Lest We Regress: Local H

Yo, for real, what the FUP is up with this hardcore ’90s thing? Like, it’s cute and all and extremely comforting for anyone violently longing for a return to childhood when being in a band was as easy as calling John to see if his mom would bring him over to play In Bloom on some trash cans in the basement, but this past weekend’s Chicago Tribune listed on the cover of its Arts section as one of the most important Chicagoans of the year, Scott Lucas, frontman and one half of the Zion, IL band Local H.

Local H? In 2008? Don’t get me wrong, I wish nothing but the best for Local H, which was my favorite band for about 11 months in 7th grade, it just seems bizarre that a barely remembered remnant from the past decade continues to pull ink at all. I mean I love it; it’s part of the reason I continue to read the Chicago Tribune as often as possible even though it’s been 4 years since I’ve lived in the city. Like Local H on the front page of a paper my parents subscribe to however many years after I first saw their videos on MTV’s Friday night top 20 video countdown? That’s nutz out boy.

Anyway, the nostalgia whipped up by the article slowed my heart rate for a second before I started thinking about turning 26 in a few days, then that ticker started beating like a parakeet on three cups of Oslo all over again. I still remember hearing “Bound for the Floor” the first time. I was like 13, or something, sitting in my living room on a Friday night, looking out the front window for some friend’s parents’ car to pull up and take us to either the movies or Joey’s house where we’d listen to Bone Thugs and Poe in his basement before moshing repeatedly to Sabotage and Mother. Playing those 4 chords on the guitar still make my heart beat faster, no, wait, that’s the realization that I’ll never be able to play music again without knowing it won’t be with the prospect of some day doing it for thousands of sweaty people at the Eagle’s Ballroom.

Anyway, I digress like a history professor attempting to cover material outside the text book in order to make class attendance beneficial for the midterm. Local H, those first 2 records were sick. I hear Pack up the Cats (is that what it’s called?  Is that the 1st or 3rd disc?) is good, but I was already in high school by that time and too busy trying to fit in with the white kids trading Phish tapes in the hall. I still remember seeing Lucas and original drummer, the ripped Joe Daniels, opening for Stone Temple Pilots at the Mecca Auditorium in Milwaukee. Damn, those two dudes ripped it. Like 7 years later I saw the band play, after Daniels’ departure, randomly in the gym at college. A year or two after that I caught them opening for Broken Social Scene on some radio show bill at Schubas in Chicago. After the Social Scene set Lucas stumbled up to a few friends and me in the parking lot and asked where the bathroom was. All I wanted to say was, man, I used to carry a collage of you guys around under the plastic of my binder in middle school and my AOL screen name was Local1029 and everyone in the Teen Chat thought I was a UAW pedophile, but thankfully I realized how fruity that would sound and I instead pointed to some ally and kept my mouth shut.

Man, Local H. They’re not even back ’cause apparently they never left.

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