Preview: Oh He Dead @ Jammin’ Java, 7/3/20

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Oh He Dead performs in Bethesda, Maryland, on Jan. 25, 2020 (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

Jammin’ Java’s Summerfest continues this Friday, July 3, with Oh He Dead. Originally founded as a duo in 2014 by Andy Valenti and CJ Johnson, the band now consists of five players: CJ on vocals and Andy on rhythm guitar with Alex Salser (lead guitar), John Daise (bass), and Adam Ashforth (drums). A healthy mix of classic R&B, funk, and folk, the Washington Post calls Oh He Dead’s music an “infectious and soulful sound.”

The show is currently sold out, but read on to see what you can expect if you’re going!

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Essay: What I’m Missing Without Live Music

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The Birchmere is among the DC-area music venues closed by the covid-19 pandemic. (Photo by Dan Reed)

Music provides more to its fans than just entertainment. Live shows provide community. They are places where people who share an interest can come together. Losing live music during this pandemic has stripped away my primary outlet for socialization.

I have Autism Spectrum Disorder. Socializing and relationships do not come easily for me. I struggle to make smalltalk. My affect strikes a lot of people as “off.”

Of the many communities where I’ve dipped my toes, none has proved as supportive and welcome as music and music fandom. I can relate to fellow music fans on the basis of a shared interest, which makes me feel comfortable and confident in that setting. I’m even appreciated and respected for my encyclopedic knowledge.

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Preview: My Kid Brother @ Jammin’ Java, 6/27/20

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My Kid Brother (Photo courtesy Fearless Records)

My Kid Brother recently signed to Fearless Records and released new music in March — then the coronavirus pandemic struck! So, the band hasn’t had a lot of opportunity to play their new songs live.

But Jammin’ Java comes to the rescue with “A Song & A Slice: A Socially Distanced Outdoor Concert Series,” and My Kid Brother performs there on Saturday, June 27!

The show is free but suggested donations go to support Black Lives Matter DC. What a great opportunity then to hear new tunes from these local indie rockers.

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Song of the Day: “Swill” by Jónsi

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Jónsi (Photo by Barnaby Roper)

Jónsi Birgisson, multidisciplinary artist and frontman of Sigur Rós, proudly announces Shiver, his first solo album in a decade, out Oct. 2, on Krunk. The new album features acclaimed vocalists Liz Fraser of the Cocteau Twins and Robyn, as well as production by PC Music founder A. G. Cook.

A new song from the record, “Swill,” is released today alongside a video by Barnaby Roper and animated by Pandagunda.

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Preview: Gordon Sterling @ Jammin’ Java, 6/26/20

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The empty indoor stage at Jammin’ Java! (Photo by Steve Petrucelli)

Jammin’ Java recently launched its outdoor summer series of concerts, presenting A Song & A Slice: A Socially Distanced Outdoor Concert Series. Each donations-based concerts contributes funds to a cause of the artist’s choice.

The outdoor series continues with Gordon Sterling at Jammin’ Java on Friday, June 26, in a show benefiting Black Lives Matter DMV and SURJNOVA.

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Live Review: Elizabeth II @ Jammin’ Java — 6/20/20

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Beth Cannon fronts Elizabeth II at Jammin’ Java on June 20, 2020. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

Normally, summer has been in full swing for weeks by this point each year. Concerts, festivals, parades, baseball, road trips and, of course, late evenings out with friends. But as we all know, this summer ain’t normal.

So when Jammin’ Java announced its “A Song & A Slice: A Socially Distanced Outdoor Concert Series” to celebrate the opening of Union Pie (Jammin’ Java’s new pizza shop), a glimmer of hope sprang up that maybe summer had actually returned. And that maybe things could feel a little more normal.

Recently, Elizabeth II turned in a 90-minute, stripped-down, acoustic set to kick off the series.

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Song of the Day: “I’m Always” by iAN Ottaway

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iAN Ottaway (Photo courtesy Revvolt Records)

You may not recognize the name iAN Ottaway (that’s EYE-an) but he’s spent a lifetime with some of the most incredible musicians and artists of the past few decades. He’s hung out with Jeff Buckley. He runs the Ask iAN page for Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. He’s been friends with Mark Lanegan for almost 30 years. And that’s just the start.

That friendship with Mark Lanegan resulted in a track iAN has recently released called “I’m Always.”

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