Arts Desk

Watch: Occupy D.C. Goes Indie Rock

I reported last week that the Occupy D.C. encampment seems to have become something of a DIY space. It turns out it's a pretty good DIY space. Local acts Priests, Lenorable, and The Cornel West Theory some other groups gathered for a generator-powered show in McPherson Square, and attracted a pretty solid crowd (that included two notable local punk rockers named Ian). During the concert, Occupiers began mobilizing to assist protesters gathering inside the shuttered Franklin School, which until 2008 housed a homeless shelter. But as far as I could tell, folks who'd come out for the music (predictably) stuck around to enjoy more music.

Above is some video I shot during Priests' set of anarcho-kiddie punk. (For some reason, those kids in the video spent the entire set hovering about a foot from the music. Totally punk rock.)

Hey, and Lenorable recorded a song inspired by the Occupy movement this week. Seeing as Ian MacKaye was watching from the sidelines, however, they didn't cover Fugazi's "Merchandise" as planned.

Update, 2:30 p.m. There's now a group called Occupy Musicians, which says it's facilitating performances at Occupy sites around the country. A list of signees includes D.C. names Ian MacKaye, Guy Picciotto, Blue Sausage Infant, Lenorable, and Jeff Surak.

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  • Rick

    Well that was awful.

  • yes

    this rules actually

  • PTRQ

    Yeah, Priests rule. This was their second show, so it's not like they are the most practiced, tightest band yet. I look forward to seeing them more. (full disclosure: I was partly responsible for putting this together/asking them to play)

  • PTRQ

    Also, I should say that Cornel West Theory didn't end up being able to play, but we're going to try to schedule another date and hopefully do everything better. This was pretty awesome, but being a pretty last minute thrown-together thing, it was not without hitches.

  • tom

    i wouldnt call it indierock
    this is just raw punk really

  • PTRQ

    Also, you forgot to mention The Fordists and Washerwoman, who also both played. And yeah, Priests play pretty messy, surfy punk, but Lenorable are more of dark, gothy, synthy post-punk of some sort, so I guess "indie rock" is a more appropriate umbrella term. Well, if indie rock is ever an appropriate umbrella term, which is debatable. But hey, it's the best we've got right now, it's a hell of a lot better than "alternative rock" or "electronica", the two most worthless genre appellations foisted upon us by the terrible music industry of the 90s.

  • Jonathan L. Fischer

    Thanks for the update, Pat. I had to run off to another event, but I was totally charmed by Priests and Lenorable.

    When I use "indie rock" on this blog, it's always in the loose, umbrella sense. Then I get more specific, a la "anarcho-kiddie punk."

  • PTRQ

    Yeah, Jon, it's appropriate in this context and the paradigm in which we exist. I'm not criticizing your use. However, I'm not a fan of the term in general. And, you know, I like to rant about the weird shit I have opinions about. It's the Pat Walsh Way. I'm not saying my opinions are the only right ones or anything, I like people challenging them and debating, but mostly I like having strong opinions/people with strong opinions.

  • ian

    Priests killed it. I wish any band I've been in up to this point had that much energy and awesome on its second show.
    Also, Washerwoman. Holy crap. Full disclosure: they're friends of mine. Fuller disclosure: that doesn't mean they were any less amazing.