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Diversity Is The Key Of Emerging D.C. Music Scene

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Warchild is one of many emerging bands that have helped redefine the D.C. music scene.
Photo from Warchild's Facebook page
Warchild is one of many emerging bands that have helped redefine the D.C. music scene.

This weekend the 9:30 Club held a showcase of six local D.C. bands.

There was a strange phenomenon at the showcase: People danced. D.C. concert-goers are known for stoicism. Touring bands jam out and no one moves. But Saturday's crowd showed its appreciation through swaying and jumping about. Not just because they're local, though—they're really good too.

The show's headliner was Black Clouds, a singer-less ambient rock band that seamlessly drifts from Coldplay-like euphoria to dark pounding rock. Like their set, the vinyl they just released is monotonous at times, but patiently builds to an arresting climax.

Shark Week also performed. The band's California surfer rock with seventies punk tinges is more accessible than Black Clouds. That's the key to D.C. these days: Unlike in the eighties, there's no longer a distinctive D.C. sound. The showcase also included Warchild, an in-your-face metal band guaranteed to scare small children, and Typefighter, an upbeat indie rock group.

These diverse bands are making an imprint locally. Now it's a waiting game to see which one if any can put us back on the national stage and get the city swaying again.

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