Robert Lund - Man About Town
"I get all my news from the Waste down!"

Bands, Politics, Random Grumbles

New York Waste, Dec. 2004
Alright, so I skipped a column last month (anyone notice? didn't think so...) Riding the waves of this life, I was in a bit of a trough, had nothing to say I thought anyone would wanna hear, least of all me. But life goes on, I shan't go silent, so I return with some scattered notes from the field.

I've been partying less, clubbing mainly in search of good music, not socializing. That's partly cuz there's lots to do in getting mundane matters of life in shape. Also abetted by the schism I've been feeling between myself and so many of my club cohorts (particularly leading up to Nov. 2nd), nearly all of whom exhibited blatant signs of Bush Derangement Syndrome, their entire political outlook based entirely upon their hatred for this one man, to the exclusion of rational analysis and/or discussion. So I kept to myself a lot, avoiding senseless conflict.


I heard Cory Clarke sing one of his Warrior Soul tunes, "I'm A Punk," when he hosted the October 13 BITCH night at Don Hill's, and I was mightily impressed. So when a reconstituted Warrior Soul performed at Don Hill's on Oct 27, I was there. There was some talk of "is this really Warrior Soul?", as a former bandmate has kept the domain name, and has a WS site which states "Warrior Soul is NO LONGER and will NEVER RE-UNITE." But in the real world, beyond web domains, Cory is Warrior Soul, they're his songs, and the new band sounded great. The evening wasn't without its gut-wrenching moments, however, of the type mentioned above. Cory announced "This song is dedicated to George W Bush!" and launched into a number entitled "You Love Destruction." The crowd seemed to love it, apparently comfortable with assuming the inner feelings of this man they love to hate. I could not relate, having never perceived any signs of such love of destruction in GWB. I had to wonder, in fact, just how un-punk and un-belligerent it would have been for a performer to dedicate that song to, say, Al Qaeda, which seems to show much more plausible signs of loving destruction. I wound up just shaking my head at such silliness. But later, Cory crowned his performance with another number, in which he got the audience to sing along on the chorus, consisting solely of "BUSH SUCKS!" I stood up front, arms crossed, brandishing my smirk, feeling like the only grown-up in that chanting mob. Can't hold it against them, or Cory for that matter - it basically summarizes the platform of the Democratic Party this year, a fact which apparently was not lost on a majority of the voters.

So that's what I meant about having mixed reactions to a lot of the good times this month. I can't join these people and return their hatred, I get through it by having mercy on the moonbats, for they know not what they do. And I still love Cory and the rest of the Warrior Soul music.


I've seen this guy Drew Blood around for some time, never gotten to really know him, but we've traded witty quips from time to time. So I had to check out his band The Drew Blood, and I struck gold. Drew snarls his substantive lyrics as he dances and gyrates, while accompanying himself with stunning agility on the piano keyboard in front of him. When he gets that syncopation going between some wordy lyrics and those flying fingers I always get that pang of "Oh, why didn't I practice more for the past 40 years?". And then there's his guitarist Chris, who I admire from his work with Sküm, Sarah Greenwood, the BITCH band, and countless others. I knew The DB had to be good if Chris was a part of it. As a bonus, it turns out that Drew himself, insufficiently fulfilled by pouring his heart out into his songs, has a blog on the band web site where he shares the most banal intimacies of his dark soul with whoever has so little to do that they read The Drew Blood Blog. I've got it bookmarked right up there with Drudge Report and Instapundit.


Background (quoted from various sources):
The Situationist International was a highly intellectual and imaginative leftist student movement with strong Marxist influences, located primarily in France during the 1960s. The Situationist writings have their greatest appeal to educated youth who oppose capitalism but dislike the banality of the Leninist, Trotskyist, Maoist or Social Democratic forms of "Socialism". By definition, the Situationist International was a revolutionary, dissident movement... far to the left of what was considered the official "left". Situationist writing is mostly inaccessible because of its heavy intellectual jargon. Its puzzle-like, complex style makes it something which those who have time to over-intellectualize feel proud to be a part of.

I hadn't read any of this, or heard of the original group, when I first heard The Situationist International perform at Don Hill's on Nov 17. I was really blown away by their musical style and the delivery of the lead singer, but the memory was kinda fuzzy. So I made it over for another show at Continental Dec 4th, and they were better than I remembered (I love when that happens!). Lead singer Geoff says he had been reading a book about revolutionary movements through the ages, and The Situationist International sounded pretty cool, so he took their name for the band. Other members less familiar with the original SI think using the name can be confusing, but it seems to fit the group well. This is a new group, no CD, no web site, just five talented guys with plenty of Raw Power, and Geoff's enigmatic lyrics. After their "last song" last night, the crowd wouldn't let them go without playing "Radical," a haunting quasi-political rant. Not in the obnoxious literal sense, but laced with elusive meaning - "Straight up ahead, I'm a radical" is the main hook, and talk of revolution leads to "so many revolutionary destinations / if you believe in miracles / if you believe in pain / well I hope you can find me / so we can make a change." Check it out at their MySpace profile. I think the original Situationist International would really like this band!


Quite often, people I know in bands ask me "Hey, Bob, when ya gonna write up my band?" I usually answer "I don't write up bands, I write about events, and bands are often a part of them." Partially true; this month I didn't write up bands, I wrote a personal account of some significant events in my life, which happened to be the discovery of some bands. But more to the point - I will NEVER write up a band because some performer has asked me to write him up. Can't help it, I spew from the gut, just express what's important to me, don't write publicity pieces as favors to aspiring friends. So if any of you wants me to write about your band, don't disqualify yourself by asking me to, OK?