I think it is obvious, from all of my writing about it, that I love music. As you probably know, I try to share write-ups of all the great concerts that I go to in the DC area with you here at We Love DC. The shows that I share here represent about half of the shows that I see annually. I also spend a lot of time traveling the country and sometimes the world attending special concert events like Spiritualized at Radio City Music Hall, or Hallo Gallo (Michael Rother + Friends of Neu!). These shows don’t always get written about because I consider them my vacations. Some shows though are just so rare and unique that I feel compelled to share them here, even if they have nothing to do with DC. Such is the case with my trip to Minneapolis last weekend to attend the Amphetamine Reptile Records’ 25th Anniversary Bash.
Amphetamine Reptile Records is an indie record label that specializes in a particular brand of aggressive, depraved, barrier-busting rock and roll known as noise-rock. The bands on Am Rep pushed the noisier tendencies of hardcore and metal into a thousand different directions at once, producing some of the most creative, exciting, and challenging music known to man. Infamous for their crazed personalities and stage antics and famous for their musical innovation, the artist stable at Am Rep contains some of the most influential rockers you’ve never heard of. Grunge, alternative metal, and math-rock (just to name a few) would not be the same (or possibly have even existed) without Am Rep path-finders like The Thrown-ups, Hammerhead, Helmet, and Today Is The Day. Am Rep consistently put out amazing records that defined the noise-rock genre during their 15-year golden age. Since 2000, the label has been semi-retired, returning to the deep underground, releasing the occasional 7″, 12″ or album. Noise-rock is a genre near and dear to my heart, and Amphetamine Reptile Records is without question my favorite record label of all time. So when they announced that a slew of defunct Am Rep bands were reuniting in Minneapolis to celebrate the label’s 25th anniversary, I had the trip booked before my wife even had a chance to return my call to discuss it. If there is one concert worth being in doghouse for, it was this one.