Saturday, June 23, 2018
Features and More

OFF!AND RUNNING

Keith Morris has been playing in punk bands for most of his life — originally singing for Black Flag and performing with the Circle Jerks for three decades before starting OFF!

The supergroup also includes Stephen Shane McDonald from Redd Kross, Mario Rubalcala from Rocket from the Crypt and Dimitri Coats from Burning Brides.

On Tuesday they will stop by St. Petersburg's State Theatre for a show also featuring '80s Detroit punk group Negative Approach and Double Negative.

OFF! so far has released a collection of EPs called The First Four EPs and a new, self-titled full-length — both blistering albums that rattle off 16 songs in about as many minutes. And although the sound is much in the vein of Morris' '80s punk bands, it has earned them coverage from outlets like Rolling Stone and Spin, and bigger shows with bands like The Cure.

Morris said the attention has been criticized by some within the punk scene who think "this punk-rock thing is like a list of rules" — which he dismisses with a blunt, "F--- that."

"People call us punk rock and people call us hardcore and I'm not any of these things," he said. "I'm just an angry guy."

The band's heightened profile has also gotten them offers to play the Pitchfork Music Festival and Pensacola's DeLuna Fest on Saturday. Morris said the appeal of playing festivals is a sunny atmosphere and a starkly contrasting mood from punk shows.

"It's like a party, and when you go to a party, I don't want to see guys dressed in black," he said. "I don't want to see girls dressed in black … I want to see some miniskirts, I want to see some hot pants. I want to see some rubber boots, I want to see some floppy hats."

The dynamics of making music with OFF! is different as well, Morris said. Their new album was recorded in three days — not just due to punk efficiency, but also to accommodate schedules of playing in other bands and being parents.

"One of the things I'm dealing with is that three of the guys in the band are dads," Morris said.

Yet despite the presence of parenthood, OFF! hasn't been immune to the police troubles of Morris' previous bands. In March 2011, three of the band's members were arrested in Arizona for taking a restaurant's vegetable oil to power their biodiesel van.

Morris said the arrest was a bizarre situation involving a man in a sports car making a citizen's arrest and police as baffled as the band was. "They're scratching their heads, saying this is the equivalent of hobo dumpster dives," he said.

His sentence ultimately ended up being three hours of community service.

Coming out on DVD on the same day as OFF!'s State Theatre show is My Career as a Jerk, a documentary on the Circle Jerks directed by Dave Markey (1991: The Year Punk Broke). Morris said being interviewed was initially tough as he was still dwelling on the band's falling-out. "We should've been over as a band 15, 16 years ago, but we continued because we didn't know any better," he said.

However, Morris said he is happy about the way the documentary turned out.

Despite his approval of My Career as a Jerk and playing Black Flag songs during a show with Refused, Morris is uninterested in revisiting the past — something he's felt since OFF! first got together.

"We realized this music was too good for the Circle Jerks," Morris said.

Comments
Finding the fun in a family road trip

Finding the fun in a family road trip

When Matt Villano sets out on the 560-mile road trip from his home in Healdsburg, California, to San Diego in July, his game plan will be carefully crafted. When you’re traveling with three kids under age 10, you have no choice.Villano, a freelance w...
Published: 06/23/18
See Datz pastry chef Alicia Wolding on Netflix’s Sugar Rush

See Datz pastry chef Alicia Wolding on Netflix’s Sugar Rush

When Alicia Wolding joined Datz as the new executive pastry chef last year her hair was rainbow — pretty much the whole ROY G BIV spectrum in cascading tresses. More recently, it’s bright purple, somewhere between iris and lilac. This is the color yo...
Published: 06/22/18
Enjoy Israeli Couscous, Swiss Chard and Peppers warm or at room temperature

Enjoy Israeli Couscous, Swiss Chard and Peppers warm or at room temperature

By Katie WorkmanIsraeli or Mediterranean couscous are tiny balls of toasted semolina pasta that plump up when cooked into toothsome, slightly less tiny balls of pasta. They make a great base for a side or salad. You can make the couscous according to...
Published: 06/22/18
Bar review: St. Pete’s Garage is a dive with Pride

Bar review: St. Pete’s Garage is a dive with Pride

Last year’s St. Pete Pride went smoothly, despite some behind-the-scenes drama involving the decision to relocate the parade to the downtown waterfront, rather than the Grand Central District, where it had traditionally been held. After all, the Gran...
Published: 06/21/18
Local craft beer of the week: Beach Slap Piña Colada Wheat Ale from Mad Beach Craft Brewing Company

Local craft beer of the week: Beach Slap Piña Colada Wheat Ale from Mad Beach Craft Brewing Company

"Hooray, it’s summer!" exclaimed no Floridians. But if it’s summer proper and not just the usual year-round weather, you might as well embrace the heat and humidity with a trip to the beach, accompanied by some suitably refreshing beers. While you’r...
Published: 06/21/18
Wine dinners, beer projects and more will wet your whistle this summer

Wine dinners, beer projects and more will wet your whistle this summer

FILIPINO FOOD: WELCOME CHISMISHave you been to the Heights Public Market at the 73,000-square-foot Armature Works yet? It’s the buzzy food market in Tampa Heights with more than a dozen vendors offering up everything from rolled ice cream to Cuban sa...
Published: 06/20/18
On stage this week: Freefall Theatre’s ‘The Musical of Musicals,’ Jay Pharoah

On stage this week: Freefall Theatre’s ‘The Musical of Musicals,’ Jay Pharoah

SENDUP: MUSICAL OF MUSICALSFive composers, a talented cast, choreography by Cheryl Lee and music directed by Michael Raabe — that’s Freefall Theatre’s recipe for a laugh-filled, season-ending summer musical, appropriately titled The Musical of Musica...
Published: 06/20/18
Artists’ talks and Sharon Norwood’s definition of beauty

Artists’ talks and Sharon Norwood’s definition of beauty

MARK MAKING: DEFINING BEAUTYBlack, squiggly lines are at the center of multidisciplinary artist Sharon Norwood’s works, an exhibition of which titled "Defining Beauty" opens at Tempus Projects on Saturday. Norwood’s use of the line in a variety of me...
Published: 06/20/18
Here’s the skinny on the ketogenic diet: What it is, how to follow it properly

Here’s the skinny on the ketogenic diet: What it is, how to follow it properly

It started with jugs of olive oil and cans of tuna, lots of it, which my husband hauled in one day and plunked on the counter. "That’s my lunch!"That was about three months ago, and every day since there has been a new entity in our house to consider...
Published: 06/20/18
Five ideas for rainbow-themed foods to serve at your Pride party

Five ideas for rainbow-themed foods to serve at your Pride party

More than 50,000 people are estimated to attend Pride weekend in St. Petersburg, which runs Friday to Sunday. (June is LGBTQ Pride Month.) Whether you plan to march in the parade or host your own smaller gathering, we’ve selected five rainbow-themed ...
Published: 06/20/18