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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.