NYC.. why did I leave? The questions I’ve been asking myself this week as I ran from one hectic appointment to the next in incredibly beautiful weather. I can’t believe this was the place that just 9 months ago I was bitching about and so ready to get the hell out of.
But that’s what happens.
You take leave, you go away seeking something, not sure what and return a different person. And while the greedy douchebags and wall street fat cats are sadly still here living it up and spreading their particularly stealth brand of global death and destruction as much as ever, the average New Yorker seemed like some pretty cool people this time around.
This town really is full of good folks of all stripes, colors, ethnicity and whatever. It will always by home no matter where in the world I am.
Of course, and I know this better than anyone, it’s all about the energy you’re giving out.
The NYC Punk scene is not what it used to be, I think anyone will agree there. But there still is a vibrant scene and it’s still made up of good people doing their part to keep the scene alive.
From street punk bands like The Casualties who’ve been holding it down for 20 years, to people like my buddy Mike at NYC Punk who keep out of touch dumb asses like me abreast of the latest local punks shows, thankfully, there will always be a punk scene in NYC.
It was Mike, who dutifully let me know about the legendary thrash and hardcore legends Cro-Mags playing at the Bowery Ballroom last night.
I had exchanged phone calls with John Joseph, the long running and current lead singer (check a couple of the Cro-Mags “Official” sites HERE and HERE and I’ll let YOU see if you can figure out their rather complicated history) sometime last summer about being interviewed for Punktology.
At his request, I sent him an email with the information and never heard from him again. Not a problem. I don’t take that stuff personal. I’m sure, like me, he’s a busy guy and I still hope to interview members (current or former) of the band someday.
But in the meantime, I was happy to be able to catch one of their shows on my much too brief trip back in to NYC and to be able to share just a small sample with you below.
The venue was packed and it was a tattoo convention of NYC born and bred punks. You could tell the band was beloved by the hometown crowd and John Joseph’s patter with the crowd was on cue. He got a message across (it’s the food not the pharmaceuticals that can save us) along with some humor “you need to watch some soul train clips before you come back up here with that stuff” to one rhythmically challenged stage diver (maybe the guy in the video?).
NYHC is a genre unto itself, with bands like Agnostic Front, Murphy’s Law, Madball and of course the Cro-Mags doing the heavy lifting to get it where it is today, which is, I assure you from my travels abroad, very international and still growing.
It’s not my particular cup of tea all the time, but I had a good time last night mixing it up with my punk and hard core brothers and sisters without a douchebag in sight.
Enjoy this clip of the Cro-Mags playing a song called “Street Justice”.
Next stop my other U.S. punk stomping ground, Los Angeles!