Posted in comedy | music on February 11, 2010

by Klaus Kinski

Cadena wedding

As we pointed out, Them Crooked Vultures were the musical guest on SNL last Saturday (two nights before they played Roseland Ballroom as part of a short tour). What we haven't mentioned is the skit that Vultures drummer Dave Grohl also participated in during the course of the Superbowl-eve show. I'm talking about the Fred Armisen-penned ode to hardcore set at a wedding with Bill Hader and Ashton Kutcher rounding out a four piece Fred Armisen-as-dad-of-the-bride band that proceeded to destroy everything in sight.

What people may not have noticed at the time was how elaborate an homage to 80s hardcore the skit was. Not only did the sketch hilariously caricature and encapsulate the anti-authoritarian, anti-meathead-letterman mentality the bands of that era railed against, but the wedding party's name "Cadena - Norton" is, presumably, a shout out to Black Flag's Dez Cadena and Husker Du's Greg Norton. The band was named Crisis of Conformity (Earth Crisis, Corrosion of Conformity). They broke up in 1983 (just like Minor Threat). Its members are also a serious tip of the hat to that 80s era scene. The skit's line-up featured Steve (Steve Hansgen of Minor Threat), Greg (Greg Ginn of Black Flag) (or maybe Greg Norton) (or was it Greg Hetson of the Circle Jerks), Lyle (Lyle Preslar of Minor Threat, Samhain), and Ian (Ian MacKaye of Minor Threat, Fugazi, Egg Hunt). Such a dense homage in such a short set could only have spawned from the mind of Fred Armisen (whose own credits also include Trenchmouth). However, theatrically, the skit wasn't without it's minor faults. As Tom Scharpling succinctly pointed out in a recent tweet, "Remember when hardcore guitarists acted like they were in Warrant? Aston Koocher does." Check out the video with the full lyrics below...

Crisis of Conformity
Lyrics for "Fist Fight" by Fred Armisen

When Ronald Reagan comes around
He brings the fascists to your town
You think it's cool to be a jock
But we all get beat up by cops

It's a
Fist fight fist fight
Fist fight in the parking lot
Fist fight fist fight
Fist fight in the parking lot

(Spoken, Fred)
I guess my mind's all messed up
But isn't that a result of going to your schools being a part of your system following your orders

(Ashton)
I guess you want me to put on a suit and tie and eat my happy meal

(Dave-his mic dropped out for a few lines, then Ashton gave him his )
I guess you want me to have 2.5 children and a white picket fence I have a better idea. Why don't I kick in your windows with my boots

(Fred)
You hear that Alexander Haig? You getting all that Ed Meese?

It's time for a
Fist fight fist fight
Fist fight in the parking lot
Fist fight fist fight
Fist fight in the parking lot

---

      

Comments (37)

Dave Grohl probably helped out here and there too. He used to be in Scream.

Posted by ihatehipsterscum | February 11, 2010 10:04 AM

Awesome skit, glad Armisen is in the cast and puts music into the humor

Posted by Anonymous | February 11, 2010 10:21 AM

great skit, the best SNL has managed in a while. maybe i missed it, but where was Ginn in the vid?

Posted by Anonymous | February 11, 2010 10:25 AM

"great skit, the best SNL has managed in a while. maybe i missed it, but where was Ginn in the vid?"

They were talking about the names of the skit's band members

Posted by Anonymous | February 11, 2010 10:37 AM

FUCK HULU.

Posted by Anonymous | February 11, 2010 10:47 AM

the skit came across better in the dress rehearsal. No mic dropouts.

Posted by Anonymous | February 11, 2010 11:26 AM

There's a lot of dead kennedy's references in there too. the song is basically "we've got a bigger problem now" (california uber alles). just saying...

Posted by nine inch tails | February 11, 2010 11:28 AM

That's my friend Mike to the right of the bride..
Awesome homage to Dead Kennedys and Suicidal Tendencies

Posted by Jim | February 11, 2010 11:33 AM

World needs more shout-outs to Greg Norton

Posted by Anonymous | February 11, 2010 11:53 AM

Great skit and yeah, Ashton Kutcher doing his best hair metal band guitarist impersonation was so out of place.

Posted by Mary | February 11, 2010 12:47 PM

no, Ashton was right on, like many hardcore bands, he was doing it ironically- duh.

Posted by Anonymous | February 11, 2010 12:56 PM

Wow, it's like the time I figured out all the Christ symbolism in Lord of the Flies except not at all in any way whatsoever.

Posted by Anonymous | February 11, 2010 1:36 PM

It was a great skit, funny when Grohl's mic was not turned on. This was absolutely a Fred Armisen brainchild.

Posted by Songs Alike | February 11, 2010 2:16 PM

the norton reference was actually aimed at "gentleman" jim norton of crucial youth

Posted by Anonymous | February 11, 2010 2:25 PM

What does Earth Crisis have to do w/80's HC? Name was all COC

Posted by Anonymous | February 11, 2010 2:46 PM

Mic dropout made it even more realistic.

Posted by Anonymous | February 11, 2010 2:48 PM

Earth Crisis= 1990's.

That skit = not bad.

Posted by Anonymous | February 11, 2010 3:52 PM

What do you mean about HC being "anti-meathead-letterman"?

Posted by Anonymous | February 11, 2010 4:48 PM

"anti-meathead-letterman" means anti-jock, anti-bully, anti all American college boy (letterman refers to the letterman jacket of olde)

Posted by Anonymous | February 11, 2010 5:04 PM

Yeah it was a damn funny skit, except for Kutcher who didnt sync up his air guitar to the music which was just classic two or three chord 80's hardcore riff.

Lyrics were a hilarious homage to many groups of course. Only Fred could come up with all those references in a short skit, at least for that show.

Wish some of these newer hardcore bands now days were a bit more intelligent.

Posted by Anonymous | February 11, 2010 5:16 PM

"you getting all that Ed Meese?" really should've been in an 80s hardcore song. brilliant.

Posted by Anonymous | February 11, 2010 5:36 PM

Rollins feels pretty meatheadish to me. As does almost all of the NYCHC-scene, lots of the DC-related hardcore acts (Bad Brains are/were one of the great homphobic bands of all time), to say nothing of the fucked up violence in L.A.-hardcore where it often looked more like a bunch of ROTC kids "blowing off steam" before going back to the base on Monday morning. Jocks in sheep's clothing, maybe.

To overstate the obvious, lots of the players from those early hardcore bands ended up joining the army, becoming cops, or acting like total dickheads w/ regard to women.

Watch "Another State of Mind" again for a reminder of how a fairly innocuous genre emerged from the excesses of the 1980s, but was hardly a critique of the jocks, bullies or conservative ideology you think these bands were trying to overturn.

Posted by Anonymous | February 11, 2010 5:39 PM

<------ you're not a writer are you?

Posted by Anonymous | February 11, 2010 5:48 PM

Why do you ask? Are you one of those dimwits who positions "writers" against "artists," or "hardcore kids" against those too weak to last in the pit.

Please, I was at many of the early DC and NYC hardcore shows and it often felt more like a bunch of wrestlers than any claim of them being "anti-jock."

If you are too young to have been there, look at the pictures. Those dudes either joined the army, became cops or, in the case of Rollins, became an echo-chamber for bad Beat writing.

Posted by Anonymous | February 11, 2010 6:10 PM

Why do you ask? Are you one of those dimwits who positions "writers" against "artists," or "hardcore kids" against those too weak to last in the pit.

Please, I was at many of the early DC and NYC hardcore shows and it often felt more like a bunch of wrestlers than any claim of them being "anti-jock."

If you are too young to have been there, look at the pictures. Those dudes either joined the army, became cops or, in the case of Rollins, became an echo-chamber for bad Beat writing.

Posted by Anonymous | February 11, 2010 6:10 PM

I compltely agree as there were few and far between hardcore bands that were not or ended macho idiots they supposedly railed against.
As far as Rollins listen what he has to say. He doesnt understand middle east politics or the bigger picture of history at all. His stand up gig is OK but puts down everything and has nothing to offer.

People can say what they will about Jello Biafra but he is true to what he spoke or sang about and is at least intelligent on politics and not testosterone fueled.

How very true about the NYC hardcore old and new that is violent, homophobic, filled with infighting, and generally negative.

Ive seen some good Circle Jerks shows but some the crowd is like a bunch of frat boys in the front of the stage.

You mentioned Another State of Mind and the only band out of that bunch that maybe was true to themselves was Youth Brigade or Minor Threat.

Posted by Anonymous | February 12, 2010 12:50 AM

Fred Armisen is a brilliant funny guy that has made SNL funny again.

Posted by Anonymous | February 12, 2010 1:33 AM

btw, did anyone else notice that this article was written by Klaus Kinski? HE'S BEEN DEAD FOR TWENTY YEARS...or so he wants us to think...

Kutcher fucked up the skit big time.

Posted by Anonymous | February 12, 2010 10:02 AM

He had that GG Allin stalking the crowd & breaking bottles thing goin on.. He shoulda pooped on the stage

Posted by Enough Already | February 12, 2010 8:53 PM

There were a lot of meatheads in the early 80s HC scene, but there were also plenty of folks in the scene who criticized those meatheads. Hardcore always put itself under its own microscope, or at least those who really cared about it did, and you can read the results of those examinations in the letters pages of Maximum Rock 'n' Roll and Flipside. I don't think the people who went on to create Gilman were meatheads, for example.

Posted by kingink | February 14, 2010 6:01 PM

There always was a big disconnect between SF hardcore/punk and the tribalism that characterized other regions of the country. Head south, or god forbid, east, and you get a sense of the decreasing value of politics and inclusiveness. I still think a really interesting conversation is still to be had about DC itself. In many ways it was left-leaning like SF, but in other ways, it was as right-wing as it comes. I also think those DC kids did a strange thing in elevating youth as the ultimate measure of "authenticity," something that many of them are having trouble squaring w/ their contemporary attempts to stay relevant today.

Posted by Anonymous | February 14, 2010 10:57 PM

SNL always manages to make me laugh. They've still got it in them! I'm the world's biggest Them Crooked Vultures fan too :P

Posted by clarisonic | April 14, 2010 1:33 PM

Sooooo freakin' good! The "talking" part in the middle also reminds of Suicidal Tendencies' "Institutionalized".

Posted by Mark | September 3, 2010 2:13 PM

oh man, I remember crisis of conformity from the 80's. Good stuff. Wish they would have stayed together. Would have liked to see how they turned out...

Posted by health insurance | December 1, 2010 2:22 PM

Oh, and what about those question marks on Sunday's text in the concert poster below? No, that isn't saving a spot for a Smiths reunion or U2 debut on the Coachella stage, it's the way that Yorke presents himself as a solo star, the marquee at his Orpheum concert had the same punctuational flourish.

Posted by منتديات | January 12, 2011 2:28 PM

SNL is the best ever now! They are finally using what is funny. Gotta love them.

Posted by Allied | March 18, 2011 10:30 AM

Crisis of Conformity was actually a band and Fred should be well versed in Punk Rock lore, he played drums in Trenchmouth in Chicago for years...

Posted by Jeremy | September 28, 2011 4:34 PM

Listen to the original version here, "Fist Fight" is an actual song:

http://radio.maximumrocknroll.com/

Posted by Jeremy | September 28, 2011 4:35 PM

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