T-Shirt Tuesday #3 – Hot Water Music, keep it together

For over 2 decades I have been moving band t-shirts from apartment to apartment, and now to the basement of my house. I’ve said for years that I want to make a punk rock quilt out of them. What’s more punk than a quilt? I don’t know how to quilt, so until I learn I will be posting pix of these vintage gems and remembering when. I will call this series T-Shirt Tuesday.

“Keep It Together” is a song off the album The New What Next which was released in 2004, that must have been the tour when I bought this shirt. I know I was with my friend Marg and I think it was at Lupo’s on Westminister. I remember thinking it was some kind of a sign that HWM had a t-shirt with a tall ship on it and I had just started playing sea shanties. How could I not buy this shirt?

There have been a few times in my years of music listening when much of what I listen to starts sounding the same. It’s like some formula is figured out and bands start studying the sound and following too closely. It’s usually around this time that a band will blindside me with something new, something really special.

The date on the Alachua 7 inch that I’m looking at as I write this is 1998. That was right around the time returnaround was disbanding, that was the first time I heard Hot Water Music. Two dudes, one who sounded like he gargled with gravel, singing different words at the same time in the most chaotic and moving way possible. The guitars reminded me of a lot of late 80’s DC sounding stuff and the rhythm section was like nothing I had heard in punk music, except maybe Quicksand.

One quick memory of Hot Water Music I’d like to share is seeing them in NYC with Kel at the Knitting Factory in NYC when they brought Walter Schreifels on stage to sing “Radio Free Gainesville”. I hadn’t had seen Walter perform since Quicksand, it was a real special moment.

No Division is consistently on my list of top 5 records I’m bringing to the deserted island. I often wonder if that’s because Walter helped produce that record. Anyone who is a fan knows what I’m talking about when I say HWM is one of a kind and a true inspiration.

Until the next t-shirt


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