Ten days ago, I posted a tape on the blog and said something like "I'm back from my break!", but then insisted on a self-imposed computer vacation. Partially, I imposed this break because I went on "vacation", but also because the world is too much to handle some days. On my trip away from my home, I was joined by some old and new friends. We spent a lot of time casually talking shit and gossiping in the car. We followed that up with intense discussions of unjust police brutality in Ferguson, MO, unjust (and never-ending) invasions of Iraq to combat against ISIS, kids (and everyone else) being fucking bombed in Palestine and even more cops killing innocent people in St Louis. We usually followed that up with long stints of looking out the car window at beautiful mountains while listening to heartbreaking music.
While traveling, we all separately (and together) had a great time, but these issues stayed in the back of our minds. At one point, I watched someone accidentally fall from over 15 feet up and immediately go unconscious. I was surrounded by drunk punks on all sides and was immediately ready to put my meager medic training to good use. Luckily, the woman with the face tattoos who I had just met was a nurse. Another woman was a medic. My travel partner from the needle exchange was on the phone with 911. CPR was being administered. Everyone else was collecting all the dogs, opening up the gates, giving people space...no one panicked. It was intense, but everyone (by everyone, I mean over 150 drunk punks and dirtbags) did exactly the right thing and the paramedics were wheeling the person out within 10 minutes. They're gonna live. Trust me, if shit ever goes down, I want to be surrounded by smart punks like that and not a bunch of fucking norms.
In the midst of all of this, a friend of a friend in the community had just taken their own life. I didn't know them, but it had directly affected nearly everyone around me. I found myself vacationing in their town while everyone was in various states of crisis, disbelief, shock or self-care (or self-harm). I spent my time reading on the sidewalk, laying in the park, giving all of my anti-anxiety meds to people in shock and hanging out at the punk show. I didn't know what else to do.
In a meager attempt to make a long story short, I have been finding it hard to just simply and casually write about a punk band's demo when there is just such an overwhelming amount of fucked up shit happening in the world (to put it into the simplest terms possible). Concurrently, I still want to actively put positive energy into the world or I will crumble up into a depressed, unwashed, slimy ball of a useless human being and never leave the four walls of my tiny room ever again. So, here's your fucking demo....
4RVR 21 played the basement punk show that I went to in Olympia, WA. In the beautiful spirit of everything punk, they had formed their band less than a week before the show, wrote three songs, learned a cover song AND recorded a demo. This demo is being posted online within a week of the band forming. Purportedly, the show I attended was rumored to be the only show that the band will ever play, but time will tell the truth. During their set, their singer Jeff made some sort of off-hand comment about insurrectionary anarchists having their rent paid by their parents, which later led to him being angrily confronted and pulled into a lengthy discussion with the anarchists about the things he said. I think it's important to back up the things that you say and I'm sure that I'm missing some nuances of Olympia life, but....I thought about Gaza, Ferguson, the cops, Iraq, ISIS, people getting concussions, people taking their own lives, children getting bombed, the ever tightening grip of the all-encompassing police state that we find ourselves living in and I thought to myself, "You have nothing better to do than get unreasonably upset over an off hand comment made to 20 people in a basement?"
Members of SHARKPACT, OUTLOOK, THE CHAIN, (legendary band) SOCKS N SANDALS and many more.
Thanks to Alex, Ken, Shannon and Millie for making me leave town. Thanks to Mary, Claire, Punkall, 5D, Tammy, Hayes, Cinder, Goddammit Pat, The Quack, Erin, Marat, Katie B, Spikey Mikey Warm Napkin, Chop Kong, B-Man, Lucy and so many more for keeping it really, truly real.