News & Politics

New Documentaries About DC Punk and WHFS Are on the Way

A pair of long-gestating documentaries about the rich history of Washington’s home-grown music scene are finally on the way.

Punk the Capital

What it’s about: The formative years of DC punk, from 1976 through 1983.

Backstory: In the works for about 15 years, the film premiered at two screenings in late June after the directors crowd-sourced enough money to finish it.

What’s in it: Filmmakers Paul Bishow, Sam Lavine, and James June Schneider did around 100 interviews and scanned through hours of Super-8 film, including unseen performances by Bad Brains, Teen Idles, and the Slickee Boys. Early footage of concerts at the original Madam’s Organ are a highlight, says Schneider.

How you can watch: Look for it in theaters this fall and on streaming services next year.

Feast Your Ears

What it’s about: The early era of local radio station WHFS, back when it was a freeform progressive staple in Bethesda.

Backstory: When he was 17, Feast Your Ears director Jay Schlossberg had a summer job at the station. He started the doc in 2014 after realizing that its story hadn’t really been told.

Who’s in it: A host of familiar voices from the past, including DJs Jonathan “Weasel” Gilbert, Cerphe Colwell, and Damian Ein­stein. There are also interviews with musicians such as Emmylou Harris and Roger McGuinn.

How you can watch: Schlossberg hopes to have a local premiere by the end of this year.

This article appears in the August 2019 issue of Washingtonian.

Kalina Newman
Editorial Fellow

Kalina Newman is an editorial fellow for Washingtonian. Previously, she covered metro news for the Boston Globe. Her work has appeared in ARLnow, DCist, and the Washington City Paper. Kalina graduated from Boston University in 2019 with a degree in journalism.