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Moshing Getting Out Of Hand With Injuries And Aggression

(From Nightwatch column, November 22, 1996:) Last week in this column Charlie Butts and the Filter Tips were said to be playing the Kamloops in Sandpoint tonight and Saturday. They’re not. Instead, the blues combo plays Ugly Rumors at the Mars Hotel tonight and Saturday. They’ll be at the Kamloops next weekend - Nov. 29 and 30.

I hoped that I would never have to devote a column to mosh pit etiquette.

So much for hopes.

Frankly, I thought the physically punishing, primitive form of dancing would be obsolete by now. At least in the clubs.

But it’s not.

Moshing remains the sport du jour in Spokane. In some cases it’s more of a draw than the actual bands on stage. And pits are becoming perilously violent.

In the past two months, mosh pits at one particular club resulted in fistfights that spilled outside.

Traditionally, moshing, which evolved out of slam dancing, has been an all-important element of local rock and punk rock shows. But those who participated generally understood the rules: Bump, bang and slam. There was never an intention to hurt. If someone fell, not just one person, but three or four would scoop him or her up off the ground.

It hasn’t been like that for a long time.

A new breed of moshers are inundating the clubs, and to many of the fans who have followed the local scene for years, they are an unwelcome addition.

I agree, people who situate themselves in front of the stage should know what they’re subjecting themselves to. And reasonable contact is fine.

Too many times, though, people get carried away.

Some male fans are taking to the pit like they would on a football field. A band starting a song with a “1-2-3-4” count translates into, “Ready, blue 22, blue 22, set, hike!” Then, like bloodthirsty linebackers, they spring into action, plowing over anyone and everyone in their paths.

Or, if they’re not beating on someone in the pit, they loom on the fringe, where they push and shove off-balance moshers to the ground.

What it boils down to is this: If the mosh pit is your way of letting out your pent-up aggressions, don’t go to punk rock shows. Go to a sporting goods store and buy a punching bag. Punching bags don’t hit back.

Still, if you plan to mosh, realize that other people around don’t want to have their evening spoiled with a shiner under their left eye or their teeth bouncing on the floor like a broken pearl necklace.

In addition, be mindful of wild fists, feet and elbows.

If someone close to you should have the misfortune and plummet to the floor, gather them up before they get crushed.

Don’t stage dive. Nobody wants to catch you anyway. So why chance cracking your skull open on the ground?

Finally, if too much contact gets you agitated, take a breather and watch the band. After all, the music should be the main reason you came through the door.

Enough said.

Smoking blues

Spokane blues proprietors Charlie Butts and the Filter Tips have finally made their mark on a compact disc.

The band just issued its maiden long-player, “Fire in the Hole.” As promised by the title, it’s a scorcher.

Recorded live at the Waterin’ Hole in Coeur d’Alene last spring, the album includes a dozen blues standards such as “Unchain My Heart” and “Changes.” Among the highlights is the beer-soaked treatment of Lyle Lovett’s “She’s No Lady.”

“Fire in the Hole” is further punctuated by blistering sax riffs, assertive guitar work and tasteful keyboard textures.

To celebrate the release, Charlie Butts and the Filter Tips will play a weekend stint, tonight and Saturday, at the Fort Spokane Brewery. For those unable to make the trek from North Idaho, they’ll be at the Kamloops in Sandpoint next weekend. Charlie Butts and company hit the stage at 9:30 p.m. tonight and Saturday.

Ex-Mother Load guitarist to play

Scott Kellog, formerly of the popular punk combo Mother Load, returns to Spokane tonight as a guitarist with Portland punk band Bomf.

Joining the band on stage is Wenatchee’s favorite homeless son, Lopez, Finger Tight and the Deadbeats.

Noise at 9:30 p.m. The cover is $4.

In other Kellog news, the onetime Spokanite will join the rest of the Mother Load crew for a reunion show sometime around Christmas. And the guitarist is also playing with Portland cow-punker Elmer.

Gaining steam

Mama’s Dogma is gathering quite a bit of momentum in Spokane. They’re hot off the release of their debut album and two heavily attended club dates.

The band plays the Northern Corner tonight. The cover is $4. Music starts at 9:30 p.m.

In addition, Mama’s Dogma just launched its Web site. You can access it by punching in http:/ /www.dogma.com.

A final reminder

For the last time, the Makers are playing at Ichabod’s North on Saturday. The Chromies and Fireballs of Freedom will support. The cover is $4.

, DataTimes MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: NIGHTWATCH PICKS TONIGHT: Charlie Butts and the Filter Tips at Fort Spokane Brewery; Bomf, Lopez, Finger Tight and the Deadbeats at Ichabod’s North; Mama’s Dogma at the Northern Corner SATURDAY: The Makers at Ichabod’s North

This sidebar appeared with the story: NIGHTWATCH PICKS TONIGHT: Charlie Butts and the Filter Tips at Fort Spokane Brewery; Bomf, Lopez, Finger Tight and the Deadbeats at Ichabod’s North; Mama’s Dogma at the Northern Corner SATURDAY: The Makers at Ichabod’s North



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