9:30 Club: The First Avenue of D.C.
The sound fit with my idea of punk rock as it had been shaped in Madison, Wisconsin, and dovetailed with me really getting into the Clash's Sandinista for the first time. I still remember nights in '88 or so where you'd hear "Talkin' All That Jazz" and "Waiting Room" and "Hustle to the Music" and "Punk Rock Girl" and "D.C. Don't Stand For Dodge City" in one set. In fact, I completely missed the post-hardcore scene in my many memorable nights at the old 9:30--I didn't see Fugazi until they came to Madison in 1990 (the last great show I saw at Turner Hall, before it was torn down). Another thing worth mentioning: The club paved the way for mixing all-ages and ID crowds in one place, an arrangement that remains illegal here in Minnesota, right? Fondest 9:30 memory not having to do with girls wearing black: I went up to a Trent Reznor-looking DJ one night and yelled, "Can I ask you what song this is you're playing?" He barely glanced up, kept working the controls, and said: "No." Here's a Washington Post piece on the club, the full schedule of Sound Unseen movies and music through Sunday, Oct. 16, and a selective guide at Complicatedfun.com.