GI054 (Jim Saah)
noslideshow

“Salad Days”: Get Schooled on the DC Punk Scene

Words by Jamie Maleszka Photos by Jim Saah

The documentary Salad Days: A Decade of Punk in Washington, DC (1980 – 1990) is a sweat-drenched, scream-sung ode to D.I.Y empowerment. It plunges headlong into the birth and (r)evolution of all your favorite old-school DC punk greats. In the film, the fiercely independent, euphoria-inducing, not-built-to-last-but-built-to-matter spirit of bands like Minor Threat, Bad Brains, Scream, Void, Government Issue, and Fugazi are on mighty display.

FAITH DC Hardcore

Fostered in the shadows of the then murder capital of the nation, the harDCore aesthetic was born out of the indigenous funk sounds of go-go, desolation, decay, and crime. The clutches of the music business were elsewhere. You played for your friends. You put out your own records. You booked your own shows. “You can always grow something here because no one is looking,” says DC sage Ian MacKaye.

Kickstarter-funded and four years in the making, Salad Days draws on never-before-seen photos and footage from house parties and raucous club gigs and interviews with the scene’s luminaries to trace the sounds and ethos of the distinctive (and incendiary) strain of hardcore. Ian MacKaye, Jeff Nelson, Dante Ferrando, Henry Rollins, Mark Andersen, Dave Grohl, and Thurston Moore all share insight and anecdote.

And who better to tell the tale of the DC scene than the wide-eyed kid that was there? Writer/director Scott Crawford started his own fanzine, Metrozine, about the community when he was only 12. Nearly 30 years later, with the help of Jim Saah, he turns the camera onto many of the same “accessible super heroes” that he heard music with and from.

KEY IMAGE - FAITH - FUGAZI-RPTR-122 (Jim Saah)

Outlined in piety and progressive thought, that decade in DC was spectacularly transformative to independent culture—for the kids there and the adults they’ve become.

Salad Days: A Decade of Punk in Washington, DC (1980 – 1990) will make its world premiere at this year’s DOC NYC Film Festival, on Friday, November 14 at 9:30 p.m. at the SVA Theater. You can purchase tickets here.

On December 19, it will make its DC premiere at the AFI Theater. A theatrical run and DVD/VOD release will follow.

Watch the trailer for the documentary in the video player above.

noslideshow

Related Posts

Film
Film

Billy Dee Williams Will Finally Be Two-Face in a Batman Movie

Tech/Games
Tech/Games

Watch the Announcement Trailer for DC’s ‘Injustice 2’

Film
Film

Watch the Trailer for DC’s First R-Rated Animated Feature, ‘Batman: The Killing Joke’

Music
Music

2014 Jay Z and Daft Punk Track “Computerized” Was Too Real for “Tron” Soundtrack

Art
Art

Comedic Titan Of Comics Steve Dillon Passes Away

Ad

Latest News

same Hot Takes

It Was a Type Beat Year

The search for something new in a year of sameness
shea serrano Features

Shea Serrano Quit His Teaching Job, Now He Has Two Best Sellers and Two TV Shows

"It is funny to just walk in and just be a Mexican, because I’m usually the only one there"
mf doom Features

The 10 Best DOOM Songs of 2017, Ranked

Even after 'The Missing Notebook Rhymes' went missing, the masked villain still caused havoc
worst cops Features

The Worst Cops of 2017

The hall of shame
donald trump Features

32 Songs That Dissed Donald Trump in 2017

The "F.D.T." wave
lil peep News

R.I.P. Gus, Long Live Lil Peep

Resisting nostalgia at the speed of the internet
88 rising Features

Sean Miyashiro of 88rising Connected the Cultures

With 1.25 million YouTube subscribers and a gang of talent, 88rising controlled the new East-West flow
eminem Video

Eminem By the Numbers

You may know how many f*cks he gives, but what about the other crucial figures from Slim Shady's career?
tape Features

Why 2017 Was Rap’s Year of the Tape

Seven labels explain why they're still rewinding cassettes back
safdie brothers Features

The Safdie Brothers Got Gritty as 2017’s Filmmakers to Watch

"You might not like the feeling that you're feeling, but you can still be entertained by that feeling."
best albums Features

The 25 Best Albums of 2017

The essential sounds that defined one very strange year
hey arnold Humor

Everything About Christmas is Awful, Except the ‘Hey Arnold!’ Special

The one redeeming thing about this trash holiday
combat-jack Features

Knowledge Darts Vol. 32: Winter Solstice

I never got to say thank you
jeezy Video

Open Space: Jeezy

"You can’t just crush a diamond with a rock. It’s hard, it’s tough. But it’s bright."
Video

Rhythm Roulette: Boi-1da

The wait is over
remy ma Video

Open Space: Remy Ma

"Female rapper—what the f*ck is that?"