Within earshot of the defiant marches, congressional hearings, and nonsensical presidential press conferences that spotlit Washington D.C. in 2017, the city’s hardy music scene was having one of its strongest and most boisterous years in recent memory.

In fact, it was such a prolific year for our hardworking artists and musicians that I had to split this end-of-year podcast — featuring guests Jamal Gray (director of Uptown Art House + member of Nag Champa), Chris Naoum (co-founder of Listen Local First + the Funk Parade), and Ben Schurr (of Blight Records + Br’er) — into two parts.

In Part One, we discuss the daunting challenges to making art in this city in 2017, including the recent changes to DC’s media landscape, fluctuating audience engagement, and the struggle to provide responsible context for the city’s musical past and present:

In Part Two, we lighten up, keep it musical and eclectic, and share our favorite artists, songs, and live shows from the past year in the 202:

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For your convenience and pleasure, I’ve also put together a thorough playlist and each of our “best-of” lists, complete with links for your grassroots musical discovery…

Jamal Gray:

Top Artists

Chris Naoum:

Top Tracks and Singles

Top Albums


Ben Schurr:

Top Tracks


Lindsay Hogan:

Top Releases