Text and Photos: Charles Nickles
When my day-to-day anxieties get too obtuse, I turn to supervolcanoes.
When given the opportunity to really think about it, though, the thing I’m most afraid of is either Alzheimer’s or a stroke.
Today I got to bury deep, deep in the former as I transcribed an hour long-interview with Brian, who was diagnosed at 54 and wants nothing more than to hold his grandson and know who he is – but that’s not happening. Hell, sometimes he forgets he has Alzheimer’s…then he remembers…and weeps.
It isn’t fair, it isn’t right and they won’t find a cure in his lifetime.
“What would you do if you got diagnosed?” Hanna asks over a much needed cookie break. She’s been pulling selects all day and is starting to look a little glassy.
“Oh, I’d kill myself.”
Shit, that sounded too glib.
“Well, I don’t know if I’d actually do the deed but I would definitely look into termination arrangements.”
Am I being a dick? I don’t mean to be a dick. Maybe I’m just ignorant, cowardly. Maybe I’d find the will to fight and advocate like Brian, but I don’t know, man. Alzheimer’s is so reckless and relentless who’s to say I’d even have time to consider a new way of being before the wilderness took me and left a volatile shell in my place.
She looks at her shoes.
“What about you? What would you do?”
“I don’t know. It’s just so hard…”
She turns back to her screen.
I could dance to this, maybe, if I was comfortable enough in my own skin to dance publicly. It’s got a beat worth shaking old bones to and enough shady glass-shattering pomp to ensure the true art gloom’d shine through every movement, so long as you kept your face low and your Doc Marten’s loose.
Planning for Burial
I saw PfB a couple weeks ago, and it was a blackened riot of amplifier worship and cawing mute damage; intense and obtuse and as indebted to the whiskey revelatory as this scar over my right eye. Tonight was different, though. Intimate. I’m not sure if it was the flood light or the songs in the set, but the whole experience read like the hours after the apex when the blood has dried and the friends have fled, and with dawn coming fast the only sense left is regret and then the first glowing rings of a two-day headache.
When I first saw Atari Teenage Riot, I was convinced that the future of punk was in dirt speed and dirtier Atari sampling machines, but it didn’t really turn out that way, what with purists insisting that drummers are people and guitars are vital organs and, in retrospect, DHR would’ve gained a helluva lot more traction with sexy revolutionaries had it dropped the anachronism of “cyberpunk.”
But here we have Street Sects, and with them we have the sinister convex of synthetic delusion, the American nightmare laid bare and sun-choked. Here we have a wall of smoke, a strobe, a wig, a mechanical pulse, a ur-human scream, a fucking CHAINSAW for fuck’s sake, and in that fractured mirror of dystopian contemporary, the kids.
There are actually a lot of kids at this show, and that warms my heart, because the kids need to know that there’s violence out there they can live and exalt on their own. Fuck a band. Fuck a scene. Fuck the bootstrap cash machine.
Music’s just another fucking thing.
Noise is the future, revolutionary.