By Alex Tebeleff
Hey everyone, my name is Alex and this column is called DC DIT. I find the DIT mantra of Do It Together exemplifies more of what I hope my participation in the DC music scene will contribute as opposed to Do it Yourself. My goal is to connect people with creative ideas and interests and help grow a scene that features a remarkable amount of intelligent and talented musicians.
I got to witness two particularly great sets this weekend. The first was a last minute set from Dustin Wong at the Communiverse. Seeing a guitar player that talented and tasteful live confirms for me all the reasons I love to have my life dedicated to music. It was both ethereal and immediate, and you could see how much fun he was having! He didn’t stop smiling the whole set. Quite refreshing considering how many musicians seem to think it’s cool to look like you don’t give a shit when you play these days (which I find both a dishonest pose and particularly boring). The best part was the audience was remarkably attentive and clearly enthralled. Everyone, Dustin included, seemed to realize how special this set was.
The second show was a set that was easily one of my favorites from a DC band since I moved into the city. It started to rain during the show at The Lot at Union Kitchen, but a shocking amount of people stuck around for Baby Bry Bry’s set, and I’m sure all of them are very happy that they did! Though it continued to rain off and on, Baby Bry Bry absolutely killed it.
Baby Bry Bry has certainly gained a reputation to begin with as one of the most fun bands to see live in DC. Singer Bryan Gerhart is clearly one of the most dynamic performers in DC, and the band is tight, efficient, and somehow has enough energy to match Bryan. Seeing them play in the rain with so many people not giving shit and dancing their asses off was as good as it gets. The band deserved the support of the crowd for playing so hard despite the circumstances, and the crowd brought it equally. Seeing the crowd dance with Bryan in the rain is a memory I will have permanently etched in my brain. So thanks to Dustin Wong, Baby Bry Bry, and everyone who came out to these shows for making me feel so happy about our music scene. I could not hope for more as music fan then when the musicians and the audience are fully aware and invested in the moment, bringing all the energy they can. This weekend was incredible.
Tuesday, April 29
Bathtub Republic is an emerging house venue right down the street from Wonderland Ballroom on 11th St. NW. It has an intimate basement performance space, that also functions as a practice space for a couple of my personal favorite DC bands, The North Country and BRNDA. This is the second show for the incredibly fun band Loi Loi, featuring former members of Camels That Ride, Johnny Fantastic, and Wanted Man. Oregon’s Run on Sentence is the project of Dustin Hamman. It’s refreshing to hear such a strong lyrical perspective be the focus of project like this. Once again, Dave Klinger rounds out a great bill with his unique and talented songcraft.
Wednesday, April 30
D.O.C. is one of DC’s best hardcore bands, and this is their album release show at Casa Fiesta.
This event has actually been going on for a couple weeks now, but it ends on May 3rd so I wanted to mention it in case anyone hadn’t heard about it yet. Pointless Theatre is a unique project in DC dedicated to performing puppet theatre. This particular show is an adaptation of the classic Tchaikovsky ballet, featuring 8 puppeteers controlling tabletop puppets. I’ve heard it’s extremely visually stimulating and very entertaining. Definitely worth checking out!
Thursday, May 1
The Paperhaus returns with a line-up of DC and Brooklyn bands I am very happy to host. All of these bands are fantastic live, and make interesting alternative variations on the pop song format.
The music on this bill is a perfect fit for The Dugout.
A great local hip-hop showcase bill.
Friday, May 2
This is probably the most musically interesting and unique show going on in DC this week. Nakatani Gong Orchestra is a non-traditional music orchestra, directed by Tatsuya Nakatani, and this particular show features 11 local musicians led by Tatsuya, all playing gongs. The techniques are simple, but it creates a remarkably rich sound.
An opening party for the Funk Parade. Read more below!
Saturday, May 3
This is a really great event making its debut this year, with events all over U Street. It’s a music festival and parade with shows all over town, including at Uhall, Tropicalia, Solly’s DC9, Patty Boom Boom, and The Brixton. The shows run from 7-10, and the participatory parade runs from 5-7. There’s even a live art instillation with The One Love Bus. This seems really interesting, and I hope this is just the first of what I assume will be an annual festival from these guys. The best part is all these shows are Free! There’s an after-party at Ben’s Next Door as well.
Typefighter has been one of DC’s best rock bands for a long time, but their most recent record puts them into a different category. It’s really, really good. The songwriting is fantastic and remarkably catchy, the guitar layers reward repeated listens, and the rhythm section could not possibly be more solid. Fellow DC rockers Shark Week and Teen Mom both make a great fit as openers.
This is the perfect kind of event to celebrate the success of DC literary and culture magazine The Intentional, featuring great bands at a great space. I’ve found their previous iterations fantastic, and I’m personally really looking forward to reading this one! The Intentional is certainly an important part of the creative culture being built by the younger generation that is now really beginning to have a major impact on the overall culture in DC.
Sunday, May 4
An awesome experimental music bill at CD Cellar presented by the same people you’ve been seeing put on great experimental and jazz shows at Union Arts. Make sure to get there early! This show starts at 4.
If you still haven’t caught Teething Veils, this show is a great opportunity to catch his fantastic melancholic and thoughtful songwriting live. Frankie & Betty are a fun Rock & Roll duo, and The Red Fetish are a Columbian duo, performing an acoustic and vocal set.