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Ghost Canyon

Punk The Capital: Building a Sound Movement
(Henry Rollins, Ian MacKaye, et al / DVD / NR / (2019) 2021 / PTC International)

Overview: When punk rock erupted in Washington DC, it was a mighty convergence of powerful music, friendships, and clear minds.

This documentary is the first to explore the incredible challenges that this subculture faced when it took root in the Nations Capital in the late 1970s.

DVD Verdict: Punk the Capital situates DC punk within the larger narratives of rock n roll, working as a powerful multi-layered story for both fans and non-fans of punk rock.

Featuring musicians such as Bad Brains, Henry Rollins, and Ian MacKaye, this film dives deep into the ideas and sounds from this transformative music scene which continues to be influential culturally and politically around the world.

Created by James June Schneider (co-director, editor), Paul Bishow (co-director), and Sam Lavine (associate producer, co-editor), Punk The Capital was theatrically released in the US last month and garnered rave reviews from the press and fans alike.

Many of the screenings became special events, with Q&As with the directors and Pete Stahl of Scream, Chris Stover of Void, Nicky Thomas of Fire Party, curator / publisher Roger Gastman, and Hudley Flipside of Flipside fanzine, just to name a few.

Simply put, during the Reagan era, the punk explosion across the U.S. meant that kids finally saw through the wool older generations attempted to pull over their eyes.

They were not 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 was not defiance for the sake of defiance – they wanted to make something positive that everyone involved could relate to. In the nations capital, a small group of outsiders banded together to create a community that endures to this day under the banner of Dischord Records.

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.

In short, Punk The Capital is an in-depth exploration of that seminal time (circa 1976 to 1984) and is one of the most enthralling, addictive flashbacks to an era long gone, and yet still beloved by generations old and new, and therefore is a must-have for all fans, young and old.

As an added bonus, the discs contain 50+ minutes of short films from the archives of Punk The Capital:
Scream Meets The Hangmen: Featuring all of Scream including Dave Grohl
Void and Friends: A portrait of the cult hardcore band from the DC suburbs
The Seminal WGTB Concert: The legendary first punk concert for so many DC kids, The Cramps and total chaos
The Slickee Boys: Extra material on the band who got DC punk off the ground circa 1976

Punk The Capital will be released on Blu-ray and DVD in the US for Record Store Day on June 12th, 2021 via Passion River and in the UK for Record Store Day on July 12th, 2021 via Wienerworld.

A portion of all DVDs and Blu Rays sold through Dischord Records will go to the DC based charity We Are Family.

Amazon Purchase Link