Touch and Go

Alright, so it’s taken a while to get back to reality, and although I said I’d post about the Touch & Go 25th Anniversary all week, I think I will condense it to 3 days, since the event itself was held over 3 unforgettable days. For those of you not in the loop, Touch & Go Records is undeniably one of the most important labels in modern rock history. I first became conscious of the label in 1991, ten years after its inception, when I first heard some Jesus Lizard. Since that point, my college years were dominated by 90′s era Touch & Go bands like Don Caballero, Slint, Seam and so many more I could just bore the fuck out of you. I won’t do that.

In honor of 25 years, Touch & Go, in conjunction with The Hideout, a local Chicago rock bar basically in the parking lot of the City Sanitation Dept., threw a 3 day bash, inviting Touch & Go acts past and present to reconvene — for charity!– and to celebrate the label. Needless to say, the vibe was incredible and unlike any festival I have ever attended. 50 year olds and 18 year olds mixed seamlessly, with constant cloud coverage not unlike the pervasive melancholy that marked the weekend. It was a time, inevitably, to revel in the fact that those musical memories have indeed passed us by. But today’s post — legendary Chicago punks Pegboy — showed everybody that while we may be older, balder and fatter, we are in no way less skillful, engaging and energetic. Vocalist Larry Damore, who admited to being drunk at noon, ascended the stage with middle-fingers raised, and entertained and navigated the devoted through a flawless set of classics including today’s post, the seminal “Superstar.”

I was never a gutter punk by any means, and the punk rock that seemed to get me was always in a more rock/melodic category. Bands like The Minutemen, Bad Religion, Fugazi, Husker Du, The Descendents. And Pegboy fits right in there with them, merging sing-along lyrics with punchy riffage and a solid, metronomic back-end. Up until that weekend I had never seen them live and considering that this was probably the last time they will ever play, I am sure as hell glad that I did.

RIYL: Bad Religion, Fuel (the old one), Green Day, Husker Du, The Descendents, Hot Water Music

BUY: Touch & Go