I write poetry. Mostly about punk rock kids and small towns. I am just as influenced by Marianne Moore as I am by Bukowski, Addonizio, or Screeching Weasel. I have had formal training in the classroom, in the pit, and in the world.
I write music reviews of small punk rock bands for CC2K, an entertainment website. The bands that only the select have discovered, the bands who play to packed rooms of 150 people, the bands who piss, and vinegar, and heart, the bands that make you believe in the spirit and soul of music and how it can connect two (or 200) strangers.
I am a punk rock kid who was raised by rock n’ roll parents. Music was always on in my house. I was raised on The Beatles, Rush, Pink Floyd, Heart, Black Sabbath and a steady rotation of videos on MTV. I was always a music fan, though I never was able to cultivate any musical talent, I can’t play an instrument or even carry a tune. Which is part of the reason that I write about it, to be a part of that world that I love so much.
My parents took me to see Poison when I was seven. It was general admission at our local armory. After hours and hours of standing in line, battling the freezing February temperature with sporadic bonfires, the doors opened and a stampede ensued. I was smashed into a fence and I swear that my dad broke a girl’s wrist getting me out.I remember being in awe of the neon outlines of bikini clad girls that danced with Bret during Unskinny Bopand how beautiful his guitar for Every Rose Has It’s Thorn was. Even after being crushed and an asthma attack it was the greatest night of my seven year life.
In middle school my best friend and I stayed up every Sunday night listening to the wisdom of Matt Pinfield and discovering bands like Rancid, Bad Religion, Jimmies Chicken Shack, and Blink 182 on 120 Minutes. It was those years that I swear the greatest one hit wonders released their songs, The Cunninghams – Bottle Rocket, Space Hog – In the Meantime, and Summercamp — Drawer. And the even more tragic, one album wonders that we all put our faith in to save rock and roll, whose second album had one good single then petered out. (The likes of Live, Better than Ezra, Deep Blue Something, and most sadly, Bush).
Thanks to my awesome parents, I was lucky enough to see a lot of those bands before they broke up, fizzled out, or became huge. When we were too young to drive my parents were always the ones who took my friends and I to concerts. What made it awesome was that they weren’t doing it out of some parental responsibility, they really liked the music too. (I was probably the only one of my friends that stole Nirvana – Unplugged in New York from her mom.)
It wasn’t until my freshman year of high school I went to my first local show and was introduced to the subculture that would become a huge part of my life. I fell in love with punk rock, the bands, and the community. That was the first time where I felt like I fit in somewhere. In school I was still the weird girl who got picked on and beat up by the football and wrestling teams, but on the weekends at shows it all faded away. We were simply a collection of slightly misfit kids from all the high schools in the area who came together and built a community around music and a different, more conscientious code of ethics.
That music still strikes me in some visceral way whenever I hit play. AFI –Shut Your Mouth and Open Your Eyes, ALL –Mass Nerder, The Descendents –Milo Goes to College, Screeching Weasel –Anthem For a New Tomorrow all have to be played as loud as the speakers can bear. And there is still no place that I would rather be than a pit. The connection of hundreds of people moving to the same beat, screaming the same words, unselfconsciously flailing their arms, sticky with sweat, is something exceptional.
These experiences, these visceral reactions, these people are what I write about and why I write.
Occasionally, I take a few photographs.