Watch Salad Days
- 1 hr 30 min
Salad Days is a documentary film that takes a closer look at the punk rock scene in Washington, D.C. during the 1980s and the impact it had on the city's culture and music scene. The film features interviews with artists and musicians who were a part of the scene during its heyday, including Fred Armisen, Brendan Canty, and Dave Grohl.
Directed by Scott Crawford, Salad Days explores the DIY culture of the D.C. punk scene, which emerged in the early 1980s as a response to the commercialization of the mainstream music industry. Through interviews with musicians, writers, and fans, the film traces the history of the scene from its early days at venues like the 9:30 Club and the Wilson Center to its later years at the legendary punk house, Positive Force.
The film is divided into several chapters, each of which focuses on a specific aspect of the D.C. punk scene. These include the role of the community in supporting underground music, the emergence of new bands and genres, and the impact of the scene on national politics and activism.
One of the film's strengths is its use of archival footage and photographs, which provide a vivid and visceral sense of what the scene was like. As viewers watch bands like Minor Threat, Bad Brains, and Fugazi performing live, they are transported back to a time when punk rock was still a new and subversive form of music.
But Salad Days is more than just a nostalgia trip. The film also addresses the question of what made the D.C. scene so unique and influential. As several interviewees note, the scene was characterized by a sense of openness and inclusivity that drew people from all walks of life. This made it a powerful force for social change, as activists and musicians worked together to promote causes like vegetarianism, anti-racism, and feminism.
The film also explores the role of labels like Dischord Records, which played a crucial role in shaping the sound and direction of the D.C. scene. Established by Ian MacKaye and Jeff Nelson of Minor Threat, Dischord became a model for independent labels around the world, emphasizing a DIY ethos and a commitment to putting the needs of artists first.
Throughout the film, there is an emphasis on the DIY ethos that drove the D.C. scene, with its emphasis on creating a community of like-minded people who could support each other and create their own culture. As one interviewee notes, "if you wanted to see or hear something that wasn't out there, the best thing to do was to make it yourself."
Salad Days also explores the more problematic aspects of the scene, such as the issue of violence at shows and the tension between different factions within the scene. But even as it acknowledges these darker aspects, the film celebrates the scene's achievements and its lasting impact on music and culture.
Overall, Salad Days is a fascinating and illuminating look at a pivotal moment in the history of American music. Its mix of interviews, archival footage, and music creates a vivid and engaging portrait of the D.C. punk scene, while its emphasis on community and activism makes it a compelling exploration of the power of music to effect social change. Whether you're a seasoned punk fan or a newcomer to the scene, Salad Days is a must-see documentary that offers valuable insights into the history of punk rock and its enduring legacy.
Salad Days is a 2014 music movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 30 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.0 and a MetaScore of 72.