Sometimes The Best Short Story Is A Song (#4)

I finally got around to watching “Filmage,” the amazing documentary about legendary SoCal punk band Descendents. It had been on my to-do list for a while, but I kept talking myself out of watching it. I knew it was going to be great no matter what, but having idolized them as a teenager I wanted to be able to give it my undivided attention. And then I got sick and was stuck in bed for a couple of days. It was time.

One of the many triumphs of this film—other than officially giving Descendents the credit they deserve for creating “pop punk”—was outing drummer Bill Stevenson as the band’s mastermind. It was also nice to see lead singer and anti-rock star Milo Aukerman acknowledged as one of the best punk singers of all time, without making the film about him. And I loved how the film spends a lot of time exploring ALL, the Milo-less band that emerged from the ashes of Descendents and has lived a parallel existence since the 80s. So, if you have read this far and still haven’t seen “Filmage”—you totally should, bro.

But today we’re actually here to discuss a Descendents love song that is also a great short story. “Clean Sheets” really showcases the band’s signature sound, straight-ahead punk energy mixed with Beach Boys hooks. But “Clean Sheets” is also a devastating tale of love, betrayal and the no-frills punk life. The moral? Even punks can get their hearts broken. Again and again.

Read the lyrics for “Clean Sheets” by Descendents right HERE.


Previous installments in this series:

S.W. Lauden’s short fiction has been accepted for publication by Out of the Gutter, Criminal Element, Dark Corners, Dead Guns Magazine, Akashic Books, WeirdBook, Spelk Fiction, Shotgun Honey and Crimespree Magazine. His debut novel, BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION, will be published in October 2015. His novella, CROSSWISE, will be published by Down & Out Books in 2016.

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