Vans Warped Tour

Punk, the soundtrack of American suburbia. From Broward County, Florida, to Orange County, California, two-car garages next to manicured lawns shake with the distorted guitars, screamed vocals and smashed cymbals of a genre that so long ago was reserved for the piss-reeking urban blights of London and New York. And each year, it seems like the Vans Warped Tour features every one of these bands, especially those from Orange County, an area that is to whatever-wave-we're-on punk what Houston is to codeine-drenched rap. But the Vans Tour does counterbalance all the generic SoCal candycore with a few oddities: There's the Irish punk of Flogging Molly and the Holy Land punk of Israel's Useless I.D. There's the cool alt-pop of Ozma, famous mainly for being Rivers Cuomo's favorite band; they release themed EPs inspired by things like the flight of Yuri Gagarin and, well, booty. Then there's Quarashi -- weirdest of all, unless you don't find the prospect of Icelandic hip-hop odd.


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