A legend in the DC music scene.

Josh, at 930 (via WCP)

According to a 9:30 Club spokesperson, club manager and crew chief Josh Burdette has died.

Casual club patrons may not have known Burdette’s name, but it would have been hard not to know his stretched earlobes, surly tattoos, and friendly smile. Burdette began working at the V Street NW venue in 1997, and for about as long, he was known as the face of 9:30 Club.

“Especially in my little part of the city, I see all types of people from all walks of life, from all around the world,” Burdette told Washington City Paper in 2008. “Fortunately, I get to see them when they’re having a good time.”

His death leaves a gaping hole in the heart of D.C.’s music scene.

Josh Burdette, 9:30 Club Manager and Crew Chief, Has Died (via Washington City Paper)

The man was a legend in life, and now is one still. The DC music scene won’t ever feel the same without him.

Rude roots and 2 tone activism: A review of The Specials at Hudson Park Pier 26

The concept of rudietuesdays as an alias started about a decade ago (oy) when I thought I was the most clever for creating a ska-based pun off of the name of a chain restaurant. For years I’ve used variations on it for usernames and handles, including my first Twitter alias back when I was just learning the point of a 140-character tweet.

The name exists because of my deep-rooted love for ska. To pin this back to one unifying moment, my ears were first opened to the goofy horns of The Aquabats’ “Pool Party.” A friend had randomly stumbled upon in back in the days of BearShare. I needed more upbeats. I couldn’t get enough.

I searched the post-Napster, pre-Spotify sites with the keyword “ska.” I can’t recall how or why I first came across The Specials, but they made all the difference. 2 tone was soon all I wanted to hear. When I doodled in my notebooks, I used thick Sharpies in black and red that would bleed through pages, turning my notes into checkerboard. I drew stick figures modeled after Walt Jabsco.

The Specials sang about unity way before Operation Ivy. They were in their prime before my time. I grew up with the third wave, with a couple of female-fronted ska bands to look up to, but in a genre vastly dominated by white guys and very little diversity. The Specials are from a time where racial divides were a huge issue in their music. By the time the third wave rolled in, bands weren’t nearly as focused on racial or political issues. Or when they were, it was from a very limited perspective.

The Specials are one of the most important bands in musically shaping me. If I had forgotten how important they are, how defining their music was, I was reminded at their show at Pier 26 on Wednesday night.

The Specials. Do the dog, not the donkey!

The set list was fantastic. They dedicated three songs to people. The first was “Hey Little Rich Girl” to the late Amy Winehouse, saying it was one of her favorite songs. It drew applause from the crowd as a sweet dedication, but the next two are what really grabbed my attention.

For Trayvon Martin, they played a version of “Why” leading into “Doesn’t Make it Alright.” Lynval and Terry said how dumbfounded they were at the jury ruling, how awful the whole case was. A few songs later, the band dedicated “A Message to You, Rudy” to George Zimmerman, adding a dark twist to a crowd favorite. Energy was still high during these songs; the crowd still skanked as best as our old bones could, and we still sang along. But behind it was a message that the status quo is still screwed up; we’re not in a happy post-racial society.

Overall, the show was incredible. A circle pit of beer-bellied, tattooed men in their 40s and 50s half-skanked, half-stumbled around together in a messy, unifying heap — a sight I doubt I’ll ever see again.

But I didn’t realize I needed a reminder of the love and respect I have for The Specials until they did they brought up the Zimmerman case, reminding everyone that they were a band always deeply involved with activism in their music. That even so many decades later, the issues they were fighting when they first formed have still not been resolved.

Against Me! release ‘True Trans’ acoustic EP for free download

Download 'True Trans'

Via Laura Jane Grace on Facebook:

For a very limited time the new AM! “True Trans” acoustic ep is available to download for free at http://www.againstme.net/

You’ve likely heard live versions of one or both these songs already on YouTube, but download the acoustic two-song EP here.

New Tunes Rudie-Wednesday: Masked Intruder and Jeff Rosenstock

New tunes abound on the internetz today!

Okay, so the Masked Intruder song isn’t new, per se, but the video is. And it rocks. The song rocks for its catchiness and the fact that it’s basically the perfect template for a pop-punk song. This video rocks for its 8-bit grandeur and the fact that I want to play this non-existent game on SNES. Can we make this happen? Anyone? I’ll even settle for a Masked Intruder game on a Super Nintendo emulator.

And then our favorite DIY BTMI! bad boy Jeff Rosenstock has a new tune called “Go On Get” up (and available for download, of course) on Soundcloud. As with most of his songs, this feels like it’s going to take a few listens before it grows on me. Chances are in two weeks, I won’t be able to get it out of my head.

Hat tips to the A.V. Club and Aux for today’s songs. Enjoy!

Also, WordPress informs me that it’s my two-year anniversary on the site. Does this mean it’s time to make New Blog-Year’s Resolutions?

Who needs a bar when your beer is the jukebox?

Beer and music have long been in cahoots, and the folks over at Beck’s are bringing the two back together in the most literal sense. With help from the New Zealand-based agency Shine, they’ve created the Edison Bottle, the world’s first playable bottle of beer.

Now that’s cool.

Via #vinyloftheday

Going: Vans House Parties with Fucked Up, Title Fight and Hop Along

Vans House Parties 6/27

Will be attending. Well, according to the site, will be attending pending “venue capacity, RSVP’ing DOES NOT guarantee entry.”

Due to what I’m guessing was an overwhelming response from crazy Title Fight fans, the page with the link to tickets crashed for a solid 45 minutes starting when tickets were set to go on “free.”

Tickets are still available, so capacity at the door on the day of show could be a mess.

I’ll also be trying to attend Kid Dynamite/Joyce Manor/Red Hare/Swearin’ on August 15.

Get the flyer for all 2013 House Parties here.

Life is music June 11, 2013: Love is a PRISM edition

On this rudieTuesday, I continue a theme of events that can be tagged under “civil-liberties.” (Or lack thereof.)

By now, news of the NSA tracking your emails, credit card transactions, Skype conversations and more is pretty widespread.

Today, the ACLU has announced a lawsuit against the Obama administration over the attack of freedoms. Since the freakishly broad nature of the NSA snooping was revealed, it’s been a huge issue of contention. Lawmakers, the ones within the government who benefit from the information, are generally supporting it. According to a Pew poll, civilians, the ones who are being surveilled, are split. If the poll is accurate, Americans lean towards supporting the NSA, but I question what the reaction would be if they knew for a fact that they were the ones being surveilled. Some say surveillance like this is necessary for national security, and that civilians did not need to know PRISM is happening – a wonderfully cliche position that ignorance is bliss.

Since the start of Obama’s presidency, FBI requests of information gathered by the Patriot Act have risen like crazy. The Act is what allowed the creation of PRISM, the once-top secret federal project that did the snooping into civilians’ private information and conversations.

A man named Edward Snowden will likely soon be placed on trial by America as the leaker of the NSA info, the whistleblower, the traitor. He’s set to be a new Pfc. Bradley Manning (who, by the way, has been detained in some pretty awful conditions.)

So I offer a song this week that makes light of a dark situation. A band of fellows who sing about crime in a way that makes committing ones sound like a punk show. Some Masked Intruder for you all, for the sweet irony of pop-punk licks and sad, sad subject matter that they provide. Also for the fact that I can make a pun off the lyric “love is a prison” in my head by turning it into “love is a PRISM.”

… And the research I did for the article, all the links I found and linked, I’m sure are now in the NSA’s database, too.

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