Touch and Go 25th Anniversary

Holy Shit…this was a good time. My camera was fuckin with me so unfortunately I did not get as many pics as I would have liked.

Day One

Friday was a blast. I didn’t make it on time to see Shipping News. No big deal, because that kinda stuff ain’t my cup of tea. The first band I saw was Supersystem. I had been wanting to see them for a while but they don’t ever come to St Louis. They were great. The bassist in particular was an animated guy….the best song they did was “White Light, White Light”.

Next up was Ted Leo. Now when it comes to Ted, I just don’t get it. He seems to exist in this grey area between mod-punk and emo. Certainly not as bad as pure, unfiltered emo but his earnestness just rubs me the wrong way. Still, he put on an energetic show and most of the people in the crowd knew all the words….

!!! (Chk Chk Chk) – Press Photo

I left Ted Leo early because I wanted to get up close for !!!. I was really glad I did that…they put on the best performance I have seen in fuckin years! What an amazing band. They combine the groove of classic disco-funk (Chic comes to mind) with the intensity of punk. I believe the singer was in the Yah-Mos. I left afterwards in a state of awe. A new favourite band for me…no doubt.

Day Two

So day two came and my camera was charged up and ready to go. I showed up as Pegboy started. Didn’t really watch much Pegboy but the singer was a pretty funny guy. The first act I caught up close and personal was Tim and Andy from Silkworm. I found their performance to be very pretentious and annoying. The bassist played with his back to the audience I guess because he was such an artiste….YAWN.

Next up was The Ex. I fuckin LOVE The Ex. They delivered the goods. The guitar players hands were covered in blood. It was a noisy, insane, brilliant racket and it ended too soon.

Killdozer

After that was Killdozer. This was definitely a band from my misspent youth and they were great. I had concerns about some of these old bands reforming, but as I will get to in more depth later, I was glad that *some* of these bands did re-form. Killdozer was one of them. They were as sludgy and heavy as I remembered. They played “King of Sex” which is an all-time classic.

Jon and Kat

After Killdozer was a brief performance from Jon Langford (Mekons) and Kat (The Ex). It was good albeit fairly non-descript. Actually, the George Jones cover was pretty brilliant.

The Didjits

After that was The Didjits who were absolutely amazing. They came with their own posse. Touch and Go (much like Dischord) can sometimes get a little too highbrow for me and this festival sometimes went too far in that direction (see Tim and Andy). The Didjits were a welcome break from all the high-mindedness. Rick Didjit was just completely abusive to the audience as they went through their incredible set of classic Midwestern punk tunes. Best Didjits moment was when he walked out on stage and yelled “how ya doin St Louis?….er, I mean Chicago!”

After that was PW Long who was awful and boring. ….

Then came Negative Approach. Now as I alluded to earlier, some bands I was glad to see re-form. Others, no. Some bloggers seem to feel that going to watch these reformed bands in our old age is akin to our parents going to see Styx. I disagree. Because these bands never were financial successes and never will be, they are not trying to cash-in by playing reunions. It may be naive of me but performances by Killdozer and Scratch Acid and The Didjits seemed to be for artistic reasons not cynical reasons.

So if it is for artistic reasons, the question then is “is it any good?” Personally, I think NA was from a certain time and place. That time and place is gone and it just seems silly to see Brannon at 40+ still breaking out tunes like “Friend or Foe”. Plus, half the band wasn’t original which just didn’t seem right to me.

After a few songs, I drifted over to the other stage for Scratch Acid. Of course before that I had to endure a few songs by Sally Timms. She seemed completely intimidated by the audience which is understandable considering they were there to see Scratch Acid. Again, too highbrow for me. Jon Langford joined her on the last song and she seemed to loosen up a bit.

Scratch Acid

OK….then came Scratch Acid. Holy mother of fucking pearl, jesus mother-effin keerist! They were on FIRE. FUCKING AMAZING! I am jaded bc they were one of my fave adolescent bands but so what. It was at that moment that I realized any issues with these bands reforming needs to be dealt with on a band-by-band basis. Scratch Acid is still the meanest, nastiest, greasiest, ugliest punch in the face to ever be delivered musically.

After that I split. Me and the better half had a date to make. I had already seen Man or Astroman at the turn of the millennium in Boston. I knew they couldn’t top that show so I didn’t waste my time.

It’s worth noting that I did not stick around for Big Black/Shellac. I find Albini‘s music boring. Sorry…I know that makes me unhip. As if I give a shit.

Enon

Day Three

I really wanted to see Arcwelder and Monorchid. Truly. But I got drunk the night before and it took me a while to get going. I’m old. I got there for Enon. I was hoping to see them and they were good. Not great. Good. They did an awesome Big Boys cover. Long Live Biscuit! Oh and the guys yelling out for Brainiac….you’re morons.

Skipped out on Three Mile Pilot, Tara Jane O’Neil, and Seam. Not my bag. At this point my camera shit the bed. I hate that fuckin thing…gonna have to buy a new one.

Brick Layer Cake was next. Todd Trainer is a freak, man. Gotta love him. He completely vibed out the audience waiting for Black Heart Procession. Ridiculously funny. I wish I got a picture of him. Words cannot describe the level of discomfort he created. Shit, I never knew he was in Rifle Sport!

The Black Heart Procession was next. I was looking forward to them and they were very good. Their performance of “Tropics of Love” was one of the many high points of the festival for me. Their Tom Petty cover was not. It made me realize how close they could be to a bar band if they want to.

By this point it had gotten freeeezing cold. Coco Rosie were on next and I hate that shit. Pretentious, pretentious, pretentious….

I was gonna stick around for Calexico but I bailed. I am seeing them in a week and a half in St Louis and it just didn’t seem worth the additional 2 hour wait in the rain. All in all, I had an amazing time. High points for me were !!!, Scratch Acid, Supersystem, The Ex and The Didjits.

Touch and Go really is/was an amazing label and I was happy to be a part of their 25th Anniversary.

This entry was posted in Art-Punk, Midwest, New Wave, Punk Rock, Rants, Saint Louis, Synth, hardcore, indie. Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Touch and Go 25th Anniversary

  1. Eric says:

    This is f*ckin awesome. I wished I could have gone – Didjits are an all-time favorite, glad to hear they brought the goods. I missed them in their prime and this was probably my only chance to ever experience them. Sh!t.

  2. fnordboy says:

    For me, Scratch Acid was the one band that made the T&G weekend a true draw. Due to circumstances out of my control (work, $), I missed it. Thank goodness for YouTube.

  3. malfeitor says:

    You nailed the three I would have liked to have seen- Scratch Acid, The Ex, and Killdozer. Glad to hear they weren’t lame. I used to listen to Little Baby Bunting almost every day when it came out. Thanks for the report. What do you think about that Naked Raygun reunion coming up? I always thought they were great when they played St. Louis.

  4. erich says:

    I knew some people who flew over to that festival from Germany. For about 10 seconds I too thought about saving my pennies for this. Then my brain started to work again.
    I guess you summed it up pretty good. Would have felt exactly the same about it. I mean NA, yeah, it was great not to know them personally or see their crew and just to hear them on scratchy vinyl pieces – that dvd scared me quite a bit. No, I never was a boyscout.

  5. Erich says:

    PS: I disagree though when it comes to Big Black / Albini. when this guy picks up a guitar, I’ve got erection.

  6. Joe Stumble says:

    I think this hinges on whether or not Haggerty will play. His guitar sound defined NR for me. Even at no volume it was unbelievably LOUD! Someone asks that question on the NR myspace site and no answer.

    Did you notice the Effigies are playing as well?????

  7. Drindle says:

    not liking Big Black doesnt make you un-hip, it just makes you an idiot.

  8. Eric says:

    I’m guessing, but I don’t think Haggerty will be playing. They played a reunion in 1997 w/ the fill in guitarist. The live CD “Free Shit” was from those shows, and is really pretty good.

  9. Joe says:

    Wow Drindle…that’s just the kind of classic, cliched, hipper-than-thou response I love to provoke when I say things like “I don’t like Big Black.” Thank you so much for living the sterotype. Now please go back to your “art”.

  10. Joe Stumble says:

    I think you are right. No Haggerty. The funny thing is when I saw Pegboy last weekend, it was the same guitar sound. Never got into much Pegboy but as soon as he turned on the amp it sounded like I was going to Managua.

    Funny story…I went and saw Naked Raygun when they toured for Jettison. At that time I had only heard All Rise and a few tracks from Throb Throb. They rip into Gear which I had not heard before and Pezatti starts screaming “I got Gear, I got Gear, I got Gear”.

    I’m in the front row and I am screaming along with it except I think that he is saying “I Don’t Care, I Don’t Care, I Don’t Care”. He hears me and hands me the mike and I proceed sing it incorrectly to everyone.

    Months later I bought Throb Throb and felt like a complete jackass when I heard Gear.

  11. malfeitor says:

    Haggerty did have an awesome sound. I don’t remember what guitar he used but he used a Hiwatt head and a Marshall 4×12 if I am not mistaken. BIG sound. Didn’t realize he might not be playing, what’s the NR story?? I think the first time I saw them was at Turner’s. Remember that place, I think it was a bowling alley at one time? They loved the sandwiches. Lots of great shows- Circle Jerks, Descendents, JFA, MDC, etc.

  12. Joe Stumble says:

    I remember the Turners show! Great flyer…used to hang in my room. I believe I saw the Descendents and MDC there.

    As far as the NR story…something did go down. That’s why Haggerty was not on the last LP. Thy have remained very quiet about it though.

  13. Jon Solomon says:

    The first act I caught up close and personal was Tim and Andy from Silkworm. I found thier performance to be very pretentious and annoying. The bassist played with his back to the audience I guess because he was such an artiste….YAWN.

    At the Touch & Go weekend Tim & Andy from Silkworm played a Silkworm song live (“LR72″) for the first time since their drummer was murdered in 2005. This is why they set up a drum kit but had no drummer on stage.

  14. Joe Stumble says:

    Thanks for sharing that. I did not know. Unfortunately I did not know when they played either because there was no mention of this. They probably didn’t mention it because they didnt want it to seem maudlin which is somewhat understandable.

    However, I stand by what I said, the performance came off as pretentious and boring. Had I known, maybe the performance would have had more emotional resonance but because it wasn’t mentioned, I had to judge it for what it was to me at the time.

  15. tescosuicide says:

    Wasn’t Negative Approach on this tour?

  16. Joe says:

    Yeah they played this show with 2 original members. It didn’t really stand up in my opinion. I was a huge fan of it back in the day.

    I would have probably been much more impressed with a Laughing Hyenas reunion

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