Tuesday, August 11, 2015

An Early Summer's Punk Rock Summons: Skid Tard at The Spigot

Joey Ramone himself said: “To me, punk is about being an individual and going against the grain and standing up and saying: this is who I am”. Going over classic vinyl covers like Black Flag's “My War”, The Circle Jerks' “Wild in the Streets” and other greats like JFA have been inducing a full blown walk down memory lane for me lately. When I walked into the Spigot to see my comrade Brook Taylor on guitar take the stage with Skid Tard, I knew that visions of California pipelines, trespassing to skate backyard pools, and anarchy patches on the backs of leather jackets in the 80's would leave me grinning ear to ear. Phil Burcher of The Bay and Precision skates takes over vocal duties, While Mark Anderson provides the bass. He was locking with the drummer well and noisily like my sludgy favorites “The Jesus Lizard” who blew me away many times and on many stages in years past.
Drummer Bruce Stephens and Lincoln punk icon Bill Jones also on guitar seemed elated to perform, for a crowd that was very excited to delve into something a bit rowdy and raw. People that may think Lincoln doesn't have much of a punk history are wildly misguided; seeing SNFU on the “And No One Else Wanted to Play” tour at the Malone Center had me not sleeping for weeks in anticipation. While we were waiting for the show to begin, I talked to longtime native Daniel Kelley about the drought of '91 when the East O St. Ditch was dry, and we would carve in trains ten to twelve deep on skateboards as the heat pelted the earth; at the time we all felt that our visions of Venice, La Jolla and the Hills of SF were just that much closer.
Burcher's presence on vocals had me drawing comparison to bands like “OFF!”, the Black Flag rebirth and abrasive punk rock element that still sweeps the nation. Hunter S. Thompson writes in “Fear and Loathing” about seeing a movement at it's peak right before the tide goes out and washes the true bastions of style away with it; reminiscing that San Fran would never be the same after mass development and certain attitudes were lost in time. Sneering aloofness, capturing the playful essence that punk was born on from the beginning, and a few questions for authority of his own were the proper finishing touches for Skid Tard's set. “Plastic Girlfriend”, “Keep what you feel”, “Government shutdown”, “Penguin Necktie”, and “Bandito” were some of the selections that Skid Tard belted out with well practiced bravado.
Hearing the group's set that Wednesday night as the summer humidity set in and Lincoln residents edged by on the sidewalks with bikes and high spirits, I was reminded of something that was begun way before smart phone apps could find you a place to eat or find a “plastic girlfriend” of your own. Parties where amps were turned up in hopes of getting a few last songs out before the cops came, water pipes bursting in dingy basements while mosh pits circled, and other Lincoln outfits of yesteryear like “Speedwobble” came to mind. Out there to cultivate years of friendship, not take anything too seriously, and stoke up your own memories of hopping a fence to skate a backyard pool, Skid Tard is an example of people who actually BUILT the local scene still belting out tunes and spreading the sometimes PBR-fueled good word.

1 comment:

  1. Great article! I was at that show, and they sounded amazing! Nothing like some old school punk rock to get your head banging!!