#285 with Matthew Hart: Razorcake Podcast
Almost everyone I know had a horrible time in junior high. I think that’s understandable. It’s a time of confusion and isolation, sexual discovery and social ineptness, swirlies and schwag smoking. And algebra. Personally, I had a fucking awesome time in junior high. I went from attending a small private Christian elementary school with the same twelve kids who I hated more every year to an immense public school miles from my house. It was the first time I felt anonymity. And man did it feel great to be nothing.
My math teacher asked me to stay after class on my first day of junior high algebra. I thought I was fucked and I hadn’t even said anything. She asked me if I liked the Germs when the rest of the kids left the class. I looked down at my Germs shirt and wondered whether she was stupid or a cop. There was no conceivable way a math teacher knew who the Germs were. I mumbled something like, “Yeah. Um, do you like the Germs?” She went on to explain her involvement in the ‘80s L.A. punk scene and asked if I wanted to be her T.A. My distrust of authority dissolved into my punk pants and I accepted the offer for two reasons: 1. she was beautiful and she also taught science, so her classroom was full of reptiles. 2. I needed to pass math. In fact, I failed every class but hers, the T.A. elective, and typing. She’s the only reason I passed the 8th grade. Overall, junior high made all my dreams come true. I made friends, someone I liked touched my ding dong, I smoked drugs, got drunk, and made horrible zines. It was paradise.
These songs are from records I bought in junior high. I was lucky enough to have an older brother who gave me a decent punk education. He would do massive amounts of speed and ramble for lengthy intervals about the nuances of punk culture and why Mike Ness wore messy eyeliner. The comic book store guy made my brother tapes and I stole his tapes to listen to under my baseball covers. They made me feel crazy. I loved it. It was in junior high that I set out on my own and discovered records that would leave a lasting impression and misinform my view of music for years to come. The songs I selected are ones I thought people would actually like and also ones that are emblematic of the genres I would later dig deeper into. And some stupid stuff. Daryl is concerned that I’m trying to look cool. Believe me: I was definitely not cool. There are plenty of bands I left out of this because you’ve all listened to Rancid, Green Day, and Savage Garden.
Any who, this is self-indulgent and I hope you posers like it.
P.S. Daryl, I was also part of the early 2000 grind scene just so you know.
Gay Cowboys In Bondage, “Domestic Battlefield” (Burrito)
Simpletones, The, “I Like Drugs” (Re-Force / Posh Boy)
Scream, “Fight/American Justice” (Dischord)
F.Y.P, “Toss My Cookies” (Recess)
Lemonheads, “Hate Your Friends” (Taang)
Avengers, The, “Car Crash” (Dangerhouse)
Offspring, “Kill The President” (Nitro)
Human Investment, “A Life For A Meal” (Rotten Propaganda)
Channel 3, “Truth and Trust” (Posh Boy)
Grimple, “A Fucked Up Beautiful Day” (Prank)
Picasso Trigger, “Calling God” (Jettison)
Stitches, “That Woman’s Got Me Drinking” (Vinyl Dog)
Germs, The, “No God” (Slash)
Fugazi, “I’m So Tired” (Dischord)
Billy Brag, “To Have and To Have Not”
Dystopia, “Stress Builds Character” (Common Cause / Life Is Abuse / Misanthropic)
Half of… Discharge, “Grave New World” (Rock Hotel)
Jimmy Cliff, “ManyRivers To Cross”