Banned in DC/Punk the Capital (Cynthia Connolly/James June Schneider) @ New Spire Arts – November 3, 2018

On Saturday night a decently packed room full of troublemakers (old and young) gathered for a retrospective look at DC Punk as Cynthia Connolly and James June Schneider hosted a Banned in DC/Punk the Capital event at New Spire Arts.


I cannot express how special it is to have something like this happen in Frederick. With New Spire Arts and the soon to be completed New Spire Stages, this could really be the beginning of some pretty cool happenings in the area. The last extraordinary occasion in which our city was graced by DC Punk was 5 years ago when Fugazi and Minor Threat’s Ian Mackaye and his wife Amy Farina (the Warmers, Ted Leo) played as The Evens for an impromptu show at the Bike Doctor. Who remembers that? (Probably not as many as you’d think, the show seemed to fly under most peoples’ radar.) HOW AWESOME. IN FREDERICK? YES! Anyway, back to the present…
Connolly shows a photo she took of the Weinberg marquee in Frederick

when Fugazi played there many moons ago.

The evening began with a heartfelt statement from Frederick’s own Andy Stout (Miss Lonelyheart) on how the event was made possible and his own relations and experiences to the DC punk scene over the years, including opening for some of the bands mentioned later on. Afterwards, Schneider discussing details about the upcoming film Punk the Capital before screening some outtakes from the project. It first included a legendary radio benefit fundraiser which The Cramps, Urban Verbs and The Chumps played that really got a lot of younger minds to embrace punk in the nation’s capital. Next was a bit on the rebellious and uncontrollable SNL performance in which Fear took the stage and incited a riot-like scene and destroyed a lot of expensive equipment, and for this we have John Belushi to thank as he recruited the band for the show (Connolly and other DC punks were in the audience. She recalled a funny tidbit where a pumpkin was smashed on stage right before the camera was cut off). One of the last segments that was especially relevant to Frederick was the zine section that went through many independent DIY publications discussing music, art and politics which is what Subversive Zine (who sponsored the event) has been able to do for some time now. All in all, I’m looking forward to when the full film comes out in the Spring of 2019.

Andy Stout opens the night and thanks those who made it possible.

Photo by: Tom Berard

Next, Cynthia Connolly presented two different slideshows based on the book she helped create and publish: Banned in DC. Her first slideshow consisted of her recent art and how the DC punk scene really influenced her current work and the DIY ethos that can inspire many to get out and do something, a recurring message throughout the night.

The second slideshow comprised of many photos from concerts as well as vintage show flyers and other saved music relics. Connolly discussed her experience in putting together the book and the trials and tribulations that nearly stopped the book from coming out – many publishers refused to put the book out because of its punk contents and mild nudity.

The coolest part of the event had to be the attendance of many locals who were involved in the punk scene in the time period the book details. Slickee Boy Marshall Keith, Marginal Man’s Mike Manos and prominent Cramps Bad Music For Bad People cover artist Stephen Blickenstaff.

All in all, Connolly and Schneider expressed the desire for everyone in the audience to continue making music/art and to support the local scene. It only takes a few people to impact the lives of so many.

Author: whatisfrederick

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