NOTS at Thee Parkside, by Kaiya Gordon

NOTS (photo: Kaiya Gordon)

I ran into Thee Parkside, Friday Feb 10, because I could hear Sirena Victima playing through the kitchen (that sells the best tater tots). I was not expecting to have to push through, especially because I am currently walking with a limp and a cane. But like many women before me, I was persistent on getting to the front of the crowd, using my cane as leverage.

Everytime I see Sirena Victima, a three piece band from San Francisco that sings about their identity with such pride, I feel at home. They feel like my sisters, like we’ve known each other forever, though I only got into their music last spring. I am always happy to see them live, and every time they bring something new to it. A new type of energy or emotion, always.

If I had a been more alert or able to find a seat inside, I would have not left the front of the stage, because every time I stepped out to talk to friends, to get tater tots, to sit down, I came back inside Thee Parkside to only find it more packed. Each time was more difficult to politely push through the crowd, but every time I persisted.

Toyota, from SF and Daly City, are a band that I’ve seen in many different types of spaces, and each time not only am I left in awe, but everyone around me. They feel like the soundtrack to a very dystopian videogame about living in a weird… very similar to ours now world, but with like cyborgs. Maybe the cyborgs were made with parts of Toyota trucks and the band are the crazy scientists that created it. They also perform in what I would assume “crazy scientists that made a Toyota truck cyborg” would dress.

I could not push through to see Nopes. I did push through to get to the bathroom though. When Nots started playing, I started using the “HEY I HAVE CROOKED LEG” excuse (aka my reality) to push through the crowd, because I could allow myself to not be in front for Nots.

I got that same shock-filled amazement seeing them live that I did the first time that they popped up on a playlist. The members of Nots are the most energetic, talented, beyond necessary band I could have ever expected them to be. I felt like they could protect me for being into a genre of music that has always been thought as male dominated, because people forget that Punk wouldn’t be a thing without women or queer folx. I felt like I needed to protect them, protect my friends, go get a slurpee and discuss the resistance. I felt rejuvenated. I felt like every thing I had been angry about had motive and that I could change something. Okay, if a band could be that good, that energetic, that life-affirming – they’re necessary. Nots is an amazing band. Pay attention to them.