Story and Photos By: Forrest Cook
Dallas punks will find any excuse to throw a party! So when From Parts Unknown was contacted by their friends in the new entrepreneurial start-up Bag of Coffee Company for a “mutual sponsorship” agreement which landed the band’s name on a bag of the holy bean, they had the perfect excuse needed; but not only that – the perfect base formula to bring on much sought-after Dallas chef, Justin Box, for a breakfast-concept collaborative release show.
For all its moving parts, FPU’s first Punk Rock Brunch at Three Links in Deep Ellum went off like clockwork. Every band dominated their performance and along with the free coffee, catering was impeccable, complete with vegan options and wonderful hand-made salsas.
The menu consisted of roasted new potato hash with smoked sausage, farm eggs, queso fresco, and herbs on flour tortillas with chipotle salsa roja and buttermilk and cilantro crema. The vegan potato hash was served with tomatoes and pickled serrano chiles with vegan cilantro cream. On the side was an exquisite salad of pearled barley and mixed greens with roasted pepitas, white raisins, tajin pop-rocks and serano ginger vinaigrette.
It was a chilly morning, and teeth were chattering but the warmth of the bar which has become lovingly referred to as HQ by many of its loyal patrons was welcoming and amiable. Food wasn’t being served until after the show, so the promise of a full belly and an afternoon full of great local music kept back the biting wind, and none of the parking meters were running yet, so show-goers who looked found ample free parking spaces.
Nonstarter at Three Links Punk Rock Brunch | Photo: Forrest Cook
“I think this punk rock brunch idea is fantastic,” expressed Shaun Colón of Nonstarter who was happily on the bill. “My wife could come. My daughter could come. A lot of other kids came. It was like a great mixture to hang out at HQ/Three Links and to be with the family too, because a lot of times we are here at night, and they have to be at home, you know? With this, there’s no babysitters! Punk Rock!” He decided to bring his four year old daughter Tessa along for her first ever show experience.
During Nonstarter’s set, Tessa jumped on stage to dance with her dad, who is a considerably animated performer. As Shaun’s voice rang out over the crowd along his bandmates fast-paced melodic rhythms, Tessa (4) mirrored her dads movements, at one point throwing back her head and stretching arms to her sides spread eagle as if daring the audience not to blink. It was absolutely adorable.
Grindhouse punk act, Bullet Machine opened the show with songs that they say are mostly about ninjas. Their heavy dual-guitar sound makes for a great tight-nit performance. They’re a big band with a big sound and strangers to their antics may get the impression they are not to be messed with. Funny then when the BM guys start singing, “Oh no! We’ve got to go! To Tokyo! Because there’s one too many Godzillas!”
Bullet Machine singer/guitarist Tyson Rinehart was pleased to have his family present as well. “It’s awesome because it’s a family event. We can all come out and enjoy some punk rock and have a good time, and it’s still three o’clock in the afternoon!” Tyson’s son Ridge who is barely able to fully lift his head, was harnessed into some ear muffs and strapped into his mother, Sarah Sullivan-Rinehart’s baby-carrier where he alternated in between stroller visits.
Sarah had this to say about the Brunch: “As soon as they said they were going to do a brunch event I immediately messaged Scott and was like ‘Can I bring the baby?’ and he was like, ‘Yeah, sure I’ll make it all ages.’ So I was really excited for him to come see his dad play”
She continued, “It’s so rare that a show is early enough that you can bring your kiddos out to it and we want him to be exposed to a lot of awesome local music from an early age and this is just a really wonderful vehicle for us to be able to do that.”
While some opted to bring the home posse, still there were others that opted out. Bullet Machine’s other singer and bass player, Rob Michaud, found himself taking a break from the work-from-home, toddler-dad life and was ecstatic to be “day drinking,” he said. “[He] hadn’t done that in a while.”
Big Useless Brain played next. They are a DFW pop punk band formed in 2018 true to that label with an energetic performance and brilliant vocal harmonies. Their rocking melodies were received by the ignition of a circle pit of little ones, where every child present found their way to the dance floor, looked on by reassuring smiles from every corner of the room.
“Ah man! That kid mosh pit was one of the greatest show moments to ever happen to me.” Said Ben McCraken, frontman to From Parts Unknown, and show organizer. “I’m not going to lie, that was one of those moments where I’m a little less cynical and jaded. I’ve got to go bartend tonight so I’ll get right back to being salty and pissy but for a brief moment I saw a bunch of joyous kids in a little innocent circle pit dancing at a show. So to me, life’s great. You look around and you’ve got little kids dancing, breakfast being served at a punk rock show, life’s great. “
Dallas’ From Parts Unknown | Photo: Forrest Cook
From Parts Unknown closed out the show with their well-established signature rockabilly-esque punk rock and roll sound. The band’s latest edition Jimmy Sefcik found himself right at home dipping his drumsticks in gravy and slathering them along with the full-bodied bass rattle, tremolo-ridden rock and roll injection of FPU.
“We’ve got all these friends out.” Ben exclaimed. “Great lineup. Great food. Beautiful day. Anytime you can get people out early, partying and having fun – it’s a success to me. With this, it was a lot of fun how this all came together and it just had a good vibe to the show, like a good day-festival vibe. Another good one in the books here. I think we got the go ahead and passed the audition. I want to start making this a yearly tradition.”
Colón can corroborate. “You should come to a punk rock brunch if you ever hear about another one happening which I’m sure it will because there’s a bunch of people here… Chef Justin Box is fucking doing his shit, and I’m about to have some and oh man, I am very stoked.” He said before being hand-served by Box, himself, in esteem.
Shaun then goaded Justin into a comment “for the people”, to which he quaintly replied, “I love the people.”
“The Box!” Colón reiterated. “He loves you. We all love you.”
And so wrapped up an impressive afternoon at Three Links for the Punk Rock Brunch, December 1, 2019, also, sponsored in part by George Dickel Whiskey.