Extended Family 23: MAGIC BIG HEAVY QUIET SMALL GLIDE 2016
Giles Reaves - Wunjo
Shayla - Magic Airs
JD Emmanuel - Movement I
Erik Wollo - Tide 2
Michael Shrieve and Steve Roach - Big Sky
"Heavy Surf" - from the Solitudes series
Gershon Kingsley - Quiet Descent
Peter Mergener and Michael Weisser - Small Spark
Michel Genest - The Open Door
Ramananda - Toward the City
After an undoubtedly grueling election season in Washington D.C. and beyond, it is simply a relief to receive a mix of therapeutic new age healing from the indefatigable Chris Richards. Chris Richards might be best known for his work as pop music critic extraordinaire of the legendary Washington Post (check out his dedicated column for DMV based musicians every Friday in the weekend section and send him a pitch if you're an artist in the area!), or perhaps in other circles best known for his work as member of hardcore DC band Q and Not U (on the iconic DC based Dischord Records imprint, which Richards describes as 'awe-inspiring' to him as a young teenager). Maybe you know him from Paint Branch, where he plays in an acoustic duo with John Davis, but he's also in a duo with Sean McGuiness of Pissed Jeans called Street Stains (look out for a tape from them very soon!) and refers vaguely to a "new electric band with some pals that doesn't have a name just yet." And if that doesn't seem quite enough, Richards also founded Glide in 2009, which started as a monthly new age event that was encouraged by Extended Family member Neal Becton. Richards had been collecting new age records for years at that point, and found playing new age music in a live setting, music not typical to a club environment, to be a lovely and soothing experience. The crowd must have responded favorably too, as the night continued and now seven years later lives at U Street Music Hall on the Winter Solstice, offering the community a delightful alternative to its usual programming.
Born right here in our district hometown in 1979, Richards has lived in DC for roughly half of his life on and off, with his current stretch reaching seven years, so it's safe to say that DC is home. Chris' earliest musical memories are of the Talking Heads, Bob Seger, Willie Nelson, and Philip Glass - which brings a cheerful and cozy reminder of the wealth of irreplaceable music that has been produced in this country. While his father introduced him to most of the aforementioned, Richards describes the work of Bobby Brown as the first in which he felt a personal and intimate connection to, which led to an obsession with rap and then grunge and then punk. It's this last genre that might have left the biggest mark on him, as he describes lovingly as punk not being as "a style or a sound so much as an ideology of liberation." He says "Punk taught me a lot of things, but the most important lesson might have been that genres are ultimately just imaginary constructions that limit our listening" - a valued lesson that even the most seasoned listener can be reminded of.
Catch Glide at U Street Music Hall on January 4th and start the new year with some healing. Follow him on Twitter here.