We Got Power: Punk Rock Films by David Markey


THE SLOG MOVIE (1982) / super 8mm / 50:58 mins) Dave Markey was 17 when he started to document the early 1980s hardcore music scene in Los Angeles with his fanzine We Got Power and this film, which commenced in the summer of ’81. The film would become a reflection of what it was like to live within its walls from the inside out. Filmed before the advent of videotape, Markey used what little money he had to buy Super 8mm cartridges to film local acts when not playing drums for his own band, Sin 34. Interviews, incredible live performances, and humorous interludes with Circle One, Symbol 6, Wasted Youth, Red Cross, TSOL, The Cheifs, Sin 34, Fear, Circle Jerks, and Black Flag.

(THIS IS KNOWN AS) THE BLUES SCALE (2004) / super 8mm / 40:00 mins
Using additional concert footage and outtakes accumulated while on tour in 1991 with Sonic Youth and Nirvana, Markey cut a 40 minute sister sequel to his seminal tour film 1991: The Year Punk Broke. During one of Kurt Cobain’s lead guitar solos, the frontman can be heard yelling into Markey’s Super-8 camera that “…this is known as the blues scale.” Both films casually capture the roots and meaning of grunge but only Blues contains Nirvana and Sonic Youth footage exclusively. The film highlights performance but also seems to linger on behind the scenes moments which visually argue the question “what’s more important the performance or the performer?” Indeed Markey’s own roots in the early 1980’s hardcore inform how and why both films remain an important record of a scene that few had access to at the time. FILMMAKER IN ATTENDANCE!

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