Tuesday, May 19, 2015

BIG ZIT - "International Player's Club #1 - Tape - 2013

   "Sounds like BAD BRAINS"
  "Internet hype band"
  "I don't listen to hype bands"
   A copy of their tape sold for $75 dollars on Discogs. $75. A demo tape. This stupid demo tape. What fan of BIG ZIT has that kind of money to throw around on a little piece of plastic that is bound to break?
    Whatever. This tape is great. I spent almost nothing on it. It has a homemade cover by the band that is too difficult to scan. If you like completely frenetic, lo fi hardcore, you should already be downloading this...or already have it. I don't care about hype. I just like good music.

BIG ZIT / OOZE double pack cover art added for the benefit of anon commenter tumblr blogger pack 2015-2017

Monday, May 18, 2015

SILENT ERA - Demo - Tape - 2014

   Last night, I went to see BORN  play at a record store in Oakland. Honestly, all I wanted to do was lay in bed all day sipping fizzy water, but if a great band can come all the way here from Iceland, I can drag my lazy ass out of bed and take the train over to see them. Plus, their drummer, Fannar hooked me up with a wonderful place to stay in his country when I went there. I wanted to shake his hand in person since I couldn't in Iceland, because he was in the hospital.
   We talked. We laughed. The band was wonderful. I was dumbfounded that the show was poorly attended, which was directly impacted by the fact that JESUS AND MARY CHAIN and GREEN DAY were playing the same night. Whatever. Fannar asked what band(s) I was playing in these days and I said I was just playing in SILENT ERA. He said he'd try to remember to look us up, but I should just put it on the blog because he reads it all the time. It's always nice to know that people read this thing, especially in other countries, so Fannar, this one is for you.
    I believe SILENT ERA was a band for a couple of years before ever playing a show. I'm not really sure because I wasn't there. Hardly any of us were, because by our 4th show, Matt (guitar) was the only original member. The band was originally Matt, Noelle (bass) and Mackey (drums). They were having a hard time finding a singer and I think a friend from Oakland named Fernando sang for a short time. After that didn't work out, our good friend Michelle came into the fold and the line up seemed pretty solid. The band (finally) played a show in a garage in Oakland and then Mackey quit the band, unceremoniously and without warning.
   At the time, Matt was my roommate. We were sitting in the kitchen one day and he asked me to play drums. I saw how much time and energy the members were putting into the band, which I respect and told him to give me some time to think about it because I didn't want to join if I wasn't going to match that energy. Long story short, I joined. Plus, I was already playing music with Michelle in three other bands, so why not? (All of those are inactive/defunct besides STERILE MIND...but to say that we were ever full members of that band is a misnomer. I just wanted to mention them because they rule.) We hastily got our shit together, played a couple of shows, recorded this demo and then Michelle and Matt went to Europe for six weeks with THE NEW FLESH. Noelle went to South America. I worked at my job. Everyone came back besides Noelle, who now lives in NYC. We wasted no time....okay, that's not true...we definitely wasted some time....we got our friend Julia Booz to play bass and now, finally, things seems solid.
    The band is working on a bunch of new stuff that we plan on recording in September and releasing in some form. This demo was recorded over a weekend in our practice space by Jonny Tsagakis on his large analog tape behemoth. We paid him in alcohol and snacks (and money). I like these songs a lot, but I think our new ones are even better. We have politics that are strong, but I don't feel like I need to explain them right now. I like these people. I like this band.

Thanks to Jonny.
Keep up with our shows and stuff here
Live photo by Martin Sorrondeguy
..Thanks to Robert for the much appreciated ride home.
There ya go, Fannar. 

Friday, May 15, 2015

WOUNDS - "MMXIV" - Tape - 2014

   This is the 511th post on this blog, which is a large number but by no means a milestone. I just wanted to take a moment to say thanks to all of the folks who find their way to the blog and either read all of this silly bullshit I have to say or simply download the music and get the fuck out. When I started this thing, I just wanted to share a lot of my friend's bands...bands who put out only a few copies of their tapes and just shared them locally. I really didn't think anyone would pay attention, but they did. I don't know why, but they did.
   The internet is a strange place full of sad men who like to fill their time asserting their dominance with useless knowledge of shit no one cares about. I'm not saying that I'm any different (besides the dominance part...I don't care about that), but I like that this small section of the internet has been largely devoid of brashness and outright hostility. I appreciate the fact that most of the people who comment on these posts and contact me in other ways have been largely positive experiences. So thank you. Thanks for taking your precious time to look at this or engage in any way. Thanks to bands (and not-bands) for sending me tapes, whether I like them or not. Thanks to 99% of the bands who have been okay with sharing their music for free throughout the world, including such faraway places as India, Russia, The Ukraine and....Canada.
    Also, I feel like I've been slacking on the politics lately. It's been more like "the personal is political", so just in case there's any confusion, here we go with some of my personal guidelines: This is not a review site. If I like a tape, I share it. I don't talk about tapes I don't care for. DIY all the way. I don't even write about bands who use Kickstarter. Fuck Vice. Fuck Pitchfork. Fuck the cops...including the one in your head and people who just film illicit acts on the street and turn it over to law enforcement. DEAD MOON is the best band.  I share a lot of bands comprised of men but I make an  effort to make room for more marginalized voices as well, including women, people of color, trans people, genderqueer people, total fucking outcasts of society, freaks and disabled punks. I do my best to not promote anyone who has sexual assaulters in their band. I've definitely slipped up on that one, but a goddamn sad fact is that it's hard to keep track and I'm sorry for that. Is that it? That might be it.
  Anyway, thanks for being here and thanks if you read this far. Thanks if you didn't too.

  "What's more society and normal than being a misogynist prick? That's totally mainstream culture, so why would you be a punk if you were interested in doing that?" - Erin Yanke.

   Onto the music....Speaking of people who get in touch, Elaan is a supporter of the blog and got in touch to tell me about WOUNDS. Lots of people tell me about bands, but truthfully, it's usually the band they play in. I don't fault people for that. It's cool to be stoked on your own band. Why bother otherwise? Elaan said they'd send me their own personal copy of the tape if I wanted to digitize it for the blog. I was hesitant because what if this person sends me their tape from across the country and I absolutely hate it and I'm like "Oh thanks.."....and then I'm just sitting here with this tape that I don't care about...taking up space with the 999 other tapes in my tiny room? Luckily for all parties involved, it was not a waste of time. WOUNDS was a (I think) short lived band from Portland, OR that featured members of heavy hitters like DEFECT DEFECT (r.i.p. DEEF) and RED DONS. It's dark and urgent and has hooks that sneak out of the mire to stay in your head all day. Their singer does this thing with his voice that reminds me of Nick Blinko on Cacophony...It threw me off at first but I think it's okay now. I'm also totally jealous of how fast their drummer plays sixteenth notes, but I can live with it.

Thanks to Elaan. I'll mail your tape back to you. You should have it. 
Thanks to MRR for letting me use their stereo to rip this tape. Something was off with mine. 
Thanks to the punks worldwide for looking here.
You can buy your own WOUNDS tape here. 

Sunday, May 3, 2015

LIQUIDS - "Mat's Demo" - Tape - 2015

   Basically, everything I wanted to write here could be a re-hash of all of the things I wrote in the previous entry, so I'll spare you. The only real difference is that the people I was going to talk about are (in my eyes) still relevant players in the DIY and art community....still active in the scenes they claim to be a part of...still creating and trying to move forward in a world that probably wishes they would just play the hits and let us all have fun.
   The short version: I walked over to the LIGHTNING BOLT show in my neighborhood, which has been sold out for two months. I tried to get in anyway, but it was solidly sold-the-fuck-out. The venue and area around it is....boring. It caters to money and power. It's an old, stale tale and I'm sure you already know it front to back. I would gladly give my money to LIGHTNING BOLT to entertain me for a spell but not that venue. (I hate being vague. It's called The Chapel.)
   Out front, I clicked on the LIQUIDS tape and started walking...and kept walking and walking away from the crowds, the douche bros, the bars, the cars and the Friday night crowds until I realized that I'd probably listened to the fucking tape nine times in a row and now I was on the top of Potrero Hill overlooking all of the city of San Francisco. It got me in a zone. The tape is hyperactive, hook-laden straightforward punk...the kind of shit that you can't explain or make it sound good in print, but once you hear it, you realize it's everything you've been missing. It's the kind of thing I would expect from members of CONEHEADS and OOZE. You can download it for yourself and decide if that description is correct for your worldview or not.
   I'm not a person who looks at messageboards (actually, do people still use these?) or tries to pay attention to the arguments that people have about the current state of punk because my eyes just glaze over. (trust me, I can see the hypocrisy of that statement.) BUT, I've seen the term "hype bands" being thrown around when referring to some current bands and their sudden popularity, such as CONEHEADS, G.L.O.S.S., BIG ZIT, etc.... The thing is, these bands are hyped for a reason...because they're fucking good. Sadie from G.L.O.S.S. told me that when her band was getting ready to press tapes, they had no idea how many to make and they all thought that 600 was a stupid, insane amount of tapes to make., so they made 300 and it sold out immediately. Plus, we're fucking punks and we don't have the money to be throwing around to make a shit ton of stupid tapes that could potentially just sit in a band member's room for years to come. Is this even making sense? I'm just saying that bands just do their thing. Sometimes people latch on to it and sometimes people don't. It's a big world and we have the capacity to enjoy lots of different shit..from CONEHEADS to every single thing ever played on KPOO to TENDER TANTRUM to old scratchy jazz records to harsh noise. Hyped or not. Don't deny yourself great music just because other people like it. And don't lose your shit because you can't track down the original tape because some band doesn't have the money or resources to cater to your every need. I'm done. Enjoy this tape.

Fun fact: Speaking of hype, THE BODY listens to Taylor Swift on tour. 

Next entry will have much less words, I promise. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

MARTY PLAYS MARKY - "Pt II: Marty Bites Back" - Tape - 2015

   I want to preface this entry with the knowledge that I know good and well that it is privileged and babyshit bananas to sit here and talk shit about a huge, awesome event that takes place a few short miles from where I live. I know that there are people who read this blog and live in the middle of nowhere, wishing that they could go to some big stupid ass event rather than skate in the Wal-Mart parking lot again on a Friday night (No shame. That was my teenage years, except it was Piggly Wiggly, not Wal-Mart). With that said, here we go:
   The Anarchist Book Fair took place this past weekend in Oakland and I mostly went to socialize with people who I rarely see. There were good workshops and talks about Ferguson, Mexico, eviction issues, labor practices and women's leadership in anti-capitalist movements. I didn't go to any of them. I walked around through the aisles in what feels more and more like a mall. There's not a lot of trading, haggling or barter happening. It feels like capitalism at work because it is capitalism at work. I found myself talking down V Vale on the price of his full set of Search and Destroy...his legendary newspaper / zine that started in 1977. Issue #1 was newly photocopied and I couldn't bring myself to pay what he was asking. He told me that he would autograph it and I said "I don't want your autograph." I saw his face fall a little bit, but we're fucking punks. We don't have idols. I don't want anyone's fucking autograph. It means nothing to me. I walked away with my money and he kept his zines so I could come back next year and we could try this dance again...like we've been doing for the last five years.
    As I was biking away, I was getting upset about pining for a past that I never passed through. Sure, those zines contain amazing history lessons and photos of things that still inspire me, but I didn't need it at that price...and that condition. Instead, I went home and spent a bunch of money on bands, distros and zines who are creating their music and art now....at much cheaper prices.
   Today, I got 6 tapes in my P.O. box with more on the way. All of 'em were created in the past year by people who would not offer me an autograph, but might offer me a place to sleep if I needed it. This one is called Marty plays Marky....It's a murky back story. Two bands. You're probably familiar with them...THE CONEHEADS and LUMPY AND THE DUMPERS. Mark from the CONES covered a LUMPY and a CAL AND THE CALORIES song on a tape (which you can find here). So, Martin from LUMPY responded to it with a tape of his own, covering THE CONEHEADS, HOT BEEF and some other weird shit. It's good. The sound quality is like a garbage fart. I'm glad I'm listening to this instead of reading Search and Destroy right now.

Order stuff from small distros. Start bands. Support what's happening in your town if it's worth supporting. If it's not, make something that is worth supporting. Respect the history of what you love but don't live in it. 

Thursday, April 23, 2015


   When DEAD MOON broke up in 2006, I was so heartbroken. I honestly felt like I had been dumped by a partner or kicked in the stomach or both. I thought that I had a lifetime of DEAD MOON shows to look forward to. Like, as long as Fred, Toody and Andrew were alive, I could rest assured that they would be there for me when I felt like I was at my lowest. If I was heartbroken, I could put on "Nervous Sooner Changes" and feel like someone felt the same as I did. If I woke up "in the bottom of something being loaded in a dumptruck", I could pull out the "Trash and Burn" LP and feel good enough to start the day...and not only start the day, but hold my head up high and take whatever damage flung itself into my life. The records are still there of course, but it was a whole different feeling to see DEAD MOON live with Fred and Toody's toes touching the edge of the stage while they sang each song with the fiercest conviction I've ever seen.
    So, yeah...I was sad. I should've known that they couldn't stay dormant for long. Within a year, I heard that Fred and Toody were already back with a new band. I can make my guesses as to why they weren't playing with Andrew anymore, but that's the kind of talk left for late night drunken conversations or long van rides in the middle of nowhere. PIERCED ARROWS were already playing some shows in the northwest, but I lived in Indiana, so I had no clue when I'd actually see or hear them until this CD-R made it's way into my hands.
    The band played on KBOO in Portland and it was only their 8th show. Most of the songs on here ended up on their first LP, "Straight To The Heart". They also threw in a DEAD MOON song for good measure and it's not the one or two that you might think it is. The recording is a good live recording, but the performance is a little....uh...rough.
   It might go without saying that I've never felt the same for PIERCED ARROWS as I did for DEAD MOON. I don't know anyone who did. I'm not a fan of reunions or even nostalgia really (I know that this entire blog might make you think otherwise, but it's the truth), but when DEAD MOON announced that they were gonna play a reunion show last year, I didn't hesitate to buy a plane ticket to Portland. I even went this year when they did it again. Now, it just seems like they're a band again...and I'm fine with that. I wouldn't even mind if they put out a new LP. With Fred having heart surgery, Andrew quitting drinking (??) and Toody trying to hold it all together, I can imagine what kind of new desperate sounds they might create.

   But this is about PIERCED ARROWS...and about their show on KBOO when they were just starting out...and how incredibly happy I was to know that they hadn't given up just yet.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

MRR Radio #1449

Alex and I were on MRR Radio this week, playing lotsa stuff, including a long set about how we don't give a shit about 4/20. 
Also, check out this picture, taken by my friend Robert in Mongolia...

Saturday, April 4, 2015

BANDA MUERTA - Tape - 2014

   As a teenager, I was really into garage punk, but I luckily fell into quality shit right off the bat with bands like THE MUMMIES, THE BRENTWOODS, THE TRASHWOMEN and whatever the fuck Billy Childish was doing at that point. As I delved deeper in, I just found lots of rehash-trite-bullshit-sixties-rock revival with absolutely no soul. It got boring. It was like hearing the BEATLES but not understanding THE SONICS or PLEASURE SEEKERS. I moved on to pure punk and my usual weirdo vibes.
   Lately, I've been coming back to garage punk because it seems like bands understand it again...or I just wasn't paying attention in the right places (more likely). Letting myself be open to these things again has led me to sitting outside of sold-out MUMMIES reunion shows full of boring fuckheads, looking at overpriced Billy Childish reissues and finding out that Elka Zolot from THE TRASHWOMEN is Kreayshawn's mom. You can't go back, but why the fuck would you want to??!
    Luckily, we can all just look to the future with bands like BANDA MUERTA. I'll admit that when the first song came on, I was not that stoked until about a minute and a half in. Something clicked right then and I really started paying attention. I thought "This singer has no dynamics" and then I thought "This is cool...this singer has no dynamics!" It's just full on all the time and something about it reminds me of the same intensity I feel from the singer of LA URRS. The music itself is raw, urgent and extremely catchy. Like it or don't.

Members of COPYCATS and CARNE
(Calling this band "garage" is kind of a stretch really)

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

MIX TAPE - 1995

  Besides my old friend, Heather, who I met when I was 5 years old, I only keep in touch with one other friend from the Nascar days of my youth (that reference is so vague that I'm not explaining it...just roll with it). That friend is Angie, who mailed this tape to me at my two room apartment in Huntsville, AL in 1995. No cover, no track listing...just this tape rolled up into a letter, recorded over a battered GEORGE MICHAEL cassingle. Short and to the point. I had no clue that I'd still love every song on this tape 20 years later (20 years!). I had no clue that the Floyd who is mentioned in the first line of the first song would be the same person who now assigns me CD's to review for Maximum Rock N Roll or that that house he made his phone call from (listen to the song) would catch on fire a short distance from where I live now. I didn't know that the third song would still resonate so much harder with me now than it did back then. The last band on the tape, EVERY ALICE ON EARTH, will not be a hit with many (or any) visitors to the blog, but they were a local(ish) band where I grew up and were one the first DIY (I mean this as actual "Do It Yourself", not as an empty slogan used by hardware stores and Pottery Barn) bands I ever saw in my pre-teen years, which made a big impact. In some very, very tiny circles, they are legendary.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

MRR RADIO - #1433 and #1441

   I forgot to post these here, but they've both been posted on the MRR website for weeks now. On episode 1433 of the radio show, I was joined by my neighbor, Jason, who plays in PERMANENT RUIN and JOYRIDE. On episode 1441, I hosted it alone and made a lot of mistakes. Enjoy.