Uncompromising and innovative, hardcore punk in Washington, DC, birthed a new sound and nurtured a vibrant subculture aimed at a specific segment of the city's youth. Shayna L. Maskell explores DC's hardcore scene during its short but storied peak. Led by bands like Bad Brains and Minor Threat, hardcore in the nation's capital unleashed music as angry and loud as it was fast and minimalistic. Maskell examines the music's aesthetics and the unique impact of DC's sociopolitical realities on the sound and the scene that emerged. As she shows, aspects of the music's structure merged with how bands performed it to put across distinctive representations of race, class, and gender. But those representations could be as complicated and contradictory as they were explicit.
A fascinating analysis of a punk rock hotbed, Politics as Sound tells the story of how a generation created music that produced--and resisted--politics and power.
1 DC Rising: The (Musical) Life and Times of Washington, DC 15
PART I: THE MUSIC OF DC HARDCORE
2 The Racial Aesthetics of DC Hardcore 45
3 The Sounds of Stratification: Socioeconomic Class and DC Hardcore 70
4 Masculinity as Music: DC Hardcore and the Implications of Gender 97
PART II: THE DC HARDCORE SCENE
5 Do-It-Yourself Cultural Production 133
6 Straightedge: A (White, Male, Middle-Classed) Music-Based Social Movement 156
7 Embodying (White, Middle-Class) Masculinity 178
8 The Transformation of Hardcore: DC Post-Hardcore, Post-1983 199
Shayna L. Maskell is an assistant professor in the School of Integrative Studies at George Mason University.
"Readers interested in hardcore music and its broader impact in the punk subculture (especially where it intersects with race, class, and gender) will appreciate the strong academic analysis." --Library Journal
"The volumes of archival data, interviews, and narratives, researched and recorded with academic acumen, make Politics As Sound a unique addition to the American rock music canon." --Project Censored