May 8, 2008

My 2 Weeks Off / All Punked Out

The day I finished my last exam I drank. Severely. Borderline ready-to-blow-chunks. I remember showing up @ the campus bar @ 11am and bringing over 2 jugs of trad to the table. Turns out, the kids @ the table either don't like trad, or else already had their own jugs. So I started with 2 jugs of trad. I didn't seem to drop drinking from that point on. The only other thing I really remember was harassing my favorite asian engineer for a while and talking metal for a long time with my old friends' brothers. Eventually I came home, slept, then continued drinking back @ O'Byrne's for a while. But needless to say, that I wasn't feeling to well on account of drinking from 11 til 5. The end-of-class celebration was a success though, even if I didn't make it out til 2am.

The day after I didn't do much. I think I effed around on fb and looked for places to apply for jobs. Things were tense @ home because I wasn't all motivated and organized to have a job lined in advance for the minute I got out of school. So I pounded that pavement. With having applied to nearly 2 dozen places, I managed to get I think 8 interviews and 3 offers. But then I thought it might be a good idea to call my last boss to see if he'd speak to employers about my amiable personality and great deal of knowledge with everything to do with anything if they wanted a reference. Turns out, my old boss was willing to take me back on there though, and compensate me generously for my amazing skillz. Not only that, but they said they'd work around my school schedule! This means that I will be able to work around a summer course, then carry on with working 3 days a week in the fall! Pretty sweet. But damn' it was a pain in the ass not knowing if someone would hire you for that first week!

To celebrate, I bought myself the new Justin Rutledge disc. Man it's sooo strange being Less of a Punk these days. This music is so lazy, dreamy, peaceful and relaxing - pretty much anti-punk. But then I ended up dancing through most of The Unseen's set at starlight room and feeling like crap by the time Tiger Army played! But now the next performance I will in fact be seeing will likely be Justin Rutledge at The Starlight Room. The most anti-punk show I've ever seen at that place was probably Minus the Bear - an indie hippy group where if you don't wear a beard and one of those beanie style baseball caps and plastic-rimmed glasses, you look totally out of place.

So punkshows. I was waiting a long time for this week. Tiger Army has only ever been to Canada once before and that was for warped tour last year. The band has nice songs, but when the stand-up bass player walked to the venue from the hotel with a facecloth to stop his mascara/eyeshadow from running in the rain, it made me think about how diverse punk is, and how really, tiger army really is a sellout emo-pop band and not punk at all. Well not next to The Unseen anyways, for sure.

So after being mildly disappointed by the first show since I watched my friend's band play at a bar on whyte, I was pretty optimistic about the next few shows being better. First: Memeza Africa! Whoa. This was actually a benefit concert for a group of kids (~25 yr old) who could sing (think like gospel choir times a thousand), dance, and just really perform! I've missed a couple of other intriguing performances at the McDougall United Church before but will definately be back there for the atmosphere, if nothing else. There's something about rocking out in a church that just seems a little bit enticing to me. Anyways, the most important thing about this Memeza Africa show was the fact that it tied in HIV-AIDS awareness, the Stephen Lewis foundation, and the importance of the role of women in Africa and how Canadians must become more aware of the issues and be more involved. There was a really interesting bridge between Canadian folk music and African traditional music that just really seemed to bridge the gap and bring the cultures so much closer together and kind of brings home the idea that there are a hell of a lot of people out there that would love the opportunity to live in Canada. (even if our RCMP can't stop tasering 8o year old oxygen-infused grandpas while laying in a hospital bed or lost and confused polish immigrants that don't know any english.) But yeah: support Africa.

The very next night, SNFU was playing it's annual reunion show. This was my first time seeing Chi Pig do what he was doing 20+ years ago. All in all: Pretty Effing Impressive. To be a grungy, hairy, bum-like guy living in East Van and coming back to his hometown to put on a show like that was truly incredible on his part. The old guys body slamming and moshing for the 80 minute set was also pretty interesting to see. Even with none of the other original band members on the stage, the vocals and spirit offered by this epic hardcore hero all this time later made this one of the most memorable shows that I will likely ever see.

The other thing that I couldn't help feel was like a big nasty hypocrite. Here I am, a future professional engineer wearing my button shirt and dress slacks to the McDougall United Church with a stuffy upper-class population only meters away from the Misery Signals show that I have previously gotten totally effed up at. Then the very next night, I would be seeing 40 and 50 year olds all tattied up, shaved heads, kids with metal through their nose and bloodied up brows. wtf. If I was in fact "true" to the "scene" like Chi and his comrades, would I really be at something like Memeza Africa? Would I really be buying Justin Rutledge cd's???

I guess so. Because 2 days later I was back at it. NOFX was in Edmonton. Finally. I've never seen them anywhere but warped tour, so this was kind of a big deal. Once again, I changed out of my collared shirt from after applying for engg jobs all day, and slapped on my new SNFU shirt and some worn out jeans. Again the kids at the show ranged in ages from 3 to 53. There were "real" punks there and a hell of a lot of poseurs (as Fat Mike himself pointed out). This set pretty much was the best set ever. I knew all the songs, I felt at home. So much for that Justin Rutledge character.

So it's been a pretty exciting few weeks. In addition to some hella good shows, I managed to reserve my place for Virgin Fest. I am still counting on a few people making the trip down there with me, but what happens happens. I also have semi-plans for may long weekend, which is a change, and I have a job (thank god for that!). My Craig Ferguson ticket's been bought. That show's almost sold out too. Now I just have to decide if I want to buy the new Portishead or Millencolin album then all of the problems in the world will be solved.

1 comment:

  1. as it turns out, i have since purchased both the new portishead and millencolin cd's. i am not overly in love with either but it's still nice having the variety available!