ATTN: Die-hard Jerky Boys fans. Your prayers have been answered. There’s some new kids on the block and they’re called the Blue Boys. Like their prank-call predecessors, they are highly skilled in the art of “improvisational hilarity and genius conversational jujitsu” (I stole that from the Jerkey Boys website). Look tough guy! It’s prank calls. What else can I say? Is it ‘prank’ or ‘crank’? What’s the difference? If anybody knows the difference I’d love to hear from you. Advise your parents before listening to this.
If you were a punk and a Canadian in the 1990’s you were aware of a pubescent band from Vancouver called d.b.s. (always lowercase). There was a great deal of speculation about what d.b.s actually stood for. One of their earliest demo tapes says ‘Dirty Black Summer’ on it, so I’m gonna go with that. I seem to remember the liner notes of their first LP asking people to write to them with ideas of what it might stand for.
None of this is important.
What matters is they were fiercely energetic and a talented band. I used to go to their shows in the gymnasium of a preschool in North Van. Their home audience was not always friendly towards them. Especially after they appeared on MuchMusic, in studio, with Sook Yin Lee (couldn’t find the d.b.s one). They even had a music video in circulation, and they toured with Rancid. Their history as a band took them from adolescent pop punk, to screamy emo through the span of their career from the early 90’s to the early 2000’s.
Someone has been kind enough to create a bandcamp page featuring all of their releases, including some live performances and an appearance on Vancouver CoOp radio station, CiTR. The video below is a skateboarding feature on a Canadian show called Power 30. It has footage of the band skateboarding, and from their performance on CiTR with Nardwaur. If you were a teenager around this time (1994?) this video will be a nostalgia-overload for you. Especially if you had a skateboard or purple hair before everyone and their mom had skateboards and purple hair. Literally, their moms. There are probably more moms with purple hair now than there were punks with purple hair in 1994.
Remember when Crime played a show in a prison? If you’re not familiar, they were one of the OG punk bands from San Francisco. They were on the front lines of the first wave and they made a name for themselves as the band that always dressed like douchebag cops when they were on stage.
That’s what they did in the summer of 1978 when they performed at San Quentin State Prison in California. Some say they were wearing prison guard uniforms. Why? Yeah, I don’t know. Apparently their friendly criminal audience couldn’t figure it out either. “Nobody there knew what to make of us” said Hank Rank in an interview. I guess handing out show posters of a bare-assed dominatrix-style female cop to the inmates didn’t win them over, but I’m sure they came in “handy” if you know what I’m sayin’. In the video you do notice a few guys enjoying the show. A lot of confused faces too. I mean, what the hell is this?
FUN FACT: Hank Rank, later in life, produced the beloved Devil & Daniel Johnston documentary.
Lets go back, wayyyyyy… Ok not that far back. Just 27 years. Holy shit 1990 was 27 years ago? What a bummer. I don’t even feel like finishing this post now. sigh..
Alright, well anyways, Crimpshrine was one of the more respected Cali punk bands of the late 80’s /early 90’s. Big whoop. ugh. Ok, so all your favorite characters from the Bay Area hippiepunk scene had some role in Crimpshrine at one point or another didn’t they? Greenday, OPIV… umm, ok maybe that’s it. Wait, there was Fifteen too, and probably Isocracy. I don’t know, who cares, look it up. I’m not fact checking this stuff. The point is they were important. It was a pivotal time for punk. blah blah etc..
Aaron Cometbus was the drummer for Crimpshrine. I think maybe it was his first band. Since then he’s played drums for every band on earth at one point or another, including Bon Jovi (fact check?). Also throughout his entire career of not showering and playing drums, he managed to maintain one iconic zine called Cometbus. It more or less chronicles the lives of himself and various other punks from all over the place as they dive into dumpsters and other such punk stuff. If you missed out on the zine, you should set a month or two aside this summer to read the Cometbus Omnibus because it’s beautiful. sigh.. if you want to.
Oh, the song.. ugh, ok. The Direction Of Things To Come. Jeff Ott’s voice is like a chorus of angels on this one. It first came out on No Reality Records in 1990 as a split EP with G-Whiz called Burning Bridges. I don’t know anything about G-Whiz. It was later released again on The Sound Of A New World Being Born, which I guess was an anthology of sorts. I think these lyrics more or less sum up my mood right now:
Older people I looked up to now just seem so lame
Their idealism is gone just like “the old days”
Burnt out and jaded, their old spirit faded
I hope that in a few years I don’t feel the same way