The Fourth issue of ⒶFOLK, a short story about a punk named dream and his contemplations on love, nihilism, suicide, misery, biking, summer, and punk, is now available from Magic Muscle Media!
Here’s an excerpt from the first section:
The show was Zound’s first in the United States. C-Squat’s basement was packed for the occasion. Some had Megabused in. Some had flown. Steve Lake took a boat, apparently. The feeling of disappointment in the crowd when the enigmatic Zounds turns out to be a nervous man resembling John Lithgow was severe–dark and disquieting. Far above capacity, we were all trapped there watching the horrible mediocrity unravel. After a point, the devotees even stopped singing along. It would have felt too forced. The enthusiastic were rendered fools. The cynics proven brilliant. C-Squat was transformed into a maze-like catacomb, and with each song, like a phantom drumbeat, an arhythmic feeling became increasingly pronounced that we punks had reached an end at a place we hoped to find a beginning.
Someone yelled, “Need a drummer?”
“Everyone needs a drummer,” Steve Lake says. “But no, I won’t be using one tonight.” He launched into the song “Demystification.” Perhaps one of the most intriguing punk songs I’ve ever heard, its opening verse:
I look out the window and I wonder at it all/Staring at the symbols that decorate the wall/And everybody’s calling to come and join them all/But I can’t go with no one ’til I understand the call.
Beyond politics and beyond nihilism, this song is first and foremost speaks of deep-seeded existential terror—the idea that our daily existence operates on inauthentic premises hidden beneath systems of indecipherable code.
There is something fitting about the failure of the song to get the audience to dance and sing along. Preaching the impossibility of belonging, it is a detonator within the foundation of punk, of counterculture, and of urban existence.
In Summer 2011, I felt as though I was witnessing the implosion.
Copies now available at Book Thug Nation and Desert Island in Williamsburg, and soon Bluestockings in Manhattan.