Thursday, October 6, 2011


The Mudlarks and Socials Struggle Against the Mediocre Tides at Raymond Walters College this Past September

Blue Ash Resident reports 'Shaking House'


"Many run to it, or from it. Some, into it"

That peculiar smell was insecticide... I think. At first I thought it was someone’s cologne, or maybe perfume. When I had commented on the possibilities of the aroma being insecticide, Julie seconded my assumptions saying that the chemical and its stench was making her tongue numb.


Right from the start the whole event was shrouded in a peculiar oddness. We [The Socials] were asked to make an afternoon appearance at University of Cincinnati's satellite, Raymond Walters College in a Cincinnati suburb named Blue Ash. Our appearance was to be part of a weekly event that the college held called The Market where a portion of the facilities parking lot was turned into an impromptu farmers style market. At each event there was live music. The Socials were asked to be that music for the 22nd of September.

I know what you’re thinking, so just stop it...

Yes. The Socials were asked to play a Farmers Market... At Universities satellite college during the daytime...So of course we said yes!

Truthfully, we were really itching to do a show. The last time The Socials played was when Julie was just a bit shy of her 9th month of pregnancy carrying Olive. We had still practiced and wrote material in the time since Olive’s birth. There was no question if we were going to do shows again, but when. As Olive approached toddlerdom and began exploring band practices more and finding her own spot in the unit, and this opportunity to perform in a setting where Olive could attend, we accepted the request.

After all, we have played barns deep into the month of October before (Juice played in underwear) so why not a farmers market?

Glad you understand...

Three hours? No, we have lots of songs but The Socials are a PUNK-ROCK band. We don’t play for one hour, much less three. Yeah, we did double sets before, but nothing close to three
Dont Worry, She is with the band!
Olive with the gear!
 full hours. So we would need help. We would need assistance. We would need back up.

We would find all of that (and more) with THE MUDLARKS, a reworked version of the band previously known as GO TO HELL. They gladly accepted the responsibility for bringing the punk-rock to the peoples of Blue Ash.

Sure, there was risk involved. We accepted verily early that once the music started, it could quickly be shut down by the authorities in whatever form they could (or would) take. The Socials as well ad The Mudlarks dually accepted this fact. We would face the masses together! United! We would step out of our comfort zone and rip the box we came in, and tried to earnestly step outside of to shreds!

Whoever said punk-rock was about being comfortable?

Rain, off and on, was the weekly pattern but on the day of the show it was partly cloudy with periods of intense sunshine, an infrequent gentle wind and mild temperatures...

And the smell of insecticide!

Julie and I had visited The Market previously and it really was quite an event... But between then, and now, things had changed and there was a major drop off in vendors. The Market was a mere shade of what it had been... The crowd was sparse (but punk-rock isn’t about quantity, its about quality right?) During the Mudlarks set-up, an older lady that had some sorts of back/spinal problem that left her in a position where she always seemed to be cocking her left arm in preparation of a punch, approached me and subsequently gave me a mouthful about how The Market was poorly organized.

I appreciated her fire concerning her care about the subject. She cared enough to corner me and give me some business about exactly what she thought! With representatives from the college there, with one of the guys even wearing a suit, why did the lady choose me as a depot for her criticisms?

Then her, that lady, with that spinal condition and cocked pre-punch arm...

My weirdo magnet was turned way up, past the high setting, but I decided to leave it there and secretly turn Julies and Juices dials past high to the high-high setting just to see what we would get.

It was like fishing, except we were guaranteed a catch.

The Mudlarks. 09 22 11
The Mudlarks!
The Mudlarks went first. Under a possibility of shut down, The Mudlarks would go first so they wouldn’t feel as cheated if we played and got the axe and they never got a chance to play. With The Mudlarks being first, they had a chance. They started off slowly choosing a couple middle road instrumentals lulling the crowd into a false sense of security. One of these songs was titled "Reggae" and I was later told that it was a totally improved jam. When Todd Witt took to the microphone for a rendition of The Bee Gees "I Started A Joke" (which I originally thought was a cover of a song originally done by Tiny Tim) I was even quietly questioning what was going on. I felt the need to fastly circle around to my compatriots to ensure them that The Mudlarks "were about to bust into it"

downsized_Mudlarks Comin at Ya.jpg
Mr. Witt got new sunglasses this day
Which, certainly enough they did. Their instrumental and cover feign was fucking genius! It was even beginning to work on me! When The Mudlarks did bust into it, they did it in true fashion as only first generation Cincinnati punk-rock veterans could. Pulling from previous efforts as GO TO HELL, The Mudlarks were convincing me that every bit of uncomfort that was being felt by being in the wrong place at the verily wrong time was exactly what was suppose to happen.When Lam (Mudlarks bass player and co-singer) took up mic for a raging rendition of "Voxhall Street" I was shakingly humbled and began to feel as if all the animals in Sea World should instantly be set free. Pull all the drain plugs and let all the fish find dignity in their last gasping breaths as Lam takes them, gently, to the other side.

Photo by Dave Mcdulin
I was asked, at Mudlarks sets end, if I was paying attention. I said I was, and I meant that. I live for sets done by bands like The Mudlarks in places we were at. Outside the comfort zone. Outside the box. Hardly anyone there. Punk-rock!!!

(NOTE: Punk-rock with the dash)

The Socials were plagued with equipment difficulties. It wasn’t showing on this day, but our equipment is made to be dragged to shows and our lack of shows lately had pissed our gear off! Yeah, it got working, but not without making us look like fucking dweebs in the process.

A week before the show, when fine tuning our set, in anticipation of the threat of show closure, we had marked songs with our names trying to pinpoint the exact spot that we would be asked to stop. The Juice had the insanely perfect idea of turning our set list into a document requiring someone to sign off on our set list if they wanted it to stop. A disclaimer! Genius! Each set list was noted with the following:

“___________ wants it to stop.”

At the beginning of our set I placed my copy of the set list to reference, conveniently with a marker, on the ground in front of me.

During the bleeding of our song "Aluminum Interest" a song wrote in tribute to the too soon to be cancelled TV show E-Ring, and a song whose title was lifted from a back cover description of a book featuring inspirational Catholic based poems about kids called "They ARE Like Shadows" (the song I picked as the one we would be playing as we were shut down) I seen a citizen approaching from a residential area from across the street.

I figured that was about to happen, and I figured right. I was deeply into the songs intro before stopping to hear his pleas.

Among other humorous pleas, he claimed that we were shaking his house with the noise from our equipment.
"The Noise Goblin Cometh" Photo by Briighty

"Its rock and roll sir!" Juice proclaimed to, who we would commonly refer to as The Noise Goblin... He remarked how loud our music was to which I replied how it wasn’t that loud to us.

And it wasn’t! We were situated right next to the main entrance of the college with the residential section that rendered the Noise Goblin, being past the entrance and on the other side of the road, about 500ft away. For us to be too loud to him was really a testament to our equipment...

The Noise Goblin was offered a way out... He was pointed to my set list and given the opportunity to sign the set list to make it all stop.

Confused, the Noise Goblin viewed the paper and asked, "Why do I have to sign the paper?"

"Because that’s the rules! Pick up the marker, sign the line, and we will stop all the music... Sign the line and its alllll over!"

He wouldn’t sign the line. He asked us to just turn it down, which wasn’t an option...

You see, there are two ways that we 'turn down the volume' that differ from really turning it down, to fake turning it down.

The end! Finally! Photo by Tim "T-Wray" Combs
Motioning with a hand pointing to what needs to be turn down, and pointing downward means REALLY turn it down (pointing up means to REALLY turn it up; but its rather redundant cause we don’t fake turn up ever).

Motioning with a hand like your turning down a knob is the way to fake turn it down. On cue, once the signal is given, Julie and I go to our volume knobs, ACT like we turn it down and reproach the crowd and strum our guitars softly.

It does the trick every time and it worked this time too. The Noise Goblin returned back to wherever he came from. We finished our set list as planned and deemed the show a raging success.

If you were to get a chance to check out The Mudlarks then I highly recommend it. As for the next Socials show, well, there isn’t one planned. During our set, Olive took up a place center stage with the band. We didn’t tell her to do that, despite what many think. I’m keeping an eye out and trying to book shows at places and times that she could partake of the experience. 

But man, it'd sure be nice to hit The Comet or Northside Tavern or Mayday sometime in the future...

No, punk-rock isn’t about being comfortable, playing in front of a big crowd or making money or anything else that many other fuckwads would deem as a necessity concerning a musical performance. That is a good thing too... Punk-rock is a chorus of defiance in many different forms. If you get one thing from this piece, if you need enlightenment, then let it be the moral (if there is one) to this story... Lets try to end this shit with some wisdom shall we?

"Whatever you do isn’t worth doing unless someone gets pissed off in the process."

Listen to "Aluminum Interest" and the coming of The Noise Goblin HERE

"Like" The Socials on Facebook and see more photos from our show  HERE

The "Press" Release/Bio

Witt-Guitar, Vocals, Pedals, AccountingLambert-Bass, Vocals, Veteran BarberDavidson-Guitar, Pedals, ScientistCole-Drums, Medically Insured All four men were born into the mid-20th epochal time line to suburban to centaurian engineers, frontiersmen, marketeers, and of course geo-commons both above and within the Eight Great Ohio Underground Valley's in various unconnected counties near the Bay of Fundy.

After a brief hiatus for cloning experiments, THE SOCIALS return with their  onslaught of tempered viewpoints on the skepticism of modern UltrAmerica!™  Endorse Creative-History and its chairman, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer...  Endorse The Academy of Extreme Science... You name all of your carry-a-long  coolers too right? Learn how the future will only let you down... Again, and again and again ect.Miss Communication (aka "Coach") sings and plays guitar for THE SOCIALS. The  Juice by Jerry plays drums, does backing vocals and knows how to get the  sweetest milk from dairy cows (ask him) and Shawn Abnoxious plays based on his  death-ground.

The Socials also hail from the Bay of Fundy region...