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Political folk-punk band This Bike Is a Pipe Bomb has been around for more than ten years, but it feels weird to be writing about them in a big weekly newspaper. In an age of blogs and vlogs and text messages, the Pensacola, Florida, three-piece is still committed to getting the word out through zines copied and stapled on the late shift at a Kinko’s somewhere and then handed out from one punk to another.

In an age when people buy (or steal) their music online, This Bike Is a Pipe Bomb helps run a record label that sells CDs for five bucks each, including postage. In an age when the Warped Tour version of punk is big business, and it seems as if every band in the world is trying to get its music played on the CW network or in a TV commercial, This Bike Is a Pipe Bomb is part of the scene that still screams “sellout!” whenever an underground act signs to a major label. Maybe this mindset is an anachronism, but I think not.

The underground punk scene can be stupid and obnoxious. Its politics can be knee-jerk and self-defeating. And the music can be dreadful. But underground punk, in all its forms, can also be powerful, exciting, inspiring. I think we need underground punk, in all its forms, more now than ever. In an age when music often seems like nothing but a prop for video games, we still need bands who believe that they can create a new way of living. With their raggedy punk-folk, This Bike Is a Pipe Bomb is filling a vital function.

THIS BIKE IS A PIPE BOMB: Bar Pink, Monday, January 5, 10 p.m. 619-564-7194.

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