Positively Punk Street

Title

Positively Punk Street

Subject

DC Punk Activism History

Description

In this interview, Mark Anderson - a main figure and spearhead of DC punk activism and leader of groups We Are Family and Positive Force, breaks down punk rock activism history in DC by explaining important sites. This includes information on punk houses that housed different activist groups (including feminist punks), and venues that allowed for the first few hardcore punk shows.

Creator

Caroline Jones

Source

Washington City Paper

Publisher

Washington City Paper

Date

October 19, 2012

Contributor

[no text]

Rights

Copyright Washington City Paper Oct 19-Oct 25, 2012

Relation

[no text]

Format

[no text]

Language

[no text]

Type

Interview

Identifier

[no text]

Coverage

[no text]

Interviewer

Caroline Jones

Interviewee

Mark Anderson

Location

Washington, D.C.

Transcription

Headnote
A walking tour of Ward I's punk-rock past

Beyond its dive bars, renovated rowhouses, and liquor stores, Ward 1 has long occupied a distinguished place in D.C.'s punk-rock history. Few people know more about that history than Mark Andersen, who with Mark Jenkins wrote the book about it: Dance of Days: Two Decades of Punk in the Nation's Capital. Andersen, also the co-founder of activist group Positive Force D.C., leads occasional free tours of D.C.'s most prominent punk-rock landmarks. He hasn't firmed up a date for his nexttour, but anyone interested in, say, Irving Street NW's past as a Riot Grrrl strong hold should contact Andersen at wearefamilydc@gmail.com to find out the date of the next one. He'll even soundtrack the walk. -Caroline Jones

A. THE EMBASSY

Andersen: "In the early '90s, The Embassy was home to The Nation of Ul ysses and became a key hub in the midst of a vast punk group-house scene. In the aftermath of the Mount Pleasant riots of 1991, a nearby group house at 1830 Irving St. NW grew to be the Riot Grrrl HQ, igniting a feminist punk explosion whose reverberations can still be felt in Pussy Riot, Girls Rock!, and beyond."

B. ST. STEPHEN'S CHURCH

"By 1992, the church was a hotbed of Positive Force benefit shows and grassroots punk activism. After violence and vandalism closed the space for a few years, [my group] Positive Force reopened it in March 2005 fora We Are Family benefit featuring The Evens. It now is the home of Positive Force, [my nonprofit] We Are Family, and numerous other arts and activist groups."

C. WILSON CENTER

"In 1981, Bad Brains froritman HR organized a hardh core punk blowout here that included Minor Threat, SOA, Screarq. Government Issue, Void, ans seven others. The space became the incubator of an ascendant and globally influential HarDCore scene where generations of DIY punks - including Beefeater and Fugazi - would find community and cut their creative teeth."

D. ALL SOULS

"In April 1984, Black Flag (with D.C. expat Rollins) played an intense and chaotic show where the bathrooms were destroyed, prompting the venue to bar punk. All Souls, together with Wilson Center, Sanctuary Theater, and other DIY venues, would be reopened to punk rock in the late 1980s by Positive Force D.C

E. ONTARIO THEATRE

"In February 1979, The Clash played their first D.C. show here; a 16 year-old Ian MacKaye chopped off his shoulder-length hair for it. In May 1988, I was pursued by police after pasting a 'Meese is a Pig' poster here, igniting a series of events that led to an FBI investigation and global press coverage, and culminated in the resignation of Attorney General Edwin Meese."

F. MADAM'S ORGAN

"Bad Brains became residents and a de facto house band at this art-cooperative-turned Yippie-commune, electrifying audiences that included Ian MacKaye and Henry Garfield (soon to be Rollins), inspiring them to form Minor Threat and State Of Alert (SOA), respectively."

Original Format

Newspaper

Duration

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Bit Rate/Frequency

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Time Summary

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