Dark Days Ahead

Punk's still dead (for now) and House of Loom is on its way out


When I spoke with Fat Mike of NOFX a few weeks ago before his gig at Sokol Auditorium, back before we plunged into this nightmarish alternate universe where a former reality TV star and outspoken racist and misogynist ascended to the world’s most powerful office, I asked the skate punk legend if he thought art or, more specifically, the punk rock genre was voting for a Trump presidency. Meaning: Did he think the music of the punk counterculture, which has been tamed by Top-40 sellouts and poseur audiences alike, would be reignited by the election of a pussy-grabbing fascist who unabashedly won the hearts of the Kremlin, KKK and a minority of the popular vote?

After all, the early ’80s L.A. punk scene, where Fat Mike cut his teeth and watched some of his friends lose theirs, got a cocaine-esque shot in the arm from the election of a different GOP celebrity. Indeed, Ronald Reagan, and all that he stood for, became the target of Gen X punker ire in circle pits across the continent. L.A.’s Wasted Youth featured an evil-looking Reagan on the cover of their debut record Reagan’s In. Farther north, the Dead Kennedys dubbed the sitting president “Emperor Reagan” in the song “We’ve Got a Bigger Problem Now.” And even farther north, Vancouver’s D.O.A. were a touch more curt: “You’re fucked up, Ronnie,” they chanted.

But Fat Mike didn’t think a Trump presidency would necessarily be good for punk. The 49-year-old said his Fuck Everything Generation differed from Gen Y and Z’s Everything’s Fucked Generations and that writing anti-Trump hymns today would probably end up being pretty cliché.  

“Of course you’re against him,” Fat Mike said from his California home. “How could you even sing about him? He’s so terrible; you can’t even make light of him. You can’t say anything that hasn’t been said — it’s like singing a song about Charles Manson.”

As of the early hours of Nov. 9, there might not be another choice.

House of Loom’s Last Dance

House of Loom is setting its faders to done at the end of December and we’re all stunned. But before club owners Brent Crampton, Ethan Bondelid and Jay Kline turn off their strobes and pin spots for good, the trio is primed to burn the House down with a slew of final dance events: Harouki Zombi is returning from the dead Saturday, Dec. 3, 9 p.m. The “neo pathetic cabaret dance party” is a creation of Orenda Fink (Azure Ray, High Up) and Nina Barnes (Of Montreal). Opening is a DJ set by Todd Fink (The Faint) and closing is the dark techno of Cult Play; Club ABBA will be sending off House of Loom with a “Thank You for the Music”-style event Saturday, Dec. 17, 8 p.m. The mysterious DJ Disco Daddy is slated to spin ’70s disco classics, “early ’80s gems from the Paradise Garage” and contemporary iterations of the eclectic dance genre; Club 1993 is offering a similar bon voyage Friday, Dec. 23, 8 p.m. DJ Travis Howe will be reacquainting event goers with the sounds of “embarrassing boy and girl bands,” while peppering in some hip-hop and house music. Indeed, the early ’90s dance party promises to be all that and a bag of chips.

Correction: In last month’s issue, I made the assumption that Hillary Clinton would be our next sitting president. I got it wrong. She didn’t win by a landslide. She didn’t win at all. After consuming months of news, fake news, polls, fake polls and Facebook back-and-forths, I couldn’t not think the way I did: The 2016 presidential election was, at its most basic level, a referendum on hate and there was no way enough Americans were going to vote “yea!” or “fine, as long as I can save a few bucks” or “fuck you, I’m proving a point!”

Like I said, I got it wrong. 


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