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News & Features » May 2013 » NYC Book Events for Hard Art, DC 1979!

NYC Book Events for Hard Art, DC 1979!

Following their sold out book launch for Hard Art, DC 1979 at Politics & Prose, Pulitzer Prize–winning photographer Lucian Perkins and DC musician Alec MacKaye are coming to New York City!

Hard Art

Wed., June 19, 7:00 p.m.
WORD Bookstore
126 Franklin St.
Featuring Lucian Perkins, Alec MacKaye, and special guests TBA! Cosponsored by Vol. 1 Brooklyn.

Thurs., June 20, 7:00 p.m.
St. Mark’s Bookshop
31 Third Ave.
Featuring Lucian Perkins, Alec MacKaye, and special guests TBA!

Hard Art, DC 1979 is a curated collection of photographs culled from four electrifying 1979 punk shows in Washington, DC. These images capture the cathartic, infectious energy present in any group of people who seek to change their communities through music and art.

For more information please visit the Hard Art, DC 1979 book page.

Listen to Lucian Perkins & Alec MacKaye talk about Hard Art on the Kojo Nnamdi Show here.


“Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Perkins’s images, taken during the fall and winter of 1979 document a formative period in Washington, DC’s then-nascent punk and hardcore rock scene . . . Photos capturing the raw magnetism of performers like Charlie Danbury of Trenchmouth and H.R. of Bad Brains signal the power of the music. . . . Musician MacKaye, of the Untouchables, gives a firsthand account of being a 14-year-old at these shows, crossing dangerous parts of DC in order to stand with strangers in derelict buildings and hear live music. Musician Rollins’s brief essay on one of the bands, the Teen Idles, speaks to the intensity and commitment of those involved.”
Publishers Weekly

“Hard Art…is another entry into the swollen literature of D.C. hardcore self-documentation. So the obvious question is, what can Perkins add to a subject? Two things: First, a very narrow and early focus. The photos document just four shows in 1979 and 1980…Second, it’s only half self-documentation. Perkins, a career Washington Post photographer who covered wars from Yugoslavia to Afghanistan, photographed this scene but was not of it. As intimate as they are, his pictures benefit from a certain distance that a curious outsider can lend to his subjects: anthropological though never exploitative…capturing all the energy of those shows without trying to explain it.”–Washington City Paper

“Many punk fans will purchase Hard Art for the novelty of seeing H.R. as he was before Bad Brains moved to New York and became legends, or Ian MacKaye as he was before he shaved his head, and formed Dischord Records, Minor Threat, and Fugazi. The book deserves a wider readership than that. Perkins’s skill as a portraitist is such that you can see the energy and potential in these young men’s faces even without the context of their future roles as icons. Equally worthwhile are the portraits of those who did not become icons, but participated in the shows.”–Philadelphia Review of Books

Posted: May 24, 2013

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