Shiiiiiiiit, son. I’m about to head down to Florida where a bunch of exciting crap’s gonna happen. For one, my buddy Chris, who some of you know as the Sundowner, will be playing tonight(!) at 540 at the beloved (?) florida theater. You should go. Tomorrow, I, Brendan Kelly, will be playing a show somewhere at some time. I don’t have quite as much information on that for some reason, but I DO know that I go on right after the Copyrights and that I’m gonna be fucking kickass, so don’t snooze on that, dadddios and mommios. Uh…what else? Oh, right! Sunday! Sunday night the Lawrence Arms (a band that features both Sundowner and Brendan Kelly, along with our handsome rhythmsmith Cap’n Hennessy), will be playing a show. That one is in the big room, whatever that’s called now, and it’s near the end of the scheduled program. I think we’re right before All, which is pretty cool too. So there. Now you know what I’ll be up to this weekend.
Wanna hang out? Sure you do. So go to Florida and walk around and look for me. I’ll be the out of shape dude with the bad tattoos who’s unshaven and surly because I don’t have enough pizza and beer in me. I’ll probably be hanging out with a loudmouth or two. Bring your stash and share it with us for maximum awesomeness.
Word on the streets is that our TM (that’s Tour Manager for those of you not in the biz) Toby, got hunted by the cops for telling the dude at the front desk of the hotel to “Do [his] fucking job.” The cops apparently showed up, guns drawn, and interrogated Chris, which I think is great. If there’s one thing florida needs more of, it’s people pulling out guns and waving them around when there’s nothing serious going on. Thanks for all the vigilance, sunshine state! It’s your quickly drawn pistol that keeps your citizenry among the most sane and well behaved in the entire contiguous 48. Florida used to be ‘america’s penis’ but I think it’s time we re-named it “America’s unnecessarily drawn firearm.” Am I right, Bill Maher? HAHAHAHHAHA! Mercy.
I really don’t have much else to rap at you guys about but since we’re speaking of fest and the turdcore scene that it nurtures (and that I am a proud member of), I want to throw this out there: Kingwood by Millencolin is the most criminally underrated album of the entire genre. No! Don’t go away! Hear me out! A few years ago, the Lawrence Arms (the band I’m in, we play Sunday at the fest), got offered to go on tour with Millencolin in Europe, in support of their Kingwood release. Our initial thoughts were twofold: 1) That’s gonna be a big fucking tour, we can’t turn that down and 2) Isn’t Millencolin that dorky ska band from Sweden who sings joke songs about food?
Well, we accepted the tour, met the dudes, all of whom were really nice, played our show and sat back to see why there were 3000 Euros who were willing to come see this band. The answer, fellow snarky dipshits, may astound you. It’s because they are FUCKING AWESOME. Kingwood, far from a ska record, is the kind of record that should sit on your shelf between Goddamnit and Caution. It’s an abrasive, at times dark, highly experimental take on poppy punk and it’s got moments that rival anything in the genre. These dudes came out and just KILLED every single night, doing flawless executions of spectacularly written songs. By the third day, we were jamming the CD in the van all day and then watching every minute of their show each night. The fact that they used to be a skatepunk, ska influenced goofy band is kind of irrelevant. The fact that their followup album, Machine 15, didn’t do very well in the States (I don’t think), is also irrelevant. The fact, my friends, IS, that Kingwood is a goddamned brilliant piece of work, one that should have them as rotating headliners of the Fest just on the strength of that album alone. And yes, there are some endearingly goofy lyrics (Ray, which is one of the jammers, btw) and there are some songs that aren’t as cool as they think they are (Shut You Out), but overall, it’s a sprawling, compelling and very, very important, unfortunately forgotten chapter in the scene that this Gainesville fest is all about. If you don’t think the bridge to Farewell My Hell, or the entirety of Mooseman’s Jukebox is brilliant, then I dunno. To me, the Kingwood album is a gold star version of what we’re all doing here, from the Lawrence Arms to the Trio to Hot Water to The Menzingers to all the people with all the beards and a command of about five chords, and so on and so forth. Get that shit. It’s good.
See you fucks tomorrow.