Punk papas in the swing of domesticity
'How did we go from rebelling against our own parents to becoming parents ourselves?" Jim Lindberg, front man for the long-roaring punk band Pennywise, wants to know.
Well, it's simple, really, isn't it?
In The Other F Word, Lindberg's reflective query gets kicked around and turned into an entertaining, oddball doc about tattooed punk rockers who charge onstage spewing fiery, expletive-driven anthems, and then head home to their respective tots, toddlers, and preteens to wipe spittle from bibs and worry about ballet class.
Well, they do that, or they Skype from the tour bus, checking in on their wives and kids and feeling guilty and all torn up about how to manage a career and be a good, responsible parent, too.
Andrea Blaugrund Nevins' film - propelled by tracks from Against Me ("I was a teenage anarchist looking for revolution!"), Bad Religion, Black Flag, Fear, Rancid, Circle Jerks, and more - is really kind of sweet, as Lindberg and a gang of fellow punk rockers muse about the joys and quandaries of parenthood. Flea, the chiseled Fear and Red Hot Chili Peppers singer, gets teary-eyed as he talks about trying to be there for his daughter, righting the wrongs from his relationship with his own distant dad.
In addition to Flea and Lindberg - a cheery and articulate father of three who has fronted Pennywise for close to 20 years and who lets the camera catch him applying hair dye to his soul patch ("Gotta look young for the kids") - the film lines up an impressive troop of spiky-haired, boot-stompin' pops. Blink-182's Mark Hoppus has an especially good line about the all-consuming nature of being a pop: "It's like red matter from Star Trek. It just sucks everything in."
Similar sentiments, though not perhaps as artfully put, come from the (pierced) lips of Tony Adolescent (the Adolescents), Art Alexakis (Everclear), Rob Chaos (Total Chaos), Lars Frederiksen (Rancid), skateboard icon Tony Hawk, and a dozen or so other minivan-driving, homework-checking nihilist musician dudes.
And talk about transcendent parenting moments: When Lindberg's girls pull out their Barbies, the Pennywise singer goes and gets his Devo doll to play with them.
Are we not men? We are Devo! And we are dads, too.