The 5×5 Songwriters Showcase Bethesda Lineup Announced

The 5×5 Songwriters Showcase Bethesda Lineup Announced

by Daniel Warren Hill

Alchemical Records Presents: The 5×5 Songwriting Showcase

Featuring musical performances by:

Elena Lacayo: https://www.elenalosfulanos.com/
Mike and Melinda Hamilton: http://mikehamiltonband.com
Jason Mendelson: http://jasonmendelsonmusic.com/
Petty Indulgences: https://www.pettyindulgences.net/
Master Sword: http://www.masterswordband.com/

The 5×5 Songwriting Showcase is a unique live event in that each event features an array of talent from around the Washington DC region. We film each live event in order to produce video and audio epsiodes which highlight each individual performer.

5x5 Songwriters Showcase featuring Elena Lacayo, Mike and Mel Hamilton, Master Sword, Petty Indulgences, and Jason Mendelson


About Elena Lacayo

Elena is frontwoman for Elena & Los Fulanos, a bilingual folk rock band based in Washington, DC. Since 2011, they have been creating music that’s from twangy, heartbreak-themed folk American, to soothing, introspective, violin-infused Latin rock. Influenced by front-woman Elena Lacayo’s experience growing up in two cultures (Nicaraguan and American), Elena & The Fulans creates a world where language and tradition meld with catchy melodies and inventive chords to enhance appreciation for diversity in an increasingly multi-cultural world. Their debut album, Poisonous Honey , earned a Washington Area Music Association (WAMMIE) nomination for Best Latin Recording in 2014 and their second album Volcano , (2017) has been hailed as”a bilingual folk album for the resistance” by the Washington City Paper .

About Mike and Melinda Hamilton

Melinda fell in love with the guitar at age 10. The folk/rock music of the 60s was perfect for learning to sing and play guitar. She loved the sounds of Peter, Paul, and Mary; Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Carol King, James Taylor, and Joni Mitchell. In the 70s and 80s she was heavily influenced by the group vocals performed by bands like The Beatles, The Eagles, CSNY and Fleetwood Mac. It was a magical time for music and formed the basis for her musical style. In 1981 she met Mike Hamilton and fell in love with his music. Melinda and Mike formed the bands Desire and No Doubt Crypto and were quite successful performing in the mid-Atlantic region throughout the 80s and early 90s.

Mike Hamilton grew up in Titusville, a small town in the mountains of Northwestern Pennsylvania. In the 1960s he was listening to Jimmy Rogers, the Carter Family, Hank Williams, Stanley Brothers, Bob Dylan, the Beatles and the British Invasion. Mike started playing music in high school and formed a band and began writing songs. He formed the band DESIRE which evolved into the band NO DOUBT CRYPTO, recorded the NO DOUBT CRYPTO album featuring original music and founded the Joe Bag O’ Donuts (BMI) music publishing company. In the next decade he turned his talents to producing and engineering his own music and regional acts around the mid-Atlantic region. He was the chief engineer for Roar Productions Recording Studios in Columbia, Maryland and founded his own production company, BigHouse Productions. Mike opened Mission Road in 2003 to record his original music and engineer and produce projects for independent and regional releases.

Between 1995 and 2013 Mike and Mel recorded and released the following CDs: Beggars & Poets, Appalachia, Open Book and Pardon My Confusion, Can You Direct Me To The Other Side Of Nowhere?. In 2016, they released “2 Stupid 2 Lip Sink Chronicles”.

About Jason Mendelson

Jason Mendelson is an Alexandria composer and multi-instrumentalist whose MetroSongs project has captured hearts and feet across the D.C. Metro region, infusing the history of each location with a musical flavor all its own. When he’s not playing electric 12-string guitar and singing, he can usually be found on various instruments supporting local acts like Selling Fairfax by the Pound, Alex Parez & the Hell Rojos, Maryjo Mattea & a Pile of Dudes, Motion Quotient, or Jonny Grave & the TombsTones, and has performed on stages all over the area, like the Electric Maid, Black Cat, 9:30 Club, and Kennedy Center Millenium Stage. Jason’s studio, An Undisclosed Location, is responsible for involvement in several local projects from bands like The Lucky So & So’s, The Iris Bell, the Clara Barton Sessions, Two Dragons & a Cheetah, and more.

In June 2019, Jason began releasing new music by way of a project simply called Scenes, which includes: “Where They Make Rum” as well as “Thief In The Night”.

About Petty Indlugences

Petty Indulgences formed in 2016 to play a benefit show supporting local artists in DC’s theater community. We stayed together because we love making music. Our goal always has been and always will be making the best music we can while telling stories that are too often left untold. Includes the talents of: Quique Cunningham on Lead Vocals & Effects, Phil Stack on Guitar, Christopher Herring on Percussion and Vocals, and Jam Grant on Bass and Vocals.

About Master Sword

A 5-piece American progressive power metal band inspired by music from The Legend of Zelda series, Master Sword celebrates Nintendo’s series in a way no one else ever has. Taking influence from an array of hard rock to progressive metal favorites, Master Sword has crafted tracks which uniquely capture the spirit of the games and molded that spirit into impressively rockin’ heavy metal tunes.

“If you like power metal you owe it to yourself to get down with the Master Sword.” – The Metal Observer

“If you are a Legend of Zelda fan, you owe it to yourself to check out Master Sword, even if you do not consider yourself a fan of rock or metal music. Zelda fans around the world have paid tribute to the works of Koji Kondo by putting their own spin on the music, and this is far more than just a rock version of the Zelda theme, or game music done with guitars.” – Christiana Skye/Script the Darkness

Following a successful kickstarter campaign, their first full-length album “Shadow and Steel” was released January 2, 2018. The band has presently launched a new Kickstarter campaign for their forthcoming Sophomore record: The Final Door.

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Daniel Warren Hill

Daniel Warren Hill is a songwriter, producer, and performer. He currently rocks guitar and vocals for Alt/Rock band YellowTieGuy, Produces, sings and mixes live video for Data Recovery Project, and lends his talents to Beach Boys Tribute Band “Back To The Beach”. When not performing, Daniel is actively engaged in family activities with his wife, two daughters, roommate,and dog. Daniel enjoys exploring creative and business outlets, spending time in nature, and is currently addicted to Star Trek Timelines.

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Sharptooth & Obey The Brave @ Milkboy

Sharptooth & Obey The Brave @ Milkboy

Go see Sharptooth and Obey the Brave with Born a New and Downswing this Wednesday!

Sharptooth: Honest, explosive, and unapologetically enraged, Sharptooth focuses the brutality of hardcore through a femme lens, and believes in carving out space for marginalized voices in aggressive music.

WED · JULY 24, 2019
Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

MilkBoy ArtHouse
7416 Baltimore Ave
College Park, MD, 20740

ticketfly.com

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Jazz in the District: DIVA, Brotherton, Berhanu

Jazz in the District: DIVA, Brotherton, Berhanu

by Michael J. West

Tuesday, July 23
There is no question that the jazz world remains, at bottom, a boys’ club. That’s what motivated drummer Sherrie Maricle to spearhead a girls’ club. DIVA is the name of her many all-female ensembles, especially the big band that she usually leads. In its standard form, the DIVA Orchestra includes three of the District’s finest musicians, including bassist Amy Shook, a longtime favorite on the scene with a solid, steady swing on her upright. So solid and steady is it, in fact, that Shook is also a staple of the smallest variation on Maricle’s unit: 3Divas, a piano-bass-drums trio that also features the Cleveland-based pianist Jackie Warren. The formula isn’t complicated: Pick a song and swing the hell out of it. Which they do. Warren has a latticed style, with blues and boogie-woogie decoration that reminds this writer of Erroll Garner, but is really its own beast. Shook holds the dead center of the beat (occasionally slipping to the front), with Maricle dancing around it and often acting more as underpinning for Warren’s elaborations than for Shook’s pulse. It’s powerful stuff. $22

Wednesday, July 24
​I stopped in last week to hear Joe Brotherton play trumpet at a jam session—having known and heard his playing around town and beyond for over a decade. As it happens, he’s even better than I remembered (though it’s also been a while since I heard him play, and any good trumpeter is constantly working to improve). He’s got an enormous bright tone and chops out to here, and his phrasing is as beautiful as it is imaginative. When I say he’s constantly working to get better, I refer specifically to his weekly residency at JoJo’s on U Street, where he leads an edgy, hungry quintet. Membership varies a little bit, though its core staff tends to find Brotherton on trumpet, Elijah Easton on tenor saxophone, Hope Udobi on piano and keys, Blake Meister on bass, and Dana Hawkins on drums. It’s a young ensemble, and accordingly, it is a deadly hip one—in the best possible sense. They begin at 8 p.m. at JoJo’s Restaurant and Bar, 1518 U Street NW. Free (but order something!).

Friday, July 26
Drummer Abinnet Berhanu has been making a splash around these parts for a few years now with his resounding ride cymbal and loose, open swing feel. An Ethiopian American, his sound isn’t particularly in thrall to (though there are echoes of) the trappings of Ethio-jazz. He takes a more holistic view. Berhanu leads a band that he calls Hebret Musica (Community Music), whose goal is to bridge multiple musical backgrounds and traditions into one solid mass of music. The band features saxophonist Mike Cemprola, vibraphonist Chris Barrick, pianist Joshua Espinoza, and bassist Cameron Kayne, and they are a seriously tight ensemble with a splendid rhythmic matrix (as you might expect from a band led by a drummer). As their self-titled album prepares to drop, Berhanu and Hebret Musica back it up with a two-night presentation as part of CapitalBop’s monthly Spotlight Residency program. They begin at 7:30 p.m. at Local 16, 1602 U Street NW. $5.

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Michael J. West

Michael J. West is a freelance writer, editor, and jazz journalist who has been covering the Washington, D.C. jazz scene since 2009. He spends most days either hunkered down in the clubs or in his very big headphones. He lives in Washington with his wife and two children.

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Y LA BAMBA at Milkboy ArtHouse

Y LA BAMBA at Milkboy ArtHouse

Go see Y LA BAMBA at Milkboy ArtHouse this Sunday!

Y La Bamba has been many things, but at the heart of it is singer-songwriter Luz Elena Mendoza’s inquisitive sense of self. Their fifth record, Mujeres, carries on the Portland-based band’s affinity for spiritual contemplation, but goes a step further in telling a story with a full emotional spectrum. Coming off Ojos Del Sol, one of NPR’s Top 50 Albums of 2016, Mujeres exhibits the scope of Mendoza’s artistic voice like never before. “Soy como soy,” Mendoza says, and that declaration is the bold— even political— statement that positions Mujeres to be Y La Bamba’s most unbridled offering yet.

Members:
Luzelena Mendoza: guitar, vocals
Ben Meyercord: bass, vocals
Mike Kitson: percussion, vocals
Sean Flinn: guitar
Eric Schrepel: accordion
Paul Cameron: guitar, vocals
Scott Magee: ukelele, clarinet, percussion, vocals

SUN · JULY 21, 2019
Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

MilkBoy ArtHouse
7416 Baltimore Ave
College Park, MD, 20740

milkboyarthouse.ticketfly.com

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DC9 Nightclub welcomes Snug House

DC9 Nightclub welcomes Snug House

Go see Snug House at DC9 Nightclub this Sunday, with special guest Eli Lev.

Snug House: Through the eager chatter at a bar venue, you hear the muted opening notes of a piano ballad. The melody is soon joined by a plaintive voice, which sings alone for only a few moments before being joined by three more, swelling into an ocean of sound that fills the room. The chatter dies as the audience leans into a sound that is lush, rustic, and new—entranced by four personalities harmonizing as artists, singers and good friends.

Eli Lev: Global citizen and folk singer Eli Lev is making the world a smaller place, one song at a time. Eli pens hymns for everyday enlightenment—songs that resonate because they’re heartfelt, earthy, and offer wisdom culled from self-discovery.

His recent four-album project is inspired by the wisdom and majesty of the Navajo Nation’s four cardinal directions. Each album is a carefully curated experience with a distinct musical aesthetic and conceptual threads aligned within this overarching and sacred indigenous perspective. His first release, All Roads East released in 2017, with Way Out West just becoming available on December 14th, 2018. Together, this four-part series imaginatively and intrepidly connects spheres and generations with a body of work that is irresistibly uplifting, emotionally resonant, and groundbreaking.

Sun, July 21, 2019
Doors: 7:30pm
Show: 8:00pm

DC9 Nightclub
1940 9th St NW
Washington, DC 20001

eventbrite.com

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XYLØ at Milkboy ArtHouse

XYLØ at Milkboy ArtHouse

Go see XYLØ at Milkboy ArtHouse this Friday!

Xylø (stylised in all caps) is the alias of American singer-songwriter Paige Duddy. From 2015 to 2018, Xylø was a musical duo that consisted of Duddy and her brother Chase. Since 2018, Duddy has embarked on a solo career and has continued to release her new music under the Xylø moniker.

As a duo, Xylø was best known for the debut single, “America”, which was self-released in February 2015 and saw commercial success online through digital outlets such as NoiseTrade. The single’s success resulted in Xylø securing a record deal with Sony Music Entertainment. Following the sudden departure of Chase in 2018, Paige continued to release new Xylø music with the release of the EPs pretty sad (2018) and yes and no (2019).

FRI · JULY 19, 2019
Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

MilkBoy ArtHouse – Main Stage
7416 Baltimore Ave
College Park, MD, 20740

milkboyarthouse.ticketfly.com

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Enjoy Jazz in the District!

Enjoy Jazz in the District!

by Michael J. West

Monday, July 15
Guitarist Dave Manley leads a jam session. It’s at one of the (at first glance, anyway) least likely spots for a jam session in town: a little hole-in-the-wall restaurant and bar on Georgia Avenue, in the southern part of the Petworth neighborhood. No, Homestead isn’t a big spot, or a particularly prominent one, just another plot on the strip. But once the session known as Mashup Monday gets started, it gets really, really exciting in there. You’re not dealing with rigid, acoustic, straightahead jazz under Manley’s watch. Have a seat and watch the sound morph from post-bop jazz to hard blues, to modern rock, to funk, to hip hop … in one damn song. It doesn’t confound expectations as much as it may sound, however; that metamorphing sound? It is D.C., all wrapped up in one thoroughly and thrillingly untidy package. Mashup Monday begins at 8 p.m. at Homestead, 3911 Georgia Avenue NW. Free (but order something!).

Wednesday, July 17
Alto saxophonist Herb Scott and vocalist Aaron Myers lead a jam session. It’s at one of the most venerable, but least recognized as such, jazz venues in town. Yes, I speak of Mr. Henry’s on Capitol Hill, a special place in which this writer saw his first live jazz show as a resident of Washington, D.C. (back in 2001). Thirty years before that, it was where a young D.C. public school teacher and moonlighting musician named Roberta Flack was discovered performing. Now it is the locus of the Capitol Hill Jazz Jam, the staple component of the Capitol Hill Jazz Foundation (which Scott and Myers run). Sitting down at one of the upstairs tables, the jam has a lighthearted veneer, with Myers acting as master of ceremonies with his natural showmanship. But make no mistake, this jam is a serious business, a spot where some of the scene’s current young lions first introduced themselves to District jazz watchers. Who knows who’ll turn up there next? The Capitol Hill Jazz Jam begins at 8 p.m. at 601 Pennsylvania Avenue SE. Free (but order something!).

Thursday, July 18
Drummer Trae Crudup leads a jam session. It’s on U Street, because no matter how hard developers, young affluent white kids, or anybody else tries to say otherwise, U Street’s jazz primacy has not died and it will not. It’s at Bin 1301, on the ground floor of The Ellington apartment complex. It’s not a hole in the wall, but it’s small—and if you’re not careful, it’ll be at capacity when you get there, and you’ll have to wait at the door for space to open up. Get in and you’ll find out why. Crudup is an extraordinary and exploratory drummer, perhaps best known to the wider world for his work with saxophonist James Brandon Lewis. However, what he does in Bin 1301 on Thursday nights is a matter of groove, plain and simple. In fact what you encounter there is a jaw-dropping sort of guessing game—to the tune of “Jesus, how long, and through how many permutations, can you keep this groove going?” There is, of course, only one way to find out. Trae Crudup gets started at 8 p.m. at Bin 1301, 1301 U Street NW. Free (but order something!).

Sunday, July 21
Various artists lead a jam session. It’s another one on U Street, and next month it will celebrate its tenth anniversary there. It’s the DC Jazz Jam, which drummer Will Stephens began organizing in 2009 at Dahlak—a now-defunct Eritrean restaurant on the Adams Morgan end of the U Street corridor. These days, it’s at the other end of U Street, at The Brixton—not a place that gets a whole lot of associations with jazz hangouts. Yet every Sunday night in the upstairs bar, a rotating house band with an ever-changing leader gets up before a packed house and swings the house down in a splashy, raucous three-hour musical party. (There’s even a signature cocktail for the session: the Blue Monk.) This week the session will be led by trombonist Jen Krupa, one of the underappreciated giants of the DC jazz scene. The real star of the session, though, is inanimate: it’s the clipboard where musicians new and seasoned sign up for a trip up to the bandstand. The DC Jazz Jam begins at 6:30 at The Brixton, 901 U Street NW. Free (but order something!).

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Michael J. West

Michael J. West is a freelance writer, editor, and jazz journalist who has been covering the Washington, D.C. jazz scene since 2009. He spends most days either hunkered down in the clubs or in his very big headphones. He lives in Washington with his wife and two children.

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This Week’s Jazz in The District

By Michael J. West

Monday, July 8
Alto saxophonist Trey Sorrells is fresh off of his June residency at the Mansion at Strathmore, which has been an important stepping stone for many a DC jazz musician. The sax man is actually a native of the Norfolk area who attended Virginia Commonwealth University—but he moved here especially to be a part of the DC-Baltimore jazz scene. That’s a positive for everyone, all around. Sorrells has a marvelous, full alto sound with a deep grasp of the jazz vocabulary, but also a penchant for fusion of the electric funk and R&B variety. (Think Donald Byrd and Blackbyrds, but with a decidedly 21st century twist.) He can go plugged-in or unplugged, in other words, and it’s not perfectly clear which of those styles he’s going to be wielding on Monday night—but that same sort of neo-fusion is also much beloved by the folks who do the venue’s bookings. Trey Sorrells performs at 6 p.m. at Marvin, 2007 Fourteenth Street NW. Free (but order something!).

 

Friday, July 12
Todd Marcus has built a cachet in the jazz world by standing at the forefront of a new upsurge in the use of bass clarinet in the music. That’s a good enough reason on its own merits, but it’s not good enough for Marcus, who has also become a tremendous composer and bandleader. Last year, he released the extraordinary On These Streets, a portrait of the culture and community of his native Baltimore that also complements his previous (and also extraordinary) recording Blues for Tahrir. He’s a musician who understands place. That makes him a perfect person to hold down the bandstand (or is it an altar?) at Southwest’s always-excellent Jazz Night, augmented by a magnificent band of area greats: saxophonist Marshall Keys, pianist Harry Appleman, bassist Blake Meister, and drummer Eric Kennedy. The Todd Marcus Jazz Ensemble performs at 6 p.m. at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 400 I Street SW. $5.

 

Saturday, July 13
And then there’s Antonio Parker. He’s been a crucial piece of the District’s jazz puzzle ever since he came here more than 30 years ago, as a student at Howard University. “Tony P” is a man with bottomless soul and tremendous presence, both of which are belied by his diminutive stature and perpetual baby face. Don’t let it fool you: The man is a stone cold musical killer, with more swagger and swing at his fingertips than you can possibly imagine. He’s probably best known as a straightahead bebop and hard bop player—but don’t let that fool you, either. His most recent recording, 2016’s Planetentiary, captures the side of Parker that knows, understands, and loves the various permutations and possibilities of groove. Tony P contains multitudes. Hear some of them when he takes the stage at 9 and 11 p.m. at Twins Jazz, 1344 U Street NW. $15.

Akua performs

Sunday, July 14
A lot of us who love jazz don’t necessarily love jazz vocalists. Certain vocal styles have developed into a kind of cookie-cutter pattern: predictable, singing the same twenty or so standards with the same sorts of embellishments. All of this is to say that Akua Allrich is no cookie-cutter. She is not like anyone else. That includes her two idols, Nina Simone and Miriam Makeba; both of those classic singers are readily distinguishable in Allrich’s own singing style, but she would never be confused with either of them. Jazz, R&B, gospel, torch singing, they’re all apparent in her music. None of them define her. No, Allrich is a stylist, and she has 100 percent ownership of that style, which should put her at the top of the list of DC cultural treasures. She will be fronting The Tribe (with pianist Mark G. Meadows, bassist Herman Burney, and drummer Tyler Leak) when she appears at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. at Sotto, 1610 Fourteenth Street NW (downstairs). $20.

Michael J. West

Michael J. West is a freelance writer, editor, and jazz journalist who has been covering the Washington, D.C. jazz scene since 2009. He spends most days either hunkered down in the clubs or in his very big headphones. He lives in Washington with his wife and two children.

Red Medicine with Graffiti Soundstage and Owl Pack at Velvet Lounge

Red Medicine is playing at the Velvet lounge with Graffiti Soundstage and Owl pack

Red Medicine is playing at the Velvet lounge with Graffiti Soundstage and Owl pack on Wednesday July 10, 2019. This three band bill is all local to DC and NOVA. Red Medicine is a newly formed project boasting cathartic performances and rich riff-laden grooves born out of americana, psychedlia, and grunge. Advance tickets are available for just ten bucks! 

 https://www.eventbrite.com/e/do-you-want-6-pack-abs-and-some-music-tickets-63344311541

Sol Roots at MGM National Harbor

Sol Roots at MGM National Harbor

The Sol Roots band performs a mix of New Orleans funk, raw blues, energetic rock, deep grooves, and southern soul. Sol is a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist who has toured with many roots, funk, and blues legends around the world as a part of Music Maker Revue.

TICKETS

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