Thursday, January 17, 2013

SKI - Top Ten of 2012

Frozen Teens photo by Ryan Maddox.

   Ski has been consistently playing in many of my favorite bands over the years. His current band FROZEN TEENS put out the one record I have listened to more than any other this year. We've shared tour vans, late nights and many of the same obsessions. We also share a love of the quick beat. He spends his time in Minneapolis, playing in great bands, living with his partner Stella ( I think I was there when they got together many years ago) and caring for his beautiful daughter, Ursula.


   When Greg asked me to do a top ten, my mind went blank. I listen to a lot of music and I buy a lot of new records ( Minneapolis has great record stores), and I try to keep an ongoing list in my head of a top ten just in case I ever have to make a list. So, of course, the first time I get asked to do one, I can't remember anything that came out last year! Well, here's what I could come up with in a night after my daughter went to sleep. (In no particular order)

   LEGENDARY WINGS   "Making Paper Roses" (Dirtnap Records) I didn't hear this until late in the year, but it hit that right spot. I guess this is a demo they sent to Dirtnap Records, and the DR guys liked it so much, they put it out on vinyl. Lo-fi garage pop doesn't fully explain this. Influences are form everywhere, from The Who to The Beat to the Marked Men (maybe that's just a progression?) Hope to see them live in 2013!

   My friend and bandmate, Wil Olsen, moving back to Minneapolis in the fall. Having a member of your band leave town for an unknown amount of time, not knowing if this is it for the best band you've ever played with, definitely leaves a hole in your heart. The couple months Wil was away living the life in Kansas City were rough, but he's back and we're writing and playing, and the world didn't end on Dec. 21st! Thanks be to the rock! 

   My daughter, Ursula, took her first steps. Ursula was born on May 6th, 2011 and she took her first independent steps on September 8th, 2012. Watching the look of accomplishment on her face dwarfs everything that happened last year.

 - CHRIS WOLLARD & THE SHIP THIEVES  "Canyons" (No Idea Records) Chris Wollard's first album that came out a couple years ago is one of my favorite albums of the last ten years. It makes me want to sit on a sandy beach at sundown sipping a michelada and smoking a joint. This record feels like straight bourbon in a smokey Southern bar. I love his voice, and knowing the guy for ten some years, I like to listen to where the layers of guitar take me. I listen to this record all the time. 

 Scam #9 "DAMAGED, The Story of Black Flag's Classic First Album!" Important punk history written by a punk. This is how we need to tell our stories. I like how Erick's introspective narrative touches on the local L.A. history and how we (punk culture) shook it up. Sometimes it's hard to remember and keep in perspective what punk bands went through to lay the ground work for us in 2013 today. Know your history kids! I will definitely be showing this to my daughter to teach her about our culture. Best zine I read all year. 

   Do Ya Hear We! Fest This is the first time I've been to Chattanooga since my daughter was born. This is my extended family. My friends I've met in this town are so important to me and such a huge part of making me who I am today. So, coming to a family reunion, seeing great friends from all over the country, watching my favorite bands, and being able to play to all of them, well, what wouldn't be better? (If Stella and Ursula were there, yes!) 

  BOB MOULD "Silver Age" (Merge Records) My first introduction to Bob Mould was his band Sugar and the album was "Copper Blue". I was in 9th grade and liked it, but it wasn't punk enough for me at the time, so I didn't love it. But the album kept coming in and out of my life for the next twenty years and I realized it's one of my favorite albums of all time! Last year he re-releases it, tours playing the full album, and he writes a new record that could have been the third Sugar album! This record is a rager, and seeing him play was a definite highlight of my year. 

  WILD CHILD "EP" (Fashionable Idiots Records) This is a newer Minneapolis band, and probably one of the best in town right now. Young. Angry. Uncompromising. This is their demo finally on vinyl. Seeing them destroy basement shows to killing a sold out crowd at a big club (doing a tag team set with locals Brain Tumors), makes me feel like I am an audience member in an old video from the 80's watching Black Flag or Minor Threat! I predict big things for them in 2013!! -

 Dancing with Stella to THE SPITS while they played "All I Want" Stella (my partner for 11 yrs.) and I don't get to go out much anymore, especially together (since we've had a kid), so this was a rare night. We went with some friends to downtown St. Paul to see the Spits and OFF! We both totally let loose, and when the Spits kicked in with "All I know is I wanna be with you", I grabbed Stella and we moshed everyone down!

 And then we shook it up to OFF! which brings me too... - OFF! "LP" (Vice Records) My favorite type of hardcore played by the people who were from the "golden" age of said "core". Everytime I hear this I start twitching back and forth, spasmadically dancing. And it's pissed off! Gives me hope that I can still rock the fuck out when I'm in my 50's! Hopefully I don't rant so much though.


dirtyard designs said...

Ski just got my nomination for punk dad of the year!

Dk said...

That Off! video is hilarious. I recognize that teen talk host guy from Kids in the Hall and I've enjoyed reading everyones Top 10s. Frozen Teens LP is awesome & is on my list as well. I hope in the future you guys make your Gas Money Demos an LP. That would be rad.

Anonymous said...

"how we shook it up"

sorry I don't think you or anyone in 2013 had anything to do with "how we shook it up" in 1980.

The world was completely different then and this was once original thought. Someone putting on a leather jacket and copying something from 30 years ago is the complete opposite of my youth was about.

Ski said...

This is Ski. Let me explain "how we shook it up". I was one yrs old in 1980. I've been a punk for over half my life. I've helped contribute to my community in many different ways and I've always been an active participant. Punk is over 30 years old. It's not just a passing trend. Sure, there's plenty nostalgia rock now days. Black Flag and their history, is my cultural history. It's OUR cultural history (if you consider yourself a punk). So, "how we shook it up" wasn't meant you or I specifically, it's recognizing our shared history and placing ourselves as a part of it, because whether you like it or not, American hardcore and DIY punk wouldn't be where it is without bands like Black Flag.

Or... you don't have to take things so seriously.

Also, I've never worn a leather jacket.

Harvester said...

The world was completely different. But rejoice! Now you can revel in anonymously making snide comments to take people down a notch. Progress! Thanks, Anonymous.