While walking around during lunch break this week I passed The Atlantic Building located at 930 F Street NW. What was once in a rundown part of town The Atlantic is now occupied by a J. Crew and is surrounded by Washington D.C.’s finest law firms, department stores and luxury commercial food chains. It neighbors the F.B.I. building, The Old Post office, government buildings, and even shares the same block as the Ford’s Theater. However, exactly where J. Crew is now was one of the nations best music venues, the 9:30 club.
I remember seeing at least two dozen shows there before it closed December 31st 1995 and reopened on January 6th 1996 at it’s current location at 815 V Street NW. Occupying a building that used to be WUST Radio Music Hall. The 9:30 club was a “regular east coast stopping point” for up and coming artists, nationally and locally. It was the home of the most notable musical D.I.Y. movements Washington, D.C. hardcore. Local bands such as Bad Brains, Minor Threat, S.O.A., and Scream played the 9:30 club on a regular basis. All of which contained band members that went on to make noise on a international level.
I remember going to a few hardcore shows in 1994. They were some of the most exciting musical events that I’ve ever experienced. Raw energy. That “I don’t give a fuck” attitude combined with a “put your money where your mouth is” belief in your product. The D.I.Y. hardcore punk mentality that took something from nothing and made a musical genre as well as arguably a a global cultural movement in what is straight edge. The artwork, pressing your own records, booking your own tours, and although different. Ultimately making music people enjoy.
Candlewax Records has always existed independently. Although never aligning ourselves with a pro OR anti-drug movement, we do try to achieve the highest level of art and entertainment. So, ever since I was reminded of The 9:30 club’s original location I’ve been researching how others in the region have made their mark musically. How they used the resources available to them to get their music to a greater audience. Times change just like venue locations, musical styles, or how a band promotes itself. AND, I like this “new to me” model that I’ve found in D.C. Hardcore.