Salad Days (2014)

Salad Days (2014) movie poster

director Scott Crawford
viewed: 05/08/2016

There are a slew of documentaries that have come out in the past decade reminiscing about punk and hardcore.  A number of these have focused on a specific band (We Jam Econo (2005), My Career as a Jerk (2012), Filmage: The Story of Descendents/All (2013)), a particular individual (Joe Strummer: The Future is Unwritten (2007), The Punk Singer (2013) some more general (Punk: Attitude (2005), American Hardcore (2006)), and now more on a particular scene.  Actually, whether they become films or not there is an increasing nostalgia to capture punk scenes whether it is in book format, film, or something else.

The D.C. scene, captured in Salad Days, is one of the more notable American scenes in large part thanks to Ian MacKaye and Jeff Nelson and Dischord Records.  While Dischord didn’t represent all of the Washington, D.C. scene, the parts that it did became open to the world and hugely influential, not just as musicians but as punk business ethics, and DIY approach.

I don’t know that you could make a documentary about the D.C. scene without them, but it’s also impossible for me to know how complete and/or skewed this picture is.

We do have Henry Rollins, Dave Grohl, Thurston Moore, members of the Faith, Government Issue, Marginal Man, Soulside and many others filling out the picture, along with other scenesters and ‘zine creators, music promoters and others painting the image of the birth, heyday and turmoils, and evolution of the music scene there, mainly in the decade of the 1980’s.  It’s pretty interesting.

Growing up in Gainesville, FL, Minor Threat was definitely one of the first bands that I heard that got me into punk, the aggression, idealism, attitude.  And Dischord was a definite influence on my friend and co-creator of No Idea Magazine and eventually No Idea Records.

I think it’s an interesting proposition, hearing about unique music scenes, how they grow and operate in independence and yet share commonalities and influences, feature not just their bands but their clubs, their hangouts, their record stores, their colorful individuals.

I thought to queue this up on hearing of John Stabb’s passing on Saturday.  Though I never saw G.I. or met Stabb, they were well-known in Gainesville and good friends of friends of mine.  RIP, Stabb.

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