Posts Tagged ‘punk’

Punk Rock Shows and Black Cigs

April 13, 2010

I found myself lost in Youtube for over an hour and ended up where I always do, watching old Side Project videos. Then I started thinking about how much I miss going to those shows. Sure, there are still shows in Ashland and and a few of the same bands played, but it’s just not the same.

I remember my first Washburn show and how I only knew 4 songs the entire night, but it was still amazing. It was the first time I had seen a real pit, the first time I smelled Djarum Black’s, and the first “party” I ever went to. I miss the days when people didn’t care about how they looked at the shows and actually went there to have fun. Believe it or not, people used to dance, jump, and mosh at shows. Now you’re lucky to have 4 perfectly straight lines of people looking at you with their arms crossed and their heads tilted to the side.

It probably doesn’t mean much to the few people that read this because they weren’t there and it’s just another show to them. To me it’s more than just the bands and dancing though. It used to be a very different experience than it is now. I was always with the group of kids that shows up early for the show, but that group of kids doesn’t exist anymore. After waiting on the front steps of the Civic for sometimes an hour, Ben would show up and let us in, and we’d pay our $4 and go upstairs.

There was always a certain feeling in the air at shows. There were the kids that everyone knew and the new kids that were clearly scared to be there. Back then I didn’t know every person that was there because there was more than just one group of kids that went. Now you basically have to beg your friends to come to the show, and it wasn’t even to see your band. You have to beg them to come so that you can get their $5, so you can pay the touring bands enough to make it to the next city.

I didn’t mean to make this a comparison, but there are a lot of differences between the shows now and how they were then. Back then I would leave every show sweaty and thankful for the cool summer air. After a night of rocking out and screaming my lungs off, I would go to the gas station and buy the first drink that I could get my hands on. Everyone would be looking for something to do because it’s 10 on a Saturday night and nobody had made any plans because of the show.

This is going to sound deep, but it’s very true. The shows really changed who I am as a person. I discovered my favorite band, I found music and people that I could relate to, I found something to look forward to every month or two, and it gave me  reason to learn how to play bass. I made friends,became a much more confident and outspoken person, not to mention I learned to appreciate certain things a little more. Who needs a big stage, a pro sound system and a lighting rack? Sure we had to tape mics to stands sometimes, but at least kids had fun and looked forward to shows. Don’t have money to pay for professional shirts? Paint your band’s name on a Goodwill shirt, I’ll buy it.

I know I missed the start of the Washburn pop-punk scene, and really I was only there for the last part of it, but I still miss it just the same. Now that the music scene has moved to Ashland and I have to book the shows, it just doesn’t have the same feeling of excitement to it. It’s almost more of a sense of responsibility  than anything. I hope someday  there will be a few people and a few bands that start caring about music in the area again.

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Who’s Your Favorite Band? (1/2)

September 17, 2009

I’ve been asked this question many times, but I’ve never really been able to answer it. I think to better answer the question I would have to ask myself ” Which bands would you be willing to get a tattoo of?” If someone is willing to mark themselves with a bands logo, lyrics, etc forever, then they must be a big fan. Whenever I ask someone that same question I am always disappointed.  I get very typical answers like ” Well I listen to everything”, which is a damn lie. If you listen to everything then why haven’t you heard of any of my favorite bands? So here are 10 bands that I want you to listen to.

Keep in mind I’m not saying these are the 10 best bands, or my 10 favorite, but simply a suggestion.

1. The Gaslight Anthem
These guys are easily one of my top 5 favorite bands ever. They are a very emotional mix of Blues and Punk.  When I say “emotional” I don’t want you to think Dashboard Confessional, I want you to think Bruce Springsteen.  All of their songs on very powerful and meaningful. Just by the tone in his voice you ge the feeling that he has lived a hard life, and maybe you can relate. Check The ’59 Sound for albums and Great Expectations, The ’59 Sound, and The Patient Ferris Wheel for songs.

2. Rancid
If you like Punk or Pop-Punk then you will love these guys. I’m sure if you are reading this then you are already full acquainted with Rancid and maybe even Operation Ivy (they are coming up). Rancid has been together for a long time, and they still have the same energy they had when they started. They might look like old, balding men now, but once they hit the stage they act just like they did 15 years ago. All of their songs are fun, fast paced, and have sing-a-long choruses. Pick up …And Out Come The Wolves and just listen to the whole album in order. Every song is worth listening to.

3. The Side Project
I might be a little bias because of growing up in their music scene, but this is my blog so I don’t care. These guys are absolutely crazy live and you can never know what to expect. Sometimes they will be serious and sound amazing, and other days they just want to get drunk and have fun. Either way seeing these guys is a blast and you shouldn’t pass up a chance if one arises. If you like Screeching Weasel, Teenage Bottlerocket, or just singing along then you will like these guys. Though most of their songs are about girls, they do have a few that branch away like Tough Guys and It’s Kind Of A Ride(Think Jurassic Park). You will find a song of theirs to relate to. If you can find It’s A Secret to Everybody pick it up, otherwise This Machine Kills Scenecore and Get A New Brain are easily available.

4. Teenage Bottlerocket
Pop-punk done to perfection. Listen to these guys and be prepared to have their songs stuck in your head for days. Tons of back-up vocals and harmonies. They keep everything simple and fun, just how music should be. If you ever need a song to describe how you are feeling about a girl, whether good or bad, TBR will have on for you. They recently signed to Fat Wreck Chords and put out an album called They Came From The Shadows, but there are some tracks you should listen to before picking that up. Check Total for Bloodbath at Burger King, Radio, and Stupid Games. Once you’re done with that get a copy of Warning Device and listen to In The Basement, On My Own, and Anna’s Song.

5. Bomb The Music Industry!
BMTI! isn’t so much as band as much as it is a collection. Jeff Rosenstock (formerly of the Arrogant Sons of Bitches) invites dozens of other musicians to play along with him and then gives away his music. All of their music is free on his Myspace page, but donations are accepted. Don’t expect perfect sound quality or any singing in key, but that’s not what this is about. He believes in DIY to the fullest extent and you get free music because of it, be happy. Songs range from slow acoustic, to full blown swing songs to DC Style Hardcore Punk. Instruments range from 1 acoustic guitar all the way up to a 10 person band. I would recommend I Don’t Love You Anymore and Stand There Until You’re Sober.

6-10 will be posted tomorrow