Sunday, January 8, 2012

Nostalgia is a Seductive Liar

"I get sentimental over the music of the ’90s. Deplorable, really. But I love it all. As far as I’m concerned the ’90s was the best era for music ever, even the stuff that I loathed at the time, even the stuff that gave me stomach cramps." ~Rob Sheffield

Best era for music or not, I joined a roomful of people at Steady Sounds tonight for a screening of a documentary with a positively awesome title.

"Kill All Redneck Pricks: A Documentary Film about a Band Called KARP" was being shown by its filmmaker, Bill Badgley and although I wasn't familiar with KARP, I am a documentary dork and as such, couldn't resist the siren call of that title.

As I anticipated (and discussed with a few female friends I ran into), the ratio of male to female was about five to one, which is understandable because KARP was a post-hardcore band.

Spanning the years from 1990, when they formed in Olympia, Washington, to the recent past, the film told a story of three nerdy kids who formed a friendship and then a band.

A really loud band.

The trio was part of the riot girrrl/DIY era of the early nineties which meant there were soundbites from members of bands like Bikini Kill and Bangs fondly recalling the glory days of the Northwest music scene in the early '90s.

Surprisingly for the nineties, there was plenty of show footage  (for the pre-cell phone era), so the film provided a fascinating look and listen to how the band developed before drugs (naturally heroin given the era) and tragedy (boating accident at 28) ended their career as KARP.

How fitting that a film that has already played Glasgow and Paris and is on its way to San Francisco,D.C. and Portland made a stop in Jackson Ward.

And people wonder why I sing the praises of my neighborhood so loudly?

After a Q & A period with the filmmaker, the crowd mingled for a while and I headed out in search of a low-key bite to eat.

Garnett's provided exactly what I wanted: the surprise of a friend working the kitchen, two girls at the bar discussing the pleasures of Boston and a Scuffletown chicken sandwich to quell the recent grumblings of my stomach (particularly fierce during the film but overshadowed by the volume of the music).

And from the nineties, the music moved back to an entirely different kind of nostalgia, that of the sixties with Keely Smith doing popular standards.

Like my earlier encounter with the nineties, I enjoyed the look back but am much happier in the present.

The way I see it, there's so much  more pleasure in what could be over what was.

There I finally said it. Sorry, Rob.

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