So, I was the given the opportunity to stab through a bass drum with the words “Fuck 2016,” but I’ll get to that in a bit.
Piss Shivers rocked out two really good events at Backspace awhile back.The first one was a sorta Christmas party but more in homage to how much of a mess 2016 had been. Event Title: Fuck 2016 Christmas, Art, and Music Support Party. I know, awesome-as-all-hell sounding.
So the idea was that Backspace would host a party where everyone could get out their frustration about this fucking circus of a year in politics and America’s refusal to move forward (to my fellow black readers, you already know). It would be a time to be sad and pissed, to let your heart scream.
Trouble is, I wasn’t thinking much on that before the actual show. Just focused on getting my shit right for the show.
You see, as part of the support of this show, us local musicians played covers that we figured would assuage the crowd. Piss Shivers, aptly dubbed Pix Shivers, did a Pixies set, Tyler set up a Guided by Voices set, and our lovable friends The Gebharts played an assortment of covers and even played a couple originals because they’re fucking awesome like that.
The Pixies set was super fun, but admittedly, I wasn’t super in the zone. It snowed that night. First of the year, and man was it beautiful. And that’s how the night felt overall to me, I think. A lot of pungent, resurfacing feelings.
When I made it to the space, snow falling heavy on my head, there was so much beautiful ass art hanging around the decrepit walls (including a large-scale tastefully done photograph of some actual booty).
A good chunk of it was in relation to the state of things in America, but there were many pieces that were what they were, you know. Just creative for the sake of. And that was beautiful to me.
I was reminded of the resilience in humans. despite all the shit happening, Trump’s horrific cabinet choices, the many isolated acts of violence and intolerance happening across the country as a result of the election, people were still fighting. It made me proud of this town and maybe a bit ashamed of myself.
This type of fight was something I had always seen in my hometown of Marianna long before the Trump’s campaign. The struggle against poverty and feeling like you weren’t worth much. You wouldn’t believe how many times I’ve heard people (including many from home) shit on living in the AR delta, but let me tell you, the land is beautiful and the people even more so.
But yeah, back to whatever point I was making. I was seeing all these people fight in their own way and I was just there, being almost indifferent. Staying boxed up in my house, save for practices and chore-related activities.
Where had the fight in me gone? Where was the anger? I know it would’ve been there a few years ago if something as catastrophic would’ve happened.
These questions were getting to me all night. And still, I don’t really have a full enough answer for them. But by the end of the show, it was all bubbling over.
The Gebharts were the last band and at the end of their set they asked everyone to take a stab at their kick drum, the year “2016” sprawled largely over the head in a geometric fashion. All the acts had used this drum set for the show. I had played on that set, like, only an hour ago.
When it was my turn to punch through, I saw it all in my head. Trump’s painfully obvious megalomania, the world’s negligence of the changing climate, my family and friends back home and up north in more urban areas who were either in jail, impoverished, or just gone from this world, and the realization of my growing indifference of it all.
And that’s where I just let it all out on that damn drum. I just kept stabbing through it repeatedly, pushing it backwards more and more. The crowd was cheering me on; I think they understood. My anger and sadness were finally opening up in me
In that small moment of time, I felt alive and ready to give it my all. I’m still looking to rekindle that fight in me. And, upon thinking on it, by ‘fight,’ I think I really mean emotional openness with the world. Something that the world seems to wear down in you after awhile.
But yeah, regardless, I’m gonna keep fighting that good fight.
So yeah, ’til next time.
P.S. Oh! Also, if you wanna check out some of the art that was presented, take a gander at Backspace’s facebook page. There should be post of some of it timestamped for around Dec 17.
Oh, and of course, I’ll have -more posts coming soon. Piss Shivers has done quite the number of shows, including some out-of-state ones that were fucking rad! Gotta talk about the New Years show we did too!. Will defs talk more on that later. Also, EP coming soon! But yeah, er, til next time