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
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.
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.