The Kids of Widney High

The Kids of Widney High
Bigsby’s, Jan. 5th 2004

Ok. I’ve been asked to do the Kids of Widney High review. Those of you who are familiar with this group and are familiar with my style of writing are probably thinking; Oh Shit, here we go. Chad Holt is writing a review on the retarded band. Well, I may have thought so myself prior to attending the show, but I assure you that now I’m a huge fan.

First of all, I’m not sure what the situation is with the majority of the “kids” in the band. For one thing, most of them seem like they are in their late teens or early twenties at least. Secondly, they don’t act any different than most of you fuckers out on Red River, and their band is at least twice as good as yours. Their enthusiasm is unmatched by any band I have seen play in town in a long, long time. On top of this, their songs fucking rocked.

“Let’s Get Busy”, their opening number is totally awesome, setting the pace for the rest of the show. The guy who fronts this song (they use alternating front men from the choir itself) is a complete fucking badass, and I would do anything to have him in my band. Other hits included “I Make My Teacher Mad”, and “Insects” which may have been called “Better Watch Out Or The Insects Will Get You.” I’m not even kidding when I tell you I want The Gun Totin’ Meateaters to cover this, ok? It’s the best punk rock song I’ve ever seen performed live.

The kids of Widney High are playing twice more this week before this article will actually come out, but I am calling all of my friends to tell them to go to the show. Never miss these guys if you get a chance.


Krum Bums photo by larry sternKrum Bums

My first mistake on Sunday, January 4 was to make eye contact with Wendy WWAD at Ed's Cucaracha. I should have known that she would bully me into writing a revue for this show. But when she gets that look it's usually best to just do what she says and get the fuck out of the way. So I aborted my plan to duck out and go catch Complete Control over at Emo's. I'm glad I did.

If you've been to "the roach" you've no doubt wondered about the stability of the rotting masonry archway at the top of the stairs leading up to the second level. During the Krum Bums set I chose not to stand under it. That's because I would not have been surprised if these fuckers literally made the roof cave in. In fact, I was planning for it. People were hanging from the rafters. Really.

The Krum Bums, all surly swagger and mohawks and leather and spikes, sounded like shit. Did that matter? Absolutely not. These guys are one of those bands that don't need to sound good, as long as they're loud. That's because their real strength lies in their ability to work a crowd and whip it into a frenzy. It didn't hurt that the The Bulemics delivered a blistering little set beforehand. But the Krum Bums seem to be able to create chaos wherever they go. They even have their own house dedicated to it. If you've been there you know what I'm talking about. If not, go when you get the chance (if you bring booze you will be VERY popular).

So was it a good Krum Bums show? No, it was an average Krum Bums show. But here's the good news: a mediocre evening with the Krum Bums is better than a good day fishing, and you'll never find so many trashy looking women on a riverbank.

Peter Elliott

P. S. My second mistake, of course, was standing near Trans Am. Note to Trans Am: The next time you leap off of a table for a little crowd surfing please make sure that 1)the crowd consists of more than two people and, 2) they're looking up.

Rebelling Against The Rebellion
Lamar Pedestrian bridge

Danny from The Rise called me late Monday evening as I was pondering sleep. “We go on in about 30 minutes but there’ll be others playing too,” he said hastily, “We might get arrested or fined or both. It’ll be fun.” It was a surprise punk show on the Lamar pedestrian bridge.

I hung up, grabbed a hat and camera and ran out the door. Upon arrival, it was organized as I expected. Battered sound equipment was everywhere and kids wheeled clumsy amps across busy streets.

Mike Ruiz from Totally Wreck, a group of friends and artists who threw the event together, told me why they did this. “We’re pissed about what Austin’s become,” said Ruiz. They were tired of the normal punk scene.

I asked Will Wolfe of Toruokada why they didn’t simply get permission from the city, rather than risking fines. “I don’t want to get a permit just to break the rules,” he said. I felt stupid for asking.

Clearly, this arctic night was punk at its most pure and rebellion at its most passionate. This was youthful exuberance. Thank God it still exists.

Toruokada started first. It was hard to hear how they wanted to sound. The cold warped instruments out of tune and the bridge wasn’t made for acoustics. They screamed and were noisy, but they had sincerity.

The Rise quickly followed. Considering the conditions, they sounded good. The freezing crowd sang along and was responsive. However, the band was too cold to play long and they knew they weren’t sounding their best. It was a short and respectful three-song set.

Immediately after, Who’s Jealous heralded themselves with smoke machines, strobe lights and bullhorns. I can say with every ounce of sincerity that they embodied the spirit of the evening.

They had monstrous cabinets powered by tiny practice amps. The overworked amps blew 30 seconds into their set. Meanwhile, an abused cymbal stand cracked and fell broken to the ground. It was a beautiful failure.

The police finally arrived at the end to break up the party. Honestly, I was hoping for violence and pepper spray. However, the officers were disappointingly gentle and even made fun of themselves by pretending to goose step like Nazis. It was all a joke now. It was over.

The show was the most fun I’ve had in a while. If your lucky enough to know the defiant guys at Totally Wreck you might get to attend their rebellious events. Otherwise, you’ll make due with the conventional punk rock you’ve learned to accept.

–Vernon Effenberger

People always complain about Austin getting bigger, but we are lucky to have our newest resident, Guy Heller. Best known by the name Dickie Moist, a name he acquired as the lead singer for the Moistboyz, Guy has wasted no time in starting a new, Austin-based band. His new band, the American Militants, should be going into the studio soon. I sat down with Guy recently for an interview about music, Moistboyz, Militants and moving.

So, tell me about the ad in the cover of Moistboyz III? Was that for real?
We ran that in the L.A. Times and got answers from Japan. We thought we would get laughed off the face of the earth before we got signed.

What was recording with the Moistboyz like?
It seemed too easy to record. I don’t record these poetic lyrics. It’s moron jargon. The music was made so people could drive to it, like what do I want to hear in my car. It was basic beats. We are the easiest cover band. Don’t get me wrong, (Mickie Ween)’s a genius, a real rock genius. Some people try to be different, but don’t get it. Beethoven was different, the first rock star. He did things different. Mick’s the same.
But, you could not unplug us, like MTV. It would be the most boring. Maybe three out of sixty songs at the most. Nirvana, their stuff is so melodic and made for that. We’re like two downstrokes, like Metallica downstrokes.

What direction do you want to go with your new (unnamed) band?
The sound I have – I have four bands and a different sound for each. I resist being Dickie Moist for this band. That whole concept – I’ve rarely been a powerhouse across the board. I grew up in the 70’s-bluesy-I’ve been accused of wanting to be black.
Mickey – I let him start the music and by the time he’s done then my lyrics are done. (Guy demonstrates his buildup of lyrical ideas.)
I’m a jester and the band is responsible. They’re responsible for me.

You’ve said before that your dad had a lot of influence on you. Could you go into detail on that?
My father showed me a world most can only experience in movies. He was a bisexual junkie who hustled money and played harder than dead rock stars. He was an absolute rock and roll suicide. He and his contemporaries turned me onto rock and roll at a very young age. Sex, drugs and rock and roll – that was my life at home, at a time when it was very dangerous.
My dad gave me every musical taste, and explained in detail the importance of all of it. He was an aficionado of life, but had a genius dark side, and a careless side which killed him. Music was his salvation, rock especially. I have not to this date met anyone as rock and roll. Also, he was adept at leather and woodcraft. His work ethic was impeccable.

Iggy Pop had the idea of a new kind of blues…
Since then people have been telling me I rip him off. My father was a huge Iggy and Ziggy fan. I decided for a couple of bands I didn’t like what my dad liked. I was a member of KISS’s army.
Rock and roll is – Paul Stanley said it best when he said “If you don’t understand the obvious humor of what we do, you have no business listening to rock and roll.”
I did everything I could to avoid the Beatles and English rock and the hype on that band. I avoided sounding like that as much as possible. I wanted to sound American, purely American. You know what sounds American, the Doors and the Dead. Purely American.
Rock and roll means sex. Alan Freed coined the phrase because it meant sex.
Iggy dressed like a woman. Bowie. Morrison. The id of women is seductive, but of a man it’s violence-anger-justice. What civilized the West is when women got to town.
The loss of personal essence…it’s an intentional marketing tool. They’re marketing empowerment, but we haven’t gotten past it. We only use sex to represent women.

What do you think about people who sexually idolize musicians?
Crushes are wanting to be that person.

So, it should be more than that? Is there a way to uncheapen sex/passion?
The sexual blood of Song of Solomon is the essence of beauty. It’s not prurient.
What I do is masturbatory. It’s tribal. I don’t fuck around. That doesn’t impress me. Chris Issack: a girl showed her tits to him. He said, “Whoa, you’re a girl.”
Art is a language. Music is tangibly beautiful. It speaks to you in a lucid way that crosses boundaries of all kinds. Or should.

So what about being an outsider? What does that have to do with rock?
Flava Flav didn’t like that word, outsider.
I related to oppression growing up. Like the MC5. Why they didn’t make E=MC5 an album title I don’t get.
Outsiders: rock and roll is their music. Like The Commitments – there’s a quote, something like “The Irish are the niggers of the U.K.” So are the Scots (in a Scottish accent).

What do you think of the blues, and now that you live in Austin, what do you think about Stevie Ray Vaughn?
You have to be an outlaw or outcast to understand blues…..years suffering from these suits. White folks mimic licks and riffs but have no idea how it was born. The only true American, post native music other than jazz. Rock and roll is 50% blues and 50% Celtic. It is a marriage of cultural folk music, white and black. Imported slaves from Africa had a different ugliness, but the Scots knew the same pain– slavery, as did the Irish. Stevie? I don’t know his roots, but his playing, though overexposed, showed a flair pulled from greats like Hendrix. He was talented, and more than a schlub like Clapton or some smiling Yardbird shit. I liked Stevie’s stuff a lot. You can tell he loved blues and guitar.

What about anger in rock and roll?
Rock and roll is the song of sex, savagery, and pride, a beast from the past that has no plans. It can kill or shit gold. It is for those who stand tall, toothless and broke. Even the dregs and junkies can find a place in this medium. Bad things happen in rock, it is the nature of the beast, yet most Americans especially can all find one poignant or beautiful moment and rock and roll provided the soundtrack. Rock is not a rebellion, but a restoration and a platform to pontificate ideas of free will. The anger in real rock and roll is expressed in outlaw rantings, yet much is just fun, food and sex. The establishment marketed this music to glamorize its intent and gloss rock’s id. Dance and romance. The anger is not only an emotion expressed, but Freedom; not precision or sophisticated notes acceptable to the king. Rock and roll’s twisted id’s beat distorted chords of painful cries that say nothing more than fuck you, fuck me, leave me alone. Singers and musicians can be detuned, ugly, horrible, etc., yet remain as relevant as a virtuoso. Joy, Celtic celebration, and the African oppressed. Banjos, guitars, and fiddle for the jig, and a people who did not choose this nation, torn from Africa, from their children’s children, came the anger. Yet both white and black know from different perspectives what it is to be an outlaw, a slave, and asked “Please stand over there where you belong.” Shit, what the fuck do the illuminati expect? We’re not gonna just sit back and take a shit. Living minds and creatures of free will have a tendency to make a loud stink, and if you don’t want our music, then reread the Bill of Rights or change your channels and fuck anarchy and communist bullshit whining and those who enjoy its dead horse. They never come to grips that in America, I can say these things, and I’ll make my money any goddamn way I want. Angry sloppy justice. Fuck the exploitation of the 9/11 dead, and its attempt to control the free. Rock and roll is our militia, and we don’t need Bush, Ashcroft or the goddamn Patriot Act. Piss on it!
My license plate on my car says “America”. This country was a science experiment. They wanted to know if humankind could govern themselves. We had bad birth pains, but we were the first nation to set a man free on principle alone. People won’t realize this.
My music represents my patriotism. It’s not political, but it is angry.
The longest lasting kind of music that really melded people is rock and roll. Rock struck everybody immediately. It’s one of the last bastions of freedom.
You’ve been living in New Mexico, in the real West…
Billy the Kid lived where I live. When I was 13 I was mesmerized by a vision. This was a place where the wars, the Apaches and the Navajos…. I could relate to that.

What’s your take on Austin?
I haven’t really tasted Austin yet. I’ve only experienced friends and porches. I’m coming out of a 30 month Danger Binge. As I detox from street spice and the delusions of certain doom, I’m sure I’ll develop an opinion. I don’t see Austin as rugged as what’s know as “the West”, yet the Republic of Texas still exists here, and its hospitality. I am a New Mexican, born in New Jersey. 50% of my life has been spent in the desert Southwest. I have spent years engrossed in the fiber of gringo craftsmen and hard living rancheros. My soul lives in the dirt and pain of the harsh desert. The only reason I am here now is because my ex-wife turned yuppie and deemed me a savage. I didn’t want to be modern, so I kicked and screamed and she didn’t want to be poor. My adobe homestead and my magical sovereign life was devoured by a New World puppet my wife had become. As personal as this may seem. I am living proof that the safe, chickenshit communist sympathizers eat freedom, learn its fruits, and sell it off to the rich. I have many songs about being betrayed by women who feed from my energy, suck my dick dry, and kill me while I’m still cold. The rock and roll common man savage who appeals to the unexperienced country girl. We end up garbage, and cast aside for nice boys who giggle and bleach their teeth. My brothers in arms have felt the same pain. East Coast is communist, but the west still has the rock and roll torch of free angry justice. Long live my “back 5” in Cerrillos, NM and my cowboy mind. That is my credo of the West. Anger.

With your new band, how do you want to expand from your work with the Moistboyz? Is there a different sound or influence you want to explore?
I can’t expand too much or it wouldn’t be rock and roll. The group here will touch on more things. The Moistboyz like to be sonically myopic, and are very careful not to be too sexy. Moistboyz drive and fight and get wasted. I like other things, too. I want to see my new group’s “potentials” where the Moistboyz are immediately “kinetic”.

Punk Rock BBQ for PrisPunk Rock BBQ for Pris
Ego’s, December 20th

Texas Rollergirls’ own badass Pris (Chelsea Taylor) of the Hotrod Honeys suffered a holiday tragedy when her house caught fire and burned down. Pris and her mom lost most of their personal belongings in the fire. The big-hearted folks at Ego’s and some kick-ass bands threw a punk rock BBQ to help Pris and her mom get back on their feet in time to enjoy the rest of the holidays. Amber Violand, Seaflea, The Dickens, Pink Swords and The Rockland Eagles gave it up for the love of Pris. The Rollergirls moshed in rolling chairs while the Rockland Eagle cheerleader held up a “Pris.” sign. Steve Austin was on drums.

Pris’ own father is a noted musician so it was nice to see all the musicians donating their merch sales. Tattoo Artists donated their goods and Rolletta Lynn donated 100 novelty buttons to a raffle.

Next time you see Pris, buy her a drink! She’s a great lady, and I know she appreciated every single person there. Take care of each other during the holidays because some times the only thing you have is the love of the people around you.

Minus the unfortunate circumstances, this was more fun than a barrel of monkeys. Check out future punk rock BBQs at Ego’s. If you want to make a donation to Pris and her mom, visit www.txrollergirls.com.

–Beth Sams


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