Watch if on YouTube for the song selection. Version of “Police on My Back” is stellar.
Tag Archives: punks
Absolutely bizarre performance by the Butthole Surfers for a local TV station. An amazing spectacle of a band disintegrating while playing music without losing focus.
From URGH: A Music War — Shot in Los Angeles… at about 1:30, the rhythm guitarist takes a tumble and keeps playing, barely missing a beat.
The quality sucks, but still great footage of an extraordinary and extremely underrated punk band.
Three songs from the first album:
All The Downs
When I was seventeen, I went to DC for a week. I’d spent most of the summer saving up money for the trip, mowing fields and doing basic landscaping for the neighbors in the rural community where I was in foster care. From one job to the next, I rode a John Deere down the narrow backroads with the Doors, Bob Dylan and Janis Joplin blasting out of my Walkman. My new foster parents were former hippies and I spent hours making tapes from their record collection. Even though I considered myself a full-on punkrocker, I grasped the power and energy in those Sixties psych bands. Not that I had much of a choice when it came to listening to new music. With or without the cash, finding the punk albums I wanted in bumfuck Alabama was practically impossible. I was lucky to own a few classics like Never Mind the Bollocks, Mommy’s Little Monster and Plastic Surgery Disasters. My favorite band at the time was Minor Threat. So while I was in DC, I had two objectives: hit every record store in the city, and find out if the Dischord House, which I’d learned about in the movie Another State of Mind, still existed.
We stayed in Alexandria. Each morning we took the subway into town and toured the monuments and art galleries. We spent an entire day at the Smithsonian. I absorbed the culture like a sponge. Besides the overload of art, the political atmosphere was electric. There were constant marches and protests in the streets. People held up signs and chanted slogans for so many causes I couldn’t keep track of them all. But I wanted to join each and every one.
Two days into our trip, we’d just checked out a selection of Picasso’s Blue Period at the National Gallery when we happened upon a rally in Dupont Circle. There was a band playing. As we got closer, I realized it was a punk band. I ran towards the crowd. Nothing was going to hold me back from this experience. I was desperate to see a real punk band play. They were called the Holy Rollers and they played fast kinetic punk. After their set, a funk/hardcore hybrid band hit the stage. The lead singer looked like a satyr, dressed in rags with a scraggly beard. He had wild eyes and his hair was half in braids and half spiked. As he moaned and screamed into the mic, he conducted the band with his gyrations and writhing body.
This was Fidelity Jones.
I was blown away. I was seeing punk rock right before my eyes. And, I came to find out, the rally was a Positive Force event sponsored by Dischord Records. THE Dischord Records. Not only were they still around, they were going stronger than ever. I bought the Positive Force compilation they’d put out and began searching for each band on the album. As one record store, I discovered an entire selection of local bands and bought everything with the Dischord logo. I had left Alabama with almost two hundred dollars from my summer of mowing and I had no intention of going home with a nickel in my pocket.
I scored albums by Fugazi, Scream, Rites of Spring, Gray Matter and one not released by Dischord but recommended by the clerk: Deadline. (It was a time between Fugazi and Deadline for my favorite band the rest of that year.)
After I’d listened to each album at least a hundred times, I sent away for the Dischord catalogue. It arrived a few weeks later, a folded piece of paper with “Stuff We Sell” written above a long list of album titles. At the bottom of the list was #41: Piltdown Lad by Fidelity Jones. I filled out my order form.
Over the next year, as I drove to and from the small college thirty miles away in a beat-up Toyota Tercel, I blasted the stereo, pumping out my growing assortment of tunage, most of which was courtesy of Dischord. I was intensely drawn to the lyrics of these harDCore bands. Environmental causes, remaining positive when faced with adversity and protesting oppression and violence… these were ideas that opened up a whole new world to me, beyond punk rock and sheer aggression there was a social commentary that helped shape my burgeoning world view. At the time, being surrounded by the hostile influence of Southern religion and social mores, these words gave me a glimpse of hope, that there was always more to believe in, that while I may have been stuck in a backwoods town, I wasn’t as crazy as they made me out to be. And that maybe, just maybe, I might make a difference in the world one day. Or at least get the fuck out of Alabama.
(top image via)