At closing, I went to check my cell phone and it turned out that Bombshell had more performers than usual and I could catch the end. I rushed over despite being hit on by a tweaker in an old dented SUV, ""Hey,ohIthoughtyouwerethiscoolartistIga
I got to the John Sims Center just as postmaudlin started reading. Her intro to Homewrecker is awesome. Quick plug for that book release party: Valentine’s Day at City Lights, the next night at Modern Times. I saw Mattilda perform and then chatted with a bunch of LJ folks, talked co-ops with Beautiful Toxin, declined both Thai food and an offer to go drink at the Lex and started heading home.
Then Ms. Fembot called. I was tired and looking for excuses to not go out but I had none when I found out the Mutants were playing at Du Nord, all of two blocks from my house. And Sally was performing too. She was missing at their first reunion show. My first chance to see the whole band since 1984.
Before last night I might have equivocated about this, but I’ll say it now. The Mutants are one of the most underrated bands in the entire history of punk. They were from before the uber-masculinization of the scene, when it was full of women and commies and queers. They’re ’79 art punk, the kind that got watered down to make so much bad new wave a few years later, but they were the real thing. Musical and catchy but loud and snotty too. Obliquely political and not didactic. Every show an event. Fun punk not dour backpack punk. Costumes!
Like the last reunion, it was an old crowd. The Mutants are the only band that can make me feel like a kid again. The "pit" moved slowly. The pogoing had a little less lift. There was no violence because all the morons from back then are sober, dead, in jail, or have replacement hips. The Mutants have no new fans; I would guess that 90% of the people there had seen them back in the day. And since that day was a long time ago there was a lot of gray hair thrashing around. Also, I think Bonnie Hayes ordered a drink over my shoulder while I was sitting at the bar.
Over the life of my LJ, a few folks have referred to me as "old school" punk. I have always denied this, and I wish you folks could have been at this show. Man, I knew almost no one and they all knew each other. Hell, half of them could shop at our store and I’d never recognize them. They were also all going nuts and having fun.
I love seeing bands when I know all the songs. And geez, I’ve been listening to these songs for over 20 years. If The Mutants had played continuously, I’m sure I would have been bored of them by now. Or mad about some sell-out album that they would have made in 1994 or something. But because no one had been playing these songs for 20 years they all sounded fresh again. And unlike the last show, the singers dressed up for this show. Suits! Polka dots! Big spiky hair!
They only downer was the announcement of a show they are playing at the Fillmore in April: The Mutants, Avengers, Flipper, and Dead Kennedys. I don’t know if it’s sad or an abomination. I mean without the DKs I might have gone because, for one thing, it wouldn’t be at the Fillmore. But supporting the DKs without Jello is just wrong. I don’t care what he did (or didn’t do) or if people think he’s a jerk (and he’s never been anything but nice to me). If Jello had never been in the Dead Kennedys, they would be about as memorable as No Sisters.*
Oh, and here is a photo of my teen punk rock dream date taken sometime in the late ‘70s. She’s even cuter now.
*I didn’t even dislike No Sisters. But damn if I can remember any of their songs.
**Thanks to crabbypattie for suggesting the pics from Hardcore California She may be country music royalty, but she is still one of us.