Monday, January 30, 2012

This Thing of Ours: New York Hardcore Meets the 1990s

My parents drove me and BS to that first show, but we played it slick. We hopped out a few blocks away from the “new” Ritz—really the old Studio 54 several incarnations back. The decision to part ways well away from the venue was validated by the mugs on line, a plethora of ill grills so hard-boiled you could chip a tooth on them. It was late afternoon, a summer Saturday, July 14, 1990, I had never been to a real show, and didn’t even try to count an AC/DC stadium show months earlier (or Earth Day). We were better off without all those maniacs realizing we were hastily unscrewing our hardcore training wheels.
Uncharted territory: a rogues’ gallery of skins, scuzzy metalheads, and assorted hard rocks glared at our arrival, just as quickly dismissed us. Other young lads were sprinkled throughout the line, stone-faced inmates in a penitentiary chow line. One hoody Latin dude spoke up so we all could hear, “Daaaamn! Wussup with all the ninos here today?” Had we bitten off more than we could chew?
In the house: longhairs; a PR thug with a Triple Fat Goose jacket and gold fronts; hardscrabble white kids of all stripes, suburban jock types with baggier gear, white, black, latin, and Asian skins, shaved for battle. Plenty of latin metalheads. We felt more metal than hardcore then by a longshot, and their black-clad ranks provided a small but palpable sense of comfort. Otherwise, so many of the other show-goers looked hopelessly adult. Most were likely not much older than us, but who knew?
The bill that night was Mind Over Four, Repulsion (before they became known as Type O Negative), hometown heroes Prong and Leeway (who I immediately realized most of the NY hardcore and metal kids were there for), and headliners Flotsam & Jetsam. I was nonplussed by the insanity we faced, the sheer physicality of young men with something to prove. We hung back for much of the show, like shell-shocked UN peacekeepers told to observe but not interfere in the violent implosion of some despotic banana republic.
I remember little of Repulsion’s set, aside from the buzz of the knucklehead ranks when Pete Steele and co. busted out a Carnivore tune. It was unlikely that they were excited about Steele’s sly homage to Roman Polanski. From Prong’s set on, it was a crash course in survival, me and BS carving out a spot away from several whirlpools of mayhem, but always orbiting as close as humanly possible, taking it in. At one point, some duke flew right into me, Pearl Harbor-style, and before I knew it had grabbed onto the long-sleeve black button-up I was wearing, dragged me a few feet, ripping the shirt in the process, and disappeared into the crowd. BS noticed midway during this minor melee, and ran up to get my back, but we didn’t press the issue, fish out of water that we were. We saw the rat-faced culprit periodically at shows afterwards, dubbing him “Shirt Man.”
Fights started. The acrid stench of mace filled the back of the venue, a last-ditch insurance policy by someone to avert a rat-pack beatdown, you couldn’t blame them. Hard dancing, snapshots caught through a kaleidoscope of boots and braces, band tees, and athletic jumpsuits. We caught our first glimpse of what we later referred to as skinhead aerobics, buncha baldies floor-punching and thrusting out arms and legs like hammers, going off to Prong’s main anthem, “Beg to Differ.”
You had to be aware at all times, as if dodging gunfire or shrapnel, dukes winding up and charging across the pit to fly into the crowd, a little spin kick or fist thrown in (just to “Adobo the chicken,” as BS might say), steel-toe boots jerking out from the writhing crowd for maximum dome-cracking effect. My shirt in tatters, I was left with just a white Gap pocket T, while I believe BS had worn his Ride the Lightning. We were as ill-prepared in dressing for intimidation purposes as Brownie had been for Hurricane Katrina. Luckily, save for Shirt Man’s earlier hijinx, we kept a low-profile. Some of the longhair kids weren’t so lucky.
Leeway killed it, but I remember little of their set these days, while Flotsam & Jetsam I blank on entirely. We ran into some latin metal kids, from uptown and the Bronx. We’d met and chummed with a couple of them at the Eastside 4th of July fireworks display ten days before. BS had his boombox blasting Faith No More and Metallica that day, a thrasher magnet. We bantered a little with them outside on 54th street after the show, secretly thankful for the safety in numbers. It was a shifty scene outside, more so than on line earlier. In the ensuing years, I’ve mused about how the outside of shows always seemed like a pot about to boil over. Much of the crowd milling about was blitzed on booze, trees, who knows what else. More than a few were likely dusted the fuck out. We soon made a long trek down to crash out at BS’s Waterside digs, buzzing with convo about what we had just experienced. We were hooked.
It could be an intimidating world. The next show wasn’t a dancey affair—Danzig at Beacon Theater, with Warrior Soul and Soundgarden opening. But I remember seeing a group of blokes lurking outside, tattooed and almost demonic to my young eyes. I pieced together later that this was my first sighting of the Cro-Mags. You could tell instantly those guys didn’t fuck around, tough as nails. They exemplified an even grimier time in NYC history. We were seeing the tail end of it. Street fight city. Crack and Deceps. Bashing their way through the late 70’s as young teens, they’d survived through the ‘80s, hard-earned street scars in the midst of villains and creeps. But the turn of the ‘90s was no joke either—as JG might say, “The Dinkins Administration was a little somethin’.”
I had missed the CB’s Matinee epoch by a hair, though a lot of the same heads stuck around, had bands, still danced at shows. I dug many NYHC bands of the earlier era. Of the bands that came up before our fresh-faced initiation into the scene, a good handful of them still going strong in 1990, I’d say we latched onto the metallish and progressive ones more. With all due respect to the youth-crew movement, it wasn’t something that spoke to us as strongly, except for maybe Gorilla Biscuits, undeniable in their straight-ahead energy and songwriting.
We worshipped Sheer Terror, Leeway, and Sick of it All, though, and the almighty Cro-Mags, though they seemed on semi-permanent hiatus when we started hitting shows. Other scene stalwarts still inspire fond memories, like Breakdown and the Icemen. While tempered in later years by evolving musical standards, our tastes also embraced the flawed but balls-to-the-wall aggression of groups like Biohazard and Life of Agony. Lyrics like “take life by balls and squeeze until they crunch” seem laughable now, but you couldn’t deny their beats, or that Warriors sample.
But I had no true envy of the kids who came up a few years before us, because we were lucky to experience groups that helped pioneer hardcore’s various “post-“ incarnations, innovative yet still hard. Close friends formed groups, next-level shit that still brought that good ole dance-floor ultraviolence, many of their songs influenced by these same new jack hustlers of the time.
The holy trinity of our collective dedication was perhaps comprised of three bands: Burn, Quicksand, and Into Another. Other great groups (Supertouch, Leeway, and Rorschach come to mind) played out during this era, too, but these were really the three we saw most often. We absorbed their live shows with the fervor of Talmudic scholars. So many highlights come to mind. I recall the paranoiac first strains of Quicksand’s “Baphomet” (preceded by a Walter Schreifels shout-out to Corona) at CB’s, before Alan Cage’s monstrous drumming kicked in. The dirty-bluesy grooves of Burn, a band incredible in all its lineup changes, but sustained throughout by Chaka’s undeniable vocal chops and superhuman stage charisma, and by Gavin’s playing, arguably some of the best guitar-work by anyone from any era of hard music. That Alan Cage contributed to both Burn and Quicksand still boggles my fucking mind. Some of us joked occasionally that Into Another was “Dungeons & Dragons” hardcore, but I can’t think of a more original band that embraced extremes so effortlessly, a finely-crafted three-way collision of Sabbath/Rush slinkiness, metal vox dexterity, and touching balladry. People lifted lighters in the air for one song, and you had someone swinging a hammer during the next.
If we were of the middle or new school, then our CBGB’s was a little-known bar/club called the Bond St. Café. It crept into my life a couple of years after that first Ritz suarez. Some of us had entered college, others pursued music, but a respectable contingent was still hanging out downtown on the regular during weekends and breaks. Around that time, the scene was dead in the estimation of many of the more idealistic ‘80s rank-and-file, with perhaps only ABC No Rio having a distinct vibe that eschewed ties to the more violent NYHC strains of the time.
Bond St. was fed by several different streams, bands coming out of NYC high schools, stalwarts of the old LES scene, plus a vital injection of Long Island HxC bands, plus NJ and CT, whose contribution I can scarcely front on. Shows were five bucks, set times were strictly enforced by a bored, dismissive sound guy, and aging rockers manned the door (anyone remember “Black Howard Stern?”). Bond St. served simultaneously as weekend hangout, dating pool, and creative outlet.
Out in L.I., places like the Angle, and later the PWAC, were the Nassau and Suffolk outposts of a similar, burgeoning movement, as much entwined with the sizeable L.I. contribution to the ‘80s old-school as we were to that of the 5 boros. Some of the finest bands of the era, like Neglect and Mind Over Matter, hailed from Strong Island. It was a huge hair weave; it mattered less and less to us where one left off and the other began. Few had hang-ups about geography, and splitting hairs over old-, middle-, and new-school shit soon faded like an old ticket stub in the wash cycle.
Hardcore kids—what a mixed-up bunch: angry, creative, at times self-destructive. City kids, others from the hardcore orbits of the Tri-State area, assorted straight-edgers and vegans from points distant—guys and gals from all walks of life, really. It’s funny entering a scene. Everyone’s a character in a movie. Everybody’s a comedian. You’d have whole conversations quoting some bananas statement overheard at the last hang. We collected the oversized pseudo-celebrity reps of scene mainstays like baseball cards. Laying low at the beginning, we analyzed dancing styles, stealing and innovating our own. We realized that the best dancers seemed the people with the least to prove. They wrecked shit in good spirits, not so much out of rage, but that, too, exhibiting styles upon styles. Most of the time, the bloody nose was worth the story.
Those early years, you wanted to prove yourself without sucking up. Ease in, earn your stripes. HxC was the bastard child of nepotism and meritocracy. At both its best and worst, it was equal doses of who you knew, but also how you comported yourself. Respect the old-schoolers, but don’t be a naïve follower. You’d entered a proving ground of N.Y. originals, with any manner of the darkest human impulses available to those coming of age: conforming to non-conformity, embrace of pseudo-fascist tendencies, gang mentality, militant straight-edge dogma, blind military mindsets, smug insider elitism. The scariest characters were like human totem poles, almost beyond good or evil—simply forces of nature.
Within our own set of close friends we’d always go to shows with, Stuy Heads and later with agents from all over NYC high schools, we began to observe unique (but useful and calming) rituals. We made up songs comical to us only, little anthemic in-joke group numbers, like a deranged but clever barbershop quartet. We had names for everyone, indecipherable to outsiders. In myriad ways, we constructed the organic architecture of friendships. If we drove to hard shows, we’d only listen to hip-hop or shit like Zep, Sabbath—never really hardcore. Our crew seemed to subsist on a strict diet of General Tso’s from Bleecker Street, Munchie Burgers on St. Mark’s, sandwiches from DiBella’s, Bagel Buffet, and “Nasties,” truly vile, gigantic concoctions of every carbonated beverage available at Store 24’s soda dispensers. Caballo Loco for the alkies, Tropical Fantasy for the straights. We adhered to self-generated superstitions, making sure not to break the 24-hour rule.
The scene meant meeting people from all over, and having a place to crash in nearly any city imaginable. If you were a musician, you tried to play, and playing points distant was intoxicating, getting there half the fun. Friends came along as roadies, merch sellers, or just for shits and giggles, if there were empty spots in the whip.
The mass adoption of the Internets, YouTube, and online music exchange was years away. Maybe you copied VHS tapes of bands playing out, traded beat-up cassettes of soundboard recordings. Kids mailed or sold you ‘zines, brought up bands via word of mouth. You inherited vinyl and tapes from salty scene-veteran friends and siblings.
I remember the day that Leeway’s long-anticipated (and long-delayed) Desperate Measures album came out, the way we called each other in the evening to see who had scored a copy. It was an enthusiasm you can scarcely generate from an Mp3 link. Tower Records and Bleecker Bob’s were our first stomping grounds for tunes, and we were soon to move on to Venus, Generation Records, and Reconstruction, the volunteer spot run by a few ‘zine and label owners.
The bands, the ‘zines, the fans, and the love of the music were the life’s blood. Elbow-greased dedication, resourcefulness, and a nationwide and international community were the sinews and tendons of the scene, even as the idealized vision of a united movement had splintered into various strains by early ‘90s: things got more metal, more hip-hop, sometimes crossing over between the two. Math rock, political punk, DC-style emo, and other grimier, more underground offshoots grew apart from formulaic mosh anthems. Many fans adopted the crew mentality, always present since the birth of the music from its hardscrabble roots in DC, NY, LA, Boston, and elsewhere. The attitude and sensibility of hip-hop had inspired groups like Absolution, Burn, Biohazard, Leeway, and their imitators; many of the latter blew up, while the originators of exciting hardcore- and metal-influenced hybrids fell by the wayside. Sometimes you can be at the right place at the wrong time.
Independent labels and acts grew bigger. The majors smelled money; they came a-knockin’, the Big Bad Wolf. “Grunge” was the suckerpunch that hit the major labels. Almost overnight, major-label poseur metal had sputtered out like an empty hairspray can. Studio execs geared up to break the next big thing, investing their hopes with A&R kids with scene cred. Innovative hardcore offshoots like Quicksand, Into Another, and Orange 9mm were courted by the industry. Many bands languished with boutique labels hastily set up by the majors. For Corporate America, hardcore and punk were just cash cows, part of the MTV-fueled “mallternative” nation. For the full story, check out the following Steve Albini piece lifted from Maximum Rock'n'Roll by Negativland (http://www.negativland.com/albini.html).
A few groups played it shrewdly on growing independents, and benefited with unusual longevity. Think Sick of it All, Bouncing Souls, and Rancid, among others. Punk outfits did better, arguably, though many faced their own obstacles. Over time, diluted hardcore, metal, alternative, and hip-hop were the tributaries that fed that sad, late-‘90s offshoot, “Nu-metal.”
I wasn’t in a band caught up in the bloodsucking carousel of the music industry, and thus happily oblivious to hardcore’s protracted decline. We knew that the scene was dead or dying about as well as someone feels their hair or toenails growing, even if the curtain was pulled back often enough to see the plain truth. Balancing my life between the cozy-creepy environs of SUNY Stony Brook on L.I. and weekends and vacations at home, this was also the time of exploring the LES, and its bar scene. But it was also the era we were exposed to punk and hardcore kids immersed in Veganism, straight edge, Krsna consciousness, Riot Grrl, and much more.
The accoutrements of style, that common vernacular, and the artifacts of the culture seemed inseparable from the music: Carharrts, messenger bags, sneakers, Docs, hoodies, wallet chains, tattoos, bead chokers, mad patches, stickers, demo tapes, oversize gear, overalls, ‘zines up the yin-yang.
DIY was in full swing. Kids learned shit they would carry with them through the music scene and beyond. Artwork in ‘zines, LPs and 7-inches, emblazoned on t-shirts and flyers were where a multitude of graphic artists first cut their teeth. Scenester shutterbugs, videographers, and writers honed their talents, moving on to magazines, movies, TV, punk-rock infiltrators. Skills born of booking shows, promoting bands, starting labels, issuing records, doing up merch, and a host of other activities launched countless snot-nose punk neophytes into adult livelihoods, whether they entered the corporate world or elevated their indie hobbies into full-fledged enterprises. Many of the musicians of the era—really the heart and soul of the whole thing—parlayed their talents into real careers, while many more amazing ones still play for pleasure, which might be that scene’s most worthwhile legacy. I’d venture that for most of us, it was rarely about the money. There was little of it to go around, anyway.
Scene cred is a currency still worth its weight in gold, though; in a city notorious for its fickleness, which might sometimes appear as though it’s free-falling into a douchebag abyss, recognition still gets you guest list spots and free drinks, even if you don’t leverage these nearly as much as you used to. Friendships forged during hectic sets, fights, hangouts outside CB’s, or talking late into the night at Waverly Diner are still going strong.
Much of it’s gone now, of course. I just read that Bleecker Bob’s is destined to be a Starbucks, and I’ve even crossed the Bowery to avoid looking into the former CB’s (a low-down dirty shame). But few of us look back with the resentment of Henry Hill bemoaning his proverbial egg noodles and ketchup. We made friends from everywhere, and would be spiritually poorer without those times to draw upon.
The physical proof remains stored in thousands of closets throughout the Tri-State area and beyond. Grainy VHS memories uploaded to YouTube, photo scans shared via Facebook, stack of fanzines excavated from dusty basement crates, the occasional reunion show some of us get around to attending—all these offer periodic flashbacks to youthful angst on overdrive, and the fashions of the times. The archives, both online and in one’s own possession, are pleasant to troll through on a slow night. Part of me can’t help but wish that some of those XXL tees actually fit me now. Some of them still look dope. But maybe it’s for the best. I still got the Born to Expire Shirt.
Plus I found this list—sadly nowhere-near complete—which I hope you’ll appreciate in a memory-lane sorta way. Enjoy, y’all.


1. Flotsam and Jetsam/Leeway/Prong/Repulsion/Mind Over Four
The Ritz, Saturday, July 14, 1990.

2. Danzig/Soundgarden/Warrior Soul
The Beacon Theatre, Friday, August 20, 1990

3. Suicidal Tendencies/Exodus/Pantera
The Ritz, Saturday, Sept. 8, 1990

4. Suicidal Tendencies/Leeway/White Zombie
L’amour, Friday, November 16, 1990

5. Repulsion/Vision Purple/Non-Fiction/etc.
L’amour, Friday, December 21, 1990

6. “Superbowl of Hardcore IV”
Agnostic Front/Gorilla Biscuits/Sick of it All/Rest in Pieces/
Antidote/Supertouch/Vision/SFA/Show of Force/Fit of Anger
The Ritz, Saturday, January 19, 1991

7. Killing Joke/Front Line Assembly
The Ritz, Saturday, February 9, 1991

8. Lemonheads/Blake Babies/Dharma Bums/Squalor
CBGB, Saturday, March 16, 1991

9. “Amnesty International Benefit IV”
Boogie Down Productions/Sick of it All/Rest in Pieces/Engine/Burn
The Marquee, Friday, March 29, 1991

10. Fugazi/etc.
Columbia University, Saturday, April 20, 1991

11. “The Last Thrash Bash”
Cro-Mags/Biohazard/Leeway/Type O Negative/White Zombie/Nonfiction/Metalstorm
L’amour, Friday, May 2, 1991

12. Fishbone/Bytches with Problems
The Academy, Friday, June 14, 1991

13. Sick of it All/Vision/Burn/Eye for an Eye/Merauder
The Marquee, Friday, June 21, 1991

14. Coffin Break/Crawlpappy/Thinking Fellers Union Local 182/Fish & Roses
CBGB, Tuesday, July 2, 1991

15. Leeway/Breakdown/The Icemen/Merauder/Enrage
The Cabaret, Saturday, August 31, 1991

16. 7 Seconds/Quicksand/Crawlpappy/Black Train Jack
CBGB, Friday, September 6, 1991

17. Prong/Type O Negative/Enrage/Malcolm’s Lost/Force of Habit
The Red Spot (Staten Island), Saturday, September 28, 1991

18. The Exploited/Biohazard/Type O Negative/Life of Agony
The Ritz, Saturday, October 5, 1991

19. Skinnerbox/Bigger Thomas
New Frontier (TGIF), Friday, November 1, 1991

20. Leeway/Mucky Pup/Noise Culture/Merauder
OnStage (Staten Island), November 22, 1991

21. Sheer Terror/etc.
The Continental, Friday, November 29, 1991

22. Eye for an Eye/Greyhouse/1.6 Band
ABC No Rio, Saturday, December 21, 1991

23. “Superbowl of Hardcore V”
Sick of it All/Vision/Sheer Terror/Burn/The Icemen/Breakdown/Merauder/Mentally Dumb/The Mob/Disciplinary Action/Black Train Jack/Subzero
The Ritz, Saturday, January 25, 1992

24. Quicksand/Black Train Jack/Insurgence
CBGB, Saturday, February 1, 1992

25. “Amnesty International Benefit”
32 Tribes/Polyfuse/Shift
United Nations International School (UNIS), Friday, February 7, 1992

26. Gorilla Biscuits/Supertouch/Merauder/Worlds Collide
The Marquee, Friday, February 21, 1992

27. Tempest/Shift/After-Dinner Mints
The Red Spot (Staten Island), Thursday, March 6, 1992

28. Breakdown/Sheer Terror/Yuppicide/SFA/Mind Over Matter/Neglect/Fountainhead/Putdown
Hammer-Hedz, L.I., Sunday, March 22, 1992

29. Leeway/Mucky Pup/Icemen/Life of Agony
The Marquee, Saturday, March 28, 1992

30. Supertouch/Funky-El/Mouthpiece/Four Walls Falling
Middlesex County Community College, Sunday, April 4, 1992

31. Quicksand/32 Tribes/Black Train Jack
The Wetlands, Sunday, April 26, 1992

32. Sheer Terror/Rorschach/Hell No
The Wetlands, Sunday, May 10, 1992

33. “Amnesty International Benefit”
The Toasters/Industry/Tempest/Shift
The Marquee, Sunday, May 17, 1992

34. Lunachicks/Lungfish/Deviators
CBGB, Saturday, May 23, 1992

35. Worlds Collide/Naked Angels/Another Wall
The Right Track Inn, Freeport, L.I., Saturday, May 30, 1992

36. Black Train Jack/Bouncing Souls/Iron Prostate
Space2B, Saturday, June 13, 1992

37. Lunachicks/Into Another/Iceburn
The Continental, Friday, June 19, 1992

38. Biohazard/I4NI/Merauder
L’amour, Saturday, June 27, 1992

39. Into Another/American Standard/Black Train Jack
The Wetlands, Sunday, July 5, 1992

40. Black Train Jack/etc.
The Continental, Tuesday, July 7, 1992

41. Shift/etc.
Under-Acme, Saturday, July 10, 1992

42. Mind Over Matter/Mild Psychosis/Small Am I/13 Stitches
Bond St. Café, Thursday, July 22, 1992

43. Shift/Bushmon/Black Medicine
The Pyramid, Monday, August 3, 1992

44. Into Another/Black Train Jack
The Continental, Wednesday, August 5, 1992

45. Force of Habit/etc.
CBGB, Sunday, August 16, 1992

46. Helmet/Quicksand/Crawlpappy
The Marquee, Friday, August 21, 1992

47. BURN
The Pyramid, Friday, August 28, 1992

48. Cherokee Sex Workshop/All About Chad/Shift
The Marquee, Saturday, Sunday, August 30, 1992

49. False Prophets/Black Train Jack
The Pyramid, Friday, September 4, 1992

50. Biohazard/Burn/The Icemen/Dead Earth
The Marquee, Friday, September 11, 1992

51. Shift/Berzerkers/Mind’s Eye
The Angle, Mineola, L.I., Saturday, September 26, 1992

52. Mind Over Matter/etc.
The Continental, Tuesday, September 29, 1992

53. Shift/Neglect/Fear of Life/Blindside/DNME/Noxious Breed
Bond St. Café, Sunday, October 11, 1992

54. Into Another/Rain Like the Sound of Trains/Big Hat
The Wetlands, Sunday, October 18, 1992

55. Supertouch/Shift/Another Wall/Mind Eraser
The Tilt, Friday, October 23, 1992

56. Fear of Life/Phallacy/etc.
Underworld, Sunday, November 8, 1992

57. Burn/Another Wall/Shift
The Tune-Inn, New Haven, CT, Sunday, November 15, 1992

58. Black Train Jack/Outcrowd/The Radicts
The Wetlands, Sunday, December 6, 1992

59. Dog Eat Dog/etc.
Bond St. Café, Saturday, December 12, 1992

60. Filth’n’Fury/Shift/99 Sense/John Dere/Subterranean Groove
Bond St. Café, Saturday, December 19, 1992

61. Black Train Jack/etc.
The Continental, Tuesday, December 29, 1992

62. Supertouch/Shift/Silent Majority
The Angle, Mineola, L.I., Saturday, January 23, 1993

63. Quicksand/Bad Trip/Yuppicide/Mind Over Matter/Shift
The Wetlands, Sunday, January 24, 1993

64. Dog Eat Dog/Fear of Life/etc.
Bond St. Café, Friday, January 29, 1993

65. Yuppicide/etc.
The Pyramid, Friday, February 5, 1993

66. Shift/etc.
New Music Café, Saturday, February 6, 1993

67. Into Another/Crawlpappy/etc.
The Continental, Saturday, February 6, 1993

68. 32 Tribes/7th Sense/Shift/13 Stitches
United Nations International School, Friday, February 19, 1993

69. Madball/Mudfoot/G.O.S./Origins/Standoff
NYU/Loeb Student Center, Saturday, March 6, 1993

70. Black Train Jack/etc.
The Continental, Friday, March 12, 1993

71. Fear of Life/Blindside/etc.
The Underworld, Saturday, March 20, 1993

72. Black Train Jack/Affirmative Action/Factory/1.6 Band/Born Against/Holeshot
Under-Acme, Saturday, March 20, 1993

73. Fear of Life/Emanon/etc.
Bond St. Café, Saturday, March 27, 1993

74. Into Another/Deviators/The Radicts
NYU Loeb Student Center, Thursday, April 1, 1993

75. Mind Over Matter/Fountainhead/Blindside/Standoff
Bond St. Café, Friday, April 2, 1993

76. Quicksand/Surgery/Therapy?
The Academy, Saturday, April 3, 1993

[Herein, the list trails off for a few months due to poor recordkeeping, and not due to involuntary internment in Creedmore, prison, or foreign exile…]


+Addendum (thanks, Wenderoff/Scurti)
76"a". Shelter/Mouthpiece/108/Bad Trip/Engine
The Bank, Saturday, June 19, 1993

77. Lincoln/Wheelchair/etc.
ABC No Rio, Friday, June 25, 1993

78. Yuppicide/Stompbox/Shift/13 Stitches/Blindside/Standoff/Origins
Bond St. Café, Friday, July 2, 1993

79. Shift/Dog Eat Dog/Fear of Life/Without a Cause (?)/etc.
The Wetlands, Sunday, July 18, 1993

80. Noise Culture
The Continental, July?, 1993

81. Struggle Within/The Human Offense/etc.
Bond St. Café, July ?, 1993

82. 25 Ta Life/Cold as Life/Neglect/etc.
Bond St. Café, Friday, July 30, 1993

83. Lifetime/Bouncing Souls/Phallacy/Force of Habit/Kurbjaw
The Rock Palace, Staten Island, Saturday, July 31, 1993

84. 32 Tribes/Song of Seven/Standoff
Underworld, Date??

85. Leeway/Mucky Pup/etc.
The Limelight, Date??

86. Lunachicks/Dog Eat Dog/etc.
The Limelight, Date?? [Same show as Leeway?}

87. Bad Trip/Mind Over Matter/Garden Variety/Standoff/etc.
Bond St. Café, Friday, August 6, 1993

88. Into Another/Shift/Outcrowd/Standoff/Alloy
CBGB, Saturday, August 7, 1993

89. Clutch/Bad Trip/Opposition/Next Step Up
The Wetlands, Sunday, August 15, 1993

90. Yuppicide/Into Another/Franike & the SoulSonic Eggrolls
Nell’s, Wednesday, August 18, 1993

91. Outcrowd/Dog Eat Dog/Noise Culture
The Continental, Thursday, August 19, 1993

92. Science Diet
UnderAcme, Friday, August 20, 1993

93. Lunachicks/Yuppicide/Bad Trip/Standoff/Follow the Leader
Bond St. Café, Friday, August 27, 1993

94. Into Another/Iceburn/Avail/Shift
The Wetlands, Sunday, September 5, 1993

95. Superchunk/Garden Variety
Pratt Institute, Tuesday, September 14, 1993

96. Shift/Mind Over Matter/Standoff/Wheelchair/Struggle Within
Bond St. Café, Saturday, September 18, 1993

97. Yuppicide/Bad Trip/SFA/Mind Over Matter/Neglect
CBGB, Sunday, September 26, 1993

98. Halfman/Hell No/Mind Over Matter/Shift
Outer Limits Gallery, Franklin Sq., L.I., Saturday, October 2, 1993

99. Endpoint/Dive/Shift/Faultline
490 Club, Fitchburg, MA, Friday, October 15, 1993

100. 1.6 Band/108/LoyaltoNone/Sorry Excuse
Outer Limits Gallery, Franklin Sq., L.I., Saturday, October 16, 1993

101. Bad Trip/Opposition/etc.
The Continental, Thursday, October 28, 1993

102. Rejuvenate/Oxblood/Subzero/Blindside
The Gas Station/Space2B, Saturday, October 30, 1993

103. Orange 9mm/New School/etc.
Bond St. Café, Saturday, November 6, 1993

104. Lifetime/Garden Variety/Medicine Man/Phallacy
Outer Limits Gallery, Sunday, November 7, 1993

105. Fudge Tunnel/Black Train Jack/J Church
CBGB, Saturday, November 13, 1993

106. Avail/Die 116/Shift/Opposition
CBGB, Sunday, November 14, 1993

107. Ressurection/Phallacy/Trees Without Leaves
Reconstruction Records, Date???, November 1993.

108. Ashes/Lifetime/Die 116/Shift/Grip/Nevertheless
The Middle East, Boston, Saturday, November 20, 1993

109. Emanon/Out of Line/Brutal Day/etc.
Bond St. Café, Saturday, December 4, 1993

110. Quicksand/Black Train Jack/Sabrosa/Shift/Stompbox
CBGB, Wednesday, December 22, 1993

111. Murphy’s Law/Madball/Standoff/Roguish Armament/Rezin
The Wetlands, Sunday, December 26, 1993

112. Shelter/Prema/Without a Cause/Out of Line
The Wetlands, Sunday, January 2, 1994

113. Earth Crisis/Snapcase/Phallacy
ABC No Rio, Tuesday, January 4, 1994

114. Into Another/Rain Like the Sound of Trains/Weeds of Eden
The Wetlands, Sunday, January 16, 1994

115. Halfman/Policy of Three/etc.
ABC No Rio, Saturday, January 29, 1994

116. Yuppicide/Bouncing Souls/Standoff/Solace
The Wetlands, Sunday, February 6, 1994

117. Endpoint/Mouthpiece/Shift/Greyhouse/Eleven 11
The Wetlands, Sunday, February 13, 1994

118. Quicksand/Seaweed/Orange 9mm
Irving Plaza, Saturday, February 26, 1994

119. Sick of it All/Shift/Strength 691/etc.
The Wetlands, Sunday, March 6, 1994

120. Pennywise/Offspring/etc.
CBGB, Saturday, March 12, 1994

121. Yuppicide/Shift/Home/Surrounded
Bond St. Café, Saturday, March 19, 1994

122. Killing Time/Vision/108/Bulldoze/Shift
Studio 1, Newark, NJ, Friday, March 25, 1994

123. The Queers/Bouncing Souls/Bugout Society
The Continental, Monday, March 28, 1994

124. Battle Cry/Halfman/Standoff
Ray’s Basement, Brentwood, L.I., Wednesday, March 30, 1994

125. Mind Over Matter/Alloy/Outcrowd/Gearhead
The Continental, Saturday, April 2, 1994

126. Mind Over Matter/Vision of Disorder/Big Sniff/Silent Majority/Crawlspace
The Spotlight, Lindenhurst, L.I., Friday, April 8, 1994

127. Citizen Fish/Spitboy/etc.
ABC No Rio, Sunday, April 10, 1994

128. Into Another/108/Weeds of Eden
CBGB, Saturday, April 16, 1994

129. Split Lip/Shift/Ressurection/Backlash/Starbelly
The Wetlands, Sunday, April 24, 1994

130. Outcrowd/Black Train Jack/etc.
Maxwell’s, Hoboken, NJ, Thursday, May 19, 1994

131. Youth Brigade/Integrity/Lagwagon/Lifetime/Bouncing Souls/Sticks&Stones/Deadguy/etc.
Middlesex County Community College, Saturday, May 21, 1994

132. Orange 9mm/Shift/etc.
Bond St. Café, Saturday, May 28, 1994

133. Die 116/Standoff/Struggle Within/Section 8
Bond St. Café, Friday, June 3, 1994

134. Avail/Garden Variety/Bouncing Souls/Etc.
The Grand, Saturday, June 4, 1994

135. Into Another/Yuppicide/Standoff
The Wetlands, Sunday, June 12, 1994

136. Shelter/108/Deadguy
The Grand, Friday, June 17, 1994

137. Leeway/Black Train Jack/Samiam/Garden Variety/The Toadies/etc.
The Wetlands, Wednesday, July 20, 1994

138. Die 116/Thorn/Holy Rollers
CBGB, Tuesday, August 2, 1994

139. Leeway/Cro-Mags/Murphy’s Law/Yuppicide/Die 116/Dog Eat Dog/etc.
The Wetlands, Sunday, August 14, 1994

140. Into Another/Shift/Hogan’s Heroes.
City Gardens, Trenton, NJ, Sunday, September 11, 1994

141. Quicksand/Orange 9mm
Columbia University Wollman Auditorium, Saturday, September 17, 1994

…and many more, but here the list cuts off again. I have some misgivings about some of the archives (did Leeway really play with Samiam?), and some of the dates may be off by a day or so, but I tried to quality-control the shit outta most of ‘em.

In a half-assed chronological order of appearance, “Frozen Metal Thanks” for da Memories to:

POH Crew, The Agency, The Triumvirate, R.I.P. (“Driftin’ and Dreamin’”), Brando Simpso (“Who am I? The Kingpin! Alright, then…”), Rob the Goompus, Orlando Psaltman, Manny Moonboy, Josh/El Tiburon, Omar (Astoria Posse of One), Jonny Kaye, Josh Loucka, Lex “Siva, Lord of Ignorance,” (“If you don’t dance, you don’t count!”), Jen Satenstein, Selenster/Selena Leong-Wilder (“Crahs of our Lives…”), Teresa, Joe Galatioto, Mike G, Kenny Madrigal, Dave Arce, Ida, Keren Z, Andrea, Samantha Maloney, Mark Holcomb, Adriana Vladuca, Kevin Egan, Alexis Thomson, Davide ("EVERYDAY is Davide!"), Gianluca Montalti, Justin Asher, Julian Vasquez, Jason Vasquez, Eric Rumpshaker, Josh Wildman, Mike Baktamian, Mike from Bx Science, Veronika, Benny, Derek, Sherief Makhail, Alex Aegistopolous, Pete Tien, Wendy Lame, Al Liao, Franz, Jay, and Brownwrapper Brian, Mark GAZE, John Frangos, (“From now on, strictly the highest of tech”), Ezra Martin, Korean Mike, Ian Richer, Alli Farber, Nicole and Danielle Bercovici, Michelle Weiner, Ali Raleigh, Danielle Cheriff, Justine Delaney, Simone Mangano, Jessica Sanford, Jaime Mitchell, Kate Magale, Punk Rock Andrew, Jackie, Antoinette, Andrea, Jason Lehroff, Todd Hamilton, Lenny, Dave Barron, Sean Kelly, Pete Mouthpiece, Ryan Bushmon, Cairo, Hamster, Rubin Millstein, Ziggy, Ethan Minsker, Eric Rice, Jesse “Colt Seever” Fischler, Angel Rivera, Skinhead Sarah, Shane Vetter, Dim Roc, Jolene Carbone, Marlene, Lesley Arfin, Artie Phillie, Pete Ciccotto, Jeff, Troy “Tromar/Universal”, Adam Marino, Andre Abramowitz, Maurice, Ed Hush, Arty Sheperd, Justin Scurti, E-rock Svirida, Schneider, Chisholm, Steve De Palo, Coogan, John Mahken, Steve Driscoll, Gideon Brown, Phil Rigaud ("The Black Bruce Jenner"), Tyler King, Josh Swank, Damian Nesbitt, Christian Rama, Tim, Nash, Nagin, Mizuo Peck, Lisa Foley, Ruben, Brad Farrell, Mel, Elliott Reyes, Jeannie Oliver, Danielle Rial, Raphael, James "Razzle" Spooner, Both, Vera Miao, Agnes, Agnes, and Tara O, Chris Davidson, Little Nicole, Danielle and Bayside Posse ("The Enemy Stoop"), Kung-Fu Lou, Carlos, Vegan Vince, Kate Edge, Boston Maria, Kim, Ilsa, Marissa, Suzanne, Antonio Ballatore, Z-Bar, No-Tell Motel, and Babyland, Bar 82, Rufus McGee, Vinny Da Whale, Shift, Stillsuit, Standoff NYHC, The Jiant, Bryan, Dave, and Blindside, Brutal Day, The Last Crime, Mind Over Matter, Bad Trip, Halfman, Scapegrace, Silent Majority, LoyaltoNone, Tempest, Chaka, Gavin, and Burn, Die 116, Deadguy, Keith Huckins, Jesse Jones, George Steen, and Yuppicide crew, Orange9mm, Chris Traynor, Shannon Traynor, Vin and Tom Force of Habit, Mark Ryan and Supertouch, Into Another, 13 Stitches, Java, Bushmon, The Slackers, Fear of Life, Struggle Within, Out of Line, Chris Daly, Scott Winegard, Glenn, Billy K, and Fountainhead, Meaty Mike, General Tso’s Skins, and Country Club Crew (CCC) (“Surf’s up, bro!”), and Joe McKee (R.I.P).


And, below, a number anyone can appreciate for its title, at least. I don't think it's about people linking arms to maul down people in a venue during the breakdown.


Peace; Be Safe.

11 comments:

  1. wow - i started a couple years earlier than you but you really hit it on the head for quite a bit of the time i was at shows. Not the same but reading it and the show list I'm like "I could easily know this guy" so many of the same places at the same time...

    Great writing...

    JC

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    1. Thanks, JC, and who knows, it's very possible we ran in some of the same circles. NYC people from that era all know each other, which is pretty amazing, even without going to shows. I must have edited the thank-yous at the end about 15 times since I put this up last night. I'd have a flash of "Oh yeah! How could I have forgotten ________? We used to chill hard." Thanks again for checking it out.

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  3. Phil,
    This is good writing. Thanks for the memorie
    -Brownwrappers, Tempest

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  4. I've scoured your incredible list and my fuzzy memories twice. So much is familiar but, unlike you, my show history is a blur of bands and clubs, so it's hard for me to know for sure. Some of the specific shows I remember unfortunately exist in a parallel universe, e.g. Lunachicks at CB's, White Zombie at the Marquee, Into Another at L'Amour, Warrior Soul at the Cabaret, Fugazi at the Ritz.

    I was at #5. Or is it possible that they played L'Amour as Repulsion twice?

    PS: I love that the Lemonheads make an appearance on your list. Oh hai!

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  5. a lot of good times there. i was the Bass player in BlindsidE and booked alot of the Bond St. shows.

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  6. hey who are you? who made this page?

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  7. @VL: Yes, we weren't particular about what kind of shows; I wish I'd actually hit way more non-hardcore jams. As for Repulsion, I'd say we hit about 1/5 the L'Amour shows we could have, and they had to have played a few times under that name. It was a friggin' mission any given weekend to get there. I also dug the Cabaret; where was it? Was it near L'amours?

    @Bryan...This is Phil, Joe's boy, and part of the Shift/Stillsuit contingent. What up.

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  8. No recollection of where Cabaret was located, but I'm remembering that it was on the 2nd floor, on or near a corner. We only went begrudgingly a couple of time when L'Amour was undergoing one of its melodramatic closures, and I don't remember much about it.

    Per the Repulsion show, the lineup sounds right, but I feel like I saw them in August/September or thereabouts. In any case, I hope you've got more memories to write down for your humble audience, because this has been most interesting.

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  9. Thanks homey. Got a nostalgic tear in my eye after reading this one. That Suicidal/Exodus/Pantera show at The Ritz was the first club show for this dirtbag metal kid. Not sure exactly when we met. I wish I could remember the first time you punched me.

    Andre

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  10. I LOVED reading this! I remember so many of these shows so vividly (pre 92 mainly) and played in some of them myself! Thanks for the memories.
    Eli (I was in 13 stitches haha)

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