Sign up for our free newsletter
Free D.C. news, delivered to your inbox daily.
Every once in a while, my girlfriend and I fall into some inexplicable mood, put aside our Heavenly, Pastels, and Cat’s Miaow records, and pull out our battered, pot-scented gatefold copy of Black Sabbath’s Paranoid. The album is a genuine ’70s relic, passed down to my girlfriend by her brothers, guys who kept interrupting a recent family photo viewing session with exclamations of “Man, we were so stoned that day.” It’s true: The photos show two glazed-over adolescents in braces, tube socks, and tight racing-striped shorts, minds obviously blown by too much weed and too much Sabbath. I doubt either of them listens to metal anymore—these days, they’re into Stereolab, Magnetic Fields, and Wilco—but plenty of guys never stopped. Especially in the wasteland suburbs around Washington, “Doom City,” where a significant scene, pioneered by Woodbridge’s Pentagram and Gaithersburg’s the Obsessed, has been growing for two decades. Today, D.C. stands at the center of some kind of Metallic Convergence: Locals Internal Void, Revelation, and Spirit Caravan (its guitarist, ex-Obsessed metal god Scott “Wino” Weinrich, is pictured) trade riffs with their comrades from New Jersey, Texas, and California at the Stoner Hands of Doom Stoner Rock Doom Festival at Bull Run Special Events Center; doom-metal legend Trouble plays a post-festival show at Phantasmagoria; and the original lineup of the mighty Sabbath, as if giving it up for the new generation of psychedelic sludge-meisters, bows out with its last-ever area show at Merriweather Post Pavilion. Leave your earplugs at home from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 14, at Bull Run Regional Park’s Bull Run Special Events Center, 7700 Bull Run Drive, Centreville. $20. (800) 955-5566. (Leonard Roberge)