It's been a few months since I had the onerous task of reviewing Tempe punk band VW Trainwreck's super-shitty record Dramaturgy in our You Asked For It column, only to field comments from the band suggesting:
1) I did not really listen to the record even once.
2) Record companies pay for good reviews in New Times.
3) I did not understand that their crass lyrics were ironic and/or postmodern satire.
So, yeah, these guys are clowns and, normally, I'd say they were fairly harmless clowns. Except for this flier, which genuinely kinda-sorta offends me. Yes, I know, being offensiv is totally punk rock and I should get over it. But, seriously, is this scene depicting what looks like Beavis and some of Butt-Head's friends raping, torturing, and murdering people okay? What about the guy tied to a cactus in Matthew Shepard-like fashion? I couldn't care less about the dead guy with the "Punk's Not Dead" flag sticking through his skull, who looks a little like me, or the fact that the rape victim is holding a New Times, but the fact that the gentleman in the Avail hat looks a lot like a prominent, and widely beloved, local promoter bothers me.
So what are these asshats up to? I e-mailed, Kevin Wunder, the dude in the band who drew the flier about it and got this response: "guy in Avail hat is ALLEGEDLY Will Anderson (big punk promoter in town, does all the big shows for Luckyman etc...it seriously looks just like him...)"
Yes, it does. At least before Anderson grew his badass mountain-man beard. Oh, and ignore the "allegedly" since it's coming from the dumbass who drew it. I've never heard anyone say anything bad about Will, so I can only imagine these dudes are being vindictive about the fact that he refused to put them on some bill, which is what any responsible promoter would do. Rather than maybe work on making their band not suck they've decided to book a show against Authority Zero, then try to get attention for it through shock tactics. Pathetic.
Speaking of "responsible promoters": The ink-and-paper version of this flier bears the mark of 13th Floor Entertainment, which is conspicuously absent from this digital (and thus much more widely circulated) handbill. Kim, who runs the company, confirmed for me that she is "helping" with the show and said she'd have the band explain to me who "everyone was supposed to be." So far, they owned up to Anderson, but not the rest of it.
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Says Kevin Wunder: "Yes, it's pretty violent and offensive...but again going back to old debates... I think you and I, we just come from different worlds, baby"
Yes, Kevin, we do. I'm sure there's a lot of people out there sick of hearing me bag on the Phoenix punk scene, but it truly sucks. Speaking as someone from a place with a real punk scene (Akron, Ohio), I've gotta say this shit would never fly. Where I'm from, these idiots would, at minimum, have their cars keyed in the parking lot. Probably someone in the band would take at least one wildly thrown haymaker to the throat during this show at Big Fish Pub. In all likelihood it would escalate from there. Phoenix punks are pussies, though, which is why this sort of stuff goes on. In Tempe, these guys can draw their stupid, little rape fantasy pictures without fear of any real reprisal. That's cool for me, as I like living in this palm tree-studded desert oasis among the laid-back locals, but, please don't expect me to take this kind of shitty shock-rock stuff seriously.
VW Trainwreck is a joke, this flier is a joke, and anyone who would go to this show is a joke.