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Leave it to the 924 Gilman Street Project to draw a crowd for five grizzled pioneers of the LA punk movement, who together comprise “True Sounds of Liberty.” And by grizzled, we mean grizzled. As in, “President Reagan can shove it!” grizzled. As in, these gentlemen were composing anarchy anthems years before most of us could pronounce “trickle down” without a speech impediment, let alone have enough hair to sport a proper mohawk.

Turns out the same braces-clad gutterpunks who worshiped the band during their 1980s zenith are still into them now (and never bothered to get that pesky hardware removed).

Perhaps it’s the “violence, alcohol, and drug-free” environment of volunteer-run 924 Gilman that brought the band to the venue. Heroine addiction, endless prison sentences, former drummer Todd Barnes’ drug-induced death, and frontman Jack Grisham’s drunken marriage to an underage girl in Mexico have since propelled the band into sobriety.

Grisham, the same hardcore vocalist who landed himself in jail for speeding backwards on PCH (steering with one hand while slumped over the hood with a buddy hitting the gas pedal), placed 37th (out of 135) in the 2004 campaign for California Governor.

While Friday night’s set was mediocre at best, reminding us uncomfortably of our ska days minus the b*tchin’ horn section, Grisham’s between-song commentary on his impending divorce and startling weight gain made the whole evening worthwhile. He also took time to shoot grave insults at his adolescent fan base. He sure put those fourteen-year-old mullets in their place.

Image Source: GoatLegSF under Creative Commons
The 924 Gilman Street Project [site]
TSOL MySpace [site]



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