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So the show starts at 9:30, or what?

J. Freedom du Lac--enjoyably monikered music writer, chronicler of culture, Sacramento Bee alum, and current Washington Post quasi-metro scribe--had a great feature in the Post Mag last weekend on Washington D.C.'s own 9:30 Club. Over its 30 years, the 9:30 has risen to near legendary status in the mid-Atlantic, although it's hard for me to grasp its legacy outside of town. The club was one of the first non-mom's-basement venues in the country to allow all ages shows, a choice that opened up the DC rock scene, legitimized local punk rock, and helped launch DC hardcore, most famously via club regulars Bad Brains and Minor Threat.

Of course that was all well before my time. I didn't move to Maryland until the club, originally at 930 F st NW, moved to its current location near Howard U. I work near the old location now. Today 930 F is a pretty bland building facade, with neighbors that include a clothing store selling Peruvian knits, a chocolate-focused restaurant, and a fantastic cheesery--Cowgirl Creamery. Not sure what the old DC heads would think of a fantastic cheesery. The new club (new only relative to the old club) is a fantastic space. Acts that play ampitheaters and athletic facilities in other towns opt to do the 1200-capacity 9:30 here. The sound is top drawer and the balcony provides an enviable view of the stage. I grew up going to the Troc and TLA in Philly (both alright spots, to be sure), but the 9:30 defines a goddamn professional venue. It's a long way from its humble beginnings as a ratty nightclub, and some claim that efficiency and cleanliness have pared away some of its original rough charm. But it's always been a great place to see a show.

You won't get too much out of J. Freedom's piece if you're a nerd and you already own Our Band Could Be Your Life and Dance of Days and watched 930 F Street at its first public showing. But it's a good excuse for posting some solid images and vids. After the jump: Minor Threat, G.I., Minutemen, etc. etc.

Minor Threat live 1983

Government Issue live 1984

Fugazi live 1997--Bed for the scraping--sound is bad but one of my favorites

Minutemen 1984--Sound is great

Today you're much more likely to see Wilco, a band that can play much larger venues but often chooses a night or two at 9:30

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