I am a nostalgic beast, by nature: a personality-flaw that doubtless tests my wife's infinite patience. Nevertheless, upon arriving back home after some 14 years away, I had a shopping-list of Sacred Places to visit...to re-visit.
Somewhere amongst the top five places on the list was the site of DC Space: For me, it was a homey, comfortable spot for live music and artistic strangeness: too small to hold crowds for more popular bands, it seemed comfortable with the freaks of the underground. From the annual Noise Fest shows to the I AM EYE indie film gatherings, DC Space was a seeping well of creative ooze.
My first public performance was there, as part of Positive Force's radical poetry event: my bit involved spontaneous word association shouted over backing tapes of crying babies, howling wolves, smashing glass, etc... Later, as part of the noise-music trio Pythagoras, we played there with Lida Husik (pre-ShimmyDisk) and freaked out more than a few "medicated" members of the crowd. Tomas Squip (of Beefeater & Fidelity Jones fame) had photographed my (then) wife and I in the studio upstairs for the "State of the Union" compilation on Dischord Records... all great memories, all feeding into that Nostalgia Lobe for future milking.
Fast-forward to 2005. I had to see the remains, after all that time. I knew DC Space had closed long ago, but I didn't quite expect to see the ultimate symbol of the American Corporate Virus, sitting there, gloating at me... Starbucks?!?!? Sure, I've had my share of Venti Cafe Americanos, but my god, this is adding quite the insult to a nostalgic injury.
Perhaps there's a lesson here. There's always a lesson, isn't there?