Sex Pistols – Live At the Longhorn

19
Nov

Sex Pistols – Live At the Longhorn
Label: (Bootleg)
Released: 1978

Johnny Rotten: Vocals
Sid Vicious: Bass
Paul Cook: Drums
Steve Jones:

1. EMI
2. Bodies
3. Belsen Was a Gas
4. Holidays in the Sun
5. No Feelings
6. Problems
7. Pretty Vacant
8. Anarchy in the UK
9. No Fun

Sex Pistols live at the Longhorn in Texas, January 10, 1978. This was their only tour of the U.S. A classic show with bass player Sid Vicious. A Great historical document. This is the show where Sid cut himself up with a bottle, and bled all over himself.

Only one problem . . . the sound quality isn’t very good, and I listened to it a few times, and I don’t think they plugged Sid’s bass in. It’s a kind of dirty flat sound.

Rating: * ** one out of three stars

On to the story . . .

I was on a date back in the summer of 1996 (Thursday, August 22, 1996). I had lost touch with the punk scene, with the exception of pulling out my copy of Dance With Me once a year, I wasn’t paying attention to the scene at all. Then one evening in August of 1996 I find myself up on Universal Hill A.K.A. City Walk, and I bump into about 100 kids, all of whom look like they stepped out of a time machine from 1977. Mohawks, leather jackets, studded belts, Doc Martins, Creepers. It was wild. So, feeling very nostalgic, I walked up to one of the kids and asked what was going on? And the wanna-be-roughneck said “The Pistols, man. They’re back.” I thought he was pulling my leg. I hadn’t seen any signs in front or anything.

A short bit later I checked with the box office and the show was sold-out. So, I hung out in front until they had let the crowd in, and security mingled on down the path up towards the Amphitheatre, and I hatched a plan. I told the girl I was with that if we went through the bushes on the right-hand side of the path we could cut through one of the small stadiums (the Water World attraction) in the Universal Studios Tour and we’d end up parallel to the right side of the stage and the stage entrance. In other words, we’d be able to hear the whole set, and if anyone opened the side door, we might be able to see some of the set.

This whole plan took a bit to execute, so we didn’t get to see or hear the opening act.

But I am happy to say we heard the bulk of the Pistols set. The side door never opened, so I didn’t get to see them, but I heard the whole set. I jotted down the songs I heard, but it’s been over eleven years, so I don’t know if I have the set list in the right order, but these are pretty much all of the songs I heard:

1. Bodies
2. Seventeen
3. New York
4. No Feelings
5. Did You No Wrong
6. God Save the Queen
7. Liar
8. Satellite
9. (I’m Not Your) Stepping Stone
10. Submission
11. Holidays in the Sun
12. Pretty Vacant
13. EMI
14. Anarchy in the UK
15. Problems

 

 

Life Won’t Wait is out now, grab a copy today: http://goo.gl/n9ofGb

Earth Dies Burning – LIVE

12
Nov

Earth Dies Burning/Zoogz Rift
Lhasa Club, Hollywood, CA
Friday, March 16, 1984
Admission $5.00
Time: 9:00 PM

Matt Karlsen – Vocals
Jeff Karlsen – Keyboards/Guitar
Brad Laner – Keyboards
Spencer Savage – Drums

Bored Teenager
Fish Sticks
Another Six Year-Old
Bowling for Food
Saliva
60 Minutes/Duck, and Cover
Soaps
Mr. Blue
Psychotic Reaction
Heroin

This had to be one of the hardest pieces I have ever attempted. It’s especially difficult when you were friends with the members of the group (one of them) and you want to accurately retell the story. So, let’s start at the beginning: I ride to Hollywood with two guys from school, Glen and Jacque. It’s about a twenty minute to thirty-minute ride, and we pull up, and Matt Karlsen, Earth Dies Burning’s singer, is outside talking with the different people making their way into the club.

Right before I step into the place Matt asks me to show him some Michael Jackson moves to do mid-set. So, I do this weird move that I saw on MTV, and Matt duplicates it. With everyone off of the street and into the club, Matt tells me that they are going to cover Lou Reed’s Heroin, and right before going into the track he’s going to announce Reed’s passing. To which I reply “I hadn’t heard that.” Matt just smiles and says “No, but this is Hollywood, they’ll really be bummed out.” With that statement you know what to expect from Earth Dies Burning. Intelligent, but just a bit different than all the rest of the “alternative” groups in Los Angeles at the time.

So, we make our way into the Lhasa Club, on 1110 North Hudson, a pretty small club that left us standing throughout the set. Earth Dies Burning comes on at a few minutes after 9:00pm and sure enough, in the middle of one of their songs Matt does some extravagant Michael Jackson dance move, with the leg kicking up in the air. I don’t know what was more entertaining what was on stage or the audiences’ reactions.

Anyway, the set starts to wind down and Matt launches into a speech about a “very influential musician who died today, Mr. Lou Reed.” And again the crowd looks dumbfounded. The two guys I rode with looked over at me and just muttered, “Oh Shit, I didn’t know.” I didn’t tell them the truth until we were back in the car. Earth Dies Burning played for about twenty minutes, great set, and then the club pretty much emptied out after them.

The people I rode with decided to take off right after Earth Dies Burning finished. So, we missed Zoogz Rift, but in case you’re interested here’s a bit I was able to dig up on him:

The Trouser Press describes Zoogz Rift as “an iconoclastic original” who is “as imaginative and stimulating as he is irritating and vitriolic.” Rift was influenced by Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart as well as Salvador Dalí and Ayn Rand. Zoogz Rift began his recording career with the album Idiots on the Miniature Golf Course, released by Snout Records in 1979. His long-time collaborators include Richie Häss and John Trubee (the latter being famous for the songshark tune, “A Blind Man’s Penis”). Rift released several albums through SST Records during the 1980s. Keyboard Magazine, in a special “Experimental Music” issue, described Rift’s album The Island of Living Puke as “moments of outstanding free-form rock, sandwiched between scrupulously obscene interruptions.”

Zoogz Rift booked the UWF (Universal Wrestling Federation) in 1993. He left the promotion in March of 1994, but returned in May of 1995 to become Vice-President, alongside founder Herb Abrams. After Abrams died in 1996, the UWF promotion closed and Zoogz was left without a job. The show provides a weekly assessment of WWE and TNA promotions, with Zoogz giving insight on wrestling issues. His famous rants on the show include the pushing of former WWF superstar Warlord, and his fascination with possibly training 60-year-old Vince McMahon to become a main-event wrestler. With Zoogz’ former experience in wrestling, he claims he can train any man, via the techniques of the Golden Crab, as stated in Episode #3 of Puke-A-Mania. Puke-A-Mania videos are available via YouTube.

However, Zoogz returned to Puke-A-Mania on December 4. In that episode, Rift he again made claims to his “brother” Captain Lou Albano. Albano and other “relatives” apparently shaved Zoogz’ beard when he fell asleep after Thanksgiving dinner. He then challenged Albano to a match, to determine the “Greatest Wrestler of All-time.”

Rating: *** three out of three stars.

The copyright on the flyer is retained by the artist J. Eucharist.

 

 

Life Won’t Wait is out now, grab a copy today: http://goo.gl/n9ofGb

Top 10 Punk Compilations

05
Nov

Top 10 Punk Compilations

Number 10
Tooth And Nail
Label: Upsetter Records
Released: 1978

I remember seeing this at my Uncle’s place when it first came out. It was the first L.A. or West Coast punk album I ever saw or heard. So, I’m including it for sentimental reasons. Mostly rough, and melodic L.A. punk rock, Germs, Flesheaters, Middle Class and Negative Trend stand out. Classic compilation.

Rating: *** three out of three stars.

Number 9
Rise Above: 24 Black Flag Songs to Benefit the West Memphis Three
Label: Sanctuary Records
Released: 2002

I dig Henry’s new version of Rise Above, Chuck D’s (of Public Enemy) intro brings a new level of intensity to the track. The track smokes. Rollins really stepped up his game, this is the best I’ve heard him in years. And he did it for a great cause.

Rating: *** three out of three stars.

Number 8
Let Them Eat Jellybeans
Label: Alternative Tentacles
Released: 1981

Let Them Eat Jellybeans “17 Extracts From Americas Darker Side,” is one of the first compilations of underground music from the Bay Area, and the original release included an insert of all of the punk bands known to be playing in the U.S. and Canada at that time. The first side of the album features songs by a number of bands that formed the canon of the Frisco hardcore punk in the 1980s, while the second side features more of an art rock sound.

Rating: *** three out of three stars.

Number 7
Cracks In The Sidewalk
Label: New Alliance Records
Released: 1980

Contains the Black Flag track Clocked In.

Rating: *** three out of three stars.

Number 6
Rodney on the ROQ
Label: Poshboy Records
Released: 1980

I originally bought this to complete my Flipside magazine collection (a free issue inside), but was stoked to hear some of the very best songs ever written – “Bloodstains” (Agent Orange), Amoeba by the Adolescents, The Circle Jerks doing Wild In The Streets, and Black Flag doing No Values!

Rating: *** three out of three stars.

Number 5
The Decline of Western Civilization
Label: Slash Records
Released: 1981

I remember when this was first released; I had the movie poster on my wall, and the soundtrack in constant rotation on my turntable. I believe it was scheduled to open at the Nuart Theatre; I picked up their newspaper listings that came out every month, at Licorice Pizza. I had the date circled, and I was raring to go. A week before Decline was to open my Uncle Rick offered to take me. Here’s where I get bummed: my Mom tells him “No.” I wasn’t, quite yet, fifteen, and she reminded me that I had to be seventeen to see it, and she mentioned a few recent police riots at the local shows. I tried to plead my case, and my Uncle promised to look after me, but still “No.” As it turns out the police were outside the theatre when the movie let out, and a small-scale riot did, indeed, ensue; so Mom was right.

Rating: *** three out of three stars.

Number 4
Total Noise
Label: Total Noise Records
Released: 1982

I bought this at Moby Disc in Sherman Oaks in 1982. It was my first exposure to The Gonads, and Dead Generation. Stand out track: Blitz – Voice of a Generation!!

Rating: *** three out of three stars.

Number 3
Punk and Disorderly
Label: Poshboy Records
Released: 1982

Great collection of music, I never understood why the Dead Kennedys were on here though, maybe to help boost American sales? Anyway, great stuff. Stand out track: Blitz – Somebody’s Gonna Die!

Rating: *** three out of three stars.

Number 2
Public Service
Label: Smoke 7 Records
Released: 1981

Like most of my record collection back then, I picked this up at Moby Disc. I saw the ad for it in Flipside in early 1981, and it was a chance to add some more Bad Religion recordings to my collection. I don’t remember if this was first or the Bad Religion EP was, but I ended up owning both. Another reason I bought this was the Circle One tracks.

Rating: *** three out of three stars.

Number 1
Someone Got Their Head Kicked In
Label: BYO Records
Released: 1982

BYO’s very first release, and classic punk album, Someone Got Their Head Kicked In is still one of the best comps around. Some of L.A.’s “mega stars” and some newcomers share this record; mostly melodic punk rock/hardcore. It includes some of the all-stars like Social Distortion, and Bad Religion, bands like Aggression, and The Joneses steal the show.

Rating: *** three out of three stars.

These are my choices, I’m sticking to them.

 

 

Life Won’t Wait is out now, grab a copy today: http://goo.gl/n9ofGb

My So-Called Punk by: Matt Diehl

29
Oct

My So-Called Punk
Written by: Matt Diehl
April 2007
St. Martin’s Griffin

I have this terrible habit, well terrible isn’t the right word. The right word is compulsion; I have a compulsion to hit up the Goodwill store every weekend. I’m convinced the weekend I don’t go, someone is going to drop off every old punk album, fanzine, and comic book I ever wanted. So, like a fiend I go, and I find some cool DVD’s, some good books, and my son finds the same. A few weeks back I came across this book for 99¢, down quite a bit from the $17.99 cover price.

It’s kind of like most Bukowski books in the sense that you can leave it in the bathroom, and read a chapter, and put it down, and you don’t have to worry if you won’t be able to follow the storyline.

Here’s the thing that bothered me about the book: there is a definite animosity towards Rancid throughout this book. From the opening pages where the writer makes a remark about the spikes and outfit that Lars wears, to the constant remarks about Tim Armstrong’s marriage, and divorce, to the sober lifestyle he tries to maintain. The writer definitely is on the Brody Dalle fan train. Many chapters are devoted to her, her and Tim, her and Josh Homme, her and well . . . everything.

I’m not going to debate her talent or the personal lives of these musicians. What does bother me about this stuff is the one-sided journalism here. I’ve had run-in’s with musicians myself, singers who want websites created then don’t pay, and other singers who want to be taken out to dinner, and wines, and dined in exchange for an interview. But I don’t let their egos affect the way I review their music. They may be assholes, but they may have made a few masterpieces, so, I sweep that aside, and review.

I think what I expected was a balanced account of modern punk rock. Instead I got a poor Brody, and fuck Rancid kind of book.

Well written, and well researched, just a bit biased.

Here’s a little overview of the book:
When it began, punk was an underground revolution that raged against the mainstream; now punk is the mainstream. Tracing the origins of Grammy-winning icons Green Day and the triumphant resurgence of neo-punk legends Bad Religion through MTV’s embrace of pop-punk bands like Yellowcard, music journalist Matt Diehl explores the history of new punk, exposing how this once cult sound became a blockbuster commercial phenomenon. Diehl follows the history and controversy behind neo-punk—from the Offspring’s move from a respected indie label to a major, to multi-platinum bands Good Charlotte and Simple Plan’s unrepentant commercial success, through the survival of genre iconoclasts the Distillers and the rise of “emo” superstars like Fall Out Boy.

My So-Called Punk picks up where bestselling authors Legs McNeil and Jon Savage left off, conveying how punk went from the Sex Pistol’s “Anarchy in the U.K.” to anarchy in the O.C. via the Warped Tour. Defining the sound of today’s punk, telling the stories behind the bands that have brought it to the masses and discussing the volatile tension between the culture’s old and new factions, My So-Called Punk is the go-to book for a new generation of punk rock fans.

Here’s a link to the first chapter: http://us.macmillan.com/BookCustomPage.aspx?isbn=9780312337810#Excerpt

Here’s a little bio on the Author:
Matt Diehl is a music journalist. His work has appeared in Rolling Stone, The New York Times, The Washington Post, GQ, VIBE, Spin, Blender and many other publications. He served as the music columnist for Elle for four years and now serves as a contributing music editor at Interview. He has appeared as a music expert on MTV and was co-producer of the acclaimed five-part television series on VH1, The ‘70’s. His books include No-Fall Snowboarding and Notorious C.O.P..

If you don’t have it, go check it out at your local library, or visit your local thrift shop.

Rating: ** * two out of three stars

 

 

Life Won’t Wait is out now, grab a copy today: http://goo.gl/n9ofGb

Polygraph, The Reckoning, Your Arsenal, Silver Snakes, Therapy Session – LIVE

22
Oct

Polygraph, The Reckoning, Your Arsenal, Silver Snakes, Therapy Session
Mr. T’s Bowl, Highland Park, CA
Friday, February 11, 2011
Admission $5.00
Time: 8:00 PM

Like every show I go to, it seems like all the real drama seems to happen outside of the club. From the moment we got off the freeway, on some dark little side street, next to a 7-11, the neighborhood starts going downhill. We make a right on Figueroa, and as we drive further, and further down Figueroa, the city turns into a ghost town. All the stores look boarded up, the people all, but disappear.

Once we get into the parking lot of Mr. T’s, the people that are there, seem to be band members that are performing that night, and they are all smiles. There is no overpowering smell of weed or the sight of band members staggering around like Otis of Mayberry. No offense intended to any town drunks.

Wait, hold that thought. As we were getting out of the car, we saw a Hispanic man come into the parking lot, riding on an old ten-speed. He was staring/closely watching us, and then just as he passed us, he parked, sort of crashed into the back wall of the lot, to do a combination of piss, and finish off a forty-ouncer of beer. We watched him for a bit, and then as we headed towards the door of the club, we looked back, and he vanished. I didn’t hear him pedal off, and we didn’t see him leave either. So, if anyone reading this lost an alcoholic family member within the last few weeks due to alien abduction, feel free to contact me.

Anyway, I saw Your Arsenal back in July of 2010, and I was blown away on how mellow the crowd was. I’m not saying this in a bad way. I mean no fights, no angry drunks. Just a bunch of people enjoying the music, and the energy. I picked up their demo at the July show, and passed along a copy to my Brother. He dug it, and wanted to see them next time they came to town. So, here we are in a building that was erected back in 1929(ish) as a parking garage, then converted in the 1940’s as a bowling alley, and those bowling lanes are still there . . . just hidden behind some large Wizard of Oz-type curtains.

The first band up was a band called Therapy Session. Therapy Session was good, not my cup of tea, but good. They were a definite KROQ type of band. Some of the same kind of emotional Cure-type stylings.

In between bands I got to hang out briefly with some of the guys from The Reckoning, and Your Arsenal. The guitarist from The Reckoning was explaining how they have a few bibles for sale on their merchandise table, and how they play churches. Being a skeptic I had to ask if this was a Stryper kind of gimmick. He said it wasn’t at all. He explained how kids and teenagers respond to the music, and sometimes ask for prayers afterwards. This was a fairly new concept to me. Sounded very sincere.

The second band to the stage was Silver Snakes. The standout piece of this band was the drummer, he really good. Otherwise, they came off like a beefed-up garage band. Their sound was . . . like if Rush, and The Cure (here I go with another Cure comparison) had a kid . . . that kid would sound like Silver Snakes.

In between the second and third bands, Chad Sengstock, the bassist from Your Arsenal, slips me a copy of their just recorded EP. Six tracks of soon to be classic tunes. I promised not to leak it.

The third band of the night is Your Arsenal. If you haven’t seen these guys before, go. Every single song is worthy of being a single. They have a free three-song demo that can be downloaded from either their Facebook, or My Space (http://www.myspace.com/yourarsenalmusic) pages. The only thing negative to say about the set was the sound got a bit wonky, one minute everything was great, then the next you could only hear guitarist, Shaun Hale’s instrument, and then it would be back to normal again, and the lack of stage space. For whatever reason the first three bands weren’t allowed to use the drum riser, so the drum was placed on the stage, leaving each band member, about, eighteen inches of moving space. Otherwise the Arsenal was great!

As I’ve said before, somebody needs to sign these guys quick!

The fourth band of the night was The Reckoning. These guys impressed the hell out of me. The bassist, Tommy “Gun” Hilmes, played stand-up bass through half of the set, then he switched over to electric bass, and he sounded great on both. The vocalist, Josh, sings, plays guitar, and then on one song picks up an electric mandolin, sounded great doing it.

The killer piece of the set was when the vocalist says to the crowd, “This is a song for fans of 80’s rock.” And they launch into a punk rock version of Twisted Sister’s We’re Not Gonna Take It. Even if you’re not a fan of the song, the lyrics worked perfectly for a punk song. A bunch of talented guys.

The fifth band of the night was Polygraph, but by this time it was around 12:30, and I’m getting old so, we left after The Reckoning, sorry Polygraph, maybe next time.

 

 

Life Won’t Wait is out now, grab a copy today: http://goo.gl/n9ofGb

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