As a native Long Islander (excuse me, “Lawnguhlanduh”), the news of a newly released song by a band under the name of “Tender Defender” consisting of 3 ex-members of the highly regarded punk spectacle, Latterman, was enough to strike a chord in me. Although, I can’t say I’m entirely surprised. Let me explain.
April 30, 1978: Over 100,000 rockers, punks and general lovers of humanity congregated in Victoria Park, Hackney for what is now known as the famous Rock Against Racism showcase in protest of Eric Clapton’s racist remarks he dropped only but a few years back. “Enoch was right,” he stated in a drunken, aggressive stupor. “We should send them all back.” Them, of course, in reference to the then-current elevation in Britain’s black community. As a white man whose predominant musical influences were rooted in blues, a genre famously founded and dominated by black musicians, Clapton’s hypocrisy was not taken lightly, especially in the snaggle-toothed face of punk. One of the festival’s most known and anticipated musicians, Joe Strummer, of obvious notoriety due to fronting The Clash, differed from Clapton for reasons other than just the obvious.
Evan Weiss is not a name unfamiliar to the mouths of punk, emo, pop-punk and indie fans alike. In-fact, it’s kind of inhabited them in-between glugs of PBR for the better part of a decade due to Weiss’ constant involvement in both the Chicago and New Jersey scenes and, most-notably, Into it. Over it. In 2013, Weiss–along with members of emo-revival contemporaries Kittyhawk and Dowsing–cooked up what would become Pet Symmetry: The band our ears deserved, but not the one we needed right now (then). With the trio’s release of a 7″ comprising of two humorously long-titled songs, we played the debut on our turntables for as long as our ears could listen (which was a very, very long time of course.) Fast forward to 2015, specifically this past week, to Pet Symmetry releasing their/they’re/there full-length. They are officially the band we need–and fortunately have–right now.
GOTTEM–originally a solo acoustic act from Long island–was created with no serious intent by Max Gottesman in 2013. For all intents and purposes, I’ll call this the Squirtle phase. Like most developing bands, change in both lineup and sound are practically symbiotic. Although Shattered (otherwise known as GOTTEM’s debut LP and entrance into the Wartortle phase) was released only 9 months ago with the foundation of a full-band trio, the only remaining original member has been Gottesman himself. With the recent addition of bassist Tom Lizo, guitarist Craig Warkoczeski and drummer PJ LaRocco, and the release of their new 5-track e.p. entitled COOL, GOTTEM has reach their highest form, thus evolving fully into the mighty, level 36, water-bearing Blastoise.
Happy Sunday! I am taking things in a new direction with Self Care Sunday (since there is only so much I can tell you on my own) and am going to begin featuring voices from the scene. Community SCS’s will give industry folks a chance to discuss their own experiences with mental health issues and the healthy ways that they cope with the stressors of this lifestyle. Our first community post comes from Emily Balcerak, a wonderful friend of mine, contributing writer for Table Three Media, and drummer for Fake Estate Read her self care below!
In relation to music, looking back, some of my fondest memories can almost always be coincided with a Replacements track (I promise that’s not as morbid as it sounds). Whether it be screaming along to “Bastards of Young” as I drove home after a frustrating day, listening to “Unsatisfied” at 1AM while I’m sprawled out on my bedroom floor reflecting on the past few months, or having “Can’t Hardly Wait” flood my ears as I looked forward to the future, they were almost always a go-to band. The Replacements always had a way of having brutally honest lyrics courtesy of Paul Westerberg, but remained melodic, innocent, and still managed to not take themselves too seriously. This is what almost any band aspires to consist of. I mention this, because upon my first listen to “Who Would Ever Want Anything So Broken?”, I heard those very same elements; Melodic lead guitar hooks, drums that drive it all home and voice that’s impossible to ignore, and trust me, you won’t.