Mexican summer - Page 2

Exploring the Mexico City punk scene through house shows and tumultuous SF pit stops


Their conversations lapsed into Spanish as another stressful development arose when a band showcase they organized at the last minute for Friday night was suddenly jeopardized by greed (the person who was going to lend the art space was now asking $300. It wasn't clear to me if that meant pesos or US dollars). For a moment my stomach sank and I thought there might be a shakedown, but a house was secured. They'd throw a party, free of charge.

Despite the free hors d'oeuvres and Dos Equis we stumbled upon at a Volcom party for a new shoe line, it probably paled compared to any exclusive party. I passed on the Growlers (a few of the band members snuck in) since Friday's showcase would be the main event.



Nico called my name to join him for a walk to the liquor store. Bleached-blond with shades, there's no way he's not in a band. He plays guitar and sings (they all sing) and was the final Headache I met in Mexico City. He described the common response from girls when they ask what he does and he tells them he plays rock'n'roll: they're not interested. I said freelance music writing doesn't pay well either. "We are losers," he joked.

They don't often get paid to play, but the determination to simply do what they love with their lives seemed to be the core of their existence. The showcase came together in a series of sweaty, passionate, punk-rock performances. Grandma Boys, Suca Suca, and Los Reverse demonstrated spirited, supportive roles for the aforementioned bands.

"This is for you. This is all for you, man," Twist! said, almost staring through me with intensity. Party mode had climaxed, but the profundity of what transpired didn't sink in until later. The day before I left, Fosi asked, "Did you get what you came for?" I told him "And then some." Humbled, lucid, and feeling alive, I left fulfilled. My reward is that I remember everything.



A story on DF punk that does not mention tianguis El Chopo, interesting.

In 1994 we were in DF headed to Oaxaca by rail, so we went to Buena Vista station to buy some tickets. Streaming through the station was a never ending line of punk kids. We scored the tix and followed the line of punks to the street next to the hulking station which was Tianguis el Chopo, an open air DIY punk mercado that happens every Saturday.

We were told that we HAD to go to this show the next day, which was at the southern end of the #7 orange Metro line, then required two combis out to a community center over the border in the Estado de Mexico.

The streetscape was littered with kids in near coma states from huffing all sorts of nasty organic solvents, many of whom could not afford the gate. I almost headed back to the hotel to get a C note and spring for the lot of them but the trek would have taken hours more and I'd miss the show along with them.

Serving up liters of corona in plastic bags, the crowd was getting pretty ripped, which was helped by the razor blades attached to their leather jackets as they thrashed in the pit. There were multiple bands, as much speed metal as punk, but the culture was puro punk.

At one point, a drunken guy, not very punk, pulled a knife on a friend of ours in the bathroom. Most folks there were so interested in seeing punk gringos afoot that they all swarmed on the perp and kept things safe.

During my first trip to the interior of Mexico in 1986, to Zihuatenejo via rail and bus with a gang of housing co-op mates from Austin, I took a solo side bus day trip to Playa Azul in Michoacan. While swimming in the crashing waves in the pristine waters, in addition to seeing a 4' tiger shark thwapping around me, I struck up a conversation with a teenage kid. I was wearing a Sid Vicious t-shirt, and the kid asked for it. I decided to give it to him, hopefully introducing the magic of punk rock to a generation of Michoacanians...

It was so awesome to see anglo-american punk culture transplanted to Mexico and thriving in ways unimaginable to us decades after it petered out here.

Posted by marcos on Sep. 21, 2013 @ 7:00 am

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