Sunday, January 22, 2012

VA - 20 Years of Dischord ((Links Updated))

Washington D.C. in the late 1970s had a small localized music scene: cover-bands and bands who slipped originals into sets padded out with covers to keep the patrons drinking and dancing. Around 1979, a small scene within a small scene emerged. Bands like BAD BRAINS, THE PENETRATORS, THE ENZYMES and others were playing a harder-edged brand of music than the new wave bands working in the local club scene. Early Dischord roots can be traced to this year as THE SLINKEES (Ian MacKaye, Jeff Nelson, Geordie Grindle and Mark Sullivan) played their only show at a garage party that summer. Mark went to college in the fall, Nathan Strejcek took over the vocalist slot, and they became THE TEEN IDLES. They were playing in the DC area before year's end.
In the late 1980, the Teen Idles were coming to the end of their run. They decided to record and self-release some of their material, figuring no one else would do it. It is important to note that at this time, putting out your own record was virtually unthinkable. They'de been disappointed with their two previous studio sessions, and had no idea how to get a record out. TThankfully, Skipp Groff, owner of a record store in Rockville, Maryland called Yesterday and Today, an early supporter of the scene, was getting some local bands exposure on his label, Limp Records. Skip gave advice on recording and pressing records. His role in helping the Teen Idles is no small detail and should not be overlooked. Skip produced the first two Dischord releases and mixed the third.
It is important to note that in the twenyt-years since Dischord's start, the recording industry has changed drastically. These days, many bands know a lot about the recording process, management and promotion. They figure a record deal is out there waiting for them -- and a lot of times, they're correct. There was no thinking remotely like that amongst the Teen Idles. The next time you listen to the Teen Idles single, picture the time and the relative musical wilderness in which these guys were knocking it out -- it makes the listeing that much better. To rip it as hard as they did in the studio with such little experience is a testament to how good they were as a band.
Following up Skip's suggestion, the Teen Idles booked time at Don Zientara's Inner Ear Studio to make the record. They knew they'd need a name for the label, and Ian came up with "Dischord". Months later, Dischord No.1 was released: The Teen Idles 'Minor Disturbance EP'. Eight songs on a 7" record. It was an exciting start for the label and a swan song for the band, as they broke up soon after recording.
The Inner Ear/Dischord relationship proved to be hugely important and has a lot to do with the early Dischord sound. At the time, Inner Ear was a 4-track setup, located in Don's basement. Don was notable in the scene because he had recorded the amazing BAD BRAINS sessions that all of us had bad-sounding, much played cassettes of (Later to emerge in the mid 90s as 'Black Dots' on Carolina Records. Worth checking out). The band I was in, SOA, and Ian and Jeff's new band, MINOR THREAT, recorded at Inner Ear in 1981 and the results were Dischord Nos. 2 and 3.
Don gave great support and guidance to Ian, who was new to the recording process and interested in producing. Don's energy, enthusiasm and support for Dischord is off the map and remains the same to the present. By the same token, eberyone knows that Inner Ear is where most Dischord bands records. If you look at the recording information on Dischord releases, a great number have been tracked at Inner Ear many have been produced by Ian. The amount of work they have done together is miles past impressive. Ian and Jeff's friendship with Don is now over twenty years on.
On a personal note, my favorite Don Z. story reads as follows: One of the best shows I have ever seen in my life was in June of 1983 when MINOR THREAT opened for THE DAMNED at DC's Ontario Theater. I have never seen Minor Threat do a show that was less than great, but on this night they were beyond belief. The audience was set on a frenzy for the entirety of the set and it was not a gentle scene on the dance floor. After the set was over, I see Don walking crookedly out of the mass of people - he stands over six feet tall so he's easy to spot. Here's this guy, older than everyone there, shirt wet with sweat, glasses crooked, out of breath, eyes wide, huge grin across his face. He looks at me and says "They were great!" as he staggers out to the lobby.
In 1981 Ian and Jeff moved the label across the river to Arlington, Virginia into an old green house they shared with three others, which was subsequently dubbed Dischord House. Not knowing how long they would stay, they kept Ian's parents' house on Beecher Street as the mailing address.
A small room off the kitchen served as the record company office. It was a company run when they weren't at their day jobs, practicing with their bands in the basement, or on tour. There was a lot of work to be done. At this time, the 7" sleeves were hand cut and pasted together, there was no company budget to speak of; things moved slowly.
It is one thing to sell records locally. One can sometimes get small record stores to take small quantities on consignment. Getting the records outside your own area code is not easy now, and back then it was all uphill. Small distributors who would take a chance on a small label would often not have the money to pay the label what they owned because they, too, were getting shorted by the people they were selling to. Like many small labels, Dischord was and still is a lot of work, but twenty years down the road it keeps going strong. Countless labels with larger budgets have done less, had less impact and disappeared in the same time. You might ask how Dischord does it. I think it's down to the music and the people behind it. At all great labels like Dischord, (Chicago's Touch and Go Records comes to mind) there are great people at every level from the bands on down the line. Music over marketing, content over profit, ethic over strategy.
Dischord keeps their prices low, the ads are informational and hype-free. They are looking for listeners, not consumers. They run fairly in the face of what's known as the "music industry". They are not trying to outing in the music of DC-area bands. That being said, Dischord has struck worldwide cultural impact with taste-fullness, style, an recognition that is unique and envied by labels all over, and with an integrity that labels of all sizes will strategize to acquire in basements and boardrooms for years to come.
Some of the records documented in this box have affected you, inspired you or in some way moved you. That's why you keep showing up, right ? Absolutely. -- HENRY ROLLINS.

CD -- 1
1.THE TEEN IDLES "Get Up and Go"
3.STATE OF ALERT "Public Defender"
4.MINOR THREAT "Screaming at a Wall"
5.VOID "Dehumanized"
6.YOUTH BRIGADE "Barbed Wire"
7.GOVERMENT ISSUE "Rock & Roll Bullshit"
8.SCREAM "Fight/American Justice"
9.IRON CROSS "Live For Now"
10.RED C "Pressure's On"
11.DEADLINE "Stolen Youth"
13.FAITH "Subject to Change"
14.SKEWBALD "Sorry/Change for the Same"
15.MARGINAL MAN "Missing Rungs"
16.GRAY MATTER "Oscar's Eye"
17.RITES OF SPRING "Drink Deep"
18.BEEFEATER "Just Things"
19.THE SNAKES "Snake Rap"
20.DAG NASTY "Circles"
21.EMBRACE "Money"
22.SOULSIDE "Punch the Geek"
23.EGG HUNT "We All Fall Down"
24.ONE LAST WISH "This Time"
26.IGNITION "Rebuilding"
27.THREE "Domino Days"
29.HAPPY GO LICKY "Twist and Shout"

CD -- 2
1.FUGAZI "Blueprint"
2.LUNGFISH "Friend to Friend in Endtime"
3.FIDELITY JONES "Destructor"
4.THE NATION OF ULYSSES "Spectra Sonic Sound"
5.HOLY ROLLERS "Perfect Sleeper"
6.JAWBOX "Motorist"
7.SEVERIN "People Are Wrong"
9.AUTOCLAVE "I'll Take You Down"
11.BRANCH MANAGER "Mr. Weekend"
12.SLANT 6 "What Kind of Monster Are You?"
13.HOOVER "Cable"
14.TRUSTY "Goodbye, Dr. Fate"
17.THE WARMERS "Poked it With a Sick"
18.THE MAKE-UP "They Live By Night"
19.BLUETIP "Castanet"
20.FARAQUET "Cut Self Not"
21.Q AND NOT U "Hooray for Humans"

1.THE TEEN IDLES "Get Up and Go"
2.THE TEEN IDLES "Deadhead"
3.THE UNTOUCHABLES "Stepping Stone"
4.STATE OF ALERT "Draw Blank"
5.MINOR THREAT "Straight Edge (Live)"
6.MINOR THREAT "Understand"
8.GOVERNMENT ISSUE "Asshole (with Ian)"
9.MINOR THREAT "Asshole Dub"
11.ROZZLYN RANGERS "Rozzlyn Rangers"
12.VOID "Black, Jewish and Poor"
13.VOID "Authority (takes 1 and 2)"
14.SCREAM "Search for Employment"
15.DEADLINE "No Revolution"
16.FAITH "No Choice"
17.MARGINAL MAN "Manipulator"
18.DAG NASTY "All Ages Show (rare)"
19.FUGAZI "The Word"
20.FUGAZI "Burning (Live)"
21.SHUDDER TO THINK "Drop Dead Don't Blink"
22.CIRCUS LUPUS "We Are The One (rare)"
23.SLANT 6 "Are You Human?"

..year: 2002


Nagiants40 said...

..password: hha

Toxxy said...

Hey there old buddy :-)

I haven't been here at your site for a long time so I was pleased to see this post. Unfortunately the links to multiupload doesn't work... If the links doesn't start to work in the nearest future, maybe you would be so kind and post some other links at a different file-host? Would be great Nagi :-)

I am only doing torrents these days. Have you thought about doing torrents yourself? You should, you would become a LEGEND in your own time with all those great CD's you have.

Take care for now my old friend...



Nagiants40 said...

Great to read you again Toxxy. This time share in regular host sites really sucks... where I can find a good forum of Torrents.. I'm uploading again this box to MediaFire..
Cheers my old friend..

Toxxy said...

Lookin' forward to your MediaFire links Nagi, cheers for taking the effort to re-up :-)

I cannot write the name of the two torrent forums here in public which I think will interest you. Please contact me at:

toxxy69 at gmail dot com

Nagiants40 said...

MediaFire updated!!

Toxxy said...

Thank you very mch for those mediafire linx Nagi, great job mate!

Okay, you know where to reach me if want in on "the real good deal"!