Starting my punk rock collection

When I was a young teenager just starting to fall in love with punk rock I had limited funds. I babysat the neighbor’s kids but let’s face it, if the parents don’t want a date-night, I wasn’t getting paid.

So my unstable income predicament paired with my burning desire to have an epic music collection left me at an impasse. For those of you who forgot what the early 2000’s looked like, CDs were still a thing especially when you really, really, really liked album art.

Being the stellar problem solver I am, I found a solution, well a compromise actually. Every other year Hellcat Records would release a compilation CD called “Give ‘Em the Boot”. They sold for under 10$, it had a whole bunch of badass tracks from a whole bunch of bands I had never heard of. The best part was, each CD came with a glorious black and white poster for my teenage bedroom wall.

During this time, YouTube was still in its infancy, Spotify was still a distant dream, this was my way of discovering new music. A lot of the bands I discovered on Give ‘Em the Boot are still some of my favorite bands today: Dropkick Murphys, HorrorPops, Rancid, Tiger Army, Distillers. My Give ‘Em the Boot collection, still sits in my living room and follows me on roadtrips.

Being an awkward, shy and kind of weird teenage girl, Distillers and HorrorPops held a special place in my heart. They showed me that sexy ladies can be badass, awesome, rock a guitar or a giant friggin’ upright bass. They enforced that punk rock ladies wouldn’t have be reduced to being on the sideline or a groupie. I learned to play their songs, found other girls like me ready to unleash the badassery, and did the only natural thing, started a punk band.

We didn’t get further than our high school auditorium, but it was awesome. It turns out a career in music was not quite our calling, but after high school we all set off to find our creative niche. Confident, weird and awesome.

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Review of Montreal 77

 

“The scariest moment is always just before you start” – Stephen King

That quote should replace “Fiasco Gal” as the title of my blog. There were many failed attempts at trying to start a blog in which my insecurities blocked me. This week-late blog post is just another reminder of the fear of getting started. So, without further ado, let’s review the Montreal 77 festival.

First let’s rip off the bandaid and get the negatives out of the way. DEEP BREATH. Not enough bathrooms, not enough food trucks, all day concert not allowed to leave and come back, not enough green space/sitting space, no band shirts in lady sizes. RETURN TO NORMAL BREATHING.

Onwards to the glorious. The concert was family friendly, which personally doesn’t affect me much but it was adorable to see wee little punk rockers ready to destroy in the mosh pit they totally weren’t allowed in. These kids’ getups were awesome from the spikey denim vests to the temporary colour in their hair, they made their punk parents proud.

The lineup was stellar, Creepshow, Bouncing Souls, The Vandals, Dropkick Murphys and Rancid. How can you compete with that? Getting to see the Dropkick Murphys play made me lose all sense of cool. I was screaming and jumping up and down like an Oprah audience member on you-get-a-free-car day (or a bingo-winged contestant on the Price is Right). No offence to the other bands, you were great, really, but The Dropkick Murphys owned my little punk rock heart that day.

 

Punk Beginnings

I stood there in front of the expansive magazine stand, stoked, eager but still trying to look cool. The crisp, new issue of Spin magazine sat perfectly on that shelf with the headline “1977 The Year Punk Exploded. The Sex Pistols’ Bollocks Turns 30”. Punk music just turned 30 and I was freshly 17 and had one punk show under my belt, this was my Bible.

No more time being locked in the basement listening to my punk CDs on repeat. I had just started CEGEP (college) in the city and I’d finally be free to go to endless punk shows and go out drinking (still technically illegally but who was counting?) but not before I read, no, studied, the entire contents of said magazine. The adventures that would follow were certainly memorable and for my teenage heart – oh so exciting.

All that excitement of anticipation lived in that issue of Spin magazine, sitting so perfectly on that shelf. Thou shalt not covet, thou shalt purchase and I did.

2007, the marker of 30 years of punk, was most definitely a pivotal year for me – the music I further explored that year, the friends I made, the things I studied in that year influenced who I am today more than any other year to date. It feels like only a short while ago, but lo and behold it’s already been 10 years and Montreal is celebrating next week in the form of the Montreal 77 Festival, with headlining acts Dropkick Murphys and Rancid. In case you were wondering I have my ticket at the ready and my vacation day booked.

In case you were wondering what that magazine contained, don’t worry, I totally kept it all these years. Johnny Rotten was quoted saying “The Ramones to me were never punk” – and to that I say, he’s entitled to his opinion, despite how wrong it is. There was also a list of the best punk albums from 1978-2007, Dropkick Murphys and Rancid’s funky fresh tunes both made the list. And so did My Chemical Romance’s, it’s okay Spin, everyone makes mistakes – I too remember thinking, they’ll probably gravitate towards a more punkish sound as the emo trend died down, nobody could expect the disaster that was “Sing”.

I could go on and on about the reunions and interviews featured in this magazine, from the British, to East Coast to West Coast punk scenes but y’all should’ve kept your copies for all those juicy details because I don’t have all day.

Cheers to 40 years of punk.

Cheers to 10 years of punk shows for me.

Cheers to this new blog, and the hope for more adventures.

https://www.77montreal.com/en/

Spin. October 2007. Print. http://www.spin.com/