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D.C. Powerhouse Duo Shor and Sitney Are Behind the Rise of DC/DOX Festival

DC/DOX 2024 graphic

The truth is more important than ever, and in the heart of democracy, the truth-telling of documentary filmmaking and exhibition must therefore continue. So it was that when AFI DOCS, a longtime D.C. institution, decamped for the west coast, Sky Sitney and Jamie Shor got to work on its replacement.

Shor, president of the D.C.-based PR Collaborative, and Sitney, a documentary film professor and director of the Film and Media Studies program at Georgetown University, had been intimately involved for years with AFI DOCS. So applying their expertise and significant network for an entirely new festival was well within their wheelhouse.

“In recognition that there would no longer be this really important platform, it became very obvious and clear we wanted something to fill that void,” Sitney said recently of the inaugural DC/DOX, which took place June 15-18. “So while we are certainly looking for DC/DOX to be considered a home for filmmakers [from] all around the world, we are rooted in D.C. and want to make sure it’s also reflecting the space that we’re in.”

D.C.-Based Band Pretty Bitter: “Do You as Loudly as You Can”

Pretty Bitter embracing in creative photoshoot with colorful makeup and outfits

D.C.-based alternative dream pop/rock band Pretty Bitter is one of the area’s multi-dimensional musical treasures. With three out of five members identifying as part of the LGBTQ+ community, much of their lyrical content is heavily informed by topics surrounding life as a Queer person, so it was only fitting to catch up with these talented musicians – Miri Tyler (she/they), Mel Bleker (they/them), and Zack Be (he/him) – to discuss the band’s inspiring music and the importance of being a visible Queer person, not just during Pride Month.
Pretty Bitter was born in 2017 by Miri Tyler (bassist & songwriter) and Mel Bleker (vocalist & lyricist) after meeting on Tinder. When sharing creative ideas, a connection was formed as they realized their artistic visions were synced. Multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Zack Be joined later down the line, as well as the other two members, guitarist Chris Smith and drummer Jason Hayes.

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.

Superbloom Goes Nuclear in Music Video for “Tiny Bodyguard”

Black and white colored photo of the four band members of Superbloom standing against the metal fence of an outdoor basketball court.

More to Watch Brooklyn-based alternative rock band, Superbloom, take it slow and cautious with their latest single “Tiny Bodyguard.” Superbloom band – Photo courtesy of the artist Bringing a mix of synth pop and indie rock vibes, this is a song that seems to float and flow with ease. Gentle vocals and arpeggiated guitar chords […]

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.

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…

Artists from the DMV and Beyond Reflect on Motherhood

Holly Montgomery Headshot

Mothers and mother figures in our lives make an indelible impression. For many of us, these powerful women embody strength, resilience, and unconditional love – while creating a better world in the process.

In honor of Mother’s Day, Alchemical Records connected with artists from across the DMV and beyond who balance double duty in their responsibility as mothers and creatives with grace. Learn the one word the artists use to describe motherhood, how their music has been influenced by their parenting role, advice to their younger self, and what a perfect Mother’s Day looks like – well, at least as perfect as can be.