My Kid Was An Honor Student At The Punk Rock Academy
October 17, 2011 7:41 PM   Subscribe

The Other F Word (trailer) is a new documentary about punk rock fatherhood. Blog Musical Urbanism argues that it mostly focuses on the materialistic Southern California punk rock scene.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn (38 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
"The Other F Word" shows us dads bonding with their preteen kids over video games, dressing their tots in precociously cool outfits (the daughter of NOFX's Fat Mike is a scene-stealer), escorting them to father-daughter dances at middle school, and chauffering kids of all ages around in mini-vans. The dissonance in these scenes is only superficial; consumer materialism is the lingua franca between these punks and the 'suburban people' among whom they raise their families.

The fuck? Consumerism now means being good parents? Should they instead be tagging their kids' playhouses with anarchy symbols and telling them to DIY when they want back to school clothes? Calling someone materialistic is supposed to mean they're shallow, I haven't seen the movie but what they're describing here sounds like the opposite of shallow.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 7:54 PM on October 17, 2011


If you can get enough famous people to appear in your film, someone will pick it up. Oscillioscope plans a fall theatrical release, with Showtime broadcasting the film in 2012.
It's not terrible by any means. It's a perfectly well-made film, for people who like that sort of thing.
posted by Ideefixe at 8:01 PM on October 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Trailer is the other F word?
posted by longsleeves at 8:24 PM on October 17, 2011


As a guy who's been playing in 'punk bands' for twenty years now, and is also a dad, let me say that this is a topic well worth discussing -- but I hate all the bands in this movie something fierce so I don't think I'll ever see it. Maybe I would read a transcript of it, if that were somehow available.
posted by stinkycheese at 8:28 PM on October 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh cool, Blink 182.
posted by alex_skazat at 8:28 PM on October 17, 2011


the only hardcore I listen to is IKEAcore and all that Dad-rock punk (Gaslight, etc) but I have no intention of actually being a dad.....
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 8:29 PM on October 17, 2011


I hope IKEAcore means people who really love 2.99 Swedish meatballs.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 8:33 PM on October 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


Every year around Labor Day in McCarren park there's a Drunx Picnic, the ideological kid brother to the massive Punx Picnics in London and environs. Six years ago, everyone brought their dogs; last year, everyone brought their kids.

It's something to see: that guy who ten years ago in the toxic haze of the 4am bar scene filled an already overflowing ashtray with Woodpecker cider and potato chip crumbs and downed it in one shot, proceeding a second later to spew it all right back up in a fine ashen slurry to our howling approval, now kneeling authoritatively over his kid in the footy pajamas, gently admonishing him against eating the grass.

It's a touching moment, and a completely natural one. I mean, why not? Cos the dude used to blow coke and play grindcore? What if he blew coke and traded stocks, or blew coke and repaired telephone poles? Where's that documentary? Punk isn't a Franciscan brotherhood for fuck sake, it's a clownsuit with clamorous accompaniment. Expecting these dudes rear their spawn in some specific way is a wanky, muddle-headed search for genre purity -- that whitest of Gen X whales.

And while I've got my lawnmower out, all this punk was supposed to mean no rules horeshit is pure dum-dum talk. You ever been around punks? There's tons of fucking rules, like there are with any other tribe. Standards of dress, codes of conduct, rites and slogans and shibboleths. Bored kids into fast music does not a compete ethos entail, you know?

Anyway, thanks for posting this because Flea is awesome and Fat Mike is funny and I want to see it.
posted by milquetoast at 8:39 PM on October 17, 2011 [10 favorites]


I think in this guy's world surburbs is a bad word and immediately implies consumerism. He even includes scare quotes.
posted by stp123 at 8:41 PM on October 17, 2011


I'm not familiar with most of the bands/musicians in the trailer, but my husband and I saw the trailer last night and thought it looked really interesting. Our focus was less on the stuff or the ideology than on the way the touring life grinds up hard against family life or the desire for it--a dilemma we've seen in the lives of people we know (not at that level).

The Musical Urbanism guy seems annoyed because someone used the word "punk" and didn't make the movie he wanted them to make. If he's a punk and dissatisfied with the political and economic analysis in the movie, the DIY ethic suggests a solution to his problem.
posted by immlass at 8:52 PM on October 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


And as the cultural codes and status symbols of today's consumerism shift ever younger and younger, it turns out these punk rock dads are able to identify with and "provide for" their kids quite well.

This is a bunch of bullshit written by someone who does not have children. What I see from the trailer is dads spending time with their kids and being dads doing dad stuff.

The last comment "I wonder sometimes if I should have tattooed my forehead?" sums it all up for me. Yeah, it was cool to be all "punk" and rage against "the man" when you are 20; it looks sad and pathetic when you're 40. "How do I explain the dominatrix on my arm to my four year old?" is the sort of regretful statement a lot of inked kids today are going to be asking themselves when they have kids. (Grandma what is that blob on your arm?)

But it's sort of ironic. Most of these men are now my age and a lot of us had hippie parents who grew up in a broad counter-culture that made punk look elitist and lukewarm by comparison. I mean punk was a pretty narrow slice of society; pretty much everyone who was a teenager in the 60s was a hippie or identified with hippies.

Those hippies cut their hair, stopped wearing uncomfortable clothes made of hemp and had kids, but a lot of those kids turned out badly cause mommy and daddy didn't ever really grow up. Ergo punk.

Now this generation seems to get it: "Maybe the best thing we can do is to raise our kids better."

Fucking A.

Yeah, it's hard not to drop the f-bomb around your kids. It's hard to remember that telling stories about drinking and drug abuse ain't appropriate for a 5 year old to hear. It's hard to remember that they don't understand - and are very troubled by the revelation - that you were married to someone before mommy. (Fortunately the real embarrassing stuff has been put away for so long it rarely comes to mind anymore...)

I loved Flea's comment (I'm paraphrasing) "The old line from parents used to be - I brought you into this world - but for me, having kids brought me into the world - gave me a reason, you know."

I know. Man I know.

It's cool and awesome to see that I am not alone.
posted by three blind mice at 8:56 PM on October 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


Why did I not title this 'the kids at the shows will have kids of their own'?

I used to live with a punk rock dad. He's pretty much the nicest guy ever, and he seems to really love his kid, and I bet she's going to be awesome.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 8:59 PM on October 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


from the last sentence of the Musical Urbanism link:
But what "The Other F Word" does rather well, if somewhat inadvertently, is reveal some of the micro situations of gender, education, materialism, and family history in which individuals manifest and work through the macro contexts of economic relations and geographic setting.


I wish they would put that on the DVD box. I read it three times and it made me laugh every time. I'd love to see a mashup of Ebert and this fellow doing reviews.

Does the fact that Joey Ramone was sterile and never married make him more punk than Flea?
posted by Cassford at 9:15 PM on October 17, 2011


Does the fact that Joey Ramone was sterile and never married make him more punk than Flea?

I think you are confusing punk with funk.
posted by three blind mice at 9:24 PM on October 17, 2011


RHCP were punk back when they were called Fishbone
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 9:25 PM on October 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I wouldn't classify Gaslight Anthem as Dad-Rock Punk. Gaslight is the next inevitable generational installment which started (as best as my knowledge can confirm) with Bruce Sprinsteen, and then moved onto Social Distortion, and now we've got this. The beautiful thing about Gaslight is that aside from how catchy and great their songs are, they have absolutely zero ironic detachment. It's like they are incapable of it. I'd never thought of them as "punk" at all before, really, but if part of punk is laying oneself completely bare and raw, then yeah, on that metric they are as punk as it gets on the airwaves right now.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:53 PM on October 17, 2011 [1 favorite]



I wouldn't classify Gaslight Anthem as Dad-Rock Punk. Gaslight is the next inevitable generational installment which started (as best as my knowledge can confirm) with Bruce Sprinsteen, and then moved onto Social Distortion, and now we've got this. The beautiful thing about Gaslight is that aside from how catchy and great their songs are, they have absolutely zero ironic detachment. It's like they are incapable of it. I'd never thought of them as "punk" at all before, really, but if part of punk is laying oneself completely bare and raw, then yeah, on that metric they are as punk as it gets on the airwaves right now.


I could talk about Gaslight all day, but yeah. Social D did two shows here, one with Gaslight and one with The Bronx. The one with Gaslight sold out, the one with The Bronx was giving away tickets. When I met Brian he seemed so earnest and all-American: like Superman, someone said.

I say 'Dad-rock' as a musical descriptor, though. They mention Tom Petty and Counting Crows, and the Horrible Crowes album is even less punk. I guess they get lumped in with that scene 'cause Punknews loves them? I dunno.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 9:56 PM on October 17, 2011


See, I take the Counting-Crows-quoting as just further proof that those guys have no delusions at all at playing the coolness game, and don't care. They will quote the stuff they love, and if you're too cool to love it with them, it's your loss. But it'd also be great if you came around to it. Your choice.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:01 PM on October 17, 2011 [1 favorite]




See, I take the Counting-Crows-quoting as just further proof that those guys have no delusions at all at playing the coolness game, and don't care. They will quote the stuff they love, and if you're too cool to love it with them, it's your loss. But it'd also be great if you came around to it. Your choice.


Yeah I'm using the 'Dad-rock' thing as a descriptor of their musical style, not of how they act.
But you've hit the nail on the head. I wrote up a blog about them and THS, and THS are really self-consciously nerdy/smart... like they put it all upfront, hammer it a million times. Gaslight are more 'oh, its cool, just dropping in a reference to an obscure 18th century translation of The Inferno. hope you dig it'. 'But by being uncool they free their fans from having to play that stupid coolness game too, and its awesome
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 10:08 PM on October 17, 2011


As a side-discussion: best modern song about grieving? My nominees so far are:

The '59 Sound
Casamir Pulaski Day
What Sarah Said
posted by Navelgazer at 10:19 PM on October 17, 2011


what National song is explicitly about grief? they all sound like they are
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 10:35 PM on October 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Those hippies cut their hair, stopped wearing uncomfortable clothes made of hemp and had kids, but a lot of those kids turned out badly cause mommy and daddy didn't ever really grow up. Ergo punk.

I dunno, some of the punks that I hung around with in 1980-84 were former hippies themselves. Many ex-hippies seemed to be only about 5-10 years older than punks back then. Sure, as time went on, more ex-hippies had punk kids, but the first wave of punks were not ex-hippie's kids.
posted by telstar at 11:56 PM on October 17, 2011


Where are the women? The punk moms? Exene, Alice Bag, Kim Gordon, PATTI FUCKING SMITH? They made music and kids, too, you know. Probably without imagining themselves as some kind of goddamn hero cuz they interrupted their couch time to take little Joey out to feed the ducks.

And Blink-182? Oh, fuck OFF.

I think I dislike this film already.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 12:36 AM on October 18, 2011 [13 favorites]


some of the punks that I hung around with in 1980-84 were former hippies themselves

Well the "60s" happened between 1967 and 1973. By 1980 most former hippies were over 30 and no longer to be trusted.

Flea is my age (49, born in 1962) so I guess I relate more to him than the others. A lot of my peers growing up had hippie (or former hippie) parents.

BitterOldPunk you make a good point, but "The other M word" just doesn't have the same ring to it.
posted by three blind mice at 1:58 AM on October 18, 2011


Where are the women? The punk moms?

I imagine they're not in the movie about punk fathers.
posted by inigo2 at 4:54 AM on October 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


And fwiw, Patti Smith is still rocking her head off and talking (legitimate) shit on George Bush (eg. her appearance at Virgin Free Fest; awesome.)
posted by inigo2 at 4:56 AM on October 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think I dislike this film already.
posted by BitterOldPunk


Well, that follows.
posted by ShutterBun at 5:18 AM on October 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ultimately, I don't think the Minutemen can be considered a hardcore group.

...and, I'm done reading.
posted by ShutterBun at 5:24 AM on October 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


There have been multiple generations of dads who spent their late teens/early twenties in foreign countries killing as many people as they could who then came home and raised families and no one batted an eye. Just sayin'.
posted by tommasz at 5:36 AM on October 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is a good place to repeat the story of how Amanda MacKaye was my daughter's volunteer coach at band camp, and how her brother came to all the shows.
posted by MrMoonPie at 5:43 AM on October 18, 2011


When I learned I was going to be a father, there wasn't a single cool male musician (let alone punk rocker) I knew of who took on the job of fathering their kids, and continued (or returned) to making music. All I had was the Wu-Tang clan talking about their "seeds".

I'd read enough 60s rock biographies to know that, once their wives or girlfriends had children, famous rock'n'rollers basically kissed the baby and went back out on the road again. After my daughter was born, this confounded me - how could any man choose to abandon a brand new child? I suspect a lot of guys probably felt overwhelmed, scared... maybe they didn't want to leave at all, but felt that was the 'manly thing' to do. Some of them had legitimate financial concerns, sure, but a lot could've easily been home far more than they were. Nowadays, most of those guys say they regret missing all that time. Why does the past exist if not as a warning?

Ultimately, I came to see Maureen Tucker as a role model. Not only did she leave music entirely to raise her kids, but she went on to return to it after they had grown, and actually made some ripping records ("Fired Up" is a favourite angry-parent song). So she proved it was possible. Plus, she'd been in the best band ever, so she had that going for her. Now we're Facebook friends and she posts pictures of her grandkids.
posted by stinkycheese at 6:45 AM on October 18, 2011


Pity she turned out to be a teabagger, though.
posted by acb at 6:49 AM on October 18, 2011


She is certainly not the only person (in the U.S. or elsewhere) who's gotten kind of grouchy and nuts as they've aged. Moe Tucker gets a pass if anyone does.
posted by stinkycheese at 6:53 AM on October 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


My favorite thing about Fort Reno? Seeing Ian MacKaye with his kid.
posted by azarbayejani at 7:13 AM on October 18, 2011


No, you're right, it is a pity. But what I'm talking about was before all that, anyways.
posted by stinkycheese at 10:05 AM on October 18, 2011


My Dad Made A Million Dollars Playing Punk Rock And All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt.
posted by monkeymike at 7:58 PM on October 18, 2011


My Dad Made A Million Dollars Playing Punk Rock

What color is the sky on your planet?
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:44 AM on October 19, 2011


"I wonder sometimes if I should have tattooed my forehead?"

No. The answer to this question is always "no".
posted by madajb at 9:21 PM on October 19, 2011


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