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DC stuff from Noise #s 4 and 5. The update from #5 was written by Sarah Wetherill, everything else was done by Bob Moore. Bob, Sarah, get in touch! I didn't correct any of the spelling mistakes in people's names. Just didn't feel like it.
OK...this is supposed to be some sort of Washington DC report, based on info that I collected the two days I was there. There were a lot of bands that I heard about, but was unable to get any information on like the GIs (now SUBURBAN BLIGHT), BLACK MARKET BABY, STRIKE FORCE, LAW AND ORDER and VOID. Any info about these bands would be greatly appreciated.
The hardcore DC scene basically evolved out of three bands: THE BAD BRAINS, THE TEEN IDLES and THE UNTOUCHABLES. The BAD BRAINS were the first DC hardcore punk band to get to vinyl with the release of their "PAY TO CUM" single and also had a song, "dont bother me" on the best of limp compilation album. (The single, which is great can be obtained for a mere $2.50 from... BAD BRAINS). They now play great reggae and are supposed to be touring soon. The TEEN IDLES were the next hardcore band to get to vinyl on their own DISCHORD label, with the release of their 8-song MINOR DISTURBANCE EP (reviewed in Noise 3). The band broke up and formed two new bands (MINOR THREAT and YOUTH BRIGADE) and the record label stayed on and released two more discs: the SOA "No Policy" EP and the brand new MINOR THREAT EP. The UNTOUCHABLES were another groundbreaking band, but they never made it to vinyl. I think one of the guys in S.O.A. used to be in that band. Anyways, the DC punk scene is generally based around Georgetown and Northwest Washington while spreading out into Virginia and Maryland.
There has been a bit of trouble lately with the UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS with some clashes between punks and marines. The marines are after the punks for a variety of reasons, like having skinhead haircuts, wearing camoflage trousers and combat boots (good reasons). The punks try to avoid conflicts, because the marines are trained in all sorts of neat things like karate, judo & other forms of hand-to-hand combat. Mainly, though, the marines just stomp around and try to intimidate punks and show what morons they can be.
I was able to see one show when I was there at the Branding Iron Beef House Club in Arlington, Virginia with RED C, THE NECROS (from Ohio), YOUTH BRIGADE, and the other NECROS (from Virginia. Barry was really pissed, but he shouldn't have been, because the other Necros really sucked). MINOR THREAT were supposed to play also, but the lead singer didn't show up on time and then the coppers came. There were loads of punks in attendance, a lot of skinheads, some oi boys and a bunch of girls in kilts. It was great! DC has the best scene in the east! Puck New York!! This is where it's jumping! I'm gonna give a rundown of the bands I talked to & give addresses to write to. I'm sure they'd like to hear from other punks around the country, so write them, ok?
STATE OF ALERT (S.O.A) is currently one of the meanest, most hardcore DC bands around. They have an E.P. "No Policy" out on Dischord Records that just fucking kills!! (10 songs on a green 7" 45). The songs are about a minute long each and are about gang violence, police brutality, drugs and girls. Henry Garfield spits out the lyrics while Michael Hampton rips apart his guitar, Wendel Blow plays bass and Ivar Hanson is the drummer. My favorite song is "Public Defender" (the only mid-tempo song). Henry's voice is great and reminds me of Malcolm Owen's, which makes it even spookier. These guys are supposed to be doing an album soon, which will probably have about 40 songs on it. This record is recommended to anybody who likes their punk loud, fast and nasty. It is available for $2.50 from DISCHOKD RECORDS
MINOR THREAT is Ian MacKaye (vocals), Lyle Preslar (guitar), Brian Baker (bass), and Jeff Nelson (drums). Ian used to play bass for the Teen Idles and Jeff Nelson was their original drummer. MINOR THREAT has just released an 8-song E.P. on Dischord records. Their sound is cleaner and more polished than their labelmates, S.O.A, b but just as fast. The best song on it is "Filler" which is directed at the old Teen Idles guitarist, who left the band to become a religious fanatic. "Straight Edge" is also a great song that cuts down all the stupid morons that fuck themselves up with drugs. Ian MacKaye is an excellent singer/shouter that gives the band a marked sound. This record is one of the best to emerge in 81 and is very highly recommended. You can get it for $2.50 from DISCHORD RECORDS or MINOR THREAT.
YOUTH BRIGADE is another top-notch DC band. I was able to see them live when I was there and they were great! Nathan, the lead singer used to sing for the TEEN IDLES. The others include Bert on bass, Tom on guitar and Dan on drums. Their songs are played very fast with loads of energy. This was only their second gig, which was hard to believe, since they played so well and so tight. Some of their songs include Moral Majority, Barbed Wire, Point of View and Full Speed Ahead. They hope to be touring the west coast this summer and maybe even hit some places in the midwest. You can write to them at this address YOUTH BRIGADE.
I got to see RED C live while I was in DC and they were great. Their sound is really hard to describe, since some of their songs are 30-second, rip-it-up blitzkrieg punk bashers, while others are long, slow moody, guitar-oriented songs. I like the slow stuff better. Their line up is Eric-vocals, Annie-bass, Pete-guitar, Tomas-drums and cartoons. This was one of their first shows, RED C is definately a band to watch. Write to RED C.
NOTHING SACRED is another great up-and-coming Washington band. They go beyond the loud, fast hardcore sound to a denser, more sinister sound, very dark and very evil. Alex MacKaye (Ians brother) is the singer and the rest are Chris-bass, Eddie-guitar and Mark-drums. File under graveyards. Write NOTHING SACRED.
"YCP rules with much abandon!!!" is the word around Washington nowadays. This bunch of high school kids kicks ass with the best of them. This band is fronted by the incredible Brendan Kanty, who jumps around the stage like a wildman. Ray Hair plays guitar, but we wont mention him. Kenny M. is the drummer, synthesiser player, roadie, and soundman. Terry Scanlon is the bassist. The band is held together by their maniac manager, CHRIS CARON. Some of their songs include "Teenage Psychopath", "No Revolution", "Everybody Hates Ray" and "Anihilation". For your very own YCP badge and fan club info write YCP.
"YCP when you can hear shit like this?"
The NON-LESBIAN GIRL BAND (or the non-girl lesbian band) are Sarah, Christine, Leo and the unknown drummer (they havent met her yet). They havent played anywhre yet or even practised, but say theyre going to make the big time pretty soon, they told me: "We're available on a 10-day examination basis and we're bound in simulated blue leather. And when you get us I want you to be sure to take us out of the box and check us out. And hey, when you buy us, go ahead and like us, ok?" Send away for your girls today.
The big news around DC lately is that Henry of SOA has left with Black Flag to be their new singer! Dez is allegedly going to play guitar too, along with Greg. So I guess SOA are pretty much defunct. MINOR THREAT will be breaking up soon as well because Lyle (their guitarist) is leaving for college and they didn't get along anyway. This seems to be an annual thing in DC--with Autumn comes the breakup and reformation of all the local bands. Last year it was the TEEN IDLES and the EXTORTS. (The Extorts were SOA except with Lyle singing instead of Henry.) No YOUTH BRIGADE news that I can think of. The GIs (or GI or Government Issue or Suburban Blight or whatever they want to be called) are looking for a new bassist. They played a fantastic show about a week ago at the 9:30 Club with MINOR THREAT and YOUTH BRIGADE. They've really improved a lot over the past year, but the thing that immediately set them apart, even at the beginning, is that they're serious about the band but they still have a good sense of humor. The thing with SOA is that they were kind of pompous... Anyway the GIs are great now, a lot better than Y.B. At that same show MINOR THREAT played two new songs, "Out Of Step" and "In My Eyes." I can't remember "Out.." too well but it was good. "In My Eyes" was really fantastic--one of the best I've heard in ages. Ian hisses out the lyrics like they're meant to kill.
RED C are in the market for a new drummer. NOTHING SACRED still haven't played publicly. YCP have changed their name to DIE-HARD YOUTH and they played their second "gig" at a party at Brendan's house. Their intentions are good but Brendan's voice is really high-pitched and Ken's lyrics are really stupid. ("I can hardly wait for World War III, then G-town win belong to the YCP.") Then there's the FUCKROS, a joke band comprised of Brian (MINOR THREAT'S bassist), Lyle, Michael Hampton and I forget who else. Songs like "I Hate Arcades" are true classics. Musn't forget the version of "12XU" they did at Brendan's party. It was sung by Donald Keesing who didnt know the words so Lyle told him to just keep yelling "12XU!"
The band to look for in the future is tentatively called PEOPLE'S TEMPLE and it's Donald Keesing-vocals, Alec Morton-guitar, Guy (I can't spell his last name. It's Pechoto or something.)-guitar, Michael Ambrose-bass, and Dante (I don't remember his last name)-drums. Oops-their name is going to be WHITE ZOMBIES & not People's Temple. They have their first real practice tomorrow and they've got a lot of promising songs written. Should be great.
No bands have been playing here lately, the Adolescents and Motorhead were both supposed to play here last night but they both cancelled. We're all just sitting around waiting for August when we're going to California!
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