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?