One of the things that I realized in 2010 is that the people that I really identify with have changed over the years. This revelation was happened in tow parts. First was at the Stephen Egerton CD release show and the second was at the Hudson Falcons show at the Blue Note.
At the Stephen Egerton show I felt completely at home and thought to myself wow, these are my people. The crowd was filled with diehard ALL/Descendents fans and Drag the River fans (which are pretty much the same thing). A few months later I went to see my good friends the Hudson Falcons at the Blue Note and despite the fact that I recognized more than a few faces, I felt totally alone and like I had nothing in common with anyone else there (other than our mutual love for the Falcons). What’s interesting about this is that I used to feel totally at home at HF shows. In fact I’ve seen them more than any other band and traditionally one of their shows was like a reunion of old friends. This time everything felt distant (until I got to hang out with Kerri and Mark and that was like hanging out with old friends).
I think part of the reason is that while I still like a lot of oi and street punk bands, that music just doesn’t speak to me like it used to. And to be perfectly honest, all of the bands that I really got into in the late ‘90s that were part of the street punk explosion weren’t really all that street punk and certainly weren’t oi bands. Yes there was a lot of oi influence to their music but if you compare say One Man Army (who came up as part of the TKO Records late ‘90s street punk scene) to the Anti Heros (a legendary American oi band) you will see that they aren’t really the same (just listen to One Man Army’s “Another Night” and then listen to the Anti Heros’ “Hate Edge”). The bands that I really like from that era (One Man Army, Swingin’ Utters, The GC5, Dropkick Murphys, Sixer, The Staggers, Roustabouts) weren’t really street punk bands and in many cases I think that the label hurt them. So while I spent a long time listening to a lot of oi and street punk, I don’t think I was ever truly part of that scene.
Which brings me to the bands that I am excited about now and those that I truly feel are kindred spirits, bands like Drag the River, Hot Water Music, Alkaline Trio, Red City Radio, Chuck Ragan, Tim Barry, Avail. In fact lately when I’m on the computers at the library I’m spending a big chunk of time watching these solo acoustic songs on YouTube by the likes of the aforementioned Chuck Ragan and Tim Barry as well as Jon Snodgrass, Chad Price, and Tom Gabel.
I guess if we didn’t grow and change over the years then life wouldn’t be much worth living would it?