If you live in a city long enough you can literally travel through your past in a weekend.
I began at the 9:30 Club, and ended at the old one.
Friday we started off watching a friend perform on a stage where I’ve seen so many kicked-up and diverse shows through the years. Every time I go to the 9:30 Club it’s like time morphs and all the shows merge into one great moment – Einsturzende Neubauten, Negativland, Catherine Wheel, Dresden Dolls, etc… From there we headed up to Adams Morgan, one of the first neighborhoods I lived in DC after college, to a bar literally a molotov cocktail throw from my old apartment. Two friends dj a chill Britpop night there at a bar that looks like somebody’s fun basement. It has one of the best bartenders in DC, a man I hold personally responsible for our drunken crawl down the street to El Tamarindo at 3:30am. How many nights have ended there?
Saturday night we continued our trip back in time by impulsively dying my husband’s hair with Manic Panic (“Wildfire! Glows in Black Light!!”) and heading to Chiaroscuro. It’s located in a space close to the dearly departed Tracks, where we met as crazy clubkids. It’s nice to see the Industrial/Goth scene is still going on (like some deranged Energizer Bunny), though that area of Southeast is fast becoming a government office park. Somehow the night fast-forwards until we’re finishing off a bottle of icewine (note to self: icewine is just not appropriate to drink at 5am) while chowing down on Yum’s dumplings. How many nights have ended with those ridiculously evil dumplings??
Sunday we decide to dry out and go for a bit of culture by seeing the closing film of AFI’s Silverdocs. As luck would have it, it’s a documentary on the old 9:30 club – 930 F Street. The montages of old posters, footage from raw concerts, and interviews with Fugazi legend Ian MacKaye and various instantly recognizable 9:30 employees/regulars all add to the increasingly nostalgic feel of the weekend. We end the night excitedly sharing stories of concerts past, the old club’s quirky appeal (that smell! those rats!), and its place in a certain time in our lives – newly arrived college kids in DC searching for an alternative scene and relieved when we found not one, but several.
This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs