An Apology of Sorts...
March 24, 2011 10:14 AM   Subscribe

Popular punk band Screeching Weasel has dis-banded after front man Ben Weasel punched two women at SXSW last week. Weasel offered an apology (kind of). Last night, the other four members of the band resigned.

Good collection of links at Feministing and here.
posted by shesdeadimalive (206 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Why is that an apology (kind of)?

"I want to apologize to both the club owner and audience member involved for my actions during our show at SXSW on Friday night. While their actions were outside of my control, my regretful reaction is wholly my responsibility."

That is hardly a begrudging half arsed apology. It's pretty much mea culpa with the caveat that he isn't that keen on people (allegedly) spitting or throwing stuff at him on stage. I'm not convinced that devalues the apology, though.

I mean, the guy is an arse for doing that, but it's a pretty straightforward regretful apology from where I am sitting.

posted by Brockles at 10:24 AM on March 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


I’m really disturbed to hear about this incident. It is hard enough for women to feel comfortable and welcome attending music shows and festivals without male performers literally doing violence unto them.
Okay, if you're worried about being the victim of violence maybe you shouldn't assaulting people by throwing things at them or spitting on them?

I'm not saying that the response was proportional, but it seems strange to associate 'safety' with the right to throw things at people without provoking a response.
posted by delmoi at 10:24 AM on March 24, 2011 [14 favorites]


They were even still around?
posted by functionequalsform at 10:24 AM on March 24, 2011 [6 favorites]


This would be a really great way to do a re-make of "Jacob's Ladder" starring Glenn Danzig.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:26 AM on March 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


I know this is going to sound extremely stupid and juvenile, but it was one of the goals of my life--one of the goals before I turned 30, even--to see Screeching Weasel live. I was hugely into them in high school. I missed them the last time they came through Seattle (on my damn birthday, too), and now it opportunity's gone.

This is almost as bad the time I missed Guitar Wolf at SXSW.
posted by Ideal Impulse at 10:26 AM on March 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


Misogynistic dickhead shows himself to be a violent misogynistic dickhead.
posted by ob at 10:29 AM on March 24, 2011


I had the same reaction, I had no idea they were still a working band. Kamala's too nice, indeed.

I thought his apology was pretty straightforward. True, he seems to want the woman to share some responsibility too, which I think is funny, but he doesn't say anything half-assed like, "Mistakes were made," or, "I'm sorry you didn't like it when I punched you in the face."
posted by OmieWise at 10:30 AM on March 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


He was probably trying to break the gender boundaries by reacting as he would to men.
posted by cheburashka at 10:30 AM on March 24, 2011 [16 favorites]


Isn't having bottles and spit hurled at you part of the iconography of punk ?? To claim that people should expect some kind of reaction to throwing bottles at a band at a PUNK concert is ridiculous. You're a punk band...if people aren't throwing shit at you, you aren't doing your job.
posted by spicynuts at 10:30 AM on March 24, 2011 [10 favorites]


I am curious about what the stories describe as his "misogynistic ravings." Sounds like he was in a pretty foul mood all night. I wonder what he said that resulted in ice cube throwing, or spitting, or whatever happened?
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:31 AM on March 24, 2011


I would expect nothing less from a Chicago Wolves fan.
posted by drezdn at 10:31 AM on March 24, 2011


"Screeching Weasel" sounds like a made up band from a sitcom.
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 10:32 AM on March 24, 2011 [12 favorites]


Misogynistic dickhead shows himself to be a violent misogynistic dickhead.
How would you respond if someone spit on you? It wouldn't bother you? You wouldn't feel like hitting them?
posted by delmoi at 10:33 AM on March 24, 2011 [11 favorites]


If you're in a punk band and can't handle someone spitting on you...
maybe you shouldn't be in a punk band.

(said the guy whose first punk experience at Kanagawa U in the '79 involved a lot of spitting by both audience and bands. They say the Japanese are a reserved, polite people... :)
posted by djrock3k at 10:33 AM on March 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


I, too, had the same reaction, I had no idea they were still a working band.

Well, I'd never heard of them until now, either.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:33 AM on March 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Screeching Weasel" sounds like a made up band from a sitcom.

Respect your elders; Screeching Weasel was founded 25 years ago.
posted by jscott at 10:34 AM on March 24, 2011 [9 favorites]


Honestly I think Ben's apology is much more straightforward than the band's resignation (kind of) letter. But yeah, amazing they're still around. Last I knew, Ben was good for stirring controversy in MRR.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 10:34 AM on March 24, 2011


Honey badger don't give a shit about screeching weasel.
posted by punkfloyd at 10:34 AM on March 24, 2011 [51 favorites]


Ben went to Elan School, a boarding school in Maine that subjected kids to horrible psychological and physical abuse. After a Reddit campaign against the school, they recently announced that they were closing their doors due to a lack of enrollment. Check out a recent Reddit thread with more details.
posted by gngstrMNKY at 10:35 AM on March 24, 2011 [6 favorites]


Okay, if we're going to start defending the hitting of the person who threw the ice because they were pissed at his misogynistic rantings -- which is already a fairly weak place to start -- how do we defend the hitting of the person who tried to break up the hitting?

That's what happens when you start from a weak place -- you end up somewhere indefensible.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:36 AM on March 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


ob: “Misogynistic dickhead shows himself to be a violent misogynistic dickhead.”

Ouch. Screeching Weasel meant a lot to me when I was growing up. Is there any basis for this accusation, or are you just assuming?
posted by koeselitz at 10:36 AM on March 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


Oh man, I hope that Ufez got to see them and yet was not at this particular show.
posted by yerfatma at 10:36 AM on March 24, 2011


Excellent. What's more punk than punching two women in the face then quitting.

It sounds like the women may have deserved it, and if it were two men who got punched, pretty much no one would care. I'm not sure what that means.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:37 AM on March 24, 2011 [14 favorites]


Yep, here we go with the female double-standard. "Equality! Equality! Equali- hey, that guy punched a giiiiirl zomg!"

Wanna be equal? Then don't throw ice cubes at someone, and spit beer on them, if you don't want to get hit. That's equality. You don't get to run to your daddy's arms or the shelter of the patriarchy only when it's convenient.

This is only a story because they were women- so apparently their being hit is meaningful because they're the "weaker sex"? Delicate flowers of femininity? Okay, fine- if you want to be the weaker sex, then take all the trappings with it, good and especially bad. Otherwise, own your place in society as an adult, and take your punch when you start assaulting someone first.
posted by hincandenza at 10:37 AM on March 24, 2011 [54 favorites]


Serious Question: Is this Pedestal Feminism? He wasn't singing about hitting women, or wearing a t-Shirt expousng the virtues of spusal abuse. Gender seemingly had nothing to with this - he just lost his shit and punched someone in the audience.
If you go to see a punk band and sit right up front you should anticipate the possibility of being bashed about the frenzied. Whipping an ice cube at the lead singer is not calming things down, either.
posted by CynicalKnight at 10:38 AM on March 24, 2011 [6 favorites]


Without letting Foster, whom I know nothing about, off the hook, I wonder what the hell was in the water this year at SXSW. I had a great time, but there was a lot of bad business going down with incidents where they had to call the cops, knocking fences down, and all sorts of bad shit. Of course, all this happened at official showcases, but it's the unofficial showcases that SXSW and APD want to crack down on next year.
posted by immlass at 10:38 AM on March 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Okay, if we're going to start defending the hitting of the person who threw the ice because they were pissed at his misogynistic rantings -- which is already a fairly weak place to start -- how do we defend the hitting of the person who tried to break up the hitting?
Fog of war.
posted by delmoi at 10:39 AM on March 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


He apologized? Pfft! G.G. Allin must be rolling in his coffin.

His urine-soaked, feces-filled, swastika-emblazoned coffin.
posted by Atom Eyes at 10:39 AM on March 24, 2011 [16 favorites]


Damn. I hate this. Their new record, First World Manifesto, is a pretty good pop punk record, very much a return to form reminiscent of Anthem For A New Tomorrow, even if Jughead doesn't play on it.

And maybe I'm a horrible person for thinking this is getting blown slightly out of proportion. Someone got punched at a punk show? Teh horrors! Break up the band!

But I do expect better out of Ben Weasel. I don't always agree with him, but he's a pretty thoughtful guy, and frankly I'm more disturbed by the implication that the ice-throwing was brought on by his "misogynist raving" than that he then took a swing at a member of the audience.

On preview:

You're wrong, ob. Weasel isn't the cartoon you'd like him to be. The reason this is shocking is that this is out of character for the guy. He's not the typical punk meathead who goes around punching people.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 10:40 AM on March 24, 2011 [19 favorites]


KokuRyu: "This would be a really great way to do a re-make of "Jacob's Ladder" starring Glenn Danzig"

That Huey Lewis song?
posted by symbioid at 10:41 AM on March 24, 2011


Yeah, non snarkily, this is really sad news.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:42 AM on March 24, 2011


"Screeching Weasel" sounds like a made up band from a sitcom.

You're thinking of Iron Weasel
posted by briank at 10:42 AM on March 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


He apologized? Pfft! G.G. Allin must be rolling in his coffin.

Yeah, he's no El Duce, either.

Which, ya know...I consider a good thing. Those guys were dicks.
posted by malocchio at 10:42 AM on March 24, 2011


Hecklers are the lowest form of scum on Earth, so whatever. I'm sure she'll never throw ice cubes at someone on stage again.
posted by ReeMonster at 10:44 AM on March 24, 2011


Wanna be equal? Then don't throw ice cubes at someone, and spit beer on them, if you don't want to get hit.

Hm. I had an ice cub thrown at me once. Had a thrown a punch in response, whatever the gender of the thrower, I am sure the courts would have considered it to be a disproportionate response.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:46 AM on March 24, 2011 [9 favorites]


The un-calculated act put forth by Ben "Weasel" Foster leading up to and including the violence that erupted on stage is seen by the band as shameful and embarrassing. The sentiments and actions expressed were completely out of our control and in no way represent the band members' view points or moral compasses. As a result, the band has discussed at length and has come to the conclusion that as a group we will not likely be able to muster the dignity to attempt a live performance as "Screeching Weasel" in the for-seeable future. We each look forward to re-evaluating our involvement in the band as we move forward if we are given the opportunity.


Never heard of these guys, but nthing the "this is a punk band!?" reaction.

That said, Pablo Picasso was never called an asshole.
posted by chavenet at 10:47 AM on March 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


All you 'that's equality, take it or leave it' assholes need to check yourselves. Male or female victim, assault would get prosecuted if the abused party filed a police report. And you can bet a civil suit would follow if this was a band that had any real assets to pilfer for a settlement. So stope the b.s. about running to the arms of the patriarchy.
posted by spicynuts at 10:48 AM on March 24, 2011 [6 favorites]


In addition to what Astro Zombie pointed out, it also seems like the second woman was a bartender who was trying to restrain him. He then takes a swing at her, at which point it appears that security intervenes.

The staff at a lot of music venues tend to take exception to people hitting other staff. Ben Weasel is lucky he's so well known, or he might be making his apologies through a wired jaw.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 10:48 AM on March 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


Respect your elders; Screeching Weasel was founded 25 years ago.

No opinion on them musically, but if they were formed 25 years ago they have had a stupid, sitcom sounding name for 25 years.
posted by dirtdirt at 10:49 AM on March 24, 2011 [7 favorites]


I'm sorry..BATTERY. Not assault.
posted by spicynuts at 10:49 AM on March 24, 2011


If you're in a punk band and can't handle someone spitting on you...

I can't figure out if this is a red herring, strawman or "No True Scotsman" fallacy.
posted by rhizome at 10:49 AM on March 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Isn't having bottles and spit hurled at you part of the iconography of punk ?? To claim that people should expect some kind of reaction to throwing bottles at a band at a PUNK concert is ridiculous. You're a punk band...if people aren't throwing shit at you, you aren't doing your job.
posted by spicynuts at 6:30 PM on March 24


I'm sorry, this is bullshit. As someone who experienced the whole 76-79 Brit punk thing I can tell you that the whole gobbing-and-chucking thing was hated by the bands and almost everyone who saw them. I mean, this shouldn't even need saying. Do you like being spat on? Do you like having objects hit you in the eye or ding off your head? Really?

It was one of the nasty, bullshit aspects of punk and to try to justify it by saying it's somehow an integral part of the thing is sheer bollocks. It's fucking annoying and fucking dangerous, is what it is.

As for this? Massively inappropriate overreaction from the guy, but the victim should not have been spitting or throwing shit at him. Sorry people, you get involved in physical assault - even at that relatively low level - you'd better be braced for some comeback, and that comeback might well be massively inappropriate. Don't like that? Then don't chuck shit at people.
posted by Decani at 10:49 AM on March 24, 2011 [64 favorites]


How would you respond if someone spit on you? It wouldn't bother you? You wouldn't feel like hitting them?

What you feel isn't supposed to be an exact determinant of what you do, unless you're under 2. Adulthood is normally available in between. Why is anyone, anywhere defending a performer punching people in the face?
posted by namasaya at 10:50 AM on March 24, 2011 [5 favorites]


It sounds and looks to me like both the ice thrower / spitter and Mr. Weasel behaved badly. Mr. Weasel's behaviour was worse though, because punching people is worse than spitting on them. And there was no reason to punch the second woman at all.

It also seems like Mr. Weasel is handling it appropriately. Apologising is a good thing. It's one of several things one should do, and his apology seems more forthright than a half-hearted apology normally does.

Also, what's the deal with this "misogynistic ranting"? It wouldn't excuse either party's behaviour, but the video begins with the ice-toss, and not the comments that precede it.
posted by Pseudoephedrine at 10:50 AM on March 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Respect your elders; Screeching Weasel was founded 25 years ago.

Doesn't matter. Tyrades are still Chicago's first and only punk band.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 10:51 AM on March 24, 2011


I had an ice cub thrown at me once.

it's a good thing mamma polar bear wasn't around
posted by pyramid termite at 10:51 AM on March 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


Who do you think did the throwing?
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:52 AM on March 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Like most people, a lot of punk bands don't like being spat upon; I have a NOFX live show where they chastise the audience about the dangers of hepatitis. Still doesn't justify decking her or the intervening party.
posted by Challahtronix at 10:53 AM on March 24, 2011


All you 'that's equality, take it or leave it' assholes need to check yourselves. Male or female victim, assault would get prosecuted if the abused party filed a police report.

That's simply not true. You'd have a very hard time getting the police to do anything at all over two punches thrown at a show.
posted by enn at 10:53 AM on March 24, 2011 [7 favorites]


Who do you think did the throwing?

sarah palin
posted by pyramid termite at 10:53 AM on March 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


Other than his apparent douchiness, I'm most impressed at the lack of force behind those punches. He looked like he was moving in slow motion. What was he on?
posted by entropone at 10:53 AM on March 24, 2011



How would you respond if someone spit on you? It wouldn't bother you? You wouldn't feel like hitting them?

Yeah. I definitely would feel like striking out in a physical way. But I wouldn't do it. Especially being it was a woman. I would resort to some weaselly retort such as, "I may have disrespected you with my comments. But you have disrespected yourself by assaulting me".
posted by notreally at 10:54 AM on March 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


Everybody involved appears to have had a bad day. It happens. People shouldn't punch other people, especially when they're being, at worst, mildly harassed. People shouldn't harass other people because sometimes those other people are in no kind of mood and might throw a punch that will be regretted by everyone just moments later.

But I feel uncomfortable claiming this as a rallying point for feminism. Anyone have a convincing argument for that?
posted by rusty at 10:55 AM on March 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


the funny thing to me is that this wouldn't have gotten any attention during punk's heyday
posted by pyramid termite at 10:55 AM on March 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


Big famous beloved punk dudes shouldn't punch their fans or the venue staff no matter how they behave. Jeez, that whole Lookout Records/Gilman/California scene just went to shit since I stopped following it, I guess. Larry Livermore would have had a giant giant conniption fit.
posted by Frowner at 10:56 AM on March 24, 2011



That's simply not true. You'd have a very hard time getting the police to do anything at all over two punches thrown at a show.


Hard time != zero chance. Would hard time = zero chance if you were a man? No.
posted by spicynuts at 10:56 AM on March 24, 2011


What you feel isn't supposed to be an exact determinant of what you do, unless you're under 2. Adulthood is normally available in between. Why is anyone, anywhere defending a performer punching people in the face?
That's true, but I think most people would want to do it. So I don't really think that punching someone who spits/throws things at you makes you an unusually violent person. It doesn't mean that, legally, it's OK.
posted by delmoi at 10:58 AM on March 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have a NOFX live show where they chastise the audience about the dangers of hepatitis.
posted by Challahtronix


Was this before or after Fat Mike peed in a bottle of tequila and served it to his fans?
posted by Ann Onymous at 10:58 AM on March 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


the funny thing to me is that this wouldn't have gotten any attention during punk's heyday

This specific event; a punk rocker punching an audience member that had thrown ice at him? Maybe not. But a generalized atmosphere of violence and misogyny that was alienating to women?

It got enough attention to inspire the entire Riot Grrrls movement.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:59 AM on March 24, 2011 [5 favorites]


I have no idea what you're saying, spicynuts. Zero chance of what? If who were a man? All I'm saying is that it isn't a simple certainty, as you claimed above, that a punch like that shown in the video would result in a prosecution if the punchee chose to file a report. In fact it probably would not, regardless of the sex of anyone involved.
posted by enn at 10:59 AM on March 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


But I feel uncomfortable claiming this as a rallying point for feminism. Anyone have a convincing argument for that?

I don't think this is a "rallying point for feminism" so much as a moment that suggests that the feminism/anti-violence/kindness stuff that was if not hegemonic at least strong in the mid/late nineties when I was following pop punk and that whole California scene has pretty much faded away. I've thought this for a while and was reminded of it when reading Nothing Nice To Say, which was linked yesterday. I don't feel like rallying, personally; I feel really disappointed and sad that a band that was part of a scene I liked has come to this.
posted by Frowner at 11:00 AM on March 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


The first time I heard of this, the story was explicitly that the ice throwing was in response to Weasel saying some pretty misogynistic shit between songs. Anyone else seen anything to that effect?
posted by jtron at 11:00 AM on March 24, 2011


Mr. Weasel's behaviour was worse though, because punching people is worse than spitting on them.

...and so is spouting misogynistic crap from the stage to begin with.



(Disclaimers: we don't know what he said. If it was truly misogynistic, I can see tough punk girls getting pretty spitty. I, myself, am a very calm individual, but even I might get a bit spitty if what was said was really offensive.)
posted by functionequalsform at 11:00 AM on March 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Isn't having bottles and spit hurled at you part of the iconography of punk ??

but nthing the "this is a punk band!?" reaction.

If your perception of punk rock bands (and fans) is of a bunch of lowbrow, deranged, violent, antisocial nihilists and anarchists who revel in getting spit on and mindlessly punching each other to discordant songs with lyrics like "death, scum, worms...deaaaaath!" then you need to stop reading so many comic books.

There is a whole spectrum of punk rock. Not every concert is an orgy of violence and spite.
posted by mcmile at 11:01 AM on March 24, 2011 [9 favorites]


Was this before or after Fat Mike peed in a bottle of tequila and served it to his fans?


During.
posted by entropone at 11:01 AM on March 24, 2011


FYI, quite a few people are saying that she never spit on him or threw a bottle. The girl who was punched threw an ice cube at him, yes. (I don't think that calls for anyone to be punched.)

A comment on the Houston Press site:

"Here's what actually happened. He spent the whole set going off on long tirades about getting screwed for the show as they charged $20 pp & they got a total of $250. During one of these tirades someone threw beer at him, he offered $20 to someone to kick the person's ass, then found out it was a girl & recruited another girl to kick her ass, then during the next song someone threw what appeared to be an ice cube, which hit him directly in the face...he, understandably, got pissed & threatened to kick the persons ass, saying "get your ass onstage!", then some chick raised her hand and started going up onstage...he said "oh, its another girl, I don't give a fuck! Get your ass onstage skank", and when she did, he punched her, then the blond girl (who apparently is the venue owner) came to break it up & jumped on his back, to which he pushed her off & punched her too..then it became a zoo. That is everything the article should have said, but...didn't!"
posted by naju at 11:02 AM on March 24, 2011 [25 favorites]


Isn't having bottles and spit hurled at you part of the iconography of punk ??

It's funny when people do things for the wrong reasons—for instance, when the gobbing craze started after I used to spit off stage. Nobody realized they were imitating a physical illness, not a political stance. I've spat like that all my life because of very bad sinuses and a phlegm problem. It also comes quite natural, particularly when you're on stage and you're ripping your tonsils apart through every song. So you just gob it on the stage. But the sheep out there who love to bleat do likewise. Maybe if I'm feeling particularly spiteful and depressed, I'll slash my fake plastic wrists and see how many followers I could take with me. - John Lydon
posted by mykescipark at 11:05 AM on March 24, 2011 [8 favorites]


They should have played at that real cool club on the other side of town where the real cool kids go to hang around.
posted by maryr at 11:08 AM on March 24, 2011 [5 favorites]


I don't think this is a rallying point for feminism- spitting on someone really isn't good behaviour regardless of gender, and I sympathize with the first punch being thrown even if I don't approve of escalating violence when other means like having security throw her out were available. Furthermore he was fighting the other staff as well as the blonde woman who chose to restrain him- probably some anger management classes for the performer, an apology to the staff member, and anger management classes for the woman hurling ice are in order.

however I'm liable to trust the judgment of the four other guys in the band, if they thought it was particularly shameful.
posted by Phalene at 11:10 AM on March 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


I missed them the last time they came through Seattle (on my damn birthday, too), and now it opportunity's gone.

Do you ever get the feeling you've been cheated?
posted by banshee at 11:10 AM on March 24, 2011 [5 favorites]


Not every concert is an orgy of violence and spite.

Only the good ones.

Also - MetaFilter: ...
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:10 AM on March 24, 2011 [5 favorites]


Pffft. Neko Case could probably kick his ass.
posted by fixedgear at 11:11 AM on March 24, 2011 [8 favorites]



There is a whole spectrum of punk rock. Not every concert is an orgy of violence and spite.


My "nthing "this is a punk band!?" comment was in reference to the emo-marketing prose of the band's resignation letter, and nothing more.

But I have figured it out now, upon realizing this band has been around for 25 years.

They're all grown up now, more the "let's get sushi and not pay" school of punk than the "Anarchy in the UK" school.

Nothing wrong with that.
posted by chavenet at 11:13 AM on March 24, 2011 [2 favorites]




There is a whole spectrum of punk rock. Not every concert is an orgy of violence and spite.


All of the ones I went to were.
Is a mohawked juvenile, drunk on royal reserve and hormones going put up with any less?

But even then I'd have been pretty disgusted if I'd seen anyone jump off the stage and punch out members of the crowd. ESPECIALLY if the victims were smaller than him or obviously unable to put up a fight.
posted by Stagger Lee at 11:16 AM on March 24, 2011


functionequalsform: “...and so is spouting misogynistic crap from the stage to begin with.”

For what it's worth, I don't for a moment believe that Ben Weasel would spout misogynistic crap from the stage. I know you amend this to say that we don't know what was said, and I know that sometimes people say things that surprise us.

But it should be known that Screeching Weasel has always been a notably feminist band; I actually feel as though their feminism is much more nuanced and much less brutal than almost any other punk band of the era. Ben Weasel's lyrics have always reflected a real thoughtfulness and care about the experiences of women and shown a concern with ending misogynist oppression; he talks about this frequently, in fact, and deals with it in ways that one wouldn't always expect a punk band to deal with it. He's never been caught up in offensiveness for offensiveness' sake; almost all of Screeching Weasel's songs are about a person's life in the world where we find ourselves, and the emotional repercussions of that world.

When I was a kid, one of my favorite songs was "Mary Was An Anarchist," a tune about what it means to give up your ideals, and how easy it is to do that when the meaning behind those ideals is just a thrill of rebellious violence. I guess it's not really applicable to this situation, but I'm thinking about it a bit right now.

Suffice it to say: Ben Weasel is no ignorant meathead who struggles with knee-jerk misogyny. He's a thoughtful dude who means what he says when he calls himself a feminist. People overreact to shitty situations sometimes, and it sounds like that's what happened here; and I'm not happy hearing the stories about how he acted that night. But I don't see misogyny in it, and I still respect him at the end of the day.

chavenet: “They're all grown up now, more the "let's get sushi and not pay" school of punk than the "Anarchy in the UK" school.”

Well. Like I said, Screeching Weasel were writing songs about the ineffectiveness of violent rebellion twenty years ago; so it's not as though they're "all grown up now," more that they've been all grown up from the start. Hell, a decade ago they released a pretty great album called "Emo," the title of which was both a dig on the burgeoning emo scene of the time and a frank admission that the songs on that record were largely about heartache, love, loneliness, and Ben Weasel's approach to life in general.
posted by koeselitz at 11:17 AM on March 24, 2011 [17 favorites]


The punks were really running wild this year at South By.
posted by dirtdirt at 11:19 AM on March 24, 2011




It's funny when people do things for the wrong reasons—for instance, when the gobbing craze started after I used to spit off stage. Nobody realized they were imitating a physical illness, not a political stance. I've spat like that all my life because of very bad sinuses and a phlegm problem. It also comes quite natural, particularly when you're on stage and you're ripping your tonsils apart through every song. So you just gob it on the stage. But the sheep out there who love to bleat do likewise. Maybe if I'm feeling particularly spiteful and depressed, I'll slash my fake plastic wrists and see how many followers I could take with me. - John Lydon


All of my teenaged punk heroes l pook like self-involved, immature little brats through adult eyes. But they can't hardly win, I'm also reeling from Crass' legal battles.
posted by Stagger Lee at 11:19 AM on March 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


If you're going to go with the (questionable) "spitting and throwing shit is an integral part of punk" trope, then you sort of have to commit to the "kicking the shit out the audience is also a part of punk" trope.
posted by bpm140 at 11:21 AM on March 24, 2011 [11 favorites]


l pook

That should probably read "look."
Where's my edit window?
posted by Stagger Lee at 11:21 AM on March 24, 2011


This whole incident does not paint Ben Weasel in a positive light. I am not trying to defend him or his actions. And while I live in Chicago and have more than one punk-related tattoo, I am not a fan of his band, and have never met the guy (that I know of).

That being said, my understanding is that dude has dealt with issues of depression and agoraphobia before, or something like it, and I hope this incident doesn't set him back in dealing with those things, because they are iniquitous.*

Also, I hope there's no blowback on the other people involved in the incident. I can't fault them for their actions and it could have been a lot worse. A LOT worse.

* I also can't completely hate Roger Ailes, because we both have terrible arthritis. Maybe I understand how the pain could lead someone to the Dark Side, or maybe it's this stupid hu-man sympathy.
Also I just realized his name is a sentence. Roger "Ails." Ain't that the truth!

posted by jtron at 11:22 AM on March 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Back when I was a punker in the early 1980s, we'd pay $5 and get punched in the face just to get into a show, which was usually held in a dank basement reeking of dried vomit. We'd slam dance ourselves into unconsciousness, wake up the next day, drink a six-pack of cheap beer, and look forward to doing it again.

At least, that's how I remember it.
posted by perhapses at 11:23 AM on March 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


I got to see Screeching Weasel in Dallas in maybe 1991-1992, it was one of the best punk shows I ever saw. Damn. Ben, you friggen idiot.
posted by roboton666 at 11:23 AM on March 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was a new waver. We spent our night going to French cinema and dressing like pirates. At least, that's how I remember it.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:24 AM on March 24, 2011 [13 favorites]


AZ, it was last Friday, and you weren't THAT drunk
posted by jtron at 11:25 AM on March 24, 2011 [11 favorites]


Oh man, I hope that Ufez got to see them and yet was not at this particular show.
posted by yerfatma at 12:36 PM


Yeah, this is weird. I saw 'em the night before in Dallas and it was just a normal punk show. If anything, I was kind of thinking of how much calmer shit was compared to back when I was younger and used to go to shows all the time.

This is actually the first I've heard of this and I'm as stymied as anyone.
posted by Ufez Jones at 11:26 AM on March 24, 2011 [2 favorites]



If you're going to go with the (questionable) "spitting and throwing shit is an integral part of punk" trope, then you sort of have to commit to the "kicking the shit out the audience is also a part of punk" trope.


Well, it's also fair to point out that the punk scene has always been heavily male dominated and frequently misogynist. (With some notable exceptions)

"It's always been this way," isn't a very good defense.

Also, isn't punk supposed to be dead?
posted by Stagger Lee at 11:26 AM on March 24, 2011


STAND AND DELIVER!
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:26 AM on March 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


I grew up in the They Might Be Giants scene. We jumped up and down often and programmed computers for fun. That's how we rolled.
posted by drezdn at 11:30 AM on March 24, 2011 [13 favorites]


Stagger Lee: “Well, it's also fair to point out that the punk scene has always been heavily male dominated and frequently misogynist. (With some notable exceptions)”

... and it's fair to point out, in turn, that one of those notable exceptions has always been Screeching Weasel.

Astro Zombie: “STAND AND DELIVER!”

I'm dandy highwayman whom you're too scared to mention!

Adam was always a bit silly, but how can you not love that line?
posted by koeselitz at 11:31 AM on March 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


Also, it occurred to me that maybe I'm cursed, but then I remembered that I saw the Decemberists back in '04 and they're still churning out....stuff*.

Also also: you're favorite subculture sucks.

*in my defense, I went as a volunteer
posted by Ufez Jones at 11:32 AM on March 24, 2011


I grew up in the They Might Be Giants scene. We jumped up and down often and programmed computers for fun. That's how we rolled.

I'm even older than that; we punched cards.
posted by chavenet at 11:32 AM on March 24, 2011 [1 favorite]



... and it's fair to point out, in turn, that one of those notable exceptions has always been Screeching Weasel.


Oh I'm not arguing with that. But "That's how punk rock is!" is a fairly weak defense.
posted by Stagger Lee at 11:33 AM on March 24, 2011


(By the way, Ufez Jones: I saw the Murphys on the tour you're talking about in that AskMe, in 1998, when they passed through Albuquerque. There are actually skinheads in Albuquerque - who knew? I left that show with blood on my shirt, and not all of it was mine. Great show, though.)
posted by koeselitz at 11:34 AM on March 24, 2011


You're? You're? Fucking phone.....
posted by Ufez Jones at 11:34 AM on March 24, 2011


Why is anyone, anywhere defending a performer punching people in the face?

He's a sorta-famous white guy. Sorta-famous white guy performers are supposed to be able to get away with anything, including punching women in the face. It's how they prove they're edgy yet sensitive.

Plus, if they don't defend their favorite has-been performer no matter what, they won't get a "backstage to give the star head" pass. So they've got to let it slide.
posted by happyroach at 11:35 AM on March 24, 2011


Also, isn't punk supposed to be dead?

As far as you're concerned? Yes.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 11:35 AM on March 24, 2011 [5 favorites]




(By the way, Ufez Jones: I saw the Murphys on the tour you're talking about in that AskMe, in 1998, when they passed through Albuquerque. There are actually skinheads in Albuquerque - who knew? I left that show with blood on my shirt, and not all of it was mine. Great show, though.)
posted by koeselitz at 11:34 AM on March 24 [+] [!]

I always had to wear a Nazi Punks Fuck Off shirt to those shows. It was the only way I could find to sort the racist skins from the trads. Another decision that looks stupid with a little bit of perspective.
posted by Stagger Lee at 11:36 AM on March 24, 2011


Stagger Lee: “I always had to wear a Nazi Punks Fuck Off shirt to those shows. It was the only way I could find to sort the racist skins from the trads. Another decision that looks stupid with a little bit of perspective.”

Nice thing about New Mexico: no self-respecting racist would ever live there. The large portion of brown people in the audience, and the general friendliness between them and the skins, made it a lot easier to gauge the situation.
posted by koeselitz at 11:39 AM on March 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Everyone know you don't punch girls who throw stuff at you, you throw a drink at them, then get punched by their boyfriends.

I love Screeching Weasel, but he really doomed his band here.
posted by lumpenprole at 11:39 AM on March 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm surprised the apparently first-hand account of the "misogynistic rant" posted by naju isn't getting more discussion. Is this because it takes a bit of the wind out of the sails of those trying to justify the throwing and spitting as a response to misogyny? As transcribed above, it looks like the only misogynistic thing done was calling the girl who threw stuff a "skank," which... doesn't set off many alarm bells, in my mind.

He wasn't going off on women in general, if this is to be believed, but just name-calling this one girl who was throwing ice at him. Apparently. The account reads convincingly, though.
posted by gilrain at 11:40 AM on March 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


How would you respond if someone spit on you? It wouldn't bother you? You wouldn't feel like hitting them?

It's one thing feeling like hitting someone, and it's another thing actually doing it.

Ouch. Screeching Weasel meant a lot to me when I was growing up. Is there any basis for this accusation, or are you just assuming?

I was going by what was said in the articles.

You're wrong, ob. Weasel isn't the cartoon you'd like him to be. The reason this is shocking is that this is out of character for the guy. He's not the typical punk meathead who goes around punching people.

Fine. He apologised and a lot of thoughtful people here are defending him so I take back my comment. I was more reacting to the articles that said that he was spouting misogynistic bullshit and the next minute he's punching women. I mean, the connection isn't hard to see here. Still, I'm not going to pick a fight over this. I respectfully withdraw my comment.
posted by ob at 11:41 AM on March 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


happyroach: “He's a sorta-famous white guy. Sorta-famous white guy performers are supposed to be able to get away with anything, including punching women in the face. It's how they prove they're edgy yet sensitive. Plus, if they don't defend their favorite has-been performer no matter what, they won't get a "backstage to give the star head" pass. So they've got to let it slide.”

Wow. Look, everybody; somebody knows exactly nothing about what's going on here.
posted by koeselitz at 11:41 AM on March 24, 2011 [17 favorites]


Nice thing about New Mexico: no self-respecting racist would ever live there.

Are you f'ing kidding me? I dealt with so many racists there it was unbelievable. I once had to throw a guy into traffic in downtown albuquerque after we went after a (female) mexican friend of mine after telling here that "You fucking brown people have ruined the world"
posted by lumpenprole at 11:41 AM on March 24, 2011


I had my backstage to give the star head pass laminated.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:42 AM on March 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


the funny thing to me is that this wouldn't have gotten any attention during punk's heyday

Yep, no attention at all.
posted by rhizome at 11:42 AM on March 24, 2011


But has he apologized to Led Zeppelin yet?
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:44 AM on March 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


naju's quote makes it sound like all the stuff he was saying was about the weirdness at SXSW this year with the plebs who didn't pay for anything, the wristbanded (me), the badged, and the folks who may have had badges or not but were also insidery enough to get special media badges and invites to "unofficial" stuff like all the day parties and the Kanye show at Seaholm. As much of a good time as I had, what I did was go to (mostly not-that-well-attended) official showcases, dodging the big venues like Stubb's and missing the name shows. When I read about SXSW in the music media, I wonder whether I went to the same festival, because some of the bands that were there and that I would have liked to see don't even seem to have been on the official showcase list.

I can see why an old punk would get exercised about that. I don't want to be the person who's all "SXSW was better in the old days" because I wasn't even there. This is only my fourth year with a wristband. But I can tell something changed this year, or a demarcation that has always been there but not so visibly as it was this year was blown wide open and public. No matter how you want to slice it, SXSW is not very punk, and I can see why a punk would be upset about it and not want to be at SXSW.
posted by immlass at 11:45 AM on March 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


lumpenprole: “Are you f'ing kidding me? I dealt with so many racists there it was unbelievable. I once had to throw a guy into traffic in downtown albuquerque after we went after a (female) mexican friend of mine after telling here that "You fucking brown people have ruined the world"”

Yeah, realized how off-base I was right after I posted that. I'm moving back soon, probably... so I guess I'll get to deal with it. But yes, I know what you mean. There's a lot of shit in NM, particularly in small towns but also in 'Burque.
posted by koeselitz at 11:46 AM on March 24, 2011


If you're going to go with the (questionable) "spitting and throwing shit is an integral part of punk" trope, then you sort of have to commit to the "kicking the shit out the audience is also a part of punk" trope.

Meh fuck "punk" anyway if violence has to be a part of it. Throwing shit and hitting people was never cool, and that part of it was mainly appropriated by jocks and assholes who don't care about music and just like getting drunk and hurting people.
posted by burnmp3s at 11:49 AM on March 24, 2011



lumpenprole: “Are you f'ing kidding me? I dealt with so many racists there it was unbelievable. I once had to throw a guy into traffic in downtown albuquerque after we went after a (female) mexican friend of mine after telling here that "You fucking brown people have ruined the world"”


Shame. I liked the idea of a north american city where the racist thugs couldn't get any traction.


As far as you're concerned? Yes.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 11:35 AM on March 24 [+] [!]


Punk and I had a bit of a falling out when I failed to die before the age of 27. We still meet up for the occasional drunken fling, but it's mostly nostalgia, and the heart just isn't there anymore.
posted by Stagger Lee at 11:50 AM on March 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


Back in my day we'd just go to the Philly Pizza Company and order some hot tea.
posted by electroboy at 11:53 AM on March 24, 2011 [10 favorites]


I live with John Jughead Pierson, the founding guitarist of the band, who has been treated a bit poorly by Ben over the years. So I must say I got a bit of schadenfreude when this story hit the news. John's girlfriend then suggested we all get internet famous by making a video where John punches her and I in the face. He didn't go for it. :(
posted by lholladay at 11:53 AM on March 24, 2011 [14 favorites]


If you're going to provoke someone, don't get pissed off when it works. Be it throwing ice or insults. And if you do succeed take responsibility for your actions. In that respect, Ben did.
posted by I love you more when I eat paint chips at 11:53 AM on March 24, 2011 [6 favorites]


Punching is bad, and I don't approve. That said, is "recruiting" a girl to kick another girl's ass really 'misogynistic'? I think a better word is 'cantankerous.'

I also think he has a point about SXSW. I lived in Austin before SXSW started, and liked it much better then. SXSW was always a show put on for out-of-towners who got in for free. It was never for people like us, who were at the clubs four or five nights out of the week anyway. But, I guess that was fair, since we had access to them year-round anyway. I dunno.

A friend of mine recently said that Austin is a town everyone liked better 5 or 10 years ago. That was true when I moved there 20 years ago, and it's true now. It's true for me too. Get off my xeriscaped lawn, etc.

I grew up in the They Might Be Giants scene. We jumped up and down often and programmed computers for fun. That's how we rolled.

My teenaged friends and I were in to Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians. We'd plant our feet, tilt our heads to one side, and sway slightly.

posted by mudpuppie at 11:55 AM on March 24, 2011 [5 favorites]


My teenaged friends and I were in to Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians. We'd plant our feet, tilt our heads to one side, and sway slightly.

It's Edie Brickell & New Bohemians, you poser.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:57 AM on March 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


I grew up in the math camp and quiz bowl scene. We did nerdy shit. And that was about it.
posted by kmz at 11:58 AM on March 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was raised by badgers. We ate our young for sport.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:59 AM on March 24, 2011 [11 favorites]


It's Edie Brickell & New Bohemians, you poser.

Hey, it was almost 25 years ago. My faculties are dulled by too much chamomile tea and decades of wearing my ponytail too tight.
posted by mudpuppie at 12:02 PM on March 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


*throws AZ in the shallow water*
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:04 PM on March 24, 2011 [6 favorites]


Damn Ben Weasel! I was looking forward to a reunion tour... screeching weasel was always an awesome punk band.
posted by handbanana at 12:05 PM on March 24, 2011


I HAVE TUBES IN MY EARS!
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:06 PM on March 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Do do ya?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:07 PM on March 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


We'd plant our feet, tilt our heads to one side, and sway slightly.

They do that fucking thing at almost every show I see. My friends call it the hipster dance. To be fair, it's probably a result of packing people in like sardines at SRO venues.
posted by immlass at 12:09 PM on March 24, 2011


I fucking hate the tired cliche that it's okay to assault punk bands. It's not okay. It sucks and has ruined any joy in seeing great bands play live.
posted by eamondaly at 12:10 PM on March 24, 2011


If you're going to go with the (questionable) "spitting and throwing shit is an integral part of punk" trope, then you sort of have to commit to the "kicking the shit out the audience is also a part of punk" trope.

The thing is, if you do go with that trope, you mark yourself as someone who learned everything they know about punk from that one episode of Quincy.
posted by lumpenprole at 12:12 PM on March 24, 2011 [7 favorites]


That account I posted earlier might not have been the full extent of it... other comments make it out to be more misogynist:

calling her a “fucking skanky mess” and inviting her up on stage to suck his dick.

When somebody tells him it was a chick, he calls her a whore and tells her how he's going to make her suck his dick and taint. From there, the line is crossed, he's spitting venom back at her.
posted by naju at 12:13 PM on March 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


I saw the Quincy Punx open for somebody or other once.

I want to say The Queers, but I don't think that was it.
posted by box at 12:14 PM on March 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wanna be equal? Then don't throw ice cubes at someone, and spit beer on them, if you don't want to get hit. That's equality. You don't get to run to your daddy's arms or the shelter of the patriarchy only when it's convenient.

Hell yeah. And you know what, if you don't want to get hit, don't talk back to me. And don't argue with me. And don't be physically smaller than me.

Here's the full clip of what happened, and you can see the report up ^^ there is pretty accurate. Doesn't seem all that misogynistic to me, but that still doesn't justify some of the outrageous BS about equality on here.

The singer is a bully, plain and simple. No, it's not OK to assault him, but there's also proportionality and their relative strengths to be considered. His actions are unjustifiable, and whatever good work he did in the past just got pissed away in one punch. How very punk rock of him.
posted by ciderwoman at 12:17 PM on March 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


I never saw the Quincy Punx play but hung out with them once at my friend's house, where they were crashing. They were lovely people, charming and polite. No, wait, I think that was Blanks 77, carry on.
posted by jtron at 12:19 PM on March 24, 2011


whatever good work he did in the past just got pissed away in one punch

that's a fairly unhealthy attitude to have, i'd say. have you never reacted poorly, never made a mistake? i know this is the internet, and the righteousness squad has to amp everything up to eleventeen, but this kind of talk is absurd to me.

yeah, every life he's ever touched and every good he's ever done is utterly erased by this punch he's thrown. he has utterly negated all the love and the care he has ever shown, and removed from the people he's affected any and all of the goodness that came from their experience. even the ones who never heard about this.

now that's hyperbole.
posted by radiosilents at 12:24 PM on March 24, 2011 [7 favorites]


That account I posted earlier might not have been the full extent of it... other comments make it out to be more misogynist:

Yeah, that stuff is pretty awful. That deserved an ice cube toss, in my opinion.

*throws AZ in the shallow water*

That should have been a SHOVE, you POSER.

posted by mudpuppie at 12:30 PM on March 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


I said that, radiosilents, not because I'm some amazingly great guy who's never done wrong, but because this is what he's going to be remembered for from now on. I don't know the band, but people have been saying they were a good and intelligent band, on the pro feminist side of punk rock, which is great, but from now on they're just 'the band where the asshole singer punched a girl'. And that's a real shame.
posted by ciderwoman at 12:30 PM on March 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


mudpuppie: “Yeah, that stuff is pretty awful. That deserved an ice cube toss, in my opinion.”

And more. Geez, Ben; what the crap?
posted by koeselitz at 12:37 PM on March 24, 2011


ciderwoman i can see your point, but as a counterpoint : they're only going to be remembered in those terms by those who know nothing else about them, and the rest of us will remember them a lot longer and with a lot more nuance.
posted by radiosilents at 12:40 PM on March 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


lyrics like "death, scum, worms...deaaaaath!"

Yeah, the Nekromantix are more psychobilly than punk.
posted by electroboy at 12:43 PM on March 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


If you're going to provoke someone, don't get pissed off when it works. Be it throwing ice or insults.

I love how the whole "don't throw ice if you can't take a swift uppercut in response, lady" crowd seems to conveniently forget that there was a second woman he punched who was trying to restrain him. Did she get what she had coming to her, too?
posted by scody at 12:48 PM on March 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


Other than his apparent douchiness, I'm most impressed at the lack of force behind those punches.

I can't get past that either. Dude can't hit. (I'm glad he can't for the sake of those two women, though.)
posted by fiend angelical at 12:57 PM on March 24, 2011


Well, when you jump on a fighting guy's back, you're kind of entering the fight. It looked like he punched the security guards too. I don't think they "deserved it," but it's not unexpected.
posted by klangklangston at 12:58 PM on March 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm a woman, and while I don't necessarily condone what happened, I don't see him hitting a woman who threw/spat/generally assaulted him first as all that unwarranted. If I throw something at someone, I'm prepared for repercussions. I don't get shocked and suddenly become a feminist when it happens, either.

As with the second woman, maybe he was just blind with rage and thought she was attacking him? Imagine if it were guys. I think this should be a "man went apeshit on crowd member" issue rather than "man attacked defenseless WOMAN" issue.
posted by Malice at 12:59 PM on March 24, 2011 [10 favorites]


Yeah, if you literally jump into the middle of a fight you should expect a few punches.
posted by Jairus at 12:59 PM on March 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


And I thought I'd seen Screeching Weasel open up for Green Day back in the day, but it turns out it was the Riverdales.
posted by klangklangston at 1:05 PM on March 24, 2011


Here's a face-punching everyone can get behind.
posted by electroboy at 1:06 PM on March 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


God, I'll never get tired of that Danzig video.
posted by Errant at 1:12 PM on March 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


I would be as pissed off about it if this clown had punched a man in the face after that man threw a fucking ice cube at him. So, to me, this is not an issue of "man attacked defenseless WOMAN" but an issue of "sexist asshole loses his shit all over his own audience which understandably gets him kicked out of his own band, which prompts him to fauxpologize for his mistakes but nobody actually believes him because he seems to have proven himself to be a violent sexist asshole".
posted by lydhre at 1:15 PM on March 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


He'll puke on you. He'll fuck punch your mom. He'll smoke while huffing gas. He was the punkest motherfucker I ever did see.

Aw, hell. He's even more punk than me.
posted by En0rm0 at 1:19 PM on March 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


Also, isn't punk supposed to be dead?

A friend of mine has a wristband that says "Punk's not dead, it just isn't really that good anymore."
posted by InfidelZombie at 1:30 PM on March 24, 2011 [10 favorites]


LOLPUNX, am I right? What kind of name is Screaching Weesel anyway?

Anyway, they meant a lot to me over the years too. Fucking bummer is what it is.
posted by zvs at 1:39 PM on March 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


Some internet comments have doubtless given us the full and unvarnished truth of the matter.
posted by adamdschneider at 1:54 PM on March 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Now we just need to apply a bit of beeswax and buff the truth gently with a chamois.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:58 PM on March 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


[Isn't it "CHOKE me in the shallow water"?]
posted by chowflap at 2:00 PM on March 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


It was "shove."
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:01 PM on March 24, 2011


i didnt give a shit when jay reatard did it
and i dont care now.
musicians have poor impulse control.

as long as he's not chris browning anyone, i'll still listen his music.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 2:19 PM on March 24, 2011


and me without my thorazine
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:21 PM on March 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


> Popular punk band Screeching Weasel has dis-banded

And nothing of value was lost...
posted by legion at 2:32 PM on March 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


(sorry, couldn't resist)
posted by legion at 2:38 PM on March 24, 2011


Punk and I had a bit of a falling out when I failed to die before the age of 27. We still meet up for the occasional drunken fling, but it's mostly nostalgia, and the heart just isn't there anymore.

I'm seeing Against Me!, Frank Turner and Tim Barry next month. Want to come along and sing about getting old?
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 2:50 PM on March 24, 2011


I once watched a friend's girlfriend beat up a local punk singer during a show. He was being an ass on stage and rested his combat boot on her head. She reached up and pulled him into the pit. It was brutal. At first the guy wouldn't fight back. I think he thought it was a joke. Then he started bleeding. He was too far beat by the time he realized she was going to kick his ass. If I close my eyes, I can still see his face at the moment he realized she was actually trying to kill him. It's one of the more vivid memories of my youth.

The dude started a New Wave band shortly thereafter. They played Flock of Seagull covers.
posted by foggy out there now at 2:53 PM on March 24, 2011 [5 favorites]


A friend of mine has a wristband that says "Punk's not dead, it just isn't really that good anymore."

How unPunk. A tattoo that sez that, though...
posted by chavenet at 3:07 PM on March 24, 2011


Once you've been beaten badly enough, "I Ran" is the only song you can safely play.
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:07 PM on March 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


The dude started a New Wave band shortly thereafter

I remember Shortly Thereafter; didn't they used to open for Howard Jones?
posted by chavenet at 3:08 PM on March 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


This is why you need a chick bass player. Preferably one who played field hockey.
posted by whuppy at 3:13 PM on March 24, 2011


The dude started a New Wave band shortly thereafter. They played Flock of Seagull covers.

Holy Crap! She beat him stupid!
posted by lumpenprole at 3:33 PM on March 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


But has he apologized to Led Zeppelin yet?

You need to separate the artist from his work. The song was written from the point of view of the fish, who certainly had a legitimate grievance with the band.
posted by stet at 3:35 PM on March 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think we can add "understanding of punk subculture" to those things Metafilter doesn't do well.
posted by josher71 at 3:44 PM on March 24, 2011 [8 favorites]


Srsly, tho', the whole thing is surprising and sad. I had always thought of Ben as an evolved and righteous dude.
posted by whuppy at 3:48 PM on March 24, 2011


FYI: the second woman was an owner of the club.
posted by Orb at 3:50 PM on March 24, 2011


I like that one record by The Clasp. Standinthistar! Standing around in tar is like punk times ten, that stuff is a real bitch to get off.
posted by tumid dahlia at 3:52 PM on March 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Uh-oh! Maladjusted punker is maladjusted!
I'm going to go see Exene tomorrow- guess I'd better wear some spikes in case she tries to get rough! /doinitrong
posted by hap_hazard at 3:55 PM on March 24, 2011


He'll puke on you. He'll fuck punch your mom. He'll smoke while huffing gas. He was the punkest motherfucker I ever did see.

Meh. Any standard-issue Phillies fan would do any of those things.

/NOT PHAN-IST
posted by The Michael The at 4:07 PM on March 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


from what little I've seen of the punk scene (i lurk around the edges and go to boring folk punk/orgcore/beardcore/whatever gigs) it's generally pretty chill. i mean, the other big crime story on Punknews is a band stealing vegetable oil to power their biofuel van
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 4:40 PM on March 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


This is the kind of thing where it's really tempting to take some kind of ideological stance (MYSOGYNIST BEATS WOMAN/ROWDY PUNK FAN GETS COMEUPPANCE), but we're not really informed enough... If you start getting ideological about some thirdhand words about punching, you're too eager to get ideological in the first place
posted by tehloki at 4:45 PM on March 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


from what little I've seen of the punk scene (i lurk around the edges and go to boring folk punk/orgcore/beardcore/whatever gigs) it's generally pretty chill. i mean, the other big crime story on Punknews is a band stealing vegetable oil to power their biofuel van

Yeah...you've never really been to a Cro-Mags gig or anything, have you?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 5:13 PM on March 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


ciderwoman i can see your point, but as a counterpoint : they're only going to be remembered in those terms by those who know nothing else about them, and the rest of us will remember them a lot longer and with a lot more nuance.
posted by radiosilents


You're right, I know nothing about them. I grew up with the UK riot grrl scene, and loved it, for the music and for what they stood for, and of course I hope this band (terrible name though), who you tell me have such a great history, carry on and learn from this, I'm just a bit shocked that someone from this scene is not only punching a woman, but also doing the whole tired and cliched 'suck my dick' schtick. If they really think that's relevant maybe it's best they split up now, but if it was an aberration then of course I'm all for them learning and moving on.

But they're going to have to make one hell of an awesome record for me not to think of them as douchebags first and a band second.
posted by ciderwoman at 5:21 PM on March 24, 2011


This video that ciderwoman linked to shows that he had a series of things thrown at/on him. Looks like "rowdy crowd keeps escalating" turns into "guy on stage versus everyone" until he made a stupid decision. He probably should've just walked offstage. But I don't know, I haven't spent 25 years being heckled so it's easy for me to say that.
posted by P.o.B. at 5:36 PM on March 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


i had an ice cube thrown at me once
it didn't really bother me none
i caught it and threw it right back at the crowd
everybody thought it was fun
and now people do it a lot at my shows
but when it happens i don't even blink
i don't go punching anyone in the face
i just add the cube to my drink
i just add that little cube to my drink
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:36 PM on March 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


Anyone that enters into a fight, even if they are trying to end that fight, should expect to sometimes get the business end of a fist.

. for Screeching Weasel.
posted by schyler523 at 5:39 PM on March 24, 2011


Besides, everyone knows that Fuck by Fuck You is the better festival...
posted by schyler523 at 5:48 PM on March 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


ciderwoman so now the WHOLE BAND is to be held accountable for Ben's gratuitous fuckup? conclusion-jumping opinions dealing collateral damage in the form of people who were not involved at all... sad times indeed.
posted by radiosilents at 6:54 PM on March 24, 2011


Sounds like things really went south at that gig. By southwest.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:18 PM on March 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


*hands flapjaz a pair of sunglasses to put on dramatically so he can try that again*
posted by misha at 7:54 PM on March 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


so now the WHOLE BAND is to be held accountable for Ben's gratuitous fuckup? conclusion-jumping opinions dealing collateral damage in the form of people who were not involved at all... sad times indeed

It's tough but fair, they shouldn't have joined or started a band with someone who was going to be a dick in 25 years.
posted by rhizome at 7:56 PM on March 24, 2011


flapjaz

Was that between swing and bebop? Or between hard bop and free jazz?

i can never keep up with those periods...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:09 PM on March 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm seeing Against Me!, Frank Turner and Tim Barry next month. Want to come along and sing about getting old?

I went to the first (of two) Harvest of Hope fests in St. Augustine a few years back. It was how you would expect any three day festival to be. We were dirty and stinky and tired and pretty drunk by the last night. The last band was Fake Problems, preceded by Bomb the Music Industry. Fake Problems put on a great show, but their last song...their last song will stay with me forever.

It was a cover of "Dammit" by Blink 182. It was a brilliant move. Bomb the Music Industry's horn section came out to play along with them, and the whole thing was a kind of bizarre catharsis for aging punks. We were all bearded and tubby and not very good looking, and we all knew all the words. We had our arms around each other singing a song we used to call kids posers for knowing and having a just generally damn good time. I guess this is growing up indeed.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 8:15 PM on March 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


I've seen Bigfoot videos that are clearer than that. So it's hard for me to judge what even really happened here. But seeing this middle-aged dude apparently halfass fight this woman just makes me sad for everybody involved. It might be time to think about growing up, I don't know.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:33 PM on March 24, 2011


hey suburbia hey suburbia hey suburbia we're in love with you
posted by neuromodulator at 9:59 PM on March 24, 2011


Lawrence Livermore (founder of Lookout Records, one of SW's longest homes) has an interesting take on the whole matter here.
posted by jeffen at 10:13 PM on March 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


The band was about due to get a bunch of new people anyway. He's probably trying to go through a total of 30 past members before this decade is over.
posted by zephyr_words at 11:31 PM on March 24, 2011


Everything I know about Ben Weasel, I learned from the Queers.

He rants and raves, he screams and shouts, he always flips his lid, but deep down inside he loves you kids.
posted by team lowkey at 12:33 AM on March 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Come on radiosilents, you know what I mean here. Try this then "They're going to have to make a pretty awesome record to not be thought of as that band with the douchebag singer".

OK? Wasn't that hard to extrapolate from what I'd written, surely.
posted by ciderwoman at 3:41 AM on March 25, 2011


Three of the people who witnessed the fight quit the band. That they don't want to be associated with this guy anymore says a lot to me.
posted by santaslittlehelper at 6:55 AM on March 25, 2011


For once, San Antonio, gets spared another washed up band.

The last time I listened to Screaming Weasel I was living in San Antonio and a recovering teenage/mid-twenties moron. I'm thankful that bands like Fugazi graced the town during the time I grew up there and did things like throw fans out for starting fight, rather than beating their fans down.

I remember when Ian MacKaye stopped a show and screamed at a couple of 'fans' moshing in front of the stage. "YOU WANT YOUR FUCKING $5 BACK!? SOME PEOPLE ARE HERE TO LISTEN AND SEE A SHOW AND NOT HERE TO FIGHT. COME UP ON STAGE AND GET YOUR FUCKING MONEY BACK GET OUT. COME ON!" They did.

Screaming Weasel's no Fugazi. I always thought they were a bunch of misogynistic turd lyrics once I got out of my stupor and haze of youth. Screaming Weasel was one of the first albums I threw away without ripping and without consideration its absence in my future collection.Not missed. Just sayin'.
posted by angrywayne at 6:57 AM on March 25, 2011


Lot of fighting at SXSW this year. Bam Margera got knocked out cold by a woman after he called her fat.

Three of the people who witnessed the fight quit the band. That they don't want to be associated with this guy anymore says a lot to me.

I don't know about the "resigned in protest" interpretation. It read to me more like they're going to lay low for a while and play more shows once this blows over.
As a result, the band has discussed at length and has come to the conclusion that as a group we will not likely be able to muster the dignity to attempt a live performance as "Screeching Weasel" in the for-seeable future. We each look forward to re-evaluating our involvement in the band as we move forward if we are given the opportunity.
posted by electroboy at 7:39 AM on March 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Lawrence Livermore (founder of Lookout Records

I also love his lab.
posted by adamdschneider at 7:59 AM on March 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


So, Lookout pretty much fell through a crack in the Earth's crust, huh? Their handling their money like a gullible lottery winner (I assume, and would love to know what actually happened) was as surprising to me as the change from EA to the evil EA.
posted by jtron at 8:58 AM on March 25, 2011


ciderwoman my point continues to be "no, they won't have to make a great record to erase this". they've already made great records, and they've already done good things, and they've already been a positive influence on peoples' lives, and this one incident doesn't overturn all of that. it doesn't erase all of that.

in all likelihood you won't even remember who they are in five years. maybe you'll confuse them with any of the million other VERBing NOUN bands. maybe you'll hear someone mention Screaming Trees and think "oh yeah, that douchebag", because you don't have any frame of reference or actual involvement. at best, you'll just remember a news story you read about on the internet.
posted by radiosilents at 11:13 AM on March 25, 2011


Man, everyone knows Screaming Trees is the fattest rock band ever. You can never take that away from them.
posted by electroboy at 11:29 AM on March 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


jtron: "So, Lookout pretty much fell through a crack in the Earth's crust, huh? Their handling their money like a gullible lottery winner (I assume, and would love to know what actually happened) was as surprising to me as the change from EA to the evil EA"

The Rise and Fall of Lookout Records

The long and the short of it seems to be that Ben Weasel was to blame for Lookout's demise as much as Green Day's success. Ben Weasel thought he was getting ripped off, and prepared to sue. Lookout employee Chris Appelgren advocated for him, eventually Larry Livermore got sick of the whole business and sold Lookout to Appelgren. Appelgren completely mismanaged royalty payments and promotion, and any band with enough clout to leave the label left.
posted by team lowkey at 12:37 PM on March 25, 2011 [5 favorites]


Awesome, thanks!
posted by jtron at 1:54 PM on March 25, 2011


Did a bit of digging around punk message boards. General consensus seems to be that Ben Weasel is a Class A Asshole, and the only person still defending the guy is Joe Queer, also not known for being a particularly likable fellow.

Which is odd to me, as a fan somewhat distanced from the scene, because both Weasel and Queer* have been nothing but nice to me in interactions after shows and in online conversations. I mean, neither approach Mike Watt levels of punk rock saintliness, but I had no idea Weasel was so roundly disliked. Huh. Oh well. I still like Screeching Weasel, and I'll still go see The Queers every time they come to town. I guess this is what happens to 40+ year-olds whose perpetual personae is that of bratty teenagers.

*Best law firm evar
posted by BitterOldPunk at 2:13 PM on March 25, 2011 [4 favorites]


team lowkey that article is a great read. Thanks!
posted by lumpenprole at 2:28 PM on March 25, 2011


That Lookout! Records article really is good! Thanks, team lowkey!

Tangent: Neurosis (one of the most underrated band ever, IMO) was on Lookout! Mind=blown. I assume that was back before they got all droney and proggy and metal and mindfuck awesome. I don't really pay attention to labels, I just kinda figured they'd be on Southern Lord.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 3:01 PM on March 25, 2011


the funny thing to me is that this wouldn't have gotten any attention during punk's heyday
posted by pyramid termite at 6:55 PM on March 24 [2 favorites +]


That's certainly true. Not sure how funny it is, though.
posted by Decani at 4:27 PM on March 25, 2011


I assume that was back before they got all droney and proggy and metal and mindfuck awesome.

Neurosis is the only concert I've ever left because I was scared. Scared of the music. There may have been certain factors contributing to this that you could probably guess

Do you not know their early stuff, though? I think they've always been pretty great, and it's cool to hear their style progress. Word As Law and the one with "To Crawl Under One's Skin" probably still get the most play hereabouts...
posted by jtron at 4:44 PM on March 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


No, it's not OK to assault him, but there's also proportionality and their relative strengths to be considered.
posted by ciderwoman at 8:17 PM on March 24


And those things need to be considered by the dick who throws shit every bit as much. Possibly moreso.

People who can beat the fuck out of you still have feelings, they still don't enjoy having shit thrown at them any more then you do, and they still get justifiably enraged when you throw shit at them. Or do we demand that the tougher you are, the more Gandhi-esque and self-controlled you have to be?

DON'T. THROW. SHIT. AT. PEOPLE.

And that goes for those utter twerps who think it's okay to hit people in the face with custard pies.

Ha ha. *Smack*. Thoroughly deserved. You asked for it. And I don't care how big or small you are.
posted by Decani at 5:02 PM on March 25, 2011


Sending you a MeMail, jtron, and hoping you have Dropbox... ;)
posted by BitterOldPunk at 5:06 PM on March 25, 2011


Well, maybe radiosilents, we'll just have to see, but I kind of doubt I'll just label them with all the other bands who ended up punching women.

I'm really slightly shocked by the response on the blue, for the most part. I guess I just think that it's really not OK for a guy to punch out a girl. Others seem to believe this may sometimes be the case, and I guess that's just them. But for me, I've had enough in this world of arseholes saying "suck my dick", let alone hitting women, and the fact that happens in a supposedly right on punk rock scene just saddens me. Chris Brown was an arsehole for punching Rhianna, not because she of what she did to deserve it (hah) but because violence is just fucking uncool. The girl who threw an ice cube (again, a fucking icecube) is uncool too, but the idea that her behaviour deserves punching just sickens me, and fuck their back catalogue, it's wrong.
posted by ciderwoman at 6:15 PM on March 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


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