Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Flipper's American Hardcore.

Just as I was about to slit my wrists over local club closings Flipper flew into town. Here for a last slam at CBGB's and then the screening of American Hardcore. The documentary covered every local scene from NY to Orange County, explaining it in general terms, as a response to the Reagan years. Filmmakers gave fans and bands their due props, as young people resisted, creating community through subculture, style and sounds. But we got bored as they glazed over the critical issues that incited young white males into a crisis in masculinity----disinvestment, the decline of the American working class, rise of the service sector and the impact of deskilling. M.I.A. along with hardcore analysis was Jello Biafra but Henry Rollins was in top form--and the music said the rest.

At the after-party at Stereo, Moby sat in with Flipper, and the audience included the likes of Jism Ism, Steve Buscemi and Bob Gruen. I've been a Flipper fan since 1979. I met the fish freaks in San Francisco, bought the t-shirts and at least five back-up copies of generic Flipper in vinyl. Though they sound as hard and sick now as they did then, something has changed. Hardcore was always strictly boyztown. In the early daze the grrrls just sat on the sidelines (yawn), out there on the margins, watching. Waiting on our guys, holding their beers and leather jackets while they worked the pit for Murphy's Law, 7 Seconds, Agnostic Front, Ism, Minutemen, Bad Brains, and M.D.C. Then one day--I'm not sure when--the grrrls jumped in for themselves, leaving the jackets in the dust. Empowered by sweat, beer & antihistamines HC shows taught us all how to claim space for ourselves. For this, we are forever grateful.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Last Dance at Continental NYC

Sunday, bloody Sunday 9/17/06 was the last night of live bands at Continental, a last picture show for old school punk featuring the Bullys, Dick Manitoba, Charm School, Lenny Kaye, Walter Lure, CJ Ramone and Daniel Rey. The show sold out, alternatively cranky, morbid and jubilant, we came to honor our heroes and our dead. Like so many before us, we the unwashed of the bridges and tunnels scrounged the available resources of soul-numbing burbs and boroughs generating culture from social garbage. Angry, non-affluent and chemically imbalanced, we created beauty from nothingness, truth from meaninglessness. On the last chord of the Heartbreakers' "Born to Lose" (Daniel Rey's Guitar, Walter Lure's vocals) I walked out of the Continental for the last time. "We had a good run," I said to a friend, proud of what we'd done. But I also know this: I will never hear live music like that again, not in this city, not in this life.

A few nights before the final curtain, Jesse Malin's sublime acoustic set packed the Continental with hipsters, college kids. Maybe it's the changing of the guard, a paradigm shift, gentrification, class war, hell, I dunno. But everyday I get emails from kids, latter-day punks, teens stuck in America's wastelands dreaming of the day they can emigrate to the Sovereign Nation of NYC. Holding on to the promise that someday they'll visit CBGB's,see a band at Continental, or just walk down St. Marks Place eating a slice of pizza like Joey and Dee Dee. "I thought I was a champion...but I found instead..it was just another dream....just like any other dream..." the Professionals said that a long time ago, in another country--mine.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Fashion Industry: EAT IT!
The great goddesses were not two sticks with a hole, starving themselves to people please. All hail the Spaniards (see below) for standing up to fashonista tyranny that turns models into anorexic, chain smoking crankheads. Setting the standard for beauty at a size 2 desexualizes and desensualizes women, trains them to hate their bodies and themselves. "Looking good" is culturally determined. It's socially constructed---invented. Let us redefine what is beautiful. A healthy, toned, strong beloved body is a tribute to God's glory. "Give us this day our daily bread" Starvation (shame) and gluttony (greed) take us out of balance. Beauty is an inner truth reflected in an outer state. God's abundance is a blessing, food is good, human flesh was made for work, love and joy, not punishment. Let the fashion industry eat cake!!!

MADRID (AFP) - Excessively skinny fashion models will be barred from a major Madrid fashion show later this month for fear they could send the wrong message to young Spanish girls, local media reported. Madrid's regional government, which is co-financing the Pasarela Cibeles, has vetoed around a third of the models who took part in last year's show because they weigh too little.

The authorities collaborated with a Spanish health organisation to come up with a minumum body mass -- a height-weight ratio -- of 18 for the models. Spanish daily ABC said it was the first time such restrictions had been imposed on a fashion show, although a recent wedding dress exhibition in Barcelona banned fashion models who took a dress size below 38 (British size 10, US size eight). Several models at last year's show provoked a row when they claimed their careers would be under threat if they put on weight.

Organisers said they wanted to "help ensure public opinion does not associate fashion, and fashion shows in particular, with an increase in anorexia, a disease which, along with bulimia, is considered ... as a mental and behavioural problem". The event will take place on September 18-22.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Patriot's Day, September 11, 2006

Remembering all soldiers today--here and in the Kingdom.