Thursday, September 20, 2007

four corners refuses to get on the go-go train

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.


Anonymous said...

You have got to be kidding me if you think go-go clubs can be "boon to the community". Such nonsense hardly warrants a response so I'll stop right here.

Silver Springer said...

Great article Dan, you're totally right. I thought this was open, progressive, liberal area with a worldly view?

I wonder if the same complaints would have been made if it was Latin/Salsa night, Chinese dance, or a Folk music festival at the Boys and Girls club.

Anonymous said...

Don't be absurd. Do you honestly believe a Chinese dance or a folk music festival would result in "hundreds of teens congregating, litter, traffic and an increased police presence due to fighting, loitering and illegal parking"?

I'm sure that as someone so much more enlightened than everyone in this neighborhood, you would welcome with open arms go-go parties hosted across the street from your house.

Anonymous said...

To Silver Springer - you must be a total idiot if you think Chinese dances, folk dances, boys and girls club events and latin/salsa nights are on par with the violent go-go scene. Our community's opposition to the go-go scene is for all of the reasons that you want to ignore...drugs, violence, disorderly conduct, noise. Are these not valid reasons in your liberal progressive world to oppose something?

Yeah, it's true, most of the patrons of the go-go scene are black. But that's not my problem.

Silver Springer said...

I’m sure those “bad teenagers” are more mature and less ignorant than the posters here.

The South Four Corners Citizens Association actually finds the Boys and Girls Club of Silver Spring threatening, how horrendous and selfish!

People gather all over Montgomery County, at festivals, churches, Ellsworth drive, day labor centers, Bethesda row, you name it. Why is it a problem now?

Last time I checked Silver Spring was culturally diverse. Let’s extend the same “warm welcome” to other groups as well?

Running around scared like a chicken with its head chopped off because of a group who’s job is “Inspiring and enabling all young people to realize their full potential as productive, responsible, and caring citizens.” Is just plain sad. It just means there are already preconceived notions about something they really know nothing about.

The South Four Corners Citizens Association argument is weak. They’re basing all of this on “noise”? Noise like the Silver Spring Jazz Festival?

Noise is going to be part of life especially next to a major city and a large dense downtown like Silver Spring, if not Poolesville is available.

The idea that teenagers (who want to better themselves) gathering to listen to Go-Go music on an occasion should be embraced by this community.

I often say we’re even lucky to have such a cultural bastion like Go-Go, no other major city in the country can claim such a unique genre of music.

Go-Go shouldn’t be a scapegoat for violent crime, perhaps latin music and latinos should be a scapegoat for the crime happening in Adams Morgan?

The attack on teenagers gathering in this area is getting out of control; there is no law in Silver Spring designating this area for 40 and over. I do not know what you expect them to do. Like anybody whether age 5 or 55; take away they’re options and then you will have something to worry about.

All I can say is that I’m disappointed, especially in an area that claims to be full of democratic liberals and culturally accepting. I guess there is a threshold for everything but apparently it’s quite low.

Anonymous said...

I think some good old fashion country music would straighten out these kids, and if Hank Williams hadn't OD'd on morphine... If these shows do bring noise, drugs, and violence, then it's contained in one spot instead of spread all over the county. Having all the trouble in one place makes a cops job much easier, like "1 stop shopping".

Anonymous said...

Give me a break. These people are opposing the concerts because the people who go to them are disturbing the peace in their neighborhood. Do you understand that? These things are actually happening. It isn't that people are opposed to these events on principle. They are having their quality of life negatively affected in practice. Perhaps you haven't been there, but the Boys Club is in the middle of a suburban neighborhood, not an urban area like where the Jazz Festival is held. It is the damn kids' fault because a lot of them have no respect for the people in the neighborhood, not the other way around. They are littering, yelling, fighting, etc. Did you even read the article? You dismiss any notion that they are at fault, and that this is all a matter of some ageist/racist paranoia. If these kids are so sweet and innocent and "mature", why is it necessary to have police presence? Seriously, reading some of these comments makes my head hurt.

Anonymous said...

These kids have to have a place to dis-respect & litter, and once the "Green" is replaced by the ice rink it will be too dangerous for them to hang out in downtown Silver Spring. Have you ever hit a Chick Filet wraper on ice skates?

Anonymous said...

It seems Silver Springer just can't accept the fact that citizens are fed up with the deteriorating quality of life in our community. My hat is off to those truly courageous ones who are saying "no" to such things as go-go clubs even though they subject themselves to the playing of the race/age card by people like Silver Springer. And thank goodness go-go is a no-go in our community!!!!

Christopher Chambers said...

Go go's beat and signature's present in a lot of top selling songs by bands like Maroon 5 to million selling rappers.

Plus Chuck Brown now does the Dog Whisperer theme song on National Geographic Channel... ;-)

Christopher Chambers said...

Oh and Will S, by the way, I've literally grown up with go go and I don't think I'd be inclined to jack your car, rape your white wife/daughter, smack you in your head and take your ATM card. Where they are problems, there is usually a class/crime issue already. And guess what, there are usually no problems at a run of the mill Junkyard Band, Trouble Funk, etc. concert. I saw 4000 people in tuxes and ball gown dance to Chuck Brown at Adrian Fenty's inaugural ball (including Fenty himself). the white folks there looked safe and happy, and the quality of life in the Convention Center wasn't compromised.

Droves of teens in general are going to cause problems. If they are teens with some modicum of home training, and there's no booze etc in the mix, you might have a more peaceful evening. Or maybe I guess if the community wants to draw line, fine. But Lord don't San Fran five years ago an old Chinese lady ran down twenty street fair-goers during such Chinese dance exhibitions on the street stage. Stuff happens...

Anonymous said...

Chuck Brown attracts a WPGC crowd. They're not all bad but they don't quite fit in a quiet suburban neighborhood that is a mix of white, hispanic and asian immigrants. This type crowd would be much better at the new LiveNation in Downtown Silver Spring or some other more urban venue. Not in the middle of a subdivision and public park

chippy said...

I find this funny being that the Silver Spring Boys Club was the first venue that Led Zeppelin played in the US. I wonder how the neighborhood reacted that night back in 1969 or 70 with all those long hairs runnin around four corners.

Sligo said...

Um, say what?

Led Zeppelin's first US performance was at the show was at the Denver Auditorium on December 26, 1968. I seriously doubt that they were ever booked at the Silver Spring Boys Club or any venue of comparable size.

chippy said...

I saw that Denver date on Wikipedia too, but I had read this in an an article in the Post several years back (when their DVD box set had come out)and then heard Weasel on 94.7 say this numerous times that Led Zeppelin had been booked in there way back when.

I'll trust Weasel over Wikipedia any day.

Sligo said...

Wikipedia and every other source. The idea of Led Zep playing at the boys club is both humorous and absurd. Sounds like an urban legend to me.

Anonymous said...

I wanted to mention that just up Wayne Ave. is an unused resource that provided a wide range of music and other programming for residents of Silver Spring and Montgomery County. Of course I'm referring to what we now call "The Old Blair Auditorium" tho many might remember it as the Stickley Auditorium - part of the original Blair High School.

A group of residents have been working for years to find funding to renovate the facility. And while some progress is being made, I wanted to point folks to an event THIS SATURDAY, the 29th at the new Blair - the Rock for Renovation Concert!

Two CAP (Communication Arts Program) students at Blair - Andrew Joseph and Eric Merchant - have put together a great fundraiser to help the project. The event runs from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. in the auditorium and includes Derek James, The Fighting Janes, Neil Foley (a renowned Irish Fiddler from Silver Spring) and Blair's own InToneNation Choral Group.

Tickets are $20.00 for adults, $5.00 for students. You can buy online at or at the door.


Dave Ottalini
OBA Project

mmafan said...

Silver Springer wrote:

"The attack on teenagers gathering in this area is getting out of control; there is no law in Silver Spring designating this area for 40 and over. I do not know what you expect them to do. Like anybody whether age 5 or 55; take away they’re options and then you will have something to worry about.

All I can say is that I’m disappointed, especially in an area that claims to be full of democratic liberals and culturally accepting. I guess there is a threshold for everything but apparently it’s quite low"

Maybe if the teens acted like decent human beings in public, then maybe no one will "attack" them as you say. No one is saying teens can't come to DTSS, but if they can't act in a civil way, then yes, by all means stay home and don't ruin a night out for the rest of us.

Just because an area is liberal and accepting, does that also mean we have to accept unruly and uncivil behavior. I think not.

As for Go Go, I say no way. You think the crime problems are bad now?

Silver Springer said...

To all the people who feel ignorance is bliss. I would like to see them at the next Silver Spring advisory board meeting with the same exact comments expressed.

It's easy to hide behind your computer but I'm sure you'll find that your comments won't make sense in the real world.

Anonymous said...

So I get it, Silver Springer..No one's comments have any validity unless they mirror yours, correct? Oh, and I'm not afraid to share my comments at a meeting or any other public face to face forum.

Silver Springer said...

Know how to be convincing. Show me significant, valid facts to back up your statements instead of what you've "heard" and your narrow minded predjudices that make you jump to ridiculous conclusions.

I would love to see Mr/Ms Anonymous (LOL) at the next meeting. I think that says it all.

Anonymous said...

Silver Springer has agreed to host a go-go party for teenagers at his place. There should be no problems, because, as he stated earlier, they are more mature than South Four Corners homeowners.

Anonymous said...

I wish Silver Springer would give us all a break and stop trying to rationalize the irrational. A go-go venue in a residential neighborhood...please!!!

Anonymous hit the nail right on the head. If you dare to disagree with Silver Springer, no matter how valid your reasoning, you are called names like ignorant, narrow-minded and prejudiced. Perhaps Silver Springer should look in the mirror and ask himself which of these apply to him. Perhaps all of the above???

Silver Springer said...

If anyone started name calling it was towards me at the beginning of this comment section.

And it doesn't help to be the same person posting under different aliases.

Again saying "A go-go venue in a residential neighborhood...please." Do you even know where the place is? It backs the beltway lol.

And that statement is just an indication of how little you know about Go-Go and what the "boogie man" has told you.

So I've told you where to go (in real life) so I'm done here.

You keep name calling and saying the same thing over and over again.

Arguing with Anonymous posters on the internet is almost like arguing with an imaginary being.

Anonymous said...

I know exactly where the Boys/Girls club kids have played basketball there for years.
So no need to imply that I'm ignorant as to the location of the B/G club.

And I love your implication that the same person is making all of these posts. Accept the fact that you are in the fringe minority (I'm not saying you are a minority so please no race card playing) on this issue.

Silver Springer said...

Once again, Anonymous.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous perhaps...but I'm not on the fringe and I know where the Boys/Girls club is located. You clearly don't if you think it's in a non-residental neighborhood. Here's a little advice for Silver the neighborhood and learn the area before you post to this site again.

Anonymous said...

I hope we've finally heard the last of Silver Springer. I never thought to question whether he had a clue about where the boy's and girl's club is located. He's just another one of those devisive, not so subtle race-card playing types that have no concern for anybody but himself. What a pisser that we have chumps like this in our neighborhood.

Silver Springer said...

IS name calling the best we can do wills? I'm not going to roll in the mud with you.

Try actually listening to Go-Go sometimes, alot of old school and recent Go-Go have a positive, non-offensive Language to them.

Anonymous said...

Name calling? You need to stop calling me ignorant of go-go. Believe it or not, I've "actually listened" to go-go music (and like some of it).

I have a couple recommendations for Silver Springer. Step 1 - get in your car and familiarize yourself with the location of the SS Boys/Girls Club. Step 2 - couple that new found geography knowledge with your vast knowledge of the go-go scene. Then and only then will you understand why we want no part of a go-go venue in the neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I am first time viewer, and I must admit, this is exciting! I have read alot of the post and there are alot of great point of views. From a music standpoint, there are alot of different bands that attract different followers. THERE IS A BAND CALLED MAMBO SAUSE, that has a hybrid mixes of alot of different music; GO-GO, hip-hop, rock, reggae, and many more. They are setting the pace for a different view on Go-Go and music coming out of this area. I think that Mambo Sause are one of the many consious bands that have come up now. Yeah, you have your older go-go liseners, that follow the God father. But then you also have those types of bands like MAMBO SAUCE, that are paving the way using the music, but also having a message following. I haven't been to one Mambo Sause performance and encounterd or promoted ANY violence. This is the type of Go-Go band that we need to use a door opener to all of those closed doors. Peace Lex Boogie.