Aerosol Art

Mar 15 2016

-mat t-

mat t made this one-

but a guy that made these things used to sit at Great Jones and Broadway making space pictures with spray paint.

Also what’s up with Peter Gatien, what’s that dude doing now?

Remember near the end of the Limelight when they tried to have hardcore shows? What was up with that…should have stayed strictly rave.

I think I’m wrong about them doing more than one show.

I believe it was Shelter and it was like they needed a spot in NY and someone came through-I guess in 1994, but maybe 1993.

Thats before City Gardens closed-but it probably already should have been closed just do to the changing times. It was way past its peak, and I know I started going there after its real peak, but the difference between 90 and 94 was evidently clear. A lot happened in those years that pushed “alternative” music to the masses. Lollapalooza, Nirvana, grunge, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, pop punk, Green Day, The Offspring, ska-punk/terrible third wave ska ETC ETC ETC

So in all of this popular acceptance of previously shunned music, mainstream hardcore died. And I mean mainstream like the band was on a major label, or distributed by a major label.

The old and older NY hardcore bands stopped playing for a couple years, except for Sick of it All, they didn’t stop.

Dan Lord and I discussed how Revelation released the Inside Out 7″, Judge “The Storm” 7″, Burn 7″ and Youth of Today-Disengage 7″ when the bands were just about to break up, or had already broken up. CBGB’s stopped doing hardcore shows and on the bigger side the Ritz closed. There was still bigger stuff like the Academy or Roseland, but they suck for hardcore shows.

(I guess the Wetlands kept booking shows , but I can’t even think of who would be playing there in 1992. That band shift that Selena went to high school with? I think 25 ta Life and related bands held it down)

So if you were 14 and into hardcore it seemed like things were just getting good and then they stopped. 2 years of reading record reviews in Puszone getting so ready for it, and then the bands all disappear.

Which wasn’t really all bad because that’s when the separated scenes in the US and Europe really started putting out records of their own and from that a smaller, decentralized scene sprung up.

These shows were happening at VFW halls, schools and in basements, again. This new scene ran counterpoint to what you could see in bigger clubs in New York and Philly. Once in a while a small band would get tacked onto a club bill, but generally there wasn’t much mixing between the generations.

The small shows were fun and you could stage dive. There typically weren’t bouncers and everyone was generally cool. By the time 1994 came around there wasn’t that much to be interested in. Not to say I didn’t like or I wasn’t involved with some new straight edge bands, but most of it of evolved into a music that wasn’t traditional hardcore.

College kids making angsty, emo-metal, with dark, abstract, political or relationship based poetry interrupted by mosh parts that made people wearing back packs in the audience cry. There was not much posi or crucial happening but there still was a lot of fun to be had.

So back to the original point:

Shelter finished up a short set at City Gardens, opening for Sick of It All. The whole straight edge scene knew a Youth of Today reunion was about to happen but most of the crowd did not. Ray jumped back on the stage and yells “We’re back!” and everyone goes crazy for 15 or 20 minutes. Most people had no idea what was going on, but that made it more fun. People in the crowd had never heard of Youth of Today.

It felt private to me again, for a couple of minutes. I don’t how else to describe it. Hardcore was always so private for me, such a huge part of my adolescence.

I didn’t really know anyone into it when I was 12, but I could tell it existed. I could see the signs. I’d see band names someone scrawled on a wall, or “sXe” , or “SKINS” and it was electric for me. I felt like an anthropologist, finding a secret culture that was more clandestine and harder than skateboarders or punk rock.

When some skinhead or straight edge dude 4 years older than me acknowledged me, I felt so validated-like for once I was finding a place where I fit in.

School didn’t make sense to me, being drunk and high didn’t make sense to me, I always felt like everyone hated me. I got in a few fights and I got jumped a few times. It was all bullshit until I found hardcore and then I felt like I had solved it all.

Ok so all that being said:

Sick of It All still had to play after Youth of Today and you could tell they were not hype about it. Lou came out and said “We’re Sick of it All and we never left!” and they started to play “It’s Clobberin Time” and everyone went off again, but maybe not as hard as a couple minutes before.

That’s probably the last good memory I have of City Gardens.

The last show I remember was in the summer of 1995. Endpoint got a last minute spot there and the singer started complaining between songs about the club and the stage and all of that- “We’re not rockstars” stuff.

Randy Now did that thing where he’d talk over the PA to the band from the soundbooth and said something like “Hey if you don’t like it you don’t have to play dude. ”

And they played.

That’s better than when Chain of Strength was there doing their hair in the bathroom and almost missed their set.

**Bonus: After playing Unisound, what “straight edge band” slept over at a local’s house and drank cough syrup claiming that it was approved?**

I won’t tell you here because I don’t want to break any hearts, but if you want to know write me, I got first hand sources that testified.