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July is National Moshing Month!

[Not really, just making the title reflect the themes inside the post, but I am willing to start a movement to make it so] Get up, turn the calendar page and let out a small moan. The dread that is July has arrived. Almost all the boxes on this month's page have markings. Parties, appointments, some kind of repair person showing up on my doorstep. In my mind, each box for each day of July is also marked with a thermometer. The thermometer has one setting: Uncomfortable. That's what July always has been, always will be, unless that villian known as global warming makes all my dreams come true and turns New York into a winter wonderland twelve months out of the year. Gotta be better than bathing in your own sweat all the time, right? So I have this whole month ahead of me filled with hot weather, check writing and stultifying family gatherings. Yay for summer! See, August isn't so bad. Even though it can be just as hot, my mind is always tricked into thinking fall is just a day away because the minute the calendar turns to the eighth month, the back to school sales start. Hell, they even have Halloween decorations on sale in August now. So while it may be 100 degrees outside, my mind is thinking sweatshirts and pumpkin pie and my kids going back to school. July 12th, mark that down. It's going to be a TiVo day around here, even if I don't have TiVo, which means trying to remember how the VCR works and recording one thing in one room and one thing in another, though hopefully they will be on at different times. What you talking 'bout Willis? Oh, pardon, I was rambling to myself again. Apparently not only will Natalie be on national tv that day, but so will my cousin Chris, who will be on ESPN's World Series of Poker or some such thing. The story of Natalie's appearance is thus: There's this Lutheran church down the block that sponsors youth groups on Friday nights. At least once a month, the Friday night youth thing is a battle of the bands. At first I thought it was that spiritual rock stuff, which I once heard someone refer to as ChristCore, which cracked me the hell up. But, no. These are local bands trying to gather a following. Most of them specialize in that whiny, lovelorn hybrid of hardcore and Robert Smith-type love songs, which follow the basic formula of: whine to melody/harmonize/guitar break/scream like you've been listening to early VOD/whine to melody/harmonize/writhe around in pain. Hey, don't laugh too hard. I fall for that crap. I like it. It sounds dumb on paper but when you put it all together, it plays like your diary on amphetamines, et to music. I've never heard these local bands that Nat sees, but I'm sure, from what she describes, they all sound like that. So long story short (or is too late for that?), the particular band that Nat seems infatuated with (Patent Pending) made it into a video contest for FUSE tv (formerly MuchMusic, out of Canada, like MTV without reality shows and Carson Daily) and they'll be showing the video on July 12th at 6pm. Natalie informs me that we'll be able to see her in the mosh pit and possibly doing some stage diving. Whoa. Screech. Halt. Mosh pit? You're going to a church-sponsored function on Friday nights and you end up in a mosh pit? Ok, this has nothing to do with it being at a church. It has to do with a convergence of lifestyles. No...no, not even that. It has to do with my teenage daughter picking up where I left off. I mean, it wasn't too long ago that I using my heavy duty black combat boots to kick some ass in a pit. I'm talking mere years ago, I guess 1999, Fear Factory with System of Down. My sister and I showed those tattooed hardcore boys what moshing is all about. It was that night that I came to the inevitable yet dreaded realization that I'm Too Old For This. My knees and back hurt for days after. I resigned myself to standing in the back of the club after that. So now my daughter is moshing, and I suppose moshing with a bunch of local Long Island teenagers who don't even know what a pair of Doc Martens looks like is sort of like moshing-lite, but still. This is the girl who just two years ago was swooning over Nsync. We talk a bit about moshing and she's flabbergasted that not only was her mother once a mosh pit denizen, but that she walked the walk so recently. Oh my god. You moshed?? Uh...guess where you learned those moves, darling? You think all that knocking people around comes naturally? You think your stage dive talents just appeared out of nowhere? Great moshers and stage divers are not born, they are made! Which, perhaps, is all just an excuse to drag this story out of the archive closet, because this former mosher has to go to her very adult like job now, where she will do her best to act like a professional, responsible adult all day long even though she is harboring thoughts of lacing up the black boots one more time and heading out to a show. Anyhow, the story of how my kids learned the basics, from the now defunct Raising Hell archives, circa 2002: caught in a mosh It started one rainy week several years ago. We had intended to go to the park just about every day, but the storm that came in the beginning of the week never let up. By Thursday, the kids were stir crazy and I was ready to kill them. I needed something to help them blow off steam and energy. I needed something to keep them from killing each other with Power Ranger imitations. MTV was showing a video. I don't remember what band it was, but the lead singer had just jumped into a sea of fans and was going back onto the stage to dive into the crowd again. DJ was enthralled. I explained the concept of stage diving to him. He thought it was the coolest thing ever. Natalie must have too, because she was standing on the couch, ready to launch herself to the floor. She wanted to stage dive. Hmmm. Hmmm. Yes. Bad idea. Very bad idea. But....but......excess steam......pent-up energy.....bored out of their minds. I did it. We took all the cushions off the couch and got all the pillows from the beds. We laid them down in the middle of the living room floor, just in front of the couch. I told the kids to pick out some music. DJ picked Metallica. Natalie picked Offspring. And I taught them to stage dive. It became our nightly ritual, tucked between dinner and story-time. Cushions on floor, music picked out, ready, set, dive! They sang the songs, they played air guitar and occasionally got me to jump with them. I held up cardboard signs scoring their dives. We laughed and cheered and I kept the band-aids and ice packs handy. The ritual stayed for a year or two. Not every single night, but most nights, we would gather round the couch cushions and I would put my kids in harms way for a few moments of giddy fun. Eventually they got too big, or as they say, the living room got too small, and there were more bruises and crashes than fun. Hockey and basketball and baseball have taken the place of our ritual. I like to think that our nightly stage dives had some sort of purpose, that when DJ is making a dive for the ball at third base or Natalie is diving to the floor to keep the basketball in play, that their skills were honed in a pretend mosh pit with Anthrax playing in the background. Humor me, ok?
__________ So, you see, my teachings came in handy. I hope. We'll find out on July 12 when my daughter shows off her skills on national television. I hope I taught her well. It's all aging rockers want for their kids; to follow in their stomping footsteps.


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July is the BEST month. Actually it's in a tie with August for the best month. And it doesn't get hot in NY. NY is too close to the Arctic Circle. Now Florida, on the other hand, gets hot and sticky ... in March. By July, weather conditions get to be Venusian, and it is good.

Parsley Boy

So, do we start with a skank walk. I knew there was a good way to unite groups of ideologically different people who are pissed without incident.

Moshing is a unique phenomenon. Where else do you hear of people beating the piss out of each other in the most courteous, friendly way possible.

And here I thought I was the only freak that let their kids dive off the couch! Hey, at not-quite-4-years-old my oldest has some pretty smooth moves...we were so impressed we enrolled him in gymnastics. You just never know!

Isn\'t Nat kinda small for a mosh pit?

FUSE was purchased from the limp-wristed Canucks and is 100% American and (still) 100% anti-Bush.

God Bless America, where else can a mediocre music channel that no one watched based in Canada get bought and turned into what MtV used to be and get even more openly hostile to the only guy to take a stand against the very real evils of the world?

DJ is not only going to make her National Debut, it will be an INTERNATIONAL debut.

I can't hear of Christian Rock anymore without thinking of the King of the Hill episode where Hank lectures one rocker:

"Can't you see you aren't making Christianity better, you're making rock music worse?"