Columns - "If You Die, and Go to Hell, Who Cares?" 03.21.01

It's been a rough coupla weeks. You know how spring can be. As the sun comes out more frequently, the days seem to just race by. You look up and a week has passed without warning. A few weeks like that and you're running furiously to catch up. At least, that's the boat I'm in this month.

I missed the deadline for my column in Maximum Rocknroll. I've got a gun to my own head, making myself write this column. Not that I don't feel like writing, not that I don't have anything to say, it's just that sometimes I need a little pressure. Sometimes words hide, or I just forget where to look for them. And a lot of times, there are just too many words, a blizzard of thoughts tearing through my head. I can't pick anything from the flurry of words. Or, here's another analogy for you: sometimes so many ideas and thoughts are trying to squeeze their way out of my head, they all get stuck, bottlenecking like the traffic on I-80 at the I-580 split, right before the toll plaza on the Bay Bridge.

Regular readers should be wondering right about now, "So, when the fuck is he gonna get to the music?" My answer: soon, maybe. You see, I've been trying to buy fewer records, which means that I still spend as much on records (if not more), but I wind up picking up more cheap-o used records. When I'm trying to cut back on buying records one of my favorite things to do, ironically, is to go buy records. However, instead of diving into the new records, I limit myself to the used 45s. With the average price around $1.95, I tend to grab a lot of records, picking up lots of oldies that I've never heard and many I've never heard of. And I tend to buy multiple copies of records I already own. I can't turn down a good deal on a record, even if I already have four copies sitting in my closet.

Since I've spending more on old 45s and thus buying fewer new records, I haven't come across much this month that really knocked my socks off.

Wait. That's not true—a number of good records came out this month. That STOOGES LP of Funhouse alternative takes, culled from the pricey Rhino box set has finally hit the shelves. Despite the fact that I have the box set and that I've burned a CD of my own personal favorite alternate takes, I still bought the LP. Mimi got a kick out of this. My record buying habits perplex her. I can literally see her mentally leafing through pages of Marx as I show her my latest score from Amoeba. "Hippy" records (like the Stooges and MC5), records I already have, records I buy because they look like they might be good (though they often aren't), records I buy for other people, records, records, records. I can't get enough. It's a bad, bad addiction.

I actually had a column started. I was going to write about the growing number of bands who try to be shocking by writing songs about beating up and raping women and the growing number of zines and records plastered with boring porn pictures. In that column, I was going to write how it is sort of like when bands try to be shocking by saying they eat meat. It's funny (sad/weird/boring/unimaginative) how bands have taken to imitating popular culture/society at large in an attempt to be shocking. Do they not realize how moronic they wind up looking? Seriously, what's so shocking about bubble-breasted plastic naked women? Everybody sees that shit everyday, everywhere. And beating women? That's just indefensible. Did you pick that up from your dunderhead drunkard dads?

The way I see it, bands that stoop to those tactics obviously have to rely on gimmicks (and not even very original gimmicks) to get attention because their music doesn't fucking hold water. If you're a boring band, I guess you've gotta do something to call attention to yourself. Too bad they're stooping so low as to imitate their own parents.

Ahem...excuse me there. That's me going off on a tangent in the middle of a column that wasn't really going anywhere anyway.

Don't worry, next month, I'll be back on track, I'll have the lowdown on new releases. Until then, here's an abbreviated cheat sheet on some decent new 7":

GIMMIES "Get It Right Now" 7" e.p. [Screaming Apple]; ONE MAN SHOW "It Don't Matter" 7" [Call & Response, 1526 Westerly Ter. #4, LA, CA 90026; FLAKES "Bip Bam Boom!" 7" [Just Add Water]; SHRINKS "Nowhere To Live," PITS "National Anthem" [both on Rapid Pulse, PO Box 5075, Milford, CT 06460]; SICK THINGS s/t e.p., UNWANTED "1984" [both are reissues, on Damaged Goods]; NERVOUS EATERS "No More Idols," MONARCHS "2001" [both on Penniman, PO Box 32142-08080, Barcelona (Spain)]; REAL KIDS "Live In Detroit" [D.U.I. PO Box 46073, Mt. Clemens, MI 48046]; FORTY-FIVES/EVERYDAY SINNERS [Corn Daddy, 624 S. Higgins, Missoula, MT 59801]; the PATTERN s/t [Gearhead]; NEW TOWN ANIMALS/DELATEURS [Zaxxon Virile Action].

Real quick, you should also check out the new LOST SOUNDS LP on Big Neck Records. And here's a reason to live: Crypt Records is releasing two PAGANS LPs (and CDs) this May! Stay tuned for more details next month!!!

If you can get to Buffalo, New York, I recommend you do so at the end of April for this year's Rust Belt Revolt. Big Neck Records brings you the second annual wild weekend of pure gut-busting, brain-melting punk rock. This year's event will be April 27th and 28th at the Mohawk Place, downtown Buffalo. Here's a taste of the line-up: BASEBALL FURIES (who have a new record due out soon), BLOWTOPS, CLONE DEFECTS, DAYLIGHT LOVERS, DIRTBOMBS, GUILTY PLEASURES, IRVING KLAWS (who have a relatively new CD on Get Hip), LOST SOUNDS, MISTREATERS, TRAILER PARK TORNADOS and the Tyrades! It'll be a helluva a weekend. Enough to hold you over until the Shakedown in September.

Next month: more records!

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