Christopher Guest should make a mockumentary about DIY punk shows. Broken and borrowed PAs, a Punk in a Kilt, a sound guy about to burst a blood vessel from stress, an octogenarian in a Boy Scout uniform (shout out to fingerstyle guitarist Max Ochs), a seemingly endless strand of "special guests" who were actually just old friends and their new projects — on Sunday, when The Hated finally hit the stage late and played past midnight, we were convinced that we now occupied the community hall at the Earleigh Heights Volunteer Fire Department. At least this was the suburbs; there was a Safeway around the corner.
The Hated was one of the handful of late '80s Annapolis, Md., bands (see also: Moss Icon) that lived just an hour outside D.C., but managed to make a scene uniquely its own. Numero Group recently put out a reissue, but The Hated had always been an IYKYK handshake among punks.
Not growing up around here, I only came to The Hated 3 or 5 years ago, but did a double take once I read the line-up: Daniel Littleton? As in, Daniel Littleon of Ida?! The soft, sweet-voiced folksy indie-rock band I have loved dearly for two decades? He was in a kickass band that foretold the triumphant punk swerve of emo? I hoped against hope that one of the "special guests" at the show would be a reunited Ida — Elizabeth Mitchell was even in the crowd. Alas, no Ida. But in one of many minor revelations throughout the evening: The Hated's acoustic songs were absolutely proto-Ida. Daniel and Elizabeth's androgynous harmonies were an extension of Daniel and Erik Fischer's acoustic caterwaul, just at a lower volume. Your voice never really leaves you.
In all honesty, y'all should just wait for whatever Chris Richards (hopefully) writes for the Washington Post — he's from Annapolis; he knows the ins and outs and spiraling connections between one-and-done bands; born too late, he had just missed a small-but-vital scene but ended up making one of his own. On Sunday night, he was wearing a Spastic Rats button (deep cut) and handing out flyers for his Moss Icon project — he's Annapolis through and through.
One last thing: the revved-up melodic riff for The Hated's "Words Come Back" is eternal. You've heard versions of the ascendent three-note run in Hüsker Dü and Replacements songs, handed down the generations to Jawbreaker, Against Me! and Iron Chic. And when Daniel Littleton played tone wizard to Erik Fischer's straight power chords that night — all tension, no break — I suddenly saw a bunch of greyhairs transform into lightning bolts on stage. —Lars Gotrich
Stream the Viking's Choice playlist via BNDCMPR. Tracklist below:
The Hated, "Words Come Back"
Dawn Ray'd, "Ancient Light"
Poil Ueda, "Dan No Ura 壇ノ浦の戦い - Part 1"
Holly Waxwing, "Sister Species"
Art Ensemble of Chicago, "New Coming"
Tomu DJ, "Tire Store"
Blues Lawyer, "Chance Encounters"
Riot Stares, "Trip Chain"
Magic Tuber Stringband, "Orb-Weaver"
of Tropique, "Guacharaca Moo"
Zeta, "El Encuentro"
Emahoy Tsege Mariam Gebru, "Jerusalem"
DJ Black Low (feat. Sphiwe, Black R & K.Dalo), "Oskido"
Spektral Quartet, Julia Holter & Alex Temple, "Tiny Holes"
Stomp Talk Modstone, "Purple From Love"
Bosco Sacro, "Fountain of Wealth"
DEBBY FRIDAY, "SO HARD TO TELL"
Frankie Rose, "Everything"
Gatekeeper, "Exiled King"
Megaton Sword, "Might"
James Brandon Lewis, "Send Seraphic Beings"
Erasers, "Deep Lake"
Unwed Sailor, "Let Me Be Away"
Adrianne Munden-Dixon, "dimvoid"
Lamp of Murmuur, "Conqueror Beyond the Frenzied Fog"