Chatter: Checkered Past
D.C.’s ska scene bridged a couple decades of local rude boys, rude girls, mods, and skinheads, and reactions to our oral history of local ska seemed to break down loosely along generational lines. “As more of an early- to mid-’90s ska fan, who sort of lost touch with it by ’99 or so, I’m kind of surprised it held on for as long as it did here,” wrote commenter DC. “I would have thought sourness on the explosion of the third wave would have turned off more fans....But there really is nothing like the energy of a loud ska band in a small club. When you sweat all the way through a suit jacket, you know you had a good time.”
Others felt the article emphasized the 2000s while downplaying the ska scene’s roots in the 1980s and its 1990s heyday.
“Sad to see a lack of specifics on the ’80s when D.C. had a thriving scene” wrote ted, who listed local mod, oi!, and ska acts like The Mondays, Modest Proposal, Immoral Discipline, The Reply, The Now, and The Zeros.
“What happened to ANYTHING about say, 1993 or so until 2000?” wrote Cooter. “Was D.C. ska only just one fight at the Cat? I sure as hell don’t believe that. What about bands before 1996 that weren’t The Pietasters or The Checkered Cabs (Not that I don’t got mad love for Caz and Digital and everyone, hell, my first ska show was the Cabs at the old 930)? What about the Instigators, or the Decepticonz, or any of the other amazing D.C. ska bands from before Phantasmagoria? Way to ignore half the scene and talk to just, like, five people.”
D.C.’s ska scene began to wind down in the mid-2000s, following the death of singer Dan Hess. Commenter Doug remembered Hess’ charismatic presence: “Dan was larger than life with that big old microphone he used, he brought a lot of style to a show. The music was his passion and everything else was low-key and just fine with him. I always called him the Drew Carey lookalike friend.”
For last week’s cover story, Marin Cogan meditated on television producers’ increasing reliance on Washington insiders to consult on shows about federal life. Our readers weren’t impressed by the attempts at verisimilitude by shows whose settings look nothing like D.C. “They should fire the ones from Homeland,” Katie Myer wrote on our Facebook page. Mike Dugan agreed. “It’s so funny Hollywood is ‘awash’ in Washington shows, since almost none of them actually FILM here,” he wrote on Facebook. “And if they do, they still get it wrong.”
Attorney Brendan Sullivan may have a resume that includes defending Oliver North, Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens, and the Duke lacrosse players accused of rape, but after reading last week’s Loose Lips column, commenter truth hurts didn’t think Sullivan will be able to get accused shadow campaign financier Jeffrey Thompson off the hook. “A master sculptor might be able to sculpt a beautiful work of art from a big ball of shit, but the finished product would still be a piece of shit,” he wrote. “Thompson’s going down regardless of Sullivan’s legal prowess.” Commenter David Gaines, meanwhile, offered a nomination for Sullivan’s next client: former New England Patriot and accused murderer Aaron Hernandez.
Like Washington City Paper Food Editor Jessica Sidman, reader Mike was impressed by the tacos at Del Campo chef Victor Albisu’s new Taco Bamba, but only to a point. Reacting to last week’s Young & Hungry column, Mike wrote, “I would urge them to improve the quality of their tortillas. The packaged tortillas they are using do not do justice to the quality of the fillings. If they were to make fresh corn tortillas from fresh masa (Moctec in Hyattsville makes fresh masa to sell to restaurants...), I think it would pay off for Taco Bamba.”
Department of Corrections
Due to a reporting error, last week’s Chatter page misspelled the handle of commenter monkeyrotica.