And they used to say DC had a lotta bluegrass bands

Punk the Capital; Building a Sound Movement – a history of Washington DC punk & hardcore, 1976 to 1983 (2019)


What Bay Area Thrash is in Metal, harDCore from Washington DC is for Punk. „Punk, DC. Dance Of Days“ is the written history by Mark Andersen. James June Schneider did the audiovisual version, that even went on screening tour to places like Chelsea Vienna and then was available on Vimeo on demand. 

Old footage from the streets are in the background of the graphic lines and credits as you can here „You can’t do this here.“ For several reasons, DC didn’t seem to be the right place to have a Punk scene as it does not ‚encourage individuality‘ and it is small, unlike New York City. 

Many different people who were part of this early development beginning in 1976 talk about their experience like Patricia Ragan from Afrika Korps and Den Mother Magazine. Other media representatives like from Capitol Crisis and Truly Needy Fanzine, WGTB and NPR radio share their thoughts as well as Inner Ear Studio and Dischord Records members and musicians from countless bands and fans. In comparison, interesting pictures of the protagonists from that time are shown. 

The story mainly starts with The Slickee Boys and introduces the KEG as one of the first venues to host Punk concerts with likes of Overkill and White Boy. As many are collector geegs, Yesterday & Today Records gets an important spot for Ian MacKaye and Henry Rollins amongst others. 

Interesting ‚side effects‘ are the PMA – positive mental attitude of the Bad Brains, who perform backflips on stage and wanted to sound like Sex Pistols, Ramones and The Damned. Skateboarding is part of this youth culture, that finds a home at Madams Organ then: „These are my people, a bunch of weirdos“, Henry Rollins says. 

Next to smash facism and captialism, no barriers between black and white and all ages, straight edge accidentally gets a whole movement. The 930 Club plays an important role while Minor Threat import slam dancing from LA and Public Enemy wear their shirts. 

With „Punk The Capital“ you get a good insight with greatly processed archive footage. At the end in 1983, the scene grew so big and even was on television, the founders were looking for something new..