I am FULLY PUMPED ON THINGS RIGHT NOW! really psyched! who knows why; having spent an age in hibernation... (which includes walking out to the beach by myself two or three times a week, thru the park or the sunset district listening to chris bell solo/die kreutzen) and suddenly, things turn into the last song on the VOID side of the VOID faith split. EXPLODE!!!! It's one the traumatic things about being an underachieving person who over analyses things; very little gets done but alot gets observed and enjoyed/dismissed. Things that have been enjoyed- the weird vegan hot dog stand out on Irving and 18th. Also the Jasmine Tea ice cream at the place at 38th and Noriega. Mostly coffee, the ocean, the trees through the fog and Cows and Beer really.
Other things that are firmly in the Kicks Affirmative camp:
1-Barr live! and Marnie Stern. Totes magical humans for sure... One of the things that kind of bugs me about the noise/art damage world is the endless bogus positivity. The most cynical hateful people will suit up with this posi-hippie guise, when it's totally obvious they hate life and good times and are squeezed into too tight neon green ironic clothing that is affecting their will to live. Um no but really, I mean my band plays in this context, Oakland bus shows and art galleries rather than crust crusader warehouses and scabies basement scenes. So I am involved and interested in things musically outside of the minutae of Kangrena 7"s and Black Flag targets vids or whatevers... I think it might actually be the concept of 'scene' that creeps me out. I like being around people who are consumed by the things I am also obsessed with, but just because some kid skates and listens to um the 13th Floor Elevators doesn't mean they are on my team. (This I discovered when I moved to Orange County when I was 21ish to look after my grandmother. After a lifetime of fantasizing about living in California and skating with like minded dorks, the realization that most skaters in California were straight up jock boredom machines was a littlke disarming. Also the OC blows chunks) This all relates to the Barr and Marnie Stern tour because these are definitely not MRR sanctioned artistes, but both demonstrate genuine, non artificial flavored radness. Seeing Marnie shred on her guitar; just the sense of wonder and the lack of constraints made me think of a girl reclaiming that sound from the likes of the Fucking Champs or Lightening Bolt or whatever and removing all the irony and dude-ness and making it about newness and nowness. Not retro douchebag 70s moustache land but some other thing I can't exactly explain. Barr was a band this time, and that was totally grade A uplifting non patronizing feel good times also. I like how Brendan can totally disarm a room, totally blow people away or make them want to fight him. I know the readers of this magazine are probably against it but I am pro team Barr times 3000.
2-Re-reading Absolute Beginners by Colin Macinnes, which you should totally read. I got it from bookmooch.com, free book trades! sign up. Anyway it's London in the 50s; the first spark of life and youth after the 2nd World War. MacInnes captures London, particularly West London where I was born and raised with such vigour and force!! Read it, it'll totally make you understand Paul Weller circa The Jam so much more, particularly the dreamier songs like Life from a Window. Mod fuck explosion! It is kind of trashy pulp fiction I know, but so evocative and if you are obsessed with youth subcultures you will heart it. I haven't seen the film they made of it in the 80s, but I am sure it's lousy.
3-Ramones!! Still the most romantic band in the history of time. Golnar says: late 80s Ramones, (I dont wanna be buried in a pet cemetary etc etc) I say... I wanna be yr boyfriend?? Today your love?? C'mon.
4-Anne Briggs and the Ethan Swan explanation of folk being like punk; how one record leads to another, from Nick Drake to Bert Jansch to Anne Briggs and Wizz Jones to to to etc etc etc just like Minor Threat tape to Flex Your Head to the Kids Will Have Their Say or Necros or whatever. I like that part of being a record nerd, the paths and diversions. I am totally obsessed with Irma Thomas, and my favourite Irma Thomas record was one produced and mostly written by one Jerry 'Swamp Dogg', that led me to Doris Duke, also produced by Swamp Dogg. The record's called I'm a Loser, which along with being one of the harshest soul records you've ever heard; a song about the local mill closing resulting in the unemployment of the song's protagonist, which results in said protagonist singing said song from a hotel room bed waiting for her next customer... Anyways Doris Duke was one of Nina Simone's backing singers and so on it goes! I have found a couple of Swamp Dogg's records in thrift stores but none have hit as hard as Irma's Inbetween Tears or I'm a Loser, but maybe he has good 45s or somethin? Much like punk rock and hardcore, soul and r'n'b are 7" genres.
5-Die Kreuzen!! I am not sure if I have already talked about this but dude, I wish someone had played me fucking cows and beer when I was a teenager! I only heard late era Die Kreuzen which is muchly unremarkable to these ears, thusly I avoided this band. But Cows and Beer is exactly the kind of brain wreckage I like. and the first lp? HOLY SHIT!! Seriously; the teenage genius soundtrack to the end of time.
6-Golnar is totally abandoning san francisco, so I will have no one to talk about REALLY RED and HUGGY BEAR. It is so rare to meet a fellow female music nerd who is obsessed with more than one genre of music, and can authoritatively talk of Finnish hardcore, 90s Olympia based girl punk and late 70s SWELL MAPS inspired DIY punk. Who also knows the words to Creedence and the fuckin RONETTES. Her abandoning ship is a total total shitsystem, but I am gonna try and be philosophical and uh make some remark about how life goes on and how most of my closest friends live on the wrong coast or continent, and part of the magical-ness of punk is the fact that you can maintain the bro-dyssey over mass distances no sweat. Right?
7-Maybe I should abandon ship? Except I live rent controlled in a rad neighborhood in one of the most expensive cities in the world, which I love. I don't feel super affiliated with the culture or humans here necessarily but the place itself is so dreamy. I mean mountains and oceans, Mission punk shows and Oakland noise bus shows. One of my favorite things about SF is obviously MRR, I like how it's a collection of total miscreants and weirdos, not a cohesive scene, alot of people who do shitwork here probably haven't been to a punk show in years, alot go to a couple a week or month. Whatever. The point is it isn't a cohesive unit but a mass deformity that somehow functions and creates despite it's failings and endless imminent disasters. One of my favorite feelings is being in my room on my own in a full house, and I kind of feel the same way about the punk scene here. Like I could go to a show, and see my friends, or people I vaguely know from MRR but the scene isn't all there is. I am not sure if that makes any sense at all. It's just a rad feeling having the possibility of punk every week, and one most punks are not privvy to and I know I take it for granted...
9-Pizza is always in my top ten. Whatevers to the pizza snobs who disregard non NY based pizza. Go to Zacharies in Oakland, Arizmendi in SF and more importantly Serranos in the Mission for late night slices.. Good times.
10-what else is good? I am going to England in June for the first time in like 4 years which will be hopefully a druid filled stone circle of a good time. Off the pigs.