LIVING AS A FULL-TIME MUSICIAN IN D.C.

by Elliott Wallace


FROM A DREAM TO REALITY: LIVING AS A FULL-TIME MUSICIAN IN D.C.

 

While the initial plunge of doing music full-time is frightening, Tsaggaris, Mathews, Trawick and Zipf believe that the rewards outweigh the risks.

“For me, this is the time, over any other time in history, to be a DIY musician,” says Trawick.  “Musicians have a medium like the Internet to get their music out there, create their own sites, be their own label of sorts and sell CDs at their shows. Now is the time.”


You Want More Clips...Well, Now You Got Them!

by Elliott Wallace


HOWARD’S STUDENT GROUP, LABEL US BLACK, ON BREAKING RACIAL BARRIERS IN INDIE MUSIC

“We’re modeled partially off of the Afro-punk concept; alternative blackness and showing interests other than the typical hip-hop/R&B and BET,” Johnson says. While the roots are within Afro-punk, Johnson says that the club is not adverse to different genres or different ideas people might bring. “We want to keep our roots in DIY, indie [and] alternative. You can do anything and we’re not going to judge you.”

 

MAGFEST: THE STORY BEHIND THE DMV’S LARGEST VIDEO GAME MUSIC FESTIVAL

Chris Davidson seems like a rather average guy, until he puts on his “power helmet”, a red bicycle helmet with a record cut on top that looks a bit like a giant pair of scissors.

In that moment, he becomes DJ Cutman, a character named after the boss from the Mega Manseries of video games.

“I perform and produce chiptune music in all its facets,” Davidson says, referring to the genre that uses sounds, melodies, effects and videogame hardware from the late 1980s and is repurposed with hip hop and dance music.

Davidson, who also heads the video game remix record label Game Chop, says that one of the major influences for starting his music career was the DMV-based music and gaming festivalMAGFest.

“It literally changed my life and got me into making music professionally,” he says.

HOW NIGEL LYONS BECAME D.C.’S GO-TO FILMMAKER FOR MUSIC VIDEOS

During his time working on the campaign, Lyons got offered the chance to do video work for a local business. Through connections, Lyons met Brandon Moses of Paperhaus who mentioned they were interested in doing a video for their 2013 song “Helicopters.” That became Lyons’ entry point into D.C.’s music scene.

“They had the concept down, which was great. I liked it; they had some ideas, I had some ideas and we did it in two days. I just directed everybody and threw out ideas on the go,” Lyons says. With its widescreen presentation of the Tet Offensive taking place in D.C. rowhouses, cardboard cutout guns and helicopters, Lyons began to make his mark as a sought-after video director in D.C.  He not only shot and directed “Helicopters”, but also helped to edit the video.

FILMMAKER JEFF KRULIK ON DOCUMENTING D.C.’S MUSIC SCENE AND DIY ETHOS

It’s January 20, 1969 and Richard Nixon is inaugurated as the 37th President of the United States. On that very same day, an English quartet played one of their first American gigs at the Wheaton Community Youth Center in front of 50 teenagers. That band was the legendary Led Zeppelin.

Allegedly.

The urban legend that one of rock and roll’s most prolific bands played a show for a small crowd in suburban Maryland has remained a mystery for nearly four decades. Now it’s the subject of filmmaker Jeff Krulik’s latest effort, Led Zeppelin Played Here.

 

LAMONT STREET COLLECTIVE: INSIDE D.C.’S AFFORDABLE ABODE FOR THE DIY COMMUNITY

Lamont Street Collective is not only an affordable place to live for D.C.’s emerging creators and leaders, but it also serves as a venue for DIY events. Notable figures like Barbara Ehrenreich have come by to speak, and Lamont Street Collective’s largest event-Salon de Libertad-just returned for its ninth installment earlier this month.


A few more clips from DC Music Download

by Elliott Wallace


A Closer Look at D.C.’s Rock en Español Scene

Rock en Español fuses traditional Latin influenced music with rock, reggae and other regional sounds with Spanish-language singing. Bands like Nayas, Anexo Social and Kickoman are staple examples of bands that have thrived in the District with their exotic sound. But there are also a slew of other artists and musicians from diverse backgrounds that have put their passion, time and broken strings into building the rock en Español community.


More clippings from D.C. Music Download

by Elliott Wallace


The Masterminds Behind Trillectro

 Modele Oyewole, known as Modi, reminds me a bit of the early legends of Sean “Puff Daddy/P. Diddy/Diddy” Combs. You can hear his drive, his hustle, his ambition whenever he talks about a project he’s working on. And after seeing all Oyewole has done with DC to BC, his blog that’s now grown into a stellar team of promoters and trendsetters, he would be remiss not to brag. The five-man team that makes up DC to BC—Oyewole, Quinn Coleman, Marcel Marshall, Jason Mowatt, and Erick McNair—has spent years hustling and making a name both within and beyond the local music scene. Their crowning achievement to date, the Trillectro Music Festival which debuted last summer, will be back for its second year this August.

Maracuyeah: Opening Doors for Latin Music in D.C.

Maria Escobar and Kristy Chavez, who spin under the names DJ Mafe and DJ Rat respectively, have been playing the D.C. club scene together as Maracuyeah for the past two years, bringing to the floor a unique mix of Spanish rock and dance music, with the added flair of global beats and electro-styled funk, spiced by rumba, cumbia, reggaeton, and more.

How Moombahton Became D.C.’s Breakout Music Genre

In less than five years, moombahton—a genre combining house and the groove of reggaeton—has propelled itself in terms of popularity from a local sensation to a fixture of the international EDM scene.

 

 

 

 

 

 


A number of clips from TechVoid

by Elliott Wallace


I recently started writing for a local tech blog, TechVoid, which looks at the news ad technology industries. Here are my first two posts:

 

Why No One Cares about Facebook Hashtags

As a way to make amends for all the information they’ve given up to the NSA, Facebook is rolling out hashtags for your posts.  

 

Google Loon Brings Balloons, Party Favors and WiFi to those in need

We may forget this, but a majority of the planet doesn’t have access to the Internet and probably wouldn’t understand that whole “Gangnam Style” or grumpy cat meme. In fact according to Google, around 5 billion people have little to no access to the Internet.

 


A Number of my clippings with the DC Music Download

by Elliott Wallace


Meet The Owner of D.C.’s Non-Profit Music & Arts Venue BloomBars

Now in its fifth year of operations, BloomBars—an alcohol-free, all-ages arts space—has grown to be essential to its community in a way that founder and “Chief Executive Gardner” John Chambers always hoped it would. “BloomBars was meant to grow organically at the pace of the people who are occupying it,” he says of the venue’s natural but robust development. But this is only the start, Chambers assures. “We are just emerging from the soil. It really truly is just the beginning.”

Punk icons Husker Du’s classic song “Celebrate Summer” brings back the joyful and youthful exuberance that the warmer months brought. There seemed to be no rules or boundaries to what you could do. For some young women, that includes starting their own band.

Every summer since 2008,  Girls Rock! DC has provided a unique experience for a summer camp in the city. For one week, girls between the ages of eight to 18 are given instruments to learn, bond with fellow musicians and are introduced to new musical genres. The best part of all for these young women is getting the chance to bring their skills together in a big showcase that takes place at the end of their camp experience. Past showcases have been held at major music venues around the D.C. area, including the 9:30 Club. Thanks to local donors and volunteers, the camp provides these girls with guitars, drums and DJ equipment.

Drunk Tigers Interview

Will Bandcamp Take the Place of Labels?

Digital distribution is one of the most contentious debates in music today. iTunes has become the online music store, and file sharing and torrenting are now a greater problem for the mainstream industry. The conversations about how artists are getting paid and who are the gatekeepers to great music is getting louder each week.

A Look Inside D.C.'s Indie Festival Circuit

Throughout the U.S., major music festivals host some of the world’s most popular artists. But while bigger festivals like Lollapalooza and Coachella might attract higher-profile artists, more regional festivals—think SXSW in Austin or New York’s CMJ Music Marathon—also don’t go unnoticed in the public eye. With more of these festivals sprouting across the country, it provides an open window for D.C.’s creative types to be proactive and stage their own music events in the nation’s capital in support of underground and alternative artists.

Dance for the Dying Profile

Misun Profile

Socket Records Retrospective

Sockets Records, the label owned and operated by Sean Peoples since 2004, made its last curtain call this past Saturday with a send-off showcase at the Black Cat. For Peoples, the label was not only meant to be a business, but to formulate a close-knit community.

“There was a small, but vibrant scene of post-punk bands in the area.” Unfortunately, those bands were leaving the region at a quick pace.

A Look Inside D.C.'s Growing LGBT Music Scene

There’s a special chemistry in D.C.’s music scene-one that is gradually becoming more diverse and heterogeneous over the years. Over time, the burgeoning LGTB community has been making a larger presence within the scene. It’s a scene that is difficult to reduce to one theme or message. Sure, same-sex love can be heard in the lyrics of many of these artists, from punk rockers G.U.T.S. to R&B tinged The Coolots. But, the LGBT community’s recent evolution and popularity extends further beyond the confines of music.

Looking in hindsight over a decade ago, this expression was less an oasis and more of a leaky fountain.


The (Job) Hunt is On

by Elliott Wallace


So, now I have this space and what shall I talk about?

Well, work, careers, jobs, and the professional world.

Hopefully a place where I can start asking myself what exactly I want to be doing with my life.

A place where I may get a little more focus and finally get on the path of what I want to do with my life. 

While my other blog is ( and has not been touched in a while, which is because of me) about relationships, this part of the blog will be more focused on the job market. Not the love market. I couldn't help myself. Follow me into my journey into the professional world.