Wednesday, February 27, 2013


   I was just gonna write "fuck you" for the entire text for this one, but then decided against it. I don't really know anything about this tape. BROKEN STRINGS is Adam from TOMMY LASORDARAINBOW BRIDGE and LOS RABBIS playing home recorded solo stuff. He put out an LP a few years ago under this name that was just phenomenal. These two songs are more lo-fi (somehow) and "out there". I like them a lot.
  ICKY GIRLFRIENDS were screaming out of weird little holes in the Bay Area some years back and they completely eluded any notice from me. I never really knew they were there until they were gone. This tape is the only thing I've ever heard by them and it sounds like screamy, bratty teenagers having more fun than I was in 2006. Their full length CD is still available from Starcleaner.

This one is from the bag of Mike Wilson's tapes on my floor.

Monday, February 25, 2013

MRR RADIO #1333 - 1/27/13

    Oops! Did this radio show with Francesca about a month ago and I never posted it. Better late than never, I guess. I played mostly new stuff and it was fun...

Sunday, February 24, 2013

MARISSA MAGIC - "Infinity Bums" - Tape - 2012

   Last night, I went to see DavEnd's amazing musical, Fabulous Artistic Guys Get Overtly Traumatized Sometimes and it was outstanding. It took me away from my mostly straight, mostly hetero, somewhat confined punk world and set me adrift in the genderqueer, trans, performance art fabulousness of DavEnd's mind for a couple of short hours. It was smart, funny, thoughtful and poignant. I would go see it again right now if someone handed me a ticket.
   It made me feel really good, but I was soon back out on the streets of SF, among the Saturday night crowds of affluent white people, party dudes and drunk assholes. I rode my bike back to my neighborhood, thinking about how everyday it looks more and more like a place that doesn't make me happy, which is a sharp contrast from how I used to feel. There's more people who look like me around: white, kind of vaguely punk the way most young people do now, riding a nice bike, drinking fancy drinks. It makes people that look like me feel safe. Like they're in a safe place. It makes me feel completely and utterly insane. I don't have enough middle fingers for the hate that flows through me on a daily basis. I don't feel this hate just for the damage that tech people are doing to this community. I feel it for a myriad of reasons, like for the continuation of full time war, the shitty writing in the SF Chronicle, men who protest at abortion clinics, people who hate others for being LGBTQ and organized religion. I wish that I could wrap all of these things into one big bundle, stuff it into a large pinata and destroy it with a bat.
   Anyway, I was thinking about all of this stuff as I biked back to my neighborhood and continued to drive myself into an unreasonable frenzy. An old friend had invited me to the queer goth show at a bar, but I soon found myself alone, hiding in the back of a taqueria, listening to cumbia and reading a book about Mormonism. I politely declined the invitation and just went home. In my room ,I wanted to listen to something that was as fucked up as I felt. I looked through the hardcore tapes, the snarling punk anthems and the noisy dirges, but when my fingers floated to this tape, I knew my search was over.
   Marissa Magic and I don't know each other too well, but I feel like we might share some of the same thoughts about the state of the world. This tape is cathartic, uncomfortable and noisy as fuck. I could name some comparisons but this isn't really my world of punk. In different ways, it makes me think about RUSSIAN TSARLAG and the Sonic Death tape, but only vaguely. There are some wild stabs at drums, a soothing blanket of feedback and layered screams that started to pull me from this awful mood. I dreamed of walking into the karaoke bar where 20-somethings had been post-ironically singing Kenny Loggins songs and just blasting this through their PA. In the right kind of setting, someone would want to beat you up for listening to this kind of music and in my mind, that is how I still want punk/noise to be. I don't want punk to sell cars. I don't want punk to reunite to play shitty fests. I want punk to always come out of weird, dirty places and remain challenging, like this.

That's all pretty rambly, but you know what I'm saying, right?
Mormonism is some weird shit.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

OUR LADY OF NAPALM - Tape - 1999

   I don't know too much about the history of this SF band because I never saw them and I wasn't around during their short existence. This band teamed the punk upbringing of Ivy (drums....also in LOS CANADIANS, MIAMI and many more) with the stoner rock / metal stylings of Janis (guitar) and Erika (bass)(also in HAMMERS OF MISFORTUNE and LOST GOAT respectively) and they made music that fell somewhere between those styles. They recorded these ten songs, which I think were intended for an LP, but it never saw the light of day...probably because everyone had so many other projects going on. I don't even know the song titles. Song #4 is a great Ivy-fronted song that ALLERGIC TO BULLSHIT (Ivy's later band) tried to work into their repertoire, but it didn't really pan out. There's also some great stoner-style jams, full-on rockers and a DEAD BOYS cover. Get into it.

This tape is from the shelves of Ivy Jeanne.

   Ivy went on to sing for ALLERGIC TO BULLSHIT, BLACK RAINBOW and MIAMI. Just like every other drummer who has ever lived in the Mission, she once played drums for SHOTWELL. Erica also played in LOST GOAT and AMBER ASYLUM. Janis has played in PAGAN BABIES (with Courtney Love and Kat from BABES IN TOYLAND), HAMMERS OF MISFORTUNE, STONE FOX, L7 and in PINK's (yes, that PINK) backing band. She also has one million hilarious stories that I cannot repeat here. 

Monday, February 18, 2013


   In 2006, I found myself in a junk shop called Happy Birthday Mike Leslie in Worcester, MA, which was run by my friend, Jacob. As I perused the racks of army men, bad cassettes, broken stuff, homemade stuffed animals, Chuck Norris comics and re-purposed M.U.S.C.L.E. men, I came across this CD. Upon seeing me looking at this, Jacob yelled "Oh, you have to buy that!! It will change your life!" and then I think he gave it to me. Did it change my life? Well, yes, but just about everything in the world changes your life in little ways.
  From the description inside the CD, this is....well, just read below. I don't think I can explain it any better than Mike Taylor did here:
   After I left the junk shop, I was thrust back into the reality of the total summer bummer, 3 month  punk tour that I was on. We were headed to play a lackluster, last minute show at a VFW hall in Hartford, CT while all of my Worcester friends were driving an hour south to go see LIMP WRIST. I put on this CD as soon as I got in the van and it lasted three whole songs before my band mate ejected it, dismissing it as some "weird Providence crap that feels like a joke at my expense." This is weird as fuck and maybe not meant to be listened to all in one sitting, but here it is....


 I thought things were getting a little normal around here, so here ya go. My favorite song topics are "My Favorite Colonel", "????", "Things I Do Not Like To Eat" and "The Next Level"

Oh yeah, there's no real track listing because as the insert states "Just relax and don't get hung up on following it, okay?"

Sunday, February 17, 2013

ADD/C / GIANT BAGS OF WEED - Split 7" - 2002

   This little slab of vinyl came out on Half Day Records 11 years ago and featured two bands very near and dear to my heart. I will start off with GIANT BAGS OF WEED.
   GBOW was already a fully functioning band with a revolving cast of members. The anchor to this band was Billy Joe on guitar/vocals and Matte on drums. The lineup on this release also featured Chris Delaware on bass and myself on 2nd guitar/vocals. I had previously played bass in the band, but when I left Bloomington for a bit, they dutifully replaced me with Chris. When I returned and still wanted to be in the band, they stuck me on 2nd guitar, which was great. I always enjoyed this band as a spectator, but when I was in the band, I wasn't sure if people actually liked us. I spent most of my tenure in the band jumping around drunk. Chris wore the shortest of shorts and probably spent more time in the water than out of it. Matte had secret dredlocks stuffed into a hat and seemed to survive on a diet of Skittles and soda. Billy Joe constantly trekked between Chattanooga and Bloomington to work on this band. Notable things that happened during this time period: Matte and I took our equipment to a show one time by bike because no one in the band drove or even had a license. We played the last show at a Straight Edge house because I begged to be on it. The sXe dudes said we could play on the condition that we weren't drunk and didn't bring alcohol into their house. We agreed but still drank beer out of soda cups and were visibly drunk. Later that night, they kicked one of my queer friends out of the house in a very homophobic way. It sucked. Now, those guys all hang out in bars trying to cover up their huge sXe tattoos and that queer friend is a successful dancer and inspirational force to gay (and straight and otherwise) people all over the world, so whatever. On this record, we played songs and Joe Stone recorded them on a 4 track. You can actually hear the recording deteriorating as each song progresses and the 4 track actually broke on the last song. We couldn't do any more takes because it became inoperable. Maybe you'll like this. I honestly haven't listened to these GBOW songs in 10 years.
   On the other hand, these ADD/C songs have been haunting my eardrums since they were recorded. At the time, I thought that this was the band's apex...they would never get better than this, but then they put out their second LP. (Get ready, I'm about to over-analyze the shit outta this). In the first song, "Bubbling Cauldron of Spirits", Daniel sings about how people spend so much time focusing on inane topics of conversation without really ever saying what they really feel, which has only really accelerated in the intervening years of our technological "development". Was he intuiting that we would keep moving in this direction towards a future that gives anyone a platform to share the most mundane of topics? Probably not, but I like to think so. Also, in our new age of communication, I still love the line "Everyday I see a cell phone, everyday I wanna knock over a tower.", because 11 years later, I still feel that way.
  On the next song, "What's Up Brother?", I thought, "Did ADD/C really write a song about Billy Joe and put it out on a split 7" with Billy's band?!" Well, yes. It's a fucking sweet song though. My favorite thing about this song is that sometimes when they played it live, Billy would just walk around yelling "Fuck these guys! Quit dancing to a song about me!" The line "I wish I was sure of something, I wish I was sure of everything." is brilliant. I feel like I could write a book (a short one) just based on this song.
   "State of the Union", on the other hand, is a full length book just waiting to be written (with a very limited audience). It's starts off with a personal attack on one's self for wasting too much time on the excesses of life. It goes on to explain the anxiety and stress that comes with the onset of mild forms of agoraphobia, due to the existence of cops and the era of George Bush's presidency. Perhaps this is too heavy-handed for a simple punk song, but when confronted with the fact that Chattanooga was ranked #1 for police brutality rates for cities with populations under 200,000, it makes sense. Some of us (okay, me and ADD/C's bass player, Grady) went to Black Panther meetings led by Lorenzo Kom'boa Ervin (please follow that link and read it) and participated in marches against the police. With our white skin, it gave us a privilege not experienced by almost everyone else at the meetings, but it still didn't stop groups of cops from throwing us on the ground and going through our belongings just for walking down the street at night. . At the end of the song, the band turns the attack outward to reflect a scene's preoccupation with alcohol consumption and self-destruction. It's always been hard to tell if the conclusion was an attack or a celebration, especially when confronted with it's context (Chattanooga, TN). As anyone who has ever written a song knows, once the song gets out of your hands, it is open to interpretation and the punks of Chattanooga took it as a mantra. Self-critical or celebratory? Maybe that's not the important part. Maybe (probably), I am over-analyzing. 
  On that note, let's let "Cemeteries" stand on it's own. It's also a great song.

I don't usually upload vinyl, so hopefully it sounds okay. 
If you want ADD/C's first demo tape, it is available once again here.

Fun Facts:
1. The final line "Meet me at the laundromat" in "State of the Union" does not mean that ADD/C is going to wash their clothes. There's a 24 hour laundromat on Cherokee Blvd in Chattanooga where you could sometimes find punks hanging out (many times, that was me). Hidden in the drop ceiling, you could find a coffee maker, a hot plate and (for a short time) a record player with built in speakers. That means, if you needed a warm place to go and drink coffee at 4am, you could go there. Once, we had a dance party there. The laundromat is still there and it's still 24 hours. Someone should check to see if the coffee maker is still in the drop ceiling in the back. 

 2. Here's the significance of everything on the cover: The smokestack on the far left is in Bloomington and Matte claims that he once climbed to the top of it and went to sleep. The house on the left is where Matte lived and GBOW practiced. It's also the last place that I ever set up a show for AGAINST ME. I didn't realize that they had gotten mega popular but I soon figured it out when a couple hundred people showed up for the basement show. The sign is from the Chattanooga farmer's market. Someone in GBOW altered it and it stayed that way for a month. To the right of the sign is a houseboat that I lived on for a year in Chattanooga. To the right of that is the old Chattanooga knitting factory that Matte, Billy and I tried to squat. We woke up there with our lungs coated in asbestos and there were some dudes working on the place that we had to hide from. It's now the antique mall next to the Whole Foods. The Indiana sign is out front of the Indiana Theater in downtown Bloomington. The handsome cover star is Scott Youth, who now plays drums in TREPANNING.

  3. "Raise Ass" is not the name of the record. It is a call to action.

  4. Bill  now plays in FUTURE VIRGINS. Matte plays drums in LANDLORD. Chris Delaware actually moved (back) to Delaware and plays in ELDER THINGS. I run this blog and play drums in NEON PISS. ADD/C is still a band in some form. Daniel lives in Chicago and is expecting a child this year (believe it). Cole also plays in FUTURE VIRGINS. Grady lives about 55 steps from Cole and is one of the calmest and smartest people I know. 

  5. I can't imagine that you'd want to ever know anything more about this record.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

GREG HARVESTER - Best of 2012 in MRR


    There are a lot of records on this list and I like them all pretty equally… except for this one. I listened to this LP more than anything else this year. Everything about it is perfect, from the opening bravado of “Been A While” to the staggering, lilting closing of “Bury Me Alive.” It’s excellent melodic punk at its absolute finest. I’ve been waiting years for this record and I was not let down in the slightest. Perfect. (Do Ya Hear We / Mauled By Tigers)

 MIND SPIDERS – “Meltdown” LP 
 I knew this would be good since the band includes half of the MARKED MEN, but I didn’t know it would be this good. Completely flawless synth-pop with melodies that won’t leave your head for days or weeks on end. It should come with a warning label stating that. It takes a special kind of band to make music that seems so simple still sound so fresh, addictive and vital. (Dirtnap)

 NO STATIK – “Everywhere You Aren’t Looking” LP 
 This Bay Area band’s first 12” last year was pretty unstoppable, but they somehow put this thing out and managed to hone their sound into something meaner, more destructive and completely unfuckwithable. When I first got this home, I cleaned my room to Side A, which is a side-long ambient soundscape thing (which, for the record, I’m completely into). When I dropped the needle on Side B, I just sat and stared at the record spinning around, mouth agape. This destroys. (Prank)

 Sick band. Sick record. Sick live show in Oakland. Sickoids. Everything about this record is sick. (Residue)

DOGJAW “Slow To Build” LP
 DOGJAW’s slow, brooding, howling record sounds like a rainy Pacific Northwest afternoon. They’re the kind of band that is sure to have a stocked tincture shelf and a hot mug of tea at the end of the night. These are my people. (Rumbletowne)

BAADER BRAINS – “New Era Hope Colony” LP
A triumphant, exuberant, beautiful work of art that leaves me speechless. (Ebullition / Clean Plate / Empyre)

ALABASTER CHOAD – “Crash Of The Limburger on Bebusland” LP
 First off, my pal E.R. Conner bought this LP off of their stand-up bass player, Orson when he was randomly selling it on the street downtown in order to buy cat food. Secondly, this band is completely indescribable, but I think they are amazing. True freak music for fucked up queers and weirdos. (Self-released)

EXCUSAMWA – “Excusez-Moi” LP 
 There is absolutely no other band like FAT DAY and I have been mourning their loss for a long time now. This band is not FAT DAY, but one of the members is in this band and there are screeches, skronks, tempos and bonkers-style songwriting that makes me feel the same as the aforementioned band. This music is uncomfortable and strange. I love it. It also includes a board game, which is insane. (100% Breakfast)

 An important band. An important record. I’m glad someone finally released it on vinyl, even if it is a “bootleg”. (Bootleg)

 HICKEY – “Various States Of Disrepair” 2xLP 
 Yes, this is a reissue, but this band helped to shape my views on DIY punk in ways that will stay with me for the rest of my life. Every song on here is a classic. If you don’t like HICKEY, I probably don’t like you. (1-2-3-4-Go!)


 REPLICA – Flexi 
 Perfect Bay Area hardcore that is fierce as fuck. Seriously, every time I see REPLICA, I can’t believe I’m lucky enough to live in a town with a band that is this great. I get the same feeling when I listen to this flexi version of their demo. (Radical Punks Never Die)

 This noisy crust band from Massachusetts isn’t afraid of melody and gets better every time I see or hear them. This record rules. (PRGNT)

 FUTURO – Sair De Mim EP
 My friend Juliana saw me at a record swap and pointed out this record in her distro . She said “I bet you’ll like this.” I bought it without knowing anything about it and I love it. Raging, ragged melodic punk that is fierce. (Spicoli / Nada Nada / Bandcamp)

 NO STATIK – No Hospice – EP 
 “No Hospice” is my favorite hardcore song of 2012. It’s dark, brooding, confrontational and venomous. It sounds like the earth being annihilated. The flip side, “Clean Swift Sunshine” is not a snoozer either. (Prank)

 NO STATIK – Never Be A Martyr – EP 
 Did I mention yet that I like NO STATIK a lot? Did I also mention that they played the single best live set of any band that I saw this year? Well, they did. Prank Fest 2012. This EP rips. (Prank)

 THE WAR GOES ON – “This Shitty Life” EP
 Tough, snarling street punk from members of NO HOPE FOR THE KIDS. It doesn’t quite pick up where NOFTK left off, but I don’t need that in my life, you know what I mean? New anthems for the new times. I want more of this….way more. (New Dark Age)

 PERMACULTURE – “Swallow What You’re Given” EP 
 Perfect sounding, precise peace punk that stayed with me since the day I first heard it. (Inflammable Material)

 DEAD MOON – “Too Many People” EP
 DEAD MOON is my favorite band of all time. I don’t trust people who dislike them. They could trot out practice tapes pressed onto vinyl from now until the end of time and I swear they’ll be on every top ten list I ever write because they live, breathe and play rock and roll better than you or any of your friends will ever make in any of our lifetimes. Period. End of story. (Mississippi Records does not need a fucking website)

 MÜLLTÜTE – “Zweite” EP
 Highly destructive two person punk from Germany that is rough around the edges, but so great! No songs over 2 minutes! Plus, they named their band so that Americans would sound stupid saying it. (HeartFirst)

 FOREIGN OBJECTS – “Mammonism / Fable” 45 
 FOREIGN OBJECTS were consistent and fierce in their short time as a band. They did not release one bad song. As usual, everything is over too quickly, but it’s so good that I don’t even care. (Cut The Cord That…)


 These freaks put out a three song demo that has been destroying my ear drums since I put it in my tape player months ago. Manic, falling apart, ugly punk.

 DISPLEASURE spread bad vibes a mile wide, made me feel all of my feelings and then they broke up. It was the perfect length of time for a great punk band to be together, but I’m still mourning the loss.

 Bouncy, synthy, loose indie-punk that makes me long for a New York that no longer exists.

 These Oaklanders put out three caustic tapes of fast melodic punk blasts in less than a year. Not one of them is any less than brilliant. This one might be my favorite. Free Matteo!!

 Arty, angular, precise-yet-loose punk that sends shivers up my spine.

 My friend, Jeff’s one man band where he expertly writes the catchiest, most hook-drenched pop you can imagine.

 Some of the most uncomfortable sounds I’ve ever heard. I was listening to this on headphones in a darkened boxcar in the middle of nowhere and I had to stop because it creeped me out really fucking bad.

 Total new dark age music to make you dance around your room and feel like shit in the best way.

 Four songs. No bullshit. One of the best new bands in the Bay Area.

 You can get pissed off about this if you want, but 2012 pogo-punk just sounds like mid-90’s pop-punk and I am totally okay with that. Total headache music! Shit your parents will hate.

Friday, February 15, 2013


   For long time readers (or those of you paying attention), this one will be familiar because I've already posted this tape. The reason I am reposting it is because this is one of the first tapes I ever posted on this blog and I had no clue what I was doing. The mp3's in that file sounded awful, but I posted them anyway because I thought absolutely no one was paying attention to anything on this blog. I was wrong. I've been meaning to replace the files for a long time now, but never got around to it. Ever since Mediafire suspended my account, it has been pretty easy to decide which files to re-upload. This one was at the top of the list. If you downloaded this in the past, please delete those files and download this one instead. You will be much happier with the results.
  I only saw WHITE TRASH SUPERMAN once, at a pizza place in a mall in Huntsville, Alabama. It was 1994 and I had no idea that these hair farmers were going to write my favorite song of all time. I also didn't know that in 3 short years, I would be playing in a band with one of them. No...they were just these 4 guys playing these energetic pop songs that are maybe just too wacko or adrenaline-filled to be simply classified as "Indie-rock". They probably spent more time in the air than on the ground. They were jumping around the whole time in this excited way, like they were thinking "Holy fuck, I can't believe 20 people showed up to see us!" You can't really tell from this tape, but their live shows were kind of insane. At their last show ever, the audience was throwing cans of Spam everywhere and a lot of stuff got broken, including the bass players leg after a guitar got hurled into it.
    In a perfect world, these guys would get written up in the indie-rock history books alongside SUPERCHUNK (who are great) and whatever other garbage those people like. Alas, this is our world and WTS wrote my anthems. Songs like "Clock", "Rocket" and "Thumb" have been hopelessly stuck in my head for years. They also wrote "Couldn't If I Tried", which is, in my humble opinion, the best song ever written. This is golden stuff here, my friends. If you head over to the WTS entry on Terminal Escape, you will have everything this band recorded in their short time on Earth. It's all great.
    Marsh went on to play in THE COMAS and now plays in THE OVERNIGHT LOWS with his wife of 14 years, Daphne. I never really knew Steve or Jamie from WTS, so I can't tell you they went on to do. I can tell you that Jayson went on to form THE GRUMPIES a couple of years later. These days, he is making amazing art (as he has always done) and playing music with WACO DEAD and MING DONKEY ONE MAN BAND. He also didn't ever get any credit for writing the guitar hook for that famous BLIND MELON song or for getting baked with Slash from G'N'R (all true).

The abrupt cut off at the end of "Lb" is how my tape ends. It wasn't a mistake on my part.
Also, this is the 300th post on this blog. Thanks for reading this far.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

HICKEY - "The Ultra Heliocentric Underworld Of The Most Evil Terrifying and Naked Cult Of Hickey. Rare and Unreleased, Unstoppable Rock!!" - 1998 - Tape

   If you're at all familiar with this blog and many of the artists that I've shared on it, I don't need to tell you why HICKEY is important. I discovered punk through THE MINUTEMEN and THE RAMONES. It was because of HICKEY (along with BLACK FORK, BIKINI KILL and 50 MILLION) that I became fiercely attracted to the DIY aspect of punk that keeps me going today and their influence still informs just about every musical decision I make. It's kinda ridiculous.
   I copied this tape off of my friend Ivy way back in the late 90's. Initially, I was not that into it and preferred the band's piles of 7" EP's and their unfuckwithable LP. As time marched on, the songs on here kept creeping into my life and many of them became some of my favorites by the band. HICKEY was known for having a remarkable live show. Sometimes, they played all of the "hits" back to back. One time, I saw them and they just kinda jammed for a long time. It wasn't bad. The 3 members became an intuitive, unstoppable unit that was not afraid of experimentation and going out on a limb...even when it failed. I think some of that comes across on this tape.

  The tape starts off with a couple of unreleased (?) songs and then delves into the band's epic cover of MANOWAR's "Kingdom Come". That song originally appeared on the Probe Records compilation "Death To False Metal", but this is the original six-and-a-half minute version with an extended jam (p.s. it rules). Next up is a weird version of "Last Nite on the Planet" with Shell (I sounds like him. Edit: It's Aesop) making pro-wrestler comments throughout. The next few songs are by HICKEY MILLION, who you can read about if you follow that link (and yes, you can download the file on that page when you get to it). The rest of the side is filled with jams, cover songs (SQUEEZE, DAVID BOWIE, GUNS N ROSES, STOOGES), alternate takes and interviews with teenagers at a live HICKEY show. Side 2 (or for you, song #21) kicks off with a radio promo and goes straight into a live set on KDVS in Davis, CA. There's more jams, a really cool duet with Matty and Allison Wonderslam, more cover songs (AVENGERS and SABBATH) and that damned trumpet they stole from VOODOO GLOW SKULLS all those years ago.
  I'm still constantly impressed by the amount of stuff that this little band recorded in their brief lifetime...and how much of it is really great! I mean, there's still more, although the further you dig, the sadder it gets. Drug addiction is not pretty, folks, so let's just stop here and enjoy this great band and all the years of inspiration they have injected into our lives.

(Just to warn you, this is a large file. 230mb)

Thanks to Ivy Jeanne for the source tape (mine is thrashed).
Thanks to Aesop for giving the green light and drumming on these recordings.
Thanks to MRR for digitization help.
Thanks to Chubby, Rizzler, Wade and Shell for making it out alive.
Thanks to Matty Luv for everything. R.I.P.

...and since Valentine's Day is right around the corner, why not check out this live HICKEY set from V-Day 1997?

Sunday, February 10, 2013

THE GRUMPIES - "Barn Demos" - Tape - 1998

   In the first part of 1998, I spent a lot of time driving between Birmingham, AL and Starkville, MS, sleeping on floors, working in a bookstore, playing shows in little dives and coffeeshops and living really cheaply. I played drums in THE GRUMPIES and we were trying to get our shit together to record an LP for Recess Records. Whether or not we got our shit together is totally debatable, but we did actually drive out to Los Angeles and record an entire LP (plus some) in a little shitbox of a room while some hack with a goatee (I think he said he recorded FACE TO FACE also) turned knobs. That's a story for another day though....
    When this tape was recorded, we hadn't even thought about crossing the Mississippi yet. We practiced in an old-ass barn in Louisville (that's "Lewis-ville"), MS behind Bubba's house. Bubba was Jayson's (guitar/vocals) 95 year old grandmother who made the best cornbread and was quite possibly one of the sweetest grandmas you could hope to meet. She would always make us stop practicing when it got too late (around 7 or 8, I think). Anyhow, this little demo was recorded just for us on the four track in the barn. We were working on new songs for the LP and beyond. Some of these appeared on the LP and some of them never showed up anywhere else. For reasons beyond our control (because we could barely even control ourselves at the time), Amy (bass/vocals) was not with us at the barn that day, so Jayson and I just recorded these songs without her and Jayson overdubbed the bass himself. I always liked how this turned out because I think it was closer to what we were turning into, rather than the hyper-manic, Chipmunk-style pop-punk we were pummeling people with at our live shows. The songs are a bit slower and darker, at times. When we played some of these songs live, you could see the pop-punk kids eyes just kinda glaze over as they waited for us to speed it up.
    The first six songs are Jayson and I in the barn. Songs 7 through 10 are just Jayson playing everything himself in the barn. I will make no excuses for tape hiss and deterioration. This thing has been sitting in a box, rotting, since 1998.

If you want the original GRUMPIES demo tape from 1996, you can find it right here. I just re-uploaded the files so that you can download it again.

If you want the GRUMPIES LP, you might have to scour the internet. You can buy it on iTunes, but I have no idea where that money goes. I would upload it  here, but I don't feel like getting another file-hosting account shut down just yet. You can still buy the CD from Recess Records. I had to steal my copy of it off of TOYS THAT KILL's merch table because Recess wouldn't give me one single copy. Take that how you want.
(negative views are mine: not representative of the whole band)

Saturday, February 9, 2013


   I could tell you all about southern punk scenes that you never knew you cared about. I could tell you about the entire history of a single punk house in the Midwest. You know what I can't tell you about? The hardcore scene in Indianapolis, Indiana. I lived 45 miles south of there on and off for years, but I never went to one punk show in Indy (unless you count X, but that's different). I went to a pretty killer art show and I once scoured the city for any traces of black and white photobooths with my friend Amy (no luck), but punk and I never met within the city limits. I once heard about a punk fest happening there called Dude Fest and I was like "Fuck that."
   Still, like anywhere, punk and hardcore screams out of basements, living rooms, dive bars, galleries, taquerias, alleys and bedrooms all over the world. Indianapolis, I'm sure, has a thriving punk scene and CRITICAL RESPONSE TEAM was once ruling the basements of that city. They play aggressive hardcore, skate-thrash with a singer that sounds like one big swollen throat (I mean that in a good way). They blast out 11 songs in about 12 minutes or so. Choice song titles include "To Eat a Pizza" and "Fuck Space Travel".

The only thing I know about this band is that their guitarist went on to be in LANDLORD and FAT SHADOW. 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

CASSINGLE AND LOVIN' IT - Compilation - CD-R - Mid-to-late-90's and beyond

   Before we get into the music part, I just wanted to update you all on the Mediafire business (see here for reference). The account is still locked and my emails to customer service were fruitless. My final email mirrored the frustration I was feeling from dealing with them and I simply asked "Can you prove that you work for Mediafire? Can you prove that your names are real? Can you prove that the Earth is indeed round?" Whatever. Oddly, they never wrote back. While it is a bummer that a majority of the links on this site are dead, I am moving forward because That Is What I Do. I am re-upping some old ones and will continue to do so from time to time. Feel free to tell me what you want re-uploaded. For now, feel free to continue downloading CLEANSING WAVERYMODEEHICKEYFLEABAGThis Alabama punk compREMAIN INDOORSFROZEN TEENSTOMMY LASORDA and RICE HARVESTER. As I stated way back in the beginning, none of this stuff is copyrighted and if you don't feel comfortable having your music shared on this site, just let me know and I will take it down, no questions asked. There is no need to involve outside sources. We can exist without the Man. Onto the music....

   You may know Scott from his manic drumming in THE BANANAS or, more recently, his smooth guitar stylings in THE BRIGHT IDEAS. During the 90's, he ran a great record label called Secret Center, who put out the first BANANAS singles as well as all manner of nerdy, under-appreciated jangly punk bands from the Sacramento area. In the 90's and early 00's, he did an offshoot of the label that specifically specialized in one-off cassingles (for those of you who did not grow up in the 90's, that's a really short cassette with only 2 songs on it) comprised of bands that were usually around long enough to record their 2 songs. The cassettes could be bought through the mail for a buck or two. This download is a collection of all the songs as well as a few unreleased "gems". All bands are from Sacramento except for (US SOUTHERNERS TAKE NOTE) "Gary League". Gary is actually none other than Peter Stubb, the North Georgia wildman who has been self-releasing his own tapes consistently since the late 80's (I think the League recordings remain unreleased by this Sac label, but remained close to their hearts). Here is Scott to tell you everything you never wanted to know about this label and these bands....

   I generally consider the cassingle label to be the best idea I've ever had. The inspiration hit me some time in 1996 a few days before the BANANAS headed to Cupertino to play a show. After the show, I mentioned it to Gavin and Hutch - two Cupertino guys I'd become friends with through playing shows and doing Secret Center Records. Hutch was in a rad band called BUNCHA LOSERS, whose tape I distro-ed (now he's in THE THERMALS) and Gavin was in THE NARDS, who were one of my favorite bands to play with. He was also just one of the nicest guys ever. He played in a great band called THE FEVERS later on and is currently in an AWESOME band called THE RANTOULS, who play way too infrequently. Anyway, I told them about the label idea  at the show and they were like "we like have the perfect thing for you!", which ended up being THE CARNIES cassingle (which sadly other than one song, is lost at the moment.) A few days later, THE CARNIES master tape and artwork showed up in my mailbox, so I figured "Cassingle and Lovin' It!" had been officially born. I couldn't even believe how perfect THE CARNIES stuff was - they had just done it one bored weekend but it was the ideal cassingle music. To me, it seemed like a sign that I had to do the label. 

    The first one we did was at U Street (aka The Gentlemen's Club and basically cassingle headquarters) was THE ICE BUCKET HEADS, which is me, Tristan, Davey and Jay. We all lived there and were sitting around talking about doing a cassingle & there was this styrofoam ice bucket that had been lying around in the front room & we were sort of discussing how rad it was that a cassingle could just be any stupid idea that you could possibly think of. I think originally we were going to make a band called THE QUESADILLA MAKERS (I believe Jay was making a quesadilla at the time) & then somebody put the ice bucket on their head, so we did that instead. It's amazing how freeing it is to write songs for a fake band. I sat down and wrote "Everybody Loves The IBH" the next morning in like 10 minutes and Davey wrote "Stay Cool" which came out pretty bad because he's the worst at articulating how he thinks something should sound. But it was a great start.

   "Dude With The Shirt With The Dude On It"  was an inside joke from BANANAS / FOUR EYES  tour where some guy walked in to the house we were staying at in Chattanooga at like 3am looking for someone (the guy was wasted) and he just kept saying "I'm...looking for the dude...with the shirt....with the dude on it!!" So, we sort of wrote that one in the van & recorded it when we got back home. (Ed. note: this song blows my mind)  That was the funnest one because we had a party to provide the backing vocals & party sounds. This one is Jay, Joel, Mike and me. 

    SACTO APES is these two Japanese kids  - Kei and Naomi - that were visiting California. They had mail-ordered stuff from me a few times. My friend, Dave Smith, who lived in San Francisco, met them. When he was visiting Sac that weekend, he said "I met these two Japanese kids who knew what Secret Center was. They seemed bored in SF." So, we decided to go kidnap them and bring them to Sac. Banana Mike was moving out of his house that day so he had an empty house that we could throw a show in for those kids. LIL BUNNIES, BANANAS and ICE BUCKET HEADS played (the only cassingle band to play a show. We did the cassingle and a cover of "Never Understand") & these kids were completely sold on Sac. They stayed for a few days at U Street. One day, I came home and they had written a cassingle about liking Sacramento. Their lyrics are the sweetest. They're printed on the cassingle cover (Ed. note: included in download). Tristan plays drums and several drunk people provide the chorus singing. 

   THE ROMS was the most grueling tape ever. After it was done, I realized that it took 18 hours to finish. We found a drum machine that my friend, Jason had left over at U Street. It had a bunch of dancehall beats on it. He had gotten super into Dancehall a few years earlier (he actually started a dancehall label called "Ruff Chicken" that put out dancehall LP's and tapes). So, he had all these beats he'd programmed into it and we built the cassingle around those. There was a Rom comic lying around that provided the inspiration. We had a Moog that only worked some of the time and it kind of broke in the middle of recording. Somehow, we salvaged it. Everyone was playing something they weren't good at on equipment they were totally unfamiliar with & to this day, I can't believe it sounds as good as it does. It could never be duplicated in a million years! This one is Joel, Jay, Lisa, Davey and me. 
   FANCY LADS was written by Tristan in the middle of our house-wide obsession with the TELEVISION PERSONALITIES. No B-side was ever written, so this one is "unreleased", but it's always been one of my favorites. I rememeber being in my room when he and Jay started working on it and being totally jealous that I wasn't involved. 

   VERUCA SALT FAN CLUB is pretty self-explanatory. Based on my celeb crush on Louise Post.

   "Forever Nursing Brew" is another unreleased one thanks to no B-side. I've always loved this song and it's absurd stance that someone was trying to "stop us from drinking our brew". It's like the "legalize it" of beer! This one always reminds me of Eric Copeland because we used to quote it to each other whenever we were drinking brews on BLACK DICE tour, which was most of the time. 

   SIMILAR GUYS is Gavin and Mike, who do sort of look alike. Gavin was coming to visit and do a cassingle, so Mike wrote "We're Similar Guys" the day before, but we still needed a B-side. (Ed. note: I listened to this song exactly once and it was stuck in my head for a week straight) Before Gavin got to town, I was going to a beer fest down the street and I wrote "We're Similar" in my head on the walk there. I spent the whole fest constantly repeating it over in my head so I wouldn't forget it. That one was super fun. I was proud of the line "We've got a lot in common, just like soup and ramen."

   The HONEY I SHRUNK THE BAND cassingle was the last of the golden era of cassingles and it's one of my favorites for sure. Mike wrote "Hip To Be Small" and we sang it with the 4 track on slow speed so it would sound like munchkins. I wrote the theme song based on that annoying riff, which is something I used to play whenever I picked up a guitar for a while. I was dating the girl who talks on it and she used to live in Berkeley, so we only hung out on weekends. She already didn't like Sac that much but this particular weekend I was in a fit of cassingle fever so I was totally distracted with working on HISTB. She was super annoyed, hanging out in my room, when I was like "hey, will you do this talking part?" She immediately got all psyched and into it - the magic of the cassingle. 

    We started the label back up again for a bit in 2000 or so with the YAWNING MUSHROOM, which was the "psychedelic cassingle". My friend Marie and I were working on BRIGHT IDEAS stuff and she had some, we took them and decided to write a cassingle instead. One of the weird side effects of the mushrooms was that we couldn't stop yawning, hence the name. She had this little contact mic that she put inside an acoustic and it sounded so incredible high in headphones! I had written those songs a few weeks earlier and they seemed to fit together. 

   JUNIOR QUENCH is one of my best friends, Josh, who lives in NYC. He used to live in Sac and is Sac through and through. So, when Marie called him at his apartment in NYC and said "hey, Dillon and I wrote a reggae jam. Do you want to sing over it?", he, of course, said "yes". He's way into dancehall as well and I guess there's a little-known dancehall DJ called Quench Aid who Josh loves. He was already making these funny tapes of him imitating Quench Aid over instrumental reggae tracks and calling it "JUNIOR QUENCH", so he grabbed some lyrics he had written, went outside his apartment and sang over the phone into the 4 track while they cranked the track so he could hear it. One take! 

   There are a lot more...some that even I've forgotten. Some were recorded on long lost tapes. Some were just REALLY bad. There are some good ones not on here, but these are the ones that have the classic spirit of what was going on for that glorious, heady year or so. 


P.S. I am still figuring out the kinks of the new file-sharing service. Let me know if you have problems.