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Punk the Capital coming to Blu-ray and DVD on 6/12 US and 7/12 UK

Punk the Capital: Building a Sound Movement
A documentary tracing the birth of punk rock in Washington D.C. (1976-1983)
Featuring Bad Brains, Minor Threat, Void, Rites of Spring, and more, with interviews
from Henry Rollins, Ian MacKaye, H.R., Jello Biafra, Joe Keithley, and many others
Blu-ray and DVD to be released for US Record Store Day on June 12th via Passion River
and UK Record Store Day on July 12th via Wienerworld
Includes 50+ minutes of bonus shorts with Scream, Void, The Cramps, and The Slickee Boys


When punk rock erupted in Washington DC, it was a mighty convergence of powerful music, friendships, and clear minds. This film explores the incredible challenges that this subculture faced when it took root in the Nation’s Capital in the late 1970’s.
Punk the Capital situates DC punk within the larger narratives of rock n’ roll, working as a powerful multi-layered story for both fans and non-fans of punk rock. Featuring musicians such as Bad Brains, Henry Rollins, Ian MacKaye, and Jello Biafra, this film dives deep into the ideas and sounds from this transformative music scene which continues to be influential culturally and politically around the world.
Created by James June Schneider (co-director, editor), Paul Bishow (co-director), and Sam Lavine (associate producer, co-editor), Punk the Capital was theatrically released in the US last month and garnered rave reviews from the press and fans alike. Many of the screenings became special events, with Q&As with the directors and Pete Stahl of Scream, Chris Stover of Void, Nicky Thomas of Fire Party, curator / publisher Roger Gastman, and Hudley Flipside of Flipside fanzine, just to name a few.
Schneider states:
“The final version of our film that we’re releasing now is just the intense tip of the iceberg – our first cut was 7 hours long. In the end, we wound up focusing on the untold and improbable story of punk rock’s beginnings in Washington DC, that happened concurrently with cities across the western world. We took a lot of our extra material that otherwise might never have been seen and edited it together to make short films that will be in the bonus section on the DVD (and Blu-ray). One of the shorts focuses on the band Scream and their family connections to DC’s 1960’s legendary garage band scene.
As we roll the film out, we’ve been blown away by the positive response not just from fans of punk and DC punk who see and hear a lot of unseen material. We’ve also heard from a lot of people even up to 90 years old who don’t really like punk but who nonetheless love the film. We’re glad to see that Punk the Capital works on a lot of levels and are hoping that it will reach a broad audience since the DIY ideas highlighted in the film about the DC punk scene go well beyond the music.”
Punk the Capital will be released on Blu-ray and DVD in the US for Record Store Day on June 12th via Passion River and in the UK for Record Store Day on July 12th via Wienerworld. A portion of all DVDs and Blu Rays sold through Dischord Records will go to the DC based charity We Are Family.
As an added bonus, the discs contain 50+ minutes of short films from the archives of Punk the Capital:
  • Scream Meets The Hangmen: Featuring all of Scream including Dave Grohl
  • Void and Friends: A portrait of the cult hardcore band from the DC suburbs
  • The Seminal WGTB Concert: The legendary first punk concert for so many DC kids, The Cramps and total chaos
  • The Slickee Boys: Extra material on the band who got DC punk off the ground circa ’76
US Distributor – Passion River:
UK Distributor – Wienerworld:
James was born in Washington DC and was raised in the city’s mid-eighties punk and skate scenes. He has been making films since 1992, and beginning in 2001, video performing and projecting on city walls and buildings. His award-winning work has been screened at film festivals, museums, and spaces of all kinds around the world. Schneider’s filmography includes Blue is Beautiful with Dischord recording artists The Make-Up (1997) and the science-fiction feature The End of the Light Age (2007) starring Lou Castel. More recently, he directed The Band that Met the Sound Beneath (2012) with the Chilean punk band Panico and Young Oceans of Cinema, a portrait of France’s “ultimate outsider” filmmaker, Jean Epstein, which premiered at the 2012 edition of the Rotterdam International Film Festival. For more info, go to
Paul moved to Washington DC in the mid-70s. He has since made dozens of films, both feature length and short subject, mostly in Super-8 format. They range from the film essay Anarchy and Chaos Prelude, DC to Bad Brains (1979) to the feature fiction film It’s a Wonderful Horrible Life (2001). Many DC punk bands have appeared in his films as well as their members, separately, who at times play roles in the more ‘fictional’ of his works. Footage from his films has appeared in many a documentary including Don Lett’s Punk Attitude and Mandy Stein’s Bad Brains, Band in DC (2012). Paul was also a founding member of the I am Eye Film Forum which graced DC with an underground film series from 1982-1997.
Sam is from Washington, D.C. In the early 2000’s he joined the tYPE1 circle, a collective that performed in different configurations, including the Cornel West theory. In addition to playing drums, he soon after began making music videos for the group as well, which solidified an interest in documenting the music around him. Sam joined the Punk the Capital team in 2013, initially as co-editor and then as associate producer as the project progressed. Sam currently plays drums in Light Beams and works at Dischord Records.