Thursday, August 24, 2017

Concerts, writing, and news: Descendents, Swans, Forgotten Rebels, Marshall Crenshaw

Am I actually going to go see the Descendents?

Mmmmaybe. Looking through their setlists I see sooooo many songs I like and have fond memories of that it's pretty compelling (and I am further happy to see "I'm Not a Loser" has been dropped, one of a few songs where the band indulged an adolescent homophobia that always seemed beyond the pale to me, but is especially so now).

I tried to not be excited about this show, but now, on the cusp of it, I discover that I kind of am.

Trivially, I shook Bill Stevenson's hand once but he didn't really care about my attempt to gush all over him - that was after an All show at the Cruel Elephant in the early 1990's, the only time I've seen him in any band ever.

Anyhow, my going will depend on tickets. I will definitely see Swans. There's lots coming up I care about, actually...

The Melawmen Collective and JUST, both with Meeka Noelle Morgan, are doing something Friday at Grandview Park for the opening of the Wild Salmon Caravan, from 5-8pm. I last saw Meeka doing a song by the Rebel Spell at the Rickshaw Rebels Sing event. (I believe she also had an opening thing for Pussy Riot but I missed that). I doubt they still do "I Am a Rifle" but I figure that would have been the most moving cover of all for Todd, that night. I actually missed most of their set, because a friend wanted to talk! But I said hello to them after and really liked their vibe. I dunno what the Wild Salmon Caravan is exactly but fish farms sound like a really bad idea - what was this about thousands of (diseased?) Atlantic salmon being accidentally released - "escaping" - into the Pacific recently...? So I will support the event!

Then - August 25th - it's down to the Smilin' Buddha for - no shit, the Forgotten Rebels are playing? I am going to get to see the Forgotten Rebels? Really?

Okay, I'll bite. Frostbacks open. I wonder if the Forgotten Rebels still do "Bomb the Boats?" It's also a ridiculously offensive song but it always struck me - maybe I'm rationalizing - that it was deliberately calculated to be so, akin to the work of Tesco Vee, say, or the Dead Kennedys' "Kill the Poor." I mean, you're not going to come away thinking the Forgotten Rebels are necrophiliacs, because they sing about fucking corpses ("Fuck Me Dead," on the same album), so why assume they're racists, because they sing about dropping bombs on refugees? It seems like a sort of cathartic pus-burstin' boilpop of a song, packing all the racism and insensitivity of society into a terse three minutes. Mickey De Sadist has said it was ironic - "I was making fun of rednecks" - and I will choose to believe him. (Some friends of mine do not).

Saturday: Swans, doing what is supposedly their final tour in this incarnation of the band. Michael Gira politely declined by interview request this time - he says he doesn't do interviews unless absolutely necessary - but my old Big Takeover interview with him, part of which is online, was fairly satisfying and deep-digging, so I didn't have much to add or ask anyhow. That first concert by them post-reunion was and is still a standout concertgoing musical experience for me. There is a recent interview with Gira online, however, for those who want it, and they talk about the Larkin Grimm accusation a bit. I don't know where to put that, to be honest; it does seem to raise questions about what gets called "rape" - because there is a lot of room in that word, a whole spectrum between 'we were drunk and [I] made a mistake,' which sounds pretty close to what happened (or Gira's version of it, anyhow), and someone with a ski mask and a knife attacking you in a parking lot (which is no one's version of events here, but is part of what gets invoked when that word is used). It seems an injustice to victims of the latter for the former to also get called rape; though it also does seem that Grimm is upset for a reason, about how things went down, and I can see that some Swans fans might be unsettled by it.

I dunno, is this free pass week? Human beings fuck up sometimes, and I want to see this show. More on the matter here.

There's lots else coming up. I talked at great length to Hans Fenger about the Langley Schools Music Project for an upcoming issue of BC Musician. I don't think he would have been quite so chatty had he realized I would transcribe basically everything (not that he said anything he's going to regret my recording - it's just he's a talkative guy and probably wasn't imagining I would spend a whole day typing out his words). If you don't know the Langley Schools Music Project - up there with Huckle and the New Creation in terms of cool BC private press record stories - this is a great page to look at. I am somewhat embarrassed, because it's so obvious, that I never realized the film School of Rock was inspired by the Langley Schools story until just recently.

I have things in the works with the Vegan Black Metal Chef, too, and just got questions off to Heather Haley about this Zellots salvage-job that Jason Flower is up to (lots of record store meet and greets for that, which you can probably find more info on on the Supreme Echo page).

I'm in touch with Marshall Crenshaw (and am a very recent convert to his brilliant popcraft). I am excited abou this upcoming show at the Rickshaw. If you don't know Marshall Crenshaw, try this for starters. That's some amazing songwriting, folks. I'm excited that my friend David M. got an opening slot for that show (he's a huge fan).

Lots of cool stuff in the fire. (Discussing an interview with Art Bergmann but there's stuff I have to clear off my plate first... the piece I wrote awhile back, which Art commented on, has gotten 900 views so far, which is pretty good for my blog!).

Oh, and Unleash the Archers... what a great new album. I am late to this party, I know - I had stuff going on when it was released. It's so exciting that this band is doing so well (and Brittney is such a nice, quiet, unassuming person, offstage at least...).

And then there's the Flesh Eaters in January... irons in the fire there too... plans percolating... more to come... Exciting time for a music fan... glad I'm momentarily off work so I can put some time into this stuff...

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