This is an mp3 blog attempting to document the gross amount of music I listen to. About once a day, I'll post something I like. If you're a copyright holder on anything I host, get in touch, and we'll settle things in a steel cage instead of a courtroom.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Black Market Baby

Before I get into today's band, I'd like to address something. Pointless Fest, a gathering of hardcore/crust bands (including the incredible Paint it Black), has been cancelled. Apparently, what happened was a small number of the participants got into a spat with the cops, and the whole thing ended in violence. While I don't know the details, it strikes me as dumbass white kids yet again getting mad at the people who protect them. I'm not saying the cops are always right; I grew up in a relatively impoverished neighborhood when I was younger, so my asshole instinctively tightens up whenever a squad car rolls by. What I am saying is that people who think the police are the cause of all the world's ills are usually ignorant, poorly read, and listen to crust punk propaganda. Humanity is not ready to be let free in an anarchic society - even left-winger Jello Biafra admits this. As a species, we need to police ourselves. Being a cop is a hard job. They deal with the dregs of society and see the worst face of humanity every single day. I would bet anything almost all of them are more concerned with getting home at night than oppressing the rights of people they don't like. Despite what some people would like to believe, America is not a police state, and I honestly doubt it ever will be. We like our privacy too much for some 1984-style monitoring to ever really get off the ground on a massive scale. Don't let a few bad cops trick you into thinking that all police officers are jackbooted fascists. They work hard for relatively little money to try and keep people from killing, robbing, raping, and otherwise violating each other. For every cop that shot at Amadou Diallo, there are thousands upon thousands of honest, good cops doing the right thing every single day, and don't you would-be anarchists or university Marxists forget it.

Anyway, on to today's band. As some of you know, I love the music of my hometown, Washington DC. I honestly think band for band, DC has had the best rock scene in the country. Of course, the in city that produced Duke Ellington, Marvin Gaye, Minor Threat/Fugazi, George Clinton, Trouble Funk, Rites of Spring, Chuck Brown, Jawbox, and Bad Brains, a few names were bound to slip through the cracks. Modern-day acts like A Day in Black and White, the Twats, Asheru, Alcian Blue, and Washington Social Club have been somehow ignored by the rock press at large, but I'd like to focus on an unfairly forgotten act from the city's past.

After the Bad Brains decided they wanted to be the fastest band in the world, a young band called the Teen Idles (featuring the ever-present Ian MacKaye and Jeff Nelson) decided they were gonna do the same thing. Around the Teen Idles, a big circle of young punk rockers moved in and out of an incestuous circle of what would become one of the biggest hardcore scenes of the 80's. By the time MacKaye and Nelson formed Minor Threat, virtually every punk band in DC was a hardcore band. That is, except for Black Market Baby. They took more cues from the British soccer hooligans like the Cockney Rejects and Sham 69 than proto-thrash bands like Bad Brains and Black Flag. They played an anthemic style of punk rock that was at odds with the rest of of the loud-fast-distorted crowd singing about the government, the then-burgeoning stright edge movement, and backstabbers. (Unfortunately, most hardcore bands still sing about the same three things exclusively to this day.) A history of the DC punk scene would be incomplete without a paragraph on these dudes. They rocked it pretty hard and made some cool records.

"America's Youth" is drawn from the Crimes of Passion 7", one of the best of the 80's. Blare this shit in the car - it sounds killer. Trust me.


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