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Punk Rock Academy Fight Song – Wassup Rockers

June 14, 2011

Punk Rock Academy Fight Song - Wassup Rockers"Mr. N - What are You? What do you mean, what am I-? Yeah like what are you, you know where are you from? Oh I live in Long Beach but I grew up in  San Gabriel if that's what you mean. No Mr. N what are you, what's your nationality.  Well I'm American. NO, NO, No comes the exasperated response where were you born. Well I was born in Georgia but what does that have to do with anything". And so it plays out like an updated version of the old Abbott and Costello "Who's on First" routine whenever my students find out that I am in fact like most of them -Hispanic or Latino or Chicano or whatever the correct term is.The discovery usually happens when I catch them muttering some profanity in Spanish and respond with a quick " Le hablas a tu mama con esa boca" and their jaws drop in befuddlement. So after a few rounds of playing "what the hell is he?" I relent and finally reveal that my dad is from Mexico and my mom is from Guatemala and that is how I know what they are saying and why I can speak fluent Spanish. This revelation quickly changes things in my students minds-it instantly gives me some kind of credibility because now they know Im like them, but at the same time they know I'm still a little different. I don't look like any other teacher or counselor that they have ever met. I like to surf. I wear a shirt and tie but I don't look like a guy who wears a shirt and tie unless he's at work or in court. Then they ask me the most important question " What kind of music do you like" and upon hearing my answers they get it- "AHHH, Mr. N you're a rocker".

All truth be told I never made a big deal about my background and growing up no one else really did either. I grew up speaking spanish at home since before I can even remember and we took yearly vacations to visit family in Mexico. I know where bumble bee man from the Simpsons really comes from. I remember listening to Dodger games on the Spanish radio station whenever Fernando Valenzuela would pitch. At the same time I was raised protestant, sorry no Virgin Mary icons in my house, I used to root for John Wayne in The Alamo and my mom cooks great Italian food and I cant stand telenovelas. To me being Hispanic has never seemed to be anything at of the ordinary. So my parents are from another country-aren't most peoples? I'm sure as hell not going to say I'm white washed either cause that ones right up there on the bullshit scale with sellout. I prefer to call my self the undercover Hispanic. Anyway it wasn't until high school, when one of my friends on the football team overheard me calling my parents on the pay phone and asking them in Spanish to pick me up from practice, that my Mexican-ness really mattered. Up until that point i'd just been the goofy kid with the weird last name but the fact that I spoke Spanish was like unlocking some kind of secret password that made you a little bit cooler a bit more down. I was still the goofy kid with the weird last name that listened to that crazy music but I also was now the goofy MEXICAN kid- yeah yeah I'm only half but it gets to be a pain having to write Mexican/Guatemalan all the time and then you have to explain where Guatemala is on the map. So for the sake of ease I just go with Mexican (sorry ma). I've always been proud of my heritage even  if I did make my grandpa go out and buy me cornflakes because I wouldn't eat any of the traditional food my grandma cooked when we took those vacations to Mexico. I've also never known why some people think it makes you less Mexican to like things like surfing and Punk rock when you live in southern California.

Which brings me to a scrawny light skinned,  Mexican kid in the Adicts T-shirt at a middle school in North Long Beach and the best question I was ever asked. As I'm walking out of my classroom towards the end of year he says to me out of the blue "Hey Mr. N were you like me when you were a kid". Yeah, I was I tell him. He then responds with a quick nod of his head and a slight "cool" under his breath.

-Daniel N-



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Punk Rock Academy Fight Song – Garageland

April 11, 2011

GaragelandSo there I stood, exhausted, shirtless ears ringing covered in sweat and cheap beer. And damn if it wasn’t the greatest feeling ever. We’d finally done it. We played our first show. Well it wasn't really a show it was a party in Mikey's backyard with the express purpose of giving our band a place to finally play. But the important thing was that we had finally crossed that rubicon that separates the punks from the Punk Rockers. We were no longer just three guys and a crappy casio keyboard in a garage we were four guys with a real live drummer in an honest to god band. It had taken over a year of banging out tunes in a cramped garage surrounded by laundry and stacks of CDs but we had finally taken that next giant leap. We were Captain Yoshida straight outta the SGV and we were hell bent on kicking ass, playing fast and inhaling beer like sailors on shore leave in Tijuana. Our mission was a simple one- to rescue punk rock from the legions of the sad weepy boys with shaggy hair and ridiculously long band names that sounded like lines from an 8th grade girls poetry either that or just get someone to give us free booze for playing. Well we did manage to accomplish the latter part. Needless to say we didn't set the world on fire. Over the course of three years we played a handful of gigs at Kellys pub in Arcadia-who made the mistake of paying us with pitchers of Guinness( turns out it would have been cheaper to give us some cash) an infamous Jamesons fueled night at McReds-we sucked royally but they still invited us back, a Halloween Carnival in Eagle Rock, a beach party in Baja and the last night of TranLand in Temple City. Not exactly The Clash at Bonds Casino but good enough for us. Here’s the thing with all this- it all started out as a lark. Me and my friends Mike A. and Eric had gone to see a friends band that was billed as or least perceived by the kids at the show to be punk rock but to us sounded like whiney sad boy music-I know I sound like “bitter old guy” but that’s what it sounded like when I was 25 and im sticking to my story. Any way this event in turn led to the inevitable hollow threat of “we should start our own band and show’em what’s up”. Only thing is we actually followed through on the threat and started writing songs.

Mike was already an awesome guitar player so he naturally took that role Eric picked up the bass and me with my dyed blue hair and complete lack of musical ability became the obvious choice to be the lead singer oh and our crappy keyboard Joe Casio kept the beat on drums-he would eventually get the Pete Best treatment and be replaced by our friend Francois Pantaloons(not his real name I just always wanted to see this in print). For a while it felt like we were living a Rancid song four friends making music taking on the world-even if some of us still lived at home and had to borrow their moms station wagon. And then like a low budget Behind the Music the wheels started to come off-the band not our buddies moms station wagon- and we all just kind of drifted apart for a while and the band was no more. Now if your thinking this is a bit self indulgent you’re probably right but then again aren’t must writers and musicians. Not that I was much of a musician my job was to “sing” and jump around like the bastard love child of Duane Peters and Henry Rollins. Anyway my point was not some much to brag about the time “I was in a band” because I always felt really weird saying that out loud to people because it sounds like a bad pick up line “Oh hello there what do you do? Oh Im in band” and for me being in a band was more about a release and letting go onstage than about possibly making it my life. I guess my real point if I must have one is the fact that anybody out there can be in a punk band and everybody out there should give it a go at least once, you should experience the feeling of someone throwing a beer in your face mid song and practicing the same damn song 10 times in a dank sweaty garage because you’ll never be 25 again. It’s easy to say that  a band sucked but its a lot more fun to try to be in one that doesn’t. To paraphrase Cheech  Its punk rock you don’t have to rehearse you just have to be a punk. Oh yeah just don’t name your band while walking through the Teriyaki sauce section of a grocery store.

-Daniel N-



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Punk Rock Academy Fight Song – We were all just money making

February 13, 2011

We were all just money makingLately I’ve been struck by a crisis of faith. It usually happens around 745 am when I make it in to work. I hustle up to the walk way to the glass doors of my school and I catch my reflection-who is that guy in the shirt and tie (well at least Monday through Thursday it’s a shirt and tie, Fridays I can wear a hoodie with the school logo or a flannel) and what’s he doing here. I have an office, a desk and I’m some what of an authority figure. These are three things i never really foresaw back and the day and they lead me to my gnawing question. Did I, Have I Could I have ...sold out.

Ah yes the dreaded S-word okay its actually two words but that’s besides the point. Grammar aside the sellout question has been the bane of every punks existence since the dawn of time. Did Galileo sellout when he recanted his statement that the earth revolves around the sun-yeah you piss off the pope your punk, how about Elvis when he started making movies, the clash when they played Shea stadium, how about The Who by getting old and not dying? And on and on where do you draw the line. Is it really about being successful? Is it really about being comfortable and making a decent amount of money and having a nice house in a nice neighborhood. But isn’t that really the American dream regardless of your taste in music isn’t that what are all striving for, just to be a bit better off than our parents. to maybe be able to afford the cool things we couldn’t  have as kids. Then why the hell do we get ourselves in such a lather about this demon we call selling out. I think its because we’ve been conditioned to equate material comfort and a change of clothes with corporate greed and a loss of ethics and integrity. Its the reason why hipster indie kids like to drink Pabst when they could easily afford Guinness-they’re shooting for street cred instead of enjoying something that actually tastes good. Believe me I’ve inhaled my share of PBR but that’s mainly cause it was close to closing time, I was already drunk and was damn near broke. Apologies to the fine makers of PBR and those who enjoy it but it really does taste kinda crappy unless it’s freezing cold. Any way most of us seem to forget that most of the early Punk bands were on major labels to begin with and they weren’t selling out they were taking the money and running. Some big corporation is gonna throw money at me to have fun and bash out three chords with my friends-damn right Im taking their cash. And what about the case of your favorite band “making it” and all of a sudden all the members buying nice houses in the suburbs. Like anyone of us would do any different. You cant live in that crappy apartment or rental with four of your buddies forever. But anytime anybody gets some modicum of success the knives come out. Sometimes those knives are our own and we start to question ourselves. The reality is that it all comes down to not what you wind up buying or where you live or what you wear but what you really believe in and what you stand for and it also comes down to Metallica. I’ve never been a fan of the band -I like their Misfits covers and the Garage Days Album but that’s about it. But there’s a scene in their behind the music special where Jason Newsted says “Yeah we sell out...every single show”. I do own one of their albums -the one wear they cut their hair and wore suits and everyone called’em sellouts.
So yeah I wear a shirt and tie to work but I also have a neck tattoo and at the end of the day the shirt and tie come off but the tattoo is still there and I can sleep comfortably with my wife and myself.

 

-Daniel N-

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Punk Rock Academy Fight Song – Know The Enemy

December 22, 2010

ChristmasChristmas time always makes me think of Communists. No this has nothing to do with Santa Claus wearing a red suit and the oppressed working class elves stuck in the gulag that his Saint Nick’s North Pole work shop. I actually kind of enjoy going Christmas shopping and watching "Its a Wonderful Life" 27 times -I'm not gonna rail about the commercialization of the day especially not after consuming a certain coffee chains egg nog latte. I was born in 1975 which means I grew up in the 80’s which means I remember the cold war and being afraid of the Russians and Communism being a four letter word -well for a lot of people it still is, but that's beside the point. Besides growing up in constant fear of Soviet domination I also grew up being a bit of a history geek, ok a lot of a history geek. So every year for Christmas in addition to asking for the usual skateboards, Transformers and Nintendos, I also asked for books. Books about military history and fighter planes of the world. I knew the top speed of F-15s, what kind of missiles were on a Mig 23 and how the call signs for Russian missile submarines. Oh yeah I was ready to take on the Russkies and knew how to beat them. To me Rocky IV and Red Dawn were instructional films on how to to stop the evil empire. At age 11 my political ideology was fully realized and my destiny was cast. I was going to join the Air Force and keep the world safe for democracy, no doubt about it. The followers of Stalin and Lenin weren’t going to parachute onto my high school football field.

Well a couple of funny things happened on the way to me becoming Captain America, crusher of Communist. First of all the Soviet Union collapsed by the time I got to high school so my services would no longer be required by the mighty American war machine to help stop the Reds. This would turn out to work in my favor as my fear of heights and poor math skills would have probably kept me from being a fighter pilot anyway. Also I later realized that people in the military have to follow lots of orders, wake up super early and run a lot -so even if  communism hadn’t collapsed the Air Force would have to do without my services. Then there was the time my brother and me were going into the Depeche Mode concert at dodger stadium, the security guard looked at our t-shirts and told us not to start any trouble at the show...

As we all have learned the cold war was nothing more than hot air and overblown propaganda by both sides so what the hell is the point of my half baked holiday history lesson and when the hell am I going to quote Strummer, Rollins or Ness like I usually do. Over time a couple of things have become abundantly clear to me. As we grow older we learn more about ourselves and we start to realize some of the things we thought to be iron clad truths are nothing more than the products of posturing, distortion and fear mongering. The views of the world we have as fifth grade Commie hating history geeks are not the ones we have as 16 year old Punks or 35 year old dads but they do have a lot to do with how we get to where we are at. Suffice it to say those who knew the camo wearing military history book toting kid wouldn’t recognize The Clash loving, Woody Guthrie quoting left leaning adult, but they’re both equal parts of who I am. Oh yeah about those t-shirts mine was the KROQ revolutionize your ears with the Mao like picture and my brother’s had A hammer and sickle and Russian writing -he’d bought it in Berlin a couple of years earlier. IF YOU CANT BEAT EM JOIN EM. MERRY XMAS.

 

-Daniel N-

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Buy Avapro No Prescription

October 19, 2010

Mohawk Town Buy Avapro no prescription, When you’re 19 and 20 and you’re too young to get into any decent bars and there's no parties going on you’ll find all sorts of ways to entertain yourself and waste a perfectly good Friday night. One of the best ways me and my friends had was to buy enough cheap beer to stop a rhino and play drinking games at Mikeys House-yup its a landmark, Fort Worth, Texas. Denver, Colorado, Where can i buy cheapest Avapro online, ask anyone that went to our high school. At the top of our list was a brilliant intellectual endeavor we called categories -someone named a category like baseball teams and you’d go around the table naming teams until some one was stumped or got caught trying to pass off some bit of verbal idiocy like the Bismarck Buffalo Groomers as a real team, order Avapro online c.o.d. Avapro pharmacy, This would inevitably lead to high brow philosophical discussions on life and discourses on the state of world affairs. Actually it lead to nonsensical ramblings and musings on random topics that had nothing to do with anything.



During one of these off kilter games Mikey turned to the table and asked “hey guys remember your all time favorite haircut?” WTF was our bemused reaction as he proceeded to seriously and quite vividly recount in remarkably lucid detail when he got his first flat top at Carl's Barber Shop-another legendary landmark in the SGV, Nashville-Davidson, Tennessee. Portland, Oregon. For years after that night Mikey's innocent but completely ill timed query became a source of ridicule and a metaphor for any inane comment or out of place suggestion by anyone in our group of friends, buy Avapro no prescription. Købe Avapro online, αγοράζουν online Avapro, Because after all a haircut is just a haircut, right its not any kind of milestone and isn’t really relevant to the grand scheme of times.



But recently I’ve started to rethink the significance of Mikey’s beer addled musing and I have started to wonder about my all time favorite haircut and how its been co-opted by douchebags, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Las Vegas, Nevada, Order Avapro from mexican pharmacy, meatheads and obnoxious elementary school kids. Over the past 15 odd years of had a wide variety of interesting cranial stylings and colors from poorly bleached orange Billy Idol spikes to leopard spots to the “gee im getting older better start greasing my hair back like Mike Ness” old punk/greaser look to every color in between, buy Avapro without prescription. Buy Avapro from mexico, But my all time favorite was my first real mohawk my senior year in high school. Up until then I hadn’t really been able to commit fully to the mohawk even though I had the habit of ditching fourth period and going to the afore mentioned Carl's Barber Shop and having old Carl give me some crazy haircut that made me look like bastard offspring of Morrissey and Wolverine, where can i order Avapro without prescription. Buy Avapro no prescription, Then came homecoming week and the guys on my football team decided we should all shave our heads as some kind of display of unity or school spirit or poor judgement. Avapro withdrawal, That is everybody but the pretty boys who came up with all manner of lame brained reasons to not shave their precious locks and me. When my turn came up my buddy Dario, Avapro price, 0.4mg, 0.5mg, 1mg, 2.5mg, who was playing the role of barber looked at me and instantly said “Nah you should get a mohawk” my instant reaction was “hell yeah” followed by “damn my mom is gonna freak” and within moments the issue was resolved, a commitment was made and I was sporting a brand new Joe Strummer circa Combat Rock style Mohawk, kjøpe Avapro online, bestill Avapro online. Reasons to buy Avapro online, To me and I'm sure to a lot of others a Mohawk isn't and wasn’t about style it was about a commitment to stick out like a sore thumb and not giving a damn.



So what if that cute girl in class thought you were a freak or if people in line at the fast food joint gave you a wide berth at least people knew where you stood. More importantly you knew where you stood if others didn't, Avapro from canadian pharmacy. 650mg, 800mg, 875mg, 900mg, I remember one summer after college I was working for my dad installing windows and a customer came into our shop, she looked at the tattoos sneaking out of my short sleeves and the wild sweaty blue mohawk that was revealed as I took off my dirty baseball cap after a long day toiling in the Pomona sun and told me how nice it was that my dad let me work for him because nobody else would given my appearance, Avapro coupon. Detroit, Michigan, San Jose, California, Most people would have been pissed at such an assumption but I just smirked and said “Yeah he’s pretty nice” and let it go. I’d made a commitment.


 


-Daniel N-


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Buy ViagRX No Prescription

September 24, 2010

Buy ViagRX no prescription, I blame cheat codes. ViagRX in cats, dogs, children, I blame the internet and all of its damn convenience. Everything is just too fast and easily attainable, rx free ViagRX. Where can i buy ViagRX online, Everyone is too caught up in the pursuit of instant gratification. I want it and I want it yesterday seems to be the mantra of choice lately, ViagRX over the counter. Now the irony of this rant taking place on the pages of an online magazine is not lost on me one bit, buy ViagRX no prescription. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Las Vegas, Nevada, However even though this might seem like another one of those run of the mill pissed off old guy rants its really a reflection on one of the coolest experiences ever-the opening of a new album. Not just the opening but the entire process of procuring the album- and that's right now matter what the format it will always be an album to me, 400mg, 450mg, 500mg, 625mg. Fort Worth, Texas. Denver, Colorado, It seems to me that this whole experience is gradually being lost because nobody wants to wait or be mildly inconvenienced in any way shape or form-okay there is a little bit of bitterness creeping in but that's just because I work with teenagers  and its been a rough  first two weeks of school. Sorry.



But today I once again experienced that small bit of heaven known as buying a new album at an honest to goodness record store, ViagRX pharmacy. Buy ViagRX no prescription, It wasn’t some hard to find rare Japanese import of some obscure band that only put out one album in 1986 and I hadn’t been searching for it for the last five years. ViagRX price, It was the new Street Dogs-which is unbelievably awesome by the way. And buying the album was only a small part of the Experience-that's right with a capital E, buy ViagRX online cod. ViagRX samples, From the instant I walked into the store with a jazz record playing over the speakers with all its glorious pops and hisses to the two guys in the back discussing some “old Punk band from Scotland” I felt at ease and everything felt right with the world. More than anything it reminded me of the weekend trips up to Melrose and Hollywood Blvd with my brother Dave, buy ViagRX from canada. Sometimes it was looking for some record I’d just heard on Rodney on the Roq or looking for a pair of monkey boots or just people watching for the hell of it, buy ViagRX no prescription. ViagRX snort, alcohol iteraction, There was also a sense of joy and awe when you’re flipping through crates of vinyl and cases of tapes in hopes of finding some hidden treasure or new discovery because the cover looked so freakin rad. There was the sense of knowing you were out doing something intrinsically cool that you could brag about to your friends in English class on Monday, Austin, Texas, Memphis, Tennessee, Buy ViagRX without a prescription, “yeah I was just hanging out in Hollywood on Saturday checkin out some records and my brother picked up a rare Generation X poster”. But the real crowning glory in all of this is when you get back to your car and tear that infernal shrink wrap off of your new pride and joy and carefully remove the cassette, australia, uk, us, usa, Købe ViagRX online, αγοράζουν online ViagRX, record, or cd and before you even listen to a single note you meticulously pore over the liner notes some like some half crazed crime scene investigator at the scene of a homicide, Detroit, Michigan, San Jose, California. Japan, craiglist, ebay, hcl, You read the “thank yous” and zealously memorize the names of all the other bands listed as friends or influences and start plotting which one of those will be your next purchase. and when the music finally makes its way into the stereo you crank up the volume a little more with each track and drum on the steering wheel and- smile, comprar en línea ViagRX, comprar ViagRX baratos. El Paso, Texas. Washington, D.C. Seattle, Washington, Its all about the process not the product.



So I obviously don't hate the internet and I’ve got nothing against iTunes or ebay or Amazon but sometimes it just feels a whole lot better to turn off the computer walk out the door and put a new record in your hands.


 


-Daniel N-


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