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
Also here is the link to the event April 1st at the North Door: https://www.facebook.com/events/1042028645817597/
Pre-orders and additional information on the documentary can be found here:http://www.thedicksfromtexas.com/dicks.html
As a music junkie, I listen to music day in and day out. I have been to countless tours and have probably spent almost million dollars on this music fanaticism. I regret nothing.
Since I have worked in the industry and have listened to so many hours of music, I rarely get overly excited about a band. One weekend of my life, my asshole friends got married on the same weekend as Fun Fun Fun Fest. I was sad that I wasn’t at the fest but then there is real life. I bought a ticket for the last day of the fest and I thought at the very least I can see one solid day of music.
I want to thank the sound guy at Neutral Milk Hotel for being awful. If he wasn’t so bad and the band wasn’t so depressing, I would have never discovered one of my all-time favorite bands: Murder City Devils. I had never heard a single song by them but I thought anything would be better than the horribly mixed sound (I am an audio engineer). I watched the rest of Murder City Devils set and I couldn’t remove my eyes or ears. It felt like a piece of my life that had not be fulfilled was suddenly over full. I felt the electricity that gives you goosebumps and makes you feel suddenly alive. I didn’t even know what I had been missing all this time.
I devoured all the albums I could after that weekend. They are so dark, beautiful, and had this raw emotion that is very hard to describe. They have been a band 1996 and are on SubPop. They did break up for a moment back in 2001 but go back together in 2006 to play a few festivals. Their last album was in 2014, which was titled “The White Ghost Has Blood on its Hands Again”.
I have seen them as much as I could in recent years. I saw them play in a lightning storm at Punk Rock Bowling in Vegas. I recently saw them in a club venue, the Mohawk in Austin. Texas was blessed to have their tour dates this year, which included San Antonio and Dallas. I didn’t really know what to expect since every show I have seen them in had been a unique experience. Their set list was mixed with old and new songs, which is to be expected. But what really sold me on this show was watching the audience. Their fans are devoted and they get it. They get the darkness and the tongue & cheek of it all. Part of the set Spencer had the mic literally in his mouth because no one should ever take themselves that seriously. I think the best quote about Murder City Devils would be the one from that FFF fest handout that said “Murder City Devils are like the drunk uncle you invite over for Thanksgiving. He ends up getting drunk and crashing into a china cabinet.” Maybe it’s a simplified meaning, but they have the allegory just right.
Austin Chronicle Week of February 4-10 2016
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: