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Digital Subscriptions > Long Live Vinyl > Jan 2019 > IT’S A HARDCORE LIFE

IT’S A HARDCORE LIFE

Starting with the Teen Idles’ Minor Disturbance EP in 1980, Washington D.C.’s Dischord Records has released a glut of punk, hardcore and post-hardcore records. Co-founder Ian MacKaye tells Murray Stassen how it all started

LABEL STORY DISCHORD RECORDS

Washington D.C. is a city in perpetual flux. Presidents and administrations come and go and the world’s media fly in and out as the political elite carve out policies that make headlines on the other side of the planet. Dischord Records was born 38 years ago in the underground of this government town, and has since grabbed the music world’s attention with a social consciousness and intense musical sensibility that’s unique to Dischord and unique to D.C.

For the last nearly four decades, it’s been at least one constant force for good, championing the city’s arts and culture and inspiring bands and labels the world over.

What makes Dischord so exceptional is that from day one, it really has just been about music, and its co-founders, Ian MacKaye and Jeff Nelson, have been far more concerned with documenting the D.C. punk scene than with corporate expansion plans.

“I think that, precisely because we just never had a plan for the label, it’s one of the reasons it can continue,” says MacKaye over the phone from his off ce in Washington.

“It keeps going because there was no trajectory,” he continues. “I had no goals. I still have no goals. Honestly. I just do the work that’s in front of me.”

The label started in December 1980. Nathan Strejcek, Geordie Grindle, Ian MacKaye and Jeff Nelson had spent much of the previous year playing shows around Washington as the Teen Idles alongside the likes of D.C. hardcore pioneers Bad Brains.

The Teen Idles’ first show outside of the Washington area was in California, with the band and two roadies, one of which was Henry GarTheld (later Rollins), taking a crosscountry Greyhound bus to play a show in LA and one in San Francisco.

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About Long Live Vinyl

Now on sale! Inside our end-of-year review special we announce the top 100 new albums of 2018, voted for by an expert panel of music writers, record shops, festival organisers, bands, and label bosses; plus Idles, Low and Boygenius sit down to tell us how they made three of the year’s outstanding records. The awards don’t stop there, as we name Long Live Vinyl’s first Record Shop Of The Year, with more than 8,000 readers helping us find the nation’s favourite store. If you’re on the lookout for a new turntable, amp, speakers or headphones this Christmas, you won’t want to miss our Gear Of The Year feature. Elsewhere this issue, we round up 40 essential krautrock classics to add to your collection, take an in-depth look at PJ Harvey’s 1993 album Rid Of Me and meet Ian MacKaye, the man behind legendary Washington D.C. label Dischord Records. If all that’s not enough, our newly expanded reviews section is packed with new albums, reissues, boxsets and hardware to add to your Christmas list. Long Live Vinyl is THE magazine for vinyl lovers!