shoddy factory

I hate it when you get those weird eye twitches, continual reminder of something awry. Maybe it’s a bad diet, or not enough sleep, or just the stress of existence... A sweaty few days wandering through LA with no car and no direction, except a free ticket to Disneyland, and some avocados from my grandparent’s back yard. Then back here in time to fix the proof of the magazine, before we go to print, and it’s column writing time! I used to harass Golnar about how her columns seemed so half-assed sometimes, obviously written at the last possible second, and now I sit in the chair she once sat in I find myself in the same boat. I feel about as inspired as it’s possible to be when waiting for a delayed flight in an airport lounge. I was going to write about going to see the Raincoats, at this epic touring Part Time Punks fest, which was sort of a post-punk version of Holidays in the Sun. Only instead of Splodgenessabounds and the English Dogs, it featured Viv Albertine from the Slits, the Raincoats, a really shoddy Factory act called Section 25, and Savage Republic. Then whatever local acts from whatever town the tour happened in that fitted in with the Part Time Punks aesthetic and didn’t mind that they probably weren’t going to get paid. I know a few bands were advertised as playing at several shows who didn’t play, that were super psyched to play with the Raincoats but got bugged out at the fact that the promoters wanted them to play for free, but were also charging $25 dollars admission… Cash from chaos! There were actually something like twelve bands playing the SF show. It was a grueling night set to test the endurance of both audience and band. First I went to see Cissie’s new band play their first show, with D-Clone and Nerveskade. They were excellent; with Cissie on bass, Vinnie on drums, Daiki on Guitar and Robert Collins on vocals what more could one expect? I left the show early after a long exchange with D-Clone’s road crew about my giant Vulpess badge. (I got it from the LA Rawponx if you find yourself needing one…)

Anyway, my former band mate was playing drums for the Raincoats, so I skipped the $25 dollar entrance fee, and I assumed my late arrival meant I would manage to skip some of the turgid support acts. NOT THE CASE AT ALL. I only missed Grass Widow, who I actually kind of like. A local band played next, called Magic Bullets I think. Imagine an AHA! Cover band playing all the songs from every John Hughes movie. If people think that shit like that is post-punk, in that the word punk is associated at all with what they were doing, they need their brains examined. It was new wave for secretaries’ night out. I can’t remember much about the terrors followed. So many bad bands! The venue felt like the kind of place where they shoot the club scenes for say Buffy the Vampire Slayer or The Crow, and in fact Savage Republic sounded like they should have been the band in that sort of TV show/corny movie club scene. They had a Tool/leather trench coat vibe to their sound, and I was told that when the Raincoats finished their soundcheck, the guitarist for savage Republic made fun of how “inept” they were, then started shredding Steve Vai style on his guitar. Why would you book a show with some stupid past-it rock band, who don’t even know who the Raincoats are? Savage Republic were one saxophone solo away from being that shitty band from the Lost Boys.

The Raincoats were great—I was really nervous about seeing them play. My band played with them when they first got back together in 1993, we were teenagers and thought they sounded like hippie mom rock. They played a song with Viv Albertine, which was dreamy, and in general managed to convey the adventurous idea of music that their records encapsulate. It didn’t seem like a pastiche of something that once meant something else, but instead was a continuation of a musical idea that echoes on in girls’ bedroom bands. That’s about all I got room for, more next month I swear!

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