The DVD cover for Punk the Capital.

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Punk the Capital: Building a Sound Movement, Washington, D.C. 1976–1983

These days, it seems natural that D.C. is considered a cradle of hardcore punk. But in the late ’70s, the days of Jimmy Carter and the Allman Brothers, the District was the last place anyone would expect to produce a hard-edged alternative to the self-destructive punk of London and New York. James June Schneider, Paul Bishow, and Sam Lavine’s Punk the Capital: Building a Sound Movement aims to tell the unlikely story of how the D.C. hardcore scene came to be, with the help of standard bearers such as Ian MacKaye (Minor Threat), Henry Rollins (S.O.A.), and HR (Bad Brains). The doc is loaded with footage of half-forgotten bands like The Enzymes and The Slickee Boys, and interviews with zine publishers and record store owners who made up the scene’s backbone. Thanks to the D.C. scene’s mania for documentation and archiving, Punk the Capital also has the means to dive into lesser-known chapters in hardcore history, including the brief punk-yippie alliance of the late ’70s and the moment D.C. hardcore nearly sputtered out of existence—surviving, in part, by finding a new haven at the original Madam’s Organ. Punk the Capital was first screened as a road show, DIY style, but now it’s coming to Blu-Ray and DVD with hours of extra footage. Copies are available at local record stores and online post-Record Store Day, and a portion of the proceeds will go to We Are Family, a local charity that provides housing advocacy and grocery delivery to seniors. Blu-Ray and DVD copies are available at $18–$23.