Posts Tagged ‘Punk’

So in lieu of a more serious article, I’m going to treat your ears to a mixtape of the bands playing Punk Rock Bowling in Vegas this year.  A full sampler, for those wanting a more immersive experience, can be streamed on Spotify here.

Enjoy!

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Since this isn’t a blog based on diagnosis, but more commentary and information, we won’t spend too much time talking about the validity of psychological diagnoses as a whole (though there are some incredible debates and thinkers who are great folks to follow).  However, I want to briefly touch on Delusional Disorder, the erotomanic type.

Delusions are thought processes and beliefs that do not fit with reality, and persist despite evidence that they’re untrue.  In the erotomanic type, (cribbed from the DSM-V), “the central theme of the delusion is that another person is in love with the individual.”

This is a terrifying concept, and one I think we often see represented in popular media.  One of my favorite bands, and one of the most problematic punk bands around, is Masked Intruder.  Many of their songs concern stalking and threats of bodily harm, and serve as great examples of how delusions form and have negative effects on the object of the delusion.  Imagine telling someone to get lost, and they don’t leave you alone. 

(There is also a terrific cultural argument to be made here, that men often disregard the rejection of women and continue to believe a woman is interested, despite clear evidence to the contrary, and get angry when the rejection continues.  Often, women are killed after rejecting men’s advances.  Coincidentally (surely), this is part of the criteria for Delusional Disorder.)

The song I’ve chosen, from the rich field of possibilities, is “Almost Like We’re Already in Love” (lyrics here).

Scary, right?!

#TBT Song’O’The Week

Posted: October 8, 2015 in #TBT Song'O'The Week
Tags: , ,

Starting a new feature – each Thursday, I’ll post a song that you might have liked back in the day, a nostalgia song, or a song I forgot about and discovered again.  Because this is the Shame Dynamic, and that’s what we do here,  it will definitely center around old punk, metal, electronic or underground rock songs.

yep, and this.

If you’ve got an idea for a song to feature, please shoot me an email – otherwise, enjoy.

Today’s Throwback Thursday song:

Disregard the Runner-Up, by Kicked in the Head.

This is one of those tunes you can only find on a Warped Tour comp (remember when those used to be good?!).  Back in two thousand aught three, this was my jam; it’s the best tune to be blasted with windows down, rolling fast down the street.  Too bad very little of Kicked in the Head’s other music was decent.

Party down!  Happy Thursday!

My sister is amazing.  We’re the only two children in our extended family, and have 8 years between us.  As she gets older and wiser, we’re getting closer and building up our adult relationship.

We are about as different as two siblings can be.  In school, I was an enormous nerd; I wore glasses, had wavy, frizzy hair, was chubby and awkward (not like Zooey Deschanel awkward, like Amy Schumer awkward).

fuck you.

I played in marching band, and was on backstage crew in theater.  NERD.  College gave me punk rock, and I haven’t looked back since.

My sister was nominated for homecoming princess, captain of her soccer team, with naturally straight hair.  She played basketball, volleyball and powderpuff football.  She made t-shirts with her friends and took selfies that looked professional.  She’s also smart as shit and is studying to be an engineer now.

So it took me by surprise when she texted me to let me know she wants to be a punk now.

with this picture. it’s great, isn’t it?

After I recovered from my laughing fit, I started thinking about how one becomes a punk.  If you’re past the age of 15, it becomes more difficult to get into the culture, into the scene.  I still wince thinking about my naiveté calling garbage pop punk and post-hardcore records “punk.”  Oops.

this guy definitely knows how to be cool.

It’s the little things, you know?  Like the time a punker told me I had “all the right bands” on my computer.  I was 18, this was a big deal.  Or the party where my idol put on And Out Come the Wolves and I could sing along with everyone else.  Or a bouncer seeing my Black Flag tattoo and saying something about it.  Poser moments?  Maybe.  But they were a part of my punk evolution.

The best advice I ever got was from a friend of mine who we nicknamed “Scary Eyebrows.”  They were incredible, they stuck straight out like Einstein’s hair.  Anyway, he told me punk was all about doing whatever the fuck you wanted and not caring if anyone liked it.  That’s still the philosophy I try to live by.

So, if you want to be a punk, start with your education.  Read all the books you can about the birth of the musicWatch documentaries.  Talk about them with your friends.  Get comfortable with the politics and divides.

Go to shows.  Like, all the shows you can.  Especially local shows.  Punks support each other and support the local scene.  Try to avoid major label bands if at all possible.  Buy merch and music directly from the bands – that’s how they make their money, not by the cut from iTunes sales.

Listen to punk.  Obvious, but important.  Get familiar with the nuances, the different genres and styles.  Peruse the classics and figure out what you like and don’t like.  Are you a fan of gang vocals and rage?  Maybe hardcore punk is your shit.  Do you enjoy skanking around and bouncing with friends?  Try out some third wave ska.  Are bagpipes and fiddles your cue to party?  Perhaps some Celtic or eastern European  punk bands would tickle your fancy.  Do you hate the establishment?  Start with crust punk and crack rock steady, then work your way into 1990s hardcore.

Keep up on the news.  Read DyingScene.com and Profane Existence.  Skim through Maximum Rockandroll.  Keep informed about your town’s scene.  Read some zines and stuff created by your peers and compatriots.

Do the jobs that fit with your values, that honor DIY ethic, that contribute to the community.  Be nice to people.  Pick people up that fall down.

Drink PBR, or don’t.  Eat hamburgers, or be a vegan.  Dye your hair, or never fuck with showers.  Be yourself.

Most importantly, dress however the fuck you want.  Do not, I repeat, DO NOT go shopping at Hot Topic.  You can’t buy your way into punk.  Do It Yourself is the guiding principle here.  Tear up your own t-shirts, sew your own patches, stud your own vests, paint your own leathers.

I guess that’s where my advice ends.  Any additional advice is more than welcome in the comments!

Ever since Ferguson, I’ve been hopeful that we’re living in a historical turning point.  I keep thinking and hoping the greater culture is finally going to open up a bit, to acknowledge systemic oppression.  Hell, just to acknowledge basic inequality here in the states.  And maybe to look at the function police serve.

Probably a lot of this hope comes from my online reading and research.  Sometimes, I think we lose sight of how insular online communities, forums and opinions can be; it’s very difficult to judge how well a viewpoint translates to the wider world if we’re constantly surrounded by agreement and similarities.  Even when we think our views are the best and clear and should be obvious to anyone with a brain.

My parents and I have been growing steadily different, like two paths branching out from a fork in the woods.  Sometimes it feels like miles of darkness between us, with no clear path to connect.  Neither of us is bad or stupid, and we still function and love each other (which is often a rarity in families, I’m very lucky).  And because we still love each other, it’s sometimes difficult to even attempt the long slog through the woods towards each other – what if we end up with only hate and vitriol that will forever stain our relationship?  A film of anger over our love for each other?

Today I figured out what’s been bothering me, niggling away in the back of my brain, about Darren Wilson and Michael Brown.

Someone close to me characterized Brown as a “thug.”  This is a person whose father was a (white) Detroit police officer in the 1960s, and left a few years after the rage and destruction of the 1968 riots.  He was by all accounts a good man and a good cop, although I doubt we ever truly know a person after the fact, or know everything about them from one role they play in their life.  Lineage informs our development and views, and it makes sense to me to support police if your experience was with a family member on the force who was good and decent.  Even if we don’t agree, we can understand why this person might not want to look at bad police behavior.

Now, my favorite documentary is American Hardcore, the movie about the hardcore punk scene in the late 1970s and 1980s; love it or hate it, it’s a nice little slice of the music and attitudes from that period.  In it, there’s a moving scene of Mike Watt and Henry Rollins (separately) talking about police beating up kids at shows.  I can’t describe it, it must be seen.  (watch it here, at 1:19:23, I could not find a youtube of the right part).

Rollins talking is what reminded me of Ferguson.  He looks at the camera incredulously, saying “The police always started it.  It’s not like we go up to uniformed, armed men and say ‘come on’!”

If nothing else, talk with your parents about this.  In my experience of white, middle class, suburban people, which is admittedly not a random sample nor representative of all families, older folks identify with the police.  They understand the fear, the need for protection, the concern that our world is falling apart with violence at every corner and beneath the skin of every person, and feel the police are doing well, acting ethically.

Your job is to bring up the other side.

Without empathy we cannot move forward.  If our job as white people to get our own people; if they cannot hear the words of people of color, they should be able to hear us.  I don’t know if they’ve never known fear of authority (because it looks like them) or if they’ve simply forgotten what it’s like to move in a hostile world.  It really doesn’t matter; people can remember, they can see. they can learn.

If we can get them to feel just a fraction of the fear our communities of color experience, we’ll have gotten somewhere.

A kid doesn’t charge a uniformed, armed officer in a vehicle.

And working to change (or better yet, abolish) a system must be understood as a movement because it’s not working.  It is not working to have 70% of our population constantly living in fear.  It is not working to incarcerate 2/3 of young men of color.  It is not working to act surprised when police act how they are taught to act, and acknowledging this does not condemn the good people who are attempting to function in a broken system.  It’s not working to blame songs like “Fuck Da Police” when police make you feel scared rather than safe.

An act by one person of is enough to condemn the group, then why isn’t an act by one cop enough to condemn the system?

Not all cops, sure.  But then you HAVE to understand – not all [black, brown, young, poor, angry, female] people.

(image via)

my life goal.

Okay, let’s start with real talk.  I’m old to like the music I like.  I’m almost 30.

This isn’t me yelling at “these kids today” because (a) that’s baloney, and (b) I still kind of feel like one of those kids, even at the aforementioned age.

I went to two amazing shows this past week, and was struck by the differences between them.  Saturday we saw Attila, and on Tuesday I was lucky enough to see The Ghost Inside, Hundredth and Architects (lesser importance: Every Time I Die).  Differences between the two shows were striking.

Attila is a band I’ve written about before, because I’m conflicted about liking them, a conflict which increased on Saturday.  Attila is sexist and frequently awful.  Before the band even stepped onstage, there were three bras draped on the microphone stands; throughout the show, the lead singer kept asking for bras and yelling he “needed to see some titties.”  Before the band’s encore, he lamented “all I wanted today was a blow job, and there was a stripper backstage ready to give me one, but I heard you yelling so you better make this worth it.”

Tuesday’s show was a completely different story onstage; I love TGI because they write about social issues and are fairly positive; its this band that started me on the positive hardcore path.  Most of their songs encourage their listeners to show bravery and courage, to keep fighting, to contribute to society and fight injustice.

The crowds at the two shows, to me, did not match what was onstage.  Attila had more girls and women in the crowd, that I could see.  Attila’s pit was less organized, but also less violent.  I danced around a bit (not easy for an old biddy) and wasn’t punched in the face.  I fell down and people helped me up.

I decided that Tuesday’s pit was more violent because the fans take themselves and the band more seriously.  I only saw men in the pit (an anomaly these days) and the dancing was more what I see these days – an open pit, with spinning karate kicks, wild punches from side to side.  I saw three people fall and not get helped up (a serious breach of etiquette).  The people on the edges of the pit (usually my favorite place to watch a show) weren’t smiling; they had strong arms straight out, attempting to keep the dancers moshing at bay.  This wasn’t a place to be with your own kind of people, go off a bit, and enjoy an amazing band.  This looked like a grudge match.  This did not look like fun – it looked like serious business.

I want my favorite bands to take a cue from 7 Seconds, or NOFX, or Stick To Your Guns, or any of the dozens of amazing punk and hardcore bands who have wild, uncontrolled mosh pits, but make a point to encourage their fans to take care of each other, have fun and be mindful.  The first goal in a mosh pit shouldn’t be to kick the shit out of someone – it should be to let out your aggression and frustration, while allowing people in your tribe to do the same.

 

Not too long ago, I heard an amazing episode of “On the Media”, broadcast on NPR.  They talked about nihilism, mostly throughout history, although addressing some feelings that our collective society has gone to hell, that nihilism is on the rise.

I’ve never been a nihilist (another reason I’ve been a mediocre punk) because I think people caring is the only reason to keep going; doing good for each other, informing yourself and others, keeping the world in mind is a force, one I’ve never completely lost faith in.

However, this episode talked about the idea of “political nihilism“, when one stops caring about politics in society, feeling its meaningless to care, because no change is possible.  I feel this way more and more.

come on, who’s going to win this one?

(more…)

😦

 

It used to be that if you didn’t listen to a band, it was generally because their music sucked.

I’m getting really tired of not being able to listen to my favorite bands because the members are dickbags.

 

First, As I Lay Dying singer Tim Lambis hired a hit man to murder his wife.  Sucks, man. Not to mention the response on twitter, mostly focused on how she deserved it.

haha, his shirt says honour. this is what we call “irony.”

Then, Casualties singer Jorge Herrera was accused of sexual assault.

hunh. imagine that.

Now I’m hearing a guitarist in pop punk band New Found Glory was accused of lewd acts with a minor and had child porn.

this guy can’t get an adult woman into bed? the horror!

It’s been a hell of a year, and I’m sure it’s not only this year. In fact, I’m sure it’s not only these bands – these are just the ones who were caught, who were publicly caught, who couldn’t intimidate and settle out of court. But this is a manifestation of the culture we’ve been talking about for the longest. (One where the assault survivor has to write a piece stating her bodily integrity is worth more than a crappy punk band.  Really.)

see? at least an hour in the morning just for the hair.

Now, real talk – the Casualties are not that great. One of the people who first introduced me to skinhead oi told me they were the definition of poseurs, and asked me how long I thought it took for them to put all the studs in their jackets and do their Mohawks in the morning. I did enjoy me some tunes from On the Front Line, though.

New Found Glory was the soundtrack to my high school years (yes, I had terrible taste at 16. Shut up). I still pull out their self-titled CD when I’m feeling extra energized and need mindless tunes with the windows rolled down.

As I Lay Dying was one of the first metal bands I listened to and liked; I mean, come on – Distance is Darkness? The Darkest Nights? These are some excellent tunes. And they were great live – I paid some of my hard earned money to see them. And these dicks are talking about being a Christian band? The same ones who demean women and value the lives of their wives so little to hire someone to kill her, rather than getting a divorce or eating cold pot roast without complaint like normal people?

this fuckin’ guy

That’s the thing. I cannot support these groups that don’t place importance on people’s rights. Playing the guitar does not immunize you from being an asshole and doing terrible things, any more than dunking a basketball, running a pass or batting a strike does. It still takes me a little bit of rationalization to enjoy stuff from Attila (who talk about fucking bitches and removing the pussy from your life) or Leftover Crack (who glorify drug use and killing cops while being a strong voice against war and discrimination against LGBT folks).

I’m really tired of having to decide what music to enjoy based on who is the least terrible person. I’m tired of hearing 10 bands be crappy to women with only one yelling about treating people like people. I’m tired of going to shows where I only see one woman in lineups of 5 bands and all I hear about is her tits. If we can boycott baseball games because of assault charges, if we can fire Kobe for raping a woman, if we can impeach politicians for unconscionable conduct, surely we can find some good bands in this damn subculture of ours who can act like they care about the other 50% of human beings.

Step it up, bands. Step it up, fans. Don’t support music that demeans you. Don’t buy albums that recognize only dudes as awesome and worthy. Don’t go to shows where bands are known for taking minors backstage and doing whatever they want. This is our damn culture – we don’t have to buy into anything they’re selling us. At the end of the day, that’s the point.