Between 1985 and 1988, a teen by the title of Sohrab Habibion was attending punk and post-punk exhibits across the Washington, DC space. What set him aside was the cumbersome video digital camera he’d carry to the present and let roll, documenting total gigs in all their low-rez, lo-fi glory. Only a child making an attempt to doc an awesome evening out. Habibion may not have identified on the time what an essential time capsule he was creating, however these 60 or so tapes have now been digitized and uploaded to YouTube, due to Roswell Movies and the DC Public Library’s Punk Archive.
“Please understand that I used to be a teen after I shot these exhibits,” Habibion writes, “and had zero proficiency with the gear. And, as you may think, no person was doing something with the lights or the sound to make issues any higher. What you get here’s what was recorded on my Betamax and doubtless greatest appreciated with a little bit of generosity as a viewer.”
Highlights embrace the above full live performance by Fugazi on December 28, 1987, a 12 months earlier than their first e.p. and enjoying songs that might flip up on their 1990’s basic debut Repeater; Descendents in 1987 on the peak of their profession; The Lemonheads once they had been a punk band and never an influence pop group; the insane and hilarious GWAR from 1988, the 12 months of their debut; and one other hometown punk band, Dain Bramage, which featured Dave Grohl on drums, lengthy earlier than he performed with Nirvana and the Foo Fighters (see beneath).
Habibion went on to his personal musical profession: first because the frontman for post-hardcore band Edsel, and at the moment as a part of the band SAVAK.
Habibion’s tape archive makes one surprise: who else is on the market sitting on a trove of historic recordings? And the place is that individual’s equal of the DC Library? Who would assist fund such a venture? And who would see the value of such recordings? Not solely are Habibion’s tapes concerning the bands themselves, however they inform a separate historical past of music venues come and gone, of a time and place that may by no means come once more. Watch the exhibits right here.
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Ted Mills is a contract author on the humanities who at the moment hosts the Notes from the Shed podcast and is the producer of KCRW’s Curious Coast. You too can observe him on Twitter at @tedmills, and/or watch his movies right here.