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PHOTOS: This New Book About DC’s Punk Scene Highlights Women’s Voices

Antonia Tricarico's "Frame of Mind" ponders the role of community in music.
PHOTOS: This New Book About DC’s Punk Scene Highlights Women’s Voices
Ex Hex, 9:30 Club, 2015. All photographs by Antonia Tricarico, courtesy Akashic Books.

There’s no shortage of visual documentation of Washington’s punk scene over the years, but Frame of Mind: Punk Photos and Essays from Washington, DC, and Beyond, 1997–2017, a new book out next week by the photographer Antonia Tricarico, evokes a lot more than memories of sweaty nights at Fort Reno. There are photos of those occasions (and they’re uniformly great) but in an introductory essay, Tricarico writes that “since the majority of the writing in music books has been done by men, I wanted to highlight the voices of women.” So Frame of Mind intersperses essays from artists including Allison Wolfe (Bratmobile, Cold Cold Hearts, Sex Stains), Amy Pickering (Fire Party), and Joan Jett among arresting photos of live shows and candid offstage moments.

Some essays come from artists not as closely associated with this region’s music scene, like Donita Sparks (L7) and Katherina Rijcken-Bornefeld (the Ex). Many of them nonetheless salute the way music can foster community, long a strong aspect of DC’s scene. “I’ll stay in the game as long as I have something to say and as long as women remain stifled and underrepresented in music,” Wolfe writes. “We are responsible for creating and actively participating in the culture and community we want to see.”

Tricarico will launch Frame of Mind at Lost Origins Gallery on Saturday, June 15, at 7 PM with a photo exhibition and book signing in collaboration with the Smithsonian Folklife Festival.

Dag Nasty, Black Cat, 2015.
Fugazi, Flood Zone, Richmond, 1998.
Chuck Brown, Smithsonian Folklife Festival, 2000.

The Apes, Fort Reno, 2001.
Coup Sauvage and the Snips, Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2017.
Ian Svenonius, Black Cat, 1998.
Allison Wolfe, Comet Ping Pong, 2016.
HR, Black Cat, 2016.
Priests, Black Cat, 2015.
The Make-Up, Black Cat, 2017.
Messthetics, Kennedy Center, 2017.

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Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute, TBD.com, and Washington City Paper. His book A Bigger Field Awaits Us: The Scottish Soccer Team That Fought the Great War was published in 2018. He lives in Del Ray.