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Jams for Man
A history of the Northern Virginia music scene
Category: Music
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by Andy Keiler
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October 14, 2019 07:33 AM PDT

Chris Henderson was active in the Northern Virginia and DC punk scene from 1987 thru 1999. He photographed over 80 bands, creating thousands of images. Most have never been published, though some grace albums by Scream, United Mutation, and the Suspects. He also published the D.C. Spotlight zine. He even did some background singing on tracks by Scream and Bullhead. The bands he photographed were Scream, Grey Matter, Shudder To Think, Bad Brains, Black Market Baby, Ignition, Fear, Bad Religion, Hawkwind, Slickee Boys, Government Issue, UK Subs, United Mutation, Bullhead, Fugazi, Rancid, Meatmen, Peter and the Test Tube Babies, Soulside, Egypt, Henry Rollins, Ramones, the Pietasters, Jawbox, Unrest, The Obsessed, Aus Rotten, Indian Summer, Nashville Pussy, Cold Cold Hearts, Pure Rubbish, The Goons, Images, Wool, United 121, Foo Fighters, Lickity Split, Shoutbus, Attica 9, Violent Society, Undecided, MFD, Blanks 77, Branch Manager, The Darkness, Midnight Oil, and Against Me. He is now making these images available for the first time on the website www.xushots.com
We are also collaborating on a limited edition Jams for Man t-shirt that will be available soon!

September 25, 2019 10:12 PM PDT

Late ‘80s Northern Virginia/DC area punk quartet Indian Summer recorded four songs with J. Robbins producing in Baltimore in 1989. Thirty years later, that four song session plus a demo are available on vinyl. Formed by four Virginia teens, Indian Summer was a staple of the Northern Virginia all-ages scene in 1988 and 1989, playing Merrifield Community Hall, Arlington Women’s Hall and many a punk house party, a Positive Force show at d.c. space, and some of the first all-ages matinees at the Safari Club. Taking its inspiration from local heroes like Government Issue, Scream and Ignition, Indian Summer put its own stamp on D.C. area punk with passionate delivery and complex arrangements all its own. John Dugan went on to play with Chisel, Edsel, Pat Best in Pelt and Steve Francis in No Dead Monsters. Go to fwtrecords.com to get a copy of the Cherry Smash 12".

September 18, 2019 06:57 AM PDT

In the spring of 1981, guitarist John Fox started a protest band called Dark Self Image in Fairfax with his brother Jay on bass. In July 1982, the band recorded their first demo at Inner Ear Studios. Mike Brown became the singer and in October, they changed their name to United Mutation. The band was then featured on the record Mixed Nuts Don't Crack, a sampler that established them alongside other bands that would form their Northern Virginia cohort, such as Media Disease and Nuclear Crayons. Drummer Michael Salkind was then replaced by Billy Fox, who is not related to brothers John and Jay Fox. They then put out the Fugitive Family EP on their own new label called DSI Records (named after the eponymous band), founded by John Fox and Lee West, with help from Dischord Records. Drummer Fox left and was replaced by previous drummer Steve Kirkland, and in 1985 they released the EP Rainbow Person on their own label. In 1988, John Fox left the band to take full-time care of the DSI label, which put out records by Death Piggy, Malefice, Uruku, Foundation, Images, and M.F.D., as well as mainstays of the DC area scene such as John Stabb, Slickee Boys, and Scream. You can find more information about John Fox and United Mutation at https://www.facebook.com/United-Mutation-453741670025/.

September 05, 2019 09:19 PM PDT

Keith Robinson never planned to start a band or be a musician, but somehow wound up in the middle of the Reston hardcore scene providing vocals for Psychotic Symptoms. He has vivid memories of playing Jam for Man, and shares those along with other recollections from house parties and garage shows of the time. He also went on to form the short-lived hardcore band Step Aside with Steve Sklarew again on guitar and Carter Blitch on drums. After a successful career working on major motion pictures, he has since moved to Thailand and spends his days diving one of the most beautiful locations on the planet.

August 26, 2019 08:11 PM PDT

Mike Martzke aka Lil Mike organized, promoted and emcee'd hundreds of concerts and nightclub events for bands including Sublime, Green Day, Fugazi, Rancid and many more. But before all that, he challenged the status quo in Reston with bands like Toolin' for Bovines and Jesus Freak. These early bands laid the groundwork for the Reston hardcore sound to come. And though he loved seeing live shows in DC at the time and had made many connections there, he realized that he might have to leave and go all the way to San Francisco to not be harassed and ostracized in his own hometown. Once in SF, Lil Mike hooked up with some players from Reston and formed the celtic-folk punk band Bedlam Rovers. He provides vocals on their album Squeeze Your Inner Child. He also played guitar behind two 12-year-olds in the Rolling Scabs, a punk band that opened for the likes of Naked Raygun and Frightwig at Gilman St. Those are just some of the credits from Mike Martzke's storied career, and stories are what Lil Mike excels at telling, in speedy, rambling monologues that weave the story of punk together over four decades and two coasts. You can find some links to his music and more information about Lil Mike here:

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/.

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