• Punk Island, 2011 - Governors Island, New York City

    June 19th was the date of the fourth annual Punk Island festival, a free concert arranged in conjunction with Make Music NYC. For the fourth year in a row music fans crammed onto a ferry in lower Manhattan, trying to smuggle beer and pot past security guards for the five minute boat ride across the water to Governors Island, a former military installation now made into park land to watch various acts, local and otherwise, play on the makeshift dirt stages.

    Organizationally things were handled by ABC No Rio this year and they did manage to more or less keep things on schedule and running moderately smoothly. The power outages that plagued the main stage at the 2010 festival didn’t seem to be a problem this year. Attendance wise, there weren’t as many people as there were twelve months back, likely due to the fact that there weren’t as many ‘name bands’ as there were in 2010 where D.O.A., Blanks 77, Star Fucking Hipsters and Negative Approach all played.

    The focus this time around was definitely on NYC based indy/underground punk bands, though a few acts from outside of the Tri-State area made appearances. Due to the fact that the MTA had some train scheduling issues going on Sunday I didn’t arrive in time to see as many of the acts as I wanted to, but what can you do.

    Some photos from the sets I was in attendance for…

    I caught only the last bit of the Blackout Shoppers’ set but it was cool to hear them do a cover of Youth Brigade’s Violence and they had a lot of enthusiasm. Would have liked to have seen more from them but the train gods weren’t cooperating:





    Wombat in Combat have a pretty solid following in the area and while it took them a little while to get the crowd going, once they did they had the rowdiest show of the afternoon:






    The Homewreckers were a four piece openly lesbian queercore-pop-punk outfit who didn’t get to play as long as they should have. Fast, upbeat, catchy as hell, they were a lot of fun:

    Yula And The Extended Family had a crazy mix of Jewish folk music, cabaret, ska and punk going on and featured a foxy goth chick playing a saw that wasn’t micced well enough to really be heard over the rest of the band. Lots of energy from the front woman and they stood out as the most musically original band of the day:





    Daycare Swindlers were billed as DC Swindlers for some reason, but whatever. They had a lot of good energy and just delivered a really solid, enthusiastic set of guitar driven up tempo punk:






    STZA (aka Sturg aka Scott Sturgeon aka STZA CRACK, aka the guy from Leftover Crack aka the guy from Choking Victim aka the guy from Star Fucking Hipsters aka the guy who got arrested for throwing donuts at the NYPD) played a pretty solid acoustic set, meowing where he forgot the words or had to fill in some instrumental bits. It was interesting hearing crust punk songs done on an acoustic but he made it work and the crowd sang along to pretty much every one of the songs (except for the one new Star Fucking Hipsters track he played, because obviously nobody knew the words to that one). He complained about not being able to drink and some kind girl offered him a flask. The cops standing nearby looked a bit uncomfortable when he sang ‘One Dead Cop’ but didn’t cause any problems:






    Zounds, anarchist punks from England who have been around since 1977, played a rare American appearance to close out the day. They sounded excellent, well polished and very intense, but didn’t have a ton of energy. It was still pretty cool to see them and they closed out the day well:





    And to finish, a few random pictures of a bouncy guy in mid-air, some fat cops, a chick with a neat Mohawk, and last but not least, a guy encouraging a girl to hammer a nail into his peehole.






    Comments 6 Comments
    1. Mike T's Avatar
      Mike T -
      Thanks for the scary surprise at the end of the photo essay!
      I'm guessing that's you and Ali getting the spirit of the event then?
    1. Todd Jordan's Avatar
      Todd Jordan -
      AAHHH!!!! FUck that last photo!!

      That goth saw player is a fox. Good call. And I like the floating dude.
    1. Ian Jane's Avatar
      Ian Jane -
      Haha, no Mike, I have no idea who that guy was. I was standing there watching the band and he just sort of ran out in front of a few of us who were standing there, dropped his pants and away he went. Then he pulled the nail out and licked it clean. At that point I moved away.
    1. Mark Tolch's Avatar
      Mark Tolch -
      Yeah. I could do without that last photo...but cool pictures otherwise.
    1. Paul Casey's Avatar
      Paul Casey -
      The chick on the saw has some rad ropes. I'd climb the shit outta those.
    1. Alyss N.'s Avatar
      Alyss N. -
      Great penis.