Arts Desk

Which D.C. Bands Are the Most Ian Curtis-Like?

iancurtisIan Curtis, the enigmatic and iconic Joy Division singer, took his life 30 years ago today. A lot of people are writing about it. Philadelphia Weekly even interviewed his ghost.

But I wonder: Joy Division's morose post-punk casts a pretty long shadow over the genre, but never so much in this punk town (we had other influential figures named Ian). What about these days, though? Which are the most Curtisian bands in D.C.?

Here's my votes: True Womanhood (disclosure: I know them) and Screen Vinyl Image. Am I wrong? Watch and listen below, and then tell me what you think in the comments.

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  • Kim Chi Ha

    you like the words enigmatic and iconic.

  • Bork

    Not so much with the first band.

  • Vajoejoe

    It's a shame that the CW on Joy Division became morose, dark, "postpunk" etc. Yes, their lyrics were often dark. But their sound was innovative, arty, angry, often bouncy, and not at all reducible to anything about being dark and morose. They and their successor outfit New Order fairly invented electronic rock as we now know it. They certainly don't deserve to be explicitly or implicitly lumped in with, or blamed for, the thousands of image-focused adolescent "goth" etc. bands that followed. Joy Division's music was simply nothing like that of the Jesus and Mary Chain, the Cure, or any of that stuff. If you actually focus on the music it's much more natural to associate them, depending on the track, with the Velvet Underground, the Ramones, the bouncier, hookier classic metal bands, or classic garage or punk bands. As for whether they are "postpunk," I mean--"post"-punk? Christ, they formed in 1976. Curtis was dead before most people had heard of punk.

  • Jonathan L. Fischer

    @Vajoejoe "Disorder" is my happy song.

  • Paige

    The first band is more like the Feelies.