by Mike Chen on 11/18/09 at 04:02 PM ET
The boss sent this piece from British paper The Guardian over to me yesterday. It’s a view of puck rock (the punk sub-genre, not the occasional feature I run interviewing hockey folks about their music tastes) and Vancouver’s punk pioneers DOA from across the pond. This particular passage amused me:
Our introduction to the genre comes courtesy of Vancouver punk veterans DOA. Hold on, there’s a story, courtesy of their label’s website: “A short time ago, Canadian-punk godfather Joe “S***head” Keithley was sourly contemplating the namby-pambyness of the new National Hockey League style. As he reached for the solace of a beer, he thought: “Hey, damn this corporate NHL crap! Let’s give the people some real rough and tumble on the ice!”
If you’re really into ice hockey, this is probably a massive laugh. As a Brit, however, it is all slightly bewildering. Here, hockey is a game played by public schoolgirls with bruised ankles, so it’s easy to lose track when watching the New York Raiders battle the Chicago Blackhawks. Luckily, we have a regional alternative – step forward Leeds band Geoffery Oi!Cott, cricket-themed punks who lovingly translate the gentle thwack of leather on willow into rowdy terrace anthems like (Cricket) Bat Out of Hell and Dawn of the Dickie Birds. Proof, again, that if you can think of a topic which might be amusing to cover through the medium of song, punk has probably already got there first.
Is it just me or is there a huuuuuuuuuuuuge difference in a punk song being inspired rough-and-tumble old-time hockey and…the gentlemanly sport of cricket? This might get me in trouble with some of our readers over in the UK, but punk’s always been about speed and attitude. You’d think the land of Sid Vicious would know this. Cricket’s like baseball except it can literally last all day, and I don’t know about you guys, but as much as I like baseball, there’s very little that’s punk about it. Here’s an example of cricket:
I don’t think anyone can deny the skill of the cricket players, just like you can’t deny the skill of a great MLB pitcher. But it ain’t punk rock. Of course, there’s the other side of cricket, which is sitting with your mates all day (like 12 hours) and drinking a lot of beer. That’s something that we can all appreciate, right? And I’m sure plenty of punk-worthy shenanigans happen during those beer-enhanced marathons.
In the meantime, though, check out DOA’s new album: The Kings of Punk, Hockey, and Beer. Hockey and punk rock? If it’s up to DOA, it includes songs like Beat ‘Em, Bust ‘Em, Overtime, and When Power Came To Canada.
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