Cool. The Las Cruces Sun-News used a couple pix on their online Pulse. They also used a poem I wrote. I call it a "found poem" in that it's composed of actual snippets of overheard conversation, sayings on tee shirts and posters, pronouncements from band members, and stuff from the dark corners of my own mind, to create, what I hoped, was a fairly accurate representation of what went down.
The poem, Penguins Steal My Sanity (For Kristen), is dedicated to a 7th grade student I taught during my last tumultuous year teaching social studies at Hatch Middle School. On the outside she was part Goth, part punk, and ready to rumble if you wronged her. On the inside, her heart shone with crystal beauty. She was the coolest, most insightful student I had that year. Yeah, I really expected to see Kristen in the crowd. (So, if someone reading this knows Kristen, pass it along, OK?)
The forecast for Tuesday was "blazing sun" so I knew I'd better have a plan. No sunblock. Big floppy hat, maybe 14 inches across, so that my eyes were okay even when I removed my sunglasses to grab a shot. I found a shirt, a brand new, still in the plastic shirt, that I didn't know I had. It is white, long sleeves, vents all over the place, vented collar, sleeves roll up and button for short sleeve work. Fantastic shirt! Old high water white jeans.
Water. Grabbed a big bottle of some fancy schmancy water at Toucan Market cause it said it had "electrolytes" or something.
Food. Toucan Market. (I love that place. They're going to try and snarf some samples of Sea Smoke for me.) After checking out all the trail, I picked Choco Cranberry Crunch from Woodstock Farms. Big mistake. Around 1 p.m. I'm hungry so I find shade and open the pack. Shake out some snack. Nothin' shakin'. Look inside. Everything is lumped together in a big goo. Chocolate melted. So I used two fingers as a scoop and ate. Finished up by licking my now chocolate covered hand clean as I could. Then poured water over hand and wiped it off with a paper towel. I ate a bunch for breakfast yesterday. (I'm storing it in the fridge.) It's really very good.
The music. Never really got into punk, except I do have, and really enjoy, "Never Mind the Bollocks, We're the Sex Pistols." So I learned some new stuff by listening. First, the Satan from Hell gutteral stuff does nothing for me. Might have been cool the first couple bands did it years back, but geeze, I must have heard that pukey sound from at least half one third the bands I heard. (I first heard this sound when I went to a Halloween happening at a local punk record store. The singer was doing that pukey screaming, and a coupla kids in the small audience roared back in that same vomitous, SATAN!) I left.
Fall Out Boy lived up to their rep. The crowd showed their love by flinging bottles and moshing and suddenly the smell of weed drifted by and a girl made a sign to her boyfriend which translated as, "I need a toke!" I'm taking pix around me while digging the music and there's this pretty girl who's flirting with one of the audio guys where the sound stuff is inside this tent, and she comes inside and bares her breasts while he shoots some pix with his phone. Oh yeah, the phones! Everybody has a phone, and some are chatting away in the middle of the music and like, how do they do that? And now the phones can take pictures! And I'm shooting with this eight-year-old digital camera that's the equivalent of an Eastman Kodak Brownie - no focus or nothing.
Typical of all punk music is high energy. These guys/gurlz hold nothing back. And I guess that's why the crowd can get really rough and rowdy at times. I asked the cops (about 4 that afternoon) if they'd had any major problems, and they said, nah, things were cool for the most part. And that's what I observed.
Caught The Eyeliners next. Good stuff, but nothing I'd go out of my way for. (Missed My Chemical Romance cause I left around 4:30.) Scary Kids Scaring Kids was OK. Gina Young was very cool. I'd go see her at a small club. Motion City Soundtrack knocked me down a couple times. Some strange and wonderful music.
Jenny Christmas, fronting The Twenty Twos, hammered my poor stained glass heart.
(Interestingly, this pic of Jenny is one of two shots Pulse used.) Terrah Schroll produced some fluid mesmerizing sound with her keyboard, and Jenny, well, let's say this. I'll drive a hundred miles to hear this band. Bought their EP. "Touch and Go" just tears me up!
Update! - More on The Twenty Twos.
Brief aside - (Melanie Zipin is playing July 3 at Saint Claire Winery in Deming. I first heard her and Jeff at a free concert in Cruces just a few weeks after I'd moved here. I spoke with her between sets and, sure enough, she's cousin to a kid I knew in school in Phila., Peter Zipin. I love her stuff, and haven't seen her in, what three years? So I am definitely going.)
The crowd. I posted a link to my pix at The Well in the Punk Rock topic and some guy came back and said he was surprised to see families at a punk show. I responded that you could have counted families (like with kids and all) on one hand. Yeah, I have one shot of a dad her her daughter. But there weren't too many of those.
Really well behaved for such a large group. Lots of cool garb. (I missed a shot of one of the coolest ladies attired like no other. I can't describe it. She melted away before I could shoot. My only regret of the day. I kept an eye out the rest of the afternoon, but never saw her again.) Lots of black. Lots of metal. Lots of mohawks. Only one guy scared me. He didn't have any metal, or weird hair, or anything. He wore faded black jeans. No shirt. Long black hair. He was flanked by two guys as he strode the grounds. There was something about him. Maybe it was the way the jeans hung so freaking low on his hairless wire-thin body. Looked like a Manson family dude to me. Twice we crossed paths. Twice I held my breath.
So I got home around 5 and made me a big fresh salad with my backyard greens. Listened to Bush's address at 6. (Where was the usual foot-stomping applause that usually comes with playing up to an Army base? Guess even they are getting sick of the president's shenanigans.) Crashed around 7:30, expecting to sleep till at least 4 in the morning.
Woke up at 1:30. Might as well start downloading the pix. Sixty-five shots, downloading via serial cable to a 1997 Mac. Talk about slow! Out of 65 shots I thought 29 were usable. (Now, what I do is, if the shot doesn't stand on its own, I apply some effects which, about 95 percent of the time makes for a better product. Looking them over this morning, I see one effects shot I need to redo.) Finished up the whole thing around 8. You can see 'em here. Took a shower. Fiddled around awhile. Killing time. Waiting to catch "War of the Worlds" at the Telshor. OMIGOD! The waiting and hoping and praying for a worthy remake was justified. Very faithful to the book. Cruise will astound you. Oscar material. This film will shake you, scare you, and, in the end satisfy your lust for sci-fi/suspence/horror. (Please, don't take the little ones. During the matinee there were a couple babies and little kids bawling in terror.)
Capping the excitement was the trailer for "King Kong." OMIGOD! redux. Looks to be extremely faithful to the original. Only ramped up a thousand times over. You just wait.