Song of the Day: The Queers

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Hyping the Misfits on Halloween -- and a great documentary on The Ramones -- have inspired me to do a week of classic punk here on your favorite MP3 blog. Today, we look at a group of lovable slackers: The Queers.

Slackers who blissfully write songs about doing nothing -- or at least nothing creative -- is an important subset of punk rock. In some ways, it's the most punk rock of all: rebellion against rebelling. In many ways, The Queers freed punk rock from its ideological, cultural, political and social responsibilities and returned it to the lazy, carefree days of surf rock.

A legion of bands followed in their footsteps largely because The Queers proved that to make music you didn't have to play your instruments well -- or even leave the house that often. The band's name was a critique of "art fags", and their songs was mostly about drugs, corned-beef hash, some dude name Wimpy, chicks and drinking heavily. It took effort to be a fan of The Clash or Sex Pistols -- you had to oppose things and spit on flags -- but living like a Queer sounded really, really easy.

Not that the music of Joe Queer and his rotating band of goons wasn't great. It was. Rare singles and perhaps the greatest punk-rock in-studio performance in history compose A Day Late, which is fast, scratchy, tinny punk at its very best. You'll laugh, dance and drink. What more could you want?