Facebook By now it seems like every rapper has jumped on the remix to Rocko's…
- Posted on Jun 18th 2010 3:00PM by Kenneth Partridge
A longtime rock journalist and former CMJ editor, Davidson is readying the release of his first book, 'We Never Learn: The Gunk Punk Undergut, 1988-2001,' a chronicle of the era's international garage-rock scene. At the Bell House launch party, Davidson will serve as his own opening act, reading selections from his book before hopping onstage to relight the New Bomb fuse.
"I didn't want to seem like I was using the band to sell the book or something," Davidson tells Spinner. "But [the other Turks] were like, 'F--- it!' Whatever -- it's also on my birthday."
Even if Davidson wasn't the singer, the Turks would make apt headliners. Throughout the '90s and early '00s, the nitro-burning garage group was at the forefront of what the author terms the "gunk punk" movement, a loose affiliation of artists that preferred fun, irreverent music -- boneheaded '60s trash rock and obscure '70s punk, mostly -- to self-serious hardcore and grunge.
'We Never Learn' traces the gunk lineage from Death of Samantha, a mid-80s Ohio glam-punk outfit Davidson uses as his starting point, to such latter-day disciples as the Black Lips, King Khan and Jay Reatard. Along the way, the author trades war stories with Billy Childish, the Dwarves, the Raunch Hands, Gaunt, the Gories, the Hives, Rocket From the Crypt and numerous other scene vets he interviewed for the project.
In writing the book, Davidson, who now lives in Brooklyn, found himself feeling nostalgic for life on the road.
"It was always fun to meet people," he says. "On tour, [you meet] some fanzine kid who has never even heard of the Pagans or something, and then you get into a conversation. Or you're in Japan, and there's a kid asking you about Gaunt, and you're like, 'What?' So it's amazing to see how small the world can be, and it's really encouraging."
"Maybe the number-one thing is recording stuff," he adds. "Recording can be a real bitch; mixing is a total pain in the a--. But really, sitting there and seeing something you just cranked up and played in your practice space for months, seeing it in weird light-emitting dials and sort of saying, 'You know, we could cut that verse out of there,' and then hearing a complete piece that you and your three friends, who were just drinking ... It's a really, really neat feeling, and it never got old."
Of course, the Turks years weren't all stimulating conversations and triumphs of self-expression.
"The eight-hour drives, I don't miss at all," Davidson says. "I don't miss the worries that come along with it, and the a--hole sound guys who somehow still persist. Through the DIY thing, there are still a--hole sound guys out there. It's incredible. They're still playing the Scorpions during sound check. Where do these people live? Where do they come from?"