Have you seen the stars tonight?

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Most bands write songs about girls and cars and drinking. But every now and then you get a band that has songs with political content and social commentary. The funny thing is that most of these bands are usually the punk bands in town. I find it ironic that while it is the kids on the streets who seem to be the most scorned in Chico (the “untouchables” of our little rice town), they are the ones that get off on this type of music the most. Maybe they don’t understand the lyrics at all, they just like to run around in circles with their fists in the air, but either way, the “gutter punks” love the rock and roll.

Punk ethics can sometimes seem elusive when first discovering a band. Take for instance locals The Asskickers. Their shows lately have been attracting larger and larger crowds, and at last week’s performance in Redding, a mosh pit threatened to take out John LaPado’s pedal steel. Punks in cowboy hats?

Other bands have no problem flying their punk colors, and, straight from the sticks, it’s the NOGOODNIX. Chico based, tight laced and, according to the liner notes, Osama Bin Laden says their new CD has “10 tracks that will pummel you like hand grenades.” Their new live line-up features Jimmy Lo on vocals, EL on guitar, Saint Ann (P.A.W.N.S.) on bass and ultra-new drummer 12er on sticks. The NOGOODNIX are one of several bands (Smeat, Gruk, Face Down) whose lyrical content is focused on correcting social ills while maintaining a sense of humor in the process.

I’ve always thought young people have far better creative ideas and solutions to societal woes, and that if the elders don’t help implement these voices into our community, the WTO situation in Seattle will be mirrored in every city across America, and perhaps the world. Then again, revolution seems to be as natural to society as ebbs and flows are to the tide (there’s a movement in town that swears our fantasy we call "history" all comes crashing down in less than 10 years). Personally, I have a vision of saucers landing looking for a few good humans. And, in 2012 I’ll be 50, the perfect age for a starship commander.