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. :)