Everything Is A-OK: A Dallas, TX Punk Documentary (2020) DVD/Digital download

There is something that always annoys me about punk scene documentaries I’ve seen. They cover ground for a single era or just a couple of years and it ends with all the interviewees saying, “That’s it! Punk died in 1989 when Robble’s Chuck House closed. End of story!”

What I like about Everything Is A-OK, is that it covers from when anybody remembers seeing a punk show in Dallas in the ’70s and up to the 2010s. It’s mostly there! The documentary goes over a solid chunk of bands, venues, and faces that existed and disappeared over those thirty-some-odd years. We get devotionals for bands like The Nervebreakers, Stickmen With Rayguns (featuring Dallas’ version of GG Allin, Bobby Sox), Riot Squad, Pump’N Ethyl, Terminal Disgust, and many more. As much as the doc goes on about how great a lot of the rock clubs and bars were, it was cool to see some of the long-lost, short-lived DIY spaces mentioned. A good chunk of these places existed in or near Deep Ellum, an area near downtown Dallas that was a wasteland in the eighties and was later gentrified to being a late-night hot spot. 

The film features interviews with folks who have been contributing to the Dallas punk scene from every era. The highlight was everyone’s favorite kook, Texas James from Spasm 151 who would do tequila shots off his friends’ testicles. The subjects gush over the love of the Dallas scene, but I wish most of them had something to talk about other than how fucked up they got. 

It’s an informative documentary if you are at all into Texas punk history. I do have some other minor complaints though. Sometimes the music playing is so loud during the interviews you can’t hear what the person is saying. And when there’s no music playing, you can hear somebody heavily breathing. It’s not so much of a distraction as it is funny. 

And why, oh why would you interview members of the seminal bands Akkolyte and Bread And Water and not dedicate a single minute of coverage!? Just kidding. I’m sure there were some editing issues. Just dedicate your next documentary to those two bands only, okay? –Rick V. (Fringe Media, dallaspunkdoc.com)