Snacking on Punk in Downtown Macon w/Mojo Pop

I caught Mojo Pop at the Golden Bough on Thursday night. They were supposed to be there with Who Goes There, but Who Goes There broke down somewhere in South Carolina – or something – and Mojo Pop showed up at the Golden Bough to regale us with all 7 of their songs. It was a small crowd, but definitely a lively one. Does this show represent the beginning of punk’s return to Downtown Macon?

I always feel incredibly old when I go to these things. Added to the feeling of being aged is the fact that I haven’t been to a punk show in about 10 years.

10 years or so ago, I would go to punk and hardcore shows. Back then I didn’t care that I was 10 years older than everybody there. I was there for the music. It didn’t matter what was being sang/screamed. All that mattered was the feeling of the music surrounding us, the thrashing of bodies, the snap of our neck and shoulders and the wet feel of our hair falling into our faces, the sweat soaking our extra medium shirts and tight pants. Yes, there were people there who were there for fashion, young girls and boys trying too hard to fit in the “scene”, or the ones who had slept in their clothes for the last couple of days and had rolled out of bed at 6pm to make it to the show. There were also the people who came in normal clothes, who wouldn’t have stood out anywhere but here. I was one of those people. Finally, there were the people who lived punk, who ate, breathed, and slept punk. Their attire chosen because it was their normal clothes and was just close at hand. Yes, we all had our reasons for being there, but those reasons were crushed under foot when the music started. Then, we were all one swirling mass of bodies. One moshing, hitting, dancing, kicking, head-banging, swirling mass. And the music was loud, just like we liked it.

Watching Mojo Pop at the Golden Bough brought me back to 10 years ago. Loud, raucous punk music in the teeny, tiny backroom at the Golden Bough. After all of the loud shows we’ve heard at the  Bough, Mojo Pop created a new scale of 10. Every other band now registers at a two. Thanks to them, there are frequency these old ears will never hear again, and I’m okay with that.

The fellas of Mojo Pop were awesome. We all talked afterwards about their reception in other places. Sean, guitarist and singer, said that the crowd at the Bough was one of the biggest crowds they’d had at a show. There were only about a quarter of the number of people who usually hang out on a Tuesday. It made me realize that the people who come out really are important to the musicians coming to play. Just like bigger venues need people to come out, to buy merch, and to support the venue with sales (alcohol normally), the Golden Bough and the musicians traveling here need us to support with donations, merch purchases, and venue sales (books in this case) as well. When we show up, we make the venue look good, we make the scene look good and we make our city look good.

I want the best music scene ever. I’m selfish about that. That’s why I keep sticking my nose into it, getting my old ass out on various nights, standing on my feet for hours moving to the music, and offering up honest critiques to the people and bands that I see because I want the best music. I want to be able to go out any night, listen to music and know it will be good. That makes me glad.

If Mojo Pop signals the return of punk to downtown Macon, punk has gotten a good head start.

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