The Ongoing History of New Music, episode 896: A history of moshing

I do not dance. I’m far too self-aware of my awkwardness. I know we’re all supposed to a dance like no one is watching, but when it comes to me, people will look. And point. And judge.

My wife realizes this. Since we were married, she’s had to be content with the fact that she got to dance at our wedding and that’s pretty much it.

I can feel the judgement. Stop it. Would it help if I told you that my wife isn’t much into dancing, either?

This isn’t mean that music doesn’t move me. I get that involuntary need to move when the music is great. And I don’t mean tapping a toe or nodding my head, although that’s where it starts. And then it can escalate quickly. Put it this way: I’ve done my time in the pit.

I’ve been elbowed, kneed, kicked, head-butted, burned with cigarettes and joints, and doused with various liquids. And I’ve been okay with that most times because it’s all of the pit experience. You go in, you gotta expect this sort of thing. The one thing I’ve never done is stage dove or crowd-surfed–probably just out of courtesy for my fellow gig-goer.

Here’s a question: Why is there a pit in the first place? Who came up with this idea? How did it spread? And is it the same everywhere>

I think these are important anthropological questions because we’re dealing with a near-universal type of human behavior in the presence of a specific type of art. I think we need a history of moshing.

Songs heard on this show:

  • Circle Jerks, Red Tape
  • Sex Pistols, God Save the Queen
  • The Weirdos, Destroy All Music
  • Fear, Let’s Have a War
  • Scream, Total Mash
  • Bad Brains, Leaving Babylon
  • Anthrax, Caught in a Mosh
  • Cranberries, Zombie
  • Consolidated, The Men’s Movement
  • Reel Big Fish, Thank You For Not Mosing
  • Smashing Pumpkins, Zero
  • Vivian’s Hamster, Moshing.

Need a playlist? Here you go from Eric Wilhite.

 

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