The first band in the Bands in the Neighborhood series is DoS, a funk group with 2 of its 3 members living in Columbia Heights. I spoke to guitarist Glen Seidlitz the other day.
The band's name, DoS (as in two in Spanish) came from the original twosome of Nate Peek (drums) and Josh Nassar (bass). They've been played together since 1998 and Glen joined in 2000. Two of the band live in Columbia Heights, with Glen on Park and Nate on New Hampshire and Newton / Otis, and they frequently practice at Nate's place. The music often can be heard from the street. "We've had people yell at us from the street to turn it up," said Glen. "Never heard anyone ask us to turn it down!"
They've also played a lot at Wonderland, with Glen guessing that it's been at least 20 times. "Matt [the owner] likes our 70's porn style," he joked. Musically, it's not 70s porn but funk and soul that influences the band. "Josh is big into James Brown, Funkadelic, and all the old soul and Stax stars. I'm the sap of the group and bring a more mellow vibe with me. If we had vocals I'm sure it would be all sorts of gooey! And Nate, he's all about Rush, Yes and the Pointer Sisters."
The name of one of the band's mostly instrumental songs, "Lamont's Lament," comes from the street of the same name. "In an indirect way. When I lived up on Sherman Circle there was this group of feral cats that lived in the alley," said Glen. "I had named them all different street names that I liked. One day I was leaving for work to find Lamont laying in the alley dead. He lived the life of an alley cat, it's crush or be crushed. I thought he'd be the crusher - guess I was wrong."
The band hangs out in Columbia Heights too, with band meetings at Red Rocks, and they're playing Wonderland again on September 17th. Check them out.
And if they had to rename the band for something Columbia Heights-related, what would it be?
"I'm going to go with the 11th Street Players. DC USA would be a close second."