Tuesday, September 06, 2005


Punk Video Recap

So I went to The Cat last night to check out their Vintage DC Punk Video Night. Mark Andersen was there (co-author of Dance of Days) showing some amazing old footage. Apparently, most of what he showed was the same compilation he showed when he was doing a promo tour for the book. I missed that, so it was all new to me.

The footage was very impressive, although the quality of the video wasn't always that great. The night started off a bit shaky, with a 1978 film of The Slickee Boys (with Martha on vocals) doing "Put a Bullet Through The Jukebox". While the audio sounded decent enough, the video was completely washed out. You couldn't see anything but the pure white screen with some occasional movement. Mark assured us the video was better than that - it just wasn't showing up.

It got better after that though. There were clips from Minor Threat, Rites of Spring, Faith, Void, Teen Idles, a song from Government Issue's very first show, SOA, Deadline, The Slickee Boys (w/ Mark singing this time), Fugazi, Embrace, Chalk Circle (dc's first all-girl punk band), Bad Brains (on PM Magazine!), Half Japanese, Bikini Kill and I think a few others. There was even a White Boy video! Lots of stuff from The Wilson Center, the old 9:30 and even a glimpse of d.c. space.

Mark started to take a few requests, but it proved to be a bit difficult since everything was on VHS. He played a few more of his favorites, which seemed to be fine with everyone in the crowd. Those included more Chalk Circle, Fugazi in front of the White House, Velvet Monkeys, Black Flag and some Riot Grrrl band whose name I didn't catch. I was a little surprised that there was no Gray Matter, considering this was the Black Cat and Dante was there watching with the rest of us. Later in the evening, Mark did assure us that there were several Gray Matter videos in circulation.

At first I was amazed that any of this footage existed at all. But then Mark mentioned that he had hundreds of hours of this stuff at home. Much of it is dismal in quality, but it does exist. I may have drooled a little when he said that. But, as with editing the book, you just can't include everyone.

With the big crowd and obvious interest in seeing more, Mark mentioned that he'd be willing to try to do this again. He passed around a notebook where we could make requests for bands we'd like to see next time around. My requests included Black Market Baby, 9353, Fire Party and 3. I forgot to mention Crippled Pilgrims. Maybe I'll drop Mark a note about that.

My question, of course, is when does the DVD come out?

(The photo of Void is by Susan Dynner and was blatantly copied from Dischord's website. The Slickee pic came from Twin/Tone.)

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