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July 2019:

Man time really got the better of me. I threw my arm out and wrecked my hand playing pick-up dodgeball (who knew throwing those little balls around for 2 hours would fuck me up so bad? I guess the guy that warned me hah), so I couldn't use a computer for a few days. Then I was in Chicago for a bit to help Val move.

All these things prevented me from updating the webstore as I had intended. But I guess that's okay because the next two SPHC releases should be week?.....and I'm still waiting for a box from FOAD and some other odds and ends, so I will just wait for everything to arrive and do it all at once.

I'm also waist-deep in building the new website and hoping that will be ready by September. Which would ostensibly make this the second-to-last time I write in this thing. I doubt I will continue jotting down any blog-y notes on the new website, since it's a different operation with more people involved and a different way of doing things, different goals, etc. 

I saw Dillinger Four last week and they were A-M-A-Z-I-N-G and I really want to write about that.

I'm a big fan, own almost all the records (still missing one 7"), and I'd only seen them once before, opening for Bouncing Souls in Baltimore years ago. They were killer then but seeing them on home turf was a really wonderful experience.

It made me think a lot about "bands with one foot in DIY and one foot in larger indie success": Dillinger Four, Propagandhi, and Leftover Crack, Fucked Up, am I missing anyone? What exactly makes these bands so beloved, so much better than their peers, and also what makes Leftover Crack the obvious odd one out? We* kinda decided the answers were: because they are great and managed to retain dignity despite their success, because they have cooler influences by virtue of stemming from the DIY scene originally, and because of them as individual people + their shock-value politics/aesthetic.
*"we" being the like 5 people I've had this discussion with over the last week.

This conversation also lead Morgan and I to having the longest, most in-depth conversation possibly ever? about the merits and failures of the Propagandhi discography. Which involved me listening to their entire discography TWICE within 4 days. That's way too much Propagandhi, by the way. Nobody should ever have to do that. Not recommended. I don't think I can listen to another melodic pop-punk record like that for at least another month. I'm spinning G-Anx, Running For Cover, Gridlink, and Deche-Charge tonight to cleanse myself.

But part of going through all that lead me to wonder, at what point does a band stop being "good"? At what point is it unfair to say you are "a fan" of a band? Cause up until Saturday, I would have said, yes of course I'm a huge Propagandhi fan. I think Today's Empires, Tomorrow's Ashes LP is one of the best punk records ever and the first two albums ain't no slouch either. Potemkin City Limits LP was kinda weak and isn't there a crappy one after that?

But by Sunday, having listened to their entire discography, it occured to me that Propagandhi spent 11 years making 3 quality albums and 17 years making 4 crappy ones. They've been bad for way longer than they've been good! I totally lost track of them because I stopped caring.....but by Victory Lap LP in 2017, they basically sound like college radio rock. It skirts along on being catchy sometimes, and that's about it! A far cry from TETA LP. If you don't like the majority of their discography, are you really 'a fan'?

I pitched this question to a friend and he said, with some classic bands, there's an unspoken assumption that you're just into the classic stuff, and it's an exception to be into anything else. Propagandhi falls into that category, I mentioned Circle Jerks as well (I LOVE the first LP, know every word, but the rest of their discography never sat well with me.....although I am probably due to revisit it, I haven't heard these records since high school). I suppose what he says is true, but I wonder if that's really fair/accurate....and I wonder how the bands themselves feel about that, that everyone clings onto their past like that......

Well, I don't have any answers, but, something I've been thinking about.

Next month, finally...Top 3 Best SPHC Releases That Never Came to Fruition Because the Band Broke Up Too Quickly.