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By Alex Tebeleff

Life as a musician is pretty strange. People always ask me, what do you do for work? I quit what was my full time job at the time in the winter of 2013, in order to embark on a two month tour with Paperhaus when we released “Lo Hi Lo.” It was probably the best decision I ever made.

I don’t really have a “job.” I’m able to (sort of) make a living teaching guitar lessons and on the random slew of non-house shows I book, including my favorite gig, booking shows at The Lot. I really never know exactly how I’m going to pay rent every month, but so far so good!

I’ve learned to expect the unexpected. For example, this is my first summer teaching guitar lessons and like many other music teachers, I’m learning the difficulty of what summer camp and family vacations can do to your workload! Add a broken arm and a pregnancy and you could say my ability to pay rent was a little harder this month.

If there is anything I’ve learned from life so far, it’s that nothing truly fulfilling in life can be achieved without a substantial amount of risk and sacrifice. By giving up security and comfort, I’ve gained the ability to pursue music and putting on shows in ways that would have been impossible before. The trade off was a choice I had to make multiple times and will still have to keep making. Every time I’m recommitting dedicating my life to pursuing music and growing the music community in DC.

I spoke with fellow musician Andrew Grossman of local DC band The North Country about this subject to gain some further insight. He also recently quit his full time job to pursue music more seriously. According to Andew, “I found recently that initially not having a consistent source of income was a little worrisome, but it’s like jumping in to the deep end and learning how to swim when you are there. You develop skills to become more resourceful, and you gain the confidence that whatever you gotta do, you’re going to be able to do it. Once you have that, you stop worrying so much. Ironically this has been one of the happiest periods of my life, and it’s one of the periods where I have the least amount of money. It’s also the period in my life where I’m doing the most music related things.”

I have felt the same struggles as Andrew, but like Andrew, I feel a need to have music in my life in a big way. I felt it was necessary to write this, for the majority of DC residents reading this who aren’t artists, or at least aren’t pursuing it seriously, but also to those artists and musicians who might be considering a similar path. This life is strange, no doubt. But I, like Andrew and many others, find it necessary.

Warehouse, Go Cozy, Narrator, Amadels, Anchor 3 @ The Dugout

An extremely eclectic and all-around fantastic bill at The Dougout in NE. Go Cozy has emerged as one of DC’s best bands regardless of genre, and Atlanta’s Warehouse makes music with a hard to find balance of punk rock edge and psychedelic pop dreaminess.

Teen Liver, Swimsuit Addition, Peoples Drug @ The Rocketship

Teen Liver is a great garage punk project from DC, and Chicago’s Swimsuit Addition should make a great fit with their slightly surfy garage rock loaded with pop focused hooks.

Afrovisionary : Dark Matter @ Union Arts

One of the most creative events of the week in DC, this is the first Afrovisionary event at Union Arts. Dark Matter will feature experimental music from black artists. Japan’s Desi La, who also organized the event, will be there to headline a bill of extremely talented musicians.

Street Eaters, Outer Spaces, Flamers @ Smash Records

An early show of punk and indie rock at Smash Records.

Ghost Guest, Stolen Pizza, Art Sorority For Girls, Lenclair @ CD Cellar

Acoustic folk punk at CD Cellar in Arlington.


Priests, Sotano, Puff Pieces @ Fort Reno

One of the best lineups of the summer at Ft. Reno. Puff Pieces has one of the most interesting sounds in DC, and Priests has gained a ton of notoriety for their high energy and engaging live shows. Priests’ show at Ft. Reno last year was one of the highlights of the series. Sotano is a punk influenced indie rock band from Silver Spring.

Julie Byrne, Adam Lempel and Sunatirene, Cain Sheible Duo @ The Communiverse

A particularly great bill of very talented musicians performing at The Communiverse in Columbia Heights. I highly recommend checking out everyone on this bill.

DC Deli presents Cheers Elephant, The Trillions, The Jackfields @ DC9

The newly and highly active DC Deli presents another show, this time at DC9. Cheers Elephant are a soul influenced Pop Rock band from Philly, Richmond’s The Trillions add a little bit more edge into their Rock sound, and The Jackfields are a Northern Virginia band featuring Mike Reina and none other than the best guitarist in town, Anthony Pirog.

Botta, La Republica, The Boros @ The Electric Maid

Another great bill from Apuesta Por El Rock!

Chromatic Transmissions @ Wild Hand Workspace

The opening night of a weekend solo art show from DC’s own Kelly Hughes.


Luce Unplugged feat. Pygmy Lush, The Sea Life @ Smithsonian American Art Museum

Two of the DC area’s best bands at the beautiful Luce Center inside The Smithsonian American Art Museum. Definitely worth attending.

Little War Twins, The North Country, Alex Vans’ Beck Tribute band, Mink’s Miracle Medicine @ Black Cat

The most intriguing show of the night, featuring Boston’s Little War Twins, the new line-up of one of my favorite bands from DC, The North Country, and a really awesome tribute to Beck from Alex Vans. According to Alex Vans himself, the show will have “a 10 piece band complete with a full horn section, aux percussion, synths, 3 guitars….the whole thing to get every note authentic to the record. We’ll be playing selections from all of his catalogue.” Charlottesville’s Mink’s Miracle Medicine open the show.

Misled Youth, Social Damage, Zero Progress, Rash Tongue, Public Suicide @ Ft. Loko

This bill at Ft. Loko brought to you by the same kids who brought you punk shows at Casa Fiesta should be loud, packed, and awesome.

Static Scene (CD Release) w/ Pendrifter, Sandsyou, Robert Mays @ Epicure Cafe

Album release show for Static Scene at Epicure Café in Fairfax, VA.

Capital City Showcase @ Captial Fringe Fest

The first night of a really great set of showcases at The Baldacchino Tent at Fringe Fest. Jenn Tisdale has grown as a comedian over the years, and has now become one of the best DC has to offer. Seriously, she’s fucking hilarious and really worked on her craft to become that funny. Go see her.

Jonny Grave & the Tombstones, Human Country Jukebox, Sean K. Preston @ Rock and Roll Hotel

An all local bill of country and blues at Rock and Roll Hotel.


Big Hush, Yonatan Gat, BRNDA, DJ Ayescold @ The Lot at Atlantic Plumbing

My favorite event I get to help put on every month with Union Kitchen. I absolutely love the locals on the bill, Big Hush and BRNDA. Yonatan Gat, formally of the legendary Tel Aviv band Monotonix, is one of the best guitarists out there right now. His band mates are equally as good, and the show is as wild and engaging as you might expect from a former member of Monotonix. DJ Ayescold makes a special guest appearance.

DZ Tapes presents Alex G, Elvis Depressedly, Teen Suicide, Wish List, Makeshift Shelters @ All Saints Church

This show will be at capacity fast, so get there early if you want to see the music! Alex G has been the most recent songwriter to start gaining a national following out of Philly, and overall this is a really well put together bill.

Drop Electric w/ Margot MacDonald @ Artisphere

A really great venue to catch DC’s resident post-rock band Drop Electric. Margot MacDonald has a great live show as well. Her use of looping is pretty darn fantastic.

Caddywhompus, Yessirov @ 7th & Taylor NW

Caddywhompus is one of the main bands leading the charge in the rock community in New Orleans, and they put on a really exciting and very loud live show.

Technophobia Cassette Release Party w/ Void Vision and Curse @ Black Cat

A cassette release show for local dark synthwave band Technophobia, also featuring Philly darkwave band Void Vision and Curse from Baltimore.

Eureka California, Good Grief, Soundtrack To Sleep @ The Lab

Indie, punk, and garage at The Lab in Alexandria.

Olivia Neutron-John, Feral Future, I IM Eye My, Nox @ CD Cellar

A nicely mixed genre bill featuring DC electronic act Olivia Neutron-John, Austin punk band Feral Future, and DC punk influenced band Nox.

Give, Fell to Low, Zoom, Pure Disgust @ La Casa

A great punk show at La Casa in Mt. Pleasant.


Film Screening! Arna’s Children @ Lamont Street Collective

Continuing their recent series of socially relevant and important film screenings, The Lamont Street Collective will be showing Arna’s Children, about a Jewish woman named Arna Mer Khamis who led quite an interesting life while starting an alternative education system for Palestinian children in refugee camps.
Foozle, Quarterbacks, Cool People @ The Communiverse

Foozle is a really fun local band with great songs. Pop punk band Quarterbacks from New York and DC’s Cool People make a great fit as openers on this really well put together bill.

Creative Music in DC- Chris Schlarb, Six-Six (Anthony Pirog, Luke Stewart), Dave Klinger @ Union Arts

Six-Six is a project featuring Anthony Pirog and Luke Stewart, two of DC’s best musicians at their respective instruments of guitar and bass. With one of DC’s best songwriters, Dave Klinger, and music master Chris Schlarb from California on the bill too, there’s a pretty ridiculous amount of musical talent on this bill.


Shellshag, Black Rainbow, Citadel @ The Rocketship

DC’s Citadel is a great punk band. They open this show at The Rocketship for Brooklyn two-piece Shellshag along with San Francisco’s Black Rainbow.

Osaka, The Dealbreakers, Del Oro @ The Lab

Jersey garage band Osaka headline this bill with Northern Virginia band The Dealbreakers and acoustic act Del Oro opening.