Local Wire: Cover the Crescent, Alice Bag, and More Valley Music
[The Valley is a big place, and it puts out more interesting music than we could ever hope to cover. Every week or so, Mike Bogumill will use this space to cover a little more of it. - Ed.]
Tempe Tavern's Unfun show is now an Unfun fundraiser.
The goal of this column is to document, explore, and create awareness for interesting things happening in local music, casting a broad net over current events in the Valley's various scenes.
Cover the Crescent: Punk Rock Edition - Crescent Ballroom - May 14
A while ago, there was a documentary produced called One Nine Nine Four. Narrated by Tony Hawk, it presented a triumphant narrative of the "punk rock explosion" of the 1990s, as evidenced by the growth of labels like Epitaph and Fat Wreck Chords and the commercial success of bands like The Offspring and Green Day. An undercurrent of the work -- not really emphasized by Mr. Hawk's narrative but suggested by interviews in the film with people such as Brett Gurewitz and Mark Hoppus -- was that the punk explosion saw the incursion of large commercial entities into what once was a strictly underground scene.
Lines were drawn between those who stayed independent and those who sold out. The residual effects of the commercialization of '90s punk were not lost on the documentary, whose main obstacle to publication has been paying the licensing fees of some of the music featured in film. Cuts of the film can still be found on stream sites such as YouTube and Vimeo, usually under some thinly veiled alias to elude copyright trolls.
Crescent Ballroom is offering a less mettlesome alternative to indulging in '90s punk nostalgia. In the latest event in its Cover the Crescent series, local musicians will be playing tribute sets to some of the big names in '90s punk. Members of bands such as Fivespeed, Authority Zero, Redfield, and Jedi 5 will performs sets of Bad Religion and NOFX songs, while a Propagandhi tribute set will be performed by Keep Away, and a Hot Water Music set by Sun Ghost.
Read More: Los Dias De La Crescent features its own cover night for 2013.
Like Propagandhi, the show will set out to be "something more than a faded sticker on a skateboard." Proceeds will be going to benefit the School of Rock scholarship fund, helping support the musical education of a new generation learning how to play rock music. Detached from the morally ambiguous commercialism of corporate sponsorships and major labels, this may be one of the best opportunities to enjoy your favorite '90s punk jams without worrying about being called a sellout.
Unfun Benefit Show - May 16 - Tempe Tavern
Vancouver-based Unfun plays what is probably some of the angriest-sounding pop-punk I've heard. The band was scheduled to play a show this coming Thursday at Tempe Tavern, but before they could get here they were involved in an accident in Indiana that left their van totaled and several members injured.
They've accrued a lot of expenses, and Canada's socially minded healthcare policies still aren't generous enough to bail out touring punk bands. So the show will go on at Tempe Tavern without them -- but now it's functioning as a benefit show to help out Unfun. This international relief effort is being supported by local bearded punk dudes Rumspringer and Said Gun, along with the relatively new local pop band Daisy Face, who recently put out a four-song EP I really liked called Dirt.
Thursday, May 16, at Tempe Tavern
9 p.m., 21 and up