But now I see and know what is going on tonight. We’re keeping it low-key and heading up to Atomic Books for a reading of one of our old favorites, Dance of Days by Mark Andersen and Mark Jenkins. The Chop can clearly remember when the first edition was published by Soft Skull Press back in 2001, and our first introduction to the book was Andersen reading from it and making a very touching, personal speech about what DC punk has meant to him, and what it can mean to all of us. The tone was even more bittersweet, coming as it did during the last show at the Wilson Center.
Since then, Andersen has become the DC scene’s pre-eminent self-appointed historian, continuing to document the scene’s happenings and researching and cataloging the ‘salad days’, continuing to update the book with a Whitman-esque passion, in addition to his work writing for the Washington Post and Time Out New York, among others. He’s also a founding organizer of Positive Force DC and is the director of the We Are Family Group, which does settlement work in DC. Our hat is certainly off to anyone who can keep himself that busy, and effect so much positive change in his own community.
The new third edition of Dance of Days includes a new introduction and a whole new chapter, as well as other updates on DC bands such as Crispus Attucks, Scene Creamers, and the permanent hiatus of Fugazi.
Andersen will be reading from the book and signing copies alongside Baltimore’s own Sab Grey, frontman of the seminal skinhead band Iron Cross, and author of two novels, including Hated and Proud, from which he’ll be reading tonight.