search for something...

search for something you might like...

From the Moshpit #3: Presidents of the United States of America

From the Moshpit #3: Presidents of the United States of America

by Joe Ambrose, Literary Editor (2005-2018)
first published: March, 2005
Then there was a reprehensible version of the MC5's Kick Out The Jams.

I walked into the Astoria March 3rd as The Presidents of The United States of America walked on stage. During the first two songs I thought the three-piece sounded like Canadians who loved the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Then I thought they sounded like Canadians who loved Rush. The audience looked like Born Again Christians from the more backward parts of Canada who loved Rush and REM and U2. They turned out to be pushy Americans and suburban Brits who were, collectively, just plain wild about PUSA, a jokester punk Seattle band (neither funny nor punky) who inflict considerable damage on that city's reputation for producing music.

When they sang Zero Friction, one grim piece of work, the gormless fans joined in a frenzied bucolic chorus, celebrating lives which, no doubt, really do contain zero friction. Somebody should explain to them that there's an awful lot of pleasure in a little bit of pain. There was something appallingly uplifting and Power of Positive Thinking about the whole dismal procedure.

I can see why a guitarist might want to perform a long indulgent Hendrix-style solo in 2005‚Äīguitarists are like that‚Äībut I can't understand why an audience would want to enjoy it. When I hear people around me chanting "U.S.A! U.S.A!" without so much as a hint of irony I get queasy now that Freedom has become a dirty word. The real crowd pleaser was a lengthy medley which included a good Ramones tune done bad, the Eurythmics' Sweet Dreams, and other slush. Then there was a reprehensible version of the MC5's Kick Out The Jams.

When I got out it was pouring cold and hard rain‚Äījust about the only Seattle aspect of the night.

Joe Ambroses's book, Moshpit Culture, extreme travel writing from within the moshing subculture, is published by Omnibus Press.

Joe Ambrose
Literary Editor (2005-2018)

Joe Ambrose wrote 14 books, including Chelsea Hotel Manhattan and The Fenian Reader. Joe sadly passed away in 2018. Visit Joe's website which was completed just before his passing, for more info: JoeAmbrose.co.uk.
about Joe Ambrose »»

Then there was a reprehensible version of the MC5's Kick Out The Jams.

OUTSIDELEFT week in music

view on youtube

RECENT STORIES

RANDOM READS

All About and Contributors

HELP OUTSIDELEFT

Outsideleft exists on a precarious no budget budget. We are interested in hearing from deep and deeper pocket types willing to underwrite our cultural vulture activity. We're not so interested in plastering your product all over our stories, but something more subtle and dignified for all parties concerned. Contact us and let's talk. [HELP OUTSIDELEFT]

WRITE FOR OUTSIDELEFT

If Outsideleft had arms they would always be wide open and welcoming to new writers and new ideas. If you've got something to say, something a small dank corner of the world needs to know about, a poem to publish, a book review, a short story, if you love music or the arts or anything else, write something about it and send it along. Of course we don't have anything as conformist as a budget here. But we'd love to see what you can do. Write for Outsideleft, do. [SUBMISSIONS FORM HERE]

outsideleft content is not for everyone