Track Name: Institutionalized (Order Pizza With My Mind)
Sometimes I try to think stuff and it doesn’t come out the way I think it should, and then I get confused. And I try to track back on my thoughts, I focus real hard, but I still get confused. Because focusing still means thinking, and I try to go back to old thoughts and look, but that’s thinking too. And I’m getting caught up in where my thoughts come from, cause they just come from other thoughts, thoughts diying and going round the blue circle and getting carnated as thoughts again, and there’s nothing underneath. And I get caught up in getting caught up in it, and then the circle brakes, cause there’s no me to get caught up, just an ego trip of thoughts hanging onto thoughts. And then when I’m at max confusion some punk’s always in my ear going, “Way to go Mikey, you’re really getting over the band breakup, man, you’re so strong.” And I’m like, “I’m confused, let me alone, I’m trying to order pizza with my mind.” And they’re like, “No, your new band with Darby’s gnarly, man, and you’re not confused, this is the substance of the way of the sammrye. Let me just get you some pizza.” But that’s not the way I want pizza. That’s not how I want pizza, and then I wish it could of came back and tooken me with it, like, the fuckedest thing in the world.
And there’s no shame in diying like a dog, right, if it doesn’t work out the way you wanted it to. And it’s not even sposed to work out the way you want. And I’m sitting in our living room and it’s not our room, it’s just my room, I’m just like staring at the taped up door, thinking bout thinking and pizza and how nothing’s sposed to be anything and how my hardcore finally broke off and went without me, and pizza, thin crust pep and ched, and like how pizza’s a circle too. And kids bring me beer and they’ve got millionth generation Germs burns and they’re like shorter than my fucking nipples, and they’re all like, “It’s working out so good, you’re awesome in Darby Crash Band,” and I just sit there getting more and more confused, like, “How’d I join Darby’s band? The fuck was I thinking?” And I would of been all hardcore bout Meatheads breaking up if Meatheads were still together, cause I could handle anything when we were one thing, and now my hardcore’s missing and I don’t know how I would of wanted shit to work out, cause that’s what’s missing. And they’re all like, “No, man, it’s the substance of the way of the sammrye.” And I’m like, “Then the way of the sammrye must be without substance,” and then they go, “Man, Mikey, you’re deep, let me get you some pizza.” But I don’t want that kind of pizza, that’s not how I want it to come. That’s not how I want pizza to come, and I’m like, “Just let me chill! I’m gonna work on it myself, I’m gonna get my own pizza, I’m gonna concentrate so hard they know what my order is! Just let me chill!” And they won’t let me chill, they come in all like, “Hey Mikey, I brought you some pizza.”
And there’s still no shame, there’s no shame ever, just being a sammrye sucks sometimes. And I start thinking how maybe the substance of the way of the sammrye is subject to change without notice, and then memories of Darby Crash start irradiating my mind like Lord Buddha. “Hey, Mikey, too bad bout your band breaking up, but at least you’re drunk. You guys must need a singer. And I got a vision, I got tons of creative differences, and you always played guitar like Pat Smear anyway, just join up. It’ll work out.” And how can you say it’s working out? When I’m mainlining your liquid LSD, I’m feeling your creative differences, I’m going off for your no reason, how can I be the one who’s thinking? How can I know my ego’s a trip, and still be this confused?
Doesn’t matter. It’s probly the substance of the way of the sammrye anyways.
Track Name: The You Don't Talk About Hardcore Spiel
—You weren’t there. You know those places you can’t even get to. Old people talk bout places you can’t get to, not even if you go there. Cause you go there and it’s all fucked.
—You mean old times, Raff.
—Donn calls them old times cause he’s a scientist. So this one was called Lost Angeles. Same name as here, only that place was too. One fucked part, the shitters had water inside. Nobody was sposed to drink it but sometimes punks did anyway. You’d pull the flusher and the water carried your turds to mcdonalds. Every five million flushes Ronald McReagan would call you to say thanks for being amerikan. A nother fucked part was tours. Bands would come back alive from tours cause yuppies were on an Oki Dog diet and not eating punk steaks. But the fuckedest thing, they weren’t posers in Lost Angeles, they really didn’t talk bout hardcore. So they didn’t need a don’t talk bout hardcore spiel.
But anywhere there’s punks, anywhere, there’s the House of Anything Goes. And this old chick was older than Darby Crash there. She lived in the front attic where she set the floorboards herself. She didn’t specialize. She never said shit. She just lived with her hands facing out. The knuckles all pointed fucked ways and there was more scars than skin.
She didn’t talk bout hardcore.
So this one afternoon she was sleeping with a beer on the kitchen counter. The phone was her pillow so she woke up. Ian McEye of Minor Threat was talking.
Hey, I think I smell beer through the phone, said McEye. Goes Anything House is straight edge, right? No idea why I’d call you if your house wasn’t straight edge. So like, we’re on tour. We need a stage for tonight. At least twenty-three feet square. Then we need a nother like nine hundred and seventy feet square for our crew to sleep on. We all got the straight edge and we heard you have the basement where couch surfers go. Minor Threat would play the Whiskey but Minor Threat can’t play the Whiskey cause last time our crew physically bliterated it cause of the name Whiskey. We all got the straight edge. We’d go somewhere else but we threw out our address book. Somebody put a bad sticker on it.
How are you on the phone if you’re driving, she said. But McEye was gone.
The old chick woke up the living room for a mergency Minor Threat house meeting. Those shows pulled such a big crew, they’d leave all the county’s orange groves and chip factories barren for years. They’d plug every shitter and dry out every sink, and if a dog licked one beer puddle anywhere, they’d hold a community court for it. Every venue they ever had became a crusted crater.
I like Minor Threat, said the old chick. They’re fucking fast.
Some punk kicked the TV and it started talking news. After a lengthy appeals process, the bliterators tooken into custody at last week’s Minor Threat show are getting lectric chaired tonight, it said.
While the House was waking up the old chick did all the dishes. She took back the mountain of bottles behind the washer and dryer and spent the empties money on baby pickles to plant in the bongs. She hid all the sausage patties in a vegetarian broccoli box, she turned the serial killer posters backward and wrote YOUTH CREW and FUCK YOU DO YOUR OWN DISHES on the blank sides. She put new screens in the sink faucets and got the mower engine working on old deepfry oil. Down in the unfinished basement she painted straight edge Xs on the wrists of all the fuckups and bums and new travelers sleeping by the campfire and on the basement stage. Then she woke them all up running over soupcans in the mower blades.
She didn’t talk bout hardcore.
After that she sat with the tired bikes on the front porch and smoked. It looked like the House of Do Dishes and the House of We Got The Straight Edge and the House of What We Say In This House Goes, but Minor Threat hadn’t showed up.
Then something like a thunderclap hit. She saw this fat glowing bulge shoot cross the powerline, running toward downtown. The transformer tower down the street leaned over and started melting, and flies dropped all over the sidewalk like burning marshmallow bits. Lights started snapping out all through the House, from the green xmas stars in the attic to the giant halogen floodlamp over the stove, and then the streetlights. They came back on shining brown like shit soup, so brown you couldn’t tell where anything was.
Everyone climbed the rope ladder to stand on the House’s back, where her fists would pound shingles to keep out the storms. They watched the brownout wash cross the burbs of Lost Angeles, oozing brown light like a mud flood up to the roofs of all the houses. Cars were smashing and honk horning all down the block, and over top the brownout, millions of fresh straight edge ghosts streamed round in the dark like kids of lectric gray graffiti.
Could of spaced out the lectric chairings, said some punk. Do we even got room for that much couch surfers at once?
So they had a mergency brownout house meeting in the living room. Passing round a spoon and a peanut butter jar, and flashlights for under their chins to cut through the brown when they talked.
Minor Threat might be so edge but even they can’t find their way in a lectric brownout, said some punk. Pass the peanut butter. Ronald McReagan like cancelled the show for us.
Pass the light flasher, said some punk. No, they’ll come when the sun’s up. You know what, you can’t outstorm straight edge, but you can outconfuse it. We need to retrofit the house. We’ll bury the bottles in the side yard and put up chore charts and signs. We’ll give them a house of orders and regulations.
I already did that, said the old chick.
No, I still have the light flasher, said some punk. We can present rules and ramifactions so impacted they won’t know how to step, and then we say their pants are in opposition to us or something. We can outedge them and ban them from LA for infractions, so they won’t end up wrecking us to the ground.
I already set up the house with fake order, said the old chick. But to make them feel chill bout playing here. Fuck, I like Minor Threat. Pass the peanut butter.
So they pushed her out the front door and locked her out on the porch. This is a valuable lesson bout cooperation, somebody said through the mail slot. Come back when you’re ready to agree.
She sat on the porch rail and smoked and ate peanut butter and looked at the night. The straight edge ghosts were linking elbows in the sky and moshing out boring new constellations. The X, the Apple Juice, the Double X. Then she set the couch cushions on fire. When the porch was burning hard, she put her lips to the mail slot. I’m ready to agree, she said. Now Minor Threat can see us from far away.
Everybody got out and they sat on the yard for a mergency arson house meeting, edging off from the hot burning porch. We should have one of these every brownout, said some punk. Beats not seeing checkers in the dark, and fuck our tape collections.
I was feeling really threatened by the dishes posters in the new house, said some punk. And the best part is Minor Threat can’t play here now.
What? Fuck. If you’re really not willing, I gotta find them a nother venue, said the old chick. She went through the milk crates under the porch steps and got a bottle of hibachi fuel.
She didn’t talk bout hardcore.
You couldn’t tell where anything was and the dark was hot and brown like shit soup. The transformer tower slipped on its side in a puddle of sparks and molten steel. The porchfire lit round her edges like a cutout as she went fucking off with fuel in her hand. That was how it was the night Minor Threat came to LA.
Track Name: Very Last Final Shows Forever
Can’t beat a stapler for cosmetic surgery. Mikey’s got a hank of beige leather upholstery stretched cross his skylight as camo. They say wet blood washes off dry, and he smears his little scalp wounds over the leather. He’s running in the pitch dark with his free hand on the rail, lunging upstairs three steps at a time. Honestly, the most suspicious thing is showing up somewhere if you’re not soaked red.
The rooftop hatch’s arced with party garlands of cicadas and vertebrae, with the big fire glowing through like an leaky oven door. Hands shoot through the hatch to grab Mikey before he puts his first foot on the ladder and they haul him up so rough and rowdy it’s like they found McReagan in their midst. But they don’t pitch him off the edge, just pass him over their heads and put him down by the fire.
The amps are wrapped in rainjacket, even under their slanted canopies, precious as minds and further blown. You’re probly gonna say they’re inert and saramonial, nobody ever powered amps by tipping unfiltered palmbeer into ethanol generators. But all up and down these rusty monolith stacks, there’s white smoke seeping from underneath the knobs. The little red lights turn on, and you’re a tourist.
No, don’t stop staring. You don’t have to be anything.
You’re not gonna see this again.
You’d think Raff would take you by the spenders, dragging you round the fire to your ducktaped guitar, but she’s over there gnawing on her drumsticks. Stork tibias. Get it? Donn’s flicking switches on the generator bank, sucking thoughtful on one tip of a flaky rubber patchcord, his dreads casionally frazzing on end from lectro bursts. Arco’s fingers are ripping silently cross her guitarneck like a pilgrim at a swordshrine sheathing and unsheathing and sheathing her katana. Your feet must be walking themselves, Mikey.
Your crew moves like fossil cathode patterns blitting on a screen, and the crowd’s gone in smoke, and you’re not there, anyway, and the legend’s balanced onefooted on a stage that’s actually literally a matchbox on its end, stretching his arm palmdown to the big fire like it’s tumbled and he wants to help it up and see, his nother arm’s simply gone, uncauterized and still spraying dark from some last-ditch hardcore surgery. He gives you the littlest nod you’ve ever seen. And we all know his name. We all know his name. And he names every name of his diying.
—This is off the name line, it goes from intro to out. It’s not written down.
Sweet fuckall shat Jan Paul Beahm. Bobby Pyn ate Jan Paul Beahm. Richie Dagger ate Bobby Pyn. David Bowie ate Richie Dagger. Darby Crash ate David Bowie. Sweet fuckall ate Darby Crash.
—He named more names than that, Mikey.
—Wait up. This is off the name line, it goes from intro to out. Sometimes it starts back up and you’re born again, born fucked into the meantime, but it’s still not written down.
—He wasn’t Bowie either.
—Seriously not, man. That’s not his face on my Bowie mugs.
—These are the names he said, okay? Sweet fuckall re shat Darby Crash. Jan Paul Beahm ate Darby Crash. Ward State ate Jan Paul Beahm. Paul Beahm MBA ate Ward State. Vic Spiral ate Paul Beahm MBA. Casey Vein ate Vic Spiral. Splinter Grope ate Casey Vein. Max Reich ate Splinter Grope. Darby Crash ate Max Reich. Darby Crash ate Darby Crash. Darby Crash ate Darby Crash.
This is off the name line. It’s still not written down. Names aren’t lies til they’re down.
—The only people I wanted to see at this show are dead already. I think they still might of come. Last time we did a show like this one, it was so people could member. I wasn’t sposed to keep going. I wasn’t sposed to keep going after that. I think something got fucked. But I can member you all from that night, and you don’t look older to me.”
Where’s the mic? He’s talking into his last fist.
—This show isn’t for anybody here. I’m doing this so I can have it back. To know what it was like when I was still around. Afterward when you cut me up, I want you so drunk you don’t know who you’re eating.
The circle presses in. All their faces the same in that moment. The fire rears up and broken glass falls from the wind.
—I don’t want you membering me.
So Darby Crash steps into his death song. Screaming but not even into his fist that’s not a mic, and the PA system wakes in a blur of feedback, even so. Who could ever name the words he’s forming? The world’s sick of metaphors, and when you hear some yuppie word had twentysix definitions, you know that’s a snakehand. Doesn’t matter what he’s singing.
Here. Raffia’s drumkit coughs and turns over like a lawnmower engine. Skulltoms and sheetmetal rimshots plow forward as Darby’s throat opens harder and harder. His eyes cast up in the spacecolored wind and he’s standing blasé as any idol, nothing moving but his jaw, and his words stretch and shear and deform. They’re probly just everything, whatever they are. These words so secret it’d take the universe to hold them. Here. Their guitars start to chop. Mikey’s holding one chord and his big chunky fingers seem to barely move on the strings, and Arco’s two hands skitter up and down her guitarneck, picking, tapping. They’re the only times he’s careful and the only times she’s restless. The crowd boils round the edge of the circle and some punk bursts from the moshline like he got flung. These words forming like secret squats, treeforts in the sewers. Birthday candles on curdled pizza. Tripwires and barricades. Here. Some punk shooting sidelong at Darby with his hand out like to tag the legend’s dick and Darby’s singing with his head turned, not looking. He’s so not looking and he steps forward and punker shoots right between his legs and vanishes into the fire. These words forming like shattering milkbottles full of vodka. Tonka car armies on the stairs. Here. One stairwell door’s pried away and the doorway’s wedged with a huge yellow block of styrofoam for soundhead. There’s six yuppiegut bass strings, thick as a thumb and five fingers, strung between the overhead doorframe and the ground so they stand vertically against the block. Here. Donn’s reefing on the ginormous strings and they jump like the strings of bows. The legend’s screams forming round him like swimming drunk in black water and Donn’s angling and sliding his forearm for a capo. The styrofoam soundhead bucks and shudders, shooting force through every level of the spam works, the building itself his fretless bass. Here. The legend skews balanced on the knucklelong cardboard matchbox. Vintage matchsticks roll to the concrete and flare like revolutionary water, though there’s no fire there. Fat distorted chording pours through the night and through the last words of Darby Crash forming like the smell of pissed jeans burnt with roman candles. Waking drunk covered with puke in the crawlspace. Very last final shows forever. Words shaped like that. The way we all got into hardcore.