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Nothington announce split/indefinite hiatus after 2018 and the breaking of my heart

Nothington has announced that they’re calling it good after this year. The band made the announcement on their Facebook page this morning.

The split appears to be amicable, with the announcement stating that came to the decision “simply because we have other musical, artistic, and career-related aspirations to pursue as individuals.”

This year will be the band’s final appearances at The Fest and Punk Rock Bowling. They will be playing their last tours in the second half of 2018 with “a few select dates leading into spring of 2019.”

You can find the full announcement below.

The band’s most recent album, “In the End” was released April 2017 and was one of my top albums of the year. You should definitely try to catch them if they tour near you before the split. I haven’t caught them since a 2007 or so basement show with Off With Their Heads in Minneapolis, and it was easily one of the best shows I’ve been to.

Despite the sting of probably not getting any more material from Nothington, I am definitely looking forward to any projects that will come out of the split.



DS Editorial: Crusades—A Eulogy

Photo courtesy of Laura Collins

Fest has been announced, and with that, so have Crusades’ last shows. Here at Dying Scene, we love Crusades and wanted to give them a proper send-off. Read below for a career retrospective and click here for more information regarding Crusades and Fest. And if you’re local to them, expect a hometown goodbye at Ottawa Explosion Weekend Festival in June!

Following in the footsteps of Refused, Fugazi, Jawbreaker, and a thousand other greats, Ontario punk act Crusades have decided to join the long list of good ones in the sky. That’s right, after eight years of activity, Crusades is fucking dead. The split comes amicably; and realistically, is inevitable. It’s the difference between opening act and classic, between living and (fucking) dead.



10 Songs to Jumpstart Your Week (curated by DS editor Bizarro Dustin)

Ever wonder what the folks who run Dying Scene have been listening to lately?  We’re going to pretend you said “yes” to that question and feature a curated playlist from a different DS editor each week with the intent of exposing you to some new kickass punk bands.  This week’s playlist is brought to you by DS editor Bizarro Dustin.

Discover some great tunes, and get your shuffle on with Dustin’s playlist below.



10 Punk Songs to Jumpstart Your Week (Curated by DS Editor Daron)

Ever wonder what the folks who run Dying Scene have been listening to lately?  We’re going to pretend you said “yes” to that question and feature a curated playlist from a different DS editor each week with the intent of exposing you to some new kickass punk bands. This week we go to Minnesota, the land of 10,000 ways to pass off passive/aggressiveness as “being nice,” with Daron.

Discover some great new tunes, and find out what makes him tick by streaming Daron’s personal picks below.



Behind The Album: Big D and the Kids Table – “How It Goes 2004”

Words by Big D And The Kids Table front man David McWane

It was now 2004 and Big D was a writing machine. Dissimilar to many other bands we were not writing our new songs to impress gatekeepers outside of the our unit in the woeful hope to make it into punk royalty. Instead, we were stirred by everyone in the band’s different inspirations, thus having How It Goes become an eclectic album of musical genres and topical emotions. Every musician was encouraged to write and every idea was worked on with encouragement. Receptivity.

From L.A.X to Safe Haven, Girls Against Drunk Bitches to Burn Something, you can pickup that Big D wasn’t, isn’t and will never be easy to identify. After a colleague of mine implored that the album must start with L.A.X, because of his music business reasoning, I intentionally put The Sounds Of Allston Village before said track to set those who play by his rule book to judge and dismiss the album. Big D does not want to live by any hyperactive music business rules.

People will tell you, “music is a business”. Those people have lost what music is. Sure music takes work; Sure music is more than simply singing a song. Love takes work, being in a relationship takes work, but neither is a business. Music is your heart. Music is your soul. Music is the fire inside you. Music is comfort. Music is a friend. Music is you sharing time with the one you love most. Consider never saying “music is a business” or better, go ahead and say it, but stay away from me. Like I often say, love and music are the last two things you can hold onto after you become an adult and I’m not looking to taint either. Music is a business to business men. Music is life to musicians.

Sophomaniacs told us to start How It Goes with L.A.X, sophomaniacs told us to have 10 songs and not 20, sophomaniacs told us not to do that cover, because logos and art were in, sophomaniacs go on and on and on and on. But in Big D fashion we just did what we collectively wanted to do and we are very proud of How It Goes. You’re Me Now is so weird.

Big D saved up the money needed to record with Jim Siegel at The Outpost by playing shows. Up to this point and beyond Big D members never got paid for playing music or selling albums/t-shirts, we always saved the money to record, buy a van, print shirts, pin, patches or to pay bills (rehearsal space rent, van/trailer insurance, copies of our albums, etc.). And Big D wouldn’t get paid for many years to come. “That’s just how it goes”…we would always say. Being an orphan to the scene, “Well…that’s just how it goes”, was often said to make sense of the always punctual struggles of life.

The cover photo was taken outside 76 Franklin St. (Trash House) in Allston Massachusetts where I lived with Todd (lyrics from Breaking The Bottle) & Johnny Trouble (lyrics from Shining On). The rest of the guys lived walking distance, down the streets of lower Allston. If you can, it’s best to live walking distance from your band mates. Brotherhood. All the lyrics are in that book between my feet. The L.A.X video was shot at this location as well by Dan Dobi. Thanks Dan! Let’s do another video again someday.

Some of my favorite songs from How It Goes are You’re Me Now, Flashlight, Burn Something, Girls Against Drunk Bitches, L.A.X & My Girlfriends On Drugs. People often ask who sang on My Girl Friends On Drugs & Girls Against Drunk Bitches. MGFOD is my good friend Hillary, who is a wonderful light inside an often times dark humanity and she has a wicked fun laugh. GADB is my friend Marz or Mariam (prob not spelled how she prefers). We went to college together; She sang in the sludge-core band Mancain. She would have taken over the world, if the world had been something she wanted.

The tours that followed How It Goes were some of Big D’s favorites. The lot of us still didn’t feel like we were in a real band, more, we felt like a bunch of guys that were somehow allowed to play on the bill and get free beer. We had a beautiful time being too SKA for the punk bands and too punk for the SKA bands. Not many, maybe none, of the successful bands ever chose to make friends with us. But you know, that’s just how it goes and it was always fine by us. Being ugly is underrated.

—-

Tune in next week for another Big D “Behind The Album” piece. They’ll continue weekly until all 34+ Big D albums have been covered!



10 Punk Songs To Jumpstart Your Week (curated by DS founder Dave Buck)

Ever wonder what the folks who run Dying Scene have been listening to lately?  We’re going to pretend you said “yes” to that question and feature a curated playlist from a different DS editor each week with the intent of exposing you to some new kickass punk bands.  This week we’re kicking things off with Dying Scene founder and head honcho Dave Buck.

Discover some great new tunes, and find out what makes him tick by streaming Dave’s personal picks below.



DS Staff Picks – Jerry’s Top 10 albums of 2017

2017 was a year filled with things I had been looking forward to for a long time as well as some surprises in life, movies, TV (Twin Peaks Season 3 anyone?), and of course in music.  Aside from multiple honorable mentions, which you can see at the bottom, this years list of favorite albums was surprisingly easy to narrow down for me.  Check out what caught my ear this year below!



DS Staff Picks: AnarchoPunk’s Top Ten Albums of 2017

I’m not going to bore you with a bunch of pleasantries because I don’t have time for it, so we’re gonna just hop right into this.  If you wanna know what I’m busy with, check out the Featured Stream section to the right hand section of this page, over there >>> yea, that’s me. Or you could listen to Dying Scene Radio, (The Official Podcast of DyingScene.com) to hear my silky smooth, baritone voice. Or you could go check out out my Instagram page which features pictures from the 125+ sets I shot this year. Damn….I need a break. In between all of that, I also managed to listen to some pretty fantastic albums! Peep my top ten favorites from the year that was, below!



DS Staff Picks – Dylan’s Top 10 Albums of 2017

Hello, I’m Dylan and I write for Dying Scene. You probably clicked on this because you’d like to know what my Top 10 Albums of 2017 are. Check out my list below.



DS Exclusive: 2017 A Year in Pictures (AnarchoPunk – Los Angeles)

2017 was an awfully busy year for me! I shot four festivals and an uncountable amount of local shows here in The City of Angeles. But for as frantic as it was there was also some pretty big payoffs. My year was filled with multiple life goals like getting to shoot Rancid, Bad Religion and Propagandhi all for the first time. And through it all, I got to meet tons of great folks, all of which deserve thanks in one way or another but would take too much time to acknowledge here. So, I’ll instead just say thanks to the incredible bands that allowed me to take their pictures while most likely being uncomfortably close to them! Keep up all of the great work and I can’t wait to see you all again in 2018! Check out my personal favorite shots from almost every set I shot this year, below!

*For more pics, follow Dying Scene and my personal page over at Instagram!



Dying Scene Founder Dave Buck’s Top 10 Punk Albums of 2017

Sup punk fans. I’m Dave, the super punk looking mofo in the above pic, and I founded this here website 7 or 8 years ago. I won’t waste your time telling you about the trials and tribulations of 2017 or how much the punk scene means to me. That’s not why you’re here. You’re here because you’re curious what an a-hole like me might have selected for his Top 10 Releases of 2017. You want to know if any of my selections overlap with your own or if you’ll discover an unknown gem or two. Well, find my list below, and I encourage you to stream tracks as you go.



DS Show Review: FEST 16 Gainesville – Day 3

As I soaked in all of the sights, sounds and smells of FEST 16 in days 1 and 2, I purposely tried to keep day 3 out of my mind.  Day 3 had some great bands that I couldn’t wait to check out, but I knew that getting to day 3 meant that FEST was coming to a close.

I don’t think I was the only one with the aforementioned sentiment, people were going after it hard Saturday night.  I could hear them outside singing and reveling into the wee hours.  I felt ok Sunday morning.  Got some food and coffee in me, and got ready to face the day.  T shirt game was not as important today as the forecast called for unseasonably cool temps.  High of 65 meant that I would don the only sweatshirt I brought.  It has the Chicago flag on the front of it, which prompted a shout of “Oh Calcutta!!” from an apparent Lawrence Arms fan.  After three nights of mayhem, we were delayed getting out the door.  I wanted to catch After the Fall, but we actually arrived too late for that and went straight to High Dive to catch Squirtgun doing a retrospective of all the bands they had been in.  If you don’t know Squirtgun, they are fronted by Mass Giorgini who is probably best known as owner and resident producer at Sonic Iguana.  Some major punk royalty has recorded at SI with Mass at the boards.  Squirtgun broke out some of those tunes in a solid set which included The Riverdales and Screeching Weasel.

Next we grabbed a bite at Harry’s Seafood Bar and Grille.  We could’ve heard Apologies I have none, but it was too cold to sit outside.  Sitting in a chain restaurant on Sunday afternoon did not do much to lift me out of the depression of FEST coming to an end.  After lunch, we cruised over to Bo Diddley to catch The Movielife.  I’ve been following these guys for a while and I real wanted to see them at Riot Fest, but a conflict messed that up.  Although they played in a tough spot, Sunday, Outdoors, afternoon, cool day, they represented.  Not my standout set of the FEST, but not bad.

After Movielife, we had some tough conflicts.  Mean Jeans, Toyguitar, Hiccup, and Ray Rocket (Teenage Bottlerocket).  My wife wanted to catch Ray, so we cruised over to Big Lou’s pizza for the show.  I grabbed a couple of beers to perk us up and we sat on the patio there sipping our brews as Ray got set up.  I’m so glad we caught this show, because he conveyed the hungover depressed malaise that everyone was feeling.  Ray asked us to bear with him as he had spent the previous night going door to door at Holiday Inn with The Dopamines.  Paint your own picture there.  As the cool breeze blew through, Ray gave us a solid but chill set, the perfect cure to what ailed us.  He played “Do you wanna go to Tijuana,” dedicated to his twin brother Brandon who passed away in 2015, and covered The Ramones “Pet Sematary.”

The Ray Rocket set definitely perked us up.  We cruised over to Tall Paul’s and caught some of Makewar’s set.  We bellied up to the bar and threw down some of their brewed-in-house craft beer.  The habanero-spiced pale ale stole the show.  It brought the heat!!  We had to cut out of Makewar to get a good spot for Smoking Popes.  Being from Chicago, my wife and I are both big Popes fans.  The Popes never disappoint.  They’ve been around a long time and they know what people want to hear.  They bring the hits one after the other.  They played my fave “No More Smiles” as well as “Megan,” “Paul,” “Rubella.”  One of the many highlights of this set was their cover of MC5’s “Ramblin’ Rose.”  And of course they played “Need You Around.”  When it came to playing Bo Diddley, some bands sounded better than others, but the Popes really rocked this stage.  Safe to say, this set was up there in the top 5 of FEST.

Iron Chic hit the Bo Diddley stage next, so we hung around for that.  IC had a very lively crowd and their brand of punk rock really got the people moving and singing along.  You could tell people were amped for this band.  We watched the set from afar, but we already had tickets to see them in Chicago in December, so we cut out to check some other sets.  We caught Kamikaze Girls at the Wooly.  I have no recollection of it.  I remember bouncing across the street to The Atlantic where Machinist! was playing.  I only caught the last song, wish I had seen more.  This mad dash ended at Rockey’s where we caught the last few songs from The Raging Nathans.  We must’ve been in the right place as a few dignitaries were on hand such as OWTH’s Ryan Young.

One of the reasons I broke the bank and travelled down to FEST this year was Superchunk.  I’ve seen them a handful of times; the first time in 1993.  At one point I remember thinking to myself, “I’m going to buy every Superchunk album that ever comes out.”  Well who knew they would put out like 40 records!?!  I don’t have them all, but I have a lot of them.  So we trekked over to Bo Diddley to catch Sunday’s headliner, Superchunk.  For one, they sounded great.  I’ll give them that.  They didn’t play the full 90 minutes, which was a bit of a bummer.  They also threw in some random tunes like “Hello Hawk” and “I Got Cut.”  Deep cuts aside, they also dropped some fan favorites like: “Slack Motherfucker, Sick to Move, Driveway to Driveway, Hyper Enough, Precision Auto, and Seed Toss.”  The ‘Chunk brought the goods and sent the main stage out in grand fashion.

The main stage might have been done, but we were not!  We popped over to The Wooly, grabbed a brew and caught Meat Wave.  Their new album, “The Incessant” is on my list of the best of 2017.  These guys rock the 3 piece like Alkaline Trio or Husker Du; although their sound is more like Big Black.  I’m definitely going to catch these guys again.  After MW, I made a fatal error.  I decided we should hit Durty Nelly’s to catch Dingus.  For one, I had the complete wrong band.  I guess there are two Dingus’s (Dingi?).  Unfortunately, the one I planned to see was recording an album in Belgium at the time.  I sat there for about a half hour completely confused.  When we came to our senses, I looked my wife in the eye and I could tell she was done.  40 shows over 3 days will tend to wear you out.  I was running on fumes as well.  We decided to call it quits.  I had hoped to catch Night Witch, Teen Agers, and Tiltwheel; but I will have to wait for them to come to town.

We survived FEST 16, and had an amazing time!  One thing is for sure, we will be marking our calendars for the lineup announcement for FEST 17.  We will be back!



Behind The Album: Big D And The Kids Table – “Porch Life” & Melt Banana Split 7-inch (2003)

Words by Big D And The Kids Table front man David McWane

It was now 2003 and Big D’s van wasn’t running, so we had a lot of time off. And what better to do when your band is stranded for the summer than to make a Gangsta Rap version of your tunes? Being a fan of Rap & Hip-Hop and also loving the art of creating music, I wanted to see what it was like to put songs together in these genres. I went back to the old recording model of tempting Lammi with some beer and fun. Lammi and I spent the summer making Porch Life, a hilarious collection of Rap & Hip-hop versions of Big D songs.

However, once completed we learned harshly that not everyone has the same humor. This was the beginning of Big D pissing people off and disappointing listeners to a curiously high level. And we would be sure to continue this trend.

Porch Life got reviewed by well known punk publications. 1-star or 2-stars, that was our professional ratings for this release, followed by angry nail-breaking typed comments like ‘How could they go to Hip-hop?’. This is when it dawned on Big D that people actually took us seriously and that’s not the way to look at this band. Big D never had the goal to be famous or make it in the music industry. I always say that there are people who want to be in a band and then there are musicians. Music itself has always been our payment. People showing up and having a chat with us has always been our payment. Making the band a strict business to which the mission is to write songs for the public and not ourselves hoping to cash in is simply a different person’s goals. For me, music and love are the last pure things you can carry with yourself after childhood and I am not keen on poisoning either. We made this album, for the same reason we make all of our albums – because it’s fun. To reiterate, we have never wanted to construct verses and choruses for mass appeal, rather we do it to impress each other and would rather someone passionately hate our songs than to forfeit our music to the uncreative, the unhumorous, the sophomaniac, deconstuionist, curmudgeons of this world. Yuck.

I mean to be serious for a moment, how can you give Porch Life 1-star when it has Sully B. Nuts prank phone calls sprinkled through it?

Moving on…

It’s no secret that Melt Banana is one of my all time favorite bands and to keep with the trend of pissing the public off we did a split 7” with them. For me this was a dream come true. It was humbling with little sparks of feeling proud flashing in my heart. Our fans didn’t really care for the release and Melt Banana fans showed their canines to us at the show we played together at T. T. The Bears in Cambridge MA. Maybe the public didn’t know that RUN DMC and Slayer played shows together or that The Mighty Mighty Bosstones & Slap Shot were brothers in the scene. However, to be fair not everyone lacked the understanding of why this 7” was neat. A few SKA-Punx’ers and Noise Core’ers knew the score.

My favorite music memory of all time is when I went to the back of T. T.s and Yako the singer of Melt Banana was there and she said to me, “I love your voice.”

And I know my hero would have never said that…if I had decided to cater to the masses.

—-

Tune in next week for another Big D “Behind The Album” piece. They’ll continue weekly until all 34+ Big D albums have been covered!



Behind The Album: “The Gipsy Hill” ep & “Look What You’ve Done…” (2002)

Words by Big D And The Kids Table front man David McWane

Good Luck had been officially released through Asianman records by Mike Park. Mike offered us the first and only generous act for Big D. He fronted us plane tickets to go on our first U.K./Europe Tour, booked by Ian at Hidden Talent Booking. Big D started writing music on tour and you can hear raw recordings of us doing just that on the Gipsy Hill EP. Gipsy Hill is in South London and it is where we stayed on the floor with our TM / Driver / Life Teacher Ben Corrigan. On these tours we made friends with people who we are still friends with today: Lightyear, P.O. Box, Sonic Boom Six, The Foamers, Mad Skat, 5 Knuckle, Random Hand (Marcia from The Skints), Hard Skin and more. We toured hard during these days – about 250 shows a year.

When we returned to the States we decided to record somewhere new, so we saved up all our touring profits (which wasn’t very much) and headed to The Outpost with Jim Siegel. Jim had recorded most of all the classic Boston hardcore bands and The Dropkick Murphy’s. This was the big time for Big D. We had written way too many new songs after Good Luck, so we decided to record an EP in order to free up ideas as well as capture sonically the special time in our lives in the U.K./Europe. STOMP records in Canada agreed to put out the Gipsy Hill EP and even helped us film with Rej our first music video for The Difference. We had a blast with Matt, Mike and all of the STOMP records family and of course with Rej from 123-Punk. These shows in Canada were explosive. We were at our wildest.

Along with the Gipsy Hill EP we recorded three different tracks for a split release with the U.K. band 5 Knuckle called Look What You’ve Done.… This split has the original recording of L.A.X, which wasn’t physically available to the States until our next full length release.

When I think about these times I feel that Good Luck represented touring the United States and the farmlets across it, while the Gipsy Hill EP / Look What You’ve Done represent, Canada, England, France, Netherlands, Germany, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Austria, Czech Republic, Italy and more. It represents cold squats, cigarette butt floors for sleeping, new friends, tasty big beers, yummy food, heartbreakingly beautiful hospitality, fist fights for being an American, a sprinter for a home, the birth of poetry for me and beautiful friendship.

The question I was often asked on these excursions of self discovery was – ‘American’s need more culture, why don’t more Americans come here?’ My answer then is what I still say today – ‘American’s can’t afford it, they’d loose their jobs and health care; Only fortunate Americans can afford culture’.

So I will leave you with this…

…if you are young or if you are old, own very little and go see Your World.

—-

Tune in next week for another Big D “Behind The Album” piece. They’ll continue weekly until all 34+ Big D albums have been covered!



Where Do We Go From Here? – Thoughts On Hatred And Tolerance In Our Community

Before I go too deep into the abyss here, allow me to preface this piece by explaining, perhaps unnecessarily, that the thoughts that follow are mine. I don’t pretend to speak for anyone else on the Dying Scene staff, past, present or future.

With that out of the way, I’m going to do a bit of stating of the obvious for a second; shit, right now, is pretty fucked. The catalyst for this piece, as you might have guessed by now, is the lead up to — and fallout from — whatever took place on the Barb Wire Dolls/Svetlanas/57 tour last week that resulted in two of the three international bands jettisoning that tour just after the halfway mark. I thought it was important to clarify a few points from the initial story that broke, to shut down a few of the more quantum leaps that have been made about what happened, and to expound on a few of the points that I made personally that I think are particularly salient but that might have been lost in the noise.

Dying Scene was not present at Jewel Nightclub in Manchester, New Hampshire, last Friday when the aforementioned tour rolled through. I, myself, was present the night before in Somerville, MA, where the photo gallery you may have seen on these pages came from. (Another writer was present at, and took pictures at, an earlier show on tour.) I interacted positively with members of all three touring bands, and saw them interacting positively with one another (including Svetlanas’ drummer Diste and Barb Wire Dolls’ drummer, Crash, collaborating to help fix a broken kick drum). I enjoyed the hell out of the show. I can – and did – attest personally to the passion that both bands have for their own respective music, as both bands play just as intense whether they’re in front of a crowd of 50, 500, or 5,000. I can attest personally to how passionately Barb Wire Dolls, Svetlanas, and 57, the latter of whom totally caught me by surprise, believe in their product and their music. Based on how the night went, I strongly contemplated heading north the following evening for the show in Manchester, my old stomping grounds. In hindsight, I wish I had gone; not because I could have done anything to fix the situation that I certainly didn’t see coming, but at least to accurately quantify what did, and did not, happen.

According to statements made by both Svetlanas and Barb Wire Dolls as bands and by their individual members, there seems to be consensus that there was an individual that was wearing, at least, an SS skull patch, in addition to what seems to have been an anti-Communist back patch. Again, members of both bands seem to be at odds about a lot in the last few days, obviously, but at least seem to be in agreement about that. Both bands also seem to be in agreement that death threats were made by this individual toward Svetlanas and toward 57 following a confrontation at the show. I wasn’t there, nor were the vast majority of people reading these words. But, statements released by members of both bands who were present seem to support those facts.

I made a comment in the story I posted over the weekend that I was saddened, but not surprised, that an individual wearing an SS skull patch would show up to a show in New Hampshire. I’m not surprised, because I’ve seen it before. Not at Jewel, to be sure, as I’ve never been there. Traditionally, the show calendar at Jewel has trended to the more metal end of the spectrum, which isn’t my personal cup of tea, so I haven’t had the occasion to go. I don’t think that Jewel is a hotbed of Nazi-related activity by any stretch of the imagination. I’ve never heard rumors to the effect that such individuals hang out there, and in fact the word on the street about the place has been increasingly positive since they changed management a while back. I don’t pretend to know the identity of the patch-wearer and subsequent threat-maker in question, and by all accounts, it was an isolated, unfortunate incident that snowballed for myriad reasons. The vitriol in the comment sections here and elsewhere on the internet — I know, I know…don’t read the comments — ran the gamut from praising one band, excoriating the other (and of course vice versa), calling them fake punk, calling Svetlanas fake Russian (is that a thing) and stating that Dying Scene was going to get rolled if we continue support Commies. Gotta admit, I’m still a bit flummoxed by that last one. And all of it — all of it — misses the point. 

No, I said that I was saddened by not surprised because I’ve seen it before in other places, and in other isolated incidents. The swastika spray-painted on the synagogue that family friends in my hometown in southern New Hampshire worshipped in when we were kids were isolated incidents. The racist graffiti that would get scrawled in the dugouts of the Babe Ruth League dugouts we played in from time to time were isolated incidents. The racist graffiti scrawled on the side of a memorial to two of the first professional African-American baseball players in my old hometown was an isolated incident. The Nazi graffiti found on college campuses in Keene and Durham in recent years were isolated incidents. The racist graffiti scrawled across various locations in Concord a few years ago by a local tattoo shop owner were isolated incidents. The individuals that I’ve seen – with my own eyes – walking downtown Manchester with swastika patches, or the incident of racial hatred and subsequent retaliation by fairly well-known anti-racist group that I witnessed outside now-defunct venue in Portsmouth were isolated incidents.

You know what else were isolated incidents? Boosie Badazz last weekend. The church in Texas last weekend. Las Vegas a month ago. New York City a couple weeks ago. The Pulse in Orlando. San Bernadino. Aurora. Sandy Hook. Virginia Tech. The Bataclan. The Ariana Grande show. Dimebag Darrell. They were all isolated incidents. They all happened in places that people are supposed to feel safe and to find solace from the day-to-day bullshit that we all deal with for however long we’re lucky enough to actually be alive and a part of this planet; concerts, schools, churches, movie theaters, shopping malls. The frequency with which events like those above and countless others have occurred with has left some of us – many of us – feeling desensitized; saddened but not surprised.

We tread into murky waters sometimes in the punk rock world because, at the core, the scene is rebellious, especially in the northeast; let’s not forget that some people’s patron saint of all things punk rock, GG Allin, was not coincidentally born and subsequently laid to rest in New Hampshire. It’s a home for the homeless, a beacon for those who feel disenfranchised. It’s confrontational. It encourages you to fuck authority and confront bullshit and question the answers. Hell, one of the things I praised about the Svetlanas gig in Somerville last night was how aggressive and brazenly in-your-face Olga is. That’s part of the draw, and part of what makes them the most “dangerous band in punk,” just like it was part of the draw to have a Korean band and an outspoken ex-Russian band touring the USA – Donald Trump’s USA – with a band formed by natives of Greece. Confrontation and provocation are not uncommonly part of the deal, and that’s fine. 

So if a band or any of its members or an audience member or a club owner or a movie theater patron or a church patron feels a little spooked by somebody or something at the place they go – we all go – to find solace and support and shut off the outside world for a while, that’s important, and it’s valid and for god’s sake it happens all the time in all walks of life, and so you can’t blame them anyone for getting spooked. 

Look, gang; we’re all in this together – showgoers, band members, promoters, club owners, photographers, soundboard operators, stage crew, bartenders, coat check staff. We have an obligation to stand up to hatred, bigotry, racism, sexism, homophobia. We have an obligation to look after each other and to take care of each other and to keep giving voice to the voiceless and hope to the hopeless and to be a beacon for the disenfranchised. We have to talk to each other and listen to each other and more importantly go to bat for each other by speaking the fuck up and shining a light on the intolerant bullshit. That’s the only way this all works. Shit’s fucked, but it doesn’t have to be.

Peace and love

-J