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A Hip-Hop Album, a Punk Podcast, a Black-Power Website, and Other DC Stuff We’ve Been Digging

Our regular roundup of recent local culture.

Album / Aquatic Gardener, Godspeed (GÄD’SPĒD)

DC musician Jamal Gray’s latest project is this rich instrumental collection of moody hip-hop beats.

Photograph of Musgrove courtesy of UMBC

Website / Black Power in DC

George Derek Musgrove, a UMBC professor and coauthor of the essential DC book Chocolate City, is behind this en-grossing new resource (, which maps important sites of Black activism. It launches February 1.

Photograph of Guy Picciotto of the band Rites of Spring courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Podcast / End on End

Two appropriately unpolished hosts work through the entire Dischord Records catalog, album by album. You probably won’t hear in-depth interviews about most of these recordings anywhere else.

Album / Jonathan Parker, The Remainder

Now living in New York, this jazz saxophonist grew up in this area and performed around here for years. With his new album, he and his DC-based group have recorded an ode to his hometown.

Book / Mike Nichols: A Life by Mark Harris

Acclaimed film historian Harris’s latest is a deep accounting of a director who made several films related to Washington. We cannot wait for dirt on the making of Heartburn.

Photograph of Jordan courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Podcast / Hang Up and Listen: The Last Last Dance

If you tore through ESPN’s recent Michael Jordan docuseries, this hourlong podcast episode about his career coda with the Wizards serves as the untold final chapter.

Book / Black Broadway in Washington, DC by Briana A. Thomas

What started as a story in Washingtonian has grown into this more expansive history of U Street as a hub for African American culture.

Photograph of Faceless Faces in public places by Sam Kittner

Books / Faceless Faces in Public Places by Sam Kittner and We Keep Us Safe by Shedrick Pelt

Two photo tomes that capture a uniquely tumultuous year in our city. Kittner offers pictures of street life during the pandemic, while Pelt documents the protests that have mobilized Washingtonians.

Politics and Culture Editor

A DC native, Rob Brunner moved back to the city in 2017 to join Washingtonian. Previously, he was an editor and writer at Fast Company and other publications. He has also written for the New York Times Magazine, New York, and Rolling Stone, among others. He lives with his family in Chevy Chase DC.