Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Remembering Robert

Once upon a time, many moons ago, near the end of the 1970s, the District of Columbia had its own Atlantis located in the aptly named Atlantic Building. It was an almost mythical place where artists and musicians alike sought shelter in our deserted downtown after dark.  Robert Goldstein was one of those early denizens, and he helped create the scene which evolved into the 9:30 Club we once knew on F Street.  His band, The Urban Verbs, practiced upstairs. Their haunting art rock sound grabbed this town as it edged towards punk; their shows were raw, and alive with energy.

This Saturday afternoon, scattered tribes of DC musicians and fans who admired unforgettable songs like "The Next Question" and "Subways" will come together for an extremely musical tribute and a celebration of Robert's life at the new to us 9:30 on V Street.

I talked to Roddy Franz, lead singer for the Verbs, this morning and he said, "What makes this event extraordinary is the outpouring of respect and affection from Robert's contemporaries who will be showing up to play his songs."

Franz was somewhat surprised at the volume of support because Robert was more of a behind the scenes kind of guy. As NPR's music librarian, he was responsible for the digitalization of the entire collection and sometimes selected the snippets of music between news stories. Although you may have never heard of Robert, the Atlantis or the Urban Verbs, this is the time and place to gather to discover and remember things past. All are welcome to this singular event.

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