The North Atlantic provided the soundtrack to my twenties when I first moved to San Diego. They were criminally overlooked during their career, underrated and neglected. Passed over in the over saturated, emo-core 00’s. Their music was encapsulated in angular guitar riffs, meat-and-potato drumming of Led Zep, call and response of DC Go-Go and by turn DC Hardcore, hyper-literate and excessively quotable lyrics punctuated by tasty, big-bush bass-o-machine playing.
Part of me is glad. I got to wear them like a badge. Blow the minds of friends who’re and were unfamiliar and keep them like a secret. Street cred for as many miles as the concrete stretched from the 8 freeway to the A Street house where we all used to drink 2 dollar wine, smoke our lungs red and play Clash records all night. But for how how hard they toiled, trying to “make it” in the hard scrabble of Get in the Van-style touring in a pre-crash stolen-presidency war-all-the-time-world, they never stopped being gracious or friendly or my friends.
Also, they never disappointed live. Except once, when Cabron and TNA couldn’t actually play a show in Tijuana. We got stopped at secondary and by the time we made it to San Ysidro to get properly checked it was too late. That was my one thing. You know. Everyone has a thing. Short of wishing I was in the band, I wanted to share a stage with those dudes (and I did once, butchering the riffs on Swallows Air at the Casbah no less).
By the whims of the great magnet…I saw them with Planes Mistaken for Stars and Bear Vs. Shark. I think. I can’t remember because that’s how much fun I had and I can’t honestly remember due to the fact that I saw them play so many fucking times.
I proposed to my wife during their set at one of the diviest shithole bars in San Diego (RIP Freddy and the formerly no-douche Scolari’s Office). Their feature length Wires in the Walls was and still is in permanent rotation, “Scientist Girl” has already been approved for repeated play by my daughter. The chorus I never knew how much I needed you from “Bottom of this Town” makes my throat constrict, like I stubbed my toe or banged my elbow really hard. Intense longing followed by the humbling realization that I shared in some sort of communion with a dozen other souls, drunk on wine and constellations.
Your hands will be the matches, your head will be the wick.
That’s some soul right there. Homage dressed up in a brand of nostalgesterone.
Well-tabs for the city of the future. When I began writing Caustic Soda five years ago, Wires in the Walls was the soundtrack of that world. TNA is the band that will always be on stage in my fictions. Infinitely inspiring.
What If I’m Forty Tomorrow? Sounded like a hardcore mantra when I first heard Jason Hendrix sing it. Tomorrow is now five years from now.
Currently Jason Hendrix and Jason Richards are playing in Chicago’s rogue wave outfit, Big Science. Drummer Cullen Hendrix is a professor of political science at William and Mary and in respect to our shared memories and several potential laws that haven’t reached statute of limitations, suffice to say, we kids had some good times.
TNA is forming Voltron for one night this summer. Drunken singalongs are prerequisites for these post-post-indie punks. They’re playing with Denver’s Mustangs and Madras.
A few things will happen on this momentous night. Epic Win will happen. A lot of “I Love You Man’s” will be mumbled as bodies crush against one another. Someone will vomit at some point. It may be me. It may be my wife. Or a combination of partners puking on each other. Come to think of it, I should mashup that scene in Stand By Me with TNA’s “The Lotus Eaters.”
When I was your age I got the fuck down
Saturday Sept 1, 2012 @ Three Kings Tavern 60 South Broadway, Denver, CO 80209