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'Bad Brains: Band in DC'

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Reviewed by Josh Rosenblatt, Fri., March 16, 2012

SXSW Film

Bad Brains: Band in DC
24 Beats Per Second
D: Mandy Stein, Benjamen Logan

When I was growing up in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., in the 1990s, it was impossible to avoid Bad Brains. Even though they were long past the peak of their powers by that point, the band – formed in the late 1970s by four African-American teenagers from the city – was and is widely acknowledged as the godfather of D.C. hardcore, cranking up the speed and intensity of first-wave British punk and, in the process, giving birth to Minor Threat, Fugazi, and countless other bands, all while defying a whole host of racial and musical assumptions. Bad Brains: Band in DC follows the group on its most recent reunion tour, which is threatened as ever by its enigmatic, possibly schizophrenic madman/genius lead singer, H.R., who raised the art of post-Iggy Pop onstage energy to unimagined heights in the band's heyday but is now just as likely to antagonize an audience as lead it to ecstasy.


Friday, March 16, 9:15pm, Alamo Ritz; Saturday, March 17, 9:30pm, SXSatellite: Alamo Village

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