Angels & Oranges by: Christiaan Pasquale


Angels & Oranges
May 2015
Directed by: Christiaan Pasquale

Christiaan Pasquale has made a point in saying that Angels & Oranges is not a “punk rock” movie. Angels & Oranges is the story of Pasquale’s life and that of his family’s. Punk rock and music in general is kind of like that next door neighbor that leans on your fence while you’re mowing the lawn. Always there, but not really there.

For example Pasquale will talk about a club where his parents met, then you’ll get to see any number of people from Jack Grisham, Edward Colver, Don Bolles, Derek O’Brien, Eddie Nichols, Taquila Mockingbird, Rick Wilder, Kim Fowley, Bill Evens of Black Hole Records, Pasquale’s late uncles Robert Pasquale, Billy Pasquale and cousin Dotie Stevens discuss these locations.

To further push the point home, you will see bands like Gamblers Mark, Dead Bolt, A Pretty Mess and Pachuco Jose Y Los Diamantes perform the various genres Pasquale also describes in the film.

Pasquale takes his viewers into some dark territories, death, cancer, drug abuse and general life among the discontented. It’s definitely a documentary worth watching, though, due to the darker/sadder tones, you may not be watching it multiple times.

If you don’t have it, go buy it.

Rating: *** two out of three stars

On to the story . . .

When I was a kid, somewhere in the early to mid-1970’s, there was a show that came on everyday, a Christian show, that people who were down on their luck would come on tell their story and people would call in to help.

I don’t remember a lot about it, though, I remember one show in particular, an older African-American man, probably late 70’s, came on and talked about saving money to buy his granddaughter a bicycle and someone broke into his home and took all his money and he could no longer afford to give her a Christmas gift. I remember him crying on the show. Then, within five minutes or so someone called in and said they owned a bike shop in his town and they would bring him a bicycle the next day.

Now I grew up lower middle class to poor, depending on who you ask, but we never needed anything. My mother could cook or make anything. She made most of our clothes in grade school, cut our hair and made everything from our food to shampoo and soap. She was pretty fuckin’ amazing.

Anyway, I watched this show and I guess I didn’t understand the stigma of being poor. I went into the living poor and asked my mom if I could go on the show. She looked a little startled and said, “Why?” I said, “You could go on this show and say you want a bike and someone will call and give you a bike.” She said, “There’s more to it, you have to tell the world you’re poor. We’re not.”

I still didn’t get the argument. A new bike, I’ll say I’m poor and Vietnamese if it’s a good bike. It wasn’t until later in life that I realized that being poor wasn’t something you wanted to announce to the world.



Born Frustrated is available now:

Slaughter & The Dogs, Symbol Six, Dirty Eyes, Guttersnipe Rebellion, Informal Society, Barbie & The Hookers, Rundown Kreeps and Civil Evacuation – LIVE


Slaughter and the Dogs, Symbol Six, Dirty Eyes, Guttersnipe Rebellion, Informal Society, Barbie and the Hookers, Rundown Kreeps and Civil Evacuation
The Elks Lodge, San Bernardino, CA
Sunday, July 19, 2015

Honestly, I’m not sure how I ended up going to this. It was a Sunday and the weather had been horrible for the few days leading up to this show. But for whatever reason I decided to put it out there, that if I could carpool with somebody, I’d go. I got a few texts and a few messages and one said, “Hit up Evan Shanks, bass player for Symbol Six.” Now, who you carpool with is very important on a trip like this. The ride is and hour and forty-five minutes to two hours. The wrong companion on a trip like this could lead to someone flinging themselves out of the car and onto the freeway. Evan is a bright guy, and he had stories about how his first punk band got started, Entropy, and how he ended up in Symbol Six. Not the typical lunk-headed punk stories, “I took a dump at the Masque!”

The trip to San Bernardino was long and ugly and peppered with occasional rain showers. I’m not sure why this surprised me; the city is famous for declaring bankruptcy, outlandish amounts of child abuse and meth production. Maybe I’m just an optimist at heart.

Once we finally found The Elks Lodge, the Tokyo Rose of San Bernardino, I went inside and caught the tail-end of Guttersnipe Rebellion’s set. They were fantastic! After they loaded out I went out to talk to them for a second. They gave me their demo. Great stuff. San Bernardino was looking a little better!

After getting the demo from Guttersnipe Rebellion I went inside. I caught a few minutes of another band, which no one seemed to know who they were, San Bernardino punks were not helpful, and the abuse and meth didn’t help them much.

After the unknown band left the stage I went outside, which was now pouring rain, I got to talk to Mike Vallejo from Circle One, great guy. Then over in the back of the patio was a woman barbequing, it smelled great. Here’s the problem, I’m allergic to poultry, so I asked her if the sausages were beef or chicken. She rummaged through the trash can and looked at the grill and said, “I don’t know.” I decided to play it safe and eat nothing, better than passing out, then waking to find fiends pumping me full of meth and trying to steal my underwear.

Finally, after an hour or so of trying to avoid any unwanted cases of rabies and scabies, I hear Symbol Six tuning up.

The Elks Lodge was set-up with two stages, right and left side. So, when Symbol Six started their set I sat on the edge of the stage across from them. Great view and more than an arms length from the town’s inhabitants. But you know it, just as I was enjoying the set, some greasy asshole plops down six-inches away from me. If that isn’t bad enough, some beastly broad with a Germs shirt and a bad Chelsea haircut, stares at me for a second and squeezed into the six inch gap between me and greasy. I looked at her, and as nicely as I could, I said, “What the fuck are you doing?” She kept her gaze forward and pretended that Jenny Craig worked and she was a size 0. After a minute or two she started this frantic leg-bouncing, as if she was working the kick-drum. I looked over at her and said, “What the fuck is wrong with you?” Again, no response.

I stood up and found an office chair with wheels; I grabbed it and rolled to the left side of the stage. This is what the zombie apocalypse will be like.

Back to Symbol Six! Their set consisted of a lot of stuff from their Dirtyland album as well as playing their classic track from their Posh Boy EP, Symbol Six. The only downside to these tracks is some “local punk” decided to start a one man slam pit, by punk I mean a kid that saw a picture of the Casualties and said, “Mom, I want to look like that when I grow up.” So, this guy starts running in circles, bumping people and doing the finger at the band. The band keeps playing. The next thing you know, the guy is on the stage trying to wrestle the microphone away from Eric Leach. Leach pushes him off stage and his friends help him up. Within minutes he’s back on the stage trying to wrestle the microphone away, when that doesn’t work he’s trying to take a cymbal from Phil George’s drum kit, Leach stops that, then the final straw the guy walks to the right side of the stage and tries to wrestle Tony Fate’s guitar away from him. Oh shit. I can’t remember if Fate pushed him or kicked him, but the guy was on his back and seconds away from a thrashing. His friends run to rescue him while yelling things like, “Hey, man it’s punk rock.” If punk rock was ever going to die, it would be right about then.

The band continued, and knocked out a great set.

Slaughter and The Dogs were one of the main reasons I went to San Bernardino. I enjoy the older British punk bands. But as soon as they were about to set-up the promoter, I guess, told them he didn’t have any money for them. So, I saw the band pick up their instruments and head out the door. Fuck.

Once everyone was loaded in, we got the hell out of San Bernardino without anyone succumbing to hillbilly rape.



Born Frustrated is available now:

Symbol Six, Thorazene and God Bless America – LIVE


Symbol Six, Thorazene and God Bless America
Café Nela, Los Angeles, CA
Friday, August 14, 2015

I was lucky enough to be added to this show as a guest. Basically, I was able to grab a table off to the side of the stage and sell copies of Born Frustrated that came out that same day!

The first band on tonight was God Bless America. Technically, pretty good. My only issue was the screamy, cookie-monster styled vocals. I’m not sure, exactly, what this subgenre of punk is called, but I think I’m too old to get it.

The second band was Thorazene. Really good band. There were moments where they sounded a bit like X, and then they would go much more hardcore than X. Really enjoyable band.

The third band of the night was the four-headed beast known as . . . Symbol Six! As I’ve stated in the past (I’ve never seen a band more times than I have these guys), when you see Symbol Six there is always the feeling that this is the show. And Symbol Six is always upping their game a few notches.

Symbol Six played a combination of brand new tracks and a classic track from the Posh Boy EP, Symbol Six. As time goes on it’s become harder to classify these guys. At one point they were definitely a young beach punk band (circa 1981). When they came back in 2010, or so, they brought with them some definite hard rock influences and now, over five years and five releases or so into their comeback, there are some serious blues creeping into the music. All I can say is keep an eye on these guys, who knows where this is going next.



Born Frustrated is available now:

A Pretty Mess/Turbulent Hearts/Lack of Modivation/Fozzys Hero/Lysol Gang – LIVE


A Pretty Mess/Turbulent Hearts/Lack of Modivation/Fozzys Hero/Lysol Gang
Maui Sugar Mill, Tarzana, CA
Saturday, August 8, 2015
Time: 8:00 PM

I got to the Maui Sugar Mill in about fifteen minutes from my house. I walked in at about 8:30. The place was empty, except for a couple of local alcoholics. I spotted Dee from A Pretty Mess, said, “Hi,” then walked outside and did some people watching. I’ve come to the conclusion that punk rock 2015 is beards, skinny jeans and denim vests. Anyway, I headed inside to grab a table close to the stage.

There are so many bands nowadays that want to bring back the early 80’s punk vibe, and in all honesty, almost none of them deliver.

Pretty Mess is one of the few that has that raw danger to them. They aren’t a retro 80’s punk band, but they have that edge to them that the early L.A. punk bands did. Dee Skusting is the ultimate front person, whether she’s belting out vocals that could make paint peel and coffee nervous, she controls the stage. A Pretty Mess is the reason I forced myself to leave the house.

Finally, at around 9:00 or 9:30 A Pretty Mess hit the stage. From the start of their set until the end they were one huge wall of noise. Phil Spector had his wall of sound, Dee Skusting and her band mates have a wall of noise.

This is the fifth or sixth time I’ve seen them, and I have to say each time they get better and the crowd gets bigger. If you haven’t seen them go out and catch their show, you won’t be disappointed.

This band comes with their own audience. As soon as the band arrived, they came with close to thirty people with them.

The band puts on a great show. Nothing half-assed here, a real 1980’s underground punk rock feel to their music. A Pretty Mess provides an adrenaline-charged set with some powerful vocals.

Nowadays, it’s rare to see a band that can maintain that kind of energy level throughout their entire set. Most tend to die down mid-set.



Born Frustrated is available now:

The Complete Adicts Singles Collection


The Adicts
The Complete Adicts Singles Collection
Anagram Records

Keith “Monkey” Warren – Vocals
Pete “Pete Dee” Davison – Guitar
Mel “Spider” Ellis – Bass
Michael “Kid Dee” Davison – Drums

1. This Week
2. Easy Way Out
3. Straight Jacket
4. Organized Confusion
5. Viva La Revolution
6. Steamroller
7. Numbers
8. Chinese Takeaway
9. You’ll Never Walk Alone
10. Too Young
11. Bad Boy
12. Joker In The Pack
13. Shake, Rattle Bang Your Head
14. Tokyo
15. The Odd Couple
16. A D X Medley
17. Falling In Love Again
18. Come Along
19. It’s A Laugh
20. Saturday Night
21. Champs Elysees
22. Sound Of Music
23. Who Spilt My Beer
24. Cowboys

The Complete Adicts Singles Collection is a compilation album by The Adicts, featuring all of the singles and EPs released by the band up to 1994. It has been reissued as The Complete Singles Collection.

The band was in a period of inactivity when this collection was released, only releasing the live albums Live and Loud! Recorded in 1981 and released in 1987, and Rockers into Orbit, recorded in 1986 and released in 1990. The band’s next studio album finally appeared in 1992, when the US label Cleopatra Records released Twenty-Seven, which wasn’t released in the UK until a year later on Anagram Records. 1993 also saw Cleopatra reissuing the band’s first three albums, giving those discs their first release in the US.

Another period of inactivity ensued, this time lasting until 2002. That year the band’s first album in a decade, Rise and Shine was released on Captain Oi! Records, who also released expanded reissues of all of the band’s previous albums with the exception of Songs of Praise. Two years later the Rollercoaster album was released on the US label SOS Records; it has never been officially released in the UK. Over the next couple of years, SOS released their own expanded reissues of Sound of Music, Smart Alex, Twenty-Seven and Rise and Shine. The Adicts’ next album was a newly recorded version of their debut Songs of Praise, which was released in 2008 on the European label People Like You Records. A year later, the band released Life Goes On through the same label. In 2012, All the Young Droogs was released on DC-Jam Records.

If you don’t own it, go and buy it, stop reading! Go buy it.

Rating: *** three out of three stars

On to the story . . .

I just drove past Twain’s on Ventura and Coldwater. It’s empty now, but it reminded me of the last time I was there, I was thrown out and/or banned from the place.

Twenty years or so ago, before my son was born and I hadn’t jumped the broom or stomped the glass or gave up bachelorhood. I took my future wife to Norm’s for a late breakfast. We sat outside to enjoy the sun. We were lucky enough to have the worst waiter I had ever experienced at that point in my life. I ordered a standard breakfast plate, eggs, toast and bacon, not sure if pancakes were involved. The waiter brought each item on a separate plate — fifteen minutes apart. Within forty minutes or so there were over ten plates covering the table.

When I’d run out of coffee I’d walk inside go behind the counter and pour it. The host, a guy with a curly, shaggy mullet would shoot me a dirty look.

After an hour the table was too full to put my coffee cup down and once we got the last of our food the waiter never came back. So, I stacked all the dishes and placed them at the register. The host sneered and said something the along the lines of me being rude for doing his job. I shook my head and said, “If you did your fuckin’ job I could sit and enjoy my coffee.” He looked shocked and said, “Pay your bill and get out of here.”

So, I pushed it a bit, “Make me.”

He looked frustrated, “I’ll call the cops.”

I smiled, “It’ll take a minimum of twenty minutes for them to arrive. You know the shit I could do in that time?”

“Leave and never come back!”

“When I finish my coffee.”

Then I went outside and explained to my future wife that Twain’s did not want to hire me as a waiter.



Born Frustrated is coming, August 14, 2015:

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