Column / Gallery: I Didn’t Go To Riot Fest

Hard Skin

I Didn’t Go To Riot Fest by Patrick Houdek The Replacements, Rancid, AFI, Joan Jett, Screeching Weasel, Pennywise, Against Me!, Danzig, Bad Religion, etc…yeah, I didn’t see any of those bands – I didn’t go to Riot Fest Chicago 2013. I’m not much of a festival fan these days. I used to like to go back when I drank lots of booze. Sure I had fun at Warped Tour ten years ago – but I spent 99% of the time …

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The Longest Shadow: Remembering Joe Strummer

Ten years ago I was a baby: Freshly “punk,” full of nihilism and had barely begun to sink my teeth into the scene that would end up defining most of my life. I discovered Joe Strummer and The Clash a few months after being introduced to punk music. A friend living across the country from me regularly sent me playlists and CDs full of tunes and bands he thought I’d be into. Usually he was right, we shared a lot …

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More Betterness: Memories of Tony Sly

Tony Sly

Damn my obsession with constant social media updates. Running sound for a corporate talking head is easy so, like a good ‘merican, I spend a fair amount of time on my phone. Scrolling through my Facebook feed, I saw a news item from Fat Wreck that said “In Memoriam: Tony Sly“. The idea of his death was so outside the realm of possibility (like, Narnia impossible) that my first thought was, “Oh, a new Tony Sly album or song called …

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Whether Six Pack or Six String

From 9 to Forever

I passed the chipped paint exterior through the industrial freezer door and stepped into the tiny corner shop. The inside was brown with wood grain and full of bottles, colored tinctures, and other assorted potions. Someone who had strolled in out of curiosity might mistake it for a witch’s walk-in pantry. I noted the grain bins and scoopers and barrels and tubing and tried to take in as much as I could: I wanted to get a feel for what …

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Lalo’s Garage

I pulled into the driveway with my pickup gate facing Lalo’s house. He stood behind the garage door and lifted it up as I stepped out of my truck. His face was naturally tan and had deep lines- deeper than they probably should’ve been for his age- and his hair was combed back, solid black aside from the graying on the sides, just above and beside his ears. “Kelly?” I smiled like I already knew him. “Yep. You must be …

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A Plea

Most of us will never be the “ultimate version”* of ourselves; we’ll never be the best we can be, never lead the best possible life we can live. Some of us may get glimpses of it in a reflection from a passing bus window, only to have it move along without pausing for us to really savor it. Some may get it a little longer, having a few months or years where they appear to have been touched by the …

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One Long Funeral

This has been one long funeral. …I know that’s no way to start a love letter, but it’s hard not to be weary. For over a year now, I’ve been counting down the days; and really, I think we knew it was ending for longer than that. This might be sappy, but if any of you has ever been a part of something you really cared about that came to an end, you probably know this feeling. My band is …

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The Lone Wolf Pack, or: The Lone Rangers

In the last column that I wrote, I touched on the fact that people have set ideas about what being in bands involves. I was talking about music and money then, but while I was writing that article, my mind wandered to how interesting (and funny!) it is when people encounter a local punk-or-indie-type show or band for the first time. When people find out about underground music, they’re usually confronted with something different than they expected; music that isn’t …

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