Friday, February 15, 2013


Wow! Only six shows in January? 2013 is off to a lazy start, hopefully not a sign of things to come. It wasn't even really an issue of quality over quantity this time around, as most of these shows really sucked. Just kidding! Or am I? Read on to find out.

As the country was about to go over the "fiscal cliff" I took an adventurous trip over to Concord, California to attend a "heavy rock and punk show." It was a cold night for The Bay, and it seemed to be more chilly out in the outlands, even though it's farther from the coast. What the fuck? Pigs were playing when I got inside the house, and they seemed particularly good. Whether it was the intimate setting, the unusual sobriety of the band, or something wholly intangible, can never be known. Next up was the new-ish band Bedrücken, which has Amy from Vöetsek on vocals (will she exclusively play in bands with ümlauts in the name?), my old bandmate Kenny from Acts Of Sedition, and other friendly scene members, playing a mix of d-beat, sludge and stoner rock. It sounded very East Bay. Headlining the show was D.O.C. (No, Sadly not THE D.O.C. of N.W.A. posse fame) but Disciples of Christ, a vicious Washington DC grindcore outfit. It was refreshing to see a grind band with the power trio lineup. Guitar! And Bass! Wow! They really tore it up, the famous Chris Moore of Magrudergrind fame bashing the skins with harsh precision. Of course, Concord shows always mean smoking inhuman amounts of weed with strangers, and I did just that, so my trip home on BART was rather a blur. I do however remember almost eating a turkey sandwich that I found in the BART station.

On Sunday, January 6, I cruised into an early show at The Knockout, saw a snippet of rockin' motorpunx Elegy, and listened to a bit of Neon Piss while I loitered on the sidewalk catching up with the L.A. and New York crazies, and hung out in a van catching up with some locals. By the time I actually got inside the venue for real and started paying attention, Drapeto was onstage, and I was too drunk to really assess the situation. They are very punk, some people throw around terms like "Germs-y hardcore." So I'll roll with that for now. I have their demo tape so maybe I can go home and listen to it and get my shit together. Sad Boys actually turned out to be 50% female, and did not seem sad AT ALL, so upon this revelation I quickly exited the mosh zone and demanded a refund. No, but seriously, fun band, fun punk, and they have Angie from the old Minneapolis band Ganglion, so you can't go wrong. Later on, I was back in Oakland drinking at my local shit-hole dive bar, and the whole Sad Boys/Drapetomania crew rolled in. The night ended with a huge fight with almost all the punks in the bar versus one drunken-piece-of-shit-waste-of-oxygen. What a last call that was!  

On Tuesday, January 8th, I rushed back to Oakland after band practice, attempting to see an extremely rare performance of Ovens at The Pink String. By the time I got there they were almost done, and the house was so packed full of people that I could barely get in the door! There were even people sitting on the fence outside the house watching the band through the living room windows! I had a great time though, and before left I had won some Ancient Age Whiskey and at least two cigarettes playing high low dice with some savage crusties on the filth and dog hair encrusted floor of someone's "room."

The following Sunday, I cruised down to the Oakland Metro to catch what would be a co-ed hardcore event of biblical proportions. One after another, a batch of crushing bands took the stage, and each one had at least one female member, I think? (was this planned?). I watched them all except C.R.A.S.H., I admit, because I was outside smoking weed the whole time, and when you're tangled up in a legit Oakland smoke out like that, it's quite easy to miss an entire hardcore band's set. Trust me, it's happened before. "Rad" from Sacramento lived up to their name; they were pleasantly surprisingly good. I finally saw Replica, who were quite intense and definetly lived up to the hype. As a drummer, I was rather pleased to see one set from Rich Gutierrez and TWO from the great B! Permanent Ruin and No Statik also killed it. And then spat on it. And then killed it again to make sure it was dead.Can I even explain how intense Ruby is as front woman of No Statik? Well, do you remember towards the end of Aliens when Sigourney Weaver is fighting the queen alien ans she's really pissed off and freaking out? It reminds me of that.

On Friday, January 18th someone asked me how my day was going. I said "surprisingly well considering that I woke up on the floor of Vanishing Breed's motel room in Santa Cruz that morning." There had been something also about a motel pool, cops arriving on the scene about 2am, and buying shitloads of coke from a sketchy mexican guy at a bar across town. But you didn't hear that from me. Oh, and the gig? What I thought was going to be a wild show actually paled in comparison to the after party: If I had forseen this I wouldn't have even made the effort to jump in the questionable Hornss van and ride down there, but what's done is done. Even more mysterious is how I made it back to San Francisco the next day, but I did. I had every intention of catching the entire lineup at Brick and Mortar that night, but I was first obliged to go help drink a free keg of Anchor Steam that had appeared in a friend's kitchen. This obligation took a little longer than I was expecting, and I ended up (walking in for free and) catching only Black Cobra, who I ended up largely ignoring as prowled around the venue looking for the girl I was trying to meet up with.One month down! Year of the Snake! Lucky '13!

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