“It’s in my blood to be an impresario,” says Sasha Lord, the local live music producer. Her maternal grandfather was an opera singer and her grandmother a well-known radio personality in their native Russia. “Essentially, music saved their lives, because that’s how they were able to escape the war. They came to this country [in the 1930s] due to an invitation letter for him to be in the Don Cossack Choir.”
Lord’s latest endeavor is “Punk Latitudes,” part of the By the People Festival, produced by Septime Weber, the former Artistic Director of the Washington Ballet. The event features local punk musicians along with screenings of music videos from L.A.-based director Bradley Friedman, “including never-been-seen-before footage of the Sex Pistols and the Ramones.”
“The lineup is diverse and all ages,” she says. “and the artists are emerging to legendary.” They include D.C. bands Sneaks, Loud Boyz, and the Messthetics (featuring former members of Fugazi), plus a DJ set from local punk veteran Alec MacKaye. There will also be a panel discussion about punk-inspired art featuring Friedman and fellow visual artists Cynthia Connolly and Lely Constantinople.
“I’ve found that my best role is being a promoter and supporter of bands, in creating opportunities for artists,” Lord says. She happily plays the role of de facto ambassador for her hometown — which is not always an easy sell. “Especially during some [presidential] administrations — including the current administration — some bands don’t even want to come to D.C. Sometimes you have to take a band under your wing, to book them and show them just how great it is…. It’s such a warm community.”
Punk Latitudes is Sunday, June 24, at 5:30 p.m., at Dock 5 in Union Market, 1309 5th St. NE. Tickets are $35. Call 800-680-9095 or visit halcyonhouse.org/punk-latitudes.