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Need a slice in D.C.? Comet Ping Pong is your stop. Need a slice of D.C.? Comet Ping Pong is also your stop. Some of the best D.C. punk shows over the last few years have taken place not in some basement DIY space you’ve never heard of, but a family-friendly pizza parlor on upper Connecticut Avenue NW. And now, there’s an art show looking back on those concerts through the lens of the posters that promoted them.
“Post(er) Apocalypse,” a show at Wild Hand Workspace in Brookland, surveys a mess of flyers from the past two years of shows at Comet. The prints represent a collaboration between ubiquitous D.C. promoter Sasha Lord, who’s made the restaurant a destination on the local-music circuit, and Magickbat (aka Jourdan Betette), the artist Lord has tapped as her go-to flyer designer for most of Comet’s shows since 2012.
Photographer Victoria Milko and art director Morgan Hungerford West, the folks behind the Wild Hand space on Monroe Street NE, are exhibiting some 60 super-clean, music-anchored, psychotropic posters. For D.C., this poster exhibition represents a kind of bellwether: Every once in a while, it’s worth taking stock of how the evolution of flyers represent the evolution of the music itself.
Kid Congo and the Pink Monkey Birds
The painter Marilyn Minter might be the inspiration for this sparkly, gem-inspired flyer for Kid Congo, a jewel of the D.C. punk scene.
Protect-U, Peaking Lights
The sans-serif font couldn’t be cleaner for Protect-U, the brainy-yet-breezy D.C. synth collaboration of Aaron Leitko and Mike Petillo.
The Coathangers, Dudes, Teen Liver, Heidi Glüm, DJ Joshua
The all-woman, all-Atlanta punk group the Coathangers get a fitting tribute to their dark designs (represented by an inverted cross and pentagram) and their infectious single (the raindrops that channel “Hurricane,” off 2011’s Larceny and Old Lace).
Bass Drum of Death
There’s nothing particularly flower-power about the Oxford, Miss., garage-rock crew Bass Drum of Death, which is maybe why the juxtaposition in this poster rocks as hard as they do.
Dot Dash, History Repeated, The Gumbas
Is the dripping murder-font of Halloween wasted on a February show? Not when it’s set in a charming, colorful word-bubble design element.
Jet Age, New American, The Caribbean A misprint? The band that played that night was Baltimore’s Early American. The crisp print design deliberately offsets Jet Age’s funkier tendencies.
The Ar-Kaics, Dimples, Nic Fits This rude, cycloptic hand could be a villain from The Legend of Zelda. So could Richmond’s the Ar-Kaics, a dyspeptic rock ‘n’ roll quartet on Windian Records.