Thursday, August 17, 2006

Punk Rock: Not Dead

The Vacancies/ Street Dogs
Bottom of the Hill, S.F., CA. 8/16/06


Billy of The Vacancies


Mike of Street Dogs

Punk rock is alive and well? Who knew? The 'punk rock' being shoved through the mainstream channels is fake. Almost everything I've heard that trying to pass itself off as punk rock during the past 15 years has been boring faux-grunge Xerox Rock.

Homogenized = the punk rock I'd been hearing.

Energized, raw, lyrically observant = the punk rock I heard last night.

The bands at Bottom of the Hill were actually good. They both had a Clash meets Black Flag vibe...in the best possible way. The Vacancies (from Cleveland) have actual songs, not formula structures based on DOOKIE and TEN; Street Dogs (from Dorchester, featuring Mike McColgan of Dropkick Murphy's) were even more derivative, kinda like early Clash covering Black Flag with some Stiff Little Fingers, but they admit their influences (one wore a Radio Clash t-shirt, plus they covered a Black Flag song), and both bands have something to say. Most refreshing.

BAGeL Radio does not play much new punk rock, but as soon as the Vacancies album A BEAT MISSING OR A SILENCE ADDED arrived, that began to change as "Radio Revolution" and "Hey Man!" were added to rotation almost immediately. Now if only the kids hanging out at Hot Topic would start buying this stuff instead of that Yellowcard crap...

Later on in the evening, Misty & I went to see of [the] caseworker, a favorite local band about to embark on it's longest tour to date:

[the] caseworker
Madrone Lounge, S.F., CA. 8/16/06


Conor of [the] caseworker

This was [the] caseworker's first show with new guitarist Geoff Diesel and they sounded good. They often sound better when they can't hear themselves...I wonder why that is?

I also wonder why is it that I love bands that tend to shoot themselves in the foot -- for the second time this week I saw a band fail to play their current single, in this case the title track to [the] caseworker's second album, "When I Was A Young King."

Geoff competently played all the parts previously played by Monte Vallier, with a hint of first-night jitters. [the] caseworker embark on a 20-city tour this weekend -- I expect that will cure those jitters.

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