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Jams for Man
A history of the Northern Virginia music scene
Category: Music
Followers (10)
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by Andy Keiler
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August 13, 2019 08:15 PM PDT

Chris Condayan aka Chris Suspect was fundamental in reigniting a passion for punk rock and hardcore in the area with his group The Suspects. He also played bass in various Northern Virginia bands such as Lickity Split, Spitfires United and VPR. He formed Torque Records to put out the Suspects first 7”, but then went on to put out almost twenty releases by numerous excellent bands from NOVA like Shoutbus, Positive State, and the Goons. He discovered a passion for photography in 2007, and his work has been recognized internationally and exhibited in Miami, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Romania, Georgia and the United Kingdom. His documentary work on the underground music scene in Washington, D.C., was published as a book, Suspect Device, by Empty Stretch in 2014. You can find links to his art at his site Chrissuspect.com

August 05, 2019 10:36 AM PDT

James Barry started as a metalhead guitar shredder in Reston and became a world-renowned composer in New York, but views it all as music that comes from the same place. He should know, he has a PhD in composition and produced contemporary music concerts in New York City as artistic and managing director of Forecast Music for five seasons. Recently, he has been composing and producing experimental opera with inspiration ranging from Carrie Nation to Colonel Sanders. This is a long way from the Reston hardcore scene of the late 80s with the band Militia and the Tampa metal scene of the 90s with Buckethead; but as long as it gets the crowd reacting in a visceral way, he has accomplished his goal. You can find more information about performances of his music at http://jamesbarrycomposer.com/

July 26, 2019 12:10 PM PDT

Davis Douglas started playing drums in the early 80s and never stopped. Early band memories include playing the Reston Festival in Lake Anne and Jam for Man with the band Illusion at the Reston Community Center. He went to school for music at James Madison University and currently works as an Account Manager at D'Addario & Company, Inc., the world's leading manufacturer of fretted strings. He is the drummer for Face First, Southern Guns and Harper's Ferry.

July 15, 2019 02:00 PM PDT

Julie Jonas discovered chaotic music and her own identity after growing up as one of ten kids in Southern California. She learned to play bass from her two older brothers and studied violin, but really connected to music through the bands playing the Sterling Community Center after moving to Virginia. However, a chance encounter with an old friend at community college led her to managing VFW 9274 and getting younger veterans there by booking metal and hardcore shows. Now, she’s aspiring to put together awesome shows with bands that would not normally play together and connect the disparate chaotic music scenes from Baltimore to DC to Richmond. VFW 9274 will host the Jam for Man 30th Anniversary show on July 21st from 6-10PM. It is located at 7118 Shreve Rd.,
Falls Church, VA 22043.

July 12, 2019 10:17 AM PDT

The Firnats consist of four friends from Reston, VA: Sean Flanagan on guitar and vocals, Griffin Low on bass, Kurtis Kunkel on drums, and Chris Castro on guitar. They formed in late 2015 when Flanagan was still in high school and jamming with his buddy Aaron Pirnat, from which the group gets their name. The Firnats take a lot of inspiration from the alternative bands of the 90's and 2000's such as Weezer, Pavement, Cage the Elephant, and the Strokes. The band has played everywhere from the basements of Reston to the Black Cat in D.C, and Strange Matter in Richmond, where Flanagan goest to school. The Firnats first recorded an EP, El Dorado, with the original lineup, then their debut album, "Fear Not", completely DIY in producer Hapa Siuhengalu's basement in Reston Virginia, and are currently working on their follow-up. It promises to sound more professional while still retaining the intimacy and songcraft of their earlier efforts. You can find their music at https://thefirnats.bandcamp.com/.

June 29, 2019 03:19 PM PDT

Davis White got started playing live music late but more than made up for it. Once introduced to UK Subs by a neighbor, he bought a drum kit off a co-worker and started the band Media Disease. After appearing on the Mixed Nuts Don’t Crack compilation with the likes of Nuclear Crayons and United Mutation, they put out their first self-titled album in 1982. This then led to an eight month stint in the crossover metal-meets-hardcore band Malefice, also with Mike Clayberg. Soon after, Davis traded places with Colin Sears, joining the Reston band Pudwak, who then changed names, settling on Foundation. They recorded a few albums at Inner Ear and toured extensively, but White wanted to front a band before turning 30. He then left that band and formed Repercussion, discovering the burgeoning Reston scene and playing several Jam for Man concerts. They also recorded one classic album, The Trees and Flowers, in 1990. When this band broke up, White switched to mandolin and played with the band Lorelei, who recorded an underground hit single, “The Bitter Air”. They then switched to a three-man lineup with White on drums again and recorded the proto-Radiohead LP Everyone Must Touch the Stove. White went on to record many bands himself, including Jenhitt, and played in other bands like Uruku, Rambling Shadows, the Alice Despard Group, and Sansyou. He continues to play and record with the eclectic band We Capillaries, who are scheduled to appear at the 30th anniversary Jam for Man concert. You can find their music at http://koiote.bandcamp.com/album/people-food

June 22, 2019 10:07 AM PDT

Named for a line in Reservoir Dogs, this trio from Arlington, VA with Lilly Menard on bass and vocals, Benjamin Tankersly on guitar and vocals, and Andy Gale on drums made post-punk rock music reminiscent of Sonic Youth and the Smiths. They released only one official cassette EP, Trigger Happy, in 1995 on Victrola Records, the label run by Billups Allen (later called Generalissimo.) Tankersly and Gale later went on to play with Allen in Virginia's answer to the Minutemen, Shoutbus! Meanwhile, Menard joined Allen's bandmate from Ugly, drummer Chuck Campbell, in Monsoon. Dead As Dillinger also recorded a second unreleased album with producer J. Christian Quick at Stumble and Fall Studios (later of Stillness Sound Facility). You can find both of these excellent records at their Bandcamp.com site at https://deadasdillinger1995.bandcamp.com/.

June 03, 2019 08:09 PM PDT

Ron Winters Jr. formed Branch Manager with Dave Allen on bass and Derrick Decker on drums in 1990. They went on to sign with Dischord Records and become the torchbearers for post-hardcore Reston. They released a self-titled debut in 1995 and Anything Tribal, their second and acclaimed final LP, recorded with the help of Ian Mackaye and Don Zientara at Inner Ear Studios, in 1997. Winters discovered a talent for writing young as the son of a schoolteacher. When added to his newfound dexterity on guitar and inspiration from 70s rock radio and the suburban landscape around him, Winters started to write songs and never stopped. Winters began to play live with his high school band Toolin' for Bovine, but went on to play with other Restonites in Foundation, Blood Bats, and Sons of Disobedience. He has toured with the likes of NOFX and Fugazi, and Branch Manager have currently reformed and are playing live and recording another album. You can find their music at https://branchmanager.bandcamp.com/

May 28, 2019 09:29 PM PDT

Soren Bakken played several Jam for Man shows singing and playing guitar with Urban Ethics alongside Dave Lash, Jamie Goode, and Michael Rohlfs. Inspired by post-punk bands such as New Order and early alternative bands like REM, and guided by Manassas band the Throes, they created a sound that was different than anything else coming out of Northern Virginia at the time. Bakken became a sound engineer, but also went on to work with guitarist John Ireland as the bass player of HeLO, which formed in May 2009 in Fairfax. Along with Ron Mitchell and Sean Owen, they bonded over their mutual love of science fiction to create their own technology and guitar-driven brand of indie pop. Bakken continues to make music in his free time with his family and still lives in the Reston area. You can find the music of HeLo at https://soundcloud.com/helotheband

May 13, 2019 03:25 PM PDT

Sam Gunderson is one of Reston's original guitar heroes. His knowledge of music and love of grooves allows him to navigate easily between blues, rock, hip-hop, go-go, and more. Gunderson grew up listening to Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and Randy Rhoads, while also learning at the feet of other local legends such as Jon Rustad and Mike Davis of The Iceboxers and Joe Lawlor of Egypt. Gunderson jammed with keyboardist David Linsenmayer early on in elementary school, but it wasn't until they met drummer Gabe Kader and bass player Lefty Furr that they were able to form a real band. Those four came together, naming themselves Crunchy Water after the Dweezil Zappa song, and started writing the songs that would be the backbone of their sets at Jam for Man and beyond. At the same time, Gunderson joined Kader's brother, Tarik, in the diverse go-go band Split Decision. After high school, Gunderson formed the band Cactus Groove and has continued to play with those musicians off and on for decades. Gunderson eventually moved farther down south to Birmingham, Alabama, and continues to learn from the rich blues tradition there, while also marrying and forming a band with his wife, the SBG's. You can stay current on Gunderson's many projects and shows at https://www.facebook.com/samgun00/.

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