Oi! The Texas Comp

24
Jun

Oi! The Texas Comp
Various Artists
May 2013
TXOI Records

1. Avenue Rockers – In The City
2. No Resistance – Can’t Reach Me
3. Sniper 66 – I Know It’s True
4. Rusty Bishops – Trying To Live Right
5. Stand Alones – All For One
6. Second To None – All The Answers
7. Brewtality, Inc. – Face The Enemy
8. Razorburn – Saturday Nights
9. Ballistics – Lonely Scotsman
10. Blood N Beer – Oi! The Mattress
11. Roots Of Exile – No One Likes Us
12. No Resistance – Sanctioned & Proud
13. Dog Company – Not Dead Yet
14. Stand Alones – Streets Of Violence
15. Brewtality, Inc. – Old School
16. Second To None – Victory
17. Rusty Bishops – Street Lessons
18. Avenue Rockers – 10,000 Miles
19. Blood N Beer – Drunk Tank Blues
20. Ballistics – Religion Is War
21. Razorburn – Can’t Change Me
22. Roots Of Exile – Fall Of A Victim
23. Sniper 66 – My Brother
24. Dog Company – Sean Flynn

A long time ago Sue Sin of TXOI Records posted something about needing artwork for an upcoming comp that she was putting out. I think it may have been late 2012, I’m not sure. Anyway, I sent her a version (or maybe two). She liked it. Then I kind of forgot about the project. She emailed me and said once it was released I’d get a few copies. Then one day I get this big envelope in the mail and low and behold, not only did Sue get the comp released, but it was a great packaging job. Super slick and professional. This shouldn’t be surprising, but I’ve seen a lot of shitty CD’s come through my mailbox. OK, enough praise for Sue . . .

Let’s talk about the actual music. I honestly was not aware that there were this many bands still active and playing authentic Oi! TXOI offers up twelve different bands and each band get two chances to reel you in.

I popped the CD on and the first song In The City by Avenue Rockers came one and I popped the CD back out, looked at it just to make sure this thing wasn’t really an 80’s re-release, nope – all brand new tracks and current bands.

All the bands definitely bring their “A-Game,” every one of these songs should definitely be heard. If I ever get off my ass and promote a show this CD is going to be played between bands. I don’t know if this is TXOI’s first release, but if it is – they hit a homerun.

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

Stand-out tracks: Dog Company – Not Dead Yet and Avenue Rockers – In The City

Rating: ** * Two out of three stars

On to the story . . .

I haven’t done this in a while, so I decided I’d throw a two-part fiction piece atcha . . .

Barney Part 1

2003
Barney stands looking down at an old unkempt tombstone.

He holds a paper bag in his hands. A small bottle of Gilbey’s Vodka that he purchased for $3.49. Barney wishes he didn’t drink, but he needed something to take the edge off. Virginia would be mad.

1997
Barney is a physical therapist. He is building a promising career. He has eight clients from the NBA, six from the NFL and two from the NHL. So far no one from MLB has come knocking. But they will. Once a week Barney gets together for an hour or two for drinks and/or dinner with the same five guys week after week that he roomed with at the college frat house. When Barney stops and thinks about it, which he rarely does, he isn’t sure why he still meets up with these guys. They’re all nice enough, but he feels no connection. The guys in the group feel this, he’s been pegged as a workaholic, OCD and Roger suggested a low level of Autism, maybe Asperger syndrome. Because Barney is there, but he isn’t there. That is until the drinks get poured. Barney buys the drinks; he’s the first to drink, last to stop and usually the first to be asked to leave.

1998
Barney’s practice is booming. His Thursday night buddies have been pestering Barney to settle down and get married; for a couple of reasons, one: he’s got the business, the money, the house, everything. Two: a focus in his life will, maybe, distract him from the booze.

Roger, now married, says he will set Barney up with his wife’s best pal. Barney, only one cocktail in, doesn’t respond. Roger stares.

“What?”

“My house, Friday.”

“Yeah, sure. Why?

“I’m going to introduce you to Virginia; you’ll fall in love and live happily ever after.”

“Oh, OK. Friday, this Friday? I’ve got this thing . . . “

“Give me a break Barney. You’ve always got a thing.”

Barney shows up five minutes to eight. In a bag he brought two bottles of his favorite wine, Aubert Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay. He bought them for $389.00 each, hoping to make a good impression.

Roger opened the door. Over his host’s shoulder Barney sees Virginia in the kitchen with Roger’s wife. The average man would’ve been taken by her beauty. Barney on the other hand thinks, “She’ll look good on my arm at this year’s Sacramento King’s Christmas Party.

Roger grins, “I see you spotted Virginia.” Barney nods. Roger nudges him along, “Let’s get introduced.”

2000
Barney is standing outside Saint Charles Borromeo just outside of Los Angeles in North Hollywood. There is a carriage with two horses behind him; they will cost him about $800.00 for two hours. The coachman said that he will release doves as Barney and Virginia exit the church. Barney doesn’t care, Barney is drunk. Barney has been this way since he met Virginia. He tells himself he needs something to calm the nerves. Barney is what some would call a high-functioning drunk. He works, he makes money, but he smells of booze.

A week before the wedding Virginia called everything off.

Last week Barney had his bachelor party. A big three-day affair in Las Vegas. Roger swore it would make The Hangover look like Mary Poppins. Every thing went according to plan, with one little hitch . . . Barney disappeared the night they were to fly home.

Barney woke up in a rundown motel a half a mile away from an Indian Reservation. Looking over on the nightstand there was a brochure that read, “Welcome to New Mexico.”

After three rings Barney forces himself up to search for his cell phone. The phone usually sits in the inside pocket of his Brooks Brothers suit jacket, but on the white plastic lounge chair in the middle of the room is only a bathrobe and a pair of Bermuda shorts. No time to wonder about the suit, the Rolex, the wallet. Get the phone.

Barney looks at the screen. Forty-Three missed calls. Twenty voice mails. Fuck.

On the fifth ring Barney grabbed the phone and answered.

“Hello?”

“Hello?”

“Where are you Barney?”

“Barney?”

“Hey honey, glad to hear from you?”

“Where are you Barney?”

“About to come home from this convention?”

“Convention?”

Next week I’ll post Part 2

 

 

Born Frustrated is coming, Summer 2015: http://goo.gl/n9ofGb

Total Noise #1

10
Jun

Total Noise
Released 1982
Total Noise Records

1. Blitz – Voice of a Generation
2. The Business – Loud, Proud, ‘N’ Punk
3. The Gonads – TNT
4. Dead Generation – Francine

After I bought the Punk and Disorderly album, I was on a BIG Blitz kick, I went and bought the All Out Attack EP (their first release), then their Never Surrender 45, the first Carry On Oi compilation on Secret Records, and finally this Total Noise 7 inch EP.

This EP was/is a perfect introduction to Oi, a lot of the later compilations kind of bogged you down with so many bands, that it was hard to determine, what you like and who you don’t like. This is a nice and neat four song EP. It’s funny, now, thirty years later we’re only talking about Blitz, and the Business.

If you get the chance, give this one a listen, it’s a good album, hell, go out and buy it (if you can find it). It’s a great snapshot of a great time in music.

Rating: ** * two out of three stars

On to the story . . .

Many times in life, whether you’re listening to music or watching a movie, or maybe a TV show, you get crazy, unexpected flashbacks of people you were with when you first listened to a certain song or watched a certain show or movie.

As I was going through my old flyers and old drawings, I came across an old flyer for a band I started in 1981, U.S. Against Them. I wrote songs (lyrics) designed a logo, came up with a name, and had a friend sketch a flyer; I finished it and inked it in.

U.S. Against Them, in reality, was more of a concept of a band, I would contact somebody to play guitar, they’d come by, we’d write the music, somebody would get ticked off because they would say I stole their guitarist, goofy stuff. Things went on like this for six months. Finally, I tossed the whole thing. Threw out songs, dumped everything. A year later I started Cold War.

Seeing the U.S. Against Them flyer brought back a lot of good and bad memories. When you are still in school, the so-called playing field is still level. Everyone is at the same starting point, after High School is when things start to change, some people go to college, some join the work force, some become junkies, and others, like my friend would wait until a great opportunity comes knocking loudly on his door, and then, when given the chance, f’s it up. My friend (he will remain nameless, for the sake of his family, friends, and children) was a tremendously talented artist, but was lazy. He ended using drugs, became an alcoholic and doing a chunk of time for his involvement with a minor. I haven’t seen or heard from him since sometime in early 1995. I don’t know the circumstances of his incarceration; all I know is wherever he goes, he has to register with the local authorities. As kids, my brother and I had a few friends that had incredible, incredible artistic talent, some pursued it, and did very well, and others because of whatever personal baggage they carried with them, destroyed their lives, and careers.

So, looking at this flyer, I smile, remembering how at 15 I thought I was going to be able to put together the greatest punk band in the world (hey, I was 15), and quickly lose the smile when I remember the promise life held for my friend.

 

 

Born Frustrated is coming, Summer 2015: http://goo.gl/n9ofGb

Splntr & Sewage: West Coast/East Coast Split

03
Jun

Splntr & Sewage: West Coast/East Coast Split
Released May 29, 2015
PP Promo Records

1. Splntr – Wonder Why 2:20
2. Sewage – Punk Religion 1:20
3. Splintr – Grind 2:25
4. Sewage – Florida 3:38
5. Splntr – Drive 1:32
6. Sewage – Crusties 1:25
7. Splntr – One Two, One Two 3:06
8. Sewage – Hi Def 2:52

Splntr, from Fullerton, CA, has a beast of a rhythm section. Their drums and bass chug through each song like a derailed freight train. The vocalist has a style that reminds me a bit of Jello Biafra of The Dead Kennedys. Not so much the sound of his voice, but in the rapid-fire delivery. My favorite cut from this split is One Two, One Two.

One of the first things I noticed about Sewage, from New York, is they have some top notch guitar work. Definite old-school punk rocks feel, with an occasional metal riff thrown in for good measure. I could definitely picture these guys playing little clubs in the 80’s. My favorite cut of theirs from the EP is Hi-Def; it’s tight with a great sing-along Oi feel to it.

If you get the chance, give this one a listen, it’s a good album, hell, go out and buy it. It’s a great snapshot of the current music scene.

Rating: *** two out of three stars

On to the story . . .

Back in 1995 I found out my live-in girlfriend was seeing/carrying-on with two different guys. So, I packed as much as I could into a black hefty bag, paged a friend and left. But not before I kissed my one-year-old daughter on the forehead as she slept in her crib.

The old friend pulled into my driveway, I walked out. Normally, I would’ve left in my own car, but just weeks earlier the engine on my ride died, it cracked, croaked and everything else. I sold it for scraps.

As I walked out the door my, now, ex yells, “If you walk out now, you can never come back.” I nodded and said, I knew. As I closed the door, I heard rumblings of “Punk ass white boy.”

I knew I needed transportation, a job and something to keep me busy – quick.

A friend that I had lost touch with, about eight years earlier tracked me down and got a job at Kinko’s. She was dating the manager there and said I could grab any shift I wanted. I chose the night shifts. The later the better. Night time is when I missed my daughter the most. Once I had some money the manager started letting me take the Kinko’s van home on weekends, making it easier for me to take my daughter on weekends.

After about six months I was promoted to assistant manager in the computer department, and then moved across town to another Kinko’s. I spent the next couple of months trying to move up and out to a different location. Eventually, I became a sort of cleanup manger. When different Kinko’s would terminate a computer department, I would be sent in to overhaul and streamline everything. Once that was done, I’d leave. Eventually, I was hired full time at the Pasadena location.

I’ve always loved Pasadena; it’s like Downtown L.A. without being quite as filthy. And 90% less homeless people peeing in alleys.

When I first got to Pasadena the computer staff did not like me. I had already earned the reputation as the “cleanup” guy, and no one likes things being changed.

Over time everything fell into place. Everything became familiar fast. For example, there was a Hispanic homeless man that sat on a bench a half a block down and everyday we’d have the same conversation as if we were both stuck in the movie Groundhog Day:

“Con permiso, you have matches?”

“No, I don’t have any matches.”

“You have cigarettes?”

“No, I don’t have a cigarette.”

“You have marijuana?”

At this point I wouldn’t need to answer, because he would be laughing so hard he’d be rolling off the bench.

I would see the marijuana man daily, but one of my favorite people would be opera man. Once a week this little mentally challenged man, who wore glasses and was about five feet five, would walk into Kinko’s, stand in the middle of the lobby and bust into the loudest, booming opera you have ever heard. He would scare the shit out of some people, while others would ask me, “What station are you playing?” Then after a couple of minutes he would turn and walk out the door.

Then one of the coolest oddballs was this black lady (who was also mentally challenged) that came to the store about once a month. She would walk in and wave over each and every Kinko’s employee and hand them one or two blue cans of some kind of Spam-like canned meat.

She was quick about this. I’d be in my office and she would come up behind me and drop two cans on my desk and bolt out of there. Not a word was spoken. The one time I was able to make eye-contact with her, she just smiled and rushed away.

Something about all the chaos kept the customers on their toes. If an employee was starting to get chewed out and Opera-Man popped up the customer would be completely out of sorts and have to restart the thought process. It was kind of cool.

After a year of working in Pasadena I was transferred to Glendale and then over to Monrovia. Finally, I decided I didn’t want to hear the sound of copy machines anymore and I left to work for a design studio that was contracted with Universal Pictures.

I still think about Pasadena all the time.

 

 

Born Frustrated is coming, Summer 2015: http://goo.gl/n9ofGb

Billy Idol – The Very Best of Billy Idol: Idolize Yourself

27
May

Billy Idol
The Very Best of Billy Idol: Idolize Yourself
Released 2008
Capitol Records

Billy Idol – Vocals
Steve Stevens – lead guitar, keyboards (1981–1986, 2001–present)
Stephen McGrath – bass guitar, backing vocals (2001–present)
Billy Morrison – rhythm guitar, backing vocals (2010–present)
Erik Eldenius – drums, percussion (2012–present)
Paul Trudeau – keyboards (2014–present)

1. Dancing with Myself (EP Version by Generation X, 2001 Digital Remaster)
2. Hot in the City (2001 Digital Remaster)
3. White Wedding (Part 1, 2001 Digital Remaster)
4. Rebel Yell (1999 Digital Remaster)
5. Eyes without a Face (1999 Digital Remaster)
6. Flesh for Fantasy (1999 Digital Remaster)
7. Catch My Fall (2001 Digital Remaster)
8. To Be a Lover (2001 Digital Remaster)
9. Don’t Need a Gun” (Single Edit, 2001 Digital Remaster)
10. Sweet Sixteen” (2001 Digital Remaster)
11. Mony Mony” (2001 Digital Remaster)
12. Cradle of Love” (2001 Digital Remaster)
13. L.A. Woman” (Single Edit, 2001 Digital Remaster)
14. Shock to the System” (2001 Digital Remaster)
15. Speed (Album Version)
16. World Comin’ Down
17. John Wayne
18. New Future Weapon

The Very Best of Billy Idol: Idolize yourself is a greatest hits compilation album, spanning the recording career of British vocalist Billy Idol. It was released in the U. S. on June 24, 2008. It features 16 of Billy Idol’s past hits, as well as two new tracks, John Wayne and New Future Weapon. An additional new track, Fractured, is available exclusively through download retailers. A CD/DVD set which includes 13 Billy Idol music videos was also released.

The album has been certified platinum by the RIAA.

Rating: *** three out of three stars

On to the story . . .

Back in 1993, my buddy Ed and I went through a phase where we drank close to half of the Zima manufactured that year. Why, you ask? I have no damn idea.

It started small, we’d go to a party and bring a six-pack because it was “something new.” Then we’d down four or five before playing on our company softball team. Yeah, it definitely limited my ability to play ball. I’d be in the outfield watching the grass grow and my teammates would be screaming at me to pick up the ball at my feet.

I think it all came to a head one night when Ed called me and told me to come on down to On The Rox, the bar above the Roxy. He tells me, on the phone, “Hey, I’m down here drinking with Sharise Neil, Vince Neil’s wife. I tell him I got some girl that lives in my building coming over, Ed says, “Bring her, the more the merrier.”

So, from Canoga Park to the Roxy took me about twenty minutes or so. I think I took Coldwater Canyon all the way up and over to Sunset. Hunted for some parking and went to the door and the lady that was standing there, with a clipboard, said that Ed had put me on the list and was waiting for us.

We walk up the staircase and just to the right is Ed, holding court. He sees me and yells, “What’s up, Big Mike. What’s happenin’ playa?” We shake hands and/or hug, whatever guys did back in the nineties.

So, me and my female companion hop up onto a bar stool and get situated at our small, round black table.

Ed motions for the waitress, he whispers something in her ear and three minutes later she brings back a tray with ten Zimas. What happened next was either an act of bravado or some kind of wannabe baller shit. I waved the waitress over did the same whisper and she walked away for about four minutes, then came back with a tray of twelve Zimas. I paid the waitress and tipped her. She walked away.

Now Ed and I are looking at the table smiling. The girl I was with was looking a bit overwhelmed.

All three of us grabbed a bottle and I made a toast, “Here’s to drinking,” and raised my bottle to Sharise and her rock star wife girlfriends.

The girl I was with looked tossed after three bottles, but tried to keep up with the other rocker chicks. She finished five bottles, I believe, Ed and I finished the other seventeen.

At 1:30 we cleared out of On The Rox and headed to the Denny’s on Sunset. I had to help my companion to and from the club to the car and from the car to the Denny’s.

Once in the Denny’s she excused herself to “freshen up.” Ten minutes later our waitress comes to the table and says, “Um sir, your lady friend is laid out on the floor in the woman’s bathroom.” I was stumped, I say, “Is she alive?” She says, “I don’t know for certain, but I believe so.” I say, “So, do I go in the bathroom?” She says, “No, you can’t go in there.” She says, “I’ll try to wake her.”

A second later sleeping beauty comes staggering to the table, I ask her if she wants to go home, she says, “No,” and falls asleep in the booth.

Ed and I finished our late-night/early-morning breakfast and scooped up the girl. Ed headed towards Culver City and I headed back to the Valley. I kept the windows open and the music loud. Asked my companion if she wanted to return home, she kept saying no.

Got to my place, tucked her in, I hit the couch, two reasons, first I don’t mess with drunk women and second if she pukes – it won’t be on me.

I don’t think it was a conscious decision to stop, but I don’t recall Ed and I ever drinking Zima after that. Shit, for all I know we graduated to tequila.

 

 

Born Frustrated is coming, Summer 2015: http://goo.gl/n9ofGb

Billy Idol – Greatest Hits

20
May

Billy Idol
Greatest Hits
Released 2001
Capitol Records

Billy Idol – Vocals
Steve Stevens – lead guitar, keyboards (1981–1986, 2001–present)
Stephen McGrath – bass guitar, backing vocals (2001–present)
Billy Morrison – rhythm guitar, backing vocals (2010–present)
Erik Eldenius – drums, percussion (2012–present)
Paul Trudeau – keyboards (2014–present)

1. Dancing With Myself
2. Mony Mony
3. Hot in the City
4. White Wedding
5. Rebel Yell
6. Eyes Without a Face
7. Flesh for Fantasy
8. Catch My Fall
9. To Be a Lover
10. Don’t Need a Gun (Single Edit)
11. Sweet Sixteen
12. Cradle of Love
13. L.A. Woman” (Single Edit)
14. Shock to the System
15. Rebel Yell (Live and acoustic)
16. Don’t You (Forget About Me)

Greatest Hits is a compilation of Billy Idol’s most popular singles, released by Capitol Records in 2001. The album includes two additional tracks: a live recording of one of his most popular songs, “Rebel Yell” (this live version was recorded in 1993 and appeared as a b-side for the single “Speed” in 1994), plus a new version of Idol’s longtime producer Keith Forsey’s “Don’t You (Forget About Me)”. Although Forsey originally wrote the song with Idol in mind, Idol turned it down and eventually the song was given to Simple Minds who would go on to make it a worldwide hit in 1985. Greatest Hits was certified platinum by the RIAA in 2005.

Rating: *** three out of three stars

On to the story . . .

Back in 1989, I was working with a girl named Jennifer. Jennifer and I had a thing for stand-up comedy. Sometimes, the raunchier the better.

One day Jennifer came into work and said that she had a friend that waitressed at The Comedy Store on Sunset Boulevard, and Andrew Dice Clay was in town filming The Adventures of Ford Fairlane. And every night after filming he popped up at the Comedy Store and did as much stand-up as he wanted. Some nights, fifteen minutes, other nights two hours. So, Jennifer suggested we go Saturday night in the off chance he would show up.

We watched about five to ten comics, guys like Barry Diamond, who you recognize, but might not know by name. Right about the time I was ready to pack it in, Dice came walking in and they ushered him to the stage.

He ended up doing, between, an hour to an hour and a half of comedy. Leaving about two packs of cigarettes stamped out on the stage. He didn’t rely much on his regular Mother Goose stuff. It was mainly improv. He did a Don Rickles kind of thing and went around the crowd and shredded them.

First, he ragged on two older women in the front row, asking if they “put out.” They stood up and left.

Some blonde guy sitting four seats over from me was laughing hysterically. Dice walked over to him, put his face an inch from his and imitated the way he laughed, in a sort of spastic way, “Geee gee gee.” The guy’s face dropped. Instead of laughing, he looked embarrassed.

Next, he walked over to me, and I’m half hoping he goes easy and the other half wants to hear something funny. So, he started, “Hey, buddy, having a good time?”

“Yeah.”

“Good, that’s good. This your girlfriend? Or are you just banging?

“No, just a friend.”

“Oh, just a friend. No banging.” Then he addresses Jennifer.

“You know, I like this guy. You know why?”

“Why?”

“Because this guy doesn’t care if he gets laid or not. If the chick doesn’t put out, he’ll chase them up the driveway jerkin’ off. Gee gee gee. A man after my own heart.”

I laughed. Probably the best anyone had insulted me up to that point.

Later that night when I dropped Jennifer off, she turned and said, “Don’t chase me up the driveway.

 

 

Born Frustrated is coming, Summer 2015: http://goo.gl/n9ofGb

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