Yes, it hurts—but in a good way

Irony was in the air. It was present

The Beat Officers’ Chester, firming up that Citrus Heights fan base.

The Beat Officers’ Chester, firming up that Citrus Heights fan base.

on the stage amid the wash of electric guitar noise, screaming vocals and thrashing drums. It was present in the mass of sweating bodies, packed and jumping at the edge of the stage. It was present in the center of the mosh pit, where male bodies spun circles of sweat and aggression. And it was present in the back of the hall, where audience members strained to see the band over the mass of churning bodies.The irony began with the purpose of the event itself: a benefit for the Mustard Seed School for Homeless Children held at the Boardwalk on Saturday night. The bill collected five of Sacramento’s most aggressive metal, goth and industrial acts: Skribble, MDSO, LUXT, the Council, and the Beat Officers. These are hardly acts one would associate, at first glance, with the simple act of caring, let alone altruism.

Nonetheless, according to Mark Gilmore, the promoter of the show and producer of 98 Rock’s “Local Licks” program, LUXT, the Beat Officers and the Council actually have competed for the honor of raising the most money for Mustard Seed. This year, all three bands were brought in under the same bill, a booking that brought 400 fans through the door and raised more than $2,000 for the charity. Gilmore appeared proud and flabbergasted by the turnout, as he watched the line snake through the venue’s tiny parking lot.

Despite his surprise, it is clear that harder, more aggressive music has an audience that far outstrips most other musical genres in the area. This is music that speaks to teen anger and frustration and packs all-ages venues, the kind most often found just outside the Sacramento area. Jesus H. Chrystler, guitarist for the Beat Officers, said the band pulls in great audiences in Orangevale, Rancho Cordova and Rio Linda. Flyers being distributed inside the club were for shows in Galt, Reno and elsewhere.

The music is not the sound of Downtown or Midtown. It’s the music of rural America, the sound of the dispossessed, of people living on the fringe of standard culture. At the benefit, there was a focal point for this subculture, a subculture ultimately serving much the same function that punk rock did for mid-1970s English teenagers and young adults. There was a sense of direction and focus, if only for one night. Piercings, Mohawks and tattoos were the norm rather than the exception.

“Thanks all you fucks for coming!” shouted LUXT’s Anna Christine as the band launched into another of its “cyber voodoo rock” sonic assaults. It was harsh, loud and, in a sense, beautiful. It was proof that there is an audience for Sacramento music—it just might not quite be the audience we expected.

the Kimberly Trip is celebrating a newly secured publishing deal for its song “What I Wanted.” The publisher, which wishes to remain unnamed at this time (in fear of getting bombarded with submissions), specializes in placing songs on network television shows. Keep watching your TV or, better yet, tune into for more details.