Dispatch from Shark Turf: revving up Lex punk

Photo by Boone Clark

Photo by Boone Clark

When Autumn Calls, Niiice, Vermont
Shark Turf (Lexington, KY)

When I was a teenager, the Lexington scene was wild. Big names in punk like Emarosa and Chiodos were born here/lived here and/or recorded here.

I’m almost 28 now, and since I would say around maybe 2011-ish, the punk scene in Lexington has almost completely died out.

Now, for the few shows here and there that pop up—it’s always at a bar, and it kind of turns into a “Who’s Who” affair. It’s a “who’s there to be seen and who’s gonna look the coolest with their PBR and resting bitch face: kind of situation. Ya’ll know what the fuck I’m talking about. I personally have piercings/tattoos/fun hair and even I feel uncomfortable at current shows half the time...like I’m not wearing enough black or something. 

I started dating a new dude and he has friends that are revving up a new punk/pop punk scene in the area. I watched their band play last night with a couple of small touring bands and I have to tell y’all about it. 

It was textbook DIY punk.  Holy shit; I loved it.

It was in a TINY garage near UK’s campus. The garage has doors that open onto the sidewalk. It was 97 degrees in the Bluegrass yesterday (Hi, September), so it was hell outside and the mosquitos didn’t play games! 

There were probably 30-50 kids in there at any given time during the show. Everyone crowded in this little garage room, sweating and singing along to our friends’ songs, push-moshing and jumping around. 

No one cared that there was no alcohol.  No one cared that it was at least 100 degrees in there. Everyone donated money to get in, to give the touring bands some gas money.

And here’s the best part: EVERYONE was so sweet. Random people that I’ve never seen or met went out of their way to compliment me. And when I talked to strangers, they ACTUALLY TALKED BACK. I made real life mini-connections with people. 

It was so refreshing.

People were there for the music, for the experience, and for their friends. It took me baaaack. I felt young again, like I was 19. It made me want to stay out all night and act like I didn’t have 2,527,293 responsibilities the next day. 

I feel like I was part of something I haven’t witnessed in probably a decade. I miss when the scene was about community, friendship, and acceptance. And that garage was full of it last night. I hope these kids keep bringing the scene back to life.

Now, excuse me while I go address my 2,527,293 responsibilities. 

Tequilla Marie 

Tequilla Marie is a hair artist, cat mom, plant enthusiast, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer mega fan residing in Lexington, KY. Find her on Instagram:  @teedoesartlex and @tinyneongirl.