Houston Punk Gets a Welcome Shot of Youth Juice (UPDATED)
Note: Due to an editing error, the photos were mistakenly attributed to the author, and proper credit has been restored.
Photo by Maga Chapucera
Last Thursday I went to Mango's to see the Funboys, Lazer Cuntzz, and a band from Austin called Hamburguesa; It was free and I heard that my husband's band Noguey would be playing a surprise set as well. This was enough to get me out on a Thursday night.
Before Hamburguesa played, we met one of the band members, Goose, who couldn't stop gushing about the Houston punk scene: "Nobody is just standing around in the back, people are actually up in the front, dancing. It's not like that in Austin."
We looked around the venue, wondering what he saw that we might have missed. It seemed empty. Plus many Houston punk bands, like White Crime and Guilt Party, are breaking up or taking hiatuses.
Fast-forward to 11 p.m.: the Funboys are setting up and drummer/singer Bryan Alchamaa is disrobing and assembling a bra to wear. Suddenly, the room starts to fill up with ladies. By the time they start playing, the place is packed and the energy of the room has changed. People are dancing, moving around, screaming... not one body is still.
That's when it dawned on me...there's a shift happening in the Houston punk community: show lineups are changing. New faces are at every show. There are no more weekly White Crime shows, but Funboys are back. FG and the Gunz are back.
Herber Quattro and fellow punk acolytes know what brings people to shows: Boyish nudity.
Not only that, new bands are popping up with staying power. They're young, they make their own flyers, and they genuinely want people to go to their shows. They're not disillusioned by anything, they want to play and be heard...by anyone.
Young musicians like Alchamaa and Herber Quattro (of the Vipers) are bringing more people to punk shows, period. Quattro, in particular, does it with positivity and true love for punk music. It is the love of punk and positivity that's so infectious, thus bringing more interest from people around town.
When we talked to Dirty Jeff (newly inducted Lazer Cunt and member of the Funboys) he told us that the Thursday night show had been set up just days prior. No word was spread except for a few Facebook posts the day of. It was startling to see such a turnout for such a last-minute show.
It gave me hope that a new generation of Houston punks is coming, because now is the time. With so many other bands in "transitional phases," it's time to get some fresh blood from different parts of town with new material; maybe we can even hear some records recorded in different languages.
The promise alone is enough to keep my faith in Houston punk.
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