Sign up for our free newsletter

Free D.C. news, delivered to your inbox daily.

When will the Washington City Paper stop beating up on Fugazi?

For as long as I have lived in and around Washington, the major complaint has always been that the music scene in general has nothing of note to offer except Dischord bands. Yet writer Michael Little (“In on the Killjoy,” 10/17) blames the musical woes of the “entire rock community” on four guys who influence a relatively insular and cliquish group of several hundred largely white, upper-middle-class people in a predominantly African-American city. If only the bands that Fugazi and the Dischord label have influenced and recorded would stay together longer…

I do not remember receiving an edict from the Court of Dischord forbidding D.C.’s young people from putting together evil death metal, evil neo-new wave, evil jazz fusion, or evil sloppy guitar-rock bands. I used to live in a group house in Adams Morgan with members of a prog-rock band. The only Fugazi they ever knew, or cared about, was Marillion’s 1984 release. (“It’s a classic, dude.”) They just went ahead and (arguably) did their thing, gigging around and generally being as emo as Peter Gabriel during his Lamb Lies Down on Broadway days with Genesis.

Also, the author’s presupposed notion that rock ‘n’ roll can be enjoyed only through heavy drinking and drug abuse while playing out Sammy Hagar fantasies is ridiculous—much as the theory that straightedge principles are based solely on a set of lyrics written 20 years ago is misdirected.

If kids really want to “shock their elders” these days, I would say it would not be through drug and alcohol abuse or sexual deviance—everything that is expected from adolescents—but by being earnest and caring about what is going on in their own communities, if not the world at large. A more thorough recycling campaign or a lecture on the virtues of vegetarianism from a couple of 15-year-olds would definitely raise the eyebrows of most parents in my neighborhood, not broken bottles of booze and roaches by the stop sign.

Fugazi: Our young people deserve no less.

Vienna, Va.