Silver linings and what not, right? From piles of shit grows a field of flowers or something?
Tuesday, the cycling gods were in a weird mood. The ride in to work was misery, 20lb backpack of work crap and clothes, a slight head-wind, and 5 days off cycling made for a long 20 miles. Yet, the way home, nervous (to say the least) but with the backpack unloaded, my very first tail-wind on a ride home, and feeling good to be out of work… Oh ye gods of the cycling world, why must you fuck with my mind! Oh well, nevermind, the result was a incredible ride home. Kicking between 20 and 30mph, “king of the world” type shit.
Why tell you this? What’s this to do with shit, flowers, and silver linings? I’m getting there…
I get home, drench in shweaty sweat, stinkin’ up a storm, and thirsty, flip on the tap and nothing comes out but dribbles. Uh-oh. Go upstairs, flip on the shower…… nada. Our “Condo Association”, i.e. Bruce, screwed up and didn’t take care of the water. Well, pissed, but ever the resourceful one, I took advantage of the kitchen sink dribble and a hand towel, performing what I’ve been told is a “European shower” in the kitchen. Sounds offensive to me, on more than one front.
BUT, anger, annoyance, and general feeling of grime got me urging to listen to an old fave, my, uh, “angry” music, if you will, my “rock out with my cock out” (nearly literally) music. Yep, it was time to put on some sweet ass L.A. punk via Ness and the boys of Social D, SxDx, i.e…. Social mother-fucking Distortion and their 2004 kick-ass release Sex, Love, & Rock N’ Roll. I spent the next while rockin’ my grimey ass self out…. ha! Felt better already!
I was introduced to Ness’s crew about 10 years ago where I wound up listening to Somewhere Between Heaven & Hell (another fave) pretty much non-stop for that year. They are definitely one of those love or hate bands. Hate them because it’s just dumb gruff I’m-a-tough-boy power-chord “punk”, stupid and pointless, blah blah blah, ORRRRR love them for creating a PERFECT mix of the attitude of Johnny Cash, and stripped down country melodies, but applying it to the punk mixed with psychobilly/rockabilly genre, with a healthy dose of truly underappreciated harmonies. Yeah, each song is 3 chords, MAX, and yeah, with a little drop-D tuning, you could play most songs with one finger, possibly one of those “oh yeah, anybody could do that” arguments that some throw out to help explain why they suck, but the proper retort is, the actuality is, “maybe, but nobody else DID do it the way they did”. To my ears, on Social D has done what Social D did they way they did. Were they first? Probably not, are their better “punk” bands? Probably, but I can’t say I care too much. Ness simply puts it all out there and owns it, lives it, and dares you to fuck with him about it.
I was going to put a few songs up, but you know what, fuck it, grab the whole damn album, ten quick, fast, fun, and a bit more depth-laden songs about sex, love, and, of course, rock n’ roll. Turn it up really loud. I mean really, really loud, so that your ears ring in between songs. Then go buy their back catalogue and relish in all things Social Distortion.
01 Reach For The Sky
02 Highway 101
03 Dont Take Me For Granted
I’m the volume in your fucked up teenage band
A pack of smokes and a six pack
I’m the dreams you had walking down the railroad tracks
You and Me.
I’m your first taste of romance
I’m your first broken heart on a Saturday night
Guys like us ain’t got no chance
But I’m the thing that keeps you and me alive
But not forever
So take me down the road
take me to the show
its something to believe in
that no one else knows
but don’t take me granted