100 best punk songs: 44-49
by Michele Christopher
Another reader generated list, this time from the lovely and talented Jessica of Peace Dividend.
44. Fang - An Invitation [to a Suicide]
It wasn't pretty, and it was nowhere near romantic except for the killing himself part, but it was OK if it meant we didn't have to go home to our parents. download
The Meatmen later covered this 7" gem, thus proving the universality of proto-Reagan-Thatcher lipstick angst. "I don't need no caucasian guilt / I'm ready for a brand new race / We're concerned with the way you move / not the arrangement of your face.' We know you are, Meatmen. We know. download
46. Christian Death: Dogs
The scene in SF was vital and genre-crossing, and saw many bands mutate from hardcore to goth to glam to peace punk to ska to reggae to metal often more than once a halflife, if the members survived. The end came for Rozz, my friend and across-the-lightwell-neighbor, after someone tried to take Christian Death commercial. Dogs is grade-A pure unadulterated deathrock. To those of us of a certain age, every lust-fueled stalking bassline, every sinewy snake-tongued lick, every surging keyboard chord since then sounds a little like the toll of a mourning bell. "Just like cannibals: we must be starving." download
47. Flipper: Life
"The only thing worth living for," though I suspected (between the weekly EMT visits, upstairs at Mission A, and the daily calming of a toddler in the flat around the corner) that for some there were other, less healthful, enticements. Flipper played way-beyond-capacity crowds that sometimes dwindled down to bartenders and a soundguy as Sex Bomb headed into its second hour, and they always made sure the little girls didn't get into too much trouble. Whatever your poison – drugs, sex, or propaganda, and whether they ruled, or sucked, or both – Flipper was fucking art. download
This is the song that could save you on those nights that was otherwise not quite worth living. Skinheads burned down your squat? Reagan sure to be re-elected? No one understands your too-young-for-a-work-permit angst? Bad Brains feels your pain, and makes art from it. So buck up. download
49. The Dicks - No Fuckin' War
They started the great punk rock migration from Austin, TX to the Vats, SF, followed closely by DRI and MDC, who together with locals Crucifix changed the world (my corner of it, at least) with the Rock Against Reagan tour. Dicks shows drew deathrockers and peace punks, rastas and skinheads, bears and Barbie Strap-On Mohicans, and we'd all raise our fists and shout along together. With a queer buddhist singer, a beautiful junkie bassist, and a bad-assed babe on drums, they could be summarized as "We're San Francisco, and we vote." download
Thanks, Jessica. Stay tuned for more on the list tonight, as we have some of our own coming up.
See previous posts on how to get your favorites on the list.