Perfect Future, Cape Farewell, Sailor’s Mouth LIVE on Third Rail right now!
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Asher (WMUC): I’ve been listening to 4EVA Music since Jason [manager] sent it to me, and I really dig it. First question: you describe your music as SoulBeat, which is a combination of soul, reggae, and a couple other styles. What do you see as the mission of SoulBeat music?
Master See: First, let me tell you a little bit about how I came up with that term to describe me style. That was inspired by Fela Kuti. He described his style as Afrobeat. Very much influenced by music from the U.S., so he took elements of that and incorporated that into what he did. When I was thinking about what I do, it’s basically centered around reggae music, but I’m not Jamaican, I didn’t grow up in the Caribbean – I grew up in the United States – and so I have no intentions of losing that connection to my growth and development here, musically, in the U.S. We have a very powerful tradition here in the U.S.; black folks in the U.S. have created many different styles and genres of music, which I grew up immersed in, from blues, jazz, all the way up. I wanted my style to reflect that connection to the musical history in the U.S. Sometimes I would think, “this isn’t really reggae.” So I said I need to help folks along – it’s natural to want to categorize things. I wanted to help people grip what I was doing, so I used the term Soul to describe what was happening musically in the U.S., to encompass all those things, and added Beat to it, to reflect music.
In terms of what I’m doing musically, the thing that’s most important to me at this point is that music is a very powerful thing – it can really alter your consciousness. That can happen in many ways. If a person is looking for love, love songs can really do something, change your thinking in certain areas, almost in anything. I’m very interested in what’s going on in the world, what’s happening to people. I grew up listening to music that affected my consciousness, in different genres, not just reggae. That’s just what I’m all about.
WMUC: Sure. You grew up listening to music that helped shape the way you look at the world, so you want to help other people look at world, shaped by the music you put out.
Master See: Right, as inspiration, you know. People think alike in many ways. People may think that’s a stretch, since there’s so many people out there, but the reality is that we’re more or less thinking the same kinds of things, have the same kinds of aspirations, generally speaking. That’s why music and art have such a universal appeal. Artists do that. We express what it’s like to be a human being, the kind of things we go through day to day.
WMUC: In a lot of ways, your music seems especially human. You have messages about how we need to come together, overcome the difficulties that face us as a group of human beings, not just individual communities.
Master See: We go from the particular to the general. That’s one thing artists are good at. In all the arts, that’s why art is so powerful. We perform a service for people: we take particular things that we experience ourselves, or we see happen to others, and we translate those things in a way that people can take it in. That’s what makes it so powerful.
WMUC: So then, when you perform live with your band, you’re trying to get the people there to be inspired, and to go home with a changed mindset, or an expanded mindset.
Master See: Yeah. And even those who are already pretty progressive, it gives them the affirmation that you know what, I’m not just doing this by myself. I know at times, those of us who are particularly sensitive can feel kinda lonely, at times. We can engage with a piece of art, music, painting, whatever, and say, hey, you know, there are a lot of people who see things kinda like I do. That gives you a feeling that you have other people in the world like you in many ways. That can get you to hold on through tough times.
WMUC: Absolutely. So when you come to a concert, you see all these people coming from all over, all there for the same reason. You’re creating a community of people there with you, all together. It’s a beautiful thing.
Master See: Absolutely.
WMUC: Tell me a little bit more about your live show. What’s it like?
Master See: We usually perform about 6 or 7 pieces, musicians depending on the event. I have some vocalists I work with, two ladies with great voices. The vocals, we always get a lot of positive comments, myself and the two ladies. That’s really, really one of the strength of our performance. It’s interesting to me that there are people out there doing things, and the music sounds good, but the vocals aren’t so good. (laughs) That’s something we take a lot of pride in, the vocals. It’s a strength for us. The other thing is that I’ve been at this for a minute, and I’m peaking musically, I think. The music itself is interesting, and other people find it interesting, because it’s not a forced marriage between musical styles. It’s more organic. It’s something that has developed over time. I feel very good about how things are going, and people really respond to that. I’m very pleased that young people here in the U.S. really enjoy what I’m doing, and that really motivates me.
WMUC: That’s especially because you have so much energy in the music. Even on the studio recordings, you can just hear it coming out in every track, just right there. You bring a lot of energy to the table; I can only imagine it’s ten times more impressive in the live show. It makes me want to come out and see you.
Master See: Well sure. You talk about energy and dynamics, that’s very important to me. I think at its best, artwork is in tune with the times. If the times are energetic and dynamic, it seems to me that to a great extent, the art should reflect that, to be instep with what’s going on at the time. So we’re moving at a breakneck pace right now, the kind of change we’re seeing in the world is incredible. The internet plays a big role in that, because now everyone is connected in a way we’ve never seen in the history of humanity. So for me, I think the music should be dynamic as well. It should be, like, BAM, you know? (laughs)
WMUC: Can you tell me how Peter Tosh has influenced your music, in the few minutes we have left?
Master See: Peter Tosh obviously is one of the founding members of the Wailers, and he has not gotten his just due. We hear about Bob, and much respect to Bob Marley, incredible artist, incredible soul, we all acknowledge that. At the same time, Peter Tosh had his own strengths, which the other Wailers didn’t as much. Peter was probably the most political member of the group. He said things in his songs that I didn’t hear too much in other artists’ songs, he talked about imperialism and colonialism, and you didn’t hear that otherwise. He was focused on very fundamental concepts. He said that justice was the most important thing in terms of interpersonal relationships. People talk about one love, and peace and unity, and all that; and that’s powerful and we need it, but I think Peter was right. We need the foundation of justice for the rest to flourish. Justice has to be there, or there’s not going to be any love and peace and unity. He was a very courageous man. Undoubtedly many of us see that as leading to his death at a very early age. So he had a tremendous influence on me, musically. His lyrical style tended to be very dynamic, probably the most dynamic musician of the three – definitely the best musician of the three – and also the most eloquent. He had a way with words, as many people know. He was able to touch your consciousness in terms of just speaking. He was a very powerful influence upon me.
WMUC: I can see that in your music as well, because the Wailers weren’t just trying to be entertainers, they were trying to spread a message, and Peter Tosh was the one who did that the most. You’re picking that right up, not just trying to be an entertainer; you’re trying to get people with the music, and keep them with the message.
Master See: Absolutely. That’s key.
WMUC: It’s been a pleasure.
Master See is a reggae artist from Hyattsville, MD. You can listen to Master See at: http://www.reverbnation.com/mastersee
Did you check out the WMUC table at the first look fair?
In case you missed it, we’ll be there tomorrow too!
Alsoooo don’t miss our super sexy open house tonight & tomorrow at 7 PM! (At the station - above South Campus Dining Hall)
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This is happening
Tuesday, 10/14 - 1 PM
Review by Naomi Harris
Regardless of how the day started out, the music playing at the Union Market in D.C. outshined the rain enough so that any passersby could feel the energetic presence of All Things Go Fall Classic. On Saturday 13th, the inaugural festival pulled in alternative-rock artists from local areas like Baltimore to places as far away as Sweden.
Throughout the all-day festival, artists performed while the crowd had the chance to dance to the music, try the array of food stations, or hang out with friends all while waiting for Future Islands and Tove Lo.
WMUC representatives, Lucy and I, were able to gain the full experience of seeing the artists live and then head backstage to talk to those available for interviews. The day was non stop, running back and forth, while trying to document the entire event.
Needless to say, All Things Go, made an impact on their first try, and I can’t wait to see the list of musicians set to perform for next year.
But don’t just take our word for it, below are the conversations, photos, videos and overall great time we had with some of the musiciansthroughout the day.
Young Summer finishing up her first song.
Up first, Young Summer, brought in the electronic background with hints of pop and powerful vocals onto the stage. As the opening act for the festival, Bobbie Allen, was able to captivate the people heading into the venue.
“It’s very 80s influenced.” She said while describing her music.
Indeed, Young Summer, encapsulates that 80s vibe full of synthesizers and at times heavy bass that thudded beneath us as she swayed to the beat of her music. She performed songs of Siren, her debut album, such as the well known tune, Taken.
The D.C. native was extremely excited and incredibly sweet to talk to, as she gushed about finally performing back home in front of not only fans but friends and family.
“It’s great to get in my car and drive to the venue.” She said with a smile. The past year has been busy for her, not only has she released an album but Young Summer also performed next to big names like Charli XCX at the Great Escape Festival in March.
Even now, Young Summer, is slightly shocked at performing in venues with other artists she’s admired.
“I’m a fan of HAERTS and Future Islands, it feels like I shouldn’t be here.” She said and laughed at the thought, “But yeah, it’s really crazy and it’s an honor.”
No matter how surreal she may have felt, Young Summer was able to set up a good vibe for the rest of the day as more people filled in the dock and the buzz of All Things Go really began.
Sun Club jamming out to a song.
The next group performing at the festival took me by surprise. The music transitioned from a more mellow tone towards face paced rock infused with pop and upbeat melodies. Sun Club, not only smashed out their quick tunes but the guys never stood still.
One of the guitarists, Shane McCord, admitted he drank about 12 (maybe more) cups of coffee before going on stage as they all continued bouncing and jumping around on stage.
The band hailing from Baltimore met in high school and two of the band members are brothers. Sitting down to talk to them was similar to their set, the conversation took many unexpected turns and inputs from their friends and manager.
At times one member would bound up to go do something and then appear back ten minutes later.
“We’re trying to take over the world.” Devin McCord, the drummer, said after we asked about future plans for their band.
But in terms of a shorter goal, “We’re going on tour with a band called, Wild Cat! Wild Cat!” Shane added.
Their first album, Dad Claps at Mom Prom, reflects the guys well. It’s full of instrumentals, lyrics about their experiences and at times animal noises (at one point Shane told us we should block out their cursing with chicken noises-and proceeded to do it himself).
They’ve not only performed at WMUC for a Third Rail concert but they also do a number of shows in Baltimore.
“Everything is close,” Kory Johnson, the keyboard player, said while they talked about Baltimore, “and the crowds are really sick”.
Whether it’s a crazy night at one of the frat’s here at the University of Maryland, touring the Converse factory in New York or driving in a 15 passenger van to the next venue without A.C., the guys of Sun Club never seem to have a dull moment together.
And at All Things Go, Sun Club not only gave the middle finger to the rainy morning with their animated performance but they created another form of energy to keep everyone up on their feet and dancing along as the festival continued.
The band from New York, consisting of Peter, Jared, Brett and Lauren make up the adult-alternative/synth pop styled sound of Panama Wedding. With influences of the 80s and hints of arena rock, the group mixed well with the rest of the musicians.
For Peter, the lead singer, the best advice he’s received is to, “always work harder and never be complacent in your set.”
They took this to heart because their single, “All of the People,” got the crowd moving to the beat and singing back the lyrics.
In fact, Peter finds that to be one of the best parts of performing live.
“You really hear the songs come alive because you work for so long in the studio and it’s a very personal experience.” He says, “But performing live is an opportunity to share with the world and get feedback from the fans.”
With the upbeat and sunny tunes, Panama Wedding, definitely delivered a good set.
Another group from D.C., U.S Royalty brought another addition to All Things Go with more blues influenced sound along with their baseline rock music. They were all clad in leather, boots, and dark jeans giving them an edgy look.
U.S. Royalty is made up of the singer, John Thornley, guitarist, Paul Thornley, bassist Jacob Michael and drummer Luke Adams.
At times John entered a new wave of energy, grasping tight to the fabric of the “All Things Go” sign and belting out tunes of old and new songs for the crowd to greatly appreciate.
Their performance captivated the crowd and you could see the serious faces of the band members while they played their music to the every growing amount of people standing in front of the stage.
By this point the sun was peeking through and people from down the block knew something was going on at Union Market.
Bear Hands performing at All Things Go.
After replaying “Giants” about five times after accidentally stumbling onto their SoundCloud profile, I became addicted to Bear Hands and their post-punk fused with indie sound.
The Brooklyn based band performed their hit song I fell in love with among many other great songs off their second album, Distraction. Dylan Rau, the singer and guitarist, let in the crowd with his personal lyrics that were offset with pop based instrumental.
I even had the chance to meet and talk with him about their set.
“Our sound goes all over the map.” Ted Feldman, another guitarist, explained. “But we try to write pop tunes with teeth.”
And their music shows off the bite as their performance kept up the energy and dancing tunes.
While they performed Dylan found himself on his back and singing up at the sky as Ted, Val Loper- the bassist- and TJ Orscher- the drummer- kept banging out the melody. It was raw and personal experience for Bear Hands and for the crowd.
Before they toured with bands like Passion Pit or MGMT, Ted and Dylan met at Wesleyan University. Later on Dylan brought in Val and TJ because they all knew one another from their childhood. And one EP and two albums later, Bear Hands have made quite the impression in the music scene.
“It’s just playing music for 45 minutes straight,” that makes them happy, Ted remarked.
Tove Lo belting out a song as the crowd goes crazy.
By the time Tove Lo ran up the steps and onto the stage, the crowd behind the press pit was packed in and ready to dance to a more pop centered sound. Tove Lo, announcing it was her first performance in America, did not disappoint.
Shoeless and full of energy, Tove Lo, transitioned throughout her set with ease as she danced around and sang with powerful vocals that easily carried out the venue.
Though we were unable to interview her, Tove Lo, impressed everyone. She not only performed her hit single, “Stay High (Habits),” but she also introduced us to new material off her new album, Queen of the Clouds.
The electro-pop songstress even performed my favorite song, “Out my Mind” and made sure to include dance friendly songs for the crowd to jam out with.
Sam from Future Islands leaning down and staring intensely at the crowd.
Despite standing for eight hours all thoughts of finding somewhere to rest my poor feet immediately fled with Future Islands. The Baltimore based synth-pop, mixed in with alternative rock, brought back the high level atmosphere.
If you’ve never seen them perform, I suggest looking up their set on “Late Show with David Lettermen” simply because it’s something you’ve probably never seen before.
Sam Herring, the singer, sucks you into his theatrical performance with his dramatic facial expressions, high kicks and sudden low-gorilla like-movements. Everything is so well timed with the music and even effortless.
The other members, Gerrit Welmers, keyboard, William Cashion, bass and electric guitars, help support Sam throughout the set with great instrumentals that neither overshadows Sam nor lacked in the high energy.
They played their popular single, “Seasons (Waiting on You)” along with other not so well known songs off a number of their albums.
Throughout the entire set it felt like Sam was telling you a story. At times he sang with innocence as Dr. Jekyll took place and suddenly become interrupted by Mr. Hyde as he howls into the microphone. They kept everyone on their toes as Sam made sure to keep your attention.
At one point they said goodbye only to return after tumultuous calls for an encore.
Future Islands ended All Things Go on a high that we rode out as we finally left the venue. That concert buzz and overwhelming feeling of having seen a fantastic show followed us until we finally arrived back on campus.
Crowd waits for Bear Hands to get onto stage.
This was the first time I’ve interacted with such talented people on a level where it felt more like friends talking instead of conducting an interview. All Things Go: Fall Classic created that environment.
The staff were all friendly, the venue was spacious and simple and the musicians all showcased a range of genres and influences.
Overall the festival introduced me, and the large crowd, to a number of super talented artists. Even though it was an all day affair, there was never a drop in anticipation. Between the sets DJs, like DJ B-Rock from the Knocks, would continue pumping up the crowd as the stage transitioned for each performer.
It was also incredibly satisfying to see how local talent perform so well and there was enough variation for all types of people to come watch.
Coverage of All Things Go: Fall Classic
from the perspective of Lucy Wang, Junior Neuro/Phys major at the University of Maryland
12:32 p.m. | Arrived at the venue
When I finally got to the venue, the first performer, Young Summer had just finished her set. But neither missing one of the acts that I really wanted to see (those darned metro delays…), nor the slight drizzle that had just commenced could have dampened my excitement for the day ahead.
With the chunk of time before the next act, I scoped out the venue. Union Market was an interesting space; a perfect concrete square in the midst of the run-down industrial milieu. It was flanked by enclosures which seemed to be carved out of an old warehouse itself. One side was lined with concessions while the other appeared to be the backstage artist lounge.
12:59 p.m. |Sun Club
5 curiously shaggy-haired boys bounded up to the stage, known as Sun Club. I had listened to a handful of their songs (they only had a handful) in the days leading up to the festival, but I sat a bit nervously in the photo pit, still with really no idea what to expect.
One of the lead singers, Shane McCord, quickly let me and the crowd know what we were in for.
“We’re Sun Clubbrlalaldalladlalldall,” he cried, adding a strange tongue flicking motion afterward for effect. And from the moment he slid on his retro circle glasses,
Sun Club became an energetic, blurred whirl.
Their youth supercharged their vocals, and drove their performance like a motor. I was completely transfixed through their entire set by flying hair, guitar slamming, totally dance-able riffs, and a healthy number of strange (animal?) noises.
I also found myself fondly drawn to their insouciance, down to the mismatched socks they donned.
In short—they kicked off the festival in an energetic whirl and left me a little slaphappy.
1:45 pm | Sun Club Interview
Just the novel experience of being backstage took a while to get used to. Good thing I had time to mentally prepare—It took a while to get Sun Club in one place, much like it is very difficult to herd a group of elementary schoolers on a field trip.
Still amped up from their performance, it didn’t quite seem like I was going to a get a traditional, standard interview (it took about ten minutes to get a very…. interesting Station ID). Armed with zero experience, I made the executive decision to just try to converse with them. This was a good idea—they made me feel immediately at ease.
As I introduced myself, I realized that they were no stranger to UMD or WMUC. They played Third Rail a few years back and described playing at frat parties as “always interesting”.
As I asked them more about their hometown Baltimore, I noticed their matching Maryland tattoos. Upon asking if they had any more tattoos, Shane shimmied off his pants to show me his Sun Club tattoo.
They have a lot of plans for touring in the future with a band called Wildcat! Wildcat!, but they plan to stick around in their hometown, Baltimore, for a while.
Keep your eye out for these guys, because I promise you, they’re going to be big in a few years.
2:15 pm | Panama Wedding
As I stepped out of the backstage lounge, I caught the tail end of Panama Wedding’s set. The mood was so drastically different: My ears were greeted with rhythmic “oohs” and “ahs”, and smooth keyboard. Suddenly calm, I found myself set to gentle sway. Older audience, plenty of soul, cool melodies.
2:30 p.m. | FEEDING TIME
I became distracted by the growl from a deep pit in my stomach. It was time to explore the food vendor space.
I had many exotic fusion options to choose from. In the end I went for a pho dog. (The nice people gave me a discount for being press! #presswag)
Needless to say…..it was delicious. Though didn’t quite hit the spot. I later went back for Korean tacos. (If you ever get a craving for Korean tacos, TaKorean is now open in Navy Yard)
Suddenly, the stylings of U.S. Royalty blared into the enclosure as I recharged my body and my phone.
When I ventured back out, the crowd had swelled up to a good number of people. Union market square was, how you say, live.
U.S. Royalty looked like the epitome of cool as they did their thing as they straddled the line between biker gang and Americana apparel.
The crowd went crazy for the D.C. natives as they played “More to This”, a single they dropped right before the festival.
4:45 PM | Back in the pit for Bear Hands
At this point, I was getting pretty run down, but the festival wasn’t stopping for me.
Bear Hands was already in full swing. The band had an undeniable one-listen-and-you’re-hooked indie-punk tambre, especially with their singles “Giants” and “Agora”.
(Not to mention an adorable guitarist-turned-synth-guy)
The lead singer, Dylan Rau (easily distinguishable with his 2 ginger dread braids) then did something I’ve never seen an artist do on stage. Perhaps he was tired because he literally just layed on stage.
(Later, I got the chance to meet him and asked him if he did that every time, to which he replied “Nah, it just felt right this time.”)
5:15 p.m. | Haerts
Yussss. Time for one of my favorite bands of the festival. By this time, the dreary, wet landscape at the beginning of the festival was barely recognizable. Bright and sunny, the crowd excitedly buzzed before Haerts,
Haerts came out in sartorial success, with the singer, Nini, being a minimalist vision. Her all black ensemble paired perfectly with her custom gold microphone, and her best accessory—a pair of wings tattooed on her wrist.
Later on backstage, I realized Nini and the band were a bit shy. She did not want to do an interview without the entire band, but did allow a portrait. I took an exceedingly bad portrait in the dimly lit room, but when she checked the picture, she still graciously commented on it.
According to Haerts band members Garrett Iiener, and Derek McWilliams, their favorite songs by the band are “Be The One” (a new song they played), and “All The Days”, respectively.
(The portrait is so bad I don’t even want to post it here)
6:32 p.m. | Samuel Herring spotted backstage
Thanks to a tip-off from SMK, I pretty much swooped down on Samuel Herring, who looked nervous as he smoked a cigarette backstage. With no regard of being an annoying fan girl, I introduced myself as a big fan, told him I’d love to talk to him after.
He could barely make a sound in his response, telling me probably not, since he needed to conserve what little voice he had left.
Though disappointed…I still got to hug the guy.
7:00 p.m. | Tove Lo
Tove Lo fluttered out on stage, barefoot and bright eyed. Her light footedness lasted her entire performance as she flitted back and forth between either extreme of the stage.
She unfurled song after song of infectious pop melodies, occasionally taking breaks to conduct the crowd into a chorus of expletives.
Her scandinavian beauty charmed all, and her charisma was contagious; by the end, everyone’s eyes in the crowd followed her every movement—even those who only knew Habits.
TL;DR Tove Lo had it going on and was ACTUALLY UNREAL as a performer.
By the end of her set, it was nightfall, and the anticipation for Future Islands was palpable. It mounted as the crowd, waited, and waited, and waited…….
In the meantime, my co-journalist Naomi went to check on interviewing Tove Lo. She came back bearing news that Tove Lo had closed the curtains because she was upset about how her performance was, which confused us greatly, because her performance was awesome.
But it gave me perspective on how much artists rack up stress about a performance before, during, and after a performance.
So when people demanded, “Where’s Future Islands?!?!?”
Only I and a handful of people knew thar Herring was probably nervously chain smoking to calm his nerves/seeing if he could even perform at all.
9:24 p.m. | FUTURE ISLANDS
Future Islands had us all hanging by their string, wondering if they were going to perform at all. But even when they rolled on stage some 40 minutes late, the crowd exploded, roaring with cheer.
And with no further ado, they hit the ground running, striking a special chord in the sea of fans.
The best way I can describe the music is somehow uplifting, with quick beats and soaring instrumentals, yet inexplicably sorrowful at the same time—a perfect match for Herring’s smooth, and sometimes deeply grating vocals. Something about his voice universally twangs something in the soul, making you think about regret, pining… the past.
A review wouldn’t be complete without bringing up his emotive dance. Beads of sweat quickly gathered on his face while his body forcefully crescendoed with the music. There’s artists who get into the music, but Herring took it to the next level. He pounded his heart, crouched down making intense eye contact, cried on cue……and even roundhouse kicked once….
Still one of the best shows to ever see live. Ever. So go see them, because no description that you read (especially mine) will really do.
The chant for an encore grew so loud and went on for so long that I was convinced that we should leave, especially considering his lack of voice. Boy, they proved me exceptionally wrong. They came back for not 1, but a 3 song encore (showing Herring’s true devotion to his fans) which left the entirety of Union Market innervated for the rest of the night.
Come to WMUC open house this Wednesday and Thursday to see how radical college radio is!
I was contacted last week by the event coordinator for Alice Boman’s show in DC. Alice was performing at the House of Sweden, an exquisite performance space within the building that houses the Swedish and Icelandic Embassies; I was cordially invited to review the performance and write Alice up for <5K. After seeing her live, I felt that she deserved a separate review of her own.
Alice Boman is an up-and-coming singer-songwriter from Sweden, currently working across the country in her first official United States tour. Her crystal clear voice and the sincerity behind it catch a listener off guard, drawing you in. Lyrically, her songs are wistful and sincere. She plays along the edge of simplicity, forsaking attempts to capture the complications of romantic turbulence through verbosity. Instead, she speaks directly and without pretense, childlike in her emotional purity.
Boman’s backing band accentuates her voice excellently. Her songs contain many layers of melody: the flugelhorn provides the midrange harmonies better than a human voice could, and keyboard player/multi-instrumentalist Tom Malmros adds a baritone boost to fill out the choruses, creating an entrancing cloud of melody. Some songs, like the exquisite “Burns”, feel timeless in their structure, making Boman seem more like an old soul. She has a true knack for making soothing, mellow music.
The performance room in the House of Sweden was dark and enchanting, decorated in titillating artwork, perfect for an evening of quiet music. Boman and her band filled the room with an intimate atmosphere, making us all feel like we were in the front row. It was a unique and wonderful thing to witness. I wish Alice the greatest success on the rest of her tour, and hope she comes back to DC with another round of heartwarming airs for those lucky enough to catch her.
—Asher Meerovich (@Bummertime)