Top 10 Albums/EP’s That DON’T Suck [SEPTEMBER 2020]

laverne lack of vocationLaverne – Lack Of Vocation
(post-punk) (garage)
Vancouver, BC 🇨🇦

mixed signals so far goneMixed Signals – So Far Gone
(pop-punk) (melodic)
Chattanooga, TN 🇺🇸

last quokka unconscious driversLast Quokka – Unconscious Drivers
(post-punk) (aussie-attitude)
Perth, Australia 🇦🇺

sbdc the feeling of winningSBDC – The Feeling Of Winning
(riot grrrl) (pop-punk)
Vancouver, BC 🇨🇦

metayouth ronaldMetayouth – Ronald
(shoegaze) (emo)
Gadsden, AL 🇺🇸

cunj smooth grindCunj – Smooth Grind
(indie-rock) (indie-punk)
Palatine, Illinois 🇺🇸

open house gatorOpen House – Gator
(emo) (indie-punk)
Woodsfield, Ohio 🇺🇸

mutombo dreadfully yoursMutombo – Dreadfully Yours
(indie-rock) (indie-punk)
Jakarta, Indonesia 🇮🇩

moonkisser summers fleeting majestyMoonkisser – Summers Fleeting Ma..
(post-hardcore) (hardcore)
Portland, Oregon 🇺🇸

miketeeevee magic wordsMikeTeeeVeee – Magic Words
(lo-fi) (indie-rock)
Marquette, MI 🇺🇸

Hello, and thank you for coming. Why don’t you shake that load off and stay a while? Have a look around. There’s lots to discover! This includes but is most certainly not limited to this months top ten albums that do not suck. Come onnnn, let me take your coat.. No? Ok no problem. Keep it on. Whatever. Hey where are you going? Don’t leave. Trust me, there’s nothing out there for you. The world is absolute shit. Why not kick back and forget about it for a wile. Listen to these bands. Just do it! Hey! Don’t you trust me? Hey feck yew!

A scuffle ensues..

Ok great. I’m glad we worked that out. Please don’t struggle, you’ll only give yourself rope-burn. Ok! So! Where was I?.. ah yes..

This list contains a new release from one of my favourite local bands, Laverne. It’s been a highly anticipated album for me and it did not disappoint. Hopefully it doesn’t disappoint you either. If it does, that’s ok; It just means you have a bad attitude and you’re not very good at listening to music. Good thing you’re currently in the worlds greatest music-listening training facility. Get your ass in the SCRAP HEAP and give me 50 soldier!

Somebody seriously needs to take the internet away from me.

Yeah bye,

PS: I think that Mixed Signals album may feature some of the same members as a very obscure and mysterious band you may recall I was obsessed with a few years ago (and still am) called Briscoe. If anyone can confirm this and offer any more information, please get in touch.

TRAJECTORIES: Reflecting On The Moments When Music Changed Our Lives

bob ladewigWhen I was twelve years old I started skateboarding. My fifteen year old sister started dating skater guys and I wanted to be just like them. I quickly absorbed myself in skate culture. I watched videos, had my mom buy me the baggy clothes and gear and most importantly I started listening to skate music. The music found in skate videos of the time, to be precise. This music has had a long term effect on my tastes and a lot of these bands have remained in my constant rotation of music I enjoy. Bands I would otherwise have never been exposed to if it weren’t for skate videos of the 90’s. New Deal introduced me to The Odd Numbers, a San Jose mod/pop/punk band who always sounded like a retro band ahead of their time.

After breaking off from Powell, Tony Hawk formed Birdhouse Projects and introduced me to Pixies, Fluf and New Model Army. What other “mainstream” arena would you find any of that music?

The 90’s also introduced me to some great hip hop. I would watch Yo! MTV Raps on the weekends, so I had an appreciation for some of the bigger acts, like Public Enemy and NWA, but the skate company Planet Earth used a few songs by SWAT. Ever heard them? Probably not. The World Industries faction released so many videos with a random array of genres and styles of music.

Feasters – Birdhouse Projects (1992) – This kicked off my love affair with Pixies. I still listen to those first 5 albums all the time. One of my favorite bands – then they became too big for themselves in the head of Frank Blank. What a shame.

Falling Down – 101 (1993) – Gang Starr. Skateboarding and Yo! MTV Raps introduced me hip hop. I was never a fan of gangster rap, so Gang Starr is as tough as I get. Premiere’s jazzy loops and effects under Guru’s voice make Gang Starr stand head and shoulders above the rest.

From 1990 – 1998 I was all about skateboarding. I wanted to get sponsored, but living in the suburbs of Chicago (and not Los Angeles) made that a difficult task. Being not that good didn’t help either, but I tried. I met a lot of friends through skateboarding. We would take trips to different spots/parks/states just to skate, fall, get up and try again. It was a constant.

I’m an old man now and I officially live in Los Angeles. I’ve given up the dream of being a sponsored skateboarder, but I still try to get out to the local spots and parks and ride for fun. I’ve still got a few tricks in me. Sometimes my muscle memory kicks in and I think I can still do the same tricks I used to, however my body usually disagrees. Growing up is weird.

I compiled clips of old skate videos I made with friends back in the day, as well as some more recent clips. So here’s another important video part, including a song and band I love dearly:

Thank You Skateboarding (1993 – 2020) / Beauty Pill

COMPOST (September 2020)

Hey whatsup? You got like 40 hours of spare time and nothing to do? Well, I don’t know what kind of freak you are but I’ve got your back. Here’s a metric shit-pile of compilation albums that came out in the past few months. This is no joke. One of these comps has like 150 songs on it. Here’s your chance to discover a lot of new bands. It doesn’t matter what gender you identify with, you are going to have a caveman beard when you get done with this. Happy hunting!

💀Year Of The Mask – Avant! Records (darkwave) (newwave)

💀2020 Earth Day Comp – Mourning Records (indie rock) (emo)

💀Blood Fest Comp – Violent Breed Records (hardcore) (punk)

💀Noise From The South – Struggle Records (hardcore) (punk rock)

💀Music Venue Trust – CPRW Records (pop-punk) (skate-punk)

💀Big Bully Comp – Orlando Punk Archive (90’s) (indie) (punk)

💀Crowd Kill Your Lampshade – Bitter Hearts Records (grindcore( (hardcore)

💀Volume One – Sockhead Records (punk rock) (garage-punk)

💀Kat Music For Kat People Vol IV -Bloated Kat Records (pop-punk) (powerpop)

💀Give Me The Cure Volume One (punk) (indie)

💀Horror Of The Unwashed Hands – Kafadan Kontak (garage-punk) (garage-rock)

💀Sick Boyz II – Stupid Decisions Records (bedroom-pop) (indie)

💀Only Death Is Fatal – Immaculate Obscurity (70’s) (80’s) (punk)

💀Protest And Survive Compilation (indie rock) (garage-punk)

💀Retrospective Ghosts – Isolation Records (hardcore) (garage-punk)

💀2020 Sampler – The Ghost Is Clear Records (hardcore) (noise) (screamo)

💀19 Notes On A Broken System (punk) (punk rock) (hardcore)

💀2020 Sampler – Flowerpot Records (lo-fi) (indie) (shoegaze)

💀A Compilation Vol.2 – Dammit Presents (punk rock) (emo)

💀Black And Loud – Ontario Artists Against Injustice (afro-punk) (indie-rock)

Top 10 Albums/EP’s That DON’T Suck [AUGUST 2020]

alright im doing this to myselfAlright – I’m Doing This To Myself
(indie-punk) (fuzz)
Charlotte, North Carolina 🇺🇸

heckdang fine just thinkingHeckdang – Fine Just Thinking
(emo) (indie-punk)
Charlotte, North Carolina 🇺🇸

glue horse self inflictedGlue Horse – Self Inflicted
(shoegaze) (grunge)
Massachusetts 🇺🇸

chimes of bayonets archiverChimes Of Bayonets – Archiver
(punk rock) (math)
Ithica, New York 🇺🇸

cabeza de juarez cdjCabeza De Juárez – CDJ
(lofi) (indie)
Mexico 🇲🇽

help 2053Help – 2053
(noise) (hardcore)
United States 🇺🇸

tuning defining the purposeTuning – Defining The Purpose
(hardcore) (emocore)
Oakland, California 🇺🇸

catsick conflicted splitCatsick/Conflicted – Split
(punk) (hardcore)
New Zealand & Russia 🇳🇿🇷🇺

narrow head 12th house rockNarrow Head – 12th House Rock
(shoegaze) (grunge)
Houston, Texas 🇺🇸

feels fine gripFeels Fine – Grip
(emo) (indie)
Toronto, Ontario 🇨🇦

Borders are scary. You make a border and the people on the other side become “others”. Even within my country I feel an innate degree of estrangement from the people in the province next to mine. There are 195 countries on planet earth (and counting) but even if we did away with all the borders, we would still have the imaginary ones in our minds because we’re disgusting. Tribalism is at the core of our nature and, until we un-do it, we’ll always be the joke of the galaxy.

In other news: I really half-assed the top ten this month. You’ll notice the SCRAP HEAP is a little light compared to other months. Life has just been a tad chaotic for me lately but I still managed to scrounge together ten killer releases from August for your enjoyment motherfuckers.

Pardon my language.

In more other news: I have been suspended from Facebook. Those of you who are members of the Doesn’t Suck Facebook group may have noticed the lack of my presence. Apparently Facebook insists that all it’s members use their real identity on the site and they don’t believe that Steve Doesnt is my real name. They wanted me to send a photo of my ID to prove it, so I sent them a picture of a hamburger. I’m still waiting to hear back from them, but for now my account is suspended indefinitely. I’m the only administrator of the group too, so it’s a fuckin free-for-all now isn’t it. Fuck it! Carte blanche for chaos! Have fun you guys. If they don’t re-activate my account I may start a new one but who knows if I’ll ever feel like doing that. For now you should follow me on twitter and join in the conversations there.

Yeah bye.

Top 10 Albums/EP’s That DON’T Suck [JULY 2020]

oma oklahoma normalnull

Oma Oklahoma – Normalnull
(post-punk) (garage-punk)
Hamburg, Germany🇩🇪

acne crash club


Acne – Crash Club
(emo) (shoegaze)
Charlotte , North Carolina🇺🇸

fake eyes a drip is all we know


Fake Eyes – A Drip Is All We Know
(post-hardcore) (indie-punk)
Charlotte, North Caroilina🇺🇸

Apsurd Derealizacija Svemu će doći kraj


Apsurd – Svemu će doći kraj
(hardcore) (anarcho)
Belgrade, Serbia🇷🇸

shameover stay down


Shameover – Stay Down
(pop-punk) (indie-punk)
Vancouver, British Columbia🇨🇦

the jones street boys roker


The Jones Street Boys – Roker
(punk rock) (shedrock)
Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK🇬🇧

as in everyday such an awful waste


As In Everyday – Such An Awful Waste
(emocore) (post-hardcore)
New York City, NY🇺🇸

ow my face


Ow! My Face – Self Titled
(street-punk) (punk rock)
Christchurch, New Zealand🇳🇿

lethal limits off the grid


Lethal Limits – Off The Grid
(lo-fi) (indie-punk)
Oakland, California🇺🇸

hallregn


Hällregn – Self Titled
(punk) (garage-punk)
Stockholm, Sweden🇸🇪

The first CD I ever bought was “Something Green & Leafy This Way Comes” by SNFU. I found myself standing in an HMV at a time when punk wasn’t popular enough to have it’s own section. It was just mixed in with the “alternative” section. I wasn’t really sure what to buy, but when I saw SNFU I remembered hearing them on the radio and they sounded pretty punk. “Green & Leafy” was the only album in stock, so I got it. That album was kind of a departure, for them, into alternative rock and when I first heard it I was like “what is this shit? It sounds like The Tragically Hip! I totally failed my first CD purchase!” It wasn’t a very well received album by me or (if I remember correctly) (I often don’t) their core fans, but it grew on me because it was the only CD I had. I didn’t even own my own CD player yet, so I had to wait till my sister was out of the house so I could use her stereo to rock out. I remember air-guitaring to it, shirtless, in her bedroom with the lights off and a crack of sun coming in through the blinds. To this day I still have a strong connection to songs like “Painful Reminder” , “This Is A Goodbye” and “Reality Is A Ride On The Bus”. 

“You’d be surprised at the ones that slip deep into the dark abyss, never to be seen again. Well this is a goodbye to them” 

This is my goodbye to Chi Pig of the mighty SNFU who we lost on July 16th. Chi, if you’re reading this (LMFAO). Thanks for the tunes man. 

Moving on to this months top ten. What about it? It’s right there. Go listen to it. It’s chock-full of rad albums by bands from all over the world. There’s a band in there who wrote a song about arguing with your barber because he won’t give you a mullet. See if you can find it. It’s like a scavenger hunt and the prize is music that doesn’t suck. If you have even more time to waste, make sure you check out the SCRAP HEAP for heaps of other great releases from July. Follow me on Twitter @SteveDoesnt and join The Doesn’t Suck group on Facebook. Be cool, stay safe, yeah bye. 

Top 10 Albums/EP’s That DON’T Suck [JUNE 2020]

might die self titled

Might Die – Self Titled
(pop-punk) (emo)
🇺🇸San Antonio, Texas

cutters self titled


Cutters – Self Titled
(hardcore) (punk)
🇦🇺Melbourne, AUS

old moon past lives


Old Moon – Past Lives
(post-punk) (shoegaze)
🇺🇸Lyme, New Hampshire

peixe frito cosmos sessions


Peixe Frito – Cosmos Sessions
(noise-rock) (punk)
🇧🇷RN, Brazil

dumb chunks please


Dumb Chunks – Please
(psych-punk) (indie-rock)
🇺🇸De Kalb, Illinois

t-birds self titled


T Birds – Self Titled
(ramonescore) (pop-punk)
🇺🇸The South?

sid eargle lions den


Sid Eargle – Lion’s Den
(punk rock) (garage-punk)
🇺🇸South Carolina

dorian music to save your life


Dorian – Music To Save Your Life
(indie-punk) (emo)
🇺🇸New Mexico/Colarado

credit six songs live in brookland


Credit – Live In Brookland
(indie-punk) (post-punk)
🇺🇸Baltimore, Maryland

five day morning sky hold me tight


Five Day Morning – Sky Hold Me Tight
(noise-pop) (shoegaze)
🇨🇦Edmonton, Alberta

Some big-ass releases dropped this month. Everyone was expecting Coriky, no one was expecting the new Hum though! Dang, both albums are pretty rad, Phoebe Bridgers too, but unfortunately none are eligible for the DS top ten. This is because I decided a while back (without informing anyone) that I won’t be including major releases on these lists. How do I define “major” you ask? Well that’s my business isn’t it? Do you see me getting all in your business? Coriky actually would otherwise have qualified if it weren’t for all the anticipation leading up to that album, and Mr. MacKaye’s involvement. Those two factors make it a major release in my opinion, but trust me, there is no rhyme or reason to this. It’s entirely based on my ever-changing disposition.

Coriky is such a stupid band name too isn’t it? I don’t care why they’re called that. Maybe there’s a cool story behind it. I don’t care. It feels like shit in my mouth. I hate saying it and I hate reading it.

I shouldn’t be writing this on a Monday. Mondays just make me hate everything.


Ok it’s Tuesday now, and I’m in a much better mood. This Tuesday feels like a Friday because tomorrow is a holiday here in Canada. I’m not looking forward to Thursday/Monday though! Two Mondays in one week! Are you kidding me? That’s right July 1st is our nations birthday, otherwise known as Canada Day, which may sound stupid, but at least we didn’t name it after the actual date on the calendar. Lookin’ at you America. It’s not a competition though. Infact, if you’ll allow me to get political for just one moment: Nationalism is disgusting and no one should be celebrating colonization and divisive ideas like, you know, countries.

Moving on!


Checking in again. It’s Friday now. It’s been a weird week ok. I’m behind on everything.

Digression!

We’ve got another killer top ten lined up for you. The month started up a bit slow but once she got goin’ boy she really got goin’, you know what I’m sayin’? Hm?! Just listen and you’ll find out. I can’t get over how many killer bands keep coming out of the woodwork, even in times of crisis. Some of these albums are the kind of albums that really re-ignite my passion for whatever it is I’m doing here.

If you like this stuff you should definitely dig into the SCRAP HEAP too. I’m sure you’ll find even more sicc joints in there. Also if you have opinions of your own, don’t hesitate to hit me up and I’ll share your thoughts on the site. Unless your thoughts are shitty. No shitty thoughts ok. If you’re new here, take a look around. There’s lots to discover. I have stickers too! So buy one. Shipping is free!

Yeah bye,

ARTIFACTS UPDATE: Unearthing Rare Releases From the Past

Ravi – We Also Are What We Have Ruined
(2004) (emo)
Rouen, France 🇫🇷

Los OD.ZZILAS – Puis vinrent les Barbares
(1991) (melodic hardcore)
Paris, France 🇫🇷

NRA – New Recovery
(1999) (pop-punk)
Amsterdam, NLD 🇳🇱

Mensen – Oslo City
(2003) (powerpop)
Oslo, Norway 🇳🇴

Black Market Crash – Broken Ballads
(2004) (pop-punk)
Genève, Switzerland 🇨🇭

Mistletoe – This Is Evidence
(2003) (indie-punk)
Albuquerque, New Mexico 🇺🇸

Grissle – A La Carte
(1998) (skate-punk)
Phoenix, Arizona 🇺🇸

The Crash – Groovin’ Hard
(1994) (pop-punk)
Wilmington, Delaware 🇺🇸

Revolutionary Hydra – Left Handed Scissors..
(late 90’s) (indie-rock)
Seattle – Washington 🇺🇸

Burning Heads – Wise Guy
(1998) (skate-punk)
Orléans, France 🇫🇷

Megaweapon – Crap Rock
(1995) (pop-punk)
Buffalo, New York 🇺🇸

The Havenots – Self Titled
(2004) (snot-punk)
Kingston, Ontario 🇨🇦

Gluons – Self Titled
(early 80’s) (new-wave)
Freetown, Massachusetts 🇺🇸

(((id))) – Re Evolution
(2006) (pop-punk)
San Antonio, Texas 🇺🇸

Finger Print – Self Titled
(1993) (melodic-hardcore)
Toulouse, France 🇫🇷

Blitzkreig – Ohne Zukunft
(1980’s) (punk)
Hannover, Germany 🇩🇪

Blood ’77 – Romantic Hotel
(2006) (gutter-punk)
Formia, Italy 🇮🇹

Kill-a-watts – Kill Kill Kill Kill
(2000) (garage-punk)
Milwaukee – Wisconsin 🇺🇸

THL – 12 Ways To Suckseed
(1998) (pop-punk)
Hamme, Belgium 🇧🇪

Newsville Evans – A Nice Place To Live
(1999) (pop-punk)
West Point, Georgia 🇺🇸

Hong! – Vollendouge
(2001) (indie-rock)
Oshkosh, Wisconsin 🇺🇸

Politikill – East Side Glory
(1998) (street-punk)
Alton, Illinois 🇺🇸

Hickey Million – Self Titled
(1996) (indie-punk)
Austin, Texas 🇺🇸

Eskupitajo – Demo
(1986) (hardcore)
Laudio, Spain 🇪🇸

El Sécondhand – Blood And Aphorisims
(1998) (emo/pop-punk)
New Brunswick, New Jersey 🇺🇸

Braver Noise – Sand Sureal
(1986) (post-punk)
Baltimore, Maryland 🇺🇸

Pig Alley – Massacre In Em
(1997) (punk)
Oxnard, California 🇺🇸

Dodgeball – Hooray For Everything
(1997) (pop-punk)
San Diego, California 🇺🇸

Top 10 Albums/EP’s That DON’T Suck [MAY 2020]

sham marriage self titled

Sham Marriage – Self Titled
(post-hardcore) (shoegaze)
🇬🇧Perth, UK

gatsu inner struggle


Gatsu – Inner Struggle
(hardcore) (punk)
🇨🇱Santiago, Chile

shadow creeps odd future catalog


Shadow Creeps – Odd Future Catalog
(punk rock) (garage-punk)
🇺🇸Albuquerque, NM

sans lorenzo guilt


Sans Lorenzo – Guilt
(emo) (post-punk)
🇺🇸Lombard, IL

hound die to live


Hound – Die To Live
(punk rock) (pop-punk)
🇨🇦Vallican, BC

karoshi life is a killer


Karōshi – Life Is A Killer
(indie-punk) (punk)
🇺🇸Seattle, WA

tumbas dolor


Tumbas – Dolor
(post-punk) (dark-punk)
🇨🇴Bogotá, Colombia

rotura self titled


Rotura – Self Titled
(punk rock) (anarcho)
🇪🇸Barcelona – Spain

without 3 years memory


Without – Three Years Memory
(pop-punk) (emo)
🇯🇵Yokohama, Japan

block parent frank dux split


Block Parent/Frank Dux – Split
(pop-punk) (skate-punk)
🇨🇦Cambridge, ON

It’s only June you guys. At this pace we’re on course for, well, maybe a total global implosion by decade’s end? When it comes to music though, it’s a different trend. Rather than imploding, things are exploding as far as rad bands and what have you. You like how I did that implode/explode thing? It’s almost like I’m wasting my talents on this stupid website. Clearly I should be writing epic feats of literature along the lines of War And Peace or Infinite Jest. Could I really turn my back on all four of the people who read this website? Ha, no I don’t think so. Anyone can write a 1000 page novel, but who’s going to spend all this time listening to shitty music and then (in an act of what can only be described as philanthropy) inform the readers as to which albums they should be listening to in my very skewed and under-qualified opinion? I don’t see Tolstoy pulling any shit like that? Fuckin’bum.

This month has been another challenge for me having to narrow down a top ten. I say this all the time but please do yourself a huge favor and check out the SCRAP HEAP for all the bands that piqued my interest this month. If you liked any of the bands in this top ten, I guarantee you will find more of what you like in the old heap there. *spits*

Anyway, be cool everyone. Stay safe. Stay strong. Never trust a cop. Never BE a cop and always fight the good fight. Yeah bye. Oh wait! I forgot! I have stickers now. BUY ONE if you want.

Top 10 Albums/EP’s That DON’T Suck [APRIL 2020]

fossil arm in bad decline

Fossil Arm – In Bad Decline
(post-hardcore) (post-punk)
🇺🇸Austin, Texas

mutant love revolution redacted part one


Mutant Love – Revolution Redacted Pt.1
(indie-punk) (pop-punk)
🇺🇸College Station, Texas

gvlls ep 2020


Gvlls – EP 2020
(post-punk) (garage-wave)
🇩🇪Münster, Germany

permanent residue self titled


Permanent Residue – Self Titled
(garage-punk) (punk rock)
🇺🇸Chicago, Illinois

cheap horse excellent adventure


Cheap Horse – Excellent Adventure
(garage-wave) (noise-pop)
🇺🇸Santa Cruz, California

peach self titled


Peach – Self Titled
(post-hardcore) (shoegaze)
🇺🇸De Kalb, Illinois

deaf lingo double not cantine sbuccia split


Deaf Lingo/Double Not – Split
(skate-punk) (punk rock)
🇮🇹Milan, Italy

vaguess guest list to heaven


Vaguess – Guest List To Heaven
(indie-punk) (garage-punk)
🇺🇸Costa Mesa, California

sandbox mccline sooner or later


Sandbox McCline – Sooner Or Later
(indie-rock) (indie-punk)
🇺🇸Mansfield, Ohio

bit of teenage wasteland


Bit Of – Teenage Wasteland
(pop-punk) (ramonescore)
🇪🇸Madrid, Spain

Hello loyal reader (singular). Yep it’s just you and me pal. You’re the only one who reads this, which reminds me: umm what is wrong with you?

Anyways, you’ve probably noticed that the layout for the top ten has changed, yet again. Well how do you like it? Not bad huh? Especially considering I haven’t a single clue how to do the internet. I’m pretty sure it’s going to stay like this from now on. Unless by next moth I can’t remember how I did it, and that’s actually a real concern for me. This is really complicated shit guys. I mean guy.

Moving on!

April has been, for me personally, maybe the most impressive month of new music I’ve seen since I started this blog exactly 3 years ago. (Yes that’s right, it’s the 3 year anniversary. Thanks for remembering!) I had nearly 30 albums this month that I wanted to put in the top ten. It was really difficult to narrow it down to this group and I’m not sure if I made the right decisions so, please please please have a look through the SCRAP HEAP. There is a shit-heap of incredible releases in there that deserve to be heard. I’ll also do my best to get them posted on my twitter account @SteveDoesnt.

The way things are going, I’m thinking May will be another monster month, but now that I said that, it probably wont be so fuck May! Seriously though, there is a lot of music being made right now. Maybe more than ever before, given the fact that this is the first time the world has been quarantined with the ability to record music at home. These are truly unparalleled times. Someday we’ll look back on this and be like “man that was so covid”. It’s my belief that in the future the word “covid” will become and adjective.

Yeah bye.

TRAJECTORIES: Reflecting On The Moments When Music Changed Our Lives

TRAJ

Times were different in 1999. It was when AOL and Netscape had begun providing internet to the common folk in full swing. Even so, most of us still weren’t just endlessly pirating entire libraries from people off Soulseek or Napster, especially since those tasks took all day with a 256 kbps modem. And imagine if one of your family members picked up the phone. No, indie record stores were very much still the center of the universe for music and nothing brought me more pleasure than spending hours inside of one instead of being in a Psychology 101 class at the nearby community college I was attending.

Around this time period, I was 20 years old and thanks to the endless stream-of-consciousness band shout-outs from random kids on AOL Punk Chat, I had been introduced to countless punk bands. I was on a steady diet of ’77-88 Street Punk and Oi! at the time, after having graduated from gateway bands like the Sex Pistols and Descendents. Any time I entered Noise Noise Noise (Costa Mesa, CA RIP) I immediately went to the punk section and scoured for any new albums that someone had recommended. Sometimes, I bought things solely for the album and/or the band name. Most of the time I was happy with this gamble. If you think about it, punk bands were good at advertising if they were shit or not via cover art. Take, for instance, Minor Threat’s “Out of Step.” There is no denying that in that sleeve contained a piece of vinyl that shouted songs at you about being a misfit child that belonged nowhere.

But I remember feeling like I never quite fit in. I never understood quite how angry these middle-class white kids were in Orange County and I felt like there was so much hypocrisy. I also hated that you had to fit a certain mold, hold a certain identity to be respected. I despised that so much. Plus, I was tired of how punks and skinheads treated their ladies. 1999 was not a woke time period, dear readers. It was filled with toxic masculinity and misogyny (internal and external). Not that I understood what all of that was as of yet, but it definitely felt off and uncomfortable. It was around this time that I started to wander into other chat rooms. Fuck, this is insanely lame as I type it out, but like, this was how I navigated the world back then. Leave me alone!

Here in Indie Chat and Emo Chat were the original soft boys, with their 60s shaggy hair, Vulcan hair cut, or shotgun blast. They were so artsy, so sensitive, so pretentious, and full of disdain. I wanted to make out with one so badly and I knew that if I wanted that to happen, I’d have to start watching Godard films and listen to stuff other than Suicidal Supermarket Trolleys or some shit. I probably had to start dressing differently, too. Baby steps, though.

It was then I decided to break into unknown territory at Noise Noise Noise. I wandered into the indie section and started to paw at unfamiliar cover art that were vastly different in mood, composition, and themes than what I was used to. I was overwhelmed, to say the least, and I wasn’t the kind of kid that would ask the record store clerks for recommendations. So I just diligently kept flipping through with my heart beating faster for fear of being judged since I was wearing TUK creepers, a three-row pyramid belt, and a cheetah print spaghetti string tank top. But I was determined to make a purchase. I landed on this gauzy, mostly peach, cover of what were ghostly figures of humans I assumed were the band members. My Bloody Valentine. The name was sort of familiar. I think some really hot dude on Make Out Club had cited that this was his favorite band. So why the fuck not. I clutched it in my hands and paid for the damned thing and took it home.

I removed the cellophane wrapper, slid out the vinyl and placed it on my shitty Sony record player, slid down onto the floor with the cover in my hands, and waited for sound to emit from my speakers. What I heard, I was not prepared for. It was discordant and repetitive. The bass line was aggressive and maybe too bare. It made me nauseous. And when Kevin Shield’s voice came on, it sounded like whining and I was disgusted. I tore it off the record player, placed it back in its sleeve and literally tossed it across my room. I hated My Bloody Valentine. The hatred was so visceral that I can still feel ghost nausea whenever I recall this memory.

My Bloody Valentine’s “Isn’t Anything” is currently my most favorite album of all time. Do you want to know something weird? I can’t even remember when I decided to give it another chance. I’m not sure how much time had elapsed and how many other bands that were not punk I had listened to before I came back to it. All I know is that I did eventually listen to it again. I could not get enough of it. I want “Cupid Come” played at my funeral. I don’t care of it’s sexual. Everyone can stand some fucking sexiness while celebrating my worthless life here on earth. I also don’t want to spend time extolling the virtues of this album versus Loveless or whatever other shoegaze band there was. That wasn’t the point of this story.

I am talking about how differently I experienced music back then and how I know that kids today will never know what any of that was like. It doesn’t make me better or superior. It’s just a completely precious and strange time capsule of an era, especially if you think about how soon DSL became a thing in 2000 and everyone was pirating shit left and right off of P2P sharing clients. It was much harder to fall in love with a lot of music. You really had to have crushes on weird people and spend a lot of time and effort to explore entering a different subculture or realm. You couldn’t just go to fucking Urban Outfitters and buy a Joy Division tee shirt and be mercilessly mocked by your cool cousin for not knowing who they are. That means something to me. Some weird sort of circumstantial pride.

Anyway, get off my lawn!

 

Thanks Nat!

If you’re reading this and thinking “hey I have a story about how music changed my life!”  please, write it down and send it my way. I don’t care if it was 1978 or 2018. All stories are welcome as long as they’re about punk or punk-adjacent music. Catch me on Twitter @SteveDoesnt or email me at doesntsuck604@gmail.com

-SD