Tuesday, January 31, 2012

CARRIE NATIONS - Demo - 2002(?)

   CARRIE NATIONS was born in the little town of Athens, GA; a town that is known for its vibrant music scene that has produced countless amazing (and horrendously shitty) bands over the years. It's a place where the rent is cheap and the booze flows endlessly til the wee hours. Anyone who has ever given the town of Chattanooga a bunch of shit for its alcohol consumption should try hanging out in Athens for a week or two. You'll be wishing you were back on Cole's porch drinking tea in Tennessee in no time.
   We were talking about this band though, right? CARRIE NATIONS, I believe, didn't actually have a bass player when this demo was recorded (If I'm wrong, sorry Jon) and the other guys in the band recorded the bass parts themselves. They recorded it at Tight Pockets, the now-defunct all-ages show space in Athens, which has many countless stories of its own. Five of these six songs were re-recorded for their 2003 LP, "Be Still", but this demo shows the songs in an earlier, rougher form. I've been on tour with CARRIE NATIONS all over the East Coast, Midwest and the South, but I don't think I've ever heard them play the last song, "Dumpsters As Providers Of". Maybe it was just out of their repertoire by then? I don't know. Actually, I don't know much about this demo at all, except that it is good and you should listen to it. If you want to hear them play all of these songs a million times faster, then click here. Thanks to Chad for sending this recording to me.

CARRIE NATIONS accepting the Flagpole award for Best Punk Band in Athens. The funny part is that none of these people are in the band.

   By now, you may have heard that over the last weekend in my neighboring town of Oakland, there was a huge political march that intended to take over an abandoned building in hopes of establishing a "command center" for the local Occupy movement. Everyone has their issues with tactics and intent (including me), but I want it to be known that I support these actions wholeheartedly. My band was supposed to play either inside the building or outside of it on a bus, but that never happened because the cops exercised their power as brutish thugs by attacking innocent adults and children with gas and rubber bullets. If you only read mainstream media sources, they make it easy to point a finger at the protesters and see where they may be at fault. From their reports, it's easy to imagine a sea of black-clad people heaving boulders with makeshift catapults at innocent little cops just trying to do their job. What is actually happening is that the cops are completely out of control and attacking people for no reason. Here is a picture of the crowd marching on Saturday:
   There were families, young people, old people and little kids. I watched livestream footage of a cop knocking a middle-aged woman (who was doing absolutely nothing) backwards over her bike and then she was swarmed by 10 cops with batons drawn as she was arrested. Cops trapped people in a park, ordered them to disperse, then wouldn't let them disperse, and attacked them with tear gas in a residential area. City officials try to make protesters look bad by stating that they committed property damage by breaking down a fence. The reason they broke down the fence is because the cops trapped them, tear gassed them and then penned them in to make a mass arrest. People broke down the fence to escape (successfully) from the cops. (as a side note, the fence in question here was erected by the city around a city park at a very high cost to keep protesters out. Neighboring schools had previously used this park daily for physical education.)
   One last thing. The SF daily paper had this quote: "Among the most violent incidents that occurred Saturday night was in front of the YMCA at 23rd Street and Broadway. Police corralled protesters in front of the building and several dozen protesters stormed into the Y, apparently to escape from the police, city officials and protesters said. Protesters damaged a door and a few fixtures and frightened those inside the gym working out, said Robert Wilkins, president of the YMCA of the East Bay."
 For one thing, THAT is the "most violent incident"? That is not violence. That is some smart people escaping cops who are trying to pin them in and arrest them for a "crime" of walking around in the streets exercising their right to free speech. I found a quote elsewhere (I wish I could find it now, but I lost it) from a woman who said she was working out when a lot of protesters started running through the building. She said it kinda freaked her out, but she didn't actually feel in danger until she saw cops chasing them with their weapons drawn.
   The Oakland Police Department has really fucked up and history is going to look back on them in the same way that it has looked upon the cops in Alabama during the Civil Rights movements of the 1960's. I urge you to read articles written by independent sources who don't have corporate interests kicking money to them. If you would like some more stories about this, please check these out. Thanks
AlterNet - which includes a great picture of the cops teargassing themselves.
Also, keep in mind, that less than two short years ago, OPD said they didn't have enough money or resources to keep responding to certain crimes, including burglary, grand theft and failing to register as a sex offender. Article here.

Monday, January 30, 2012

TERRIBLES - "The Future As Seen From The Future // There's Too Much Everything" - CD-R - 2005

   This is the first album that I ever heard by TERRIBLES and it also the one that enamored me to them, thereby making me a lifetime fan (as opposed to a LIFETIME fan, which will never happen). As mentioned previously, they have been a band since 9th grade (going on their 15th year now) and they have rarely stepped foot outside of their environs of New England. It could be insularity. It could just be laziness, but THE TERRIBLES have stewed in their own town for so long that they have crafted a sound that, while inspired by many random sources, is wholly their own.
   This CD-R is apparently a concept album on chaos theory and shows the band still digging into their love of the MEAT PUPPETS, but also getting truly weird and delving into some elements that sound inspired by "Cacophony"-era RUDIMENTARY PENI. One of my favorites on this album, "Romancing the Bunsen" is about the universe unlocking its secrets and chaos, but sounds sort-of wistful and romantic. When I listen to this album, I can't help but conjure up images of a rainy Worcester, MA, goofy kids falling all over each other while dancing and big rotting houses.
   The packaging on this is insane. The front and back cover is a 3 color, intricate screen-print (see above) and it's sewn together to make an envelope (made by bass player, Mike Leslie). The lyric sheet is a giant 2 foot by 18 inch, 2 color, double sided print that is folded up into the envelope (made by guitarist Jamie Buckmaster) . There is also a second insert that is just a great drawing of their drummer, Matt Carroll with all of the song titles around him (made by...Matt Carroll). They did all of this crazy work for a CD-R release about chaos theory and they probably made 50 copies of it...many of which did not make it very far outside of Worcester, MA. It's this kind of weird, obsessive vision that really draws me to these people and this is exactly the kind of band that makes me feel like i'm not alone in this world.
The poster.

Ever since I first heard this, I can't stop thinking that there really is too much everything.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

SHOTWELL - "Geneva Avenue Fallout" - Tape - 1999

   SHOTWELL started back in 1994 (as SHOTWELL COHO) and they continue to (sort-of) exist as a band to this day. To me, and many others, they are as synonymous to the Mission District as burritos, norteños y sureños, street-sold churros and the Mission theater sign. Their rough, tuneful songs have mirrored the class struggles, police repression and the pure fucking joy of living in San Francisco for the past 17 or 18 years. The band has been a revolving door of drummers, bass players, and second guitarists with Jimmy Broustis manning the vocal / guitar duties since day one. On record, Shotwell is flawlessly flawed, shambolic and raw. Most of their albums and singles have been on constant rotation anywhere I've lived for the past 15 years and many of their songs have helped to inspire a constant, snarling disdain for authority. SHOTWELL yearns to live in a world that is free of cops, drinking in public laws and the upper class. A live SHOTWELL show can go in a few different directions: On one hand, it can be the best thing ever - dancing punks, a tight band, Jimmy's long, rambling diatribes that end up making such a concise point that you'll think about it for the next two days. On the other, they can be a terrifying, depressing affair where the band sounds like harsh noise, Jimmy is trying everything he can to make the songs fall apart and someone gets punched. I've still managed to have fun at those shows though...somehow. Alcohol is usually involved.

    This tape is one of my favorite things that SHOTWELL has ever recorded. It shows the band at a really tight, ragged point and the songs are all top-notch. Jimmy asks a few timeless, musical questions, such as "Where the fuck is Eppli?" (sources are still unsure) and "Do we have what it takes? We've got 5 years....fuck no.." (it's now been well over 5 years and sources are still confused as to what we had 5 years to accomplish). Jimmy's voice does that beautiful thing that it does where it goes from a half-laugh to a snarl that lets you know that he's not fucking around. All the while, he is backed up by the breakneck, steady drumming of Iggy Scam and the solid bass-work of Greg Snyder....and then Carl Rice...How many bands do you know of that change band members so quickly that they can't even keep the same people throughout one album? Most of these songs later appeared on their fabulous split LP with MIAMI (which came with a 30 page zine that chronicled the efforts of the Mission punks to start having punk shows on the streets of SF after all of the all-ages warehouses got shut down), except for their excellent cover of the AVENGER'S "Cheap Tragedies", which can only be found on this tape.
     I think my favorite line from this tape is "...tell me to get a fuckin' job! Fuck you Nazi, I'm throwing rocks!"
    If you want to keep up with SHOTWELL's website, which has not been updated or relevant since 2001, you can find it HERE..

This is for the people who are still in the streets in Oakland today, fighting for economic justice and against police brutality.
Photo of SHOTWELL playing an illegal show at 16th and Mission BART in 2001 by lil' Sarah T.

 And now, to the best of my abilities, I'm going to try and name every person who has ever played in SHOTWELL. Please chime in if I missed anyone.

Jimmy Broustis                    Buzz Lee
Tony Rojas                          Iggy Scam / Erick Lyle
Mason                                Paul Curran
Aaron Cometbus                 Ivy Jeanne
Phil                                    Pete Simonelli
Chris Myers                       Antonio Ramon
Ben                                    Colin Atrophy
Greg Harvester                   Ken Williams
Carl Rice                            Greg Snyder
Steve Moriarity                  Matt Birdflu
Buddha                              Morgan Stickrod
Ryan Maddox                    Joey Alone
Paul Barger                        Abe
Garritt Heater                     Wade Driver
Cinque Adams                    E.r. Conner
Ernst                                  Alan Disaster
Shellhead                           Matt Powell
Todd Siemens                    Brontez Purnell
Caroline Paquita                Mike Wilson

Saturday, January 28, 2012

THIS IS MY FIST - LP Demos - Tape - 2004

TIMF live at The Stork Club. Photo by Adam Pfahler.

   THIS IS MY FIST started around 2002 and I knew they would be my new favorite band before I even heard them. You see, their singer / guitarist Annie had previously played in Chicago's AMBITION MISSION and I knew numerous people who had made mix tapes comprised solely of the songs she sang. This is not a slight to the rest of the band, because they also knew how to sling a chord and sing a song (listen to "When Babies Attack" for proof), but Annie had something going on that the rest of us wanted to hear more of. Lucky for us, she started this band after A.M. broke up (well, YEARS later) and sang every goddamn song all the time. The first time I ever saw them, at Mission Records in SF, I wanted a tape of 50 songs immediately. Unfortunately, they had written maybe 7 songs and they weren't recorded yet. Annie's raspy, yet sweet voice was coupled with her ear for a great guitar hook and backed up by Will and Todd, who made up a rather formidable rhythm section. I was hooked. Their first 7" came out a little later. It wasn't everything I wanted it to be. It seemed like they were holding back or something. It's rumored that the guy who recorded it was telling Annie not to scream so much and kept bugging her to sing more softly. I actually don't know if that's true, but a few folks told me that. (now, I like that record a lot). 
   Later on, I heard they were recording an LP and I couldn't wait to hear it. But, I did have to wait..and wait.....and wait a whole lot more because they took so long to record it. Apparently, they were re-recording stuff, adding guitar tracks, re-doing whole songs, rewriting lyrics, etc, etc....This went on for a couple of years. When it finally came out, I had completely forgotten that it was supposed to exist and the band had already broken up. Their LP, "A History of Rats" was everything I had ever wanted from THIS IS MY FIST and more. It was tough. It was tender. They hated the fuck out of George Bush and let you know it. The rasp was back in Annie's voice even though she had stopped smoking. I rejoiced and listened to the record almost every day when I woke up. It was better than coffee...okay, okay, it went really well with coffee...let's not get carried away here. See for yourself: You can still order it from No Idea.
    This tape has early versions of some songs from the LP and a couple of subsequent 7"'s. The tune "Country Time" is an alternate version of "E-Ville Pt 2" that has completely different lyrics. Other songs have alternate parts to them and it's interesting to listen to it and see how much some of the songs changed over time. If you're a nerd about this band like I am, this is a really great listen. You don't have to be the world's biggest fan though to thoroughly enjoy this.  
   The good news about THIS IS MY FIST is that they are back together with a different lineup, playing regularly and writing new songs. I played a sweaty basement show with them in Chicago (unfortunately for me and the rest of the Bay Area, that is their home now) last September and they were just as good as ever. After scraping my jaw off the floor after their set, I couldn't stop telling them how good they still are. Please do yourself a favor and go see them to dance your ass off. If you're on the East Coast, they are playing at Ladyfest Boston in February with a ton of amazing bands. Go for them. Stay for all the other great bands, informative workshops and new friends. Until then, blast this tape on repeat.


  EDIT: Late note from Annie: "This was recorded at Dutch Oven by Craigums. It is still me, Todd and Will.so it had to be late 2003 or early 2004. I'm pretty sure my mom was in town and she was also there when we recorded this. SHOTWELL played in our kitchen that week and my mom made lasagna for the people who were there. Morgan Stickrod's backpack caught on fire and a hackeysack fell out. Needless to say, we were all shocked.....This doesn't have much to do with the recording, but it's all kind of lumped together at this point."

This tape is from the collection of Erick Lyle.

Friday, January 27, 2012

THE JETSONS - EP and Comp Track - 1981

   In 2001 or so, my friend, Amy made me a mix tape that was made solely of bands from Indiana and she included the LP comp "Red Snerts", which compiled bands from the Hoosier state that were affiliated with the Gulcher Records label. One of the bands that really stuck out for me (besides the ZERO BOYS and DOW JONES AND THE INDUSTRIALS) was a little band from Bloomington called THE JETSONS Their track on the comp has a lite power pop feel to it, but has more damaging lyrics like "I wanna puke, I wanna vomit on your feet, but you're such a cliche punk, you'd think I was being real neat."  I wanted to hear everything this band ever put out, but had no idea how to find it.
   I later found out (from the Maximum Rock N Roll archives) that THE JETSONS had one EP that came out on Gulcher Records back in 1981 and then they broke up. The first song "Suicidal Tendencies" has a really warm, totally early 80's feel to it and is just as good (or better) than their comp track. My favorite part is when the singer is chanting "Kill myself ! Kill myself! Kill myself! Kill myself!" at the end. The other two songs "Genetically Stupid" and "Killing" are also great and make me want to hear more by them, but this is all there is since their demise came soon after this recording.
   Members of this band were also in the LATEX NOVELTIES, one of Indianapolis' first punk bands and one of them went on to form THE UNATTACHED in Worcester, MA. That is all I know. I love this band.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


   Iggy Scam put out this tape in 1997 and it brought to life a ton of bands that I had only read about (mostly in SCAM, the zine) or heard about by word of mouth. It was a revelation to hear real, live songs by bands with names like DARVIS BROWN AND THE SMOKE ASSES, VANBUILDERASS, LES TURDZ, and KREAMY LECTRIC SANTA. It was more than that. It was fucking exciting and it changed my life. It helped to open up my life to a whole world of complete and utter badasses who mostly have remained that way through the years. This is where I first heard "Revolution Sound" by THE STUN GUNS, where I first heard THE DRILLER KILLERS (who inspired me to make my own shirt with a Sharpie), where I was introduced to the genius of "Can't Take It Away" by THE MORONS and so, so much more. "Stupid Fresh" by KLS still sends chills down my spine every time I hear it. This is also where I first heard THE FUNYONS, a band powered mostly by one man named Steve who plays his simple-yet-insanely-catchy songs only on the streets, which I've always respected immensely. You may also know Steve as the principal songwriter behind ONION FLAVORED RINGS, who have been also churning out quality pop-punk for 10 years, even though they have slowed down in recent years. The cool thing is that Steve still plays FUNYONS songs unannounced on the streets of San Francisco all the time.
   This tape proclaimed "30 bands! 51 songs from The Region!" and that term (the region) has stuck around for all these years and has evolved into "region rock". But what the fuck is "region rock" and why should you care? I can't answer the latter, but I can tell you that the term "The Region" was coined by Cinque Adams. It  is loosely defined as an area in the southeastern US that is shaped like a triangle with points in Dogtown, AR, Tom Foote;s house in Chattanooga, TN and the ruins of an old hotel called "The Mutiny" in Coconut Grove in Miami. Bands from The Region mostly shared (and continue to share) ideologies, band members and much more. I don't want to define it too much because it's not mine to define. It's ever-shifting and belongs to the punks of the southeast. Don't think about it too much. Just close your mind.
   The songs were compiled by Iggy using (I'm sure) the cheapest of equipment and the barest of essentials. The same could be said for many of the bands recording their songs. The music was dubbed onto tapes stolen from chain stores and distributed through the US by touring bands, traveling kids, punk post, and a couple of small distributors. I remember getting 10 of these in the mail from Iggy and they were all snatched up by the punks in my town within a couple of hours. I don't even have a copy of this anymore.
   I did a sequel to this comp three years later, which you can find right here. This comp was originally posted on Region Rock and More, (so you can ask him why all the songs are weirdly numbered and out of order) but is no longer available there since Megaupload was shut down by the feds. I wanted to keep it around and easy to access, in case people want to hear it. It's an important document in the history of southeastern punk rock. This is for Forrest Haye, Andrew Ross Powell, Chris Cottie, Brian Turd, Victor Wiley, Mike O'Brien and any other winners we've lost along the way.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

QUADRILLION BABES - "Breast Friends" - Tape - 2008

   I was living in Bloomington, IN for a few years and found myself in a bit of a depression, not knowing what to do with myself in the last year before I finally moved away. I kept seeing this teenage girl at parties who wore her hair in two braids that went past her waist. She was always standing in the corner, looking eager to join in at dance parties, but seeming too shy to do so. I started talking to her whenever I saw her (I was usually drunk), whether or not she talked back to me. Our conversations were brief and noncommittal. Like, once I found out her name was Marilyn. I know it sounds creepy, but I honestly just wanted to be her friend. She was painfully shy and I was horrendously overbearing, but we slowly became something more than acquaintances, but not quite friends yet.
   There was a "Band in a Hat" drawing (where people put their names in a hat and someone draws out names in groups of four and...voila, you have a band) and fate put Marilyn and I in a band together with a friend named "Myke with a Y" (our 4th guy showed up once with no equipment, watched us silently and left....we never heard from him again). Marilyn had only played solo before and this was her first band. She brought a few songs to practice that were simple and catchy. Myke wanted to play the state anthem of Indiana for some reason. I came up with a hundred or so band names by thumbing through the dictionary and grouping two random words together without looking at them first...like "Stopped Venue", "Burning Month" or "Nothing Clubs". I read the list aloud to Marilyn and "Quadrillion Babes" made her laugh the hardest, so we agreed that it should be the name of the band. After the Band in a Hat show, Myke left the country, my friendship with Marilyn solidified and we decided to keep playing music together.
QUADRILLION BABES at Guilty Pleasures "Band in a Hat" show. Photo by Ginger Alford.

   Our friend, Leah played bass with us for the equivalent of about 5 and a half minutes. We decided to ask our friend, Chiara to play bass, even though she had two children, school and artistic commitments. She was stoked to do it and we continued on until I moved away to San Francisco.
      JRD recorded this tape in his basement on a four-track and I feel like we did the whole thing in 2-3 hours...maybe less. Chiara and I kept foolishly convincing Marilyn to leave in any screw-ups because it would make it more interesting. JRD laughed at us..or with us....take your pick. (by the way, you can also record with him in Bloomington at Vegas Hotel.). It sounds a little rushed and flubbed, but that's our fault. We were having a lot of fun and that's the important part.
QUADRILLION BABES at Sweet Hickory in Bloomington. Photo by Joe McCann

   Like I said, I moved away to SF and I'm still there. I do this writing and I play in NEON PISS. I'm also a social worker, but this is about music, I think. Chiara ended up in Chicago, working on her art and great writing about disabilities, sickness and life.. She also wants to play music, so if you're looking to start an awesome band in Chicago and you need a bass player, get in touch with her. She's a lot of fun to play music with.  Marilyn started a band called AYE NAKO while she was still in Bloomington and they were much better than QUADRILLION BABES. Then, she moved out to Oakland and played in FLEABAG (with Joe from AYE NAKO) and DIRTY MARQUEE (with me, again). Not content to stay in one place, she moved again to Brooklyn (and now goes by Mars) and started a new version of AYE NAKO (with Joe again!) that rules harder than everything she's done musically thus far. I'm proud and honored to have played in this short-lived band with these two great people. 

More live photos by Joe. Thanks!
Chiara with a very large cat. Bad kitty.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

DRAW THE LINES - Olympia Music Compilation - Tape - 2011

   I was tricked into buying this tape, but that's okay because it's really good. You see, I ran into the band DOGJAW a couple of times and our bands even played together in Seattle last year. I like them a lot. They play slow, driving, droning music with two intertwining female voices that are both haunting and commanding. I saw them play at a great house show in SF and wanted to buy something by them. I bought this tape without looking at the track listing and then later realized that it was a compilation of bands from their hometown of Olympia, Washington. Their guitarist, Meg offered my money back when I said something about it, but I decided to keep it because DOGJAW are quality folks and I would expect them to have some quality shit with them on their tour. I was right.
   DOGJAW opens up this tape with two sprawling, beautiful, epic songs that break the ten minute mark (combined). They are followed by CRUDE THOUGHT who blast through 3 fast, driving punk songs. Bay Area locals may be happy to know that CRUDE THOUGHT will be in the area at the end of February with the ultra-hyped (all deserved) HYSTERICS. (also, DOGJAW will be here again in March). Next up is ANASTATICA, who I initially wrote off as being kinda dramatic and hokey, but then they grew on me immediately and became one of my favorite songs on this comp. It's super stripped down, DIY, feminist black metal. Unfortunately, they broke up, so my hopes of headbanging to these songs live, ever so slowly and forcefully are now dashed. They remind me of the best parts (read: all of it) of the acoustic songs by DOOMSDAY CAULDRON. Next up, I feel like DOGJAW (the organizers of this comp, I believe) is trying to pull one over on me by throwing in a French band called BIT PART. They're from France, right? Is there an Olympian BIT PART? I don't know, but whatever nationality they choose, they are fast, punk and great. Side two starts of with HARK HOW THE BELLS, which takes a few songs from their demo, which you can find by clicking on that link. PITTED YOUTH follows it up with a dirge-y, screamy approach that rules. I regret not watching them when my band played with them, but I was just too sweaty and tired to deal with anything (because I'm old). MARGY PEPPER is kinda minimalist and reminds me of early K Records stuff. BROKEN WATER closes out the tape with a ruling song that sounds like it could have been out an outtake from "Daydream Nation" with elements of MY BLOODY VALENTINE, which I'm sure they're not too happy to hear, but that's what it sounds like to me. Deal with it.

If you'd like to get your own copy of this tape, don't hesitate to write to dogjawolympia@gmail.com and they will hook you up.

Monday, January 23, 2012

JACKWACKER - "Things From Inside Your Body" - LP - 2006

   In 2005 or 2006, I hitched a ride to Louisville, KY to go see IMPRACTICAL COCKPIT play at a little neighborhood bar. They were the only band on the bill and they played a great, sprawling hour-long set that literally cleared the room of every paying patron in the building. They had opened up the doors to the bar and the torrential downpour outside was blowing into the building. We thought that the burly biker-looking bartenders and door-guy were gonna be pissed off that the band had driven away their customers and left them with a weirdo band, their friend (me, who wasn't buying anything), the guy who set it up (Kris) and the one other spectator (hi Christina!). After playing the last note of the set, the dudes at the bar, who had been staring sternly the whole time with their arms crossed, asked "So, are you guys into SUN RA and BEEFHEART?" It turns out that the guys at the bar were stoked to hear improvisational noise and skronky sounds. They didn't give a fuck that we ran everyone off and they gave us a lot of free drinks. We went back to Kris' house afterwards to see his insanely huge record collection and talk nerdy about FRED LANE and DAVEY WILLIAMS until the wee hours. He said that he helped with a collective called Black Velvet Fuckre that had just put out a triple LP by his group VALLEY OF ASHES that had already sold out before it even got pressed. I knew that this guy must be up to something good if he can manage that.
    After getting back home to Bloomington, I found this LP by a band called JACKWACKER and bought it for these two reasons: They were a local band from the early 90's and Black Velvet Fuckre had put it out. When I got home, I was not prepared for the weird, mega-distorted, totally fucked onslaught that greeted my ears. At first, I couldn't really tell what the hell was going on, but I knew that I liked it. The band consisted of only two guys, but it sounded like three or four. The guitarist was playing a guitar that had 3 bass strings and 3 guitar strings on it. The drummer was playing...well, a drum set. There was some intermittent howls and yelps, but most of the vocals were minimal. Some hacks in the music journalism field keep comparing them to LIGHTNING BOLT, but I don't really think it's an apt description. For one, they predated LIGHTNING BOLT by years and they were far more minimal, more jazzy and way more drone-y at times. A lot less freak-out and a lot more straight-up improv.
  I had a really hard time finding out any info about them when I got this record. From what I could tell, they lived in Bloomington, Indiana in the early 90's and recorded a lot of these songs live in basements around town. Then, they moved to Madison, WI and recorded the rest before breaking up. I asked people around town if they knew anything about the band and no one really did. I asked old-timers and lifelong residents, but no one I asked had ever even heard of them.
   I played 3rd guitar (!!) in a doomy sludge band called GOURMET SCUM and we were invited to play with a lot of other folks on a local radio show where each band was asked to do one original song and one cover by a local of any era. We chose to "interpret" a JACKWACKER song ("Hashslinger") live and in front of an audience at a downtown auditorium. After our ramshackle barrage of drop-D sludge, a guy walked up to me, said he appreciated the JACKWACKER cover and he didn't think anyone remembered them. I asked if he ever saw them and it turned out that he was the drummer, Rob. He said that they played a lot around Bloomington, but no one ever seemed to "get" them or appreciate what they were doing. After moving to Madison, they broke up after a year or so and life led Rob back to Bloomington, where he stopped playing punk/noise and got more into free-form jazz and improv. I didn't ask him much more about it because he seemed wholly uninterested...and there was a noise nerd around town who kept completely fucking hounding him for info...so I backed off (also, after this show, the noise nerd assumed we were a JACKWACKER cover band and was trying to get us to play shows as JACKWACKER, which we never did or acknowledged...because we were our own band.)
   This record came from out of nowhere for me and I am really glad to see that this kind of noise was going on in the Midwest in the early 90's. It's destructive, cathartic, and insane. I love it.

THE SLACKERS - Tape - 1994

   Remember back in the day, about 13 hours ago, when I posted that SLACKERS discography and said something like "Well, it's not a real discography because they put out a tape that I don't have."? Blair Menace, a Huntsville native and lifetime punk, quickly sent over this rip of their tape. NOW, you have their entire discography. This tape is warbly and fucked from years of hard living (plus, it was probably not in the best state in its original form), but it still punk as fuck and awesome.

  Download SLACKERS Tape.
Link updated 4/6/15. RIP Heiko)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

THE SLACKERS - Discography - 1993-1995

   I bought a drum set from my cousin for $100 in 1988 when I was 12 years old. I didn't know how to play it, but I banged on it every day and tried to come up with something that remotely resembled anything that I had ever heard in my life. Most of the time, it was fruitless and sounded like a 12 year old banging on some trash. I had read articles in magazines about how when THE RAMONES came along, punks around the world were inspired to pick up guitars and start their own bands because all you needed was 3 chords and a steady beat. The articles would talk about how laughably simple their songs were. When I listened to THE RAMONES, I heard untouchable genius that could not be replicated. Sure, I could sorta play "Bltzkrieg Bop" on guitar (I even taught my dad when I was 13. He had never touched a guitar in his life), but that fucking machine-like beat that Tommy Ramone was playing was impossible for me. I would play the drums for hours and not even come close to sounding anything like it. I constantly felt like a failure at music, but soldiered on, playing in teenage punk bands that never amounted to much. I had this idea that your band had to sound perfect and you had to be on a record label to ever put anything out. My bands would make tapes in editions of 3-25 because we didn't know what else to do.
    As time moved on, I heard bands like BEAT HAPPENINGRAOOUL and SKINNED TEEN, who helped me to realize that you don't have to be a pro musician to play music and put out records. But the biggest influence to me at that time, who helped illuminate a path to a greater understanding of DIY, was THE SLACKERS. They lived two hours north of me in Huntsville, AL and they were punk as fuck. The punks in my town had some cool bands (like HEAVENLY BANGING CANNON, WAFFLE HOUSE RIOTERS, and THE SPASTARDS), but THE SLACKERS were actually putting out records, touring, setting up shows and living their punk lives 24 hours a day. When I heard their first 7", "Where Were You in 92?", I laughed because it was so ramshackle and amateur, but also catchy and punk. Even I could play drums as good as their drummer (I found out later that even though Matt set up a bass drum in front of him, he didn't use it). I knew that I had to see these guys live.
   One of the first times I saw THE SLACKERS play was at a thrift store in Huntsville (next door to the northside Bandito Burrito, for any locals reading) with HEAVENLY BANGING CANNON and THE FUN GIRLS FROM MT PILOT. I remember that during their set, everything just kept breaking and falling apart, but they just kept playing. I think I remember their bass player, Joey getting naked and yelling a bunch. It probably sounded like crap, but they were way more fun than almost any band I had ever seen. It was really fun and inspiring to see this band and they changed everything for me. When I got back home, I immediately got my band to cover "Scram", off of their second 7" and no one in the band was excited about it because they really wanted to sound like PROPAGANDHI. It was disheartening and I gravitated more and more towards the scrappy punk that was rumbling from the Huntsville scene until I moved there the day after I graduated. I lived in my car for my first summer in Huntsville, usually parked right down the street from the van that the SLACKERS singer, Heiko lived in.
SLACKERS live at Lucy's Record Shop, Nashville, TN. 1994

   Joey (formerly of SHITBOY FROM OUTERSPACE and CHEESE ASS CHRIST) played the bass and his whiny, squeaky voice was a drastic contrast from Heiko's gravel-throated roar. Together, they sometimes did a call and response that sometimes worked, sometimes didn't, but was always entertaining. Their guitarist, Robert wrote the more poppy songs and provided a raw, fucked guitar sound that could only be made with the cheapest of equipment. Their drummer, Matt was barely hanging onto the beat in the beginning, but like I said, it meant a lot to this dumb teenager from the sticks. Their first songs like "I Wanna Destroy Music" and "Fatto The Cop" were anthems to me, helping to instill an early hatred of cops and a complete disdain for top 40 radio music. They followed their first 7" with "Circle A Your Day" in 1994, which showed them playing a little tighter, but not by much. The songs "$70 Rock Star" and "You Can't Do Just What You Want To Do" show a little more effort than their first 7", but retains all of the anger they've reserved for sellouts, posers, rich assholes and society at large. Their last recorded effort was a split 7" with the aforementioned FUN GIRLS and shows the band at their tightest. It always felt good as a teenager in Huntsville to sing along to "Society". "Fuck you and your racism! Fuck you and your sexism! Fuck you and your capitalism!" In "I Was A Teenage Anarchy", they sing about sniffing glue, making your own clothes, and being a punk. It fucking ruled and the complete and utter DEAD KENNEDYS rip-off part still kinda makes me laugh.
   In addition to their other tours, THE SLACKERS went on a one show tour out to California where they played at Gilman and ended up jumping onto a show at Epicenter. When they returned to Alabama, they left Heiko in Oakland (where he remains to this day) and broke up. They played one last show at the Tip-Top Cafe in Huntsville where punks came up to do their own impression of Heiko's singing for the band, since Heiko was stranded 3000 miles away. At the end of their set, Joey announced, "I'm starting a new band tomorrow called JOEY TAMPON AND THE TOXIC SHOCKS. If you want to be in it, talk to me about it." Even though I didn't really know Joey, I told him I wanted to be in his band since THE SLACKERS meant so much to me. Without knowing if I even played drums or not, Joey invited me to be in the band and true to his word, we had our first practice the next day. We were a band for the next 3 years and that dumb, talent-less 12 year old drummer inside of me was stoked beyond belief to actually be doing something that I never thought was even possible at one point in my life: playing in a punk band that put out records.
   THE SLACKERS also appeared on the "Play At Your Own Risk" compilation on Recess Records (now resisting the urge to toss out an aside about how Recess was once fun and punk, but has negated their credibility and relevance by putting out the newest SCREECHING WEASEL 12") and posthumously offered up 2 unreleased songs that appeared on the "Fuck The East Bay, This is N.O.K." comp. They are both in this download and they rule. I guess this isn't a complete discography because there is also a tape floating around of some more unreleased songs. If you have that, please send it to me, digitally or otherwise (emphasis on the otherwise).  Now concludes this lengthy essay on a band that you may not care about.

Download it
Link updated on 4/6/15. RIP Heiko)


If you want to read EVEN MORE about the band, check out my old buddy, Seth's blog right here.

Saturday, January 21, 2012


  When I was a teenager living in Alabama, I thought that Maximum Rock N Roll was a totally useless rag that covered shitty bands and stupid attitudes that had nothing to do with my life whatsoever. Now, I write for them. I came to realize that MRR is only as good as what the punks put into it, since it is largely contributor based. Sure, I still think there is some complete shit within its pages, but I think it is fairly representative of the worldwide punk scene, which also has many shitty parts. If you play in a band, write a zine, run a show space or eat, breathe and live punk 24/7, please contribute something to the magazine. Also, they are still looking for a new head coordinator. If you think you can handle that responsibility, get in touch with them.
   Thanks to MRR (and Paul) for the excellent write-up about Remote Outposts on their blog...and thanks to them for continuing to exist and be punk, relevant, and fiercely DIY.

50 MILLION - Live at Mission Records - Tape - 1999

   Previously, I have rattled on and on and ON about 50 MILLION being the best band in the world, so I will keep my ramblings short this time. I'll leave this post mostly up to Erick Lyle, who played drums on this recording and loaned this tape to ye olde Outpost.

   "1999 was a rough year in the Mission - all under ages spaces were closed by cops in the gentrifying dot-com boom. Yuppies everywhere. All the great bands like HICKEY broken up. Most of the scene spiraling into drug-filled wreckage. 50 MILLION did not give up, however! I was asked to join on drums and Wade moved to lead guitar. We practiced 5 hours a day, pushing our amps in shopping carts to rehearse at Starcleaners (ed. note: a former art/show space off of Mission Street near 18th where Jen from Shellshag lived along with many other freaks over time) and I did what I could to help Wade realize his vision for a new double LP, "The Song Remains Insane." We played as many shows as possible to work on this new material (I think we played Kimo's a bunch when it was still a queer bar and you had to wear drag to play there. I cherish great memories of going to steal lipstick and eyeliner at Walgreen's on Polk St with Shell). The thing is, no one cared. It was just a dark time. The scene was in ruins, but we tried. That record even got recorded but never came out. This show is from Mission Records with THE NEED from Olympia. We refused to play any of "the hits", just all new shit. So at the end, Bochay, Pablo and Jason sang "Baltimore" to us. Very sweet. "

   The lineup on this one was Wade and Shell on guitars and vocals, Capt Norlon on bass and vocals and Iggy Scam (Erick) on drums. I have a few random songs on a tape from that double LP and they are really good. If anyone wants to put out that beast (if the source tapes still even exist), get in touch with me and I will get you in touch with them. Enjoy this crazy sounding live set from 1999.

Download 50 MILLION Live
(link updated 8/12/16)

Friday, January 20, 2012


  As you may well know, Megaupload was shut down and I fear that Mediafire (which I use to host every music file on this site) may not be far behind. If you have good recommendations for file hosting sites that are both free and reliable, I want to hear what you have to say. In the event that Mediafire shuts down, I want to keep doing this site and make it easy for you to hear all this music.
                        Greg Harvester

SHAFFERS - Live on WNYU - Tape - 1995

SHAFFERS playing in a backyard somewhere in the 90's. Photo by Josie.

   This is part two of yesterday's post.

   If you want to get truly technical about it, this should be part one, since the SHAFFERS actually played first on the radio broadcast that day, back in 1995. Much has been said, ballyhooed, and shouted from the mountaintops about the STUN GUN's performance, which left the SHAFFERS standing a little bit outside of the spotlight. As mentioned previously, the SHAFFERS were on tour with the STUN GUNS for about 3 months, which tightened up their performance to the finest it ever was in their existence. On this live radio broadcast, they are playing lightning fast and this ended up being one of the best recordings they ever had.
   The SHAFFERS were originally from Dalton, GA and moved to Chattanooga, TN in the mid-90's. I remember asking Eric Nelson (their guitarist) once why they moved there. Were there other punk bands in the town? A good record store? Anything? Eric just said it was simply the biggest city that was really close to them that wasn't Atlanta. It was that simple. They wanted to get out of Dalton, and Chattanooga was both close by and cheap. Since then, a ton of punks have passed through that town. Some have stuck around and dug in their heels to make that city a destination for traveling punks and touring bands. Many have made their own mark there with record labels, a record/arts store, a recording studio (run by SHAFFERS bassist, Mike Pack) and a punk-run vegan restaurant/show space. I'm not gonna get into it here, but I can definitively trace the origins of all of these things back to the SHAFFERS moving to Chattanooga. It's impressive and awe-inspiring, to say the least. If you would like to know and hear even more about the SHAFFERS, then you can look right here. For now, enjoy their ruling set on WNYU back in 1995.

Updated 2013

 If you're ever in Chattanooga...or even if you're not....check out these punk-run, locally owned places.
Leo Handmade Gallery - Records, zines, handmade clothes, crafts and much more.
Sluggo's North Vegetarian Cafe - Completely punk staff, great vegan food, good coffee, and punk shows in the basement...oh yeah, also lots of beer on tap and super cheap drink specials.
Do Ya Hear We - Local record label that has not put out a bad record. They also put on a yearly 4 day music festival that is one of the best events that I have ever been to.
Mauled By Tigers - Another great record label that put out the flawless HIDDEN SPOTS LP as well as the ADD/C LP and newest SHELLSHAG record.
TINY BUZZ - (no internet presence) Mike Pack's studio, which is responsible for records by SHELLSHAG, LANDLORD, BLACK RAINBOW, ADD/C and many, many more....

  There's probably more stuff I could tell you about, but my mind is fuzzy because I'm typing this in the library since the internet is out at my house....over and out.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

STUN GUNS - Live on WNYU - Tape - 1995

STUN GUNS live at Churchill's in Miami. Photo by ??
   This very recording right here, which is legendary and almost mythical in my mind, is one of the reasons I started this blog in the first place. When I was typing the words to the first or second post ever, I thought "I have to get a hold of that live STUN GUNS tape and make a good digital copy of it one day." My good friend, Erick Lyle was kind enough to mail it across the country, along with 30-40 other tapes that are on loan to me for a bit. If you're as happy as I am about this, be sure to buy the man a coffee the next time you see him. Enough about that....let's get the stories rolling. Here is what George Kelley, the bass player of the STUN GUNS had to say about this time in the band's history.

  "This would have been in August, 1995 towards the end of a nine week tour with the almighty SHAFFERS from Chattanooga. Considering that it was eight people traveling together for over two months and doing all sorts of destructive things to themselves, I don't think there's one person in either band who wouldn't have called it an amazing experience. I sure would.
   We had our fair share of fucked up shows on that tour (it wouldn't have been the STUN GUNS otherwise) but we nailed it a lot too. A day or two after the WNYU show, we had a gig in Manhattan - I think it was called the Gnat Club - that I still think was our best performance ever. We were just super tight at that point, at least when we could stand up.
   So, this would be a little slice of that time. Probably equal parts sloppy and inspired with a little Paul (Enema) Lecours cursing on-air to drive the staff nuts, too. But we genuinely loved what we were doing and loved each other, too. And not a day goes by that I don't miss Andrew Ross Powell and wish that he was still here."
STUN GUNS in Alabama in 1996. Photo by me.

   Erick Lyle has always been a big supporter, friend and archivist of the STUN GUNS since day one. It is because of his tape comp "Technical Difficulties From Day One" that I ever heard the amazing live version of "Revolution Sound" from this recording (the same goes for many, many other people). This is his take on this era of the STUN GUNS and the southern punk of the mid-90's...

    "This is the closest thing to a foundational moment as survives today for what is now popularly called "The Region". Sure, Eric Nelson's band, AUDACITY came to Miami from Dalton, GA to play with CHICKENHEAD in 1992. Sure, Andrew Powell (STUN GUNS drummer) actually went to live in Dalton and went on tour with THE SHAFFERS in 1993. But the real unity began in summer 1995 when Miami's STUN GUNS and Dalton's SHAFFERS embarked on an ill-advised, over-ambitious, yet now legendary 3 month tour of the United States. With almost no shows and no money, this rolling blackout was quickly joined by THE HOOKERS - a proto-SPAWN SACS of Michigan / Miami wildness. The three bands simply showed up and lived for days in punk houses across the country from Lansing, MI to Portland, OR to the roof of NYC's ABC No Rio, closing countless minds as well as their own, forever, along the way. THE SHAFFERS attempted to record in Lansing, but Eric's voice was blown and they never liked the recordings. This trip to WNYU with Region ally and Yonkers legend Joey I, is the best surviving recording of the band (SHAFFERS) and includes some of the best STUN GUNS material too. Accidentally amazing, transcendent, hilarious and simply the best!"

   For those of you in the dark, the STUN GUNS were a Miami punk band that were around for a good chunk of the 90's who delivered catchy punk that was equally inspired by melodic punk, Goodfellas, and the hard living of Miami. Paul Enema would sling out off-the-cuff one liners as quickly as he spit out his rapid-fire lyrics that were both bitingly cynical and tragically astute. George Kelley was always a super nice guy who seemed to be able to discuss anything with anyone and held everything together with his solid bass lines. Their guitarist, Buddha was and still is one of the best guitarists I have ever heard in my life. Andrew Ross Powell is still one of the most inspirational drummers (and people) I've ever seen or heard. Just being in the same room with him felt electric and exciting sometimes. His absence from this world is palpable and uncomfortable at times. Along with hundreds of other people around the world, I will always feel a strange vacancy in this punk scene without Andrew in it. I hope he's resting in peace somehow...or at least putting lotion in his foot-long devil-lock, writing a 43 chord song on the guitar and playing the drums like a man possessed in an alternate reality. RIP forever and always.
One of the many reasons Andrew was such an inspiration to me is because he put everything he had into his every performance. Here he is seen playing bass for KLS at a show where he broke 3 strings on the bass within 2-3 songs. Photo by Josie.

Updated 2013

...and if you're wondering, "soooo...where's the SHAFFERS stuff?", it will be posted tomorrow.

Thanks to Maximum Rock N Roll for letting me use their superior digitizing equipment for this tape so I could get the best quality possible and for all the hard work they've been doing with their magazine since 1977....and for bailing me out of jail in 2002.

OH!!  I ALMOST FORGOT...You can still order the outstanding STUN GUNS LP from Do Ya Hear We!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

STUMBLEBUMS - Demo - Tape - 1995

   I only got to see the STUMBLEBUMS a handful of times before moving my sorry ass to Huntsville, AL (their hometown) in 1995. I was seriously scared of them because they looked fuckin' punk, were covered in bad tattoos and they usually looked pissed off. Also, they made fun of me and threatened me, so that helped the fear factor. It was funny to play in bands with them later and realize that they were total sweethearts and incredibly nice people most of the time.
    This band sounds like a tug of war between Heiko's (bass player/singer) love of "The Word As Law"-era NEUROSIS and Neil's (guitar/vocals) penchant for writing catchy guitar parts inspired by THE FREEZE, PEGBOY and GENERATION X. Ben (their drummer) stayed somewhere in the middle and worked to congeal their disparate styles into something concrete and punk as fuck. Their live shows were usually a chaotic mess, with punks throwing cans at them and the band trying to hold it together. They were definitely one of the reasons I moved away from my hometown and settled in Huntsville.
  Later in 1995, Heiko went on a one show tour to California with his other band THE SLACKERS (who will have a very long post on here one day) and his band left him there. He still resides in Oakland and has played in ONE MAN ARMY and U.S. BOMBS. Neil played in bands with me and then moved away to Arizona and I haven't seen or heard from him since. Ben, once a dude who scared the shit outta me, is now a tender, sweet man who plays drums in THE PINE HILL HAINTS.

Link updated 4/6/15. RIP Heiko

Monday, January 16, 2012

IN THAR - CD-R - 2004

    I know what some of you are thinking.."I thought this was a tape blog. Why do you keep posting all of these CD's?" Well, my friend, this isn't a tape blog. I'd like to think it's not even a music blog...but it is. The reason that I keep putting up CD-R releases is because they are fragile. I have CD-R's that are a year or two old and won't play. I have tapes from 1985 that play perfectly. I don't want to discuss the fact that I have a whole other POTENTIAL JOHNS CD of demos from the 90's that won't play because it has one little scratch on it. It's heartbreaking. So, I am trying to save some of these fragile little worthless discs before one tiny little smudge from my clumsy punk living destroys a filing cabinet drawer full of memories....and that brings us to IN THAR.
    My friend, Chris handed this CD to me with a small little pile of tapes years ago and this band completely took me off guard. I was in the middle of a tour that featured many celebrated folk-punk acts and the first acoustic notes of this CD immediately made me clamor for the "stop" button. I had been hearing enough of this stupid bullshit for weeks and how DARE my friend, Chris fuck with me like this. Then, the drums kicked in...not bongos or a bucket or "like, whatever's around, man", but a real live drum set. It sounded fuckin' good! As soon as Osa's staccato violin riff laid itself over the rest of the instruments, I was hooked...and this was all within 20 seconds of the first song. It reminds me of what people can do with acoustic music, as punks and actually make it sound good. Just because you picked up an acoustic guitar, it does not mean that you have to A) sing about bikes and dumpsters, B) act like you are some weird stereotype from the south (I will kill you) or C) suck. You can still write good punk songs and still be tough as nails (if your intention is to not be tough as nails, that is fine too. Have you heard SPOONBOY or CASSETTE? In all honesty, they are also tough in a completely different vein.)
   Members of this band were also in DRUNKEN BOAT, NEW BLOODS and the solo act known as COOL BREEZE. Get into it.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

SAVAGE WEEKEND - Demo - 2002

   SAVAGE WEEKEND flew a little bit under my radar for reasons I will explain later. They formed in 2001 (or so) after the break up of FORCED VENGEANCE and played around the region for a couple of years, I think. They featured a rather unfuckwithable lineup of Eric Nelson (of too many bands to name, but many of them are on this blog), Amy Nelson (of FV and now in DARK RIDES), Harry (FV and now ADD/C), Ed (from ASTRID OTO and now in ASSHOLEPARADE) and Cole (from ADD/C, SHADOWBUILDER and more). They played an assload of shows around the southeastern US and recorded this six-song demo, which (I'm almost certain) never actually got "released" in any form. I think you had to go to one of their houses and make them copy it for you if you wanted to hear it. These songs ("no song titles" says the band) pick up where FORCED VENGEANCE left off and continue the bouncy, fun ,tuneful, and urgent Region Rock that these people know how to execute flawlessly. It's a shame that this is the only thing that they ever did because they were on their way to something much, much greater.

Re-uploaded July 2013
Thanks to Mike Wilson for providing the digital files of this.

   Initially, I wasn't gonna write this part, but this is my thing and even though this is a music blog, this blog is not about only music...but it is...but it isn't. I don't have many memories about this band because it started from the ashes of my old band with 3/5's of its members. FORCED VENGEANCE broke up (even though I still wanted the band to exist) because the relationship between Chrissie (the bass player) and I dissolved and the other members thought that the band could not go on with our relationship as it was. I thought the decision was complete bullshit, but in hindsight, I can see that they made the right decision. Between losing my partner, my house and my band at the same time, I was more depressed and unstable than I had ever been in my entire life. I left town and hitchhiked around the south alone with only a sleeping bag, a couple of dollars and a notebook. I started getting wasted constantly and made lots of impulsive, sketchy decisions.  I ended up sleeping in ditches in the rain after being molested by creepy old men. I woke up in the street, covered in blood and bruises and wrapped around a mangled bike in New Orleans with no recollection of how I got there. I routinely discussed the most negative, horrendous, depressing bullshit in the world. Would you want to be in a fun, bouncy, pop-punk band with me? Probably not.
    I ended up living back in Chattanooga on a houseboat in the river with two of the most thoughtful, welcoming people I could have hoped to meet at that point in my life and they made living in that town bearable for me. I kept my feelings to myself about how I felt concerning the break up of my old band. When my boat-mates said they were going to see SAVAGE WEEKEND and invited me along, I would usually opt out to read a book in my bunk while the river flowed by soothingly. Sometimes, I would ride in the canoe out to the uninhabited island in the middle of the river and walk around, maybe drink a beer or 8, think about the future and wonder if I even had a future to think about. Living on that boat helped me to learn how to stabilize, remind me of what's important in this world and get back to living my life.
   Like I said, I got over it. My bandmates were right to start another band without me and now I can see why they made that decision. I was highly unstable and usually out of town anyway, so why not start a band with people that are fun as hell and you can count on to actually practice every once in a while? I feel much better about my life now...better than I ever have, honestly, and now I can even listen to SAVAGE WEEKEND and truly enjoy it for the bad-ass music that it is. Sorry friends for missing out while it was happening. I was having a rough year.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

GOAT SHANTY - "Encroachment" and "Clearly Prespin" - CD's - 1999-2002

   I have been fully on board with the bands of one Mr Jason Griffin since I first met him way back when he drummed in TRES KIDS. He has stayed true to his love of thrash, hardcore and DIY and has been unrelenting in consistently throwing down quality bands for the past 18 (or so) years. GOAT SHANTY was one of those many bands that blew my mind when I first saw them.
     Their first CD "Encroachment" is a noisy hardcore assault on the ears brought to you by Jason and Tosh. It is overflowing with metal-tinged guitar riffs and constant tempo-changing blast beats, all with a constant soundtrack of noisy static just below the surface. On their second CD, "Clearly Prespin", they added James as a vocalist, which made their live show 10,000 times better (James also joined Jason in the later bands, DIVORCE and AMERICAN CHEESEBURGER...and I think he is one of the best hardcore front-persons of the past 15 years). This CD has some of my favorite lyrics of theirs on the song "15" (all of their songs titles are numbers). Just download it. The lyrics are there....anyhow, "Clearly Prespin" is no less damaged, chaotic and noisy.

  I went and saw GOAT SHANTY play in a big room in Bloomington, IN once and absolutely no one else was there besides the other band that played and our mutual friend, Mary. The guy who set up the show did absolutely nothing to promote the show and it sucked. After the first band played, the drummer told Jason that they could set up when he was finished breaking down his drums. Jason took one look at the guy's huge set with triggers and extra hardware and laughed. GOAT SHANTY unloaded their car, set up, played their full set, loaded the car back up and LEFT THE BUILDING before that dude could take apart his drumset. The next day, GOAT SHANTY agreed to let me ride with them to Cincinnati even though they had absolutely no room in their car and I rode on Jason's lap all the way there. That basement show was packed, the kids were appreciative and the band was the best I ever saw them. Completely on fire and on top of their game. That night, we stayed at some racist dumbshit's house and I drunkenly intercepted a bottle that someone tried to break over Jason's head. It was a rough night. In the morning, I got out of my sleeping bag (which was covered in glass after someone had broken bottles on the wall next to me during the night), left the band without saying goodbye (they were still asleep) and hitchhiked in the goddamn rain for two days to get to Tennessee. The band went on their merry way north to play a hardcore fest or something. Soon after, they broke up.
Re-uploaded Oct 2014

Friday, January 13, 2012

FLAKMASK - "Exploring the Magnetic Poles" - Tape - 2007?

   I think this group consists of weirdos from IxPxCxPx and COUNTY Z, but I'm not really sure. That part is fairly unimportant. The part you'll want to know is that this is about one full hour of droning noise, tape manipulations, screeches, skronks, knob turning, pedal manipulation and fully analog messes. They also have some more records and tapes that you can pick up from Trd Wrd. This is perfect for clearing out by brain after reviewing terrible pop-punk records at the magazine that I write for...who would never review anything by this band.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

PUNKY ROCKIT - 2 7"s - 1994

   I think it was my friend, Angie who first stumbled across this 7" at American Beat Records in Birmingham, AL back in 1994. I probably listened to it in her room or she put it on a tape for me. The details are all fuzzy. What I do know is that we both became kinda obsessed with this Portland band and their record was on constant rotation either in her room or blasting out of the factory speakers of my Ford Festiva. She also ordered their 2nd 7" straight from the band and it showed up broken in half (it's okay, they sent another one). It was just as good as the first one and we learned that the band had already broken up. Our hopes of ever seeing them were dashed on the rocks.
    PUNKY ROCKIT (yes, I even thought the name was pretty bad when I was 17) were a punk band from Portland who were flagrant supporters of animal rights, feminism and DIY. Some of them lived in the Powerhouse, a punk house in the northeast part of town that did house shows. I'm pretty sure that the band barely ever played outside of the northwest US since they were only a band for the year of 1994. Their sound is kind-of hopelessly mired in the mid-90's to me. It just sounds like 1994. Songs like "Smoke", "Running Out" and "In the Chair" are super catchy and jump-around-the-room basement punk. That is really all the information I have about this band, since I didn't really know them.
    My old band, RICE HARVESTER used to cover "Running Out" at every show and no one besides a handful of our friends knew or cared what it was. We played it at a show with a member of PUNKY ROCKIT's new band (SHARKS KILL) and all of the Portland people on that tour were completely dumbfounded that some pop-punk band in Alabama had ever even heard that song. RICE HARVESTER reunited a few years ago to play one show and we threw that song in to the set unannounced. It seemed useless to even tell anyone what it was since no one ever knew it in the first place. After we played, our friend (Goddamnit) Pat said "Whoa, I can't believe you guys covered a PUNKY ROCKIT song." Finally, after all these years, one person that wasn't already close to the band knew that song.

   One last thing about the band. They were adamant about talking about their politics in their record inserts in a way that I found engaging and enlightening as a teenager. It seems like if you openly discuss your politics as a band (or even just a regular old human) these days, a lot of people are quick to jump back at you and tell you why you're fucked up for doing so. (This happened in the 90's too. It's just more prevalent now due to faceless messageboards and the security of not having to actually look someone in the eyes while saying completely horrendous bullshit.) I think it's important to tell people why you're a feminist, why you're an anarchist (even with all the negative connotations that the media dishes out about them) and to discuss the problems of homelessness. Folks are quick to put others down as being "P.C.", but really, what the fuck is wrong with actually giving a shit about other humans and animals? I don't understand why anyone finds it threatening to their way of life, but lots of people do. Don't be afraid to discuss your politics. Do it even if you don't think anyone is listening. There's a chance that there is a teenage boy in Alabama who is looking for something more out there, who is completely uncomfortable with the status quo of male privilege, who doesn't know if there are other people in the world who feel the same way that he does and there's a chance that he will find your record and realize that he's not alone.

Link updated Sept 2018

My friend, Angie, who you may remember from the beginning of this post, started experimenting with lino-cuts around the same time as getting these records and this is one of the first ones that she did.