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Detroit, Michigan, United States
I'm a punk rock guru from Detroit. Part skinhead, part crusty, part metalhead, part hardcore kid, part party kid, 100% punk rocker.
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Friday, March 4, 2011

Show review, Jamestowne Hall, February 12th

Show review, February 12th, 2011 at Olde Jamestowne Hall extravaganza


As I drunkenly walked out of CCS with the help of two individuals whose names I could not possibly recall, local friends Dave, Kyle and Amanda rode in a car with me, driving my Bacardi-influenced ass back home, since I was suffering from a set of Leftover Crack-esque conundrums (you can’t go home and you can’t stay here, and rock the 40 oz.). Nevertheless, I was dropped off at home, half-drunk and carless. Just sober enough to be aware of this conundrum, I stumbled/ walked to downtown Ferndale from my home, eventually taking a brief residence in the local Dunkin Donuts to wait for the bus (it doesn’t run 24/7), as I had no swift way to retrieve my car. Luckily, a nice fellow who also took up residence let me know when the bus was set to run again, although I somehow woke at just the right time. I took the bus straight down, got my vehicle back, and rode the freeway out to Chesterfield, where I had to be later that day to take a band on a three-day tour. I arrived an hour later, parking in an eastern Macomb county suburban subdivision and sleeping in my car for a couple of hours before waking for the rest of the day to take local punk band the Plastic Boyz on two out-of-state tour dates and one local date. What a way to start an event like that.

I really hope you find the previous story interesting, because it trumps the show I went to at Olde Jamestowne Hall on February 12th. Usually, Ripped Heart is pretty good about throwing cool shows, but sometimes (at least this time), it was a botched effort. The show ran fine but the bands…I was, for the first time in my life, hoping to run into that little banjo-playing fucker; at least he was captivating and had a story to tell. These bands… aside from the two Detroit regulars and one Grand Rapids group, couldn’t compound a worthy message with Steven Spielberg, Geddy Lee, and J.D. Salinger at their disposal. Once in a while, music is not even a case of personal taste; I don’t really like the 13th Floor Elevators, the Beatles, or polka music, but I understand that these all are a personal preference. Some music is just without any instrumentation or underlying message worthy of a listener’s ear. It seems that they all seemed to just jump on the same show.

The Loving Dead and Lobster Ect were missed by me because Saginaw is 90 miles from Detroit, and I see no reason to skip a whole class for the bands I’ve heard nothing of (I took a half a class to myself, and I drove 90 miles to make a show that started at 4 pm).

Next, as I was walked in, Desiring Dead Flesh started their set. I like their style, but for some reason, the music comes off as grindcore/ powerviolence rather than hardcore punk. That might have to do with the eight-year old drummer and the limited drumming dynamics inherent in his age and corresponding size. In essence, a Mid-Michigan xBRANIAx that doesn’t quite equal their fastcore competitors in-state.

Funneling in and out, the next band the Yuck Yucks from Owosso started up. I anticipated a second-rate crack rock steady band: some relatively generic upstroke chords, 6:4 timing drums, and maybe some song lyrics about drinking, drugs, hating redneck neighborhoods, hating the government, being poor, etc. That’s what I got, but without any of the general interest or quality. Maybe that has to do with the fact that they (admittedly) had not played in two years, but I suspect it’s a mixture of no recent experience and second-rate songwriting. If you can’t be unique, at least be enjoyable. Not idolizing Stza and Ezra may be a start too.

The Explicit Bombers were up next. It’s never a good sign when my brain sinks into a mood ripe for lyrical and literary inspiration. I’m not a very positive person, and my situations receptive to inspiration are the extreme of my negativity (much like most other artists, who take their inspiration from emotions, mine just happen to be negative). In other words, I listened to this band, trying to figure out what I could take away from this band, and I saw…little. I guess it’s good to see younger kids getting involved in punk, but there’s a philosophical simplicity the band and its members had that I have no way to look past. The music is some blatant blueprint Fat Wreck punk with whiny pop overtones; if this band has any hope, they need to drop any and all Fat Wreck influence, to just do the Johnny Ramone thing and stop listening to music when writing their own. NOFX is painful enough to listen to with angst-saturated vocals, left-wing propaganda (both left-wing and right-wing annoy me in their respective ways, left-wing just incorporates music and right-wing usually doesn’t), bad pop punk songs long ago perfected by 60s garage bands and the Ramones, and a sarcasm that is somehow held in reverence. A NOFX cover band is just a bar band without the bar; this band needs to expand their philosophical and musical horizons, because what they’re doing right now is less tolerable than radio rap music worthwhile for only pissing off suburbanites and smoking the wacky tobacco to.

Next was another new band Skitch. I feel it’s far too soon to render any real judgment, but as an introduction to the band, the show for them was okay at best, mediocre at worst. Sort of poppy, but more Queers-poppy than third wave poppy. This is why demos are so vitally important: They can turn my (and others’) perception of a band 180 degrees around and I hope that’s what the case is here.

Next in line was CbJ, who never let me down. This case was no exception; the band did very well for what I did see. They seem to have a fourth wave prototype built, incorporating a numerous amount of different influences into their sound with a solid foundation of edgy third wave ska (I can’t call it skacore, but the punk influences are undoubtedly present). They also cover some nontraditional songs and just seem to have something that binds them; it’s something that keeps them going, even when their colleagues dissipate and fall apart. This is Detroit’s new Telegraph; hopefully they don’t shit out a record like Switched On.

Towards the end of CbJ’s set, I departed, disgusted with the majority of the bands in correlation to my drive (90 fucking miles for this shit!?) and decided my time would be better spent urinating on car door handles. Turns out I was right. I’m sure Taozins and 40 Oz. of Spite did reasonably well, but they were a piece of bronze amongst a swamp of shit; I suspect they will survive without my misanthropy-induced thousand yard homicidal stares.

-Aunty Social

9 comments:

  1. So you go to punk shows for lyrical and literary inspiration? And then you come home and bitch about how you don't like someone elses music? maybe punk rock isn't for you, Writing reviews on music sure isn't. For someone who's as fucking (xxpunxxcasualtiesxxrancidxxpunxxxxx)as yourself you sure whine a lot. Sorry certain bands don't follow your little "punk rock rulebook"

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  2. PunkRockxxMohawkxx40OZxxANARCHYApril 5, 2011 at 11:33 PM

    Man you probably don't even shop at hot topic. How do you support punk rock if you dont shop at hot topic bro? You probably don't shower to be more "crusty" yet still sleep in a bed at night, in a house, with a WORKING shower

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  3. HEYMAN THIS is your IDOL stza crack, stop hating. you're not allowed to be a punk anymore.

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  4. How about you don't read the zine if you don't like it? Because that's a really simple thing to do. Stop bitching. I know how much you self-proclaimed "punks" love bitching and calling other people "poseurs", but for the sake of keeping some of your dignity, shut up.

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  5. Such an emotional reaction... Saddening. Instead of looking at this as an opportunity to better yourself, you just employ a sort of ad hominem approach that makes you look foolish.
    If you had any real confidence in your band, you would likely not worry about what I had to say in the first place.
    Better yet, if you don't like what I have to say, do something yourself!

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  6. Haha this review was written under the influence of being in a bad mood about a girl.

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  7. Sssssssssssssswing and a miss! It was about driving a hundred miles one way for a really fucking terrible show. Half a tank of gas down the drain for nothing tends to put you in a shitty mood when it's your money.

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  8. Bahaha thats a lie and you know it. I've lost allot of respect for your work with this review.

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  9. You've got the right to believe whatever you want. If it brings you a little bit of consolation and helps you sleep at night because your band is shit, then power to you. However, it is indeed not true, whether or not you acknowledge it is not relevant.
    I will have to thank you, however, because your misguided conceptions about who I am and what I think have brought me a little bit of laughter, albeit at your expense.
    It's also brought me some joy that my work was fine to you before I gave it a bad review, and all of a sudden you've "lost respect for my work". Hm, someone's not being very objective.

    Feel free to (since you now have no respect for my work) write your own reviews if you don't like what I have to say.

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