A decade ago, a Chicago-based quartet burst onto the scene with an iconic music video featuring synchronized dancing on treadmills. That critically-acclaimed video solidified their place in the indie rock scene, earned them a Grammy and garnered more than 34 million views. Not bad for a first-time effort.

Over the next decade, while the rest of the music world gave up on music videos (Thanks MTV), OK Go continued to crank out innovative visuals to accompany their catchy tunes. What started on a set of treadmills eventually led to a music video in a Russian spaceship. Their most recent hit, titled “The One Moment” features a series of events that takes just 4.2 seconds (thankfully, they slowed it down so fans could appreciate everything that went into it). And it’s because of these two mesmerizing videos that OK Go found themselves in the nation’s capital this week.

One night after they were honored with one of Smithsonian Magazine‘s American Ingenuity Award in the Visual Arts, OK Go treated locals to an intimate acoustic performance at The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. In addition to their acoustic set, the band also participated in a Q&A session and a discussion regarding their award-winning videos.

I was lucky enough to be in attendance for this acoustic performance on behalf of D.C. Music Download. When you get a chance, please check out my photos from the show.


Redskins playoff hopes stranded in the desert

The Washington Redskins traveled to Arizona hoping to bounce back from a humbling loss to their divisional rivals, the Dallas Cowboys, on Thanksgiving day. With a week and a half to prepare for a disappointing but still dangerous Cardinals squad, the Redskins needed a strong showing to solidify their standing in the NFC playoff race.

Instead, the offense came out flat in the first half and the defense never really showed up at all — enabling the Cardinals to a decisive 31-23 victory at University of Phoenix Stadium. While the offense’s first-half showing featured as many false start penalties as it did rushing attempts (not really, but it sure did feel like it), the defense’s steadfast refusal to stop the Cardinals from converting a 3rd down-and-long play was clearly where things went wrong in this one.

With the loss, Washington dropped out of the sixth and final playoff spot and must now make up ground on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and/or New York Giants down the stretch to qualify for the postseason.



Dallas duo feasts on Redskins for Thanksgiving

When the NFL schedule comes out each year, the first game I track down is when the Washington Redskins travel to Dallas to face the Cowboys. In addition to being a rivalry game, this annual match-up always appeal to me because of the two and a half years I was stationed at Fort Hood, Texas. In related news, I’ve covered nine of the last 10 times the Redskins played in Dallas — missing only the 2013 trip.

For the second time during my 12 years covering the team, the Redskins faced the Cowboys on Thanksgiving day. While it’s tough to leave your family behind for a holiday, the fact that these two franchises look playoff bound this season only added to the excitement of this grudge match.

Unfortunately for the burgundy and gold, their chance to avenge a Week 2 loss to the Cowboys got off to a less-than-desirable start when their first four drives resulted in two made field goals and two missed field goals. Things weren’t much better on the defensive side either, with the Redskins seemingly incapable of slowing down quarterback Dak Prescott and/or running back Ezekiel Elliott.

Considering the last time these two franchises played on Thanksgiving day Washington was led to victory by a dynamic rookie duo, it seemed only fitting that Dallas returned the favor just four years later. While they made a game of it late, the Redskins’ sluggish start ultimately sealed their fate as Dallas emerged victorious, 31-26.


Rob Kelley and friends run all over Packers

The Washington Redskins’ 2015 season ended abruptly when a supposedly vulnerable Green Bay Packers team came to town for a first-round matchup and steamrolled the burgundy and gold in stunning fashion, 35-18. Even though the Packers once again arrived in town looking less than stellar, most ‘Skins fans were still very much aware of what happened this past January.

Add in the fact that the Redskins had lost 20 of their last 25 appearances, including their last seven at FedEx Field, and this game was potentially what nightmares are made of. Fortunately for everyone involved, quarterback Kirk Cousins, running Rob Kelley and the rest of the Redskins offense doesn’t pay attention to the franchise’s pathetic recent history.

In front of a national audience, Cousins threw for 375 yards with three touchdowns, Kelley rushed for 137 and three scores and the burgundy and gold routed the Packers, 42-24. With more than 500 yards of total offense, seemingly everyone who lined up for Washington had the chance to make plays during a night that featured howling winds and way too many Packers fans in attendance.

By the end of the fourth quarter, Green Bay sat down Rodgers, ‘Skins fans were chanting, “We Want Dallas!” and Redskins players were trashing foam cheeseheads. You know, just like everyone expected.


Cavaliers prove too much for shorthanded Wizards

One day after the defending NBA champions visited the White House, the Cleveland Cavaliers remained in our nation’s capital to take on the Washington Wizards. While LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and friends are a tough enough opponent as it is, the Wizards faced the Cavs without the services of shooting guard Bradley Beal, who sat out the contest with a sore hamstring.

Led by all star point guard John Wall, the Wizards actually managed to go toe-to-toe with the champs throughout the first half — and led the game by as much as 12 points during the opening half. But Washington’s lack of depth was evident in the second half as Cleveland cruised to an easy 105-94 victory at the Verizon Center on Veteran’s Day.

Special thanks to Hoop District for allowing me to cover the game on their behalf. To see the full gallery of my action shots, click here.


Redskins fumble away chance to defeat Detroit

After starting the season with consecutive losses, the Washington Redskins put together a highly-enjoyable four-game winning streak thanks to a productive offense and a much-improved defense. Although their games continued to come down to the wire each week, the Redskins continually found a way to emerge victorious.

In Detroit Sunday, Washington once again found itself in a tightly-contested battle that wasn’t decided until the final possession. This time around though, their magic appeared to run out and the fortuitous bounces didn’t go their way. The Redskins rushing attack twice fumbled the ball away and the usually clutch Dustin Hopkins had a rare miss on a 45-yard field goal attempt. Failing to put points on the board on those three drives ultimately proved to be the difference as the Lions rallied to win 20-17.

After dominating the Lions for 40 years, winning 22 out of 24 games against Detroit from 1968-2008, the Redskins have now lost four-straight games to Matthew Stafford and friends. The 4-3 Redskins must now travel to London, where they’ll try to bounce back against the Cincinnati Bengals next Sunday.


All Things Go Fall Classic

It was rainy. It was muddy. So much so that the Washington Nationals cancelled their playoff game a block away and one of the musical acts refused to take the stage when it was time for their performance. And yet, the show must go on.

In this case, I’m talking about the All Things Go Fall Classic at Yards Park at the Capitol Riverfront, Washington, D.C., Oct. 8. This year’s show, which featured Empire of the Sun, Passion Pit, Sylvan Esso, Bishop Briggs, POP ETC, Sofi Tukker and Ace Cosgrove, was held under less than ideal conditions due to the awful weather, but spirits were high for those in attendance and those acts who did perform made the best out of what could have been a completely miserable day.

Big thanks to DCist for allowing me to cover the music festival on their behalf. If you’d like to see my DCist photo gallery, click here.

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