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Comes news this morning that, following the death of a 17-year-old in a 9th Street NW nightclub, Ward 1 Councilmember/nightlife czar Jim Graham aims to ban all minors from alcohol-serving establishments in the city. Just about any time that someone’s been killed in a Ward 1 nightclub, Graham’s found an excuse to legislate.

This time, though, Graham’s not just picking on go-go. Such a policy, of course, would threaten the hallowed tradition of all-ages shows at D.C. music venues. The way it’s long been, if you can’t prove you’re over 21, the bouncer takes a fat Magic Marker and marks up your hand. The bartenders have to see your hand before they pour you a drink. Perfectly logical system, right? Music lovers get to enjoy music, and music-and-drink lovers get to enjoy music and drink.

And yet, a freak accident that had little, if anything, to do with alcohol might end this common-sense policy, one that’s set the District apart from surrounding jurisdictions that already have adopted the draconian Graham approach. There’s an argument to be made that the Big Black X helped nurture some of D.C.’s greatest music by involving kids in the hardcore scene (and others). If you buy that, for a scene that’s in need of a boost of energy right now, this is bad news.

Oh well: Maybe it will just mean a new appreciation for the house show. Until your Columbia Heights neighbors complain and Graham shuts those down, too.

Anyone care to wax rhapsodic about the Big Black X?