Back in the Regan era, there was a music scene revolving around hardcore punk. It manifested itself locally around joints like The Cameo Theater, Flynn's, The New Wave Lounge and 27 birds. Like most things made in the 1980s, hardcore just won't die.
It doesn't matter how hard you beat the dead horse. It doesn't matter how much you hard twist the ethos from DIY (do it yourself) to commercialism, nor does it matter how true or how metal and lame you make the music. At the end of the day, suburban teenagers still want to scream at society and no genre of music better facilitates that than hardcore.
This weekend, the two factions of local hardcore are throwing competing weekend mini-festivals: The 305 fest at Allapatah DIY punk co-op Miami Chumbucket and "Bringing It Back For The Kids" at Rocketown, a Fort Lauderdale youth center.
The 305 fest is certainly closer the spirit of 1980s hardcore. The gig is at a club founded by punks, and for punks -much like Berkeley's 921 Gilman st or NYC's ABC No Rio. The music is mostly provided by regional and local bands, with a few decidedly non commercial headliners sprinkled in. Most of those bands sound like 1980s hardcore punk acts, an exception being Houston grindcore act PLF. While The Chumbucket is a no-booze facility, chances are you'll find several dozen punks drinking outside - hopefully on the DL enough to not get the show busted.
"Bringing It Back For The Kids" is an unusual proposition, as it's put on by a clothing line called "1981 Straight Edge Clothing" founded by a couple of guys who came of age during Broward county's mid-1990s metalcore scene. As these guys were maybe 5 years old in 1981, it's interesting that they want to bring kids back to an era that they themselves never experienced. It's also interesting that they started a clothing line named after a song/movement created by a guy who hated commercialism so much that he refused to sell T shirts on tour.
Save for co-headliner Shai Hulud's screamed misanthropy and the savage pit violence one could expect during Until The End's alleged final set, BIBFTK is positioned as a wholesome affair. Twister, dodge ball, spin the bottle and vegan food tasting are listed high on the festival's activity list. Certainly Rocketown's north Fort Lauderdale location is a lot less sketchy than Allapattah. Unlike 305 fest, they have well-known bands on globally-distributed record labels that survived the great music industry meltdown.
But what,exactly does BIBHFTK have to do with hardcore rather than short haired heavy metal? Not much, other than giving a payday to Shai Hulud's Matt Fox, who has forged a 15-years-and-counting music career out of a shaky project created with a fellow Uncle Sam's record store clerk and three other dudes who dropped out within two years to do other projects. Anyone who can break out of Broward County with that level of support is as hardcore as John Brannon, Ian MacKaye and Ron Jeremy combined.
Bringing It Back Home For The Kids takes place Friday and Saturday May 13th & 14th at Rocketown, 371 s. federal hwy, fort lauderdale. Admission is $20 a day or $40 for a weekend pass. Shai Hulud co-headlines the Saturday lineup. For more information go to rocketown.com
305 Fest takes place May 13-15 at Miami Chum Bucket 1545 NW 28th st, Miami. Tickets are $25 for a 3 day pass, or $10 on Friday, $15 on Saturday and $10 on Sunday. For more information go to www.305fest.com