Spoke: Images and Stories from the 1980s Washington, DC Punk Sce

Spoke: Images and Stories from the 1980s Washington, DC Punk Sce

Spoke: Images and Stories from the 1980s Washington, DC Punk Scene

by Scott Crawford

Akashic Books

Scott Crawford’s documentary Salad Days: A Decade of Punk in Washington, DC, 1980-1990 was a love letter to the groundbreaking DC punk scene, and an answer to the mythologizing that has constantly followed DC punk.

While some directors might tuck extra footage and interviews into the special features of the disc, Crawford decided to compile them all into Spoke: Images and Stories from the 1980s Washington, DC Punk Scene, a concise oral history and photo book. Luckily for the book, the DC scene appeared to be one of the most thoroughly documented in the nation, with Cynthia Connolly’s 1988 photo book Banned in DC kickstarting the score of books on American punk.

Many of the photos in Spoke appear to be exclusive, and even if you might have seen a couple of the Minor Threat shots before, the action shots of bands like Faith, Void, or Rites of Spring exude the physicality and emotional release of these pioneering bands.

The book is arranged roughly chronologically by bands, beginning with Bad Brains and ending with Jawbox. The chapters are short and concise, with the major players giving their thoughts about their bands and their place in the overall DC scene with high-contrast shots conveying the energy and excitement of the bands.

A worthy addition to the growing amount of literature on the American hardcore/punk scene, Spoke will look great on any aging punks’ coffee table as a document to a vital, electric time.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Gregg Allman, RIP
    Gregg Allman, RIP

    Michelle Wilson gives tribute to the voice of an angel. Gregg Allman, RIP.

  • Preservation Hall Jazz Band
    Preservation Hall Jazz Band

    So It Is (Legacy). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • From Montenegro to Moldova: The Best of SEEFest 2017
    From Montenegro to Moldova: The Best of SEEFest 2017

    For the twelfth year, the South East European Film Festival (SEEfest) in Los Angeles showcased an impressive lineup of new features and shorts. Lily and Generoso Fierro provide a festival wrap up and their picks for the films that you cannot miss.

  • Justin Townes Earle
    Justin Townes Earle

    Kids In The Street (New West Records). Review by James Mann.

  • Christian Scott
    Christian Scott

    Rebel Ruler (Ropeadope / Stretch Music). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Kivanç Sezer
    Kivanç Sezer

    Turkish director Kivanç Sezer’s powerful debut feature, My Father’s Wings, puts the spotlight on the workplace safety crisis that is currently taking place in his homeland. Lily and Generoso Fierro spoke with Sezer at SEEFest 2017 about his film and his need to draw attention to this issue.

  • Temples

    Supporting their just-released sophomore record, UK synth-pop poster boys, Temples, attracted an SRO crowd to one of Orlando’s premier nightspots.

  • Rat Film
    Rat Film

    Baltimore. Rats. A match made in Maryland.

  • Bishop Briggs
    Bishop Briggs

    Bishop Briggs brings a stacked bill of up and comers to Orlando for a sold-out party at The Social. Jen Cray joins in the fun.

  • Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World
    Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World

    There’s more than black music influencing the evolution of Rock and Roll. Native American rhymes and ideas are every bit as significant, once you know to look for them.

From the Archives