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Punk Rock Graduation Part 1

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There’s something special about what our host, Angela, is going through in this particular time of her life. She’s on her way to her senior year in high school, and presuming she graduates, she’ll be looking forward to a new chapter of her life. As I graduated from a high school in Calgary I thought that I would extend a short examination of how a branch of my taste in music began taking shape, ie: babble/rant on about nothing important.

I was recently discussing a few things that have been going on in the city with Ms. Angela and I was baffled by how little I recognize the landscape. She named a number of bands off the top of her head including Pressure Kill Common Style, The Collapse, Woodpigeon and The Failure to name a mere few. Though I knew very little to begin with about the local scene, when I was graduating high school I spent a lot of time listening to bands like Rancid, NOFX and Gob which led me to begin to explore a little into the Calgary punk scene. In doing so, friends advised me somewhat of what was going on (maintain the time period of roughly ’98-’01) and I found out about a few bands like Belvedere, Chixdiggit and Downway. Though I was a timid concert (or “gig” as the hipsters callen ’em) goer, I began listening to these bands a little, especially Chixdiggit, and felt somewhat close to the music.

As time has progressed I’ve grown closer to that band’s songs for a number of reasons (here’s where I babble)…in my journey towards my university diploma I found myself in a community college taking a course in rock & roll history. My teacher, Jocko, told tales of growing up in New York (not unlike my own tale) and spending time at, of all places, Rockaway Beach. How cool is that?! He continually mentioned how miserable a place it was, polluted and rocky with bitter waves. It was during this class, that I thought about the Chixdiggit song “Sikome Beach.” Though I had never traveled there, legend has it that the beach was the same depressing polluted and rocky, sad excuse for a beach, swamp that old Jocko was referring to.

Oh, and for the sake of this rant, I had heard along the way that a member of Chixdiggit had babysat for someone who worked with my dad. Yeah, so I’m only like two degrees of separation from the band, but, I’m not trying to brag or anything.

Punk was and continues to be a major influence in my musical tastes. It’s very enjoyable for me to listen to some of the music I listened to during high school and reflect on how like my tastes, I have changed. Angela has already proven her musical prowess by much of her postings on this site…and she’s only 16. So with that being said, thanks for checking out the first part of the punk rock graduation rant. Topping it off will be the initial chance for me to reminisce a little longer and examine where some of my punk rock roots might have started. This has been Chris from and this is one of the few songs that I can look back and thankfully acknowledge as one of the puzzle pieces that lead me towards what I listen to today. (I can’t believe how dated this video looks!)

[This article first appeared on But She’s on Fire.]