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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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December 17, 2019 08:19 PM PST

Enoch "Skeeter" Thompson grew up in Bailey's Crossroads and got his first guitar as a reward from his baseball coach for pitching a no-hitter in the championship game. From there, he met Franz Stahl at school and his new friend helped him learn how to play that guitar. The two, along with Franz’s older brother Pete Stahl on vocals and Kent Stax on drums formed a band called Scream, inspired by the hardcore sound exploding out of DC, particularly bands like Bad Brains and the Teen Idles. Skeeter switched to bass because he had the rhythm to play it and the band wasn't able to find anybody else on the instrument with the right feel to complete their sound. In 1982, they went to Inner Ear Studio and recorded Dischord Records' first-full length release, Still Screaming. Scream released five albums and continued to play until the beginning of the '90s, doing a number of U.S. and European tours. When Stax left the band, they asked a young drummer, Dave Grohl, to take over. After their break up and dealing with family health issues (as well as playing in Soylent Green), Thompson went down to Little Rock, Arkansas to find his daughter and played in and formed several bands there. He then returned to Northern VA and has been playing in hard rock and hardcore bands such as Fallout Shelter, Rise-Defy, and several projects with Nathan Turney. He also put out a solo album in 2018 called The Book of Enoch in E Minor. You can find it at https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/skeeterenochthompsoninc

November 18, 2019 07:41 PM PST

Vivek Rangarajan is the DJ and host of Death Waves, a call to all metallic heshers, greasy punx, industrial noisemongers, and synthwave junkies, on WGMU radio. D E A T H W A V E S is their mecca, presenting thick slabs of punishing audial assaults back to the roots of degeneracy, while looking towards our future doomsday. Listen live every Wednesday from 10-11:30PM at wgmuradio.com, radioflag.com/stations/iwgmu# and Mason Cable Channel 8.2.

November 10, 2019 08:01 PM PST

Mark Robinson founded the indie band Unrest with Phil Krauth and Tim Moran while still attending Wakefield High in Arlington, VA. He started the label Teen Beat Records as a kind of lending library for the band's rehearsal tapes, as well as those of his friends' bands. Only one copy of each album existed and his classmates could borrow one for a few days.Their first public release was a compilation cassette called Extremism In the Defense of Liberty is No Vice on February 23, 1985. Bridget Cross joined Unrest on bass in 1990 and their sound evolved into a "minimalist but lively kind of pop." They released two full-length albums with this line up, 1992's Imperial f.f.r.r. and 1993's Perfect Teeth. The label uprooted to Cambridge, MA in 1999. Robinson and Cross also played together as Air Miami, and he joined Jenny Toomey, founder of the Simple Machines label, and Rob Christiansen of Eggs in Grenadine. He currently plays with his wife Evelyn Hurley (Blast Off Country Style) in Cotton Candy and also with D. Trevor Kampmann as Fang Wizard. He also directed the new film Amateur on Plastic about the outsider music of DC rock legend Butch Willis https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4W7Rac4Qf0&feature=youtu.be. Find more information Mark Robinson and Teen Beat's releases at https://www.teenbeatrecords.com/

October 22, 2019 04:23 PM PDT

David Gilligan exploded out of the Reston hardcore scene and brought the principles he learned there of simplicity, honesty, and empowerment to far-flung locales such as a new scene in St. Augustine, Florida, Arizona, and even as a professor at Sterling College. He was the lead singer of three vital bands to the Reston scene: Knothead, Remission, and Avail, but has since grown as a musician, honing his vocals, developing his guitar playing, and even adding harmonica to the mix. Gilligan can also be heard on recordings with Sunhead, Home, as well as three solo albums, which can be found at his site http://davidgilligan.net/music. He is also the author of the books Rise of the Ranges of Light (Heyday 2011), I Believe I’ll Go Canoeing (Craftsbury 2009), In the Years of the Mountains (Thunders Mouth 2006), and The Secret Sierra (Spotted Dog 2000).

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

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