Album Tales – “…We Are Still Alive”

latterman_wearestillalive1I don’t remember how I found out about Latterman.  I think somehow cruising around Myspace I discovered this band from Long Island, who besides Kill Your Idols hasn’t really produced any kinds of bands that I really like (OK, Silent Majority but when was the last time anyone besides Glassjaw has remembered them?).

Anyway, yeah, I totally discovered this band that actually had a song titled “Video Games And Fantasy Novels Are Fucking Awesome” and I was stoked.  Fast and loud and positive and fun who weren’t actually being preachy but still getting messages across and best of all, they wore short shorts.  They definitely brought all my favorite bands to mind like Lifetime and Hot Water Music, and when a band can do that I’m a fan.  Especially since no one these days who’se younger than me or forming bands these days, really seems to do that, or care at all about bands like that.  All of a sudden the late 80’s/90’s punk and hardcore don’t matter…assholes.

Anyway, so I found out that they were playing at some place in Brooklyn that I’d never heard of before, called North 6.  I trek there and while on the L train, I noticed this kid sitting across the isle from me, looking all “punk rock” and stuff with his headphones on, tapping his feet.  My stop comes up in Williamsburg, I get off, he gets off, and I come up to the surface and start looking for this place.  I walk one way down the block, see that I went the wrong way, and in my Hot Water Music t-shirt, bump into the guy from the subway as I turned around.  He sort of looked at me and said “Are you looking for the Latterman show?”

“Yeah.”  I checked my directions that I’d written down, “I think it’s this way.”  We both started walking there, and introduced ourselves.  “I’m Costa”.

“I’m Bennie”.

He was from Germany.  At first my brain sort of exploded, that he’d come to the US just to see Latterman, but as it turns out, he was working as a live-in nanny to some family in New Jersey and spent every free day he had in NY and NJ going to punk and metal and hardcore shows.  Which was incredibly cool.

We were early for the show, so we brownbagged it a block down from the club by the water and then went it.  I’ll always remember this show, it was the first time I went to North 6, the first time I saw my future amigos The New Dress and Polar Bear Club and Dear Tonight and No Trigger.  Throughout the whole night I kept hearing rumblings about Latterman not showing up, them being late, them not playing until midnight, blah blah…Bennie and I kept hanging on to the hope of the band being there.  They eventually did, showing up sweaty and tired from playing a party earlier in the day.  And after what was at that point a great punk show, they took to the tiny stage with the fish tank against the back, and made it a great show.  I really can’t say just how awesome it was to see them live surrounded by cool people and beer and my new t-shirts tucked away on top of someone’s amp as I sang along and threw my fist up and ended up losing my voice from screaming, which I discovered the next morning.

I picked up …We Are Still Alive at that show, which ended up being their last record.  And every time I put it on…shit, any time I put either Latterman album on, I think about that show.  I’ve seen The New Dress a ton of times since then as well as PBC and Dear Tonight, but Latterman broke up and I never saw them again, nor have I really gotten into any of the projects that stemmed from the breakup like Shorebirds.  I know I sound like a bitter old scene dude but nothing can ever really top this record, and this band.


About Costa

Writer. College professor.
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