Long music post with videos contains a secret bike shirt.
If we really want to get into bike/hardcore stuff, the guy Guav from Syracuse is upfront a lot in the video. He did the flower logo for Smorgasbord Mountain Bikes. This would be roughly around the same time period, give or take a year.
…there’s always a bike connection.
“When everything you need to know
is out on the street.
Every lesson to learn
carved into concrete.”
Today we’re starting with more NYHC. Sorry if it’s aggro for 9am on a Wednesday, but I’m focusing on 1989-1991 New York right now. It would be impossible to leave hardcore music out of that equation.
This is one of my favorite live records. Great mix of bands from CA, Boston and NYC with cool banter between songs. If you remember Token Entry playing you’ll remember them finishing with this song. Big dog pile on the stage…Check out the video below, start at 39:45 (or 42:05 if you can’t stand this music but are interested in the anthropology) to see it performed at a reunion show in 1995. I was there, I was sure I could find myself, but did not. (Wrong I did. I climb on the stage near 42:00 on the right side with a blue short sleeve shirt. I get in up in that mess and then do a weak stage dive with out enough vertical lift at 42:30. My shirt has an arrow on the back and reads “follow me I’m a leader” I think I get kicked in the top of the head around 44:00 because I check my head for blood a couple of times after.) Lot’s of familiar faces…What a blast.
We’re satisfied to keep our lives buried in the dirt!
I can’t find the live version of this song that was on the Free For All comp, but here’s a live set from 1988 at CB’s, it starts with the clockwork orange theme music to prepare you for the ultra-violence. This isn’t the best live show, but there’s some stand out moments.
Continuing along with bands that could beat you up here’s Killing Time in 1990. Another one of my favorites. This was their last show for a couple of years. They had a reunion at the Wetlands around 1994. There’s a video on youtube but it’s not very good. No stagediving for some reason. (The wetlands sucked BTW. It had a big support pillar in the middle of the dance floor and a lower stage.)
It’s crazy they played for an hour. The entire crowd is done by the end.
I’ll slow down the hardcore exposure soon. It just seems important to set the stage for the bike messengers that came out of this. The attitude, style and aggression were related for some.
I don’t know why I’m justifying this. I know it’s inaccessible to a lot of readers and might turn some people away, but it’s another piece of our puzzle.
“I was reading the post the other day regarding the station on JFK. I’m writing this letter from the remains of Love (Park) on the outside walls which are now surrounded by temporary chain link fences and stumps of cut trees.
I’ve bin “managing” the station since the late Adam James passed a few years back. I always knew across from 711 to be the station from the guys before me and, most drivers are a whole other breed so it makes it easy for the real kooks to find it by jus saying directly across from 711 or 2 penn or whatever.
The south east corner which was discussed on the site is still active. I see on regular basis Mike the Greek and Nick handing off with drivers. I could possible be spotted once in while swapping with a driver if I have an order in at the King of Falafel. Well whatever I’m ranting now. Hope this station update helps. Huge shoutout to all the station mangers before me. Rip Adam James”
I was curious about how many messengers were still on the street in Philly and asked Michael what he thought:
“I tried to make an honest count is probably around thirty ishhh or so legal couriers. Ill attach the 2016 PBMA group photo I shot in January , but since that photo a few folks have moved on and many where not pictured. ”
I was trying to think how many messengers there were in 1998. There was probably 30 people at Heaven Sent.
Totally Inaccurate Count of Philadelphia messengers mid-late 90’s.
Heaven Sent 30
American Expediting 20
One Hour 8
Philly Express 5
Time Cycle 20
Intercept (beats me! one million)
30 dudes at companies I’m forgetting. Plus 100 other dudes that worked a day a week.
These numbers could be totally wrong. I’ll ask around tomorrow for a more accurate count.
Salute to all messengers still on the street in Philadelphia and Worldwide.
When I first started going to shows 3rd wave ska from NY and NJ was still popular with the skins and rudies. These shows were hours long and everyone skanked traditionally.
It’s strange to think of a relatively huge east coast Oi!/Ska scene now. At that time sub-culture style, rules and traditions were adhered to rigidly. Example: People would lecture you about how to tie your shoes and with what laces. Quiz you about bands-Had to make sure you weren’t a clockwork skinhead or whatever litmus test was going around that season. Teach you to skank. Make you a mixtape of some impossible to get records.
1st Wave Desmond Dekker era-Jamaica
2nd Wave Madness/Specials/ era-UK
3rd Wave- Toasters, Bigger Thomas, NY Citizens, Bad Manners, etc etc era – NYC
Some of the first shows I went to were Moon Records showcases with the Toasters and NY Citizens. It was a fairly traditional ska scene and is probaby what got me interested in reggae, before I heard the Bad Brains.
The Toasters were the heads of the nyc ska scene. I think this is their stand out song, or East Side Beat.
I like this one better for the lyrics.
“Danceteria, is where you could find her!
At CBGB’s she could be seen
Or at any club you’ve ever been
And I wonder what became of her
She lived so hard in the club world
Well I guess we’ll never know”
This music was fairly mainstream palatable and popular. This is a screenshot of a video of them on USA network, on New Year’s Eve in 1992 at the Palladium. The special was called USA Up All Night New Year’s Eve Ska Party. I wasn’t into this stuff at that point-hardcore was to powerful for me to chill and listen to ska, and the whole thing with dressing up in suits and drinking beer wasn’t for me. I knew some people who told me about it. Check out the crowd, maybe some of you older Generation X people know somebody in there. Here’s the link to the video on facebook:
The NY Citizens played a lot locally and were more of a rock, new wave, dance thing then a pure ska thing.
Their promo picture on the album in the youtube video above makes them look like a 1990 hardcore band and I’m really digging the one guy’s Cape May sweatshirt.
I think they were one of those bands that was expected to blow up and then fizzled and faded.
Some other stand out tracks that I recall were Helltown, Lemon Jelly, and National Front (an obviously anti-racist song).
Some of it’s on youtube, but no full album or ep. This song Helltown has the word “homos” in it. That’s not cool, but in 1990 it was common. No offense to gay friends.
Off track slightly:
Since we’re delving into strange ska influenced dance music from 1990 NYC here’s Urban Blight featuring the OG NYC graff writer TEAM, PS 41, a burn LS t-shirt, a Stay High character and more, plus that dude from Law and Order.
(Is this really 1990 and not later? I remember that Burn shirt coming out later on. The Burn shirt I had was a white short sleeve with the logo going vertically I think. I have the shirt on in my sophomore HS yearbook picture, I’ll have to check at my Mom’s. I had a fresh shaved dome, and the shirt was worn over a thin, green hoodie, which was style I saw I thought was awesome.)
(((If this is your picture sorry for the no credit. I took it off a Ukranian straight edge blog. Maybe it’s Ken Salerno or BJ Pappas Either way respect due unknown photog on the stage. Also check me out getting a GIS jersey in this post, I always try to include at least one bike thing in these long posts.)))
((I got it at a show that was billed as Burn, Rest in Pieces, and Sick of It All. I thought it was 1990, but maybe 1991. Rest in Pieces cancelled and maybe Discipline played? It was violent as hell and Randy Now kept getting on the PA saying stuff like “If there is one more fight we’re shutting it down.” I can’t remember if I liked Burn or SOIA more. I remember Chaka came out in this sick track suit and went fucking nuts and I was blown away. [Might be the show above.] That whole show I was blown away. So intense.))
Live Urban Blight set from 1986 when they were still leaning further in the ska direction:
Moving On: 1990 Urban Blight fits into the BAD II department.
Another band I really like:
P.S. I’m so uninterested in any of the “ska-punk” that came after this. Gar-baj, no style, no tradition, no points. Duck music.
I caught it. I don’t know what’s going on with me this spring. I’ve been feeling the need to go in the woods and get gnarly. I’ll adjust the program as I see fit but right now I think I’m enjoying MTB more.
But…but…what about my Strava quota? Going to have to double up I guess.
Also I haven’t put one of these on here for a while but here’s a wants list for my viner:
8 speed XT cranks.
8 speed xt RD
8 speed XT FD or whatever
26.4 seatpost (nothing special, I just cracked mine at the clamp.)
some fresher wheels with 8 speed XT
please hit up “contact” if you have any of this.
I’m going to learn more on the rigid bike and then when I feel ready I’ll move into FS.