Friday, July 01, 2005

Early Musical Influences

I came across the Dischord Records website last night and it got me thinking about some of the bands that I first started listening to when I was in middle and high school. Having an older brother I had already been exposed to The Police, Devo, and The Talking Heads, but it was also around this time that I started listening to Dag Nasty, Minor Threat, Black Flag, and Fugazi. Most of my friends listened to whatever was on MTV (heavy metal hairbands mostly), but our high school did have a small student radio station that played bands that MTV wouldn't touch in the mid to late 1980's. Much of the music played on this station came from the Dischord label, which was started in 1980 to document all the great punk/hardcore music coming out of the Washington D.C area. Most of these bands are not ones that I listen to on a daily basis today, but I still pull out Fugazi's "Repeater" album when I am in the mood (like tonight). During college I started listening to The Rollin's Band, though I enjoy Henry Rollins' books and his spoken word stuff more than his music, but it is the music that keeps him going I am sure. Talk about a guy who gives it his all at whatever he does. I love listening to Henry talk about hanging out with Ian MacKaye in Washington D.C. during the early eighties, that must have been something to be witness to all the great music coming out of D.C. at that time. I can only compare it to the Seattle scene of the early nineties, living in Eastern Washington I was lucky enough to see bands like The Screaming Trees, Mudhoney, and even Nirvana in smaller venues before they broke through. Bands like Fugazi and Black Flag, they had that raw, underground sound and DIY ethos that seems to be missing from much of today's music, or maybe I am not looking in the right places. I have to think that somewhere that fire is still burning.

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