Wednesday, January 27, 2016


   What the fuck is up? I've been thinking about the ghosts that you see when you walk down the street and you can only look at your neighborhood through a lens of what used to be there. I'm trying to stop doing that, but it's hard when everything changes so quickly.
    One of the last times that I talked about my friend Jamie's bands, I did not use any filters and I didn't think too closely about what I was putting out into the world. Without going into detail, I was visited by different kinds of ghosts and put into sudden serious conversations with people I never thought I would encounter in my life. I don't plan on revisiting these conversations anytime in the near future and sometimes, it's better to let ghosts rest. That is why this entry will be noticeably vague and feel devoid of some kinds of obvious info.
   Both of these bands were from Long Island during the early '00's. Both of them played shows in Chattanooga when I lived there. One of them I liked. The other...not so much. When THE LAZER came into town, it was the first time I met Jamie after being his pen pal for about a year or so. I took him out for pizza even though I could barely afford it. He complained about the pizza because he is from New York and this is what New Yorkers do, but when I went to see him, he returned the favor because that's what friends do.
   THE LAZER broke up and some of the members soon started the freight train known as BENT OUTTA SHAPE. SCENT OF HUMAN HISTORY soon became extinct and did other things too. I can't tell you what those things are, but you can find more info about this release here.

Monday, January 25, 2016


   I'm late to the game on these Texan miscreants, even though I've known one of them for almost 20 years. Where did this tape come from? Why can't I find any information on it? THE DEGENERATES were a Houston punk band who released a 7" in 1981 that you'd be lucky to find for under $100. None of the songs from this tape are on that record.
   They have songs about race, war, feeling trapped by your own feelings of rage and more. This shit is good. Imagine having these songs running through your head while you're running down a 1981 alley and being chased by huge Texan rednecks who want to beat your ass for just wearing some chains on your leather jacket. Perfect and classic.

I don't know what the other guys ended up doing (sorry), but their drummer Wade went on to play in 50 MILLION, CORDUROY, J CHURCH, HICKOIDS, THE REACTION and many more. He currently plays in the SF band, APOGEE SOUND CLUB. 

Sunday, January 24, 2016

C SECTION 8 / ELECTRIC NIGHTS - Split - Tape - 2005(?)

   Sometimes, I put on tapes like this, thinking "I'm not sure if I'm really into this" and then find later that I just listened to it six times in a row. I mean, that's exactly what happened. It's a great tape. What do I know about it? Almost nothing. I think I saw C SECTION 8 perform once in a crumbling house on Rampart Street in a pre-Katrina New Orleans, but I could be wrong. It also could have been HARRY FROM HAWAII...or DOGERELLA DECIDED UPON...or HUMAN HAIR HAT. No one ever really talked about the names of the bands when I went to those shows, but it was always weirdly fucking mind-blowing. Like the time that a member of one of those bands was playing a table full of pedals and was dressed up in a homemade metal mask. The mask was attached to contact mics and he was hitting it with drumsticks while manipulating the sound into a cacophonous nightmare. He was also making small yelps, which I thought was part of the performance, but I found out later that he hadn't shaved down the metal inside so every time he hit the mask, it was cutting into his face and making him bleed! But was that C SECTION 8?? I don't know!! I don't think so.
   As far as ELECTRIC NIGHTS, I have even less information, meaning I have NO information. I did some searching, both online and off, and came up empty handed/headed. There's no trace of this release on the label's old paper order forms/catalogs and nothing online that I can find. Oh well. It's not important.
   The important part is that both sides of this is filled with (I'm assuming) blips and drones from busted ass analog and barely digital machines. Tape manipulations and wonky beats will lull you into a different head space. I don't know. I just like it. I've always liked this shit. Don't worry. I'll post more punk tapes soon, but you'll come back to this later and love it because all the hardcore kids will be playing noise by the end of 2016 anyway. Mark my words. 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

RAW WAR - 2 Demos - Tape - 2010

    Sometimes a band exists in your region and you just never see them. Some people work too much. Some people just don't feel like going out to every show. Some people don't go to "those" shows. In my case, my best friend had cancer and I forgot how to interact with the world.
   Because of this, I know almost nothing about RAW WAR and these tapes came into my possession years after they broke up. I can enjoy them now and you can too. "Outfit" is carried almost entirely by one riff (until close to the end), but when the drum roll leads you to the bass line, you realize how sorely you've been missing that riff in your life (if you were, in fact, out of the loop like me). "Poster" has a call-and-response style vocal chant that always gets caught up in my head like an alternate universe "Steak Knife" (ANGRY SAMOANS). Everything about this band sounds so perfectly on ten on a shitty amp...pounding dilapidated drum set....multiple singers who sound like they would kill you but kinda be bored while doing it. I don't know. Like I said, I was at home and didn't know how to live.
   This download contains both of their tapes. One has an alien on the cover and one does not. I'm not sure which one came first, but they mostly have the same songs on them...just different versions and recordings. It's all great.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016


   Rioting. It is important. It is crucial. Some say it's the unbeatable high. Many want a riot of their own. Where do you find your anger? What makes you flip the switch from simply walking down the street to punching a pig in the fucking face like that crudely drawn human above? What drives you to jump onto the hood of a police car and smash feet first through the windshield, like I once saw someone do on Mission Street? I can't answer those questions for you. It's up to you.
   A few months ago, my friend Jacob handed me this tape in the kitchen of his big, drafty warehouse in an undisclosed area of Rhode Island. He only explained that this tape is intended for rioting. It should put you in the mood to destroy. The whole concept was Mikey T's idea, but maybe ML was the one who was doing the most bugging to make it happen...but then Jacob made it happen. I know that none of those statements made a question, but just act like they did. I can't answer those questions for you. It's up to you.
   Back in San Francisco, my band got booked on a punk show in an art gallery by the ocean. I was borrowing a car and I drove it out. I put this tape in and listened to it LOUD with the windows down. By the time I arrived at the show, I felt crazy and wanted to destroy that entire area of town. I wanted to rip the art off the walls, punch my friends in the face and then walk away from the whole scene in slow motion while an entire city block exploded behind me. I didn't do that though because my friends are great and I really like that part of town. What I'm trying to say is, use this tape wisely and appropriately. Do not trifle with it. Listen responsibly.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

VARIOUS ARTISTS - "We Will All Be Well" - Tape - 2006

   My friend Monica was attending all kinds of shows in the Bay Area (and beyond) ten years ago and she usually had some kind of recording device in tow. That recording device was often a thrifted (or lifted) handheld cassette player that might have been better off lounging away in a dumpster, but Monica dutifully dragged it around and captured some moments in backyards, dark basements, toxic beaches, bars, rock clubs, living rooms and the places in between.
   She made this compilation of some of the moments and mailed it out to friends in an edition of 15. It came in a screened cloth bag with typed out track listings and a feather. I've had this tape for ten years now and have been thinking about sharing it on here since the beginning of the blog, but most of the sound quality is abysmal. Sometimes, the tape hiss is just as loud, if not louder, than the songs themselves, but I think there are special moments on here that deserve to be shared. It's up to you to decide which moments are special, if any.
    If you listen to this on headphones, it would be a good idea to keep your hand near a volume control. Some of the songs are almost inaudible, mostly tape hiss and come out of one speaker. Some are clear, LOUD recordings. Some of the bands were never heard from again. The compilation is all over the map. Some (not all) of the bands included within are THE BOOKS, SEXUAL RITES, LIL RUNT,  MIRAH, NEUTRAL MILK HOTEL, ONE REASON, J.R.R. TALLCAN, DAVID DONDERO and about 20 more. Enjoy or don't.

Friday, January 8, 2016

ERIN YANKE - Top Ten of 2015

This year, I'm keeping the top tens to a real minimum. There will only be a few. Erin Yanke is up first. This is her 4th year in a row on the top tens for the blog! Erin spends her time managing the station at KBOO, playing drums in the seasonal punk band REMNANTS, looking after Knuckles (the cat), randomly working the counter at Mississippi Records and reading more books than you (debatable), among many other things. Here goes....

Shopping – Why Choose (Fat Cat)  and Consumer Complaints
   WOW. This really blew my mind on first exposure, and continues to delight and amaze me. Danceable and smart, anticapitalist postpunk that doesn’t hold back on creativity. Whenever I play it at the record store someone buys the copy straight off the turntable. This is powerful art. Lively. Great. (ed. note: astute readers will note that Consumer Complaints came out in 2013,but, as Erin noted to me, it didn't get an American release until 2015)

Lebenden Toten - Stagnation Fragmentation – (Whisper in Darkness)
   This cassette only release will eventually be their new record.. I'm glad we got a sneak peak because its Amazing! They bring the noise and static and franticness and pulsing pace and paranoia and the cold edge of electronics in water. They are a Portland treasure!

Spray PaintPunters on a Barge (Homeless) and Dopers (Monofonus Press)
   I love this band, and love how prolific they are! Two high quality full length records. A few years back I said they were everything good about punk, and now they’ve gone deeper. They’ve slowed down a little bit, added a bunch more instruments, but still manage to be unpredictable while keeping it rockin!

 G.L.O.S.S. (Girls Living Outside Society’s Shit) – (Total Negativity)
   This made me so incredibly happy. To live in such a harsh world that wants the best people dead, and to hear the art that hate can be turned into, it just makes me proud of G.L.O.S.S. as a band and as people, and even a little bit proud of humans in general. This is perfect, so ragin and so alive. Such a gift to the world.

Dead Moon – Live at Satyricon (Voodoo Doughnut Recordings) 
   The best band ever in the history of the world reminds us of their amazing live energy in the days when fewer folks cared. It’s also funny to me that Going South didn’t start out the set, but that’s total nerdcore from a super fan. Pure Love.

CCTV – CCTV ep (Lumpy)
    Treble heavy, frantic, and fun. The vocals are distanced and yet present, engaging and suspicious, laying just above the musical whirlpool. Plus the record has the personal touch that I love.What does CCTV stand for on your record?

Vexx – Give and Take (Katorga Works)
    I like this record mostly because it reminds me of their amazing live shows, the honesty and raw (really raw, not just a lot of distortion and effects style) possibility that Mary Jane brings to all moments. Live she is incredible, as is the band who rage along. But this record gives me time to slow down a little and take in what they are saying and doing, not just be swept up in it. Walking in the Rain is standout.

 Flesh World - The Wild Animals In My Life (Iron Lung) 
   I save this record for certain moods, when you want to really sit and listen and go somewhere else. This record opens portals. Lots of fuzz and feedback to lull you, but underneath there are noise moments and other sharp barbs to keep you on your toes as the mind wanders to new worlds. This record is a soundtrack to longing: personal, political, artistic.

Andy Human and the Reptoids – Andy Human and the Reptoids (SS Records)
    The band that, when I’d DJ parties, or play on the radio, got the most head swivels the most “who’s THAT?!!” asked with excitement and curiosity. AHatR sure know how to get past the “I’ve heard it all” fortress and break into it with a 70’s Ohio sense of creativity, urgency, fun, and experimentation without sounding like anyone of those bands, and without sounding like retro hack. Modern sounds for modern times.

 Susan Vaslev - Music from Enchanted Forest (Wyrd War) 
   You may have gotten a taste from last year’s comp WHISPERS THROUGH THE BLACK VEIL, but here’s more of the soundtrack to the fantasy amusement park! Not only a great record, but this calls to the higher purpose of making records, documenting our unique corners of the world and bringing them into new worlds.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

JOSE BOVE - Demo - Tape - 2008

   JOSE BOVE came to the small Midwestern college town that I found myself in and aurally destroyed an art gallery...or so I thought. They might have come there. I was convinced that I attended that show, but the more I search my brain, the more I can't remember being there. It probably happened, but I wasn't there. I story, dawg.
   JOSE BOVE was (is?) a sonic fuck-pile of a band. They consisted of two drummers facing each other and other people playing noise/generally fucking up the vibe. They're the sound inside your head when you're on a train jetting through a tube underwater after 5 cups of coffee and you want to kill all the screen starers in your immediate vicinity.
   Information on the band is hard to come by. This tape exists and I know they also released a 7" with hand screened covers. Beyond that, I can't help you. You're on your own now.

   The band is named after a French farmer / activist, who (among many other things) helped to dismantle  a McDonalds in Millau in 1999. I call attention to this act because of the recent near-fetishization of fast food among punks. Some people cry "but I'm broke." Whatever. It's possible to be actually broke (like your pocket hasn't seen money in months) and still not eat that shit. Give me a fucking break. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

COUNTY Z / IMPRACTICAL COCKPIT - Split Cassingle - 2002

  Since the previous entry was so sprawling and featured 100 songs, I decided to keep this one short and sweet. These two bands are two of my absolute favorites of the late 90's and early 00's. They played beautiful and ugly music. It was produced by purely lovable dirtbags. I feel comfortable calling them that because one of the members recently told me "We were such fucking dirtbags." The shitty punk historians of the future won't write about COUNTY Z and IMPRACTICAL COCKPIT in their $100 coffee table art cubes (books won't exist). The noisers who write the history will only make a scant mention of them. That is fine. They probably don't give a fuck. All of these people are still active in art and music, creating work that is incredible and essential.

I think this tape was created for one of their joint tours. Two songs. Less than two minutes of music.