Thursday, March 24, 2011

ah, sentimentality

I remember seeing Tim McIlrath’s old band, Baxter at a VFW hall in Arlington Heights Il. for the first time. My band, the Broadways, were loading in and this group of kids, fronted by a crazy looking dude with a wild afro were playing this weird blend of hardcore, metal, emo and pop punk. I turned to one of my dudes (I think it was Dan, but it may have been Chris [or honestly, knowing the way I tend to repeat myself, it was probably both of them]) and I said “mark my words, that dude is gonna be famous someday.”

As long as I’ve known Joe, he’s been one of the most driven and dedicated people I’ve ever encountered. He’s not only a great bassist, but he’s also so fucking determined to be a great bassist, and that’s a distinction that’s important. Once you’re the best, if you maintain the drive that got you there, you’re onto something. If you sit back and rest on your laurels, you’re just another person who was briefly interesting for a second. Interesting fact about Joe: he almost exclusively eats Italian food, or at least that was true when I used to see him regularly. It was ALWAYS pizza or pasta, and never anything else. It’s amazing he’s not six hundred pounds.

I could go through and talk about Zack (a nice dude who was in GWAR [which is amazing] and who’s always been super cool to me, but who I don’t really know very well) and Brandon (a great hang, one of the most fun people on this earth to get into trouble with) but that’s not really the point. I’ve known Joe and Tim forever and they just had a record that debuted at #1 in Canada and #2 in the US and that’s fucking incredible. I’m super, super proud to say that I’m from the same page in history as those dudes, even if my name is written much smaller (and please, that’s not some sort of attempt to fish for compliments or me belittling my own relevance with false modesty. I’m stoked for what my band has done and I wouldn’t rather be in any other band in the world [except maybe Millionaires]).

There’s a lot of shit talk out there in the world of punk rock these days, and if there’s any lesson to be learned from it, it’s that that kind of shit is sort of poisonous and lame. There’s a difference between having an opinion on something and being an asshole. There’s a difference between friendly competition and smarmy bullshit. There’s a weird, increasingly prevalent mentality where people seem content to turn their rifles on each other rather than shooting outwards, at the whole shitty world that corralled us into this subculture in the first place.

I mean, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t call people out for doing stupid things, or that you can’t say that something sucks when it does, only the most small minded pussies in the world would say something like that, but what I am saying is that it seems like there’s not enough positivity being sent out there in the kind of grand, visible stream of collective consciousness that negativity so often treads in, and today man…I’m super stoked for some friends that I knew back when I was a kid that have pulled off a truly amazing feat for a punk rock band, or any musician for that matter.
Bottoms up, Rise Against! (heh…that’s a funny, funny thing to say.)

Okay, I’m out of here. I’m going on about 5 hours of sleep. Time to dust my dick off and get outside.

18 comments:

Jimbo Jones said...

Dude, you're going outside? Its fucking cold out today.

Sarah said...

Aw I wrote out this big comment and Gmail erased it. Anyway, long story short, I too remember seeing those guys (and the Larry Arms) in VFWs/basements/shitholes in the suburbs. I've recounted these tales to my teenage employees with tix to their Aragon shows, and they give me the same crazy looks I give customers who tell me "Back in my day, I saw Ted Nugent at a roller rink in Waukegan for 12 cents". I realize I sound old and stupid and quickly shut up. Anyway, it does piss me off when old fans get all uppity and act like it's their job to keep punk rock elite. I'm just stoked that kids have the opportunity to hear this amazing music, that this is what's playing on the radio, that this shit is mainstream is so cool to me. The fact that Rise Against are now "mainstream" gives me faith that people don't necessarily suck as much as I'd like to think they do (I mean they could be listening to Brokencyde, right?). It's fucking rad that my store sells more Rise Against t-shirts than Metallica t-shirts. I'm really proud of that, and I'm really, really happy for Rise Against. This success couldn't have happened to nicer dudes, and they definitely put in their time and earned it.

Neilchair said...

Guess people can kind of stop asking for a response to the Screeching Weasel thing now, huh?

peter said...

good read, and i'm glad you said that, someone had to. i love rise against and probably always will, and i feel like you summed up the bullshit attitude toward them pretty well.

apathy/exhaustion said...

I still love Rise Against, and it makes me cringe whenever some cool guy punk police officer barges into any kind of discussion and is quick to point out how "mainstream" they are now or some bullshit like that.

jbody said...

finally gave in and watched me some neflixed glee.man,that shits like this generations twin peaks yo!but i mean,i caught alot of stuff,for instance im pretty sure kurt is the only "out" kid at his particular school............wanted to like it....i just realized im super proud to have never googled "pow mia".that may not make sense to yall but ya know its them little things.karate?wait,dont tell

jbody said...

rise againsts tunes bring to mind like beautiful stallions with that natural glow to their coats and that sinewy musculature in tha hindquarters,just ya know,running or whatever.or them viral videos where bullies get whats coming to em....jus meee?...

ty. said...

I love this blog. Way to go, Brendan.

Hamilton Martin said...

fuckin hippie, spread the good vibes. i'm just talkin shit, love me some rise against but haven't listened to since sufferer & witness - gotta check the new stuff out

bridgestreet said...

We got to see them when they were sort of nobodies, and thought the same thing. These dudes are going to be HUGE.

I've never really understood the kids that get pissed when "their" band ends up on the radio. Whatever, I'm happy for them. I'm happy for other people that get to listen to them now. I am not somehow less badass because other people have heard of bands that I enjoy.

James said...

wait... your in a band?

Adamantium said...

http://catscrotch.blogspot.com/ What's inside of Cat's Crotch?

It's A-Me, Martucci said...

http://www.ampmagazine.com/10949/joe-queer-sounds-off-about-ben-weasel-fat-mike-and-this-whole-situation/

..ooOoo... james BLiiIiiiiiisssss...sQuuuishy!! ...you collagen-cheeked idiot

It's A-Me, Martucci said...

sHhhhh don't get mad cuz joe q crazily and ironicaly makes the most sense of anyone sHhhhhhhh stephanie brudnicki threw the ice! sssshhhhhh

It's A-Me, Martucci said...

Who is this adamantium retard? Is that 'left eye' from indiana jones and the dont go chasin watefalls?

jbody said...

u know that awkward moment where ya crank your car up for a beer run or something and someone whos opinion you respect is coming along for the ride and you forgot you had been blasting dude ranch earlier and ya get a little red faced and make a lame excuse.imagine how many hipsters and orgcore kids are gonna get caught red tied with that upcoming trio record where theyre reworkin their "classics"...."dude Is that a glockenspiel on nose over tail"

Daniel said...

Where da luv for the DePaola machine?

Specs said...

What a great post. I think that it is awesome that Rise Against has achieved what they have, and not turning away from what they really are. Chicago is such a great place for music, and if I ever move, it's there that I am going.