This flyer was obtained at Propagandhi / Avail show in Green Bay, Wisconsin back in the day. This was a nutty show, full of stinky Midwestern punks throwing themselves around to some damn-good Canadian pop-punk. Yes, I was one of those sweaty idiots. I’d forgotten all about this show until stumbling across this flyer. Good times.
This comical insert to Propagandhi’s 7″ from Fat Wreck Chords once hung prominently on my bedroom wall some 18 years ago (yes, I’m that old). Now, it rests, tucked away inside the rarely played 7″ which is filed inside a shoe box on the office room floor. I can’t look at this and not think of innocent times nearly two decades ago. They don’t make ’em like they used to.
So this guy hosted a dinner party that ran a little late and now has no photo with which to post about… so, after digging through the abandoned photo library, here is a photo from Saturday’s 1993 session in which I enjoyed the Canadian cries of Propagandhi’s How to Clean Everything at top volume while my flag-sniffing neighbors pawed at my front door. Remember the things that matter, kids.
This, I will say, is the face of sadness. Me? I’m a glass half empty kind of guy; always have been, likely always will be. So when the mood strikes, 1993 comes up. (Cut to three hours later…) Been stuck in ’93 today… Slapstick, The Smashing Pumpkins, Propagandhi… So, the daily pedestal need not be vacant for long. In other words, make it happen sooner, rather than later, or, like, whatever, man. Also, tomorrow is Punk Rock BBQ at Liquid Kitty, so, the Groove will like, you know, see you fools there!
Ska may suck… Ska revival may not be cool, says this stupid schmuck* (smuck**), but this comp, 1988’s Skankin’ ‘Round the World – The International Ska Compilation – Vol. 1, unveils itself under a dusty cloud of pleasure-toned, reggae-influenced, Caribbean-minded melodic good-time, happy-go-skankin’ Monday evening mood-music, that’s perfect parts nostalgia, groove, and global badassery. It’s a pleasurable head-bobbing, foot-tapping comp. Check it out.
* Propagandhi’s 1993 track, Ska Sucks off their debut album, How to Clean Everything.
** Ishtar, you know, the 1987 comedic masterpiece?! One of my personal favorites.
Inspiration for any given daily post seems to either knock me out cold, or hide in pop obscurity like a poorly fleshed out b-side. Generally coming down to feast or famine, on the days when nothing is slapping me around with flashing lights and a raging chorus (or a cleverly constructed cover), I’ll clean the kitchen spatula (generally used for stir fry the night before), and scrape the inner lining of my skull for any hint of musical interest with which to spend the first few hours of my prolonged day. This morning I woke up with Herman’s Hermits rummaging through my unsettled mind (does anybody out there remember the 90s TV show Herman’s Head?). Wondering what Mrs. Brown’s daughter may look like today, an overwhelming wave of comfort and ease washed over me as I’d, quite early, figured out what today’s topic would be… then I began to overthink… like I do.
I thought, bollocks! I only have Mrs. Brown You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter on HH’s Greatest Hits album, and risking social (and personal) embarrassment for not owning the “proper” vehicle for this track (1965’s self titled release, or subsequently the 45 of the same name), I reluctantly decided to abandon the whole idea and start from scratch. That’s when the coffee kicked in.
As a daily routine before the “real job,” I fancy a gander at the ol’ Facebook to see which of my friends is the first to post about a recent celebrity death, or whose friendship is at risk of becoming null and void based on any given number of close-minded political rants (something that is both laughable, and painfully serene). So I was gratified to discover that a like-minded idiot (one of my best friends) shared a link to an A.V. Club article about one of my favorite high school bands: Propagandhi.
Politically charged (see the clouds of hypocrisy forming), pop-punk from Manitoba, Propagandhi opened my eyes to gay-positive, anti-meat ideals, with just the right amount of vulgar snarls and crass imagery a growing boy in the rural Midwest desperately needs. The article is a rather lengthy read, but if you were into the pop-punk scene in the late 90s, it’s essential reading material.
On a side note, in preparation for today’s post, I accidentally spilled the potted plant that sits above my record shelves, and was forced to rage through the house for the trusty Hoover. I can honestly say that I’ve never vacuumed my records before today. The irony? Propagandhi’s first album is appropriately titled, How to Clean Everything. I dig my irony, but not with a carpet full of mud.
Certain albums carry unintentional weight heavy enough to destroy the basic foundation of a listener’s musical experience. Survival of the Fattest, the 2nd of the Fat Wreck Chords comps serves as one (of maybe a handful) of these crucial albums. Timing is everything… be it love, a career, no lines at your local record shop on Record Store Day, and what is deemed important say, in 1996 (when this album was released), wouldn’t necessarily wear the same badge of importance as it does in 2013.
You see, I was a budding teen when I acquired this album (of the compact disc persuasion at the 1996 Vans Warped Tour in Milwaukee), and its function as a concrete door-opening battering ram unleashed a lifetime of new and exciting music both directly and indirectly involving the 14 bands contained within it. My love affair with NOFX, albeit cooled to a slight simmer these days, was solidified with this album. The same goes for Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, Lagwagon, Propagandhi, Good Riddance and a personal favorite, Strung out… essentially the soundtrack to my late teen years. From there, I would go on to collect any and everything NOFX-related (I’m still searching for 1994’s Don’t Call Me White 7”, although I’m not sure I’d really listen to it much these days), every Lagwagon album and 7″, and any colored vinyl reissue of early, classic Fat albums (mainly Propagandhi, Lagwagon and Good Riddance). I can either blame Survival of the Fattest, for this neverending quest of obtaining the “perfect” collection, or I can thank it for opening my eyes. I haven’t necessarily made up my mind yet.
(A few side notes: 1) This album holds so much adolescent importance that I bought a second, sealed copy just in case my first copy scratches or up and walks away. 2) This was also the album my buddy and I were listening to when we totaled his father’s 1988 Monte Carlo SS. Oh, how impressionable young minds can be.)
Sprouting from a household of three (my parents being the other two), we assumed the old “divide and conquer” strategy and cleaned the entire, two-story house. Now, as an adult shaped boy-child, Saturdays are STILL synonymous with cleaning. So, as my beautiful counterpart and I clean our pad, I suggest Propagandhi’s 1993 major label debut (if you consider Fat Wreck Chords a major label), How to Clean Everything.
It’s political pop punk from Canada, and it’s proven to make you clean faster. It’s also available on transparent gold vinyl, as you can clearly see (see what I did there?).