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SCREAM Reunion Moves Up to the Main Stage (Also, How a Little Band from DC Caused a Great Rock Chain Reaction)

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Well, that’s a good call. After quickly selling out The Black Cat‘s backstage, a one-off reunion from old school Dischord harDCore act Scream has officially been moved upstairs — a space that’s, oh I dunno, about ten times larger. They’re going to need it. Not only do Scream’s records remain in print (and hold up pretty well) 20 years after their break-up, but the band is at the center of a truly weird rock and roll butterfly effect.

Scream’s original line-up – the Stahl brothers, Franz and Pete, Skeeter Thompson and Kent Stax — launched in 1981 and, along with Void, were the first band to hail from the suburbs rather than the District proper. More rock oriented than some of the more breakneck tempo bands in the scene, they still boasted a strong punk pedigree — their first two records, Still Screaming and This Side Up, were produced by Ian MacKaye (Minor Threat/Fugazi) and Dr. Know (Bad Brains).

1989-3-9-232But here’s were things get thing weird. Outside of the DC punk scene, Scream has earned a place in the rock canon — albeit as a footnote — for being the favorite band of a teen-aged Dave Grohl, who later dropped out of high school to replace Stax on the drums. Two years later in 1990, after the Stahls quit on the band as well and relocated to LA, Grohl moved to Seattle, hung around with The Melvins and wound up as the new drummer of a fledgling local band, Nirvana. The rest, as they say, is history.

Meanwhile in Southern California, Peter Stahl co-founded a new act, Earthlings?, that would frequently collaborate with Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age — an act that would eventually recruit Grohl back to the drums for Songs for the Deaf in 2002. Then, just this year, Homme and Grohl joined Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones to form the widely praised supergroup Them Crooked Vultures.

To top it all off, Grohl is now a co-owner of The Black Cat, the very club where the Scream reunion is being held (and a multimillionaire to boot).

scream-1So, no Scream? Dave Grohl never joins Nirvana. No “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” no millions of records sold. (Kurt Cobain lives?) No royalty checks, no Black Cat. Probably no Foo Fighters — who Franz Stahl spent a stint with as well) either or Them Crooked Vultures for that matter.

Bizarre, no? But not a bad legacy for four guys from Bailey’s Crossroads (even if it does give me a nosebleed just thinking about it).

Scream reunites at The Black Cat on Sun. Dec. 20. The show is no longer sold out and tickets are $12 (get them here). Rustbukit and Dystkra open starting at 8 pm. Bring an unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots.

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