Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Kids Are Alright (and always will be....)

Zombie vs. Shark at Bill and Dee's in Norman, OK. Shot by Brad Hayes.

One of the great things about music is that is spans generations. As the band has played out the past year, we keep getting older (except Phil our singer, who is 21) and the crowds get younger. I guess that's fine, if nobody showed up, we'd probably call it quits. Instead, the 3 gig run last weekend brought lots of nice responses from people, who were quite a bit younger than us, so that was pretty cool.

I forget that when I was a younger music fan, it was always older musicians that proved inspiration for being a fan and also taking up an instrument. From my piano teacher Steve Bruce, to Gene Czech the choir teacher at my grade school, to Mark Lashlee who had a home studio in our garage in California, to Bob Demmon the band teacher at my high school (who played guitar in The Astronauts in the early 60s), it seems that the inclination to pick up an instrument, whether a tuba or a guitar, always begins by seeing some older, accomplished musician jamming out on their instrument.

My band plays a lot of gigs with Debris', a Chickasha, OK punk/new wave band that was a big deal in the 1970s, and who reformed about 3 years ago after many people inquired about them, the least of which was my friend Brad Hayes from Sharkbait Skate Zine. Now in their 50s, they are a hard act to follow, but I've noticed that teenagers and young adults in their early 20s are digging their music. As they say, some things return in cycles, and weird punk and new wave music is no exception. And it sucks playing after them, because you have try and play better than them. Call it intergenerational discipline, or "schooling."

This should surely make one wonder if cutting the band and music programs from public education is worth it, since it helps the brain make sense of other subjects because you deal with abstract tones, sounds, and compositional structures, and come to understand the structure of things in general?

I started off with the flutephone in grade school. Long live band and choir nerds!

The new t-shirt logo. You can order one on our Facebook page.

Chuck Ivey, bass player and one of the singers for Debris' at Universe City.
The next wave of kids that are alright at Universe City.
Debris' at Universe City.
This is Psychotic Reaction at the Ag Barn in Maysville, OK. We played a skateboard park benefit concert there in Spring 2009. The town had no public park for the kids and I was told that the school locked the playground after school, so the kids couldn't play on the school playground. So the show materialized, with Nolan Dacus organizing one among many benefit concerts.
A fan at the Maysville skateboard park benefit.

The Robert Scafe fan club at the Red Room in Norman.

Disciples of Scafe, spanning another music generation.

Debris' at Bill and Dee's in Norman. Shot by Brad Hayes.

Zombie vs. Shark at Bill and Dee's in Norman. Photo by Brad Hayes.

Debris' at Bill and Dee's in Norman. Shot by Brad Hayes.

The aftermath of the Zombie vs. Shark set at Bill and Dee's. Shot by Brad Hayes.