Punk Retrospective
13Apr/120

Shames / Spitting Image / Acid Baby Jesus @ Hideout Lounge 4/6/2012

Posted by ElDorkoPunkRetro

ArtifactSo, it’s Good Friday…what should we do? There was talk about heading down to Sacramento to see Boats!, but no one could get too excited about doing the South 80 drive another time this week. Our local show seemed expensive and not too punk, leaving 'stay home' and/or 'go out for burritos' as our best option(s). Then something of a divine intervention took place when another member of the Punk Retrospective Collective noticed the fact that Acid Baby Jesus had lost their show in San Francisco and were now playing in Reno. Should we go? Acid Baby Jesus over Easter weekend in Little Sin City…perfect!

While they’d posted the fact of the Reno gig to their Facebook page, they’d omitted certain details…like time and club. We’d have a decent drive in front of us if we were going to make this work…Facebook messages to the band and Olaf (The Vinyl Avenger), phone calls to Slovenly and an e-mail to April finally paid off, 10pm Hideout Lounge, and, after dropping $70 into the gas tank, we were off!

Yeah, I’ve lived up here about 8 years now, but this is my first show in Reno. We saw Youth Brigade and Adolescents in Sparks…and, well, like that time, I get lost because of Obama and his infrastructure project on the North 80. Seven miles of labyrinthine detour and we finally found the Hideout Lounge. We park, cross the street and I immediately try to enter through the wrong door…yeah, I really am a dork.

Once inside we’re approached by a seemingly random female bar patron who asks us for $5 for the band, to cover their gas, etc, we comply. We ask if the band is in town, she tells us they are, but that they are currently being tattooed. Interesting.

This is a dive bar. The brown paint on the floor has mostly peeled off to bare concrete and the 70’s wood paneling is, surprisingly, almost in mint condition, though covered in beer lights and punk flyers. Two flags drape meaninglessly from the ceiling, one representing Miller High Life, the other is an American Flag with ‘PIGZ’ being the only decipherable word remaining of all the blue marker ink in its white stripes. There’s a really cool bicycle hanging from the ceiling and an awful light enclosure built-in over the bar. Two pool tables are pushed into a corner and are covered with OSB…I wonder aloud if that’s the stage, knowing in the back of my mind that the band will be playing at ground level WITH us! The bathrooms have no signage and, again, this is Nevada, so smoking is still encouraged in the bar. Even though I am suffering from intense nicotine cravings, I love this place!

The ShamesI also love it when the assumptions I make as I go through my life are shattered. For some reason I assumed Acid Baby Jesus would be the only band, since the show wasn’t planned, but rather, just happened. I began to realize I was wrong when I saw a kick drum, with ‘The Shames’ spray paint stenciled across the front, being set up by a guy who didn’t look at all Greek. Around this time I noticed the band walk in…the chick who collected the money appeared to be giving them some of it…I don’t know, it was smoky, the jukebox was playing Turbonegro and Iggy Pop, mohawks were rising and the rest of the Collective was having vodka tonics.

The young men from Acid Baby Jesus were smoking cigarettes and enjoying their first PBR’s of the night by this time. One of them started toward us because there was a huge row of ashtrays on the countertop behind us. I asked about the canceled show and joked around a bit about our long drives from California, eventually finding out his name was Otto. We talked for a bit and were eventually joined by Marko. Fifteen minutes later I realized I should have turned on my recording device, but I sent myself a lame-ass Facebook message to remind myself of the conversation:

“Talked to Marko about the US tour and their Israeli tour. The little guy told me a story about getting electrocuted in a beer filled basemwnt” (sic)

All that is true, but I guess I lied in the prior paragraph…I didn’t find out the little guys name was Otto (guitarist) ‘til later, though Marko (percussion) did introduce himself right away. Either way, I would end up spending about an hour and a half talking with Otto about everything in the world and a few more minutes with Marco after the show. They were all very proud of their Greek “acid” tattoos, including April, their Slovenly Records tour manager.

I was struck by a feeling of familiarity and friendship with this pair very early in the night…something akin to the fast-friends I’d made on film jobs in Los Angeles over the years. The ease of speaking with them made for a fun evening of joking around and I even got to share a little history of the rumored cannibalism at Donner Pass, which they’d passed through earlier in the day. Maybe they were just humoring an old man, but there was a genuine kindness and rapport I hadn’t expected.

What had I expected? Well, truth is I really loved the name of this band from the first time I read it on Spineflower’s Tumblr page last summer, but figured they were going to be another Brian Jonestown Massacre rip-off/tribute band. I'd also mentally lumped them in with a bunch of lame bands some idiots listen to on Blip.fm…so, because of these things I assumed they were going to sound shitty. I also figured that a band from Greece wouldn’t be speaking great English. Yeah, I’m wrong a lot.

PIGZOnce in a while I’d start feeling like I should let Otto get back to his friends and fans…or to play, but he assured me they were not going to play until after the other two bands. At some point in our conversation, he told me he’s 25 years old. They formed Acid Baby Jesus for fun about three years ago and have been touring pretty heavily for the past two years. There is a certain kind of wisdom in this young man. He knows this road life is for the young and is taking full advantage of the opportunity, but he is a young man and misses his girlfriend and family. The economic crisis faced by Greece came up a couple of times, so I know he carries concern for his country…but, at the same time he’s full of energy, quick to laugh, ready to share stories, opinions on food or even offer to buy drinks.

The Shames took the stage sometime around 11:30pm. They were an unexpectedly pleasant surprise. The two young ladies out front brought the crowd into the pit and that guy hitting the skins gave them a tight beat to slam to. It’s melodic punk rock with a bit of attitude. Totally impressed. I will tell you this…they are so much better live than anything on the internet shows, their recordings and YouTube videos do them no justice.

Spitting ImageAfter the Shames came Spitting Image. As if the Shames were all love and light, Spitting Image dredged through some pretty dark territory. Their material was a little more on the hardcore end of the spectrum, but it was more experimental than that. They have a new EP out on their Bandcamp site…you should check it out.

After Spitting Image finished, I started looking at the merch table and made Otto promise he’d get the band to sign an LP if I bought one. April gave him a silver paint pen and he went to work. He gave the album to me with signatures over all the members. I’d watched everyone else sign, but I knew Marko hadn’t touched it. Over his image Otto had written “MIZ”, which I assume means “Ms.” or something along those lines, because when I gave the LP to Marko he drew some breasts and something of a Barbara Feldon hairdo onto his image. A bit more laughing and the band started setting up. I figured it would be a good time to take the LP out to the car so I wouldn’t have to keep track of it during the show.

Spotting them outside the club, I congratulated the Shames on a great show and made a vague promise to help them get a show in California. It would be great if we could open for them, but there’s a lot more practice needing to happen before we play out. There was a lot of smoke outside, too, so I headed back in ‘cuz I didn’t want to miss a minute of Acid Baby Jesus.

The ViewI turned on my little camera and started videotaping about 3 seconds before they actually started playing. It was pure luck. I was about a foot away from Otto, nearly stepping on his effects pedals, and I could feel the crowd growing and surging behind me. When I think back on it now, I’m amazed the band showed absolutely no fear of the crowd or the electrical situation. There was beer a quarter of an inch deep on the floor and all of their effects pedals and amps were plugged into power strips that kept tripping from either pulling too many amps or wetness.

I remembered something I’d read in the Distortioni interview. They were asked a question about their sound being as mixture of garage and psychedelic and which thought more defined their sound. They answered that it was both and none…that it was hard to classify. Space punk, they call it on their Facebook page.

MIZI must admit that I was a bit worried for them when the first two bands played straight-up punk/ hardcore. The defiance I saw in the crowd as they challenged the other two bands, probably their friends, but nonetheless. I thought these poor, nice foreign kids are gonna be eaten alive. But the space punks had captured the audience during the first song and had built momentum. Midway through their set the speed peaked and the crowd came down on all of us. The entire mosh pit lurched into the bands’ area, toppled the singer and his mic and unplugged their guitars, and none of them flinched. For a few moments only Marko could play and sing. The rest of the band began sorting through the snake of wires until suddenly there was bass, then some guitar and then it all came back together and started to gel into something a bit weird.

I don’t drink or use drugs, but I spent the last ten minutes of the Acid Baby Jesus set in a near out-of-body trance. The beat, the volume, the reverb, flange, sweat and vocals all built into a great transcendent noise that swept me into a meditative state of awareness. I began moving back away from the band to see how the rest of the audience was doing and found a bar full of punk people completely tuned in to a deep psychedelic, garage punk experience. It was quite possibly the most intensely mystical, musical experience I’ve ever had.

Their sound is not defined by psychedelic, garage or punk…those words hint at what they do, but when you are with them live you’ll understand that they reach into another level, something other-worldly. The band was really wiped out afterward. We talked about the possibility of meeting up at Austin Psych Fest, then said our goodbyes at around 2:30am. The full moon lit the snow covered mountain pass as I drove through listening to the ringing in my ears.

...and now, my next installment of super dark video from the show (please buy me a decent camera:

[soundcloud url="http://api.soundcloud.com/playlists/1281325" height="200" iframe="true" /]

11Mar/120

Terry Malts / Bleeding Rainbow / Crocodiles @ Rickshaw Stop 3/9/12

Posted by ElDorkoPunkRetro

I'll keep this short, because the video is long and, of the three bands, only the Terry Malts truly impressed me. The "Killing Time" album is well worth the price, as the bands' own "chainsaw pop" description is quite fitting. I'm not going to sit here and bash the other bands...maybe it was an off night.

The following extremely dark and overly long video of the Terry Malts pretty much speaks for itself, Negative Approach cover and all:

6Mar/121

LOSERLIST69: The Sacramento Punk Super Archives

Posted by ElDorkoPunkRetro

Loserlist69I was looking for internet posts about of the Spits show I attended in Sacramento and accidentally stumbled into a really cool vault of Sacramento punk artifacts, past and present, called Loserlist69. The archive is the work of a very dedicated man named Ken Doose.

The tagline reads:
SACRAMENTO PUNK ROCK -Faded old pics, crusty flyers, show listings, stickers, record reviews, interviews, and various other assorted things that relate to the past and present Sacramento punk rock scene and other interesting places.

I really don't have the time to do this justice right now...but it's an awesome task he seems to have assigned himself and I'm glad to have found it. Maybe one day I'll run into Ken and we can do an interview...until then I'll be browsing through the archives of LOSERLIST69.

[play-button:http://dl.dropbox.com/u/16850984/Dicks/lifetimeproblems.mp3] The Dicks - Lifetime Problems Link source

3Mar/120

Feeling of Love / Mikal Cronin / White Fence / Ty Segall / G.A.M.H. / 3/2/2012

Posted by ElDorkoPunkRetro

Ty Segall @ GAMH 3/2/12Last night was pretty awesome...aside from the fact that the Great American Music Hall frowns on video recording. The Punk Retrospective crew walked in just as The Feeling of Love, a power-trio straight out of Metz,France, finished their first song. My chimichanga over at Los Panchos was worth missing one song for, but it would have been nice to catch their entire set. OK, I'm busted again...it's psych rock...but I'm ElDorkoPunkRetro...I like punk and I like retro music, like 60's garage psych, and I especially like this new wave of punk garage psych that's blooming across the world right now...and the flower that is San Francisco.

We hadn't been here (S.F.) since the big New Years' show...and weren't really sure what to expect from The Feeling of Love. We didn't know how often Ty Segall would be onstage, since he records with nearly everyone on the bill. It turned out great, with The Feeling of Love pulling us into an intense psych trance through the last few minutes of their final song, thus setting the tone for the rest of the night.

Since this group of kids record together so much and are each incredibly talented, it was hard for me to predict what order to expect them in. Mikal Cronin played next, with Ty taking the stage with him. Awesome set from this great songwriter. He writes clean, simple songs then adds in the layers. I once read a Henry Rollins quote where he talked about how lucky todays musicians are to have learned from the old punk and hardcore bands like Black Flag...to get an understanding of lull/intensity...I guess it's something all four of these acts have learned, because they're masters of it.

I didn't record any of Mikals' set on video because...it just wasn't possible at the time. I guess I prefer the Brick and Mortar, since they're more camera friendly, though the Great American Music Hall is beautiful and ornate. The entire dance floor bowed and swayed with the movement of the pit, so much so I thought it may collapse at some point. There were chunks of the balcony railing raining down on the stage at one point...it's good to see a new generation picking up and reviving a moribund rockn'roll.

White Fence was great, maybe not as awesome as the New Years' show, who knows...my eardrums were semi-protected behind some earplugs, because I ended up at the side of the pit right in front of the PA stack. I hadn't quite figured out how to adjust the plugs yet, so my White Fence experience was a bit muddy this time...worth seeing if you haven't. Yeah, it's got a surf edge to it and it's psychedelic, but it's also straight ahead punk rock, sometimes verging on hardcore.

The evening moved upward in intensity as Ty Segall, Mikal Cronin, Emily Rose and Charlie (Moonhearts) took the stage. Is this what Toad would sound like? Who knows...but it was great! Anyway, it was basically the same configuaration as Mikals' set with Charlie on guitar, too. I'd adjusted the earplugs to allow in some treble by this point, but my tinnitus is unforgiving of these small luxuries. The good news is that bands of this caliber somehow make me feel my hearing loss is acceptable, to a point. The hooks, intense pedal effects and heavy beats grew to a crescendo that left the makeshift barricade in tatters. Get out and see these acts before this scene gets co-opted by the man.

Oh...and I did get some video...enjoy:

[soundcloud url="http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/27704877" iframe="true" /]
[soundcloud url="http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/1661754" iframe="true" /]

[play-button:http://dl.dropbox.com/u/10295501/02%20Dissolve%20Me.mp3] The Feeling of Love - Dissolve Me Link source

2Jan/121

Thee Oh Sees / The Fresh & Onlys / White Fence / Wounded Lion – NYE – Brick & Mortar – San Francisco

Posted by ElDorkoPunkRetro

AlanForbesOK, I know...my definition of punk keeps expanding, which will probably make some of you out there either very uncomfortable or downright hateful...whatever. It's taken years for people to even begin to recognize the punk thread woven into the history of rock music from it's beginning...why would anyone stop to recognize it in the present? And why, of all places, in the psych garage revival movement? Ha...because that's one of the places it is right now (and has been since the 1960's)!

The Punk Retrospective crew decided we'd all go to San Francisco for New Year's 2012 and sleep in the van to save cash for the return trip home. Obviously, there's something worthwhile happening if you're willing to sleep in a van...the title of the post is a dead giveaway...for $15 a pop we all got to see Wounded Lion from Los Angeles, White Fence, The Fresh & Onlys and Thee Oh Sees while ringing in the New Year and tossing 2011 out like the fucking train wreck/pile of shit/trash heap it turned out to be.

2011 was a good year for rock music...for punk and other streams of independent subculture. And, though I'm still whining about the quality of my gear, it's great getting out and hearing so much live music. Living close to San Francisco has its perks...and when the opportunity to see four independent, original, groundbreaking bands in one conveniently located and hip venue presented itself, I thought, hell yeah, let's sleep in the fuckin' van and take back this fucking city!

DwyerThere was a lot of confusion outside regarding who it was, exactly, that was headlining this event. The Fresh and Onlys appeared on the bill first with White Fence and a special guest to be announced at a later date. When Thee Oh Sees were finally announced, well...a ranking game started that continued up to the New Year. White Fence could have topped this list as "Is Growing Faith" was on several Top 10 lists for 2011, but the Fresh and Onlys have been, and are becoming, even more respected in this scene. In the end I think everyone agreed it was Thee Oh Sees who should top the bill.

Before the show I met Petey Dammit and Alan Forbes, chatted them up a bit and bought a silk-screened copy of the amazing gig poster(shown above) Alan created. I think everyone was pleasantly surprised by Wounded Lion's performance...I swear they opened with a Black Flag cover and continued to impress.

This was our second trip to the Brick and Mortar Music Hall and our second sold out show. By the time White Fence started to play the bar was packed.

So, here's a portion of the White Fence performance I grabbed with my crappy camera. There's a familiarity to the sound, a sixties undercurrent with a touch of Stooges influence, but it's remarkably fresh sounding. Check it out:

I also captured about 14 minutes of Thee Oh Sees performance. As always, you should realize filmed shows are not a true representation of a bands' abilities. Seriously, if you have the chance to see any of the bands on this site, do! Anyway, John Dwyer is always amazing, no exception this night, either drummer alone would have been great, but watching the interaction between them was pretty intense. The audience loved every song and provided a constant swell for crowd surfing. Oh, here's Thee Oh Sees:

[play-button:http://dl.dropbox.com/u/16850984/PR/TheDreamRough.mp3] Thee Oh Sees - The Dream (Rough) Link source (via TheeOhSees)

[play-button:http://dl.dropbox.com/u/16850984/PR/CarrionCrawlerRough.mp3] Thee Oh Sees - Carrion Crawler (Rough) Link source (via TheeOhSees)

[play-button:http://dl.dropbox.com/u/16850984/PR/IWasDenied.mp3] Thee Oh Sees - I Was Denied Link source (via TheeOhSees)

[play-button:http://dl.dropbox.com/u/16850984/PR/TheFreshAndOnlys-Waterfall.mp3] The Fresh and Onlys - Waterfall Link source (via Stereogum)

[play-button:http://dl.dropbox.com/u/16850984/PR/WhiteFence-SwaggerVetsandDoubleMoon.mp3] White Fence - Swagger Vets and Double Moon Link source (via TheFader)

[play-button:http://dl.dropbox.com/u/16850984/PR/WoundedLion-CreaturesintheCave.mp3] Wounded Lion - Creatures in the Cave Link source (via Spinner)

[play-button:http://dl.dropbox.com/u/16850984/PR/WoundedLion-ImSad.mp3] Wounded Lion - I'm Sad Link source (via ElectricPandaMusic)

26Nov/110

Mark Sultan, The Hexxers, Thee Cormans, Death Hymn Number Nine

Posted by ElDorkoPunkRetro

Alex/SultanFlyerSo...on Fri, Nov 25, 2011 the whole damn Punk Retrospective gang traveled to Long Beach, California to see Mark Sultan, The Hexxers, Thee Cormans, and Death Hymn Number Nine. There was no way we were going to miss this show...I mean, Mark Sultan's 50 minute epic, War On Rock’n'Roll , is probably the best "new" music I've heard in 2011 (it was released through on his website for free!!!), PLUS he's done a shitload of other awesome music in notable bands, like the Spaceshits, King Khan & BBQ Show, The Almighty Defenders, etc., etc. Tonight he was just Mark Sultan, watching the opening acts while he sold merch.

I was actually fairly impressed by the opening acts. Death Hymn Number 9, The Hexxers, and Thee Cormans played with as much humor, noise, chaos and grace as they could muster without creating a churning pit of violence. The sight of Thee Cormans' muppet-headed tambourine player is still burned into my fragile mind.

The Punk Retrospective crew got a personal visit from Mark after we made some key purchases from his stacks of vinyl. He was very down to earth and wasn't phased by our sudden lack of intelligence. He graciously accepted my compliments on his musical prowess, vocally and with the guitar, but stated that he's mainly a drummer. He said he was nearly toured out...just tired from constantly being on the road. I thanked him for "The War on Rock'n'Roll" and he told me that's basically what he would be playing tonight. I invited Mark to come play a show in Northern California when he hits the road again...I think I got a solid "maybe" out of him before he began setting up his gear.

Mark@Alex's112511Aside from a few cool videos, I don't believe I'd ever actually witnessed a "one-man band". Mark took the stage calling himself a "rock'n'roll enthusiast" and admonished us to "dance and fight and fuck" before he tore it up for 53 minutes. I left the show convinced Mark Sultan had sold his soul to the devil. This man who admits to having no training can sing and play guitar with the best and most soulful performers in rock history. I really can't say enough good things about him...he writes songs that carry a lot of the style and structure of the fifties then drags them through the 60's fuzz, 70's punk and 90's garage to create something unnervingly real, raw and timeless. A white boy from Montreal with all that talent...how else to explain it but a Faustian bargain?

Among my biggest regrets this year, at least professionally, are the limitations I face financially, which translates to not being able to afford the equipment I need to properly capture performances like this. An iPod Touch, a small HD camera with a built in mic, a digital recorder...sure they capture video and audio, but I could only store 17 minutes and 53 seconds of Mark's performance on my SD card...so that's all you're gonna see...

My hope is that Punk Retrospective will take some bigger chances in 2012...splurge a little on shows, cameras and maybe even book a show or two...still interested Mark?

@Alex's11/25/11

[play-button:http://marksultan.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Mark-Sultan-Ill-Be-Lovin-You.mp3] Mark Sultan - I'll Be Lovin You Link source

[play-button:http://marksultan.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/BBQ%20-%20I%20Wanna%20Be%20The%20Only%20One.mp3] BBQ - I Wanna Be the Only One Link source

[play-button:http://marksultan.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/The-King-Khan-BBQ-Show-Shake-Real-Low.mp3] The King Khan and BBQ Show - Shake Real Low Link source

[play-button:http://marksultan.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/The-Spaceshits-Im-Dead.mp3] The Spaceshits - I'm Dead Link source

[play-button:http://marksultan.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/the_almighty_defenders-cone_of_light.mp3] The Almighty Defenders - Cone of Light Link source

[play-button:http://marksultan.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/The-Ding-Dongs%20-You-Better-Hide.mp3] The Ding Dongs - You Better Hide Link source

[play-button:http://marksultan.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Mind-Controls%20-Self-Immolation-Man.mp3] Mind Controls - Self Immolation Man Link source

[play-button:http://marksultan.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Les-Sexareenos-Low-Low-Low.mp3] Les Sexareenos - Low, Low, Low Link source

Loads more free music on his website...make sure you catch his live show when he starts touring again! He keeps the world fairly updated on where he is here. Oh...and here's that video I promised earlier:

9Nov/111

Spits / Mouthbreathers / Croissants / Teef / Rad

Posted by ElDorkoPunkRetro

SpitsSomehow, I convinced our bass player to head on down to see The Spits at Luigi's Slice FunGarden in Sacramento last night...he has a new favorite band now...I gained several. It's pretty amazing how quickly I can change my mind about a town, as up 'til this point I'd thought Sacramento was a pretty dull place. It's nice being surprised by real local talent.

Yes, I went to see the Spits, but Rad opened the show with such ferocity and female-fronted hardcore fury that I knew it was going to be a great night. Teef were also a pleasant and funny, punk-as-hell surprise. (Found out later they're also Boats!, but that's another story.) The Croissants were fun in their own snotty, punk-ass way. The Mouthbreathers, from Lawrence, Kansas, with their quick, punk sound and sustained vocals, sound more like one of the new, garage-psych, indie bands, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. In fact, considering the fact that all these bands and about 75 fans were crowded into the storage closet @ Luigi's...well, I think it all turned out great!

Well...until the Spits took the stage. Yes, they were as amazing as you'd think, but they were plagued by sound problems for most of the set...which led to some fun, hateful banter between the brothers' Wood. Jarade, our bass player, jumped into the pit for most of the show, while the support posts for a beam made it possible for me to shoot some really crappy video and protect the plastic cup of white wine of another Punk Retrospective crew member. I think we'll be going to more shows in Sacramento if Luigi's will get a corkscrew for the white wine even though it's pretty punk pushing the cork into the bottle with a butter knife.

So, here's Rad, live on KDVS:
[soundcloud url="http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/33130782" params="show_comments=false&auto_play=false&color=3b3a39" width="100%" height="81" iframe="false" /]

[play-button:http://dl.dropbox.com/u/16850984/PR/Croissants-IDontGetToLeave.mp3] Croissants - I Don't Get to Leave Link source

[play-button:http://dl.dropbox.com/u/16850984/PR/Mouthbreathers-OutOfMyHead.mp3] Mouthbreathers - Out of My Head Link source

[play-button:http://dl.dropbox.com/u/16850984/Spits/TheSpits-AllIWant.mp3] Spits - All I Want Link source

Here's that crappy video I mentioned:

26Feb/110

American Hardcore

Posted by ElDorkoPunkRetro

Today a friend of mine posted a link to an article from the Los Angeles Times entitled, Punk rock's creative and savage legacy at Subliminal Projects gallery, which talks about the photos and flyers, as well as the Raymond Pettibon & Winston Smith artwork, which will be on display at Subliminal Projects' Westside gallery through March 26th, 2011. More exciting still, for those near enough to attend, is a performance, tonight February 25, 2011, right now (well, over by now), by OFF!, the new Keith "Johnny" Morris vehicle that's got the hardcore kids all abuzz. Why am I talking about it, when I can't even go? Well, my friend suggested people rent the semi-recent (2007) film, American Hardcore - The History of Punk Rock 1980 - 1986, after they finished reading the article...and I was offended!

Why the hell would you rent American Hardcore when you can buy it new at Amazon for $8.49...with free shipping? It's a great piece of cultural history, seriously, and it really captures the spirit that existed among bands, and fans, in what mainstream America must have felt was a seemingly insignificant offshoot of punk rock. Time has proven that notion wrong, as leaders of many social movements have risen out of the iconoclastic fury that was American hardcore and the rest of us still feel the glowing embers of a deep, primal urge toward a less contrived, more thoughtful approach to politics, life, economics, education, etc., etc.

This was not a united scene for the most part. The divergent opinions that came through hardcore are as diverse and passionate as you can find anywhere, but there was always an underlying distrust of the authority figures who would try shutting down their shows, prosecute them on obscenity charges and who would never, ever invite them to the table to discuss a record deal. They knew they had to make it on their own and the world was not going to help them...so they did. The content of American Hardcore is nearly as powerful as the music, expressing that unique combination of ingenuity, innovation and contempt for the rules of our dominant systems.

You can feel the truth of what hardcore means in the interviews with its most well known proponents and performers. Yes, Keith is in it, so is Henry, and H.R., and yes, Ian...you know what I'm talking about. But that's not what it's really about, and I'm telling you, it's not an ego-fest, because all of those guys and gals from hardcore know it's about the music and standing up in your own life...so no, don't rent this film...buy it!

Eh, ok...I'll just toss in a few mp3 links for you (not necessarily in the documentary, but good, nonetheless):

[play-button:http://thedecibeltolls.com/mp3/Black%20Flag%20-%20The%20First%20Four%20Years%20-%2001%20-%20Nervous%20Breakdown.mp3] Black Flag - Nervous Breakdown Link source

[play-button:http://www.midwesternhousewives.com/silverunity/more/11%20Live%20Fast%20Die%20Young.mp3] Circle Jerks - Live Fast, Die Young Link source

[play-button:http://dl.dropbox.com/u/16850984/Let%20Them%20Eat%20Jellybeans%20%281981%29/04%20Bad%20Brains%20-%20Pay%20To%20Cum.mp3] Bad Brains - Pay to Cum Link source

[play-button:http://www.minneapolisfuckingrocks.com/mp3/03%20Seeing%20Red.mp3] Minor Threat - Seeing Red Link source

and, just for good measure:

[play-button:http://dl.dropbox.com/u/16850984/Let%20Them%20Eat%20Jellybeans%20%281981%29/08%20The%20Feederz%20-%20Jesus%20Entering%20From%20The%20Rear.mp3] Feederz - Jesus Link source