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Posted at 5:06 PM ET, 03/ 1/2006

Six Points -- What's the Point?


It's not exactly CMJ or SXSW, but the D.C. area does have its own music festival. The Six Points Music Festival today announced the lineup for its third edition, which will present shows featuring more than 40 bands in a dozen venues across the D.C. area from April 6-8.

D.C. has a vibrant, wide-ranging music scene that covers just about every genre imaginable, from hip-hop to punk to neo-soul to doom metal to go-go to jazz, and that variety isn't represented in this year's disappointing lineup. For the most part, this year's group of performers falls into the category of pretty straightforward, male-dominated, singer-songwriter/rock. Check out the headliners for the shows -- Shane Hines, Michael Jantz, Army of Me, JunkFood, Emmet Swimming, the Echoes, Brindley Brothers, the Speaks, Monopoli, Justin Jones, Ballyhoo!, Mike Holden. You've got your singer-songwriters (Hines, Jones, Holden), your no-frills rockers (Brindley Brothers, Emmet Swimming), your slightly alt-rockers (Army of Me, Monopoli), your "good time" rockers (JunkFood, Ballyhoo!). There's not a whole lot of diversity there. Now to be fair, it's not like the Fort Reno Summer Concert Series, perhaps the closest comparison to Six Points, is breaking down any diversity barriers with its lineups.

The fact is, the lineup can only be as good as the bands who submitted entries. The festival grew out of the MetroMusicScene (formerly Arlington Music Scene) online message board, and that scene was popular, more or less, with straightforward rock dudes. So it shouldn't be too surprising that those types of bands made up the bulk of submissions and made it through the selection process.

As for that selection process? Well, let's just say the committee didn't go about picking artists in the most rock 'n' roll of manners. In fact, the whole process seemed, well, kind of soulless. "The selection committee rated each of the 194 submissions, on a scale of 0-5, in the areas of Songwriting/Lyrical Content; Vocal, Instrumental and Overall Performance; Originality; and Visceral Reaction." Rating "visceral reaction" on a scale of 0-5? Isn't that sort of against the point? I appreciate the idea of having specific criteria to judge the submissions, but sometimes you just know the best stuff when you hear it.

Six Points is not all that impressive -- yet. None of this year's shows scream "must see," and if they were booked outside of the festival, there would be no real reason to take note. But it's important to remember that Six Points is in just its third year. It takes time to establish a venture like this and to get people outside of a more enclosed scene to take notice. By getting new venues such as the Black Cat, DC9, Jammin' Java and the Mansion at Strathmore to participate this year, things have certainly taken a step forward. Here's hoping the progress continues.


By  | March 1, 2006; 5:06 PM ET
Categories:  Music  
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Do any of you people have an original thought or opinion in your heads? Why not just link to heresahint and get it over with?

Posted by: Gregg | March 2, 2006 12:09 PM | Report abuse

didn't know about this festival so thanks for giving some advance warning. never knew that the mansion at strathmore was into this sort of thing. who's next the Building Museum?

Posted by: tony | March 2, 2006 12:49 PM | Report abuse

have you checked out here's a apparently a metromusicscener member thinks that six points *is* sxsw and was personally wronged by not being selected. he's jerry mgguire-esque fit lends the thought that some people think this festival is already there.

i think its worth checking out the dc shows. this is the firstyear i've heard of it.

Posted by: emyles | March 2, 2006 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Knowing many of the bands who submitted applications, I can honestly say that the selection was nothing more than a popularity contest. Unfortunately, the Washington music scene is usually dictated by who you know rather than how original or talented your music is. Having seen a lot of the headliners, I don't the "Songwriting/Lyrical" content or any of the other categories were really taken seriously, otherwise you'd see a much more interesting lineup.

Posted by: tmw | March 2, 2006 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Kind of funny how Monopoli started advertising about it's slot for 6 Points two months before the lineup was announced and their singer Alfonso is good friends with several people on the selection committee...

Posted by: jackedup | March 2, 2006 5:00 PM | Report abuse


Some of the headliners were booked in advance, to secure venues and guarantee a nice draw. I think Monopoli may have been one of those.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 3, 2006 7:53 AM | Report abuse

"Knowing many of the bands who submitted applications, I can honestly say that the selection was nothing more than a popularity contest."

that is one of the most ridiculous comments i've read. what are you, seventeen, honey?

Posted by: emyles | March 3, 2006 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Awesome, I always wanted to be popular!

Posted by: Castor Oil | March 3, 2006 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Gee. Looks like emyles is simultaneously disinterested and defensive. Wonder what's going on there? Hamfisted, anonymous character assassination? NOOOOOO, it couldn't be.

Posted by: SOOO observant. | March 29, 2006 1:45 PM | Report abuse

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