The impact of Dischord Records and its surrounding miniverse of hardcore and post-hardcore punk is enormous, and its influence is still felt today in D.C. and everywhere. For alternative music fans living in our nation’s capital, it is nearly a ritual to glorify D.C.’s past as a hotbed for a thriving, groundbreaking punk scene.
The latest artifact of this culture has surfaced in an in-depth documentary on the old scene, entitled “Salad Days: A Decade of Punk in Washington, DC (1980-90).” Created by Scott Crawford, a zine publisher-turned-documentarian, the 90 minute film combines unique vintage concert footage with current-day interviews.
In a great tip of the hat to the scene of old, NPR Music will be hosting a screening of this documentary in its DC office. According to their blog, Scott Crawford will appear after the screening on a panel along with Jim Saah, the film’s director of photography, as well as veteran DC punk Brian Baker (Minor Threat, Bad Religion) and moderated by Ally Schweitzer of WAMU.
The event is on Tuesday, May 5 at 7pm. Unfortunately, it’s already been fully sold out, but hopefully you know someone who can get you in! Otherwise, don’t fret. The Library has your back. Come by and ask about our great (and still building) collection of DC punk classic CDs and DVDs! You can celebrate the rich punk legacy of our city here with us.
Events, events, events! AU’s Dept. of Performing Arts sure knows how to end a semester. This weekend brings several events, which I will further cover this week. The first comes this Friday night: AU Workshop’s Spring Concert. Led by saxophonist and AU musician in residence Noah Getz, AU Workshop is a large ensemble that plays in whatever genre or style they feel like in the moment, often meshing popular music with jazz and avant-garde style.
Titled “The Music of Steve Antosca,” this is the latest in the Workshop’s “Living Composers Series” which highlights, well, living composers. Steve Antosca is a D.C.-based composer who blends live instrumentation with electronic processing to create improvisatory technological soundscapes. According to the facebook page for this event, his work has been described as “spectacular and wonderfully provocative” by the Washington Post. Side note: this guy taught me as an adjunct prof during my first ATEC class here at AU.
Back to the topic at hand, this should be a really exciting event! It’ll be cool to hear the ways that our student musicians adapt to the strange and adventurous compositional style of Antosca’s works.
The event will be this Friday (April 17) at 8pm, in the Abramson Family Recital hall in Katzen. Come to hear the very reverberant walls echo with warped instruments and space sounds!
Boy, do I love spring in the AU Department of Performing Arts. It seems as if every new day brings a new performance or event, which means fun and easy blog content! But actually, it is great to walk around Katzen knowing I’ll probably run in on some concert or other. It’s an exciting artistic environment!
As you all know, tonight is our AU Jazz Orchestra’s spring concert, sure to be a wild time, but do you think our performing arts students and faculty will take the weekend off afterwards? No way! Instead, AU’s Chamber Singers are partnering up with the Rockville Brass Band to bring you “A Blast of Brass!” on both Saturday and Sunday.
Led, respectively, by our own Dan Abraham and the appropriately-named Nigel Horne, these two ensembles will join in a rendition of John Rutter’s “Gloria,” as well as traditional British Brass Band works by Eric Ball, Peter Graham and Richard Strauss. What a sturdy trio of names.
The events will occur at 8pm tomorrow and 3pm on Sunday afternoon, both in the Abramson Recital Hall in Katzen. Tickets are $10 for the general public and $5 for AU community members and seniors. RSVP for the facebook event, and find tickets here!
Welcome to February! A cold and dark month, February nonetheless manages to be a good month for birthdays. I bet you have a few friends with February birthdays. And then there’s all those presidents. Heck, even my birthday is in February! (No bias, I swear).
Another important birthday comes in February as well, that of DC Music Download, a music website that has become a large part of the D.C. scene, covering and supporting local bands in reviews and with events. This year, they’re celebrating their third birthday (an eternity in internet time), at none other than that classic D.C. venue, the 9:30 Club!
This Saturday night (2/7/2015) at 7pm, the party begins with DJ Ayescold, known for the wide-ranging musical reference of her sets. After her comes Baby Bry Bry & The Apologists, a loudly emotional band of “lounge punks.” Next is a crew of punk veterans’ new project Loud Boyz, and closing the show are crucial local mainstays, the psych-rock band Paperhaus. These guys, who also own a house show of the same name, have supported the scene around them for years, and at this event the scene is paying them back with a record release show at the 9:30 club. Sure to be a moving event. There will also be a D.C. music photography exhibit present, anchoring the 3 year-old website as a part of its city’s legacy.
Anyways, it’s this Saturday, and tickets are $16. An extra cool twist is that $1 of each ticket purchase will go to supporting the D.C. Public Library’s Punk Archive! Which, you should know, we’re big fans of here. So do something cool with your Saturday night! Attend a “happening” event, see some cool music, and support the indie scene in D.C. at this great birthday party.
Friday night boys! WVAU, our beloved college radio station (recently voted #1 student-run/internet-only station in the whole country) is hosting their fall semester concert! In the past they’ve had successful shows with artists such as Dan Deacon, Deerhunter and Mac DeMarco, always with a band that’s a great balance of fun and musically interesting.
This semester, they’re bringing the great BadBadNotGood. For those who don’t know, BBNG is a trio of Canadian dudes in their young 20s who play music that’s hard to classify. Essentially they filter their considerable technical jazz chops through a love of hip-hop, electronic music and making noise. Or is it the other way around? Think a more irreverent Herbie Hancock smashing keys over a hard-knocking rap beat with the occasional spastic Aphex Twin-esque drum fill. Their aforementioned affinity for electronic music is clear in their skill at building up momentum to a crescendo on nearly every song before an itch-scratching “drop” of sorts, most often a flurry of soloing, exploratory bass and explosive drums.
One thing’s for sure: these guys will keep your attention in a tight hold as they blaze through their set, usually a mix of originals with a litany of covers: Odd Future, Kanye West, A Tribe Called Quest, James Blake, Joy Division, the list goes on and on. These guys clearly have a massive musical vocabulary and they put it to good use. First gaining popularity on YouTube via their Odd Future covers when they were young college students, they’ve only developed their skills since, releasing three studio albums as well as several live albums and EPs.
This show is sure to be an awesome time. WVAU favorite Ace Cosgrove, a MD-based rapper who’s only getting bigger, is opening. The event is free for all AU students, but it’s closed to the public, so you can leave your 30 year-old Tinder date behind for this one. In Tavern @ 8pm, this Friday!
FB event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/970469399635205/
It’s still only September and already we have ourselves a great AU Musical Event! I get really excited about these events because they give me good stuff to write about while supporting AU’s music culture. Anyways…
A very special musical event is coming to the Greenberg Theatre this weekend. This event, formally titled OVERTURE, is a showcase of the new DPA talents in the freshman class of 2018 (2018? Oh god, I’m old)!
In what the event page calls an “unforgettable rite of passage,” a collection of AU freshmen will perform songs, scenes and monologues, introducing themselves to the AU arts community in all of their freshness. It’s a move that takes a lot of chutzpah, and I believe that anybody willing to herald their arrival in a new environment in such a bold manner will have a great future at AU.
Join this exciting event on Friday, 9/19 and Saturday 9/20 at Greenberg Theatre, from 8-10pm. Tickets are $5. For more information and a link to buy tickets, follow this link: http://www.american.edu/cas/auarts/calendar/index.cfm?id=5706392
And here’s the Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/800741236616072/
Hey readers! Did you miss me?
Well, I had a great summer in NYC, but enough about me, we’re back in school now and that means it’s time for some AU Musical Events!
Tomorrow night is the AU Department of Performing Arts’ welcome back night! This event technically open to everybody in the DPA, not only music students, but we are obviously a big and important part of this department and it would be nice to see a big representation!
This event is open to all DPA majors, minors, and anybody interested in the department. So if you have any friends who are curious about all the noise going on in Katzen all the time, bring them along!
The event is going to be held in the Abramson Recital Hall at 8 pm, tomorrow night (8/27). Hope to see you there!
Here’s the facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1506917269543751/