Strove to find a way to punch people in the face by using the Internet.


My stupid little Web site sure is looking a lot like a proper blog this week, huh? For that, I apologize.

Anyway, I just read on Metafilter that Randy "Biscuit" Turner, singer for the amazing Texas punk band the Big Boys, was found dead in his home yesterday, the same day a nice article about him was published in the Austin Chronicle.

For the most part, I'm not really affected by celebrity passings or the deaths of people I've never met. I don't revel in them or use them as an opportunity to paint myself as aloof and above pop culture or anything — that's lame. They just don't really hit me.

This does, though. Part of it is that the Big Boys are one of my all-time favorite bands. They mixed hardcore punk, as fierce and brutal as anyone's ever played it, with a serious dose of straight-up funk and plenty of uncategorizable weirdness. Like the best punk rock, they trafficked in the kind of deepset anger and alienation that's fueled a lot of what I do since I was a teenager, but they were also anthemic and uplifting and fun, a riot of color and energy onstage that constantly exhorted their audiences to embrace creative action.

Even more than music, though, the Big Boys have had a huge impact on my life. One of the best things about punk rock is it's refusal to play by the rules. The Big Boys had no use for the rules — admirably, they let neither society's constrictions nor the dogma of their hardcore-punk peers dictate their path.

...Fuck, in a bit of synchronicity that borders on the maudlin, my MP3 player just coughed up their track "We're Not In It to Lose." As I sit here listening to it, I can't help but think, and hope, that the best moments of my life have been touched by the same brand of gleeful anarchy that drove this music, and Biscuit's art, and the positive do-anything spirit that permeated it all.

Fucking Biscuit and the Big Boys smashed me in the face with rainbows, and I was never the same. RIP, motherfucker.

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