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Help Me Listen Local First, You're My Only Hope for Holiday Musical Entertainment

Lisa MarkusonBy Lisa Markuson on Dec 19, 2012 | Add a Comment Add a Comment (2)

Help Me Listen Local First, You're My Only Hope for Holiday Musical Entertainment

They even made their logo seasonally appropriate!

The Christmas Holiday Season can be celebrated in many ways. Some people like listening to "Classic Holiday Music." Some people like large bunches of pine and holly. Some people would liken the experience of listening to one more rendition of “Jingle Bell Rock” as equitable to having those very large bunches of pine and holly jabbed into your eye sockets.

As a rule, I fall into this third category.

People are influenced by the music their parents listened to when they were young. One either embraces or reproaches the sounds they were forced to hear when they hadn’t the dexterity to disable their parents’ ridiculous 5-CD changer. (For me, until the age of 17.) Many of my contemporaries developed their respect for The Beatles this way, or their fear of Phish. When in my father’s company, it was all Enya, all the time. I consider myself lucky to have been steeped in the honey of her moon chants, and am still probably her most devoted devotee. My mother, however, no matter the season, favored only one class of music: the ominously vague genre of “Holiday Music.” Imagine me, trapped in the backseat of an old Buick, sweltering in July, to the sounds of a tape of Amy Grant’s White Christmas.

Does it sound like hell? It was.

Now years have passed, and a few well-timed garage sales have rid me of the fear of ever having to cringe along to most of my mother’s auricular curation. Years of intense psychotherapy have rendered me able to actually function in retail environments for brief periods of time between Thanksgiving and New Year. Which brings me, ever so imperceptibly, to my point: I think it is finally time for me to reintegrate myself into the world of festive seasonal musical stylings in earnest.

I am going to attend a real, live, holiday concert.

Tonight, at 6pm, I invite you to join me in support and solidarity at The Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage to partake in an evening of songs like "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" and “Joy to the World,” brought to you by nine of DC's talented local artists by the gentlemen of Listen Local First and The 9 music series, who bolster the DC music scene year-round, not just when roasted chestnuts are a thing. The show is free, like those tiny candycanes in crinolin that I have not found a single example of yet this year. Perhaps there will be some there...

In any event, the nine local musicians putting on the show are the same artists featured on Listen Local First's holiday download list, which can be purchased here for $5+ in order to raise money for Cardozo High School's Marching Band and music program. In true visionary form, Chris Naoum said the vision behind this fundraiser is the idea that "building up the music programs in our local schools is essential to creating the talented next generation of local DC musicians!" He even used an exclamation point, which means he is serious and excited, or at keast seriously excited. I wouldn't just allow any exclamation point to appear in my musings. So, even if you really really hate decking the halls with jingle bells or whatever, you should still send a crisper fiver (or more) their way to support kids playing music, in hopes that they will be exposed to more genres than I was at their age.

The line up tonight includes:

Don Kim -
Justin Trawick -
Gordon Daniels -
Sam McCormally -
Wytold -
Bobbie Allen -
Madia -
Tiffany Thompson -
Alex Vans -

Some of these musicians I have never heard, but I swear on Frank Sinatra's open sleigh that Wytold's cello domination, Sam McCormally's overall perfect adorability, and Gordon Daniel's reggae/jazz/funk glory will make you forget the season, and probably your own name. And, I would be remiss to fail to mention that the whole affair will be hosted by America's most prolific rebel-with-a-cause-which-is-to-only-host-and-disemminate-the-best-of-the-things, Brandon Wetherbee.

Equally as important, The Kennedy Center has a sweet happy hour drink and nosh special, which will make my sonic recovery all the better.


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