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DEAR JADED PERSON:
The fact that we have gigs in Janelle's basement is something we should be very proud of. It shows that DC can have one of the largest hardcore scenes and still remain underground. It also goes to show that we have proven ourselves too much for the clubs to handle. Janelle was very nice to let us use her house to put bands on. Unfortunately, the "cool people" seemed more interested in her 24" color tv, the on-going soap opera in the kitchen, and the fashion show on the driveway. In fact, most of our proud hardcore folk didn't bother to watch the bands, much less attempt to dance. The sparse dancing is slightly understandable considering the party-like atmosphere, and the lack of stage, but the loss of interest in our bands forewarns us that DC's future rests on the shoulders of the youngest and most energetic punks. It no longer rests on the now "jaded", ex-hardcore elite. It's too bad that these people take the bands so lightly, while the same bands are in such high demand in other cities.
To be "fair and true", DC still supports its bands, but people still rank LP-toting, out-of-state bands much higher. Live music is so much more important and vital than any recorded material. Everybody knows that! So you can imagine my shock, and dismay when not more than 15 people saw VOID or even knew that they were playing. VOID is a Columbia band, and the Columbia punks have supported DC bands since early times, so why don't DC punks support them? Aren't VOID good enough for you? Here they have finally learned their songs and you were stealing Janelle's parent's liquor (fuck you twice for that).
Most of us did see the GIs (new and improved) with Brian Baker (ex-Minor Threat) on bass and Count Gore DeStabb (Boo!) on vocals. I for one was scared out of my wits watching John writhe and crawl after he was possessed by Jack/Alex. Aren't the GIs a cool band to like?
DEADLINE are one of our new "hardcore" bands, you know, the slow kind. But I like these guys alot, great tunes, and great sincere vocals (NO SOCIO-ECONOMIC SOLUTION!). Brendan is a pretty funny guy even if he doesn't use his bass drum on the fast parts (but he's learning). You were upstairs counting each other's earrings at the time, so you probably didn't notice.
YOUTH BRIGADE put on one of their best shows yet, despite personnel turbulence. Highlight of the show was their new song "No Song" and those crazy "B-town Thrashers" who came to support the "crispy one". However, you missed all that because you were too busy talking about somebody else.
ARTIFICIAL PEACE are fucking the best hardcore band DC has to offer at the moment. Very fast, very aggressive, and in the same vein as the earlier DC bands. Pete is a really great guitarist, and seems to have brought them up from the blur with some great guitarwork. But that was when you thought you might get laid, so you didn't come downstairs.
IRON CROSS are rapidly proving themselves very important with simple, mid-tempo songs with great lyrics. You probably laugh at their ideals and their strong skinhead stance, but if you could get your so-called open-mind ("I like Birthday Party") to open a little farther then you might be able to take their message and translate it to your own situations. Of course, you were upstairs listening to the new TSOL LP when Sab and crew took stage.
Last, but not least (as they are usually treated) came BLACK MARKET BABY. One of the last surviving bands from the Madam's Organ era. BMB has been shunned by most of the kids (including myself) due to alot of talk/shit. But let's rise above the girl-talk and realize that Boyd really is a great guy, and that BMB were really great at Janelle's that night. I had the best time I've had in a long, long time. But where was everybody? Is our once-energetic scene coming to an end?
I think not, because we still have the young punks who aren't scared to shave their heads, or dance, or be individuals in mind, not style. But for all you people who stayed upstairs, fuck you for condemning the Georgetown punks and then doing nothing but sit around; fuck you for reaching your "cool plateau", and, most of all, fuck you for changing the scene.
XXX IAN & JEFF
P.S. Georgetown Punks were innocent.
P.P.S. Flex your head.
This letter originally appeared in #0 or Now What fanzine, put out by Sarah Woodell in November of 1981.
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