Tag Archives: Fugazi

Fugazi @ Weinberg 30 years ago + Shut Up & Listen / Cosmic Hallitosis / Cheshi+more January 13

Saturday January 13th 2018 — seems so Frederick to schedule a billion things all on one weekend night (not that I’m mad at anyone – it’s just more challenging to figure out logistics to be 3 different place at once).  So here’s how Western Machines reboots in 2018 after several months layoff – pick a random weekend to preview/list what the fuck is going down in Frederick.  Frederick Playlist highlighted the Cosmic Hallitosis show, but there’s 2 more events to keep tabs on. If you can multitask – you’re going to have a more sonically adventurous Saturday.

But first, it has been too long since I last posted – and it was mostly about the Nov city election. Turns out the dems made a clean sweep (made easier when the GOP candidates either got caught cheating by forging his signature so his daughter could vote for him  -from the Frederick Extra (hilarious irony as it’s the GOP that’s generally always accusing the other side of illegal voting), or didn’t show up to campaign at all – literally.

But nothing since then, though I should have posted about my own writing, having finally published a piece on the improbable events leading to Fugazi having played at the prim and proper Weinberg Center 30 years ago!  Pretty wild scenes in there – mosh pits (CAN YOU IMAGINE THAT AT THE WEINBERG?!) …the thing that blew me away researching the article was discovering there was NO CONTRACT AT ALL!  It was all verbally done, a simple phone call by a the 16 year old Chris Stup.  That would never happen today. I’ll tell you something else that will never happen again (probably -never say never I guess): Fugazi -should they regroup- or another post-hardcore band headlining at the Weinberg.  I do regret not getting in all the different stories and anecdotes about the 3 legendary Fugazi shows at the Weinberg – but through Subversive Zine, I’m doing a more comprehensive expanded version of the article.  Stay tuned for that (not in the next issue, #5 which is coming out soon- the expanded Fugazi piece will likely be in #6).

Fugazi at Weinberg in 1989 / Photo: J. Venverloh

But the flipside is that Frederick had a legit punk rock scene. Actually a few different unique and occasionally cross-collaborative scenes – metal / hardcore / punk / post punk / new wave.  They had all ages venues downtown – they were making waves outside of Frederick.  It happened before.  While there is a legit music scene today, all punching above their weight, I think everyone, including those in those bands know that it could be so much better. The missing ingredient – and common theme since Western Machines came online – is Frederick is in dire need of a mid-size music venue.  Even Scott Ambush, bassist for Spiro Gyra was quoted in the FNP 72 Hours yesterday:

Ambush…believes that Frederick getting a mid-size venue is the logical next step to a more vibrant music scene.

“A 300- to 500-seat venue would be great here,” he explained. “That would allow enough sales for regional and less expensive national acts to play in an atmosphere where food and drink was served. If I had the money, I would do it.”

There are some challenges that may get in the way — Ambush cited that a smaller venue means there’s less at stake compared with a mid-size venue.

Imade Borha interviewed Ambush and got that response — I agree with him on the need for a venue of course, but the food/drink thing – I don’t know – we may have slightly different ideas on what the atmosphere would look like for a hypothetical venue.  Anyway, FNP reporter Kelsi Loos tweeted this:

That would be Frederick County’s 20 year plan that incorporates a possible blueprint to making Frederick more livable – including improving entertainment/cultural options in order to attract people to come work and play in the area.  There was a survey (not a great one as surveys go) that went into the just released master plan – check that out here.

But how serious are they at the county or city level about this mid size venue idea?

In any event – New Spire Stages was in the news -the former Frederick Cultural Center on 15th and Patrick –   they’re doing a groundbreaking ceremony next week with a new executive director – eventually a 300-500 person capacity… maybe barebones ready by July…more on that soon…



2 quick plugs – Subversive Zine finally has a website – find it at subversivefrederick.com 

Already lots of more up to date stuff that’s on the online version of Subversive – like covering the new O’Conner mayoral adminstration,  and their super rad playlist on spotify (apple too? not sure but I’m going to check that out) + a comprehensive Frederick band list.

Last plug, I’ve been to Anthem in DC, their new ‘midsize’ venue built and operated by DC independents IMP and I got to review St Vincent’s show there last month (late Nov really) for the FNP.   Check out the review here.  The show was such a blast – Emily Jessee took this incredible photo below:


Photo: Emily Jessee



finally the shows that matter this Saturday, in no particular order:


Local Hip Hop at 611 – neat!


Next up: Cosmic Halitosis 1st full length album release show at Guidos, starting at 9pm.  From their FB events page:

…On January 13, the planets will align, blood will rain from the skies and rock ‘n’ roll will spread through the air like a toxic fume, creeping and slithering into every crevice. Comic Halitosis is releasing their first full length album and will be celebrating at Guidos!!!

Cosmic Halitosis

Slow Reader

My Friday Anthem

and if you missed it, Frederick Playlist interviewed frontman Matt Henry (and relatively new father – he joins the rock dad club) about the new album release called “Where is She?” Good lineup – and I heard My Friday Anthem has a new album nearly ready to drop. Subversive Zine is previewing their new album soon…


Last but not least:


Cheshi and Silent Old Mts did a set last weekend at Baltimore’s Ottobar (hopefully they slayed – this rock dad couldn’t make it).  But I can make up for it partially by going to this show.  Doors at 9, music starts at 10, from the FB events page:

CHESHI (alt-indie)

HEXGIRLFRIENDS (electrofemme punk)

EVOLV (cinematic sound)

It is 21+ show and 3-5$ cover.   You know that WM is all about Cheshi — now HexGirlfriends is a Baltimore band I’ve been wanting to check out, and all the better that they’re coming to Nola. Evolv sounds very ambient/electronic – from DC – could be interesting.

I’m taking in all 3 shows somehow.  Let the transmorgrifying begin…it’s gonna be a long night. Enjoy, be safe, and don’t act like a trump out there. Peace.





Frederick City Election: on Nov 7…just fucking vote

So a couple things happening – but lets narrow all this down to 2 things to focus on.

  1. Subversive Zine #4 is out. Rad af.  Get it at a subversive joint in and around Frederick and read it front to back now.  I’m just getting caught up and didn’t realize there’s a spotify Subversive playlist – that’s how subversive this whole thing is – it slipped under my own radar!
  2. Frederick City general election is taking place Tuesday Nov 7 – polls open at 7am and close at 8pm. If you already voted when early voting was an option – you get a prize: having a democratic say in who will be the next mayor and who will represent you on on the city council – otherwise known as the Board of Aldermen.

Already early voter turnout last week was better than expected, 1400 showed up – but that’s in contrast to historic low turnout in the primary elections in September AND the last general election several years ago. 

Subversive has written about the anemic and incredibly lame voter turnout and how it’s contributed to the “bland arts” in Frederick visa vis Mayor “do nothing” Randy McClement getting re-elected. The newest piece on Frederick’s turnout is both shame inducing but hopefully constructive in urging people to come out and utilize their democratic right to regime change and a better direction for Frederick:

[from Subversive Zine #4]

And the winner of the Frederick City
Primary is: APATHY
Seriously folks, we’re talking 13.73% turnout here. Congrats
Frederick, that’s one of our lowest voter turnouts in recent history.
That’s a little over 4,000 voters determining the city’s fate out of
31,000 registered Republicans and Democrats (in a city whose
population is nearing 70,000). Maybe this does not seem too bad,
and likely compares to other similarly-sized cities, but I’m pissed,
and you should be too. Here’s why:

Frederick is growing…fast. Really fast. Anyone driving up and down
Route 15 can tell you that the rate of bulldozing farmland for shitty
condos and townhomes is way way up. The downtown seems to
be flourishing (particularly for the khaki/polo crowd), and, I am told,
Frederick is a hotspot for tourists. This means money is coming in,
and that means the city will continue to grow, and cities can grow
in intelligent ways or really dumb ways. This is a critical juncture in
Frederick’s existence: will it continue to grow in the most bland way
possible, complete with Jimmy Buffet cover bands and so many fountains that even they become
bland, or will its people
seize this opportunity to
city from the surrounding
Washington D.C. suburbs?

Electing the “right” people
is just one approach. We still need awesome people working at
the bottom to challenge the complacency of this town…make weird
art, organize anti-gentrification demonstrations, engage in urban
gardening, dive headfirst into the cultural diversity of the Golden
Mile, ride bikes with fancy leather seats that conform to your unique
ass shape, whatever…BUT we also need a more cohesive vision of
Frederick’s identity and future. It helps when the leadership can fulfill this need by listening to the people, thinking creatively, and
unifying a city. That’s all the city: diverse neighborhoods out on the
west end, weird townhome people living north along 26, the stalwart longtime downtown folks and their burning desire to have bulk trash pickup return, the metal crowd, and newcomer hipsters. Interesting cities that people actually bother to visit: Asheville, Lancaster, Shepherdstown…all have support for the arts and visions of what makes themselves unique. If we want to attract that kind of attention, not to mention interesting people who want to open businesses etc. we had better start cultivating a better identity.

So, that’s all to say that I am sick of our nonexistent leadership. I want a mayor and board of aldermen that I actually want to rally behind and give me the sense that they are forward-thinking and not just good at cutting oversized ribbons. I want a mayor that appreciates the potential this town has and gives a
damn about being proactive about
pointing it in the right direction. Was
I enamored with any of the primary
candidates? No, frankly I think we
need new blood, but at this point I
do know that I sure as hell do not
want another 4 years of Blandy

From Subversive Zine #4

Please, register and GO VOTE.
Fight off apathy for just the few minutes you’ll be in the voting booth. Give it a try and maybe you’ll start to feel like you have some more control over the city’s future. Maybe not, but it would be nice for Frederick’s fate to be determined by more people than the same few thousand that decide to vote.

Honestly, given the clusterfuck that is national politics we should all be taking a harder look at the local level and start to change things for the betterhere. With only a 1500 vote margin between the winning mayor and 2nd place last election it is a lot easier to have your voice heard here than it is when you’re yelling at Trump. Both are important, one just starts in your community.


Thanks for that Subversive —who will be finally putting some of their content on the interwebs after counter intuitively going analogue in a digital world all this time since launching in March.

This might not be a thing we’ll do with each election but we’re going to do it and take the plunge. WesternMachines endorses:


Michael O’Conner (D)



Ben McShane (D)

Roger Wilson (D)

Derek Shackleford (D)

Donna Kuzemchak (D)

Kelly Russell (D)


Find your polling place here.   Get out…and fucking vote.

Extra Time: November 25 might not register as a particularly important date but on that day in 1987, a weird and wonderfully unexpected thing happened. Fugazi – then really unknown except to the Dischord post punk scene in DC – drove up a few miles from their homebase and played the historic Weinberg Theater in Frederick.  Don’t want to give too much away but I’m doing a piece about this, it’ll be a little more expansive on just some unlikely events transpired into an even more unlikely venue pairing featuring THE most influential underground band of the past several decades  -at the prim and proper Weinberg. What impact would Fugazi coming up to Frederick have on the city?  Stay tuned…