Friday, November 13, 2015

Pete Gainesville: Fest Weekend Part 2

The Fest 14 (10/30/15-11/2/15, Gainesville FL)

Fuck Christmas, Fest really is the most wonderful time of the year. Friends past, present, and future gather in an unassuming Florida college town and rage non-stop for 3 days. My first Fest was last year, and while I had a lot of fun, I knew I could do better. After going hard for 2 days at Pre-Fest, it was time to head north for the main event.

The following is an account of the last 3 days.

Day 3

Friday morning saw me board the Pork Chop Express bound for Gainesville. Lucky for me I was dead tired still and basically teleported the entire 2 hours (aka I napped, duh). I was staying at The Holiday Inn and sharing my room with Sic Waiting AND D-Cent Jerks, so I knew check in was going to be process. Luckily I got there a little before everyone else and had time to run up to the room and take a shower and shit. I felt brand new. We got everyone checked in and I ran down the street to Mother's Pub for my first dose of Fest punk Rock. OC45 were already playing, and I still have no idea what they sound like. You see the PA decided to stop working and the place was tiny, so all I could really hear were drums and guitar. Thankfully they fixed it before Dead Bars played and I watched them for the second time in 24 hours. I had a good 2 hours to kill, so I ran back to the hotel and took another nap because I'm old and didn't want to get cranky.

Dead Bars, again

After basically laying in a bed for an hour, I headed down to Durty Nelly's. Last year at Fest, I had to wait in a line to get into just about every show I wanted to see. This year, not so much. I got into every venue pretty quick. So I got there a little early and saw a French band called Powernap. Fitting. Dollar Signs played next and were one of my "can't miss bands." Kendra met back up with me before their set, and after we headed to Loosey's to once again see fucking Dead Bars. After that I went to High Dive to meet up with my buddy Ricky and Caskitt and Dudes Night, and I thought to see Cayetana, but it was World's Scariest Police Chases. We ended up just hanging out outside anyways, and I eventually drank someone's spilled beer off the disgusting table because trash lyfe. 

Dollar Signs
I think I have a problem. Dead Bars 
Trash! Trash! Trash!

Direct Hit! was the next band on my list to see, so I headed for Boca Fiesta. I ran into Kendra, Jordan, and Alena and was immediately told about the disgusting drink they were offering. They took an Apple Cider, cut a hole in the top of the can, and shoved a mini bottle of Fireball in it. It was terrible. I finished mine and Kendra's. Direct Hit! hit a snag in the middle of their set when a lady got her leg caught between the stage and the crowd and popped her knee out of it's socket. Everyone was cool about it, and the massive crowd parted like the Red Sea so EMT's could come in and do their thing. They ended up finishing their set and Nick Woods was out to go become a father (Congrats!)

Direct Hit!

I found myself inside Cowboy's watching Off With Their Heads next. I saw the buddies in Success leaving towards the end and ended up going with them to Flaco's to get a burrito. I also ran back into Kendra again who was also getting a burrito and heading back to the Holiday Inn to meet up with some friends. The room party got moved to outside where we drank Malort until it was time to just give up on life and go the fuck to sleep. I went back to my hotel room which was packed full of people, found myself a nice little corner, and fell asleep...

Day 4

...Until I woke up at 8 am to pee. I was gone 1 minute. 60 fucking seconds. And came back and my spot was taken. OK fine. I had stuff to do anyway. I needed to dye my beard black for my Halloween costume. Turns out, black food coloring is green? I don't what the fuck happened, but it was all wrong. Freaking out a little, I googled the nearest CVS which was a cool 3 mile walk down the road. Thankfully they had temporary black hair dye and my Tim Timebomb costume was a go.

Yea, yea, yea

I hopped in an Uber with Jared and we headed down to Loosey's for Jason Guy Smiley's Pineapple Party. The annual Pineapple Party has grown in size over the years, and this was the biggest yet. A little too big. Kendra showed up and instead of fighting to get in, we just decided to go to Boca Fiesta to get some food. I was told I HAD to try the Gator Burrito, which was OK. Gator really does taste exactly like chicken. Rubbery, rubbery chicken. We still had some time to kill, so we headed for Anthem Tattoo to get our flip-flop tattoo we had been talking about for 3 or 4 months. We could hear Bad Cop/Bad Cop sound checking at Lot 10, so that was cool. 
Oh yeah, Kendra was a Lisa Frank Unicorn. Duh. 

I missed Devon Kay and the Solutions getting tattooed, but I had time to run to High Dive to see Success. Then it was off to The Midnight to see John from Dead Bars and Nato Coles soothe our shitty souls with acoustic music. We had the brilliant idea since I was dressed as Tim Armstrong to head back across town to see Kill Lincoln's Rancid cover set, but shockingly, the place was at capacity and we were never getting in, so we went to Mother's Pub for a drink instead. Now, they plan Fest weekend every year around the Florida Gators going up to Georgia to play football so all the college kids and bro's are gone. That doesn't mean they all go though. We walked into Mother's and it was 35 TV's playing the game and the place was packed with Gator fans. We might have stuck out a little. But a double whiskey ginger was only $3 so fuck 'em.

John (Dead Bars)
Fuck 'Em All

We hustled back down to Loosey's for a few Dudes Night jams, then over to Rockey's for Too Many Daves, then BACK to Loosey's for Caskitt's awesome set, then to Tall Paul's to see Jabber cover Josie and the Pussycats, then to Durty Nelly's for Sic Waiting. Whew. I think that was the most music I watched in a row all weekend. I rewarded myself with a burrito from Flaco's

Sic Waiting...Kinda

Back to Rockey's I went to after to see the homies Western Settings. I was going to go see The Creeps again after, but instead was sent on a mission to buy wine in anticipation for the Holiday Inn Lobby Acoustic Show that was happening later. And also to go to the hotel room to wash the black out of my beard (Sorry maids, that tub ring was black hair dye, not my filth! OK, so maybe a little filth). I ran into John from Dead Bars again, and he said he was playing in a hotel room, so I followed him to go watch. Then ran down to the lobby to see Dollar Signs, Devin Kay (Dressed as pizza), and Jared play some more acoustic tunes. I was dreading trying to sleep in my overstuffed room, so I hitched a ride to the Paramount with Kendra in some random guy's car to stay in her friends room and see what the pool party was all about. It was mostly Ricky being hammered, Jason Guy Smiley and friends playing Fat band covers, Dylan and Josh swimming, and mosquito bites. So many fucking mosquito bites. Oh, and I was freaking out because I lost my phone. Eventually I turned my OWTH shirt into a pillow and fell asleep.

Western Settings
Dead Bars Hotel Room Acoustic
Dollar Signs Acoustic
Devon Kay

Day 5

Holy Fuck. Last day. OK. You can do this. I woke up at the Paramount pretty early and hopped a shuttle back to the Holiday Inn to find my fucking phone. No way was I going to be able to make it without it. Luckily for me, the guy who drove us to the Paramount had a pretty unmistakable car, and my phone was sitting right on the passenger seat still. I got the front desk to call him, and his buddy came down and got it for me. HERO! Back in action, I met Ricky and Jared at the hotel bar for Bloody Mary's and fries. Kendra eventually showed up and we headed down to Cowboy's to watch Crusades. Western Settings was out on the hunt for mimosa's, and we decided that was a good idea. Unfortunately we couldn't find shit, so we went to The Midnight for some delicious Strawberry Ciders. Jan from The Shell Corporation was playing acoustic up the street, so we watched him, then headed straight back to The Midnight so I could try the Sweet Potato Casserole Strong Ale I noticed they had earlier. Sounds gross, but it was fucking amazing.


Our For The Love of Punk boss Johnny was playing at The Wooly in The Gamits, so we went there to avoid being labeled "shitty employees." I was heading for the corner liquor store to buy cigarettes when Ricky from Western Settings grabbed me and I followed him to a hotel room to shotgun a couple beers shirtless with about 10 other dudes for the FTLP Instagram. After I went back to the store again and got my cigarettes, I headed for the Palomino to watch City Mouse slay, then to Rockey's for D-Cent Jerks. I was heading to Dirty Nelly's to see Two Cow Garage when I ran into Stacey Dee from Bad Cop and ended up hanging out in the street talking to her instead. Eventually I made it to Durty Nelly's to see what I thought was going to be Arliss Nancy, but was Black List Royals, so I left to Boca Fiesta to find Kendra and watch the last few songs of Jabber. She was with Jan, and we went and tried to get into to see Arliss Nancy. but there was a line, so we ate Flaco's instead. 

The Gamits
City Mouse
D-Cent Jerks

After my 3rd Flaco's burrito for the weekend, we headed back to Loosey's. France's Guerilla Poubelle were playing, followed by the last band of the weekend, FUCK! (It's Pronounced Shit!). After we said our goodbye's to people, we took our last walk to the Holiday Inn for the pain in the ass to get into After Party, took a couple of photo booth pictures, wandered around for a while, then went to Ricky's empty room to pass the fuck out. 

FUCK! (It's Pronounced Shit!)
My Whole Crews Ugly

The next day I woke up, packed, and slept on all the transportation's home. The Marathon was over, and although I lost control of my body at the finish line, managed to crawl across. 

And that was that, I took a couple days off work to see if I was going to come down with the FestAIDS, but it never happened. Thank god. That shit sucks. But, Fest weekend is the best weekend, and after 2 years of going, I am super excited to use my knowledge to take it to the next level at Fest 15.

This weekend should be interesting:
Friday November 13th: Swinging Utters, Success, The Bombpops, Beach Slang @ The Hideout (San Diego)
Saturday November 14th: Modern Baseball, Jeff Rosenstock, Pup, Tiny Moving Parts @ The Lampost (San Diego)
Sunday November 15th: Lagwagon, PEARS, Runaway Kid @ The Troubador (L.A.)

Go support your scene, c u in da pit.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Bob Tampa: Fest Weekend Part 1

Big Pre-Fest in Little Ybor 3 (10/28/15-10/29/15, Ybor FL)

Fuck Christmas, Fest really is the most wonderful time of the year. Friends past, present, and future gather in an unassuming Florida college town and rage non-stop for 3 days. My first Fest was last year, and while I had a lot of fun, I knew I could do better. That's why this year I decided to head to Tampa early and see what Pre-Fest was all about.

The following is an account of those first 2 days.

Day 1

Kaylin, the sweetheart, was nice enough to get me to the airport at 5am so I could fly off and have fun without her, god bless her. So after traveling all day on an airplane and a quick cab ride to the hotel, I was checked in, registered and ready to party. I figured out where New World Brewery and hustled down the street to meet up with my party partner for the weekend Kendra, Denver friend Nik, and their crew of Australians who were already there. Guerilla Poubelle, a french band. were already playing. I was handed my first PBR and the weekend officially began. We watched a little of The Priceduifkes before heading across the street to a little bar that had these vodka cherry drinks that the Australians with us described as tasting like "Play-Doh." After a few of those we strolled on down to Tequila's for some food and more music. There I caught Too Many Daves, Hospital Job, Crusades, and eventually Mean Jeans while somewhere in between eating the grossest burrito I have ever had. It was a standard chicken burrito, but I didn't understand my decision when the lady asked me if I wanted Verde sauce or cheese on top. Apparently Tampa cheese has the consistency of marshmallow fluff and comes in a can. At some point I wandered down to The Orpheum to catch some of The Menzingers and buy their album On The Impossible Past on vinyl, but was called back to Tequila's because the homies Bad Cop/Bad Cop were there hanging out. After catching up with those lovely ladies and having a few hard ciders, it was back to the hotel for rest. I was lulled off to sleep by the sound of Nat Geo's investigation into transgendered people and Kendra reading me Kimberly Strubell Facebook statuses. #status

Look, I didn't take a lot of pictures the first day

Day 2

I woke up semi-well rested and tangled up in my "sheep feather" blanket. I took the weirdest shit of my life, and headed down to the hotel lobby to see if they had a continental breakfast, I was craving a waffle. They did, but you needed some card they gave you which I didn't have. The lady was nice enough to let me make a waffle anyway, so I walked over to the waffle batter and immediately broke everything. Waffle goo started getting everywhere like a terrible sitcom until I shoved the plug thing back in. The nice lady came over, heavily sighed, told me to go wash my hands, and she would make me a waffle. 
After eating my waffle of shame, Kendra and I headed out to go get freezy drinks at a local bar since we had a few hours to kill before the first band we wanted to see. The freezy drink bar is one of those places that has different drinks in what looks like an Icee machine that the bartender then adds more booze too. Well, me being the human garbage I am, decided on a "Suicide," or as they called it, a "tour bus," or as I called it, a "trash juice." It was surprisingly good! The flavors didn't melt into a mish-mash of indiscernible grossness, that or the 151 shot did its job. Whatever. We told each other tales of Pete Gainesville and his boss Bob Tampa until it was time to head back to Tequila's.

Back at Tequila's Kepi Ghoulie and Chris Farren played acoustic sets while I carried around a pumpkin we dubbed "Gourdey." I also finally got to do one of the "Why I Fest" pictures that I am looking forward to seeing. After that we made our way to an arcade bar we saw earlier to get in a few games of Skeeball since Kendra is a "professional Skeeballer" and needed to make sure she didn't get rusty. We won enough tickets to get a couple of kick-ass skull rings and some temporary tattoos and then it was back to watching music.


We once again made our way back to Tequila's to catch Nato Coles and the Blue Diamond Band, who was followed by the mighty PEARS. We left PEARS a little early to head back across town to New World Brewery to see Dead Bars, then I dipped back to The Orpheum for Banner Pilot. I was a little drunk at this point and bummed when I showed up at The Orpheum and saw a line, of course one of the bands I was dying to see would have a long ass line. Then I realized the doors didn't open until 6, and it was only 5:50. Idiot. The place was surprisingly empty when I got in, but filled up pretty decently by the time Banner Pilot started playing. I caught a couple of songs from Off With Their Heads before I headed back to the freezy bar to meet up with Kendra and get some food. I really wanted french fries, and when I saw they had bacon cheese fries, I started salivating. Unfortunately that gross ass marshmallow cheese reared its ugly fucking head again, and I was served this soggy mess that I still ended up eating most of, because garbage. Also, this guy started playing acoustic bar music, and took Kendra's request to play Matchbox 20's "3 A.M." He ruled. 

Dead Bars
Banner Pilot
That One Guy

Once I was filled up on mushy potatoes and canned cheese, it was time to once again head back to Tequila's and watch the awesome Canadian band The Creeps. I was pretty tired of criss-crossing the entire city of Ybor at this point, but I forced myself to do it one last time to head back to New World to watch Bad Cop/Bad Cop. I dilly dallied after their set because I was supposed to go and try to give Beach Slang a chance to win me over, but I really didn't want to, so I stayed at New World at watched Gatorface and Sharkanoid instead. Bad Cop was heading out to go get some pizza, so I went with them to redeem myself for that bullshit I ate earlier. Linh and A.J. wanted to go watch Lagwagon, which is always a good idea, so I followed them down to The Orpheum for the last band of Pre-Fest. At first Linh and I went up to the second floor to watch them, but A.J. walked backstage and got us back there, so I got to watch one of my favorite bands ever from the side stage. I also fixed the toilet in the green room because I'm a fucking nerd. After the show, we shot the shit in the parking lot for a little bit, and I got to fanboy out and ask Joey Cape for a picture. It was the perfect way to end Pre-Fest. Eventually I made my way back to the hotel to get some rest as the next day I had a 2 and a half hour bus ride to Gainesville, and 3 days left to be as much of a piece of shit as possible. 

Bad Cop/Bad Cop
Fucking Nerd

Tun in next time as I finish off the weekend at the greatest party known to man, The Fest 14.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

I Got The Black Lung Pa - Brought To You By ROCKSTAR ENERGY™

IT'S NOT DEAD FEST (10/10/15 @ San Manuel Amphitheater, San Bernardino CA)

I saw a lot of bitching from the "Tru Punx" on all the social media about why this whole It's Not Dead Fest thing is bullshit. It's too corporate man, there are too many sponsors, the beer is too expensive, the service fee's for the tickets are insane, it's ran by that shit stain Kevin Lyman. It's not that I disagree with all of that, it's just I don't fucking give a fuck. I got to see The Bouncing Souls AND The Descendents in one day. On one stage. Plus a TON of other rad bands for only $40. Yes, I got sunburned by the shitty San Bernardino sun, and yes I spent $15 on water (I didn't know about the FREE refill station until later) and yes I sweated off about 10 pounds of water weight only to consume 15 pounds of dirt. Eat a dick you boring too cool punks. 

Like most Saturdays I woke up hung over from the night before. This time was different though, because it was time to head north to the unwashed butt-hole of California, San Bernardino, to go watch pretty much every punk band from the 90's play. We assembled our crew (Kaylin, Jess, Jen, Cherisse and Myself) and began our journey north to the wasteland. We all agreed pregaming in the parking lot was key, so we hit a Bevmo for some adult beverages and ice. Jen just so happened to be a bartender back in New York, so we went with Rum and Orange Soda to make "Creamsicles" which was a good call. After parking and drinking the entire bottle of Rum between all of us, Cherisse peed on a couple of us and we started the journey to get inside. 

First of all, it was like a mile and a half hike to get to the front gate. In the fucking gross hot sun. Not even exaggerating when I say a couple of us had to take a break in the shade of some nearby trees to avoid possible heat stroke. Maybe the Rum was a bad choice? Haha. Nah. Eventually we made it to the front gate where I was horrified to learn I left my fucking ticket in the car. Thankfully, we live in the future and I was able to bring it up on my severely cracked phone, and avoided another trek through hell. 

We missed a handful of bands to avoid the $16 craft beer prices, but walked in just in time to catch CJ Ramone, who Cherisse was pumped to see. I knew nothing about him besides he signed to Fat last year, so I stuck around and watched a few songs and was impressed. But it was time to run to the main stage to see some Strung Out. This is where I noticed the sound wasn't that great, and unless you got decently close to the stage, everything sounded muted and weird. Strung Out powered through their standard set of new and old songs and I felt like I was in high school again. Then the stage spun around and Reel Big Fish were waiting on the other side like some kind of ska horror movie, horns blaring. Not wearing enough checkers, I ran away to go try to find some of my friends I knew where there. Unfortunately, the place was huge and cell phone service was garbage and I never was able to find Damon (Sorry dude!). I did find the Rockstar Energy™ tent though, where they were giving away free cans of disgusting flavored Rockstars™ like Orange Whip. I drank about 6 of them. Eventually I headed out to go watch The Briggs, but I ran into Kaylin who was headed for Anti-Flag, and followed her to avoid being that creepy dude watching a band all alone. I'm not a huge Anti-Flag fan, but they were shouting some awesome  stuff at the crowd between songs, the kind of stuff that should be a no brainer and obvious, but since the human race is full of shit bag idiots we have to remind people to be fucking decent to each other. Anyway, they are actually really good live and I, again, was impressed. We dipped to go see The Interrupters, a thing I wasn't exactly super stoked on, until I saw Tim Armstrong literally scuttle across the side stage. A few songs went by before Kaylin wanted to go check out Less Then Jake, but I was convinced Tim would play that stupid fucking "Family" song with them, so I stayed. Eventually, they covered Operation Ivy's "Sound System" and lo and behold Tim Timebomb came on out to mumble along and spin his guitar, which immediately led into "Family."

Dis Es Mah Fahly

I left after that and headed back to the main stage to see The Bouncing Souls. I have only seen them once, and for them to even be on the west coast is a treat, so I refused to miss them. Unfortunately there was sound problems for the first few songs, and people past like the 3rd row couldn't hear anything. And I missed "Manthem." Dicks. Eventually they got it all worked out The Souls cranked out a decent set including "Sing Along Forever" and "True Believers." I B-lined back to one of the smaller stages to catch Devils Brigade and my second Tim Armstrong sighting, as he and Matt Freeman sang, I think "Radio" together. Tim's slurs and Matt's cookie monster yell were a match made in heaven. 

Rahdeo Rahdeo Rahdeo

I knew I'd be seeing Swingin' Utters soon at The Hideout in San Diego, so I opted to go watch Lagwagon, since I owe this entire thing to them. I was a little dissapointed in their standard set they played, seemed to not vary much from the last few times I've seen them. This is the point I noticed how much dirt I had been breathing in this entire time. The mosh pits were kicking up a ton of dirt, and I was actually struggling to breathe, to the point where I asked Kaylin if she wanted to move back like 20 or 30 feet. Also, we were both just covered in dirt, my former white Bad Cop/Bad Cop shirt was now a nice beige color. This is also where things got a little fucked up. They decided it was a good idea to spin a wheel for the last 4 bands that played (NoFX, Pennywise, Descendents, and Bad Religion) to see who played next. But they started spinning it 2 bands before Lagwagon. So when Lagwagon spun it, Bad Religion came up, and they thought they played next then. So we jammed over to catch some of The Adolescents. Well, they kept asking why everyone was there when The Descendents were a few stages over playing. After they said that about 3 times, I was decided to make sure it was in fact Bad Religion playing. Whelp, it wasn't. The Descendents were about halfway through their set. Lucky me, I made it in time for "All-O-Gistics." Yay. NoFX played next and spent half their set talking shit about the whole fest and Kevin Lyman. Fat Mike was mad the dude from TSOL wore a night gown, forcing Mike to wear a "leather mini skirt" or a "gay mans kilt." When Bad Religion played, I had to go sit down and eat some over priced disgusting pizza so I didn't die. It was getting pretty late at this point and like most of the people there, I'm old. Pennywise played last and delayed the end by like 20 minutes because they broke the stage with the mass amount of people they had standing behind them. We watched about 5 or 6 songs before we bailed to go the fuck home. Long day over. (Thanks again Cherisse for getting us all home safe!)

I will say the one thing I was disappointed in was the bands didn't take this opportunity to maybe play some of their older songs they don't play anymore. Every band seemed to kind of just play a standard boring set, which I get, but come on. This was like, the 90's show to end all 90's shows. 

Off With Their Heads - Spraynard - Lee Corey Oswald - Bainbridge (10/11/15 @ Soda Bar, San Diego CA)

I'll keep this section short since we are already in TL;DR territory. We showed up late and missed Bainbridge, but they are from here so I guarantee I'll see them again. 

Lee Corey Oswald

"Watch them on the TV. Doesn't the bass player look like the girl from The Ring all grown up?"
"They are good. They're SUPER good."
"Wait... that's how they ended?"
-Ricky Schmidt


I was super tired and honestly over it and wanted to just see OWTH and go home. So, on this night, not into it. 

Off With Their Heads

OWTH rules. They are one of my favorite bands. The sad, depressing lyrics of Ryan Young strike a chord with me, I get it. I really do. So they get on stage and power through their hour long set. That's another thing I like, besides the "Let's fucking do this" at the beginning, they barely stopped playing. A good amount of their set were coming off Home and Hospitals, which I am more then alright with (Hospitals might be my favorite album of theirs). There were a strange amount of bro's there, and one of them kept jumping on the stage and knocking the mic into Ryan's face. About the 3rd time it happened, you could see he was pissed and the 4th time, straight up kicked the dude in the stomach. Good for him, because fuck that guy. The bro's also kept up a healthy mosh pit for the entire set, something I think is a dumb idea in a little crowded bar, especially one with a pole right in the middle. Anyway, during the last song, "Clear the Air," Ryan put down his guitar and jumps into the crowd and sings the whole song from out there. It was cool to see, and a great way to end the set. Another fantastic job, well done OWTH. 

This next songs about wanting to die

And that ends another great weekend. Normally, I'd state what I'm doing next here, but I noticed I rarely stick to my plans so fuck it. All this shit is coming up though, so I might be at any one of these:

10/14 - Joey Cape, Walt Hamburger, Brian Whalstrom @ Brick by Brick
10/16 - Timeshares - Signals Midwest - Western Settings @ Tower Bar
10/23 - Sic Waiting - Caskitt - Bainbridge (Told You) @ Til-Two Club
10/23 - Frank Turner - Skinny Lister - Beans on Toast @ House of Blues

 Get out there and support your local scene you fucking jerk:)

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The One Where the Garbage Person is Garbage

OK, so I totally meant to write about Awesome Fest, but honestly, I took way too long. The Garbage person lives up to his name! All you need to know is booze, friends, Caskitt, fruit ninja, booze, Beeween, kendra, Kendra, KENDRA! burrito, friends, The Stupid Daikini, Fools Rush, booze, friends, booze, Don's house, booze, Civil War Rust, Western Settings, Dead to Me, Chuck Ragan bed time stories. Basically it ruled and if you weren't there you missed out on the best weekend of the year you stupid idiot.

Jennie - Stacey - Davey - Daren - Melissa (9/24/15 @ Downtown Pomona, CA)

A few months ago Marty Ploy gathered some local musicians and had them all meet up in Thomas Plaza in Pomona and play some acoustic music on the street. I heard about it, but for some reason that escapes me now, didn't make it. Apparently it went well because he did it again this time with Jennie Cotterill and Stacey Dee of Bad Cop/Bad Cop, Davey Quinn of Tiltwheel, Daren Gratton of The Haddonfields, and Melissa Zavislak of The Stupid Daikini.

My friend Kaylin and I raced up to Pomona after we both got off work and made it just in time for the 7pm start time. Problem was, we didn't see anyone around. I checked and double checked my maps to make sure we were in the right place when I saw Marty sitting by himself on some benches. We wondered over and he told us that "these things never start on time and people will show up eventually." And eventually they did! There were about 6 or 7 of us when they decided to start and Melissa began belting out songs, but eventually the plaza filled out with friends and passer by's. Anyway, Melissa's singing voice fucking slays, and her songs are all really good and catchy. I can not recommend enough getting into The Stupid Daikini. She also dedicated GFY to me again. In case you were wondering, it's a song about how she wishes this person dies in the most fucked up way imaginable. Sweet! Between every performer, we had about 15 minutes to cruise to the bar and grab a drink and get back. The second person to play was Daren Gratton of The Haddonfields out of St. Louis. I had never heard them before, and was pleasantly surprised that he was fucking awesome (The next day, I looked up The Haddonfields and they are tight. New fan.) We spent a little extra time in the bar on accident and missed Davey (always miss one!) but made it back for Stacey Dee to start. She played 4 songs, one of which was from her old band The Angry Amputees. This was her first time playing after coming back from some personal stuff, and it was most excellent. Glad to have her back in the scene. We skipped the drinks and waited for Jennie to play last. Just like her Bad Cop/Bad Cop sister, she killed it, playing some new songs she wrote and an old song that didn't make it for Bad Cop. She also played a song about going on a date in space, which mass appealed to my inner nerd. After a few songs Stacey joined her and they played some acoustic Bad Cop songs and everything was right in the world.


Get Dead - Clowns - Western Settings (9/25/15 @ The Tower Bar, San Diego CA)

After working all day Friday, I made it home only to immediately pass out. I woke up at 8pm in a panic and jumped in my car and cruised down to The Tower Bar thinking I was going to be late. Apparently I can't remember about fucking punk time, where everything starts late and never goes on time. Duh. So I make it down to see Get Dead and Clowns in the parking lot playing dice and almost no one inside the bar but Will and a few randoms. An hour after I show up, the show starts and Western Settings takes the stage ripping through their set playing old and new songs. They rule, and you should watch them play basically. At some point during the set, Ricky calls out the dudes from Clowns for being Australian and how they have to do some shoeies during their set (P.S, A shoey is when you take off your shoe, pour a beer into it, and drink it. AUSTRALIANS!) and one of the guys immediatly rips off his shoe, pours his tall can of PBR into it, and pours it down Ricky's throat. It was... a thing that happened. Clowns were up next and were totally not what I was expecting. The played a high energy metal infused kind of punk, and the singer went wild. He chided the crowd about not moving much, ran full speed straight at some huge dude, and just jumped on him, finishing the song while the dude spun him in circles. I don't know why foreign bands have so much damn energy when they play, but us Americans need to take note. Shit's tight. You might notice that Get Dead is crossed out up there and that is because....

Wait for it...

The Coathangers - Birth Defects - Flames of Durga - Shady Francos (9/25/15 @ Casbah, San Diego CA)

About halfway through Clowns I split to the Casbah to go check out The Coathangers. I just found out about this band a few weeks ago and found out they were playing on this night. I missed Get Dead and Against Me! in Santa Ana I wanted to see them play so bad. And they did not disappoint. I showed up right as they went on, and they played for about an hour and a half of their garage rock inspired musical madness. At several different points, they all just up and switched instruments and still sounded amazing. All their voices are amazing, but there was something that stood out about the drummer's raspy lower pitched voice. Maybe it just resonated the most with the bearded whiskey swilling punk that lives in my heart. These are very talented women, and are a MUST SEE if they are playing anywhere near you.

Everything is blue like that one dumb song

Murderland - Get Dead - Clowns - Bad Cop/Bad Cop - Hands Like Bricks - Flamingo Nosebleed (9/26/15 @ The Redwood, Los Angeles CA)

The reason I wasn't that sad I missed Get Dead in San Diego is I knew I was going up to LA the next night for the same show. My plan was to take the train up and stay the night at my friend Keri's new apartment, but while I was waiting in line to buy my train ticket, I was looking around at all the other weird annoying train people and realized, I have a fucking car, fuck this. And what do you know? It looks like Mormos smiled on me this day because there wasn't any traffic at all! Weird. So I made it to The Redwood in an hour and a half and was able to catch the first band, Flamingo Nosebleed. My expectations are usually really low for opening bands with kind of dumb names, but these guys were pretty fucking good. Minus the drunk asshole filming their entire set on his phone with the flash on. Hands Like Bricks played next and were also pretty fucking good. I realized when they were playing I somehow have never actually watched them play. I think it was a Western Settings situation, where I always kind of say, "eh, they play all the time, I'll watch them next time."  I don't know, all I know is that I was wrong, like almost always. Bad Cop/Bad Cop was third to play, and it was good to see them back in action, still killing it and not missing a beat. They played through a lot of songs off their two Fat releases, Boss Lady and Not Sorry, including my personal favorite song of theirs I'm Alright. Get Dead was next. One of the speakers in the front broke, so when they started no one past the mid bar speakers could really hear anything except drums and guitar. Eventually, I moved to the audible zone and enjoyed them play through a bunch of songs off Bad News and a few that will be on their album they are currently recording. I did run back to the front for the song The Process, with lyrics like "where do I go when the whiskey's gone?" how could I not? Murderland played last, but honestly, I was tired and had a long drive back home so I left. Eh, they play all the time, I'll watch them next time....

That was a rad weekend. I had to bring it back to earth Sunday as I just painted my stupid bathroom (Grey, not Purple UNFORTUNATELY). Also, I've been sick as fuck the last few days, totally got home from work yesterday at 4:30 and slept until I had to go to work today at 6am. Killing it. 

Kenny Bojarski's birthday show is this Friday the 2nd at Pierview pub in Oceanside with The Dirty Work, Dead on the Wire, and Chamber Sixx playing. You, dear reader, should come and buy that dude a drink. 

And I think that is all I'm doing until the crazy It's Not Dead Fest on the 10th.


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Garbage Man Cometh: Part 1 - Riot Fest

“How much longer are you going to do this punk rock thing?”

That was a question I got from my mom a few years ago when I told her I was going to the 3 day party known as Awesome Fest in San Diego. This year I asked myself the same question. How much longer do I have in me to go to a show on a Tuesday until 2 a.m. then go to work at 6 a.m.? How many more out of state fests and concerts do I have left in me? When do you go from person in the scene, to old creepy drunk dude? I can feel it taking a toll on my body and mind.

Friday, August 28th 2015 I turned 30 years old. Everyone says that 30 is A) the best years of your life and B) pretty much the last birthday youll give shit about until 40. Since that is the case, my plan was to go big this year. I originally was trying to plan a house show, but the hood I live in pretty much made that option impossible. Luckily, as I started scrambling for a plan B, The Flatliners announced they were playing a show at the Soda Bar on my birthday. Perfect. Then there was the announcement that Success, Elway, and The mother fucking Lawrence Arms were playing a Riot Fest after show in Denver. I quickly did the math and found out that for a mere $250 I could attend that show and the actual Saturday Riot Fest. I got even luckier as my lovely sister stepped up and footed that bill as my birthday present. Best. Sister. Ever.

Seriously, the best

The plan is in motion, time to party.

Every year my friends Dave and Emily host my birthday party at their bar, The Pourhouse in Oceanside, but since I was going to head out of town this year, I wasnt going to be able to make it. I felt bad, they have put up with my drunken ass for at least the past 6 years, so I decided to head in on Thursday evening after having dinner with my friends Brendan and Julie and staying up and doing the midnight celebration thing. The thing about that is, I had to work the next morning at 6. I was fine until midnight, but the next thing I know my sister is bursting into my room screaming at me “werent you supposed to be at work 4 hours ago?” Why yes, yes I was. I immediately jumped up and still kind of drunk got dressed and ran out of the house. The thing is, I didnt have my keys. Being the detective I am, I called my buddy Jess who was at the bar the night before and she told me, “Kaylin took your keys so you wouldnt drive home.”  I mean, I didnt even drive to the bar, but good looking out. So instead of going to work, Jess came and took me to get a burrito.

Later that night, I met up with some more friends, Kenny, Rich, Matt and Ricky, and we headed down to the Soda Bar to catch The Flatliners, Spanish Love Songs, Western Settings, and The Sheds. Unfortunately, we were preoccupied with getting pizza and a few pregame drinks and missed The Sheds, but eventually we made it and as soon as I walked into Soda Bar I was handed 2 whiskey drinks, and double fisting like the village drunk, watched Western Settings kill it again playing songs off their full length Yes It Is and a few off their upcoming EP Old Pain, which sounded amazing. Spanish Love Songs was next, and honestly reminded of The Menzingers light, which I normally would have liked but at the time wasnt in the mood for, so I went out to smoke a cigarette, and on my way out had a shot of whiskey literally poured down my throat by my buddy Jay. Outside, I was smoking a cigarette with Kaylin, when Chris Cresswell just so happened to walk by. I told him it was my birthday and if, as a present, he could play He Was A Jazzman for me that would be awesome, but like all Canadians, he very politely declined saying “they havent played that song in forever and didnt want to ruin my birthday trying.” Fair enough. I was drunk and The Flatliners went on and played for well over an hour covering all their albums from Destroy to Create to their most recently released b-side album Division of Spoils. They skipped the traditionally lame encore as it was a billion degrees inside, and we were all desperately in need of air that wasnt damp with sweat. After the show Matt Caskitt was kind enough to let me stay at his place in San Diego instead of heading all the way back to North County AND offered to drive me to the airport. What a sweetheart! But first we stopped by Ricky Schmidts house for a post show drink, where he force fed me shots of whiskey until I was ready take a nap.

Saturday morning I hopped on a plane to Denver, and immediately after landing was taken straight to Riot Fest by my friend Jackie. I had a few hours to kill before the first band I wanted to see play, so I wandered around a little, watched some of the bands Meat Wave, Less Than Jake, Gwar and The Vandals, stopped by the For The Love Of Punk booth, and just kind of familiarized myself with where everything was. Eventually it was time to head inside to the Radicals stage to watch Direct Hit! I finally got to meet fellow FtLP contributor Damon, who had a nice cold can of a premixed Moscow Mule waiting for me (It was really good surprisingly) and I had a hug for him. I also got to meet FtLP founder, Johnny Wilson. Direct Hit! ripped through their disappointingly short set time, playing mostly songs off their new/old record More of the Same (Satanic Singles: 2010-2014) claiming they were fucking sick of playing Brainless God for the past 2 years. At some point Devon Kay regaled us with a tale of a cursed toy horse, which he immediately tossed into the crowd, and was caught by a young kid who was then pulled up on stage and danced around and then stage dove away. Go youths! Also there was a huge roided out buff dude trying to start a shitty mosh pit (i.e. just pushing unsuspecting people watching the band) who eventually got kicked out by security. His buddy in the crowd told me “oh, hes just on meth no big deal” And then immediately offered me some, which I turned down. Sorry bro, my teeth are shitty enough without fucking meth. After Direct Hit! I ran off to go get some food, and was internally torn between getting a giant turkey leg or garlic fries. Eventually, I was convinced to get the fires and have more money for booze. Duh. Some people just get this whole life thing. I wandered around a bit more, checking out Thrice and Eagles of Death Metal, before heading back in to watch Pears literally play one of the best sets I have ever seen. Zach Quinn owned that stage, tromping around looking like a man possessed (the front stage lights were cast upon him like when you would hold a flashlight to tell a scary story). Even Nick Woods and Devon Kay were on the side stage enjoying them, air drumming and singing along. I also got to meet Ross and Savvi, which it is always awesome to be able to put faces to names. The last band I really wanted to check out played right before we had to leave, Alkaline Trio. I don’t know if it was being so far away, them playing what seemed like a lot of newer stuff, or Matt Skiba being sober, but I was bored. They did play a few songs that I knew and loved, but overall I was unimpressed and excited to leave and get to the Marquis Theatre.

 Direct Hit!

The tickets said the show at the Marquis started at 10, but it turns out that was a bold face lie. Success went on at 10:45, so I had enough time to order a few whiskey dranks and take a mean shit (Im not a porta-potty guy for number 2s). Eventually, Success hit the stage and I downed my drink and ran up front. This was somehow the first time I was seeing them play. It seemed like every time I was out of town, they were playing in San Diego. They fucking sound great live though, and I was stoked to hear I’ll be able to catch them again in San Diego on the 2nd with Millencolin. Elway played next. I watched a few songs, but the length of the day started to catch up to me. I went outside to get some fresh air and smoke a cigarette, how Canadian ironic of me I know, and ended up chatting with Rev and buying a Success shirt. I really wanted to buy their album Radio Recovery on vinyl, but since my cheap ass flew Frontier, there was no way I would have been able to fit it in my tiny backpack. After Elway finished and the crowd dissipated a little, I walked right up to the very front of the stage and stood there to wait. I came all the way from California to see The Lawrence Arms and I’d be damned if I was going to stand back to watch them. Sorry short people behind me, this is one of the very few times I just didn’t give a shit. Then they came out and started in on Recovering the Opposable Thumb and I realized my mistake. You see I’m roughly 6 feet tall, and the front of the stage ended right at my knees. My knees suck. So I had this giant of a man leaning on me, pushing my knees directly into the stage and it was fucking terrible. But I stuck it out because I’m stubborn and my man crush for Brendan Kelly. Eventually I noticed Ross and Savvi, who I met earlier, and she motioned for me to hop the stage and run over to the side area, where I saw Toby from Red Scare and Matt Skiba sitting, so I obviously immediately did. The Lawrence Arms played through a set mostly consisting of songs off Oh! Calcutta and Metropole, and occasionally dipping into the Cocktails and Dreams and The Greatest Story Ever Told. Eventually, during 100 Resolutions, Brittany Strummer grabbed me by the arm and we ran up on stage and sang along. This was probably the most fun I have ever had at a show ever. Completely exhausted, I went back to Jackie’s and immediately passed the fuck out on her purple couch.

The Lawrence Arms

Sunday around 10 or 11 we headed back out to grab some food. I didn’t have a ticket to Riot Fest that day, and Jackie did, so I just had her leave me at the food place so I could explore Denver. I had 8 hours to kill before Rancid played at the Summit Music Hall 3 miles away. My first decision was to go get tattooed. I had been wanting to get a bindle (a hobo suitcase basically) tattoo that said “Ramble On” ever since my last road trip to Seattle, when driving through Oregon at 4 a.m. the song Ramblin’ Revisted by Brendan Kelly and the Wandering Birds came on my iPod, and the lines “this here bindle is all I have, to show for the rambling I did in my past” stuck out to me. So I did because I’m an adult and i make adult decisions. Next I met up with my friends sister and had lunch and a few drinks with her and her family (Congrats on the baby girl Kim and Jesse!). After they left I had about 4 hours left, so I started wandering in the general direction of the venue, stopping at every bar and brewery I came across, meeting some interesting people along the way. At one pub, the bartender was from Madison, Wisconsin and was friends with Masked Intruder. At about the 2 hour/1.5 miles left mark I ran into this group of youths who stopped and asked if they could ask me a question, and then this one dude got down on one knee and asked if I would marry him and handed me a bouquet of flowers he clearly ripped out of some planter. Now, walking down the street half drunk looking like I do, an sweaty angry piece of shit garbage person, I’m sure I shocked them more when I answered “which one of you fuckers is ordained, lets do this.” None of them were. Eventually I made it the venue, met up with everyone, and went in to catch the last few songs of 7 Seconds. Rancid took the stage, and the very packed crowd lost their shit. I needed to get a good picture of Tim Armstrong for inside joke reasons, and being mostly drunk, decided it was a good idea to go behind the barricade on the side of the stage to get it. I was immediately grabbed by the tiniest security guard I have ever seen, and as he slowly pushed me to the exit, tore off my wristband and kicked me out the back. That was about 2 songs into their set. I smoked a cigarette, and walked right back in the front with my same ticket, just in time for them to start playing Ruby Soho. Rancid played for what seemed like forever (At least 3 tall cans worth of songs), and they only got better as I got even drunker. Eventually it got to the point where we were all dancing and  singing along to every song. For a self proclaimed “not that big of a fan,” I sure know a lot of their songs.

New Baby Tattoo

And just like that, my 4 day party weekend was over. I hung around Jackie’s place most of Monday, reading Bukowski, until it was time to fly home and rejoin reality. 

Going big for my 30th birthday was probably the best decision I ever made. I had more fun then I thought was possible with old and new friends, got to see a ton of awesome music, and was just able to shut off my stupid fucking brain and leave all the anxiety and uncertainty and shitty problems at home and have some pure, unadulterated fun. After this year the answer to the question “how much longer are you going to do this punk rock thing” became clear, as long as their is air in my lungs and a shitty band to see. 

Check back in later for part 2 in which I continue to abuse my body and have an awesome time at Awesome Fest. Lol. :)