Following up on my February 22nd post “Cool Shirt Bro”, I’ve been hard at work (not really) documenting my collection of Rock T’s by having some of my beautiful model friends adorn them for me. Since that time I’ve managed to pick up a shirt or two which will allow me to keep up with this beautiful idea. In the process I’ve had some notable weight loss due to my vegetarian diet and healthy lifestyle. Who knows, “Cool Shirt Bro” part III just might feature a a dashingly handsome yours truly in front of the camera. One can only hope. Until then, keep those shirts coming and keep on Rockin’.
I can’t stress how important it is to support local bands and get involved enough to ensure that your town, clique or crew or zip code can build and maintain a music scene. It’s something that might take hard work but will reward you over and over again. Every band started somewhere. Bands we worship and write books about started by playing in basements and holes to a handful of people. Ask Ian McKaye. Ask Henry Rollins. Ask the fucking Beatles. Every band had to start somewhere. Every band was an opening band at some point. These bands need your support the most. I’ve always known people who only show for the headliners or their friends band. Growing up the NYHC scene was full of them. Sunday afternoon I got to the all ages matinee at The Court Tavern early and was rewarded by getting to see a band from Maplewood, NJ called Polyphony. This five piece are probably young enough to be my kids. (I’m guessing their still in High School) but they perked my ears up… and high. Just standing there taking it in I was reminded of all the great bands I saw in some kids basement back in the 90’s. Merel, Born Against, Greyhouse, Garden Variety, Dahlia Seed, Lifetime. All these great bands played to a bunch of friends somewhere in someone’s basement at one point. Their sound had me thinking of the sounds that were coming out of Ebullition and Council Records in the 90’s. They were so good that during their set I couldn’t help but think “That’s just the kind of band I’d want to promote on my site.” I made a point of saying hello afterward and managed to pick up a demo. I’ll definitely be looking out for more shows in the future. You should too.
Here it is Monday and my plans to finally take the last half of what is to be a new portfolio to Duggal. My ADHD has kicked in hard and I’ve just about given in to it. I know for a fact my senses will return but in the meantime it’s best to just let things go. So I digress and look back on a Friday that had a shaky start but finished on very solid ground.
Dave and I have planned to head to Monclair to check out the band Four Fingers. Dave had recently reviewed their 7 inch on his blog and was pretty pleased with what he had heard. I’ve know the band for some time having seen them live and interviewing them for my website Unite. Unfortunately, Dave got sick and I was on my own. I pulled in around 9:00 and to be honest didn’t quite feel up for it. So I gave my friend Mandy a call to see if I could coax her out for a drink. Maybe seeing a friend would take the edge off. To my delight she was already at Jake’s, which is just a few doors down from the club. “Come on over she said.” with glee in her voice. Just as the call ended I ran into the bands drummer Chris. “Hey Chris, can you text me before you go on?” “I’m going to meet a friend for a drink.”
The bar was in full swing. Complete with a forgettable cover band. I met up with Mandy and shared a few drinks. Mandy is one of my oldest and dearest friends. No matter where we are she introduces me to everyone around saying “He’s an amazing photographer.” Then going on to tell the tale of how we met in an A&P parking lot when we were teens and how we’ve been inseparable since. Just across the way I spotted Milton and headed over to say hello. The conversation, vibe and free beer were great but before I knew it I got that text. Promising to return I headed over to Meatlocker to catch the bands set. Four Fingers never let me down. The band personifies the ethos, sound and reckless abandon that drew me to Punk in the first place. Parts Adrenalin O.D., parts Black Flag with the danger of the Stooges. Tohm is a great front man who’s interaction with the crowd insures they get involved. However that wild abandonment often leads to injuries. This time his face was covered in blood before the second song was done.I’ll say this “Real blood is always better than fake blood.” Tohm, you’re a good dude but tone it down. Immediately after I headed back to the bar where I spent the rest of the night hanging with Mandy and getting to know my new friend Milton a little better. Not a bad way to start the weekend.
Forward: I’ve seen Four Fingers several times at the Meatlocker. The invites always emphasize “Everyone pays. No exceptions.” Yet Tohm always insists I do not pay. I don’t consider myself special or immune from paying but it says a lot about Tohm and the band. After the set he gave me their CD “Good Luck with the Surgery”. When I got home I was both happy and surprised to see they used the band photo I took of them the night we did the interview. I was also very happy to see they gave me a photo credit. Thus furthering my love for their ‘good guy’ status.
I’ve been pretty busy this week and haven’t been in the best mood. Bone chilling cold weather tends to do that to my fragile psyche. However I did want to see !No Pasaran! who were playing Maxwells tonight. One of my absolute favorite current bands that have been kinda floating under the radar and keeping a low profile. A Jersey Politico Punk three piece that have a sound reminiscent of Fugazi and Quicksand with a little element of jazz and a lot of distortion thrown in. Maybe I’m a little off with the Jazz but what the hell. No one’s paying me for this shit. Some of my favorites shots have a little bit of blur and were taken without flash. Anyway, the interview I did with them is 2009 can be found here. Check it out. http://www.unitewebzine.com/Home.html
I was on the way to Beacon New York when my phone lit up with a text reading “Citizens Arrest tickets are almost Sold Out. Get ’em fast or miss out!” I thought “Oh, I’ll order them as soon as I get home tonight.” As soon as I walked in the door I walked over to the computer to place my order. This was something I would not procrastinate on. To my dismay and dispare they were “Sold the fuck Out.” Damn, I was pissed. I’d been hearing about this reunion long before it was even book and it was not to be missed. I posted a “If anyone out there……” and thanks to Freddy Alva and the band I was covered.
About ten of us (including Freddy New Breed, Charles from Rorschach and Amy Edge) me up for a pre-show dinner before heading over to Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory. I think I missed a couple of bands, including Mind Eraser but was lucky enough to catch Asshole Parade. I’d never heard them prior to the show but really liked their sound and overall vibe. Citizens Arrest followed and the place went ape shit. Between the moshing and the stage divers I wasn’t sure I’d make it out alive. I was front center and between being thrown into the stage and about five different stage divers delivers blows to my head with boots and body fat I was dazed and at one point almost went down. All of it was totally worth because CXA kicked some serious ass. The original lineup was all there including Janis Cackers and Ted Leo. Playing so many favorites from their good old days and even throwing in covers from SSD and Youth of Today. After the set Daryl Kahan pulled my lifeless body up on stage to take a picture of the band and Fab Five Freddy Alva. It was so good seeing so many familiar faces including Rich Trash, Justine Demetrik, Javier and so many others. Thanks to Janis for the ticket and to everyone that made it such an amazing night.
Last night I had the guys from Stuyvesant over for some Band shots. Brian told me they wanted an “Unforgiving Look” while Ralph pointed to Television’s “Marquee Moon” album. I personally looked for inspiration from some of my favorite SST and Dischord Records. In less than an hour we knocked out what they were looking for. I offered them more time and ideas but they were very happy with what they got and were gone before knew I it. Brian, Ralph, Sean and Pete were very easy going and fun to work with.
When I heard Jenifer Convertible were getting together to play the Dromedary showcase I was pretty psyched to say the least. During my time living in Hell’s Kitchen I saw them about a half dozen times and loved them. Their Maxwells set did not tarnish my fond memories in the least. In fact they renewed them. I don’t know if they have plans for more shows. Judging from this one. They certainly haven’t missed a step.