We used to play this song in Speakeasy – this was a very fun one to play!



After watching the punk biopics American Hardcore and What We Do Is Secret (about the Germs) it feels like time to rewatch the Decline of Western Civilization. Sadly, Netflix in Canada does not have it available, yet. You can find lots of clips of this on the net if you really want to see it in Canada…


I just watched Control, the movie about Ian Curtis and Joy Division. I was never a big fan of Joy Division but do like the song Warsaw that we used to play in Cannibalized in Autumn.

I think Control does a good job of catching the spirit of Joy Division. It’s shot in black and white and has that kind of empty, brooding feel. At one point, Ian Curtis says something like it takes so much to do a show – I put so much into it which really reminded me of Darby Crash in What we do is Secret when and how he says he drinks and does drugs because it hurts so much to perform. It’s that common theme of an artist suffering for and through their art. I felt for Ian Curtis in the movie but felt more for his wife and infant daughter.

The movie also reminded me of Jim Morrison of the Doors and their biopic. I never made a connection between Ian and Jim before, despite them both being baritone singers. Ian had a little piece of paper on the wall of his room that said James Morrison with his birth and death years. Like Darby Crash, they both seemed to be very inwardly focussed and deep. It makes me wonder if music and poetry speaks to that kind of personality type, or helps them to find their voice to speak. It seems to me that the catch is that one could be caught in a circle of those feelings and words and cause themself to spiral downwards.


John Wayne always struck me as an anti-role model, even before hearing the MDC classic John Wayne was a Nazi.
Then today I saw a magazine with the top 50 American celebrities and he was in there with Ronald Reagun. It talked about John Wayne’s 1971 interview in Playboy magazine where he says he believes in white supremacy and that the native americans were selfishly keeping the land to themselves. It’s not totally surprising based on the his movie roles but makes one wonder how he could have so many fond followers.


You decide!

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I mentioned before that SCTV taught me all I need to know about punk. Well, Saturday Night Live could teach you a thing or two, too. Here’s what happened when Fear played Saturday Night Live:

FEAR live TV 1981 – wideo

FYI, the Suburban Lawns played SNL, too.


I introduced myself in another blog with:

Somehow, I find myself living in a neighbourhood of suits. I’ve often felt that they’re watching me – I don’t wear a suit to work or spend hours on the weekend pouring chemicals on my yard and running a pollution spewing lawnmower in pursuit of a golf-course like lawn.

I neglected to provide a soundtrack to that post – I guess I’m making up for it now 🙂


Netflix in Canada also offers What We Do Is Secret, a punk biopic about Darby Crash and the Germs.

It’s a very well done movie and the sound track is great; Pat Smear set all that up. The Germs actually rerecorded songs for the movie with Shane West, the actor playing Darby Crash, doing the singing. Since then, the Germs have actually toured with this line-up and been criticized by some. I have mixed feelings on that. The Germs have a right to capitalize on their work and the nostalgia associated with it – if people will pay them to do stuff and they enjoy it, why not?

The part that is not as cool is where you get these kids who get into the music and “scene” and use it as an excuse to act like idiots. Maybe that’s me being selfish but it kind of cheapens my memories. I guess like the Germs they have a right to do what they want to do.

That’s where the movie fell short for me – very much the way American Hardcore did. Darby Crash starts off with hope and a plan and slides down, taking drugs to numb the violence at the shows. I don’t want to rewrite history but I think there were positive things that came from the times and it would be nice to see more of that. I guess that’s the Punk Rock Dad in me 🙂


You know the Meatmen but do you know the Pagans?



Thanks to the free 30 day trial of Netflix (which is awesome so far), I finally got to see American Hardcore, the documentary of hardcore punk in the U.S.

The opening took me right back to my youth. There was a lot of interesting content throughout but I found it a bit surprising that it was a full length movie. For an art form built around short, fast songs that don’t care for any mainstream values one might expect the movie to have a similar kind of in your face vibe. That said, I would love to see more of many of the interviews.

More than that, what I really wanted to see more of was some of the key contributors. If I boil the movie down, it was about Black Flag, Bad Brains and Minor Threat – Bad Brains and Minor Threat definitely both in my top 10 list of best hardcore bands. But who was missing or only covered fleetingly?

  • Dead Kennedys
  • Scream
  • Poison Idea
  • Naked Raygun
  • Fear
  • Dirty Rotten Imbeciles
  • The Freeze
  • The Meatmen

It was also curious that Keith Morris and Mike Watt talked a fair bit but their bands (Circle Jerks and Minutemen) got little coverage. Is this the personal biases/favourites of the storytellers? A reflection of who was available for the movie? Something else? Maybe they’re saving stuff for a sequel…