Lit&Local: The Strokes’ Valensi, Sheds “New Skin” With CRX Tour

14909901_1667412903570447_7619501183182998757_nNick Valensi, NY-native and Frontman of CRX joins WGMU staffers Jackie Reed and Mikey Bamarni in an exclusive phone interview to talk about his fall tour. Known as the guitarist for headlining band The Strokes, having him a part of WGMU is something that Reed and Bamarni assumed to not just let go, or “Give [It] Up”, if you will. The album, New Skin (2016), is a cutting-edge presentation, with an abundance of deep basslines and pop undertones, and a diverse expression of creativity reminiscent of discographies’ the band members have built up over the years. Literally an “On Edge” collection of pop hits and colorful mixes, the new album is an experience Valensi will surely enjoy, something that will keep him musically active during his time off with The Strokes.

Below is an interview with Nick Valensi, facilitated by Local Music Director Jackie Reed and Assistant to the Program Director Mikey Bamarni:


CRX’s “Ways To Fake It”

CRX is performing at U Street Music Hall, Wednesday, November 16th. Tickets are $15, Doors open at 7pm.

The Streets of Laredo and The Gloomies will be opening the show.

Link to show:

Social Media Sites:

Facebook/YouTube: /

Twitter/Instagram: @crxmusic / @crxmusic

Snapchat: @crxmusic


Lit&Local: Live with Aztec Sun, Bringing Funk and Fire to New EP

14955939_1247238402001202_4944903430312449899_nDC-based funk band Aztec Sun joined Local Music Director Jackie Reed, Friday, November 4th, on WGMU Radio to talk about their EP, “Set You Free”, coming out this December. The 8-piece ensemble is a coming together of multiple musical disciplines, a creative space for them to express their sound as everyday virtuosos. Their tracks go beyond the funk scene in DC; they mix soul, jazz, Motown, blues, and much more. Their harmonious lyricism combined with electric guitar lines and popped-out piano chords makes for a great listening experience. Aztec Sun is a musically adaptive collective of artists melodically embracing their talents through personable concert sessions and community events along the U Street district. Their upcoming EP will have an exciting selection of songs dedicated to the members’ various skills and talents, a physical expression of their interwoven experiences as refining artists and individuals. Prepare for a change in innovative style, something way beyond their storyline classics “Confuse Me” and “My Way Home”, a “Revolution” in musical form and level, if you will.

Below includes the clips of the live on-air interview with Aztec Sun, in addition to stripped down performances of their songs:

Pt. 1 of Interview:

Pt. 2 of Interview:

Intro & Confuse Me:


My Way Home & Conclusion:


See Aztec Sun live at the following dates and times:

Thursday, November 10th, at Boundary Stone DC, starting at 6 pm. FREE –

Friday, November 11th, at Blue Side Tavern in Frederick, MD, starting at 9:30pm. With SoulXChange. Tickets are $5 –

Friday, November 18th, at The Camel in Richmond, VA, doors open at 8pm. With Dance Candy. Tickets are $10 –

AZTEC SUN EP Release Party – Saturday, December 10th, at Songbyrd Music House & Record Café in DC, starting at 9pm. –

Social Media Sites:



Facebook/YouTube: /

Twitter/Instagram: @AZTECSUNBAND / @aztecsunband



Kyle Weidie Interview

kyle-weidieKyle covers the Wizards for, a Wizards blog brought to you by TrueHoop Network (an ESPN affiliate). He joins WGMU’s Sports Director Cory Morgan to discuss expectations for the Wizards after their 0-3 start, their late game struggles, and what Scott Brooks does differently than Randy Wittman as head coach. Kyle is a great follow for Wizards insight @Truth_About_It.



Photo Courtesy:



The Plugs w/ Chris Camello of “The Rebel Media Group”

camello-picWe caught up with with Chris to talk about the LA Lakers and Clippers start to the 2016-2017 NBA Season. The Lakers, although with a record of 1-2, have looked surprisingly exciting with a mixture of youth in the first season of the Post-Kobe era. We touched on the Lakers mixture of young talent, including D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, and Jordan Clarkson. We also asked Chris if this was ‘the last hurrah’ for the Chris Paul-Blake Griffin-DeAndre Jordan nucleus for the Clippers. We lastly touched on the 2016 World Series. In ‘the series of droughts’ between the Cubs and Indians, one team will end it’s world series curse. Game 6 is tonight at 8:08pm ET in Cleveland.









Lit&Local: VA Rapper Wolfe, “Hip-Hop Head” & Future Headliner

10632690_1137001766333163_6528575076441966409_nFrom Chesapeake, Virginia, Kevin Wolfe is a Virginia Wesleyan graduate pursuing his passion as a rapper and a “hip-hop head”. Having opened for artists like Juicy J, Wu Tang, and Trey Songz, his experience as a rapper and entrepreneur has grown extensively. His lyricism is built upon his gained knowledge as a political science junkie and everyday transcendentalist. His latest album, Wonderland LP (2016), is a mélange of Top 40 beats meeting low-key, philosophical lyricism that roots back to the beginning of meaningful rap. His LP is one of the many pieces of work created by Wolfe, and is a small part of his developing music collection rich in nature and experimental in demeanor. A representation of his aptitude, a reflection of his written life story, Wolfe’s work connects the divide between modern music and classic, expressive poetry that live to tell his tale.

Listen to the below audio clips to hear about Wolfe’s work, facilitated by Local Music Director Jackie Reed:

Live On-Air Interview:

Freestyle #1:

Freestyle #2 & Conclusion:



Facebook/YouTube: /

Twitter/Instagram: @WolfeVA757 / @WolfeVA757


The Plugs w/ Palmer Alexander III, Dir. of N The Zone Network

img_0193Palmer Alexander III (@thelegendkil) was formally a sports writer for the St. Louis American, which in 2012 became the single largest weekly newspaper in the entire state of Missouri. Currently, Palmer devotes his time as the Executive Director of the ‘N The Zone Network’ (Twitter: @NTheZoneShow @NTZNetwork), which is among the best sports pod-casting networks in the country. We caught up with Palmer to update us about N The Zone. We also asked Palmer how he feels about a similarly suffering sports fans base to St. Louis, in Cleveland, Ohio, which seems to have turned its fortunes around with the Cavaliers winning their first championship last year, and the Indians being in the 2016 World Series.






The Plugs Interview w/ Al Galdi, ESPN980

img_0171Al Galdi (Twitter: @AlGaldi) is the radio host of “The Morning Blitz” which airs weekday mornings from 5am-7am ET on ESPN 980. We caught up with Al to talk about the Redskins winning their 4th straight game after starting the season 0-2. We recapped the Redskins 27-20 victory over the NFC East rival Philadelphia Eagles last Sunday. We talked about the Redskins offense, if RB Matt Jones can continue his pace, how crucial the Jordan Reed injury is, and the if the Redskins are legitimate playoff contenders. Al Galdi made a BOLD STATEMENT at the end of our interview. Listen in to check it out! You will not be disappointed!







John Walton Interview

john-waltonJohn Walton, the radio voice of the Washington Capitals, joins WGMU’s Sports Director Cory Morgan to discuss his expectations for the Capitals this season, what he’s seen from the Capitals so far, and what he’s seen around the NHL very early on in the season.








Photo Courtesy: @WaltonCaps



A Talk With Keith Wortman, Creator/Exec. Producer of Dear Jerry 2

dj2_lets_play_2_facebook_shareOver the weekend, Blackbird Presents played out two Jerry Garcia tribute shows alongside featured artists to embrace the musical legend’s 30 years of work and musical diversity. Last night, Dear Jerry 2 attributed Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia in a methodical performance that honors the artist who challenged the standards of music up until now. Before showtime, WGMU’s Director of Marketing Grant Silvestri and Local Music Director Jackie Reed met with creator and executive producer of the show, Keith Wortman, to talk about the production and development of the Dear Jerry 2 project.

Reminiscent of Friday night’s Dear Jerry 1 show at DAR Constitution Hall in D.C., Wortman did feel that the execution of the first show exceeded the expectations in his vision. Wortman says, “…and you saw in the audience last night there was an emotional response to the show,” the ultimate generation of energy between how much effort is put into production and how attendees are gratified by it. At last night’s show at EagleBank Arena, he hoped that the audience at the show would share the same response as those at DAR.

Usually hosting massive concert celebrations, shows attributing artists like John Lennon, Johnny Cash, and the Neville Brothers, Wortman felt the production of Dear Jerry 2 was one of the easier projects to collaborate. Instead of working with 15-17 artists to produce a large show, this one featured the Avett Brothers and Warren Haynes, a lesser amount of artists to oversee. With a musical network of 200-300 musicians, Wortman refers back to his vision, asking, “What’s the right discipline, what’s the right sound?” to connect musicians to his projects.

The creator goes on to explain that the assembly of talent for Dear Jerry 2 was at his discretion, in assistance with creative partner Don. The choice to bring the Avett Brothers and Warren Haynes at the EagleBank Arena made sense to Wortman because the audience and the location. The Avett Brothers played at EagleBank six months before, and have a steady following of college students and young adults. Warren Haynes, member of Government Mule, has had years of experience working with Garcia with touring and shows. Though unable to make last year’s Dear Jerry tribute show at Merriwhether Post Pavillion, Haynes was able to make up for it by being a lead in last night’s show. As for the location, EagleBank Arena acted as a “nexus”, a balance between what was possible and what was ideal. Last year’s Dear Jerry show was hosted at Merriwhether because Grateful Dead has played there before, so there is a “big market for the consumption of Garcia product,” not only recognized by emotional response, but also, by numbers. Approximately 20,000 tickets were sold for last year’s show, a huge success for Blackbird. EagleBank was the chosen venue, because of the talent, being the Avett Brothers’ following, and because of Blackbird’s experience with the D.C. music scene. Their previous show with Emmylou Harris was showcased in D.C. at the DAR, because Emmylou grew up in Virginia and in the area, so it held a particular significance.

The production, timing, and collaboration in regards to the performance made it all worthwhile. Seeing the response and heart viewers had for Garcia was Keith Wortman’s primary reason for making it happen. His vision crafted a passionate response in attendees, and that is something that cannot be shaped in any other way.




Twitter: @BlackbirdProd

The Plugw w/ Tim Murray, ESPN 980

img_0123Tim Murray is the co-host of “DMV Game Time” on ESPN 980 Radio. He and his co-host Nick Ashooh can be heard weeknights from 7pm-10pm ET on 94.3/92.7 FM (ESPN 980 station in DC). We caught up with Tim to talk about the latest DC Sports teams making headline news. We touched on the Washington Redskins winning 3 straight games after dropping there first 2 games of the 2016-2017 NFL season. We talked about how the Redskins stack up against the surprising strength of the other NFC East teams, and expectations heading into the latter stages of the season. We then briefly previewed the Washington Wizards upcoming 2016-2017 season, and John Wall making his preseason debut last Monday vs. the Knicks @ MSG. We lastly touched on the Washington nationals, who are on the brink of winning their first playoff series since the franchise moved to DC. You can follow Tim Murray on twitter @1TimMurray.