ALSO IN THE GAZETTE: Controversial Ashton Meeting Place (which we discussed in June) goes back to Planning Board; David Fogel ouster upsets Silver Spring arts scene (which we reported yesterday).
Local favorites Jimmie's Chicken Shack play at Hometown Holidays in Rockville last May. (Not go-go, really, but still pertinent to the story below.)
As Montgomery County gears up to announce its latest plans for a concert hall in the old J.C. Penney building, a music venue of another sort is shutting its doors. The Gazette offers the disgustingly punny headline "'Go-go' a no-no" to describe how residents in South Four Corners forced the Silver Spring Boys and Girls Club to stop hosting go-go concerts.
The Washington, D.C. area has a limited history as a musical hotbed. We have a notable bluegrass/folk scene, largely in part to the fabled Birchmere. Hardcore punk and especially emo can trace their roots to D.C. in the early 1980's. And, of course, we have go-go - a melange of funk, swing, and anything in between made famous by Chuck Brown - which is unusual in that it's never really caught on anywhere else. I'm sure there are plenty of people even here who don't understand it.
so much more AFTER THE JUMP . . .
THOSE DAMN KIDS: Silver Spring's neighborhood associations are turning a deaf ear to the needs of local youth, particularly when it comes to music.
If I lived in the residential neighborhood where the Boys and Girls Club is located, I'd be pissed off if I had to put up with groups of noisy kids, strange cars parked on my street, and so on. This may not be an ideal location for a music venue. On the other hand, the possible Live Nation club on Colesville is a great location, but many people are still up in arms about it - if only because it won't feature the kind of music they want to hear.
That bias is the issue. Nonetheless, I'm still surprised by the South Four Corners Citizens' Association's demand for "more traditional Boys and Girls Club programming." What does that even mean? Aren't Boys and Girls Clubs supposed to give kids a place to spend their time, thus keeping them off The Streets? If it held shows for a genre of music that hadn't unfortunately found itself linked with violence, would the neighbors care as much? Of course not.
While Prince George's County attempted - and failed - to shut down several go-go clubs there earlier this year because they had become "magnets for violent crime," the events at the Boys and Girls Club hadn't spurred any major incidents save for a few fights, according to the MoCo police. If these go-go shows can give kids a place to make music and enjoy themselves, I say they can be a boon to the community.
The question, unfortunately, is whether the community will allow that to happen.