After an hour long drive (including a wreck with a pole at
the gas station) to The Ventura/Oxnard border with half of the
band Dr. Know, we arrived at The Roadhouse where the show had
been going on since noon and still going very strong. A free
barbecue had been going all day and cheap consumption was also
available for all. This was more of a party than your typical
show, since it was a benefit for new DK vocalist Brandon Cruz's
mother, who recently had surgery. The club was nothing more
than what the name implies, which is perfect for punk rock.
The phrase for the night as well as the prevalent attitude was
"it's only punk rock". You can't ask for much more for $5. Some
good and some not so good music was played and heard here but
it really didn't seem to matter to anyone because everyone was
there for a good time. I relish events such as these when the
music and the night transcends the typical pretensions present
at most shows.
Everyone playing tonight used the same equipment, so the sets
ran exceptionally smooth, and a new band was up before we knew
it. Dr. Know, originally formed in the early 1980's by Brandon
Cruz, was the first band I really paid attention to out of the
many that night. They came on stage to a crowd that was growing
exponentionally. Most of the bands playing had a very similar
sound and this was, in fact, due to Dr. Know. The "Nardcore"
sound is a form of punk that relies on old-school music and
Oi! attitude full with chant-like choruses. Dr. Know founded
the Nardcore scene back in the day. Now reformed, they truly
gave it up in the short time they had. Ad the crowd gave every
bit back. They quickly tore through each song and the crowd
loved it. By the end the place was full with people and my old
seat at the bar was gone, so I guess i was up front for the
Local legends The SkaDaddy's took the tiny stage quickly. For
the next 25 minutes the mixed up all of the different variations
that ska has been through over the last couple decades, all
of which they were at the forefront. In fact, No Doubt was opening
for The SkaDaddy's 10 years ago. However, The SkaDaddy's still
do it old school, you know, the kind of ska that makes you want
to move! The horns, in my opinion, were a little shrill and
brash occasionally, but overall that was the worst of their
problems. . ."it's only punk rock" anyway; or, really, ska.
This was definitely the least dangerous of the bands to see
throughout the night. With the rude boys done then, it was on
to the main event.
This was a hometown show for The Dead Kennedy's new singer,
backed with original members Klaus Flouride, D.H. Peligro, and
of course, East Bay Ray. From where I was it sounded, hmmm .
. . LOUD. The firecode had been broken twice over by the time
the band went on to play for a good half hour, fitting in many
classics like Let's Lynch the Landlord, California
Über Alles, and Too Drunk to Fuck. The churning
yet friendly crowd did not stop throughout the set and it all
genuinely seemed like fun; just as a home-town show should.
Seeing the "new" Dead Kennedy's in Southern California was truly
an experience . . . I can only imagine the original lineup in
Altogether, this was a friendly show which raised money for
a touching cause. Everyone at the show knew what it was for,
and the atmosphere was rowdy but friendly. Indeed, the sound
and setup could have been better, but it was only punk rock,
and it lived up to everything it should be.