14. Washington D.C., USA

The USA’s capital city Washington D.C. is the place where American hardcore punk first truly flourished, and the careers of underground rock icons Ian MacKaye and Henry Rollins began.

After New York’s Ramones helped kickstart a D.I.Y. movement across America in the late 1970s, bands in and around D.C. were inspired, and many began to make music that was played at a frightening tempo.

The incomparable Bad Brains and the MacKaye led-Teen Idles and Minor Threat quickly became word-of-mouth sensations for their thrilling live shows, and the establishment of Inner Ear Studios by Don Zientara enabled many bands to record EPs and LPs to grow their audience further.

After Minor Threat ended, MacKaye would form the post-hardcore band Fugazi with Guy Picciotto from Rites Of Spring, and set up his independent record label Dischord to release their music and that of other like-minded bands in the vicinity.

Though the fervent hardcore scene would eventually peter out, D.C. continues to be an important center for independent rock, punk and other styles.

Associated acts: Bad Brains, The Teen Idles, State Of Alert, Minor Threat, Fugazi, Rites Of Spring, Pussy Galore, Void, Scream, The Nation of Ulysses, The Nighthawks, The Dismemberment Plan, Jawbox, Ted Leo And The Pharmacists, The Evens, The Clovers, Black Market Baby, Government Issue, Unrest

Landmarks: Inner Ear Studios, 9:30 Club