Monday, September 30, 2013


    I'm taking October off. There may be random entries written by other folks during the month, but don't count on it. I'll be back in the office in November. Thanks!

Sunday, September 29, 2013


CLEANSING WAVE - Distant Castle - 2010 - Worcester, MA - Photo by Greg Harvester

JOEY TAMPON AND THE TOXIC SHOCKS - Location Unknown - 1996 - Huntsville, AL - Photo by Dama (??)

BRIS - A Garage - 2000 - Chattanooga, TN - Photo by Brontez Purnell

AOA - Clopton St - 1996 - Huntsville, AL - Photo by Ramesh (?)

THEE AUTOBOTS - The Gazebo - 1997 - Huntsville, AL - Photo by Blair Menace

FORCED VENGEANCE - Rear Entry - 2000 - Chattanooga, TN - Photo by Brontez Purnell

ONION FLAVORED RINGS - An Art Space - 2003 - Asheville, NC - Photo by Greg Harvester

DEAD MOON, Daun, Greg and Shannon - The Bluebird - 2006 - Bloomington, IN - Photo by the Coles' niece.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

HARBINGER - "Eartraining For Corporates" - Tape - 1999

   Today, I'm gonna take the backseat again and let someone else drive this broken down jalopy. John No contacted me about putting up the long lost HARBINGER demo and of course I said yes. Here he is to tell you all about it. I'll chime in again at the end. 
   HARBINGER is an East Bay punk band that formed in 1998. Robert Eggplant had a bunch of great songs that he was playing solo with an electric guitar, and his comrades Aaron Cometbus and John No (the guy writing this) conspired with him over late night donuts in Oakland to make a band out of it. Eggplant had played guitar in BLATZ and THE HOPE BOMBS, Aaron had played drums with pretty much every band in existence at some point, and I hadn't played bass "for real" before at all (and didn't again until STREET EATERS).
    We recorded this tape live a few weeks later at 924 Gilman with infamous roadie/sound guy Clayton McBride. There were no overdubs, not even the vocals. When people heard it, they kept asking Eggplant who the lady singing backups was (that would be me). We went on our one U.S. tour pretty soon after releasing the tape (i.e. home dubbing 100 copies), during which I met about half of my current friends and played with what were to soon become many of my favorite bands. We played in Chattanooga with JACK PALANCE BAND and we accidentally split some poor kid's scalp open by throwing a giant talking Mother Goose doll in the audience. We played in Gainesville with RADON at a house party and I was so drunk I could barely play, so some dude kept yelling "y'all would be great if you had a bass player!" I didn't drink before shows after that.
    HARBINGER played at ABCNORIO in New York and Eggplant threw watercolor paint all over the white gallery walls so we had to stay after the show and clean it up. We played our tightest set in Pensacola, Florida, at the original Sluggo's for an audience consisting of Rymodee and Teddy Ted, who played for the three of us in a 2/3rds version of THIS BIKE IS A PIPEBOMB (Terry was stuck downstairs tending bar). Right after that I walked down to the fabled Pensacola "beach" and it was super grey, broken shell-strewn and depressing; I liked it but didn't see what all the tourist fuss was about. Turns out what I thought was Pensacola beach was Pensacola Bay. I went to a pay phone and made a phone call to my friend Von and we decided to form FLESHIES.
    After HARBINGER made it home, we almost made Ben Ditch (from BEFORE THE FALL/FUTURE ADULTS) our singer, got into a couple of stupid arguments, played a couple more shows and "broke up". Then after a minute we decided we weren't broken up and would just play together when we were all in town. We wrote a few more songs, recorded a 12" with Kevin Army in 2001, and put it out on RIISK Records in 2004. I think there are a couple of them left, but you will have to call Eggplant at 510 BAD-SMUT and leave a message. We still play together sometimes, though these days we are more inclined to get donuts and walk around together all night when we are in the same place. The end.
 Thanks to the Region Rock and More for digitizing the tape and originally posting it in 2009.

   Okay, it's Greg again....Fun tidbits: I once heard that HARBINGER showed up early to a show at Gilman and claimed that they only play house shows, so they built a shack inside of Gilman to play in. I only saw HARBINGER once (don't know where I was when that Chattanooga show happened) at a Halloween show at 54th St in Oakland just a couple of years ago. There were a lot of mishaps. Aaron was sitting in a wooden chair while playing drums and the whole thing just fell apart mid-song. I think Eggplant broke a few strings and didn't have any extras. The PA barely worked. Usual house show mishaps. These things happen. It was fun.

Friday, September 27, 2013

FUTURE ADULTS - Discography Kind Of, Sort Of - 2005

  I've been meaning to upload this one for a few years and I'm not sure what has stopped me. I think it was lack of information. FUTURE ADULTS existed largely after I moved away from San Francisco. I think I only saw them once in a backyard in the Mission during the short period when they had a bass player (Buzz). They were inspired. They were pissed. They were drunk. They had awesome, catchy, short, fast, poppy, punk songs. They have a song about listening to RANCID at Dead Rat Beach, which is an Oakland punk house that's still there. You can still go there and listen to RANCID if you want. I'm pretty sure I've done that. They have a theme song, which any self-respecting band should always have.
   Lo and behold, FUTURE ADULTS have their own Wiki page, so you don't even need my hazy, limited's what it says.....
  Future Adults was a San Francisco/Bay Area pop-punk band, most notable for the song "Oppenheimer", loosely based on the nuclear discoveries of physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer. Their style can be categorized as bright pop-punk or melodic grindcore.
    Future Adults formed in June, 2003 during the 30th birthday party for Needles & Pens co-founder Andrew Scott at Dolores Park in San Francisco, California. Future Future Adults guitarist and singer Melissa Merin brought an acoustic guitar to the gathering, and, under the influence of friends, alcohol and euphoria, played the five chords she knew in different variations over and over throughout the afternoon (including several variations of "Dust In the Wind", which Breezy Culbertson's mother sang along to with fervor. Ben "Ditch" Taylor and Sarah "Double Ears" Sandberg were also in attendance, and gladly added to the increasingly non-sequitor songs screeching from the guitar.
    As the sun went down over Dolores Park, it was decided that the trio would head back to Melissa's house. Armed with a 12 pack of Busch beer (which they found heavily ironic, given the times), they sat in Melissa's room (in the infamous 225 house), drank all of the beer, smoked too many cigarettes (all three of them were smokers at the time), and made up ridiculous songs about punks, theory, boredom and beer.
    Only a month after Future Adults formed, Ben Ditch moved to Minneapolis, MN, with the promise that he would be back "soon". Double Ears and Melissa held onto that promise and for months the two sat in the same dingy room and wrote song after song, anticipating Ben's return. It can be said that the first ever Future Adults show was performed in the kitchen of 225. 4 songs sung, after meticulous practice to Kat Case and Arwen Curry, among others.
    In the summer of 2004 (?) Melissa took a road trip with Cinque Adams to join John Denver's Airplane and Rotten Living on a tour starting from Minneapolis. There she was reunited with Ben Ditch. One day later Double Ears surprised both of them by driving across the country with Clayton McBride and showing up at a Fleshies basement show. The following day, the three of them converged on Ditch's front lawn and proceeded to drink several beers (about 3 cases) with the help of a few friends. They borrowed a guitar, fashioned a drum kit out of buckets and cans and had the first of many epic band practices. Ben returned to the bay area a few months later and the three began to practice semi-frequently at Idaho Street in Oakland. Their first ever show on a flier was at Adobe Books in San Francisco.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

GRAVEBOUND - "Stabbing Contest" - Tape - 2010

   Hardcore is a large corner of the punk world that I know very little about. I leave that up to my tape blogging friend with the long beard and the full back tattoo of Willie Nelson. I just know what I like and I like GRAVEBOUND. They probably take elements of bands that people like and do things with it it that are cool and different. Some people might use words like "sick" or "brutal" to describe their sound. The philosopher, Ludwig Wittgenstein once famously said, "If a lion could talk, we would not understand him." This is similar to how I feel when I'm stuck near a conversation between two or more men (and, yes, it is almost always men) discussing different aspects of the world of DIY hardcore punk. I don't get the references and don't know what the other bands sound like. DROPDEAD? I'm sure they're great. I saw 'em once, but walked out after two songs. INFEST? I went to see FUNERAL CONE instead. It's not really my world, but I dip my toes in from time to time with bands like IRON LUNG, REPLICA, NO STATIK and GRAVEBOUND.
   GRAVEBOUND is the kind of shit I listen to when I want to punch my fist all the way through a cop's head into the wall behind them. It sounds a city being destroyed, taking out the posers, the sycophants and psychic vampires. It sounds like success wrapped in utter failure. It probably sounds like noisy, downtuned hardcore bands I've never heard before.
   I was in Chattanooga for (what I thought was) their last show ever (I was wrong, but they're done now), near the front of the room, I half-expected to be taken out by a room of wildly flailing men (and yes, it was almost all men), but I was wrong. The room just kind of throbbed and sweatily oozed as the band destroyed their set. They sounded about as good as a band can when they play in a 100 degree concrete box in the middle of a heat wave, but they were also one of the bands I enjoyed the most on that day that was chock full of heavy hitters. Download and destroy.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


   Today's post is brought to you by Blair Menace because of a few simple facts: He was there, he had the tape and he is a werewolf. Werewolves are smart creatures and have a lot to offer us mortals. The rest is written by him....

   OLD SCHOOL BEER DRINKIN ROBOTS were a Chattanooga band who existed in 2002, and maybe a little bit before or after. They were Josh on guitar, Ramesh on bass, and Daniel on drums.
    In the summer of 2002, I was living on the porch of the Lilside house in Asheville when they spent a week or two in town, raising hell and annoying Jason Cronk. I'm not sure if they were on a tour that failed, or what, but they did manage to play shows a time or two here and dubbed this tape for me. To be honest, this was a pretty blurry summer and only a handful of moments of hanging out with them stuck with me: drinking a jug of stolen wine on top of the used book store and singing John Prine and Tom Waits, cringing as Daniel busted forty bottles on the wheelchair ramp of the church across the street, marveling at Ramesh's tendency to nap under his van, getting my only pair of pants (and wallet) stolen off the porch by a crackhead while all four of us slept on it.
    Regarding the tape itself: I'm not sure if it ever got “officially” released, at least in this form. I never had a cover or song titles, and it's dubbed over a promotional tape for something called “Tamanu Oil” which you can hear occasionally between songs. The vocals fluctuate wildly in volume on some of the songs, and the bass is sadly often inaudible, but it's still in pretty good shape. The only songs I remember are the self-explanatory theme song, the infamous “Sunrise” (“The only thing more beautiful than a sunrise is a dead cop”), the song about Ramesh's inability to cook potatoes or park accurately, and the obligatory Peter Stubb cover. One song even has some whistling! It's so short that I had to listen to it three times while writing this – twelve songs in thirteen minutes, even though the songs feel weirdly epic and complex. Josh's frantic, scale-defying guitar playing smashing up against Ramesh's Rancid-guy-in-a-tornado bass style is the real draw here, along with the “anything goes” mode of the songwriting.

The band in happier times. Chattanooga 2003.


Monday, September 23, 2013


   This is the second in a collection of songs and random bullshit that doesn't really fit elsewhere. I make no excuses or apologies for sound fidelity. You can find the first installment of this collection right here..
    The intro is the beginning of one of the worst songs of all time. Unfortunately, it got stuck in the heads of Cinque and I when we were working on a farm, picking basil for a few weeks. We would scream out the lyrics to each other across the field at 7 am. One day, I went into town and was looking at the 45 at the record store when the clerk said, "Oh God, please take that record! Just get it out of the store."
  The second is a lost RICE HARVESTER song that never made it onto any releases or into a recording studio. By this time, I had moved from Huntsville back to Birmingham, AL, but was still driving back to Huntsville (around a 3 hour drive, round trip) once a week to practice. I think we intended for this song to be on a compilation of Alabama bands that never got off the ground. It's about a homeless man in Huntsville named Gene who, rather than simply sleeping under overpasses, would build a little shack / house under the bridge in plain view of everyone. I immediately felt weird about writing this song because after talking to him a few times and being only 20 years old, I really had no grasp of the complexities of homelessness and mental illness. It's written from a place of privilege that just embarrasses me now. Luckily, the recording quality is abysmal.
   It's followed up by one of my favorite EFS songs. They were the house band at a punk house that was allegedly above the Black & White Liquors by Ashby BART in the East Bay way back in the dark ages. Following that is a band containing members who have won Grammys and shit. I'm not saying their name because I want to avoid the fiasco of being linked to slobbering fan site messageboards (again). If you listen to melodic punk, you will probably recognize this song, but maybe not this version. Sound quality is total trash. CBDS is after them with a different mix of one of their great songs. Sound quality has deteriorated so badly that you will wonder if there has been a turd stuffed into the cassette.
    Quality takes a step up for the intro to the long lost Alabama rock band, BUCKET FULL OF HERESY. The intro is the best part of their tape. The rest is an endurance test of having to listen to teenagers try to write a song while the tape is rolling. I know that this hasn't stopped me in the past, but I'll spare you the gory details this time. SMEGMAGICIANS are next. They've been a band since 1993, but only played one show in 1994. They're mysterious and choose to stay that way. This song was recorded in 1999.
   Next up is a recording from a FORCED VENGEANCE show that took place on my birthday back in 2000 (?). Details are hazy, but I do know that Harry (guitarist) and I played this show nearly blacked out drunk. This show was also when the proverbial line in the sand was drawn between the towns of Bloomington and Chattanooga because a bunch of Bloomington residents came down to this show and decided that we were some of the worst people to ever exist because my friend Piper (who lived in Bloomington most of the time, mind you) decided to construct a 3 foot long, paper mache cock to hang from the ceiling. I'm sure I'm missing some details here, but instead of talking to us and figuring out that we were not the worst people ever, a lot of folks just decided to go with that story....some of the debris of this show still lingers around to this day (obviously). ANYWAY, This recording comes from the beginning of the set when Harry needed to borrow an amp because his was crapping out. Rather than just wait around for this to happen, Eric (other guitar) and I (drums) started fucking around. Harry, who is usually fairly quiet and shy, took this opportunity to bust out a ridiculous, entirely ad-libbed 80's style rap. When Chrissie (bass) joins in, the whole thing gels together in this way that none of us expected, I'm pretty sure we were all laughing so hard that we cried. I know that I did when re-listening to it. I vaguely remember the audience laughing and dancing.
   Now, we do a 180 and switch gears entirely. DOOMSDAY CAULDRON is the best thing on here. I was never a huge follower of their music, but got a few things passed on to me through mix tapes that blew my mind in different ways. Coming from the background that I do, their songs initially sounded overbearing and unnecessarily serious to me, but as they grew on me, I knew that they meant every word with every fiber of their being. Their song "Song for Sera" is one of my favorites to listen to in the middle of the night on long drives in the middle of nowhere. Coupled with their song "Darkness Is Falling" and THE BODY's "Just Wretched", you can almost perfectly picture the world in the moments just before it explodes and destroys every last bit of life on this planet.
   To close out the tape, I switched gears again and went back to ridiculous. If you grew up in the 80's, you may remember those weird answering machine greeting tape commercials....They advertised tapes that you could buy for your answering machine that sang ultra corny greetings to the tune of Beethoven's Fifth and bad 50's rock. Here's a whole tape of them (2 and a half whole minutes) so that you can confuse people who call your cell now...if anyone ever calls you anymore.

Sunday, September 22, 2013


    One of the greatest parts of doing demo reviews for MRR is that when shit comes in the mail with goofy ass and/or ridiculous band names like LUMPY AND THE DUMPERS, CUNT LICKER, BUTT PROBLEMS or LUST CATS OF THE GUTTERS, I am immediately drawn to it. I can't resist! Sometimes, I can just look at the cover and know that my life will not improve in any way by listening to it and other times, I know that I need it. When I saw the unmistakable style of Lumpy-penned art on this demo by CAL AND THE CALORIES, I already knew that the music waiting for me on the 1/4 inch analog tape would be noisy, slimy, dirty and indispensable.
   According to the vaguely threatening letter I received with this tape, CAL AND THE CALORIES was formed to play songs that were rejected by the band LUMPY AND THE DUMPERS for being "too poppy". Apparently, "too poppy" to them means playing slightly more melodic music that follows in the grand tradition of Midwestern punk along the lines of more fucked GIZMOS or THE PANICS after they've been thrown through a mud puddle. Or maybe I'm just wayyyy off base here and these are just some Midwestern punks who do their own thing in their basement. Anyway, it's really good. Listen or go on with your fucking boring life.

"Don't tell me what I am. I know I'm ugly and I smell like Spam"

For your own tape, call Cal at 618-477-2745

Thursday, September 19, 2013

FUNERAL CONE - "Peel Back The Foil" - Tape - 2013

  I already knew I liked FUNERAL CONE before I ever even heard them because the band was comprised of total winners in life. My band played three shows with them in New England last year and I liked them more each night they played. Besides the fact that the band played chaotic, melodic, fucked up, fun punk, they also seemed immune to outside forces...meaning they just kinda brought their world on stage (or to the floor or basement) and you had to just deal with it. Like, the whole show could be boring and the other bands could be soul-sucking (luckily not the case in New England), but then FUNERAL CONE would just be this bursting bubble of total fun. Deal with it....or don't.
   After seeing them three times and hearing absolutely no recorded music, I told them I would set up a West Coast tour for them anytime they wanted it. Then, they surprised me by actually agreeing to it so I had to stick to my word. Before the tour, the band was asked by 100% Breakfast Records to put out an EP. This was really exciting to some members of the band because the label is run by Doug from FAT DAY, who were really influential and important to a bunch of New England punk/weirdos (I'm still baffled that FAT DAY is not as well known and highly regarded as many other seminal 90's punk bands.) They recorded these 6 songs at Doug's house, rushed it onto some tapes and flew out to SF for a week long tour of the Northwest.
   I went with them and it was the best tour I've ever roadied for. Besides the fact that they're a great band, they're also a wonderful group of people to travel with. I loved getting to watch them win over a room full of people every night. I would turn to the audience to watch them apprehensively approach the band as they started every set straight away with an abbreviated cover of "Louie Louie". Then, I would watch the crowd's look go from concern to wild abandon as the band launched into their original songs. So, so much fun.

  I got copies of the songs before the tour and thought they were great, but they grew on me even more after seeing the band play them live over and over. They had new songs that were even better. My favorite on here is "Dental Plan", but all of 'em are great. Towards the end of "Blindfolds", there is a freak out part that not only sounds like a freak out part, but (to me) sounds like the musical equivalent of walking around a bustling city while everything is exploding, crumbling, falling apart at the seams in a cacophony of guitars, farfisa organs and screaming. It's cool.

The tape is sold out, but it has been pressed onto vinyl by 100% Breakfast. Please order your own copy of it right here before they're all gone. 


Peter Bagge art on the back of the tape is an original. The artist drew it for singer Dan Wars when Dan watched his table at a comic-con for a while so Bagge could take a break. 

Sunday, September 15, 2013


THE HICKEY HOTEL - 2009 - San Francisco's Mission District - Photo by Greg Harvester

YOUR HEART BREAKS - Sweet Hickory - 2008 - Bloomington, IN - Photo by Greg Harvester (behind the drums)

OCCUPY OAKLAND - Downtown Oakland - 2012 - Photo by Greg Harvester

CHANDELIERS - Tompkins St - 2011 - Brooklyn, NY - Photo by Greg Harvester

BITCHIN' - A Garage - 2000 - Chattanooga, TN - Photo by Brontez Purnell

FROZEN TEENS - Sluggo's North - 2012 - Chattanooga, TN - Photo by Ryan Maddox

BOAT LIFE - 2002 - Chattanooga, TN - Photo by Greg Harvester

Saturday, September 14, 2013

TERRIBLES - "The Doomsday Device" - CD-R - 2001

    Rather than have me prattle on more and more about how A: I love THE TERRIBLES and B: they've been a band since 9th grade, I figured I would let someone else do it. (If you want to see that writing or hear more great music by this band, then check here and here.) I asked Jacob Berendes to write up a release by the band because he has previously unleashed music by them (including this CD-R) on his now defunct (??) label Fujichia and has been a close friend of the band for years and years. In addition to releasing financially dubious musical endeavors, Jacob also puts out a top-notch monthly newspaper called Mothers News and posted my #1 go-to video to watch whenever I am feeling uninspired. Here's Jacob Berendes....

   This record (which was a tape and then a CDR but I will still call it a record) is from 2001,...and is the band's 3rd full length self-release. I'm not exactly sure what this record sounds like in a list of bands way, I'm sure an astute listener with a background in punk music could put together a nice grip of influences. i would sayyyyyyy Meat Puppets, Rudimentary Peni, and Dead Milkmen, Those were the t-shirts being worn at the time. There are a couple different ways that the singer (Jamie) sings, and a couple different guitar tones at play. some of the songs are fast and some are slow. While still clearly the same group of people, it's less self-similar than most punk records. It's harder to describe, harder to sell. Is it the best record ever? No. It's not even the best record of theirs, which is... whatever the newest one is? The yet to come out one?
    I tend to contrast The Terribles with other punk bands I see that seem to form with the expressed interest of making music that sounds like a specific band or scene. I guess that makes sense given the practicalities of being in a band, but isn't it dream-preferable to get a couple people together and play the music that you all like? Isn't it preferable to do this over the course of 18 years? That's what The Terribles did, it's cool. All their other records that came after this sound like this record except that the things that are weird about this record, there's more of them (on the other records) and they're weirder. Like all Terribles records, this one has a weird goblin-voiced intro track and at least 1 twangy instrumental number. There are some live tracks at the end, enforcing the magazine-feel of the record.
    The artwork on the cover is drawn by Matt, the drummer. They trade off doing the covers for each release, which is cute. Matt wouldn't get cover duties again until [i don't remember what year and i loaned this cd away]'s "In Congre∫s" (ed. note: coming to the blog one day soon), which took a while to come out because the typesetting was so elaborate. But this record is pretty early, so typesetting is a non-issue. The cover is a spaceship that looks like a skull, no problem. The band name is written in goofy bones, looks cool.

    Full disclosure: I helped record this record and they did a cover of the Conan the Barbarian theme by Basil Poledouris and I heard the name "Basil Poledouris" about a million times. They couldn't stop saying "Basil Poledouris", They're such dicks. AHHHHHH this band rules. If you have a record label please contact The Terribles (c/o matt's mom's house)(ed note #2: her phone number is buried in code in a Terribles song) about releasing their next slab "Frig: entire CD", Maybe they'll go on tour behind it, Maybe you'll send it places for review, maybe anyone (other than me (and possibly Greg)) will care!


Friday, September 13, 2013

THE FINAL FRONTIERS - "Pleased To Rock You" - Tape - 2013

   My friend Mike is the one who first introduced me to the simple brilliance that is FINAL FRONTIERS. Once, the two of us drove somewhere for a few hours in New maybe from Worcester to Portsmouth, NH and back...and listened to nothing but their first 9 song tape the whole time. I'm pretty sure I passed out at his house that night with my mind screaming that song about a Suzuki 125.
   It was Mike who also sent me their new tape in the mail a few days ago and I was overjoyed to get it. THE FINAL FRONTIERS is two great friends from Burlington, VT. I've never been there (oddly) so I don't know what kind of musical references they enjoy, but from a purely West Coast perspective, they sound like a lost mid-90's Sacramento pop-punk band that released a cassingle on Secret Center Records. I mean that in the highest regard. Anyhow, the vocals in this band sound like they are double-tracked or run through a chorus pedal, but it is actually two voices singing exactly the same thing all the time! I still like their first tape better than this one, but this tape is new to me and growing on me more and more every day. My personal favorite is a tie between "Ethan Allen Says" and the perfect "Bullshit Boulevard", which is partially about getting chased by mall cops. As someone who is distancing themselves further and further away from pop-punk everyday, this reminded me of why I like the genre in the first place. Thanks FINAL FRONTIERS! And thanks to Mike!

I don't know how you can order a tape of your own, but I suggest that you figure that part out. It even comes in this cool green, glowing tape case!!

You can find their first tape at the FINAL FRONTIERS Bandcamp

Thursday, September 12, 2013

NEGATION - "Weak Artifact" - Tape - 2013

    When my band went on tour in 2012, we didn't put much thought into the fact that people might actually find reasons to pay attention to the completely worthless holiday of Thanksgiving. Luckily, our show on that day took us to New Orleans, which isn't really like any other place in the US, much less the world. I couldn't imagine any punks in that town giving a shit about the holiday.
   Our show landed us at the long-running, dilapidated warehouse at the end of Jane Place: Nowe Miasto. I have a long history with this place and it was the first time I'd been inside of it since it was filled to the rafters with flood waters from Hurricane Katrina. It looked a lot more barren and desperate, but still full of life and young punks and weirdos. It made me instantly comfortable in an area of New Orleans that makes me feel overcome with anxiety (I'm not going into why, but you could probably figure it out with either five seconds of thought or a search on the internet). Just like one of the first times I visited the warehouse, I went into the kitchen (which is now upstairs, rather than on the first floor) to get a cup of coffee. I introduced myself to the people sitting around on the table, talking. They regarded me coldly and made half-grunts that could pass for a greeting. It felt just like old times, but I had doubts that I would be close friends with these people in ten years, like I am with some of the former residents of Nowe Miasto. There was a well dressed, middle-aged man walking around the common space with a laptop, Skyping with someone on the east coast. Times were definitely different up in here.
   Luckily, the show soon rumbled to a start with NEGATION, the only other band besides us. I was already excited to see them, not only because my friend Osa played bass and sang, but also because the guitarist/singer, Benji and I talked about our mutual love of bands like MOTHER OF FIRE and IMPRACTICAL COCKPIT. Their sound is desperate, jarring, angular (yeah, I don't really like that term either...give me something better) and unnerving. That warehouse, in a room that was once completely submerged in water and still smelling of mold, seemed like the perfect place to see Negation. It made me wish that you could take your entire environment on tour and just present your experience to unsuspecting audiences....I mean, without being a millionaire or an asshole.
   The band promised to send me a tape when it was done and they followed through. I like it a lot, even though I like their live show a lot better. It reminds me of those early, sweaty days at Nowe Miasto, but also not stuck in the past. It sounds like doing the best you can with what you have and not paying attention to the rules. I don't know. Why don't you just download it and think about it yourself...

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

COPY SCAMS - Demo - Tape - 2010

   I'll be honest...when I first got this cassette a couple of years ago, I didn't exactly rush to my stereo to throw this in the tape deck tout de suite. Not unlike the piles of photocopied zines on my wooden shelves, this tape sat undisturbed and gathered an unhealthy amount of dust. I remember putting it on once while I was finishing some projects in my room and it didn't make much of an impression, but something happened between then and now. Is it my favorite shit in the world? No, but I appreciate it's jokey qualities and I like to hear good pop-punk, because there's a real lack of quality pop-punk in the Bay Area, believe it or not.
   So, who are these jokers? I don't fuckin know 'em, so here's some shit I found about them on the internet....
  "The Copy Scams are the band equivalent to a 24 hour zine! Steve was visiting Portland from the UK and thought it might be fun to start a band while he was in the US. While he was in Portland he lived in a closet in the basement of the Spiral house and tricked housemates Alex, paul and Marc to form a band in three weeks before the 2010 Portland Zine Symposium. In those three weeks they wrote, practiced, and recorded 4 songs then played a show to end the Portland Zine Symposium weekend. What we recorded was 4 songs about stealing photocopies, excuses as the why the band/zine is late and a song about the 24 hour zine challenge. Up the analog zine punks!"

Saturday, September 7, 2013


THE GAY PLANETS - Secret Sailor Books - 2001? - Bloomington, IN - Photo by ??? (I found this in the trash)

RICE HARVESTER - Gorin's Ice Cream - 1997 - Huntsville, AL - Photo by Blair Menace

 TRES KIDS - Heart of Huntsville Mall - 1996 - Huntsville, AL - Photo by Blair Menace

SHELLSHAG - The Alamo - 2010 - San Antonio, TX - Photo by Greg Harvester

NEON PISS - Sielwallhaus - 2012 - Bremen, Germany - Photo by Will Kinser

JACK PALANCE BAND - Heart of Huntsville Mall - 1996 - Huntsville, AL - Photo by Blair Menace

I would also like to add that I'm in a particularly rough financial period in my life, which is none of your concern, but if you wanted to buy records or tapes from me on Discogs or Remote Outposts, it would be a big help. Thanks.

Friday, September 6, 2013

TUBE SMUGGLERS - Demo - Tape - 2002

For this tape, I decided that I wanted one of the members of the band to tell me all about 'em, because I know next to nothing. I asked my good friend, Rymodee to write up something and he obliged in the best way possible....through the US postal service...even though I could bike to his house in 15 minutes if I wanted to. So, here's Modee to tell you everything you ever (or never) wanted to know about the TUBE SMUGGLERS

(Click to enlarge...yeah, yeah, I typed it out too in case your eyesight kinda sucks like mine)

   I haven't heard or even seen the TUBE SMUGGLERS tape in several years, so when I saw it online recently, I was surprised that it had been labeled "Florida folk punk". Listening now, I understand, and I might even call it that myself but back then, well, it wasn't what we were going for. 
  This one day, Chris showed on on our front lawn. I think he was heartbroken, but I could be making that up. My partner at the time, Jen and I said he could stay and get all put back together again and things seemed swell. 
    Jen and I could get pretty lit and play Irish songs on a firewood piano til dawn, and we worked 100 hours a day, at least, but somehow, a few weeks later, we noticed we had also written a few songs. All of them about cooking or murder. Chris on guitar, me on mandolin and Jen on a fucked up, homemade stand-up bass (which terrified her). 
  We looked up one day and realized that all of a sudden we had 7 people living in our house and they were all in our band. . A spit jug player,washboards & castanets, guitar, mandolin, fucked up bass, spoons, saw, a hammered dulcimer with steel pipes instead of strings and a nose flute.
   I don't remember where the 8 track recorder came from, but what I do know is that none of us really figured it out. We ended up doing each track one at a time with headphones, and there are a few terrible spots on the tape that we should have done over, but it took a pretty long time, and one of us was on the verge of a mental explosion, due to cramped quarters. 
   Anyway, we recorded it , played two shows (one being a house band feud, which I have come to realize happens in Pensacola much more than anywhere else.)
    This tape is really great if you can bear to make it through to "Gold Rush", where Samantha's lovely baritone still makes me laugh and cry at the same time. 

Chris Clavin - Guitar
Rymodee - Mandolin
Hannah Jones - Washboard, Castanets
Jen Knight - Stand up bass
Samantha Jane - Spit Jug
Mikey Hotsauce - Lead Vox
Teddy Ted - Saw, Spoons, Hammered Dulcimer, Nose Flute

   We disbanded almost immediately afterwards. All of Chris' friends who traveled to our home in his time of need felt their job was complete. Mikey put out a handful of copies on those tiny CD's and I heard some crew of New Orleans punks were making bootleg tapes, which was fine by us. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

NRML PPL // BLACK PANTIES - Tapes - 2013

   I'm convinced that there's something fucked up in the water supply of St Louis. I rode my bike around the banks of the river a couple of years ago, just after the Mississippi had flooded, and everything was slimy and gross. The pavement baked in the hot sun and every surface smelled like mold and rotten ass. I thought about a few years before that when I went to a diner downtown followed by a show in a big, rotting punk house. All of the locals seemed angry, wary of outsiders and very territorial. I wondered what it would be like to live there. I thought about it for a short time and even convinced a couple hundred people to all show up there on the same day for no real reason other than to hang out (All Punks Meet in St Louis, May 25th, 2006). That day was pretty fun, but I've never spent more than a day or two in the town. 
   Fast forward to 2013 and the St Louis punk scene seems to be as moldy, rotten and greasy as the river that flows by the Arch every day. Let's start with the BLACK PANTIES tape. They blast out simple, stupid, rotten punk that sounds like a 3rd generation blown-out FREESTONE demo on pills....any pills...just as long as there's a lot of them. Their singer alternates between not giving a fuck and giving all that he's got while drowning in a pool of reverb. Their outro at the end of the tape will tell you everything you need to know about everything you ever needed to know. 

  The other tape in this download is NRML PPL, who seem to love the shit outta simple, repetitive song structures and trashy, fucked up sounds, not unlike ACTION SWINGERS. They throw out one upbeat, dirty punk rager and one stoned ass sounding instrumental. They released this tape in a small quantity for this year's record store day. Both tapes were released on the always interesting Lumpy Records, who seem to be putting out short run cassettes by stupid, slimy bands at an almost alarming rate. I think I have tapes by 9 different bands released in the past year. If you'd like to start your own collection, click over to Spotted Race and order a few tapes. They're cheap as shit and you too can question the purity of their water supply just like me. 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

THE GOOD GOOD - "Giver" - CD-R - 2004

   Like many bands on this blog, I don't know where to start with THE GOOD GOOD. I think I first heard them when I was sitting around all day in my lonely bedroom in Mississippi, trying to find new music through my roommate's record collections. I knew that my band would be playing with them soon, so I figured I would check them out. I liked it but I wasn't sold. We played with them a few days later. The second that their singer Natalja put down her guitar and played an entire song with just a megaphone, I was in. These were my people. (That song was "Hello Friends", included in this download).
   I was also drawn to the rock solid bass playing and the wild, completely unpredictable-yet-still-somehow-solid drumming that sometimes drove the songs into dancey rhythms and sometimes drove it into dark dirges. I don't know how to explain this band and that doesn't even matter....I just know that I loved them when they were around and I miss them so fucking much now that they're gone.
   This four song CD_R gives small hints of what was to follow on their later full length LP. If you don't own their full-length LP, which contains insanely awesome art and even better music, then I feel bad for you....but you can order one here, maybe. If you just want to download it, I guess you can go here.