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A Brief History of DC Punk

by Evan Lucy

A Brief History of DC Punk

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Compared to its left-coast counterpart, punk rock in DC made far more sense; as a political hotbed, the District was the perfect place for not only musical unrest but also the development of the straight-edge subculture. Bands like Minor Threat, Bad Brains, Dag Nasty, Rites of Spring and Fugazi were the torchbearers of the 1980s DC punk and hardcore groundswell, and, as a result, sites like the old 9:30 Club, Inner Ear Studios and Crooked Beat Records became musical meccas for punk fans in the District. Plus, don't forget about DC native Henry Rollins, or this guy named Dave Grohl, who got his start playing drums in local favorite Scream before going on to sell umpteen million albums with Foo Fighters and Nirvana.

Most of the bands associated with the DC punk movement have long since disappeared, but the spirit of rebellion is still alive with Dischord Records, the Ian MacKaye-founded label that's still churning out music to this day, including the new project from former Jawbox frontman J. Robbins. Take a trip back to DC's glory days with this playlist of iconic punk songs from one of music's most monumental movements.

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