NEW TO BLU-RAY! In the late 1970s, a disenchanted youth movement called “punk” rose across the world in blatant defiance of the powers that be. Against all odds, the kids of Washington, D.C., built an empire that endures to this day, as documented by Paul Bishow and James June Schneider’s fascinating documentary Punk The Capital: Building a Sound Movement.
During the Reagan era, punk’s explosion across the U.S. meant that kids finally saw through the wool older generations attempted to pull over their eyes. They weren’t going to take it anymore and, instead of operating within the boundaries set by the status quo, they built a new scene on their terms. It wasn’t defiance for the sake of defiance – they wanted to make something positive that everyone involved could relate to. In the nation’s capital, a small group of outsiders banded together to create a community that endures to this day under the banner of Dischord Records.
“…punk’s explosion across…the nation’s capital…”
But let’s start at the beginning.
Bands like The Slickee Boys, White Boy, and The Nurses played independent venues and art houses, paving the way for Ian MacKaye, Henry Rollins, and seminal bands like Black Market Baby and Bad Brains. From there, an explosion akin to The Big Bang occurred. Kids like Mackaye and Rollins felt inspired to do their own thing within this welcoming group of artists and musicians. Early bands like The Teen Idles and Untouchables spawned Minor Threat and State of Alert, who both helped define what would become hardcore punk and the international straightedge movement. Kids got together, had fun, and toured the country outside of the established system, as depicted in the heartfelt film Another State of Mind.
"…punk...provided a true alternative from the dull, gray expanse of the classic American dream."