Over the past while I seem to have developed a love/hate relationship with hardcore. Unfortunately it has mostly consisted of me loving to hate it. For most of my life I have lived in Regina where there was/is not a ton of access to hardcore music. During that time I could never get enough hardcore. I anticipated every show months ahead of time. I longed to live in a bigger city where there are more shows with more bands. All this wanting...
Now I am living in Toronto and I've got all the shows. All the hardcore I was craving, only it isn't at all. Or maybe I just haven't found the "good" people and bands yet. I can't say that I have gone to many shows since I have been here, but when I do I often wonder why I bothered. I suppose I should get right to the point. I have never seen so many hardcore bands in such a short time, but I have also never encountered so many macho tough guys either. It seems like when I wasn't looking all the jocks became punks. It's ridiculous. I go to shows and all these tough guys are kickboxing. It is the most hilarious thing I have ever seen, but I also find it REALLY off-putting. The humour aspect of it tends to wear off just after the first song.
A while ago I saw Buried Alive. The screamer for the band seemed intelligent and said some reasonable things only to encourage people to beat the fuck out of each other in the same breath. And the tough guys did. Imagine if you will a 15 foot wide open space and lots of tough kids running and doing somersaults into the people on the edges of the circle. To call these "mosh pits" is erroneous. Only about three or four guys can go in the circle at any given time because they thrash their arms and legs around so violently that no one can stand within four feet of them. It is totally beyond my comprehension as to why these guys assume that people want to be kicked/ punched and ran into when they go to see bands.
It is usually at this point in the show where I start to A) cover me head and hope people don't land on it, B) grab/feel dicks and asses or C) fighting back. I seem to feel especially justified in option B. I hate to resort to fighting back because it seems like that is what they want. Sometimes I'll just grab their clothes and ask them what the fuck they think they are doing. When I grab their asses I always get a surprised look and most of the time they avoid me after that. I think some of them must like it though, the ones who keep coming back for more. I figure if these guys can take the liberty of bashing into me, which I obviously don't want, I can take the liberty of copping a feel, which they likely don't want either.
I look at all these hot sweaty boys running around and wonder how anyone can not find this homoerotic. I always get all excited when people take such great leaps to sing into the microphone. The parallels to sucking cock are so obvious. This is how I deal with this. This is how I deal with the macho idiots. I eroticize it, I make my lust for them known. That's so gay.
I keep going to shows because I know there has to be decent people in this city. I also get to thinking that maybe the reason I am not meeting any of them is because they gave up on all the tough guys long ago. I guess it's also because I never usually end up talking to people at shows too. Curse this being shy business. Where are all the people who aren't into kickboxing, who have respect for other people in the scene, who want to dance at shows? "Didn't we learn anything from Footloose?"
There is this local band, Countdown to Oblivion, who sound great and seem like they could be great people, I don't know I haven't talked to any of them. When one of the guys in the band thinks it's a good idea to spit root beer on everyone or throw water or wet toilet paper at people I have to wonder what makes this acceptable. Is it wrong to not want have shit hucked at me when I see bands? Is it wrong to get pissed at the lame ass kickboxers? Do other people have the same shit in their cities? Where are the wimps and geeks? Where are the homos?
This all kind of brings me to the band Good Clean Fun who get my vote for the best "new" band as of late. I only discovered these guys recently and kind of feel like they are the band I have been waiting to hear for a long time. They are intelligent, fun, funny and have a sense of humour and are really positive. I only wished I had found out about them sooner. I mean how many bands would actually be willing to cover a Prince song? It is things like this that help me through the day. Good Clean Fun just rolled through Toronto and it was great. They were being silly and playing great music and being intelligent without all the macho garbage.
It sort of seems like I am naming names and pointing fingers, and I guess I am to a certain extent. I can't say I want tough guys in the scene. I can't say I enjoy the constant threat of danger at shows. I want people who aren't afraid to wiggle their asses and get stupid. I want people to talk to each other rather than beating on each other. I want to stay up late in the night arguing, I want to share food. Maybe hardcore is the wrong place for me to be looking. Prove me wrong.
As always, communicate.
As an aside, if anyone is interested in playing shows in Regina get in touch with The Cronk!