Monday, January 18, 2016

NYHC Top 50 7" Of All (my) Time - Intro Bust

Not that anyone asked, or that more than a handful of people will care, but I have taken it upon myself to chronicle one of my own personal favorite sub-sub-sub genres of music, the oft lauded and equally oft derided New York City hardcore scene.

You will be excused, and even expected, to ask: why?

I never lived in New York. I'm not an expert (on this subject or anything else really). I'm barely qualified to make comment on other people's musical projects. And isn't this more of a noise rock kind of blog anyway? So, yeah, "why"?

Glad you asked, I'll tell you.

Hardcore is fucked up music, for and by fucked up people. As Paul Bearer once said, “If you ain’t fucked up, you’re in the wrong place”. It’s the sound of damage, and from it springs a myriad of bizarre and twisted chaos. It’s the sound of rejecting everything else around and distilling all of your feelings into the purest possible form. It’s what speaks to me and what still informs how I view the world. For better or for worse. Hardcore is the signpost from where a lot of modern music takes off, including the noise rock we generally cover here.

The bands from New York represent a specific time, place, and feel. They had an essence that differentiated themselves from bands that came up out of other places. As a card carrying disciple of all things hardcore, I was pretty far up the NYHC arsehole for many a year, dissecting and studying any information I could find at the time, trying to piece together the family tree of the different bands and catch a glimpse at what mad the music sound the way the music did.

New York, as viewed by an outsider, was (and continues to be….in different ways) a weird place, but in terms of hardcore music it was weird because it was overshadowed in the very beginning even though the New York bands were as good as any coming out of Boston or L.A. County, or Washington D.C., or wherever. It was weird because of the mythos of the city and how that prism filtered the lyrics and tone of the music to those of us who were not there. It seemed sketchy and wild. Anxious and harried. But look, I'm not dressing up as a historic re-enactor here trying to educate you on the intricacies of a scene I was only an observer to. I can't give you the insights as to how the scene coalesced in waves around the venues that would allow, or that were opened with the intent to showcase, this brand of outsider music, and the record labels that came and went to present it. The initial wave at that migrated from Max’s Kansas City to 171A, then A7, the matinees at Pyramid Club or The Ritz, CBGBs, and ABC No Rio and the like. That's for another person, on another day. Maybe try that NYHC book that Tony Rettman wrote, that's probably a good source of information (I actually have not gotten around to reading it myself...books are expensive!), or poke around the know how to use that, right?
The information presented that follows is a culmination of my own terrible memory, a few websites that served as a fact-check (most notable Blogged and Quartered [essential]), and asking some friends who have better memories than me. It also proves that I stopped tracking down this style of hardcore at a certain point in my life, either because it wasn't as interesting to me, or the whole genre had stagnated (take a guess which). That's the nature of being a fan of music, your interest ebbs and flows over the years. So, you'll no doubt find discrepancies, you'll no doubt take umbrage with my selections, and you'll no doubt question my motives for not including this band or that band. That's fine. You should do that.

Ten a day until we hit number one. Gooooooooooooooooo! (two finger point not optional)


IHateThe90s said...

I think without NYHC and Don Fury I would have gone insane back in the day. I still dig it so thanks for posting this. Jealous you saw Bad Trip back in 1990. Damn.

R3 said...

GO! No, I mean literally at least one GO! 7" better be in your top 10. Just sayion...

will said...

What R3 said. The end.

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