Our House is a very very nice house
Bakersfield punk rock is alive and relevant even in 2012, nearly 40 years since Iggy and The Stooges showed the world what raw power is all about. Unlike most concerts, where bands perform on a stage, The Killer Clam is actually a house and the bands perform in the garage. To the average show attendee, this is an unusual sight, but to local punks, it is like home. Literally, some even live there.
“We all have kids. We all work, and there really isn’t a safe place for people to just go, hang out, listen to music, and have our kids with us like any old barbecue,” said Veronica Ramos, close friend of the house members and a frequent attendee of The Killer Clam shows. The Killer Clam has a turnout of 50 or more every show.
“It’s like a family, sometimes. It won’t seem like so many, but it’s the same people that come every time that support,” said Ramos.
At first glance, the house is like any ordinary house. Once you walk to the backyard, a new world unfolds as you are greeted with a surfboard reading “The Killer Clam,” and a mini bar. Walking further down the backyard leads you to a garage painted in black, yellow, and white splatter. The center walls have the letters “TKC” written in white and yellow.
March 17 brought together local acts Love Lush, Whore Scent and On Parade, as well as CodeXRed, a straight-edge hardcore band from Reno, Nev.
Adam Schwartz, lead vocalist of On Parade and the host of the show, has been a supporter of The Killer Clam since it first opened.
“The Killer Clam is an all-ages show space run by punks for punks … It’s one of the last remaining venues in Bakersfield that exclusively books punk shows, and is a valuable asset as far as this town’s small, yet thriving scene is concerned,” said Schwartz. Schwartz, 21, has been attending local punk shows since he was in high school.
Schwartz’s band On Parade plays a sound reminiscent of 1980s hardcore punk. Paying homage to bands like SS Decontrol, Negative Approach and Void, On Parade gives the new generation an experience of what punk rock may have been like in the early years.
For a small venue like The Killer Clam that is mainly kept alive by local punk rock bands, it is always exciting to the community when bands from outside of Bakersfield stop by and perform. CodeXRed from Reno, Nev., plays 1990s-era hardcore along the lines of Strife and No Warning. CodeXRed had been on a nine-day West Coast tour, The Killer Clam being one of their stops. “Kids went off and they had a good time. I had a good time,” said Adam Farnsworth, bass player of CodeXRed.
Schwartz elaborated on The Killer Clam’s contribution and importance to Bakersfield punk rock.
“Most people who live here seem to be unaware of that,” said Schwartz. “Don’t be afraid to show some support.”