Play (Lists)

Ski Queen: Born and Raised in the DMV

Ski Queen performing live

Alexandria natives Ena Sullivan and Julianne Lane founded their bubble grunge band Ski Queen during the COVID-19 pandemic. Their music takes listeners on an honest emotional journey, but doesn’t take itself too seriously, either.

Lead singer and guitarist Julianne Lane started in music by taking piano lessons at the age of just four. Around 13, she started guitar, which led her to songwriting. Lane soon got involved at a local music school, Rock of Ages Music, where she met Ena Sullivan.

Drummer and backup vocalist Ena Sullivan started learning violin at eight years old. She began lessons in traditional hand drumming at an after-school program when she was 10, which sparked her love for percussion. She began kit drumming a few years later.

The pair was involved in a number of different bands over their high school years, but decided to start their own project during COVID, and thus, Ski Queen was born. The group began as a cover band, but as they found their own sound, they began to write their own songs as well.
Sullivan and Lane appreciate the musical history of the DMV.

“Being so close to DC, which was the birthplace to so many punk and go-go bands, has been a catalyst for my own love of music.”

Chipelo: ‘I’m Very Prideful of Who I Am…Because as a Kid, I Wasn’t’

DMV-based artist and dancer Chipelo press photo

DMV-based Salvadoran-American artist and dancer Chipelo discusses his debut single, the importance of cultural representation, what inspires him to give back, and more.

For Salvadoran-American artist Chipelo, music is a lifestyle. The DMV-based musician, dancer, producer, and actor fuses his diverse talents into his art seamlessly to create a vibrant full-mind and body experience for new and existing audiences alike, and the Towson University senior is just getting started.

Join contributing writer Cynthia Gross as she connects with Chipelo to discuss his debut single, “SIN TI,” how he prepares physically for high-energy performances, the importance of cultural representation in his art, what inspires him to give back to the community as a mentor for youth in Baltimore, and his upcoming performance at TreeFort Fest in Rockville, Maryland on June 10.
Chipelo aka Benjamin Molina has been immersed in music since childhood. He has fond memories of being introduced to Spanish music and Salvadoran culture by his parents at home, and English and American culture in school, as a first-generation child.

Meet Chris ‘Von Pimpenstein’ Carter, the Uber-Mixer

Chris Carter in deep thought at the studio

West Coast record producer and sound mixer Chris ‘Von Pimpenstein’ Carter now calls D.C. home
Award-winning record producer and sound mixer Chris ‘Von Pimpenstein’ Carter discusses his journey from the West Coast to D.C.

Before you reflexively defend our city and its music scene, at least hear out Chris Carter, an audio mixer and record engineer who moved to the capital region—but isn’t quite on the bandwagon that D.C. is a music mecca. Carter, who earlier lived in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, claims that he isn’t “down on the D.C. area” and its soundscape; rather, it’s simply not the main business keeping the capital city going.

“This is a government industry area. Los Angeles is [based on] entertainment. Nashville is the center of all songwriting,” Carter said. “By going to Los Angeles and wanting to get into the federal government, it’s not going to work out super great.”

Carter wishes to reiterate that he isn’t hating on Washington but being realistic. Audio engineers tend to gravitate to the coasts, Atlanta, Austin, and the aforementioned country music capital of Nashville.

Perro Sombra Take a Psychedelic Turn with “Algoritmos”

Album art for "Algoritmos" featuring a police officer with a giant dog mask/helmet standing outside of a brick building by a crosswalk.

More to Watch DMV-based Hispanic American rock band, Perro Sombra, bring on distorted psychedelia with the music video for their latest single “Algoritmos.” Perro Sombra “Algoritmos” album art Directed by Emmy-award-winner, Nestor Bravo, the video showcases a world policed by officers in large, off-putting dog masks (very fitting given the band’s name). We move between […]

DMV Celebrates Local Musicians at 2023 Wammie Awards

Wammie Awards hosts, Allison Seymour and Darren Hayes

This year’s Wammies night was a night to bring the DMV music community together to celebrate its achievements: “DC is the beneficiary of world-class music creatives who enrich and inspire millions of people around the world! The Wammie Awards is The MusicianShip’s 35-year-old awards show aimed at recognizing DC, MD, and VA area artists & musicians for their artistic works and community impact across our region.” Fifty-one awards were given throughout the night, honoring the area’s music educators, artists, musicians, and more. WUSA 9’s Emmy award-winning anchor Allison Seymour and Darren Hayes hosted the event. Excitement buzzed from the red carpet to the award hall. 
The night was themed “The Hitmakers Ball”, celebrating the DMV region’s rich music legacy and its culture-shaping influence on style, fashion, and community. It began with a pre-event reception with music by DJ 24/7. The awards show with music by DJ D-REX featured a variety of live performances, including performances by the iconic Go-Go band EU fronted by Gregory “Sugar Bear” Elliot, Grammy-nominated MuMu Fresh, The Howard University S.H.O.W.T.I.M.E. Marching Band, Rayshun LaMarr from NBC’s The Voice…

D.C. by Way of Pittsburgh—with the Occasional Nashville Stop

DMV-based singer-songwriter Melissa Quinn Fox press photo

DMV-based singer-songwriter Melissa Quinn Fox discusses her 2023 Wammie wins, new music, and more.
Singer-songwriter Melissa Quinn Fox scored quite a whammy this spring. In April, the artist took home three prestigious Wammie Awards at a ceremony held in Washington. One of those recognitions was best song for her composition “Dear Self Doubt.”

“I’m a four-time winner, which is pretty awesome,” Quinn Fox said, noting that she previously won a best song Wammie for her earlier composition “Back There.” “It really means a lot to be recognized as a songwriter for all the hard work I’ve put in—especially in this area.”

Indeed, Quinn Fox has put in the time and the work. A native of Pittsburgh, she spent several years after college traveling as a performer, appearing in shows domestically and overseas.  Missing the family, she returned to the Iron City and played in various bands while refining her own voice as a songwriter. An old friend convinced her to head down to the Outer Banks to play summer acoustic shows while supplementing her music by working in the restaurant industry. 

Rock Out with Mares of Thrace This Summer

A band photo of the duo on a couch with framed pictures behind them.

Calgary, Canadian-based hardcore noise doom duo, Mares of Thrace are coming to The Runaway and Metro Gallery on June 20/21 in Washington D.C and Baltimore. Learn more with Maura Marcellino. Mares of Thrace. Photo by Monika Deviat Canadian noise doom duo, Mares of Thrace is coming to The Runaway in Washington, D.C. on June 20th with […]

Lauren Calve Experiences a “Shift” in Debut Album

Lauren Calve "Shift" album art

Recent Articles Maryland-based artist Lauren Calve has released her first single, “Shift” (May 26), from her upcoming debut album of the same name, to be released September 1. Lauren Calve “Shift” album art “Will it take me or break me under its weight? Will I take it and break away?” Calve sings in “Shift”. This […]

Friends and Amigos Has Us Hanging With the Cool Kids

"Sitting on Tables" single cover art- A person with headphones sitting on the table while empty chairs are available

Recent Articles Friends and Amigos (formerly Gabrielle Zwi and Friends) release a new anthem for those that do not feel like a cool kid, “Sitting On Tables.” Friends and Amigos “Sitting on Tables” album art New DMV-based genre nonconforming four-piece band, Friends and Amigos, released their debut single, “Sitting on Tables,” on April 21st. As […]

All-Women Afro-Brazilian Ensemble Batalá Washington DC Has Rhythm and Purpose

A picture of Batalá Washington DC's drums and sticks

“We like for our audience to be empowered by the beats of the drums and the energy transmitted by the women in the group”

Batalá Washington DC discuss their impact, favorite songs to perform, and how being a part of the DMV creative scene influences the collective’s approach.
Within an industry that is historically dominated by men, all-women Afro-Brazilian percussion ensemble Batalá Washington DC is here to show us what they are made of. Launched in 2007 as the newest branch of the Batalá band and the first-ever in the United States, Batalá Washington, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, brings its powerful, invigorating sounds to the nation’s capital and across the globe as a means of empowering women to be change agents in their respective communities.

Join contributing writer Cynthia Gross as she connects with Marly Perez, board president and musical conductor of Batalá Washington DC, to discuss the collective’s impact over the years,