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Your Choice Live Series 022

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Title: Your Choice Live Series 022  
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Subject: Articles of Faith (band), Vic Bondi, Your Choice Records
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Your Choice Live Series 022

Your Choice Live Series 022
Articles of Faith (band)
Released 1994
Recorded March 31, 1992
Genre Punk rock
Label Your Choice Records
Producer Tobby Holzinger

Your Choice Live Series 022 is an album by Articles of Faith (band). It was recorded live at "Oberhaus" in Alzey/ Germany by Rock City Studios in Udenheim/ Germany the 31 March 1992 and produced by Tobby Holzinger.


Liner Notes by Vic Bondi

This is the last recording of Articles of Faith (band). It was recorded during the last concert of the last AOF tour, in Alzey, Germany March 31, 1992. That tour itself took place seven years after AOF formally disbanded, and was the only time in those seven years that the band reunited. This is the original band; no substitutes were hired for the tour. The line-up is: Vic Bondi, vocals and guitars; Joe Scudari, guitar; Dave Shield, bass and vocals; Dorian Taskbasksh, guitars; and Virus X, drums.

During the tour, I was asked often about the meaning of the tour, about why, after seven years, Articles of Faith would come together for a tour of Europe. Usually two assumptions prefaced the question. Cynics assumed that since we were an old American hardcore band, we were simply cashing in on the then-popular resurgence of American hardcore in Europe; that, like a dozen other American bands, we came to Europe for some quick and dirty money-making. Idealists, on the other hand, assumed that since AOF were one of the earliest and most militant political bands, we came together in 1992 to make a statement about the world—to protest the reurgence of fascism in Europe, perhaps, or to protest the continued fascism implicit in American culture. Neither assumption is true; the truth is far more pedestrian. We came to Europe because we had never been there. It's that simple. We didn't make any money on the tour. We never made any money, for that matter. We had, in fact, damn little to show for all our years of touring and recording. Little, except for some priceless berserk adventures, and deep friendships.

I can't speak for everyone in the band, but what I got from Europe was more than I expected. A certain vital perspective; a humility that comes when you discover that the world can be radically different than you assume. As difficult as it may be for a European to understand, Europe can be very liberating for an American alienated from his own culture. The mere fact of being out of earshot and eyeshot of the endlessly braying, mendacious, sentimental dreck of American television is liberating. Most of what I got from the European tour, however, I got from all the old American tours: good friends, small moments of awareness that transcend language. Ingo and Foliad and Bettina and Marcus and Stephen and Oliver and Frank and Anna and many others and endless craziness from Amsterdam to Oslo. You know who you are; I'm sorry I haven't written. I promise I will.

I don't want to delimit the political. Being political means considering power as part of your everyday equations, and there's a lot of power in Europe, and it operates just as ruthlessly, with just as little regard for people and decency, as it does in America. I learned that the process of consolidating a neo-feudal world order is almost as advanced in the old world as it is in the United States. Music, even hardcore, has its function within this order; it's the neo-feudal choir of resignation. Strap on the headphones and even the most frustrated individual can tolerate that job flipping burgers, washing cars, filing records or painting buildings. There's a lot of good music operating as the soundtrack for a generation with diminished possibilities. Every bit of it ought to be destroyed.

In a perfect world, it would be. But we don't live in a perfect world. There's a kind of desperation at the margins of music and society today. Musicians are facing the same dimenished possibilities as everyone else. I find it hard to fault someone who takes a major label deal when their only other option is to work as a night security guard. That doesn't mean I'm any less sure that eventually they'll fall into a rut, trim back the guitars, make those small compromises daily which turn great bands into commodities. Maybe not—I know some people who haven't; but more likely they'll become professionalized, and do what they have to do to stay out of that night security box. But, mea culpa—AOF went to Europe out of desperation: some of us may never be able to afford to go back.

I've learned that a lot of this is difficult for Europeans to understand. There are alternative communities in Europe which lessen the desperation we feel in America; the continent hasn't been swamped by the coprorate suburban gleichschaltung. Yet. What troubles me, however, as much as music becoming professionalized, is the tendency for alternative musical or political communities to close ranks and demand an ideological conformity of their members. Again, I can understand it: neo-feudal corporate capitalism works precisely by hijacking wishes and desires, hopes and ambitions, and slowly, benevolently, compromising them. Before he knows it, the idealist finds himself hopelessly enmeshed in the very lies and deceptions he formerly detested. Perhaps the only way you can avoid that fate is by becoming brutally, ruthlessly ideological. Trotsky criticized Lenin because he had no appreciation for art, but Lenin was a professional revolutionary, and saw all the art of his day as capitalist indoctrination. We are today witnessing, as a corollary to the professionalization of hardcore music, the professionalization of the alternative underground that gave birth to hardcore. It becomes insular and ideological, it makes hard and fast distinctions between those of the community and those outside it, it loses track of individual difference, and becomes unforgiving of the fundamental weaknesses found in human beings. In some ways, the underground is becoming as unfree as the mainstream it detests. And as a musician, I've been ripped off more by alternative people who claim they are my friends than by major label flunkes. They should know better.

Well, AOF was never a professional band. We never made a living at it, and the fact that half of us were unemployed in 1992 was the only reason we were able to do the tour. I suppose that for certain members of the professional alternative community, especially those Americans with the necessary trust fund to pay for their ideological purity (at least until they plug into the wall, and that coal or nuclear-fueled electric grid), the meaning of the AOF European tour was that—whatever the facts—those fuckers got old and sold out, just like everyone else. For the idealists, though, I must honestly tell you that we didn't have a menaning for this tour, at least, not until we came back. Then, it was obvious: the meaning of this tour was that musicians, even hardcore musicians with a penchant for politics, do get old, do get desperate, just like everybody else. And sometimes they make decisions just because they want to do something they've never done.

I don't take back a single thing. None of us do. Every bit of rage and anger in these songs is deserved, and remains so. One of the things AOF did early on, before a lot of people, was take a good, hard look at the shit sandwiches we and a lot of other people have to eat, and demand more bread and less shit. That's political. In the end, however, in this last recording of the last day of the last tour by the band, I think AOF also meant this: we were five people as confused and as frightened and as desperate to find our way in this world as everyone else. As you.

Happily, resolutely, amateurs.
Vic, 10 June 1994.

Track listing

All songs written and composed by Articles of Faith (band)
No. Title Length
1. "I´VE GOT MINE"   3:34
2. "ACCEPTANCE"   1:54
3. "FIVE O´CLOCK"   2:07
4. "REMAIN IN MEMORY"   2:19
5. "WAIT"   1:47
6. "BAD ATTITUDE"   2:30
7. "FALSE SECURITY"   4:27
8. "GIVE THANKS"   1:34
9. "IN YOUR SUIT"   3:04
10. "TRAINS"   2:52
11. "WHAT WE WANT IS FREE"   2:42
12. "AMERICAN DREAMS"   2:56
13. "IN THIS JUNGLE"   7:08
14. "IN THIS LIFE"   2:15

Coverconcept by Chris Scheuer, All Photos by Achim Friederich, Lettering by Peter Reichard.


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