Saturday, December 18, 2004

Team Spider / CBGB's 313 Gallery / Dec. 17, 2004

Is Team Spider just another gimmick band, or a radical repudiation of hegemonic ideas about age? (Looking at their website, they appear to be a combination of both, not to mention an activist collective and a television show.) What we have here is an average ska/punk group—scruffy, long-haired guitarist, bassist with lip piercing and knit cap—fronted by an eighty-year-old man. He shouts slogans like “Bush Bush Bush! Bomb Bomb Bomb! The Constitution!” and tries to get the audience to shout along. At one point, in between songs, the guitarist jokes, “exploit the old.” It didn’t look like exploitation. The elderly man was having a great time. Why shut octogenarians up in rest homes when they would rather be rocking out?

(Team Spider was performing at the release party for a book called Let Fury Have The Hour: The Punk Rock Politics of Joe Strummer, recently published by Nation Books. Hey, look who wrote a chapter—me!)