Saturday, April 12, 2014


SPAWN SACS - A Garage - 2000 - Chattanooga, TN - Photo by Blaire Newhard

PETER STUBB - Father Abraham's - 2000 - Chattanooga, TN - Photo by Blaire Newhard

TALIBANTHRAX - In Front of the 309 House - 2001 - Pensacola, FL - Photo by Abe Obvior

STUN GUNS - Fairgrounds Gazebo - 1996 - Huntsville, AL - Photo by Greg Harvester

D.V.D.A.N.C. - Oh My! - 1999 - Asheville, NC - Photo by Sweetmeat

DUDE PARTY (1st show. Daniel's dad on harmonica) - Rear Entry - 2000 - Chattanooga, TN - Photo by Brontez Purnell

Hundreds of packages of beef jerky found on the side of the interstate while hitchhiking in northern Alabama - 2001 - Photo by Greg Harvester

Friday, April 11, 2014

SCRAPEGROPE - Demo - Tape - 2007

   Today's entry is brought to you by my good friend, E Conner, who will tell you all about her old band, SCRAPEGROPE.....

  I met Jail in the Indianapolis bus station when Erin and I picked up her and Vanessa to drive down to Ida for Idapalooza... oh shit.... like 8 years ago. Fuck that's a long time ago. The trip was weird and mostly remembered for overhearing a lot of sex, people not being that nice, and Jail and I dicking around a tent drinking whiskey during a tornado. A few months later she moved into my house in Bloomington (The Well Well Well) and we started this band. I played drums and she played a circuit bent Casio. We practiced in the weird basement hole in the ground and sometimes in the living room of The Well Well Well. This tape was recorded in the living room of The Well Well Well by Brad on his computer. It was originally put out by Upper Dave and was released as a split with EVIL WIKKID WARRIOR, which was (is?) John Benson's band that he started with his daughter. We only played a couple of shows, mostly in the living room of The Well Well Well and mostly no one went. We played one show in Chicago and it was a very weird trip...marked by digging change out of a fountain in a mall so that we could buy a beer before getting on the Megabus and playing with David Diarrhea and Lee Revas' (of RIND) old opera fern project. Jail and I also collaborated on a short play called "You Too Sylvia" which was also performed in the living room of The Well Well Well. (there's a theme here) Bennie, Chloe, and Claire (off stage vocals) were also in the play. Jail does a solo glitchy jabber operatic noise dance project called FORCED INTO FEMININITY. Once she did drunken book reviews for an old issue of my fanzine and she is one of the smartest coolest people I've ever known and I love her.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

MINUTEMEN - "Double Nickels On The Dime" - 2xLP - 1984

   I was never a fan of new, popular music on the radio. Even as a little kid, I kinda liked Michael Jackson and Van Halen, but still thought it was boring. In the 4th grade, due to having a cool older sister, my favorite bands were VIOLENT FEMMES, THE CURE and METALLICA. In the 6th grade, I stumbled across an amazing mix tape that contained my first exposure to THE STOOGES, VELVET UNDERGROUND and a little band from southern California called THE MINUTEMEN. When my prepubescent brain first heard the opening warbly chords of "This Ain't No Picnic" something clicked. The hair on my neck stood up. Hearing D Boon's voice scream out a mantra against shitty jobs in a voice that wasn't shaped by mass media or sales charts was truly inspiring. I had never heard punk before, even though it had been sitting there and waiting for me for my entire life. I tracked down "Double Nickels on the Dime" and dubbed a tape of it on a shitty stereo...well, I dubbed as much of it as I could onto one tape. I listened to that tape hundreds and hundreds of times before I ever tracked down my own copy of the record. Their ideas, commitment, politics and drive has inspired me more than any other punk band in history. There's not really much I can tell you about this record that hasn't been said before (ad nauseam), but I'm bringing it up for a reason.

   Yesterday was the 20th anniversary of Kurt Cobain's suicide. When I first heard NIRVANA on the radio, it was a little bit of a magical feeling because the airwaves were populated by music that was, in my opinion, horrible, trite bullshit. It wasn't a life changer for me though. I was already listening to the MINUTEMEN every fucking day. I had already taught myself "Blitzkrieg Bop" on guitar. But, to hear the opening chords of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" on the radio was welcome after hearing BEL BIV DEVOE. That feeling was soon squashed after every single radio station in the world, as well as MTV, played that fucking song into the fucking ground. Seriously. Sometimes, DJ's would just play that song on the radio for an hour straight. It sucked. "Bleach" was a mediocre album. "Nevermind" was pretty good, but "Drain You" should have been the hit. "In Utero" owed too much to THE MELVINS (uncredited) and had some seriously weak songs. BUT, I always appreciated how real the people in NIRVANA seemed to be. It seemed like they were just some doofuses who got thrown into the limelight and didn't know how to handle it. I like that they publicly fucked with Axl Rose. I fucking love that they told people to not buy their albums if they were fucked up rapists. I've always been utterly confused about the amount of praise that they've gotten, but I also completely understand why. 
    I found out that Kurt Cobain killed himself on the night of my junior prom. I thought it was sad because he had a lot of potential to do interesting things and use his fame for cool shit. There won't be another rock star like him, which is fine. Would he even enjoy this future we've found ourselves in? 

Monday, March 31, 2014


   Yesterday, I went to my friend Danielle's birthday party where she had made a simple request of all the guests: Show up with two mix tapes. One for her and one to trade with someone at the party. I showed up with a cup of coffee because I've been working so much that I didn't have time to make one...much less two. I felt guilty as people showed up with cool tapes to trade and I left the party within the go back to work.
  I love mix tapes. I've already written about it at length on this blog. I like the way it tells it's own story and introduces you to the mind of whoever made it. Today, I'm sick in bed and wish I had the energy to even walk over to the stereo and flip records over. Instead, I moved some MP3 files around and put them in a folder for you to enjoy.
   On the mix, you'll find some unreleased songs, some (should've been) hits and more. Sixteen songs in all. Have fun with it. I'm going to just lay here motionless and hope that I feel better tomorrow.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

DEFECT DEFECT - Demo - Tape - 2006

   You know how some bands form and then it seems like everything they do is immediately all over the internet? Like, there are times when you couldn't look at some internet sites without seeing a pic of that dude from TENEMENT ringing those bells or all of GAG in their dirty white pants. Don't get me wrong. It's not their fault and those bands are pretty fantastic, but over-saturation is real. There are other bands who act as a slow burn; building up on solid releases and quietly doing everything that they do in just the right way. Bands who immediately come to mind are STILLSUIT, THE TERRIBLES and DEFECT DEFECT.
   They mailed me this tape when they wanted me to set up a show for them in southern Indiana on their first US tour. This was after they has already toured the northwest and played Alaska. Even though I thought parts of the tape were a little weak ("In My World"), I was sure that the band would be stellar live and they didn't prove me wrong. Besides that, they're sweethearts. Years have passed. Times have changed. We've slept in each other's houses many times. DEFECT DEFECT is still a band, still DIY as fuck and still putting out great, solid songs whenever they manage to record them.  Even though they're not 100% active all the time, they've managed to tour Japan, Europe, South America and Mexico...maybe more. I can't keep up with them.
  Check out this tape to see where it all started and if your band makes it up to Portland, always ask to play with them (or SOCIAL GRACES).

A few years ago, I couldn't make a mix tape without putting "We've Already Lost" on it.
Also, this tape has grown on me over the years and I like it a lot more now.

Monday, March 24, 2014


JACOB THE TERRIBLE (photo by Dawn Riddle)

    Here's a link to the MRR radio show that Matt (reviewer/shitworker/guitarist of THE NEW FLESH/baker of sourdough bread) and I recorded this week. We played lots of newer records and demo tapes. Take a listen when you have some time. 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

SPOKENEST - ""Destroy, Gone, Listen, Lose" - Tape - 2013

    I live in the same state as SPOKENEST, but I couldn't feel further away from them. When I was out of the country and told people that I lived in California, many people wanted to talk to me about Los Angeles...about Hollywood Boulevard and the sunny, warm beaches. I can't tell you a thing about them. I can talk to you about Mission-style burritos or the redwood forests or foggy towns by the ocean, but once we get south of Santa Cruz, I'm clueless and lost. Increasingly, more of my friends in the Bay Area have positive things to say about Southern California and I believe them, but my experiences there have led me into strip malls, endless traffic (I once watched the entirety of Top Gun in LA traffic), bands with homophobic lyrics,racist drug dealers, playing shows to almost no one in record stores, losing myself on pills in Mexico and watching people do heroin in a shitty Hollywood apartment. I want to go to Tom Of Finland's house, see the Tarpits, play a show in that boxing ring and see the other things that make Southern California so great.
   I don't think Southern California is bad though. Connecticut and Omaha are bad. Southern California is not. SPOKENEST comes from the Los Angeles area and will prove to you that there's good things happening there. They put out a great self-released 12" last year and followed it up with this tape from this past December. The band is a two-piece with a man and woman splitting the duties of vocals, guitar and drums. They recall the essence of scrappy DIY punk, like THE BANANAS (but waayy less drunk), post-punk and whatever style of punk one would call STREET EATERS, but SPOKENEST doesn't fully subscribe to any of those sub-genres....which is one of my favorite styles of punk. Enjoy their four song tape and go order one for yourself because you can't actually get a screen-printed cover and the physical lyric sheet in a download, fool.

Friday, March 21, 2014

GREG HARVESTER - Best of 2013 in MRR

LP's and 12" Records

This year sucked. These records made it better.

IRON LUNG – “White Glove Test” 2xLP 
    This record is a fucking beast. The 1st LP is just downright brutal and the 2nd LP is an album-length industrial noise track that is creepy as fuck. Both records are meant to be played together simultaneously and that’s where the whole thing becomes fucking mind-blowing. IRON LUNG has really outdone themselves with this record. I listen to it on headphones while walking through my neighborhood and it makes me wanna throw posers through windows. Plus, the LP art is outstanding.

DARK RIDES – “Walk The Floors” LP
   Every year, I get more and more bored with the quality of melodic, poppy punk that is coming out, but then a record like this one comes along and I’m sold once again. With members who have been in bands like JACK PALANCE BAND, TULSA, FUTURE VIRGINS, FORCED VENGEANCE and HIDDEN SPOTS, it’s really hard to go wrong. “Walk The Floors” is crammed with hooks blasting out of every song. The split female/male vocals are soaring throughout the entire record. The whole thing is just fucking perfect.

    I’m still torn if this is the dumbest record of the year or the smartest. I’m usually not a fan of dumb, glue-sniffing punk at all, but this record is fucking stupidly flawless. WKSJ? plays simple, ultra-catchy, three chord pogo-punk and lays down the law for punks everywhere. Lines like “I stud my fucking glue bag” and “Don’t let them tell you how to dress, let me tell you how to dress. Wear studs” are now immortal to me. So, stop thinking that it’s punk to look like a sexy lumberjack with a rattail and stud your face. Plus, their singer is a UFO investigator, a cryptozoologist and an expert on pre-Colonial Native American habitation in Massachusetts. Mindfuck….

THE LOVE TRIANGLE – “Clever, Clever” LP 
    My friend, Doug clued me into this LP pretty late in the year and I haven’t been able to get the fucking thing out of my head. This band’s EP’s are really good, but this LP is phenomenal. Catchy, poppy songs with quick 4/4 drumming and a clean, chunky guitar that is equal parts MINUTEMEN tone and not giving a fuck. The album flows perfectly and repeated listens are mandatory. “Hollywood Sleaze” has been stuck in my head for a month straight with no signs of leaving anytime soon.

NO STATIK – “Unity and Fragmentation” LP
    As always, NO STATIK kills it, both live and on vinyl. Their usual side-long song was a lot less weird than their past efforts, but still more “out there” than most other hardcore bands. The other songs on the record are just brutal and blazing. There are no other bands like NO STATIK and I love them so much. I’m excited about everything they’ve done and I look forward to everything they have to offer in the future.

THE BODY – “Christs, Redeemers” 2xLP
    2013 really sucked for me and I told a friend that THE BODY is the only band that understands how awful I feel; how much I hate many of the things around me. This record sounds like isolation, pain, confusion and hate, but is still starkly beautiful and breathtaking at the same time. It sounds like what I would imagine the whole world falling apart would sound like. Perfect.

 WHORE PAINT – “Swallow My Bones” LP
   I think the thing I like most about this record is that every member of WHORE PAINT is just a bona fide shredder. I don’t even really know how to describe them besides their own self description of riff rock / no wave / crooner shred hybrid. Their LP is excellent and seeing these three ladies (who are all older than the typical punk age) destroy a Providence warehouse with an audience of wildly dancing teens and twenty-somethings made me wanna cry in the best way.

TONY MOLINA – “Dissed and Dismissed” LP 
    On his debut record, Tony takes all the best elements of super catchy, blown out guitar rock and condenses it down to tidy, minute long jammers. No bullshit. No filler. Simply, this record makes me really fucking happy.

LAS OTRAS – “Devolver El Golpe” 12” 
    Seeing these four women come from Spain to San Francisco and simply destroy made me so fucking happy. This record made me even happier. Fiercely feminist, unapologetic, energetic and ragged punk. I love it.

    I love NATURE BOYS because they play raw punk rock that falls somewhere in that mysterious realm that DEAD MOON also inhabits. Part straightforward punk and part stripped down rock n roll. I love this LP just as much as their last one…if not more.


FUNERAL CONE – “Peel Back The Foil” EP 
   The best, noisy, most fun, manic party punk EP of the year….with hooks to back it up. Every time I listen to this, I want to see them playing live and flicking their sweat on me. I’m waiting impatiently for everything else this band will ever have to offer.

FROZEN TEENS – “Oakland/Footsteps” 45 
   These Minneapolis dudes continue to put out nothing but solid gold. These two songs are perfect melodic punk with so many layers that something new pops out with each listen. “Footsteps” has been firmly planted in my head for the better part of this year and I can’t wait for new recordings to surface.

REPLICA – “Strings” EP
    REPLICA is awesome because they sound like a bad mood on fire. They’re making some of the best, most engaging, most enraging and genuine hardcore in the Bay Area right now and I feel lucky to be around to see them. Best people. Best band.

FULL SUN – “Stay Awake” EP 
   Jeff Grant continues moving forward with his home recording project and continues to put out piles of insanely catchy power-poppy punk songs. His music occupies that same brain space of the MARKED MEN (or side projects), but less anxious and he gives his songs room to breathe. This one took a minute to grow on me, but when it did, I realized its genius and realized it would be stuck in my head for a long, long time.

NEEDLES – “Desesperacion” EP 
    This one is kind of a no brainer. Martin’s voice has been following me through my love affair with hardcore since my teenage years and the other members of this band have spent time in more great bands than you will ever be in. NEEDLES is fucking fierce as shit, committed to DIY and exactly what I want out of hardcore. This record is perfect.

    I shouldn’t really have to say anything more than “This is songs by Jeff Burke from the MARKED MEN”. The most brilliantly perfect, precise and wonderful melodic punk that you’ll ever hope to find.

COPYCATS – “Miss the Strange” EP 
    This band sent a demo in to MRR a few years ago and their songs have been stuck in my head ever since. They’re a little like Spain’s answer to FROZEN TEENS, but they have their own voice as well. Gritty, guitar-driven, ramshackle punk that will stick in your head for years. Four perfect songs.

 SWIFTUMZ – “Willy / Can We Get Together” 45 
   This record was mailed directly to me and I have no idea why, but I’m glad it was. Amidst a sea of posers, SWIFTUMZ plays beautifully executed, dreamy sounding, guitar-driven indie-pop that rises above the crap. These two songs are flawless.

    See the entry for RADIOACTIVITY.

    This EP takes elements of post-punk and that ever-present dark punk shit and slaps ‘em together to make some truly memorable shit. I want more.

Tapes (in five words or less)

RATS REST – Best tape of the year.
TIMES BEACH – Perfect indie-punk
FINAL FRONTIERS – Perfect pop about bullshit boulevards.
NEGATION – Post-punk, no wave brilliance.
TRAUMA HARNESS – Halloween Tape – Spooky punk without being hokey.
CAL AND THE CALORIES – Slimy punk rock with attitude
PUPPY VS DYSLEXIA – BOREDOMS worship done right.
HOUNDED WOUNDS / MUTANT VIDEO – The sounds inside my brain
BLACK PANTIES – Just one big bad mood.
NO STATIK – Remix tape – The perfect hardcore band.

Thursday, March 20, 2014


NERVOSAS - The Hemlock - 2014 - San Francisco, CA - Photo by Greg Harvester

VILLAGE OF SPACES - Ohmega Salvage - 2014 - Berkeley, CA - Photo by Greg Harvester

ONE REASON - Rhino's - 2005 - Bloomington, IN - Photo by Ben Rains

DIRTY MARQUEE - Bancroft Tower - 2011 - Worcester, MA - Photo by Mike Leslie

THE PEEPS - Bandito Burrito South - 1994 - Huntsville, AL - Photo by Blair Menace

NEON PISS - Dead Rat Beach - 2011 - Oakland, CA - Photo by Alex Turner

THE FUN GIRLS FROM MOUNT PILOT - Heart Of Huntsville Mall - 1995 - Huntsville, AL - Photo by Blair Menace

Sunday, March 16, 2014

ZEITGEIST - "Tour Tape" - 2013

   The first time I saw ZEITGEIST, I was having a pretty bad time and the last time I saw them was no exception. To be honest, I was having a Really Bad Time, but I knew that seeing them would probably make me feel better, even though they were playing in a shitty bar that I swore I would never step foot back into. When you're on tour though, it's hard to have much control over where your band is gonna play and maybe you're not aware that the venue you're playing at provides a platform for the absolute worst aspects of punk to bloom, unchallenged by outside forces. So, I went because ZEITGEIST still plays a good game even though they were dealt a shitty hand. Did I have to get really drunk to even think about walking in to that place? Well, yeah. Blacked out? Possibly.
   From what I remember, ZEITGEIST played their hearts out to a room half-full of walking shit stains (including myself) on a crappy weekday night. I bought this tape from them because I like their demo tape and I like their 12" record even more. On this tape, the band is progressing further into more of a melodic sound. They've always been melodic, but their singer Tilley is adding even more tunefulness to her screaming. There's a slight Mia Zapata and Kathleen Hanna influence creeping in, but only slightly. To type that out feels wrong, but I'm just gonna say it anyway. The tape is good. It's punk. The "ooooo"s on "Witch Girl really sold me on this tape though. Well, the whole song, but that part in particular. If I had moved to Pittsburgh instead of San Francisco (which almost happened), I would go see this band all the time.

Photo by Jake Reinhart.

I fucked up and the last song plays first. Don't let that stop you from enjoying.