Jan. 27th, 2011

janradder: (watt)
A Song That Describes Me

Okay, I feel bad about yesterday's crappy post on this topic, so I'm redoing it and I'm picking the Minutemen's "History Lesson (Part II)" instead. It's an autobiographical song that Mike Watt wrote about him and his friend and bandmate d. boon discovering punk rock and what it means to them. But substitute the names and places and it could easily be about pretty much any kid in the eighties who found punk.

For me, the most poignant lines in the whole song is the simple statement, "Punk rock changed our lives," because punk did change my life. Perhaps more than anything else in my life. Before I found punk I was a scared kid with few, if any, friends, who spent most of his time trying to fit in with the other kids at school and failing miserably. And the thing was, I had no idea there was any other option. That there were people like me out there who were different and weird and hated and angry and who didn't try to fit in and who didn't give a fuck what the rest of the world thought of them was an idea completely unknown to me. To find out that those people existed was like someone had kicked open a door to another world -- a world filled with music that sounded as different as I felt, and one that I realized was home. Punk rock gave me the courage to live and to be myself. I'm not using hyperbole when I say that punk rock saved my life, because it did. If it weren't for punk, I more than likely would have killed myself before I turned eighteen. If that's not changing someone's life, I don't know what is.

But the other parts of the song resonate with me as well. When d. sings about learning punk rock in Hollywood, I see my friend Matt and I driving to New Haven and Waterbury to go look for punk in obscure record stores populated by freaks like us. When he sings about punk being Bob Dylan to him, all I can do is agree, because that was my voice on those records, my poetry and soul buried deep in those grooves of vinyl. And that list of musicians at the end -- man, that was me too. Change the names of the musicians to people like Henry Rollins, Mike Watt, Grant Hart and Bob Mould, and that was me and my friend Matt, both of us playing our guitars and imagining we were like our heroes.

When I was in high school and I used to listen to that song, I always got choked up. Back then I always thought it was because it made me think about how d. boon was dead and how sad that was, and that might have been part of it. But I think really, though, it was because I saw myself in that song. "Our band could be your life," d. sings, and yeah, it could, and it is, because each time I hear it, I see me and Matt Brooks playing guitar.

janradder: (watt)
A Song I Used to Love But Now Hate

Okay, this is horribly, horribly embarrassing. No, humiliating. In 1983 I loved this song. That's right -- loved this song. Yes, I'm talking about "The Heart of Rock and Roll" by Huey Lewis and New. I don't know what to say. I'll go sit in the corner now and hang my head in shame.

The Pixies

Jan. 27th, 2011 10:21 pm
janradder: (watt)
So I just found out they're playing Roy Wilkins Auditorium at the end of April, but tickets are forty bucks. Man, I can't stand spending that much on a concert ticket. It just seems like a rip off, especially since it's forty bucks for general admission. And, even though I like the Pixies, I feel like all of their shows since they've reunited are simply a big money grab because all they're doing is just playing all their old material. It's not like they've put out any new material in about twenty years and they're touring to support it. On the other hand, back when they were putting out new records, I always passed up the chance to see them (and at fifteen dollars back then, too, because back then fifteen dollars was like forty is now, at least to a broke college student who had rent, utilities, and groceries to pay for). But then again, from what I've heard they were a lousy live band. What to do, what to do . . .


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