Stop what you’re doing. Over thirty years of rich U.S. punk history have been immortalised online for your listening pleasure. Dischord Records have uploaded their entire discography to Bandcamp.
Renowned for their ever-uncompromising DIY ethic, this is a wonderfully savvy move. Fans can now feast on the likes of Minor Threat, Rites Of Spring, Dag Nasty, Fugazi and so, so many more classics, and obscurities, for free, in their entirety, without a whiff of Apple Music or Spotify.
Tune in below to the eight tracks that started it all and click here to browse the full archives.
We’ve waited a long time for this one. Crowd-funding for the making of ‘Salad Days’, a look at the incredibly fertile hardcore punk movement that exploded out of Washington DC in the early 80s, first started over four years ago when brief snippets and enticing trailers started to work their way across the internets. And now it’s finally here…
We live in an age now where so many bands, movements and artists are getting to tell their stories in film. Every week there’s a new music documentary to see, a story to tell, but Salad Days is something special. From the very start, the Washington DC punk scene documented itself. More than any other punk scene in the world at that time, the participants took care to photograph, film and record everything that was happening. They knew what they were doing was important and special and wanted it preserved. “I didn’t want to own the scene, I just wanted there to be one,” explains Ian Mackaye, who through his work with Minor Threat, Fugazi, Dischord Records and many more is understandably the lynch pin and constant through the whole movie. So the upshot of this is that there is a wealth of incredible footage in this film. It rushes past, much like the music, in a high-speed, high-energy blur. This is not any easy film to sit still and watch in a cinema, as each band and song crashes by, every moment made me want to leap out of my seat and explode.
Ph: Ian Mackaye of Minor Threat, Wilson Center, DC, 1983 by Jim Saah
Film maker Scott Crawford has done an incredible job of capturing the spirit and energy of the time. Having been involved in the scene in DC from a very young age (he was just 12 when he started going to gigs and making fanzines), he was trusted to tell the story and help the various participants open up.
Running chronologically from when Bad Brains exploded onto the scene and everything went FAST with bands like SOA, Void. Teen idles, Minor Threat, Untouchables, Youth Bridge, to the mid-80s ‘Revolution Summer’ years with Rites Of Spring, Embrace, Gray Matter, Dave Grohl’s first band Mission Impossible. They then move onto the end of the 80s as the alternative rock explosion beckoned, and Grohl, fresh out of Dischord legends Scream propelled Nirvana into the mainstream, bringing Fugazi attention they never expected, Jawbox a major label deal and the rest is history.
There are so many magical moments in ‘Salad Days’ that it’s difficult to know where to start but here’s a few. The footage of Void is utterly off-the-hook insane and demonic, the bit where MacKaye talks about Straight Edge and how he still gets people, to this day, phoning him at the Dischord office and screaming “hey Ian, I’m drunk, WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT!!” before slamming the phone down, the self-belief, politics and conviction that run through every band, the thought that they really believed they were making a difference and could change. Subject to change. The realisation of just how young everyone one was when this started…
“Salad days” is a Shakespearean idiomatic expression to refer to a youthful time, accompanied by the inexperience, enthusiasm, idealism, innocence, or indiscretion that one associates with a young person.”
That says it all.
You can pre-order the film on Vimeo as it will be Video On Demand from August 4th.
Funny things are a happening in Washington DC right now. Following the news this week that Dag Nasty have reformed (the original ‘Can I Say’ line up), Dischord Records have announced that they have re-issued the original Rites of Spring demos.
All of this has come, no doubt from the forthcoming ‘Salad Days’ documentary that is currently being put together by Scott Crawford in the US, a film neding funding for completion right now but is much anticpated in the hardcore scene.
Dag Nasty will play on 28th December at the Black Cat venue in Washington and the Rites of Spring demos that were released on casette only in 1984 will get its first official release on October 23rd from the Dischord website.
Fugazi‘s live series archive is now open with 130 shows now available to buy online at Dischord. The very first page has shows from Birmingham, Leeds and London gigs and if you delve even further you can find all sorts of other recordings from a plethora of appearances around the globe.
The recordings are priced at $5 each but the band have also given you a choice to make your own donation and leave a message with them personally which is cool.
Sign up, claim a free download and get stuck in to these shows and then watch this Snub TV footage of the band in December 1988 with interviews and footage from their first Boston Arms show. The UK desperately needs another Snub TV style show, programming like this is so sorely missed.
Fugazi fans will be stoked to learn that the band are currently trawling thorugh archived live recordings from shows all over the world whilst they were still an active touring band for release online. The band have recently agreed a deal with Spotify to finally stream the Dischord catalogue and Ian Mackaye was quoted a zine called Frontman Ian Mackaye told blog Approaching Oblivion:
“I wanted it to be up last fall … We had to digitise every show, they are on cassette and DAT for the most part. So we got that stuff done. Now we’re in the process of mastering all the shows so they play at the same volume. That stage is not too hard, it’s pretty mechanical, there’s a mastering program that does most of the work. Then we have to edit the shows which means we have to put in index points in between every song so they are not these two hour long files. It’s a fuck of a lot of work. We’re hoping it will be up in the near future. The idea at the moment is to start it with 100 shows. Then put 20 more on every month or something. We’re still building the site, it’s an interesting and complicated process“.
He also replied to the question we all want to know about if Fugazi will get back for another album in the future or more shows. He said:
“The four of us love each other dearly. We didn’t break up, I coined the indefinite hiatus term specifically because I thought it was absurd to break up. It is entirely possible that we will play again and it’s also possible that we won’t. We’ve been offered an insane amount of money to play reunions, but it’s not going to be money that brings us back together, we would only play music together if we wanted to play music together and the time allowed it“.
Fingers crossed they come back as they in our eyes one of the all time greats.