Steve Albini! You are 49 years old today!
A mutual friend (whose name is assuredly NOT Bradley R. Weissenberger, except that it totally is) requested that i post some sort of embarrassing birthday screed for you today, probably assuming that i have way more readers than i actually do.
Steve, today i would like to thank you for this delightful interview with Die Kreuzen from a 1986 issue of Forced Exposure. Not because it includes a hilarious tale of DK being wooed by Run DMC's record label. Not even because of the tales of not eating for a day and a half, which make me feel exceedingly fortunate to have made the decision to tour minimally on vacation time.
No, Steve, i'm thankful because your opening paragraph was so damned boss (and for Bradley's sake, i hope that posting something here that you wrote when you were twenty-three is something you find slightly embarrassing):
Yeah, it's 1986 all of a fucking sudden. Just like that, I'm twenty three fucking years old, I have a job, a college degree, an ulcer, bad breath and no sex drive. Without even trying, I'm a fucking geezer. And punk/rock means shit little to anybody in the world anymore, it seems, save for people who just tripped over it recently and don't know what the fuck to do with it. The precious few musical gangs still creating viable, new music are barely hanging on, thanks to an audience so bent on crushing out originality and inspiration you'd think they were some sort of revenge squad sent in as infiltrators by our parents from long ago. Punk rock was the whole fucking world once, back when it meant cutting loose, going all-out and being nobody's tool. What hasn't been bought out has changed, in the hopes that somebody would buy, save that precious few. Yes, there is a Killdozer. Yea, there are Three (count 'em) Johns. Yes, there is a Naked Raygun. Yes there is a Foetus. Yes, yes, yes there are still too many to name (but barely, fucking barely) and one of the unnamed (as yet) is Die Kreuzen.
I've been spending the last two days brainstorming a sort of "mission statement" that i offered to write for Latest Flame, and it was going to have a central thesis of "man, what happened to indie rock? There's no rock in it anymore," but your opening paragraph reminded me that dudes twelve years older than i have been saying that for twenty-five years longer. So thanks for reminding me that as old and cranky as i am, there are people out there that have been crankier for far longer.
And in all seriousness, Steve, THANK YOU for, on your dime, hosting an online community that has slowly become the only reliable outlet i have for discovering awesome new music, as well as perhaps one of the first thriving music scenes that exists primarily on the internet. The BBQs, the song challenges, and of late, our ability to band together and raise a shit-ton of money to pay for our friend's medical bills...i hope you feel really satisfied and happy that you've played a huge part in making this happen.
Oh, and thanks for all the cool music too.
Oh, also: you probably don't care, but i'm really fucking sorry that Milwaukee declared your birthday to be Bon Iver Day.