A great Saturday night I thought I was just gonna
finish mopping the cheese floor and go home on Saturday night. I
had wanted to go to Bombshell but [info]ginoushka told me it would
end around 9:30 and I wasnít getting off until around 9:15.
Gary Fembot had e-mailed earlier about a mysterious Mutants
reunion show, but I wasnít even sure it was that night. He
hadnít called back and the info was murky and mysterious. Like the
cheese floor when the mats are removed.
Then Ms. Fembot called. I was tired and looking for excuses to not
go out but I had none when I found out the Mutants were playing at
Du Nord, all of two blocks from my house. And Sally was performing
too. She was missing at their first reunion show. My first chance
to see the whole band since 1984.
Before last night I might have equivocated about this, but Iíll
say it now. The Mutants are one of the most underrated bands in
the entire history of punk. They were from before the
uber-masculinization of the scene, when it was full of women and
commies and queers. Theyíre í79 art punk, the kind that got
watered down to make so much bad new wave a few years later, but
they were the real thing. Musical and catchy but loud and snotty
too. Obliquely political and not didactic. Every show an event.
Fun punk not dour backpack punk. Costumes!
Like the last reunion, it was an old crowd. The Mutants are the
only band that can make me feel like a kid again. The "pit" moved
slowly. The pogoing had a little less lift. There was no violence
because all the morons from back then are sober, dead, in jail, or
have replacement hips. The Mutants have no new fans; I would
guess that 90% of the people there had seen them back in the day.
And since that day was a long time ago there was a lot of gray
hair thrashing around. Also, I think Bonnie Hayes ordered a drink
over my shoulder while I was sitting at the bar.
Over the life of my LJ, a few folks have referred to me as "old
school" punk. I have always denied this, and I wish you folks
could have been at this show. Man, I knew almost no one and they
all knew each other. Hell, half of them could shop at our
store and Iíd never recognize them. They were also all going nuts
and having fun.
I love seeing bands when I know all the songs. And geez, Iíve been
listening to these songs for over 20 years. If The Mutants had
played continuously, Iím sure I would have been bored of them by
now. Or mad about some sell-out album that they would have made in
1994 or something. But because no one had been playing these
songs for 20 years they all sounded fresh again. And unlike the
last show, the singers dressed up for this show. Suits! Polka
dots! Big spiky hair!
They only downer was the announcement of a show they are playing
at the Fillmore in April: The Mutants, Avengers, Flipper, and Dead
Kennedys. I donít know if itís sad or an abomination. I mean
without the DKs I might
have gone because, for one thing, it wouldnít be at the Fillmore.
But supporting the DKs without Jello is just wrong. I donít care
what he did (or didnít do) or if people think heís a jerk (and
heís never been anything but nice to me). If Jello had never been
in the Dead Kennedys, they would be about as memorable as No