Washington, D.C. hardcore

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Washington, D.C. hardcore, commonly referred to as DC hardcore, sometimes referred to in writing as harDCore, is the hardcore punk scene of Washington, D.C. Emerging in late 1979, it is considered one of the first and most influential punk scenes in the United States.[1]


Punk in Washington, D.C. found its origins in the district's former centers of 1960s counterculture. Georgetown University became a key location due to its heavy student population and student radio station, WGTB. The station was run under little supervision from the university administration, and therefore became a voice in the early 1970s for cultural radicalism that had faded since the end of the 1960s. Dupont Circle, becoming more known for its diverse and LGBT-inclusive community, also became important, as well as socially-restless Adams Morgan.[2]

Washington first saw touring punk bands such as the Ramones in 1976. Among the earliest DC punk bands were Overkill, The Penetrators, the Slickee Boys, White Boy, the Look, the Controls, Iron Cross, the Velvet Monkeys, Bad Brains, the Teen Idles, Minor Threat, S.O.A., Chalk Circle, Void, the Faith, Youth Brigade, Government Issue, the Untouchables, and Scream - all of which formed in the late 1970s and early 1980s.[2] and found refuge in old hard rock clubs. Originally facing harsh opposition from traditional rock fans, the bands played on mostly off-nights, towards young audiences.

The Atlantis, located in the ground floor rear room of the Atlantic Building, the same site in the city's downtown area that would eventually house the original 9:30 Club, was a short-lived but popular venue, hosting primarily punk bands, with their first 'Punk Gig' being credited to DC's 'The Penetrators.".[3]

Also crucial to the scene was the founding of Inner Ear Studios by recording engineer Don Zientara. The studio would soon produce records for both the Look and the Urban Verbs.[4]

In the mid-1980s during a time period quoted by some as "Revolution Summer", bands like Gray Matter, Embrace, Rites of Spring, Soulside, Three, and Rain emerged. Other DC hardcore bands from this time period are Phlegm, Fire Party and Dag Nasty.[1]

Wider influence[edit]

Dischord Records, owned and run by Jeff Nelson and Ian MacKaye, both formerly of Minor Threat, is responsible for the distribution of a multitude of DC hardcore records, both early and current. As a result of Dischord's prominence, very few D.C.-based bands who were not on Dischord have received much attention from outside of the DC metro area.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Norton, Justin M. (October 17, 2012). "13 Essential DC Hardcore Albums". Stereogum. Retrieved April 11, 2016.
  2. ^ a b Jenkins, Mark (2009-01-01). Dance of days : two decades of punk in the nation's capital. Akashic Books. ISBN 9781933354996. OCLC 437084126.
  3. ^ Andersen, Mark; Jenkins, Mark (Soft Skull Press, 2001). "Dance of Days: Two Decades of Punk in the Nation's Capital". Fourth ed., 2009. Akashic Books. ISBN 9781933354996. pp. 14-15.
  4. ^ Andersen, Mark; Jenkins, Mark (Soft Skull Press, 2001). Dance of Days: Two Decades of Punk in the Nation's Capital. Fourth ed., 2009. Akashic Books. ISBN 9781933354996. p. 15.
  5. ^ Azzerad, Michael (2001-01-01). Our band could be your life : scenes from the American rock underground 1981-1991. Little, Brown. ISBN 0316063797. OCLC 45804603.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]