Civet, Continental, Plexikill, Fem (or Fam?) – LIVE

28
Jan

Civet, Continental, Plexikill, Fem (or Fam?)
The Echo, Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, April 23, 2011

I’ve a fan of Rick Barton’s from way back, and a massive fan of Everybody Out. So when I heard EBO split I was pretty bummed out. About a year back Bart had posted some demo tracks from his new band, Continental. Unfortunately, I was too scared to listen to this stuff. Let me clarify this, not scared, scared, but more worried that after loving Everybody Out, what if this didn’t measure up? Because this time Rick Barton sang, played electric and acoustic guitar, and wrote the material. What if, after juggling all these tasks, I didn’t like it?!

Continental hit Los Angeles, about, six to nine months ago, opening for Street Dogs (whose last album was co-produced by Barton). I can’t remember why, but I wasn’t able to make these shows.

Fast forward six to nine months, and Continental have two tours going, a solo tour, and a tour with Hellcat Records artist Civet. Rick Barton had posted a little one or two sentence shout out about the tour, and the need for publicity. So, I told him I could knock out a couple of flyers for him. I got the dates from his Son Steven (the band’s bass player), and I noticed a show here in L.A. So, I had to go.

For a while the band offered their new EP, Death of A Garage Band, free on their site (which I will review soon). And let me say it was great.

Anyway, my Wife, and I, hop in the car, and get to the Echo inside of 30 to 35 minutes. Get in the door to see an empty club. Ouch.

Only the other bands, and merchandise people are milling around. Barton comes out with his, somewhat, famous, Boston terrier, Brutus. We talk for a bit, about this and that, and how the place is empty. He left to walk Brutus, and I’m in fan-boy heaven.

The first band on was Fem (or Fam?). I couldn’t make out their name. It was two guys, one playing guitar (and singing), and the other guy on bass. They did about five songs, and on one of them the guitarist put down his guitar, and switched to a Casio keyboard with a built-in drum machine, and played a song that way. There were a couple of times I wondered if this was being done legit, because the guys seemed have this ongoing monologue going, and it appeared to be, kind of, a parody. All in all they were decent.

The next band up was Plexikill. Plexikill is, in my opinion, a combination of Rancid, and the Ramones, with pop-punk harmonies. Much better than I expected, being I hadn’t heard of the group.

These guys are seasoned professionals.

The band I was waiting for! Continental! There are so many great influences rolled into this group that it’s hard to categorize them. I think I compared them to my Sister-In-law as the early Rolling Stones, the stuff you hear on Hot Rocks, Mother’s Little Helper era. Just great, straight forward rock and roll.

Rick and the guys ran through the bulk of the EP, and an old Dropkick Murphys song he wrote, and a couple other cuts. All in all it was a great thirty-minute set. The club filled up, and everybody was singing along.

I kind of wished they played another hour or so.

The last band was Civet. They played a good strong set. One of the highlights was the Tim Armstrong penned song off of their new album.

My overall assessment, great night!

 

 

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

Stalag 13 – In Control

21
Jan

Stalag 13
In Control
February 18, 2003
Dr. Strange Records

Ron Baird – vocals
Blake A. Cruz – guitar
John Morris – bass guitar
Dave Casillas – guitar
Larry White – drums

1. Conditioned
2. No Excuse
3. Black Stix/Silver Badge
4. Sometime
5. Clean Up Your Act
6. Black and Grey
7. What Are You Looking For
8. The Choice is Yours
9. In Control
10. Selfish (Bonus Track)
11. Violence In America (Bonus Track)
12. I Don’t Need It (Bonus Track)
13. Make A Change (Bonus Track)

Straightedge Nardcore. An old review from Flipside in 1984 sums up the whole album really well: “A real solid, good-sounding LP taking up where Minor Threat left off with live your own life. Hardcore of the best kind.”

This is exactly the sound of hardcore in the clubs back in the eighties. It’s a sound that is difficult to explain. But if you were there, you understand what I’m trying to explain. Raw, Barebones, amateurish, but somewhat edgy. Dr. Strange records did another bang-up job here.

If you don’t own it, give it a listen, my review may be wrong.”

Rating: ** * two out of three stars

On to the story . . .

In the late nineties, I was working at an ad agency, as the sole designer for a woman who prior to starting her company was a secretary for a very high-profile ad agency.

She borrowed money from her gay (literally gay, not an insult) husband, and her shrew of a mother-in-law, and rented to offices in a Woodland Hills complex. She identified herself as the owner, and art director. One of the main problems with this was she could not operate any of the programs people design in. No Photoshop and no Illustrator. She could poke around in Quark.

I started working for her as a freelance designer, working from my in-laws guesthouse in North Hills. I worked this way for a few months, and then one day she asked me to come in for a chat. I came in; she offered me a full time gig. I accepted, it sounded good at the time.

I was primarily a Photoshop artist at the time. I had been profiled in about eight different design publications, and feeling pretty confident about my skills. During the final interview/chat with the owner I had brought up some of my “press.” And being she couldn’t really design my being written about seemed to rub her the wrong way.

Once I become the on-site designer Photoshop couldn’t be used anymore. I had to take individual images, and stack them in Quark, so that she could move things a quarter of an inch here, and a quarter of an inch there. So, that she felt like she had finished the project.

The more I protested, the more she would find ways to belittle me. If we were in a meeting, she would tell everyone that I was going to stand at the board, and do highlight points, and illustrations to enhance the meeting.

So, I started to do this little passive-aggressive thing. Prior to me starting there she had a very low budget facelift done. There were scars right where her cheeks meet her ears. So when she would talk to me, I would stare at the scars. I wouldn’t say anything, and I wouldn’t make eye contact.

I hate to stereotype people, but I have never had a female boss, that wasn’t this way. The constant need to let you know that they are in charge.

One of the final projects I worked on was a three-foot, by four-foot poster for an electronics company. They were having their annual company convention in Las Vegas. Their idea was to have a vintage Harley Davidson-biker poster created.

They were having some of their international sales people fly in. And to make the convention a “big deal,” they were going to raffle off a brand new Harley Davidson. So, she wanted me to put together a “fantastic” poster. I said of course, but not in Quark. She stared at me for a bit. I think it clicked that by forcing me to work beneath my abilities, it ultimately made the company look sloppy.

So I spent a week, finding images, and scanning stuff, and finding retro-fonts, etc. Some images I found on a couple of royalty-free websites.

I printed out a full-color proof for her at a quarter of the actual size. The client loved it. They wanted the fonts to be more “boring.” I changed the fonts, and a large-format company printed the full-scale poster.

Now the owner, she seemed confused by the whole finding images on the web thing. When the client came to see the poster they loved it. Then the owner piped in, “I’m not sure how to bill you for this, as all the images were stolen from the web.”

I applied for another job that afternoon. Then quit over the phone the next week. They tried to refuse to give me my final check until I came through for an exit interview. I basically told them to blow it out your ass, and if they wanted to f’ with my check I’d sue. A courier brought it by the next day.

 

 

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

Samhain – Initium, Unholy Passion & November-Coming-Fire

14
Jan

Samhain
Initium
1984 – Plan 9 Records
Producer: Glenn Danzig

1 – Initium / Samhain
2 – Black Dream
3 – All Murder All Guts All Fun
4 – Macabre
5 – He-Who-Can-Not-Be-Named
6 – Horror Biz
7 – The Shift
8 – The Howl
9 – Archangel

Glenn Danzig- Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards, Drums on Archangel
Eerie Von – Bass
Steve Zing – Drums on all songs except Archangel
Lyle Preslar – Guitar on tracks 2, 4, 6 & 7
Mike Gutilla – Keyboard chimes on tracks 6 & 7
Al Pike – 2nd Bass on Archangel

Once you get through this long as hell title track . . . you’ll discover Samhain is much darker than the Misfits, with lyrics about the occult and eventually the horrors of reality, as opposed to the sometimes cartoonish ghouls, and ghosts of the Misfits. Samhain’s musical style was a dark, gritty, and experimental combination of punk, gothic rock.

Danzig originally planned Samhain as a side project, but after The Misfits dissolved, it became a full-time band. Samhain is the least-celebrated of Danzig’s music; it bridges the gap between the punk of the Misfits, and the metal sound of Danzig.

If you don’t own it, it’s worth a listen, but not worth buying.

Rating: * ** one out of three stars.

Samhain
Unholy Passion
1985 – Plan 9 Records
Producer: Glenn Danzig

1 – Unholy Passion – 3:10
2 -All Hell – 2:19
3 – Moribund – 1:43
4 – The Hungry End – 3:06
5 – Misery Tomb – 3:24
6 I Am Misery – 3:40

Glenn Danzig – Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards
Eerie Von – Bass
Damien – Guitar
Steve Zing – Drums

Samhain released two full-length albums, and one EP during their three-year career as an active band. Some criticized their first album for being merely the Misfits slowed down, but Samhain demonstrated noticeably superior musicianship. However, as their career progressed, they evolved into their own unique style of lo-fi gothic-doom, and gained a cult following that surpassed the modest fanbase The Misfits had while they were active.

A Samhain show was an energetic, and unpredictable event. Sometimes Danzig could be seen donning a bizarre demon-shaped leather S&M mask and occasionally he, and his bandmates went onstage covered in mock blood.

If you don’t own it, it’s worth a listen, but not worth buying.

Rating: * ** one out of three stars.

Samhain
November-Coming-Fire
1986 – Plan 9 Records
Producer: Glenn Danzig

1 – Diabolos ’88
2 – In My Grip
3 – Mother of Mercy
4 – To Walk the Night
5 – Birthright
6 – Let the Day Begin
7 – Halloween II
8 – November’s Fire
9 – Kiss of Steel
10 – Unbridled
11 – Human Pony Girl

Glenn Danzig – Vocals, Keyboards, and Drums (tracks 1, 4, 6, 8, and 11)
Eerie Von – Bass, background vocals
Damien – Guitar, background vocals
London May – Drums (tracks 2-3, 5, 7, 9), background vocals

Samhain III: November-Coming-Fire was the band Samhain’s third release. It was issued in 1986 on Danzig’s record label, Plan 9. It is considered to be the band’s best piece of work, as they were evolving their own style of music, which was often described as gothic metal despite a lack of musical connections to the genre. It contains a re-recorded version of The Misfits’ “Halloween II.” This was the last LP issued by the band during its existence.

Danzig took the name of the band Samhain, from the ancient Celtic New Year, which influenced the modern Halloween. The band’s name is pronounced “sow-win”, although the name is often incorrectly pronounced as “Sam-Hane”. Both Samhain, and its successor Danzig use the same horned skull image originally drawn by artist Michael Golden for the cover of the 1984 comic book Crystar, Crystal Warrior #8, published by Marvel Comics (http://www.comics.org/coverview.lasso?id=212228&zoom=4).

If you don’t own it, it’s worth a listen, you might want to pick this up, and it’s closer to the old Misfits sound.

Rating: *** three out of three stars

 

 

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

Volbeat, The Damned Things, Hourcast – LIVE

07
Jan

Volbeat, The Damned Things, Hourcast
House of Blues, Los Angeles, CA
Wednesday, April 6, 2011

On March 13, 2011, my 45th Birthday rolled around, and I wasn’t the least bit excited about it. It’s one of those things where you, kind of, re-evaluate your life every few years, and feel like you haven’t accomplished shit. Besides having every other forty-year-old woman on Facebook hitting on me, I was feeling like I hadn’t done much.

Anyway, Eric Leach of Symbol Six picked me up, took me way the hell out to Dr. Strange Records, I loaded up with music, went to lunch with Bill Plaster, and had a pretty good day.

Almost a month later, my Brother surprises me with tickets to see Volbeat at the House of Blues on Sunset Boulevard. In case you haven’t heard of Volbeat, they are a band from Copenhagen, Denmark, described as James Hetfield’s favorite band. They are a combination of punk, rockabilly, death metal, and a pinch or Johnny Cash. Confused? Shouldn’t be. This is a great energetic mix of music.

Anyway, my Brother, a friend of his, my Wife, and I, hop in the car, and get to the House of Blues inside of 30 to 45 minutes. Get to the door to see comedian Brian Posehn walking in. Funny dude.

So, we walk to the front of the stage to catch the first band, Hourcast. And through Hourcast’s whole set Brian Posehn is standing next to me, all nine feet of him.

Hourcast is a moody combination of The Cure, and HIM. Musically pretty good, but teetering on Goth Metal.

The next band up was The Damned Things. The Damned Things is a super-group consisting of Joe Trohman, and Andy Hurley of Fall Out Boy, Scott Ian, and Rob Caggiano of Anthrax, and Keith Buckley and Josh Newton of Every Time I Die.

These guys are seasoned professionals, the only flaw was the mix on the microphone was off, so the whole set, the vocals sounded like they were underwater.

Scott Ian was on guitar, and he kicked ass. The band played all ten songs from their 2010 album Ironclast.

Brian Posehn, who was standing beside me through both bands disappeared after The Damned Things.

I keep notes at shows, and for The Damned Things, I wrote straightforward rock with only occasional growling. God, I’m funny.

Here’s where things get weird, not with Volbeat. Volbeat put on a damn near flawless set. They did great versions of songs like The Mirror and the Ripper, Heaven Nor Hell and Fallen, from their latest album.  As well a ramped-up version of Bay City Rollers I Only Want To Be With You.

Now back in the early eighties when slamming became the staple of hardcore punk shows, it was based on the pace of the music, the energy in the room. Nowadays, a band could be playing a ballad and these jerk-off’s will go ape-shit.

Here’s my theory on it: you get a roomful of people that weren’t loved enough by Mom, and loved too much by Dad (follow me so far?), they fill up on booze, hit the slam pit with one goal in mind, “God dammit, I’m going to prove to the world that I am a man!”

That’s great; if it helps you sleep on your tear-soaked pillow, then slam, ass-hat. The only problem is if I am tapping my foot, and you’re swept-up in a surge of homoerotic energy, and ram me during a slow-paced rockabilly song, I’m going to lay you out. And the beauty of being a gray-haired 45-year-old man is that security doesn’t seem to believe that I had anything to do with these guys laying face down on the concrete.

Anyway, Volbeat put on a great show, and as the show was winding down the vocalist, Michael Poulsen said if anybody wanted to hang out he’d be at the bar after the show. So, the whole place emptied out except for, maybe, 50 of us diehards (hell it was a Wednesday night), and sure enough at around 12:30, 12: 45 he comes over the bar smiling at the turn-out. So, me, my Wife, and my Brother all get a picture with him, and he looks at me, with a smirk, and says “I saw you out there.” A little reference to me putting some kids to sleep.

My overall assessment, great night!

 

 

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

January 7, 2015 Show

07
Jan

Podcast

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From out of nowhere, it’s a brand new episode.

Tracks played:
01. Boston Strangler – We Don’t Need (Fire)
02. Dagger Eyes – Capitulate (The Dagger Eyes)
03. The Ladies – New Shame (Six More Reasons to Hate The Ladies)
04. Pink Lincolns – Cotton Mather (Headache)
05. Adrenalin OD – Fuck The Neighbors (Humongousfungusamongus)
06. Hassler – Empty Space (Teenage Nightmare EP)
07. Little Ease – Potential (EP)
08. Bad Assets Calling All Cars (Bad Idea EP)
09. Agnostic Front – Power (Victim In pain)
10. Violent Arrest – Fear (Violent Arrest)
11. He Who Cannot Be Named – Die Die Die (Love & Hate)
12. Nervosas – Unstable (Ardentes)
13. Kraut – Don’t Believe (Complete Studio Recordings)
14. The Panics – I Wanna Kill My Mom (Please Panic!)
15. Upright Citizens – I Hate Church (Bombs of Peace EP)
16. Galactic Cannibal – We’re Fucked (Demo)
17. Off! – Toxic Box (Off!)
18. The 4-Squares – Jailbreak (Save the Clock Tower)
19. Terminal State – Four Walls (Your Rules)
20. Tricky Dick – Experiences (Discography)
21. The Midgetmen – Glue Factory (Loud Enough)
22. Single Mothers – Marbles (Negative Qualities)
23. Government Issue -They Know (Complete History Volume 1)
24. By the Throat – Disagree to Agree (One Good Night EP)
25. Formaldehyde Junkies – Shitty Life (…Are a Total Wreck)
26. D.O.A – He’s Got A Gun (We Come In Peace)
27. M.D.C. – Pollution (Mobocracy split w/The Restarts)
28. Misery Addict – Addict (Misery Addict EP)
29. Breakout – Razor Wire (single)
30. No Sir, I Won’t – Radio Shit (The Whole Fucking world Is Shit)

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