5/28/10

Angels

Recently, it was brought to my attention by a friend that I’ve been taking pictures for a long fucking time. Not necessarily good pictures, but pictures nonetheless. Several stuffed-to-the-top plastic bins in my basement and countless zips, USBs, CDs, and parts of at least 3 different hard drives led me to this conclusion: what I do with a camera isn’t really art, but rather mindless obsessive-compulsive documentation.

Sometimes you’ve been pounding beers for several hours at a small town street dance and all you can see for miles and miles (or at least the square block radius in which the street dance is contained) are white people acting out in a way that made you smile for the first few hours but has now left you thinking you just might die if you have to answer one more question about your t-shirt, when you realize there must be a god after all because a ray of sunlight from heaven just glimmered somewhere in your peripheral and you’re like “Hey, I’m really sorry to do this, but I just, like, need to, like, go over there. I’m sure one of the other guys wearing a t-shirt just like mine can answer your question, but I, like, really, really need to, like, go over there and talk to those girls.”



So for five minutes, until their meth-smoking townie boyfriends pick them up in a rusty Camaro, they let a quirky dude, who acts like they were sent from heaven to save his life, and his goofy hippy friend take pictures of them.



Do you think they ever wondered what would happen with those photos? Do you think they thought they would end up sitting in a plastic bin in the quirky guy’s basement for ten years and then end up on the internet? Who knows? And who knows what ever happened to these two. They are probably 26-28 yrs old now. I can only hope they are having the time of their lives; as they should be. Anything else would be a shame.

Staples, MN, Summer '00.

5/27/10

Casual Fridays: Orange Avenue





Graffiti Graveyard

Graffiti Graveyard, Duluth, MN, 5/22/10

















Tons of flicks. If this is your thing, hit me up at thee.n.o.b@gmail.com and I'll send you an invite to view them.

5/25/10

I'm so bored with the P-U-N-K.

There is no such thing as an old punks, just old punk bands. I mean have you been to, oh, say, a Buzzcocks show in the last 10-15 years? No? Oh, well let me tell you about it…

Everyone is old; but not one of them is punk. Inevitably there is always some newer band opening that the old-timers have to suffer through because they arrived at the venue super early because the ticket said "doors @ 7"--because when you get old you’ve become conditioned, by several years of staying in watching primetime television and being in bed by 10pm for the news, to believe that everything starts on time--and now they are shocked that it looks like the Buzzcocks won’t come on until…what’s this?...gasp…9pm. And, oh my gosh, that opening band was just too loud. Between bands, the house DJs do their best to get some energy in the room; but to no avail. When they play Anarchy in the UK, slightly-interested-but-sort-of-tired mom leans over and says, “I remember this one; The Sex Pistons, right?” Less-interested-and-more-tired dad ignores her and checks his watch. When they play Iggy & the Stooges people start talking about how the whole tax system in the United States is set up to benefit those that own property. When they play Minor Threat or early Bad Religion they may as well be a teenager telling their parents they hate them because people are willing to throw them the car keys if they will just shut up for a minute and go to the mall already. Hell, when they play Judy Is A Punk, even the old guy in the Ramones t-shirt yawns. Then the Buzzcocks come on and just when you’re thinking to yourself hmmm, well I don’t really need to stick around just to hear their three good songs, one of those old not punk dudes that you met once grabs you and wants to buy you beers so you’ll listen to him talk about the housing market and how maybe starting the ocean on fire was a good idea because after all this oil spill is some serious shit. So you sort of 'get into' the show and pretend you’re listening to this not punk old dude because he’s buying you beers, and the Buzzcocks do their three good songs and you figure it’s a good time to repay the favor and get this guy a beer for once; but he declines your offer and tells you he’s had plenty and he’s tired and that he should have left a long time ago. It’s at this very moment that you realize that there is no such thing as old punks, just old punk bands. That, and that going to see old punk bands is what it must be like to watch Lost: slightly confusing, a little bit disappointing, but mostly just boring.

5/14/10

Reader Submitted Content: Record Review

Dear HDD,
Hey there, it’s me again. I had another session with my therapist and he said the writing seems to be helping. So here I am again, this time with an album review. It’s my first one ever, but hey, you’re audience really seems to get me, so why not debut it for them, right? Right.



Japandroids-Post-Nothing

I got off to a bad start with these guys. At first I wanted to hate them because I’m a Japanther fan and these guys—being a another two man band with Japan in their name—were seemingly more popular and thus were a threat to my self-created indie cool guy world. Don’t worry, that doesn’t make sense to me either. I’m not even sure I’m the one that wrote it. I imagine it’s how Minneapolis-St. Paul people feel when the world goes gaga for Vampire Weekend; meanwhile Vampire Hands had been creating far more original music and for quite a bit longer. Anyway, a couple months ago I was a pubic hair’s width away from murdering the internets because it wouldn’t shut up about Japandroids. Then for some strange reason, almost as if I was being controlled by a mind not my own, I went out and bought Post-Nothing. Shit, it is good. In fact it’s a holy fuck kind of good.

I read somewhere that Japandroids were like a Canadian No Age. Well I can confirm that they do in fact sound almost exactly like No Age (not a bad thing) but I believe an argument can be made that Japandroids are the more California of the two. For one, they sing about girls, and to best of my knowledge Canadians don’t even like girls; they like hockey and mayonnaise. And everyone in California likes girls. Even girls like girls in California. Does No Age even have any songs about girls? It doesn’t matter; Japandroids has like a million.

Listening to Post-Nothing is like riding your bike to work on a sunny Friday morning and deciding that today is the day you’re going to stop being such a pussy about consequences and go ahead and finally fuck that chick from the office. Probably not in the office, but like later, after a night of boozing and possibly cocaine. I assume fucking her in the office would be too dangerous; but how would I know, I don’t even own a bike.

All I’m trying to say is it’s a really good record. No it’s not. Yes it is. It’s holy fuck good.
-Nathan

Casual Fridays: Professor Thesis



5/8/10

Event Reminder: GBB Opens 2nite!

Read about it here, here and here.

Gone Bye Bye
An Exhibit of New Work by Christopher Bowman & Dwitt
Opening Reception- Tonight (5/8) 7-11pm
Live Performance by 20 Dollar Love
Nicademus Art & Framing
225 N. Snelling Ave
St. Paul, MN 55104
651-207-8322

Sponsored by PBR
Show runs through June 19th.

5/6/10

Beer-Soaked Blasts of Chaos

Happy Hour with the D4, Turf Club, StPl, MN, circa Summer '00.
Nathan G. O'Brien

It was a Saturday afternoon in the summer. I believe Dillinger Four vs. God had just come out or was about to come out. J-Sho and I went. She drove her old Honda Civic with all the bumper stickers on it. If I recall correctly I was wearing my D4 shirt but turned it inside out before we went in to the Turf, as to not break my don’t-wear-the-shirt-of-the-band-to-the-concert rule. (Motley Crue is one of--if not thee--only exception to said rule.) Although an early show, it was more along the lines of Alcoholics Anonymous than it was All Ages. We sat in the last booth and got fairly drunk, as did the band, as did everyone in the place.  (I don't mean we all sat in the same booth.  I mean we all got fairly drunk.  You know what I mean, right?) Some guy with a wife beater, black jean shorts and a really bad fu manchu kept yelling “I’m getting married tomorrow. What the fuck is up with that?!” I remember thinking to myself that perhaps the more appropriate question would be A) who gets married on a Sunday?  Or B) who let you out of the house in that outfit?

I recently submitted these pics as (and some others that I’ll post soon) to Maximum Rock-n-Roll Magazine. We’ll see what happens…














5/5/10

Reader Submitted Content: PiL Concert Review

Dear HDD,
My therapist says that writing might help. Well I don't really know how to explain these feelings I've been having lately, so I thought I'd write a review of a concert I went to last weekend instead.


CJ Foeckler(stolen from the Onion)

Public Image Limited, Pabst Theater, Milwaukee, WI, 4/30/10.

So there I was with unexpected tears rolling down my face, standing in front of my childhood hero, and saying to myself well, now my life is complete. I was in the orchestra pit at the Pabst Theater in Milwaukee, WI. John Lydon had just taken the stage with Public Image Ltd. On the interior, teenage me was freaking out: snarling, pogo dancing and spitting at Johnny Rotten and the rest of the Sex Pistols. On the exterior, thirty something me was smiling wide and constantly wiping away the tears (which had now become near uncontrollable) in between large gulps of beer.

I was happy.

For the twenty some minutes previous to this moment, I had been sitting by myself surveying my surroundings. Silver haired, pot bellied men, many years my senior, wearing cargo shorts and Tommy Bahama button-ups, insistently checking their watches, and milking that one beer. The only beer they were going to have this evening. They looked so miserable; I wondered why they even came. Curiosity…or obligation; an obligation to a person they once were, maybe? Then there were the others: older, former scenesters. Punks, mods, and skinheads; sporting Doc Marten’s and fishtail parkas that looked like they hadn’t been worn in years, slamming drinks at a rapid pace. Thinking about a future, which for some reason I felt was represented by either of these groups of men, was making me depressed.

My mind began to wander and I thought of the time earlier in the day when I had been introduced to an acquaintances’ 10 year-old child; and the silence that followed because the giant fucking elephant in the room was that the 10 year-old and I were dressed—aside from baseball caps (hers- a Brewers, and mine-a Twins) and the color schemes of our respective flannels—exactly the same. Paranoia started to sink in and my heart started beating faster and my left arm started feeling numb.

Then Johnny came on and everything was alright. He winked at my smiling, teary face and I tipped my beer to him. A tender moment shared between icon and fan boy.

So there I was, my heart beating about a million times a minute, and saying to myself well, I hope my life is not complete. I was lying on a couch, well past 2am and after several beers, in a living room in Milwaukee, WI. I had just decided to call it a weekend when the paranoia set in again.

For twenty some minutes previous to this moment I could hear the two women in the dining room a few feet away. They were arguing about whom had the worst weekend or something. My left arm started to go numb. And then my heart beats even faster. I tried telling myself it was because I slept on a couch the last two nights and pinched a nerve and I was only psyching myself out; that I was panicking for no reason. But part of me knew this was it. For the last two days, I’d been drinking beer and eating meatloaf and brats and fried fish, and my heart was giving up as a result. This was the moment my doctor warned me about. Thinking about not having a future—just like Johnny sang all those years ago, “no future for you”—was making me depressed.

My mind began to wonder and I thought of the day before and the elephant in the room and the 10 year-old that I dress like and how it can’t end now because I need to be that girl’s childhood hero and how I want to have a future and how I’ll take the feather tail coat over the cargo shorts and about how I cried at the beginning of the PiL concert and the wink from John and just how great the PiL concert was.

And then everything slowed down and I fell asleep.

When I woke up I was happy again.

-Nathan