Student group brings D.C. underground to GW

Who says the D.C. music scene is dead? Well, actually a lot of people are saying that these days. The infamous D.C. underground scene of yesteryear has largely dissipated in recent years. Club closings have made it harder for smaller bands to find suitable venues. For this reason many bands are opting to take their tours through Baltimore rather than D.C.

In an attempt to revitalize the D.C. scene and bring underground closer to campus, a GW student group, dubbed Carbon Based Collective, has begun to book bands for on-campus performances.

CBC, which organized last spring, hosted its first show of the year in the Academic Center basement Jan. 25. Three bands played to an assembly of about 60 GW students and D.C. locals. The crowd was energetic and excited about the idea of GW hosting underground bands.

“The D.C. scene pretty much sucks so it’s about time something came closer to GW,” GW student Tiffany Fountain said.

True North opened the show and warmed up the crowd with its explosive hardcore style. The Florida band drove all day to make the show.

12 Hour Turn then took the stage, or rather the floor in front of the audience, coming out strong from the start. The band delivered a heart-pounding onslaught of screemo, hardcore characterized by high-pitched wails and screaming. Warping the feedback of their guitars, 12 Hour Turn presented a quality provision of pure noise.

GW band Baz Hena closed the show with its distinct and invigorating brand of indie rock. Band members, included several of the show’s organizers, managed to do their share of screaming, but mainly stuck to jumpy experimental rock.

Overall the show was pretty good, bringing the underground scene to campus for the first time in a while and offering an activity for a sect of students whose interests are not always represented in other campus activities.

The concert is the first hosted by CBC this year – the group sponsored a number of shows in the Mitchell Hall Theater last year. Members said finding a place to hold underground concerts is their biggest obstacle. CBC has been largely inactive in the past year because of these venue woes, members said.

“It’s wrong that students should have to cater to the adults,” CBC member Mike Petilo said. “I mean who are the facilities for?”

Organizers of the Thursday night show jumped some hurdles to get access to a campus facility. Although the show was originally booked for Lisner Downstage, a scheduling conflict with an event in the main auditorium forced the group to move to the Academic Center at the last minute, members said.

The move delayed the start of the show until classes in the building ended. Despite the change of venue and a late start, the show attracted a sizable audience for an underground show.

CBC members said they plan to host more shows in near future and have contacted interested bands. But nothing is set in stone, as the group continues to search for a suitable venue. Members of the group say they will not give up until they find a place to hold their shows.

E-mail the writer at arts@gwhatchet.com

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