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UK Subs

UK Subs/Toxic Narcotic
Emo’s, November 9, 2003

Are you ready for some punk? Sunday night at Emo’s was a punk rock wonderland. The spiky-haired kids were out in full force for an explosion of fists, shouts and plenty of beer. Toxic Narcotic blew me away with their delightfully named tunes, “Shoot People, Not Dope” and “Asshole.” The music is hardcore to the extreme with fast hitting screams, intense guitar and thumping drums, they will make you wish you were a thrashing, young nineteen year-old punk. You will want to grab the mic from lead singer, Bill Damon, and shout, “Everywhere you go/everyone you know/everyone you see/everyone you meet/assholes assholes,” ‘til you can’t scream anymore. These Boston boys have been rocking out since 1989, and if the kids have their way, they won’t be stopping anytime soon.

Having grown up in England, the UK Subs always played in the background of my youth. This show brought back so many memories. The best and most elating part of their show, their final song, “Stranglehold,” was so perfect it left me speechless except for the shouting, “Stranglehold on me, gotta stranglehold on me” that has been running through my head all day. These legendary punkers put on an awesome performance that involved an extraordinary amount of crowd participation. Let’s just say, Larry Stern is one brave soul. He risked getting his camera smashed to get pictures for all you fools who missed possibly the finest punk show of the year. I still cannot hear properly (having gotten my ear drums nicely blasted), I got beer in my eye, but wow, it was definitely worth it. These guys are true punk rock gods that every young punk rocker should look to for inspiration.

–Misty Sweet

death cab for cutie photo by beau beenDeath Cab for Cutie/Nada Surf
Emo’s, November 10, 2003

Attention Red River Rockers: I hear on occasion some of you saying that our writers can’t write and that we kiss a lot of ass. Well, no need for anyone to pucker up for this one. If someone had told me it was emo night at Emo’s, I would have run the other way while shielding my eyes from the emotional sap that would soon whistle through the bar. Instead, I got pigeon-holed right up front near the speaker. I was hoping for something funky or funny or mod, but instead it was the same sappy, yappy, pussy-fied stuff I catch on MTV—boys who look a little scraggly but sing pretty little melodies of melancholy and strife like they will need to join a middle-aged, middle-class, all male support group when they get older. Maybe it’s over my silly little head, because a lot of people really seemed to dig the first band, Nada Surf. They weren’t bad at what they did. Beau Been commented he “would like to listen to this music on headphones.”

I imagined diving on stage and strangling the singer, sawing the guy with dreadlocks (I’d hoped he was a Korn fan) in half with a chainsaw, and then using the chainsaw to saw my way back through the crowd back to the bar for some shots that might make it possible to suffer through the next band. A Monday night. $17 per ticket. A sold out house. What am I missing here? Is this the new emo Emo’s Monday night culture club that I’ve never known? Get me the fuck out of here, but I had to stick around and give Cutie a chance. Trapped on the left side of the stage, directly in front of the speaker, not able to see the band, I couldn’t tell the difference between Death Cab for Cutie and Nada Surf after 2.5 songs, and that was it. Game Over. I went to the patio and searched for people who hated this type of music as well.

nada surf photo by beau beenIt’s all the same to me, that emo music. Why do middle-class white males gotta be so emo! So freaking emotional. Gushing their inner thoughts and feelings. Even Mexicans use accordions to express their deepest feelings of love. Men, women, I don’t want you tell me your feelings so sweetly and distraught. Save it for your therapist. But I will say that both bands reminded me a little of Live, and there were a lot of young patrons there that night. It’s better to watch the mushy stuff than guys beating beer bottles over their own heads. Maybe these guys are the light to the future for a whole generation, and I could have taken one of their lives with my rockin’ stupid chainsaw. All I ask is somehow you give me a signal that there is emo at Emo’s, and I just won’t go in. I’m thrilled you can fill the place up, but I really need to know to stop the evil thoughts. If you are into the more precious kind of music, you can get more info about Death Cab for Cutie at www.deathcab.addr.com.

–Beth Sams

ignorance park


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