On Tap Magazine // August 2019

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20 Drink. Dine. Do. August 2019







Fort Totten

6-8 PM

FREE OUTDOOR CONCERTS August 9 August 16 August 23 August 30

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The JoGo Project Feel Free Deacon Izzy & The Congregation RAIN DATE



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Gallatin St. NE

Corner of South Dakota Ave. NE and Galloway St. NE

www.FridaysAtFortTotten.com *Bands are subject to change. Please check website for updated schedule.*



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20 VISIONARIES SHAPING DC DC is known for a number of things: politics, traffic, go-go, punk music and more. Despite its established lore on a country-wide scale and in American history, the nation's capital features a wide variety of locals who cultivate culture for the people who live and breathe DC. This starts at the top with Mayor Muriel Bowser, our August cover star and the first in our collection of Day in the Lives. This special section focuses on some of the city's most impactful visionaries including Andrew Trueblood, with the city's office of planning, local artists Jamilla Okubo and POW! WOW!'s Kelly Towles, the founders of DC's GIRLAAA collective and radio veteran Tommy McFly. This month also includes features on the theatre scene's prodigious Bobby McCoy, Drink Company's dynamic duo of Angie Fetherston and Adriana Salame, and DC musicians with intriguing day jobs. Interested in some band banter? We talked with local Lightmare and touring Tuxedo. Also, catch up with the Washington Spirit USWNT members, learn about the D.C. United playoff push and much more. On the cover: Mayor Muriel Bowser Shoot location: Culture House DC

Photo: Rich Kessler Designer: Julia Goldberg

IN THIS ISSUE  SPORTS DC's World Cup Champs Look Ahead.. ....... 4 D.C. United Keeps Playoffs In Mind............ 6 Redskins' Season Primer............................. 10 Nats' Adam Eaton Revs Up the Park......... 12




Champs Look Ahead

I Spy A New Building

Spirit World Cup Players Return

International Spy Musuem Moves

Drink Dine Do................................................ 14 Spy Museum's Big Move.. ............................ 20 Mayor Muriel Bowser................................... 24 Office of Planning's Andrew Trueblood.. . 26 Jamilla Okubo Delivers Powerful Art....... 28 Mixed-Media Master Kelly Towles . . .......... 30 GIRLAAA Collective Gets Creative.. ........... 32 The Tommy Show 2.0................................... 34 Rethinking Hair at The Shop at Shaw. . ..... 36

 DINING New & Notable.. ............................................. 38



Mayor Muriel Bowser

GIRLAAA Collective

Talks DC's Cultural Authenticity

Provides Safe Space for Women

 DRINKS SweetWater's Cannabis Culture.. ............... 42 What's On Tap?.............................................. 44 Felicia Colbert Shakes Up Wine World..... 50 Drink Company's Dream Team. . ................. 52 Behind The Bar.............................................. 54 Low on Alcohol, Full on Flavor.. ................. 58

 STAGE & SCREEN Music Director Walter "Bobby" McCoy. . ... 60 Stage & Screen Listings............................... 62




The Shop At Shaw

Drink Company Dream Team

The Future Is Now at DC Salon

Angie Fetherston + Adriana Salame


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ThFctry Brings Retro Flair to DC Radio.... 64 In Their Own Words: Lightmare................. 66 DC Musicians with Next Level Jobs.......... 68 The Inclusive DC Music Rocks Festival. . ... 70 Tuxedo Puts the Fun in Funk...................... 72 Music Picks..................................................... 76

PUBLISHER Robert Kinsler




ASSISTANT EDITOR Trent Johnson trent@ontaponline.com

EDITORIAL ASSISTANT M.K. Koszycki mk@ontaponline.com

GRAPHIC DESIGNER Julia Goldberg julia@ontaponline.com

PRINT AND DIGITAL DESIGN Nick Caracciolo KEY ACCOUNT MANAGER Tom Roth tomroth@ontaponline.com

DIGITAL & ADVERTISING COORDINATOR Kayla Marsh kayla@ontaponline.com

EVENTS & PROMOTIONS MANAGER Katie Seaman katies@ontaponline.com

OUTREACH COORDINATOR Kelcie Glass kelcie@ontaponline.com


Jenna Catalon, Lani Furbank, Sophie Gharai, Madison Hunt, Anna Jacoby, Aliviah Jones, Keith Loria, Sabrina Medora, Travis Mitchell, Lanna Nguyen, Courtney Sexton


Beauty By Photography, Lani Furbank, Aliviah Jones, Rich Kessler, Kimchi Photography, Hayley Olivenbaum, Mark Raker Photography On Tap Magazine is published 11 times per year. ©2019 by United Fray. All rights reserved. Use or reproduction of any materials contained herein is strictly prohibited without express prior written consent. Go to www.ontaponline.com for more information.


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VISIT THESE LOCATIONS FOR AN ICE-COLD HEINEKEN Kirwan’s on the Wharf The Big Stick Brighton Mission Willie’s Brew & Que Agua 301 Cantina Bambina Scarlet Oak CIRCA at Navy Yard Ugly Mug

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Mallory Pugh

The sound of cicadas echoed loudly outside of FedExField, and the summer sun beamed unforgivingly onto the concrete. My eyes adjusted to the dark of the tunnel as I passed through the depths of the stadium and onto the pitch. Immediately, my ears recognized the short, urgent calls of the Washington Spirit players communicating seamlessly to each other as they trained. As I made my way over to the group of other media day attendees on July 22, I noticed their cameras trained on two players in particular: 21-year-old Mallory Pugh and 24-year-old Rose Lavelle. All eyes were on the pair, still riding the high from their 2019 Women’s World Cup win on July 7 and kicking back into gear for the second half of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) season.

Women’s World Cup Champs look ahead By Jenna Catalon

The landmark goal not only clinched the record for most team goals in a single FIFA Women’s World Cup, but also distinguished Lavelle as the second youngest American to score in a World Cup Final. Her exceptional performance in Paris earned her the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup Bronze Ball. Not only are these two young women living out their dreams on the international stage, they’re also experiencing success together as roommates and best friends. “I have been so privileged and honored just to be around her,” Pugh said about Lavelle, giving her friend a sideways glance along the interview table at FedExField. “When she scored her first goal, I started crying. I was so happy for her.”

“When you get to do what you love with people you love, it makes it that much more fun.” Pugh experienced rapid success very early in her career, receiving her Olympic callup at 17. The youngest American to debut on the national team in 11 years, her skill and success has the nation optimistic for the future of American soccer. Star midfielder Lavelle is coming off of a critical shot for the U.S. in the 69th minute of the World Cup Final against the Netherlands.


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Pugh sat back after speaking to Lavelle’s inspirational and supportive role in her life. She whispered a sincere, “Thanks Rosie,” and the two young women exchanged a moment of mutual understanding and gratitude. “That’s hard to follow up,” Lavelle laughed. “I know Mal’s younger than me, but I’ve always looked up to her. When you get to do what you love with people you love, it makes it that much more fun.”

Mallory Pugh and Rose Lavelle with Richie Burke and teamates

Pugh switched gears to the remainder of the NWSL season, saying the team is very focused. The athletes hope the national attention garnered from the World Cup win will increase the attention on their regular season play, but the panel of female athletes expressed some skepticism. “It’s almost been frustrating,” said team captain Andi Sullivan. “You have those same players that you saw in the World Cup – they’re all here. So, why are people not engaging with it?” Head Coach Richie Burke echoed Sullivan’s sentiments, pointing out that his “world-class” team is “underpaid, underrecognized, underappreciated.” However, Burke expressed that the newly signed ESPN and Budweiser partnerships are steps in the right direction. His comments were met with concurring nods from all the players. This will be the first time in history that the NWSL will have a broadcast agreement with ESPN. “Any exposure we can get is wonderful,” Pugh said. “I want people to see what we can do.” As the interview continued, it became evident that certain themes will resurface over the course of the 2019 season and Spirit seasons to come. First, the team will have to face a reality where achieving the viewership they believe they deserve will continue to be an uphill battle. Also, their pursuit of equal pay will not slow with the sunset of the 2019 Women’s World Cup win. The players looked confident that vying for both viewership and satisfactory compensation are contests they can win. With the resolve of someone beyond her years, Pugh commented,

Photos: courtesy of Washington Spirit

“Any exposure we can get is wonderful. I want people to see what we can do.” “Everyone is saying how competitive and how great this league is, and I think people just need to see that. Now that we have the option and they actually can do that, it’s absolutely amazing.” #PackThePlex and join the Washington Spirit at the Maryland SoccerPlex for the remainder of their 2019 season, which runs through early October. Catch home games this month on Saturday, August 10, Wednesday, August 21 and Saturday, August 24. Tickets start at $25. Visit www.washingtonspirit.com for more information. Maryland SoccerPlex: 18031 Central Park Cir. Boyds, MD 301-591-0927; www.washingtonspirit.com

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By Keith Loria Paul Arriola

As the calendar turned to August, D.C. United sat in third place in Major League Soccer’s Eastern Conference but were right in the thick of the race – sitting only a few points out of the top spot. A lock to make the playoffs, the team has been coming on strong this summer, going 3-2-5 (adding 14 points) in its last 10 contests and making a run for first. Midfielder Paul Arriola, whose name is consistently brought up in transfer talk, is in his third year with the team and has proven a vital squad player under head coach Ben Olsen’s scheme. “It’s been a better first half of the season than it was last year, which was my first full year, and we had this great second-half run at Audi Field,” Arriola says. “Having had so many home games this year, we’ve gotten a taste of what a real MLS season is like. There’s times the ball is going your way and the refs are calling it your way, but then there are times we can’t buy a goal or other teams are playing better than us.” That rollercoaster ride is something all soccer players experience,


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Photo: courtesy of D.C. United

and he knows the team is capable of being on the fun, upswing side of that journey as the year goes on. Arriola will be counted on to help D.C. United in its championship run after coming off a strong showing for the U.S. National Team in the Gold Cup. “We’ve put ourselves in a great spot to be in the playoffs,” he says. “We’re not in the do-or-die situation we were in last year in the second half, but we feel we will get those big results. Last year, it took me about three months to feel like myself as a player because of the long off-season. But this year, with hard training, I came out of the blocks really hot – first with the National Team and now with United. I’ve played a very versatile role so far and [am] happy with what I’ve done, but not content.” The team’s offense is led by former Manchester United star Wayne Rooney, sporting a brilliant season with a team high of 11 goals and seven assists in league play this year. He also recorded two goals

Our team chemistry is only getting stronger. We find ourselves in a good spot. and an assist in two Open Cup games and is proving why he’s an international sensation. Luciano Acosta has chipped in five goals, midfielder Lucas Rodriguez has four and Arriola has scored four himself. On defense, the team is counting on Leonardo Jara, Steven Birnbaum and Frederic Brilliant to keep the opposition in check as the offense does what it’s capable of doing. Goalkeeper Bill Hamid is having a fine season, with 88 saves and eight shutouts in 115 shots faced, accounting for an 8-68 record through the team’s first 22 games. Midfielder Russell Canouse has been with D.C. United since 2017 and racked up a career high 1,634 minutes already for the team. The Lancaster, Pennsylvania native is known for his passing accuracy and considered one of the top passers in the league. “The past month, we left some points on the table that we should have gotten, but we have 11 games left,” Canouse says. “I expect us to pick up some points, and our goal is to have home-field advantage for the playoffs. Our recent win against Cincinnati was an important one for us because that gave us a lot of confidence. Another big result was the Orlando game where Wayne hit the 65-yard goal.”

As the new home for D.C. United, Audi Field has been everything the players had hoped for and more – and Arriola is loving the Audi Field vibe. “The fans push us – not just myself, but as a team,” he says. “When I look around the stadium and see the amount of people wearing an Arriola jersey, [it’s] amazing. The way [our fans] support the team and never give up on us, that’s something a lot of teams don’t get. They are definitely special to us.” To bolster the roster in the second half, the team recently added former University of Maryland standout attacker Gordon Wild, and he’s expected to provide some strong firepower in the final two months. The team also brought in former USMNT midfielder Jose Torres on a trial basis, in case an injury or transfer occurs in the next couple of weeks. “Our team chemistry is only getting stronger,” Canouse says. “Guys are starting to understand how much quality we have on the team and what we can achieve. We find ourselves in a good spot. Ben has done a great job keeping us levelheaded.” Arriola is optimistic but sees room for improvement in the coming months. “There’s work to be done and we’re tying a lot of games, but we almost hit a wall where we weren’t able to win games,” he says. “The key for the rest of the season is to find our identity and collectively understand who we are and the type of team we are. In the end, it’s going to take a player to make a big play every single game. But if we stay true to ourselves, we can do what we need to do.” For more information on the remainder of D.C. United’s 2019 season, which runs through October 6, visit www.dcunited.com. Audi Field: 100 Potomac Ave. SW, DC; 202-587-5000; www.dcunited.com



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CATCH GREAT LIVE MUSIC Before Every Friday Home Game!


BUDWEISER MUSIC SERIES 8/16 As If 8/30 Hand Painted Swinger

9/13 Driven to Clarity 9/27 Turtle Recall Music @ 5:00 | Game @ 7:05




Hopes Lie IN

By Keith Loria

Jon Bostic

Last season didn’t exactly go as planned for the Washington Redskins, and the team labored to a 7-9 season. The outcome led to some changes in the off-season including the draft day additions of quarterback Dwayne Haskins out of Ohio State and star end Montez Sweat out of Mississippi State, and both are expected to play prominent roles this fall. Many around the league were shocked when Haskins fell to Washington at No. 15 and though not fast, he’s enormously sized and can throw – with many comparing him to Ben Roethlisberger. Coach Jay Gruden has yet to commit to a starting quarterback but has said Haskins will be given equal opportunity to winning the job along with Case Keenum and longtime Redskin Colt McCoy, who is coming off a broken leg. While McCoy has been on the team for four years and knows Gruden’s system, he doesn’t have the arm for making the big throw down field. Many fans would rather see the 31-year-old Keenum – who threw for 3,890 yards and 18 touchdowns for Denver last season – as QB1 until Haskins is truly ready to step in. Playing for the University of Houston, Keenum set NCAA records for total passing yards, touchdowns and completions. Other additions include signing Landon Collins away from division rivals the New York Giants in a $84 million deal, inking offensive lineman Corey Robinson and bringing in Jon Bostic, the team’s projected starting middle linebacker. “I think we are a good group of young guys and I can see we’re already growing every day,” Bostic says. “We have a lot of coaches around here who have been around ball for a long time. Getting their knowledge and seeing the guys work hard, you couldn’t ask for anything more.” Over a six-year career, Bostic has spent time with the Chicago Bears, New England Patriots, Indianapolis Colts and Pittsburgh Steelers,


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recording 313 tackles and 5.5 sacks. He’s coming off one of his better years, starting 14 of 16 games with a career-high 2.5 sacks last season in Pittsburgh. Wearing No. 53, Bostic is enjoying his time in camp and likes what he sees from the squad. “It’s a work in progress, but that’s what training camp is for,” he says. “We’re all getting used to playing with each other and getting better every day. We’re excited to get going.” The linebacker core includes returnees Shaun Dion Hamilton and Josh Harvey-Clemons, five-year NFL vet Marquis Flowers, and rookies Cole Holcomb and BJ Blunt. “We have goals as a unit and want to be one of the top defenses in the league, but we understand it’s not going to just be given to us,” Bostic continues. “We have to work hard during and after practice. We have a lot of potential on paper, but potential isn’t going to lead us to W’s. It’s the work that will lead us to those W’s.” Disappointing news came out of camp early on when it was announced that the offensive line may be without perennial Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams. In late July, he had yet to report due to a contract dispute, which would leave Ereck Flowers to man left tackle with rookie Wes Martin switching to left guard. The hope is that Williams will arrive soon to shore up what could be a strong point for the team. Adrian Peterson returned to the all-star form of his early years as a new running back with the team, rushing for 1,042 yards on 251 attempts and registering seven TDs. Derrius Guice, who missed his entire rookie year with an injury, and Chris Thompson, now in his seventh year with Washington, join him in the backfield. Questions remain about the team’s next wide receiver, with Jamison Crowder off to the Jets and a returning crew that saw no one player score more than two touchdowns all season. Two draftees in Ohio State’s Terry McLaurin and NC State’s Kelvin Harmon will see


some action and receiver Josh Doctson will be relied on to do more than make the occasional big grab. “Just seeing what they are accomplishing on the offensive side of the ball – it’s been fun,” Bostic says. “Coach Gruden is an offensive-minded coach and he always wants to beat the defense. We’re all competitive and out there trying to beat the offense every day. We’re all getting each other going in different ways and that will keep us strong.” If whoever wins the quarterback job gets into a groove, Peterson has a repeat performance, the youngsters make some noise and the playmakers on the defense do their job, the Redskins could win 10 games and be a big player come playoff time. “Our goal is to win the division and take care of business,” Bostic says. Don’t miss the Washington Redskins’ first home game on Thursday, August 15 against the Cincinnati Bengals. Learn more about their upcoming season at www.redskins.com. FedExField: 1600 Fedex Way, Landover, MD; 301-276-6000; www.redskins.com Photos: courtesy of Washington Redskins

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By Kayla Marsh Adam Eaton at Rev Up The Park

The Washington Nationals have come a long way since the first two months of 2019’s baseball season. They’re now much closer to where fans and foes never thought they’d be: a team close to having the best record in the MLB’s National League East. But in the midst of a ride as wild as a 162-game season, there are things to focus on bigger than baseball – and Nationals’ right fielder Adam Eaton knows it. The 30-year-old lefthander from Springfield, Ohio is in his third year with DC’s baseball team, and with that came his third annual Rev Up The Park charity event. Rev Up The Park combines Eaton’s love for cars with his passion for making a difference. With the help of the Nationals Dream Foundation and his connection to the Dragonfly Foundation, his third year has been the biggest one yet with over 200 registered cars and over $22,000 raised. Eaton has been able to see the benefits of his support, keeping in touch with Dragonfly Foundation Cofounder Christine Neitzke and her son Matt, who was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2010 but is now cancer-free thanks to the foundation’s efforts. “To actually see families that have benefited from [the Dragonfly Foundation’s] programs is huge for me,” Eaton says. “To continue to see them giving back continues to fuel me to donate my time, money and efforts to hopefully help those families to survive and have a brighter side to what they’re going through.” The event, held on July 27, raised funds for the Dragonfly Foundation in support of pediatric cancer patients and their families. Eaton says he’s not alone in pursuing his passion, as a good portion of Major League Baseball players try to stay in touch with their hobbies. “Baseball is such a mental and physical grind,” he says. “Having a distraction, life perspective and being in touch with life outside of baseball is huge for us as baseball players.” Whether it’s hunting, fishing or cars – his Dodge Viper ACR in particular – “everything outside of our professional lifestyle is always important for us to do [so we can] continue to be human beings and do things outside of baseball.” Since childhood, owning American muscle cars has motivated Eaton, and remained a focal point of his personal life as he worked his way


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through the Minor Leagues and became a 19th-round draft pick in 2010. “I love baseball and wanted to be able to afford vehicles,” he says. “That was it. That was my only thought. This is very much a ‘pinch me’ moment. I never thought in a million years that I’d ever own my dream car, and I’m very excited about it. I’m an American muscle car guy through and through. That’s all I own and will ever own. I’m patriotic and love my country and try to give back the best I can. It’s a very surreal moment.” Another car fanatic on the Nationals is ultimate utility player Howie Kendrick, who also looks forward to this event every year and is happy to be able to support Eaton and the cause. “It’s really cool to see the following he’s gotten now with this event,” Kendrick says. “Every year it grows. It’s a blast to talk to the fans and car people in general. Adam takes a lot of pride in this event and it shows with the way it’s run and the people who donate their time to come help out. It [means a lot] to come out and be able to support Adam.” Kendrick mentions that teammates Ryan Zimmerman and Anthony Rendon are also big car guys themselves – but not as big as himself and Eaton, who find themselves bonding over it often. “Athletes and cars go hand in hand. Me and Adam are the two biggest car guys. We’re constantly talking cars, and you couldn’t think of a better event for his charity. I’m happy to be here and happy to support it.” The Nationals Dream Foundation has been a major source of positive influence in the District, supporting local youth baseball teams and keeping the baseball influence high in the community, as well as its military initiatives. “Our guys are so willing,” Eaton says. “We’ve got a really good group of guys. We have a platform to influence the community in a positive manner. [The foundation] is the number one priority outside of baseball.” He doesn’t think about legacy – just the opportunities he’s given and how he can use his platform to help others. Nothing is set in stone, and Eaton remains humbled and happy to be where he is. “They’ve given me the opportunity of a lifetime,” he says. “I’m blessed that the Nationals gave me the opportunity to play and help


Howie Kendrick + Adam Eaton // Photo: courtesy of Washington Nationals Baseball Club

the community. I just want to be as positive as I can, play as hard as I can and let the chips fall.” Eaton has always taken pride in setting a good example on and off the field, even when he was battling major injuries as a newer member of the team in previous seasons. “Even being a new guy and being hurt, I wanted to try and [be a good] influence and work as hard as I could to get healthy. It’s about knowing that you can make an impact, [and] not just through playing baseball. It’s all about just playing to the fullest every day – hustling and playing the right way.” Eaton works with the team’s younger outfielders, 22-year-old Victor Robles and 20-year-old Juan Soto, noting how he just wants to be a leader with his never-give-up mentality of “just trying to let them see the right way to play the game.” “I try to influence them in a positive manner. That’s the cool thing about baseball. You play every single day and you constantly have chances to be positive or negative – and it’s your choice. The older I get, hopefully the better I get to approaching it and trying to learn through failures and successes.” For the Nationals’ starting right fielder, there’s just something special about rocking the curly “W” on his chest in the nation’s capital. “[It’s] really cool to be able to wear the curly ‘W’ and be in front of people that represent this country: politicians and government officials, [and] just people that live in this area. It’s really unique for me and something I take great pride in, and I know that the Nationals do as well.” Eaton has evolved in his all-around leadership role from his first year as a National in 2016 to the present, as the team keeps driving to nab the top spot of the NL East Division. “Come support us in the next few months,” Eaton says. “It’s going to be a heck of a ride.” With eight homestands remaining, catch the Nationals’ regular season games at Nationals Park through Sunday, September 29. At time of publishing, the Nats are 57-51. Learn more at www.nationals.com Nationals Park: 1500 S Capitol St. SE, DC; 202-640-7368; www.nationals.com

A DAY I N T H E COU N T RYSIDE Polo | Games | Food &Drink

August 25

September 22


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DRINK DINE DO THROUGH AUGUST 16 Friday Chinatown Park Block Party Kick-Off Jumpstart your weekend with fun and free activities in Chinatown Park. Attendees will be able to scratch records, create their own tag or a piece of art by choosing their own stencil and enjoy games like the mega chess board, giant Jenga, corn hole and much more. There will be performances featuring a poet, rap artists and two DJs. 5-8 p.m. Free to attend. Chinatown Park: I St. NW, DC; www.downtowndc.org

THROUGH AUGUST 21 Wednesdays at the Wharf Concert Series Head to The Wharf each Wednesday evening this summer to listen to live music on Transit Pier. Don’t miss DC favorites like Air Force Band Max Impact, Jimi Smooth, and more playing on the floating stage. From indie rock to Latin fusion, there’s something for everyone. Enjoy ice cold beer and food from Cantina Bambina and take a mid-week break. 6-8 p.m. Free to attend. The Wharf: 700 Water St. SW, DC; www.wharfdc.com

THROUGH AUGUST 23 Fridays at Fort Totten The Fridays at Fort Totten Summer Concert Series is every Friday through August 23. Come out and enjoy delicious bites from a featured food truck each week, and amazing live music from Monster Band, Pebble to Pearl, Sol Roots and so many more. There’s a new band and tasty food truck each Friday. 6-8 p.m. The Modern: Corner of South Dakota Avenue and Galloway Street in NE, DC; www.fridaysforttotten.com Movie Nights at Arlington Mill Gather on the Arlington Mill


Plaza for movie nights every Friday this summer where the theme is Heroes & Sheroes: Movies with a Mission, starting with Moana and ending with Won’t You Be My Neighbor. Movies start between 8-8:30 p.m. Arlington Mill Plaza: 909 S Dinwiddie St. Arlington, VA; www.columbia-pike.org

THROUGH AUGUST 30 Summer Fridays Get front row seats to the best sunset view in the DMV at Summer Fridays in National Harbor. Come out with friends and family to start your weekend right with games like cornhole, Connect Four, giant Jenga, hula hoops and more. Enjoy giveaways and listen to the DJ spin your favorite summer jams. Get your cameras ready and your flip flops on. 7-8:30 p.m. Free admission. National Harbor: 150 National Plz. Oxon Hill, MD; www.nationalharbor.com

SUNDAY, AUGUST 4 Beer and Food Bash at Sandy Spring Adventure Park Get your adventure fix with a day of climbing, ziplining, eating and drinking at Sandy Spring Adventure Park. Participants will get to spend two awesome hours on the Sandy Spring course, then refuel with some beer and food trucks. That’s not all, kick back at a bonfire to close out the excitementfilled day. Guests are advised to come in attire that doesn’t hang loose or get tangled in cables and rope. 2-9 p.m. Tickets $38. Sandy Spring Adventure Park: 16701 Norwood Rd. Sandy Spring, MD; www.dcfray.com Unique Markets: DC Come discover a world of innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship. Attendees will get to meet and shop from

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local designers and makers. The festival-like atmosphere makes for an inspiring shopping experience that boasts fun for the whole family with interactive art, cool brand activations, freebies, DIY projects and a food truck caravan. 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Dock 5 at Union Market: 1309 Fifth St. NE, DC; www.uniquemarkets.com

MONDAY, AUGUST 5 Eden DC Rooftop Lounge Mondays Eden’s rooftop bar is a prime destination in DC nightlife. The rooftop offers VIP tables, a bar, a raised DJ booth and a massive LED screen. In addition to the freshest house music around, Eden books acts like Sydney Blu, The Devil from Acapulco and Anthony Attalla, and often features live congas and saxophone to compliment the beats. 10 p.m. - 3 a.m. Free to attend. Eden Lounge DC: 1716 I St. NW, DC; www.edendc.com

TUESDAY, AUGUST 6 AND WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21 Tunes in the Triangle: Outdoor Concert Series Join the Mount Vernon Triangle community improvement district and their neighbors at the Tunes in the Triangle concert series. Guests will get to experience performances from local talents Justin Trawick (8/6) and Darcy Dawn (8/21) this summer. Feel free to bring your own refreshments, picnic blankets and chairs. 6-8 p.m. Free admission. Milian Park: 475 K St. NW, DC; www.mountvernontriangle.org

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 7 Le Tour de France Wine Tasting This is not just a bike race. Learn, swirl, sip and experience

amazing wines for wonderful evening full of fun, fellowship and light appetizers. This tour highlights six of the best regions of wine in France such as Burgundy, Bordeaux, Provence and more. 7-8:30 p.m. Tickets $40. Sonoma Cellar: 207 King St. Alexandria, VA; www.mysonomacellar.com Sour Cocktail Class Join cocktail author and historian Philip Greene for an evening of cocktails, instruction, folklore, anecdotes and excerpts. Participants will have a chance to master the basics of this amazingly versatile format by making many of the classic cocktails while also trying a hand at inventing new drinks. Guests will receive four sample-sized cocktails, plus light appetizers. 6:30-8:30 p.m. Tickets $50. Archipelago: 1201 U St. NW, DC; www.archipelagobardc.com

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 7 WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 28 BQ Beats: Summer Music Series Grab a drink and some food from everyone’s favorite Quarter Market vendors every Wednesday evening for BQ Beats. Attendees can come out to the Plaza to hear tunes from different musical acts this summer. Free to attend. 5:308:30 p.m. Ballston Quarter: 4238 Wilson Blvd. Arlington, VA; www.ballstonquarter.com

THURSDAYS, AUGUST 8, 15, 22 Canal Park Movies From the classics to the latest Academy Award winners, the people spoke and the movies will be shown. Join the Riverfront community for free movies at Canal Park on Thursday evenings. Films this year include: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Guardians

Summer Recess This summer, the Eisenhower Corridor has launched a series of mini-programming that’s fun for residents and office workers alike. Guest will enjoy happy hour, lawn games, live music, food and fun during Eisenhower Summer Recess. 4-7 p.m. Free to attend. Eisenhower Corridor: 2425 Eisenhower Ave. Alexandria, VA; www.fb.com/ eisenhowersummer-recess

FRIDAYS, AUGUST 9, 16, 23 AND 30 Friday Night Concerts in Yards Park Come spend your Friday night relaxing in the Capitol Riverfront, voted one of DC’s best places for live music. Spread a blanket, grab a cold one and get down with some great local music. Enjoy bands like the Shane Gamble Band, 7 Deadlies, Brent & Co., Aztec Sun and more on the boardwalk stage. The featured artists are fun for the whole family, and ice cold Corona beer and wine will be available on-site at the outdoor tented bar. 7-9 p.m. Free to attend. Yards Park: 355 Water St. SE, DC; www.capitolriverfront.org

FRIDAYS THROUGH AUGUST 30 AND SATURDAYS THROUGH AUGUST 31 Rosslyn Putt-Putt and Candy Bar This summer, the Rosslyn BID invites attendees to relive their favorite childhood memory at their newest pop-up: Rosslyn Putt-Putt. The space will be open to the public, with rounds of putt-putt golf available. Make sure to stop by the outdoor or indoor space where there will be games, a full bar with wine, craft beers and sangria as well

as candies and popsicles from Pleasant Pops. 10 a.m. - 9 p.m. Tickets $3. Rosslyn Putt-Putt and Candy Bar: 1401 Wilson Blvd. Arlington, VA; www.rosslynva.org


BYT + Spy Museum Present: Mission Impossible Party Protocol Join BYT for the first ever after-hours party at the new home of the International Spy Museum. Get your secret identities ready and brush up on your Russian, agents. There’s one hell of a mission planned for you. This party is the only way to infiltrate one of the coolest museums in the world and get an exclusive, tourist-free, all-access, partytime look at the new building and exhibitions. Your ticket includes the open bar, the live action immersive scavenger hunt, local DJS and so much more. Wear your best James Bond themed attire! 8:30 p.m. - 12 a.m. $65-$80. International Spy Museum: 700 L’Enfant Plz. SW, DC; www.brightestyoungthings.com

FRIDAY, AUGUST 9 The Late Shift: Habitats Celebrate the opening of Habitats at the Torpedo Factory Art Center’s Target Gallery as it explores the impact that humans make on the earth and its environment. The evening will consist of a night with eclectic art and activities, from gallery receptions, stimulating artist talks to pop-up performances, lively music and much more. 7-10 p.m. Free to attend. Torpedo Factory Art Center: 105 N Union St. Alexandria, VA; www.torpedofactory.org

Photos: Kimchi Photography

of the Galaxy, Incredibles 2 and Bohemian Rhapsody. Movies begin at sundown. Free to attend. Canal Park: 200 M St. SE, DC; www.capitolriverfront.org

Rosslyn’s Putt-Putt and Candy Bar features an outdoor nine-hole mini-golf course and an adjoining candy bar with refreshing craft beer and sangria, penny candy, and a variety of popsicles.

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FRIDAY, AUGUST 9 SATURDAY, AUGUST 17 Montgomery County Fair Come out to the Montgomery County fair for some fun. Sitting on 62 acres, the Fair has over 50 buildings filled with more than 5,000 animals every year. There is something for the whole family to enjoy, from animals, entertainment, food to exhibits, arts and crafts. Various times. Tickets $12-$15. Montgomery County Agricultural Fair: 501 Perry Pkwy. Gaithersburg, MD; www.mcagfair.com

SATURDAY, AUGUST 10 Balance Gym 10-Year Anniversary Party What else could be better than yoga, bootcamp and mimosas? Get your sweat on with Balance Gym as they celebrate their 10 year anniversary at Dupont Underground. The fun filled party will start with glow yoga followed by a bootcamp class. 8 am.-1 p.m. Tickets $25. Dupont Underground: 19 Dupont Cir. NW, DC; www.balancegym.com

TASTE Leesburg Taste what Leesburg has to offer from local restaurants, food trucks and farm markets. Mingle up and down the streets, stop at food tents in the marketplace or food trucks at the drive-in. Load up and then take a load off at the tables in the eatery. Guests will also get to enjoy bites and brews all while listening to live music. 5-10 p.m. Tickets $35-$45. Historic Downtown Leesburg: between West Market Street and North King Street, Leesburg, VA; www.tasteleesburg.com

SATURDAY, AUGUST 10 AND SUNDAY, AUGUST 11 VietFest 2019 VietFest is an outdoor celebration that highlights Vietnam’s unique traditions while introducing the VietnameseAmerican community to the District. There will be activities for the whole family to enjoy including games, entertainment, fashion, competitions, food and more. Saturday from 10 a.m

- 10 p.m. and Sunday from11 a.m. - 7 p.m. Plaza at Tysons Corner Center: 1961 Chain Bridge Rd. Tysons Corner, VA; www.tysonscornercenter.com/ theplaza

SUNDAY, AUGUST 11 DC VegFest 2019 Compassion Over Killing is proud to host the annual DC VegFest in the nation’s capital. The largest vegan gathering on the east coast features more than a hundred vendors, celebrity speakers, cooking demos, activities for kids and even more. All are welcome to attend, whether they follow a vegan diet or are a meat lover. 11 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Free to attend. Nationals Park: 1500 South Capitol St. SE, DC; www. dcvegfest.com Latin Heritage Festival Celebrate Latin Heritage with arts and crafts, great food and dance performances. This festival will be a huge party, with more than 60 artisans and food

vendors will delight patrons with traditional Latin dishes and many more. In the evening, a DJ will play a selection of salsa, bachata and merengue for everyone’s enjoyment. 2-8 p.m. Free to attend. Veterans Plaza: 1 Veterans Pl. Silver Spring, MD; www.silverspringdowntown.com

TUESDAY, AUGUST 13 FrayLife Glow Yoga at Audi Field Glow against the skyline during golden hour. Join DC Fray for Glow Yoga at Audi Field. Patrons will meet DC Fray at Audi Field’s premium entrance on the east side of the stadium to light up the night in glow sticks and paint. Participants should bring their own mat and DC Fray will bring the glow. All levels are welcome, so grab some friends and get zen. 7-10 p.m. Tickets $20-$25. Audi Field: 100 Potomac Ave. SW, DC; www.dcfray.com

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DC Fray Pole Vaulting Come and join DC Fray and DC Vault for some fun and a private lesson with expert vaulters. The DC Vault instructors will show attendees the pole vaulting basics from learning how to carry, run, and plant a vaulting pole. 6:30-8 p.m. Tickets $25. DC Vault: 2200 East Capitol St. NE, DC; www.dcfray.com

Full Moon Walk: National Mall Monuments & Memorials DC’s monuments and memorials on the National Mall are spectacular in the evening and even more so during a full moon. The walk will start and end at the National World II Memorial reaching two miles past the District’s most famous landmarks. This is not a guided tour, although some brief information on the sites visited may be provided. 7:15-9:30 p.m. Free to attend. World War II Memorial: 1750 Independence Ave. SW, DC; www.meetup.com/ dchistoryandculture/

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 14 - SUNDAY, AUGUST 18 Arlington County Fair The Arlington County Fair is proud to offer entertainment options for all ages. Each year Thomas Jefferson Community Center is transformed into a special place from food vendors, games and rides to live music, exhibits and more. 4-10 p.m. Free to attend. Thomas Jefferson Community Center: 3501 Second St. S, Arlington, AC19015[ad] OnTapMagazine-Crab VA; www.arlingtoncountyfair.us

Yappy Hour and Dog Adoption Event Come out to The Plaza at Ballston Quarter for the second Yappy Hour and Dog Adoption Event with Discover Arlington and Pet Rescue Alliance. Guests and their pups are invited to and Beer.ai 1 5/28/19 socialize in The Plaza while 3:23 enjoying a nice cold beverage from Ballston’s Quarter Market


vendors with happy hour drink and food specials. There will also be puppy smoothie bowls from South Block Juice for pups. 4:30-7:30 p.m. Free to attend. Ballston Quarter: 4238 Wilson Blvd. Arlington, VA; www.ballstonquarter.com


National Rum Day at Cuba Libre Join Cuba Libre in Penn Quarter for half price rum drinks in honor of National Rum Day on August 16 from 4-7 p.m. You can also indulge in new or favorite rums all month long, with featured $10 rum flights throughout the entire month of August, which is also Rum Month. Cuba Libre DC: 801 9th St. NW, DC; www.cubalibrerestaurant.com

SATURDAY, AUGUST 17 3rd Annual Runway for a Cure DC: Living Out Loud in Style Runway for a Cure DC’s mission is to celebrate the lives of breast cancer survivors, encourage family and friends of those affected by breast cancer, and to give back to individuals or organizations who support breast cancer research. The show will feature presentations from some of the most notable fashion designers in the district and modeled by breast cancer survivors. 2-6 p.m. Tickets $40-$115. Renaissance DC Downtown Hotel: 999 9th St. NW, DC; www.runwayforacuredc.com 2019 Around the World Cultural Food Festival The 2019 Around the World Cultural Food Festival brings together diverse, authentic, living traditions from more than 40 different countries. The festival gives participants a chance to learn from one another by understanding

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one’s cultural differences and similarities. Guest will get to enjoy food, arts and crafts, traditional dances and more. 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. Free to attend. Freedom Plaza: Pennsylvania Avenue between 13th and 14th Street in NW, DC; www. aroundtheworldfestival.com

TUNES INin Tunes The Triangle THE TRIANGLE

6:30 pm–8:30 at Milian Park (Masspm Ave & 5th St.)

• Thursday, July 21: The Oxymorons 6 - 8 PM at Milian Park (Mass Ave & 5th St.) • Tuesday, august 2: Alison Carney

Aug 6: and Justin Trawick Special concert family activities for National Night Out at 5th & K Parking Lot

Sept 5:, august Pebble toTrawick Pearl • Thursday 18: Justin at Milian Park

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CTB’s Summer Dessert Showcase Pop-Up Callie the Baker is making her way back to DC for her second tasting event. This dessert showcase/pop-up will feature a wide array of CTB favorites including dessert shooters, French macarons, tasting cakes, chocolate covered strawberries and more. Summer vibes will be in full swing with delicious summer inspired cocktails and appetizers. 1:30 -4:30 p.m. Tickets $85. Fostr Collaborative: 1027 33rd St. NW, DC; www.fostrcollaborative.com FrayLife River Tubing Trip The sweet and long summer days are finally here and there’s no better way to spend it than at DC Fray’s river tubing trip. Grab your cooler, drinks and swimsuits for some fun in the sun and Fray will supply transportation, tubes and water guns. Participants will check in at the Dunkin’ Donuts in Arlington near the Ballston metro stop between 7-7:30 a.m. and get on the shuttle to Front Royal Canoe. 7 a.m. - 4 p.m. Tickets $75. Front Royal Canoe: 8567 Stonewall Jackson Hwy. Front Royal, VA; www.dcfray.com Old Town Beer, Wine and Dog Festival At the Old Town Beer, Wine and Dog Festival guests will have the opportunity to enjoy locally sourced craft beer, wine and food while relaxing to live music with their favorite four-legged friends. Attendees are invited to bring their canines to the featured leashless dog park to play with volunteers and other four-legged friends, while owners can enjoy local eats and drinks. Proceeds from the event will support the local Animal Welfare Leagues and fostering

agencies such as Lucky Dog Animal Rescue. 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Tickets $5. Waterfront Park: 1A Prince St. Alexandria, VA; www. oldtownbeerwineanddog.com Silver Spring Reggae Fest It’s Silver Spring’s first ever reggae fest. Denizens Brewing Co. is joining forces with Soulector Sound System, Leon City Sounds and DJ Kenny M for a night filled with some reggae beats. Guests can grab a seat in Denizens’ Beer Garden for great brews and great tunes. 7-11 p.m. Free to attend. Denizens Brewing Co.: 1115 East-West Hwy. Silver Spring, MD; www.denizensbrewingco.com

SUNDAY, AUGUST 18 Cinema Del Ray Outdoor Movies Bring family, friends, neighbors and a blanket to watch familyfriendly, open-air movies including Peter Pan, Ralph Breaks the Internet, Smallfoot (in Spanish with English subtitles), How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World and Incredibles 2 at Cinema Del Ray. Movies start at 7 p.m. Mount Vernon Recreation Center: 2701 Commonwealth Ave. Alexandria, VA; www.visitalexandriava.com

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21 Speed Dating at Mellow Mushroom Tired of swiping? Come meet new people for great conversation with a simple old school speed dating event. Whether you’re in it for friendship, conversation or love, Fray has everyone covered as they emcee and help everyone break the ice all night long. Participants will get to enjoy great food, extended happy hour and raffle prizes. 7-9 p.m. Tickets $25. Mellow Mushroom: 2436 18th St. NW, DC; www.dcfray.com

THURSDAY, AUGUST 22 Singapore Crab Boil DBGB executive chef Nicholas

Tang is taking everyone to Singapore, his native country, for a one-night only experience. Guest will get to indulge in some Maryland crabs prepared two ways and served country boil style on the table. There will also be a selection of refreshing wines, Tiger Beer, and a Singapore Sling-inspired cocktail. The three-course meal will include a chicken satay, fried wontons, chinese long beans and more. 6:30-10 p.m. Tickets $90. DBGB DC: 931 H St. NW, DC; www.dbgb.com

FRIDAY, AUGUST 23 Jazz in the Garden 2019 The final Jazz in the Garden concert of the year will end with a funk and hip hop performance by Funky Dawgz Brass Band. During jazz concerts, the Pavilion Café offers a special menu of creative American cuisine and refreshments. Alcoholic beverages are not permitted into the Sculpture Garden, but may be purchased at the café. 5-8:30 p.m. Free to attend. Sculpture Garden Pavilion Cafe: Ninth Street and Constitution Avenue in NW, DC www.pavilioncafe.com

SATURDAY, AUGUST 24 World Heritage Festival Come out to Leesburg’s World Heritage Festival with more than 60 artists displaying jewelry, ceramics and more. Guest will enjoy delicious food from around the world and cultural performances. There will be a variety of activities and games for kids throughout the day as well. 11 a.m - 6 p.m. Free to attend. Ida Lee Park Recreation Center: 60 Ida Lee Dr. NW, Leesburg, VA; www.leesburgva.gov 17th Street Festival The 17th Street Festival celebrates its neighborhood’s diversity of restaurants and retailers. Enjoy a day filled with live music, artists, vendors, and community along the 17th Street Corridor. Attendees

can visit more than 100 vendors, including artists and makers, and have a chance to connect with local nonprofit organizations and businesses. There will be special activities for children in the Kids Zone throughout the day. 12-6 p.m. Free to attend. Dupont Circle Main Streets: 17th Street between P and R Street in NW, DC; www.17thstreetfestival.org

SUNDAYS, THROUGH AUGUST 25 AND THURSDAYS, THROUGH AUGUST 29 Movies on the Potomac at National Harbor Pack your chairs, grab food to go from one of the many dining establishments at National Harbor, and grab a seat at the plaza screen for a free movie. Guests will get to see classic films from Disney, Marvel and others. 7-9 p.m. Free to attend. National Harbor: 165 Waterfront St. National Harbor, MD; www.nationalharbor.com

SUNDAY, AUGUST 25 DC Polo Society: Play Date Get away to the countryside for more than just a polo match this Sunday funday. Play Date will be a great time for guests and their special someones - kids and pups included. Have a blast with some fun team games. DC Polo Society will also have special bistro seating available for reservation. 2-5 p.m. Tickets $15-$85. Congressional Polo Club: 14660 Hughes Rd. Poolesville, MD; www.dcpolo.com Hip Hop and Wine: How Rappers Impact Wine Economics What do Jay-Z, Drake and Nicki Minaj have in common? Other than being talented artists, they also embrace distinct wine styles in their music, making a noteworthy impact on wine sales and popularity, especially on a national scale. Guest will get to taste five different wines embodied by the hip hop

community. Appetizers will be provided and class will be set to the sound of hip hop jams. 1:302:30 p.m. Tickets $40. Dio Wine Bar: 904 H St. NE, DC; www.diowinebar.com

TUESDAY, AUGUST 27 Harry Potter Book Trivia at Pinstripes Georgetown Come out to Pinstripes Georgetown for five challenging rounds of Harry Potter Book Trivia. Players will get to see if they’ve got what it takes by challenging their memory on the beloved books. The best way to reserve tickets is by selecting a team captain and having them be in charge of tickets for all team members. Participants who plan to play by themselves are advised to purchase single tickets. 7-9 p.m. Free to attend. Pinstripes: 1064 Wisconsin Ave. NW, DC; www.pinstripes.com

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 28 FrayLife Night Out with the Nats Come out and root for the Nats with DC Fray and On Tap Magazine for some pre-game drink specials at Walters Sports Bar. After getting pumped for the game head over to Nationals Park to watch the game in the Scoreboard Pavilion. 6-9 p.m. Tickets $20. Walters Sports Bar: 10 N St. SE, DC; www.dcfray.com

SATURDAY, AUGUST 31 Library of Congress National Book Festival The 2019 Library of Congress National Book Festival will bring more than 140 nationally recognized authors, poets and illustrators, as well as the addition of stages devoted to science and international subjects. The lineup includes U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, eminent historians David McCullough and Michael Beschloss, celebrity DC chef and humanitarian José Andrés, graphic novel superstar

Raina Telgemeier and Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction recipient Richard Ford. 9 a.m.- 8 p.m. Free to attend. Walter E. Washington Convention Center: 801 Mt. Vernon Pl. NW, DC; www.loc.gov River Tubing Adventure Come and get rowdy at this summer river tubing and brewery trip. After a short drive, guests will enjoy a relaxing three-hour river tubing experience down the beautiful Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers. After everyone has gotten their fill of floating, they can hop off the river and head back to the tubing center to enjoy a hearty BBQ lunch. Afterwards, guests will hop back on the bus for a quick drive over to a brewery, and then head back to DC. 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Tickets $99. The North Face Georgetown: 3333 M St. NW, DC; www.sourcedadventures.com


Devils Backbone Hoopla Festival 2019 Join Devils Backbone Brewing Company from September 27-29 for Hoopla 2019, featuring live music, awardwinning beers, camping and fun for the whole family. The weekend includes popup beer tastings, outdoor adventures, property tours, crafts, great eats and tons of incredible live music. Various times. Tickets $50-$340. Devils Backbone Brewing Company: 200 Mosbys Run, Roseland, VA; www.dbbrewingcompany.com

www.ontaponline.com | AUGUST 2019 | ON TAP


By Trent Johnson


Spy Museum’s new location

pies are constantly in search of upgrades. The enhancements enable them to gather more data, intelligence and information, which in turn help them do their job more effectively. In this sense, DC’s International Spy Museum isn’t unlike the topics it covers. The establishment recently underwent its own upgrade, ferrying its collection, staff and visitors across town from their original downtown location into a sparkling, almost transparent building in L’Enfant Plaza. The 140,000-square-foot space opened on May 12 and immediately doubled the museum’s size while providing more opportunities for interactive, spacious exhibits. With bright red accents, columns and a pleated glass veil, this architectural addition sticks out next to its Brutalist counterparts, making it easy for scouts to identify the city’s new addition “hiding in plain sight.” “It had always been a dream to [move to a bigger space],” says Aliza Bran, the museum’s PR and marketing coordinator. “We had so many things we wanted to share with the public and there were only so many things that we could do in the building that we had. It was a fabulous building, but it had some limitations in that it was a historic building – you can’t change that. The subject matter we wanted to cover was far broader than what we could cover in that space.” The concept of a new, larger space for the museum began five years ago, according to Bran. Before worrying about size, design and other physical attributes, the braintrust went about deciding what


ON TAP | AUGUST 2019 | www.ontaponline.com

Photo: Nic Lehoux

new artifacts, exhibits and displays they could bring to light if not for certain limitations. This included more in-depth looks at international stories and tactical collections, and how to make intelligence analysis digestible for visitors. “We really tried to find a number of people so when we were putting this together, everything looked absolutely right,” Bran says. “It’s going through a lot of individuals and brains, and that was the most important thing while we were doing this because it was covering a lot of areas we had not before.” Along with more room for their permanent collection, the building also features a lecture hall/theater, a multifunction event space and an area designated for a rotating collection. Though the temporary programs won’t roll out until next year at the earliest, the existing materials have experienced new life. “We built this from the ground up,” Bran continues. “We got to choose where the walls went up, how big the theater is, how big the event space is and what we can do in each of the spaces. It really is beyond our wildest dreams.” With this new lease, materials that once veered toward a readingcentric display are now more accessible to those more inclined toward an interactive experience – for instance, analysis. “How can you make analysis interesting in a museum? Analysts laughed and said, ‘What? Are you going to have a coffee cup and a bunch of papers [and] have people sift through them?’ Fortunately, it turned out really well, but we really needed the input from people who worked in that space.” These enhancements include games and impeccable displays in

a breathable way that couldn’t be accomplished at the old location. And though the floor is set for now, Bran says the museum is still making tweaks to perfect that visitor experience. “This is the first time doing it this way,” Bran says. “We’re figuring out how the flow works. We have been focused on that 100 percent since we opened. We want to be dynamic within that permanent space, but the first step is making sure everything is exactly how it should be and then seeing how we can adjust and update.” Though the new space has sparked the imagination of new and old visitors alike, the next big event on the docket is sure to be of interest to those looking for a reason to check out DC’s upgraded place of everything espionage. On August 9, the museum is partnering with Brightest Young Things for Mission Impossible: Party Protocol. “We’re excited to open up our space to [BYT] and the public for a rare look at the museum afterhours,” Bran says. “Whether it’s people who want to come to a cocktail event or people who want to see an author, we try to look at all of our different audiences.” Whether you’re an espionage neophyte or a walking encyclopedia of all things top secret, the Spy Museum is likely to surprise and wow you in their facility. And you don’t even have to sneak your way in. Go to www.eventbrite.com for tickets to BYT and Spy Museum’s Mission Impossible: Party Protocol on Friday, August 9. Tickets are $65-$80. For more information about the Spy Museum’s new location and upcoming programming, visit www.spymuseum.org. International Spy Museum: 700 L’Enfant Plaza, SW, DC; 202-393-7798; www.spymuseum.org

Photos: Kimchi Photography

Photo: Sam Kittner

On July 27, players participated in DC Field Day at The Fields at RFK Stadium, with competitive games and a giant obstacle course, plus food trucks, an all-day bar, a live DJ and fun surprises.

www.ontaponline.com | AUGUST 2019 | ON TAP



The individuals who are actively changing our community – and the world at large – could be right next to you or making an impact in a way you’ve never considered before. To let their voices be heard in the purest form, we let these visionaries speak for themselves. In the process, we truly got the sense of what a day in their lives is really like – from the mundane to the magnificent. Maybe they’re adding color to their neighborhood and founding a festival to bring street art to the next level (Kelly Towles, page 30) or working with brands like Dior while exploring the intersections of identity (Jamilla Okubo, page 28). Perhaps they’re really getting to know you while styling hair and encouraging more inclusive environments (Jamie Lynn and Aaron Claxton, page 36). Podcasts permeate every aspect of culture now, but two standouts use their voices to amplify those of others: black women creatives (GIRLAAA, page 32) and all the positive, fun happenings throughout the District (Tommy McFly and Kelly Collis, page 34). Even the influential people whose names you may know have more of a story to tell. DC Office of Planning Director Andrew Trueblood (page 26) spoke in earnest of his efforts to bend the curve of affordable housing and promote the city’s authenticity, while Mayor Muriel Bowser (page 24) walked us through how she stays connected to the local community and strives for cultural preservation in the District. Regardless of medium, message or platform, these talented minds are the ones upholding the creative fabric of our city and crafting what’s to come.


ON TAP | AUGUST 2019 | www.ontaponline.com

Photo: Rich Kessler



Monica Alford interviews Mayor Muriel Bowser at Culture House DC

Mayor Muriel Bowser lights up when I ask about her 1-year-old daughter, Miranda. I’m curious about what mom-and-daughter adventures they embark on around the District, but more importantly, I want to know how she juggles being at the helm of DC government with motherhood. She urges moms to give themselves a break and do the best they can, but she’s honest that it’s a balancing act. Striking that constant balance extends beyond carving out quality time with her baby while leading DC. It’s apparent that she is simultaneously supportive of the city’s longtime residents while also embracing the changing economic landscape. From releasing the DC Cultural Plan and creating the Office of Nightlife and Culture to hiring bright millennials ready to lead in director-level positions, it’s clear that she strives for forward-thinking initiatives. As I sat across from Mayor Bowser on the stage of community art space Culture House DC, I caught a brief but powerful glimpse of what our city’s cultural heartbeat means to her and how she plans to preserve it. On Tap: How have you watched the DC economic landscape shift over the past decade as the city’s become a foodie destination and arts and culture hub? Do you view this as a positive impact on the city overall? Mayor Bowser: I think it’s outstanding that many, many more restaurants have located and created more jobs in hospitality. We have welcomed Michelin star ratings to the city and people are definitely talking about how the food scene has exploded. I think it’s all positive.


ON TAP | AUGUST 2019 | www.ontaponline.com

Photo: Rich Kessler

OT: How do you predict the arrival of Amazon will impact the DC area? Do you have concerns that we’ll experience a shift in affordability and accessibility due to the surrounding tech areas and overall tech industry? MB: We’ve been focused during my entire tenure on how to create more affordable housing for Washington, DC and I’m very proud that we’ve been able to add thousands of new units. We have 20,000 units in the pipeline. But we know we have to do a lot more. By the year 2025, we have to add 36,000 new housing units to DC alone. For us to continue to be competitive and track down people and keep and retain families in the District, we know we have to [provide] competitive housing. OT: What measures are you taking to support long-time residents with concerns about gentrification? How can the city protect the local community while also embracing growth? MB: Well, it takes everybody, right? It takes the government. It takes the community. It takes people who’ve lived here for five generations like my family, and people who are just moving to DC. Everybody finds something that they love about our town – that it’s growing, we’re improving [our] schools, parks, recreation, walkability, public transit – you name it, we have it. But there is a certain grit about Washington, DC that’s beloved and should be treasured. OT: Almost one year into your second term, what are your core priorities for the city? What high-level initiatives are you currently most focused on? What are some of the biggest impacts

you hope to make over the course of the next three years? MB: We continue to be laser-focused on housing. I see making DC more affordable as one of the most important things I can do in my second term. We have been focused on affordable units. We’re also focused on creating new jobs that are paying good, sustaining salaries. And that’s not just in tech, even though we’ve made a big play in tech and we were named again one of the best places for women in tech, and we’re attracting founders in startup companies and capital to come help those companies grow. We are also going into our fifth year of 202Creates. That’s where we promote the creative economy in DC and make sure people know that you can really earn a living in the arts here in DC. We’re talking about all art forms, housing, [and] affordable [and] creative spaces, and making sure people know that they can make a living in the arts.


OT: How do you stay connected to the local community? How do you make yourself accessible to locals to make sure voices are heard, especially minorities and communities in need? MB: We have very robust outreach [programs]. Last year, we formed a new Office of Nightlife and Culture (MONC). We do find that a lot of our newer residents don’t connect in more traditional ways to government, and so going to them where they are and connecting to them in many ways is super important. Our Office of Nightlife and Culture works with the business community and community groups to make sure our nightlife economy is thriving and forward-looking.

OT: What impact do you think tapping Andrew Trueblood as the first millennial to direct the Office of Planning has made thus far? MB: What’s important to me is to hire the best, and he was the best. He also represents a group of people who are in the government who had earned a promotion. He was in a group of about four or five people who had been serving in various capacities who at the start of my second term I appointed as directors. I think it’s important for all of the people that I manage – 37,000 people – that they see that their hard work, creativity and fresh ideas will be rewarded. I couldn’t be happier about those decisions.

OT: MONC Director Shawn Townsend certainly had stiff competition, with 500-plus other applicants. Why was he the right fit for the role, and why did this office feel necessary at this time for our city? MB: There were a lot of applicants. It has been kind of a maiden voyage as an office. It was important for us to focus its mission – and the mission is not all business, it’s not all community. It’s focused on how we can promote our nighttime economy. We have people from around the region coming to Washington to enjoy the restaurants, theatre, [neighborhoods like] The Wharf, sports, [etc.] that we’ve developed here.

OT: Do you see unique value in the ways millennial directors can connect with younger generations in the DC community? MB: I think it’s important to have diversity of voices. Age diversity is one. I think sometimes younger people are overlooked because somebody will say, “Well, you don’t have the experience” or “It’s not your turn, wait your turn.” My view is if they have demonstrated hard work ethic and ideas, and have the propensity to lead, then they should be given the opportunity.

OT: It seems the focus of the office is two-fold: supporting the business aspects of nightlife and cultural preservation. Can you speak to Director Townsend’s plan for the cultural components a bit, as those seem to be grayer area with less tangible outcomes? MB: I wouldn’t put that responsibility solely on him. We also have an office of Cable Television, Film, Music and Entertainment that does a lot to attract artists to DC and give them various ways to showcase their talent. We have an arts commission [the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities] who is responsible for helping to fund artists, including preservation projects and documentary projects. Our documentary on go-go is an award-winning documentary. OT: Tell me about citywide effort 202Creates’ celebration of the local creative community in September. Why is the census important? MB: It’s a monthlong extravaganza, really. In all eight wards, there


Mornings with Miranda Lemon drop martinis White chocolate mochas Seeing the water twice a year Bundle of crabs will be some kind of showcase of the arts including our creative hair stylists and makeup artists.

OT: What about local theaters or music venues? Are there any spots you really enjoy? MB: We recently held my inauguration activities down at The Anthem, at The Wharf, and I’m reminded sometimes that people are introduced to new venues because I’ve invited them to some event, or the city has hosted something there. We really do try to go around the city to different venues to invite DC residents to make sure they’re checking out those venues. A lot of times, it’s [their] first time there. For a lot of people, The Anthem for our swearing-in activities was their first-time experience of the music venue, but also of the hotels and restaurants nearby. OT: As a mom devoted to her career, do you have any advice for women who are not in traditional 9 to 5s, that have more demanding career paths and want to truly excel as leaders in their field and also be wonderful, hands-on moms? MB: I wish I was an expert, but I’m not. I’m doing the best that I can, and I suspect most people are. My biggest piece of advice is to give yourself a break and know that everything is not going to be perfect. Do the best you can and love your child and manage your time as best you can. I also try to protect our time together. When I have that scheduled time, I try not to let anything interfere with it. For more on the DC Cultural Plan, go to www.dcculturalplan.org. Learn about Mayor Bowser’s other initiatives at www.mayor.dc.gov and follow her on Instagram @mayor_bowser.

www.ontaponline.com | AUGUST 2019 | ON TAP



Andrew Trueblood

Brings Energy, Earnestness + Millennial Outlook to

DC Office of Planning By Monica Alford

Director Andrew Trueblood in Blagden Alley

There is an earnestness that exudes from Andrew Trueblood. The 36-year-old director of the DC Office of Planning (OP) – the first millennial tapped for that role by Mayor Muriel Bowser last November – has already made quite an impact on the city, garnering praise from his peers committed to preserving the cultural heartbeat of the District. With 15 years of city life and six of District government experience under his belt, he brings deep understanding of and affection for the nation’s capital to the table. Though his ultimate goal is to overcome the city’s growing housing gap and produce affordable housing across all wards, Director Trueblood is also an advocate for preserving the city’s authenticity through initiatives like those born from the first-ever DC Cultural Plan, released by Mayor Bowser in April. I sat down with him to dig into how being an “elder” millennial – his words, not mine – uniquely positions him to connect with the local community, how to tackle tougher issues impacting the city like gentrification, and his love of cycling, theatre and trying Michelin star restaurants. On Tap: How would you describe your experience running the DC Office of Planning thus far? What have been the biggest challenges? Successes? Andrew Trueblood: I’m excited to see Planning take the role that I think it ought to take given all of the challenges that we’re facing across the city. I’m excited to work closely not only with the Mayor but also be hand-in-hand with [other agencies]. Those connections have helped elevate our work and make sure that what we’re doing is aligning across the government but also achieving results that are important. We do have to think about all of these tradeoffs between growth and equity – between what we’re asking of residents and


ON TAP | AUGUST 2019 | www.ontaponline.com

Photo: Trent Johnson

what we need to get things done. Because we can take that broader view, we can provide other agencies the needed information for them to make long-term decisions that are moving us in the right direction. OT: So you get to be a little higher level and think big picture. AT: Yeah. What we’re trying to do is both [high-level] work, which is incredibly important, but then tie it to tangible deliverables that residents can feel. Some of that is by thinking about how we engage residents, but it’s also about continuously engaging, releasing intermediate results and findings. [For example], we’ve released a map, which shows where affordable housing is and is not in the city. As we find things, we want to keep sharing them and keep the conversation going. The beauty of the way that media works today is we can have that kind of ongoing dialogue with the community. OT: How does being director-level in District government as a millennial uniquely position you to support the city through the lens of younger professionals and city dwellers? AT: My goal is to be able to hear from, understand and articulate the needs and values of every resident. That is the mandate and it requires a degree of empathy. The other thing that is different in the workplace now than before is iterating [and] being okay with trying things and maybe failing. That idea of quicker turnarounds, iterating and building is something I’ve always found to be a valuable way of getting things done, and I’m trying to bring that to this office. OT: How do you connect with the local community to make sure you’re keeping a pulse on what’s happening and stay relatable? AT: What I’ve learned – actually more since I took this role than when

I was [Chief of Staff at the Deputy Mayor’s Office] – is a lot of people appreciate that I am accessible and available, and will listen and try and make the mechanics of government move. I am trained as a planner, I have a degree, I’ve been in the city for 15 years. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that I know all the things. I think being authentic and honest when I engage with residents or stakeholders is really at the base of how I’m trying to do this. I’ve gone out to groups that have been very critical of the Office of Planning. My goal is to be honest with them about what we want to try to do [and] try to find places of commonality that we can work together in. Sometimes, honesty means saying hard things or saying when we disagree. OT: How important is it to you to make those connections in the community and keep them, and how do you integrate that into your role and decision-making process in local government? AT: One thing I learned early in my public service career is often times, it’s very easy to say something that will make someone happy now but will make that official a liar in the future. [If I] say something now to take the heat off today but then in the future, people might feel like I was not honest with them. It’s more important to be honest today than to potentially lose that trust. So building that trust across the different groups I think is really important, especially in Planning where we are balancing all of these competing interests. OT: The District has changed so much in the past decade – we’re on the foodie map nationally, plays are coming here to make their pre-Broadway debuts, venues like The Anthem are opening. From the OP perspective, do you see anything problematic about how this impacts our economic landscape or do you view it as exciting and embrace the changes? AT: It is problematically good. The health of a city is about its ability to have amenities and grow and serve its residents. I think having good restaurants, entertainment and arts and culture is all critical. Our schools have improved over the last 15 years. Our [health care] facilities are top-notch. Our libraries are amazing. We as a city need to grow in order to utilize the infrastructure we have. We can control structures, but we cannot control souls. We can [choose] not to build things, but that doesn’t mean that people who have wealth won’t want to live in the city. If you have the same number of structures and more people with wealth coming in, that exacerbates gentrification. We need to figure out how we grow as a city. We have the chance to be very thoughtful about what growth and development look like. OT: Do you have concerns about DC becoming gentrified and upand-coming neighborhoods losing their heartbeat, affordability and accessibility of the locals as younger, wealthier professionals move in? How can the city combat that through OP initiatives? AT: I am very worried about housing costs and the ability for residents – especially low- and moderate-income residents, residents of color, longtime residents – to be able to keep their homes. Gentrification is a lot more challenging to discuss because it is multifaceted. We’re trying to produce 36,000 housing units by 2025 [and] we think 12,000 of those need to be subsidized. I worry that by focusing on a few neighborhoods, we lose sight that the forces happening are often broader. The discussion about gentrification could take us away from thinking [about] the programs and policies we need across the city. OT: What initiatives are you supporting or leading to create affordable housing options for locals? AT: The Mayor made the funding and programs around housing the cornerstone [of her first administration]. I think for [her] second term, [we’re] taking a step back and addressing some of these more systemic, structural questions. Why haven’t we been able to produce the housing across the income spectrum? How do we make sure our programs are aligned to produce the housing we need

Can’t Live Without Outdoor activities with family and friends My bike The District, especially its amazing arts and culture Coffee in the morning and nachos in the evening Podcasts and audiobooks from DC Public Library for the residents who need it most and what are those needs? We are working on a housing framework for equity and growth. We’re looking to see how we [can] address these housing needs in different parts of the city. OT: Walk me through your involvement with the DC Cultural Plan. Why do you view it as important to the city? AT: I think culture is [...] what makes a city what it is. It’s part of its DNA. I think recognizing culture as its own important value and concept is what this plan seeks to do and then also to build on that. I think that, as a touchstone, is really important. I think it’s also fascinating that this came out about a week before a lot of the #DontMuteDC protests started happening. There’s a two-page opening about black culture, for example, as an important piece of the city’s authenticity. I think as a broad statement, [preserving authenticity] is what the Cultural Plan is about. It’s stating why we are vibrant and a unique place and not just any other city. OT: What value do you think the plan’s funding recommendations bring to the city’s creative community? AT: There are some very tangible recommendations put in place around different ways to think about funding. I don’t think it was ever meant to say we shouldn’t use grants. Grants are obviously an important piece of any support for the arts. There are untapped resources that we can tap if we create these new programs, and so there were different loan funds proposed. I’m hoping that it’ll continue to be an important guiding document and help guide how we think about culture in the city and cultural investments. OT: Are there initiatives you’d like to pursue in the coming year that may not be on the public’s radar yet, but that you feel passionately about and would like to share? AT: The thing I spend the most mental energy on is housing. It touches everybody. I’m trying to help have a two-way conversation. Everyone has their own housing story [so we are] thinking about how we use those stories and experiences to drive our analysis and to drive our policies. It’s clear that there’s a deep housing gap. We’re not producing the housing [that we need to] as a growing city. If in the next six months, we can do things to think about how to overcome that gap and bend the curve of housing and affordable housing production, I think that’s the biggest win we could have. OT: What do you do for fun in DC when you aren’t working? AT: It’s amazing to see the growth of the food scene. I have my food tracker. I track how many of the Michelin star restaurants that I’ve been to, and that’s fun. The biggest thing I do outside of the office is cycling. I love long rides and seeing the world, but I also love riding around the city – whether it’s on a Capital Bikeshare or my city bike. I love the theatre scene in DC. I’m a Woolly Mammoth subscriber. I love Fringe. I love that Fringe is growing and bringing a whole other crew of people and interest to theatre. Stay in the loop with OP initiatives at www.planning.dc.gov and follow Director Trueblood on Twitter @atrueblood.

www.ontaponline.com | AUGUST 2019 | ON TAP



Jamilla Okub0 Delivers Powerful Message Through Variety of Mediums

By Trent Johnson Jamilla Okubo is a celebrated mixed-media artist fresh off her first solo exhibit “Ain’t going to tell you no story, Ain’t going to tell you no lie,” which concluded at Mehari Square on June 7. Though she described the lead up to her show as chaotic, her schedule hasn’t freed up much since. Okubo’s talents have already been on display in a variety of other places, ranging from this summer’s StoryMakers Festival at Carnegie Library to an illustration in O, The Oprah Magazine to commissioned drawings in several children’s books. In other words, she’s a busy woman. The majority of Okubo’s illustrations could themselves be considered “A Day in the Lives,” as they frequently feature young black women doing everyday things. Though the figures populating her work are colorless, pitch black and without faces, they unmistakably represent elements of the black experience. Drawing from influences in her own backyard to her family’s lineage in Kenya, the pieces are powerful yet graceful, and her use of color around the silhouettes is a masterwork of expression. We caught up with Okubo in a DC tea shop to discuss her illustrations, her upbringing as an artist and the significance of her work.


ON TAP | AUGUST 2019 | www.ontaponline.com

Photo: courtesy of Jamilla Okubo

WORK MUST-HAVES AIRPODS MUSIC PLAYLISTS FOR DIFFERENT VIBES SNACKS GOOD LIGHTING PAINT, MARKERS AND SKETCHBOOK On Tap: Have you always been fascinated by silhouettes? Jamilla Okubo: When I was at Parsons [School of Design], I majored in integrated design and my focus was fashion, but I could take other classes and tailor them to fashion. I had a class called “Love” and my professor had us figure out what our purpose was, what were we investigating. I went back to themes I was exploring at [the] Duke [Ellington School of the Arts]. I still loved fashion illustrations, so I wanted to tie those in. I started taking some of my favorite fashion magazines and began blacking out the models. I was studying how you can display emotions through pose or posture. OT: It’s a prominent feature in a lot of your work. What was it like the first time you used that aesthetic? JO: It was exciting. I wanted to use it as a tool to create positive representation of black people, so then I started changing their features – maybe making their lips a little larger [and] making them more obvious. I took that and started illustrating with patterns [in the background], looking at African fashion that I was inspired by. OT: Was it a natural decision to make them completely black? JO: I have thought about experimenting with using other colors like purple or orange. I’ve done it once, but you could say it was mostly monochromatic. I was scared. I feel like it evokes a different emotion when you use different colors. OT: What is your process like? What’s the difference between doing a project for a client and creating your own piece? JO: My process for both is pretty similar: I start with a theme. I’ll come up with a color palette, figure out how I want to express that theme and mock up different ways of showcasing what I’m trying to say. OT: What’s it like collaborating with authors on children’s books? JO: It’s been liberating because most of them gave me complete freedom to do whatever I want. They’ll send me a manuscript and I’ll ask if they have an aesthetic and they’ll just answer, “You.” It scares me, because what if it’s not that good? OT: What are the struggles you face with that? JO: [With] the book that I’m finishing up right now, I had a hard time coming up with concepts. It’s a book about African folktales, and the stories are really complex. Some of them are dark. Just coming up with concepts sometimes can be the most difficult. OT: Describe your first artistic memory. JO: It was definitely elementary school. Early on, I had a really good art teacher and she had us always doing some crazy projects. My mom said I used to always paint pictures, and she noticed something about the way I used colors.

OT: What kinds of things were you drawing? JO: People – probably me, my mom and my grandmother. Family or scenery or animals. I remember being obsessed with cheetahs. OT: Was your family one to put things on the fridge? JO: My mom was because she went to grad school for photography, but she didn’t finish. I think that’s a huge influence in how I got into art because she also went to Howard University for television production. When I was younger, she’d take me to classes and use me as a little actress in her films. OT: What steps did you take to push forward with your career path in the arts? JO: At a young age, I just really wanted to do art. I don’t know if I was focused on a skillset. I just wanted to make pretty pictures. By the time I was in high school, maybe sophomore or junior year, I knew I had to take it seriously. I transferred [to the Duke Ellington School of the Arts] my junior year. That’s where I got my foundation training in drawing, painting and graphic design. OT: When did you start crafting your aesthetic? JO: [The Duke Ellington School of the Arts] was really big on empowering a lot of the young black students. I had a great art history teacher, and he introduced us to black contemporary art and other worldly artists. I realized I could make artwork about my identity. I started looking into African fashion. I’m really into patterns and I wanted to design my own patterns, and that was a way for me to explore the themes of my work. I try to think about the African diaspora as a whole. I wanted to know more about where my dad is from – Kenya – because I grew up with my mom, so I didn’t know much about the culture there. I thought that looking at art and fashion would help me connect. OT: Do you feel like your art is more important now in this political climate? JO: I feel like it always has been. There are always political things going on. I think it’s a small portion of the grander scale of making sure women of color and black women feel empowered. Using art as a tool of empowerment is important. It’s a visual reminder that you are accepted and beautiful. For more information or to see her work, visit Okubo’s website at www.jamillaokubo.co and follow her on Instagram @jamillaokubo and Twitter @vivaIllajams.




DC’s Kelly Mixed-Media


Photos: Trent Johnson

Towles By Trent Johnson

“It’s like a cave in here. It’s quiet and dark, and I get to just go nuts. This is my world.” Kelly Towles is giving a tour of his O Street lair. The mixed-media artist is completely at home, donning an all black outfit consisting of a POW! WOW! Shirt, black shorts and a backward cap, which makes him look like a retired skateboarder. His studio space is a candyland for artists; there are 3D printers carving away at black blocks of plastic, a brick wall mimicking DC alleyways carrying his takes on Japanese subway graffiti and a warehouse backroom with literally hundreds of spray paint canisters. In its corners you’ll find neatly shelved sculptures, hanging LED neon signs and unopened boxes of, presumably, art materials sitting on tables. The homegrown DC creator spends six days a week here, bouncing from project to project, painting, sculpting, breaking, fixing, designing, thinking and, if there’s time, eating. “There’s nobody that tells me what to do, besides my wife,” Towles says. “No one is saying make this or that. I come up with my own direction and my own drive, and it’s awesome, but it’s also very selfish. If I want to paint purple elephants for the rest of my life, that’s what I want to do, but I wouldn’t be able to do it without the support of my community.” Towles references his relationship with the District multiple times over the course of an hour. This is not lip service. His murals decorate several corners of the city, for private and public entities. He’s the creative director for DC’s iteration of POW! WOW!, a two week mural fest every May. If not for his relationship to the city where he initially dipped his toe in graffiti, he knows he wouldn’t have a studio of his own. He wouldn’t be traveling to Los Angeles for a gallery in November. He wouldn’t hop on a plane to Japan for inspiration. Hell, he might not even be an artist. “I love DC. I really love the city. I love working here.”


ON TAP | AUGUST 2019 | www.ontaponline.com

Grafitti, Metal + anime Towles’ childhood years were spent in Australia, where he was surrounded by a desert landscape. Sitting on one of his black couches, he recounts influences from those early years: the slapstick silliness of Monty Python and anime characters like Astro Boy, but he was most captivated by metal music’s go-to illustrator Brian Schroeder, aka Pushead, known for his graphic depictions of cartoonish ghouls and iconic skulls. “I think for me, the real intrigue where I remember art affecting my life was album covers,” Towles says. “His stuff really engaged me into that type of art. I was a weird kid anyways, it’s what I invested my time in. I was never doing sports or anything like that.” In 1988, his family moved to DC. Fast forward a few years and you could find the teenage Towles spray painting buildings under the cover of darkness. Though he claims his first forays into street art were “terrible,” the concept of beautifying his new home with goofy characters via paint were unshakeable. “[My career in art] happened organically,” Towles says. “When I was studying for my BFA at [the University of ] Maryland, I’d always fall back to characters and spray paint, graffiti. I had a funny moment at my final show when a professor told me, ‘These are cute but they’ll never sell.’ That professor was wrong. After years of supplementing his art via bartending or graphic design gigs, so many people were pitching him projects and buying his work that eventually he had to make his craft his full time job, ie obsession. “Working with Apple, NPR, the National Zoo, across the board, I’m having a ‘What the f--k? This is amazing’ feeling,” he says. “You have to kill yourself. You have to bust your ass. There’s no advice I can give other than bust your ass. Constantly work, because if you don’t, it shows. I have five shows coming up, and even if I didn’t, I’d make a show just so I’d have something to work toward.”

Experimentation + Implementation Anyone can say “work hard” or “bust ass,” but these are so often overused catch phrases that don’t mean an iota without quantifiable evidence. However, when Towles throws these edicts around in his studio, it’s palpable. His work is tangible, physical and apparent. You can walk to several buildings in NoMa and literally peer up at giant pieces he’s had two hands in. Before unboxing canvases, plugging tools or breaking down materials, he busts ass searching for a theme of inspiration. A through line that connects a series of sculptures or murals, an unmistakable fascination. “It’s always a project on experimentation,” Towles says as he pulls out sculptures from a collection of boxes that were resting in a rolling crate. “Just attack. Come up with a narrative. A lot of young artists ask me how I do it, and I tell them to just pick one theme to build a show around. If you’re really into Golden Girls, go with that.” A lot of artwork adorning walls on all sides in his studio are linked by his adoration for Japanese culture. Through a Crunchyroll subscription, visits to Singapore and China, and trips to Tokyo over the past four years, you can see the narrative Towles is fixated on. The sculptures he’s prepared for November’s Los Angeles show include Air Jordans made of ramen noodles, a take on Japanese manholes and a curry rice skull. His spirited artwork has also garnered a reputation for him locally, allowing him to avoid solely relying on individual pieces to bring home the bacon. He’s been approached by bars, restaurants and corporate companies throughout the city, as clients are drawn to his unique thematics.

“You have to kill yourself. You have to bust your ass. There’s no advice I can give other than bust your ass. Constantly work, because if you don’t, it shows.” “I love it when people want my work,” Towles says. “It’s a hard line, there are commissions where people want me to do a luxury pattern, but what I’ll do is create a character to be enveloped by that pattern.” The characters he’s referencing appear in a majority of murals, paintings and illustrations. Their appearance is what I can only describe as a cross between the Gorillaz cartoons fused with anime’s penchant for unbridled personification, each carrying features unique to Towles’ sensibilities as a creator. “I try to keep my mind open about everything,” Towles says. “I know I’m not a photorealistic artist. I love playing to my strengths, which are sloppy, fast and positive.”

DC Embraces Street Art “It was the wild, wild West,” Towles says, describing the city’s graffiti scene in the 90s. “I’m just happy to be a contributor. In the early 2000s, there were eight or nine galleries on 14th Street and you’d jump to like ten different shows. There’s always been an artsy community, but then the recession hit and it kind of dissipated a bit.” Towles talks about DC’s scene with a gleam in his eye. It’s a point of pride for him to involve the city in any capacity when discussing art and the inspiration behind his works. The city has gone through ebbs and flows of triumph and turmoil, but creatives will always inhabit the District. “Public art and installations are on the rise, but to do those big giant pieces, you need investments,” Towles says. “It’s becoming more prevalent here because people have proven that it works. Think about the Beach exhibit at the Building Museum, it brought in droves of people.” Early in his career, Towles collaborated with artist Jasper Wong, the founder of the first ever POW! WOW! in his native state of Hawaii. The 2011 festival built on public murals and installations proved a slamdunk success, which allowed it to spread across the globe, from Tokyo to Taipei to DC, where Towles has pulled strings as creative director since 2014. “It’s great because it’s accessible to everyone,” Towles says. “People know it’s there every year, people plan trips based around it. It blows my mind that people are willing to do that for murals.” Planning for POW! WOW! is a year-round task, as securing spaces in NoMa and funding for each year’s diverse group of artists takes a tremendous amount of work. Like all concepts Towles attaches himself to, he busts his ass, grits his teeth and gets to work, all to contribute toward uplifting DC. “Murals are visual messages, and nine times out of 10 if you put something shitty up there about death, doom and gloom, it’s not going to do it,” Towles says. “I want to do something that people will come back to. That’s a cool thing to make someone visually understand.” To follow along with Towles creative exploits, visit www.kellytowles.com and follow him on social media @kellytowles. For more information about POW! WOW!, visit www.powwowworldwide.com.

www.ontaponline.com | AUGUST 2019 | ON TAP



Provides Safe Space + Creative Platform for Black Women By Monica Alford

to champion women of color and their accomplishments – but also challenge them by digging into substantive content and getting real. Over the past year, GIRLAAA has expanded from throwing women-centric parties around the city to hosting 15 killer events including three activations at the Hirshhorn, creating a biweekly podcast recorded at Eaton and coworking space 202Creates, and growing their tightknit crew to include visual artists, DJs, producers, hosts, programmers and more. Each one-hour episode of the “1-800-GIRLAAA” podcast includes interviews with local luminaries and a DJ set highlighting edgy sounds from strong women. Glass, a marketing and outreach guru, Garder, an ethically sourced jewelry consultant and documentary filmmaker, and Milton, a full-time musician with an artist development side hustle, walked me through what the collective means to them, why supporting the area they grew up in is critical, and why smoking a joint with Rihanna would be lit. On Tap: What was the evolution from events to the “1-800-GIRLAAA” podcast? Nicole Garder: Dominique [Wells] was the creator of GIRLAAA, and she reached out to women in different creative spaces to come together. We started out as a party and then from that, we saw an even bigger need to give a platform to all women in creative spaces. Kelcie Glass: Then the podcast was born from that. We were doing GIRLAAA activations. Eaton reached out to us before we even thought about doing a podcast and said, “Hey, we want GIRLAAA to do a podcast here.” Nicole had a lot of production [and] programming experience. I do too, and I can also host. Marlee can DJ and also host really well. We record in multiple spaces now, but it was born from being asked just based on the premise of the collective.

Marlee Milton, Kelcie Glass and Nicole Garder

The subtle nuances of pronunciation never cease to amaze me. I’m sitting across from Kelcie Glass, Nicole Garder and Marlee Milton as they take turns saying the colloquialism that inspired their collective’s name. “Girlaaa” is a common greeting in the District, one generally used to express excitement. But Glass quickly points out that it can also have a “Girl, chill” vibe with just the slightest variance in tone. And just like its name, GIRLAAA’s ethos follows suit. While chatting with one-third of the nine-piece group’s powerhouse of talented women at Eaton Hotel’s flagship restaurant American Son, it becomes quickly apparent to me that every action the collective takes is meant


ON TAP | AUGUST 2019 | www.ontaponline.com

OT: What was your original goal in hosting the parties? Who did you want to bring together? KG: It started as having a safe space for women, and we also wanted to highlight women of color who don’t always get a Photo: Trent Johnson platform to show their talents. The party was cool but now we can do different interviews [and] live events with the podcast, [and have] real substantive conversations. Our most recent party was on the rooftop of Eaton for Women’s History Month, and that was crazy. OT: What percentage of your focus now is on the podcast versus hosting events? NG: I would say we want to focus on both, with the emphasis on the podcast and doing live events. It’s really about engaging people online but also doing that in real life.

OT: How do you pick the music for each episode? Marlee Milton: Really, I just go with the vibe. I know our regular sets and parties are really centered around women in music and just that strong sound – like how Insecure has those really edgy, catchy, striking songs from women – that’s something I really try to hone in on. Just a good vibe, a good time. OT: What’s the creative process for picking your guests? NG: It’s really figuring out what’s happening in our local community and then branching out toward the entertainment topics [affecting] women of color. That’s our target audience. We have different segments focusing on who is really inspiring us – women in power. It’s very important to use our platform to share with other people, and that’s also how we go about finding talent to [have] those deeper conversations. KG: We hadn’t even started yet and [journalist and former Wizards cohost] Gia Peppers was like, “Yeah, I want to come on and do it.” We had Janea West [on the show]. She has this [DC-based] web series called Grown, which is really, really great. Nicole and I just went to Essence Fest where we popped up on Lena Waithe and AlunaGeorge. We’ll go where needed, especially if we have really great content. These women are huge right now. The concept is a good enough pitch for people to really engage with us. OT: Any guests you’re dying to have on? NG: People with big, expansive personalities and bringing those people to our local community, which is so important for me. KG: I would say Tracee Ellis Ross [and] NAO. Obviously, Rihanna. I just want to smoke some weed with Rihanna and talk shit. NG: Same. [laughs] KG: I think she’d be down with the concept, too. That would be lit. MM: I really want to speak to a lot of the independent women in the industry and a lot of the black pop and black punk artists [who are] women. I really want to get their perspective and process and experience. OT: What about a local guest, maybe someone under the radar? NG: I would love to have a conversation with April George of April + VISTA. I love the texture of her voice, but also she’s really focused on the issues that are happening in the DC space in terms of supporting creatives and what that really looks like. KG: I’m leaning a little more political. I know some young women of color who are running for local office, but also national figures who are located here. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez follows us on Instagram because she saw our installation that included pieces of her by [visual artist, illustrator, animator and GIRLAAA member] Trap Bob. I would love to sit down with her and have a conversation. Also, I would like to bring the Mayor [on for a] women-centric conversation, but also just [to ask her] about what she thinks about the culture of DC right now and its trajectory and what we can do to build legislation around maintaining it. OT: What about event wish lists? What’s a space you think could really be a good platform or bring in the right people to highlight your mission? KG: A lot of the spaces that we’ve been coming into have been to bring in this energy. They realize that they are lacking or have a void in terms of black women or creatives in their spaces. We are in talks with some major theaters right now. It’d be fun to do a podcast and then a party afterwards [at 9:30 Club]. NG: In the film sphere of things, definitely a screening, having those conversations with the directors. NG: I would also love to do a women’s conference, specifically. KG: A conference would be great. A women-centric one would be really cool – and regularly, annually. I would also want to venture into

GIRLAAA MUST-HAVES Great energy Creative women in our circle Tenacity Bold personalities Dedication to feminism Love + appreciation for the native DMV culture

more of the political space. We’re potentially supporting a cannabiscentric event coming up in September that is about recreational cannabis, but also the business of that and how black and brown people get into those conversations. OT: What goals do you have for GIRLAAA – both the podcast and the scope of events – in the next year? Do you view it as more of a creative outlet or a transition to where you want to be full-time? KG: We definitely want to travel more and connect with people in different cities. [And] more robust programming with larger artists. I think that’s feasible, it’s just the time and energy. [If we were] full-time, we could actually do more robust things and have these big artists come and do a whole weekend of events and things like that. MM: I definitely see us being the go-to group for bringing our perspective and audience to events and programming in general. I really want to see a GIRLAAA festival. To me, all of us have come together for this mission and it’s full-time already even though we’re juggling so many things. NG: That’s what I love most about the collective: if one person is there, we’re all there. OT: How did you come up with the name? What does it mean to each of you? KG: Girlaaa is a slang in DC. Let Marlee say it. MM: Girlaaa. It’s like, a greeting in a way. KG: It can be a greeting. It’s basically like, “Girl, chill,” or “Girl, yes.” Either way, it depends on the context. NG: It’s all about the tone. KG: It depends on the context and the tone. OT: What context and tone do you prefer? MM: Excited, sisterly, hyping you up… KG: I like the more questionable one. [All laugh] The GIRLAAA collective is definitely the hype energy one. OT: What are some of your favorite things to do in DC when you’re not working or podcasting? MM: Dance. I love to dance [at] U Street Music Hall, Eighteenth Street Lounge, Velvet Lounge, Cloak & Dagger, Sotto – so many places. KG: I like to go to concerts [at] 9:30, Anthem, U Hall. I love concerts and music – very music-centric. NG: I would say definitely concerts but also being one with nature. I spend a lot of time in Georgetown, so kayaking and paddleboarding. Listen to the “1-800-GIRLAAA” podcast at www.mixcloud.com/GIRLAAA. Learn more about GIRLAAA at www.domo.world/girlaaa and follow the collective on Instagram @girlaaa.world.

www.ontaponline.com | AUGUST 2019 | ON TAP




DC sweethearts Tommy McFly and Kelly Collis are in their eighth year of friendship, and their infectious morning banter is bringing vibrance and fun to the city in a new way. When The Tommy Show abruptly ended last fall after seven years on air at 94.7 Fresh FM, the tech-savvy Collis and McFly created an app for hosting the show to continue spreading real fun in the District. Since late February, they’ve been broadcasting live every weekday morning at 7 a.m. from Collis’ home studio in Cathedral Heights. McFly, also a contributor at NBC4, has hosted some of DC’s most fun-filled events like DC Field Day and the White House Easter Egg Roll, where Michelle Obama asked him to be the first person in U.S. history to emcee the event. Collis has also been active around the city at buzzworthy events like Cosmo Couture at the National Cathedral. We talked with McFly and Collis about their comeback in broadcast, their individual passions, and how they’ve positively impacted the city in major ways – both on and off the mic. On Tap: How would you describe The Tommy Show’s brand to folks who might not know about it? Tommy McFly: We like to think of ourselves as real fun DC. We like to be all things Washington. We broadcast around the Beltway and beyond. DC’s our home base and it will always be that way. We really like to think of ourselves as the true and authentic local voice in a city that doesn’t have a lot of fun all the time, and also has media content – especially on the audio side – that’s piped in from other cities who don’t necessarily understand our city and our region. Kelly Collis: We also like to be part of the community – not just using the microphone, but literally [to] be part [of what’s happening]. Whether it’s [hosting] 5Ks [for charity] or working with Arlington National Cemetery during Wreaths Across America, we really like to get involved and not sit behind the microphone. OT: How did you cope with having your show taken off the air? TM: Not a week goes by that we don’t see somebody in the wild who listened to us on the radio and they’re like, “Whatever happened


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to you?” Every day, we have this adventure of getting to tell people where we are now, where we’ve been and how they can reconnect with us. I’ve taken so many phones [and downloaded the app for people]. OT: How did you keep momentum going and recover with this amazing new opportunity? TM: We really actually give a shit, to be honest. I got my start on radio in Scranton, Pennsylvania, which is a small town. You meet the Photo: Hayleything Olivenbaum people that listen, and they know you, and we did the same in DC. I think that’s why we were successful because in a town like Washington, people know when you’re BSing, and I hope people understood that we were not. We’re here and we take being a productive member of the community seriously. KC: When we went off the air, we did a bunch of gatherings of gratitude all around Maryland and Virginia to reunite with our Tommy Show fam we’ve built over the years. We believed when we were on the radio that [by] being part of the community, you actually had to be active. I’m a native Washingtonian and it’s an honor to be on the radio in my hometown and reconnect with the community that I grew up in, and I really take that seriously. It’s an incredible opportunity.



Portable recorder

Cold brew

Bose headphones

Extra battery charger

Google Docs

Burt’s Bees


Chevy Chase Acura RDX


Barry’s Bootcamp

OT: What are some unexpected benefits of this new format? TM: We love just diving in when we hear a certain need. That’s what’s so great about what we now do digitally: we can activate [when] things pop up. We have our things we do year-round and every year, but when we hear about things like families in need or a cool initiative, we can jump on it and help, which is our favorite thing to do. OT: Are there any recurring events near and dear to The Tommy Show that you’re looking forward to continuing with? KC: For eight years now – and we will continue it – we visit teachers all around the DC area. We partner with Georgetown Cupcake. We like to surprise the teachers and show them appreciation. We call it our Teacher Tour. Throughout the year, we’ll find teachers who tell us an awesome story or [about] something going on in their community, and it’s just an easy way to show them that we appreciate them. TC: Best Buddies is a huge one, too. I love serving as chairman of Virginia and DC. We’ve tripled the programs in DC, and we’ve started welcoming elementary school chapters into the fold of inclusion. The Friendship Walk is coming up in October. That’s always huge. We just won an award for Best Buddies in the Beltway region for being the biggest walk [out of ] all the Best Buddies around the country. We have over 3,000 people on the Mall for a day of friendship and fun. OT: Tommy, tell us about your work with NBC4 and how you balance that with the show. Is there any overlap? TM: It’s been awesome, and it’ll be three years in October. They’ve accepted me, Kelly and the show. NBC4 is our weather partner on the app, so Storm Team4 powers our weather. We have a new franchise called “The Scene” that focuses on the uplifting, fun events – in-the-know sort of stuff around the region. I get to be the lead correspondent on that. What we do with “The Scene” and The Tommy Show, it all overlaps. We try to be that bright, fun spot in the media.




Alchimie Forever face cream iPhone Red wine

Coffee iPhone Portable microphone Moleskine notebook filled with big ideas, random thoughts + to-do lists

Netflix // Hulu // Apple TV

La Croix

OT: For being as busy as you both are, what else have you been spending time on this summer outside of work? KC: I love going to paddleboard. I’ve been finding different places around DC, and I love to do that with my husband for exercise over the summer. And of course, Nats [games are] a big theme in our summertime routine. TM: I have a new puppy [and] his name is Cotoc. We lost Chip McFly in June and I think this puppy found my husband on the Internet. We adopted him in late June and he’s just a big, floppy ragdoll of love, so that’s been a lot of time spent on puppy raising. Catch McFly and Collis broadcasting live on weekdays at 7 a.m. or listen to the show any time of day while it’s on repeat via the app. The Tommy Show app is available for download on Google Play and iTunes. Learn more at www.thetommyshow.com.


VISIT TommyShow.com TO LISTEN www.ontaponline.com | AUGUST 2019 | ON TAP



By M.K. Koszycki

Aaron Claxton and Jamie Lynn

Photos: Trent Johnson

Jamie Lynn and Aaron Claxton are something of a dream team. With a bevy of talented stylists – ones who put their art and customer care first – the co-owners opened The Shop at Shaw in 2018. In the year they’ve been open, the team has cultivated a different kind of salon environment. Cuts are genderless, the salon is receptionless, and creativity and inclusion are just as important as making sure you leave with a style that reflects your individuality. We chatted with Claxton (better known as AC) and Lynn about what makes their salon so pioneering, their passion for hair, and how they hope to encourage positive change and lead by example in the world of hair and beyond through their business. On Tap: What first drew each of you to hair? AC: As a kid, I always cut hair – like in my basement. I was in a lot of rock bands, so I did a lot of mohawks and some weird design stuff. My mom said I couldn’t live in the basement and play the guitar and not go to school or work. So, I walked into the [hair] salon where my girlfriend then – wife now – was getting her hair done because she was a hair model for a show. I looked around and was like, “These people are like me.” They’re listening to music. There’s this cool vibe. They’re not behind the desk – they’re being social, they’re being creative. I started sweeping the floor there the next weekend and continued to work on music, and then obviously just focused on the hair. Jamie Lynn: My background is actually in art and I love everything aesthetically pleasing. I have a very visual eye, and I am very creative. I just kind of segued into hair. I always wanted to do it. I really like makeup [and] everything from fashion, so I just pushed myself and made myself do it. I was running a beauty salon out of my college bathroom. I thought I had another career in mind but then I was like, “Oh wait, I think I like this a lot.” OT: How did you come together to open The Shop at Shaw? AC: We came together because I had already found the space. I was building it out and ready to go. I was looking for someone to be my right hand – someone who could be down here all the time to kind of run the show, which is what Jamie does. Two of my best buddies from high school [the Wilder brothers] own two restaurants here in Shaw: Chaplin’s and Zeppelin. They used to come to me for years. But then


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once they got super busy down here, they started seeing Jamie. I was looking for someone [to work with] and they told me, “You’ve got to meet this lady.” So, we went and got a drink. JL: I had a vision of shaking things up – changing and curating things into a new idea of what a business behind hair would be. We’re receptionless [and] genderless. We let people run their own business within ours and we are all artists first, so everybody that we hire is an artist. Anything that anybody can bring to the table in that regard moves us forward.



Hattori Hanzo shears

My wife Erin

Work apron

My three kids Colette, Charlie + Maeve

Wahl 5-Star Cordless Magic Clip clippers

Recording studio

My amazing crew


My amazing work environment

Boat + fishing gear

OT: Tell me more about the services you offer, especially the genderless cuts. Why was it important to you to set up your services this way? JL: The biggest thing [with] the genderless [cut] is looking a little bit at the pink tax, [and] knowing that this was one of the last things that was acceptable for a woman to be charged more for – no matter the length of her hair or the length of time it took. It’s a no-brainer. We actually based it on the length of time it takes to do your hair. We’re kind of forgiving in any area when people book wrong – we just have to re-educate them. So saying, “This is actually what it means to cut medium-length hair, so it’s a medium-length appointment.” But it could also still be a long appointment. I tell people that have two inches of hair [but still] want to spend some extra time with me to book a long appointment. OT: Do you find people are more comfortable with genderless services and feel empowered to embrace styles that truly make them feel like themselves? JL: We definitely have targeted a very gender-neutral clientele. It’s really rewarding the first time you see somebody that got to book a medium haircut and they identify as they. AC: It’s pretty rad, and as Jamie said, just a no-brainer. It’s just fair.

everyone’s looking at me. My hair is not done. Do they notice my roots?” Just more, “Oh, I actually belong.”




Listerine strips

A solid true crime podcast // documentary

IGK Jet Lag Dry Shampoo A good Spotify playlist Interesting humans Lysol

Cheese Glitter Honda Ruckus Fluffy animals

Follow The Shop at Shaw on Instagram @theshopatshaw and learn more at www.theshopatshaw.com. The Shop at Shaw: 1924 8th St. #145, NW, DC; 202-265-7467; www.theshopatshaw.com

OT: Getting your hair done is both personal and an art form. How do you help your clients express themselves when it comes to hair? AC: Part of it has to come naturally. Not everybody’s cut out for this. You can give some guidelines to people and you can get guidelines from people about what’s okay to talk about what’s not okay to talk about – What do you bring up? What do you leave out? – but I think 90 percent of it is you. JL: I think it’s communication – having a clear understanding and building a relationship with trust. Make sure that you’re on the same page before you actually go in and touch somebody. Your head is a very intimate area. It’s also just admitting when something’s not your skillset. That’s how we end up really working as a team. Not everyone’s strong on the same thing. Even though it’s considered one industry, we all have different areas within that industry. OT: What’s been the most unexpected thing you’ve experienced since you got your start in this field? AC: Just how great everyone’s done in the first year. I am proud of Jamie and myself and our staff. Also, just the amount of love we got from the neighborhood right off the bat. I knew people would grow to like us, but it was like instantaneous love and it’s been awesome. JL: I came from Logan Circle and I was there for seven years, and not a single person in the neighborhood knew my name. Before we even opened here, this entire neighborhood was so receptive and knew our names and couldn’t wait for us to open. It’s more of a community feel. Everyone was like, “We want to partner with you [and] see what we can do for you” and we were like, “Is this the city?” OT: What is your hope for the future of hair, both as a business and how people approach their individual styles? JL: I would like for it to grow to be more inclusive [and] more wellknown for the art behind it and what it actually takes to become a great artist behind the chair. AC: More inclusive with more safe and creative spaces. We got more involved with not just the art of doing hair but music, painting and all kinds of creative stuff. JL: Instead of just going in to have an appointment, a lot of our guests come in earlier. We have free Wi-Fi and a bar that sets up where you can put your laptop while your hair is processing. We partnered with DC Brau so we always have a keg on tap. People will grab a beer and just chill out. It has a little bit more of that hipster, “Oh, I actually belong here” feeling instead of feeling like, “Oh God, I’m here and www.ontaponline.com | AUGUST 2019 | ON TAP


NEW & NOTABLE By Lani Furbank

Prima dishes // Photo: Jennifer Chase

On Tap keeps locals in the know about the hottest new food and drink spots around town and the top culinary happenings of the month. Read on to get the inside scoop on what’s new and notable in the DC area.


Open: May 20 Location: Shaw Lowdown: The mother-son chef duo behind popular Laotian restaurants Thip Khao, Padaek and Sen Khao have opened a fourth concept, this one with a more playful vibe. Named for a mischievous monkey deity, Hanumanh is where chefs Seng Luangrath and Bobby Pradachith can let their creativity run free. It’s designed to evoke Laotian night life vibes, like the bustling markets that light up after dark. The tiki bar is the heart of the petite restaurant, with a few tables and ample bar seating. There’s also a spacious outdoor patio in the back surrounded by greenery and shaded by umbrellas. Inside and out, the space is bursting with color, from the intricate monkey murals on the walls to the fresh and bright ingredients on the plates. The small menu changes frequently, but mainstays include a banana blossom salad, red coconut crab curry and tapioca dumplings filled with a savory caramel of salted radish, pork and peanuts. Drinks are ideal for quenching thirst after spicy bites. A popular favorite is the Hanumanh: banana-infused Lao whiskey, brown butter condensed milk, passionfruit, vanilla and mango served in a cheeky monkey cup. When you go, note that the restaurant does not take reservations. 1604 7th St. NW, DC; www.hanumanh.com


ON TAP |AUGUST 2019 | www.ontaponline.com

Patsy’s American + Randy’s Prime Seafood & Steaks

Open: May 31 and July 30 Location: Tysons Corner Lowdown: Great American Restaurants are an institution in Northern Virginia, and now the group has opened two restaurants honoring the institutions behind the empire. Patsy and Randy Norton are the namesakes for Patsy’s American and Randy’s Prime Seafood & Steaks, housed in the towering red-brick GAR Complex in Tysons Corner. Patsy’s is a nostalgic ode to the company, bringing back customer favorites from the various restaurants over the years. The menu feels familiar, with raw bar platters, salads, sandwiches, seafood, meats and pastas. The space is modeled after an old-fashioned train station, with skylights, green ironwork and a classic station clock. Two murals – one of a carnival scene and another of celebrities and famous faces – add a touch of whimsy. Next door, Randy’s is dedicated to premium cuts of meat and seafood served in sophisticated surrounds. Dishes like oven-roasted branzino and a lobster-crab cake with lobster beurre blanc stand out. After your meal at either spot, you can walk a few steps to the new Best Buns Bakery & Café for desserts like milkshakes, cookies and cupcakes (or some fresh bread to take home). 8051 Leesburg Pike, Vienna, VA; www.patsysamerican.com and www.randysprime.com


SweetWater Brewing Company • Atlanta, Georgia • SweetWaterBrew.com 420 Strain Series is an olfactory experience for sure, but there is no actual THC or CBD in this beer. Please enjoy responsibly.

Photo: Lani Furbank

Double Deckers in Marshall

Photo: courtesy of Buena Vida Social Club

Open: May 29 Location: Bethesda Lowdown: Known for hearty Italian comfort food, chef Michael Schlow wanted to show guests a lighter side of the cuisine with his first foray into fast casual. Prima’s bowls are rooted in the Mediterranean diet, with staples like whole grains, olive oil, roasted vegetables, seafood and lean meats. Incidentally, everything is gluten-free, and there are plenty of vegetarian and vegan options. Guests can choose to customize their own bowl with greens or grains, house-made dressings, antipasti-style veggies and legumes, proteins, dips and spreads and crunchy

toppings. You can also leave your meal in the hands of Schlow and his culinary director, Ed Scarpone. Options include chef-crafted bowls like the della nonna with meatballs or the vegan ortolana with broccoli, roasted baby carrots, sweet peas, black lentils, tri-color quinoa, marinated baby artichokes, wild mushrooms, Calabrian chile and red pepper spread and balsamic vinaigrette. The ingredients are sourced locally when possible, with an emphasis on sustainability. The space feels more like a full-service restaurant than fast casual, with glass garage doors, wood accents and dangling greenery reminiscent of al fresco dining in an Italian village. 7280 Woodmont Ave. Bethesda, MD; www.craveprima.com

Buena Vida Social Club

ON TAP |AUGUST 2019 | www.ontaponline.com

Naem Khao Kob

Photo: courtesy of Prima


Photo: Lani Furbank Photo: courtesy of Patsy’s American


Surryano Ham


Photo: courtesy of Hanumanh

Shilling Canning Company

Open: July 10 Location: The Yards Lowdown: From 1935 to 1958, Shilling Canning Company was a family business selling canned produce in Finksburg, Maryland. Six decades later, Reid Shilling is paying homage to his heritage with a restaurant by the same name. Shilling began his career working with chef Thomas Keller at Bouchon Bistro on the west coast, but soon returned to his mid-Atlantic roots. He cooked at The Dabney for a year before deciding to open his own restaurant with his wife, Sara Quinteros-Shilling. The tavern-style restaurant is centered around an open kitchen that features a copper-clad wood-burning oven, a raw bar and a chef’s counter. The design takes after the original canning facility, with floor-to-ceiling windows, whitewashed brick, dark woods, white shiplap and vintage cans on display. A charcuterie aging room, glass wine storage and a soon-to-be greenery-enclosed patio accent the space. The planter boxes on the patio grow myriad herbs, edible flowers and small produce like cucumbers, tomatoes and hearty varieties of kiwis which are used to garnish and accent dishes and drinks. The Chesapeake-centric menu changes daily, but always incorporates local, seasonal ingredients and preservation techniques from his family business. Current highlights include small plates like honey cakes topped with benne butter and Surryano ham and Chesapeake rockfish with fennel, red potatoes, potato rouille and spicy tomato broth, as well as large plates like dry-aged Rettland duck crown with duck confit boudin, beets, preserved plums and black walnuts. 360 Water St. SE, DC; www.shillingcanning.com

Buena Vida Social Club

Location: Clarendon Lowdown: The final piece of La Esquina de Clarendon is complete with the opening of the Buena Vida Social Club. Led by Ivan Iricanin of Street Guys Hospitality, the three-level corner houses TTT Mexican Diner, Buena Vida and now the open-air resort-style club on the top floor. The rooftop channels Acapulco, Mexico with bright shades of aqua and mauve, a lounge area, tropical and frozen cocktails (featuring agave and sugar cane spirits), low-ABV options, casual fare and build-your-own tacos. The space is open for drinks and dinner, as well as brunch on the weekends. On Thursday through Saturday nights, a DJ will be spinning. 2900 Wilson Blvd. third floor, Arlington, VA; www.buenavidasocial.club

Photos: Kimchi Photography

Double Deckers in Marshall

Every Friday night home game at Nationals Park is best spent on the Budweiser Terrace. As the Nationals warmed up on July 26, fans enjoyed music from Justin Trawick & The Common Good.

Location: Marshall Lowdown: The main drag in this charming Virginia town is giving new meaning to the term party bus. Two big red antique double decker buses have parked themselves in the middle of the action and are open for business, serving up picnic-style eats and local wine. Johnny Monarch’s is a “bustaurant” owned by chef Brian Lichorowic, who named the business after the pen name his father used to write love letters during WWII. The menu offers sandwiches, classic savory pies and modern takes on TV dinners. Much of the produce used in the kitchen comes from Lichorowic’s hydroponic growing systems operating nearby. The Bubble Decker brings the booze, operated by Cave Ridge Vineyard from Mount Jackson. They offer various sparkling wines including a summery rosé. The lawn outside the buses hosts live music on Wednesdays and Sundays. Seating is available on the top level of each bus, as well as at picnic tables outside. The party buses are open Tuesday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. - 7 p.m., Saturday from 11:30 a.m. - 8 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 7 p.m. Johnny Monarch’s: 8374 W. Main St. Marshall, VA; www.johnnymonar.ch and Cave Ridge Vineyard: 1476 Conicville Rd. Mount Jackson, VA, www.caveridge.com www.ontaponline.com | AUGUST 2019 | ON TAP


By Anna Jacoby Sweetwater fouder Freddy Bensch

The stigma surrounding marijuana consumption is settling down in North America, albeit at a glacial pace. As of this July, 33 states in the U.S. have broadly legalized or decriminalized cannabis in some form while its northern neighbors in Canada fully legalized its recreational use last fall. A competing trade embracing this change is the beer industry. As regulations on marijuana relax, breweries are looking for ways to fuse its properties with their products. One of the craft breweries leading the way is based in a state rather resistant to cannabis legalization: Georgia. Atlanta-based SweetWater Brewing Company has been a longtime proponent of the 420 lifestyle. Their flagship beer 420 Extra Pale Ale was first brewed 22 years ago on April 20, naturally. Last fall, they took things a step further by creating G13 IPA, the first of their marijuana strain-specific line of beers.


ON TAP | AUGUST 2019 | www.ontaponline.com

Photo: courtesy of SweetWater

The brewers at SweetWater managed to accomplish a bit of a scientific feat. After several months of testing, they found a way to mimic the scent of the strain without compromising the taste of the beer. The beer itself wallops the nostrils with the dank scent of Willie Nelson’s tour bus yet tastes like a solid, quality IPA. “[The brewers] didn’t want it to be a gimmick,” says Tucker Berta Sarkisian, SweetWater’s director of communications, of the 420 Strain concept. “It was a huge goal for the aroma to be there but for the beer to be phenomenal-tasting.” The kicker? There isn’t a single trace of marijuana in this strainspecific line of beers that along with the G13 IPA includes Mango Kush Wheat Ale and come this fall, Chocolope Stout. No cannabidiol (CBD), no tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), not even hemp. Zero. Zilch. Nada.

The secret to creating the precisely scented, strain-inspired beer is in the terpenes – unsaturated hydrocarbons found in the essential oils of plants. Terpenes are in several plant organisms from lemongrass to pine needles, and of course, cannabis. Since terpenes lack psychoactive cannabinoids THC and CBD, they are U.S. governmentapproved and have the green light to be used in SweetWater’s 420 Strain series. Another key component in getting the strain-specific aroma in each beer was curating the right hops. “The hop varieties chosen are of particular importance because they contain similar terpene profiles to those found in the strainspecific cannabis,” SweetWater Brewmaster Mark Medlin explains. The marriage of the hops and strain-specific terpenes complement the resulting brew in more ways than one, thanks to genetics. The seemingly unlikely pairing of hops and cannabis is a natural combination when it comes to flavor because they are related. They have biological similarities derived from shared ancestry in the Cannabinaceae family. As a result, what the terpenes hops and cannabis have in common is what make the 420 Strain beers possible. The second edition in SweetWater’s 420 Strain series is the surprisingly juicy Mango Kush, released this spring. Like the G13 IPA, the Mango Kush’s weed aroma hits you in the face upon popping the bottle cap as if you just entered a party at Snoop Dogg’s house. Once again, the brewers added the potent scent of the strain while maintaining the flavor of the ale. Neither the G13 IPA nor the Mango Kush taste like weed, and it’s likely the forthcoming Chocolope Stout will present a similar sensory experience. But how did the brewmasters know what marijuana strain would pair well with each beer style? For example, why does G13 work with an IPA and not a pilsner or saison? Initially, they didn’t know. “It was like playing a mad scientist in a lab experimenting and testing with recipes,” Sarkisian says. “They wanted the perfect aroma to complement the perfect flavor.” In other words, a fair amount of trial-and-error went into the brewing process in order to find the right balance in each 420 Strain beer. SweetWater’s 420 Strain G13 IPA and Mango Kush can be found at various liquor stores and tap houses throughout the DMV. Chocolope Stout debuts in mid-September as a limited release, and once their “mad scientists” get back to mixing terpenes, more strains will be on the way. Learn more about the 420 Strain series and where to get the three brews locally at www.sweetwaterbrew.com.

Photos: Beauty By Photography

The Mango Kush’s weed aroma hits you in the face upon popping the bottle cap as if you just entered a party at Snoop Dogg’s house.

The Capitol Riverfront concert series at Yards Park on July 19 featured live music from the 19th Street Band and ice-cold Corona and wine for a relaxing evening with waterfront views.

www.ontaponline.com | AUGUST 2019 | ON TAP


WHAT’S ON TAP? All What’s On Tap listings are provided by the venues hosting them.

Greetings, beer nerds! As you know, there are a number of fantastic spots in the DMV where you can grab a pint, and their menus are always evolving and adapting to your tastes. If you’d rather avoid the guessing game, check out what’s up next at a few of these locations.



BYOV (Bring Your Own Vinyl) Lost Rhino Brewing Company hosts vinyl night every Tuesday evening. This is not a DJ night, because there are no DJ/mixing skills needed. All you need is a love for music and a vinyl collection you are willing to share with everyone. Each week will have a different theme and Lost Rhino will be giving away a weekly gift card to one lucky winner who helps celebrate the chosen theme. 5-9 p.m. Free to attend. Lost Rhino Brewing Co: 21730 Red Rum Dr. Ashburn, VA; www.lostrhino.com

DC Brau Oktoberfest Bash DC Brau is kicking off O’fest season with a Brau-style Oktoberfest celebration at the brewery complete with an Oompah band, brats and of course, beer. In addition to the release of this year’s Oktoberfest, they’ll be pouring Keller Pils, Cha Cha Cha Weisenbock and El Hefe Speaks in the outdoor beer garden all afternoon. 1-6 p.m. Free to attend. DC Brau: 3178 Bladensburg Rd. NE, DC; www.dcbrau.com

THURSDAY, AUGUST 8 The Brew Gentlemen 5th Anniversary Party Join ChurchKey as they welcome the fine folks of Brew Gentlemen. On this night, they will celebrate the Pennsylvania brewery’s fifth anniversary by pouring five beers with cofounder Matt Katase. Located in Braddock, Pennsylvania, this exciting young brewery’s product is rarely found outside their home state. Don’t miss your chance to try these out-of-market beers, including standouts Akamai, V and Mise en Rose. 4:30-11:30 p.m. Free to attend. ChurchKey: 1337 14th St. NW, DC; www.churchkeydc.com

SATURDAY, AUGUST 10 Beer Yoga (Cheers & Namah’ste) Flow through a flight of your brewery favorites during this one-hour power yoga class. By purchasing a yoga class, a three-glass flight is included within the price of the ticket. You must also bring your own mat, as well as anything else you need to have a proper flow. This event is 21-plus. Please make sure you arrive 15 minutes prior to receive your beer flight before the class. Class starts at 12 p.m. Tickets are $15. Right Proper Brewing Company: 920 Girard St. NE, DC; www.rightproperbrewing.com

TUESDAY, AUGUST 13 Drag Bingo with Desiree Dik Sassy meets fabulous as drag queen sensation Desiree Dik hosts an evening of bingo at Red Bear Brewing. It is free to play and four games will be played in a span of two hours, with prizes each round and a drag show. Event starts at 7 p.m. Free to attend. Red Bear Brewing: 209 M St. NE, DC www.redbear.beer.com

THURSDAY, AUGUST 15 Trivia Night at CSBC Think you’re a wiz at trivia? Come and prove it by grabbing a table early for trivia night at Chubby Squirrel Brewing. Wind down the week with a brew and some food and enjoy two hours of free fun and laughs. 6-8 p.m. Chubby Squirrel Brewing Company: 10382 Willard Way, Fairfax, VA; www.chubbysquirrelbrewing.com


ON TAP | AUGUST 2019 | www.ontaponline.com

TUESDAY, AUGUST 20 Tuesday Trivia at Atlas Brew Works Every Tuesday night, join Atlas Brew Works for a fantastic night of trivia hosted by the Capital City Showcase’s Christian Hunt. The winning team receives $50 off their tab and second place gets a free six-pack of Atlas beer. Bring your own team or find friends to make a new one. Event starts at 7:30 p.m. Learn more at www. atlasbrewworks.com. Atlas Brew Works: 2052 Virginia Ave. NE, DC; www.atlasbrewworks.com

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21 Ballroom at the Brewery Come give your best shot at ballroom dance in a no-judgment zone. The professionals from Mosaic Ballroom are coming by to show everyone what ballroom dance is all about. Join every third Wednesday of the month. There is no cost to dance, plus enjoy an extended happy hour from 4-9 p.m. Dancing starts at 8:30 p.m. Caboose Commons: 2918 Eskridge Rd. Fairfax, VA www.caboosebrewing.com

THURSDAY, AUGUST 24 5th Annual Crab Feast From 5-8 p.m., enjoy all-you-can-eat crabs, pit beef, corn on the cob, hush puppies, pasta salad and coleslaw. Wash down all the good food with all-you-can-drink craft brews featuring Special Lady Friend, Feed the Monkey, Czech the Technique and many more. There will be live music from Jordan Sokel, frontman for Pressing Strings, from 5:30-8 p.m. $50-$75. Jailbreak Brewing: 9445 Washington Blvd. North Laurel, MD; www.jailbreakbrewing.com

MONDAY, AUGUST 26 National Dog Yappy Hour Come out and celebrate National Dog Day with a yappy hour. There will be doggie beer, treats and drink specials for humans, too. Guests can also celebrate by dressing up their pup in a dapper attire. You won’t want to miss this chance for you and your pup to enjoy a night out on the town together. 5:30-7:30 p.m. Free admission. Bluejacket: 300 Tingey St. SE, DC; www.bluejacketdc.com

Take a Day Trip to O’Connor Brewing Co. SATURDAY, AUGUST 10


Poochella Continues: Pints, Pups, and Snips PETA’s multishelter dog adoption event is back, but this time there will be endless amounts of cuteness at O’Connor Brewing. There will be music, crafts vendors, delicious food and best of all adorable pups looking for a loving home. You can also get your dog or cat fixed since PETA’s mobile spay/neuter clinics will be working that day. $25 for dogs and FREE for companion cats. Appointments are required and can be made by calling 757-622-7382, option 3. 12-6 p.m. O’Connor Brewing Co.: 211 W 24th St. Norfolk, VA; www.oconnorbrewing.com

Supreme Effect TIPA Brewery Pre-Release Bundle New beer alert! O’Connor presents the Supreme Effect TIPA (10.3 percent ABV). Grab it as part of the very limited stock pre release, which features a bundle including an exclusive O’Connor Brewing Co. t-shirt and a four pack of 16 oz. cans. First come, first serve, while supplies last. A Saturday brewery official release will also be held on August 17 from 12-9 p.m. with 30 cases available. O’Connor Brewing Co.: 211 W 24th St. Norfolk, VA; www.oconnorbrewing.com

Photo: Trent Johnson

By Sophie Gharai

Caboose co-owner Jennifer McLaughlin


hen I first stepped into the cavernous space in NoVa’s Mosaic District, I was met by soft voices, laughter and striking steel structures – quite intimate for a vast brewery. Caboose Brewing Company opened its second location last September, following its original location on the W&OD Trail in Vienna. Caboose Commons, which sits in what was previously a United Rentals warehouse, offers an array of beer – plus food, coffee and even cocktails. I sat down with co-owner Jennifer McLaughlin to chat about why the brewery chose the burgeoning neighborhood and how it has changed their business for the better.


ON TAP | AUGUST 2019 | www.ontaponline.com


On Tap: How did the name Caboose come about? Jennifer McLaughlin: Our original location is in Vienna, and it sits right on the W&OD Trail. One of our key focuses has always been building community, so we were looking for a name that also had a subtle shout-out to our community. Caboose being on the W&OD fit into a train theme, and it helped that there was a big red caboose train in Vienna. OT: Why did you pick Mosaic District for your second location? JM: We looked into different spaces, but ideally, we wanted a space with a big beer garden. This space provided us with a beautiful warehouse setting – but that was it, an empty space. We had to build out the entire space on our own, but it was our own empty canvas that we could create for the community. On top of that, there were already people here shopping, eating and drinking – a built-in community. OT: What obstacles have you faced with Caboose Commons? What wins have you had? JM: In terms of obstacles, building out the location was just quite an expense. There was no drywall whatsoever and no other structures besides the shell of the building. On the other hand, in terms of wins, there have been several. Mosaic has been very inclusive of us within their own marketing and that has been incredibly helpful. OT: What are your signature drinks for the summer? JM: We have quite a few! The first and most popular is our summer beer called Bienvenidos, which is a Mexican-inspired lager. After that would be the maibock, also known as To Helles and Bock, which has a sweeter malt flavor. Finally, our Raspberry Lokaal is a Belgian blonde, which came out last Friday and is so light and perfect for summer. OT: Your Vienna location highlights a lot of farm-to-table options on the food menu. Did you follow that same theme here? JM: Following farm-to-table can be incredibly expensive and at the other location, we just were not making our margins with the food prices we were offering. In this location, we do have a lot of local purveyors. We also have non-local, but we have kept the high quality still. OT: Which beer has been your best seller so far this summer? What food item does that pair best with? JM: Definitely the Bienvenidos. When we first rolled it out, it sold out a lot faster than we had intended and we did not have the ingredients to immediately recreate it. Customers had to wait two weeks for more. In terms of pairings, beer is such an easy thing to pair with food. The half-smoke we have been offering has been pretty solid.

Photos: Kimchi Photography

OT: How did you decide on the pup-friendly Ruff Tuesdays? JM: We’re always looking for interesting ways to engage with our community, and Ruff Tuesdays not only involves having customers bring their pups, but we also invite local vendors. Overall, it is just fun to engage the community and loop in a good cause.

The Liaison Hotel pool hosted #FrayLife’s summer water volleyball tournament on July 14. Players and guests enjoyed the rooftop pool and lounge, exclusive drink specials, games, raffles, a DJ, and more.


ON TAP | AUGUST 2019 | www.ontaponline.com

Caboose Commons is open from 7 a.m. - 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 7 p.m. - 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Follow them on Instagram @caboosecommons. For more information about the brewery and its locations, visit www.caboosebrewing.com. Caboose Commons: 2918 Eskridge Rd. Fairfax, VA; 703-663-8833; www.caboosebrewing.com

www.ontaponline.com | JULY 2019 | ON TAP


Felicia Colbert is a woman on a mission and she’s not letting anyone stand in her way. She has worked her way through the food service industry for the past 17 years, and her determination is paying off. After attending the Culinary Institute of America, Colbert returned home to Maryland where she got a bachelor’s degree in sociology from University of Maryland while helping raise her niece. Six transformative weeks in Spain made her pump the brakes on law school, put her life in storage and say, “I’m going to be a somm.” With help from some “amazing, powerful women in the industry,” Colbert set out to be not just a sommelier, but the sommelier. Now, as wine director at A Rake’s Progress in AdMo’s LINE Hotel – which is holding strong to the title of one of the city’s hottest restaurants – she is shaking up industry standards one Burgundy at a time. On Tap: Were you always drawn by wine? What was it about the food service industry that attracted you? Felicia Colbert: I feel like I was always in food. My first job was when I was 14 at Outback Steakhouse as a hostess, and I actually stayed at that job for almost five years because I worked at such a dynamic restaurant that really believed in ownership. OT: You are a young black woman in a white male-dominated industry. What unique challenges have you faced in your burgeoning career? FC: It’s no secret to anybody that there’s not a lot of ladies over here in somm land. It’s definitely a challenge. But I think everything is an intersection so it’s hard for me to talk about my life as a lady somm and say I’m not only a woman, but I’m a woman of color. People think I’m either the hostess or maybe the maître d’ or some other job, and I’m like, “Oh, I’m here to sell you wine.” It’s watching people rectify their cognitive dissonance in real time. But like, the reason that a company has decided that I get to be in charge of millions and millions of dollars of someone else’s money and wine is because I’m more qualified than anyone else who works here. If I wasn’t, I wouldn’t be here. There is no privilege that I get to sit back on. I’m here because I’m literally more qualified than any other person.

By Courtney Sexton Photos: Trent Johnson


ON TAP | AUGUST 2019 | www.ontaponline.com

OT: How do these experiences inform the way you run your program and manage staff? FC: You have to find a way to build productivity into every single thing that you do. I hold myself and people around me to the highest standard, and sometimes it makes them uncomfortable. There is literally nothing that I love more than perfect service. Service is everything. It’s the reason why we do this, because otherwise you would eat at home. It’s about someone being

so skilled at their job they can anticipate things you didn’t even know you needed. OT: What is exciting to you right now about being in DC and having this job? FC: I think it’s exciting that DC is open to new things right now. Millennials, 30-somethings, have real jobs now. They have money – they want to come out and drink good wine and spend money on wine. On a deeper level, the fact that people are entertaining the idea that women of color can run programs, I think that’s great. I think there are a lot of challenges that still come with that from a consumer basis, but also from an organizational standpoint. You can’t have qualified people and then not have the systems in place to keep them. I do think that change is exciting, but it’s also like, who wants to be the person who has to do all of the emotional work for people who aren’t ready to put in the emotional work for the change that they want to see? OT: Do you personally enjoy educating people about wine? FC: Yes and no. How do I nicely tell someone you’re asking for something that you don’t want? Some people are open to it, but the reason that [many people] continue to get wines that they don’t like is because you’re going into a dealership and asking for a Ferrari but you’re describing a Honda, or vice versa. It’s hard to educate people. I try to use words that are descriptors as opposed to buzzwords – people words. I think that a way I try to educate my guests is by saying, “Hey, the next time you’re looking for a wine, you can mention that you really like wines that have X flavor.” Or not. Because you know what? I’m not here to do the emotional work for that either. If you don’t know how to ask for what you want, there’s not enough Burgundy for all of us to drink it, so you can keep on saying, “bone dry.” OT: The DMV has received some notoriety in recent years for progress in growing and vinting. What about our region particularly excites you from the wine industry perspective? FC: DC is getting a lot more fun, interesting wine shops. I always tell people first and foremost: retail, that is your place. In DC, there are no restrictions. The wine shop can be the importer, the distributor, the purchaser. Domestique is a great example of that. Weygandt Wines is amazing. Go prepared with at least $50 more than what you plan on spending because you’re going to find some stuff that’s just crazy and amazing. OT: You have your exam to be a master sommelier this fall. What’s the next challenge? What’s on the vine for future Felicia? FC: I have a dream jar. I am always thinking about what’s next. I am a planner. What’s next for me is I need to be in a place where what I have to give and offer is fully recognized and I don’t have to fight to do my job, and I think that’s only working for myself. I just dream up this utopian restaurant because you know what? Someone is going to come along and be like, “Hey Felicia.” They will. I believe that – truly. I bring value to our program by making sure that we get the wine that other people can’t get by building relationships because that’s what it is always: your people. Your people are what matter. My people have gotten me here. My people will continue to get me here. Check out Colbert’s carefully curated wine menu at A Rake’s Progress, and learn more about the AdMo spot at www.thelinehotel.com/dc/venues. A Rake’s Progress at LINE Hotel: 1770 Euclid St. NW, DC; 202-588-0525; www.thelinehotel.com/dc/venues


Mojito Mondays


Includes Half-Pitchers, No-Jitos (Non-Alcoholic Mojitos) & Sangrias!

801 9th St NW | Washington, DC www.cubalibrerestaurant.com | 202.408.1600

Nata Rum Da

at Cub Lib Bartender Nelson Palomo Talks Rum Day Celebrations On Tap: How are you celebrating National Rum Day? Nelson Palomo: I’ll be celebrating National Rum Day at Cuba Libre, of course! It’s definitely a fun day to work as a bartender there because we celebrate with half-price rum drinks during happy hour. It’s a great chance for all of us at Cuba Libre to help showcase how versatile rum can be in a variety of drinks. OT: What is your favorite rum cocktail from the Cuba Libre menu and why? NP: Our mojitos are top-notch. But if I had to choose one cocktail, it would be our Rum Runner. It’s a great drink for someone who enjoys sipping rum neat, since the rum comes through nicely, but it has a nice fruit flavor to it as well. OT: Why would you encourage locals to try the rum cocktails at Cuba Libre? NP: Cuba Libre presses sugarcane in-house daily for our cocktails, which makes a huge difference – especially when it comes to mojitos – and we use fresh ingredients and fruits to really take our drinks to the next level. Plus, we’ll have $10 rum flights throughout August since we celebrate Rum Month and half off all rum drinks at the bar during happy hour on National Rum Day. Cuba Libre: 801 9th St. NW, DC 202-498-1600; www.cubalibrerestaurant.com www.ontaponline.com | AUGUST 2019 | ON TAP


By Sabrina Medora


ON TAP | AUGUST 2019 | www.ontaponline.com

Angie Fetherston and Adriana Salame

Photos: Grace Simoneau

One of the District’s most popular pop-up bars started with a Christmas miracle. “It was not my idea,” Drink Company CEO Angie Fetherston admits. Instead, she borrowed the theme from a friend in New York, adding a uniquely DC spin to what would become something of a seasonal phenomenon in the city. “We thought, ‘We love Christmas – let’s get together and throw up some decorations,’” she says, referring to her partners at Drink Company. Fetherston made a call to Adriana Salame, who was living in Los Angeles at the time, with a brief explanation of the concept and a simple, “I know you love Christmas. Are you in?” She was – as was the rest of the DC area. “We started off with a regular bar schedule,” Fetherston continues. “We had to hire more people overnight because the line was out the door. The joy and nostalgia that people felt when they walked through the door was a piece of magic.” Miracle on Seventh Street first came to life in 2015 at Drink Company’s now-closed Mockingbird Hill bar. The goal was to have fun and bring a little more extra community spirit to the season. With the success that Miracle on Seventh Street brought, Fetherston, Salame and the rest of the Drink Company team realized that they had stumbled upon something really special. They began to brainstorm other fun ideas for potential pop-ups. For the first few years, the pop-up bars lived within the three neighboring bars that Drink Company owned on Seventh Street in Shaw: the aforementioned Mockingbird Hill, Eat the Rich and Southern Efficiency. “Every time we did it, people expected bigger and better,” Fetherston says. “At one point, we had to make a choice. We couldn’t do the builds and activations without closing the bars in-between.” With the pop-up bars becoming increasingly popular and intricate,

the Drink Company team made the decision to permanently close the three locations and turn it into one large spot that allows for separate activation spaces. While the inventive pop-up bars, also known as PUBs, keep the team on their toes, they’re also still at the creative helm of two permanent locations: award-winning cocktail bar Columbia Room in Blagden Alley and Chef Johnny Spero’s modern American restaurant Reverie in Georgetown. “We didn’t think about it in a way to try and tick boxes off,” Fetherston explains of the PUBs. “We just pick [a theme] that excites us, and we do it. Someone comes up with something awesome and we all get into it.” These casual brainstorm sessions have brought about the smashhit themes for pop-ups including Game of Thrones, Cherry Blossom, Royal Wedding, the Halloween-themed PUB Dread and more. The ideas are the easy part, but bringing to life an entirely immersive experience is nothing short of a work of art and true labor of love. Salame is now the special projects manager at Drink Company. Together with Matt Fox, Drink Company’s special projects director, they bring outrageous and wild visions to life by hand. “High-production experiences and atmospheres are really what the people respond to, not just the spirit of Christmas and cookie dough cocktails,” Fetherston says. “[Matt] was the one who took it to the next level.” Each pop-up varies in production lead time and execution. Salame makes two or three trips to Home Depot daily and physically constructs entire sets. Some take four days to build and are done in Fox’s backyard, while others take months and require assembly within the actual bar space. Christmas, of course, is the most elaborate. “Each project is so different,” Salame says. “It’s always a new task I’ve never conquered before. There’s a lot of prep work involved, too.” The sets are so fantastical that Drink Company’s team often has to be prepared to prevent theft and destruction when patrons come in. “I used to blame it on the people,” Salame chuckles. “But now I blame it on the design for not being bar-friendly. I try to make things yank-proof.” The craziest prop someone ever tried to steal was a giant gold reindeer from the front window. The most common items to go missing are the themed cups. “We lost [between] 2000 [and] 2,500 pieces of glassware after the second [pop-up],” Salame adds. “People used to actually leave their IDs and passports here so they didn’t have to return the cups. I think now people have calmed down.” Every single prop and set used for the pop-up bar’s various themes is built by Salame, Fox and a team of volunteers. “We live in this world of very high-end, precious culinary arts,” Fetherston says, referencing Columbia Room. “This pop-up [format] is really a revelation for us. It’s more than just amazing drinks. It’s about connection.” Their work is perhaps best highlighted by its most recent iteration, Levels Unlocked, which opened in late July and runs through September 29. The three spaces have been converted into a gamer’s version of heaven on Earth. Each space pays tribute to three popular games: Super Smash Brothers Ultimate, NBA2K19 and Overwatch. It truly is like walking into the TV screen and through each of these games. Salame chimes in with a laugh. “You’ve got to be there for the nerds.” With that as the goal, consider this pop-up bar’s level unlocked. Check out Drink Company’s Levels Unlocked pop-up through September 29. Learn more at www.popupbardc.com/esportshome. Drink Company: 1843 7th St. NW, DC; 202-316-9396; www.popupbardc.com/esportshome www.ontaponline.com | AUGUST 2019 | ON TAP


Cane Brings Island Life to the District By Aliviah Jones


ON TAP | AUGUST 2019 | www.ontaponline.com

Bartender Ashley McPherson // Photos: M.K. Koszycki

© 2019 Devils Backbone• Brewing Company, Lexington, VA

Intimate, colorful Trinidadian restaurant Cane popped up on H Street just three months ago, and everything about it will instantly transport you to the islands. The restaurant, co-owned by chef Peter Prime and his sister Jeanine Prime, pays homage to their experiences growing up in Trinidad. The restaurant is small, but its vivid colors make for a unique and welcoming experience. From the yellow wall decorated with beachy shutters to oil paintings (one even capturing former President Barack Obama in Trinidad) to the textured feature near the bar made of recycled sugar cane, everything about the restaurant is intentional and well thought out to make for a one-of-a-kind dining experience. While the cuisine and ambiance may be the primary allure of this brand-new spot, the well-rounded cocktail program has become more than an added bonus. “It’s just like the cherry on top,” says Cane’s bartender Ashley McPherson. “The food is already amazing and then you get a nice, refreshing cocktail that brings out the flavor of the food.” Nestled by the small bar are shelves stacked high with a wide array of Caribbean rum hand-selected by Peter. Selections include standouts like El Dorado, Scarlet Ibis Trinidadian rum and more. Each cocktail is made to perfection with a different type of rum in each glass adding its own flair to the menu. “It was a lot of fun to play with these drinks,” McPherson continues. “As we got more rums and more cocktails, we thought, ‘Let’s educate more people on rum.’” Cane’s drink menu was originally only going to include four cocktails. But because of its growing collection and the menu’s success, they saw it as an opportunity to bring more Caribbean rum into their collection and educate DC foodies on how rum has played a significant role in Trinidadian culture. The District is no stranger to rum bars, and the steady influx of these locations can partially be associated with the start of Rum Day


Scarlet Ibis Trinidadian rum Pineapple-habanero shrub Lime Sparking water


ON TAP | AUGUST 2019 | www.ontaponline.com

DC in 2011. However, Cane takes a different approach, highlighting the cultural aspects of the spirit. Whether it’s the food or drinks, everyone is bound to experience the sweet and spicy kick of flavor found in Trinidad while at Cane – from the Cane Fever, which includes a pineapple-habanero shrub that soaks for a week to bring out the best flavor, to the Carnival containing coconut orgeat syrup and the Indian spice garam masala complemented by Cane’s West Indian and Caribbean style. McPherson also recommends the Irie Old Fashioned. It’s a particularly great option for those that aren’t as keen on rum, as its ingredients of sugar cane and house-made vanilla bitters have a sweet flavor comparable to a traditional old fashioned. Although the cocktails tend to take center stage at Cane’s bar, they pair well with appetizers like doubles – a popular Trinidadian street food that consists of two pieces of flat, fried dough filled with curried chickpeas – and the jerk wings. As for entrées, the tiffin box is a popular option for a party of two or more, depending on your appetite. The four-level pyramid is a traditional dish in Trinidad and India, served with Indian bread and an assortment of chutney and curry samplings. Cane’s sous chef Kyle Burnett says servers break down the shareable entrée, showing diners what the assortment consists of and the variety of sauces that can be paired with them. Needless to say, the dish will leave you full enough to need a to-go box. The team at Cane plans to continue highlighting their variety of rum cocktails through late summer and fall. “It’s a pretty intimate space and we are packed out every day, so we are just riding that wave,” McPherson says. “We’ll come up with even more fun cocktails for the fall season.” Cane: 403 H St. NE, DC; 202-675-2011; www.cane-dc.com


Real McCoy 5-year rum and white rums Pineapple shrub Coconut orgeat syrup Angostura bitters


FULL ON FLAVOR DC Bars Embrace l0w-ABV Cocktails By Travis Mitchell


ON TAP | AUGUST 2019 | www.ontaponline.com

Sherry’s Daiquiri // Photo: courtesy of Service Bar

Service Bar’s The Fino Bianca Three scoops lemon sorbet Fino sherry Carpano Bianco vermouth Top with soda

Rare Steak’s RARE-I-Tea Earl Grey-infused vodka Egg white Simple syrup

Service Bar’s Sherry’s Daiquiri

The Fino Bianca

Photo: courtesy of Service Bar


Photo: courtesy of Know Public Relations

A stiff cocktail is great for enhancing a meal or unwinding from a rough day. Good ones also go down easy, leaving alcohol to creep up on even the most responsible imbibers. Moderation becomes key to staying in the game. “Summer days of drinking literally have more hours, so drinking is a marathon [and] not a sprint,” says Sam Nellis, bar director at All-Purpose’s Shaw and Capitol Riverfront locations. It’s not uncommon for a cocktail to contain two or three ounces of high-proof liquor, distilled at around 40 percent alcohol by volume or higher. A low alcohol cocktail aims for around half that potency through lighter spirits and ingredients that add punch without the extra booze. Forget weak and boring – these drinks can still be complex and flavorful. “For us, it’s about making sure that the drink isn’t coming off as something that’s watered down,” says Drew Nannis, general manager and wine director at Rare Steakhouse in downtown DC. “It’s got to have depth.”

INGREDIENTS DELIVERING A PUNCH Fresh herbs and fruit are common places to start layering tastes. Ginger, pepper and citrus zest are useful for recreating some of the heat and zip of a stiff whiskey or vodka, says Estadio Bar Director Adam Bernbach. “They have a similar effect in that they give a bite,” he says. Something as simple as a lemon wedge livens up Rare’s Suntory Toki whisky highballs, which are dispensed cold and carbonated from a special machine at a 4:1 ratio of soda to spirit. Tea is also a popular spirit-free mixer that can round out a standard cocktail profile. Service Bar cofounder Glendon Hartley suggests pairing dark spirits like rum and whiskey with bold teas like English breakfast or Darjeeling, while light teas like jasmine or mint herbal varieties can accentuate gins and vodkas.

Leaning into Sherry Liquers & Aperitifs Low alcohol doesn’t mean no alcohol, though. There are a few common categories to look out for when browsing menus for less potent sippers, especially aperitifs and fortified wines. “There are amazing aperitif liqueurs out there that have bold flavors and low alcohol that can withstand mixing with other ingredients without losing their pop,” Nellis says.

Fino sherry Lustau Amontillado sherry Lime juice Simple syrup

He leans into All-Purpose’s Italian influences, using herbal, bitter and full-bodied liqueurs in many cocktails – especially Aperol and Cappelletti. Both appear as variations of spritzes on the happy hour menu at the Shaw and Capitol Riverfront locations. Sherry and vermouth, two types of fortified wines, are other good categories to get familiar with. “I think we’re becoming much less afraid of sherry, and it’s a great go-to as something that packs a flavor punch and can mimic even some whiskey flavors – or accentuate them – without having the same ABV as a whiskey,” says Nick Farrell, spirits director for Neighborhood Restaurant Group (Hazel, Iron Gate, Birch & Barley, and more). A sherry-based daiquiri is among several low-alcohol drinks Hartley has on his menu at Service Bar. And a sherry old fashioned fits right in with the Spanish cocktail menu at Estadio.

Benefits Beyond Less Booze Given what can sometimes be out-of-the-box ingredients, communication between guest and server is the best way to find a cocktail that works for the moment – whether it’s something strong or light. At his forthcoming No Hands bar on Capitol Hill, Farrell says he also plans to include ABV and total volume on his drink menu. “When you’re drinking a beer, you know the alcohol content and size every single time,” he says. “It should be the same for cocktails.” Along with its health and wellness benefits, using less alcohol can also better complement food and avoid masking bold or subtle flavors. “You wouldn’t have coffee with a salad,” Bernbach adds. “High-proof alcohol is going to overwhelm your palate.” That’s especially valuable for anyone planning a longer meal and looking to start with something to wake up the appetite gradually. And while summer’s longer days and outdoor patio weather often call for lighter-drinking booze, it’s likely to be a trend that transcends season. “These drinks aren’t limited to a time of year,” Hartley says. “It’s just human nature to want to enjoy a good thing for a little longer.” Check out low-ABV libations at the spots below. All-Purpose: 1250 9th St. NW, DC and 79 Potomac Ave. SE, DC; ww.allpurposedc.com Estadio: 1520 14th St. NW, DC; www.estadio-dc.com Rare Steakhouse: 1595 I St. NW, DC; www.raresteaks.com Service Bar: 926 U St. NW, DC; www.servicebardc.com www.ontaponline.com | AUGUST 2019 | ON TAP





ON TAP | AUGUST 2019 | www.ontaponline.com


s we sat over a cup of coffee, 25-year-old Walter “Bobby” McCoy spoke to me in a way only someone who has been in the theatre world for 10 years can: vividly and with gusto. The Helen Hayes Award-winning music director’s smile reached up to his eyes with every story he shared with me about his experiences. McCoy, who hails from Falls Church, Virginia and now resides in nearby Manassas, commutes to Shirlington’s Signature Theatre, Dupont Circle’s Keegan Theatre and the DMV’s Levine School of Music for various projects. He’s currently juggling music direction for Keegan’s Legally Blonde from August 3 to September 1 while working at several theatre camps with students of all ages. Not everyone can say that they thrive in chaos – some may even find it overwhelming. But when you are in the theatre world, it is often your life. McCoy fits into this chaos in his own way: starting off as a piano accompanist for his high school chorus at 14, he was able to pick up the scores easily. This ultimately led him to be on the other side, directing kids and adults alike and garnering attention from the professional theatre community with three Helen Hayes Award nominations by his early 20s. I picked McCoy’s brain on a recent July day about his foray into DC’s theatre scene.

Photo: Aliviah Jones

On Tap: Tell me how you first got started with music growing up. Bobby McCoy: I think my first experience was in my general music class in elementary school. I was really attracted to accompanying singers and watching the interaction between my music teacher and the accompanist. I loved being a part of that and seeing how she would work with people. OT: Where did your passion for music come from? BM: My passion started when I started taking chorus class in seventh grade. I had just started playing the piano. I was fascinated with the accompanist, [the idea of ] someone playing with a whole group of people. [That was] the bug that bit me. Eventually, this led to me playing full concerts as an eighth grader. OT: What brought you into the theatre world as a musician? BM: I took a leap. I saw that Marshall High School was doing Company, so I signed up. Eventually, I was an assistant music director. I was very green. After that, I did Chicago, and then that summer I saw that the Little Theatre [of Alexandria] was doing Company and I went in [and got the job of rehearsal pianist at 15]. It has been sort of nonstop since that moment.






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OT: Why did you want to pursue GALA Hispanic Theatre’s In the Heights as a music director? What about the storyline stood out to you? BM: I grew up in a Hispanic family, and a lot of the things that they go through and the cultural aspect of the show was really appealing. The music was something that reminded me of the authentic culture I grew up with as opposed to the stereotypical Latin number that you would see in a show like Chicago, for example. OT: How did you feel when you were nominated for three Helen Hayes Awards and won for In the Heights at only 23? BM: It was really weird. I was happy I won but I was nominated for three shows, so I was sort of like, “Which one am I rooting for?” I did a lot of work for Heights. It was my first time going out of town for a show. I was proud of that show and happy that it got the recognition. OT: Why did you choose Levine School of Music’s Performance Institute as an institution to work as a music director? BM: I’ve been on the faculty here for three years. I like inspiring young kids to find their voice. There are a lot of times when people don’t have artistic opportunities, and I love being able to help people become better artists. OT: How would you describe your directing style? BM: Collaborative. I like seeing what people bring to the roles, but I am also particular about the way I teach things. I know a lot of people who will teach a number and then clean it [up] after, but I do the opposite. Breathing and dynamics are from the get-go for me – if it gets lost to technique, it won’t happen. OT: What has been your favorite show to direct? What would be a dream production for you? BM: Legally Blonde. I’ve done it three times – it’s my first professional production [and] definitely a different caliber of performers. Dream productions: Sweeney Todd with a full orchestra and Sunday in the Park with George. Both are [Stephen] Sondheim musicals and I love all of his works.



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To catch McCoy’s work in action, be sure to check out Legally Blonde at Keegan Theatre from August 3 to September 1. Various times. Tickets are $62. Keegan Theatre: 1742 Church St. NW, DC; 202-265-3767; www.keegantheatre.com www.ontaponline.com | AUGUST 2019 | ON TAP




Small Mouth Sounds

THROUGH SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7 Aladdin We all remember seeing Disney’s iconic animated film Aladdin as 90s kids. With a recent adaptation of the film, this is the best time for the hit Broadway musical to make its way to the Kennedy Center. From the producer of Broadway’s The Lion King comes the timeless story of Aladdin, a thrilling new production filled with unforgettable beauty, magic, comedy and breathtaking spectacle. It’s an extraordinary theatrical event where one lamp and three wishes make the possibilities infinite. Various times. Tickets start at $39. John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts: 2700 F St. NW, DC; www.kennedy-center.org

TUESDAYS THROUGH SEPTEMBER 24 Harold Night Harold Night is Washington Improv Theater’s weekly homage to the world-famous long-form improv performance known as Harold. The show begins with suggestions from the audience, and the players create what the audience is imagining right before their eyes. The night ends in a free jam where the audience is invited to try improv side by side with the actors and performers – no experience necessary. Seating is first-come, first-serve so it would be best to get there on the earlier side. Pay what you choose. Show starts at 8 p.m. The Source: 1835 14th St. NW, DC; www.witc.org

MONDAY, AUGUST 5 AND MONDAY, AUGUST 19 Comedy, Magic & Martinis Mix and mingle with your fellow speakeasy-goers at the Mansion on O’s magical event. Instead of a stage and curtains, this will be closeup magic and it’s sure to shock and surprise you every step of the way. The speakeasy will be a bit hidden, so you may have to do a bit of


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sleuthing to find the six famous Houdini clocks. You’ll also be able to enjoy themed rooms and exhibits as well as $10 martinis. Doors at 5 p.m. Show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $50. The Mansion on O: 2020 O St. NW, DC; www.omansion.com

THURSDAY, AUGUST 15 - SATURDAY, AUGUST 17 DC Black Film Festival The Miracle Theatre and Mayflower Hotel present this festival featuring notable films like Solace, Oklahoma is Black and Murder in Mobile, as well as web series and television content by and about people of African descent. Visit the website for more information about the 2019 festival showcase, including a full schedule of events. Various times. Tickets start at $15. The Miracle Theatre: 535 8th St. SE, DC; www.dcbff.org

SUNDAY, AUGUST 18 Signature Theatre Open House To start off its 30th season with a bang, Signature Theatre will be hosting its annual open house in mid-August. Starting at noon, you’ll be able to enjoy performances every 15 minutes as well as master classes, family cabarets, games, crafts and much more. One new addition this year: you’ll be able to enter a lottery to win free tickets to the theatre’s production of Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins. The event runs from 12-7 p.m. and is free and open to the public. Signature Theatre: 4200 Campbell Ave. Arlington, VA; www.sigtheatre.org

THURSDAY, AUGUST 22 Brian Parise After being nominated for an Emmy for his writing on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Brian Parise is back to provide many laughs

and standup for audiences of all ages to enjoy. Parise got his start in the DC comedy scene and quickly became a rising star before moving on to host a monthly comedy show in Brooklyn. Doors at 6:30 p.m. Show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15. The Comedy Loft of DC: 1523 22nd St. NW, DC; www.dccomedyloft.com

MONDAY, AUGUST 26 Spotlight Berlin The Goethe-Institut Washington is partnering with Scena Theatre to present a series of workshops featuring selections of the latest and greatest plays to appear on the Berlin stage. This reading features Look Who’s Back, a play adapted from the novel – both of which were written by Timur Vermes. This will be the last reading of the series, so don’t miss it. Show starts at 6:30 p.m. Tickets free with registration. Goethe-Institut Washington: 1990 K St. NW, DC www.goethe.de

Small Mouth Sounds To start off Roundhouse Theatre’s 41st season, Small Mouth Sounds focuses on six people who find themselves on a weeklong silent retreat in the woods. As they move through the week together, they begin to realize that being able to look “inward” is much more difficult when you are trying to get to know those around you first. Artist Director Ryan Rilette has created a show where the audience will find “equal parts humor and tenderness.” Various times. Pay what you can. Roundhouse Theatre: 4545 East-West Hwy. Bethesda, MD www.roundhousetheatre.org

Photos: Julia Goldberg


Catch a live show every week from 6-8 p.m. at the Fridays at Fort Totten Summer Concert Series, in partnership with The Modern at Art Place. On July 12, residents enjoyed R&B group Pebble to Pearl and tasty bites from the CapMac food truck.

www.ontaponline.com | AUGUST 2019 | ON TAP



Brings Retro Flair to Local Radio By Trent Johnson Matt Jackson and Avery Showell at LINE DC


’m on the second floor of H Street’s Maketto sipping a latte when I realize I’m not 100 percent sure what the two people I’m meeting look like. I type their collective name, The Factory (stylized ThFctry), into Instagram and realize both Matt Jones and Avery Showell aren’t ones to beat their chests. There are few proper selfies of the duo, as the stream of photos consists almost entirely of DC artists the two have interviewed or are celebrating – often both. Despite this, they aren’t strangers to self-promotion, and have carved out a niche for themselves in the surrounding DMV by dabbling in several mediums to promote local hip-hop. The pair curates monthly playlists of entirely new releases and hosts artists cutting their teeth on their self-titled radio program produced at Full Service Radio inside AdMo’s LINE Hotel. “We’re like hybrids,” Jones tells me matter-of-factly after he and Showell arrive. “When we run into people, they don’t know whether to treat us like radio DJs of old or new-age playlisters. It’s like a weird gray area of curation that we’re in. Some people call us podcasters, some people call us radio hosts.” Before the two climb the stairs of the coffee shop, I’m finally able to find a picture of them from a previous recording session. But it’s one of those Insta slideshows and theirs is the last one, buried underneath candids and posed shots of their interviewee. Today, they are dressed like they’re coming back from the YMCA after a run of several 5-on-5’s in basketball shorts, thrifted T-shirts and athletic shoes. They’re dressed for the outside heat, so scalding the power cut out as they were ordering their iced coffees. Just as they sit down, the Maketto speakers come back on. It’s a hit from Jay-Z and Kanye West’s 2011 collaboration Watch the Throne, before the latter wore Trump’s hat and said flagrant things on TMZ. “We’re going to do a Kanye interview one day,” Jones says assuredly. “We’ve got some ideas for Kanye that we got to talk to him about – crazy, crazy ideas.”


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Photo: courtesy of ThFctry

Forming ThFctry At Salisbury University in 2014, the idea that Jones and Showell would be hosting a radio show in the nation’s capital would have seemed like one of those “crazy ideas.” Showell’s primary goal in college was getting comfortable on a microphone and he wasn’t shy, quickly hosting different shows every year for the school’s radio station. The subject matter was “everything,” but he and his cohost at the time kept music a constant focal point. “My background was always from the perspective of someone who wanted to get into the journalism side of it,” Showell says about his early on-air experiences. “I grew up in love with music, artists and genres. It was: How do I take this to a new level of engagement? What’s my next level?” For Jones, Salisbury marked his fourth college of attendance. Despite a music background, including a stint with a preteen, churchbased, gospel hip-hop group, his primary focus for higher education was basketball. He played at three schools before arriving in the small Maryland town, calling himself the “college Rudy Gay.” Upon enrolling and acclimating to a lifestyle less consumed with athletic endeavors, Jones linked up with Showell and discovered a connection through their backgrounds and the shared desire to highlight local artists. “Every DJ we saw that was going in [to the college radio station] was using it like some kind of chill period of their day,” Jones says. “They were going in there to chill with their friends and joke around, but they weren’t focusing on content. We thought, ‘Why don’t we do it like we’re on Radio One or SiriusXM right now?’ Taking that initiative at that time made us stand out.” Their show was titled “Thank You for Not Snitching,” named after a music blog. In the middle of 2015, the radio show outgrew the small website, which left all parties a little unsettled. After parting ways, the friends were forced to decide on a new platform, name and mission,

and thus ThFctry was born. “We had to start a whole new thing because coming off of working with a blog, you don’t want to go after the same stories or same artists,” Jones says. “We went back to the drawing board, because even if we were doing a good job finding new artists then, we have to an even better job now and make those new relationships.” Showell adds, “That was a crucial period. That was the moment that everything fused together into something that more resembles now.”

Life at the LINE Both Jackson and Showell graduated college in 2016, leaving behind the familiarity of the university radio booth in favor of returning to DC. Though the two were able to cobble up funds for bills by doing odd jobs around the city, they were also laying a foundation for their next radio endeavor. “It was a year of due diligence,” Showell says. “It was us interacting with everyone we’d need to call upon once we got set up. Down the road, it’s like, hey, they know who ThFctry is.” Eventually, people did start to take notice of the curating dynamos as they began introducing themselves to all of the artists they promoted via social media, forming relationships and cementing a foundation for a robust guest list. As everything lined up perfectly for ThFctry’s on-air return, the LINE Hotel announced its plans to host an Internet radio station. “Timing is everything,” Jones says. “It was divine timing. I sat on the idea for a few months, afraid to hit send on the email [to ask for an audition]. We went to the hotel on New Year’s Eve [for] some random party. I was stalking Jack Inslee’s page. I know what he looks like. We were about to leave because we couldn’t get in, and the one guy we came to see walks out to smoke a cigarette.” Inslee, Full Service Radio’s founder and creative director, told them to send an email. Jones did. He sent two more over the course of the next five months, before Photo: Trent Johnson Inslee finally gave them an audition in the summer. “We thought it wasn’t going to happen,” Jones says “That’s a great part of it,” Showell says. “There’s definitely something candidly. “We went in there and bodied it the first time – one take to mastering how to navigate SoundCloud or making stations [based Drake.” on] music you like. It’s that combined with submissions [and] word of The formula of the show was simple, a call back to hip-hop radio in mouth.” the 90s. Interviews with artists would be interspersed with music from “[Follow] the trail of quality,” Jones adds. “Most quality artists work their latest mixtapes, bringing a nostalgic, retro feel to the program with other quality artists. We canvas the platforms pretty well and we’re and a personal connection to the local talent. super active on social media. I always knew there were artists here.” “I want an artist to [be able to] drop locally, because they can’t go ThFctry’s own trail of quality doesn’t end at playlists and podcasts, to [93.9] WKYS to play their whole album,” Jones says. “[The station] is as the duo has a score of ideas for future multimedia projects just not going to do it, or at least they haven’t been doing it. I felt like including an upcoming radio tour consisting of stops at the LINE’s that model was the most effective. [On] the first couple of episodes, sister hotels. we just played all of our favorite music that you don’t know about, “We’re going to be kicking it with artists for like a week, so we can but we needed to add that personal touch.” have a good amount of content,” Jones says. “[And] just really shine a light on something not only we can use, but they can use while they go along. We’re just going to be doing dope shit.”

Local Lists + Future Forays

In-between radio booths, Jones and Showell became Internet investigators in search of new local music. SoundCloud became a useful tool as the website operates as a stomping ground for up-andcoming artists. However, the limitless supply of songs can be difficult to sift through. That’s where ThFctry came through with their monthly “Sounds and Smoke Daylists,” available on SoundCloud.

Check out ThFctry’s dope shit, including playlists and full episodes of their radio show, at www.soundcloud.com/thfctry. For information regarding their upcoming schedule and future projects, follow them on social media @thfctry. Learn more about Full Service Radio at www.thelinehotel. com/full-service-radio. www.ontaponline.com | AUGUST 2019 | ON TAP



LIGHTMARE By Lightmare members Mike Beckage, Vitamin Dee Chrystal, Frankie Goodbye, Matt Kirkland, Josette Matoto and Shady Rose // as told to M.K. Koszycki

Mike Beckage, Shady Rose and Josette Matoto

L to R: Vitamin Dee Chrystal, Frankie Goodbye, Mike Beckage, Josette Matoto, Matt Kirkland and Shady Rose

Lightmare doesn’t just make music. They create change. Since their beginnings as a “six-piece soul-punk outfit” touring around DC to recording and releasing their full-length record Dream Glitch last year, the group has always held their individual and group identities close as a way to engage each other and their audiences about their message and their music. In order to let the band fully express their inner thoughts and inner workings, On Tap facilitated a conversation with the group before their show at the Dew Drop Inn last month where they asked questions specific to each member and their ethos as a band. They asked what they wanted to know of each other, answered honestly, and shared much of their music and themselves in the process.


Beck: You once said to me that when you get onstage you “become our music” and the line between where you end and the music begins essentially disappears. What did you mean by that? Shady: When I’m presenting a performance type of art, especially music to a group of people, the purpose of that action is to disappear my identity and become the object of the music. The music then also becomes the audience, so I become the audience. I feel so connected and insightful into their being, and also deeply aware of the otherness of other people and the otherness of me. It’s a mindf—k. It’s a beautiful moment to me.


Dee: The August 15 show is your last one with us. Years from now, what do you think your lasting impressions or favorite moments from your time with us will be? Josette: Recording was really great because I got to hang out with y’all over more than just a day, and in a tiny room pretty intensely. The things I already loved about you all were double time. I know I was struggling on some parts of drumming. You were all sweet


ON TAP | AUGUST 2019 | www.ontaponline.com

and super supportive and no one got frustrated. I tell this to my partner Jess all the time that y’all are just the sweetest, kindest, most thoughtful group. For better [or] for worse, it makes it harder to leave.


Shady: Have you ever done something really unkind? How did you process that? Frankie: Sadly, I’m a human despite my robot interior. I am always striving to be a better version of a human, and I definitely mess up. But as a young person, I was not the greatest at times. I wrestled with many, many demons [and] still do. That led me to make poor decisions, usually catching someone in the mix. I feel that I am constantly processing it, even after all these years, and constantly checking in with myself and my actions before I make another poor decision. Working with Girls Rock! DC, giving back to kids and folx in the community, and having music as an outlet are my most productive means of processing.


Frankie: Some of my favorite musicians say they can visually see the music before it comes out of them. The music tells them where to go and they’re just the vehicle for it. How do you muster up those sick riffs? Beck: You’re really in the zone and doing your job as a musician. You’re just a conduit and a vessel. You get to express to the audience what you’re trying to say musically. I do hear things in my head before I make them happen on the guitar, but it hasn’t always been that way. A big challenge for me musically has been making the guitar do what I want instead of having the guitar dictate what I can do.


Dee: In the past, you’ve shied away from solos and have said you

Vitamin Dee Chrystal and Matt Kirkland

just want to “doot doot doot” and jump around, but your parts are actually quite sophisticated. How do you view your role in the group dynamic, both interpersonally and musically? Matt: As you get older and have life experiences, you learn that other voices need to be heard. You want to lay back a little bit, and if you have something to offer and provide, you do it. And that’s kind of how I see my instrument in Lightmare. When the song calls for it, I offer it. When there’s decisions to be made and they’re tough and we’re having a discussion – and if it’s something that I have experience with – I offer it. But I try not to push it to the front. That’s the beauty of the whole band in general. I feel like everybody is on that page. If only it was like that in real life as well.


Shady: You have a uniquely open heart and I know that onstage, in practice and just in the life of an artist, being so open and raw can be both a gift and a challenge. Can you speak on a time that it was a gift in your life and a time it was a challenge? Dee: Something that happened to me in adulthood was learning to be publicly vulnerable. I’ve actually found that in expressing vulnerability, it takes away a lot of the pain and the shame that comes with trying to keep it hidden. It started with me talking about some of the mental health challenges I face. I think it’s so important to talk about it, so that more people understand how common it is. My friends had to really be strict about setting boundaries before I was like, “Oh, I do need to go to a therapist.” I’m still learning how to do that, but I’ve come such a long way.


Matt: Identity and politics seem to be something that typically marginalized folks publicly address and push back against the mainstream narrative in the world. A lot of privileged folx sit out or piggyback off of the work womxn, nonbinary, trans, queer and other nonprivileged folx put out into the world. How does your

Photos: Kimchi Photography

identity shape your vision for Lightmare, your decision to join, the space you’re creating and your hopes for the future of the group? Frankie: When I auditioned for the band, I thought, “Well, this is perfect! They need another nonbinary person to make it all even.” Walking in, I got a sense of belonging versus a homogenized group. My identity is more than that. It’s who I am, how I walk around in the world – and that comes with a lot. The good, [the] bad, and at times, [the] dangerous. That shapes my message: what I need other folx to hear or understand through my music and my way of being. I don’t think I could do that in another band. The commonality of thought is not always there. In Lightmare, differences are met with conversation, which leads to understanding. How many spaces can you find that? Dee: I just want to say, part of why I stick with Lightmare is because the men in the band who are coded as straight white dudes are asking these questions and we’re having these conversations. I mean like, f--k. Thank you for asking. It’s a great question. Shady: Coming from a background as a black person, as a femme person who is queer [and] grew up pretty poor, [it’s] being a part of a group of people who are really trying to put out a message that is real and engaged with the issues. We’re out here being radically open [and] radically honest with each other where we can. We’re being vulnerable when we’re seeking knowledge. We’re being real with each other and calling each other out when we need to. Creating that mutual respect between us as a group of people is super important to me. It reaffirms my knowledge that it’s possible [on] larger scales to have a really varied group of people come together and accomplish something really big and important together, while centering on the needs and identities of marginalized people. **This interview was edited for length and clarity.

Lightmare play Rhizome with Strange Froots and Black Folks Don’t Swim? on Thursday, August 15. For more information on the band, visit www.lightmare.bandcamp.com and follow them on Instagram and Twitter @lightmare.dc. Rhizome: 6950 Maple St. NW, DC; www.rhizomedc.org www.ontaponline.com | AUGUST 2019 | ON TAP


DC Music Take Day Jobs to nex t level By Courtney Sexton

Musicians hold a mesmerizing and often mystical appeal. Onstage, in the club, even walking down the street – they are the rock gods, the jazz greats, the punk queens. They are also real people. While you’re not thinking about that as you fist pump or sway awkwardly side-to-side at their shows, if they’re not winning Grammys, most of them also have day jobs. Sure, you get it. Your best friend’s boyfriend who plays bass is also a barista at the local café, and the drummer from that one band that you follow too closely on Facebook is the bike courier who delivered flowers to you that one time and you wanted to ask for his autograph but you thought it was weird. But in DC, the meaning of “musician with a day job” is a little different. Here, I’ve run into people playing sick riffs on the weekend only to roll into the DOJ in suit and tie Monday morning. Or picking a banjo and kicking an ankle tambourine in-between interviewing people as a journalist for Science Magazine. Or, you know, mixing hiphop records after getting home from the IT department at NASA. All real people. Take, for example, Steve Jabo. Have you been over to the National Museum of Natural History to check out the brand new dino hall yet? Well, we’ve got Jabo to thank for that. At NMNH, he’s a preparator of vertebrate fossils, which means he puts dinosaurs together. He’s also been playing in bands since the seventh grade, and for the past 22 years with local rock cover band Consider the Source (a.k.a. The Woodford Reserve when playing without one member who is now based in Georgia). Jabo and his bandmates get together every Thursday to practice in his Arlington, Virginia basement where he has a full setup. “It’s kind of just unspoken and we really take pride in the fact that everyone shows up,” he says. “There’s no drama. We’re good friends who really like music. Our number one priority is the music, and that makes everything more enjoyable.” The band has played lots of classic local spots, including the late Bangkok Blues and Luna Park Grille. These days, they’re semi-regulars at Clare & Don’s in Falls Church where they play literally everything you could imagine – from Elvis Costello and Tom Petty to Patti Smith and Bowie. “It’s hard to find new stuff [that is appealing to lots of people]. I like to do our own take on things and change it up.” Wondering what the dinosaurs listen to? As far as music in the Paleo Lab at the museum, Jabo says he starts the day listening to “something mellow, like classical music or jazz.” Then, he works his way “up to something with a little more energy,” which can mean almost anything.


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“My music collection is 12,000-plus tunes of everything from Gregorian chant…to hip-hop…to punk rock. I’ll usually just hit the ‘Shuffle All’ button and let it ride. If I’m doing something really delicate under the scope, I’ll put the earbuds in and listen to Miles Davis or Puccini arias to get in the zone.” That said, Jabo generally subcribes to a “gotta keep ’em separated” mantra when it comes to his career and his passion for music. Alex Dent, on the other hand, tries to find as many ways as possible to merge the two. When not writing music and performing with his punk rock band Weird Babies, Dent is an enthomusicologist at George Washington University. Dent uses linguistic theory to explore the influence of music in cultures. Prior to joining the world of academia, he had an “ah-hah” moment while working as an Outward Bound instructor with at-risk youth. “This thing happened where the kids started talking to me a lot about their music, and I became a lot better at working with them when I was listening to what they were listening to,” Dent says. “At that time, it was a lot of Public Enemy.” When he realized music was the language he most wanted to understand, Dent traveled to South America for his dissertation on policing and the DVD pirating history of Brazilian punk rock. When he returned to the States, he started playing a lot of his own music under a small Chicago label – but was somewhat restricted in terms of his research work. These days, however, as a tenured professor with a couple of books under his belt, Dent is done with boundaries. “The more I can integrate my academic work and teaching with my music, the happier I am,” he says. Right now, that looks like collaboration with a composer to teach a class on sound, researching cell phone use in local teenage populations, studying the resurgence of punk in DC and, of course, playing with his band Weird Babies. “Shows I like playing the most are benefit shows,” he says. “We recently did one for gun control at St. Stephen’s and for [DMV immigration services organization] Ayuda at Rhizome. I’m wondering what it would be like to create a kind of pedagogical instrument for helping students think about the relationships between arts and community activism and civic engagement.” Taking musical pedagogy and activism to another level, Adele Marie – whose hauntingly beautiful voice stopped me dead in my tracks at a show last winter – is a board-certified music therapist at the John L. Gildner Regional Institute for Children and Adolescents. “In high school, a friend asked me, ‘What do you want to study in

cians o the I’ve run into people playing sick riffs on the weekend only to roll into the DOJ in suit and tie Monday morning. Or picking a banjo and kicking an ankle tambourine in-between interviewing people as a journalist. Or mixing hip-hop records after getting home from NASA.




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college?’ and I replied, ‘All I know is I want to do something where I can help people,’” she says. “I didn’t hear the words ‘music therapy’ until the beginning of my community college enrollment, but as soon as I did, I never seriously considered any other career path.” The artist works with adolescents and young adults ages 10-21 who experience various manifestations of emotional and/or behavioral issues caused by a broad scale of traumas, mental illnesses, autism spectrum disorders and other diagnoses. “My two favorite parts about my work are communicating with my clients through music and sharing a musical space with them, and witnessing their growth and progress,” she says. But the intense adversity many of her clients face is challenging. “Music therapy is not always pretty. It does not always involve beautiful music-making – in fact, it may involve complete chaos.” In terms of her own musicianship, like Dent, she has found DC to be a hotspot for musicians looking to share creative processes. She cites the DIY community as being especially supportive, opening up gig opportunities at spots like Boundary Stone, Songbyrd Record Cafe and Music House’s Vinyl Lounge, Dwell and FRESHFARM Markets, among others. Catch folk-rock project Adele Marie & The Milkweeds at Velvet Lounge on August 28, and learn more about these unexpected musicians and their bands below. Adele Marie: www.adelemarie.bandcamp.com Consider the Source: www.fb.com/considerthesource Weird Babies: www.weirdbabies.bandcamp.com




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Photos: Selena Benally, courtesy of DC Music Rocks

THE EPITOME OF MUSIC INCLUSIV Brian Palmer had a small yet inventive idea that sparked a festival authentically highlighting the DC music scene. He performed all across the nation’s capital with his band Fellowcraft, meeting many talented artists along the way. He later realized the potential of DC’s music scene and wanted to shed light on what others were overlooking, so he created radio show and podcast DC Music Rocks to highlight the local music community. Alongside this year’s festival coordinator Daniel Roberts, he crafted the idea to produce an event that would incorporate everything he’d witnessed on the road. “We look at the DC scene and see the amazing amounts of diversity and great artistry, and no one really knows it’s there except for the small groups of people in each scene,” Roberts says. “But it’s not well-known outside of DC.” This year’s DC Music Rocks Festival will be held at the 9:30 Club on August 17. Participating artists range from reggae to indie pop,


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showcasing the stylistic variation that epitomizes the local music scene. Not bound by expectations or competition, this festival creates a supportive, inclusive atmosphere. In keeping with the festival’s mission, Palmer and Roberts searched for artists across the DC area that would fit their vision – but this proved challenging due to the fact that most of the participants seemed to be white male guitarists. “They are a dime a dozen, and I happen to be one of them,” Roberts says. Nonetheless, diversity was a huge element of success for the festival, which meant more culture, more women and more music. The festival features six artists that have manifested their careers by developing original sounds, including Sub-Radio and Iza Flow. Made up of childhood friends, Sub-Radio brings their own flair to indie music. Lead vocalist Adam Bradley describes their sound as “indie pop with a dance atmosphere.” They don’t fit in the usual boundaries of chill, elastic pop; instead, they craft upbeat tempos and psychedelic twists.

Iza Flo

Photo: courtesy of DC Music Rocks


Iza Flo, a mesh of different women, ages, backgrounds and cultures, is one of the few bands on the scene that exemplifies an energy the DC community craves. Diora Brown, the group’s MC, describes their sound as “a lot of soul with hip-hop elements [and] a unique nostalgia that reminds you of the 80s.” Though they only formed this April, Iza Flow developed an approach to music that is naturally authentic. With such a positive and early beginning, performing at this festival provides them with an accepting outlet to dive into their craft and career as a group. Even though the festival’s platform is built on diversity, the goal is also to expose artists to a higher platform. Roberts, who has his own record label, discovered that there aren’t enough musical outlets in DC for artists to reach a broader audience. Navigating the steps to reach national recognition can pose an enormous challenge to local artists, and Roberts and his collaborators want to use this festival to create more opportunities.

The DC Music Rocks Festival also pushes the local music scene forward with the support of nonprofit the MusicianShip, which helps at-risk youth through music education. Sub-Radio is a huge advocate for music education, considering it is one of the vital points that led to the creation of the band. “We love to advocate for music education whenever possible,” says guitarist and vocalist Matt Prodanovich. “Four or five of us took classical guitar lessons in high school, which was one of the big factors on how we met and formed our band.” This is a festival built on the diversity of its artists and their stylistic expression. Don’t miss the authenticity and vibrancy of DC’s local music scene at the DC Music Rocks Festival on Saturday, August 17 at the 9:30 Club. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at www.dcmusicrocks.com. 9:30 Club: 815 V St. NW, DC; 202 265-0930; www.930.com www.ontaponline.com | AUGUST 2019 | ON TAP


TUXEDO Puts the Fun in Funk By M.K. Koszycki Tuxedo’s Mayer Hawthorne and Jake One


ayer Hawthorne is an Aquarius. Jake One is a Taurus. Both are goal-oriented, fixed signs, and when revolutionary and independent Aquarians are coupled with pragmatic and creative Taureans, it spells out a match for success written by the cosmos. While Hawthorne says their references to astrology are inspired by musicians they love who have done the same, there’s something uncanny about the way their sun signs work together. If you’re not one to put trust in astrology, the individual accomplishments Hawthorne and One bring to their funk-pop project Tuxedo are more impressive than any sort of astrological fate.


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Photo: Andi Elloway

Both have been hard at work on their own for over 10 years. Hawthorne makes mellifluous, Motown-inspired sounds and One lends his production chops to artists like Drake, De La Soul and Rick Ross, even mixing a few songs for Hawthorne himself. Much like their solo work, the way the pair approaches music is varied – but only to the point where the two can balance out each other’s habits. “Our big thing is that I’m really good at starting stuff and letting it go, [and] Mayer’s really good at finishing and not letting it go at all,” One explains as Hawthorne laughs. “I’m the perfectionist,” Hawthorne admits. “I have a hard time just throwing shit onto the canvas, and Jake is really good at that.”

The only rule was that anybody that we put on the album had to be somebody who was really a homie of ours.





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What started out as a passion project between kindred musical spirits has become a runaway, if unexpected, success. The duo’s secret weapon? Not taking themselves too seriously. They have their solo careers for that and can fully exercise their creative visions without as much tension as one may expect to face when forming a group. “What really made Tuxedo successful was that we didn’t put any pressure on it at all,” One explains. “When I get together with Mayer, it’s like summer camp or something – no pressure. And that’s what makes it special, really. We reaffirmed my belief that you’ve just got to do what you want.” Hawthorne agrees, reiterating that the focal point has never been to make hit records or a certain amount of money from the duo’s music. “Part of the reason that Tuxedo is so great is because we have the freedom to be so silly with it sometimes and try crazy things because there’s not as much pressure for it to be successful financially,” he continues. In keeping with the collaborative spirit that’s woven throughout the project, their most recent record, this July’s Tuxedo III, is heavy on features from a wide variety of artists. Some are household names (MF DOOM) while others are energetic up-and-comers (Gabriel Garzón-Montano). They all have one thing in common though: they’re friends of Hawthorne and One, and that was important to the duo when deciding who to collaborate with. “The only rule was that anybody that we put on the album had to be somebody who was really a homie of ours,” Hawthorne elaborates. “We did songs with more well-known artists and they didn’t make the album. The people who are really our homies, that we are actually friends with, those just naturally worked better and that was what we ended up using.” The artists keep this same energy at their live shows, which both agree is Tuxedo in its purest form. The aforementioned ability to play up the best of each other’s strengths alongside what One describes as their “joyous sound” makes for one hell of a dance party. “The live show is kind of what makes it all worth it – just being able to see people’s reactions to what you worked on and spent time on,” One says of Tuxedo’s upcoming stop at the 9:30 Club this month. “We did a U Street Music Hall show last time we were in DC, [and] we didn’t know if anybody liked us. But we sold out and everybody went crazy and we were like, ‘Yeah, we’re doing the right thing.’ It gives you a kick in the butt in the right direction.” Hawthorne wholeheartedly concurs about the District. “DC has actually always been a really good indicator for us. The DC crowd [is] so knowledgeable, so if they are really into what we’re doing, that means we’re doing the right thing.” Tuxedo brings the fun and the funk to 9:30 Club on Sunday, August 4. Tickets are $25, and doors open at 7 p.m. For more on the duo, visit www.tuxedofunk.com. 9:30 Club: 815 V St. NW, DC; 202-035-0930; www.930.com

By Madison Hunt Tame Impala

TUESDAY, AUGUST 6 21 Savage Since his controversial arrest with ICE in early February, there has been a lot of uncertainty in 21 Savage’s music career. He’s had a lot of challenges coming back into the music industry; however, he used his experience to give back to his community. His sophomore album i am> i was, is a testament to that. Savage approached this album with more sentimental songs: “A Lot,” “Letter 2 My Momma” and “All My Friends” progressed his artistic expression. His duality of gangster rap and emotions exemplifies through this album, which allows his listeners to be completely captivated. Doors at 6:30 p.m. Tickets start at $55. The Anthem: 901 Wharf St. SW, DC; www.theanthemdc.com

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 7 Hibou Peter Michel began his career at the early age of 17, touring with his band at night and finishing his studies during the day. Developing a love for classical music in early adolescence, he expanded his creativity by crossing over to the guitar and songwriting, which led him to form the band Hibou. The Seattle-based musician has released four studio albums leading him around the world, reaching audiences far and wide that ultimately put him in his position today. Michel’s vocals play on 80s indie pop, fueled by guitar melodies and flux arrangements. Show at 8 p.m. Tickets $12. Pie Shop: 1339 H St. NE, DC; www.pieshopdc.com

THURSDAY, AUGUST 8 Copper Chief Copper Chief brings a spunky twist to country music. Deep in Texas influence and even deeper in brotherhood, Chief has been gracing stages nationwide to give you a taste of country-infused rock ‘n’ roll. The group, made up of Mike Vallerie, Rio Tripiano, Justin Lusk and John Jammall II, has created more of a music family than an ensemble. The momentum of this band is promising, after winning at the 2019 Texas Regional Radio Music Awards and becoming USA


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Network’s fan favorite. Their boundary crossing sound is influenced by soul, psychedelic and blues. Doors at 7 p.m. Tickets $12. Gypsy Sally’s: 3401 K St. NW, DC; www.gypsysallys.com

FRIDAY, AUGUST 9 Nalani & Sarina Identical sisters Nalani & Sarina have utilized their musical inclinations to create a savvy approach to pop music. Their spunk brings new energy back to music and their pop-soul approach drives this kind of music forward. With such a free ambiance, they touch on subjects including individuality, subjectivity and inclusivity while empowering women. Each set is different, and they always play on improvisation, so it’s no telling what they have in store for their fans. Doors at 8 p.m. Tickets $10. Velvet Lounge: 915 U St. NW, DC; www.velvetloungedc.com

SUNDAY, AUGUST 11 Nappy Roots Nappy Roots is back to grace the stage after years of retirement. Rooted in southern Kentucky influences, the hip-hop group took the industry by storm. Intertwining folk and rap and bringing a new perspective to music. Collaborating with renowned artists like Anthony Hamilton, Greg Nice and more, their unique sound drew fans in and ultimately led them to sold more than 3 million albums. Nappy Roots managed to go out on their own and create a new wave of music. With the release of their tenth mixtape Sh!t’s Beautiful, they have built a 20-year career that continues to surprise the music world. Doors at 6 p.m. Tickets start at $25. City Winery: 1350 Okie St. NE, DC; www.citywinery.com Yeek Los Angeles-based singer, songwriter and producer Yeek brings back the nostalgia of artists like N.E.R.D and No Doubt while also creating a unique sound. His mix of hip-hop and punk rock allows the listener to be completely captivated and experience a new age of music.


In 2017, he released his debut album Sebastian, turning heads and pushing his stardom forward. Yeek’s most recent releases analyzes his progression as an artist, yet still pays tribute to his old works. Doors at 7 p.m. Tickets $15. Songbyrd Record Cafe and Music House: 2475 18th St. NW, DC; www.songbyrddc.com

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 14 Common Coated in poetry and slick in rhyme, Common has a career spanning over 30 years. He has challenged the ideal rap artist by preaching nothing but authentic life and social experiences – and his upcoming tour is no different. The Let Love tour is the result of the release of his memoir Let Love Have the Last Word, where he exclusively talks about his trials and tribulations as a black man growing up in Chicago. His vulnerability not only in his book as well his tour opens up a completely different side of Common his fans have never seen before. The melodic tone that renders your attention will leave you captivated and also as vulnerable as he is. Doors at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $32. Warner Theatre: 513 13th St. NW, DC; www.warnertheatredc.com Purple Mountains Resurfacing after almost a decade, David Berman shocked the public with his return of four new singles and a different band: Purple Mountains. It was surprising that after dismantling Silver Jews, Berman didn’t return right away for a solo career – but he’s back with a new sound that all his fans will enjoy. Stricken with loss and selfreflection, his music narrates the disintegration of friends, family and fans that were once dear to him. His sensitivity throughout “All My Happiness is Gone” may scare his fans due to the interpretations of addiction and suicide, but it examines his growth as an artist almost a decade later. His psychedelic approach to each song may seem overdramatized, but in a sense, that’s what makes it beautiful. There is no perfect song, which circles back to his reality. Show at 7:30 p.m. Tickets $25. Black Cat: 1811 14th St. NW, DC; www.blackcatdc.com


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THURSDAY, AUGUST 15 Catching Flies This London-based DJ and producer has a way of quenching the thirst of all those who listen to him. Catching Flies reaches right into your soul to the deepest depths through his melodic, percussive beats. He uses all genres – hip-hop, R&B, neo-soul, pop and more – to create this unique experience. Earning a fan base of some of the greats including Giles Peterson, Annie Mac and Huw Stephens, he has built a musical platform that’s uniquely diverse and dynamic. His new album Silver Linings, released in early July, is naturally moving and emotionally structured. Show at 10 p.m. Tickets $10. U Street Music Hall: 1115 U St. NW, DC; www.ustreetmusichall.com The Jonas Brothers After years of anticipation, The Jonas Brothers have returned – and they’re all grown up. After crushing millions of young teen hearts in 2013 when they announced their split, Nick, Joe and Kevin went their separate ways. But after years of longing, our prayers have been answered. Their comeback single “Sucker” brings a more seductive, edgy vibe to this heartthrob band. We all love the classics – “Burnin’ Up,” “LoveBug,” “Year 3000” – but Happiness Begins examines their progression as artists. The brothers have always been a force, but their individual artistry shines throughout this album. Additionally, it examines the diligence and work ethic they all acquired driving the boy band industry after years of separation. This tour is something we’ve all been waiting for, and The Jonas Brothers aren’t going to disappoint. Show at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $115. Capital One Arena: 601 F St. NW, DC; www.capitalonearena.com Tessa Violet First known for her YouTube channel, Tessa Violet found stardom by gaining a million subscribers for her quirky videos and vlogs. She garnered national attention with her hit single “Crush,” released in June of last year. It surprised all of her fans and subscribers that her musical talents went beyond the kid-like videos she made for her channel, earning her respect in the music industry with this more

mature take on pop music. She later released numerous singles that her fans seem to love, and now Violet is taking a break from YouTube and hitting the road on this tour to really embrace the lifestyle of pop music. Doors at 7 p.m. Tickets $15. Rock & Roll Hotel: 1353 H St. NE, DC; www.rockandrollhoteldc.com

TUESDAY, AUGUST 20 Tab Benoit Born in the Bayou, Tab Benoit has crafted a career rooted in soul. The Louisiana native has used his guitar to paint a picture of the Delta Blues that lies deep within him. Benoit started playing the guitar at an early age, learning from blues legends Raful Neal and Tabby Thomas, and has since taken his skills to the next level. Benoit was destined to become the phenomenon that he is today, bringing the Bayou to the DMV for a can’t-miss performance. Show at 7:30 p.m. Tickets $35. The Birchmere: 3701 Mount Vernon Ave. Alexandria VA; www.birchmere.com

FRIDAY, AUGUST 23 Brittany Howard Brittany Howard is taking a break from her Grammy winning band Alabama Shakes and strutting out for her solo career. Her debut album Jaime brings a modern twist to this once country artist’s sound. Her album, set to debut in early September, brings a psychedelic funk, soul-defined and hip-hop accented sound that highlight her past. Howard goes into depth with sexuality, family tragedy, religious indifference and much more. She is finally stepping out on her own two feet and is definitely a solo artist to watch. Doors at 8 p.m. Tickets $55. 9:30 Club: 815 V St. NW, DC; www.930.com RL Grime King of electronic trap production RL Grime has brought a vibrant twist to the dance music scene. Working with artists like Ty Dolla $ign, Kanye West, Miguel and more helped him revamp his sound into something completely unique. There is no holding back – Grime’s continuously released hit after hit. His deep and aggressive chord progressions won’t allow your feet to stop moving, and the artist’s high octaves and percussive bass are captivating. His fans have traveled far and wide to see what he’ll come up with next, so don’t miss him at Echostage this month. Show at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $25. Echostage: 2135 Queens Chapel Rd. NE, DC; www.echostage.com

SATURDAY, AUGUST 24 The Beach Boys The boys are back. The Beach Boys are celebrating their 50th anniversary with a reunion tour. Music spanning multiple generations will bring people from all walks of life – creating an almost religious experience. Coming almost full circle, Mike Love and the boys have relished in the opportunity to come together again and this reunion is the perfect excuse. They’re also creating a new studio album, That’s Why God Made the Radio, that examines the fruition of their iconic sound over a 50-year period. All-American classics like “Surfin’ USA,” “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” and “California Girls” return to the main stage as The Beach Boys brings us back to this magical time of music. Doors at 1:30 p.m. Tickets start at $35. Filene Center at Wolf Trap: 1551 Trap Rd. Vienna, VA; www.wolftrap.org

SATURDAY, AUGUST 24 - SUNDAY, AUGUST 25 Tame Impala There is no one quite like Tame Impala in the industry today. The psychedelic pop stars have created a sound that is unmatched, as


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the Australian natives have brought the 60s into modern music. With the emergence of color, root of pop-rock and accents of soul, they challenge the typical take on pop music. Stepping onto the scene in 2010, Kevin Parker and his band released their debut album Innerspeaker, which gained worldwide praise for creating an entirely different entity in pop music. They went on to release multi-platinum studio albums that garnered national attention, leading to sold-out stadium shows across the globe. Their influence on the sonic universe will take you on an experience that’s out of this world. Doors at 6:30 p.m. Tickets start at $55. The Anthem: 901 Wharf St. SW, DC; www.theanthemdc.com

THURSDAY, AUGUST 29 Kindo Rooted in contemporary jazz with accents of rock and pop, Kindo is an unlikely success story. Since releasing their debut EP almost a decade ago, they’ve sold 30,000 records worldwide and have 2.5 million Spotify plays and 3 million views on YouTube. But that is just the beginning to their success. From their humble beginnings in Buffalo, New York, they created their unique sound via the influences of Radiohead, Robert Glasper and Justin Timberlake. With R&B and Latin accents conjoined with sophisticated lyrics, they keep their fans moving. Doors at 7 p.m. Tickets $15. DC9: 1940 9th St. NW, DC; www.dc9.club

SATURDAY, AUGUST 31 Danielle Nicole Band Grammy nominated for best contemporary blues album, Danielle Nicole has taken the blues industry by storm. Once the lead singer of Trampled Under Foot, Nicole has since stepped out on her own and is becoming the blues musician she has always wanted to be. Catering to a younger crowd, she wants the authenticity of music to inspire the next generation. With the strum of her guitar, the brass of the bass and the underline of the drums, she has created something soothing to the ear. She has slowly but surely created a name for herself, and this tour is just a testament to her growth as an artist. Doors at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $15. Pearl Street Warehouse: 33 Pearl St. SW, DC; www.pearlstreetwarehouse.com Oshun This dynamic duo crosses boundaries of soul and Afrofuturism. They blend the acoustic sounds of guitar and the bass of heavy drums with inspired lyrics to create the beautiful sound that has reached international audiences. Since their debut mixtape in 2015, ASASE YAA, they have created a following that has amassed all over social media and continues to push their career today. Gaining national attention, they’re quickly becoming one of the most prominent soulful groups of our generation. As full-time college students at NYU, they managed to travel all across the world. Now, they have come into their own through their artistry as powerhouses in today’s music industry. Doors at 7 p.m. Tickets $15. Union Stage: 740 Water St. SW, DC; www.unionstage.com

SATURDAY, AUGUST 31 - SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 1 Labor Day Weekend Music Festival Lincoln Theatres is rounding out the summer with its Labor Day Weekend Music Festival. Come enjoy a free two-night festival filled with some of the greatest artists to grace our nation’s capital. Musicians, bands, producers and more will grace the stage to give local music lovers a diverse show. So come out to Lincoln Theatre to listen to the soundtrack of DC’s 2019 summer. Show starts at 7 p.m. Free. Lincoln Theatre: 1215 U St. NW, DC; www.thelincolndc.com



7-9pm at Yards Park | 355 Water Street SE New

Right on the Boardwalk! 4th Street

y Ave

3rd Street


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Half Street

Tingey Street


Aztec Sun


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Nationals Park

Water Street

Yards Park

8/16 Brent & Co


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o Pot

8/23 La Unica


8/30 Trailer Grass Orchestra Pop Bluegrass

Beer & Wine Available Onsite (must be 21+ no outside alcohol)

capitolriverfront.org | @CapitolRiverfront | @YardsParkDC | #CapRiv

Anacostia River

Navy Yard





1 from every case of Pacifico sold will be donated to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation!

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The Harbour Grille Madigan’s Waterfront Electric Palm Fish Market Chadwick’s Bugsy’s

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