Posts filed under ‘Someone More Interesting Than Me’

Punk Rock Heaven

From The Phila City Paper

Also, Chuck Meehan alerted me to the ultimate historical tribute thread on Philly Shreds.

April 10, 2007 at 2:10 am Leave a comment

In His Own Words

rick d

From PW via Phawker

April 9, 2007 at 4:41 pm Leave a comment

Cracking the Code

I’m mourning Rick D but I’m not gonna be nostalgic and say the 90s were better than the 00s. I’d say that every time has its highs and lows. There are very few places where I feel like I belong. For me, real life was never really Fugazi. Back in the early-mid 90s, I was a wide-eyed stupid, crazy kid just trying to find my way, instead of a tired, stupid, crazy old lady still trying to make my way today. The time before the internet was a little more innocent and a little dirtier. You had to go out into stinky bars and awkwardly face people to find out anything or at least call them up on the telephone and have awkward conversations.

In 1993, I started writing for the Philadelphia Weekly towards the end of the Welcomat era, when it was like a fanzine for grumpy old men. Strangely, grumpy old men were my early advocates. We had some sort of mutual understanding. Old men understand sadness and weirdness and angst. It doesn’t scare them one bit. I found them dignified instead of old and they weren’t too busy proving themselves to give you the time of day. They didn’t make me feel bad for not knowing something, they made me feel honored to find out abou it. They talked to me like a person. Gender and age were incidentals. We were all just misfits at the end of the day.

Young indie dudes expected young indie girls to be fourth grade crush innocent or to be tomboys. People cloaked their emotions in faux sincerity or irony. They called me a sellout for writing for the pittance that the Weekly paid me and not a fanzine, for not being there when they were, for not being a member of the club. No one admitted to being any kind of sexual being or even admitted they had bodies. Look at the oversized T-shirts and flannels. Everyone was just a walking, talking jukebox of wit. All smart-ass but not really smart. I still wanted to crack the code.

Back then I was curious about everything and there was no internet. So I’d call up promoters and ask them what bands they were booking. This is how I really learned about music. Two of the people I talked to the most were Bryan Dilworth (back when he booked The Khyber) and Rick D. Bryan wasn’t a big phone guy, so I used to go to his house in Old City and pick up records (back when he ran Compulsiv) and talk music. But Rick and I were on the phone for hours. He’d fax over some scrawled out schedule to The Weekly and I’d call to be debriefed. He frequently loaned me CD’s just because it was crazy that I’d never heard about Band___. I had a lot to learn. I still do.

Obviously, it’s easier now to just to go to bands’ websites and myspace pages, but something’s lost in the translation. Being a human being. Today, whenever a young, curious, hungry, lost person calls me up or e-mails me or approaches me in a bar, I give him or her whatever I have. Whatever piece of myself will help them along in the world. Rick D wouldn’t do it any other way and neither would I.

April 9, 2007 at 2:03 pm Leave a comment

Pricked

pricked

I can’t wait to read this.

April 9, 2007 at 1:26 pm Leave a comment

Rick D RIP

rick d behind the bar

Photo from Philadelphia City Paper’s First Look at Tritone

I’m shocked to even type this. Just found out through Paul Dellevigne that Rick D co-owner of Tritone passed away from a heart attack just a few hours ago.

I’ve known Rick D for over a decade, first as a music journo, back when he booked The Firenze, JC Dobbs, and Upstairs at Nick’s. He was an early supporter and adopter of all kinds of punk bands, most famously booking Green Day at Dobbs pre-Dookie. He also ran a label called Black Hole and was in a band called the Newbyles. He probably has a history pre-bar scene, but someone older and wiser than me should fill in the gaps.

As a promoter, he’s been a big supporter of all of my endeavors: Plain Parade, Sugar Town, etc.

He had a big punk rock heart, a great sense of humor, and a love of all genres of music. He wore a leather vest like no one else. Some of my fave Rick D sayings: “They call it Drag City cause it’s a draaaaaaaaaaag.” “If you wanna make money get a day job.” “That band can’t even draw a picture in this town.”

This is a loss for me and an even bigger loss for the Philadelphia music scene. Truly the end of an era. A plate of pierogies and a special will never be the same.

I’m sorry if this sounds cheesy. I really don’t know what else to say.

If anyone has any memories or info they want to leave in the comments, fire away. Or if you prefer: sarasherrATgmailDOTcom

UPDATE: A tribute from Punky Mama

April 7, 2007 at 11:10 pm 2 comments

Sassy, The Magazine, Book, The Blog

aw

I wasn’t a teenage girl in the 90s but Sassy made me wish I was. In case you don’t know, there’s a book and a blog. At last, some 90s nostalgia that you can use.

March 25, 2007 at 1:59 pm Leave a comment

Bruce Langfeld RIP

bruce

Just found out about this a couple of hours ago and I’ve been on the phone about it since then. I haven’t seen Bruce in years. I didn’t know him well, but I knew him through old Tower South Street co-workers, old Welcomat (pre-PW), and music scene friends. He was very smart, talented, with a dry wit on the outside and a sweet core in the inside. I’m very sorry to see him go, especially since the obit says that he was struggling with loneliness and depression. When people leave this Earth not understanding they were truly loved, it’s a very sad thing. My heart goes out to his biological and musical family.

UPDATE: Since the toxicology reports are still coming in, it’s best not to jump to conclusions of suicide. If he was taking a lot of meds for depression, there’s a chance that side effects from a certain combination of meds could have been lethal. The second-to-last line was coming from a person living with depression, when you really don’t feel like you’re worth a damn no matter how many people around you show their love and support. Anyway, I hope this clarifies things.

March 22, 2007 at 12:48 pm 1 comment

Happy Birthday Miss Poop!

patti

Image from bobgruen.com

In honor of Amy Salit’s birthday, I’m posting a pic of one of her faves, Patti Smith. Amy was my favorite boss at my favorite job ever, a researcher for Fresh Air, where I was basically paid to ride my bike to the library and look up articles on hermaphrodites, food-bourne illnesses, Tom Hanks, and Bill Clinton. On my first day of work, Amy announced, “I’m disorganized and I’m a bitch,” so naturally we got along famously. She was a punk before you were and I still want to be Amy when I grow up.

Happy 28th!

March 1, 2007 at 2:31 pm Leave a comment

Eternal Questions

pulp

I don’t know Tastes Like Depeche Mode at all. Even if we never meet, based on today’s entry, she is my kinda people:

I’m personally sick of my polite and friendly manner being openly mocked by such folks. In their effort to be proles or recognize the struggle of every day people, they somehow have transcended themselves to a higher plane, maybe a karmic, cosmic, holier-than-thou playing field, where they are more subjugated, caged and misunderstood than anyone else. And this means that being nice, or polite and friendly, will undermine their “street cred” and show others that hey, maybe life just isn’t that bad.

If she has this shit figured out at 24, God bless her. Go into the light, girlfriend. Go. Into. The. Light.

January 25, 2007 at 12:52 pm Leave a comment

Rock Townsmen and Townswomen

mama

Rob Sheffield and Chuck Eddy influenced my writing stylistically but it was seeing Evelyn McDonnell and Ann Powers in The Village Voice, and reading Rock She Wrote that made me think that my own little voice might have a place in the world of rockcrit, or any world for that matter.

So that makes me look forward to Evelyn’s upcoming book, “Mamarama,” a portrait of a rock mommy. So far, this is my favorite line from the excerpt on her childhood. I can’t wait to read more:
“Though record collecting now seems to have become the ultimate nerdy fanboy domain, it was we girls who traded 45s while boys fretted over baseball cards.”

She points out later, however, that later, she and her older brother’s music habits began to diverge slightly:

Brett and I shared 45s and LPs. He was at least as obsessed with music as I was, and since he was older, I learned about bands from him. He checked records out of the library: Joni Mitchell, Led Zeppelin, Cream. The first one bored me, and the second one scared me, but Wheels of Fire, I dug. When our ages were still in the single digits, I owned more 45s than he, but once we hit the doubles, his LP collection outpaced mine. I wasn’t focused enough; I was buying clothes, jewelry, posters.

rth

This might explain the lack of female membership on the listserv-turned-blog Rock Town Hall, but many of my friends on the list have played the part of my older brother over the years. These days I’m scattered between vintage dresses and TV and movies and gay culture and so many other things besides music, especially the kind of rock discussed on RTH, where I simultaneously feel like too much of a poptimist and a punk to fully partcipate and appreciate the discussions. Nevertheless, for those about to rock, I salute you!

mixtape

One person who would have understood the link between dresses and rock and roll is Rob’s late wife Renee, punk-rockingly lionized here. I miss her and I’ve never even met her before. I even dreamt about her while reading the book. She kept telling me not to worry. I promised her I would stop worrying. And then when I woke up, I broke my promise to her several times. I guess I’m just wired to worry.

My favorite parts are about her taking control of her body and making her own clothes, the notes she leaves in the pockets, and her hats that he leaves all over Central Park.

But really no one’s nailed the review better than Mairead Case:

Sheffield isn’t the first rock critic to attempt an autobiography of loss, nor is he the first to write about a girl who isn’t in his life anymore—Klosterman did it, and so does Cometbus. But Sheffield goes a step further, because he gives Renée a voice, too. A couple of paragraphs are copied directly from notes he found in her pockets, and whenever he talks about her body, it’s about how she felt inside it, not what he wanted from it.

January 23, 2007 at 6:25 pm Leave a comment

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