by December 20, 2012 at 2:00 pm 1,285 0

From Rachel Nania. Check out her blog, Sear, Simmer & Stir. Follow Nania on Twitter @rnania, email her at rachel[AT]


A local holiday album from Listen Local First. (Image courtesy of Listen Local First)

Justin Bieber isn’t the only one with a rockin’ holiday album. Listen Local First, a nonprofit that supports and promotes local musicians, is releasing its first holiday album.

The digital album has nine tracks of seasonal tunes, recorded by local musicians, and is available for $5. Proceeds from the downloadable tracks will benefit the Cardozo High School Marching Band and music program, with a small portion going back to the local artists and Listen Local First.

The playlist includes songs from artists such as Justin Jones, Vandaaver and Tom McBride, among others.

For more information, or to download the album, visit the website.

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by October 29, 2012 at 11:00 am 1,541 0


Listen Local First hopes to launch the DC version of this fall. (Rachel Nania)

From Rachel Nania. Check out her blog, Sear, Simmer & Stir. Follow Nania on Twitter @rnania, email her at rachel[AT] 

Listen Local First, a local music initiative devoted to building awareness and creating opportunities for local musicians and venues, is partnering with to help launch DC’s first local music streaming app. is a free music/radio streaming app and website with content comprised entirely of local musicians, based out of Columbus, Ohio. The goal of the Listen Local First partnership and application is to help embrace this idea and “to create a centralized platform and community for artists and listeners to engage with their local music scene.”

The new application will also allow for local businesses to stream playlists and highlighted tracks of local artists in their businesses, which helps to better promote the talent of DC’s music scene.

Currently the app is in its beta phase. According to a statement from Listen Local First users will be able to search for specific bands, create favorite lists, filter by upcoming shows and create and share playlists with each other in the next few weeks of the roll-out.

For more information, visit Listen Local First’s website.

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by October 17, 2012 at 1:00 pm 1,288 0


Black Cat at 14th Street NW. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Rachel Nania. Check out her blog, Sear, Simmer & Stir. Follow Nania on Twitter @rnania, email her at rachel[AT] 

Listen Local First is turning one-year-old!

And to celebrate, the DC-based organization that builds awareness and creates opportunities for local musicians and venues is having a birthday party at the Black Cat (1811 14th Street NW) on Friday, October 19.

The special Listen Local First show will feature the touring DC based collective “The 9 Songwriter Series.”  The show presents nine musicians, featured over the past year by Listen Local First, collaborating with one another to make for a night of great local music.

The show starts at 8 pm. Tickets are $10 and are available online. More information is available on the event’s Facebook page.

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by August 1, 2012 at 8:00 am 1,898 1 Comment

"Mid City"

Dog Days 2011: Click above for more pictures. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Rachel Nania. Check out her blog, Sear, Simmer & Stir. Follow Nania on Twitter @rnania, email her at rachel[AT]

This year’s MidCity Dog Days Sidewalk Festival is right around the corner, August 4-5, and the organizers of the neighborhood celebration are giving us something to sing about. For the first year, the weekend event will have live music stages and performances along the festival’s walking route.

Listen Local First, a local music initiative devoted to building awareness and creating opportunities for local musicians and venues, teamed up with Dog Days to bring more than 40 local bands, artists and DJs to eight different stages throughout the weekend. Details on the stage locations and the scheduled musicians are below.

The MidCity Dog Days Sidewalk Festival started in 2000 with six business, and has since grown to a full-neighborhood celebration with more than 70 local participating businesses. It is organized by businesses along the 14th and U corridor.

The Festival takes place on August 4 and 5 on 14th Street NW (between P Street and Florida Avenue) and U Street NW (between 9th Street and 17th Street). Times for the event are 9 am to 8 pm on Saturday, August 4 and 10 am to 7 pm on Sunday, August 5. For a list of the Festival’s featured events, see our Dog Days preview and visit the Dog Days website. is a proud sponsor of the MidCity Dog Days Sidewalk Festival. For more information on the event and participating businesses, visit the Dog Days website  or email [email protected]; and stay tuned to for more information on specific Dog Days events.

Stage Locations and Scheduled Musicians

The Fashion District Stage (U Street between 16th and 15th St NW)
Time: 12 pm – 6 pm Saturday and Sunday
Artists Performing: Sara Davenport, Rachel Levetin, Karen Jonas, Linsay Demig, Margot MacDonald, Victoria Vox, By & By Bluegrass Band, Deb Felz, Maryjo Mattea, Dance for the Dying and Sweet Interference

Dog Days Stage at the African Civil War Memorial (Corner of U and 10th Streets NW)
Time: Saturday 9 am – 7 pm, Sunday 12 pm – 7 pm
Artists Performing: Jason Mendelson, Jim Shirey, Riverbreaks, Brian Franke, Kyle Crosby, Nathaniel Davis, 50 Machines, Fire and the Wheel, Jason Brunner, Charlie Harrison, Lunatic, Immobilaire, Javier Sparks, Dom-O, Grey Area, Harmonic Blue, Don Kim

14th and U St Farmers Market (Corner of 14th and U Streets NW)
Time: Saturday 10 am – 1 pm
Artists: TBA

Batala Performance – Sunday (more details on the way)
Place: 14th and U Streets NW

Whole Foods (P Street between 14th and 15th Streets NW)
Time: Saturday 11 am – 3  pm
Artists: Jon Blashford, Don Kim, Jim Shirey and more

Sweet Tea Pumpkin Pie Stage (Corner of 14th and Corcoran Streets NW)
Time: Saturday and Sunday 12 pm – 6 pm
Artists: TBA more info at

Current Boutique Stage (1809 14th Street NW)
Time: Saturday  2 pm – 6 pm, Sunday 4 pm – 6 pm
Artists: Gordon Daniels, Stepbrothers w/ Frank Mitchell, holychild

Som Records  DJ Stage (1843 14th Street NW)
Time: Saturday and Sunday 12 pm – 6 pm
Artists: DJ Naruka, DJ’s Uschi Obermaier and Rick Moranis, NiteKrawler, Justin Jouvenal, Jeyone and Frank Mitchell, DJ Neville C, DJ Provoke, DJ Retrospect, Moose, DJ D Mac, The Secret Chimp

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by November 21, 2011 at 10:40 am 2,258 0

Think Local First DC

Think Local First DC is part of a national network. (Courtesy Think Local First DC)

Today’s talk with Stacey Price of Think Local First DC is part of our ongoing series featuring local people and local businesses. TLFDC is an interconnected community of locally-owned businesses who drive sustainable economic development in the Washington metro area. They are a member of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE), which helps Think Local First organizations get established.

Check out the TLFDC website for great Localist profiles of your favorite independent business owners, and special deals and events from some of your favorite businesses. Borderstan is a member of TLFDC.

From Ashley Lusk. Check out Ashley’s blog Metropoetrylis and find her on Twitter at @arlusk. You can email her at [email protected]

It’s always surprising to see someone you know in a city of more than 600,000 residents, but for Stacey Price, knowing your local business owners is just part of the community appeal.

Price, the new executive director for Think Local First DC, thinks like a small business owner because she has been one. Her first entrepreneurial endeavor was a gift shop in Radford, Virginia, called Encore Artful Gifts. Today she oversees the relationships and development of the Think Local movement, which provides a community for more than 200 local businesses.

Borderstan: You previously led your own PR agency, which represented many independent businesses–are you still a small business owner as well?

Price: It’s in a bit of a transition. [Being part of Think Local First] is like an extended service to people I was already serving. I actually met the folks at Think Local through my clients who were independent businesses. I was worried about conflict of interest, but… it’s all in support of local businesses.

"Borderstan""Think Local First"

Stacey Price is executive director of Think Local First DC. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Borderstan: What led you to Think Local First DC?

Price: I owned a gift and clothing store for six years, so I get [small business]. I take the small business owner under my arm. Even the best, the people who have been around for a long time, they want advice, and it’s not even about making money.

For example, we’re holding a workshop about how to have promotions on a shoestring. And you don’t need money — a lot of times it’s about partnerships. A lot of businesses don’t do that and they don’t have the time, money, resources and effort to promote themselves.

Borderstan: How many businesses are part of Think Local First?

Price: We are around 200 businesses, but we don’t like to think of it as just the people who are part of our membership. We think that any independent business is part of our network. We support all local businesses.

Borderstan: So, what are some of the benefits of joining Think Local First?

Price: When you become a member, you get increased visibility. Our membership fee is very low — it starts at $100. And we’re building relationships with businesses based on their needs. For example, Skynear is one of our members and they said, “We see value in your Facebook fans and Twitter fans and some of those things” — if that’s what they need, we can be flexible [with what membership means].

It occurred to me recently that I’m doing exactly what I wanted to do. In 2002, I was working for an economic development organization and I was trying to build communities in Virginia. And I thought at that time that I wanted to start a non-profit that did nothing but promote local business.

I was finding these gems of businesses that had something amazing — a sandwich, or coffee or a product — but their signage was bad, or their façade was bad, or they needed promotional help, and so I thought about how I could start a non-profit that would support them. They had the product, the space, but often forgot the most important part — promotion.

Fast-forward to now and I get to do that almost on a daily basis.

Borderstan: What is success for Think Local First?

Price: We love when we see people we know, but we also love when our events bring in people we don’t know. It means we’ve introduced them to something new. It’s about helping the businesses, but also helping the consumers understand why they should support the business. But it’s more than just promotion that we offer businesses. Our programming works to create “better,” more socially conscientious businesses. In fact, we are holding a Social Venture Institute in May 2012.

Borderstan: What can we see next from Think Local First?

Price: It’s the holiday season and we’re having the Shop Local Day on November 26. We have an entire kit that educates consumers on why they should shop local, especially around the holiday season. I’ve been meeting with Etsy and we’re seeing what we can do to make a local showing. Maybe a “Made in DC” event or perhaps a pop up shop or something. And we just kicked of “Listen Local First,” a partnership between local musicians and local businesses.

Borderstan:  What are your favorite spots in the neighborhood?

Price: On U Street… Lettie Gooch: Great shoes, handbags, clothing and an owner that is TLF board member?  Yes, please! Bar Pilar: Love that even with popularity and growth this spot feels like a neighborhood bar.

In Logan Circle… Cork Wine Shop: Amazing cheese and wine selection. Stoney’s: Nothing says comfort food like its grilled cheese. On sour dough.

In Dupont… Pizza Paradiso: Hands down favorite bar staff in the city. Amazing pizza, great changing beer list and a bustling neighborhood atmosphere. Yola: Locally sourced yogurt with Counter Culture coffee, great music and a staff that makes me smile.


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