Saw “American Hardcore” last night. I wasn’t sure what to expect since I’ve heard so much from so many different people across the States and in Europe.
I think Steven (Blush, writer) and Paul (Rachman, director) did a great job, although I would’ve liked to have seen a little less Bad Brains and Black Flag and a little more on the Midwest scene. They casually mention Husker Du, but there were no Husker interviews or music ... kind of a bad omission if you ask me ... but the Huskers are kind of a weird bunch and maybe they didn’t want anything to do with the film. Hard to say.
Also The Effigies were casually mentioned, but no interviews or music. Both those bands were responsible for letting Die Kreuzen "hop" on to existing bills at a moment’s notice, hence opening our range/audience and tour ideas. So, from my perspective, we were a younger band and they were more established. It kind of leaves me wondering why they didn’t get more attention.
Also the complete omission of the Dead Kennedys is a real brain scratcher. Although Jello (Biafra) is a nut and I know the band hates him and vice versa. Maybe they all just opted out for legal reasons. They also were a huge influence on us and were responsible for us playing some killer shows to tons of people in the Bay Area. They really helped us out!
l would’ve liked to have seen more on fanzines since they were the "life blood" so to speak of the scene. Every city had one and we always did interviews at every show. I believe firmly that they helped many bands get more attention than they normally would without such an avenue.
One more thing that I thought was lacking were the females in the scene part of the film. I remember there being a lot more females involved in bands than what was portrayed. Maybe I’m wrong as Die Kreuzen carried on well past the 1986 supposed "death of hardcore," which I also have reserves about. I seem to remember lots of females playing music and, yes, being behind the scene with fanzines, photographers and promoters. But that’s not really being "behind" the scene... that "is" the scene!). But I think they were more involved with making music as well; maybe just lesser known bands.
Other than these few topics (and of course you couldn’t properly wrap something up and touch all bases in depth in an hour and a half) I thought everything was cool, especially my old buddy Vic Bondie (who is on the Die Kreuzen tribute CD). He is such a smarty pants and he was able to hit so many nails squarely on the head that it made me laugh and shout "YES!"... I miss him terribly. Die Kreuzen and Articles of Faith did sooo many shows together and he was always so intense and friendly at the same time. What a wonderful human being!
I am thrilled to be part of the film and to part of a section of American musical history. That was such an exciting point in my life and I do miss those days of fellowship. I’ve never felt as close or a part of anything before or since.
The first time MDC came through town they stayed at our apartment. In the morning Dave (Dictor) and I were having coffee in the kitchen. He told me how cool he thought Die Kreuzen was and that we should "get out there." He then opened his tour book and went state by state and gave me promoter phone numbers, fanzine address and crash house numbers ... the whole gambit, with a brief synopsis on every person or city scene. Hence the first Die Kreuzen tour!
We simply called these people and they almost all said "sure, c'mon down and play, we'll set up a show, feed you and put you up with a place to stay." How cool is that? It was all done by the people involved for the people involved ... totally self sufficient! A true network!
We made contacts and new friends and passed on numbers to more people and bands -- thats how (Milwaukee's) The Crusties were able to do their one and only tour. T That network was continually growing.
I hope the kids will shake things up again soon, cause it is damn pathetic and stagnant at this point in music. And people’s apathy for attending live shows is really a strange one. I still go to shows; maybe one a week, sometimes more, but music is my life blood and I just cant help attending shows to see who’s doing what these days.
I know that hardcore still survives today in basement shows across the country, but the music needs to be tweaked and turned on its head or ear. Nobody wants to hear the same three chords being bashed out over and over again 20 years on. C'mon kids; make art, make music, use your freedom to propel the next generation.
What would the mainstream have done without hardcore, I don’t know. That culture has been sucked up and you see it now in everyday life. Kind of sad in some respects, but also, it makes me feel proud to have been part of such a force that even mainstream society couldn’t resist. Even if it has been bastardized, it’s still there and it wouldn’t be there if it wasnt for American hardcore!
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