Fang, Symbol Six, Circle One, Memphis Murder Men – LIVE!


Fang, Symbol Six, Circle One, Memphis Murder Men, and more
Airliner, Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, June 29, 2013

About three years ago my daughter was out here in Los Angeles from Florida and I took her to see The Briggs, Cobra Skulls, Longway and Your Arsenal. And she had a pretty good time. So when she let me know that she was moving out to L.A. again, I started looking for shows that she could go to (she’s only 19). Not only did I find a show, I found two. First up was a matinee show with the Mau Maus, Cliff & Ivy, Vertigo Shock and Why? Things Burn. The second show, which was two and half miles away from the Redwood into Chinatown at the Airliner, with Fang, Symbol Six, Circle One, Memphis Murder Men (Circle One would cancel minutes before the show).

Both shows turn out to be 18 and over shows so we are clear to get in. I chose this show as a, kind of, intro to punk history. The Redwood was filled with a who’s who of punk rock. Rikk Agnew was hanging out with his fiancée, Eric Leach of Symbol Six was there, Don Bolles was drumming for Cliff and Ivy, and Mike Villalobos of The Gears was also there. I introduced my daughter to everybody and found a place to sit.

After the Mau Maus wrapped up, my daughter and I headed down to Spring Street, had dinner and went to The Last Bookstore. Then headed to the Airliner to see Fang and Symbol Six.

As we walk into the Airliner I walk through the hallway and there is a stage set-up, with about five people milling around half listening.

We head out to the patio and see Mike Vallejo with his shop set-up outside, if you can’t find a record in a store he has it, then I ask if he’s here how is he going to be playing? Somebody says, “He wasn’t aware of the booking. Circle One isn’t playing.”

So, no Circle One, but for the next hour we were besieged by Black Flag wannabes (with the same exact guitar reverb Mr. Ginn was famous for before each song), and Cookie Monster bands. So, basically a truckload of bands that blew donkey.

Finally, after hours of audio rape, Symbol Six hopped onstage and started tuning up. They played the best of their EP and the Monsters 11 album, then peppered in a handful of their newer tracks from their forthcoming album Dirtyland.

For a “punk” band Symbol Six has always had a pretty big female following. Not so much for the Fang’s and Black Flag’s, not a criticism, just an observation.

Next up was the notorious Fang! They were good old-school punk. The way punk should be played.

Fang is better every time I see them. Very, very good punk band. Live, they are as good as they are on record.

If you were there you had fun, if you weren’t there – you wish you were. Or if you were there you wish you hadn’t been exposed to the opening bands . . .



Life Won’t Wait is out now, grab a copy today:

Rancid – And Out Come the Wolves


…And Out Come the Wolves
August 1995 – Epitaph Records
Producer: Jerry Finn

Tim Armstrong – Guitar, Vocals
Lars Frederiksen – Guitar, Vocals
Matt Freeman – Bass, Background Vocals
Brett Reed – Drums

1 – Maxwell Murder
2 – The 11th Hour
3 – Roots Radicals
4 – Time Bomb
5 – Olympia WA.
6 – Lock, Step & Gone
7 – Junkie Man
8 – Listed M.I.A.
9 – Ruby Soho
10 – Daly City Train
11 – Journey to the End of the East Bay
12 – She’s Automatic
13 – Old Friend
14 – Disorder and Disarray
15 – The Wars End
16 – You Don’t Care Nothin
17 – As Wicked
18 – Avenues & Alleyways
19 – The Way I Feel

I picked this album up about six years ago. I was bored and wanted to update the album collection. I hadn’t updated my punk collection, other than buying a few greatest hits packages, replacing old albums, and getting a few live albums.

So anyway, this one was recommended to me . . . And the interspersed ska stuff, threw me at first. I know for fans of Rancid, the ska stuff is a big part of the attraction, but it just didn’t do it for me. I gave it to a guy I worked with.

Then I mentioned this to my friend Jay, basically, told me I had made a mistake, and I should give a second listen. And wouldn’t you know, that second listen sealed it. This has become one of my favorite albums of all time.

Released soon after the success of Green Day and The Offspring, Rancid’s cult popularity and catchy songs made them the subject of a major label bidding war that resulted in the band sticking with their indie label, Epitaph Records (or subsidiary Hellcat Records). With a sound heavily influenced by ska.

After fourteen years of its release,… And Out Come the Wolves continues to sell well, and the album was certified gold in January of 1996, and then certified platinum in September of 2004.

Roots Radicals, Time Bomb and Ruby Soho and were released as singles.

The cover art is a tribute to Minor Threat, a punk band from the 80’s that originally used the image of a man with his head on his knees on the steps on the self-titled EP.

All tracks are by Armstrong, Frederiksen & Freeman; with Shaken 69 front man Erik Dinn joining in on the writing for The 11th Hour.

The 11th. Hour
“Hey little sister do you know what time it was,
When you finally seen all your broken dreams,
Come crashing down your door?
They demand an answer and they demand it quick,
Or the questions fade and the wasted days,
Come crawling back for more

Do you know where the power lies? And who pulls the strings?
Do you know where the power lies it starts and ends with you?

The face of isolation
Well, that’s one you recognize
Well, you can’t get straight
It’s a lonely place and
It’s one you do despise

Boredom is for sale now
And helplessness you feel
It’s a wounded dove and the hawks are above
Blood splattered on a reel to reel

I was almost over my world was almost gone
In a sudden rush I could almost touch the
Things that I’d done wrong
My jungle’s made of concrete
Through silence, I could feel
My aim is true, I will walk on through
These mountains made of steel.”

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

Rating: *** three out of three stars



Life Won’t Wait is out now, grab a copy today:

Mad Parade – Reissues


Mad Parade
Dr. Strange Records
August 1995
Producer: Jerry Finn

Billy Ledges – vocals
Joey Kelly – guitar
Ron Ray – bass guitar
Mike Sosa – drums

1. Court Jester 2:22
2. Facing the Crowd 3:04
3. Hollywood Vampires 2:56
4. One Tin Soldier 3:25
5. Frightened Again 3:25
6. I’m a Monster 2:23
7. Real Horror Show 3:05
8. Sex & Violence 2:29
9. Calling out 4:26
10. Talk to Me 3:08
11. Praying for a New Day 3:04
12. Right Time 3:46
13. Animal Riot 4:11
14. The Night Is Ours Forever 4:37
15. Laughing 4:31
16. Watch Me Run 3:04
17. The Joke’s on You 2:47
18. Second Chances 3:35
19. Right Is Right 3:29
20. This Is Life 2:41
21. Mother’s Little Helper
22. Second Chances 4:07
23. Twist of Fate 5:49

Reissues collects Mad Parade’s self-titled Debut album, and their second album A Thousand Words, plus Two EP’s; Right Is Right and Second Chances.

Orange County’s Mad Parade has been around for twenty plus years, but has never made it big time past Los Angeles like so many of their L.A. neighbors, Agent Orange, Channel Three, and Social Distortion.

I love their choice of covers, One Tin Soldier from the Billy Jack films, a Rolling Stones song, and a Joni Mitchell song. Not your typical L.A. hardcore band.

Singer Billy Ledges shifts styles a few times over the course of this comp. Songs like Hollywood Vampires remind me of Symbol Six’s first EP, and then when you get to the midway point of the album you hear a heavy TSOL Beneath the Shadows vibe.

Joey Kelly’s guitar riffs are slick as he mixes a British punk guitar sound with L.A. street punk.

The comp also features two singles from 1986; this twenty-three-track collection offers a fascinating look into its career.

If you don’t own it, give it a listen.

Rating: ** * two out of three stars.

On to the story . . .

Fifteen or sixteen years ago I was seeing a girl that was working at a start-up Internet provider. It was a fairly small company, scattered over a couple of different buildings.

In 1995, when I first met her I thought she was a genius, because I knew nothing about the Internet, and here she was explaining IP addresses to me.

About six months after I met her, the company bought this newly constructed monster-sized building. Before they moved to their new quarters, they threw a big Christmas bash there. All through the night all the drunken executives kept telling me that I had a job waiting for me, “Come on in on Monday, here’s my card.” When I showed up a week later, no one remembered me.

At the time I was working a midnight shift a copy place, and every once in a while I would pop up, and help her input orders. I had been doing this on, and off for a month or so with the understanding that I would be paid. Well, one day one of the supervisors came around, and I asked him about the pay, and explained how many hours I had worked, etc.

He said he’d look into it for me. Then a week later he came by to tell me “sorry” I wouldn’t be getting paid.

It turns out the founder of the company was a serious member of a certain “religion,” and everything done in that company had to follow the methods of this religion.

So, I was declined payment for work I had done because I hadn’t followed “their” procedure, despite the fact that I had nothing to do with that religion.

I was supposed to approach them, and say ‘I want to work,” they’d ask why, I’d explain what needed to be done, the benefit, and explain what my payment should be. Then if they agreed, I would be paid. But since I never sat down with them, I received a big fat nothing.

I knew next to nothing about this religion (which will go unnamed here). Shortly after this my girlfriend mentioned that one of the higher-up’s in the church used to be the hiring manager at the company. And I guess he was a bit too friendly with the women, and since there was a committee that decides the fate of those who mess-up on the job, and in the church, this hiring manager was too high up the ladder to be disciplined. So, after many complaints he was moved to one of the church’s regional offices.

My girlfriend told me that when she was 19 or 20, and came to interview with the company, I guess this hiring manager said she “seemed right for the job,” but as he was busy that afternoon, she would have to come with him to finish the interview at Office Depot, and help him pick items to decorate his office.

I was blown away. I couldn’t figure why she would go along with that. No alarms went off in her head?!

Anyway, I brushed all of this under the carpet, and never did any additional work at that place again.

Then about six months later, my girlfriend receives a call from the former hiring manager. He says that he has been thinking about some of the girls there, and wanted to meet up for lunch.

She was startled. She explained that she appreciated the call, but she was involved with someone, and she couldn’t. He told her which regional office he worked at, and to call him if she changed her mind.

A couple of days later she mentioned this to me, and needless to say I handled it like any other hot-heated jealous boyfriend would . . . I spazzed.

What’s bad about this is that later that same afternoon we passed by the regional office where this former hiring manager was working. I wouldn’t have noticed it if my girlfriend didn’t do that nervous glance. I saw her look out the window three or four times real quick, then I looked over to see what she was doing, and sure enough, there it was the office.

So, at the next stoplight I stepped out of the car, and told her to go home. She flipped, “What are you going to do?” Then the bombshell, “His Wife works there, you’ll embarrass her.”

I walked in the place asked to speak to the former hiring manager. A couple of guys looked around real nervous-like, and said he didn’t work there.

So, I said “bullshit,” and launched into a tirade, yelling about the girls he harassed at the Internet Company, and the recent call he placed to my girlfriend at work.

Some guy comes forward, not sure if this is ‘the guy,” or security, so I’m ready to pounce, the guy says that the former hiring manager works there, but he’s not in today. And that he knows him well, and he would never do the things I’ve described. At the point I’m fuming, so I flip the desk this guy is sitting at.

So, I ask again, where is the former hiring manager? Two or three people all chime in, and say he’s not there. I flip another desk. Ask again, same answer, and then someone says the cops are on the way, I yell something like “I’ll be back for him!” This was B.S. because I didn’t know what city I was in, so the chances of getting back there were slim to none.

I run outside, start heading down the street, pass a driveway, and I hear a horn honk. My girlfriend waited for me two blocks away. How nice.

So, here I think my Incredible Hulk antics changed things, I was wrong. The next workday this hiring manager calls up my girlfriend, and asking her why she sent some maniac to his work. She said it wasn’t her, and it could be one of dozens of girls he came onto. He said “not this time, you’re the only one I’ve called recently.”

She stuck to her story, “I didn’t send anyone.” Then he told her that his Wife was in the office that day, and she threatened divorce, but he wasn’t worried because the committee wouldn’t approve it, and he will deny everything.

He explained that he had to appear before some kind of council that week to answer question in regards to me tearing up their office, and what he might have done to invoke such rage in someone.

He wasn’t worried, just another formality. I never went back, and six months later me, and my girlfriend split-up anyway.



Life Won’t Wait is out now, grab a copy today:

Martyred Heretics – COMPILATION


Martyred Heretics
Mustard Relics Records
October 13, 2014
Producer: Justin Hrabe

1. Introduction 0:37
2. Prayers – Lazers on My Neck (Live) 3:48
3. Angels Dust – Funeral 4:33
4. Pornostroika Dadaifi – The Indifference (Based On the Work of Antonio Gramsci) 5:39
5. Mach Baron – All Flesh Is Grass 3:28
6. Street Sects – On Pain Of Matrimony 2:52
7. Blitzkrieg Baby – Spit 3:56
8. Intermission I 0:56
9. Pornostroika Dadaifi – Nzs on the Trees 3:56
10. Angels Dust – Slow Tapes 2:27
11. Pyrotoxxxn – Microsleep 6:13
12. Peopling – Wich Is Width (Live) 3:41
13. Pornostroika Dadaifi – Carnivorous Sheep (Mustard Relics Mix) 3:52
14. Intermission II 0:50
15. Peopling – Groundloss 5:59
16. Scab Queen – White Forest 9:52
17. Glanko – Terr (Live) 14:51
18. Conclusion 2:12

This is a genre I know nothing about. So, coming into this as a novice to the Electronica sound I have to admit some of it was very interesting and original, some stuff just like noise, while a few tracks sounded like a UFO invasion. But one thing I’ll admit, all of it was extremely original.

Most of all, hats off to Justin Hrabe for compiling this and for having the ambition to see this project through. Great job, man!
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 . . .

A few months ago my wife was driving home from a class. On the drive she noticed out of the corner of her eye a guy in a suit, driving a BMW, trying to get her attention. She glanced over and he is holding out his cell phone, displaying a photo of his privates (for those of you that are under-age and reading this). My wife cracked the window and hurled a few obscenities. This didn’t deter him in the least. He responded with, “Yeah, you like that?”

She sped off, cut a few corners and finally lost him. She walked in a bit frazzled and told me the story. Absolutely nothing I could do, but shake my head and wonder when and how this seemed like a good idea to guys?

I told you all that to tell you this: over the last month or so I’ve had a lot of new “friends” pop-up on my page. A number of them are women that work as pin-up models (car shows, magazines, etc) and I notice that, at least one will post daily, “I am married, I am not looking to “hook-up” please stop sending pictures of your penises.”

This floors me. The first time I saw one of these posts I, kind of, thought it was a joke. Like, “Who the hell would do this?” But now I read it daily.

So, the question is, is this a social media thing? I have a computer/cell phone so it’s easier to just show you my junk than attempting conversation? Or have men in general become more primal? The digital age flashing has become the equivalent of the caveman clubbing over the head thing?

I have never been great with the opening line thing with people I didn’t know. But it never occurred to me that whipping out a snapshot of the package was the way to go in polite society.

Whatever it is something about seeing a woman with her hair fixed and a bit of make-up makes these primates lose their shit.

And I’m at a loss for ideas on how to fix a situation like this, short of slapping their moms for raising such vile pieces of crap. And that concludes my rant for the day.



Life Won’t Wait is out now, grab a copy today:

Last One To Die – REVIEW


So, I sat down on the edge of the building and waited for the show. Bill started crawling on his belly military-style, until he got to the edge of the building, once there he started beaming oranges at any car that drove by. Now Bill came from a relatively upscale neighborhood in Encino, so the cars he was nailing were BMW’s and Mercedes. Fifteen minutes of this— sirens came blaring. Which made Bill extremely excited (he was possibly ADD or ADHD which is ADD in HD) and he tells me not to worry he has this planned out. He just yelled to follow him and we went down a drainpipe, through a school gymnasium, over some other fence and finally into his backyard.

Once we got into his house I asked him what was that all about? He said he was hoping to “hang out with somebody who was down for some real punk rock stuff.” I just shook my head and asked “how was that punk rock?” And Bill says “Punk rock is about going ape-shit!” I told him “Bill, I’m not an authority, but tossing oranges at your neighbor’s cars isn’t exactly punk rock.” -Michael Essington, Last One to Die

In a time when olde school punk nostalgia has reached the proportional magnitude of the late Poison Idea guitarist Pig Champion’s beltline, there comes a point when 40 and over hardcore kids such as myself thirst for something beyond the literary pale of yet another unearthed 86 tour diary from another subcultural legend…or another “oral history” told by aging proto scenesters about how much dope everybody used to shoot and why their particular locale invented everything cool for everywhere back in the day. I mean, that stuff is all certainly righteous enough and great to read…but too, it’s like you start to think and really it’s just as true that in punk-perhaps more than in any other musical or cultural underground movement of the past thirty odd years-it was, and is, “Tha Punxes” who are all legendary in their own right. You can’t even say it was “the fans” that made it what it is as a lasting sub and quasi-counterculture. Because, going all the way back to Joey Ramone singing “Gabba Gabba We accept you as one of us” and through the hardcore call to arms anthem of anthems delivered by a DC ice cream store manager turned frontman for his favorite band, Black Flag, when he forcibly declared “We are tired, of your abuse, try to stop us, it’s no use-RISE ABOVE WE’RE GONNA RISE ABOVE”…all throughout the history of punk, especially in it’s early and more D.I.Y. Manifestations, there’s that inclusiveness. That destruction of the barrier between performer and audience. There’s that thing that tells us all of us are making this happen, that we’re all inhabitants of a certain piece of cultural real estate that engenders a whole other state of mind.

But let’s face it. In the 1980′s it was a dangerous piece of real estate to call home. Thus, you know, it’s just so perfect to read a collection of stories from just one of the punks who lived through that time, and who still maintains an outlook shaped by being in the thick of it all. And even better is it’s not some guy pontificating on the impact his garage housed record label 25 years ago has had on a musical landscape still overrun to this day with crappy pop (even worse crappy pop than thirty years ago mind you), or stories about how horrible it was to sleep in a van while touring Europe in 87. No, this is more the real deal. This is workingman’s punk literature-or would be if a phrase like workingman’s punk weren’t rather oxymoronic. Well, I guess it’s not. I mean, a lot of us have to have jobs to be able to afford those Terveet Kadet 7”’s off of eBay these days.

But really, I sat down to read Last One to Die and I was kind of expecting one of those kinds of punk books-you know, a memoiresque tour de force of just plain fucked up shit and crazy situations that would read like a Jim Carroll poem set to a soundtrack by Fear and D.I. Not that I wouldn’t have loved it if it was like that-and Last One to Die certainly doesn’t lack in the retelling of crazy, intense situations department…but it was just more. It actually revealed as much of the person behind the words as it did the stories themselves. And it revealed that Michael is in no way trying to cultivate any type of phony “Old Time Punk Guy” persona. It’s obvious from the get go, dude was and is, punk as fuck. However, you get a look into what made him tick as a person back then. As well, you get to see through stories ranging from everyday encounters on city buses, to time spent involuntarily barbering for the California Department of Corrections, to writing about his children, what has continued to make him tick over the years.

And because of that Last One to Die is way more than just a punk book. It’s a look at a life and values shaped by the early California punk/hardcore scene, but it’s also a book that touches on themes of redemption and even justice and retribution without ever presenting the matters in anything like a heavy handed approach.

And yeah, Michael was in a punk band too back in the day but he doesn’t make a big deal of it in the book. And he went to some fucking amazing shows, a few of which are wonderfully documented inside. He also got to interview some way fucking cool people. All that stuff is in there. But more important, he’s in there. One of us, the punxes, and more generally, perhaps more importantly, another human being who’s got some great stories to tell. So definitely, check out Last One to Die. I don’t care if you’re most treasured record is a sealed copy of Soc. D.’s Mommy’s Little Monster or if you’re rocking Deadmau5 on an iPod. It’s a worthwhile read.

But for fucks sake, if you’re 40 or over while still into punk/hardcore music-here’s to ya! And especially here’s to you Michael, thanks for hammering out a killer book.

David Gurz lives, works his real job, and writes from a small Northeast Penna. Borough nowadays while enjoying life with his wife and two children. He was a member of a few dreadful sounding hardcore punk bands during the mid 80′s through the 90′s that maybe a hundred and fifty people ever heard of. Bass player in the Greensburg State Correctional Institution prisoners band in the early to mid aughts; he also edited a ‘zine, Usual Suspect, during his captivity and his writing has appeared in Profane Existence, Mishap and Words Break Bars. He is the author of the widely unread Subterranean Emerald City Blues, a proof of concept shot .at doing the whole eBook thing. Dave is lackadaisically working at another book to be self published in 2013. You can read his blog and purchase his latest book too if you feel like it.



Life Won’t Wait is out now, grab a copy today:

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