I was never a punk. In high school I was a trendy little femme who liked the Smiths and sixties music. Duckie was my fashion icon. The only punk rock I listened to was the Dead Milkmen.
The king of the punks at my school was a senior named Alex who came to class one morning with perfectly spiked hair. Multiple four-inch spikes of Ziggy-red hair held up with egg whites or Elmer’s or some other gravity defying concoction. While he was walking down the hall some big dumb jock took a donut and placed it on one of those epic spikes.
Alex left the donut on his head for the rest of the day.
To me, that epitomizes punk rock. You make a personal statement that goes against the grain, you get hassled for it, but ultimately you subvert that mockery by reclaiming it and making it your own.
I didn’t see any donuts at Riot Fest this year but there was no shortage of that same punk rock attitude.
I didn’t realize that the video we linked to last month was a live version of the new single. The Hives are such a tight live band that I assumed that was the studio version. Nope. This is. And it’s even better.
The Hives are back with a new single that won’t bring you down…Bruce! Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist is in fine form, decked out in a top hat and cape, and mugging with his best Lux Interior faces. America needs more cape rock.
2012 tour dates:
6/19 – Washington, D.C. – 9:30 Club
6/20 – Philadelphia, PA – Electric Factory
6/22 – New York, NY – Terminal 5
6/23 – Boston, MA – House of Blues
6/25 – Montreal, QC – Metropolis
6/26 – Toronto, ON – Sound Academy
6/27 – Pontiac, MI – Clutch Cargo’s
6/29 – Milwaukee, WI – Summerfest
6/30 – Chicago, IL – The Vic Theatre
It wasn’t that long ago when The Hives were on that short list of bands that seemed to be sent from above to save us from rock’s growing humdrums. Hard to believe, but around the start of this century, the simple idea of possessing a little bit of attitude, a smidgen of imagery and a tad of three-chord proficiency got you namechecked as the next big thing.
The problem is, when you have that much hype backing something that has its roots in a history of one trick pony, well sir, you have expectations that are excessively high. If it were any different, every band on Nuggets would have a room full of gold records and Sky Saxon would have enough cash on hand to retire wearing gold-plated diapers.
Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist on the Misfits: “It sounds like shit and was recorded by a bunch of dudes in 1978. The lyrics are difficult to understand but it has the best hidden pop melodies ever. Melodies up there with Motown and Abba.”
By unanimous decision, the crowd at the packed Metro made Hives frontman Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist an honorary Chicagoan. We gave the Hives the key to the city. Well, Almqvist demanded it from us, and how could we say no? When the Hives tell you to cheer for them, you’ve got no choice but to give it up.