Monday, February 24, 2014

VIOLATIONS - Demo - Tape - 2013

    Look at that tape cover. No, really. Just look at it. What kind of music do you think would greet you on a tape like this? The color of that paper looks like a tea-dyed white shirt that some punk wore on 8 cross-country freight train trips. A finger on a hairy hand is jabbing itself into a urethra. It's the kind of drawing you'd find on the kitchen table the morning after your roommates kept you up all night while they were blacked out on Four Loko.
   VIOLATIONS are just simply punk. No sub-genres. Just six ugly blasts of music that clock in around 10 minutes with one of those singers who sounds like a wild ox. Like, he probably couldn't carry a tune to save his life, but he could throw me through a plate glass window for pointing that out. You know what I mean?

Order your own tape from Spotted Race
Blame them for the varying volume levels on the tape.
Learn more about the band.
Hear it without a download.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

M/D - "Accordion / Static / Lost / Space Jam" - Tape - 2000

   I don't really know the story behind this tape, but I have some strong assumptions about who is involved in playing the instruments. I'll keep those thoughts to myself. Basically, this is just a long improv jam session recorded on a tape player without too much thought put into it. It seems like maybe the players decided to throw this tape away, but put it in their free box instead.
   Long story short: If you ever want to get rid of a tape for good, cut the tape up into shreds. Don't put it in the free box at your collective warehouse on a dead end street in New Orleans. That crusty traveling kid who just hopped a train into town and is now sleeping on your floor might just pull it out of the box and decide to share it on a music blog 14 years later.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

VARIOUS ARTISTS - "Field Recordings From The Edge Of Existence. Vol 2" - Tape - 2013

   When I'm at my job, I rarely let down my guard to reveal details of my personal life to my co-workers because I feel like there's too many facets of it that are confusing or difficult to explain (I want to say that I also work with a lot of wonderful people who "get" me 100%. I have a lot of co-workers). For example, a nurse told me that she routinely spots me all over the city, riding my bike at all hours of the day. She explained, "I feel like I've seen you over 50 times in every corner of San Francisco, but you've never noticed that I'm in the vicinity." As I was coming to the end of a 12 hour overnight shift, I barely looked up from my paperwork and casually said, "I have to put on psychic blinders in this world to block out the constant barrage of bullshit so that I can continue to fool myself into believing that this city can be a beautiful and magical place." As those last words fell from my lips, I started to catch myself and glanced up to see the nurse looking both horrified and confused. I stammered "I'm...I'm sorry I didn't see you. Sometimes my best friends have to grab me to get my attention as I pass them on the sidewalk." It was too late. I revealed a little too much and that nurse gave me a look that simply said "Let's just not talk while I'm here, okay?"
   Sometimes, the blinders are on too much and I even miss the things that I should be looking out for. My friend Vanessa gave me a copy of her zine Asswipe (issue 5), which consisted mostly of interviews with Oakland bands that I had never heard of, even though I go to punk shows in Oakland regularly. I read through the interviews and felt all kinds of emotions. I was intrigued, annoyed, confused, enthralled and enlightened. Never bored. For the first time since living in the Bay Area, I felt completely and utterly out of touch with what was going on in a facet of the Bay Area punk scene. It was awesome. I think some people would take that as a sign to drop out or move on, but I found it to be, there's still interesting and productive scenes thriving on the fringes. When I feel like I should take the blinders off, I think that maybe I should keep them on and venture further underground.
   I was handed this tape by Yacob in the backyard of an Oakland punk house and it showcases some of the bands talked about in Asswipe (p.s., one of the better Bay Area zines), as well as some non-local heavy-hitters. Almost everything on the tape was recorded live on a handheld tape recorder by Yacob in the Bay Area, so the sound quality is lo-fi (as hell) but still engaging in a totally fucked way. PATH OF RUIN start off the tape with a wild, noisy, violent stab of no wave and their recording trainwrecks into a live set by the BILL ORCUTT and JACOB HEALE DUO. Orcutt should be no stranger to any fan of noise and outsider sounds. The tape continues on with more harsh, (possibly) challenging recordings by KAREN, EXIT BAG, ETTRICK and more.
   Side 2 begins with a live recording of last year's phenomenal SF performance of SUN RA'S ARKESTRA led by Marshall Allen (I feel embarrassed now that I didn't include this on my year end top ten because it was one of the best, most transcendent musical performances I saw last year, by far) at the Victoria Theater in the Mission District. It's followed up by a free jazz performance by SF SOUND GROUP, who also played the ARKESTRA show. I liked the recording of them on this tape, but, honestly, I was unimpressed by their live presentation and spent their set drinking cheap beer on the corner of 16th and Mission while people-watching. I wish that this tape included the opening performance by HANS GRUSEL'S KRANKENKABINET, but this world is not perfect. The tape closes with the no-wavey improv (?) blanket of BAT MAGICK. Overall, this tape is challenging, interesting and does a phenomenal job of documenting the underside of the Bay Area's noise scene. Blinders on. Head down.

Tape is not split into tracks...just side A and B, since everything runs together.
File is large. 203 mb.
I think this tape was released in an edition of 25, so it's probably gone. 
If you want to hear more from people involved in these projects, check out Albacore Records

Friday, February 21, 2014

MINEFIELD - "Отъебись!" - Tape - 2012

   Possibly one or two people noticed, but I took a week off to go to a different part of the country, see snow, hang out with some of the best people, tweak out at a 24 hour movie marathon, pet a bunch of cats and get tied up in other projects. Now, I'm back at home unloading more tapes and wondering if people even read this. When I mention the blog to friends, they usually say "oh, I thought that whole thing got deleted." Nope, still here.
    MINEFIELD is one of many bands who have sent their demo tape to MRR and caught my attention. In MINEFIELD's case, they sent their 5 and a half minute tape all the way from Russia. They probably draw their hardcore influences from somewhere obvious, but I'll leave the naming of those influences up to people who actually listen to a lot of hardcore. They blast out a stellar RAW POWER cover, so I think it's safe to say that they're one of the influences. I like it because it reminds me of the best parts of 80's hardcore and the early 00's fastcore scene without drowning in nostalgia or hyperbole. It's direct and to the point, like a punch to the face. Like saying "fuck you" to a cop. Like throwing a misogynist psychopath down a flight of stairs.

Monday, February 10, 2014

UKE OF PHILLIPS & ERIN TOBEY - "Live On The Phone" - Tape - 2005

     Ever since I was a kid, I've always loved the sound of AM radio, lo-fi recordings and the way that music sounds over the phone through those tinny speakers. Put me in a tour van driving through the middle of the US at 2 am and I will guarantee that the radio will be tuned in to Coast To Coast AM. If that's not available, I'll be scanning the AM radio stations anyway. I also love it when any band has a sample of music being played over an answering machine. Once, an old friend called my house when she was at an X show and held the phone by her side for most of the show. My friends and I put it on speaker-phone and danced in my bedroom. It sounded amazing. So, imagine my delight when I stumbled across the radio show, "Phoning It In", which is comprised entirely of musicians calling in to the radio show and playing their songs over the phone!  
   The radio show ran from 2005-2011 and featured artists ranging from DANIEL JOHNSTON to DANIEL HIGGS to BILLY CHILDISH to SARAH DOUGHER to JULIE DOIRON to USAISAMONSTER to everything in between. Their archive is insane and impressive (and can be found here)(and here's another link)
   This tape compiles two separate 2005 performances by ERIN TOBEY and UKE OF PHILLIPS. Erin plays her otherworldly, nimble-fingered songs over a land line from the back room of a now-defunct punk warehouse called The Ark in Gainesville, FL (Fun Fact: A fitness club has now opened up in that warehouse that once hosted so many punk shows and debaucherous parties. That club is called...wait for it...The Ark). The tinny sound of the phone gives her songs a beautiful, faraway feel that is warm and enveloping. You can find more music by Erin here and a lot of her fantastic art here
   UKE OF PHILLIPS phone in from tour during a stop at MARS in Missoula, MT. They alternate between their gutter country/folky songs and just being totally "out there". On this recording, the group consists of Dan Beckman, Matt Beckman and A.M.O.S. Shit gets really weird at some points. It's cool. You can find way more stuff by UKE right here and you can find newer stuff here. Keep up with their rare appearances on their blog.
    Not so fun fact: When I went to digitize this tape, I accidentally put it in the wrong deck and the stereo immediately chewed up the analog tape and mangled it beyond all repair. I just looked at it helplessly and then just nailed the damn thing to my wall. Erin Tobey was nice enough to email over the tracks of both artists for you to enjoy in the digital realm. So, thanks Erin!

Saturday, February 8, 2014


NEON PISS - 16th and Mission BART Station - 2011 - San Francisco, CA - Photo by Anandi Wonder

LANDLORD - Skate Park - 2005 - Bloomington, IN - Photo by Greg Harvester

THE PINS - Heart of Huntsville Mall - 1997 - Huntsville, AL - Photo by Blair Menace

THE GRUMPIES - Lamar's - 2000 - Chattanooga, TN - Photo by ???

DICK VAN DYKES - Rear Entry - 2000 - Chattanooga, TN - Photo by Brontez

JACK PALANCE BAND (Eric the singer, lost his voice on tour, so the audience filled in) - Father Abraham's - 2000 - Chattanooga, TN - Photo by ???

RICE HARVESTER - Melita's Basement - 1998 - Dalton, GA - Photo by ???

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


  If you need another website to follow me on, well, here you go....

Too much technology. Never fear, I'm not on Instagram because there's no way I can afford an Iphone. I can't even get the internet on my phone. I can barely even make phone calls on the thing.

REAGAN'S BONES - Demo - Tape - 2005

   I was going to try something different today. I started uploading a split tape between two quieter singers that I like, but then the stereo ate and completely mangled the cassette. The quarter-inch tape was fucked up beyond repair, so I took the cassette out and nailed it to my wall. Next, I started uploading a newer experimental noise tape of mostly local bands, but my computer just stopped digitizing it about halfway through. Instead of either of those tapes, you get more punk...ugly, fucked up, drunken, blown out punk.
   REAGAN'S BONES were most likely born in a fucked up trailer in Woodfin, NC while swilling ass-loads of cheap booze and eating dumpstered pizzas. They were fronted by Potato, who is one of the sweetest punks you could ever hope to meet. Other members of the band have spent time in QUEERWULF, THE MORONS, BLOOD SUMMER, PRINCESS THUNDERSTORM, A.O.A. and many, many more. I don't remember if I've ever seen this band unless they played in the blur of 12 bands in a falling apart house in St Louis during that one time when all the punks met there. I don't know. This tape is good and I think this grocery store receipt from their insert will tell you everything you need to know about this band.

If you live in the Bay Area and want a copy of the band's self-released 7", there's 20-25 of them lurking around Thrillhouse Records.

Monday, February 3, 2014

HICKEY - "Live on KCXI. Last Show" - Tape - 1998

   Even if you're a casual reader of this blog, I'm sure I don't need to explain the importance or impact that HICKEY made on this world. I've had this tape for years and was sure that it was already uploaded. I realized that I hadn't because it was already widely available, but now most of those download links are dead, so here it is again. HICKEY broke up way back in the 90's after playing some bad bar show in Tucson, but then got back together the next day to play this one last live radio performance. It's a great send off because the band sounds pretty happy; like they're still having fun and ending things when it was time. For a little more info and the track listing, check Cosmic Hearse.

Other links:
San Francisco Needle Exchange

Thanks to Mike Wilson for pointing this one out.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

SANDAL STOMP - "No Fun Intended" - Tape - 2013

   I want to start this off by just taking a minute to tell you about one SANDAL STOMP member named Danny. I met Danny in 1998 when he showed up to our house in the Highland Park neighborhood of Chattanooga. Danny was born in Peru and made his way to Miami as a teenager. I don't know much about his background, but I don't think life had been easy in Peru. When he showed up at our house driving a hatchback completely covered in spray-painted slogans, bearing a cow skull bolted to the hood and a ladder from a pool welded to the back, I had to admit that I wanted to know the guy. When he told us he didn't have a license and he had stolen all of the gas to get from south Florida to Tennessee, I was even more intrigued. At that time in Chattanooga, my friends and I would walk down the streets in ripped clothes and dyed hair while people yelled insults at us on a daily basis. I watched Danny walk around with even more fucked up hair, knee pads sewn into his patched camo pants, and a bow and arrow strapped to his back. Most people were too afraid or confused to say anything. Danny constantly made fun of me for not eating meat, calling me a spoiled ass white kid (correct!) and once brought home a squirrel he killed with his bow and arrow. I think he gutted it and ate it in our backyard, but I didn't stick around to find out.
  Through the years, Danny stayed in Chattanooga, became more legal than most of the people I know, had a couple of great kids and fell in love with OI. Even though he introduced me to a lot of great South American punk bands and has always been a solid supporter of the Chattanooga punk scene, I don't think he's ever played in any bands, so it's cool to see him playing bass in SANDAL STOMP.

   SANDAL STOMP comes from a town that is well known for having a lot of great bands who play a jangly style of melodic punk. On the underside of that exterior, there's a ton of bands who are screaming and clawing their way deeper into the slimy basement of a punk house called Anarchtica. SANDAL STOMP plays gruff-voiced, falling apart hardcore and judging from their lyrics, they want to fight you...and skinhead cops. I can imagine that they're awesome to see when you're feeling fucked up, a little hazy and wanting to fight 3 am. Get into it.


You can also order a tape or download this from the band right here.

Sorry I spent all that time talking about one member of the band, but everyone has their story. I could have talked about how I met their drummer at a DEERHOOF show when he played in an ambient noise band, but it's just not as interesting.