DC Music : a chat with Hemlines

hemlines_2The best part of living in Washington, DC is the thriving music scene. Recently it’s been the subject of new documentaries and articles. For me growing up it was always about keeping the punk and hardcore scene alive.  Enter my new discovery, Hemlines.

When I heard about a new feminist punk band called Hemlines, I had to check them out and see what the scene was like after years of living in different cities. It’s great to know that punk is still living and breathing contrary to what others might think. After many snow delays and I finally got a chance to see them at the Black Cat downtown (which was an awesome show), take some photos and find out more about the band and just what advice they have for the future generation.

How did Hemlines come together, do you have any vivid memories of any specific or favorite shows you’ve played?

Dana: A mutual friend introduced Katie & I because we both wanted to start a feminist punk band. Katie was a bassist, but she wanted to play guitar and scream things. I’m a violinist, but I decided I wanted to place bass. We started writing songs and found Julie, our drummer, online. We tried to hire a girl guitarist but Ian was really persistent.

My favorite show was when we played for a bunch of preteen girls at the Girls Rock! summer camp. They were punk as f***

Katie: The DC Public Library’s show for the opening of its punk archive was an amazing experience. It was our third show and the biggest crowd we had ever played for at that point. At the end of the show, Ian’s guitar input jack fell apart — for our last song, he sat on the edge of the stage and Amanda MacKaye held the his guitar together while he played. So, so, so cool. And the guitar made some excellent, spooky feedback that we’ve never been able to replicate.

What is best aspect of the local music scene in DC?

Julie: A sense of community and support. (Ditto from Dana & Katie.)


Who would be on your dream tour? (name 4 other bands you would like to play with)

Julie: Throwing Muses or any Kristin Hersh project, Patti Smith, Free Kitten, Sharon Van Etten

Katie: But also Screaming Females, duhhhhh. Downtown Boys.

Dana: Savages. Alison Mosshart forever. I’m also a big fan of Alcoholic Faith Mission and Holograms.


What advice would you give to young girls who have always dreamed of starting a band?

Julie: Check to see if there is a Girls Rock! camp in or near your town, and do everything you can to attend. They are non-profit and open to all regardless of ability to pay. This is a great way to start if you don’t have the right support at home or the resources to buy or rent an instrument to try it out, and it’s a great place to meet other people you might want to play with. They will teach you enough to get started and most definitely empower you to try: http://girlsrockcampalliance.org/591-2/grca-world-map/

Katie: Just do it! Don’t feel like you have to be really accomplished at an instrument or like you have to have all the “right” instruments/members. Just make some noise with what you have, and don’t be afraid to be different from other music you hear.

Describe what’s next for you.

We are playing a bunch of shows with our favorite bands in April & May—including with the Max Levine Ensemble on April 12 and with Puff Pieces on May 5. In early June, we’re going to be recording our new EP. And after that we will continue plotting our feminist punk world takeover, hopefully while going on tour.

Of course since I’m a nostalgia junkie, who were some influential figures in your teenage years? Why?

Katie: Joan Jett was my first exposure to a powerful woman in rock music who subverted the norms of gender and femininity. I later got into riot grrrl and found out that she had been a major supporter of that movement, and it was like she was showing up as my hero over and over again.

Dana: Ghost World, the comic & the movie, made me realize that maybe it was cool to be a total loser.

Buy their EP on Bandcamp and like them on Facebook!


Mixtape: Off-Track March 2015

Fashion Grunge | Off-Track March 2015 by Fashiongrunge on Mixcloud

Not to fear. It’s been two months but I’m back with an all-new mixtape. This one is 90 minutes, a bit of a bonus since I was absent from the music scene for so long. As always I hope you enjoy my intros and learn a bit more about what is currently on my rotation.


The Movielife- Spanaway
Rainbow Blanket- Out the Back
Carl Barat and the Jackals- Glory Days
Meat Puppets- Backwater
The Vaccines- A Lack of Understanding
Underoath- Young and Aspiring
Northstar- Pollyanna
Live- Lightning Crashes
Garbage- Queer
METZ-Negative Space
Thursday- Autobiography of A Nation
Malfunkshun-Jezebel Woman
R.E.M.- Turn You Inside Out
Sleater-Kinney- Hot Rock
Boys Night Out- (Just Once) Let’s Do Something
Love Battery- Damaged
Braid- Killing a Camera
Mother Love Bone- Chloe Dancer_Crown of Thorns
Japanadroids- The House That Heaven Built
Hammerbox- When 3 is 2
The 1975- Medicine

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Style File: Jemina Pearl

tumblr_lt99t1rPcu1qh4bmwo1_500I’m so obsessed with girl fronted bands. Much like the unicorn, they are reveled as such forces of nature especially in such a male dominated world. Which brings me to Jemina Pearl, formerly of the garage punk band Be Your Own Pet out of Nashville. They broke up a few years ago and its one band that I regret not seeing before they split. For a brief while she played in Ultras S/C which I’m also a fan of, but basically she has the sickest style. Now she’s working on some solo projects but for now lets take some visual and sound inspo from this “pearl” of garage style wisdom.








credits: tumblr | google


Mixtape: Off-Track December 2014

Fashion Grunge | Off-Track December 2014 by Fashiongrunge on Mixcloud

I know, you hate me for taking so long to do the new mixtape. Not to worry, I will have the January one in a jiffy at the start of the month. Enjoy this latest compilation that I burned from my prized cd collection. A true episode of cd nostalgia.


Noise Addict- Pop Queen
Hard-Fi- Move on Now
Talking Heads- Once in a Lifetime
Hot Rod Circuit- 6-8
Bear vs. Shark- 5,6 Kids
The Stone Roses- This is the One
The Killers- When You Were Young
From First to Last- The Latest Plague
Razorlight- In the Morning
The Receiving End Of Sirens- Then I Defy You Stars…
American Football- The Summer Ends
Say Anything- But a Fleeting Illness
Planes Mistaken For Stars- Division
Foo Fighters- Monkey Wrench
Name Taken- Cover Up
BUSH- Everything Zen
Fenix Tx- katie w.
Senses Fail- Free Fall Without a Parachute
Right Away Great Captain-S/T


Mixtape: Off-Track November 2014

Fashion Grunge | Off-Track November 2014 by Fashiongrunge on Mixcloud

I decided to do something a little different for the mixtape series. It’s always nice to switch things up, so because I’m so camera shy I thought I would speak to all of you through the music.  So, each month I’ll keep up the series and give you a little bit more of an insight into why I chose each song. The series I’ve entitled, “Off Track” as a nod to the changes happening in my life just now. Enjoy!


Jack White- Black Bat Licorice
Smashing Pumpkins- La Dolly Vita
Jack Kilmer- TM
Manchester Orchestra- I Can Barely Breathe
Crescendo- Call Cards
Pavement- Here
Nirvana – On a Plain [Live at Reading]
Brand New- Limousine
The 1975- Sex
Embrace- Dance of Days
New Ivory- A Knight
New Radicals- I Hope I Didn’t Just Give Away the Ending
Babyshambles- Sequel to the Prequel
Stone Temple Pilots- Plush (Acoustic)

Email me suggestions/feedback: offtrack@fashiongrunge.com


Tuneage Tuesday : Ryan Adams

d1a78a34319c36f97a75f751c1474f47So I have a long appreciation for Ryan Adams. I first discovered his music when I was in college and going through one of “those” moments. You know the deep introspective  times when you’re just trying make it through the rainy day laying on your dorm bed.

Over the years he’s put out14 studio albums, with each one being just as beautiful and diverse as the next.  From alt-country, folk, and even a punk and metal concept record, his imprint remains on each genre.  Just last month he released his new self titled album to good reviews yet again.

In the 2000s he was known as a bit of a rebellious personality, often being unpredictable when it comes to live shows and other events. Through that he’s more known now for being married to Mandy Moore, but to me he’s another one of my favorite and truly honest singer-songwriters.








images via tumblr




The New Class: Swim Deep


This post is a little bit of a departure from the usual, but what would it be without a little change. Swim Deep is a group from Birmingham, UK formed in 2010 with an indie pop sound and a nod to early 90s style. While their music is not typically what one would identify as the “grunge” sound, it’s clear that they were influenced by the style. I have their song “King City” on one of my Spotify playlists for late night dreaming. So, this post I thought would be good to appreciate the grunge style of the past that really transcends many musical genres even today.











images via pinterest | tumblr