Remember when Pam sent me to a hardcore show, only she didn’t tell me it was a hardcore show and then I had a really great time anyway? (The first and only time I saw a show at the late, sometimes great, now departed Brewery! Which is a shame, because the Brewery was the only place in the Triangle that was both well lit and booked punk and hardcore bands. Alas. Anyway.) Well, that happened again last night, only this time it was my own fault.
I saw the listing for HONKY, featuring JD Pinkus of the Butthole Surfers, on the 506 webpage last month, and thought, hey, Pinkus’s side project! I bet that would be fun to see and shoot. So I emailed him, and he very politely emailed me back1, and put me on the list, and I set out basically blind last night to see them. And when they went on stage, in a rattle and roar of guitar and bass and drumming so fast I could barely shoot it, it was not remotely what I had been expecting. Or was even considering expecting.
And you know what? It was fun to see, and to shoot. (The light in the 506 was even managably passable yesterday!) I would not say that country-hardcore is a genre blend I would seek out myself — hardcore, aside from my weird affection for Pete Wentz’s shitty pre-Fall Out Boy band Arma Angelus, is not my bag — but I had an absolute ball watching the guys in HONKY tear up the stage. For three dudes, they make an awful lot of noise, and for three musicians, they have an awful fucking lot of fun on stage.
I see plenty of bands who look like they’re having fun on stage — Josh Ritter, anyone? — but just as many who look uncomfortable, or like they’re working before they’re having fun, and it is always, always a pleasure to see a band get up on stage and play like it’s the best thing they’ve done in ages.
And frankly, the world needs more country-hardcore odes to beloved breakfast burritos. In fact, I think a song about every band’s favorite breakfast burrito might go a long way to solving world peace, you guys. There’s scientific theory in this. Or there will be as soon as I convince someone other than HONKY to write me a song about their favorite breakfast burrito. I would also settle for a song about the best pancakes someone has ever eaten, or songs about breakfast foods in genres other than country-hardcore. You may email submissions to selfdestructivezones AT gmail.
Also, all y’all should go see HONKY, because they do, in fact, rock, and they have the best tattoos I’ve had the pleasure of shooting this year.
Little Rock’s Adam Faucett opened, and, my word, he has a voice on him. I found his songwriting a little draggy occasionally — I am impatient! Only songs under 3:30! Nothing personal, songwriters! — but his voice and his rapport with touring drummer Correne Spero (late of Northern State) and the small crowd more than made up for it. He and Spero are touring together for a while, so go see them, too.
Full set from last night is here.
1: fyi, old punks are hands down the most polite, friendly, courteous, and interesting musicians i work with. take note, 22 year olds! stop treating me like furniture!