piece of advice, what would it be? From both of you guys.

Erin:     Oh, man. I know Guido has better advice than I do. Be nice to people. That's my advice.

Brian:     Be nice? Say more on that. Where does that come from?

Erin:     No, it's hard. Are you talking about being in a band? Is that what your advice-

Brian:     It's up to you. You can answer however you like.

Erin:     It's hard. Everyone knows being in a band is hard. Creative people are very emotionally attached to the things they're doing, so it's cool to get a bunch of impassioned people in the same room working on a project, but sometimes, hard conversations have to be had. So, going into it knowing to be open-minded, and listen, and be gentle when you're talking about someone else's art I think is important.

Brian:     God, so true. So true. I like it. All right, be nice. What do you got, Guido?

Guido:     I would ... Maybe preaching to the choir with this audience, but go out and see your friends' shows. Go see strangers' shows. It's always really fun, and it's really inspiring to see what other people are doing. We just had ... I didn't know you were going until I saw you there, but we just saw Juxt last Thursday at Union Stage-

Erin:     True, and they rule.

Guido:     ... and master class in stage performance.

Erin:     Yeah, they were awesome.

Brian:     Nice.

Erin:     There was some rolling around on the ground, I mean.

Brian:     Oh, excellent. Any time it goes all the way to the ground, you know that's just-

Erin:     There was a jumpsuit involved.

Guido:     And you know roXplosion caught it.

Brian:     Of course, there's going to be pictures.

Erin:     And those pictures were pretty awesome.

Brian:     And if you don't know who they're talking about, roXplosion is a photographer in the scene. He takes some of the best photos, and he actually was one of the first DC Music Rocks episodes. So, you can go back in the archives to one of the very first episodes-

Erin:     Aw, Alec.

Guido:     Number one.

Brian:     ... and catch an interview with him because he is an awesome dude.

Erin:     Such a winner.

Brian:     We love roXplosion. That is it. All right, now, last little bit here. If they want to find out more about Turtle Recall and follow what you're doing, and where do they find this information?


Brian:     Nice. And if you're on the social medias, what is it?

Erin:     We are Turtle Recall Music probably on all of them.

Brian:     All of them. Excellent.

Erin:     Yeah.

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

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

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

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




  1. The Towns, by Honest Haloway (Indie, Indie-Rock)

  2. The State of the Union, by Thievery Corporation (World)

  3. Fall Winter Spring Fall, by Carolyn Malachi (Jazz, R&B)

  4. Possibilities, by Bronsen and the Expedition (Pop, Funk)

  5. The Island (Comecar De Novo), by Lori Williams (Jazz, NeoSoul)

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-


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

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


Our 2018 New Releases by DC Artists’ Spotify Playlist:


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

Our ‘DC Artists Official Music Videos’ Youtube Playlist:


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

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

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

Jan 21 Sun
Kypin Martin @ Milkboy Arthouse in College Park

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

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


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

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

Maxx Myrick


Maxx Myrick's Bio:

Maxx Myrick photo

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

Maxx Myrick Pic
Maxx Myrick


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

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

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

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

Brian:     Oh fantastic.

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

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

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

Brian:     It's the longest acronym.

Maxx Myrick:     It really is right.

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

Maxx Myrick:     OCTFME.

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

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

Brian:     Yeah.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brian:     Yeah.

Maxx Myrick:     Your program addresses that.

Brian:     It's true.

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

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

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

Brian:     Yeah.

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

Brian:     Holy smokes.

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

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

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

Brian:     Yeah.

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

Brian:     Yeah.

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

Brian:     Yeah.

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

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

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

Brian:     Yeah.

Maxx Myrick:     By DC.

Brian:     Yeah.

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

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

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

Brian:     Yeah.

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

Brian:     Yeah.

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

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

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

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

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

Brian:     Okay.

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

Brian:     Since you're like 21 now.

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

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

Brian:     Wow.

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

Brian:     Okay.

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

Brian:     You were the DJ of that.

Maxx Myrick:     I of course was the DJ.

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

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

Brian:     Sure.

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

Brian:     Yeah.

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

Brian:     Wow.

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

Brian:     That's right, okay.

Maxx Myrick:     That was the first satellite radio.

Brian:     First satellite radio.

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

Brian:     Sure.

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

Brian:     Wow.

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

Brian:     Good gracious.

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

Brian:     Some of the jazz greats.

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

Brian:     Sure.

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

Brian:     You took a break?

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

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

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

Brian:     Good gracious.

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

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

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

Brian:     What kind? I'm guessing jazz.

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

Brian:     Sure.

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

Brian:     Absolutely. Where have you been to lately?

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

Brian:     Nice.

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

Brian:     Make a trip back there.

Maxx Myrick:     That country soon. Yeah.

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

Maxx Myrick:     I love the culture.

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

Maxx Myrick:     It's a wonderful culture.

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

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

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

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

Brian:     I see.

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

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

Maxx Myrick:     That's a big that.

Brian:     Keep morals.

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

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

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

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

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

Brian:     It's all there.

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

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

Maxx Myrick:     Just go to

1/9/18 - Special Guest: Caustic Casanova

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

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

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




  1. Benedict Cumberbatch, by Nardo Lilly (Folk, Singer-Songwriter)

  2. Lord Pinto, by Caustic Casanova (Hard Rock, Psychedelic Metal)

  3. Carrying Curses, by Spirit Plots (Rock, Garage)

  4. Flying, by Nah (Indie, Psychedelic Rock)

  5. Sometimes Dogs Perceive Other Dogs Differently When They're Wearing Hats, by ShowPony (Indie, Instrumental)

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-


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

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

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


Our 2018 New Releases by DC Artists’ Spotify Playlist:


Area 301 - Product of Hip Hop

Soldiers of Suburbia - Where Do We Go

Our ‘DC Artists Official Music Videos’ Youtube Playlist:


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Caustic Casanova


Caustic Casanova's Bio:

Caustic Casanova Pic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CC Alec Berry Dino Egg Promo.jpg


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

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

Stefanie:    Thank you so much.

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

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

Stefanie:    Many mispronunciations also.

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

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

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

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

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

Stefanie:    It'll be really cool though.

Francis:    It sounds great.

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

Andrew:    It's yet to be released.

Brian:    Upcoming. All right.

Andrew:    Upcoming.

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


Andrew:    @CausticCasanova on Twitter.

Francis:    And CausticCasanova on Instagram.

Brian:    There it is.

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

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

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

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

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

Andrew:    That's because you have the worst.

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

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

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

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

Brian:    How did you guys get together?

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

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

Brian:    That's right, 2004.

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

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

Francis:    Yeah.

Brian:    It was like your best decision.

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

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

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

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

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

Brian:    Andrew, I love that, man.

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

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

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

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

Stefanie:    But it's also a lot smellier.

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

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

Stefanie:    We don't have to go there.

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

Brian:    Well, hold on.

Francis:    Keep it clean.

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

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

Francis:    Know what the Cloud is.

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

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

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

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

Brian:    How'd you do?

Francis:    I failed, but ...

Brian:    How many did you do?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brian:    There's so many.

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

Andrew:    2013.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brian:    Nice.

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

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

Francis:    Sorry.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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  1. Sometime, by Free Lobster Buffet (Pop, Ska)

  2. Dangerous Ground, by Lavender (Indie, Indie Pop)

  3. King for a Day, by Emma G (Pop, R&B)

  4. Little Thing Called Love, by Melodime (Rock, Alt Country)

  5. Silent Cry, by Adwela and the Uprising (Reggae, Root Reggae)

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-


2017 DC Music Rocks Highlights:

  • Received grant from city of DC which allowed the creation and launch of our automated Local Music Calendar on our website. The only one of its’ kind exclusively about the local music scene in the city!

  • First annual DC Music Rocks festival at the 9:30 Club in September!

  • Became a syndicated radio show across 2 FM stations in the region!

  • Surpassed 300 artists in our DC Local Artist Database

  • There were multiple TV and media appearances recognizing the show including a CBS Prime Time segment in DC.

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


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


Soldiers of Suburbia - Pulp Fiction

Our ‘DC Artists Official Music Videos’ Youtube Playlist:


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Andy Fekete of Boat Burning


Andy Fekete of Boat Burning's Bio:

boat burning pic

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

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

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

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

boat burning pic


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

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

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

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

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

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

Brian:     So five guitars and drums.

Andras:     And drums.

Brian:     Got it. Okay.

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

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

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

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

Andras:     Exactly right, yeah.

Brian:     I see now. Okay.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brian:     Wow, that's intense.

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

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

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

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

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

Brian:     Oh, North Carolina. Wow. Cool.

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

Brian:     And you came up to DC when?

Andras:     It was 2010.

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

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

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

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

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

Andras:     100 amplifiers.

Brian:     You are walking to a wall of sound.

Andras:     Yes.

Brian:     Holy smokes.

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

Brian:     Holy smokes. So cool.

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

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

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

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

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

Brian:     By projecting things on buildings and stuff?

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

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

Andras:     Yes.

Brian:     Inside the club?

Andras:     Yes, inside the club. Yeah.

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

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

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

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

Andras:     Yeah, it's really cool.

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

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

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

Andras:     Don't wait. Don't wait.

Brian:     Andras, I love it.

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

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

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

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-

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


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

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

12-26-17 All Music Social B4.jpg

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

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

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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.

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

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

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

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




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

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-


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

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

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



Our ‘DC Artists Official Music Videos’ Youtube Playlist:


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

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

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

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


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

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

Aaron Miller of Gold Pants Rentals



Aaron Miller.jpg

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

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

Gold Pants Rentals.jpg
The Perfectionists.jpg


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

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

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

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

Brian:     Not with your gold pants down?

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

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

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

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

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

Brian:     Okay.

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

Brian:     Seven Drum City.

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

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

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

Brian:     What is the website?

Aaron Miller:

Brian:     Got it, okay.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brian:     Oh please tell me you put them on.

Aaron Miller:     I surely did, and-

Brian:     Stop it.

Aaron Miller:     Yes.

Brian:     Oh, that's awesome. Okay.

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

Brian:     Oh my God, that's amazing.

Aaron Miller:     Yeah.

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

Aaron Miller:     Yeah, like-

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

Aaron Miller:     Yeah, I think so.

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

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

Brian:     Okay, got it.

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

Brian:     Holy smokes.

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

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

Aaron Miller:     I guess-

Brian:     What year would have that been?

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

Brian:     2005.

Aaron Miller:     Yeah.

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

Aaron Miller:     Not as good as me.

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

Aaron Miller:     No.

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

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

Brian:     Excellent.

Aaron Miller:     ... that's pretty-

Brian:     What are you watching?

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

Brian:     I've heard such good things.

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

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

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

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

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

Brian:     You do Crossfit now? I love it.

Aaron Miller:     Yeah.

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

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

Brian:     But it's so good for you.

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

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

Aaron Miller:     Oh, well thanks.

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

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

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

Aaron Miller:     Exactly.

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

Aaron Miller:     Just do it.

Brian:     Just do it.

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

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

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

Brian:     How do you do that?

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

Brian:     Oh okay. I was going to say-

Aaron Miller:     Yeah.

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

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

Brian:     Sure, excellent.

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

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

Aaron Miller:     I do.

Brian:     When did that happen?

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

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

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

Brian:     Phenomenal bassist.

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

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

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

Brian:     Facebook. So it's ...

Aaron Miller:     Goldpantsrentals.

Brian:     Goldpantsrentals.

Aaron Miller:     Or perfectionistdc.

Brian:     Or perfectionistdc, that's the band.

Aaron Miller:     Yeah.

Brian:     Very cool, and Seven Drum City.

Aaron Miller:     Of course.

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

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

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

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

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




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

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-


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

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

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

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

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



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

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


Our ‘DC Artists Official Music Videos’ Youtube Playlist:


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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



Mark Reiter Pic

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

Some of Mark's credits:

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


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

Mark Reiter:     Thank you for having me.

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

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

Brian:     Where is Bias located?

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

Brian:     Okay.

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

Brian:     Got it.

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

Brian:     Holy smokes. 20 years.

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

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

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

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

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

Brian:     That's amazing.

Mark Reiter:     Get the word out there.

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

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

Brian:     No. There's no worries.

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

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

Mark Reiter:     Yup.

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

Mark Reiter:     No one ever asks this question.

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

Mark Reiter:     All right.

Brian:     Tell us.

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

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

Brian:     That's not a good association.

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

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

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

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

Mark Reiter:     Yeah.

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

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

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

Mark Reiter:     The beautiful Dumfries triangle Quantico area.

Brian:     Excellent. Okay.

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

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

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

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

Mark Reiter:     I got married last year.

Brian:     Congratulations.

Mark Reiter:     Thanks, man. Thank you.

Brian:     Yeah.

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

Brian:     Oh, furry children.

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

Brian:     Wow.

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

Brian:     Really?

Mark Reiter:     Yeah. Which is awesome and also-

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

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

Brian:     She kicks your butt.

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

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

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

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

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

Brian:     Yeah.

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

Brian:     Yeah. Got it, man.

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

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

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

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

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

Mark Reiter:     Bias.

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

Mark Reiter:     The internet.

Brian:     They all have websites.

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

Brian:     That's B-I-A-S Studios.

Mark Reiter:     Exactly.

Brian:     Okay.

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

Brian:     Got it.

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

Brian:     Daycare-Swindlers.

Mark Reiter:     Dot com.

Brian:     Got it.

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

Brian:     All those places.   

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

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

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

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




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

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-


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

Congrats to the winner of our car-dancing video contest, Chip Py!  I’ll be reaching out to invite him to be a guest of the show in 2018!  
See his winning video to Rare Essence here:

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

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

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


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

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

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


Our ‘DC Artists Official Music Videos’ Youtube Playlist:



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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Lisa White, Talent Buyer for Pearl Street Warehouse



Lisa White pic

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

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

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


Instagram & Twitter: @PearlStreetLive

Facebook: @PearlStreetWarehouse

pearl st.png


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

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

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

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

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

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

Lisa White:     Well, I did all that stuff.

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

Lisa White:     Yeah, yeah.

Brian:     "That was me."

Lisa White:     I did all that stuff, yeah.

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

Lisa White:     Not really, I mean-

Brian:     Pretty much sums it up?

Lisa White:     I did college radio.

Brian:     Wow.

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

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

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

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

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

Brian:     Oh?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lisa White:     Yeah.

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

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

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

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

Lisa White:     March.

Brian:     March of 2017?

Lisa White:     Yeah.

Brian:     Oh, god.

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

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

Lisa White:     No.

Brian:     Or, how does it work?

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

Brian:     Yeah.

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

Brian:     Awesome.

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

Brian:     Oh.

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

Brian:     All right.

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

Brian:     Yeah.

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

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

Lisa White:     Well, I'll be here.

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

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

Brian:     Wow.

Lisa White:     Yeah.

Brian:     What kind of music are you dancing to?

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

Brian:     Ah, I got you.

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

Brian:     Oh, there it is.

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

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

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

Brian:     Awesome.

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

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

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

Brian:     This is where-

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

Brian:     Do the lesson.

Lisa White:     Yeah.

Brian:     Oh, that is so cool.

Lisa White:     Yeah.

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

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

Brian:     Wow.

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

Brian:     Wow, that's just-

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

Brian:     Yeah.

Lisa White:     Yeah, that was, yeah.

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

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

Brian:     Okay, what does that mean?

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

Brian:     Got it.

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

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

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

Brian:     Wow, okay.

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

Brian:     Anywhere in between.

Lisa White:     We can do something between, yeah.

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

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

Brian:     Yeah.

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

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

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

Brian:     Ah, okay.

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

Brian:     Okay.

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

Brian:     Wow, yeah.

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

Brian:     Got it.

Lisa White:     Generally.

Brian:     Okay.

Lisa White:     Yeah.

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

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

Brian:     Be true to your word?

Lisa White:     Yeah.

Brian:     And be nice?

Lisa White:     Yeah.

Brian:     At the same time.

Lisa White:     Yeah.

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

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

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

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

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

Lisa White:

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

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

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

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




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

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-

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


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

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

11-21-17 All Music Social B4.jpg

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

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

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

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




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

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-



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

Car Dance Party playlist link:


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


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

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


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

The Duskwhales - Slow Down, Jerusalem

Our ‘DC Artists Official Music Videos’ Youtube Playlist:



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

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

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

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


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

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

Data Recovery Project



data recovery project

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

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

Official Website URL:

Facebook URL:

iTunes Link:

Spotify Link:

Other Links: Twitter: @DataRecovProjct

data recovery project


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

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

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

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

Christopher:     Well-

Daniel:     Christopher-

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

Brian:     Oh, okay.

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

Brian:     Nice.

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

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

Brian:     Really?

Christopher:     I did that, kind of.

Brian:     Okay.

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

Brian:     Sure.

Christopher:     So that DRP could get going.

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

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

Brian:     Wow.

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

Brian:     I love the way that it comes together.

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

Brian:     Mm-hmm (affirmative).

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

Brian:     Yeah.

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

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

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

Brian:     Wow.

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

Brian:     Where does the name come from?

Christopher:     The name came from

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

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

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

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

Brian:     Absolutely.

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

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

Brian:     Yeah, mm-hmm (affirmative).

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

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

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

Brian:     Okay, I see.

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

Brian:     Right.

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

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

Christopher:     I am from DC, northwest DC.

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

Christopher:     Oh.

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

Christopher:     I am Christopher with Data Recovery Project.

Brian:     Yeah.

Christopher:     Daniel to my left.

Daniel:     Hi, Christopher to my right.

Christopher:     Daniel's from?

Daniel:     I'm in Waldorf, Maryland.

Brian:     Fantastic.

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

Christopher:     Yes.

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

Christopher:     I'm from northwest Washington DC.

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

Christopher:     Okay.

Brian:     What is that?

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

Brian:     Mm-hmm (affirmative).

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

Brian:     Nice.

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

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

Daniel:     Yeah.

Christopher:     It's a YouTube series.

Brian:     Awesome.

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

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

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

Brian:     Oh, fantastic.

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

Daniel:     Because I'm from Waldorf.

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

Brian:     Got it.

Christopher:     That was it, right?

Daniel:     Oh no, what was the other one?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brian:     Ah, fair. Yeah.

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

Brian:     Okay.

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

Brian:     Really?

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

Daniel:     Creative writing.

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

Brian:     Okay.

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

Brian:     How long ago was that?

Christopher:     That was three years ago.

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

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

Brian:     True.

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

Daniel:     He's sold. He's in.

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

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

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

Christopher:     To aspiring musicians?

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

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

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

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

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

Daniel:     Christopher's on Facebook.

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

Brian:     Of course.

Christopher:     We're releasing an EP every month.

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

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

Brian:     Nice.

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

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

Daniel:     Right.