Monday, November 12, 2012

Downed City Rise

Getting to grow up in the Washington, D.C. punk and indie scene in the 1990s was an incredible privilege. I went to my my first proper punk show in the spring of 1992 (Fugazi, L7, and Bikini Kill at the Sanctuary Theater) and things went up from there. I went to my first club show in the spring of 1993, seeing The High-Back Chairs and Manifesto at the 9:30 Club. The Black Cat wasn't open yet (they emerged later that year), so it was hard to get into clubs to see shows if you were underage. The shows that Positive Force put on were, and still are, vital ways for people of all ages to hear new and challenging music. I'll always be grateful to them for the work they've done and continue to do.

For whatever reason, I saved many of the fliers and setlists and various ephemera from shows that I went to (or wanted to go to) throughout the 1990s. For a long time, I'd been meaning to digitize the fliers and now I've finally started to work on that (with some help from two grad school classmates). I'm posting images of the materials at downedcityrise.tumblr.com. I add something new every couple of days. Once I finish digitizing my own collection, I hope to do the same for the stuff that other friends saved ... though I suppose I'll worry about that when I'm done with my own collection.

Not everything has aged very well from that musical period, but there is still plenty of D.C. music from the 1990s that stands up and remains exciting -- Fugazi, The Nation Of Ulysses, Tsunami, Hoover, Velocity Girl, Jawbox, Cupid Car Club, Unrest, and others. I like the idea of people finding out about some of this music and I hope that if you come across a band name that you're unfamiliar with, you might track down some of their music. There was so much going on at that time and much of it isn't really represented online, so I hope this is one small step toward rectifying that.

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