To be clear: I hate the idea of thuggish censorship. I hate violence. I strongly distrust guns. I hate radical fundamentalism, whether itís islam or christianity. Fuck it all. However, I think that our narrative is deeply flawed when we see these kinds of acts and donít even ask why theyíre happening beyond ďwow, these assholes hate our freedom and get super butthurt when you mock their dumb prophet.Ē Thatís ignoring A) that this is an act perpetrated by crazy people and B) that thereís rage out there thatís very real and itís the result of personal loss and horrible grief. ďThey hate our freedom?Ē Sheeeit, maybe because our...
So, yeah. I'm upset at the way that the current spate of "hacked celebrity nudes" has created a noxious victim blaming firestorm here on the internet, stemming mostly from everyone wanting to see Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton naked, feeling guilty, and then shifting that guilt onto those girls as to feel a little bit better about looking at their intimate photos. Pretty lame, even for you, Millhouse.
That dude from Brand New sings a line that I think is pretty good: ďJesus Christ, Iím not scared to die. Iím a little bit scared of what comes after.Ē Itís evocative of the weird uncertain relationship humanity has with death, but I think itís wrong. Being dead is a breeze. Weíve all already done it before. Begin at the moment you were born and go backwards to the beginning of time. How long is that? If you answered anything other than ďan infinite amount of timeĒ then god bless your foolish heart. Youíve already not existed for eternity and youíre fine right now, right?
Itís fine, I guess. I donít wanna shit on any traditions, but it IS more or less a waste of time and energy at best and at worst itís a terrible platform for some dumb dick who lucked into a lottery-win caliber job to reinforce their own deluded notion that they understand how the world works better than everyone else (this is particularly funny because thereís almost no one less qualified to explain to young people how to make it in the world than people who get paid millions of dollars to pretend to be other people, write laws about other people, or play shitty pop songs)....
My friend and mentor Mike Burkett is very fond of telling people, ĎDonít compare your band to NOFX. Weíre an anomaly and no one can expect to do what we did,í and heís right. Thereís no REASON that NOFX is huge and are going to be huge forever. Sure, they write great songs (so did American Steel). Sure, theyíre funny as hell (so are the Dickies). Sure, they helped define a genre (so did the Suicide Machines). None of that shit matters, yíall. And this is true in every field, creative or scientific, or anything in between. Thereís hard work and thereís talent, and those...
Iím in a band and no one takes people in bands, ESPECIALLY small bands, seriously), but generally, Iím totally cool with that. I like trying my hand at selling myself and my projects to Hollywood, Iíve got pretty thick skin, AND, at this point Iím experienced at this shit. Iíve been rejected by everyone from Clint Eastwood to CAA to New Line to MTV and on and on down the line. Itís always a pretty good story and beyond that, itís a blast to come up with something and get all excited about the fame and fortune that itís gonna bring me, and then coast back down to earth once I realize that Iíve been rejected again. This is usually the point where I...
As for things Iíve learned that arenít about the craft of writing: Donít say shit thatís controversial or antagonistic unless youíre sure you mean it or you REALLY donít care. The internet is full of trolls and all they want to do is hurt people who make stuff (even stuff as inconsequential as a dumb blog or thought catalog listicle). Thatís just their general MO. If you insult something they like, watch the fuck out.
Brendan Kelly of The Lawrence Arms has written a blog about getting old in punk-rock. Or something like that ... my own old age has led to me having to squint to read the text on the screen.
Thatís why people were so blown away when a band like the Starting Line made these songs that resonated with so many people. ďThat kidís only fucking 17!Ē motherfuckers were saying, and thatís why when Nomeansno put out the spectacular All Roads Lead To Ausfahrt a few years back, people were like, ďDAAAAMN! These old ass men have not lost a SINGLE FUCKING STEP!!! Theyíre still THE BEST!Ē (go listen to the song Mr. In Between if you doubt the fury of the mighty, unbreakable power of Nomeansno, and...
Get out there and play as soon and as often as possible, because youíll never be good until you start figuring out what you really sound like, and the only way to do that is to watch strangers, who donít give a fuck about your feelings, get bored and walk away during your long, meticulous intro or guitar solo. Comedians talk a lot about how the only way to get good at standup is to bomb, and the same goes for playing rock and roll. Until youíve tried Ďem out on other people, chances are, you THINK your ideas are way cooler than they are. Playing in front of people will slap your blinders off fast. The best crash course...
We recently interviewed Brendan Kelly from The Lawrence Arms about what went into the making of the band's first full-length record in almost 8 years. Metropole will be officially released on Tuesday through Epitaph.
Thereís something fascinating to me about living in a huge metropolitan area and being totally alone even though youíre surrounded by people. That feeling of being lost in a crowd or alone in a group, itís one of the thematic drivers that we really latched onto when we were making this record.
Two things though, real quick before I go, and these are only tangentially related to the above musings: 1) a few people have expressed disappointment in the fact that there are references to Twitter on this album. The arguments seem to be either A) thatís gonna date this record, broÖ besides, technology is kind of a faux pas in general when it comes to creating stuff of a certain caliber or B) Twitter is too stupid to sing about. But I disagree with both of these assessments and hereís...
Youíre a religious guy? Thereís some asshole atheist out there who thinks youíre fucking stuuuupid. Youíre into sports? Hereís someone who is angry about the hegemony of warrior/slave culture. Youíre angry about the hegemony of warrior/slave culture? Weíre just trying to party over here, bro, donít fucking break my stride with that shit. You just want everyone to have enough food to eat? Youíre a communist. Youíre quiet? Speak up, loser. Youíre loud? Shut the fuck up. It goes on and on like this. Fuck, even if youíre a total centrist on every single position, extremists think youíre a pussy and the rest of us think...
1) Chilean District
2) You Are Here
3) Hickey Avenue
4) Seventeener (17th & 37th)
5) Beautiful Things
6) Ancheron River
8) Drunk Tweets
9) The YMCA Down The Street From The Clinic
10) Never Fade Away
11) Paradise Shitty
12) October Blood
The Lawrence Arms will release Metropole, their sixth studio album, first for Epitaph Records and first in eight years, on January 28, 2014. The first song released from that album, "You Are Here," is streaming on Noisey (read an interview there, too) and in the replies.
There are plenty of bands who donít give a shit. There are plenty of bands who are morally ambiguous. There are plenty of bands who whip the crowd into a frenzy and plenty of bands who donít give two fucks if there are any women in the bands they play with. Isnít it awesome that thereís a band out there that ISNíT that? You donít have to love em. But itís so fucking important that they exist, if for no other reason than because theyíre putting the boundary marker waaaaay out there for us all to see, so that when we consider the potential for a political bent in a band, it gets all...
Weíre super excited to announce that the Lawrence Arms have signed to Epitaph. We went and visited them in LA, we had some laughs and some grilled cheeses. We talked to Brett underneath the original painting of the Against the Grain cover (awesome!) and we thought that, shit, what better way to come back from a long break than on the label that put out most of the records that got us into punk rock in the first place? You know what? Thatís all true, but sheeshÖwhy do we even need to explain this to anyone? It used to be, a band just made a move and people were left to whisper about what happened, why, how itíll change shit etc. like a...
Speaking of, Blinkís compound guards were told to memorize the faces of the dudes in the band because they didnít want to have to wear or show passes. Thatís a cool perk of being in a 3 piece that Iíve not experimented with yet (side note, Travis wasnít there, which prompted us to consider that heís far and away the most famous of those dudes. Can you think of any other band in the history of the world where the [non singing] drummer is the most famous guy in the band? Thatís just weird).
When it began, straight edge was a term coined by Ian MacKaye in a Minor Threat tune and it had to do with his personal technique for keeping it together and how it sometimes made him feel like an outsider. Heís been pretty vocal about the fact that he never set it up to be a dogma or anything. In fact, in the very song where he lists off what gives him his Ďstraight edge,í he literally says ďlisten, thereís no set of rules.Ē However, like so many people who condemn homodom based on scripture, yet persist in eating shellfish, a lot of people took the ďI donít smoke, I donít drink, I donít fuckĒ section to be...
Brendan Kelly of The Lawrence Arms recently performed a new song called "These Pigs Seem to be Getting the Best of Me" -- Kelly said that the song would probably appear on the band's next album. Check it in the replies.
1) Suffer The Children, Come Unto Me
2) Doin' Crimes
3) A Man With The Passion of Tennessee Williams
4) What's A Boy To Do?
5) Ramblin' Revisited
6) Dance of the Doomed
7) American Vagina
8) East St. Louis
10) Your Mother
11) Covered In Flies
12) The Thud And The Echo