Friday, 19 July 2013

( ) Shut Down


Its interesting (at least to me), a few years ago I read the posting on another punk website that was the predeccessor to this one, It was a long piece on how punk had died and wasn't what it should be. I instantly dismissed it with the ignorance of youth and the belief that it could be great. Yet here I am today writing almost the same piece, things never change. Life is life.

I remember going to gigs, feeling at home, enjoying the laughter, the music, the drinking, the cracked ribs (spermbirds) and broken toes(hogs). I remember thinking "this is where I want to be forever.". Over the years as I got more into it I realised that the ideals of punk are really what we love. The idea of a community of like minded individuals backing each other up, loving music and generally having a good time without any care for who you are. It was never about rebelling against authority for me (I love the idea, but punk like all things ...changed), it was that warm happy place I could always go alone and be accepted without criticism. But it all changed, or maybe I changed, but the dream shattered the mirror was broken.

I remember watching DVBB, Swivelfoot and Fuzi at the Bohemian (one of my fav venues) and having the gig cut short because someone pulled the toilet off the floor and flooded the place. I remember a punk/hardcore split show at Black Dahlia stopped because people where spray painting penii on the outside of the venue. I've seen 'punks' jump fences to get in but spend more at the bar than what entrance cost more times than I can count-and seen them complain that bands never get paid. I've seen it change or just seen the image for what it is go from who cares lets have fun to a drug/booze filled fuckshow where if you dont listen to The Exploited or have a patch on a leather jacket that screams crust you werent accepted. I think Against Me! said it best on Reinventing Axl Rose:

"Just gimme a scene where the music is free
And the beer is not the life of the party
And there's no need to shit talk or impress
'Cause honesty and emotion are not looked down upon"

I realise people will look at this and think "fuck you, you're an arrogant prick who knows nothing" as I probably did so many years ago, and they could be right. Tonight someone told me "Sometimes you aren't as bad as everyone says you are" and I think its just that attitude that turned me off punk rock in south africa. I almost definitely propagated that by saying I didn't like bands for bullshit reasons or just being shit to people for fucked up shit - dragged into the depths- it's sad it got to that stage, and I apologise to anyone I offended by that, I only hope it changes or is different for you.

The death of the site or the lack of community was something that was always coming, people didn't care enough to put up gigs when they could just put them on facebook, we gave away community for usability, for the joy of the like. The world changed and we didn't change fast enough to keep up.

I'd love to go back to the days of Thrashers when stevie wonderfuls, leek, pet flyz, 3 chord theory, half price, slashdogs played and made life worth living, the joy of letting go and not giving a shit - it was a huge party filled with almost no BS. When I didn't know better. When punk rock was a party not a political system and I was blissfully unaware of the subculture undercurrents that probably killed it for me.

I wish it could simply be and I wish you all find it. A fist in the air, a circle pit of smiling faces and a community of people who care.

RIP Punk (for me).

-Andrew MacPherson }

We Did This Records - DIY Punk, Folk, Noise, Post-Rock... etc From ZA: We Did This Records - Compilation One (2013)

We Did This Records - DIY Punk, Folk, Noise, Post-Rock... etc From ZA: We Did This Records - Compilation One (2013): We Did This Records Compilations are a collection of past and present music made by friends in the South African DIY underground. Comp...