We were about to have a nervous breakdown. Our head really hurt. And then ... OFF! played on Monday at Exit/In! No, seriously, after a week of the Old Farts and Un-Hipsters in Western Shirts Festival and a Sunday night set from The Pains of Being Bored in Public, The Spin was ready to have a nervous breakdown. Like f'real, if we saw one more dude with a beard playing a mid-tempo, Dead-recalling, meandering guitar solo or another New York buzz band, we were going to shiv somebody with a rusty, um ... a rusty thing that's readily available in rock clubs. Maybe a rusty Solo cup? Do those rust? A rusty PBR can? A rusty studded leather jacket? A rusty mohawk? A rusty something. Regardless, someone was going to die if we had to hear one more mid-tempo treatise on how tough it is to be a person with long hair, feelings and a guitar in the 21st century. Thank god for Monday!
We should mention that there were two openers: Retox and Cerebal Ballzy. We caught a bit of of Retox — who our intrepid photographer described as “shitting on my fucking face” — and, well, we feel like maybe our photog was being a bit generous. Again, we only caught a couple of songs, but they definitely had a turn-of-the-century douche-core vibe. It was like The Locust if The Locust was, say, 10 years too late and really, really, really shrill. Like, mullet-and-a-V-neck shrill. You know, like the dude in your art appreciation class that read that one book that one time and wants to make sure he mentions that he read that one book that one time every time the teacher asks if there are any questions. It's that dude, but he has the mic cable wrapped around his neck like a low-rent puppet from a Tool tribute video.
Which is why we skipped Cerebal Ballzy: If the runners-up in the Shittiest Band Name of All Time contest were that bad, we weren't about to make an effort to see the folks who got first place. The Spin was entirely too busy not giving a fuck, because we're so fucking punk and there were some fucking bar stools that we had to occupy, but we were doing it Seattle '97 style and fuckin' shit up just cause we could. Our non-appearance was like the proverbial brick through your square, corporate-owned low-grade-amphetamine dispensary's proverbial window. 'Cuz we're, like, punk and shit. Hate to break it to the younguns with their mohawks and their idealism, but The Man makes your beloved economy-grade beer, and we spent the afternoon pooping in each and every can just to prove a non-violent, totally punk-rock point.
Kidding! We were watching sports and bitching about our jobs at the bar across the street. We've turned into our dads! Woohoo!
Well, our dads are more of the Loggins & Messina types, so they probably wouldn't have enjoyed LA not-a-supergroup OFF! as much as we did, but you get the point. And our dads probably wouldn't have made that short-lived and hilarious attempt at joining in the circle pit, which one of the more foolhardy members of our entourage tried. Hell, our dads would have walked right out the door once OFF! launched into their high-speed aural assault, because dads and punk rock go together like milk and orange juice — or at least that's the way it's supposed to be. The fact that lead OFF-er Keith Morris is old enough to be our dad doesn't really factor into any of this of course, because he is was and always will be the greatest punk-rock singer of all time — long grandpa stories and all. Bassist Steven McDonald, despite having 30 years of music under his belt, still looks like a baby-faced kid. And that the whole damn band plays with an intensity that is scarce in bands a third their age, well shit, our dads definitely couldn't handle that — 30 some odd minutes of pure, punk-rock fury and the perfect cure for a nervous breakdown.