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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Trying to like punk rock again

    Andi Berlinarts columnist
    Andi Berlin
    arts columnist

    I was sitting Downtown at Vaudeville sipping a Dos Equis and watching Bob Saget doing standup on mute when I had an epiphany: Electronica is the new punk rock.

    It was hard to like punk rock after high school when I grew up and realized being able to play your instrument was a vital part of making music. So I listened to indie rock bands instead, and then realized none of them could really play their instruments either. Then I listened to computers.

    Just like a power chord, it’s hard to fuck up a computer sound. It’s even harder to fuck up somebody else’s computer sound, especially when you’re just pressing “”play”” on iTunes.

    Even if a person knows next to nothing about beat and tempo, mashing songs together or creating good transitions, they still think they’re the next Diplo.

    The whole thing reminds me of the elder days when any Joe Schmo with a goofy but witty band name and lots of patches could be a punk icon. We think we’re better, more civilized now, but we’re not.

    I also had another epiphany: Bob Saget isn’t funny.

    All these groundbreaking ideas were floating through my head because in five minutes, I was about to listen to a real live punk band. My friend Greg is the vocalist for two hardcore groups, The Weird Lovemakers and The Cuntifiers, and because he’s moving to Portland in a few weeks he’s doing farewell shows.

    The Weird Lovemakers headlined the last night of HoCo 2007 and started a mosh pit in the middle of Club Congress. I mention this because Greg is the anti-star. He wears socks with sandals, sweats a lot, is like 40 and still listens to Weezer. But somehow he’s garnered fame and popularity.

    It might be because of his commanding stage presence. During one show with The Cuntifiers he played every song with a stuffed Velcro monkey hanging around his neck. Every once in a while, he plays a hardcore version of “”Bohemian Rhapsody”” where he wails and sweats profusely. Sometimes he even dedicates his minute-long scream sessions to prog-rock kings The Mars Volta. He lets you know that the music isn’t serious, he isn’t serious, so you shouldn’t be either.

    Greg stepped onto the stage alongside The Cuntifiers, and dozens of people came out of nowhere and pushed up to the front. I felt special. Just the other day, Greg was telling me about how he likes to eat pizza out of trash cans, and now forty people are fighting to see him.

    He addressed the audience and then asked how many of them were Christian. Nobody raised their hands, so he nodded and said, “”Good. When all the Christians go up to heaven, we’re gonna be the ones here taking care of their pets. This song is for all those left behind.””

    Then he swung up his hands and started pounding on his guitar and screaming as loud as he could. The other members took the cue and commenced banging on their instruments and jumping around feverishly. The end result was a sound that if transcribed would be kind of like this: “”Whaaa! Dowah dah ra dah dahhh! Lick rahhhh dahhh dahh wahh! We’re gonnna gahh ya doggg!””

    It sounded like Satan taking a giant shit. There was no rhythm or melody, you couldn’t tell anything he was saying, and it was loud as hell. Fortunately, it only lasted for about a minute, and then without warning it just ended and the only thing you could hear was Greg panting into the microphone.

    “”For our next song, we want to dedicate it to the director of ’13 Ghosts.'”” There was a pause. “”Raaaa! Dah rah dahhh dahhh yaaa!””

    My friend shot me a look, and all of the sudden I realized something even more ingenious and groundbreaking than before: I don’t like punk rock.

    I don’t care if it’s a precursor to the current music scene, or if it’s brutal and honest and doesn’t take itself too seriously, or if it sticks it to The Man. I just don’t like it. It’s too loud.

    We got up and walked down to Club Congress. From outside, we could hear a Justice song playing. Even though the DJ was surely some tattooed hipster wearing sunglasses indoors and looked like he’d rather be smoking a cigarette than pushing buttons, I didn’t care.

    I like Justice so much, I could listen to it on mute if I had to.

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