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Just a 10-minute drive from the White House, outside a Unitarian church, sounds of furious guitar chords and pounding drums escape from a concert – part of the Damaged City Fest, celebrating Washington's lesser-known status as the epicenter of hardcore punk.Known for its raw, frenetic sound and socially conscious lyrics, the genre still inspires fans and musicians today.Washington is not usually considered a rock music destination, overshadowed by New York just a few hours' drive away.Undaunted, a handful of local teens fascinated by punk started the first hardcore bands. Former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl, who grew up in the Washington suburbs, got his start with local hardcore band Scream.Because many of the Washington musicians and fans were young teens, they had to fight to negotiate all ages concerts.Washington's punk and hardcore fans show a distinct sense of responsibility and political activism, turning away from the nihilism often associated with the genre.
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