For the past few months, in fact pretty much since I woke up paralyzed and had to be taken to SF general emergency room/hobo camp for thee uninsured, I have descended into a general doom clad malaise. Which coincidentally coincided with a total obsession with Brian Wilson, particularly the unreleased SMILE sessions. Generally I have a million ideas and action plans for every moment of leisure, you know, maybe something along the lines of an owl scouting trip with Gabe, or a bike ride round the docks, or anything mass-food-consumption related. Or bonfires on the beach for the birthday of the dreamy ERIN YANKE for which the SF weather totally cleared up, only one person puked in the sand and there was a Germs burn around the moon… Plus I taught some frat girls about the magic of making fire. The past few months have been spent holed up in my room watching documentaries about uh Brian Wilson and the making of Smile or obsessing about more general Beach Boys psychotica, like when Dennis Wilson pissed in Mike Love’s transcendental meditation tent. This is clearly NOT PUNK so I am not sure why I am writing about it in the pages of this hallowed and most punk tome. I mean seriously my world used to be more like a Minutemen song, awkward, fast political and joyous, rather than like a solemn but creepy song about a girl who cut her hair, i.e. Caroline No! but I digress. I am slowly easing back into civilian life because I can assure you that the past few months have not been spent composing teenage symphonies to god, (uh sorry, another BRIAN WILSON reference) but slouched vacantly in my room, sullen malcontent style. My gloom incongruously collided with the arrival of spring which then merged into summer and I had this idea that I was going to destroy said gloom by going with the infamous LADYHAWK to some pagan ritual on a beach somewhere on Midsummer’s eve, but that didn’t happen so my hippy mom garb didn’t get cleansed by the goddess or anything and the mood sticks on.
I may not have been inclined to ride bikes or play guitars or anything as of recent times, but there have been a few total KICKS AFFIRMATIVE/ ACTION! TIME! VISION! moments of transcendence that hopefully bode well for PRODUCTIVE SUMMER 06 which I named but have done nothing to make happen since. Anyways, here are the jams and the dreamy times.
1-Tobi wrote this and will probably be bummed I put it in here, but whatevs. It was written in response to me bitching about Flipper not only reuniting but also playing the Haight Street Fair. In mathematical terms: Flipper 2006 version+Hippies=HELL NO.
“Flipper not hippies! punk noise poet....also, how can you be washed up if your band is dystopia incarnate...the Armageddon i.e. now would be a perfect time for them to play, especially if they become more grotesque with age! flipper=the trickster anecdote to hardcore, which covered the world in a venomous teenage boy goo like privilege that stuck to everything and made us stupid...flipper would be the heroic uber villains, yelling absurdist truths over distorted noise that could hardly be call music. and the slow drums swing in a way that made them somehow disco! I love flipper! hippies are ok by me as long as they are anti-consumer and pro co-op, but flipper were not hippies. In the hardcore lexicon of my youth, hippy=fag, which is what a jock surfer who liked black flag and Marshall Stacks would call flipper. I beg to differ!”
I think she thought I meant Flipper were hippies, which is not a delusion I am under in any way, but I AM AGAINST OLD RAD BANDS RE-EXISTING AND SULLYING MY IDEA OF THEM! I mean I understand that growing old gracefully is hard for punx; most disappear or become vile caricatures of their former selves. I totally can relate to and understand the idea of wanting to recapture the feeling of freedom and kicks that youth and punk give when combined, but I think it’s better to figure out new and different ways of getting that than becoming the reconstituted meat products that most reformed bands ultimately are. Anyway Tobi is one of my favorite writers of ever and that missive totally made the world a different color to me for a second in the best way.
2-Mika Miko and the re-emergence of teenage girl destruction! I know Mika Miko are no longer teenagers, but they were when they started, and one of the raddest things about seeing them play over the years has been the amount of other bands that are now in existence formed by teenaged girls totally inspired by their idea of sound. It makes me think of how girl bands in the late 70s/early 80s from Kleenex in Switzerland, to the Ama-dots in Ohio heard the Slits and reclaimed punk for themselves. Anyway the band that inspired this adulation is Finally Punk from Austin TX, who are like fireworks going off from some kid’s bedroom window for real. Mika Miko have this Circle Jerks meets Kleenex sound, total ferocious and exciting but also fucked up and art damaged, whereas Finally Punk are more distinctly in the ‘art’ section I guess? Live, they totally destroy; they trade instruments and are simultaneously fun and aggressive like I guess I imagine old 82 era hardcore was, but without the macho kill or be killed idea. They sound smart and dumb, goofy but sure… I don’t know, musically the CDR reminded me of the Scissor Girls or Meltdown, but somehow live they also have the energy of a teenage basement hardcore band, it’s not sensitive artiste experimentalism, but a rampage on your senses. Like you have to dance or you’ll perish. Maybe also because I saw them play at an eviction party in Oakland, there was this feeling of the transcendent possibilities of punk music and destruction! They played with the also great Kiosk from Australia (also teenagers??) who play somehow stripped down elemental classic rock which is also mythology depleting in a Lydia Lunch-ish way maybe? Like Death Valley 69 but disgusted rather than ironic. Cool girl singer and guitarist and rad tunings too… Of course they all have a myspace page which I would guess is probably www.myspace.com/finallypunk or for kiosk www.myspace.com/kiosk but you should see them play live, and I think you probably can because they collectively are on a two month tour of the US. (Summer Break forever!)
3-Look Back and Laugh Live Tonite! I always felt like LBAL were a Bay Area secret, because they make so much more sense live than they do on record, and so few people outside of this area had seen them play until this summer. I was in full on grouch mode and did not want to go to the show but the force that is Golnar rode her bike to my house and MADE ME GO using mind tricks honed in the babe den or something. I have seen pictorial evidence of the aforementioned co-ordinator in full on bro mosh mode as a result of the fury and power that is Look Back and Laugh, and I was ready and waiting to see the re-match. In short, if Golnar was going to get crucial I wanted to be there. Plus I might have mentioned that Look Back and Laugh are my favourite local band. It was a rare show where pretty much every band was in the raging shredder category, and despite the fact that I did not see the cruciality emanating from the pores of Golnar LBAL totally made up for it by demonstrating why they are the best and uh, most crucial. I have said it before but I will restate it here Tobia is up there with fuckin John Brannon in my book in terms of front-person intensity... and the band as a whole is just fucking phenomenal and the summer 06 roadie said it was probably one of the best shows of tour, and I didn’t even see any of the other tour shows and I totally agree with him. Dude. Get the new 7” that just came out on derranged and get with the program if you haven’t already. Seeing them play is like watching buildings crumble! Seriously dudes, just totally fierce and righteous and timeless. The below is from an email I wrote before the show trying to convince people to get with the program and get in the pit yo:
I have not yet been to the show (tonight at BALAZO!) and it’s ALREADY in my reinvigorating-the-zombie-that-is-me list. LBAL are not to be denied. Total power and fury. I am hoping for the re-emergence of Mosh-Gnar, no half arsed fist pumps along with the chorus, Golnar must bring the mosh gnars!
ANYWAY here is a top ten:
1-Fucked Up is going to come back on the MRR radio show for a rematch 2-Scott Moore singing on my voice mail and the fact that most of Limp Wrist will be in town for the Fucked Up shows. Good times ahead. 3-Peligro Social! Get the record fools. If you like classic Spanish punk, like RIP combined with the energy and assault of black dot era Bad Brains get the record or see them play for sure. 4-Martin’s homemade Criminal Damage denim vest 5-Paco’s radio show (South American Punk, you can still listen to it at the mrr radio website!) 6-Francoise Hardy and Jacques Dutronc duets from the late 60s 7-the Mika Miko full length get it or regret it 8-the Oh Okay 7”, great early 80s lady fronted Athens GA art punk 9-firework night in the Mission, total insanity 10-pizza!
write me if you want c/o mrr.