Washington D.C. of the 1980s has often been referred to as a tale of two cities: the federal hub of money and power, and “the other D.C.” – a predominantly African-American metropolis infamous, since the riots of 1968, for its issues with drugs, crime and corruption. The District of this era was also a vibrant home to street art, Go-Go music and punk rock – scenes that are the focus of a great new exhibit at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. Curated by Roger Gastman, Pump Me Up: DC Subculture of the 1980s collects photographs, artwork, newspaper clippings, personal artifacts and more – from classic posters for Chuck Brown and Trouble Funk concerts to Ian MacKaye’s handwritten lyrics to Minor Threat’s “Straight Edge” to an original tagged wall by graf legend Cool “Disco” Dan. The composite portrait is a community creatively fertile in the face of rampant civic woes. If you’re in the D.C. area the exhibit is on display through April 7th. If you’re not, you can buy a highly recommended 300+ page accompanying catalogue and check out a sampler of the show’s many, many amazing images here.
CLICK THE THUMBNAILS ABOVE FOR MORE PIX
Vintage Go-Go concert posters by Globe Poster Printing Corp.
Chuck Brown & the Soul Searchers Globe concert poster.
Go-Go impresario Max Kidd’s license plate.
Post scandal Marion Barry t-shirt.
Original wall with Cool “Disco Dan” tag.
1980s suicide hotline ad.
Trouble Funk – Minor Threat concert poster.
HR & Bad Brains in performance (1979).
Dischord Records ad.
Rare Essence – E.U. – Kool Moe Dee Globe concert poster.
Dance Factory business card blow up (1984).
DJ Kool press photo and money slipmat covered turntable.
Detail from contact sheet of Chuck Brown & the Soul Searchers photos.
Original hand stamps.
“Just Say No” board game.
Ian MacKaye’s handwritten lyrics for Minor Threat’s “Straight Edge.”
Layout boards for Cynthia Connolly’s Banned In D.C.
Rare Essence – Soul Searchers – Little Benny & the Masters Globe concert poster.
D.C. Hip-hop Go-Go flyer (1986).
“Soul Brother” graffiti, 1968 riots footage.
Trouble Funk – Davy DMX Globe concert poster.
Trouble Funk (1985). Photo: Derek Ridgers.
Pre-Go-Go funk bands: Ripple – Soul Searchers – Black Heat concert poster.
Globe poster lock up.
More Globe posters.