Tag Archives: Millionaires

Neon Shirt

Saw the above t-shirt at Warped on Tuesday. It may just be a shirt, but nowadays fashion is oft as important – if not the important – as the music that a band chooses to define itself. In My So Called Punk, Matt Diehl notes the clashes between “emo” kids and traditional “punk” kids at Warped came out in the t-shirts they wore. Just like during the earlier part of this decade, the same thing is happening currently, but pitted between scrunk and traditional “punk” acts. There were more black punk shirts in support of traditional punk virtues – though none as straightforward anti-scrunk/crunkcore as the photo above. And they faced a host of bright, neon colored shirts from acts such as 3OH!3, brokeNCYDE, Millionaires, Jeffree Star, etc. Take a look at some of the designs below:

3OH!3 shirt. They also had a shirt that said "This is a 3OH!3 Shirt," which I wasn't sure if it was a humorous send up of the "This Is Not A Fugazi Shirt" or not

 

brokeNCYDE shirt. Their crowns, when done by hand in concert, is similar to the 3OH!3 hand design. Also, not the most annoying brokencyde shirt

brokeNCYDE shirt. Their "crowns," when done by hand in concert, is similar to the 3OH!3 hand design. Also, not the most annoying brokencyde shirt

Even check out the Babycakes shirt, which screams (pardon the pun… or play on the situation) scrunk:

Anyway, that was an interesting aspect of Warped I took notice of.

As another aside, while stopping by the Vagrant merch tent on Tuesday, I noticed the tip sign by the guy running the tent. Most tip signs usually have some gaudy or humorous note to get people to drop a buck. The Vagrant guy’s merely asked people to donate to fly his girlfriend out to Warped. In many ways, this image (and I wish I could have gotten a picture of it, but the weather was really hit-or-miss, and this was a miss moment) is perfectly representative of Vagrant’s take on emo: there’s a clean cut guy with a simple message trying to get his significant other to come accompany him on a big event for the summer. And the guy was nice to boot and quite enthusiastic about their selection of $5 Dashboard Confessional albums. Couldn’t have been a more perfect match. Needless to say I dropped a buck.

That’s all for now… check in to Bostonist in the late morning, as the Warped piece should be online at that point.

Mayday, Mayday

 

Gallows Frank Carter in the mosh pit

Gallows' Frank Carter in the mosh pit

Got back from Warped Tour a handful of hours ago. For those eager to hear what went down at the Boston date, check out Bostonist in a day or two for a review with a smattering of pics such as the one I took of Frank Carter at the start of this post.

Sure, I felt a little “old” throughout the day, but that’s not all to be chalked up to the waves of teens, some of whom are a good decade younger than me (yikes); in actuality, the constant rainfall and sheer exhaustion is what did it to me. Many individuals consider Warped Tour to be a staple of their youthful summers, and it’s wonderful that one can rely on something to be a consistent part of their experience growing up (as there is so little that one can foresee and rely on when you’re growing up). For these folks, it’s easy to see how they may feel old once they age out of the 13-19 age range that Warped founder Kevin Lyman aims at appealing to; they took every moment at the day-long festival as a wonderful part of growing up, and with each new band they’re unaware of that ends up on the main stage, it can be a little odd. Scary even. Not I’m-so-old-there-goes-my-hip type of scary, but scary that something so comforting and reliable seems to have completely changed at the drop of a pin.

So for many, it’s easy to see how the appearance of scrunk bands comes as an affront to what they’ve loved and understood Warped to be. Granted, Warped has always had a thing for including acts of all different genres and ideological backgrounds (Eminem anyone?), but this may be the first time that such hatred towards one specific act/sound is as directed as scrunk. Nu-metal had it’s bumps; so did the emo-pop wave. But scrunk bands seem to have appropriated the festival, at least in the eyes of some… because going from 0-60 in the span of a year is a sign of… well, something.

What’s so odd is seeing not the 19 or 20 year olds shocked, but the 16 year olds scared straight by the 13 year olds who fawn over Millionaires. They already seem nostalgic for a summer one year past, and that’s when you certainly can understand a kid for getting so angry at the appearance of brokeNCYDE.

I unfortunately (or fortunately? who knows) missed brokeNCYDE, but certainly made up for that by catching Millionaires, Breathe Carolina, and Attack Attack! of the scrunk stratosphere, as well as countless (literally, countless) acts that happened to be on whatever teeny stage when I swung around. Head to Bostonist soon for a full round up. Until then…

Scoop?

Well, I haven’t gotten out to Warped just yet, but even so, it seems that I got the jump on the New York Times with my piece on the whole scrunk thing for The Phoenix.

Ok, perhaps that’s a huuuuuge overstatement, but Jon Caramanica did notice the combination of electronics and screamo as sure as I did:

Each summer the Warped Tour traverses the country, surviving through big-tent optimism and style agnosticism. A few years ago it was selling emo, and after that, screamo. But 2009 will be remembered as the year the Warped Tour transmogrified into a rave.

Well that should certainly prove something to the kids commenting on my article on Jason Tate’s AbsolutePunk blog that I’m not the only one who can see an aesthetic realm where Attack Attack and brokeNCYDE coexist as peers.

Gonna check out Warped on Tuesday… I’ll be interested to see how Massachusetts kids react to bands like Millionaires, who (according to the Times article) got quite a trashing.

Also, I apologize for a bit of a lag on many writing fronts as of late (especially with America Is Just A Word). Summer has finally hit New England and I’ve taken to a bit of relaxation here and there. But, I shall continue onwards soon enough!

A Brief Scribe on Scrunk

The behind-the-scenes (or rather, behind-my-thoughts) on the Boston Phoenix piece I did on scrunk and Warped Tour is still to come, but consider this a little preview. A lots been said online since the piece went on the net about scrunk/crunkcore and its impact on Warped Tour, which isn’t to say that my article caused these comments (that would be a tall tale), but it’s certainly part of the ripple effect since the announcement that bands like brokeNCYDE and Millionaires.

I’ll discuss a chunk of that soon, but I think the most audacious claim is that the music of kids today is worse than yesterday. To hear “punks” say something like that is more than a bit odd and even counter-intuitive, making these folks appear no better than the old rock dinosaurs and their fans that helped spawn punk in the first place. Whatever you may think of Warped Tour, put that aside for the moment. True be it, the sheer number and impact of scrunk acts on the tour this year is more than noticeable, which is the reason I wrote the article in the first place. But, these bands are not a reflection of all of “kids today and their music,” or even Warped Tour for that matter. As of now, these bands currently fill a simple niche, that being a combination of being in the limelight, riding the tipping point of a trend in mainstream, teenaged alterna-rock, and yes, “controversy,” for whatever that word means nowadays in this context (I honestly think that, at this point, these bands words may be offensive and their music rather tasteless, but their actual existence is hardly controversial). And so, because of their infamy, many of these bands are highly regarded as the epitome of why music today sucks.

And to that, I call bullshit. Since the dawn of time when humans found rhythm, there were countless individuals who followed in the paths of those who could morph these sounds into art. And a lot of the followers created stuff that is hardly up to muster. I hardly know the history of music in humanity because I wasn’t alive at the dawn of time, but simply looking at recent musical history, how many shitty bands and musicians tried ripping off everyone from Robert Johnson, Bob Dylan, James Brown, Elvis, The Beatles, Ray Charles, The Sex Pistols, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Joy Division, Talking Heads, Prince, Metallica, Public Enemy, Fugazi, Nirvana, Liz Phair, Nine Inch Nails, The Fugees,Notorious BIG, Green Day, Moby, Ani DiFranco… hell, even any big-hit internet sensation today, far be it that they extend past their net-worth 15 minutes. Because for every Nirvana, you’ve got a Creed. And for every Creed, you’ve got a Nickelback. So to say that a band like brokeNCYDE shows why the music today sucks is not fair to brokeNCYDE (their music isn’t really deserving of that kind of responsibility) nor is it fair to youth or music fans. It’s a conceit that just pleases music fans who’ve decided to tune out on what is going on with people who are making music today and not make them feel bad for missing out, all the while claiming they were alive for the best music ever.

It’s all false.

If you want to talk Warped Tour, fine, let’s go ahead and do it. I’m particularly excited about Warped Tour this year because the more “fringe” acts may easily upstage those acts on the bigger stages. For the “punk is dead folks,” there are the NOFXs and Less Than Jakes to go around: those bands will never stop playing Warped, so please stop complaining about how Warped has “totally changed for the worse,” because the older acts are some of the highly considered groups on tour. 

But look elsewhere and you’ll find some really fantastic acts. Like P.O.S., who has really grown into his skin and rhymes to craft some of the best hip-hop in the past decade and puts on one hell of a show. Or Gallows, the UK hardcore band that took that country by storm for bringing passionate performance back to punk, on record and in concert. Hell, there’s even Shooter Jennings on tap this year, and his Southern country might be the most abrasive sound to a young “punk” on Warped. Considering punk is supposed to embrace anything that challenges the usual rock norms, the inclusion of these acts brings some heft and yes, cred, to Warped. And that’s just the tip of the iceburg.

So feel free and go ahead and bash the “music of today” for being shitty, but your scope will be fairly close-minded. True, I focused on a particularly insidious trend on Warped, but that’s because I was drawn to the “genre” and its mere existence to begin with and that inspired me to write the article. The idea to write a piece on the “non” “punk” acts would be a little odd simply because there’s a healthy dose of diverse genres and trends every year – hell, that’s what I look forward to catching if I check out Warped on a particular year. But the meteoric rise of scrunk really caught my eye/ear, and I felt it reflected a particular takeover of a chunk of Warped that hasn’t been experienced since the summer of 2004. The rest of it is merely a continuation of what Warped has excelled at: provide a mix of old and out-there acts among the trendy thing for 13-22 year olds.

Anyway, now I’m going into all sorts of odd directions and getting off the beaten path… I’ll be sure to cover some of this stuff a little more in due time.

In the meantime, below is the new video for the P.O.S. song “Purexed” (a highlight from his new album, Never Better), and a pdf of the scrunk article, which is in the Phoenix that hit newsstands a few hours ago. Enjoy.

P.O.S. – “Purexed”:

Scrunk Happens:

*Sorry it’s soo teeny, but I think you get the picture (as it were)

There Appears To Be An Event Happening

 

front page of the Boston Phoenix

front page of the Boston Phoenix online

So, the research I’ve pointed out in a few earlier blog entries has come to fruition in an article for The Boston Phoenix. On scrunk.

That’s right, the (un)holy matrimony between screamo and crunk as seen in brokeNCYDE, Millionaires, and various others. You can check out The Phoenix site for the article, or pick up the issue that will hit newsstands on Thursday.

I’ll be sure to give a proper, in-depth, behind the scenes look at the article for those really inquisitive individuals. But, right out the gate, I’d like to thank the following folks for the interviews I conducted for the article: Jessica Hopper, Jason Tate, Kevin Lyman, Mikl (of brokeNCYDE), and Melissa (of Millionaires). Each interview added an important perspective on scrunk/crunkcore/whatever name you want to toss at it, and I certainly enjoyed writing this thing.

So, if you’re curious about scrunk, head to The Phoenix and read on. And, if you’re so curious as to some of my thoughts while putting together the piece, stick around for a while and I’ll post another entry on it soon. In the meantime, I’ll tide you over with my newest scrunk find, Confide’s cover of The Postal Service’s “Such Great Heights” (via Videogum):

*Yes, and if you think the topic of my article is in bad taste, the title of this post is a direct quote from The Happening, another item widely-held as a cultural catastrophe. (I still can’t believe I watched it… now that was a happening)