This documentary was a long time coming. After 16 years, the documentary film project is finally done and is going to be shown this weekend at the Dick’s hometown. The documentary is called “The Dicks From Texas” directed by Cindy Marabito. The reason this film is getting so much regard is due to what the Dicks really meant to the Austin punk scene in the 1980s. The Dicks were a larger than life punk-hardcore band that pushed the envelope of sexuality, politics, and music. They are best known for their songs such as “Hate the Police” and “Kills from the Heart”.
The reason this documentary is important to watch is that it is a piece of Austin’s music history and a pivotal moment in the punk scene. They rocked against Reagan. They played alongside MDC and the Big Boys. Henry Rollins, Ian MacKaye, and Mike Watt all want to talk about how great this band was. I don’t think I really have to sell much more here.
They are also releasing a tribute album with such bands as The Bulimics, Black Irish Texas, The Fuckemos, and much more. It is currently streaming here: The Dicks From Texas and Friends
Austin is stereotypically known as the “Live Music Capital of the World”. You see it plastered all over 6th street and in ads on television. I wish it were truer. When you think about Austin’s love affair with music, it is a beautiful and poetic one. We have the days of the Armadillo World Headquarters, the golden days of blues at Antone’s, and the Austin City Limits show. The brief punk wave happened here in Austin around 1978 with such bands as The Violators, The Dicks, The Skunks, and Big Boys. Austin became an important touring stop for punk/new wave bands during this era.
Travel forward to today. It is very hard to get bands from the East and West coasts to tour in Texas due to costs. This isn’t that stop anymore. Sometimes when I see a movie at the Ritz Alamo Drafthouse, I look at the pictures of Black Flag on the wall. I think, “why can’t we have that again?” They say that desperation is the mother of invention. I believe this is why in the past few years the punk scene in Austin has truly grown. It might be due to punks that moved here from other places in our current population surge. Or maybe there might be another punk wave to about to happen.
The truth is the Austin punk community has had it rough in this town lately. Living in an Indie/EDM scene, we are still the outcasts. Which is fine, we are used to it. But what is making life difficult is the city shutting down our fine establishments for condos and big business money. Since punk is about DIY and resilience, we have decided to join forces in certain ways. There are many advocates out there that booking shows, bars letting us have a weekly spot, and friends supporting each other’s bands. Recently this state of affairs was covered in the Austin Chronicle. Thanks to the help of Tim Segall, writer and member of the band The Hormones, wrote a piece on our scene. See article below:
I just wanted to add more bands to the list to watch. There are a ton of hard-working punks in this town. Unfortunately, print media has a maximum paper size and word count. But here are some more awesome local bands to check out: