Razorcake Podcast #221: With Matt Phuzz
Being from a Midwest town, most of my childhood was sheltered. Even when I moved to California, my parents took along their Illinois ways and really kept me under their thumb as long as they could. I wasn’t exposed to anything out of our neighborhood. As far as different cultures or anything that was out of the so-called “normal” middle class area I lived in, I really knew very little. The first time I was even introduced to an African American person, I was seven years old. My parents weren’t racist by any means; in fact they were pretty liberal people who taught me right from wrong when it came to different people and cultures. It was just that I was never exposed other than the occasional driving by another neighborhood thing. Hell, I never even had a burrito till I was close to fourteen years old.
Everyone was the same where I came from. It was a cookie cutter made town. All my friends did exactly what their parents wanted and never rocked the boat in any way. This is why punk was so enticing to me. It was real and dangerous and the people and bands dared to be so different. All the things I really wanted to be. This creepy kid who never really fit in finally found a place to rest his strange head. For once I didn’t seem so weird anymore and I was accepted. I felt in place, normal, and that I now had a real home that felt more like a mansion rather than the shack I was living in. I believe that’s why the Two Tone ska movement really hit me so hard as well. The English really seemed to get it when it came to music. Though the Two Tone movement had long gone and never really caught on here in the States by the time it made its way to these ears, my friends and I had a passion for it and had our own little scene going.
The mad search for ska records bit us in our youthful asses. For me, it was my first glimpse into a whole new world of blacks and whites coming together and making music—not just performing on stage in different bands, but in the same band together. These bands were pumping out music that had a message. It was the first anti-racist music I can remember hearing and it stuck with me. I remember thinking how brave bands like The Specials and The Selecter were for openly saying these things and not being worried about the repercussions. This, to me, was extremely punk and ballsy. These bands continue to help mold me as a person. I love that music has done this for me and so many others. So I decided to start this podcast out with a few ska tunes–new and old–before I played some punk rock. Ska has been a big part of my life and always will. Thanks to Todd, Christina, and Donna for making this podcast so much fucking fun. I love and wanna hump each and every one of you. PS: Also thanks for the hangover...
Jimmy Cliff, “Ruby Soho” (Sacred Fire EP, Sun Power, 2012)
Bad Manners, “Lip up Fatty” (Self-titled, 1980)
Fun Boy Three, “Our Lips Are Sealed” (Waiting, 1985)
The Lambrettas, “Poison Ivy” (Beat Boys in the Jet Age, Razor, 1985)
Turkish Techno, “You Today” (Past Due, Dirt Cult / Muy Auténtico Records!!, 2012)
City Mouse, “Dumb Dumb Dumb” (Self-titled EP, Muy Auténtico Records!! / It’s Alive Records, 2011)
The Copyrights, “Trustees of Modern Chemistry” (North Sentinel Island (It’s Alive Records, 2012)
The Crusades– “Serpentine”/“Beacons” (The Sun Is Down and the Night Is Riding In, It’s Alive Records/Razorcake Records, 2011)
The Manix, “She Believed in Jesus and Marketing” (Neighborhood Wildlife, It’s Alive Records, 2011)
The Gateway District, “Keeps Track of the Time” (Some Days You Get The Thunder, It’s Alive Records, 2009)
The Muffs, “Rock and Roll Girl” (Freedom of Choice Comp., Caroline, 1992)
Nick Lowe, “Cruel to Be Kind” (Labor of Lust,Radar Records, 1979)
The Jam, “Batman” (In The City, 1977)