06 November 2010

DC9, DC9, DC9...

(that was to the tune of "number 9, number 9, number 9" repeated in the Beatles' 'Revolution 9')

it's exactly 3 weeks after a death occurred outside the DC9 nightclub in Washington. I'm calling it a 'death' b/c what happened is all speculation, there are conflicting reports on what happened and I'm certainly not calling a homicide like NME has. (I was so angry at NME I even Tweeted at them "get your facts straight, they've been charged with aggravated assault. and Blood Red Shoes were never scheduled to play there, they were scheduled to play at the Red Palace on the other side of town. we don't need sensationalist reporting like this, it's not helping the DC music scene." or something that effect. I've forgotten the exact wording now.)

just like most people I will never know why a drunk man was pronounced dead at a DC hospital early Friday morning the 15th of October but I do know that my gigging life, along with other music enthusiasts has undoubtedly changed forever.

directly after the death occurred, people who are NOT gig-goers at DC9 were quick to judgment, wrongly assuming that the DC9 staff being charged by DC police for second-degree murder of this man were a bunch of burly bouncers. there was never a need for bouncers at DC9. I never, ever felt threatened by the crowd there. really, it was the only club in town that I knew that going there, it was small enough and played host to shows where people actually went to see the bands and not just hang out and drink as hipsters, trying to pretend they knew something about the acts booked (which invariably describes 40-80% of clubgoers in other venues, depending on which venue you're speaking of). the shows that I've seen there have been some of the best in my life:
  1. Phenomenal Handclap Band (August 2009); also interviewed Daniel and Sean of the band; Liberation Dance Party (LDP)
  2. the xx (15 November 2009): the first ever appearance of the London trio in DC
  3. VV Brown (19 February 2010); before she played, I heard Delphic's 'Halcyon' on the dance floor for the first time in DC; LDP
  4. Villagers - solo Conor J. O'Brien show (22 June 2010), during which I was complimented for listening to Steve Lamacq
  5. Biffy Clyro (15 September 2010): Biffy Clyro's first ever headlining show in America
  6. the Postelles (18 September 2010); interviewed the band in the backstage area
  7. Casiokids (1 October 2010); met Fredrik after the show and chatted about Roskilde, and Ketil Tweeted/reposted the dickens out of my TGTF review, which is thought was very sweet! LDP
  8. Delphic (8 October 2010): probably the last dance night DC9 will ever put on, it has personal significance to me for many reasons, the biggest being it was the night I introduced so many of my local friends (and my cousin and her friends) to Delphic's sound; LDP
there are of course many shows that I passed on that I wish I hadn't. the list is too long to put here but many of the bands have now gone on to play much larger places. The Hundred in the Hands played DC9's LDP long before I even knew who they were...I would have loved to see them then. and yes, LDP will be missed b/c Bill Spieler always made sure there was plenty of NEW British music coming through the PA. the only place in town, really.

I don't want to take sides b/c I wasn't there when the drama unfolded. but I am happy to report today that all charges were dropped against the five charged, but Spieler has resigned from his co-ownership of DC9 and other clubs in the area, and the other 4 have been let go from DC9 employment.

TBH I don't know if the club will ever reopen. it's a sad chapter in the DC music scene. now we move forward to whatever is DC9's future...but we shall never forget its past.

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