Sunday, December 30, 2012

"Help Me, I'm Trapped in a Ford Festiva" - Compilation - Tape - 1997

    I grew up in a tiny town in the middle of Alabama and discovered punk when I was in 6th grade through a tape of the MINUTEMEN's "Double Nickels on the Dime." Over the years, I tried to start bands with people who either really didn't want to be in a punk band or just had drastically different ideas of what a punk band was. The day after I graduated high school, I moved 108 miles away to a different small town called Huntsville. I lived in my car for those first couple of months and came to discover a whole new world of punk where people were actually playing the loud, fucked up, vibrant music that I wanted to be playing at that time in my life. It was perfect for me. I met people who put out their own records and set up their own shows in houses, parking lots and thrift stores. It was inspiring, to say the least. Within just a few months, I was playing in my own band and going on tour all over the southeast, making friends that I still have to this day. At the time, I wanted to make a compilation tape to show what was going on in my town (and where it had come from) so that other people would know how awesome it was, but honestly, I don't know if this tape ever reached people outside of Alabama.
   The comp starts off with RICE HARVESTER and THE CACA WOMEN FROM URANUS. I've already written about them, so you can click those links above if you're curious. Next up is THE REFILLS, who were a short lived band from the area that consisted of Neil (from JOEY TAMPON AND THE TOXIC SHOCKS and 565 BURNOUTS), Ben (from RICE HARVESTER, SUCKERPUNCH and now in PINE HILL HAINTS) and Bill Conflict (who did and still plays in RANDOM CONFLICT). They played fucking tough, straight ahead punk that was informed by THE FREEZE and D.O.A. I loved them when they were around and their song "Bleed" on this tape still holds up today.
RICE HARVESTER on the 4th of July, 1998. San Pedro, CA.

   Next on the tape is AOA, which was originally a home recording project by my friends Blair and Ramesh. They would get together and record hours of MEN'S RECOVERY PROJECT (and FAT DAY) inspired noise and weirdness at their houses. After a while, they would come over and kind of force me to play anything in their band, like a drum on a bed or some cans. They had tapes and tapes of this stuff (one of which got stuck in my car stereo for months so that it was the only thing I could ever listen to. When I finally removed it, it destroyed the tape and the stereo...a week or so later, the brakes failed at 3 am and I almost totaled a cop car, but that's a different story altogether.) On this recording, we sorta became a kinda normal punk band for a second. I think I played drums, but I also think I played guitar sometimes. Ramesh played bass and sang. Blair sang and played the keyboard maybe. I think a guy named Pube switched up instruments with me. It was a weird time, but I still like "Black Flag is Boring" and the theme song.
AOA in my room. 1996.

   SHITHEAD JONES is a fukkin punk band and you can read all about their saga here. After that is THE GRUMPIES, who weren't technically an Alabama band, but they played there so often that  one might think that they lived there. All of their songs on here (minus one) were later re-recorded for their LP on Recess Records. These early versions are pretty great and it also includes a ripping cover of "Kiss Me Deadly" by Lita Ford.  You can find their demo and other stuff here.
THE GRUMPIES playing in a storefront in Florence, AL.

  GARY COLEMAN BAND were just Blair and Ramesh from AOA playing really minimal stuff. This song was recorded in a porn shop in N Huntsville and is honestly one of my favorite things ever put on tape. The side ends with THE SMEGMAGICIANS, which is my high school punk band that I restarted just to finish out this side of the tape. It sucks. The first song is an AOA cover. I played guitar and sang while my friend Harry played drums. I wouldn't let him hear the song or practice it before recording. The second song is just me playing guitar and drums...and actually it's not too bad.
  Side 2 kicks off with a live set from SHITBOY FROM OUTERSPACE, a band I have already covered here (it's the same set too). They are followed up by the always great 565 BURNOUTS, who have their own entry right here.
A later incarnation of 565 BURNOUTS playing at American Beat Records in Birmingham, AL.

   JOEY TAMPON AND THE TOXIC SHOCKS are up next, playing three songs that I'm pretty sure never appeared on other recordings. Well, two of the songs were definitely on a record, but not these recordings. The first song was never released on anything and it's not that good (but I'm biased...I was in the band). I have no clue where or why we recorded these songs. It could have been recorded in my bedroom or in a "real" studio. No idea. You can find more by the band here.
JOEY TAMPON AND THE TOXIC SHOCKS playing an 8 year old's birthday party in St Mary's, GA. Note that Neil is smoking.

   Joey and Neil from the TOXIC SHOCKS were also in CHEESE ASS CHRIST. They weren't from Alabama. They were from Georgia. You can find possibly everything you ever wanted to know about them here
   One of Alabama's first hardcore bands (possibly the very first) was THE KNOCKABOUTS, who come up next on this tape. Their songs on here come from their demo tape-turned -EP from 1982. (well, the demo is from '82. The EP is from '95). You can find more info about them here. The only thing I want to add is that I talked to Ken (owner of Prank Records who released their EP) about them and he said that he might release an LP collection in the future. I guess there's a lot more songs laying around. He's obviously not in a big hurry, but I would be excited if that project ever saw the light of day, Fun fact: The title of this comp ("Help Me, I'm Trapped in a Ford Festiva") comes from THE KNOCKABOUTS. My band (JT and the TOXIC SHOCKS) used to go on tour in my Ford Festiva (with all of our equipment, yes), which is one of the tiniest cars you could possibly own in the 90's. We listened to THE KNOCKABOUTS a lot. When we would listen to their song "Fast Pulse" (included here), we would sing that line instead of the KNOCKABOUTS-penned line of "Help me, I'm trapped in a human body!!"
   MENACE (not really sure if they ever realized there was a classic punk band called MENACE) was a band of teenage punk kids from the burbs who could barely hold it together, but held it together just enough to belt out this rough recording on a boom box. I think I only saw them once and that was only because I drove out to one of their mom's houses in south Huntsville for a band practice. I could be wrong though because I think I have a flyer for them somewhere. One weird thing about this band is that my friend Ramesh sang for them and did not play an instrument, which is ridiculous because he was already becoming a good bass player at that point. Still, you can listen to their song "AUO994" and realize why they got him to sing. 
   THE MACK was somewhat the black sheep of the Huntsville punk family. I believe 50% of that was self-imposed and the other 50 was just punk kids not wanting to admit that they liked pop-punk at some point in their lives. Either way, THE MACK played undeniably tuneful and upbeat pop-punk that was not very popular among the local scene, but I'll bet that they would have been a hit if they had ever managed to go on a tour or two in the mid-90's. Now, you can download this and relive your secret (or not-so-secret) pop-punk past. I will admit now that these songs are good. (Fun facts: THE MACK was the only local band of this era to have an online presence at the time. They are also the only band I've ever "auditioned" for as a drummer...for which I was denied for not being good enough.)
  I'm not talking about the next band. Fuck it. They were from Florida. I was the only one who knew who they were. The first song made me want to learn to play drums. The second song sucks ass.
   15E was an insane sounding punk band that worked as a precursor to THE SLACKERS, SHITBOY FROM OUTERSPACE and most of the crop of 90's punk from Huntsville. The members were Jason (SHITBOY and later XPIA), Joey (JOEY TAMPON, THE SLACKERS, RADIOACTIVES, 3D's, many more and later a born again Baptist preacher), and Mike (SEWER PUNKS and others that flew off my radar). They named the band after the apartment number of the place they shared. This recording comes from a live set at the Tip Top in north Huntsville where the band constantly harangues the audience for being shitty people. Punk. This is all I know about them. They were before my time in that town. If anyone has their demo tape, I will gladly take it.
   The tape ends with local greats THE SLACKERS and THE JAWAS. Everything you might ever want to know about both of those bands can be found here and here. The closing sample is possibly one of the best samples ever committed to tape, in my opinion.

DOWNLOAD
Re-uploaded 2013

P.S. There's 65 tracks total in this download.
This one's for Ramesh, who was always a fan and supporter of Alabama punk bands.

Now, here's some flyers from that era.
I think this is one of the first punk flyers I ever made, with help from Jason Shitboy. We used to have illegal shows at the Jaycee's Fairgrounds, which was just a gazebo in a parking lot. Sometimes, we paid $100 to use the space. Other times, we just went in and had the show without permission. I think this was one of the illegal times. THE DUMBSHITZ was my old band from Birmingham that I had quit by this point. They didn't show up for this show. Here's a video of them playing in Birmingham after I quit.
This was my birthday show, also at the fairgrounds. PROPERTY was a mainstay of the Huntsville punk scene and I'm confused as to why they're not on the tape. THEE AUTOBOTS was a later band spearheaded by Jack THE MACK that incorporated sax into the pop-punk world.
Great show for $3. Gorin's was an ice cream shop downtown that was dumb enough to let us have punk shows. 
All local bands at Gorin's Flyer by Blair Menace. BLOODY HOLLY was mostly improv-violence. Blair, Jay Kaos and I wore bloody dress shirts and glasses while assaulting people, sonically. I can't even begin to explain the CATATONICS to you. If I can ever dig up their tape (doubtful), it will have its own thing on here.
Another local show at Gorin's. THE SHIZNICS never recorded and I don't remember much about them. THE PANIC BUTTONS should have been on the comp but never got any music to me. They will be featured on the blog one day. Those guys went on to play in THOMAS FUNCTION.
RICE HARVESTER's 1st show. One of the TOXIC SHOCKS' last. PINK COLLAR JOBS were one of the best bands from the southeast in the 90's.
Local times, minus THE GRUMPIES, who might as well have been local. Art by Marsh. Flyer by me.

Friday, December 28, 2012

BRAIN KILLER - Demo - Tape - 2008

    I'M WRITING IN ALL CAPS BECAUSE I JUST LISTENED TO THIS DEMO, SNIFFED A BUNCH OF GLUE, TIED A FUCKIN SHOESTRING AROUND MY HEAD AND BROKE OUT OF ALL OF MY WINDOWS!!!! I DYED MY HAIR BLACK AND KINDA CHARGED IT BUT I ENDED UP LOOKING LIKE A DUDE THAT GOT KICKED OUTTA MOTLEY CRUE SO I JUST PUT ON ANOTHER BULLET BELT AND IT KINDA HELPED. SHIT'S BEEN REAL FUCKED UP LATELY AND I DON'T KNOW HOW TO DEAL WITH IT BUT THIS TAPE MAKES ME FEEL REAL FUCKED UP TOO...YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN?
   MAYBE YOU WILL FEEL JUST AS FUCKED UP AS I DO WHEN YOU LISTEN TO THIS. IF ANYBODY WANTS TO COME OVER WITH THEIR STUDDED FUCKIN GLUE BAG AND GET SHIT HAMMERED, I'LL BE HERE ON THE FUCKIN FLOOR.


THIS TAPE IS FROM THE JUNK DRAWER OF BARKER GEE, THE PUNKEST MOTHERFUCKER I KNOW!!!!

    (P.S. I don't know what that's all about. I don't even like this band. Could someone mail me the new WHO KILLED SPIKEY JACKET LP?)


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

"Sounds Of The Mission" - Tape - 2012

   This might possibly be the weirdest post on the blog thus far because it's not music and it's not a story, but then again, it's its own story. Let me explain....
   Back when I lived in Indiana, I would try to work on projects late at night, like writing, drawing, reading or sewing together a weird stuffed animal that made growling sounds and had a contact mic inside of it. Most of the time, my house and neighborhood were quiet...eerily quiet. It was so quiet that if I had my window open, I could hear someone's footsteps walking down my street from a block away. I could listen to music, but when I was writing, I found it to be too distracting. I just wished that I had a recording of street sounds to play in the background of my room; something a little ambient and somber. Specifically, I wanted any of my friends in San Francisco to record themselves walking down Mission Street from 24th Street all the way to 16th Street, which is one of my favorite corridors in the city. I wanted to hear the street vendors selling DVD's of movies that were still in the theaters. I wanted to hear the sounds of mariachi music, the buses, people speaking Spanish and the general sounds of a vibrant city. Much like my requests for anyone to ship a Cancun burrito to me overnight, this tape was denied as well. It wasn't until I made my way to the city that I was able to make this tape, even though I can now just open my window and hear it live, 24 hours a day. Maybe this will be welcome to someone else who lives in a small town in the middle of nowhere. Maybe I just outed myself as a total fucking wingnut who doesn't make any sense. Either way, whatever.
   The tape starts out underground at the BART station at 24th and Mission and continues as I ride the escalator up to street level. It continues as I cross Mission Street and head north towards 16th Street. It ends with a lap around both plazas at the 16th and Mission BART station. It's just insanely exciting, I swear. Put it on in the background...or don't.


First three minutes are a little rough because I didn't realize the tape recorder was so creaky. It gets better.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

FULL SUN - "Bare Floor" - Tape - 2012

   Well, the end of the year is approaching quickly, and traditionally it's a time when people start thinking about their favorite musical releases of the past 365 days. Every year, folks always complain about how there wasn't anything good that came out. Then, if you were to fast forward their lives two years, they will complain about how nothing is as good as it was two years ago. My point is, people are releasing great music all the time, even if it's not on your radar. There is someone, somewhere, holed up in a tiny basement writing the new anthems for your life. Now you just have to find them and get a copy of it. That's the part that can be the hardest sometimes.
   This is where FULL SUN comes in. They put out an excellent tape last year that was easily one of my favorite releases of 2011 (you can find it here and here). The newer tape, "Bare Floor" is just as great, if not better, and will top the list for this year. As mentioned in the write up of the other tape, FULL SUN is the recording project of Jeff Grant (from FAT SHADOW and formerly PINK RAZORS) and he writes solid, catchy basement punk songs that offer hook after hook that will have you listening for days (weeks, years). Some comparisons could be drawn to POTENTIAL JOHNS, PLOW UNITED, PINK RAZORS and early SUPERCHUNK, but Jeff definitely has his own thing going here. Like the last tape, there are some awesome dub interludes that come from a love and respect of the genre, so it doesn't make you feel like some white clown in a rasta/dread hat is giving you the wink-nod while he slaughters your eardrums (say, like JAHBREAKER).
   Once again, there's only 100 copies of this tape in existence, so get yours now. I warned you about the last one and now it's sold out. Don't miss this one. You can order it from Jeff's label, Houseplant Records.



Jeff and I briefly discussed having my band, NEON PISS travel out to the Midwest and act as his backing band for a FULL SUN tour, but it sounds like a logistical nightmare. If any rich benefactors want to pay for 4 people to fly out to Indiana and make this happen, get in touch. Ha!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

LOS RABBIS - "The Bible Pt 2: Jesus Goes West" - LP - 1999

   In trying to gather information about bands like these, meaning bands who have little-to-no internet presence, I become privy to lots of information that should never be known about the inner workings of any group. I get a lot of dirt and all the drama that would make for a good story, but in the long run, would also make me some new enemies if I were to put these stories into print. I don't need that. I already have plenty of enemies. This brings us to LOS RABBIS. I had dinner with my old friend, Morgan last night in the Richmond District of SF and he told me story after story about the inner workings of LOS RABBIS, many of which I will never repeat, because who wants their dirty laundry aired out for all to see?
   You may remember a few days ago when I posted the FLESHIES / LOS RABBIS tape and asked if anyone had a digital copy of the latter's excellent LP from 1999. Friend of the blog, Daryl, promptly sent over the digital tracks and added, "I woke up one day at the Chapman St. Warehouse with this CD between two pieces of fabric stapled together in my pocket. Only reason I even have it." It's very appreciated.


   You may also remember that I already said most everything you need to know about the LP in that post,...like they recorded this whole thing in a fancy studio, then they didn't like how it sounded, so they re-recorded the whole thing the next day on a four track. Also, according to the liner notes, some of the vocals were recorded in a car. The liner notes also say that the band once moved to Poland, so who knows what to believe. Now, you can hear the classics, like "Please Stop Circle-Pitting Around My Prosthetic Leg", "Let's Get The Pope Drunk, Wait Til He Passes Out and Then Write Stuff On His Face" and "Los Rabbis Are Sleepy" on your very own mp3 playing device. Sadly, there's one attribute of the vinyl version that doesn't quite translate to this digital mess: after "Los Rabbis Are Sleepy", there is a 2-3 minute space of dead silence on the record, I'm guessing to signify that the last song is a "hidden track", since it isn't listed on the LP jacket. What follows is an excellent cover of BEL BIV DEVOE's "Poison", which I can only describe as "fucked up". For the digital listener, there is no wait. You just get the song in all it's glory. Lucky you.

   There is actually another aspect of this LP that you don't get with the digital copy, which is all the cool shit that comes with this record. First off, the covers are glued on to white sleeves and every back cover is different. Mine has a cut out picture of a guy wearing SUICIDAL TENDENCIES sweatpants. Secondly, there is a multiple page photo collage of the band along with a (mostly fabricated) story of the record (included in download...by the way, does anyone give a shit that I include art in the downloads? I like it. I don't know if anyone else cares.) To top it all off, there is a 12-15 page partial lyric sheet/coloring book designed by "J Dinges. Age 8" (see above. Not included in download).
   I love this album so much. It's weird. It's unexplainable at times. It is the product of some truly inspired people. It's an important piece of Bay Area punk history that rarely gets the recognition it deserves.  Please enjoy.


   Adam and one Mike from this band went on to play in POSER POSSE and TOMMY LASORDA. Adam later played in BROKEN STRINGS and RAINBOW BRIDGE. Mike later played in a band called CHINESE.  Dean later played in STAMPEDE, FUCK YEA AVOCADO, DAVID COPPERFUCK and he now runs the record label, True Panther Sounds. I'm sorry, but I don't know what happened to the other Mike in this band.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

TURTLE - Demo - Tape - 2012

   I reviewed this band's demo earlier this year for Maximum Rock N Roll and I still think my feelings are exactly the same regarding this recording. Someone even wrote in a letter to the mag that mentioned my review. It was one of those typical letters where folks write in and complain about how everything related to the rag has turned into some "PC pussy ass bullshit" besides George Tabb's column or some such nonsense. Maybe it has? I don't think so. I also don't have a problem with political correctness, pussies, asses or bullshit, but I think George Tabb's column is pretty awful sometimes. Anyhow, the writer said that they were sick in bed one day and read the magazine cover to cover. He complained about the usual stuff (see above), but said that my demo review of this band was touching and even brought a tear to his jaded eye. (I was really trying to steer this entry more in the direction of talking about the band rather than talking about myself, but everyone can see I am failing miserably.) Anyway, here is the review:

   "it's bands like these that make me happy to do demo reviews. The first 3-4 minutes of this tape is chock full of samples that relate to turtles... like, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles theme song and news clips about turtles. When it finally gets to the music, the listener is greeted by a super lo-fi (like it was recorded on a dumpstered boombox) recording of a teenage (?) punk band playing their scrappy, poorly executed, falling apart songs in a garage in Southern California. There is no pretense, no bullshit attitude, and absolutely nothing fancy about this. It’s just some kids banging out their songs in a room to the best of their abilities and putting it out on a a tape. They sound like three people who just picked up their instruments, learned three chords and went with it. Even though I’m not really into these songs, this is exactly the reason why I love punk. Please keep it up TURTLE, and thank you for sending your tape to MRR."

      I still stand by that. This is the reason I love punk. Anyone can do this. I don't think that it means that anyone should do this, but anyone can. Also, I would like to say that my favorite part of the tape is during the last strains of their song, "Of Money, Stocks, Etc" as the whole song is falling apart (was it ever together?), the singer mutters, almost as an afterthought, "People are crazy..." Thanks TURTLE. People are fucking crazy. 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

TUMBLR

 
This thing has a thing on a different thing as well. This blog is still the main thing I will be updating, but the tumblr thing might have things that are exclusive to that thing. But all things on the tumblr thing will link back to this thing, okay?
  Got it?

  If you wanna follow R E M O T E O U T P O S T S on tumblr, just follow this link right here.

LOS RABBIS / FLESHIES - Split - Tape - 2002

   I really don't even know where to begin with this one. I'll just start with LOS RABBIS. They were a band comprised of four cool kids from the burbs (I'm guessing) of San Francisco...you know, some fuckin' know-it-all from here could probably write this better than me, because I don't know all the facts...but when has that stopped me before? Anyhow, LOS RABBIS used to come by Mission Records (a now defunct record store in the Mission neighborhood of SF) and buy anything HICKEY-related. They worshiped at the altar of HICKEY, 50 MILLION and THE MELVINS. They once went into a studio to record their only LP and, when it was done, they thought "This doesn't sound like us. It sounds too slick." So, they re-recorded the entire thing in their bedroom on a 4 track, released the LP with those recordings and entitled it "The Bible Pt II". (Big hint: If you ever see that LP anywhere, pick it up without hesitation. In my opinion, it is phenomenal and an often overlooked piece of Bay Area punk history.) Besides releasing things on one off tapes or just dubbing tapes for their friends (I literally chased one of the members down Shattuck Ave in Berkeley on a skateboard once to beg him to make me a tape of all of their songs), that LP was their only "proper" release. Their three songs on this tape were intended to be on a split 7" with FLESHIES on S.P.A.M. Records, but the funds never came through. It even made it as far as getting to the test pressing stage (which means there are three of these records in existence, according to John of FLESHIES), but never all the way to being a finished product. It's a shame. I like these songs a lot...especially their last one.
    FLESHIES were (are) another great band of geeks from the Bay Area and a whole lot has been written about them in the past, so I'm going to keep it short. I will tell you this, though. I was visiting the Bay Area once before I moved back out here and FLESHIES were playing a bigger, sold out bar show where the door price was $12. They had "signed" to Alternative Tentacles and I wasn't sure what that meant. Had they sold out? Were they a weird money grubbing band now? Being a young, judgmental, DIY punk, I had a lot of questions. I went to their show, climbed the back wall, swung into a dressing room Indiana Jones-style and I was in! I casually walked through the crowd and ran into John. He hugged me and asked "Did you actually pay to get into this show?!" I was unsure of what to say. I decided to just go for it and said "No. This show is too expensive to just see local bands." John agreed with me and said he was happy I made it in. It wasn't weird. He didn't care that I snuck into his show. Score 1 for FLESHIES. Turns out that the show was some sort of label showcase something-or-other blah blah blah. I don't know or care. What I do know is that 30 seconds into their first song, John was already in the middle of the audience, singing in people's faces and freaking out squares. It was a great show, but I'm still glad I didn't pay for it. FLESHIES, if you ever need $12, I got your back. (actually, I already gave their drummer, Hammy $50 for a cymbal once.)
    Their two songs, like most other FLESHIES songs are flawless. This record never came out, but these two songs made it onto two different compilations. "Death Of A Peckerwood" appeared on the MRR compilation, "Noise Ordinance", which is still in print and available from Maximum Rock N Roll. The other, "No The, Just Fleshies" appeared on a comp CD of their singles and other assorted rarities, which is available from Life Is Abuse.


   LOS RABBIS went on to many, many other musical projects, which you will be seeing a lot of in the coming weeks. Most of them have been criminally under-documented. If anyone has a digital copy of the LOS RABBIS LP that they would like to share with the world, I will gladly put it up here.
  FLESHIES are still FLESHIES. Older, wiser, less drug-fueled, still relevant.

This tape comes from deep within a brown paper sack left for me by Mike Wilson on the floor of a grimy record store. Expect more from this mysterious bag.
Thanks to John March Mink for extra info.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

MIND SPIDERS - "Meltdown" - LP - 2012


   I could tell you all about some long lost demo tape or some new demo tape by some fucking awesome band, but really, this is all I've been listening to lately. Fuck it.

Friday, December 14, 2012

QUESTION - Demo - Tape - 2007

   At some point during my time living in Bloomington, I remember going to many punk shows only to walk out after watching 5 minutes of some dude earnestly playing a uke while staring at his shoes or having to sit in the same room with some clown while he just discovered the joys of using a delay pedal through a practice amp. It could be kind of miserable and I wondered why the dirty, loud, fucked up punks didn't come through town (yes, I remembered sometimes that I could set up my own punk shows and did indeed bring those bands to town). At some point, a bunch of Minneapolis bands started coming through town that helped to reinvigorate my interest in booking shows and bringing good music in the place I lived in. Not surprisingly, a lot of those bands shared members...bands like JOSE BOVE,  ASS,  HARLEQUIN and GANGLION. My favorite band to see live out all of them was QUESTION. They played no-bullshit, straight ahead, ragged hardcore and they looked like crazy, loud, fucked up punks. I remember at their show in a Bloomington basement, their singer went on a rant about how religion destroys peoples lives and I thought "Oh that's kinda quaint that someone would still rail on religion at a punk show." Then, I remembered that I still lived in a town where "punks" had told me that they're religious and I realized that it's still vital to talk about the subjects that you find passionate at shows. QUESTION raged away at their 20 minute set and I danced like hell with everyone there. Basement destroyed. Punks happy. Demo tape bought. I biked home with a 10 foot smile across my face.
   I moved to SF and and less than 4 months later, QUESTION played a show at Thrillhouse that caused a handful of norms to completely lose their shit in the best way possible. Since then, I haven't heard anything about them and I assume that they broke up. Listen to this tape and mourn your loss.


QUESTION in SF at Thrillhouse. Photo by Brian Dooley.

...and since you didn't ask, I think their song "No Name" is the jam.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

SWORD OF THE ANCIENT - "Head Of The Tide" - Tape - 2007

   Many of the sounds I put on here are harsh, abrasive, fucked up, angry and defiant...because I like that kind of music. I also like sounds that are beautiful, indescribable, meditative, experimental and noisy. That is where bands like SWORD OF THE ANCIENT come in. But first I have to ask myself, "Are there other bands like SWORD OF THE ANCIENT?" Some of you may remember when I posted their first tape over a year ago. This tape finds the band stripped of one member, moved over 15 states away from their former home of New Orleans, a lot more subdued and a little more lush, but still strange, hypnotic and captivating. Some of the moments on here sound like they could have come straight out of the brains that wrote the first RESIDENTS record. In addition to changing their locale from a harsh, violent city to a beautifully calm seaside village (which sounds evident in their sound), it also sounds like the band switched from coffee to drinking loads of tea between their two tapes. It works. I think this tape sounds best driving across eastern Montana at 4am when everyone else in the car (van, truck, etc) is asleep or at home alone in the dark, but you can do whatever you want. 


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

FRENCH IN ACTION - Demo - Tape - 2005

   Since I know next to nothing about this band, today's installment of Remote Outposts is brought to you by their old bass player, Mike Leslie....

   French in Action (named after the French language textbook) was a Worcester/Providence trio that I joined as replacement bass player when Mike Taylor moved on to become the band's visualist. I had lived with the singer, French born Matt Coe, on and off for years, who, though admittedly tone deaf, had a knack for pop hooks. He asked me to join, even though he described the band I had been in since I was 13 as "maybe not music." (Editor's note: that would be THE TERRIBLES) Differences aside, we were really tight friends, and we even lived in a shack together and I liked the band, so I enthusiastically joined. The frustrating part to me is I had never really played three chord pop at this time and had no understanding of musical chord progressions, so I would constantly get mixed up moving around the same part of the fret board and get songs confused. Rounding out the rhythm section was Dan Langlois. When I had met him when I was 14, he was the punkest person I had ever seen He even lived in a cabinet under the counter of a laundromat for a short time.
This demo was recorded at a practice space in Olneyville, I borrowed a car from a friend and got two parking tickets in about two hours. We ate breakfast at New York System Hot Weiners, where the home fries are just chopped up french fries (how appropriate). The whole tape is in French! And though I took it in high school, I'm still not really sure what he is singing about. I ended up having too much on my plate, the band got a new singer, became a four piece, and toured as "Frenching Action,", which is what people thought we were named anyway.

   (Editor's note pt 2: I'm sure I massacred the spelling of the song titles, but so did their artist, Mike Taylor. I never took French lessons and Mike explains on the tape insert, "I don't speak French and Matt has handwriting like a little baby chicken."

 (Editor's note pt 3: Don't ask me what happened to the font sizes on this entry. I tried to fix it and it didn't work. Whatever. Blogspot has a horrendous editing program that defies all logic.)


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

TENT CITY ROLLERS - Demo - Tape - 2010

   TENT CITY ROLLERS were around for a very short time and I never saw them because I lived 3000 miles away from 'em. The members had played in such sonically disparate bands as TULSAELECTRIC DAMNJACUZZI SUICIDE and KAKISTOCRACY, but came together to form this melodic punk band that sounded somewhat like a melding of the first two (and nothing like the last two).
  That's all I've got, really. I like this tape a lot, even though none of the members believe me. Some of these songs have been shipped off to other bands, along with the members. You can find them doing time these days in DARK RIDES, YES MA'AM and FLIES AROUND IT.



Sunday, December 9, 2012

REMOTE OUTPOSTS ANALOG

This is just a little reminder that I run a tape/record label. I encourage you to buy stuff so it will stop taking up space in my room. You can find all of the releases, ordering info and what-not at Remote Outposts Analog.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

DEUCE BOLDLY - Unreleased Recording - Tape - 2005

   I don't have very much information on this short-lived band, even though these people are all good friends. Shortly after I moved to Bloomington, IN, I told the band I would set up a show for them and spent a lot of time convincing them that the town, much to their disbelief, was not a boring-ass wasteland of dumb hippies playing folk-punk in the streets. They were sure that no one would like their band. That is, if anyone showed up to actually see their band. They mostly made the trip to hang out with me and I'm glad they set their standards so low because when the day of the show came, almost no one showed up to see them, even though I plastered the town with fliers.  It might have helped their cause if I mentioned that their rhythm guitarist was the original drummer of a very popular rock band, but that seemed like a cheap ploy.I thought it was more important to mention that the band had members of HELLO SHITTY PEOPLE, NO SHIT SHERLOCK, TOTALLY CHAOS and ALLERGIC TO BULLSHIT. You would also think people would wanna see a punk band with an accordion player. Turns out that most of the punks in Bloomington didn't know or care about those bands, but DEUCE BOLDLY still played their hearts out to the 8 or 9 people in attendance. I promptly took the band back to my tiny apartment, got trashed, got in a drunken argument, ran off into the night and woke up with a ceiling fan bonking me in the head over and over (long story). 
DEUCE BOLDLY somewhere in America with a human mic stand.

   The band recorded these eight songs and they never got released in any form at all. These things happen sometimes. So, here's DEUCE BOLDLY in all of their ramshackle glory. Hopefully the band won't hunt me down for letting you hear this.

Updated July 2015

EDIT 12/9/12: Stewart from No Breaks Records dug up the insert for this tape (which I never knew existed). Thanks Stewart!


   This next part has absolutely nothing to do with DEUCE BOLDLY.

   I just got word that Sarah Kirsch has passed away after a long battle with Fanconi Anemia, which is a rare genetic disorder that causes leukemia and other cancers. Many readers will recognize her as Mike Kirsch, who played in such great bands as TORCHES TO ROME, PLEASE INFORM THE CAPTAIN THIS IS A HIJACK, JOHN HENRY WEST, PINHEAD GUNPOWDER, FUEL, BAADER BRAINS, MOTHERCOUNTRY MOTHERFUCKERS, BREAD AND CIRCUITS and many more. I never met her but admired her from afar for years. The bands that speak the loudest about how they play with passion are usually trite and soulless, while the people who actually just play passionate music will literally stop you in your tracks. Sarah Kirsch was in the camp of the latter. I admired her integrity (like, say, quitting your mega-popular pop-punk band because a bandmate puts out a record on a subsidiary of a multinational corporation) and strength in the face of adversity. I appreciate her determination to keep creating new and exciting music rather than resting on the laurels of her past accomplishments. I admired the courage it must have taken to go on tour while coming out as a trans-woman in a hardcore scene that might not be too accepting of people who are just trying to feel at home in their own bodies. I don't want to say too much because, like I said, we never met. My thoughts are with her loved ones on this early morning and any people who are reeling from this great loss to the world. Play music like there's no tomorrow and be sure to tell your friends that you love them. 
Seriously, WTF? So good.

You can find more info about the troubles she was facing here. May she rest in peace.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

TREPANNING - "Live At WFMU" - Tape - 2012

   The way that I met Scott Youth was pretty embarrassing (for him, not me), so I'll spare the details on his behalf. What I will tell you is that he was about 13 years old and he gave me a flier for a "punk" show that I would never go to while we were both in the Chattanooga Public Library. I didn't see him for a couple of years and then, one day, he was living on my couch, claiming that he ran away from home. We told him that he couldn't live there for free. He needed to dumpster food to share with everyone. Nightly, he would bring home upwards of 15 pizzas, even though most of us worked at a pizza place and 99% of the house was vegan. We were never very nice about it (or maybe it was just me), but Scott was usually understanding, friendly and would give you anything he owned to make you happy.
    As the years sailed on, Scott started traveling pretty extensively and I would always hear stories about how he got drunk and broke a lot of shit. In a way, it made me sad because I still remembered that sweet, humble, calm kid. Don't get me wrong...I think it's important for young people to get trashed, listen to punk, smash shit and do things they'll regret in 5 years (or 5 minutes). The thing was, every time I hung out with him, Scott still was that same sweet kid, but that sweet kid liked to get drunk and loud (like a Merle Haggard song). Sometimes I could hang with it. Other times, I ran off into the night.

   All this time, I never knew that Scott knew how to play any instruments until he told me that his band was playing at Anarchtica, a long-running punk house in Chattanooga. I never actually saw any band he played in until years later when he drummed for CHEESEQUAKE after moving to Brooklyn. The kid was great! The "kid" was also a foot taller than me by this point and in his mid-twenties.
   Just a few weeks ago when my band played in Brooklyn, Scott appeared, seemingly out of nowhere, at the very end of the show and he had that former calm and casual demeanor about him.  We talked for a bit as I packed up my drums and that little bit of conversation made me wish that NYC wasn't so socially overwhelming because I suddenly wanted to hang out with the guy all night. But, like most of my times in Brooklyn, I drove across town to a comfortable place with quiet friends, which is just fine with me (coincidentally, it was also the location of one of the most ass-wild new year's parties I had ever been to, just 5 years previous). Before parting, Scott handed me a copy of his new band's first recording, live on WFMU, one of the country's best radio stations.
   When I got home from tour and popped this into the tape deck, I didn't expect to like it as much as I did. I don't know why, but that's just how I felt. This is excellent. In weird ways, it reminds me of the parts of New York that don't really exist anymore; a Times Square full of sleazy theaters, a $2 show at Max's Kansas City with Patti Smith lackadaisically dancing and smoking in the front row or The NEW YORK DOLLS shopping for high heels in a vintage shop. Some of the slower moments remind me of TELEVISION. I'm not sure if this is what the band was going for at all but this is what I get out of it. It just sounds like punk before punk knew what it was supposed to sound like, if you catch my drift. Maybe you'll think it sounds like indie rock or some "New York shit". Makes no difference to me. I'm still gonna blast this on my headphones and dream of a New York that I might've enjoyed at some point in my life.
This band is made of real winners and they've all been in cool bands that you like.

Download TREPANNING

If you want to write to the band about getting your own tape, try this email...
trepanningbrooklyn@gmail.com

Sunday, December 2, 2012

PASCAL'S LONG LOST MIX TAPE - 2007

   In my last year of living in Bloomington, IN, I made a whole lot of mix tapes for friends, both locally and far away. I would sit in front of the stereo for hours, laboring over 90 minutes of the perfect mix of punk and weirdness. Then, I would hand deliver it to someone's door or drop in the mail at the post office just 5 short blocks away. It took moving across the country to California to realize that I was utterly and morbidly depressed. I don't think that making mix tapes is a sign of depression (far from it), but I do think something is amiss when one is putting all of their free time into tape making or drinking endless pints of whiskey while flipping the same DEAD MOON record over and over.
   I think there is a certain beautiful power in mix tapes that can not be replicated by a mix CD or a play list. Many, many people have explained this in the past, so I won't bore you with the details, but there is something to be said for having to listen to each song in real time as you make the tape.
   Most of the tapes I made for folks eventually reached them...except for this one. I made this fairly eclectic tape for my friend Pascal in Paris and then never, ever mailed it to him. I took it to work and listened to it a lot. I carried it around in my bag with intentions of dropping it in the mail for him. I even flew to Europe, went to Paris and hung out with Pascal but forgot to take the tape with me. So, Pascal if you're reading this, I apologize. If you send me your current address, I'll mail you this tape. I mean it this time.
   In the meantime, I think this is a great tape with styles flying all over the map. Seriously. Have you ever gotten a mix tape that segues from UKE OF SPACES CORNERS to LIMPWRIST? KATRA TURANA to TULSA? OI POLLOI to JOHN DENVER to OMAR SOULEYMAN to ARTIMUS PYLE? BUNKER HILL to MEN'S RECOVERY PROJECT? It makes sense. I like this tape a lot. Maybe you will too.

Download Side B

All music on here is vinyl to tape. No digital.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

NO SIR I WON'T - Demo - Tape - 2011

   So, I just got back from tour a couple of days ago and I believe it was one of the best I have ever been on. I have been fortunate enough to play music with some of the finest humans I've ever encountered throughout the years and the three other men that I share a band with now are no exception. In the fine tradition of bad things happening to good people, our bass player Bryan got horrendously nauseous immediately following our set at the Not Dead Yet fest in Toronto and he retreated to our van to hopefully ward off the impending rivers of puke that would soon be flowing from his (usually) impenetrable guts (seriously. I've seen the man eat blood sausage, haggis, beef jerky and obnoxiously phallic bratwursts without batting an eye or vomiting a turd). He fought it all back until 4 am, when we were all packed in the van and headed towards the house to sleep. Bryan calmly turned to me and said "Hand me that bag." I scrambled around in the dark and came up with a stuff sack for a sleeping bag. In mere seconds, Bryan was vomiting seemingly everything he'd ever eaten into that tiny bag while my shoulder rubbed against his and the van ambled along through a sleepy Toronto morning. This set the standard for the next few days, as this fucked up bug/virus worked it's way through each member of the band except for me (thankfully). A couple of days later, we were back in the U.S. and headed towards our next show in Portland, Maine. Looking at the map prior to our tour, I realized that during this drive, we would be headed straight through Littleton, NH which is the final resting place of that dumb scumfuck, GG Allin. I suggested that we stop to check it out and was met with absolutely no resistance from my bandmates. (A little backstory: GG died in 1993 and admirers have been flocking to his grave ever since to pay their respects by pissing, vomiting and shitting all over it. It took nearly 16 years for the priest who ran the cemetery to finally get sick of cleaning up after scumfuck oogles and he removed the gravestone to deter further "defacement". His grave is now unmarked and unadorned.) Upon pulling into the cemetery, it took us no less than 3 minutes to find his grave and it took me no less than 45 seconds to step on a dried up turd next to his grave. Fucking beautiful.

   Soon enough, we were back on the road and soon enough, the nausea started to settle in on Kyle. We tried to determine if it was due to Bryan's germs, expired food or the curse of GG's grave. We never knew for sure, but you can be certain that by the time we hit the streets of Portland, so were the entire contents of Kyle's stomach. Like the champ that he is, Kyle still played the show that night. During our first song, I thought, "Man, Kyle is still playing his guitar lead perfectly even though he feels so shitty." At that moment, I looked over at him and he was puking into a bucket while playing the lead note-for-note. Fuck you, GG!
    After our haggard and painful (for Kyle and any queasy members of our audience) set, the perfectly healthy and energetic NO SIR I WON'T took the basement by storm. With an ex- (and current)member list that includes SURRENDER, LIBYANS, WITCHES WITH DICKS, SHITHEAD, BRAIN KILLER and FOREIGN OBJECTS, I have to admit that I had high hopes. I also have to admit that I was not disappointed for one second. While the trajectory and style of the band are something that doesn't often prick up my ears in 2012(UK peace-punk in the vein of FLUX OF PINK INDIANS and CRASS), NO SIR I WON'T breathe life and excitement into a genre that is often plagued by historical reenactments. Watching their singer Dan perform makes me wish that all frontpersons could be more direct and charismatic. Meanwhile, the rest of the band pounds away relentlessly in a way that will reaffirm your faith in punk if it was lacking at all. Even though I was fighting off my own pangs of nausea, I watched every second of their set, making sure a bucket was in reach just in case the plague caught up with me. A dizzying 25 minutes later, I made my way out of the basement into the cool New England air and bought everything the band had for sale. You should do the same.
   The next day, tour went on. Less than 2 hours into our drive, I was grossing out a cop on the side of the I-95 while Barker was puking into the weeds, but that's a story for another day.


The band just put out a great two song 7" that is available from Destroy Me. You should get it.

For the record, I think GG Allin was an interesting and entertaining figure in American punk, but ultimately nothing past his tenure in THE JABBERS ever caused more than a brief chuckle from me. It's all shit.