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Building A Nation With Bad Brains October 28, 2008

Posted by Reginald Johnson in Blacks, Celebrity, Culture, D.C., Entertainment, Life, Minority Issues, Music, News, Reform, Washington.
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On November 4, 2008, punk rock will be alive and well in DC.  The awesomeness of the DC hardcore band Bad Brains will perform live in DC after a very very long hiatus.

By fusing punk with reggae, Bad Brains became one of the definitive American hardcore punk groups of the early ’80s. Although the group released only a handful of records during its peak, including the legendary cassette-only debut, Bad Brains, they developed a dedicated following, many of whom would later form their own hardcore and alternative bands.

Bad Brains will be performing in their hometown.  This historic election night, where either you will see the first African-American elected as president or the first woman elected as vice-president, Bad Brains will be putting on a show at the 9:30 Club (located on 14th Street, NW).

The original crew will be performing.  That’s right…HR, on vocals, Earl Hudson on drums, Dr. Know on guitar and Darryl Jenifer on bass.

Those interested in the DC music scene say this is a long time coming.  “Since Bad Brains has left, DC hasn’t been the same, ” said Carlos, a Brookland neighbourhood resident.  Carlos says he’s listened to Bad Brains for as long as he can remember.  “Their music really has a strong message of hope and immediate action,” he added.

One DC resident said he was extra excited.  “It’s already going to be most important Election Day ever in America, having a chance to hear Bad Brains makes it even better,” said one local resident.

It will be the first time in years the band will perform in the nation’s capital, and it is one of four shows Bad Brains has booked with its original lineup.  Bad Brains released their first proper studio LP in over a decade — called Build a Nation — last year, and that effort featured all of the long-running group’s original members.  The disc was produced by Beastie Boy and longtime band friend Adam Yauch.

In 1979, Bad Brains found themselves as part of an “unofficial” ban.  Their lyrics were considered risky for many club and performance venues because of their strong lyrical content that spoke out against local and national political leaders.  This so-called ‘ban’ inspired their song “Banned in D.C.”

Let Him On Or Let Him Off October 7, 2008

Posted by Reginald Johnson in Culture, D.C., Humor, Washington, Weird.
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In Washington, DC, I learned the public transit system doesn’t cater to people who aren’t standing at the bus stop.  One situation in partucular was an interesting one.  I had hop on the X2 heading over to the H Street Cooridor.  While sitting on the bus, I saw a guy wh olooked like he was not sure if he wanted to get on the bus or not.  When the bus arrived to the stop, the bus driver didn’t think the guy was going to get on – and frankly, neither did I.

But he decided he wanted on the bus.  As the bus began to pull away he ran and banged on the glass door.  The bus stopped and the driver opened the door.  “Boy you betta make yo mind up next time,” said the driver.  The guy didn’t respond, he just flopped down into his seat.

The seat flopper looked pretty nervous and oddly enough, fit right in with a few other people also on the bus.  The skinny, freaky-looking dude began to place his hand over his stomach and I got the impression he was ill.  He looked at me and I quickly looked away.  He then asked the bus driver to let him off at the stop light…The driver said he could not do that unless it was a scheduled stop.

The guy once again asked to get off the bus and the driver again responded, “I can only open the doors at a designated bus stop.”

Seat flopper waked up to the driver and began cusing and shouting at the driver.  The driver then said, “You had better sit down because I know how to fight.”  The sickly guy said, “Open the f**kin’ door b**ch!”  The bus driver then stood up in his seat and said, “You wanna go to town we can go to town!”

Finally the bus driver said, “You thank you can do a betta job of drivin’ well, b**ch drive!”

Passengers began yelling at both the driver and the man (including myself) telling both of them to sit the hell down and shut up. Eventually, the seat flopper threw-up on the bus windshield and then said, “You should have left me off – but now I ain’t goin’”

I just got off the bus and walked to the next stop.  The bus came to my stop and the seat flopper got off at the stop.  He sat down at the bus stop bench and began shaking his head at how unreasonable the entire world had suddenly become.

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