Pop Punk Show. Milhouse. 9 pm. First show of the year.
The Valenteens Bandcamp
It’s the music that was playing on a mixtape your first love made for you. You shared your first kiss while “Kowabunga” played in the back ground. It was sensational and left feeling like a punk rock rebel. You never listened to the lyrics until later when it became the mixtape that would cause you inexplicably cry while listening. Eventually, while sobbing, you found yourself ripping the tape out of the cassette deck saying something along the lines of, “this music keeps me from getting over you!” You shook your fists at God for making you such an emotionally misunderstood skater. You pushed the tape back into the player. You were angry until “…For the Painfully Alone” started playing. For the first time, you heard the lyrics and it dawned on that everything would eventually be fine. You drive into the night a new person, finally understanding the growing pains involved with growing up.
One day, Bill had enough of the bullshit. He thought about it deeply as he walked home from his middle school bus stop. For some reason, that night he prayed. Bill asked God for guidance while simultaneously cursing his mom for giving him this shitty, at home haircut that now warranted the nickname Elvis. Kids are cruel.
Bill dreamt of many things until suddenly his eyes opened Useless Eater stood in his room, holding a guitar and a skateboard. For some reason, Bill wasn’t afraid. Bill asked for advice. Eater said, “take these tools, get a haircut, go to basement shows, and your bully problems will be gone.” Faintly in the background Bill could hear a light beeping. It gradually got louder and turned chaotic as the songs from the album “Epyx Shredder” played over top. Visions of naked women and vert ramps took over his teenaged mind with splatters of quick trauma (like shits so big he bled type stuff).
He woke up that morning in a cold sweat.
From that day forward, things were different. Things made sense. He had a new nickname, Grease. E Dude. He loved it.
When Amy called Clarissa and said they were going to a basement show, Clarissa was less than enthused. She and Tyler had just broken up a few days before and she didn’t know how she would survive without the strong, quarterback arms of her ex. She wondered how he could do this so close to prom.
Amy assured Clarissa that everything would be fine. That this show would get her mind off things and that there would be lots of cuties there. Clarissa got out of bed, threw on some beat up hoodie and leggings, and walked downstairs. Her father was sitting in the recliner in the living room and turned to see her as she walked out the door. He usually felt the urge to say something about her outfits and how low cut the shirts were. When he saw her outfit, he smiled thinking perhaps that stage of her life was finally over. He stood up, walked to the mantle, kissed his shotgun and said, “I guess I won’t be needing you anymore, she’s all grown up and only respectable boys will come over now”. With that, he threw the gun in the lake.
Clarissa had never been to a house show before. She had never been to a show really. Except for Brittney Spears a few times in middle school. Amy told her these shows were different, that they were more fun and she’d meet way cooler people.
“Cooler?” Asked Clarissa.
“Yes, cooler,” said Amy.
“I don’t know,” said Clarissa, “Brian listens to stuff like punk and I don’t like it.”
“No,” sniped Amy. “Your brother listens to Tool and is a tool. You’ve never heard anything like this before.”
They walked into the basement as Disatronaut played. It was true, Clarissa hadn’t heard anything like this before. It was loud, yet poppy. She wanted to dance, but realized her years of ballet were futile in such a cramped space, so she just jumped up and down with everyone else.
Any other night, she would have been crying if someone had sweat on her. She would have been angry if her make up ran because she was too hot. She would have acted insulted it some punk rock dude hit on her, but not tonight.
She felt like she had lost it. Then found it. Then lost it again. In all the turmoil, she felt happy. She was dancing her ass off when suddenly a guy she went to school with tapped her on the shoulder.
“Grease?” She asked.
“Yeah, but here, my friends just call me Bill,” he said.
Pop Punk Show. Milhouse. 9 pm.