Thursday, April 17, 2008

There were rumors he was into hockey players...

So I had a shite-tastik day of stress stress and more stress and so I'm sitting here getting drunk (but not too drunk cuz I've got another potential one ahead of me tomorrow) and loading stuff into Sara's Ipod.

The Ipod's name is Vlad2 because it's somehow cybernetically related to her favorite stuffed penguin.

Anyway, I've been cycling through a lot of 90's music lately and it's got me thinking. I'm sitting here loading and listening to FUGAZI: STEADY DIET OF NOTHING and END HITS and remembering one of my first 'indie' shows - when indie meant more than being a douche bag with a western style snap shirt, glasses and a willful discovery that you ARE the next band to hit the pages of PASTE (a magazine I'm sorry I subscribed to, even for a cost of a mere $3. Hey PASTE, fuck you). I saw Fugazi on the IN ON THE KILLTAKER tour in what I think was '93. I think Jawbox opened and local Chicagop short-lived wonder TAR followed. Wow. Talk about an eye-opener.

After that Fugazi became an integral part of my growing up with music. I had been a pot-head metal-head for most of my days previous, and this was at a point where I was really being exposed to a lot of new stuff that made a big impression on someone who loved music but only knew how to find new bands via comments in ANTHRAX interviews and SUBCULTURE magazine (if You remember Subculture please leave a comment here about it - Trashin' with Pat Michaels was The Best!!!) Groups like FUGAZI, TAR, NED'S ATOMIC DUSTBIN, MY LIFE WITH THE THRILL KILL KULT, MINISTRY, QUICKSAND, THE CURE, THE FINAL CUT, The RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS, BLACK FLAG and of course, NIN were huge to me - they showed me musical landscapes I had not expected. Metal was my extreme juvy reaction to shit my parents listened to like The Carpenters and Johnny Mathis. Probably just by those two examples alone you can understand why I HAD to go the extreme path of the dirthead in order to begin establishing my own identity. I needed full out blast of the double bass kick drum and 166 BPM palm muting in order to propel me as far from suck ranch as I could go. The groups mentioned above showed me the art of the nuance after SLAYER and that shitty-band-who-once-was-good-and-now sucks-so-bad-they-need-to-make-a-movie-about-their-therapy-sessions-with-old-guitarists had beaten me over the head for several years. These groups literally were an alternative for me and kids like me - a hidden path between the suck that came out of the softening of music during the 70's and the heavy metal machismo that fragged and mutated from the brilliant and more nuanced beginnings of Black Sabbath* (not that there's anything wrong with those mutations).

So yeah, as much as the term has made me cringe for well over a decade now, I remember when the idea of 'alternative' music meant something. To bad since bare naked ladies and kid rock got squeezed into its popular definition, I have had to try to find something different to refer to it on a regualr basis. Maybe simply 'doesn't suck' will suffice. But then, maybe I'm just being nostalgic (drunk achieved!!!) woe is me in the morning.

* In mentioning Black Sabbath I must, for the record of course, stipulate that I only acknowledge Ozzy's years, not der-suckmeister Dio.

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