Monday, October 8, 2018

Slade and the Wasters/Postcard Scene
Saturday, September 29th 2018
Fubar, St. Petersburg FL

Saturday Sisterhood: Music & Charity
Saturday, September 29th 2018
Independent Bar, St. Petersburg FL

Event clashes are like buses this week, except for the fact that the Pinellas bus system is less reliable than even the most punk time show you've ever tried to attend, more likely to send zero buses than two.  Bands don't generally run obscenely late, disappear from the fucking running order suddenly then show up seemingly at random while the audience stands clueless as to how to carry on with their day.  So I missed Gamma Waves (also apologies to Yogurt Smoothness, but these two bars are a fair few blocks apart and I worked all day).  Both acts are from Orlando, so I’m sure there’s a perfectly quick, comfortable, affordable way of getting up there if you don’t have a car.   If you’re willing to wait at least three years and we don’t all die of asthma attacks and Category 6 hurricanes before then.

Postcard Scene used to be Porno Party, a name I remember seeing around.  It's a welcome but jarring change. The former sounds like a shit Dwarves knock off (a band I didn't have a great association with even before I had my arm smashed to smithereens at one of their gigs a few years ago) while the latter evokes images of post-rock emo.  Postcard Scene are neither. With a Jello Biafra cheekiness from their singer Gordie and a completely uneven hair distribution, the band provide super fast, satisfying and complex punk, without being overly techy. Tech issues, in fact, make their performance all the more impressive, as apparently drummer Chris couldn’t hear a damn thing.  A postcard would not really convey how good they are to see in person.

I traipse my retail-shredded feet over to Independent Bar, and sit my arse down to drink beer for a good cause.  Dozens of people are doing the same thing. The cause in question is CASA St Petersburg (Community Action Stops Abuse), the official domestic violence centre for southern Pinellas.  They’re proactive and reactive, providing various training options and educational speaking engagements to organisations locally, as well as offering support to survivors of abuse with a shelter, a resource centre and support groups.  I obviously fully appreciate taking action by way of words, even as I spend the lion's share of an hour at Independent in complete solitude, listening to a perfectly relaxing all-female vinyl set courtesy of the two women behind the decks (a sadly rare phenomenon).  There are quality cuts from Gwen Stefani, Carly Simon and Madonna, delivered by DJ’s Fresh Step and Meow Mix-a-lot (who thankfully was willing to remind me later on of the megamix wordplay of her name.  I failed to make a note of it, and trying to figure out a cat themed identity using the internet is apparently an utter fool’s errand). The beers in question were donated by the woman-owned brewery 7venth Sun from Dunedin, with all proceeds also going to CASA (for whom they also had their own fundraising event this week).  The brewery’s Saison Du Soleil was refreshing, egalitarian and necessary, because it might be 11pm but it’s still utterly intolerable where we live (no, I was not kidding about Category 6 hurricanes).  You can volunteer for or donate to CASA at their website.

Thus it was that I arrived back at Fubar for Slade and the Wasters, not wasted, but certainly appropriately buzzed.  One way that it’s appropriate is that I am a music critic on the buzz-cutting edge, having “discovered” The Wasters about 7 weeks ago at this very venue despite their having been on the local circuit for some half a decade.  And now they are breaking up, with this being most likely their final St. Pete show because Tommy Slade is moving to the cool climate of Washington State.  This guy gets it! “The hottest September on record and you guys are staying?  Sucks for you.”  Coast-swapping however should not be mistaken for coasting, with three new tracks performed and slated (Sladed?) for a “Tupac style” free download a few months from now.  

The band waste no time here either, burning through a few dozen songs of their disparate era hardcore that evokes everything from early Offspring to Nirvana, justifying some of my comparisons with a handful of tasty covers.  These include All Apologies and fucking We’re Gonna Fight by fucking 7 Seconds!  It almost makes up for my missing Kevin and co during their nearly 4 decade existence (they split in March) in which time I never got round to seeing them.  Bands are like people: they aren’t going to be around forever, so don’t wait till the farewell tour to let them know how you feel.  Neither will material goods (especially at the rate we’re turning them into, er, waste).  So make their use worthwhile and share them around, as The non-Wasters do here by announcing that all of their merch is now free.  An almost youthful crush ensues around the stage. If you can make something this compelling in musical styles this long in the tooth, your time?  Not totally wasted.

You can see some footage of Slade and The Wasters' set at the event page.

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