Subway punk at Union Square brings own version of holiday cheer

The Trash Bags L-R: Tito Echevarria, Chuck Bones, Moan Elisa. (Photos by Bob Krasner)

BY BOB KRASNER | New Yorkers are used to seeing just about every kind of performance in the subway – break dancers, karaoke singers, accordions, folk music, jazz trios, violin virtuosos and some that are, let’s say, somewhat less talented.

This time of year it’s not unusual to catch lots of Christmas tunes in the air, but last Thursday night in the Union Square subway station the three bands representing the Brooklyn label Muddguts Records had no intention of acknowledging the spirit of anything but punk rock.

To the delight of their fans, the amusement of passersby and the consternation of a didgeridoo player, The Trash Bags ripped into a song from their new release, only to be shut down by the NYPD. Luckily, the upshot was that they only had to move to a less obtrusive location which was, unfortunately for the didgeridoo player known as Street Mule, right next to his spot.

Trash Bags drummer Lyla Vander having a discussion with the NYPD, prior to relocation.

He kept playing, though he was drowned out by cumgirl8 and then the Gnarcissists, both also celebrating new releases. The latter really revved up the mosh pit, most likely a new occurrence in the station.

cumgirl8 in action. L-R: Bobbie Hondo, Veronika Vilim, Chase, Lida Fox.

The crowd was filled with fans who were at the least familiar with each other because, as Sally Escalante explained, “in New York people follow the same bands. We’re all friendly – it’s a group effort.”

Saara Untracht-Oakner admitted that “the sound is better in a club,” but she added that it was “great to see everybody smiling.”

The mosh pit.

Chuck Bones, lead singer for The Trash Bags, had a great time. “It was sick that we pulled that off!” he told us later, mentioning the unplanned “clown who whipped me with his scarf” as one of the more memorable moments of their short set.

The Gnarcissists. L-R: Matthew Orr, Matt Tillwick, Nazar Khamis, Jerry Peel (not pictured).

Moan Elisa, the band’s guitarist, summed it up briefly: “It was a very New York City experience.”

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Muddguts Records owner Mark Cross, seated, surrounded by band members after the show. The didgeridoo player known as Street Mule can be seen, still playing, at far right.

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