Sunday, January 5, 2014

Belated 5th anniversary of Keep Laffin'

     It’s been a long year.  And not a very productive one with the keep laffin blog and that’s a cryin fuckin shame.  I could just shit myself.  Still I’ve been productive in other ways which are none of your fucking business.  So there’s that. 

            I’m still hoping to get better at writing and such.  I switched from beer to whiskey a few months ago thinking it would improve my writing but then I kept coming up with excuses to not even try.  I started writing this blog five years ago I was all over the map, loose, unfocused.  Kind of like my life, and I think it was a good start.  As far as the music writing is concerned I came out like gangbusters trying to fill in an historical perspective on a world that didn’t seem to exist in the internet void.  It’s becoming more concrete as more people are sharing their stories and experiences.  And I love nothing more than defacing concrete.  So expect some defacing and deflating in the new year.  It's the only thing I excel at I guess.   

            I’ve really enjoyed writing about old timey music.  I tend to be downtrodden when I reflect on the billions of things I don’t know shit about so I have to admit it feels like I’m lounging on white fluffy clouds when I put pen to paper after listening to a shitty old demo recorded on a boombox in 1987.  It's inspiring to be able to write about something I feel I understand.  It's also juvenile and irrelevant so in that regard I’m in my element which is comforting and inspiring.  Maybe I'll do more artsy fartsy shit while I'm at it.  We'll see how the new year plays out.  

           I expect to continue writing so long as it continues to be fun.  The music is only one aspect of the blog but it tends to be the biggest focus to the rare visitor that now turns up.  I was putting out big numbers in the beginning of last year but that has slowed to a trickle in the last few months as my output has lagged.  My average audience of 3,000 "hits" a month has abandoned me since last summer which makes me feel a little better about continuing.  I don't feel like I've ever been the popular guy so I really don't want to start now.  I think I'm lucky to get 800 hits a month now which is a fine by me.  

            I have to admit I sometimes go far out of my way to be able to talk shit about the old scene and scenes in general.  Not that talking shit is the smartest thing I can do but it tends to be more fun than jumping up and down screaming how great things used to be.  Many people will always look back with rose colored glasses but the truth is the old days weren’t that great.  It was fun and frivolous to misspend my youth, but it wasn't innovative.  Doesn’t everyone fucking do that?  Doesn't punk rock die for most people the second their punk band breaks up?  Even more laughable are the few people who believe that the scene effectively dies when they walk away from it.  But every ego needs to be juiced so I don't fault anyone for creating and destroying the punk scene in their own mind.  We've all done it.          

         Five years ago I merely wanted to start a dialogue on the historical figures in the Las Vegas underground.  I figured after I’d get the ball rolling there would be some action which would bring about more attention and probably more recordings would surface.  Instead there was a reunion show which featured dozens, or at least a dozen, old geezer hardcore bands.  I even went back to Vegas to see the show.  I will say it was an incredible thrill to see Schizoid revived.  And 5150 is absolutely one of the best bands Las Vegas has ever produced.  I feel I gave them short shrift when I included them on the blog years ago.  Now there’s talk of making this reunion gig an annual event.  Shit, why the fuck not?      

            When you’re young everything that happens in front of your face is the most important thing that’s ever happened.  The tiny world you inhabit is filled with heroes and villains and it’s all a very stark black and white.  I take art too seriously.  I take music too seriously.  And I have looked down on the spectacle of what was known as "punk" for a long time.  It's failed too many times over to be celebrated.  It’s flawed just like people are flawed.  But the reality is there is no such thing as punk rock as a static entity and to think that it is is naive and ultimately petty.  I hate to think that the hardcore scene was little more than a huge drugged up party scene but I myself have played it up as such on this blog.  It meant more than that in some ways but it’s all subjective so some would argue it meant less.  We were smarter, more informed, more accepting freaks on the fringe of society.  Or maybe we were just the newest in a long line of elitist self absorbed pricks who thought our shit didn't stink?    
             The good thing about looking back to those halcyon, troubled and ultimately tragic times, aside from being able to talk shit and reference Corrosion of Conformity, is to see how far we’ve come and try to figure out if something can be passed on to later generations.  Sure the music was great, well some of it, but it’s equally important to remember what the legacy is if there is one.  It’s a question I pose to myself and to you as well.  If we could overcome the road blocks and hurdles to put on a punk show in the middle of the desert it’s just a stones throw to figuring out some other bullshit.  Right?  Many times you see examples of how small problems can be solved, this leads to reasoning that other problems can be solved, maybe even the biggest problems.  Solutions feel as if they are within reach.  I can’t stop thinking like that even as the old man I’ve become.

           Being exposed to the late 80's hardcore scene and it's subsequent offspring changed my world forever but in the bigger picture the underground scenes and cliques that I have been witness to have had absolutely no impact on the larger culture and society at large unless you count the fact that it is socially acceptable to dress like a dumb shit punk fuck today.  In fact I now see squares with worse hair then I thought imaginable back when I had liberty spikes.  I guess the other broad cultural impact was eventually seeing a Ruckus Rob and Derek Jeter, sorry I mean Dirk Vermin reality tv show.  If that ends up being the cultural milestone LVHC makes on the above ground world then I sincerely hope more people stand up to share their perspective because the promo I saw for that show made me throw up in my mouth a little.        

              At the end of the day the legacy always remains the same even if the song itself keeps changing.  It's all about UNITY.  There's been an ebb and flow throughout the Las Vegas underground that I have witnessed.  Times of extreme unity and times of extreme infighting.  It's a microcosm of the same bullshit each generation finds itself facing.  I've intentionally tried to keep a distance from politics in my writing here.  And to be honest it felt like I was trying to perpetuate a voice that would draw in readers who identify with my degenerate lifestyle only to eventually clobber them readers over the head with a lumpen prol pep talk to convert the heathens.  I might still try that approach over time.  Or maybe I'll just go into more detail concerning what I saw at the tender age of sixteen while sniffing glue?  I really did that, no lie.    
            Sorry no downloads with this post.  Expect more shit in the future. This is the belated 5th anniversary post.  It was exciting to write it but now it’s done.                


  1. "It's failed too many times over to be celebrated". That's deep! Good post Chad, great to see you again!

  2. I love coming back to this page every now and then, keep it up.