Potpourri of punk to perform
By Gordon Dritschilo
Punks young and old will descend on Rutland this weekend for Punk in the Park.
The event takes place from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday in Main Street Park.
Manchester’s pirate-themed Johnny Earthquake Band is a mainstay of both Punk in the Park and the regional punk scene.
“He’s told us he’s going to do it every year,” organizer John Ellis said of the surf-punk stalwart. “He’s celebrating his 33rd anniversary pretty much being in the same band.”
On the other end of the spectrum are newcomers Dicosis.
“I’m not really 100 percent sure what they are,” Ellis said. “They’re a new band. They’re local. I think they’re punk kids from the area — they’re all 17, 18.”
Another local act, Get A Grip, offers a hardcore sound.
“The singer just goes crazy, jumps around,” Ellis said. “The whole band — the energy level is just phenomenal.”
Ellis said a third collection of local youth, This Time Stars Fall, is in the overlapping zone between metal and hardcore.
New Hampshire’s Ammonoosuc River Shuffle Band, on the other hand, goes in a completely different direction.
“They’re kind of like punk mixed with folk,” Ellis said. “They have a banjo and an acoustic guitar — two-piece. They have some really good music with banjo and folk singing.”
Ellis compared the Burnouts of Durham, N.H., to the band Rancid. Rancid, for those who don’t keep up with such things, is frequently compared to The Clash.
Connecticut’s The Damn Broads is an all-female punk band.
“They’re fast,” Ellis said. “The last time I saw them, the singer was nine months pregnant and it was pretty cool.”
Ellis said Rutland metal band Humdinger and the Bucksnort are recovering after losing all their gear in Tropical Storm Irene.
“They had all their stuff in a basement and it got flooded,” he said. “They’ve been able to rebuild and they’re playing again.”
Springfield’s Matt Demon is “comedy metal.”
“It’s a two-piece,” Ellis said. “They do pretty good covers.”
Ellis described New Hampshire’s The Pretty Corpses as showing influence from punk legend G.G. Allin, though more in his choice of subjects than his antics, which cannot be accurately described in a family newspaper.
“They don’t do the bad stuff on stage,” Ellis said. “They sing about trailer park girlfriends, stuff like that. They rock live.”
Rutland-area crust punks The Midnight Saints will appear, as will New Hampshire’s The Labor Pains.
“They’re poppier punk with a little folk storytelling,” Ellis said of the latter act. “They do oldies covers, like Del Shannon, but they put a punk vibe to it.”
Crowds at Punk in the Park have been small since Ellis revived the event two years ago. He said threats of bad weather — and actual bad weather — didn’t help.
“Last year we had to do it in the Gazebo, which was pretty cramped,” he said. “We had about 30 people at the last one, not counting band members.”
This year, Ellis said, the Facebook group for the event shows more than 100 people planning to attend.