I’m blown away. I finally got the chance to hear The Urinals.
Mike Watt often talks about them as an influence on the Minutemen, and I really liked the song the Minutemen covered, “ACK ACK ACK”. In many ways, it’s the perfect rock song. Direct, to the point, and short. All spirit. Fuck substance. A link to the history was posted to the Mike Watt list, and I decided to search for them on audiogalaxy to see if I could find any originals. Of course, it didn’t cooperate. But emusic had the comp album mentioned, Negative Capability in its entirety. I’m listening to it now. I’ve got to agree with the reviewer on Perfect Sound Forever. It’s pretty mindblowing. If you like the Minutemen, you’ll love the Urinals. “Orange Anal Sin” is truly punk rock meets Pink Floyd. “I’m White and Middle Class” is another standout track for me, being white and middle class and all. Keats defined Negative capability in this way:
When man is capable of being in uncertainties, Mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact or reason.
To me, that is sort of the essence of what punk meant to me. Growing up as a sort of art or prog-rock guy, music was supposed to mean something. Appreciating the ability of punk rock to make fun of itself was an essential hurdle I had to cross, to realize that sometimes music is just fun, damnit! Well, the Urinals are just plain fun without being stupid. As Keats also wrote, the sickness represented by degenerate culture is its own sort of wisdom:
Until we are sick, we understand not; in fine, as Byron says, “Knowledge is Sorrow,” and I go on to say that “Sorrow is Wisdom” and further, for aught we can know for certainty!
“Wisdom is folly!”