Posts Tagged ‘ punk rock ’

Another Record Store Day success story

Another Record Store Day success story

Finds:
Rocket from the Crypt: “Group Sounds”
Samiam: “Clumsy”
Gray Area: “Fanbelt Algebra

Not found:
Husker Du: “Statues”

Found, but not purchased:
Notorious B.I.G: “Ready to Die”

All in all, a most punk rock Record Store Day 2013. All fantastic albums, now all in my vinyl collection.

In case you want to watch all RVIVR’s new music videos in one place

because I know I do!

“Spider Song”

“wrong way/one way”

“LMD”

I have so much love for RVIVR. All they’ve done since their first album is get even better. They are near impossibly catchy; their songs have such good hooks that I can’t believe it.

If you haven’t picked up their sophomore album, do it here.

And catch them on tour! I will be at one if not more of these shows.

In which I share my ultimate break up playlist

Listening to: rudietuesday’s ultimate break up playlist

Browsing my Twitter feed last night, I saw a tweet from the Huffington Post that linked to an article promising “the ultimate breakup playlist.” Turns out this ultimate list was actually the “Top 10 Songs To Get Through Divorce,” but I guess that is a pretty ultimate break up.

The list, for those of you who haven’t clicked on the article, consists of the likes of Alanis Morissette (of course), Gotye (ugh), and Cee Lo Green (because, obviously, the f-you song). For the Billboard pop at heart, this list might be great. For me, it sucks.

So I decided to create my own ultimate playlist for a break up. Punk rock style. I kept it to 10 songs for this post, to mirror the HuffPo article, and it only clocks in at about a half hour. A solid amount of time, but in case of emergency, a longer mix may be needed. It’s posted on Spotify, so listen and feel empowered that you’re a strong independent person with one more “ex” in your life. I encourage you to add to it, and please let me know if you do.

TRACK LIST

1. “Bourne on the FM Waves of the Heart” – Against Me!
You have to fight to stay in control of the situation.
Against Me! often makes me feel rowdy, but this song starts off slow and sweet, with just a bit of edge. It gets tougher and louder as the song goes on. It feels okay to be sad at the beginning, but then even more okay to be moving on.

2. “A Little Death” – Fucked Up
I don’t want love if it will hurt me again. I’m better off, it was too much, a little death from every touch.
Man, I love these guys. Their songs are no-nonsense about shoving their intensity in your face, but the message in their lyrics is strong in such a bittersweet way. Nothing tears me up inside while simultaneously making me feel like everything will be okay like a F’d Up song.

3. “Know What I Mean, Jellybean?” – Iron Chic
I’m out of tears, I’ll make no consessions/through all these years, I’ve learned a lesson.
Iron Chic’s lyrics make me want to cry sometimes, but their sound makes me want to flail around and start a mosh pit at a bus stop. (Seriously, I’ve felt that urge more than once.) This is a “life still sucks, but I’m getting over it” song.

4. “Dog” – Lemuria
At least I can say I tried with you.
I knew Lemuria had to be on here. So many of their songs would’ve worked on this mix. The longing is strong on this track, but the words know it’s over and the chords are hopeful.

5. “27 Days” – Cheap Girls
And it’s been 27 days without you and I still feel the same/except I’m not too tired to settle down.
About halfway through the mix is time to tone it down for a sec, right? Here’s your quieter moment to reminisce. But don’t think I’m going to let you get back to wallowing territory.

6. “Remedy” – Hot Water Music
I must live to know healing takes some time./So no regrets, and no looking back to sinking ships.
HWM is so not going to let you wallow. Remember the point of this mix. We are getting over things, not allowing ourselves to get back under them. So play your air guitar and let HWM help guide you on your way to the land of empowerment.

7. “Nothing Can Stop Me” – Heavens to Betsy
But if you think/that I’m not strong/you best watch out/nothing can stop me.
Speaking of empowerment, who’s more empowered than a riot grrrl? There was no way this mix was getting by without at least one song from this style of music and life. This song makes me uneasy, which is one of the reasons I love it. Sometimes you just need to scream a little bit (or a lot) to feel okay.

8. “Everybody That Loves You” – Bomb the Music Industry!
I hope that when I sit around watching snow collect in banks on the ground/that I don’t get too down because you’re not around.
Things are looking up. You’re feeling like an empowered riot grrrl and you realize that sometimes you’re alone, and sometimes you’re not. Everyone’s got problems (me, too!) and you are dealing with yours. People love you because you are awesome, even if you don’t always realize it.

9. “Aside” – The Weakerthans
I’m unconsoled, I’m lonely, I am so much better than I used to be.
Because we’re not anything even close to perfect, but we’re working on getting through this life as best as we can. We are moving on.

10. “FuckUTurn” – Kid Dynamite
So you can say what you want, say what you will, at least I can say I do what I feel is right for me, with no apologies for you.
I mean, there has to be one final f-u, right?

Note: I linked to live and alternate versions of the songs for as many tracks as possible in this list. It’s easy to find the usual versions, on Spotify and elsewhere, so why not try something a bit different? After all, we’re changing, and that’s what it’s all about.

In which I discuss the phases of the punk via Riot Fest East

Listening to: The rain (it’s just so soothing), various amateur videos taken and Riot Fest and posted to YouTube

Bomb the Music Industry! once posed the question through song lyric:

Remember when we danced at shows/before we all stood in the back?

Well, I remember those shows.  Partly because they’re still occurring.  I rue the day when I find it more appealing to stand far from the crowd with a beer in my hand than to be right up front squashed against dozens of sweaty punks or going wild in the pit without a care for what I look like.

At 22, that’s what these shows still are for me.  And that’s what Riot Fest East was last weekend (also, check out my friend A Yonki’s blog for some freeform, stream on consciousness writing on this theme).

I could spend paragraphs gushing over how incredible Riot Fest was — how amazing it was to see some of my favorite bands again and for the first time, discovering new, ridiculously talented musicians, and just general geeking out about punk rock with friends — but I won’t.  (You’re welcome.)

For the first time:

Again:

Instead, I sit here mulling over a question of phases.  Here I was at Riot Fest East, sponsored by Red Bull with special guest appearances by punk rock rum retailer Sailor Jerry.  The place was filled with kids I probably would’ve been great friends with in high school and kids I probably would be great friends with a few decades from now.  Some of my favorite bands were lined up to take the stage that day and I didn’t once second-guess the fact that I had, a couple months prior, paid a massive amount of fees to Ticketmaster for admission to a music festival sponsored by an energy drink company whose product I find repulsively disgusting.

Part of the day made me wish I was 16 again.  Part of it made me wonder what I’ll look like when I’m at shows 20, 30 years from now.  And all of it displayed a phenomenon I dubbed The Phases of the Punk.

I imagine every kid must take the journey from pxnk rawk to Punk during their evolution of discovering, exploring and living punk rock music.  These phases were well represented at Riot Fest.

THE YOUNG, CRUSTY GUTTER PUNKS

It was a long, confusing, probably about two-mile walk to get to the front gate of Philly’s Festival Pier, where Riot Fest took place.  I blame it on poor Ticketmaster directions.  But we knew we had arrived at the right spot when not far in a distance, a group of wild combat-booted, ripped-stockinged, denim jacket-wearing punks appeared.

Not one of them could have been older than 18 or 19, and for the most part they looked only about 15 years old.  But they all had that excessively pierced, mildly dyed, “Hey check out these patches with all my favorite bands but really I don’t give a fuck what you think” look.

For a brief moment before we went inside the Festival Pier, I wondered what kind of Riot Fest I really had gotten myself into.  Not a half hour later, though, these same angry-looking kids were happily jigging to Oregon bluegrass punks Larry and his Flask.  To be honest, when I was 16 I probably didn’t look nearly as angry or threatening as these kids, but I did have the strong desire to dye my hair every possible color and generally dress in what I took to be my own punky style.

Everyone has that middle school/high school yearbook photo that they regret, and every punk goes through their young discovering-themselves phase.

THE GUY SWEATING BALLS IN A HALLOWEEN COSTUME

Every show, am I right?  This time we got a rooster in a punk rock  DIY jean vest.  I have no idea what happened to him by the end of the night, but I’m guessing he chucked the chicken suit around 4 p.m. after losing about 4 gallons of water through sweat and then proceeded to chug Powerade and/or beer for the rest of the evening.

ER, ME?

Here I am, the short girl in her faded, cut-up, tie-dyed t-shirt, yellow bandana-made-makeshift-headband to keep the sweat from my eyes, cut off jeans shorts (not quite jorts), and bright green high top sneakers.  I dressed for this day with only comfort in mind.  I spent no time deciding which band t-shirt would be the most appropriate or whether I should afix a pin or two to my bag or shorts.  My thought process was, more or less, as follows:

Ugh, it’s going to be so gross in Philly this weekend.  Why won’t this weather just let up already? I’m so sick of this humid, muggy summer crap.  It shouldn’t be 80 degrees in Philly in late September.  Now, what can I wear that will allow me to get the most sweaty and smelly in the least obvious way?

I felt a bit awkward when I finished getting dressed that morning and realized I managed to pick an outfit where my shirt and sneakers matched damn near perfectly.  I mean, how un-punk rock can you get?

But on arrival at the fest, it was out of my mind and no longer mattered.  Because here, at the front gate, were the young punks sipping from their alcohol-filled water bottles; the orgcore punkers with more plaid and gauges than I’d ever know what to do with; the rockabilly chicks that look like they were hired by Red Bull (who sponsor Riot Fest) to be there; the kid dressed like a chicken; and the family with their punk rock babies in tow.

But we’ll get there.

THE “OLD” PUNKS

This is probably the phase I’m starting to fit into, but I’m not quite there yet.  This is the set I generally associate with standing at the back of the venue holding a beer while singing along to all the lyrics, maybe throwing fists in the air in unity every other chorus or so.  These are the ones who had the best assortment of t-shirts at Riot Fest, too, because they wore all the ridiculously obscure out-of-print shirts for punk bands whose last album came out in 1997.

For instance:

Frank Grimes from The Simpsons as The Descendents' Milo

Frank Grimes from The Simpsons as The Descendents' Milo

Jawbreaker Morton Salt Girl

Jawbreaker Morton Salt Girl

Incidentally, I have the Dillinger Four t-shirt that makes fun of this one

7 Seconds "Walk Together Rock Together"

THE PUNK ROCK FAMILY

Some small children were in attendance with their tiny fauxhawks and youth-small sized Descendents t-shirts.  I’m going to imagine the families were more likely there with the bands than random people who bought tickets thinking to themselves, “Hey! What a great idea for a weekend family outing!”  This group of folks in attendance later sparked a discussion between my friends and I over how those kids would view punk rock growing up.  A sordid theory made the rounds in which we pondered whether the children would eventually reach their teenage years and rebel by listening to pop or country music and joining the glee club.

Something to consider whilst singing your baby to sleep with a Bad Religion lullaby, punk rock parents of the world.

THE COOL PART

The really cool part about all this is that I didn’t see one fight break out or one instance of kids being jerks to each other because of their different phases in the timeline.  Shows and festivals often have a That Guy who likes to start problems and ruin someone’s day, but it seemed as though That Guy wasn’t in attendance at Riot Fest.  That Guy wasn’t there to see the Dead Milkmen, and The Descendents, and Hot Water Music, and Samiam, and so many others.  And that’s what kept the mood up and the punks rolling for ten or so solid hours of blood, sweat, and music.

In which I outline the story of the Punk Rock Bodybuilder and why crowd surfing etiquette is important

Listening to: the album “American Rubicon” by The Cobra Skulls

The best adrenaline rushes I’ve experienced so far in life:

– snowboarding
– sky diving
-crowd surfing

Being a bit of a punk rock blog, this entry will be focused on the last list item.  People do this at all kinds of shows and concerts.  Many people also write their own set of rules for pit etiquette.  But I’ve yet to see a weblog post dedicated to crowd surfing etiquette.  It’s one of the coolest feelings a body can experience, but it’s just not the best idea in every instance or for every body.  I grappled with even using the word “etiquette” in this post because I think that the phrase “pit etiquette,” though often appropriate and accurate, sounds extremely pretentious.  Still, the whole issue has been on my mind lately, especially with Riot Fest coming up this weekend (!!!!!) where there’s bound to be much stage diving and crowd surfing, so I’m weighing in on it.

HERE’S AN IDEA OF WHAT *NOT* TO DO

A few years back I went to see the F Yeah Tour.  That means on July 12, 2008, I was at the Highline Ballroom in New York seeing Monotonix, Team Robespierre (who must’ve been pretty forgettable, because I have no recollection of them whatsoever), Matt and Kim, Dillinger Four and the Circle Jerks.

It was a really, really weird assortment of bands, to say the least.  To say a whole lot more, I have no clue who made the decision to put them all together at one show with a bunch of misplaced comedians peppered in between the sets.  I felt a bit bad for the stand-up comics because they were so wrong for the show that no one really seemed to enjoy them, but overall it was an awesome evening of music.  But I digress.

With the exception of Team R, every band was better than the last and the anticipation mounted for the Circle Jerks as the show went on.  Maybe I should have sensed trouble when the Monotonix kicked off the show by setting up in the middle of the floor instead of on the stage, climbing up the venue’s support beams, hanging upside-down while singing/screaming, and drumming with garbage cans over their heads, but I guess I was so distracted I didn’t even notice the guy who would later completely squash me.

Dude looked like a punk rock bodybuilder.  I’m not great with guessing weights, but he must’ve been easily at least 250 pounds.  He looked like Doyle from The Misfits (see below) with less hair and more suspenders.  And he really, really liked the Circle Jerks.  He dominated the pit.  He successfully surfed a few times before The Parting of the Seas occurred.

RAAAAWWWWRRRRRRR

via Brooklyn Vegan

This Parting of the Seas is a phenomenon I’ve observed at quite a few shows.  A rather large person will want to give crowd surfing a try.  The first time or two everyone will catch them, but after that the crowd starts to disperse from the area when they see this person’s looming shadow, because they no longer want to be the one to hold him up.  Usually, this ends in the surfer landing either flat on the ground or on one or two other unsuspecting people who just can’t support him.  Usually, the large surfer ends the diving there and observes the rest of the show with feet planted firmly on the ground.

Punk Rock Bodybuilder Guy was easily one of these people, but slightly more intimidating because of his Doyle-esque look.  In general, he stayed towards the center of the crowd when he jumped off the stage, but at one point he ran far stage right.  This is where the crowd was already slightly thinner, and, as bad luck would have it, where I was standing.

Whatever it was that distracted me, I was looking away the moment he chose to jump.  In slow motion, it must’ve looked like SuperPunk flying majestically towards the crowd, illuminated by green, yellow, red stage lights and deafeningly loud, raw punk rock encompassing the room.  He would be soaring… soaring… smacked flat on the ground.

Only there was a person under him.  That person was me.  115-pound me, with pigtails and shorts I bought from the little boys department and a backpack for my sweatshirt and water bottle.  Everyone else managed to realize before it was too late and escape, but I got the wind knocked out of me and various body bruises courtesy of the Bodybuilder.

I was a little woozy when a first stood up, and a bit sore the next day, if I remember correctly, but otherwise fine.  After all, one of the mottos I live by is that you haven’t really been to a show unless you get hurt.  Though I’ve now found a good amount of photos and videos from that show online, I can’t seem to get one clear picture of The Kid Who Surfed But Really Really Shouldn’t Have.  Here’s a video I found of that night that’ll give you a good idea of the number of punks surfing and stage diving, though:

And here’s a photo where you can kinda see the guy! He’s the kid on the left with the bright red shirt and mad spikes in his hair:

PXNK RAWK

via Highline Ballroom

BE GLAD YOU DIDN’T LIVE THROUGH IT AND HEED MY ONE RULE

Which is this: don’t overdo it.  Everyone deserves to feel how awesome it is to surf, but remember those are live people down there carrying you.  If you are the Punk Rock Bodybuilder or an  otherwise rather large person, don’t stage dive over and over again into a crowd that can’t support you.  They want to enjoy the show, not spend the entire time making sure you don’t break your legs.  Also, don’t force yourself upon someone who isn’t trying to help you surf.  Ask them to help you up, or signal to them if it’s too loud, but don’t jump on their back and kick your sneakers all over their face as though they were your own personal stepladder.  And don’t fight with them lest you kick them in the head while they are doing their best not to drop you.  Don’t fight the wave that carries you; it will likely bring you to the stage shortly.  And if it doesn’t, don’t try to tell me the experience wasn’t worth it anyway.

And to those in the crowd: If you don’t want someone landing on you, stay out of the danger zone rather than running away, unless the surfer is, without reasonable doubt, overdoing it.  And come on, don’t go groping people.  It’s just not cool.

In which I contemplate the validity of including an alt-rock band on a punk-rock compilation

Listening to: Descendents/Black Keys/Punk-O-Rama 8
(I’m all over the map today)

The last Punk-O-Rama compilation I ever bought was volume 9.  The last (and also first!) time I saw The Black Keys perform live was this past Saturday at Virgin FreeFest.

Connection: On Punk-O-Rama volume 8, the last song on the first disk is a track called “Thickfreakness” by a band called The Black Keys.

There’s a good chance I wouldn’t enjoy The Keys nearly as much as I do (or at least wouldn’t have come across them when I did) if it hadn’t been for that Punk-O-Rama comp.

The Keys’ performance this year at Free Fest was amazing.  In a move that thoroughly surprised me, the band opened with “Thickfreakness,” which is also the title track off one of their better albums.  While it took a minute to remember where I had first heard the song, recollecting that it was off a punk compilation CD was a bit surprising for present-day me.

What the heck were The Black Keys doing on a Punk-O-Rama comp?  Looking back at the other tracks, for that matter, what the heck were Matchbook Romance, Atmosphere and The Transplants doing on there? And is Epitaph even running the Punk-O-Rama series any more?

While I couldn’t necessarily tell you why some other unfortunate choices for bands were selected on volume 8, it turns out Epitaph stopped making the comps at volume 10 in 2005.  (Incidentally, I somehow picked up the Hot Water Music track from that comp but nothing else.  Not completely sure how.) It was probably a good idea, because by volume 8 I was already questioning what system of musical qualifications the label was using to decide what bands to include on the “punk” compilation.

Still, it begs the question: With such a variety of musical styles on a compilation that started as straight up punk rock music, which is more punk: Including bands that don’t necessarily fit the genre but still rock, or staying true to punk music and the punk identity?

The Black Keys are not, and never were, on the Epitaph label to my (and Wikipedia’s) knowledge.  Sure, some back-door deal could’ve gone on to get them on the album, but that in itself would not be very punk at all.  More likely, whoever was putting the comp together really liked The Black Keys and wanted a song of theirs included on the album.

And take The Transplants–from the first single the band put out, they were criticized for not being punk rock even though it was formed by punk legend Tim Armstrong of Operation Ivy and Rancid fame.  Part of the problem, I think, is people are afraid of change.  Sure, we always crave new music, but throw a curveball like a style of music we’re not expecting from an artist we think we know and all hell can break loose.  The same holds true for a well-established compilation.

By the time Punk-O-Rama volume 8 came around, I thought I knew what to expect from Epitaph on the comps.  I thought volume 7 was a musical masterpiece with a variety of bands I either already loved and respected or were introduced to on the comp and came to love and/or respect by listening to their albums.  I vaguely remember being surprised and a little hurt when I heard volume 8 for the first time.  2003-rudiegirl must’ve been sitting there thinking, “what’s coming out of my stereo?  Am I listening to the Mortal Kombat soundtrack?  Oh, no, it’s just Tim Armstrong’s new punk-rap band. Right.”

Disappointed as I was at first, good came out of that.  The Black Keys are a band I had put on the back burner for years since then, but truly rock.  Especially live, as I can now say from experience.  But the issue still tugs at my music-senses–they just didn’t belong on that Punk-O-Rama volume, no matter how great the song was.

Since then, as punks have aged and become more jaded, they’ve become more accepting of a variety of styles.  I appreciate much more music than I used to and I try as often as possible to listen to new styles and new bands.  Without that compilation from Epitaph, my experience with quite a few bands might have been very different.  And while I still feel like the label serious stretched the idea of what those comps were going for, I know one thing for certain: I will never, ever enjoy music by Matchbook Romance.

In which I make a punk rock mix tape to round up the top news of summer ’11

Blogger’s note: Due to a severely slow Internet connection the likes of which I haven’t seen since oh, say, 1996, this week’s post is up a few minutes late and the actual mixtape itself is not yet created and linked to the blog.  Feel free to throw the songs together yourself if the wait is just killing you and you can’t wait a day or two more for it!

Who needs the equinox to tell us the summer’s over?

It’s after Labor Day, the temperature dropped from 87 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit in DC in a day, and traffic was unexplainably horrible as it always is at the start of September with the older generations grudgingly back at work and youngings ready to sleep through first period and forgetting to study for exams.

Yup, the cycle of life continues.

With the symbolic end of summer come and gone, and autumn already saying “hey guys, what’s up! Remember cold?” now is surely the best time to do a summer news round-up.  Punk rock style.

So I present to you, dear reader, the Punk Rock Summer ’11 News Mix Tape.

1. WEINERGATE (5/29)

The event: Rep. Anthony Weiner tweeted some questionable photos of his unmentionables, presumably accidentally, to the entire world.  He vehemently denied it at first, saying his account was hacked.  He pointed out the euphemism that connected his last name to the images. But then Weiner came clean about his, well, weiner.  What a way to kick off the summer, huh?

The song: Suburban Legends “This Cherry” I mean, I think you get it.

2. WASHINGTON POST REPORTER COMES OUT AS ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT (6/22)

The event: Jose Antonio Vargas is an award-winning former Washington Post reporter who wrote an article that was published in New York Times Magazine to reveal to the world that he’s an undocumented worker in the United States.  He sparked a major controversy in the illegal immigration battle, but as far as I can tell was never deported and is still in the country as I type this.

The song: The Menzingers “Home Outgrown” Tones of feeling like a stranger in a place you thought you knew, not knowing where home is or if one exists, yada yada yada.

3. NEW YORK PASSES GAY MARRIAGE BILL (6/24)

The event: Passing the bill into law made NY the largest state to legalize same-sex marriage.  A month later, holy matrimony kicked in and celebrations ensued across the state.  With that, however, came the obligatory opposition groups promising to overturn the law.

The song: The Queers “Today I Fell in Love” Because awww.  And because their band name is, coincidentally, pretty fitting.  Almost went with a Weakerthans song, but this is way more appropriate.  And more punk rock.

4. ROD BLAGOJEVICH FOUND GUILTY OF TRYING TO SELL OBAMA’S SENATE SEAT (6/27)

The event: This is the event that feels like it dragged on the longest, since it started way before summer 2011 did.  Rod and his helmet hair were found guilty of lots of corruption and faced a hefty prison sentence.  And Rod’s response to the verdict? “I, frankly, am stunned,” he reportedly told the Chicago Tribune.

The song: Against Me! “Walking is Still Honest” Because irony.  And because Rod must’ve felt pretty defeated after that trial.

5. MARK HALPERIN CALLS OBAMA ‘A DICK’ ON LIVE TV (6/30)

The event: Halperin wasn’t too happy with how President Obama handled a press briefing about the debt ceiling deadline, so he decided to air his views on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” for the world to hear.  His view was that Mr. President acted like “kind of a dick” during the presser.  He promptly apologized and was suspended.

The song: Big D and the Kids Table “We All Have to Burn Something” This seems to have been Marky’s breaking point; his figurative burning down of the house that was his status as a regular MSNBC contributor.  Hope it made him feel better!

6. FAIRFAX COUNTY BUTT SLASHER (continually through June and July)

The event: This wasn’t so much of a national or world event, so for your kids not in the DC area, one of the top local stories of summer ’11 was a guy going around stores in northern Virginia and slashing women on their butts.  At least one of them thought she had ran into a hanger that scratched her, but it turned out to be a guy with a weird serial habit of getting all stabby up on some ladies’ backsides.  As far as I know, he’s still at large.  So watch your bums, NoVa gals.

The song: The Flaming Tsunamis “If You Really Love Me” Because it’s as weird to ask someone you love if you can eat their brains as  it is to make a regular event out of slashing women’s buttocks.

7. NEWS OF THE WORLD PHONE HACKING SCANDAL (7/4)

The event: In England, The Guardian on the US Independence Day alleged that rival paper News of the World had hacked into the cell phone voicemail of a murdered school girl and deleted messages.  Allegations of corruption sort of spiraled all over the place from every side after that and the paper soon shut down.

The song: Dillinger Four “Portrait of the Artist as a Fucking Asshole” Excuse the language.  Listener discretion advised.  But seriously dudes, don’t hack into anyone’s voicemail next time.

8. HEATWAVE (7/18-7/24ish)

The event: It happens every summer!  But the weather is always a story because people love to talk about it, especially when Congress is no longer in session and it’s been a full three weeks since a Democratic pundit has called the President “a dick” on live TV.  And, you know, it was really hot.

The song: The Bouncing Souls “It’s Not the Heat, It’s the Humanity” It’s also an excuse to throw one of my favorite Souls songs in there.  Interesting side note: I considered using Souls songs for two other tracks on this punk rock summer news mix tape.  Fun game: Try to guess which ones!

9. RAISING THE DEBT CEILING / US CREDIT RATING DOWNGRADE (8/2, 8/6)

The event: The debate over whether to raise the debt ceiling dominated the news for at least a solid two months of the summer, despite however many dozens of times it’s been raised in the past.  It had to be an argument filled with spewing rhetoric, because that’s what Congress does and it’s how congresspeople get their names in the paper.  The Tea Party should be happy with itself over this one, because getting into a frenzy about every single dollar spent by the federal government helped the movement and the story make news.  In the end, the debt ceiling was raised because it had to be and always is.  Four days later, S&P downgraded the country’s credit rating from AAA to AA+, which essentially means nothing.  A few weeks later, the east coast is faced with two natural disasters and S&P downgrade jokes about earthquakes and hurricanes ensue.

The song: The Dopamines “June 4th” The date doesn’t correspond to the summer dates, but the theme behind the song sure gets the money woes.

10. ENGLAND RIOTS (8/6-8/10)

The event: A peaceful protest in response to the death of a man who was shot down by police quickly escalated to violence by masses who seemed bent on causing destruction and damage and no longer related at all to the original protest or even cared what sparked the madness.  Damage was estimated in the several millions of pounds (which is even higher in US dollars), many were injured, and destruction was widespread.

The song: Rancid “I Wanna Riot” Personally, I don’t wanna riot.  But a lot of these hooligans in England obviously did.

11. THE 2012 GOP PRESIDENTIAL FIELD (all summer and onwards into 2012, but particularly the Iowa debate on 8/11)

The event: I’m not even really sure if the party is trying.  Republicans don’t have a serious candidate for the presidency in 2012 yet, and while some in the party have candidates they strongly support, the general consensus is trouble for the GOP.  The bright side is the circus of face-palm-inducing gaffes that give the media fun fodder for slow news days.

The song: Against All Authority “In on Your Joke” The entire Republican presidential field right now is a joke, so yeah.  Plus it’s AAA so the lyrics make sense politically, too.

12. EAST COAST EARTHQUAKE (8/23)

The event: The horrifying experience I wrote about in my last blog entry.  EEEARRRTTTTTHHHHQQUUUUAAAAAAKKKEEEEE!!!

The song: Harold’s Trousers “Calvin’s Klein” Though the first thought keeps going to the Carole King song “I Feel the Earth Move,” which is incredibly annoying, Harold’s Trousers is perfectly chaotic earthquake music.

13. HURRICANE IRENE (8/28)

The event: It was a hurricane.  In more detail, it was a hurricane that destroyed North Carolina and Vermont, barely scraped DC, and caused some flooding and damage but was mostly a lot of hype in New York. Got to stay inside for two days watching a lot of CNN, local NBC4, and Dexter while eating a lot of bagels, so can’t really say whether it was a good or bad way to spend a weekend.

The song: Bomb the Music Industry! “Hurricane Waves” It’s just too perfect.  End of summer album with an accurate end of summer song.  As I tweeted when the hurricane was first becoming an issue, this is my song of choice for the hurricane an infinite number of times over everyone thinking they were hilarious for coming up with “Come on Irene.”

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