Sunday, January 22, 2012

This post is brought to you by the letter F

F, as in "The Other F Word", as in father. It's a good documentary with a great concept — follow punk rock dads, tell their stories. Which dads, you ask?

First, the film primarily focuses on Jim Lindberg, (now ex) lead singer of Pennywise, and his struggles with incessant touring (200-plus days on the road during the doc's filming) and being a good father. I never cared for Pennywise (sorry, not even "Bro Hymn"); but I am impressed with the group's longevity, and Lindberg seems like a nice guy and a good, caring dad. Funniest moment: Lindberg discusses the necessity of dying his graying goatee (gotta keep the dream alive).

But who else is in the flick, you ask (again)?

How about Fat Mike from NOFX (a favorite band from my teens, due in no small part to the song above)?! Surprise: Mike is not the worst dad in the world. However, in the film, he discusses how he and his (now ex) wife would not allow parenthood to affect who they are. Sure, Mike is cool with making his daughter breakfast (cereal and toast drenched in I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Spray) and dropping her off at an exclusive private school. But he retains his crude/rude personality (farting en route to dropping off his daughter, talking about how dull the other parents at the school are, etc.).

Lars Fredericksen:  He and his second wife have two kids. And despite being the most outrageous looking punk dad in the film (well, Duane Peters is pretty gnarly, too), he is really grounded and likable. Best moment: The film crew follows Fredericksen and his son, Wolfgang Erik Anders Frericksen, to a packed jungle gym. Within minutes, it's empty (best way to clear out a playground is bring a punker and a camera crew, Fredericksen says). Also notable, Matt Freeman, Rancid's bassist (probably my choice for best punk bassist) and a father, appears briefly in the film.

Flea: Sorta-kinda punk (he briefly was in Fear), he's just a badass. Badass bassist (whilst stoned, as the above video proves), badass runner (cool Runner's World profile). And he's a badass dad. Hard to believe Clara is in her 20s. Their segments in the film are touching — they play piano together, Flea cries (twice) and she tells of how her then-Mohawked father freaked out teachers at her school. Good. Stuff.

And ... there are several other fathers ... whose music I do not care for (Mark Hoppus of Blink-182, Art Alexakis of Everclear) but are pretty good dads (Hoppus comments that, as a rock star, the bar is set so low for him to be a good dad) ... and random Tony Hawk interviews (lots of kiddos, lots of wives, lots of affairs, but still the greatest skater in the history of ever).

I definitely recommend checking out "The Other F Word." It's a short doc (90ish minutes) and it's available for download on iTunes. If you do, let me know your thoughts.

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