Saturday, January 22, 2005

zao, scene kids, and the queen of scene chicks

tonight i went to a metal show. it's not really my cup of tea, but one of the bands playing, fear before the march of flames, played with my band a year ago and i thought it'd be cool to support them. also, the headlining band, zao, is legendary, and i decided i couldn't pass up a chance to see them. so i went. it was fun. zao really is amazing, and fear played really well too. the other two bands were okay, but it would be true to say that between my bandmates and krispin my appreciation for metal has been developed into a (gasp) affection. so there's that.

the bands were pretty good, but one part of the show that i didn't enjoy was the abundance of scene kids. emo haircuts, tight jeans, look identical to everyone's the same as being in abercrombie and fitch, only the look is different. (and it's really not that different). needless to say, i was very annoyed by them all. but there was one phenomenon that made being around them worthwhile...

at a lot of rock shows there is some sort of pit. it's either for moshing, or for kicking/punching/elbowing/flailing. the latter option is what they do at metal shows. during the zao set this pit was even bigger, so that more people could be acting out the culture's currrent version of fight club. at one point a girl i had seen earlier, probably about my age, walked into the middle of the pit. she just stood there. this is not proper ettiqette. i kept waiting for someone to ram into her. but no one did. she owned the whole crowd. certainly she was attractive: bobbed bleach-blonde hair, vest, and a beautiful face. but it was still amazing to see the scene kids bend to her whim. it got better when one of the biggest guys at the show decided to stand back to back with her--as she is watching the band--to make sure no one blindsides her. unreal. so that happened, and i thought you all should know about it.

and once again, zao really does rock.


Krispin Mayfield said...

C'mon Josh, tell us something we don't already know. Heh heh. Zao is amazing. Glad you enjoyed it.

Scene ettiquet is an amazing thing. I'm the anti-mosh, pro-hardcore dancing kid who thinks that a major portion of the time should be spent watching the band (and that crowd surfing kids who hit you in the back of the neck while you're watching should be punched). Wow, that's sickening to here. Even more so that I take pride in it. But at the same time it's fun to let it be "your place," selfish I know. But what you say of this girl, politics are an even stranger thing to observe, who gets treated which way and not. I've seen a kid complain about my friend (Laura Lenker's boyfriend) clearing the floor at a show.

"What the ' do you think you're doing?"
"Clearing the floor, this is a hardcore show, dude."
The kid looked at his girlfriend, who nodded "yeah, it is."
He backed off sheepishly.

At the Young Blood's Tour we all watched as a kid who started dancing was socked in the head for it, and not a finger, nor voice was raised. All sorts of actions and responses: pushing, yelling, punching and backing off.

And you sound like Sir George, a mexican man who now does the new at, but used to write for hopehardcore. He wrote some great articles about faith, music, and especially the scene. Once was a polite, rational rant on the overuse of X's in everyone'e screen name, blog, band and email adress. (I suppose half the scene exists online.) He also wrote an article about when he was at a show and looked around and came to a sudden realization that the entire crowd wore a sort of unnofficial uniform.

I've known the fadness of scene attire for quite a while. And we truly aren't unlike A&F kids. Of course, I can easily get away with 'originality' in Roseburg because the only people who dress in tight jeans are the out-of-town bands, which generally just gives me scene points. (Note 'scene points' I may bring it up again later.) Even at Beaverton it's only Cute Emo Kid (aka Michael Campbell) and I that represent throughout the halls of our 2,000-student school. But going to shows, I just slip in.

But I wonder whether that's what I want, and for what motivations I do it for. There's a plethera of them (as there is for most actions.) There's a group of us who know that we feel a certain legit affection for our obscure band-tees and black hair, and at the same time a certain criticism of ourselves for such unintelligable conformity. And then there's scene points. Which is all about politics, etiquette and dress - who you know and what you don't own. "Scene points" is always used sarcastically and satirically.

Today I wore my tight jeans, green shoes, brown/red/gray button up shirt, Fall of Troy tee, sideburns and green scene/communist hat. I liked the way I looked (and gave me a sort of confidence in talking to a girl from American Lit at Hollywood Video). I felt like I looked good, and I liked the way I looked- had I seen someone else wearing the same I would've loved it. (Of course, probably because the other person I would see wearing this would be a member of Mewithoutyou). Part of it is recognizing one another. At church when I saw a kid with a metal band's tee, we made an instant connection. And you may remember the girls I met on the max on the way to the Emery show. But I think a big portion of my inclination toward the style is having a sort of identity. But then again, what is my identity in? The scene?

And what does the scene stand for?

It's rhetorical, but the answer isn't 'rebellion' or 'non-conformity' because hardcore is technically about being positive, brotherhood and unity. As Stretch Arm Strong sings, "I learned the word sincerity, and I know now what that means. I learned it first from black flags, mohawks, combat boots and torn up jeans... We were more than just a tour date, you were more than just a song, we sweat and sang together and that helped us to carry on." Yet, that's just one person's view of a particular section of the scene.

The scene stands for veganism, no-drug lifestyle, smoking, conforming to black or whatever the hip color is, X's, throwing your life away, being different, being true to yourself, picking up chicks, worshipping the devil, making friends and hanging with old ones, hardcore dancing, glorifying Jesus, feminism, crying about girls breaking up with you, changing the world, going on tour, solving world hunger, anti-government, eating meat if it's your thing, staying in the local scene, death, political views - both democratic and republican, refusing sweatshop scandals, being straightedge, shopping at Hot Topic, avoiding the coporate machine, rock4life, rock4choice, vinyl 7", being a band in it "for the kids that come out to the shows" (never "go to" but always "come out to") and generally declaring the end of the world.

That is, the answer to my question is: 'so many conflicting ideas, you could never know.' So back to the way I dress and what I slip into... What does the scene stand for?

Krispin Mayfield said...

(I'm in the early hours of the morning. Ignore the poor grammar. Well, actually what I mean is, don't read it while I'm not there and mock me for it. Don't worry guys, I DO know the difference between 'here' and 'hear' and that 'are' should've been used for my plural subject instead of the 'is' that I used)

Anonymous said...

Glad you went and represented for FBTMOF. Did you talk to them, and did they remember you/us? I'd be surprised, really, if it weren't for the connection they have with Jon... I think it's funny that Zao is even still a band, seeing as none of the original members are left... oh yeah, and they hit the "suck" button as soon as they finished The Splinter Shards The Birth of Seperation...
Krispin wrote a very nice monologue, but he failed to ask the one question he SHOULD have: did you ask that girl out? Well, did you?
Speaking of asking girls out... have you talked to Jamie lately?
Speaking of Jamie lately... we're moving to L.A.
Speaking of L.A.... we're (apparently) just friends. And life, somehow, goes on.
I finally wrote the song that I'm putting on Kodon this year. Good timing, as we're tracking the drums tomorrow. I haven't decided on a name for it yet or I would tell you, but I feel like it goes places I don't go too often, so that should be interesting. Also, Jamie's recording "Simplicity," though he changed the end a lot... you knew it was gonna happen, I knew it was gonna happen, but it's still a bit of a b****. Umm... I think that's all. I hope I have enough to time to fall asleep before I have to wake up.

josh said...

krispin, nice work on posting more in a comment--a lot more at that--than i did in the entire post. i really enjoyed reading what you had to say, and had thought about calling you after the show but thought it might be too late for your aunt and uncle.

eric, i also thought about calling you, but similar thoughts about lateness went through my mind. silly rabbit, tricks are for kids. of course you weren't asleep yet. i did talk to two of the fear guys. when i first got there the drummer walked by me so i tapped his shoulder to say hi.

"hey. just wanted to say hi. i was in dignan, with jonathan greener, we played with you about a year ago."

"oh...yeah...right. umm, well it's good to see you again. i've got to go find the promoter."

"sure. good to see you too."

then after the show i just wanted to tell them good job, and the sickly skinny guitar player and drummer were talking to a couple guys by where i was, so finally i just interrupted (kind of)

"just wanted to say you guys kicked ass. it was good to see you again."

at which point skinny guitar player engaged in conversation with me, but he didn't really remember either. it probably would have been better if i had remembered their names, or if i did now, but it was still cool. good to hear about the kodon stuff, even if jamie is recording one of my favorite dignan songs without dignan. AND THE ONE WITH MY BASS SOLO!!!!! that just hit me. ah man. oh well. my applications for duke and fuller are in the mail, so time will tell.

Krispin Mayfield said...

I've been looking for 'Simplicity' for a while, I've only been able to read the first chapter online. And loved it.

Ahem, so about the girl. Well. Come to think of it, although I've had a girlfriend, I've never actually been on a date per se. And am actually quite shy and intimidated, however, I've considered figuring out a way of getting over that and doing something for the first time and asking Ashley (that is the girl's name) out to something somewhere after our final or something.

I don't assume any of you have the new Fear CD, 'Art Damage'? I like 'Odd How People Shake' a lot more, but I really like the artwork and lyric format of Art Damage. The lyric booklet itself is a work of chaotic art.

Oh, and now... Hahahaha. I just went to their site, and found out that they were touring with the Agony Scene, which I hadn't realized. The Agony Scene used to be on Solid State, 'til they left for a bigger secular label. Any one of their songs is good, but listening to more than three together it's horribly repetative. Except their excellent cover of 'Paint It Black.' You may have seen their video last summer, Josh. Double bass drums, fishnet sleeves, black eyeliner...ect.

I just haven't really been into music for a while. I bought my first issue of HM in a while and my friend gave me 'Chorus of Obliteration' by The Showdown the other day. It got me all riled up.

josh said...

krispin, i think i know the book you're talking about, but that's not what eric was talking about. simplicity is also the name of a dignan song. seriously though, thanks for all your comments.

Krispin Mayfield said...

Yeah, it was fun. And yeah, 'Simplicity' is a book by Mark Solomon.

Jacob said...

Ha. You're welcome for my comment. I was tempted to write "Your welcome" just to be silly. I said silly. Haha. I'm tired.

eric said...

That's cool about the girl... but I kinda meant, "Josh - did YOU ask that girl out?!?" I'm a fan of the activity, either way.
I actually think Jamie named the song "Simplicity" because of the book, which he picked up when we saw Stavesacre on the Living Sacrifice farewell tour (which also featured Underoath - and they played a really early version of "Reinventing Your Exit," where the lyrics to the chorus went something like, "Bright lights and fast cars..." instead of "This is the way I..."). Anyway, the book is pretty interesting, though I think it's a bit... well, I can't think of the word. I guess I just came to different conclusions after reading it than Mark did after writing it, but that's o.k.
Jon and Jay gave me an Art Damage t-shirt, but tried to make me believe that Jess Sveen sent it to me (CPO antics). I like the shirt better than the CD, to be honest, though I like the song that goes "Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls."
I just remembered that I had a blogger account, which is why this post isn't anonymous. O.k., that's all.

Krispin Mayfield said...


This has been a fun post. 'eprops' to you Josh, haha. Just get two or more people and this is practically a major social gathering.

And well, as they say, the party hasn't started 'til there's spike in the punch.