I moved to New York City for two reasons: a t-shirt, and Cop Shoot Cop. In the March 1990 issue of Alternative Press, Todd A. from CSC was wearing a shirt with an image of a handgun on it and the words "piece man" written underneath. Check out the image from their EP:
Sure it's adolescent, but I was an adolescent at the time, cut me some slack.
I knew that one day, I had to have that shirt in a city where shirts like that are worn, every day, with no school shootings as a result. A few short years later, I was working bag check at the Strand next to the singer from Cows. Moral? Dare to dream reasonable.
In the same way that god isn’t, strictly speaking, dead and the Northside festival isn’t, strictly speaking, a white pride rally, I‘m not, strictly speaking, a noise rock fan. I've got the thick glasses and weird skin, but there’s a lot I don’t like too.
In my darker moments I wonder if all noise rock singers are really that crazy. I mean, they’re acting pretty wild and all but, really, how crazy can you be if you can show up for sound check at five? I’m also pretty leery of the “I hate everyone…except for all my friends” vibe, but that one is pretty prevalent in all my favorite subcultures, so we won’t hold it against noise rock.
I always loved how, in the early ‘90s, there was a NYC noise rock band for every genre. Pussy Galore was “rock,” Railroad Jerk was “country,” Boss Hog was “the one with girls in it,” Surgery was “southern rock.” Cop Shoot Cop and Unsane covered the industrial/art school/misanthropic jerk field, and while I never went as far as to get the Einsturzende Neubauten logo tattooed on my ass, I was obviously partial to that camp.
The first time I met Chris Spencer from Unsane, he followed me around Mars Bar telling me how much he hated my lyrics for Freshkills. I believe the phrase “what about the revolution” was used more than once. Quite reasonably, despite being a huge fan of his music, I didn’t speak to him for about a year. To this day, he has zero recollection of the conversation. Maybe it didn’t happen.
Dave from Unsane has two new albums out. One is with Unsane itself, out on Alternative Tentacles who have, with recent re-issues of The Big Boys, Dog Faced Hermans, been, as the kids say, killing it, and the other is with his newer band, PIGS. PIGS is made up of Dave Unsane (I know he has a last name, but this is just how I prefer things, OK?), Andrew Schneider, and Jim Paradise from GO!, Hell No, and, until recently, my band (*sob*). Their new album is called You Ruin Everything and the video for the single, "Give It," is so Cop Shoot Cop-y that if you squint real hard you can see Dave Kendal declining to play it on 120 Minutes:
Both the Unsane and the Pigs records are good reasons for a pent up tyke like yourself to move to the big city or, if you’re already here, to stop whining about RIP NYC on your status updates and get down with the old meanies making Grade-A New York noise rock. Just, please, don’t call it “pig fuck.” Makes you sound like a writer.
Unsane didn’t make a video for the new record. Fuck it, let’s watch Scrape again.
On a slightly different note, my father, Richard Stevenson, just won a Lambda Literary Award for best Gay Mystery, for his novel, Red White Black and Blue. Congratulations, Dad!
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