Boston hardcore

Boston hardcore

Boston Hardcore is the influential hardcore punk scene of Boston, Massachusetts.

Boston hardcore music history

The colleges and universities of Greater Boston offered a favorable venue for non-commercial music to be played. Several schools have their own radio stations, such as WBRS, WMFO, WUMB, WMBR, WERS, and WTBU. The colleges also supplied young patrons for the local nightclubs and bars where local hardcore bands had gigs.

First-generation Boston hardcore bands as documented in "American Hardcore" included SS Decontrol, Gang Green, Jerry's Kids, The F.U.'s, Negative FX, D.Y.S. and Uncalled 4. [ American Hardcore official site] ]

Hardcore quickly usurped the existing "alternative" punk scene, which included bands such as Mission of Burma. This created a generation gap-type conflict that could be seen at such events as Mission of Burma's "final show," where members of many leading hardcore bands created a near-riot when, due to the slam dancing supposedly ruining Burma's swan song, Negative FX's sound was shut down. [ youtube video of Negative FX] ] This militant straight edge group, pioneered by SSD guitarist Al Barile, was known as the "Boston Crew". Their hard-line attitude became a defining characteristic for later bands such as Slapshot, Eye for an Eye, Ten Yard Fight, Crossface, and Blood for Blood.

Record labels and famous records

Independent record labels like Taang!, X-Claim Records, Modern Method, Bridge 9, Rodent Popsicle, Welfare, Hydra Head, Big Wheel, Rock Vegas, and Deathwish Inc. help to fuel the punk culture in Boston . A highlight of the early New England hardcore era was the "This Is Boston, Not L.A." LP, which was a compilation of local artists. It includes the song of the same name performed by The Freeze, who advised: "if you look the same and you act the same, there's nothing new and you're to blame"."

Boston hardcore was based more on Washington D.C. hardcore (Bad Brains, Minor Threat, Teen Idles, Government Issue) than it was on Los Angeles hardcore, (i.e. such bands as Black Flag, Bad Religion, the Circle Jerks, and the Germs).

This may be the reason why few L.A. bands played Boston in the early 80s, with the exception of a Black Flag show at The Paradise on Halloween 1981, which was attended by 12 people, including John Belushi, who had driven up from Martha's Vineyard just to attend.


Kenmore Square

As a result of Kenmore Square's now-defunct club The Rathskeller, Captain Nemo's pizza parlor (as well as the Pizza Pad), and its few used record stores, Kenmore became a hangout for skate punks and members of the hardcore scene.

After Boston Red Sox games it was common to see fights break out amongst the punks and the more conservative suburban Red Sox fans, known as "batheads". It is likely that it was at least partially due to this common occurrence that a decision was made by the MBTA to add short spiked fences to the relatively low roofs of the Kenmore T stations, considering how many hardcore kids were apt to spend time sitting atop them and that most Red Sox fans taking public transportation were obliged to appear from below.Fact|date=March 2007 Mr. Butch was a fixture in this scene, and could often be seen playing air guitar with his dreadlocks swinging. He was a legendary character in Boston hardcore culture.

This neighborhood has changed quite a bit, and the building that held the Rathskeller, Planet Records, and Captain Nemo's along with several other businesses was demolished to make room for the Commonwealth Hotel. Located in the space that once was "The Rat" is now The Foundation Lounge, one of Boston's more upscale and trendy ultra-lounges. With the Rathskeller gone, the scene moved closer to Lansdowne Street, which is a street of clubs and bars on one side, and Fenway Park on the other. The scene made specific moves to Axis and Bill's Bar, two Lansdowne locations that were deemed as "hardcore friendly" by some of the culture. There is controversy over this, as many thought Lansdowne street to be too strict.

Avalon, Axis, and Bill's Bar were to demolished in the fall of 2007 to make room for a larger venue that would be aimed towards more mainstream national acts. Since then several bands who are larger in the scene have been playing The Roxy on Tremont Street in the Theater District, forcing hardcore acts to find better DIY venues to play.

A select group of hardcore kids continue to hold down Kenmore by selling novelty baseball t-shirts to drunken Red Sox fans, also known as "slangin cotton" or "moshing merch"

Other scenes

*Harvard Square: "The Pit" at the Harvard Square subway stop is a longtime punk hangout.

*Allston: The large college population living in Allston continues to fuel the music scene in the area.

*Central Square: Clubs like The Middle East and The Cambridge Elks are a part of this scene.

*North Shore: Small art centers and bookstores feed this growing scene.

Boston hardcore bands

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* American Nightmare (a.k.a. Give Up the Ghost)
*Blood For Blood
*The Carrier
*Death Before Dishonor
*The F.U.'s
*The Freeze
*Gang Green
*Have Heart
*The Hope Conspiracy
*In My Eyes
*Jerry's Kids
*Negative FX
*SS Decontrol
*Straw Dogs
*The Suicide File
*Ten Yard Fight
*Toxic Narcotic
*Righteous Jams


The following Boston venues have hosted hardcore concerts:

* 1st and 2nd Church - Marlboro Street
* The (Fishtown) Artspace - [closed]
* Avalon - [closed] Located on Lansdowne Street next to Axis, and is prime location for many bands. It generally serves as a night club on weeknights, but on weekends hosts more rock-oriented artists.
* Axis - [closed] A Gothic night club that would host the occasional hardcore band.
* Baby Safe Haven - Current basement space in Somerville. Two Blocks away from Bloodstains.
*Thunderdome//Vomitorium somerville basement venue short lived but incredibly chaotic
* Bill's Bar - A bar on Lansdowne Street with cheap beer where bands will sometimes play. It is in contrast to the huge dance clubs that surround it.
* Bloodstains across Somerville - [closed]
* Brighton Elks - Late 90s venue in Brighton Center
* Bunnratty’s/Local 186 - Now The Wonder Bar on Harvard Ave in Allston
* Cantone's
* Cambridge Elks Lodge - Number one D.I.Y. venue in the greater Boston area, this hall is booked by many different individuals and holds shows nearly every weekend
* Castle Grayskull - [closed]
* The Channel - [closed] One of Boston's earliest locations that would allow hardcore bands to play. The Club would headline local bands such as Gang Green, Slapshot and The F.U.s as well as out of state bands like Butthole Surfers, Gorilla Biscuits, Pantera, Waltham, Fugazi, Hüsker Dü and The Dead Boys. It was well known for its mosh pit.

* The Club - Central Square, Cambridge.
* Club Lido
*The Cuntree Club - All-female punk house in Brookline, MA, bar in basement and shows happened most weekend. Eventual eviction in early 2007.
* Feed Your Head - [closed] The basement of this independent bookstore in Salem, Massachusetts is the center of the North Shore punk scene. It opened right before the Artspace closed, and the basement is generally booked about twice a week. Closed late 2007.
* Gallery East - Art Gallery by day, venue for all-ages shows in the early '80s, it was demolished during the gentrification of the leather district by South Station.
* Great Scott
* Green Street Station - Venue in Jamaica Plain was dirty and rickety with cheap beer and great local bands now closed.
* "'Harpers Ferry
* The House of Suffering Succotash (HOSS) - Raging house venue in Boston's Brighton neighborhood that provided a home for hardcore and way beyond. [closed]
* "'The ICC (International Community Church)
* "'Johnny D's
* Karma Club - [closed]
* The Kells Basement - on Brighton Ave in Allston
* The Library - [closed]
* The Middle East - Located in Central Square Cambridge they have two venues "Middle East upstairs" a smaller venue and "Middle East Downstairs" a larger venue.
* O'Briens Pub
* The Paradise - not to be confused with the gay bar in Central Square (Cambridge), this venue is on Comm. Ave. in Boston, and -- like Axis -- is also a dance club.
* The Rat - [closed] Located in Kenmore Square. In the basement was a bar where the music was loud and the sweating concrete floors were always sticky and smelled of stale beer. The bathrooms were quite often frankly terrifying to those that needed to actually use them for purposes more in-depth than re-applying eyeliner (for perspective, The Rat has most often been compared to CBGBs). Many bands got their start at the Rat and it had one of the best jukeboxes in Boston. If a band did not play there they would wind up there for beers later. The club flooded in 1997 during torrential rains and was closed soon after.
* Reflections
* "'Romans (Tigers Den)
* The Roxy
* St. Jean's Church -- hosted by Seth Putnam, and the venue itself later made infamous by defrocked priest Paul Shanley.
* TT The Bears
* YWCA - The basement. 1982 Freeze, COC, 6ft Under. Skinheads showed up and the security detail left.

ee also

*Music of Massachusetts
*Hardcore punk
*Boston Beatdown
*Jonathan Anastas
*hardcore dancingScraphouse: April 2007 - July 2007 (aka Cuntree Club) No longer !


External links


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