When I moved to Georgia, one of the big promises I made to myself is that I would stop driving to shows hours away all by myself. When living in York, I’d always borrow my mom’s car and hop to Philly and Baltimore or lesser boros like Lancaster and Harrisburg. Almost always by myself and almost always just dragging ass on the return drive home so I wouldn’t miss classes at 8:00am the next morning.
However, the more memorable drives I’d make were to shows in DC. Always. I lucked out and would always get tips on shows at the Wilson Center, DC Space and 9:30 Club. My energy level far exceeded any rational person’s and well, I went routinely. As in once per week. For years it was like that. No joke.
Thanks to time and/or gentrification (or both), trying to explain how dangerous some of these neighborhoods were is next to impossible. But the parties at the house called The Embassy? Well, those still stand out as the shows that I still really can’t explain. Not only was the neighborhood just absolutely 100% life-threatening (reminding me of the neighborhood at LA’s Jabberjaw) but it also served as the club house for Nation of Ulysses. Yeah.
The shows I saw at the Embassy were just ridiculous. Part of this was because I didn’t know anybody at the shows. I’d just lurk in the corner, drink beer outside or just sit in the car. There was always tons of free time and well, this was pre-cell phones so texting friends or playing Angry Birds would hafta wait twenty years. But let’s face it, house shows are always legendary, right? No real PA. No real stage. No real anything if you think about it. And well, watching bands perform amidst that sort of limitation was something I’d relish as I moved to Athens.
The Embassy Tapes isn’t a collection of live performances at the house, but rather a collection of recordings that were made by all the usual suspects of early 90’s DC. Circus Lupus, Bratmobile and a myriad of Ulysses side project bands. I purchased this copy via Simple Machines the week it came out and have made countless copies of it over the years.
As time progressed, I became friends with Tim Green (later of the Fucking Champs). Not only was he in Ulysses, but (I’m guessing) he recorded a good chunk of the material on this tape and released the tape out of his bedroom. When asked why he’s never made more copies of this, his response is that he got worried about how to pay everybody which is a pretty understandable concern. But man, what a great release all the same.
As a final aside, I can’t recollect which neighborhood The Embassy was in, but I do know that somebody from the DC scene now owns the house. Maybe somebody from The Apes or Faraquet owns it? Leave any info in the comments section.
Andycane – Embassy Tapes
Billy – Embassy Tapes
Circus Lupus – Embassy Tapes
Nation of Ulysses – Embassy Tapes
Nero – Embassy Tapes
Tim Green – Embassy Tapes
Wonder Twins – Embassy Tapes
Bratmobile 2 – Embassy Tapes
Bratmobile – Embassy Tapes
Steve Kroner – Embassy Tapes