National Scene > Albuquerque, New Mexico
Mark Michaelides (28) - Submitted Thursday Dec 18, 2008
Atlanta, GA Punk Scene

This story spans a few years, but it\\\\\\\'s the only way to be comprehensive and explain just how much of an impact the Atlanta punk scene had on my life. I remember playin my first show on June 3, 2003 (my bandmates say 2004, but i\\\\\\\'m almost positive it was 2003). I was playing drums for a band called Down for the Count, which essentially started when i got a drum set and my good friend, who played guitar, had enough patience to play whatever it was that he wrote long enough for me to learn how to play along. We played at a bar called Lenny\\\\\\\'s which is where all the local punk bands played at the time; cheap drinks and loud music. At the time, we were a 3-piece and i\\\\\\\'ll just say that we sucked. That night we played with a band called The Heart Attacks, who went on to get a deal from Hellcat and then collapse under the weight of inflated egos. I remember their drummer comin up to me just after we finished and saying, \\\\\\\"Get your shit off the stage.\\\\\\\"
Lenny\\\\\\\'s was definitely the bar to play at for all the punk rock bands. It was a dark, smelly dive bar with cheap drinks and bathrooms that made stadium toilets look like they should be in a Mr. Clean commercial. Atlanta has other venues like the Masquerade and the Drunken Unicorn for punk bands, but Lenny\\\\\\\'s would book anyone and that\\\\\\\'s what made it.
Undeterred by negative criticism, my band Down for the Count kept playin and we kept gettin better. About 6 months after our first show, we added lead guitarist Dave; who really upped our potential and people started paying attention;sorta. We played shows all the time and shared the stage with great musicians who became good friends because we all had the same thing going for us; music. We even got to open for Lucero and Against Me!.
I\\\\\\\'d have to say that my favorite band out of this group is The Carry-Ons. Fed up with the crass commercialism of the Nashville scene, they kind of adopted Atlanta as a home base. Singer, Abe, is an extremely talented lyricist, and his lyrics take on everything from the corruption of government to fashion kids who couldn\\\\\\\'t give a shit about music, but just wanna look cool. All of us spent many a post show night drinking together and celebrating the night\\\\\\\'s good time.
When asked in an interview about the best places to play, The Carry-Ons guitarist, Neil, mentioned 141 Moreland Ave and he hit the nail right on the head. 141 is a house on Moreland Ave, inhabited, at the time, by Justin who plays with a band called Wrister. Wrister is an awesome band too; with a sound akin to Jawbreaker and a penchant of covering \\\\\\\'Kiss the Bottle\\\\\\\'. House shows are always more fun to play and the generosity of opening up your residence to strangers is a lesson on its own. More kids show up cause they don\\\\\\\'t have to pay a cover and you can bring your own drinks. The atmosphere is generally lighter too. No stage, just a floor in the living room. The house booked many touring bands too and with food and a place to stay, only greedy pigs would ask for more. That said, however, a touring band could make more money off donations than any bar would give them. It\\\\\\\'s solidarity at it\\\\\\\'s best, with the local bands forgoing any donation to help the touring bands get to their next stop.
Some other bands we shared the stage with are The Loose Skrews, Courtesy Murder, Das Manics, The Despised, and the Vaginas. Skrews frontman, Rotger, is among the most entertaining I\\\\\\\'ve seen. He\\\\\\\'s stopped the tradition of wearing a different kind of hat on stage, but presence and stage banter can\\\\\\\'t be equaled. Courtesy Murder is an incredible band with the ability to go far, and has shared the stage with The Misfits and The Casualities (I didn\\\\\\\'t catch the Misfits show, but they blew The Casualties off stage). I listen to their song \\\\\\\'Family Man\\\\\\\' at least 2-3 times per week. Das Manics is also really good. They evolved from a punk band into a more metal sound and the change has really done good things for them. The Despised, fronted by Rotknee and with guitars from Das Manics\\\\\\\' singer/guitarist Matt, is Atlanta\\\\\\\'s hardcore. Fast paced, angry, and in your face;it\\\\\\\'s an awesome show. I\\\\\\\'ll be seein them at the Rebellion Fest in Blackpool, England next year. Last but certainly not least is The Vaginas. The Vaginas are obnoxious punk and pride themselves on that and drummer Reagan, who techs for Sevendust, is one of the best in Atlanta. With the drummer on the road, their shows are scarce, but always worth going to.
The best part about Atlanta\\\\\\\'s punk scene is the diversity. From the southern rock influenced Down for the Count to the hardcore of The Despised, it\\\\\\\'s all there, and while all the bands are unique, they share the common experience of wanting to just have a good time.
I live in Europe now, but still keep in touch with all the bands and do promotional work for some on the European stage. I guess what the whole experience taught me is that no matter what your differences are everybody brings something to the table and we all gotta eat.
marshesauce (23) - Submitted Tuesday May 13, 2008
richmond virginia. 804

how can richmond virginia not be on the map. that is insane. with bands like municipal waste, avail, brainworms, engine down, denali, mouthbreather, tigershark, vcr, antlers, the catalyst, google earth, pink razors, ultra dolphins, snack truck, down to nothing, scarlett, cloak/dagger, josh smalls, triple twins, liza kate, minor treat, come on....... how can we not be on the map..

with events like.. slaughterama, with events like best friends day.. do you even know..... about best friends day it is

BEST FRIENDS SAY is the best day of the year... it is perfection... IS A 7 YEAR LONG RICHMOND TRADITION OF BRINGING TOGETHER FRIENDS FROM ALL OVER COUNTRY (AND WORLD)FOR A WEEKEND OF BANDS, EVENTS, AND MORE. ANYONE AND EVERYONE IS WELCOME! we drink we party we dance until we can\\\\\\\'t move anymore.. our bikes are thrown all over town and everyone you see you know is great because they are friends with your friends and we all fucking just love eachother... and its fucking so perfect.....

and slaughterama is a annual event hosted by richmond first bike crew the cuthroats. it is a three day celebration of drinking and smoking weed and riding bikes and going on scavenger hunts and breaking bones and teeth... and being fearless and ageless and dirty and sweaty... and bike crews from all over the world go head to head in jousting and races and its fucking amazing.. the city steps aside and lets us live in paradise for a few days...

richmond is insane.. is a secret city... and we have a nice family there... i would say theres about 300 of us.. and we have eachothers fronts and backs...

theres nothing to do at all so you have to figure out shit yourself... in the past few years we\\\\\\\'ve started taking over. the kids in our city own everything... three different bars.. 5 different resturants, three boutique\\\\\\\'s, 6 galleries, 5 tattoo shops,we\\\\\\\'ve owned around 7 venues in the last 5 years... house shows are infamous.. and respected... we learned that the only way to be sure of anything is doing is yourself.. as we get older we get more involved... we own nonprofits... several... actually.. i am 23 and i own a venue slash independent store that sells independent music and sweatshop free clothing made by independent designers... we started our own music labels and distro.. we have our own recording studios..we have three book stores.. we have taken over parts of town.... the crustys live in church hill.. the bike kids own oregon hill... the older kids buy houses on the other side of the river. the drunken older crowd lives in jackson ward.. and the more normal kids live in the fan... life is crazy... people have even opened their own schools... its a whole new world.... we are on the covers of the paper... we have our own zines and our own magazine called rva........ everyone does everything..... we lost the most inflluential person in our community last year his name is johnny z... and that kicked us all in the ass and we realized that now is forever.. and if you dont give it your all you might as well give nothing.... we all lift eachother up..... i wouldnt live anywhere else in america but there...

i came to richmond on tour when i was 18.. i went to see this present darkness and there were 5 black kids at the show dancing and 4 girls.... that was enough for me... i looked around the cramped house full of kids who looked just like me and that was it..... i met a girl at a show at the beach and we clicked right away she asked me to move to richmond asap and start a venue with her... i did...... it was called house of mosh.... and it was fucking amazing.... richmond is legendary...... since that day i am always looking for ways to influence and change peoples lives in the city the way the city changed mine.... we have our ups and down are assholes and our angels.. but one thing that is certain is richmond is my heartbeat.. i live and die for my community.......
Garrett Armstrong - Submitted Sunday Apr 6, 2008
I wasn\'t around then, but Annapolis, Md had a scene from the early 80s(82 or 83) through the 90s. Originally centered around the Vermin Scum label(originally run by members of The Hated, and then later Tonie Joy of Moss Icon, Universal Order of Armageddon and many others)and bands like The Hated, Moss Icon and The Spastic Rats, by the early 90s there was regular shows at Baldwin Hall, The Crofton Firehall and the Annapolis Unitarian Church. Later bands included Greenhouse, The Pee Tanks and Plunger(who released a split 7\" with The William Martyr 17. There should be more stories told about the Annapolis scene.
Kuhl T. Brown (31) - Submitted Wednesday Dec 6, 2006
I lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico during my graduate studies at UNM from 2000 - 2003. I remember being really impressed with the breadth of homegrown music found in the 'Burque (as it's known to locals). The band per capita ratio seemed really high. Seemed like every other person I met was riffing on something. About my second week there I went to the annual "fall crawl" that serves as a local (and mostly drunken) music exhibition over three days in downtown venues. I remember most everything had a Latin-style edge to it (makes sense being only 300 miles North of the border). Ska bands with congas and mariachi shakers, you get the idea.

Naturally with so many bands per capita, there are plenty bad and mediocre ones, such as the perennial college bands attempting a formulaic sound based on whatever the top 40 buzz happens to be. And Albuquerque is way over quota on cover bands playing the requisite happy hour cheese rock. But I was continually blow away by the local talent in all kinds of genres. There were the local hard rockers Stoic Frame, that had had early G&R sound with some speed core mixed in. Red Earth was another local favorite, completely eclectic and always trying different types of genres (OK, you had to be in the mood for a rap-reggae version of 'imagine' by JL). There was a good (alt) country group, named something like the Blue Flames I liked to see. They had a bad-ass pedal guitar player and a singing duo that did the whole high lonesome harmony thing really well.

'Burque has some decent clubs. The Launchpad is a favorite venue that hosts a good mix of local and touring acts. I remember seeing a particularly raucous Frank Black show there where the opening act, a local rock-a-billy group, kind of Straycat wannabees, got into it with a group of hecklers in front of the stage. About half way through their set the lead singer starts face kicking the main heckler, gets a few in and is promptly hauled from the stage by bouncers before the cops show up. I imagine every scene eventually has its share of brawlers, but that incident sticks in my mind as evidence of a vague sense of menace clubs and nightlife in Albuquerque could have.

By far the best memories I have are of great house/dance parties thrown by friends and acquaintances at the university. There was a Brazilian samba-style percussion group that was usually involved by the name Concepto Tambor. Lots of frenetic energy, attempts at samba dancing, and flirting. Those parties usually ended late with some tranced-out DJ trying to spin two totally incongruent records and mumbling over the PA. Good times.

Although Albuquerque is not my hometown and I can't claim a native's perspective, in my short time there I was never at a loss for some boss sounds.