In my reality, bands go on tour even though they only have a demo tape available....not a Bandcamp page or a Facebook page...just a plain old tape with their songs on it that they recorded in someone's basement. The band will sell this tape to you for a little bit of money or just give it to you if you buy them a drink....or just give it to you because you're a nice person. Their van breaks down because it's a piece of shit that can barely even make it across town, but somehow the band thinks it'll make it 3000 miles around the country. When the van does break down, the band becomes despondent and hopeless because they're not gonna make to their show in New Orleans to play in front of 35 fucked up oogles in a trash pile in the 9th ward. At the last minute, a friend with another crappy van decides to just take the band there while another friend agrees to drive the original van to the band when it gets fixed. Meanwhile, the band members have been surviving on a diet of cheap whiskey, cheaper beer and bad pasta, so of course they all contract the rabid anthrax that has been plaguing normal society and proceed to release all kinds of bile, vomit and shit from any orifice on their bodies that will provide them the sweet release they so desire. When they find themselves broke, starving, insane and stuck in the middle of nowhere, they don't start a Kickstarter or plead to their online fans for monetary support. This is their lives and they made their own choice to put themselves in this desperate situation. So, they take out their instruments and busk at the gas station in order to hustle up enough money to fill the tank and make it to the show. When they do make it to the show, they have been through all of these ridiculous trials and tribulations that cause them to play with heart and vigor. You can tell they fucking mean it. It comes from pure desperation. They look tired and smell bad, but they give everything they've got for the 15-20 minutes they've been allotted at the basement show. Amps break, Someone drew something on your face. An annoying punk dude in plaid pants is swinging around a headless, life-sized Santa Claus in the pit. Somebody's walking around with a cup, asking you to put money into it so this band will leave your town. Sometimes it's annoying as fuck and stressful as hell, but I love it. This is what punk is to me.
This could be a story from 1995 or yesterday, but it's actually from today. This has all happened to RAT'S REST in the past couple of weeks. I just saw them play their hearts out to 50 maniacs in a basement in Oakland. They're on tour right now and they'll be in Eureka, CA tonight. They're not on the internet (well, they are now). Look for fliers on poles, find the basement they're playing in and buy this tape from them because it's so good. Members of the band have probably been in bands you like, if you like stuff on this blog. They live in Kansas City in huge, dilapidated houses and run community gardens for people in their neighborhoods. They're good people and play the kind of punk that I love. That is all.