Tuesday, December 27, 2011

BITCHIN' - "A Taste For the Rock in the Night" - Tape - 2000

   BITCHIN' started as a 4-piece in Gainesville, FL sometime around the turn of the century and they quickly went into the studio to record these six songs that later appeared on two 7 inches. On a bad night, BITCHIN' was still better than most live bands at that time, but on a good night, they were untouchable. Singer/guitarist Sam was (and still is) a guitar wizard whose passion for performing was palpable and infectious. Watching her sing whole songs and play complicated guitar shit with her eyes closed the whole time would give me chills. The rest of the band were no slouches either. I had been friends with Caroline for a couple of years and didn't really know that she could play bass, but here she was ruling it and making me envious of her solid style. Their drummer Todd was so laid back that I thought that there was no way that he could actually be good, but he definitely proved me wrong by bashing the shit out of the drums and throwing in some beats that I had never even thought about. I never saw them play with Kobi (their 2nd guitarist on this tape), but I don't think she played with them for very long and had quit shortly after this tape was recorded. All six of these songs are fukkin' great with my favorites being "Utilizing" and their anthem, which brings back pleasant memories of punks clamoring around the mic and raising their fists while screaming "Little babayyyyyAAYYYYYYYY!!"
BITCHIN' playing in a garage at the Chattanooga Punk Fest in 2000. Photo by Brontez.
   OH..I just remembered this....(you can just skip down to the "download" portion of this entry if you want to skip the fuckin' nostalgia trip). One of the best times I ever saw BITCHIN' was in Gainesville at 4 or 5 am. Earlier in the night, there had been a huge LEATHERFACE show and at the end of their set, Frankie Stubbs announced on stage that BITCHIN' and some other bands were going to be playing a house show across town. That's all fine and everything except the house show was in a room the size of my bedroom and he just told a couple hundred people about it. Anyhow, the street in front of the house filled up with people drinking and milling around waiting for the show. Luckily, most of the houses on the block were inhabited by punks and someone had the bright idea to block off each end of the street with cars so that no one could get through. I remember a ton of punks drinking in the streets, wandering into open houses, being handed food and beers and seeing a cop drive by looking totally helpless and then shrugging and leaving. The first band didn't start until at least 4 am. Some friends and I tried to get into the house to see BITCHIN' but it was impossible. It was insanely packed wall-to-wall, so we went around the side of the house and there happened to be a window right behind the drums. I remember the window being steamed up from all the sweat and condensation. Todd opened it up and we all cheered. A bunch of us sang and danced in the yard for the whole show and I remember that a lot of people came outside to join us because they said we looked like we were having more fun than the people inside. I don't know who else played and I didn't care. BITCHIN' completely ruled the night and negated the need for any more bands to play. I stumbled back to a house and passed out as the sun was coming up. It was a great show.
If you can find their LP on No Idea Records, get that shit. You won't regret it.
BITCHIN' and ONION FLAVORED RINGS broken down outside of Yeehaw Junction, FL. Photo by me.
This tape is from the collection of Erick Lyle, who would like to add that this is one of hie favorite demos of all time.

  Sam was also in RUMBLESEAT and currently plays in the band CASSETTE, who are something closer to alt-country but are no less powerful than her earlier, punker days. I saw Sam play CASSETTE songs solo in a little room once and no less than 5 people were crying. It was intense.
  Todd currently lives in Brooklyn, working on video editing and making people completely stoked by just being in the same room with him. Here is a link to some stuff he is working on.
   Caroline is currently selling off handmade and home-printed "merch" from her former band FORGETTERS to benefit Jakmel Ekspresyon in Haiti. "What is Jakmel Ekspresyon?" you ask?  Well, it is a community based arts center in Haiti that is explicitly queer and trans friendly. They have been working to rebuild a new space since the earthquake in 2010 ruined their old one and they could really use your help. I have heard many great stories about them from my friend, Ivy, who is currently in Jacmel and working with them on these rebuilding projects. If you would like to buy some of Caroline's art to benefit this, you can do it RIGHT HERE. While you're there, be sure to check out Caroline's other art on her page. It is totally worth your time. 
   If buying band merch isn't your thing and you want to just donate money directly to Jakmel Ekspesyon, you can do that on their IndieGoGo Page. If you want to learn more about their community based arts center, click on over to their official site and their working group. Wait...you have more money to donate? Cool, then you should throw that towards the International Folklore Exchange Project, which also benefits Haiti, a community in real need of your help.


caroline paquita said...

During that late night, post-post show, Todd puked on his drums (while playing), but he didn't even miss a beat! Todd=badass. Thanks for posting this Greg!

Black Ship said...

definitely one of the best bands ever to come out of Gaineville, I remember they came through Milwaukee after I had just moved up there and blew everyone away. Not to mention they're all top-notch bad ass folks

Anonymous said...

please reup this. thank you

Harvester said...