Did you tune into this week's episode of Hippie Love Turbo, on KUCR 88.3 FM or did this week's episode tune into you? On this episode you heard a lot more psych stuff than usual but it felt like a nice change of pace, ya know?
At the beginning of the show, you heard Vacuum Cleaner by Tintern Abbey, a band which has appeared on a bunch of compilations over the years despite having released only one single. Because of the single's rarity, original copies have been known to fetch prices up to a grand. If that doesn't quite fit in your budget, you can always check out the recently released compilation Beeside which features the band's complete recordings, including demos and unreleased masters. The compilation was put out by Cherry Red Record's Grapefruit imprint and you can tell there was a lot of love put into the release which comes on two discs and features a biographical insert. You can also see some photos from the band and their releases on a blog named Sir Henry at Horringer Court.
Later in the show you heard Talking To You, a song from another short-lived band, The Savage Resurrection. The band's only full length album has had a few re-releases over the years but not all copies are equal. If you want to hear some bonus rehearsal tracks you'll have to check out Mod Lang's release, though in my opinion, the bonus tracks aren't worth spending any extra dough if you can find another cheaper option. As of right now, you can listen to both Beeside and Mod Lang's version of The Savage Resurrection on Spotify.
On the last episode, I wrote about Lynn, Massachusetts and during my research I found out that Mike Ness was born there. Reading about Mike Ness reminded me of how some years back, I had seen an old worn out VHS copy of Another State of Mind, a documentary about the 1982 tour Social Distortion (Mike Ness' band) and Youth Brigade had throughout the US and Canada. The film was obviously a low budget affair, with poor audio and limited lighting, however, for the most part its production setbacks actually add to the ambience of the film. The movie's look and feel reflects the same principals the bands were trying to achieve; make something meaningful with what you have for the type of people that can appreciate it.
|Youth Brigade practices their song Fight To Unite
Throughout the film, Youth Brigade's Shawn Stern serves as a sort of anchor for the tour's DIY ethics and, although you can tell he knows the tour is likely to fail, you can't help but appreciate his ability to help organize two bands, setup shows in a pre-internet age, and deal with the logistics of a crappy bus while trying his best to keep everyone fed. Even when the tour is falling apart Stern displays a sort of punk wisdom as seen towards the middle of the film after the bands have played another show where the promoters refused to pay the bands what they were owed. The bands are obviously frustrated and are beginning to question whether or not they should continue with the tour and the interviewer asks Stern if the bands can find some sort of unity. Stern soberly replies with:
"What about unity? If you're hungry, nobody's unified. Yo know? Ha. If you got nothing to eat there's nothing to be unified about. You- you can't be fed on unity"
There are a few moments of filler in the film, such as a bizarre instructional scene about dancing in mosh pits, some kids practicing stage dives at a local pool, and a quick aside at a punk themed Christian church but I wouldn't say they detract from the film overall. In fact, I'd say part of what makes the film really shine is how it presents the goofiness of punk scenes and how its participants can both be antagonistic towards society while also searching for communities of their own. The movie doesn't shy away from showing the silliness of dying your hair or putting on makeup or being a chucklehead with your friends on a bus. These people were young and had a lot of heart but through their interviews you can see they struggled to find their voices and at times had difficulty expressing why they felt punk music was the appropriate outlet for their angst. A reoccurring theme throughout each interview is that the kids were looking for something that was fun, somethings to do, and a way to release their aggression. You know, fairly basic teenage stuff.
Similar to another film which I've covered before, Style Wars, Another State of Mind doesn't appear judgmental, nor does it try to present the participants as hard-asses that are bringing down the system through loud and fast rock and roll, riots, and spray paint. For the most part I avoid documentaries or biographical works that focus on punk subcultures because they tend to glorify punk's destructive nature or they build up musicians as if they were mythical, overdose resilient, sexual monsters when in reality, the vast majority of people in the scenes were low to lower middle class suburban kids that were trying to find somewhere to fit in.
I guess it's kind of funny giving a punk documentary recommendation during a psychedelic episode but that's just the way it goes sometimes! Catch you guys next week!
Make sure your head is right and peep this episode's playlist below: