Indignant Few rehearsed last week for their Sept. 4-5 reunion shows at Vernon.

September 1, 2010

The Few, the proud

Most hated punkers reunite for Better Days rewind

By the time they offloaded their amps from Cherokee Blues Club in October 1994, Indignant Few had spray-painted its name into the city’s punk record. Whether the scene cares to admit it is another question.

Singer Morgan Keator, bassist Kyle Blust, guitarist Ren Gardner and original drummer Jeremy King formed the band in 1990 out of a mutual love of early ’80s West Coast and British punk rock, and of groups like Fear and Anti-Nowhere League.

Onstage, their reputation was, in hindsight, quite typical: young, loud and snotty, an exercise in bratty reverse psychology that today would come off as ordinary, contrived and derivative. Louisville audiences, who were nurturing a love affair with post-hardcore music at the time, wanted none of it.

“It was the time of the unidirectional-named band: Endpoint, Falling Forward,” says Blust, now a mechanic in Seattle. “Our attitude was: OK, you all hate us? We’re going to make everyone hate us.”

Blust had no qualms about wearing a balloon skirt, nor did Keator about wearing a black dress. Tone and precision be damned. It was about fun, release and not being electrocuted: “We played at the Bar With No Name (now the Grape Leaf), and their system wasn’t grounded properly,” Blust says. “My lips touched the mic, my knees buckled and the fluorescent lights dimmed.”

Not everyone was amused: New York act Crawlpappy, who was on tour at the time, unplugged the Few’s equipment mid-set and told them to leave. “We did,” Blust says. “And so did everybody else.”

Ironically, talk of a reunion came up following Endpoint’s May shows at Headliners, but Keator was reluctant to perform it alone, so he called around to Better Days label-mates Bush League, Son of Dog and label owner Ben Jones. To Keator’s surprise, all parties came on board.

It’s unlikely the Few will record new material or perform after this show. Gardner is a legal researcher, and Blust is on the West Coast. King is full-time in Parlor Tricks, while Keator plans to start a new project. Saturday’s Vernon show is 21 and over; Sunday’s concert is all ages.

Better Days Reunion 2010
Bush League, Indignant Few, Son Of Dog
Sept. 4-5
Vernon Club
1575 Story Ave. • 584-8460
$10; 9:30 p.m.


The Deservedly Forgotten

Indignant Few's reputation as a shamefully derivative band that few serious or even casual music fans paid attention to in the 1990s was no accident. Nor was it due to the over-seriousness of the scene at the time, which also hosted wild, fun bands like the Auditory Clang, King G and Bloodfart. No, their bad reputation was well-deserved. Their backhanded 'tribute' to the original punks of 1977 mainly consisted of wholesale stealing of titles ('Everything Went Black') and poorly performed covers ('I Don't Care About You') designed to get the suburban set excited about egg whites in the hair and $150 Doc Martens. Their lyrical genius mainly consisted of rhymes that would even make the drunkest Keith Morris or the most doped-out Darby Hickey blush: "I'm so sick/Sick of it/Everyone's so full of shit/Don't wanna hear it, mom and dad/Your bitching just makes me mad." They debut single, with its grammatically-challenged title of "Revenge Your Authority," was narcissistically presented as a 'boxed set' -- usually reserved for rockers well past 10 or 25 years of service (think Misfits, Stooges). To make matters more ridiculous, it included a faux-Reagan era booklet entitled 'Punker Pages' -- more appropriate for, perhaps, My Little Pony than rock music. Indignant Few were cookie-cutter mall punk non-rebellion that presaged uber-lame-o acts like Blink 182. Even Green Day, with their Gilman Street credentials, were more 'punk' that these embarrassingly amateur goofs. Lee Ving would have kicked their collective asses. Even at his present age of 60. However, pathetic as they were, they had an excuse: they were mainly high school students. As any good Louisvillian should know, high school students do a lot of stupid things. But LEO, nominally, is not written by high school students, and should thus be ashamed, deeply ashamed, to present news of their reunion as music news. The author of this review seems to have typically shown good judgment in presenting actual real bands and musicians -- the Web, Cerebellum and Tony Bailey's many wonderful projects -- as such as they are; real parts of Louisville variegated and vibrant scene. Stooping to include juvenile has-beens such as the 'Few' can only be seen as a gross error in editorial judgment. Competition on the web is fierce. Why compromise otherwise decent coverage by detracting from valuable page counts with such tripe? Come on, LEO. Just because you're being directed from St. Pete and not Louisville-on-the-Potomac doesn't excuse you from below-par journalism.