“I created a playlist highlighting several artists from the DMV area who speak to the importance of peace, community, and the beauty of Blackness through song.”

Kayla Boone, Summer Intern

Go-go Performers Gather for a “Great Day”

Photographer Dee Dwyer assembled more than 100 go-go artists to pay homage to the Art Kane photo known as “A Great Day in Harlem.”

“Can everybody see me? If you can’t see me, I can’t see you. If there is a tree blocking your view of me, you need to move over!” Photographer Dee Dwyer is perched on a folding ladder, where she is encumbered by Canon AE-1 and Sony cameras dangling from her neck and shoulder and the…

Moshpxt Keeps It Reel

Local videographer JayJay Thakar combines unpredictable style, intricate plotlines, and a love for the artists in his game-changing music videos.

JayJay Thakar has been transforming the local underground music scene ever since he created the video production company Moshpxt in 2017 […]

Doug E. Fresh’s Valentine to Chuck Brown, Go-Go

Released last month, This One’s for Chuck Brown: Doug E. Fresh Salutes the Godfather of Go-Go, honors an icon and the music.

Every go-go fan remembers their first live go-go show. For rapper Doug E. Fresh, it was a mid-’80s concert at the old Capital Centre […]

Remembering an Icon: Melvin Deal

“Melvin was so instrumental in bringing an enlightenment about African culture to the DMV that if you were to draw a picture, his rays would ultimately surround the whole area.”

Melvin Deal was revered as a drummer and griot, a dancer and choreographer, a mentor and teacher, and then later, as an elder and icon […]

Dischord House, the Home Base for Dischord Records, Turns 40

40 years ago, needing a place to operate their burgeoning label, Ian MacKaye and bandmates found what became Dischord House.

Most people acknowledge important anniversaries with some sort of celebration or fanfare. Ian MacKaye, formerly of Teen Idles, Minor Threat, and Fugazi, is not one of those people, letting the 40th anniversary of the label he co-founded in 1980, Dischord Records, go by last year with neither pomp nor circumstance. October 1, 2021, marked the…

End of an Ear-a: The Legendary Inner Ear Studios Closes a Chapter

Inner Ear Studios, where Don Zientara recorded some of the most iconic music made in the D.C. area, closed this month after more than 30 years.

Anyone who thinks peer pressure only happens to teenagers has never been in a recording studio. On a Friday evening in early September, a couple of punks are pressuring Michael Reidy, former lead singer of D.C. rock band the Razz, to sing on a track.  “I’ve had throat cancer!” he protests. It’s rare to hear outbursts…

D.C. Jazz Giant Howard “Kingfish” Franklin Has Died

Engage him on a musical level, and you could unlock all the best parts of him at once: generosity, kindness, fierce intelligence, humor, and joy.

Several years ago, I was listening to a classic jazz album when I became preoccupied by a drum figure. The album’s liner notes described the figure with great complexity, but what I heard was rudimentary—in fact, it was a literal rudiment. Seeking clarity, I dropped a text to one of my go-to experts on the…

Go-Go Musicians Remember and Mourn Producer Chucky Thompson

“He was one of a handful of artists/creatives from D.C. who wore the city on his sleeve, always putting D.C. and its music first.” 

In the days following the death of music producer Chucky Thompson on Aug. 9, his prodigious musical contributions, particularly in the realms of hip-hop and R&B, were roundly celebrated. Thompson had worked with some of the biggest names in those genres, including The Notorious B.I.G., Mary J. Blige, Nas, Faith Evans, and TLC. And while…

Alice’s Jazz and Cultural Society Has Reopened in Brookland

In December 2020, the neighborhood jazz venue said it would be closing permanently. Good health and “popular demand” helped bring it back.

The seats at 2813 Franklin St. NE were nearly full on Sunday evening, Aug. 8; the room, decked out with African art and photographs of jazz musicians and African American notables, looked (save for a large hole in the black acoustic-tiled ceiling) just as it did in February 2020. Nevertheless, the masked man sitting on…

The Newly Announced NEXTFest Ties Together D.C.’s Rich Musical Heritage

The festival, a partnership between CapitalBop and Long Live GoGo, will feature jazz and go-go artists playing in Malcolm X Park on Sept. 25.

A newly announced music festival taking place at Malcolm X Park next month will use the evolution of Black music in D.C. as a lens to examine how the events of recent years—from the pandemic to social justice movements to the ongoing changes in the city’s demographics—will shape D.C.’s musical and cultural landscape in the…

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