Saturday, October 5, 2013

Show #107 September 7, 2013

Dedicated to Jenny!

Jenny- Sloan Hardcore 7˝
Stupid Rock Star's Dream- The Riffbackers The Curtain Shop and Alterations
Time Rolls On- Free Energy Love Sign
Shout It Out- Hello Keeps Us Off The Streets 
World's On Fire-The Cryers The Cryers 
Cherry Red- Lime Spiders Nine Miles High 1983-1990
Let's Play House- Pearl Monica
Somebody New Is OK- Public Enemy Possession 
^Hey Stoopid- Alice Cooper Hey Stoopid 
I Just Wanna Love You Girl- The Wellingtons In Transit 
Hello Girl- The Jumpers Waves: An Anthology Of New Music, Vol. 2 
So It Goes- Primitive Souls Primitive Souls
When I Am With You- Translator The Best Of 415 Records
Speeed King- These Animal Men The Brit Box: UK Indie, Shoegaze and Brit-Pop Gems Of The Last Millennium
*Stupid- Vibeke The World Famous Hat Trick
*Stupid Guy- The Paranoics Shake Some Action Vol 1 (UK)
*Stupid Idea- The Windbreakers Time Machine (1982-2002)
*Stupid Einstein- The Three O'Clock Sixteen Tambourines
*Stupid Now- Bob Mould District Line 
*Genetically Stupid- The Jetsons Suicidal Tendencies 7"
*Stupid Enough- Van Duren Are You Serious?
*Stupid People- The Wigs File Under: Pop Vocal 
*Mr. Stupid- Richard Thompson Sweet Warrior
*Stupid and Shallow- The Futureheads The Futureheads 
When My Baby's Beside Me (Alternate Mix, 1972)- Big Star Nothing Can Hurt Me: Original Soundtrack 
Butterfield 8- Pills A Fistful of Pills
Go Girl- The Pop Hearts And Knives
>Everybody's Stupid- Sparks Big Beat 
Who Needs Love- Material Issue Destination Universe 
To Pretend (Is the Advantage)- The Misstakes National Pastime
Stupid Heart- Game Theory Distortion of Glory 

^Power Pop Peak:  #78 Billboard Hot 100 6/15/91

*SacroSet:  Stupid Songs

>Power Pop Prototype:  1976

While DOA's Joey "Sh**head" Keithley is the rare exception, if you take a walk down any hipster street in any American city you'll soon realize the cold hard fact that punk rock doesn't age well.  I may wish to hold it closed, but I no longer look down my nose at the hippies on Haight Street in San Francisco or Telegraph Ave in Berkeley.  As I've said before, if I judge the guy in tie-dye, dreads, Birkenstocks and cloud of patchouli harshly I must also do the same to the bemohawked dude beside him in studded leather jacket, bondage pants, Discharge t-shirt, and cloud of b.o. holding a leash with a similarly rancid, miserable looking pitbull on the other end.  No disrespect to punk rock icons like Mr. Keithley, Charlie Harper or Keith Morris but as I got older the music became less relevant to me, especially after I had kids.  I mean The Ramones are timeless and I still listen to The Clash regularly but it's been a while since I've spun the DOA, UK Subs or Circle Jerks. 

Even so, I totally dig Sloan’s Hardcore 7” the source of tonight’s dedication song “Jenny.”  Sloan seem to have made peace with the fact that they will never attain that Weezer-level of fame they so richly deserve.  On the plus side for us fans, that means Sloan get to do whatever the hell they want- including put out a 7” vinyl hardcore single with an album length bonus download of their versions of classic hardcore songs by bands like Angry Samoans, Minor Threat and (here they are again) Circle Jerks.  You’ve gotta love it- a genius Power Pop band of guys now in their mid-40’s kicking ass on a bunch of snotty teenage-angst ridden rants.  I especially love the picture sleeve- an homage to Minor Threat’s 7” swan song “Salad Days.” 
Minor Threat, 1985

Sloan, 2013
Sure the Sloan record is pure nostalgia, but it is fun as hell too.

The timing of the Sloan release is interesting because after years of listening to nothing but hip hop, my son Jack has been getting into hardcore lately.  Based on what Sonoma kids listen to from the era, you'd think Minor Threat and The Misfits were the only punk bands around in the 80's.  It's almost like some weird music embargo was in place and those two groups were the only ones that managed to breach the blockade.  I blame Hot Topic.  In any case, I've enjoyed broadening Jack's musical horizons.  He of course
first asked to hear- you guessed it.... The Misfits and Minor Threat.  After that though, I set him up with Angry Samoans' Back From Samoa, Black Flag's Damaged, and for some scorching hometown flavor This Is Boston Not LA.  It's been fun listening to those records with him- hearing them with his ears.  Hardcore was never my favorite music as I've always been a melody fan.  And yes, those who do not have an ear for the music might quibble with my designation of groups like Stiff Little Fingers
and The Damned as "melodic," but they certainly were to me.  I definitely appreciate the power of hardcore- there's no denying its speed and fury.  The fact that it was mostly made by suburban white boys just like me was also a selling point.  Plus, these were the 
I was there!
halcyon days of the "all ages matinee hardcore show" when we got to see Black Flag, Husker Du, The Misfits and many others at Boston clubs where we were not welcome after dark.  Once I got to college at Emerson there were also a ton of hardcore shows at VFW halls and Community Centers where I saw bands like Minor Threat, The Necros and The Meatmen.  Would I have rather been seeing The
I was here too!
Ramones or The Clash every weekend instead?  Sure, but I missed the scenes in New York in 1976 and London in 1977 so I was going to take full advantage of my scene:  Boston in 1982. 

The thing I liked least about hardcore was what was first called slamdancing, then moshing.  It just seemed so pointless to me- a bunch of jocks playing football in front of the stage, completely oblivious to the band.  Stage diving was even worse- I thank Jello Biafra for bringing it to Boston at a Dead
Jello in 1981
Kennedy's show in what would eventually be the dining hall of my Emerson dorm, Fensgate.  The practice of jumping up on stage, grabbing the mic from the singer and screaming into it- well I've hit on that one before.  At my first punk shows it was pogo dancing- jumping straight up and down.  Yes you would bounce off other people and toes were stepped on (we were all wearing Chuck Taylors so no harm) but the point was not to slam into other people.  Moshing seems all about drawing attention to yourself, battling for
Pogo Dancing!
supremacy in "the pit."  Pogoing faced the band and to me was all about celebrating music you loved so much you had to jump for joy.  The sucky thing about the advent of moshing in Boston was that people started doing it at all shows- not just hardcore bands.  I'll never forget being at The Channel and getting shoved out of the way by a bunch of dudes moshing at a Hoodoo Gurus concert.  Putting up with a pit full of douche bags was the price of admission when you saw hardcore bands like Negative Approach or Deep Wound but the HOODOO GURUS?!?!  Come on!

The Dreaded Mosh Pit

That said, I will never forget seeing DOA at the tiny club Cantones near Government Center. A particularly fierce mosh pit broke out during the first song "F**cked Up Ronnie" and someone jumped up and smashed one of the ceiling tiles.  Within a minute half the ceiling tiles were down and the room was filling up with asbestos dust.  Owner Teddy Cantone runs on stage and tries to calm everything down but DOA didn't really help him any by launching into "The Enemy."  Then the rest of the ceiling tiles came down along with a lot of the metal structure holding them in place and the cops busted in to kick us all out.  Best two song show EVER!  
DOA, truly hardcore in '81

 I later heard one of the kids at the show turned up the next day with a load of ceiling tiles from his dad's company and rebuilt the ceiling.  Don't know if that's true or not but I really hope it is.

As a postscript I’ve got to mention that after 35 years , DOA are finally calling it quits.  Believe it or
"Mr. Speaker..... Mr. Sh**thead
has the floor"
not, Joey Sh**head has decided to run for political office in British Columbia.  I respect DOA's tenacity, but I haven't bought any of their records since the early 90's.  The last time I saw them was in 1994 or so at legendary all ages punk rock collective 924 Gilman in Berkeley.  I made the mistake of taking my wife Jaime to the show.  It would be an understatement to say she did not have a good time- she found the 14 year old punks spitting on each other especially horrifying.  A few years earlier Girlfriend Jaime may have pretended to be okay with filthy punk rock clubs, but Wife Jaime was having NONE of it.

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