Posted by Editorial / Monday, August 31st, 2015
By Robyn Smith
The Walking Guys, a group of four men all in their early- to mid-20s, began their journey in Portland, Maine, on July 8. Since then, they’ve walked almost 400 miles and played 30 gigs, and that’s just from the official tour list, which doesn’t include impromptu performances. The Walking Guys’ mantra is “Live Simple, Spread Music.” The group will make its way to Northern Virginia from Sept. 1-3, playing at Jammin Java in Vienna on Sept. 1. We spoke with Chris Kessenich as the group was just beginning their 15-mile daily walk to learn a little more about their journey so far.
What’s one thing you thought you could never leave behind?
That one might be tough. I feel like I’m pretty free and open to living without things. I guess the one thing that’s been most difficult or most stressful has been not really knowing where we sleep every night. So I guess my home as a whole or my apartment as a whole. And just knowing the location where you’ll rest your head every night is a big-time luxury that I totally had taken for granted throughout my life. The stress of trying to figure that out every night has been very interesting and very eye opening.
Before you began, how did people respond when you told them about the tour?
Most people were very confused. We’d go, ‘Yeah, we’re walking the whole tour,’ and they’d go, ‘What?!’ Then [we'd say] ‘Yeah, we’re planning on just walking,’ and they’d go, ‘What do you mean? How?’ and we’d explain: ‘Well, you take your right foot, then your left foot. You go one by one and you end up in a different place by the end of the day.’
On your website you discuss depending on the kindness of others for survival. What have been some of your kindest experiences so far?
There’s just an absolute laundry list of people. … Oh, Mama Gene. In Newport, Rhode Island, we were walking into town, and this lady stopped and started talking to us for a little bit and then after that conversation invited us to stay at her house for the remainder of the weekend. So while we were in Newport for like three days, she basically provided for us and helped us out. She gave us a place to stay, allowed us to go out and explore the city, go to the folk festival and play music there, and we actually found another gig as well.
Where are some of the places you’ve stayed?
So we have all of our camping gear. Every day we start out and very rarely know where we’re sleeping, and we just hope to try to find a place by meeting people. If not, we default to camping either in a park or on the side of the road or in the woods—basically anywhere we think we can set up without getting in trouble—and then head on out the next morning. At Somerville, we stayed down in a park in a pretty sketchy area and were woken up at like 6 o’clock by a park ranger who basically explained to us that that park is generally drawn with heroin and crack addicts and that we were very lucky. So that was an interesting night. There actually were a couple people that ran into us that night that weren’t too out of the norm. [But other than that, it’s] largely people’s homes; a lot of the time we couch surf.
What do you appreciate more now that you’ve walked such a long way?
Definitely the speed at which we travel. The first day we walked, we walked for like 10 hours. It was grueling. It was really hot and it was our first day of walking, so we weren’t used to it at all. It was a long, long, exhausting day. At the end of the day, we walked into this coffee shop, sat down to get some water and started talking to one of the guys that was sitting at the bar. I asked him, ‘How far is it to Portland?’ and he was kind of laughing, turns around and goes, ‘Oh, 10, 15 minutes, tops.’
What has been the biggest reward so far?
Definitely meeting people and experiencing other people’s hospitality and just establishing these relationships that are meaningful. There are so many generous people in the world. What we’re doing, in a lot of ways, helps bring people out of their shell in some senses. I’m not saying that people have really closed-off minds, but the people that come out and help us often thank us, which is really weird. They’re helping us. But I think it brings them joy to help other people out, and I think what we’re doing really resonates with what they would like to do or would have liked to have done at some point.
The Walking Guys
Sept. 1, 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door
Posted by Lynn Norusis / Tuesday, August 25th, 2015
‘The Voice’ contestant hits the Vienna stage Wednesday to perform tracks off his latest albums.
The Texas pop/soul singer and contestant on season seven of NBC’s “The Voice” stops at Jammin Java this Wednesday as part of his multicity tour. We spoke with the singer about his experience on the show and what audience members can expect from his performance.
You were on season seven of “The Voice” and are now in the midst of a multicity tour. Tell us about the difference in experience of the performances.
It’s completely different. If you’re on TV, they have crowd warmers. They come out and get everyone excited and show everyone how they want them to cheer and go crazy.It’s kind of fish in a barrel in that respect, whereas live, people don’t know what to expect. You don’t know who you’re going to get in front of, what they’re feeling and what they’re looking for necessarily. Also, you never know if there’s going to be five or 5,000 people in the crowd.
Have you learned anything from your time on the show that you have used for your performances?
Absolutely. I learned a lot about what I’m capable of, what my strengths are and how I deal with high-pressure situations. I learned a lot about professionalism and production and presentation—all kinds of things.
You’re on a tour, playing with your band and playing original music. What will audience members at Jammin Java get to experience? How would you describe the show you’re going to play on Aug. 26?
It’s a six-piece band. It gets soulful; it gets funky. Ultimately, I like to take people on a journey. I like to have some emotional moments and just be as connected as possible. I sing about things we all think about and don’t necessarily talk about all the time. We do songs off the first two albums, songs from the season of “The Voice” that I was on and quite a few songs from our upcoming album that hasn’t been released yet, which I’m really excited about. I’ve been known to climb on things and run through the crowd. I’m pretty rambunctious on stage.
You’ve also been chosen to perform the song and music video for Susan G. Komen’s 2015-16 fundraising campaign. How did that come about, and what was the experience like?
I do a lot of work locally with a children’s hospital called Cook Children’s. I was with them at a thing called Healthcare Heroes in 2014, and there was a women there named Ann Louden from an organization called Frogs for the Cure. They do a song and video every year for Susan G. Komen, so we started talking about me doing it. We [Mia Z and I] ended up doing an amazing version of “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” that’s going to be coming out Sept. 1.
How does this performance and song differ from your own music?
I would say the difference is it’s very authentically Motown. It’s a classic song, and we just did our best to honor the original. We didn’t remix it or anything like that. We completely rerecorded it with a different band. My stuff is very authentically me, which is very eclectic and has a lot of different influences
Do you have any advice for aspiring artists?
Absolutely. Never wait for something to happen to be who you are. Some people think that someone’s going to come along and tell them that they’re good enough. For the most part, it’s way more likely that someone’s going to come along who doesn’t know what they’re talking about and is going to tell you you’re not good enough. Just go ahead and beat both of them to the punch and believe in yourself. Play music no matter what because you love it and because it makes you happy. If you keep doing that, you’re going to get better and better so [that] if you’re not good enough already, you will be. You just have to stay with it and believe in yourself.
By Raquel DeSouza
Vienna is listed No. 48 out of 50 best places to live in the country.
Arlington and Alexandria consider constructing a shared 50-meter pool.
A “Little Free Library” with about 30 books opened in Old Town Manassas.
Andy Murray beats Djokovic and is now focusing on the upcoming U.S. Open in New York.
The Colorado theater shooter missed the death penalty by one juror vote.
Posted by Editorial / Friday, July 10th, 2015
By Grace Ann Brew
This Sunday don’t forget to catch the last night of the preliminary round for Jammin’ Java’s biannual Battle of the Bands. Throughout July and August local bands will compete in front of judges such as music producer Jim Ebert and Stephanie Williams, managing editor of DC Music Download. Prizes include $2,500 cash, the opportunity to record a single with Jim Ebert and a spot headlining Jammin’ Java.
While the competitors hail from all over D.C., Maryland and Virginia, we spoke with NoVA band Timberbrooke about their beginnings in music, their sound and the upcoming competition. Cheer on your local artists this summer by purchasing tickets here.
Members: Devon Kraus (lead vocals), Alex Iglesias (guitar, vocals)
Who we spoke with: Alex Iglesias
Their sound: We started out, as funny and cheesy as it sounds, with the intention of being Disney-style pop rock. As time went on, there was a creative difference between Devon and me and some of our other members. Devon and I started losing that innocent pop rock sound, and we’re starting to go for a harder alternative rock sound. Now we’re even toying with the idea of pushing on post-hardcore.
Their start: Our original guitarist, Alex, was working at Wendy’s. Our old drummer, Ryan, met him there, and they started talking because Ryan was wearing a shirt with a band on it that Alex liked. So they started writing music, and then they found our lead singer, Devon, on Youtube. After that they found me, and I found our original bassist.
Their singularity: I think the thing that has always made our band stand out is the mix of Devon’s really clean-cut, pretty pop star singing voice and my more raspy, rock-oriented voice. That mixed with the fact that I really put everything that I can into the guitar work makes our music stand out from a technical standpoint.
Their shot: We played in Empire’s Battle of the Bands last year, and we took the first round by storm. In the second round the judges were saying that there was nothing wrong with our set, we were just playing with bands who were obviously older and more experienced. In terms of our placing for this battle, I think we’ll do just fine.
The Battle at Jammin’ Java
227 Maple Ave. E., Vienna
Timberbooke performs July 12 at 7:30 p.m.
Posted by Editorial / Wednesday, July 8th, 2015
By Grace Ann Brew
Tonight Jammin’ Java continues to let the good times roll with their biannual Battle of the Bands. Throughout July and August local bands will compete in front of judges such as music producer Jim Ebert and Stephanie Williams, managing editor of DC Music Download. Prizes include $2,500 cash, the opportunity to record a single with Jim Ebert and a spot headlining Jammin’ Java.
While the competitors hail from all over D.C., Maryland and Virginia, we spoke with NoVA band Moon-Scene about their beginnings in music, their sound and the upcoming competition. Cheer on your local artists this summer by purchasing tickets here.
Read the rest of this entry »
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by Editorial / Monday, July 6th, 2015
By Grace Ann Brew
Late last month South Block Juice Co. took over the abandoned Urban Pantry space, which closed in February, to open a new shop next door to its micro-juicery. Starting today, the new East Falls Church location expands hours to seven days a week.
For when you just need to get out in the sun, listen to some live music or enjoy a county fair.
By Sophia Rutti
Herndon Friday Night Live!
May 1-Aug. 28 Come enjoy free Friday Night Live concerts on the Herndon Town Green. Performances include both popular local musicians and artists from up and down the East Coast. The musical performances will cover a variety of styles including classic and modern rock. / Town Green, Herndon; herndonrocks.com; free
Lubber Run Amphitheater Summer Concert Series
June 12-Sept. 19 | On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays all summer long, the Lubber Run Amphitheater invites you to come and watch a variety of free performances in their annual tradition. / Lubber Run Amphitheater, Arlington; arlingtonarts.org; free
June 28-Aug. 2 | The Castleton Festival will blend performances of classical music, theater and opera from both established artists and people who are new to the profession. All placed within the idyllic hills of Rappahannock County, this festival boasts performances such as “Romeo and Juliet,” “Our Town” and a symphonic concert with maestro Fabio Luisi. / Castleton Festival Theater & Theater House, Castleton; castletonfestival.org
Summer Sounds Concerts
June 27-Sept. 5 | Get your picnics, blankets and chairs ready and come and enjoy free concerts in beautiful Old Town Manassas. Every other Saturday starting in June there will be a variety of concerts to watch. The musical performances include Russian music, traditional bluegrass, Latin fusion and more. / Harris Pavilion, Old Town Manassas; center-for-the-arts.org; free
Leesburg Sunday Concerts at the Courthouse
June 29-Aug. 3 | Every Sunday, come listen to a variety of eclectic and unique performances in Leesburg. Some of the performers include the Dixie Power Trio, Solas and Pan Masters. / Loudoun County Courthouse, Leesburg; bluemont.org
Def Leppard, Styx & Tesla
July 2 | The 1980s aren’t ready to be laid to rest just yet, so put on some leather, play some air guitar and listen to nothing but hits from Def Leppard, Styx & Tesla. / Jiffy Lube Live, Bristow; livenation.com
Kid Rock & Foreigner
July 8 | It doesn’t really matter whether Kid Rock is a country star or a rapper when he teams up with rock heroes Foreigner for a dynamic and unforgettable show. / Jiffy Lube Live, Bristow; livenation.com
July 10 | If country music is the new black, then this concert is the little black dress. Dierks Bentley, Kip Moore, Maddie & Tae and Canaan Smith light up the stage with their cowboy boots and southern drawls. / Jiffy Lube Live, Bristow; livenation.com
Alexandria Live Music Week
July 10-19 | The city of Alexandria is introducing its first-ever live music week. Over a span of 10 days, there will be more than 30 venues hosting live music. The musical selection will range from jazz to bluegrass, folk rock, country and more. A few of the venues are Birchmere, Blackwall Hitch and the Old Town Farmers Market. / Venues throughout Alexandria; livemusicweek.com
Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes
July 12 | When you’ve been recording albums since 1976, it’s safe to say that you’re a veteran of the music world. Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes have inspired decades of musicians and are continuing to perform their hits in concert. / Birchmere Music Hall, Alexandria; birchmere.com
Toad the Wet Sprocket
July 14 & 15 | The ’90s are back at Birchmere when Toad the Wet Sprocket is joined on stage by Smash Mouth and Tonic during the bands’ summer tour. Toad the Wet Sprocket will be playing the tunes from their 1991 album “fear,” and they will also be serenading concertgoers with the latest tracks from “New Constellation.” / Birchmere Music Hall, Alexandria; birchmere.com
July 16-19 | The Fauquier County fair is the epitome of a country fair. There will be carnival rides and games, an “agricadabra” show and a petting zoo. There will also be a booty shake contest, a pizza eating contest and a hub cap hurl. / Fauquier County Fairgrounds, Warrenton; fauquierfair.org
July 18 | Idina Menzel is a genuine Broadway star whose voice acting in “Frozen” has catapulted her to international fame. She’ll light up concert stages for every fan who just can’t “Let it Go.” / Jiffy Lube Live, Bristow; livenation.com
July 22 | With the release of her third album, “The Pinkprint,” Nicki Minaj proved herself as a rapper/singer who won’t soon be leaving the public eye. With her wild antics, bubble gum pink hair and exciting songs, her concerts always prove to be a spectacle. / Jiffy Lube Live, Bristow; livenation.com
July 25 | Diana Krall is a five-time Grammy winner whose sweet jazz melodies inspire everyone who hears them. She will be playing music from her new album, “Wallflower,” with the help of the Wolf Trap Orchestra. / Wolf Trap: Filene Center, Vienna; wolftrap.org
Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals
July 30 | Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals, like their contradictory name, are known for blending together seemingly separate styles of music such as blues, soul, reggae and rock into one to create unique and eclectic music to make their live performances explosive. / Wolf Trap: Filene Center, Vienna; wolftrap.org
Aug. 5 | With four decades of music to draw from, Steely Dan promises a concert that draws from their very best music. With Elvis Costello and the Imposters as the opening act, this concert is one of veterans with lifetimes of experience and success. / Jiffy Lube Live, Bristow; livenation.com
The Piano Guys
Aug. 6 | As their name suggests, The Piano Guys light up the stage with beautiful piano and cello music playing a range from classical music to pop music as well as some of their own original works. / Wolf Trap: Filene Center, Vienna; wolftrap.org
Toby Keith & Eli Young Band
Aug. 8 | Toby Keith and Eli Young Band know how to take a concert and make it an interactive party. With countless hits, fun-loving performers and the perfect country tailgate, this concert will be all you could want from the country music experience. / Jiffy Lube Live, Bristow; livenation.com
Aug. 9 | What happens when you put a hip-hop artist, an R&B singer and a rapper on a stage together? You get an unforgettable concert that effortlessly blends different styles of music. / Jiffy Lube Live, Bristow; livenation.com
Aug. 11 | If you’re looking for mayhem, for anarchy, for absolute musical chaos—metalheads, look no further. Slipknot’s Last Stand Tour will deliver an iconic performance with help from Lamb of God and Bullet for My Valentine. / Jiffy Lube Live, Bristow; livenation.com
Aug. 11 | Sometimes just one band isn’t enough. Switchfoot, Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors and Colony House join Needtobreathe so you can immerse yourself in alternative rock with a few of the biggest names in the genre. Their hit songs are the type that get stuck in your head. Prepare to hum the same tune for days. / Wolf Trap: Filene Center, Vienna; wolftrap.org
Chicago and Earth, Wind & Fire
Aug. 14 | Funk and jazz were meant to be fused, and at this concert expect to hear them as they should be. Hit songs by Chicago and Earth, Wind & Fire will exemplify the match-made-in-heaven combination of the two for an exciting night. / Jiffy Lube Live, Bristow; livenation.com
Little Big Town
Aug. 15 | If you’ve got a country song stuck in your head but you aren’t quite sure who sings it, then it is probably by Little Big Town. They’ve surged on the country scene in the last few years with songs like “Day Drinking” and “Sober.” / Wolf Trap: Filene Center, Vienna; wolftrap.org
The Lucketts Fair
Aug. 15-16 | At this fair there will be a little bit of everything. More than 100 crafters will be on-site demonstrating their trade, and at least 15 well-known local authors will talk about their work. Antique vendors will be lining the field while you enjoy musical entertainment, demonstrations, great food, pony rides and more for the kids. / Lucketts Community Center, Leesburg; theluckettsfair.com; free
Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons
Aug. 19 | Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons have not only written some of the most iconic songs ever released—“Grease” and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You”—but they have also been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. To miss this concert would be to miss a legend. / Wolf Trap: Filene Center, Vienna; wolftrap.org
The Beach Boys
Aug. 23 | If anyone could exemplify the way it feels to be enjoying a day in the sun, it would be the Beach Boys with their memorable summer soundtracks. With their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, their success has been noted, but their music and concerts really speak for themselves. / Wolf Trap: Filene Center, Vienna; wolftrap.org
Aug. 25 | Nickelback is a Canadian rock band that just won’t quit after nearly two decades of success. With the release of their eighth album, “No Fixed Address,” fans can expect a new and exciting concert with the same great performers they’ve come to trust. / Jiffy Lube Live, Bristow; livenation.com
Aug. 25 | Ten-time Grammy-winning guitarist Carlos Santana blends Latin, rock and blues music to create his own unique sound. One of Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Guitarists,” his performance of hit songs will make you feel like you’re hearing them for the first time again. / Wolf Trap: Filene Center, Vienna; wolftrap.org
Aug. 28 | If there were a king of country music, it would be Tim McGraw with his unstoppable career and on-stage charisma. Put on your cowboy boots because he is teaming up with Billy Currington and Chase Bryant for his Shotgun Rider Tour. / Jiffy Lube Live, Bristow; livenation.com
5 Seconds of Summer
Sept. 6 | 5 Seconds of Summer is a young Australian boy band that has skyrocketed to the top of the charts. They promise an exciting and fresh show that will delight fans. / Jiffy Lube Live, Bristow; livenation.com
By Laura Wingfield
S.C. governor calls for death penalty for suspected gunman in church shooting
(The Washington Post)
Texas’ Sons of Confederate Veterans license plate ruling may affect Va., Md.
(The Washington Post)
Leaking acetylene caused explosion at Vienna service station
Arlington looks to revamp Courthouse Square
(Washington Business Journal)
World’s oldest person dies in Michigan at 116
By Sophia Rutti
School is ending, and kids are coming home, which means that summer has officially begun. It is time for kids to run off to camps, swimming pools and ice cream shops. Families are gearing up for their summer fun, but meanwhile Fido is getting left behind. In an area as exciting and dog-friendly as Northern Virginia, there is no excuse to exclude the beloved pooch from your plans. Check out this guide of dog-friendly summer fun for the whole family—Fido included.