August 09, 2004

DIRTY JERZ

Trevor's Warped roundup sets the scene nicely..

Today we have a day off, kicking it casj and watching the evil CNN, in a smoking room at the Radisson, enjoying respite from the kid-hordes and the imitation Santa Ana winds from the hot exhaust sweeping through the bus village. Out of the rapids of commerce and into the sluggish-pulse bloostream of a sterile creme-walled room, with a suitable view of the shady suburban lanes of Hershey, PA.

The tour stops on the East Coast leg are between one to three hours apart, with bus call between 1am and 4am. Last night, parties broke out, everyone looking for a good time but held hostage by a curfew and isolated location - a ghosted speedway six miles out of Englishtown New Jersey. The people cruised aimlessly through the long aisles between the busses: kicking trash, looking to get in on dice and Texas hold 'em games, looking for girls that might be loitering. Pete and I were looking for a snack and hydrogen peroxide for his cut finger. We only found cigarettes.

Pete is on the International Noise Conspiracy bus. INC quoted Springsteen on stage, in honor of the pitstop in dirty Jerz. Turns out le Boss was in attendance, chaperoning his kids, and INC wound up hanging out with him. Tellingly, no one recognized him because most of the audience was born in the mid-eighties. He's just another sunburnt dad sitting through NOFX's set. All night, Pete and the INC boys kept peppering conversational silences with "Hey man, remember when we hung out with THE BOSS this afternoon?" - chasing it with heavily accented giggles.

INC, despite being punk rockers on a tour with 500 other punk rockers, are clearly alienated. They just hang out by themselves, watching Band of Brothers and reading 600-page lefty tomes, from what I gathered. I'm not sure if the aleination has more to do with them being Straightedge Swedish Socialists, or that almost no one seems to know who they are, their agendas and garage-dance music met with dead-eyed apathy from the Warped audience. In the two years since their last Epitaph album they have gotten bumped from two conglomerated labels in a row, and are floating in some Geffen-embossed-etherworld, with an unreleased Rick Rubin produced album in tow. Meanwhile, another Swedish band in matching outfits gained popularity in their stead.

I did some time in the merch booth with Pete, who I just spent three months on tour with, trying to leaven his boredom and heat exhaustion with gifts of vegan cookies and back issues of the New Yorker. Ninth graders perused the merch tables silently, looking over the goods, which included a sizeable assortment of lefty books from AK Press . I let Pete sit back in his deck chair while I goaded the kids to try and pick up the Cometbus anthology or books on Iraq. A group of boys, all still shy of puberty, clad in near identical Hurley-gear ask "You have any books on Bush?" - but the only applicable Bush analysis is a 256 pg. volume from Verso that I doubt I could make it through. I make some other suggestions, trying to upsell them against all odds, but they were happy to just settle for some free stickers...

PS> Honk if your hate Alan Keyes .

Posted by Jessica at August 9, 2004 03:04 PM | TrackBack