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Get all the latest music news and reviews in the Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Richmond, VA areas.Visit us daily and stay up-to-date on your favorite local and national acts.

David Wax Museum - Photo by Tristan Williams
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David Wax Museum Brings Mexo-Americana to the U.S.

Folk husband-and-wife duo David Wax and Suz Slezak are the brains behind David Wax Museum, a self-described “Mexo-Americana” band based out of Charlottesville, Virginia. The duo’s sound is distinctly marked by the Mexican influences that made them famous, both in style, content, and instrumentation. Creating music for 14 years, seven of those years with a growing family, David and Suz are professionals in the game with appearances on CBS This Morning: Saturday, NPR’s World Cafe, and Tiny Desk. Learn more about David Wax Museum’s journey of discovery with contributing writer Jaci Jedrych in recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month.

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Gordon Sterling - Press Photo
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Gordon Sterling Speaks on Truth, Perception, and Manifesting Dreams

“I had a dream one night when I was 15,” DMV-based guitarist and singer Gordon Sterling recalls, “that I should start playing music because I would be part of a movement that would remind people of a side of themselves that they had forgotten.” A young, eager Sterling got himself a guitar the very next day and started playing everything he heard, gravitating toward blues. Jump forward to today, and Gordon Sterling and the People, the musician’s band, has found its drive deep in political and philosophical thoughts about race and truth inspired by Sterling’s identity as a Black man. Learn more about Sterling’s empowering mission as a creative with contributing writer Charlie Maybee.

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The Smithereens Press Photo "Finding What We Lost"
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The Smithereens: “Finding What We Lost”

They have been called everything from “America’s Rock Band” to “New Jersey’s Second Favorite Musical Export.” They are The Smithereens! Dennis Diken on drums. Mike Mesaros on Bass. Jim Babjak on lead guitar. And the late great Pat DiNizio on vocals. Their signature sixties retro fused sound ruled the airwaves in the time of 1980s “Alternative Rock.” I dare you to sit still while listening to “Blood & Roses,” “Top Of The Pops,” “House We Used To Live In” or “Behind The Wall Of Sleep.” You can’t do it. The band, now in it’s 42 year continues to tour the world. Not an easy task, considering their lead singer died in 2017. Learn more about the band’s path forward in this exclusive interview with Keith Valcourt.

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Empresarios Press Photo
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The Jumpin’ Sound of D.C.’s Very Own Fiesta: Empresarios Has More Latin-Inspired Music Coming this Year

D.C. is quite far from anything even remotely tropical, but fortunately, the capital city is a hotbed of “tropicaliente,” a fusion musical style with Latin roots that has taken hold here. Empresarios has been at the forefront of that Latin sound in the District since forming in 2007. Javier Miranda, the Puerto Rican-born frontman of the group, said that he, his brother, and some of their friends got together to remix the sounds of Latin America but give it that unique capital twist. Learn more about Empresarios’ exciting journey in recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month with contributing writer Eric Althoff.

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Canned Heat - Press Photo
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Bringing ‘60s Heat to the 21st Century: de la Parra Continues Legacy of His Woodstock Band

Fito de la Parra is likely one of the few people on earth who can say he helped hijack a helicopter—without getting arrested. The Canned Heat drummer fondly recalls how he and his bandmates were desperately trying to make it to Woodstock for their set in the summer of ‘69, but all roads to the upstate New York hamlet were impossibly jammed. In the years that followed, Canned Heat has since become an acclaimed international act. Learn more about the band’s exciting journey, as contributing writer Eric Althoff sits down with de la Parra in recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, including details on their upcoming Annapolis show.

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DC Music Summit Group Photo
DMV

DC Music Summit Continues to Reach Superior Heights

One side effect of listening to the music of Dior Ashley Brown is, at least in part, a better understanding of the contagious energy behind the DC Music Summit, the event and organization she founded. Celebrating its fifth year, DCMS (for short) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that supports local musicians and the DC music industry by fostering inclusion, community engagement, professional development, and networking. Both DCMS and Brown’s music command the presence of something altogether powerful, uplifting, and convicting.

Dubbed the “Hip-Hop Polymath” by the Washington Post, Dior Ashley Brown defines art through a wide lens of intersections and correlations.

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Cinema Stereo - Press Photo
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Cinema Stereo: ‘We Just Make The Music That Excites Us’

Most people remember Jumanji: a family-friendly action film featuring the late Robin Williams about a cursed board game that traps its players in a magical and terrifying reality. Like the world of Jumanji, Cinema Stereo is creating a new world through their music. Dive into the world of Orlando-based rockers, Cinema Stereo, with contributing writer, Margaret Adams, as the band releases their debut album; the band’s plentiful and diverse influences, including Queen, Led Zeppelin, Rush, Aerosmith, Stevie Ray Vaughan, David Bowie, and The Doors; and their desire to immerse their audiences in a world full of 80’s-and-70’s-inspired sounds.

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Scarlett O'Hara - Press Photo
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Mexican-American Metal Band Scarlett O’Hara Shapeshifts Toward the Future

Since forming in 2007, South Texas Mexican-American metal band, Scarlett O’Hara, has been honing their sound and finding themselves along the way. The lone star natives have shared bills with the likes of Metallica and Disturbed, worked with Grammy nominated producers, and been featured on the Sirius XM Octane radio station. And though their sound has transformed significantly over the years, their metalcore roots still hold great influence as they have gradually polished their sound. Join contributing writer Charlie Maybee as he connects with the band to delve into their evolution, which is evident in their latest single, “Witching Hour.”

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Fieldrush - Photo by Nick Brandau
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Emo Trio Fieldrush: ‘We Were Working to Get the Most Out of Not Just Our Songs, But Also Ourselves’

San Diego-based emo trio Fieldrush named their band after a desert plant, specifically, a weed that can withstand harsh conditions. Given that the band was established during the height of the pandemic, the name feels fitting. Fieldrush’s high-energy compositions, carefree attitude, and introspective songwriting position the band as an unmistakable rising act. Learn more about Fieldrush’s exciting story, including how the band’s cultural diversity informs their creative process, their favorite memory of the D.C. area, and what audiences can expect from their forthcoming debut EP, Fundamentals.

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Joe's Record Paradise - Promo Photo for National Vinyl Day 2022
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National Vinyl Day Unites Past with Present

On August 12, the U.S. celebrated National Vinyl Day, recognizing the lasting impact of vinyl records. Phonograph or gramophone records have been a popular music storage medium since the 1800’s, though they picked up the name ‘vinyl’ in the 1940’s when the use of polyvinyl chloride (rather than the previous medium, shellac) became common. Throughout the 20th century, they were the primary method of listening to music. Join contributing writer Jaci Jedrych as she explores the resurgence of vinyl records alongside Jon Lottman, owner of D.C.-based Spin Time Records, and Johnson Lee, owner of Silver Spring-based Joe’s Record Paradise.

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Duran Duran Appreciation Day - Keith Valcourt with Duran Duran's John Taylor in 1989.
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Duran Duran Appreciation Day: The Many Lives of the Greatest New Wave Band

August 10 is Duran Duran Appreciation Day, a chance for us to celebrate one of the greatest bands of the 1980’s New Wave era. The cynical may say, “Why does a pop band like Duran Duran deserve an appreciation day?” One word: survival. In a time of one-hit wonders, Duran Duran has managed to endure for more than 45 years, building a catalog of songs of our lives and creating legions of lifelong fans. Join contributing writer Keith Valcourt as he chronicles his journey at Capitol Records alongside Duran Duran from their starts to their upcoming induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

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Kyle Burk, Co-Owner of Capitol Hill Books / D.C.-Based Musician, The Failed Poets, speaks on National Book Lovers Day
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National Book Lovers Day: Celebrating the Intersection of Literature and Music

Music is a dynamic form of storytelling, so the intersection of literature and music should come as no surprise. Some of the biggest artists of our time have penned songs inspired by novels. From David Bowie (George Orwell), to Kate Bush (Emily Brontë), to Common and Jill Scott (Chinua Achebe), to Coldplay (Cormac McCarthy), the interconnectedness is unmistakable. In recognition of Book Lovers Day, celebrated annually on Aug. 9, the Alchemical Records team connected with bibliophiles from the D.C. area and beyond to discuss music inspired by literature and their all-time favorite reads.

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Alternative artist Richie Gomez discusses debut album, The Light We Needed, with Alchemical Records
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Richie Gomez is the Light We Need: Always Learning, Always Ready

“Don’t wait” DMV- based musician Richie Gomez notes toward the end of our interview, “Just get in there and do it.” Apt advice from the Peruvian-born alternative rocker, who sat on a collection of songs for 10 years, waiting for a magic moment of alignment to record his music and share it with the world. “Work through the kinks” he urges, “There’s never a perfect moment. There will be things that you will learn while you are recording, which are just as valuable as the thing you walk into the studio with. Put the songs out and move forward.” Learn more about Richie Gomez’s inspiring story with contributing writer Charlie Maybee.

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Mames Babegenush - Dennis Lehmann
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Mames Babagenush Returns to the U.S. for the First Time since 2019

Jewish music from Denmark? Coming to D.C.? See it to believe it on July 27 at Bossa Bistro & Lounge when Mames Babagenush, returns to the U.S. for the first time since 2019. Denmark has an extremely small Jewish population of under 10,000—in a country just shy of 6 million in total. Thanks to Mames Babagenush, the traditional, uptempo “klezmer” music of Eastern Europe’s Ashkenazi Jews is finding a more worldwide audience—even if all but one of the members of the group are Gentiles. Join contributing writer Eric Althoff, as he discusses the band’s upcoming show, the history of their musical tradition, and more.

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Heather Stebbins performing with cello and synthesizer at Slingshot Festival - Heather Stebbins with a student and synth - Celebrate World Listening Day Celebration
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World Listening Day Celebration with Heather Stebbins

July 18 is World Listening Day, organized by the World Listening Project, in partnership with the Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology. In celebration of the complexities of sound, Alchemical Records connected with Heather Stebbins, a DMV-based educator and musician whose work focuses on the properties of sound. Stebbins’ relationship with music began at an early age, where she lived just outside of Baltimore, learning cello, and has since grown exponentially. Join contributing writer Emma Page as she explores Stebbins’ influences; albums, including one that pays homage to her grandparents; and the importance of improv in her work.

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