WASHINGTON, January 12, 2015 – The greater Washington D.C. metropolitan area is a good deal more diverse than many people outside the Beltway tend to realize upon first glance. Since the Constitution effectively limits the District of Columbia to its original boundaries (minus Arlington), it can’t annex or grow like other cities. So its effective population spreads into the suburbs.
For that reason, when people talk about D.C. being only the city, they regularly forget that the contiguous urban/suburban communities surrounding them in central and southern Maryland and northern Virginia tend to consider themselves as expressions of the city as well. This area is commonly referred as the DMV (for “District/Maryland/Virginia). And it’s the area the band RDGLDGRN recognizes as their own.
The trio that makes up RDGLDGRN states that their place of origin is Reston, Virginia, a fast-growing, master-planned city on the outskirts of the DMV area. So it wasn’t surprising that throughout their recent set at 9:30 Club—where they featured their current collection of songs—they chose to celebrate this area and its rich cultural diversity. Although this is something RDGLDGRN does just by existing.
When it comes to RDGLDGRN and cultural diversity, we’re not only talking about the physical diversity present within their band. We’re also talking about ideological diversity, something that’s always driven this area, given its focus on national government.
Both these notions of diversity are obvious among its band members. Progression in any direction—particularly now—has to be wild and flail in different directions. But locally, this has more to do with mutual acceptance and incorporation.
Over the course of their relatively short careers, the members of RDGLDGRN have already worked with some prominent musicians who have called the DMV their home for decades. This kind of collaboration is prominently reflected in their sound. They don’t subscribe to one specific musical genre or approach. Instead, they concentrate on blending together their various influences into something of a musical collective.
Because the members all appear to have fairly divergent influences, what they bring to the table seem to be operating from different poles. The way RDGLDGRN presents itself and the way the individuals dress up on stage identifies each member of the band as a corresponding color – with the exception of their drummer, who has the least creative input it would seem – Red, Gold, and Green. (Hence, this band’s unusual name.) Somewhat ironically, their color format is expressed in descending order, determined by who is most noticeable during their live performance.
Each member of the band brings something unique to their combined sound, creating the proverbial whole that is greater than its parts. It’s likely that their interests overlap, since the band wouldn’t have the same kind of flow and cohesion if the three of them steadfastly stood in their respective musical corners. But each of them initially stresses a specific aspect before bringing it all together.
Red is Marcus Parham. He’s their guitarist, and brings a definitive rock vibe to the proceedings mixing everything from punk to metal with subtle hints of blues along the way.
Bass player Andrei Busuioceanu is Gold. He brings a consistent, heavy funk and jazz feel to the band.
Rounding out the trio and the band is Green, aka vocalist Pierre Desrosiers. His style is strongly rooted in hip-hop. But he mixes it up enough to keep his flow fresh, remaining on point and keeping the band’s presentation centered.
It’s that sort of diverse energy these three interesting musicians brought to their recent show at the 9:30 club.
RDGLDGRN kept their sights moving among all possible targets during their performance. They aren’t firmly rooted in any one specific genre and clearly find it more appealing to be all things to all listeners at once, paradoxically presenting a unified vision in performance.
The DMV as it exists at the beginning of 2015 supports a wide variety of tastes, creating the sensation much of the time that most of its denizens take pride in not seeing eye to eye on anything.
RDGLDGRN rejects that premise. Instead, the band is taking on the arduous task of being everything to everyone. Their sound is energetic, fun, and most importantly, seamless, creating a very real sense that that DMV unity could actually be a realistic, obtainable goal.