Dying Scene covered the punk scene with a whopping 9,182 stories in 2012. From tour announcements to music video premieres if you were looking for standard news you knew you needn’t look further than our infamous white text on a black background. But we’re nothing if not thorough and we would be grievously remiss if we didn’t also cover the random curve balls that the scene had to throw us this year.
Sad, happy, frustrating to downright shocking, recap 2012’s Most Random Stories in Punk Rock right here.
At The Drive-In reunites
(And so did every other band)
Sweet baby Jesus. Post-hardcore legends At The Drive-In reunited after a ten-year breakup (the band abruptly split after the release of 2000’s “Relationship of Command”). ATDI played multiple international music festivals and in the U.S. at the Coachella Music Festival and Lollapalooza. The band has no plans to release any new material and has not released any sort of news since August. Thanks for the tease, guys. Other bands that reunited this year include Desaparecidos, Quicksand, Refused, Texas is the Reason, The Promise Ring, Murder City Devils and The Replacements. Still no word from Jawbreaker, though.
Jonny Craig Is A Junkie
(Heroin, Jonny? Come on. What year is this? Calm down, Jim Morrison)
It’s been pretty well-known since the whole MacBook scandal of 2011 that former Dance Gavin Dance frontman Jonny Craig is kind of a dirtbag. We understand that drugs make people do crazy things, but Jonny flew completely off the handle this year. Photos of Craig using heroin surfaced early this year. He has since embarked on a solo career, released a slew of crazy-ass statements, been kicked out of his band, penned SUPER insightful letters of advice to his younger self and released the greatest love song of all time, “You’re Just Another Whore.” Seriously, though, Jonny Craig needs to focus more on getting the help he so desperately needs.
Everyone Got Robbed
(A comprehensive list of bands who were robbed this year and why you probably shouldn’t steal from them)
There are not buttloads of money to be made in punk rock. This scene was birthed from a DIY ethic and not on the idea of making mad profits. We’re very sorry to say that at least half a dozen bands were robbed this year, including Fireworks, Code Orange Kids, BlessTheFall, Bouncing Souls, Random Orbits and The Menzingers. We’d like to take a moment to remind you of a couple of things:
1. Don’t be a dick. These bands work SO. HARD. Those stolen t-shirts, gear, cash box, etc., mean the ability to sustain themselves while on tour.
2. If you see something, say something. Nothing pisses us off more than a circle of gawkers doing nothing while some douche rips people off.
Boston Can’t Stand The Mosh
(Get out of the pit, Boston. We know you can’t hang)
Boston police were horrified to see 60 people engaged in a bout of “slam dancing” at a Flogging Molly show at the House of Blues in February and vowed to ban the practice altogether. The city has been enforcing a ban on pits/moshing/slam dancing ever since. Many bands spoke out against the ban on the ages-old practice. At Dying Scene, we’re starting a crackdown on the phrase “slam dancing.”
Pussy Riot Stands Up To Putin
(Brings Riot Grrrl back into the public eye for the first time in ten years)
Russian Riot Grrrl collective, Pussy Riot sparked international conversation after the band held a protest against Vladimir Putin at the Christ The Savior Cathedral. The women were immediately arrested and charged with “hooliganism,” prompting outrage across the globe. In August, three of the women were found guilty and sentenced to two years in prison. The trial garnered attention from a plethora of celebrities and bands like Anti-Flag, Frank Turner, La Dispute, Paul McCartney and Madonna.
All three women appealed their sentences. One member, Ekaterina Samutsevich, was released in October. The other two, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina remain incarcerated in a Russian prison camp.
Beastie Boys’ MCA Dies
(We know it’s not punk, but it’s still a big deal)
Seminal hip-hop group, The Beastie Boys, lost member MCA, aka Adam Yauch, to cancer in May. The group started out as a hardcore band in 1981, before transitioning to hip-hop, and released their classic debut, “License to Ill” in 1986. They went on to release several more excellent records, becoming one of the most influential rap groups around.
Yauch was diagnosed with cancer in his parotid (salivary) gland in 2009, which forced them to cancel several tour dates and push back the release of “Hot Sauce Committee, Part 2.” The band was recently inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame.
Canada Hates The Used
(Bans them for ten years)
Dozens of Canucks had their hearts broken when Canadian border authorities banned The Used from the country for ten years on account of lead singer Bert McCracken’s Canadian criminal record.
“When I say criminal record, I’m talking teensy, eensy misdemeanors they still have on my record from, like, 2001 and 2003 – trespassing,” said McCracken.
I guess good things come to those who wait, Canada. Stay strong. You will persevere.
Harley Flanagan Stabs Former Band Mates
(And got away with it)
Former Cro-Mags bassist, Harley Flanagan, caused the ultimate kerfuffle in July after showing up to one of the band’s shows at Webster Hall in NYC and proceeded to go on a two-man stabbing spree, claiming he was led into a room and jumped by a large group of men. Witness accounts and statements from the band insist that Flanagan showed up with a hunting knife, looking to cause trouble for the group. Two counts of second degree assault against the 42-year old Flanagan were dismissed on December 14. Keep up that PMA, guys!
Billie Joe Armstrong Enters Rehab
Pint-sized Green Day frontman, Billie Joe Amrstrong had a rough year. On September 2, Armstrong was hospitalized for heavy dehydration in Bologna, Italy – forcing the band to cancel an appearance at an Italian music festival. On September 21, Billie Joe unleashed the fury on the crowd at the iHeart Music Festival in Las Vegas. Armstrong cussed, screamed, pouted and threw instruments while throwing a massive tantrum about the band’s time being cut short due to Justin Bieber’s tardiness. It was later revealed the band’s time was not cut shot. Two days later, Armstrong entered rehab for substance abuse issues and has been out of the public eye since.
In October, bassist Mike Dirnt spoke to Kerrang! Magazine and said, “Billie doesn’t take things lightly and he wouldn’t take rehab lightly, either. He’s in the middle of some really big things, but we’re going to pull through. It’s killing everyone.”
Pete Wentz to Pen Novel
(Stop it. This is why we can’t have nice things, Pete)
Pete Wentz, formerly of Fall Out Boy fame, has announced plans to release a novel on February 26, 2013. The book, titled Gray: A Novel, was co-written by James Montgomery and sounds like it’s going to be a tale of life on the road. Pete Wentz: musician, father, author and avid sexter.
Tony Sly Passes Away
(The scene unites in mourning)
On August 1st the punk scene was shocked by the tragic news that No Use For A Name vocalist and solo artist Tony Sly passed away unexpectedly in his sleep. Bands and fans alike took to the web and the stage to pay tribute to the beloved artist, memorializing his songs and raising funds for the wife and two daughters he left behind. Rest in peace, Tony. You are missed.
Laura Jane Grace Comes Out As Transgender
(Receives enormous amount of support and looks good doing it)
In May of this year, Against Me! frontwoman Laura Jane Grace blindsided the punk community when she, formerly known as Tom Gabel (he), announced that she had been living a lifelong battle with gender dysphoria and was about to begin hormone therapy to begin the transition from male to female. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Grace shared her lifetime of rejecting and then ultimately accepting her predicament and the story of coming out to her family, friends and bandmates. Afterward, Grace was overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from friends, fans and the LGBTQ community. Laura continues to play shows with Against Me! and has never looked happier. Rebel girl, you are the queen of our world.