Twas the Monday after Christmas and all through Echo Park, not that much music was stirring except at Pehrspace. The dark parking lot was like a school yard where all the children sat on broken glass beneath a smoky haze. There were so many people, it seemed half of them were there to listen to the puddles dry and would not even make it inside, which was packed shoulder to shoulder by an array of youngsters and strange looking oldsters (guy in leopard print suit and hat, other guy with all the piercings and dreads that’s often at DIY things, a few streetwalker looking ladies, and someone’s mom). All kinds of fashions, from prep to goth, transcending certain rules about matching music and people. Nicole Kidman and Captain Ahab can appear on the same bill and the same crowd will happily receive John Barba’s sobbing suicidal guitar songs, then thrash and bounce to Captain Ahab’s hardcore club bangers. I brought my 14 year old brother from Florida to see this show, to open his mind. He’d never heard the term DIY before. We stood on the side by the speaker, and he was as blown over by the music as he was by the audience. Where he lives, things are more separate. He listens to metal you can buy at the mall. It’s a small town where the only thing you really encounter is mainstream, at least at his age. He’s never seen anything like Nicole Kidman. “He sounds like he’s crying,” my brother whispered. I could see that push and pull in his eyes that one experiences the first time encountering this fella with the high, quivering voice, who wears his heart on his keyboard’s presets. You want to give him audience because you’re afraid he’ll shatter, then his personal brand of DIY folk punk seeps in and you suddenly begin feeling purged by his sadness. It’s like a confessional where listening to the sinner’s darkest fears makes you feel absolved. I was really excited to see my bro’s reaction to Captain Ahab. They were the first act I saw play at the Smell when I moved here in 2005. The setup has certainly advanced. Jonathan Snipes now has multiple computers and knob consoles, mixing beats and video on a fancy screen. His curses rode pretty melodies into the face of hard thrashing beats. I knew that once Jim’s clothes came off and the crowd moshed their way to happy hardcore oblivion, my sibling’s horizons would be stretched ever so much wider. The people went nuts. The gig was being recorded for a live album and I hope you can hear his jaw drop. While everyone is just dancing like maniacs, to an outsider it looks like choreographed chaos, something you have to learn to be a part of. My bro said next time he’d go in “there,” but this time he needed to observe. He had never moshed to anything but metal, and where he lives, club beats are usually met by grinding. All in all, the experience was awesome for us both. It’s nice to shape young minds. Captain Ahab should be doing it worldwide. My brother says all the kids like Deadmau5. I think Captain Ahab can maybe be their salvation from the connotations of the rave scene. While Deadmau5 packs the Palladium, Captain Ahab packs this little room in a shopping plaza, and it’s perhaps more powerful and important and rebellious that the latter exists. The children need to know you can go clubbin’ in a different way. Captain Ahab has the technology to fit on a Hard Fest lineup. When and if they go there, they’ll probably change the world, one hug at a time.