By Rachel Courtney aka uneasy listening
Welcome to All Ages Night at the Song Bar! If you’re looking for booze, I am sorry to be the one to inform you that the bar is soft drinks only tonight.
Since all-ages shows have long been a staple of the DIY punk scene, today’s A-list is focused on the punk and punk-adjacent. It’s also a bit full of brand names, but not always in a flattering light.
First off, walk in the door and get your lips around a cool black Pepsi Coke with Jesus and Mary Chain. JAMC are from Scotland and I’m pretty sure they were not using “Coke” this way intentionally, but in the southern United States a Pepsi Coke isn’t unheard of, since Coke is the generic term many people use to describe sweet fizzy drinks, similar to “soda” or “pop” in other areas. In Here Comes Alice, coke (and Alice) is a remedy for heat, which is certainly something you could use in most punk shows.
Hydration is key at all times, but especially when you’re moshing in a sweaty club, so a nice Glass of Water from Lithics (from their new record that just came out on Kill Rock Stars last week!) is just the thing to pre-game.
SoCal skate punks The Faction are no strangers to all ages shows, hence their paean to legal underage beverages, Let’s Go Get Cokes. When you can’t get brews cause you’re not 21 yet, only one thing will do.
And for those watching their sugar intake, Washington DC’s Priests have some Diet Coke.
When it comes to hot drinks, Shonen Knife have a thing for unsweetened Hot Chocolate, literal oceans of it.
On a more serious note, Chineapple Punx take on the alarming practice of CO2 from nuclear power plants being repurposed for carbonation in soft drinks. Apparently Isotopacola is a thing!
You don’t often see people drinking tea at a punk show, then again hot chocolate isn’t too popular at those either. And this being a UK-based blog there’s got to be SOME tea. In this case it’s Lemon Tea, it sounds suspiciously like “Train Kept A-Rolling” and it’s delivered with proper attitude by Sheena & The Rokkets.
If there ever was a DIY scene that prized being childlike, it was the indie rock scene in Olympia Washington revolving around K Records. K founder Calvin Johnson’s band Beat Happening touched on all sorts of sweets in their lyrics, including one more mention of Shonen Knife’s pick in Hot Chocolate Boy. This hot chocolate has sugar in it.
Chumbawamba have always blurred the lines between theatrical goofiness and dead seriousness, and their early jab at Coca Cola’s imperialist tendencies In a Nutshell is a perfect coda for a room full of slightly worn out politically clued in teens who have SOMETHING TO SAY ABOUT THE STATE OF THE WORLD DAMMIT (keep it coming, kids!).
And finally, you can go home and decompress like the young punx do with some dub and some Hot Milk (by Jackie Mittoo).
The All Ages Show A-List Playlist:
Jesus & Mary Chain – Here Comes Alice
Lithics – Glass of Water
The Faction – Let’s Go Get Cokes
Priests – Diet Coke
Shonen Knife – Hot Chocolate
Chineapple Punx – Isotopacola
Sheena & The Rokkets - Lemon Tea
Beat Happening – Hot Chocolate Boy
Chumbawamba – And In a Nutshell
Jackie Mittoo – Hot Milk
The Be Cool Drink of Water B-List Playlist
Emmylou Harris – Deeper Well
Leadbelly – Bring a Little Water, Sylvie
Bobby Darin – Jailer Bring Me Water
Cats and the Fiddle – I’d Rather Drink the Muddy Water
Tommy Johnson – Cool Drink of Water Blues
Sons of the Pioneers – Cool Water
Kid Stormy Weather – Bread and Water Blues
Desmond Dekker – It Mek
William Bell – You Don’t Miss Your Water
Astrud Gilberto – Agua de Beber
Guru's Wildcard Pick:
Air Miami - I Hate Milk
Rachel Courtney runs the Philadelphia-based radio show Uneasy Listening.
These playlists were inspired by readers' song nominations from last week's topic: Refresh your page: songs about milk and other non-alcoholic drinks. The next topic will launch on Thursday at 1pm UK time.
New to comment? It is quick and easy. You just need to login to Disqus once. All is explained in About/FAQs ...
Fancy a turn behind the pumps at The Song Bar? Care to choose a playlist from songs nominated and write something about it? Then feel free to contact The Song Bar here, or try the usual email address.