Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Sodomites-Copulation in the Nation CD

The Sodomites were a not-too-serious three-piece punk band out of Joplin. They had an amusing stage act and some seriously raunchy lyrics. I remember booking them at a show in Springfield in the mid-1990’s. They bagged on the other bands, insulted the crowd, and generally seemed to be having a good time. The band provided some good-natured fun as a counterbalance to some of the more serious punk bands around then. They released this professionally recorded and produced CD in 1995 on their own Psycho Motor Disorder label. It definitely has some worthy tracks, from the gonzo insanity of “Adolescent” and “Die” to the surprisingly catchy pop tune “Larry”. Two of the Sodomite’s members later joined up with a former guitar player of the Richards to start another jokey punk act called Vanilla Christ, who had a memorably funny segment in the Ozark Babylon documentary.

1. Flesh Gordon
2. Psycho Girl
3. Spring Valley Shopping Mall
4. I Can’t Fuck Your Wife
5. Freaks
6. Adolescent
7. Scum
8. Larry
9. Good Time Classic
10. Die
11. I Hate What I Do
12. Deborah
13. Good One


Saturday, September 27, 2008

A Tale of Two Cities

The Ozark punk scene was focused in southwest Missouri’s two largest cities: Joplin and Springfield. There was one notable band based in Lebanon, Mo (AWOL 13), and a handful of punk music fans in smaller towns like Neosho and Nevada, but is was Springfield and Joplin that produced the notable bands and hosted the big shows in the 1990’s. It was about an hour’s drive between the two punk strongholds, and pilgrimages were commonly made by both bands and fans to attend shows and parties. However despite their close proximity the scenes in Springfield and Joplin were very different. The scene in Joplin was a lot bigger. In Springfield, a punk show featuring all local bands was lucky to draw 50 people. In Joplin, crowds of 150 punkers or more were not uncommon at local gigs. People in the Joplin scene were also as a whole younger, cleaner living, and more friendly. Kids as young as 12 attended punk shows in Joplin, and you never had to worry about getting beat up (although the backbiting could get a little extreme sometimes). Springfield, on the other hand, had an older scene with lots of drugs, violence, and general unpleasantness. I personally attended several punk shows in Springfield that ended with one or more persons having to go to the emergency room. There was a period when several Joplin-based bands refused to play shows in Springfield. If this all seems to painting Springfield in a bad light, remember I’m a Springfield boy myself, and I loved the place. We punk people in Springfield kind of developed a tough attitude, and in a weird way took pride in being able to take care of ourselves in such a rough scene. I always loved both scenes, with Joplin providing some good, positive fun while Springfield would give you a dose of tough reality. Like a bizarre yin and yang dynamic, Springfield and Joplin complemented each other, and their respective punk subcultures provided balance and inspiration to each other.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Peacekeeper Missile-Demo

Peacekeeper Missile was the brainchild of Elroy, an enigmatic Springfield scene regular of considerable musical talent. The band never played out live so far as I can remember, but existed solely as a recording vehicle for Elroy’s sharp musical compositions and thoughtful lyrics. The songs here were recorded in 1994-1995, and were originally released on the “Boy and His 4-Track” compilation tape. The first five tracks feature Elroy on drums and vocals, along with Dane and Tyler from Brine on guitar and bass respectively. The last song, an unsettling instrumental, has Elroy on drums and guitar and Rob from Disarm on bass.

1. How Can We Fight?
2. Bloodied
3. Immune
4. How Far Are You Willing To Go
5. Another Nail
6. Secure


Saturday, September 6, 2008

Looking for Memories

In addition to posting music created by old Ozark punk bands, I’d also like to start writing some pieces on the history of the scene. The thing I love most about punk is that it’s not just a musical movement, although that part of it is very important. Punk is also very much a subculture, a place for social outcasts to become friends and express their individuality. I’m planning to write a series of pieces on the important venues, events, and people who helped make the scene what it was. If anybody has stories or pictures from the old scene they’d like to share, please send them my way. I’d also like to find out if there’s still a punk scene shaking in southwest Missouri. I moved out of the Ozarks several years ago, and it’s my impression that the punk scene there kind of got swallowed up by the emo and hardcore movements. However, I’d love to be proven wrong.