Watch This: Vol. 9

by Steven Spoerl

As hyper-aware readers may have noticed, there hasn’t been much in the way of worthwhile live performance videos to post over this past two week stretch. This is often an inevitability during the new year midwinter dead zone. Fortunately, this allows both time and space to reflect on the things that may have been missed throughout or before this site’s existence. One of those is the dearly-missed BNTYK (short for Be Nice to Your Kids), which seemed to stand for everything Heartbreaking Bravery does. While BNTYK only lasted for a frustratingly brief amount of time, while they were around they offered up the most professional high-quality presentations of live performances from a murderer’s row of great basement bands. Below, you’ll find five of their absolute best. Enjoy.

1. Swearin’ – Here to Hear

Swearin’ are often at their fieriest when Kyle Gilbride’s allowed to take the control. When he’s offered the opportunity it’s very rare that Gilbride doesn’t just fucking go off. “Here to Hear” is easily one of the most impassioned songs in the bands repertoire and the way they feed off each other here is so infectiously joyous that it’s hard to just watch once. Swearin’ still holds up as one of the best LP’s this young decade’s produced so far and this video will always serve as an admirable document of a band exerting their energy because they believe in the thrill of it. It’s raw, visceral, and genuinely beautiful.

2. Bad Sports – Terrible Place

There aren’t many bands that can boast a discography as strong as Bad Sports. For an early run, they’ve already produced a few records that could find themselves categorized as basement pop classics. “Terrible Place” is a very strong indication of this and their committed performance here nicely underscores how hard this band worked to make that happen. Sweat pours down faces, heads are kept down, and there’s a general air of defiant determination. Here’s hoping this band sticks around for a long time to come.

3. VIDEO – Nothing Lasts Forever

The blood-caked upper teeth, the restlessness, the pure exhilaration of airing out unbridled frustration. VIDEO play up their classic hardcore influences to the absolute maximum capacity and wind up stronger for it. “Nothing Lasts Forever” is an appropriately short, sharp, and pointed blast of music. To write any more words on the matter would only do it a disservice by opposing what it stands for. Watch it below. 

4. Teenage Cool Kids – Uncast Shadow of a Southern Myth

Teenage Cool Kids are one of the more singular acts playing the circuit right now and have done everything in their power to make their presence known. Notoriety wasn’t a difficult task for them; songwriting this absurdly good is bound to attract a fair share of followers. They became a band many turned to in the wake of The Goodnight Loving’s tragic dissolution as the two bands share(d) some similar aesthetics. Here, with “Uncast Shadow of A Southern Myth” the band demonstrates all of their understated strength for all of its worth. 

5. Waxahathcee – Michel

Book-ending this list with the pairing of the Crutchfield twins feels appropriate for a myriad of reasons. There’s perhaps no pair of people on the planet that so fully embodies what Heartbreaking Bravery believes in (and the same was likely true for BNTYK as well), aptly illustrating the lengths and emphasis of musical influence. “Michel” is a slight aberration in the BNTYK series as its primarily shot in darkness and, naturally, features only Katie Crutchfield and her taped-up acoustic guitar. It’s a characteristically stunning moment from one of this generations clearest voices. Watch it and reminisce of better times- times when the world had BNTYK in it.