Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Bread and Circuits

"Justice runs a clorox beat/up and down Valencia street...pick your poison/division or diversion/we're given bread and circuits/for a purpose--to keep us tranquilized" (Bread and Circuits, 1999)

In '98, hardcore was at yet another crossroads. To one side were the turbulent early 90s with its reinvention and reclamation of hardcore punk idealism. Owing as much to Revolution Summer as Mumia's incarceration, the uprising in Chiapas, and pre-Internet networking, "kids" were hashing out their principles, privilege, and independence in ways unseen. On the other was an agressive backlash against all things emo. Thrash, grind, and nihilism were making a come back and the dot-com bubble had yet to burst. In the middle stood five individuals who would create a soundscape of confrontation and complexity that was as immediate and honest as the times demanded. For about six months or so I was lucky enough to share food, conversation, and time on the mic with this group. Knowing them helped me grow. This isn't to say that we always agreed on things, but for the short period when I was brought into the fold of the BnC community--a community that was really much larger than the band--I connected to the spirit of possibility that epitomizes the very best of a culture of resistance.


Here, at the first BnC show he read from a fist-hand account of a lynching in the Deep South. If you look closely, Molly--who later replaced Mag--is standing with Tim who now plays with Baader Brains.


Mike gets pigeon-holed a lot--agitprop poet, student of People's History, Ebullition best-seller--but he's rarely noted for his great sense of humor. He also does mean a capella rendition of old Night Ranger songs and can name-check Yes prog-jams like few of his punk peers.


Jose rounded out this Ebullition super-group and played with a passion seldom seen--then or now.




Vancouver Friends 1


Enric said...

Marty - First of all, an apology. It's only now, years after the fact, that I discovered you'd posted a comment on my own post about Bread & Circuits. I'm afraid I can't remember for sure, but we may have met that summer you were on tour with them - my name's Harry, and I lived in Roseburg, Oregon at the time. Later, my friend Thomas and I spent most of 2000 in SF, where we probably crossed paths again. Thanks very much for pointing me toward your post - it brought a lot of fond memories.

Marty Roberts said...

We may have actually stayed at your house in Roseburg. I had the little white Honda Civic that I slept in the night we arrived. Did you also play in a band? Maybe played at Che Fest? I seem to remember some kind of connection like that. Anyhow, hope you're well.