Michael Lavine

Fresh out of Evergreen State College in the early ’80s, photographer Michael Lavine shot documentary portraits of U District proto-punks, some barely able to shave, who haunted the Ave. It’s no insult to say those photos didn’t make him famous, because it was as a studio photographer that he later gained national recognition. Ironically, during the height of our grunge explosion, Lavine moved to New York; there his loft served as a Sup Pop branch office for Nirvana, Soundgarden, and Mudhoney (among others) when they came to play. Now he’s collected those images in Grunge (Abrams, $24.95), with iconic portraits of Kurt Cobain and company. (Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth wrote the intro.) Tonight’s launch party, with performances by Mudhoney and members of Tad, is all about the music. But more interesting, because they’re less familiar, are those anonymous street teens yearning for a new style: preppie meets punk, safety pins and Vans, Goth mashed up with Mod. Hard to remember now, but those styles weren’t so rigidly codified in the early Reagan years. If the shorthand for grunge today equals flannel shirt, these kids remind us that the trend began at the Salvation Army, because they had nothing else to wear. (Also: Easy Street Records, 4559 California Ave. S.W., free, 4 p.m. Sat.) BRIAN MILLER

Fri., Nov. 13, 8 p.m.; Sat., Nov. 14, 4 p.m., 2009

 
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