Bouncing Souls drummer/ punk rock father Mike McDermott is joined by rocker daddy-o (and child development specialist) Jon Caspi for a discussion on the doc feature THE OTHER F WORD, screening tonight at The Showroom.
When the stalwart skwadron that is The Bouncing Souls continues its annual Home for the Holidays stand in the numbing no-man’s-land between Christmas and New Year’s, pretty much all manner of punkrock pedigree will be amply represented on the stage and the Stoney floor.
Everybody who is anybody, in other words, with the exception of two distinct type of somebodies: freeloading freelance journalists who acted too late to score press comps — and those willing but woefully left-behind souls who couldn’t score a babysitter.
Like Restless Leg Syndrome and Static Cling, the notion of Punk Rock Parenthood didn’t used to be an issue. In fact, it was more like an oxymoron or a brain-scrambling paradox; a theoretical improbability suggesting that the adherents of a resolutely anti-authoritarian lifestyle would themselves morph inexorably into authority figures.
Charging into the arena of public discourse (and glomming onto the residual glow from this week’s HFTH excitement), the folks at Asbury Park’s artsbloc screenspace The ShowRoom are taking this pulse-pounding problem head-on, with several screenings of the buzzed-about doc feature The Other F Word — including a special event this afternoon that pairs an internationally respected authority on family dynamics (who also happens to be a punk-powered singer and songwriter) with a charter member of the Bouncing Souls (who also happens to be the father of a bouncing bundle o’ joy).
Inspired by the insights and experiences of former Pennywise frontguy Jim Lindberg — as detailed in his book Punk Rock Dad: No Rules, Just Real Life — the film has enjoyed a limited but attention-getting release thanks in part to its being exec-produced by Morgan Spurlock — the dickumentarian (and viral measle on the ass of the Maysles) who brought us the epochal empty calories of Super Size Me.
That said, The Other F Word — F in this case for Fatherhood — is directed by LA based Harvard grad Andrea Blaugrund as a serial portrait of several generations of professional punkers, viewed through the prism of their relationships with their own next-gen sons and daughters.
In addition to Lindberg, the film follows some two dozen punk patriarchs (along with, for reasons not made clear, Tony Hawk); an elite group that includes Blink-182’s Mark Hoppus, The Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Flea, Rise Against’s Tim McIlrath, Everclear’s Art Alexakis (“Father Of Mine“), Devo’s Mark Mothersbaugh, Rancid’s Lars Frederiksen — and the Souls’ own Michael McDermott, who, even though much of his contribution reportedly wound up on the cutting room floor, is further represented on the soundtrack via the band’s “Kids and Heroes.”
McDermott will be present at The Showroom this afternoon, December 29, for a post-film panel that follows a 4pm screening of the doc. The sought-after skinsman will be hosted in conversation with Dr. Jonathan Caspi, Ph.D. — college professor, licensed therapist, published expert on the topics of child development and family studies, and, as Jon Caspi, an indie rocker whose latest release (the edgy and intense The Little Ones) was produced by Souls guitarist Pete “The Pete” Steinkopf.
(A reminder here that Bouncing Souls vocalist Greg Attonito is himself co-creator of the children’s book I Went For A Walk, a collaboration with wife Shanti Wintergate)
A frequent visitor to the Showroom stage (where he presented theatrical/ multimedia works based on his albums Eddie Knows and Strange Situation), Caspi did some hard time early in his career as a purveyor of music for kids; giving it up more than 25 years ago because “I just couldn’t deal with the same ‘Old MacDonald’ (and presumably playing the same old McDonald’s) all the time.”
“It was not my idea of what being a musician was all about,” says the father of three young kids, one of them adopted from Ethiopia in a journey that was chronicled on Strange Situation.
Caspi and McDermott are expected to address the film’s themes through punk-rock humor and illuminating anecdotes — particularly the “paradox” of maintaining a viable gig as a touring musician during a time of family transitions. They’ll also likely be taking questions from the audience — although whatever you do, don’t get them started on the current state of kids’ music.
“I never let my kids listen to children’s music,” says the author of Sibling Aggression: Assessment and Treatment. “I’d set them up in the back seat with something else like Johnny Cash.”
“Unfortunately, my ten year old connected with Johnny Cash to the extent that I’m burned out on listening to Johnny anymore!”
Thursday’s 4pm showing of The Other F Word is followed by an additional Showroom screening on Friday, December 30 at 7:30pm (this one minus the panel discussion). The Bouncing Souls continue their sold-out stint at the Stoney Pone tonight and Friday, with Thursday’s afterparty going on at Watermark above the Asbury boards, and Friday’s wrap-up aftermash taking place at retro rec room (and atom-age alterna-torium) Asbury Lanes, with Houseboat and DJ Lamar Vannoy setting up the pins. Then watch for upcoming gigs by Jon Caspi and the First Gun at the Home of Original Music on the Jersey Shore, as well as a possible spot on mid-January’s Light of Day smorgasbord of sounds.