Salad Days

Salad Days

DVD - 2015
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Examines the early DIY punk scene in the nation's capital. It was a decade when seminal bands like Bad Brains, Minor Threat, Government Issue, Scream, Void, Faith, Rites of Spring, Marginal Man, Fugazi, and others released their own records and booked their own shows-without major record label constraints or mainstream media scrutiny. Contextually, it was a cultural watershed that predated the alternative music explosion of the 1990s (and the industry's subsequent implosion).
Publisher: Pottstown, PA : MVDvisual, [2015]
Branch Call Number: 781.66
Characteristics: video file,DVD video,all regions
1 videodisc (103 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in.

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Even if you consider yourself a Punk sophisticate, I think you'll find this documentary a revelation. There are a lot of interview clips with Dischord Records, Minor Threat and Fugazi founder Ian MacKaye, which alone make the DVD worth checking out. I didn't know about 1985's Revolution Summer, nor how many of the bands interconnected. I came away wondering if there will be anything like the D.C. Hardcore scene again. Rents in major metropolitan areas are too high. Grunge of the late 1980s couldn't happen in Seattle now, neither could the No Wave of the late 1970s happen in lower Manhattan.

b
ba_library
Apr 05, 2018

Good documentary about the D.C. punk rock scene, 1980-1990. Very much a DIY scene with self-starting bands, zines, record labels. Some did find commercial success; Minor Threat, Fugazi and created environments that others would follow. Starts with Dischord Records and co-founder Ian MacKaye. Covers the 1980s scene with the pre-eminent D.C. venue the 9:30 Club and local popular bands like Bad Brains (great African-American punk rock band). MacKaye talks about the D.C. scene for punks; Henry Rollins worked at the local Hagen Dazs where local punkers could stop by to avoid harassment from suburban guys disapproving of their “weird” looks and outfits. Ian MacKaye also talks about the “straight edge” movement where members did not drink or do drugs. MacKaye said it was created so clubs would host all-ages shows, clubs would mark kids hand with Xs in black marker, but the straight edge scene sort of grew beyond D.C. and the bands, one guy says, we were punk rock NOT monk rock! By 1984, no one really knew what was happening. Things were getting more aggressive with skinhead types going to shows (I lived in D.C. in 1984, but never went to rock shows (being female) it seemed too violent.) So, many bands wanted to distance themselves from the violence and hosted the Revolution Summer in 1985. Bands started advocating social causes and political awaking which got labeled as emo-hardcore (most of the guys commenting were asking emo-what?!) That was not a term invented by them, but was label attached to them (sounds kind of “grunge”-like). Dave Grohl appears towards the end. He grew up in a D.C. suburb and played with a band called Scream. Kurt and Krist came out to see him play and recruit him for Nirvana. DVD does a good job of interviewing band members and people involved in the scene (they aren’t ancient yet) and bonus material has band performances. The D.C. scene seemed to evolve beyond itself and its bands (sound familiar?) DVD released in 2014 is a good look back for those unfamiliar the scene and a nice review those old enough to remember those days.

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