Most Read

The Post MostMost-viewed stories, videos, and galleries in the past two hours

Post User Polls
Posted at 12:36 AM ET, 05/18/2012

Chuck Brown and music that defines a place

(Chuck Brown is photographed for the cover of the Washington Post Sunday Magazine in 2009. (MARVIN JOSEPH / THE WASHINGTON POST) )
“For me, the intensely local nature of go-go is a reminder that Washington is an actual place, not a political abstraction.”

— Eugene Robinson

With Chuck Brown’s passing, Washington feels less like Washington. As columnist Eugene Robinson explains to the uninitiated, go-go legend Chuck Brown didn’t just create a genre of music, he managed to create music tied to a place.

That ability to make lasting associations between places and music certainly isn’t unique to the “Godfather of go-go.” There are obviously other musicians whose sounds have come to define the streets and neighborhoods where their music is played.

You say “Springsteen,” I think “Jersey.”

A Nirvana song comes on and Seattle’s wet and flanneled streets come to mind.


© 2011 The Washington Post Company