Old School

Two thirtysomething skateboarders attempt to resurrect Phoenix's skate-punk past

"Some people are seeing this as a cause now," Locker says. "It's kind of become a collective or a cooperative of old bros pulling together."

Azpunk.com, Redux
Web-savvy music fans around town probably noticed that AZpunk.com's extremely popular message board disappeared a few weeks back, due to heavy traffic that overwhelmed its host's server. Luckily, the site's administrators have pooled their resources -- with some help from philanthropic fans of the site -- and relaunched the message board with a brand-new, considerably more expensive server.

AZpunk.com celebrated its second birthday on February 1, and recently passed the million-visitor mark. According to site administrator Chris Lawson, the nonprofit Web site has nearly 15,000 registered members. The Web site has become Arizona's premier resource for punk and indie networking and grassroots show promotion, and features one of the best local concert calendars I've seen anywhere.

Possessed to skate: Tom Lopez (left) and Rob Locker bring back old-school skate-punk with AZPX.
Emily Piraino
Possessed to skate: Tom Lopez (left) and Rob Locker bring back old-school skate-punk with AZPX.

The message board on AZpunk.com is the heart and soul of the site, the nexus where fans and bands interact and laptop pundits talk shit -- blowing smoke out their asses on thread subjects like "Worst Five Local Bands." It's also often the locale of thoughtful discourse on important topics like annoying parents, how to get a ride and where to get drunk on Friday night.

The two AZpunk.com compilation CDs have consistently been best sellers among local releases, and provided a lot of the financial resources needed to keep the relatively low-budget site running. With the expanded server capacity it recently purchased, Lawson says that he and his partners are exploring other revenue-generating ideas to stay afloat, but they've also been helped out by donations from AZpunk.com members, nearly $300 thus far.

This Friday night, April 16, a benefit show to help defray AZpunk's newly expanded expenses will go down at Ziggy's in Tempe, featuring Bullet Train to Moscow, Casket Life, Reburn and the Skidmarks, and 80-D, as well as a spanking booth hosted by the girls of Arizona Roller Derby. Admission is only $5, with all proceeds going to AZpunk, and that $5 also gets you a ticket for a free drink at the bar -- so it's nearly free.

E-mail brendan.kelley@newtimes.com

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