Friday, December 12, 2014

TRRASH - Demo - Tape - 2014

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

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  • There is no such thing as a good cop because in order to be a cop, you have to already believe in an outdated system of "right and wrong" that is built on racism.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

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

They have a Soundcloud thing here.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

ROBOT POPE - Demo - Tape - 2005

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

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

Friday, November 21, 2014

ATERPE - Demo - CD-R - 2012

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


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

Sunday, November 16, 2014

2X4 - Demo - Tape - 2014

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

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

Sunday, November 9, 2014

THE CONEHEADS - "Total Conetrol" - Tape - 2014

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

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

Thursday, November 6, 2014

INTERIOR 27 - Demo - Tape - 2014

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

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

Tapes are still available. Email address ^^

Monday, November 3, 2014

MRR RADIO - #1425

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

Monday, October 27, 2014


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

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

RADIOACTIVES - Tape - 1997

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

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

Saturday, October 18, 2014

VIAL - Demo - Tape - 2014

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

Ask VIAL if they have any tapes left. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

MAD SWIRL - "[Pop] [Damage]" - Tape - 2007

   Just after the new year of 2008, I was a roadie, on tour with my friends from California when I still lived in Indiana. At that point, I didn't really know what I was doing with my life, but I was almost positive that I needed a big change. For some weird reason, I figured that subjecting myself to extreme temperatures, no sleep and damp basements was a good idea. I was right. I ran around in the snow in Worcester, shot silly string all over SHELLSHAG in Brooklyn, made out with someone in the cold on the hood of a broken down car, rode in the back of a freezing truck for 14 hours, swam in the ocean in South Miami Beach and did some other stuff that should probably not be repeated. It made me want to move away from, I did.
   In Huntsville, AL, I got unreasonably upset over mundane things in that way that one can only get upset when returning to a disappointing town where they used to live. Overall, I don't think Huntsville is disappointing, but I had a really depressing "back in my day" moment that could have been easily avoided if I just didn't care so much about ridiculous bullshit. In short, when I lived there, we had shows in dive bars, parking lots, thrift stores, houses, ice cream shops and parks. The show that night was in a fancy bar and a lot of my old friends were missing or born again. Time marches on. It's fine. Huntsville now has an amazing resource called Lowe Mill and I'm sure there have always been teenage punk bands playing in garages consistently for the past 30 years or more.

  I spent a lot of time walking around downtown...jumped the fence and rang the incredibly loud church bell for old time's sake....ran through my favorite secret alley. It was fine. I walked back in the bar just in time to see most of the bar patrons trying to ignore MAD SWIRL, who were from Milwaukee and a pleasant sight for these eyes and ears.
   The beautiful thing about that era of Milwaukee punk is that almost all of the bands were fun, jangly melodic punk bands who kinda didn't give a fuck but were always good. The other thing is that they always traveled in packs. It seemed like all of the bands shared this one fucked up minivan  and they would somehow pile 15+ people in it for cross-country tours. MAD SWIRL was no exception. Their set was fun and kinda reminded me of ANGRY SAMOANS, but maybe that's only because they covered them, because this tape doesn't sound like ANGRY SAMOANS...but it does sound like fun.
  I should have been hanging out with MAD SWIRL all night and becoming better friends with them rather than trying to catch up with people who seemed like they wanted to get away from me. Lesson learned. I assumed we'd all be sleeping at the same house, but instead, I found myself at 5 am drinking beer and watching a dolphin documentary with my tour-mates while we all muttered "fuck yeah, this is cool."

Tomorrow is my birthday. Send presents.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

RUSSIAN TSARLAG - "Decrepit Gas Station" - Tape - 2013

Today's entry is written by my good friend, E.R. Conner.

   I've seen Carlos (of RUSSIAN TSARLAG) play a bunch in other bands and I've even seen Russian Tsarlag play too. Once, he and my friend Dorey played a show where they recited this story/play thing and then passed out soup to everyone. The soup was cold and I was very afraid to eat it. In the end I ate the soup and it was pretty alright.
    Carlos does a thing where he seems really disconnected when he maybe he's a quiet guy already. I mean, once I saw him pretty much naked fighting on some train tracks in an alley and that was music too. I think that time there was also some kinda food but instead of getting passed around to eat, it was getting thrown/rolled around in??? Or maybe it was shaving cream? My mind does not remember these kinds of details. So maybe it's just different every time.
   I have some other RUSIAN TSARLAG recordings. They sound different from this. ​This tape about The Gas Station sounds like shoegaze music but maybe a little more fucked up. I mean, on purpose the way that people do when they make art things or music things. Not like it was an accident which is what sometimes people mean when they say "fucked up". I'm trying to say, I think this dissonance you hear in the recording or this kind of collapsing of sound, I think this guy thinks that sounds cool. He's right!
   My favorite song on this tape is called "ON THE STREET". I like it because I like sentimental songs. Like, it seems cool to have an interaction with someone where you want to write a song about how you "wanna see them sometimes on the street". But maybe that's all you wanna do! Just see them around? I like that. Even though in real life my biggest pain is running into people I know on the street because maybe I was just having a conversation with myself inside my head and other people are distracting. Most of the other words are hard to make out, so it could be like that Sting song everyone thinks is like *really sweet* and *super cute* but really it's about a stalker and then it got REALLY awkward when they turned it into a song about BIGGIE'S GHOST WATCHING EVERYTHING YOU DO.
    I wouldn't say that this is darker than other RUSSIAN TSARLAG tapes or more in line with conventional pop song writing but there is a way that it's that stuff in a different way than older tapes. Like maybe this guy found a COCTEAU TWINS tape or broke his little heart up or something. Or maybe he found out about some other more delicate part of life and that made shit more mysterious. I don't know what happened to this guy. His music sounds different now. You could call this maturing. Ok, let's call it maturing. He's mature now.

To keep up with RUSSIAN TSARLAG, try this.

Friday, September 26, 2014

BOG PEOPLE - "81 in 09 Radiation Years Demo & 5-12-09 Rehearsal" - Tape - 2009

   Melissa and I met years ago in Chattanooga, TN, during what some people refer to as a "fest", but I like to call a family reunion. Melissa had never lived in Chattanooga (or even visited) so she felt a little like an outsider, but we became fast friends, bonding over the things people bond over, like creep seats and daring someone to drink a bottle of kombucha as fast as they can.
  Even though I grew up in the south, I hate hot weather. I hate humidity and I can't stand getting sunburned, which is an easy task for me and my pasty white skin. Melissa has darker skin and had no aversions to being out in the sweltering heat. She caught Mike (our mutual friend) and I complaining about the heat and the threat of sunburn one day and muttered "bog people."
 I asked, "Did you just call us 'bog people'?"
 She said "Yeah. Bog people. You're both bog people. White, pasty humans who hide in the bogs, away from the sun. Afraid of withering away."
   After returning home to the foggy, cool, bog-like peninsula of San Francisco, I was introduced to the band BOG PEOPLE. Before even hearing them, I immediately told Melissa and Mike about them. We were stoked! Then, I still waited on hearing them...and waited...and waited. Truth be told, I put this tape on for the first time last night after getting home from a tepid party and I regret ignoring them when the band was actually around and playing shows. Just to prove that I'm not some kind of know-it-all just because I upload music onto the internet, I had to google "UK82" because I don't really know/care what it is. My hunches were correct. I figured out that it's just punk....from 1982....from the UK (please don't further explain how I'm somehow wrong in the comments...I still don't care).
   BOG PEOPLE are simple and punk and good. They did that crucial thing that many bands forget to do, which is to make your song fucking catchy and get a good drummer. They wear those shoestrings around their foreheads. Their bass player once closed up the coffee shop where she worked and walked around the corner to sing on my band's LP. I'm sure they know way more about UK82 and that one band's demo tape than I do. This tape compiles their original demo tape along with a rawer practice space recording and a "studio" track that was meant to come out on a record. I don't think that record ever happened. Too bad for you.

"Your eyes are white and your skin is pale"

Monday, September 22, 2014

GOURMET SCUM // LANDLORD - "Scum Lord" - Split Tape - 2008

   LANDLORD starts off this tape with their ragged style of classic rock as viewed through a punk lens. Maybe you'll view it differently, but I really think they sound like a classic rock band and I'm into it. I don't really have any good stories about LANDLORD, but I can tell you that I've watched them play many, many flawless shows (and a few bad, stoned ones) and they once gave me a ride from Tennessee to Indiana wherein we dumpstered a pretty good pizza. All of the songs on their side of the tape are instant classics. You can find more stuff by them on Houseplant RecordsDead Broke and a label I won't mention because they continue to further the careers of irrelevant, misogynist, money-grubbing fuckheads.

   On the flip side, GOURMET SCUM tells your brain to fuck right the fuck off. Seriously, I don't know what they're doing on this recording because it sounds so fucked up. They play their noisy ass sludge, blown out through tape hiss and an impenetrable cloud of weed smoke. They're possibly the only band in the world who plays stoner sludge through the cheapest amps possible while singing almost exclusively about Degrassi Junior High. You can find more about them and more fucked up recordings right here.

This tape is long out of print and was released on Magnetic South, a fine record label and recording studio out of Bloomington, IN. They specialize in some really great analog music and wild freak out jams by such amazing groups as PUPPY VS DYSLEXIA, APACHE DROPOUT, THEE TSUNAMIS and (my personal favorite) PSYCHIC BAOS.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

DARK LION - Demo - Tape - 2003

   DARK LION almost didn't happen. The way I was told, Zak and Sean got together to play some music while they had both dropped anchor in Pensacola, FL. The two of them had never played music together and both were trying to cater to each others backgrounds with disastrous results. Zak had come up playing pop and noise freak out shit with PUPPY VS DYSLEXIA. Sean had already toured the world playing drums in GOOD CLEAN FUN. Adding those things together came out sounding like half a turd, as it was reported to me. Zak was about to give up and then he started playing off-the-cuff riffs. Sean left his comfort zone and decided to "go off." The results became the groundwork for DARK LION. Adding jailbird dreamboat, Sarah Derelict on vocals was the icing on the cake. Her lyrics were (are) incisive, direct and blunt. Pure hate was directed towards the cops, not because we're punks and we're supposed to hate the cops, but because she'd get fucked with by the cops over total bullshit. DARK LION existed during the reign of George W. Bush and that was evident in their output. The future and the present felt bleak as fuck, but I'm not gonna feels worse now.

   Vinyl Rites released this demo a couple of years ago on a 7" (you might as well click over and order it right now) along with a booklet of fawning praise (all deserved). Initially, I thought the praise was a little overblown but then I thought back to how bad 2003 felt...and I thought about how real DARK LION was at a time when bands weren't speaking directly about how fucked up everything felt. I only saw DARK LION a couple of times. Once was after playing a couple of shows on tour, performing in front of people I'd rather ignore than entertain. Those shows led me to seriously question what the fuck I was doing with my life. Leaving that realm and delving back into my comfort zone of dilapidated warehouses produced of dubious craftmanship gave me a sigh of relief. Seeing DARK LION play a 10-12 minute set to a room full of obvious freaks of society made me feel right at home again. Watching Sarah with her fist raised high and screaming "I try to work and I keep thinking of killing cops! I'm trying to talk to girls and I keep thinking of killing cops!" felt like victory. I didn't question anything and felt at home, even though I was 3000 miles away from where I lived. 

   Like any good band, DARK LION was too volatile to have any sort of longevity. The members went their separate ways, each still being genuine lifers.

This tape is from the collection of Caroline Paquita

Saturday, September 20, 2014

COUNTY Z - "Live At The Seward Cafe" - Tape - 2002

    Yesterday, I was hanging out with my friend Ryan in his studio while he showed me all of the new, huge paintings and installations he was working on. He was talking a million miles an hour, so excited to be working on art and learning everything he can about art history and theory. He's getting ready to ship everything out to Minneapolis, where he has a show coming up in November. An old friend, Forrest is helping to build some structures in the gallery, since he has a background in carpentry. Their friend, Naomi bought a house that has a storefront built into the first floor and she's going to host part of his art show there. It was inspiring to see him so wide-eyed and full of life, still figuring out his dreams while flying way under the radar.
   Another thing I found inspiring is that all three of those people have stuck together since they started playing in COUNTY Z almost 15 years ago. COUNTY Z is one of my favorite bands of all time, but that's beside the point, Naomi took me on my first freight train ride. Forrest told me he didn't like the sustain of cymbals so he used brake parts instead. Sometimes I couldn't tell if Ryan was playing with or against the band, but it usually worked.
   Most of this tape was recorded live at the Seward Cafe, which has been collectively ran since 1974 and is one of the best places on this entire earth. If you aren't familiar with COUNTY Z, I would suggest starting with their tape or LP first, Both are brilliant.
   If you're in Minneapolis in November, be sure to check out Ryan's art show. He'll be there daily with tea for you to drink. I might be there too. If you show up, don't talk about this band. Let's talk about his art, the new dreams and all the crackpot visions we hope to see to fruition before this world implodes in the next few years.

This tape is from the collection of Caroline Paquita

Saturday, September 13, 2014

CONSTANT INSULT - Demo - Tape - 2014

    Last night, I was on the train blasting this tape into my earholes as I tried to tune out the rest of the world, so it (the world) wouldn't ruin the only good mood I'd been in for at least 18 hours. I was rushing over to the warehouse show and hoping not to miss the beautiful chaos of SBSM, who were playing first. The train was packed assholes to elbows with people who smelled like a perfume counter in a laundromat, which made me want to barf on their blazers. Instead, I raised both of my arms to hold onto the bar and unleashed my unwashed pits into their nostrils while I turned this tape up even louder. I don't really know what this band is singing about in their theme song because there's no lyric sheet, but I understood it as how all the casual bullshit of this world (wage drudgery, being broke, having to share space with people you'd rather throw into a bottomless pit, etc) adds up into a daily constant insult on your psyche. As the air grew thick with chemicals and the growing number of people backed me into the corner and the dudes stared down my non-gender conforming attire and the train rattled into a rickety tube that shoots right through a body of water, I closed my eyes, turned the tape up all the way and started feeling it pretty hard.
   My good friend, Erin Yanke wrote about my own band one time, "I don't know how to describe music like this anymore, but I know when I like it." This is how I feel about CONSTANT INSULT. They have hooks out the ass. They split the vocals between genders...sometimes alone..sometimes together. They're not reinventing anything at all, but they're doing something that many bands are neglecting to do in these times, which is just write a solid fucking song that will stick in your head for longer than ten minutes. There's a hint of the beauty that makes FROZEN TEENS so undeniably good, because one of those guys is playing guitar and singing. It's not FROZEN TEENS jr though. It's really, really great.
   The train was approaching my stop and I felt like all the oxygen had left the train car. How the fuck was I supposed to get off this train?! As if on cue, the party girl next to me fainted...just flat out onto the floor of the car. Everyone gasped, but also just kept texting...or more, likely, tweeting about it rather than offering any help. I took off my headphones, but quickly saw that she had a supportive crew of ladies with her who sprang into action. The train doors opened and we all yelled "Clear a path!!" Her friends dragged her off and pulled out so many bottles of water that it was mind-boggling. I followed in their wake and made a hasty retreat, flipping the tape over before riding off into the night.

I don't know how to order this tape, but maybe a band member could let me know in the comments.
Members of ALAS ALAS, FROZEN TEENS (if you like desperate melodic punk and don't own their LP, then I don't understand you), HARD FEELINGS and URANIUM CLUB

   POSTSCRIPT: In addition to THE NEW FLESH, REPLICA and MÜLLTÜTE, I got to see SBSM even though I was almost an hour and a half later than the time listed on the flier. On the train home, it was much less crowded and I enjoyed an adult beverage with my good friend Robert as we laughed about the fucking utter buffoonery of Blag Dahlia. Good night and I'm looking forward to another good one tonight as I attend my 5th punk show this week. See you in the pit (or, truthfully, next ot it) at WHITE WARDS, THE LOWEST FORM, PIG DNA, THE LIGHT and INTERIOR 27.

Thursday, September 11, 2014


   Modee and I hosted the MRR Radio this week. Take a listen if you have the time. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

VIOLENCE CREEPS - Demo - Tape - 2014

   You can add this band to the heap of bands who live in the same area as me, but I've never seen them. While more and more locals seem to be playing faster and faster, VIOLENCE CREEPS slows it down to an almost FLIPPER-like pace, but much less noisy and more direct. Don't reach for the liquid Vicodin just yet though, because they pick up the pace here and there, like in the song "Dropout Of This Life" where their singer Amber (Alert) sings my favorite line of the tape...."Nobody understands! Nobody holds my hand! Nobody calls me back! IT HURTS SO MUCH.....ACKK!!"
   The tape sounds like it was recorded on a dumpstered boombox that was left out in the rain, which adds to the charm. It's so lo-fi that it's no-fi. While listening to this tape, think about the fact that this band opened up for BLACK FLAG. While I'm pretty sure that I never need to see BLACK FLAG ever in my life unless time travel is invented (and even then, I'll just opt for the MINUTEMEN), I would've loved to see this band and those guys in the same room.

I don't know if this tape is still available, but if it was, you'd get it from Smart Brains

Best tape cover of the year?

Sunday, August 31, 2014

WET DRAG - "Silhouette Yeah" - Tape - 2014

   WET DRAG is a band I've never seen and I'm not sure if they're even still around. Are either of these things important to you? I doubt it. In the past, I said that this band seems to combine the different aspects of the members' other bands (STILLSUIT, UZI RASH and GRASS WIDOW [a.k.a. Glass Window] is the short list), but now I don't think that's wholly accurate. Is this important either? No. Is this tape good? Fuck yeah. I have nothing else to say.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

YOGURT BRAIN - "Vol 2" - Tape - 2014

   Sleep has been an elusive beast lately and out of the last 48 hours, I've only slept for 3 of them. During that time, my much loved (and kind of fancy) bike got stolen through no fault of my own. It's really bumming me out because I use it every single day and it has been a constant help in my everyday life. This is the third time that a bike of mine has been stolen when it's been secured in a place that I live and I'm sick of it. It also pushed me into a random decision to stop being a nice person. So, if you meet me in the future, be prepared for me to be a total asshole to you.
   I'm going to try to sleep and I put on this YOGURT BRAIN tape, which is the brainchild of my friend and practice space-mate, Steve-O. They've been an active band for a few years now and along with his bandmate/drummer, Stephen, they've been slugging it out in backyards, bars, warehouses, living rooms and street corners, playing folky/rocky/somber and energetic music. They play a lot of covers. On this tape, they stick to songs "written, co-written or popularized by GRAM PARSONS", a man who died in the desert from an overdose of morphine and alcohol and then had his dead body stolen by his friends in a borrowed hearse so that they could fulfill his dying wishes of having his body cremated at Joshua Tree. Dude....I'll just go ahead and put this out there...please don't let me have a funeral in a church and have people talk about God around me. You're welcome to steal my dead body and burn it in front of Cancun on Mission Street.
   Anyway, this is a beautiful tape and they do an excellent job of faithfully rendering some classic jams. They also have a Vol 1 tape out there, but I posted this one because the other one, while also great, contains a GRATEFUL DEAD song. I try my hardest in life to shed the internalized racism that I grew up with. I think homophobia and transphobia is about as fucked up as killing someone. I do my best to not be an ableist prick. I try to keep myself open to new ideas and new experiences and I want to accept people for who they really are, even when their ideals and ideas don't align with mine in any conceivable way (except cops)....but goddamn I hate the GRATEFUL DEAD and many of the people who love them. Just let me have that. Let me hold on to that hate and let it fester. That being said, YOGURT BRAIN's "Vol 1" tape is good too.

Members of UZI RASH, HUFF STUFF MAGAZINE, YOOTS and so many more that I can't even keep track. 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

NEW HAPPINESS - "Silence" - Tape - 2013

   I got this tape sometime last year without truly realizing the band was from the neighboring city of Oakland. Their location may be the least important thing about this band. Anyway, I listened to their tape, liked it and wanted to see them, but with a little bit of digging, I found that they had already broken up. My fucking loss.
   NEW HAPPINESS plays a dark style of post-punk that is so post that it's maybe not even actually punk. Like, maybe they just decided to start a band after listening to a bunch of SKINNY PUPPY one day. What the fuck do I know? It's a little goth sounding with some crazy metal percussion that sounds like synthesizers sometimes..but is actually just a bunch of metal junk. Sometimes, the vocals are a little too over the top for me, but that's just me. Maybe you like over the top.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

4RVR 21 - Demo - CD-R - 2014

    Ten days ago, I posted a tape on the blog and said something like "I'm back from my break!", but then insisted on a self-imposed computer vacation. Partially, I imposed this break because I went on "vacation", but also because the world is too much to handle some days. On my trip away from my home, I was joined by some old and new friends. We spent a lot of time casually talking shit and gossiping in the car. We followed that up with intense discussions of unjust police brutality in Ferguson, MO, unjust (and never-ending) invasions of Iraq to combat against ISIS, kids (and everyone else) being fucking bombed in Palestine and even more cops killing innocent people in St Louis. We usually followed that up with long stints of looking out the car window at beautiful mountains while listening to heartbreaking music.
     While traveling, we all separately (and together) had a great time, but these issues stayed in the back of our minds. At one point, I watched someone accidentally fall from over 15 feet up and immediately go unconscious. I was surrounded by drunk punks on all sides and was immediately ready to put my meager medic training to good use. Luckily, the woman with the face tattoos who I had just met was a nurse. Another woman was a medic. My travel partner from the needle exchange was on the phone with 911. CPR was being administered. Everyone else was collecting all the dogs, opening up the gates, giving people one panicked. It was intense, but everyone (by everyone, I mean over 150 drunk punks and dirtbags) did exactly the right thing and the paramedics were wheeling the person out within 10 minutes. They're gonna live. Trust me, if shit ever goes down, I want to be surrounded by smart punks like that and not a bunch of fucking norms.
   In the midst of all of this, a friend of a friend in the community had just taken their own life. I didn't know them, but it had directly affected nearly everyone around me. I found myself vacationing in their town while everyone was in various states of crisis, disbelief, shock or self-care (or self-harm). I spent my time reading on the sidewalk, laying in the park, giving all of my anti-anxiety meds to people in shock and hanging out at the punk show. I didn't know what else to do.
   In a meager attempt to make a long story short, I have been finding it hard to just simply and casually write about a punk band's demo when there is just such an overwhelming amount of fucked up shit happening in the world (to put it into the simplest terms possible). Concurrently, I still want to actively put positive energy into the world or I will crumble up into a depressed, unwashed, slimy ball of a useless human being and never leave the four walls of my tiny room ever again. So, here's your fucking demo....
    4RVR 21 played the basement punk show that I went to in Olympia, WA. In the beautiful spirit of everything punk, they had formed their band less than a week before the show, wrote three songs, learned a cover song AND recorded a demo. This demo is being posted online within a week of the band forming. Purportedly, the show I attended was rumored to be the only show that the band will ever play, but time will tell the truth. During their set, their singer Jeff made some sort of off-hand comment about insurrectionary anarchists having their rent paid by their parents, which later led to him being angrily confronted and pulled into a lengthy discussion with the anarchists about the things he said. I think it's important to back up the things that you say and I'm sure that I'm missing some nuances of Olympia life, but....I thought about Gaza, Ferguson, the cops, Iraq, ISIS, people getting concussions, people taking their own lives, children getting bombed, the ever tightening grip of the all-encompassing police state that we find ourselves living in and I thought to myself, "You have nothing better to do than get unreasonably upset over an off hand comment made to 20 people in a basement?"

Members of SHARKPACT, OUTLOOK, THE CHAIN, (legendary band) SOCKS N SANDALS and many more. 
Thanks to Alex, Ken, Shannon and Millie for making me leave town. Thanks to Mary, Claire, Punkall, 5D, Tammy, Hayes, Cinder, Goddammit Pat, The Quack, Erin, Marat, Katie B, Spikey Mikey Warm Napkin, Chop Kong, B-Man, Lucy and so many more for keeping it really, truly real. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

SOCKS & SANDALS - "No Biggie" - Tape - 2009

   I had to take a break from the blog for a minute to move my hundreds and hundreds of tapes to a different location (in addition to all of my other belongings), but this remote cave on a cliff overlooking the Adriatic Sea seems like a good fit for me. Back to the music. 
   During the break, I got a few submissions and some good new tapes, so maybe I'll throw those out over the next few weeks. Maybe I'll just dig up another forgotten band from 85 years ago. I don't really know. Today, I'm bringing you a submission from my friend, Alex Turner, who you may have seen working behind the merch table at a SHARKPACT show or you may have seen him setting up the lighting for the recent BEYONCE shit-show in SF. Here he is to tell you what little information is known about the legendary, short-lived band SOCKS & SANDALS. 

   SOCKS & SANDALS was a mysterious group with obvious 90210 influences. Little is known about this (self-described) very influential Olympia band. The members have split up between Olympia and New Orleans. They can be seen playing in THE CHAINCHIN UP MERIWETHERRVIVRSHARKPACT and ROCK BOTTOM GIRLS.

Friday, July 18, 2014

MRR RADIO #1409 and Service Interruption.

   Travis and I hosted this week's MRR Radio, playing a ton of newer records and tapes. Take a listen if you feel like it. I think we did a pretty good job.

Also, there won't be any new posts until mid-August because I'm away from my room for a while and then I'm moving into a new house. Stay realer than real. 

Monday, July 7, 2014

VARIOUS ARTISTS - "Punxploitation! Soundtrack Music From Punk Films, 1977-2010" - Double CD-R

   Punk fiction is a waste of time to me, but punk movies are another thing entirely. The more outlandish, the better. It's a little frustrating to watch punks get typecast over and over as garish, cartoony, moronic, day-glow freaks eating out of shit-encrusted dumpsters, but it's more entertaining than watching stale-ass norms munch on biscotti while discussing their affairs in a Starbucks. Even better, punk soundtracks rule,,,at least when they're good. Some are god-awful, especially when the directors or whoever-the-fuck compiles the music decides that shit like TALKING HEADS or THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS is punk, but sometimes, they're unstoppable and timeless. My favorite is when a band is made up just for the sake of the movie, such as EDGE OF ETIQUETTELOVEDOLLS or THE STAINS.
   This double CD-R comp of killer and not-so-killer punk songs from movies was compiled by notorious local punk Eric Yee and given away for free at a movie night he hosted at Thrillhouse Records in San Francisco. If memory serves me correctly, he showed Tjenare Kungen (sooo good), Sir Drone (if you haven't seen this, just stop everything and change your life for the next hour) and Desperate Teenage Lovedolls ("Hey, thanks for killing my mom!"). Within this comp, you'll find fictional bands, some well-knowns and some obscure foreign burners. Thanks to Eric, Eggplant and Thrillhouse. Enjoy!

Large file. 230 MB

If you're a freak about punks in movies or just want an amazing book about that subject, track down Destroy All of my favorites.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

HIGHLANDS - "Rear Entry Recordings" - Tape - 2000

   This tape is a companion piece to the DICK VAN DYKES post from yesterday because it was recorded on the same day in the same place with most of the same people. THE HIGHLANDS was our friend, Ryan's home recording project where he played short, fast, catchy songs that rarely, if ever, lasted over 45 seconds. He would include tapes of these recordings with his zine, 5 Minutes of Your Time. We (D.V.D.) encouraged Ryan to play shows with a live band, even though his set would last 5 minutes or less. When we recorded the D.V.D. songs, we got Ryan to play some of his songs with Chrissie and I accompanying him on bass and drums, respectively. It's a little rough, but I like the songs a lot. We even got him to record his epic two-and-a-half minute super pop jam, "Changes Pt 3", which has Bob playing drums and me on bass. If I can track down the original home recordings, I will post those one day, even though you have to turn those up all the way just to hear it.

7 songs. About 7 minutes of your time. 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

DICK VAN DYKES - "Rear Entry Recordings" - Tape - 2000

   THE DICK VAN DYKES started abruptly in the north Alabama bedroom of a teenage boy who went by the name of Bob. Bob started showing up at punk shows when he was nine years old, sporting a 3 foot mohawk and a dress shirt that had the names of punk bands scrawled all over it in Sharpie. Bob was kind of a jerk then, but we all wanted to be his friend and soon, we were.
   By the time this band formed, Bob was 14 or 15. The other members were Blair Menace and myself. We were both in our 20's and being around Bob made us feel ancient. We just formed a band on the spot and wrote all the songs in about 5 minutes, with subjects ranging from receiving postcards about tackling cacti n the desert to the band BLACK DICE to the comedy duo of Don Knotts and Tim Conway. It was bad. We recorded it and went our separate ways.
  Later, I kinda lost my shit and moved away from Chattanooga and into Bob's mom's windowless basement in Huntsville, AL. Our good friend, Chrissie had also kinda lost her shit and moved home to her dad's place in Pulaski, Tennessee, 45 miles away. One night, I drank too much coffee and lost my shit a little more and decided to walk to Pulaski to hang out with Chrissie. When I got there, 8 hours later, my feet were bleeding and I didn't make any sense. Soon, we were both back in Huntsville and Chrissie was in our newly revived band. We decided to spend a little longer writing the songs this time and were happier with the results. Bob was (and still is) the fastest drummer I've ever played with, which was awesome because I only want to play hardcore if it sounds out of control. Oh yeah, we were a hardcore band once Chrissie joined us and began talking about AUS ROTTEN and DS-13. She played bass and sang, I played guitar and tried to yell.

   We never thought we'd play outside of Bob's basement, but we did eventually. We even went on a very short, ill-advised tour in a primer grey, early 80's clunker car that was bought at a police auction. At one of the shows, someone who lived at the house decided that they didn't want a show there, so they locked all the doors and left. The promoter simply broke in and had the show anyway. We recorded this tape back in Chattanooga at Rear Entry (a practice space in the Highland Park neighborhood) with our friend, Ryan. It was recorded live on 2 tracks, mostly in one take and very sloppily. Some songs are good. Some are bad. You can decide which is which. I will point out that our cover of the HIGHLANDS "Changes Pt 1" is just awful. If you don't know who the HIGHLANDS are (and I'm betting that you don't), please check back tomorrow.

Photo above is by Brontez, live in Huntsville, AL at Stokes St Warehouse. We really were not trying to pose for this pic. It just happened. 
Top drawing by Janelle Hessig
Cellphone hatred pic by Chrissie.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Rüz - Demo - Tape - 2014

   Sometimes you drink coffee...sometimes you don't....maybe you get that feeling in your head that you want to listen to something short, fast and loud. No pretense. No bullshit. You might wish that every song would be over in less than a minute because your attention span starts wandering after 40 seconds. Maybe you want to hear a singer who sounds just as pissed as you feel every day when you walk down the street and you see another fucking condo being built where your friend's beautiful warehouse used to stand (and then you get more pissed as you think about how you and your friends are just as complicit in the act of gentrification in your neighborhood anyway). Maybe you want to rip your teeth out and throw them at people wearing Google Glass. Maybe you wanna press a cop's fucking nose directly into your asshole as you shit out a giant turd into his stupid fucking nostrils. Maybe you just wanna listen to hardcore. Here it is. 3 songs in less than 3 minutes.

This tape was put out by Lumpy Rex, I think. The tape is gone, but if you're dumb enough to buy a flexi, you can get a one by this band from Spotted Race
You can hear the songs from the flexi here. It rules.

"I got a grudge against society, so I started stealing everything"

Saturday, June 21, 2014

THE BLUES - "Vol I" - Tape - 2014

  I pulled up in front of the punk house last night and I could hear that THE BLUES was already playing in the garage. I locked up my bike and wandered in, but the room was so packed that I couldn't even stand in there, so I stood out back and shot the shit while THE BLUES wailed away. I overheard some bro-dawg say "Yeah, I don't know what's going on in there. It's like, just noise or something, but there's all these people, like, staring at them and just looking around like they're thinking really hard about it. I had to leave."
   When their set was over, I told their guitarist, Marissa that I couldn't get in the room and she said "Yeah, I looked up from my guitar and was surprised that we hadn't cleared the room yet." Max, the saxophone player added "Yeah. That's what happens usually."

   THE BLUES play something between noise and no wave and free jazz and skronky weird vibes, incorporating only the sounds of guitar and sax. I described it once as "like the financial district of San Francisco at rush hour" and "If you played this on a boombox in a crowded subway, someone might beat you up." I stand by that and I mean it as a compliment. The band has already put out a second release, which is an art zine (you can download it from them or maybe they'll give you a physical copy if you see them) and they have interesting future releases planned, which I will not give away.

Keep up with THE BLUES on their website, which I described as "janky" and my friend Caitlin made fun of me. "How can a website be janky? You just click on things and it works right? That's not janky"
Members of THE BLUES also play in WET DRAG, STILLSUIT, UZI RASH, LAND ACTION and moreeeeeee.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

MODERN DELUSION - "Wasteland" - Tape - 2014

    I really like synth-based punk when it's done COUNT VERTIGO, LOST SOUNDS or some other shit like that. I like stuff that sounds unhinged and punk. Sometimes, synth bands go down a goth path (and I like goth too), but bands tend to lose something when they go down that path and turn into SKINNY PUPPY. MODERN DELUSION manages to sound like a lost Killed By Death style band from 1982..but also pretty modern and urgent. That's all I got. They're good. They're from Croatia. They play a CRIME cover. You can probably order their tape if you want to pay one million dollars in postage.

Usually, I like to just post free downloads, but when it's a current band, I think that you should support them any way you can. If you'd like to order a tape directly from the band, please go here.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

SOPORS - Demo - Tape - 2009

   I've tried to explain the genius behind SOPORS in the past in a print publication, but trying to explain something like that is like trying to convince an organic food eater that fruit roll-ups are the best. It's all about personal taste. Everyone likes what they like for a reason and that reason is their own. I like SOPORS. You may not. I don't care anymore. It's your loss.
   SOPORS are from San Francisco and (in my opinion) follow in the footsteps of a long line of local pop weirdos like 50 MILLIONHICKEYTOMMY LASORDACRIMENY and many more. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe they were just trying to sound like GUIDED BY VOICES and got it all fucked up, but really, I sometimes think HICKEY did the same thing (but added more drugs and a love of KISS). SOPORS sound like they're approaching songs with simple pop structures but then it all gets enveloped with a blanket of alienation, anxiety and paranoia. Some of the songs sound like everyone in the band had a different idea about how it should sound until an unforgettable melody sneaks out of the mire. I'm not going to try and convince you why this is good. That's up to you and your brain, but if you just pass this by without trying, I feel sorry for you.

If you want to order their full length LP (you should), go to Mongo Bongo Top Ten Hits

Sorry the blog is being updated at a glacial pace, but I've been trying to upload this music for two days and I kept getting system errors. Shout out to my non-profit file hosting service!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


   Look...I know that there's been a time in your life when you were sitting around in the gutter in a shitty part of town and thought, "Whoa, I wonder what it would sound like if members of ORCHID, AMPERE, VACCINE, FOREIGN OBJECTS and LONGINGS were sitting around talking about how much they loved the ANGRY SAMOANS and then decided to form a band and record it in one day?" Wonder no longer, my friend.

Two songs
Roughly 2 minutes

Monday, June 2, 2014

VARIOUS ARTISTS - Mix Tape - 2001

   The fun thing about making a mix tape for yourself is that you don't have to give a fuck. You can jump to different genres and not worry about the continuity. You can put on "songs for your crush" without feeling all weird and self-conscious about putting on a "song for your crush". You can pitch-shift the whole thing up a notch so the songs are faster, because that's how you want to hear everything. You can put on songs that might be embarrassing.
  I made this mix sometime in 2001 when I was traveling a lot by myself. It's a lot of my favorite songs from that time in my life and I think it still holds up today. I still like every song on here. I'm not gonna tell you who any of the bands are. You'll just have to figure it out when you download it. If you're into hardcore, you'll like this tape. Also, if you're into hardcore, you might not like this tape. Here's what I will tell you: The RSS song is one of my favorite songs of all time. There have been numerous times when I've screamed along to every word of the song that starts with "Sing it again..." and then looked down to realize that I'm driving over 80 MPH. Same thing with the S.R. songs. Luckily, the songs that follow those songs will jolt one out of their speed demon stupor. Just go for it...or don't.


As always, no apologies for sound quality or volume changes.