. : : July 15th, 2015 : : .
I remember I wasn’t planning to tape Chris Farren‘s opening set that summer day in July of 2015 at Lee’s Palace.
Although I understand now that they were quite successful, I hadn’t heard of his earlier punk band, Fake Problems. I’ve never considered myself a great fan of punk music, and I definitely didn’t do much in the way of seeking it out.
Without a pair of extra batteries and always nervous about depleting them, I figured: I can skip this one, right? … wrong.
It’s been almost five years but if I remember correctly, I was all of about 15-seconds into the second song before I quickly powered on the Edirol and pressed record. I wish I remember which song I didn’t capture, because I remember liking it too!
Songs For Teenagers was as catchy as anything I’d heard that year, and I knew I was in for a treat.
The rest of the set was similarly full of fun, bouncy punk songs that were stripped to their core for a solo-acoustic performance that favoured arpeggios over power chords, introspection over aggression. The songs were explained about “doing drugs” or “having sex,” but it cheapens them to dilute them to so simple a premise.
Farren brings a lightness and humour to a genre that diametrically is either completely devoid of it, or force-fed and charmless. It’s as self-aware as it is self-depreciating, like on I Drew You Once In Art Class where he sings about going out to buy his girlfriend a gift and purchasing her a The Kinks album that he really likes (even though she can’t stand the band).
As mentioned above, this recording is a scant 4-song, 15-minute tape — but may be just enough to whet your appetite and send you down a rabbit hole of Chris Farren’s oeuvre: he has recorded not only as a solo artist and front man for Fake Problems, but also as part of an indie rock duo known as Antarctigo Vespucci.
01. Songs for Teenagers [cut] [Fake Problems]
03. Holy Attitude [Fake Problems]
05. I Drew You Once In Art Class [Antarctigo Vespucci]
07. Bang! [Antarctigo Vespucci]