6/23/09 @ Monster House, Columbus OH
TIMES NEW VIKING
This show was hyped like Wesley Snipes. Hype like,
“Oh my god… your house is going to be overflowing with people.”
and “Times New Viking is playing at your house?”
One of Columbus’ most buzzed about bands rarely plays punk/DIY houses, especially locally. To each their own. They came up in a local scene revolving around the bar Cafe Bourbon St. Mostly lo-fi garage punk stuff was coming through there in the mid oughts. Now the only reason to go there seems to be Extreme Wieners (NOW CLOSED!) hot dogs located inside the bar; only on dollar dog nights though.
I was nervous about the show. Nervous about interacting with the bands and a large group of new people coming over with pre-conceived notions of us and our house, sometimes negative ones or mis-informed ones about how we are. I probably lend the same threat to their conscious. I treated myself badly and made the decision to get extremely drunk. I arrived at the show at my home after downing an evil mix of hi alc. percentage beverages at a friend’s potluck. The gathering at the house was impressive but not insane or out of hand. I entered the basement as locals Vile Gash were playing their dark, power-violence hardcore, temper-tantrum of a set. I stood up front kind of leering at Andy to see if he might crash into me as paced around like an oager during his yelling fits. Someone lit off a smoke bomb. The first one was funny, the next two were annoying and made the basement environment uncomfortable, so I stomped them out like a maniac and flicked someone/everyone off for doing it.
Cult Ritual from Tampa, FL played next. These guys have some hype too as Youth Attack Records young guns. I will liken their singer to Henry Rollins, though it might seem obvious and a cop out for description. The kind of Rollins photographed on Damaged. The kind that foams at the mouth with anger and intensity. The kind of Rollins that might have locked himself in the van equipment trailer for almost a day. This kid is bic-ed bald and he is stern faced. He lunges into violent yells. He gives a public self loathing with background music. He has an occasionally thrown self on the ground type of presence. He is respectful of the audience’s space though, which I admire. The music behind him is a spontaneous blend of hardcore/powerviolence. The guitar player is a music lover of all genres, including jazz and psych/noise shit and it really comes through in his playing which is more unique than most of his contemporaries. The full band visually rocks out and the drums and bass are solid. This is a band well worth seeing/photographing/talking about for a week. If you like heavy hard and angry, then this is your band. Nice guys too, though they seem beyond pissed during their set. I am not sure about the art-hardcore tendency to make “limited” everything that ebay hunters gizz upon and then pay way too much for. There seems to be a tactic at the merch table that is like; here is this version and then this other version of the same thing that there appears to be only ten of though there are twenty in the van. There is creepy capitalism in that way of selling merch.
This is where I lose details on the night. As Times New Viking set up I was out of it, leaning against the chalky basement wall up front. I know I like their band. Their music is simple and brilliantly catchy. Appealing to a hopeless Ramones fan like myself. They play noisy art-drug-pop fitting for any mix tape. Why do they have to be so cool and unenthused? If they smoke cigarettes, it’s on the end of their lips like maybe they don’t even want it. They pose like those, “What do you wanna do” vultures at the end of Disney’s Jungle Book, but I know they are very self aware and calculated to some degree. There was a strange tension about them playing the house as some local punks didn’t think they should have anything to do with DIY shows around here. In my opinion, if they are down for it and will respect the house and if they contribute in some way to the Columbus independent art and music community, then why shouldn’t they play our house? I think they thought that we think we are SO important with our house and our ethics and our beliefs. So it came up that the drummer asked with sarcasm during their set,
“So what’s the difference between a house show and a house party?”
I had a reply coming out of my mouth without any processing or censorship,
“There’s punx at a house show!”
From that point on my night is done. I ended up falling asleep outside of the back door on the ground. I woke up to make sure Cult Ritual had blankets, pillows, etc. as they walked by me loading out their gear. I was moved upstairs to the bathroom floor after much coaxing. Nueman took a shit in there while I wallowed in my bad choices on the floor. I have no recollection of this happening. I locked myself in the bathroom and pooped until I had to stop to throw up. I made everyone I lived with worried or mad or both. I fell asleep on the upstairs couch in the hallway that is just a little more than half my body length, face down. I puked all the next day, yellow stomach bile from deep down, summoned by sweat and body shakes. It was an awful and harsh, acidic lesson. I had to call off work because I couldn’t stand with out vomiting. It wasn’t worth it. It never is. Be kind to yourself. Our bodies or apparently not invincible.