Friday, December 12, 2014

TRRASH - Demo - Tape - 2014

   I've been away from this blog because I couldn't think about posting demo tapes by obscure bands while my mind was filled with all of the atrocities of the last few weeks...while black and brown people were getting murdered by white cops...while queer people..while trans people were getting murdered by cops and idiots and idiot cops. Clearly, I still can't think well enough to form real sentences. I don't know how to personally fit myself in to modes of resistance while taking care of my own mental and physical health...while being aware of giving space to the voices that truly matter in this whole debate. You don't need the updates from me, because the updates are being reported every second from more eloquent and important independent sources. Please stay informed. I keep learning new things as I get older and they work to re-enforce the important things that I already know:

  • Cops are useless
  • There is no such thing as a good cop because in order to be a cop, you have to already believe in an outdated system of "right and wrong" that is built on racism.
  • Smashing the windows of corporate stores is not "violence"
  • Everything is fucked.

    Moving on....TRRASH is fucked. It sounds like everything falling apart into a cacophonous mess (but not like the world falling apart...which is a big difference...that sounds like this at the 45 second mark turned all the way up on headphones). It's like a storm cloud moving through your living room and breaking everything in its someone just grabbed all the instruments and threw them down the stairs with a maniac, foaming at the mouth, crazed animal surfing on top of it with a microphone jammed down their throat.

They have a Soundcloud thing here.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

ROBOT POPE - Demo - Tape - 2005

   The other night in my room, a compilation of bands was playing on my stereo. Most of them were good, but when ROBOT POPE came on, I put my pen down and just stared at the receiver. I forgot just how good they were, mostly because I never got a copy of their tape and didn't live in Chattanooga (their home / my former one) anymore when they were an active band. Since we now live in the future, I sent a few quick texts and found all of the ROBOT POPE songs in my inbox within ten minutes.
    First off, whoa, this recording is rough, but I think the band's excellence shines through. The band consisted of Cousin Scott on bass, Bill (FUTURE VIRGINS, GIANT BAGS OF WEED and many more) on guitar and vocals, Daniel (ADD/C, BRIS and much more) on drums and Laura on vocals. According to mixed reports, all of this was recorded in a little studio on MLK in Chattanooga above JJ's bar, using a lot of the same gear that was used to record the ADD/C LP Keepin It Real....meaning a big Tascam mixer and a reel-to-reel 8 track. Even though this is recorded in a "studio", why does the guitar sound like that? Laura wanted her vocals to be almost inaudible because she was so nervous about singing for a band, but as you can see, there's absolutely no reason for that fear because she's a talented and extremely capable singer (see "Mortal Medicine" for indisputable proof).
   The band name comes from an inside joke from an ADD/C tour. Daniel was reading "an okay book, not a great book" (his words) called Project Pope by Clifford D Simak. His bandmates, Grady and Cole kept referring to it as "Robot Pope", based on the cover illustration and it became a running joke in the band to point out Daniel's "affliction for science fiction". When it came time to name this band, Daniel suggested ROBOT POPE as a way to neutralize the joke..and it stands alone as a pretty good band name anyhow.

Thanks to Daniel for sending over the tracks and providing info.
Thanks to Robbie and Shannon for extra info. 
Thanks to Laura for being okay with this going online.    
Scott and Laura live in Chattanooga and keep it real.
Daniel is in Berkeley and moves bacteria around on petri dishes, among many other things.
Bill is walking around with some cows in India. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

ATERPE - Demo - CD-R - 2012

   I think when I first heard this, I described it as "grindcore", a sub-genre I know almost nothing about. Now, I don't know what to call it. It has elements of grindcore, but it's also kind of catchy (I swear one of the guitar hooks could be easily translated to a pop-punk song). It's also just fucking weird. The singer sounds like he recorded his part without even considering the rest of the he was in another room...or another counbtry..or another world. Honestly, it almost sounds like he recorded them over the phone in an echo chamber. Add in the fact that the singer recorded the vocals in the ancestral language of the Basque people, Euskara and I am throroughly confused. Did I mention that this band is from Thailand? No. Did I mention that I kinda love this? I do.


I know you're curious. It's 3 minutes long.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

2X4 - Demo - Tape - 2014

   So, this tape will sail right by the folks who look here to find the lowest fidelity melodic punk on the internet and that's their loss. 2X4 is from Boston. They play hardcore. No hyphens. No bullshit. It's what is blasting out of the back door of my room right now to annoy my neighbors. Fuck everything.

"Society's a mess
Survive the mess
It's yours to deal with too"

Sunday, November 9, 2014

THE CONEHEADS - "Total Conetrol" - Tape - 2014

   Yesterday, I decided to take a trip over to Oakland to check out a record swap before meeting up with some old friends who I haven't seen in a while. Five seconds after I walked in to the backyard of the fucking fancy pizza place that was hosting the swap, I wanted to be anywhere else in the world. A lot of Oakland residents love to talk shit on San Francisco and all I could think was "Is this what you want, Oakland?" There was a sea of gelled-ass hair and cologne-soaked shits shopping at natural wood boutiques full of organic soaps or some fucking shit. There was also the usual people I see at the swaps doing their thing, but I couldn't block out the bullshit around me long enough to look at overpriced hardcore LP's. I walked outside and just laid down on the sidewalk. I had what can only be described as "a moment". As the Saturday shoppers walked around me, I just laid on a side street of Telegraph and listened to the whole CONEHEADS tape. When it ended, I got up, slammed some coffee and got the fuck out of that part of town...went up in the Berkeley hills into some nature with my friends...In the moments when I wasn't hanging out with people (on the train, walking between houses, on the train again, going to the store), this tape was blasting into my ears. It's possible that I listened to it 10-12 times yesterday.
   THE CONEHEADS are from Indiana. When I lived in Indiana, I didn't know of any good current bands in the entire state besides the ones who lived in the same town as me. Granted, the people in this band (and all of their friend's bands) were probably 8 years old when I lived there. I'm glad that there's great, exciting punk coming from those places now. They sound like DOW JONES AND THE INDUSTRIALS on speed or a more manic DEVO. I was so happy to hear a RESIDENTS cover, because they're one of my favorites, but I always wish punks would cover their songs rather than say, PRIMUS. There's a buncha fuckin nerds who know way more about the Northwestern Indiana punk scene than I do, but I'm pretty sure these guys come from the same amorphous gene pool that spawned bands like BIG ZIT and OOZE. I like those bands just fine, but this tape is entirely infectious and habit forming.

It's very, very rare that I ever post a tape if I don't own a physical copy of it, but I made an exception for this one because it's so good. I swiped these tracks and pic from Suds Denim, one of the few music blogs I pay attention to. If you know where I can get a copy of this tape (preferrably from the band), please get in touch and I'll send my hard earned cash to them. 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

INTERIOR 27 - Demo - Tape - 2014

   It's rumored that INTERIOR 27 practiced for a full year before they ever played their first show. They went through a bunch of changes before they ever hit the stage. Diane played drums. KTW played bass. Zoe played guitar. Diane moved to guitar. I played drums (for a day). KTB played drums. Diane sang. Laura played drums (?). Diane moved back to drums. Laura moved to vocals. Zoe and KTW did what they did and held it down through the chaos.
   When they finally played their first show, they already sounded confident and comfortable throughout their 12 minute set. That was at the beginning of this past summer. A couple of weeks ago, I watched them open up a show for RAKTA and MANE and it was the best I had ever seen them...which kind of sucked since the following day, they played their last show ever. (Sidenote: The RAKTA/MANE/INTERIOR 27 show consisted of all-female bands. The soundperson and door person were also women. I just wanted to point out how fucking nice it was to go to a show and not have some fucking dudes yelling at me for 3 hours). The best bands are usually the ones who don't stick around long enough, who only give you a few good songs to remember them by. Be sure to appreciate those bands while they are active and let them know that they made a difference in your life.

I read some other stuff about the band online and they were compared to bands that were so off the mark that 'I wondered if I even shared the same planet with the author. So, I decided to refrain from telling you anything about what the band sounds like. They are good. I love them. 

Tapes are still available. Email address ^^

Monday, November 3, 2014

MRR RADIO - #1425

   This week on MRR Radio, I hosted the show with Lyds. Since we were recording on Halloween, half the show is Halloween themed. The other half is all newer stuff.  I think it turned out pretty good. CONEHEADS are still encouraged to send me a copy of their tape or tell me how to order it.

Monday, October 27, 2014


    It's 6 am. I've been awake for 20 hours and I won't get a chance to sleep for another few hours. I'm not complaining. I've got a box of old tapes sitting on my floor that are waiting to be digitized. I'm bugging some other people to write about them so you don't have to only hear my opinion all the time. I think they're good tapes. You might disagree.
   In the meantime, I made this mix for you...just for you. If you download it, you can imagine that I made it specifically with your tastes in mind....and then decide if I succeeded or failed in making a mixtape that you would enjoy. Big surprise: It's mostly punk. There's also some not-punk on it. The years span from 1961 to the last couple of months. Enjoy or don't.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

RADIOACTIVES - Tape - 1997

   When I was 18, I played drums in a band called JOEY TAMPON AND THE TOXIC SHOCKS with my friends Joey and Neil. We played for a couple of years, put out some recordings and went on some tours. It was fun. One day, we were practicing in my bedroom and Joey said something to the effect of "I'm bored with this and I don't feel like I have anything relevant to sing about anymore." The band broke up on the spot, but within a week, Joey and I were already practicing with a new band in my room. We asked two sisters named Rachel and Heather to join us playing surf music. I spent most of my teenage years devouring all forms of garage punk and surf but had recently turned my full attention to classic punk and hardcore. The other three members of the band lived and breathed surf music 24/7....or maybe like 23/6.
   Long story short, I wasn't having fun playing surf music and it seemed like the others were really, really into it. I stuck around long enough to play a benefit show (I forget what it was for) and record this tape, but then went on my way. My friend Ben replaced me. He was also playing in RICE HARVESTER at the time and now plays in PINE HILL HAINTS.
   I think the band had plans to record an LP, but that never materialized. Actually, I don't even think they lasted too much longer after Ben joined the band. This tape was recorded on a reel-to-reel four track in the back room of my house on the corner of Dement and Ward* in north Huntsville, AL. Most of it was the first take.

*When we found the house at Dement and Ward near Five Points in Huntsville, my roommate Elijah and I wanted to move in just because it was on that corner. The house was a shithole. 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

VIAL - Demo - Tape - 2014

   There's a bar/venue in San Francisco on Polk Street called The Hemlock. Polk Street has a long history of being a cruising spot for hustlers, drag queens (and kings), entertainers of all kinds and much more. A friend of mine who grew up here said he used to drink at Kimo's Bar when he was underage, and he was funded by older men who were trying to fuck him. Years later, I would hang out with him when he worked the door there during bad metal shows and we both drank for free. These days, most of that era of Polk is long gone. Kimo's was sold. My friend moved away. You can probably still find some old men who want to fuck teenagers (easily), but I'm not sure which bar they frequent. What was my point? Oh yeah, the Hemlock.
  They're a few blocks down from where Kimo's used to be. They've gone through this phenomena that many businesses in the city have gone through: When they opened in 2001, they were considered to be kind of fancy,  evil gentrifiers. Now that Polk Street is even more of a hot spot for white partiers and fuck heads, the neighborhood has built up around the Hemlock, making them look, honestly, a little dumpy. I'm not meaning to cast a sympathetic eye on the place because, even though I know almost every single person who works there (and consider most of them a friend), I don't care much for it. And even though I've seen many, many good bands there (from RADIOACTIVITY to YI to BLACK PUS to FLESH WORLD to THE GIZMOS to everything in between), I never actually expect to see good bands who I've never heard of. Much less DIY bands who sell tapes for $2-3.
    So, yeah, I was surprised and excited to see VIAL when they came up from Los Angeles. I was in the back of the room when they started, but I knew within the first song that I needed to be in the front of the room watching them....but I remained in the back of the room because it was fuckin' packed and I'm not one of those dudes who pushes himself up to the front of the room because their experience is more important than anyone else's trip. I mean, if everyone was throbbing and foaming to the music in that fun way where everyone gravitates toward the stage at some point, sure, go for it....but let's be was a bar show in SF and everyone was standing there bobbing their heads and hoping no one would bump into their $5 micro-brew. More simply, VIAL was ruling. They play fierce, direct punk that is equal parts Dangerhouse Records and everything you already love about DIY punk in 2014 with no hint of professionalism or ego. I could have left as soon as their near-20 minute set ended....but I was actually there to see FLESH WORLD, so I figured I should stay. They were really good too.

Ask VIAL if they have any tapes left.