I was maybe 12 years old the first time I got sexually assaulted in a pit. (Of course I didn’t think of it as sexual assault at the time.) It was a metal show, and some guy maybe 10 years older than me came up behind me and just grabbed my tits.
Of course we don’t want to spoil everybody’s holiday get-togethers with guilty conscience, but as punks, we feel its important to cultivate an awareness of the historical context of our more oppression-laden holidays. And if you’re joining us in having a meat-free feast, we salute you!
their high school principal
told me I couldn’t teach
poetry with profanity
so I asked my students,
“Raise your hand if you’ve heard of the Holocaust.”
in unison, their arms rose up like poisonous gas
then straightened out like an SS infantry
“Okay. Please put your hands down.
Now raise your hand if you’ve heard of the Rwandan genocide.”
blank stares mixed with curious ignorance
a quivering hand out of the crowd
half-way raised, like a lone survivor
struggling to stand up in Kigali
“Luz, are you sure about that?”
“That’s what I thought.”
they won’t let you hear the truth at school
if that person says “fuck”
can’t even talk about “fuck”
even though a third of your senior class
I can’t teach an 18-year-old girl in a public school
how to use a condom that will save her life
and that of the orphan she will be forced
to give to the foster care system—
“Carlos, how many 13-year-olds do you know that are HIV-positive?”
“Honestly, none. But I do visit a shelter every Monday and talk with
six 12-year-old girls with diagnosed AIDS.”
while 4th graders three blocks away give little boys blowjobs during recess
I met an 11-year-old gang member in the Bronx who carries
a semi-automatic weapon to study hall so he can make it home
and you want me to censor my language
“Carlos, what’s genocide?”
your books leave out Emmett Till and Medgar Evers
call themselves “World History” and don’t mention
King Leopold or diamond mines
call themselves “Politics in the Modern World”
and don’t mention Apartheid
“Carlos, what’s genocide?”
you wonder why children hide in adult bodies
lie under light-color-eyed contact lenses
learn to fetishize the size of their asses
and simultaneously hate their lips
my students thought Che Guevara was a rapper
from East Harlem
still think my Mumia t-shirt is of Bob Marley
how can literacy not include Phyllis Wheatley?
schools were built in the shadows of ghosts
filtered through incest and grinding teeth
molded under veils of extravagant ritual
“Carlos, what’s genocide?”
“Roselyn, how old was she? Cuántos años tuvo tu madre cuando se murió?”
“My mother had 32 years when she died. Ella era bellísima.”
they’ve moved from sterilizing “Boriqua” women
injecting indigenous sisters with Hepatitis B,
now they just kill mothers with silent poison
stain their loyalty and love into veins and suffocate them
Ridwan’s father hung himself
in the box because he thought his son
was ashamed of him
Maureen’s mother gave her
skin lightening cream
the day before she started the 6th grade
she carves straight lines into her
beautiful brown thighs so she can remember
what it feels like to heal
This is worth checking out and checking into, not so much because of Dan’s interview, but because this whole project is pretty crucial and inspirational. It’s an interview archive addressing the history of Philadelphia punk/hardcore, especially the DIY variety. The project as a whole is refreshing and invigorating in the face of the proliferation of documentaries in which punk veterans complain about how punk ended or became irrelevant after they dropped out. All history is revisionist to some extent, but Loud! Fast! Philly! shows history for what it really is: multiple narratives, multiple truths. Drink deep!
So, festivals in general can be pretty weird and alienating. The intimate and authentic experiences that we crave in basements, VFW’s, and church social halls are often lost in large venues. But tonight we felt a special connection with our philadelphia friends and travelers from all over the country, a connection that’s really unusual in a room so large. Sometimes we worry that we’re not a good fit at shows like this, or that no one really wants to hear what we have to say in a situation that seems, on the surface, to be so entertainment-oriented. Thank you, everyone at TIHC, for making us feel welcome, and for sharing with us the spirit that moves us to make this music in the first place.
“TO BE HOPEFUL in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness.
What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction.
And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.”—Howard Zinn
To all those working tirelessly to dismantle rape culture, we stand with you. And we all need to fucking blast Facebook and their advertisers with demands to address our concerns about pages/profiles that glorify violence against women. Starting now.
Fellow Punks, It is with a coupling of anti-ambivalence and no small amount of disbelief to announce we have somehow managed to move both heavens and earth to make ourselves able (or, if you prefer, to Enable ourselves) to perform at least twice more in 2013. And lucky us, both shows are on home turf: Philadelphia, PA (August 11th) and Gainesville, FL (November 2nd). We will play our songs. We will not sell t-shirts.
People seem to be curious about the pressing info for our new 7”, so we took a few days off work and did some intensive detective work (or, slept until 3pm and texted Var). So here it is. We sold all the pink and clear at the record release show and the yellow and white were all for mailorder. We’re told the only thing left is purple but who knows? Word is these are going fast too, so I dunno. Maybe buy one if you care about physical things? Or not, whatever.
Hey everyone, we’re excited to inform you all that we now have our own BANDCAMP page and as of this writing the entirety of our recorded output — including some songs you may have never heard before — is now available for immediate streaming and (paid, sorrys) download in your choice of high-quality MP3, FLAC, or just about any other format you could possibly desire. This is cool, spread the word:
I’ve got a problem with the way you see, your eyes are always trying to take something from me. I’ve got a problem with the way you hear, only listening to the bankers & the bombardiers. But for now I’m not invisible. I’ve got a problem with the way you think. Respect could keep us afloat, but you would rather sink. I’ve got a problem with the way you act. Run your mouth, confuse opinion with fact. Your stare, the weight of your glare, pinned & mounted, but you best beware. And if I don’t make any sense to you, well, I never really wanted to. Through fictions fed & feelings misconstrued, at least I know my aim is true. I learned to crawl, to stand, to fall. I even learned to scale those fucking walls. I learned to scream, to swim upstream, and to subsist on optimism & caffeine. Ice will melt. Seas will rise Iron will rust. Fire will fall from the skies. Hearts will break, but ours will mend, once we’ve spent all that we can spend. We will turn against ourselves, we will feel fear. We are a moment, and we will disappear.
"Irony and cynicism were just what the U.S. hypocrisy of the fifties and sixties called for. That’s what made the early postmodernists great artists. The great thing about irony is that it splits things apart, gets up above them so we can see the flaws and hypocrisies and duplicates. The virtuous always triumph? Ward Cleaver is the prototypical fifties father? "Sure." Sarcasm, parody, absurdism and irony are great ways to strip off stuff’s mask and show the unpleasant reality behind it. The problem is that once the rules of art are debunked, and once the unpleasant realities the irony diagnoses are revealed and diagnosed, "then" what do we do? Irony’s useful for debunking illusions, but most of the illusion-debunking in the U.S. has now been done and redone. Once everybody knows that equality of opportunity is bunk and Mike Brady’s bunk and Just Say No is bunk, now what do we do? All we seem to want to do is keep ridiculing the stuff. Postmodern irony and cynicism’s become an end in itself, a measure of hip sophistication and literary savvy. Few artists dare to try to talk about ways of working toward redeeming what’s wrong, because they’ll look sentimental and naive to all the weary ironists. Irony’s gone from liberating to enslaving. There’s some great essay somewhere that has a line about irony being the song of the prisoner who’s come to love his cage." — David Foster Wallace
Obedience ingrained, so discreet. Our chains rendered obsolete. Post-everything. Feel nothing. Ironic detachment replaces outrage. I’ve grown comfortable in my cage.
Good morning bright eyes. I watched you while you slept, reflecting on resolutions broken & promises kept. You know we’ve got to fall before we walk; we’ve got to sink before we swim. So have patience, stop checking the clock, and if someone locks you out, kick your way back in. They’ll tell you what you are, they’ll tell you what you’re not. They’ll surround you with mirrors, baby, dont get caught. They’ll reduce you, sterilize you, try to cut you down to size, too. Shine too bright, they’ll say you’re just craving attention. You’ll run the gauntlet of their smirks and condescensions. Did you run too fast? Did you fly too high? Did you see too much with your eyes open wide? I’d rather “yes,” be our reply, than have as epitaph, “Too afraid to try.” So we’ll dance like wild beasts, charged with disturbing the peace. And when it looks like things can’t get any worse, we’ll sing until our hearts burst. No compass, no maps, we’ll find our own way back. And when things look bleak, I’ll kiss the tears from your cheek, and watch you clench your little fists in your sleep.
I will be heavy like stone to hold you down. Weightless like wings to lift you from the ground. I will be flesh and bone, fragile and frail, and I will be the wind when it’s time to set sail.
Headfirst, kicking and screaming. Naked and afraid into this world we’re thrown. You might feel out of place sometimes, but you’ll never be alone.
Beneath these petals, thorns. They’ll try to buy away your hopes and dreams, but all that glitters isn’t what it seems. It’s never enough to be strong; be brave & smart. Smart enough to be afraid; brave enough to lead with your heart.
No sleep. We are restless pestilence. Broken promises collect like bounced checks. Never penitent. I call it “home” where I lay my broken bones. Sticks and stones, a row of disconnected pay phones. We are contraband smuggled through the tunnels under Wonderland. You’ve been sleeping on the job, so here’s your reprimand. We are breeding, multiplying in the space between the walls. What you call living feels more like dying, if it feels like anything at all. Wearing our hearts on our sleeves, seems you’ve forgotten what your head is for. My blood is on your hands, and no that’s not a fucking metaphor. We are afraid of conflict, but always at war. And we no longer feel pain, that’s what the medicine’s for.
This new record has been in the works for what feels like a long time. So long, in fact, that it seems like a lot of people, us included, stopped believing it was really going to happen. The challenges of geography, too many bands and tours, and other more mundane aspects of adult life, all conspired to delay and discourage us. But here we are, despite these obstacles, with a new record and a renewed sense of purpose. And in a way, that’s what these new songs, and this band, are really all about. This music, and the culture and community that surround it, don’t really have an expiration date, even though the larger world around us would have us believe that these are childish things, to be put aside as we become responsible, productive citizens. Now, that is obviously bullshit of the highest order. But this isn’t about avoiding adulthood; it’s about redesigning it so that it doesn’t clash so violently with our most deeply held beliefs. It’s about the compromises we refuse to make, but also about the subtle negotiations between ideals/aspirations & day-to-day pragmatics. It’s about figuring out how to keep making noise even when life quiets down. Yes, it’s about parenthood, but it’s also about deliberately resisting corrupt mainstream value systems, even (especially) when they’re bombarding you from all sides. It’s about brutal, devastating loss. More than ever, it’s about alienation and outrage.
We can’t wait to share it with you.
INVISIBLE 01 Greetings, Fellow Insomniacs 02 Headfirst 03 Props For Ventriloquism 04 Little Fists 05 D.F.W. 06 Invisible
(Sorry for the delay, other emergencies got in the way of posting this in a more timely manner)
Today we celebrate the life of a man who pushed us to take risks in the name of freedom and justice. Implicit in that is a critique of the psychological structures that allow us to treat people as less than human. This goes beyond race, including in its scope gender, sexuality, class and other elements of “difference” as well. Objectification in all it’s myriad forms facilitates oppression, and its not a stretch to see the same process at work in our exploitation of non-human animals as well. So today let’s remember to keep ourselves in check, everytime we slip (and we ALL slip) into old patterns of “different” = “less than.”
Don’t forget we’re playing with the Bouncing Souls on the 26th. This will probably be our only show in the Philly/NJ area for the next 6 months, so come hang with us! It’s the 10th anniversary of the release of “The Philadelphia Sound” compilation, and all of the bands featured on that compilation will be playing. Knives Out, The Curse, and Go! For the Throat are all reuniting for one night to celebrate this anniversary. We are not reuniting, because for some reason we’ve managed to survive all these years.
Remembering Mitch Dubey / P.I.B. is playing Connecticut
Mitch Dubey was a good man, and a punk in the truest sense of the word. He had a set of values informed by the DIY ethos, and he lived fiercely and passionately in accordance with those values. He made music. He loved and lived it. He travelled for it and created adventures around the sounds we love and the ideas/ideals it espoused. He refused the mundane; he refused cynicism. We weren’t super-close, but we saw him all the time, a Connecticut kid who we were just as likely to run into in Philly or NYC or Baltimore, or even his home state of California. He reminds us of a lot of the best people with whom we’ve travelled and made noise over the past 2 decades. His face is familiar from sweaty basements, community centers and rented VFW halls, shouting the words, smiling as if his joy couldn’t be contained. It couldn’t be. He was a friend to many, a sweet and smiling generator of enthusiasm who died violently and senselessly last year. The purpose of this show is to say how much he’s missed, to celebrate his life and the music that filled it, to highlight the best our scene can offer in terms of community, passion, and mutual support, and to raise a fist in opposition to the malevolent, violent, materialistic world that stole this friend from us. We’re honored to be a part of it.
-Dan / Paint It Black
Saturday December 22nd: A Celebration of Mitchell Dubey & a Benefit for The Dubey Family SWEAR JAR’S LAST SHOW featuring:
Paint It Black Aye Nako Paramedic The World Is A Beautiful Place And I Am No Longer Afraid to Die
$10 suggested donation All Proceeds Donated to The Dubey Family Doors At 6 PM
Wallingford Hungarian Club 147 Ward Street Wallingford CT
In just a few years I’ve gone from being the kid who will key your car if its parked in the bike lane, to being the man who will key your car if its parked in the crosswalk when I’m pushing the stroller.