Sunday, June 28, 2015

BIG BLEACH / BAGHEAD - "It's The Big Bag Split" - Tape - 2015

   Stardate: 1998. The location was Maxie, MS. The whole town consists of a mobile home, a house, a church and a graveyard. Some drunks lived in the trailer and didn't seem to give a shit about anything. The house was inhabited by three or four punks who invited touring bands to play in their living room. The other neighbors were dead or only around during church services. Even though the only punks in town lived in that house, the shows were always good and people flocked to them from around the state of Mississippi. Some bands that played there were THE GRUMPIES (Starkville, MS), ONE REASON (Cleveland, MS I think they played their first show ever in Maxie), SUDDENLY SUBHAN (Starkville), LES TURDZ (Biloxi), FYP (San Pedro, CA), OPERATION CLIFF CLAVIN (Bloomington, IN) and many, many more. The people who lived in that house were dedicated to making a scene happen in their town, even if they were 4 of the 9 people who lived in the town. Some of the best shows I ever played in my life were in that house...even the show where someone smacked me in the face with a full beer while I played drums, giving me my first black eye.
   At one of these shows, I was breaking down my drumset on the front porch while making small talk with a member of the (kind of bad) funk/punk band from Hattiesburg, a town 30 miles north with a population of almost 46,000. At the time, all I knew about Hattiesburg is that it was a town that had a really stupid speed trap on the interstate where police had pulled me over at least three times and searched our tour vehicles, looking for any remnants of the pounds of illegal drugs we were sure to have. I asked the dude, "Where do you guys have shows in Hattiesburg?" He said, "Aw man, we don't have nothing like this in Hattiesburg! They've got it made down here." I looked down the street to the graveyard and the empty streets as the crows cawed and the crickets chirped. "Yeah, this is excellent, but surely you've something going shows, bar shows, local bands....something?!" "Naw man. We like to jam out down here. It's all set up."
   I didn't really feel like it was my place to explain DIY to the guy, so we both walked back in as another rowdy band started their set. Fast forward seventeen fucking years and this tape is sitting in my post office box. It's really the first time I've heard of or even thought of Hattiesburg since then, even though I've lived more than half of my life in the south. BIG BLEACH and BAGHEAD are two bands from that town. Both bands are basically all of the same people, but sound different from each other. BIG BLEACH is fun, straightforward punk with female vocals. It sounds like exactly what you want to hear in a moldy ass living room. (I wish the vocals were louder). BAGHEAD is uglier, rawer sounding hardcore punk with male vocals that is lurchy and mean. I'm sure that there's been a rich history of punk and hardcore in the south Mississippi scene between that bad funk / punk band and these two bands, but if you're looking for that history here, you're in the wrong place. Big shout out to BAGHEAD and BIG BLEACH for making (and sending) these tapes, putting on house shows in their town and keeping it real.

BAGHEAD has another demo too. Follow that link to get it.

1 comment:

Patrick M said...

i played a fairly empty bar show in Hattiesburg a few years ago, i wish i had known about these folks! awesome post! small towns are where punk happens.