“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

Bouncebeat Go-Go Gets a Wider Audience Thanks to TikTok’s Junebug Challenge

“If a song has a TikTok challenge, it gets shared a lot more than other songs simply because people are doing the challenge. And if a go-go version of a song has a challenge, then that will in turn lead to go-go spreading more through social media.”

Those who frequent the TikTok universe may have come across last winter’s viral Junebug Challenge, in which participants find unusual locations where they perform a dance move to “Beat Box 2,” a track by Florida rapper SpotemGottem featuring Pooh Shiesty.  The dance’s Richmond, California-based originator, known as Junebug, has been touring the U.S. since January […]

Nagoya Guitars: A Piece of D.C. Music History

Fifty years later, the Nagoya guitars sold by Veneman Music are still prized, sought after, and played.

Three months into quarantine, I got my father’s old guitar down from the attic. After I cleaned and polished it and put on new strings, I was impressed: The dusty wood transformed into a sleek brown and tan instrument that looked very similar to Martin’s classic acoustic dreadnought guitars. When I strummed, it had a […]

Two New Releases Keep Freddie Redd and Butch Warren’s Legacies Alive

Freddie Redd died March 17. The two albums Brad Linde just released, recorded in 2013, are the last to come out during his lifetime.

Freddie ReddReminiscing Butch Warren & Freddie ReddBaltimore Jazz Loft Bleebop Records Brad Linde contains multitudes. Yet given how many of those multitudes tilt toward quirky and often avant-garde concepts, it’s surprising that a splendid pair of new releases not only feature straight-ahead bebop, but find Linde himself taking a back seat. Why? The answer, it […]

Fly Zyah Is D.C.’s Hottest Elementary-Aged Rapper

The 9-year-old's songs include "Generation Speaks," "Ride My Bike," and "Dear DC." Some say she has the talent to go far in the music industry.

On the early November afternoon that her father was arrested on Black Lives Matter Plaza, 9-year-old rapper Fly Zyah was scheduled to perform there as part of an Election Day rally sponsored by Black Lives Matter DC, Long Live GoGo, and Shut Down D.C. Shortly before her set, Metropolitan Police Department officers began to push […]

How Rhizome DC Pivoted Its Way Through a Pandemic

The Takoma arts venue Rhizome DC has managed to host workshops, art exhibitions, and even concerts over the last year.

It’s Jan. 14, 2021, and Rhizome DC is hosting a virtual event called “Mindful Listening in Isolated Times.” Molly Jones, a Chicago-based improviser and composer, has been practicing sound-based meditation for the past 11 months and wants to share the experience with others. “Unlike a lot of Zoom meetings, I would invite you, if you’re […]

Local Band Merci Have a New Name, New Sound, and New Album

For the D.C.-area pop-rock quintet, it’s just like Penny Lane says: “It’s all happening.”

It is a late Tuesday afternoon and the members of Merci are looking slightly stunned, having just returned from their photo shoot for this paper—their first for a media outlet.  “It was awesome!” lead singer Seth Coggeshall exclaims. “It was our first ‘Oh, we’re going to send somebody. Oh, the photographer will meet you.’”  They’re […]

Crank Radio Will Give Go-Go a National Platform

The new hour-long program on Sirius XM’s H.U.R. Voices debuts Jan. 16 and will bring go-go to listeners across the country.

More than 40 years after go-go’s first national hit, Chuck Brown’s “Bustin’ Loose,” and more than 30 years after Experience Unlimited’s “Da Butt” topped Billboard’s R&B charts, go-go has finally found a national radio platform. The new hour-long Crank Radio program, which debuts Saturday, Jan. 16 at 9 p.m. on H.U.R. Voices, Sirius XM Satellite […]

OnRaé LaTeal Says “Black Joy Is Essential”

LaTeal, founder of the Freedom Futures Collective, is focusing on Black joy as she mentors a "new generation of liberation music makers."

One Sunday in late June, activist, music producer, and educator OnRaé LaTeal assembled some friends and community organizers at the newly established Black Lives Matter Plaza. She also brought in a videographer to capture their afternoon, which was filled with purpose. They posed for the camera, standing still with fists raised. They chanted, “Middle finger […]

Alice’s Jazz and Cultural Society, A Unique Northeast Club, Has Closed

"It reminded me of the places I would go when I first started playing jazz in high school: the old-school, folksy type of neighborhood place,” says saxophonist Paul Carr.

At this point in 2020, it’s hard to be surprised by bad news, but Brookland jazz musician and venue owner Deandrey Howard’s Dec. 3 announcement on WPFW-FM was a surprise nonetheless.  “Alice’s Jazz and Cultural Society has been closed [due to the COVID-19 pandemic] and we’re going to stay closed,” Howard said on Aaron Myers’ […]

Live Music Venues Closed in March. How Are Employees Doing?

“I keep thinking about that, how I used to take for granted that I’ll just catch the next [show], and there wasn’t a next one.”

Live music venues shut their doors almost as soon as COVID-19 hit D.C., and nine months later, they show few signs of reopening. Independent venues were especially vulnerable—most had to furlough employees. After the weekly federal unemployment benefit of $600 ended in July, workers began searching for new ways to make ends meet. Five people […]

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