Monday, May 16, 2011

Musical history in the neighborhood: the Wilson Center and hardcore

You may be familiar with DC's place in popular music, at least how the metro area was a major focus for punk, especially hardcore music and the straight edge philosophy in the 1980s and 1990s. However, Columbia Heights was an important part of that scene, as well as the Latin music scene.

The City Paper has an interesting article about the Wilson Center, today the Capital City Public Charter School at 15th and Irving, which was a DIY space that hosted a ton of hardcore concerts, many of which are on YouTube. It's an interesting story even if you aren't a fan of the music. Some of the videos filmed at the center are below.

But aside from just hardcore, the building, which also housed part of the Latin American Youth Center, was also important in Latin American music, hosting a ton of shows by Latin American artists and being a part of the "New Song" or "Nueva Cancion" movement.

Pretty cool that our neighborhood was a hotbed for a couple musical genres and it's still being remembered today. Of course, Columbia Heights still hosts a bunch of bands, some of which are in the Bands in the Neighborhood series.

Here's two videos filmed at the Wilson Center of the bands Fugazi in 1988 and Government Issue in 1982.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You can continue the movement and see some shows with Positive Force (, Radio CPR, and other historically significant neighborhood groups that are still going, too