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Dave Mann has got a triple-pronged approach to world domination. No. 1: Launch awesome music blog. No. 2: Launch awesome concert series at local Eritrean restaurant. No. 3: Book really awesome two-day festival at said restaurant.
The Brookland resident, a 32-year old federal employee, officially launched his music blog Sweet Tea Pumpkin Pie—- which he describes as “like Pitchfork, with a different kind of slant”—-on Tuesday. (Mann also used to be in a band called Sweet Tea Pumpkin Pie.) Two months from now, if all goes as planned, he’ll have released a music compilation, and he’ll be one month into his concert and art series at Bella Cafe and Restaurant on Florida Ave. NW. On June 4—-5, Mann will host a two-day music festival (with vegan food) at the Eritrean establishment across from the 9:30 club. Many acts have already been announced on Facebook. Last week, the event boasted 35-plus bands; this week, it’s 45. Local bands Hiding Places, The Jet Age, Loose Lips, and Last Tide are among the sprawling, heavily local lineup.
The planned festival is not his first foray into concert booking, and not his first stint at an Eritrean restaurant, either. In 2008, Mann, who sings and writes songs in Mittenfields, booked bands at Dahlak near 18th and U streets NW. Relations soured with the restaurant management, and he was out of the booking game for a couple years. But he’s optimistic about his new gig.
“Promoting these events is gonna be like, so easy,” he says. Given the restaurant’s proximity to the 9:30 Club, Mann guesses that club patrons “are gonna see a lot of awesome stuff happening across the street and wonder why they’re not there.”
As for what that awesome stuff is, though, details are still kinda unclear. Through his connections to various record labels, Mann plans on doing residencies and at least a couple weekly events: Thursday concerts curated by Fuzzy Logic blogger Megan Petty, and Friday art events. And a monthly movie night, maybe. He knows people with projectors. “I’m gonna do a lot of stuff,” he says.
Mann, a Texan, says booking a festival will not be a problem for him, partly because he’s from Austin he went to South by Southwest this year. “I know how it goes,” he says. “It’s not a cakewalk, but it’ll happen.”