Friday, June 28, 2013

[Past-Blast] [Blank Generation-June. 2001][PART TWO]

Reviews from Blank Generation originally published in June 2001 Note: Images added to certain reviews for cosmetic purposes in 2013
Add N to X "On The Wires of Our Nerves" CD
Ok, record reviews aren’t JUST about reviewing "new" releases. You see, with the recent expansion of my zine (The Neus Subjex) and our search for reviewers I tell each candidate what I think reviewing records are all about. Let me tell you what I told them...
Reviewing music is about one of two things. 1) You LIKE a record so much that you feel its your DUTY, as a rock and/or roll journalist, to tell other people that they are missing out on something they should definitely know about (and you explain that within the body of your review), or 2) You HATE a record so much that you feel its your DUTY, as a rock and/or roll journalist, to tell other people that they could quite possibly save some well-earned cash instead of buying the LP, CD or whatever (and you explain that within the body of your review).
I mean FUCK! Gas here in Cincinnati is pushing $1.80 a gallon for the 87 octane. When getting a half of tank of gas is equal to a CD or something, it makes the job of the record reviewer EVEN more important!
Most of the releases that I review here in Blank Generation, or Generation of Blanks, or whatever the kids are calling it these days, I bought the very same week I write the review. With each review it’s getting easier and easier to get the gist of a release in fewer and fewer listens. Most of my reviews are stuff that I personally buy. Here lately, I have been getting sent review materials, WHICH IS KICK ASS, but no matter. If I am sent 30 kick ass CDs, or LPs, or whatever each month, to me record reviewing always has been about spreading the message. And what better way to support the industry and support the peoples of this industry of rock and/or roll than to write about a record I love or hate.
I bought this CD today ($12.99 plus tax). That’s equivalent to a half-tank of gas for The Gobo (that’s what I call my car, THE GOBO). And to let you in on a little secret, I mainly bought the CD because of the cover art. Yeah, I know, how 'comic book' of me right? I don’t care though because any CD that features two new-wave computer-esque doctors trying to revive a victim from a massive abdominal wound WITH A KEYBOARD, well, you got your buttons to be pushed and I have mine. This CD pushed mine.
Musically, Add N to X reminds me of The Fight Club Soundtrack. Like The Chemical Brothers, who did that Fight Club music, Add N to X are ELECTRONICAL. Neoteric.
I don’t hear any guitars. I don’t hear a bass. Very limited vocals, if any at all on most songs. Bass-beats. Sampling. Keyboards. Synths. Add N to X has a lot of shit going on in this disc. Like Servotron, they seem to be in their own world too, their world, their rules, their definitions.
If you absolutely hate the music from Fight Club (but damn, what a GREAT fucking movie) then take warning: STAY AWAY. Keep to your [SUB][HUM][ANS] LPs and your Crass shit. If you’re looking for something different then try this out. I did and I’m glad I did. I suppose you could say I’m DAMN proud too. But don’t mistake my pride for nationalism because as I was reading in a WORLD BOOK Encyclopedia yesterday at the Library about World War Part One, Nationalism was just as much a cause of the outbreak of war than the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, for real though, or something. (SAB)
(Mute/Satellite Records)

Causey Way "Causey VS Everything" CD/LP
Causey Vs. EverythingTo match the new (wave) lime green Blank Generation layout; complete with a picture of Neoteric vanguards, Le Tigre; here is the WAY, the only way, the Causey Way.
I read about this band in an advert for Alternative Tentacles in the Razorcake zine. You see, advertising DOES help because I have seen this LP sitting idle in my local record shop dive for about three weeks now. I mean FUCK, why should a hard ass punk-rocker like myself (complete with my Crass tattoo(s) and red tri-hawk) buy a fucking album by a band who would DARE to put a field of flowers on their record cover?
Then, to call themselves 'Causey Way'... That sounds so fucking DULL. I mean FUCK, I just can’t see a whole bunch of mo-hawked INDIVIDUALS, like myself, in a circle-pit throwing fists and arms and yelling out, "CAUSEY WAY! CAUSEY WAY! CAUSEY WAY!" to the beat of the music like when I saw GBH. Now THAT’S punk-rock! What a show! GB (fucking) H! Mo-hawks EVERYWHERE. Chaos Punks Rulz! Counter clockwise circle pit! I fell down but man; there's camaraderie in THE PIT! People who I didn’t even know picked me up. They took care of me and when my brothers fell, I took care of them. That’s what you did IN THE PIT! Release aggression! Dance! Tribal! IN THE FUCKING PIT! GBH! CIRCLE-PIT!
You can’t "circle-pit" to The Causey Way. I mean FUCK! They have keyboards! But wait, The Dammed had keyboards when I last seen them too. There was WAY too many GOTHS at The Dammed, the first AND ONLY time I saw them, to start any sorts of circle pit (counter clockwise or whatever). FUCK man.... Who am I trying to kid? I have been writing for The Blank Generation since around November of the year 2000. You know me. Any form of a circle-pit is the FARHTEST thing from my head when I think of The Causey Way. I don’t have a red tri-hawk, NOR any Crass tattoos or ANY tattoos for that matter...or DO I?
I don’t like pain enough to have a set of tattoos. Good thing to, because I’m the type of guy who would go out and get a non-textured two dimensional United States flag on my chest, or Pepsi Cola logo on my arm just because I got drunk and was watching "Full Metal Jacket" or something... The good lord above blessed me with a low threshold of pain, or I would look like a fucking walking billboard.
So I see the ad in Razorcake for this record and I’m thinking, "Hmmmm… Maybe Jello has something there…" I make a mental note to MAYBE buy it. I go down to Shake It Records the same week. I now have began limiting my record buying to around $20 each shot. If there were ANOTHER thing I’m addicted to besides Generic Cola it would be record buying. I realized I had a problem when I was spending more on music purchases than food, and this just wasn’t one week in a great while... It became too often so the week I purchased this LP I limited myself to $20.
Not much in the re-issues KBD department for me this week, so I decided to check out some newer stuff; the first decision I made was for The Richmond Sluts. That record had the look! Despite Duane Peters rather BUTCHERING of Smogtown’s "Fuhrers" LP, I decided to give Disaster Records ANOTHER chance. Besides, the band looked like glammed out clones of Gene October from the Lurkers, but enough about the Richmond Sluts. I’m going to get around to writing about that record soon enough. I’m here to write about The Causey Way.
This LP was my second selection. Since I had reached an amount near $20 ALREADY I decided to take my place up front near the cash register and talk to Darrin and his brother JB, Shake It Records proprietors. Shooting the shit. Lil' Gatlinburg style.
Through the course of our discussion I seriously considered putting this record back into the bin THREE times. I tried to justify this because 1) There was a new Blonde Redhead LP out and since their last one was pretty cool this new one might be even better, 2) Causey Way is on Alternative Tentacles, a label with a rather sub-par catalog of bands behind their name (Yeah, I bought Klaus Flouride’s solo release and I suppose with the purchase of this LP I’m finally over it), 3) I was afraid this record would sound like Tortoise. Tortoise is a band that everyone in those magazines at Shake It seemed to not get enough of and when I asked JB about them he himself said, "Ohhh… Uh… They’re 'electronic', but like Emo bands they take a REALLY long time to get to their point." So when I was at Borders FIGHTING THE SYSTEM and looking for the DVD of the Outsiders, starring Patrick Swayze, ("I would pay MUNNY to see him.... I like guys and guys like me... I’m what you would call an Albino..." all from the movie GUMMO, see it!) and I glanced over at the listening booths and saw that new Tortoise CD on there so I listened to a song or two AND JB WAS RIGHT! That band needs to share some of my speed stash, 4) By replacing the LP I would ease the blow IF I decided to ALSO get the Radiohead import book thing for their Amnesiac release. I don’t know why I wanted it, but I did. It’s a little red storybook like a kid’s book or something and had their new CD inside. I heard one of the tracks off the radio and I liked it; but it was $20.99, import price. Here I made a limit of $20 for myself.... Whereas spending nearly $40 seemed like too much of a splurge, $30 was closer to my self-imposed limit. Like a true addict I tried to justify excess. If I put The Causey Way LP back and got The Richmond Sluts LP and the Radiohead disc I was JUST spending $30 and not $40. I wasn’t AS BAD if I JUST went 50% over my limit, but a TOTAL FAILURE if I went 100% over.
Welcome to the place I call me, fuckers.
I’m sure JB and Darrin were wondering what the fuck I was doing sitting down for a couple of minutes with this LP in my hands then going back to the LPs and replacing it then going back and getting it back out again... But hey, like I said before, these guys are use to people acting weird in their store. I was just fitting in.
So I got it. Yep. I did what the shoe commercials told me. I’m a good consumer. Really, I am. No need to report me, fuckers.
And once again, like an addict I surrendered one vice for another. I’m addicted to The Causey Way. Despite some of the kick ass music I have bought over the past month, I can’t get this LP off my turntable. You see, like in that Suran Song in Stag review, the whole battle I went through by putting this LP back and then retrieving it... It wasn’t me dealing with self-limits. It was The Causey Way’s "way" of choosing me. I was chosen to buy this. This LP called out to me and my sub-conscious listened. Sometimes you just got to go with the little voice inside your head. I mean FUCK, good thing I didn’t listen to it when it told me to put my hand in my coat pocket at the bank and yell, "This is a stick up! Everybody FREEZE!" because I was just wanting to see what the people would do. You see being a bankrobber is a DREAM of mine.... It’s hard for me to walk into banks and keep my composure. That little voice gets LOUD sometimes. It’s a good thing that I have direct deposit at the place I work forcing me to deal with un-robbable ATM Machines and checks... ATM machines don’t do fuck when you put your hand in your pocket in the shape of a gun and yell out, "This is a stick up! Everybody FREEZE!" because I did exactly that and the machine was all quiet and shit, like it was sizing me up. It wasn’t afraid of me and that made me afraid. All it said was, "INSERT CARD TO BEGIN TRANSACTION." Tough as fucking nails! Can’t go up against something that fucking tough. I can’t contend.... I inserted my card and began my transaction....
I just had to scroll up on the page to see exactly where I was at in this record review. I will admit, I get a little caught up with things in my reviews, but that’s me. That’s just how I am. Just ask Kenny on Broadway or the Joe Domino. I’m hard to get off the phone with because when I get warmed up BAM! I’M READY TO FUCKING ROLL!!!!
Let’s take a moment to go even further off track. FUCK, it’s the Shawn Abnoxious way. I want to share with you MY NEW THING. I’m a Haiku writer. I heard those new Budweiser Haiku radio commercials and knew I can do it better. Hell, the way one of my favorite rock writers writes is SORTA a mixture of haiku and stream of consciousness, but Kenny on Broadway does too much PCP to NOT get a point across. His secret? A safe mixture of PCP, amphetamine and you guessed it, good ol' reliable beer. Into 180 degrees. Expect the unexpected. Just when you think you know me, BAM! I’m a fucking Haiku-ist. Enter my very own bastardized version of the Japaneeze culture. Bonsai Trees. Kamikaze headbands. Hi-yah!
One day I’m going to publish a whole zine of nothing but my Haiku. Five minutes ago, despite already writing The Hives a Haiku in honor of their new CD, I SURFED the web, hung ten (or in my case hung 1/2"! HAHAHA I HAVE A SMALL DICK BECAUSE OF THE SPEED) and found the definition of haiku... I only needed the first paragraph because from there it all just got much more complicated. All I needed was the basic structuring concepts.... Don’t DARE think for one minute that I am going to write about any seasons or any weak ass shit like that because the only season WORTH writing about would be winter. The winter is COLD and dark. LIKE MY PERSONA! I saved the paragraph to keep as a reference. Here, I will share it with you, but I am copying this DIRECTLY from the source. Misspellings are as they were:
"A haiku is a short poem of form (in Japanese) 5,7,5 syllables. It normally includes a seasonal reference and often conveys something deeper behind the superficial words. Haiku should ideally use simple words and describe experiences common to most readers, yet in a fresh and insightful way."
And don’t even DARE to think that I give a fuck about simple words, being insightful, fresh, or any other PUSSIE shit you read up there. Like anything, with my Haiku I will attack, degrade, and break in half. I just put on "Taste of Honey" by the Viletones on my headphones. My leg is cut just below the bend of the knee on my right leg and I let the blood trail down to my foot. I took six aspirin at work today because my feet hurt. Here it goes...
5.6.2001 7:00 PM
Causey Way review.
It’s Long. Disjointed and sharp.
Like instruments. Like.
Like I said, this is only the beginning. I am going to write haiku’s for special occasions. Next up is my buddy Liam’s graduation from college.
You know…I have to talk about religious cults for a minute, two in particular. One is Heavens Gate and the other being that Branch Davidian thing.
You see, these groups were rad as fuck. They had a look. They had a belief. They had the power over themselves. Like it or not. Hut-hut-hike.
How many of you out there in Blank Generation land remember seeing the Heavens Gate story as it was breaking. I do because I didn’t feel like doing anything except watching TV and eating various Chef Boy-ar-dee selections all day long that particular day. I remember how PERCISE everything was. They had their last meal. They had their vodka. They had their Chicken Pot pies... They had their rad fucking haircuts... I wasn’t too impressed with the chemical castration thing... They had a fucking headquarters... They had uniforms... Wacked out belief... They had Velcro Shoes... Freaked out commanders... The closest thing to the X-Men EVER! The only thing they didn’t have that would have even made the castration thing BEARABLE, was shitloads of explosives, firearms, underground bunkers, a kick ass logo that you could put on belt-buckles and you guessed it; a belief that the apocalypse was coming.
I thought, and still think, that the Heavens Gate CREW would have been pretty interesting people to be around. Stimulating conversation. I wear simplistic Velcro Shoes now in their honor. They are the closest thing to the CLASSIC shoe that each member adorned when they left their vessels behind. Hale-bop! Those WERE special times!
I remember seeing that comet in the sky and saying to myself, "Have a good
ride dude." and giving the comet a 'thumbs up' as if they could see me.
Now, The Branch Davidians... I live in a town with a punk-rocker scene that, up until last summer, had three (3) ANNUAL Branch Davidian memorial BBQs. The only reason they ended was the moving of its organizers away from this fair, riotous city. On a side note, watch out LA....
You see, I don’t share a COMMON belief with society when it comes to the Branch Davidians. The media said a lot of things that may or may not have been true. I figure anytime you see any news bit you are only getting the story they want you to hear to make whoever more "worthy." We can’t escape the facts they shared with us.
They were stockpiling weapons. Why? Because they actually have seen THEIR
apocalypse! David Koresch was dead on when he saw his visions of the final
battle. It just wasn’t worldwide... It was more localized. The tragedy at Waco
was his, and the other Branch Davidians Armageddon!!!!
They had a big gunfight with the ATF, AND KICKED THEIR ASS. In the end it took a siege and tanks to get the job done. The Branch Davidians had tanks on order, but they did not arrive in time for the standoff.
When I go (you know that’s my cool Young Guns way of saying WHEN I DIE) I want to go out in a blaze of glory just like The Branch Davidians and Chavo and Billy and the other Regulators. Regulators mount up and ride. You’re going to reap the Whirlwind. I’m gonna make you famous. Praise God.
The Causey Way take the whole visualness of cult ideology and mix it up with some nu-classic Neoteric Punk/Wave sounds to be one of the best bands I have heard in a long while.
This year is shaping up even tougher than last year. Adding band like The Causey Way and The Lost Sounds to my Neoteric Corps is a DANGEROUS thing. I feel almost sorry for good ol' fashioned Rock and Roll. Pretty soon this web site might be called Neoteric Generation. Joe asked me if I’m as cool with a possible name change in the future AND if I still remember Dale Earnhart, so I told Joe I would be cool with him renaming Blank Generation to Neoteric Generation and how could I EVER forget ol' Number 3? The fucking intimidator!!!!!
If you miss Servotron, well The Causey Way reminds me of something like that. In fact, I don’t know roster histories or anything for either of the bands, but after having one of my friends (which doubles over as a BG reader) to dub me a copy of a Cause Way CDEP, I think Servotron and The Causey Way are linked. The Causey Way fills my yearning for more Servotron. Cults, Robots... What’s the difference?
The Causey Way also bring to mind bands like Berlin, composers of one of the best new wave records ever made, The Pleasure Victim. Berlin also did that song from Top Gun ("Take My Breath Away"), but trust me, when you hear a song like "Riding on the Metro" and you will flip yer fucking lid. There isn’t much difference between the stuff The Causey Way are putting out and the stuff Berlin was doing, except of course exchange the infatuation with sex that Berlin has and replace it with the infatuation of cult ideologies that the ‘Way have.
Break beat. Start and stop. Well written and definitely dancable... The Causey Way is a band I think will never grow old to me. Keyboards, drums, mostly female vocals. No ignoring the guitar and bass either… The Causey Way sounds like they know what they are doing.
If you like some of the classic new wave that never seems to grow old, or are into some of the fresh wave stuff that’s being put out there today like The Lost Sounds or Selby Tigers AND/OR are a fan of my very own Neoteric Punk Wave movement then I strongly urge you to pick this up.
It was after listening to this LP about 5000 times when I stop in a Rest Area just south of Lodi (pronounced Low Die), and just north of Columbus Ohio where I photographed a pair of underwear that one would assume was male underwear, because I was defecating in the men’s restroom (and preparing a speedball), but still yet had the distinctive look of female pant-ties. After relieving myself I capture a squadron of dairy cows forming on my position. One was taking a shit so I took some action shots of it. And you know what? I never did get a picture of the floor-mopping dwarf… But hey, I got a cow taking a shit!
The Causey Way is the only way! (SAB)
(Alternative Tentacles POB 41902 SF, CA. 94141)

Child Molestors "The Legendary Brown Album" LP
Just when I get done running my yap on the Killed By Death Message Board about how I want a Child Molestors collection, BAM!, there’s a re-issue of The LEGENDARY Brown Album! It’s not a collection because it doesn’t have "Hillside Strangler" or "Punch you in the Face," but fuck, this will do, I guess.Ask and ye shall receive motherfuckers!
So what do you get when a late 70’s band is making some indescribable racket in the house on the corner? They aren’t bad "kids," but you never see them without a beer in their hand and a cigarette in their mouth. They don’t mow their lawn. They don’t trim their hedges. Their driveway is cracking and mostly gravel. You call them The Child Molestors...or rather, they call themselves that.
Making every paragraph, instead of a continuation of a certain thought, a "re-start," a "do-over." Creation can be a dirty thing. 1-2-3-4!
So, the band that swooned me first with their version of "Don’t Worry Koyoko," then later amazed me with "Punch You in the Face" and "The Hillside Strangler," and it WAS that I was impressed NFD (No fucking doubt)... The Child Molestors, a band I knew nothing about, became a band I would dream of. How wild. How crazy. How degrading? They, a band with balls enough to call themselves something so controversial as The Child Molestors, how while-wild could they possibly be? Yeah, pretty THAT indeed… Fill in the blanks but FUCK MAN, make it good!
This LP is really a treat to the ears. Just what I fucking needed right fucking now. Couldn’t have came at a better time. In this "bear" economy, in this "reality" series, the economy is in the shitter. Some guy at my work was talking about how there was a missing nuclear warhead in the earth’s atmosphere (or something like that AKA "along those lines") somewhere, and when I come home from work turn it to CN (fucking) N and hear nothing about it! I feel as if I’m being lied to. I feel as if something is hidden just below the surface and SOMETHING is about to get fucked. When we, as a human race, FINALLY destroy ourselves it will be an accident I bet. One fucking laugh after another.... You can call it "X Amount of Grief."
The LP has absolutely nothing on the cover except an imprinted inscription reading THE CHILD MOLESTORS in the front. It’s called The Legendary BROWN Album, but it’s really a deep burgundy type color. No song titles, no nothing besides a 8 1/2 X 11 sheet of paper listing a slew of song titles with a disclaimer along the lines of "SOME of these titles MAY appear on this album." Fuck yeah! I got an LP not so long ago by The Horrors. I didn’t see one song title on that LP either, but when the Molestors do it, it’s art! Yes it frustrates me, but FUCK, it’s art! Who am I to question though? I’m no fucking Martha Stewart. I’m no Bill Shakespeare. I’m just Shawn Abnoxious and ain’t worth a fuck.
And I suppose that’s why this LP really appeals to me. I’m not worth a fuck. Those politically minded individuals, like all you anar-chist and PC people, your FINE, your LOVELY. I could say we have no beef with one another but that may be offensive so I will just say we have no 'Textured Vegetable Protein' with one another... You are beautiful just the way you are. Keep on keepin' on and all that shit but please, for the sake of shock-rockers everywhere, STAY AWAY. This LP isn’t for you!
A lyric sheet/poster comes along with this LP splattered with pornography and pictures of the band. Some band members are wearing nazi uniforms. Sometimes the band surrounds themselves with very 70’s styled women. In a couple of pictures one of the band members are wearing a pretty disturbing mask... One of the members lugs around a guitar in places like train tracks and what appears to be degrading alleys in-between buildings, next to piles of trash that could never be MADE, just developed....
The Child Molestors are about being offensive, shock rock pioneers. Songs about "homos" that come across much like similar Angry Samoans type themes. Songs about surfing. Songs about voodoo. Songs about disco. Songs about homicidal maniacs named Brenda Spencer. The asking price is enough just for the first B-side song called "X Amount of Grief." This one is a scorcher, one to set standards by… Influenced by Blues and good old-fashioned rock and/or Roll, The Child Molestors exploded ON the late seventies/early eighties music scene only to disappear and be coveted by worthless assholes like myself. That’s OK. I know my place in things.
If yer a fan of The Mentors and/or The Fuckemos and have yet to hear this band, you should. Pioneers. Oh, before I go I just want to tell you about another completely different version of "Don’t Worry" on this record. Its much more superior to the Killed by Death version you all have probably heard. The Child Molestors version is soo damn good that the other evening my better half (Ms. Communication) told me that if I didn’t put something else on the turntable besides The Child Molestors doing "Don’t Worry Koyoko" she was going to go insane and start throwing stuff. Now THATS ROCK AND/OR ROLL!!!!
You still have it boys. You STILL have it! Hey, Kawasaki or something like that.... (SAB)
(Ace & Deuce/Sympathy for the Record Industry)

Dead Moon "Trash & Burn" CD
It seems there’s this big, I don’t know, maybe you can call it a insurgence I suppose, because to call it a resurgence would mean that the attention Dead Moon have been receiving lately isn’t something new...and I think it is. Finally, both rock journalist AND fans have come to a realization of sorts, realizing the worth of Dead Moon! I’m part of it too. I mean I have 
passed right over-top of Dead Moon countless times. Hell, even one time I got the miss’ a marked down Dead Moon LP from a local record store that’s not around anymore... We listened to it and I was like "this sucks" but hey, that was like 1993 or hell, maybe even 1992. I didn’t know shit back then. Like I was listening to The Dead Kennedys one minute, Fugazi the next, then something like Gorilla Biscuits or Youth of Today. I was a fucking novice. We all have to start somewhere and I have no qualms about where I started. I was lost but now I’m found. I think one of those bands I previously mentioned were too over-rated. One of those bands was my first live concert experience and one I still listen to. The other two I pass off as a youthful indiscretion, figuring that if little Bush (as Saddam call him) can drink and drive and call THAT a 'youthful indiscretion' then surely Shawn Abnoxious can be forgiven for buying, and listening to, and in some odd cases singing along to straight edge bands.
Yes, I knew all the words to "Break Down The Walls." Hey, I said KNEW, not KNOW as in I can STILL sing you the damn song. Through it all though, I still drank whatever alcohol I could get my hands on. Nothing like drinking while listening to Youth of Today fucking shit up. While I’m at it I might as well go ahead and come clean with something else.... Back when I was underage...sometimes my older friends would buy beer for me...and sometimes I couldn’t be choosy about the BRAND of beer they would buy me...and I would drink Budweiser. I’m ashamed enough as it is but I am glad I finally got that off my chest. I feel better now. 100%.
"Hi, My name is Shawn, and I use to drink Budweiser.... My Power animal is a Polar Bear and this past weekend I drank so much that this mystery pain that reaches from my shoulder-blade down to my waist MUST HAVE been caused by maybe a fall because I don’t remember. The Jerry sez I am somewhat of an alcohol abuser, but hopefully, with work and diligence I can be a full-fledged alcohol abuser in record time."
So you see, there was a time when I didn’t like The Dead Moon. Now though, you can’t tell from where you’re sitting, but my foot is in my mouth. I like it that way and even though I have no way of knowing, but I think the Dead Moon personnel would feel better hearing someone tell them that they won me over rather than to have another barrage of spoonfuls of bullshit being force fed to them.
Seriously, from note one Dead Moon has converted me. Now I see why The Crimson Sweet are such big fans! It’s all coming together. With my honesty, comes admiration. I’m only honest when it counts.
I realized this weekend, from outside observations, that I am becoming one of those people who tell it how it is. People like that or so that’s what people tell me. Three people told me that in the course of two days. So... like...I guess.
This CD is really cool. Masterful champion lyrics! The vocals pull at me like a decaying orbit. Simple but spirited music. It only takes one bullet to kill and one torpedo to sink. When mankind conquers planets light-years away from mother earth they will hurl asteroids at each other as the destroyer of worlds. I will call this place Dead Moon. This CD hit right where it counts. Bluesy, Folky a bit, Rock, Roll, Surreal, Artsy…like a combination of Neil Young and The Velvet Underground. I wasn’t ready in 1993 but now I am. This shit is pure genius.
"40 Miles of Bad Road."
"Shot Away."
Pure fucking genius. Are you ready? (SAB)
(Empty Records POB 12034 Seattle, WA 98102)

Robert Pollard "Waved Out" CD
"Empties crushed and fired away."
My Dad is Dead. Sebadoah. Guided By Voices (of course). Mission of Burma. Einsteins Riceboys. The Beatles. Beat Happening. The Ass Ponys. Brian Eno. Take it for what you will you empties. Waved out. It’s fine on the outside! Just fucking fine....
I got this disc from the "used" bin today. I didn’t know who in the fuck Robert Pollard was, and this is going to be somewhat humorous later in this review so just bare with me.... So I see this disc in the used bin. The cover art really captured my eye. I dunno, maybe this was just my week or something concerning cover art. I mean, I bought two discs this week, two that I haven’t previously heard before today, and liked them both! Especially this disc! It really blows me away.
This disc is surreal, like that Fiona Apple video where she’s running around in her pant-ties with a spotlight and starving supermodels, both male and female, barely clothed are taking naps everywhere. Some call that video "suggestive." It makes me want to get a steak knife and take a fucking nap. I’m like, "Yeah! Nap time! I need a defensive weapon for this nap!" There is a whole freaky element to that video (hence the need to arm ones self with kitchen steak knifes) and this CD has that same eerieness too. Arm yourself. Prepare for.... Prepare for.... I dunno, The Mind Police or something...
So I get this disc from the used bin and JB lets me put it in the CD player to preview it. Yep, I’m at Shake It Records (again). It’s a pretty usual day too. Shake It is in a neighborhood that’s one of the most racially mixed neighborhoods in the city. There are also a wide variety of weirdoes who have conversations with themselves, the sidewalks, street signs, or whatever. We have interesting names for the cast of characters like "Hercules" who told JB and Darrin that he is really strong. "The Mixer" who still isn’t sure if he wants to be a mixer or a DJ (probably a mixer though, he later decided) when his rap-thing gets off the ground. He comes over at the beginning of the month to buy CD's. Like when he gets his check if you know what I mean... And lastly, I will tell you about "Wiper" who is a mentally handicapped gentleman who is pretty touchy-feely and likes to hug and shake hands. But after he shakes your hand he will ALWAYS rapidly shake it again, like your touch left some sort of ooze, or maybe germs, or something on his hand that he is trying to get off and then wipes his hand on his shirt or something to get off whatever the initial shaking didn’t eliminate. He is obsessed with going to a restaurant called the Golden Corral which is by a mall called Forest Fair mall that I told him I live by when he asked my address. Some of the cast just come into the store, do a few laps, maybe sit around for a minute or two, then get up and leave. This happens so much that Darrin and JB sometimes don’t even notice that they come in. Interesting folks.
Anyway, so this is the place I buy records. So I get this CD and play it on the stores sound system. A store patron, female, looks up from the used CDs where I had just liberated this same very CD and asks, '"Is this Guided By Voices?" I said, "I don’t even know who this is. I got it because the CD cover kicks ass." Then I open up the CD booklet and look at the pictures....
Of course, Robert Pollard! THAT GUY! That guy from Guided by Voices!
Years ago, hell it might have even been the same time that this CD was being worked on, or maybe a bit before.... 1998, The year the Challenger Exploded into the Gobi Desert! This is Robert Pollard’s solo effort! Well knock my dick in the dirt...
Ms. Communication and I met this guy one night at a bar named after a sexual act called Hummers. One of our friends who was in a band called The Tasties (which did a kick ass version of "Bodies" originally done by The Dammed) introduced us after a Socials set to Robert Pollard and all his buddies.
I mean FUCK; the guy probably doesn’t even remember me. I never showed him my dick and he’s never seen mine... Its just one of those ROCK AND/OR ROLL FUN FACTS proving how much of a regional rock-journalist I am. I mean dig this... The fella who introduced us from the Tasties; well, it was two brothers from the band really… They were named Terry and Louie and they were a couple of kick ass individuals, it’s been years since I seen them. They knew such Dayton influents as Guided by Voices personnel and Louie was in a version of The Amps, Kim Deals band after the Breeders. Kim Deal even showed up at a Socials show one time and NOW, we get to the real reason why I brought up all this rock star shit... At this show Kim showed up at, in a coffee shop called Plan B just up the streets from Hummers I began my new tradition of starting shit in Dayton venues. I grabbed the throat of a guy who gave Ms. Communication the middle finger. I should have just punched him. This fuck-head came at me with his studded punk-belt! It was so damn funny that I LET the fifteen or so people that got in-between us stop me. Later, as a sign of PEACE he asked to trade badges. I don’t remember what he got from me but what I got from him was a rusted out two-tone pin. Go FUCKING figure!
This CD is pretty damn impressive. When you got songs like "Vibration in the Woods" (heading north), the VERYYY!!!!!! VVVVEEEERRRYYYY!!!! Impressive "Subspace Biographies" (has a Le Tigre feel), the first track, "Make Use" (Eno!) backed with "Waved Out", "Steeple of Knives" and "Caught Waves Again," you have a solid release. It comes off like "Taking Tiger Mountain" by Eno a lot, but that’s OK. It is releases like this, which I had in mind to be under the protective definitions of Neoteric. I respect CDs like this because the disc is well rounded and a pleasure to listen to. I hear song after song and when each new track rears its head I’m like "Yes! This song!" and shit... This disc sounds fine being played at eleven.
Suggestive. Explorative (Lewis & Clark). It found me. (SAB)
(Matador Records)

Strokes "Modern Age" CDEP
OK. I guess I am really lucky. I live in a town with a radio station that’s not owned by Jacor or some other gigantic Media conglomerate. Its an alternative station called WOXY 97X (97.7 on your FM dial; web broadcast available too). Even though I have listened to the station since High School I have just recently began to realize how much of a resource it is.

Call it what you will... Say something like, "Well, its STILL radio." But I will justify my actions by saying that if you NEVER hear 'bad" music how in the fuck will you ever know when the good shit comes along? While driving in my GoBo I have pretty much stopped listening to tapes and CDs, except for a rare occasion, and tune into the radio; more specifically 97X. You can call me what you will, anarchist, socialist, Ralph Nader wannabe, Goth, sloth, Red-haired tri-hawk Crass tattooed GBH fan; I don’t care. I’m in an artistic position to not give a flying fuck about what you think.
Think about it, if you were worth a FUCK you would be writing a review for this CDEP rather than reading one.
You pussie.
You bastard.
You good excuse for a meningitis outbreak.
So I wake up one morning at 4:15 AM, time to make the screws… I hastily get dressed. I grab a Big K Cola (Generic Brand) and a fruitfilled pie. I go out to my car and start it. 97X is playing on the radio right away. I sit and eat the fruit pie and drink the cola as I make the two-mile journey to work. On the radio is a song I haven’t heard yet, it’s pretty good too… I make a mental note to ask Darrin and JB if they could get anything from the band BUT I would totally forget the band’s name and song title by time I get to the record store.
I repeat similar attempts TWICE too, at different times of the day and different circumstances, but what the fuck right? Forgetting is forgetting. Finally I remember the band enough to write it down on a piece of paper. I call the radio station to get a release name and such and my favorite DJ, Mike happily obliges. I call Shake It Records and BEHOLD! The Strokes three song CD EP is ALREADY on order!
I’m part of the industry. I’m a Rock Journalist. I’m a record buyer. I’m part of the industry. I’m in the RING. A gear in the gearbox! I’m everywhere and nowhere. It’s hot here in the Midwest, like a fucking oven. I don’t have no air condition either, so forgive me if I ramble on. I’m like Paul Atredies in DUNE. Fuck your gom-jabbar! Water of Life! You got a problem with that?
OK, the Strokes… The CDEP is a taste test of what we can expect in the coming months. The Strokes have a full length coming out later in the summer. And if it is anything like these three songs, you better watch out.
The Strokes first song is the one I been hearing on the radio like crazy, "The Modern Age." It’s not being played enough to make it into the most requested songs of the day countdown or anything, but it’s being played pretty often. Just a week after getting this release in JB and Darrin said a lot of people had been asking about it. I want to further that because people need to hear more good shit like this. I can’t escape the urge to say that "The Modern Age" comes across to me like a forgotten Lou Reed with Velvet Underground song. It’s catchy, simplistic, hard hitting and artistic enough to get awared my Neoteric label. The other two songs, "Last Nite" and "Barely Legal", followed suit. The songs aren’t full-on raging punk numbers or anything, but just the right everything to sink the boat. Drink this, it will relax you. When you wake up you will be in a better place where the fusion of rap and metal never happened. When you wake up in the Modern Age things will not be what they seem. I’m ready for the Modern Age. It’s all about my words too… Here, the one’s I just wrote. Fuck that hippie "Age of Aquarius" shit.
This EP plays well with my speed intake. Drugs won’t make it better because The Strokes are hot! Fuck that, they deserve more. The Strokes are HOTT! I listened to this CD over and over. It inspires me to do art. To step away from the keyboard and pick up my bass or something. I want to dance and THAT in itself, topped with my new speed thing, is a very disturbing fact.
I figure I have about a year, tops, taking speed the way I do and listening to this band before I’m called home.
1) Find some more speed.
2) Join a 'death cult'
3) See SPY KIDS a second time
4) Buy The Strokes LP when it comes out.
When I establish my own Warhol type warehouse space, that is IF the speed doesn’t shutdown my heart first, I am going to pay The Strokes whatever it takes to play my art openings and give them as much red wine as they wish. Sandwich trays, the whole nine yards…
I’m part of the Music Industry now. I’m calling the shots and I’m calling them BAD, BAD names. See me. Hear Me. Hear the Strokes. And get the fuck outta my way you pussies.
Being a rock journalist let me in on something. It’s not what knowledge you have or how much about the band you know. It’s about what you write after listening to the band. That’s rock journalism. Take it for what you will. As my mom would say, "Get me my bottle of whiskey and put on "Do It" by The Neil Diamond." (SAB)
(XL Recordings/The Beggars Group 580 Broadway Suite 1004 NYC, NY.10012)

[Past-Blast] [Blank Generation- June 2001][PART ONE] Kill The Hippies (Interview)

Previous writings from Blank Generation originally published in June of 2001 

Kill the Hippies; no introduction necessary, but let's grab a part thereof from the second Neoteric Punk/Wave Declaration (in its drafting stages as we speak, still unreleased) to ‘set the stage a bit’. It’s a documentation of my first Kill The Hippies experience:

...and in the beginning there was KILL THE HIPPIES. Kent, in the northeast provinces of the Ohio Empire. December, Nineteen Ninety Seven. Dangerous times. Dangerous people. I'm armed with a Panasonic hand-held tape recorder. I press play and hope for the best possible results. Not a good weapon in these uncharted waters. Waters that are full of mythical creatures turned reality. Land-Ho.

And now, in the year 2001, I relive the moment over and over. The Moment when... The moment when the Neoteric Punk/Wave FIRST reared its ugly "head." Head as in leaders. Head as in CHARGE. Sound the charge! The results were very positive. I have captured the very first time I seen Kill The Hippies on tape, that I have now transferred to CD-R because its the new millennium and people are doing shit like that now. Convenience WILL be the death of me. I embrace the convenient and inconvenient as BROTHERS as FRIENDS. As BLOOD.

"Its been a Long journey down this Punk-Rock Road" Morte proclaims and pauses momentarily before finishing; "but I'm glad you' all've been in the wagon with us. Thus begins the set"

He was wrong. My journey was just beginning. Thus began The Neoteric Punk/Wave.

They blast into "The Stranger". Me, I was the stranger! Sharpened knives that cut through plasma; cut right thru me! Separate the now from the then from the beginning to the past. Rebirthed. Renewed. Baptized but yet still blinded. You see, It was then at that very fucking moment Kill The Hippies made Rock and Roll obsolete!

Standing there. In the crowd. Protecting a tape recorder that I was hoping would provide me some sort of documentation of the night... Our friendships are formed and set fast. Concrete with the force of stainless space shuttle steel. I had not even known them for 12 hours when Morte dedicates "Rockin' in Tokyo" to me. You can hear me scream out, "You rock My fucking world" when they finish. I realized that Kill The Hippies were so good the term ‘punk rock’ actually DIDN'T DO IT for this phenomenal band. They deserved a better word! New Wave? Close but damn. They deserve better! There might be confusion with such a term as 'new wave'.

On this night, the first time I witnessed the best band ever, I did not capture the moment. Did not proclaim the moment. Not until several years later. Until The Crimson Sweet entered the fray.... but all this is essentially OLD news. This is The Second Draft of The Neoteric Punk Wave. Not to be mistaken or used lightly. Fight for your rights. You have no rights.

Kill The Hippies played in a basement in Cincinnati in June of 2001. This interview takes place on the following day, after their show, after our personal ‘nightcap’ of Miller High Life and LaRosas spaghetti, after awakening the next day and enjoying another regional cuisine; Skyline Chili. This interview also takes place on the eve of their ‘Western Tour’.

MT = Morte Treehorn vocals and guitar
PP = PP Envy vocals and bass
LT = The Lion Tamer; drums.
BG = Shawn Abnoxious
Miss Communication was also in attendance.

BG: Alright, what I wanna talk about first is how you (Morte and Envy) came to playing with each other....musically!
MT: Uh, Oh man! [Momentary Reflective Pause]
PP:You were in a band called Ball Peen Gidgit.
MT: Yeah. I was in a band called Ball Peen Gidgit. We had knew each other from previously and I hadn’t seen Envy in a couple of years and [to Envy] what were you doing?
PP: I was traipsing around the country on my feet.
MT: We ran into each other, and I was going to school in Kent at the time.... We ran into each other in the English Building. I'm probably getting too verbose... Um...
BG: Just go on!
MT: OK [laughter] We ran into each other and started hanging out. She showed up at a lot of Ball Peen Gidgit shows and I tried writing a couple of songs with those guys that they didn’t like and I really liked... Envy seemed interested in learning how to play bass so... We were originally; the name didn’t come until later... But originally we were just going to play one note songs with different patterns and just try to annoy people as much as we could. Everyone had bands that were pretty intricate at the time.
BG: And you wanted to take a simplistic approach?
MT: Yeah. We just ended up writing songs. Within two weeks Envy was writing guitar lines and stuff like that.
BG: How did you settle with the name Kill The Hippies?
MT: It was going to be called... The real poser story about that is we were going to be called Kill The Flowers and then I remember when I was in school; I never heard The Deadbeats at all but, like, in High School someone cut out some punk lyrics from Spin Magazine and gave it to me and lyrics from kill The Hippies by The Deadbeats, looked pretty cool... It wasn’t until, like, three years ago I actually heard the song.
BG: So is there a connection between the name and Kent? You know where the hippies got killed? Was that intentional? Like ‘We're Kill The Hippies!’ Is that about the Kent State Massacre? ‘Well, you know what? IT FITS!’
MT: Yeah. Well, I mean that's kinda why we stuck with it. [to Envy] Am I talking too much?
PP: [Laughter] No, it's OK. We lived in this place we refereed to as Tillyville which was two houses side by side that were rented from this lady named Tilly [laughter]. The house next door was all rented by a bunch of hippies who lived in there. Kids would pull up and get their weed and leave their car running... Sometimes if we didn’t have anyone to play drums we would go over and ask someone who would be sitting in the attic smoking weed and ask them to come over and play drums.
MT: They never could play drums real good.
PP: It turned into, like, a ‘Grateful Dead’ drums thing actually.
BG: That coincides with my next question. Why do you suppose you had such a wide variety of drummers?
MT: Because we're total dicks and people can't deal with us! [laughter]
PP: They all move to Cleveland with girlfriends or get married or move to Cleveland and start.... The Lion Tamer is already from Cleveland so he can't move back.
MT: He’s sick of Cleveland.
BG: So instead of moving to Cleveland he moved from Cleveland! You think The Lion Tamer is the winner here?
MT & PP: I think so.
LT: I'm not going to move for at least another.... long time [laughter]!
BG: OK Tamer, What’s your take on playing drums for Kill The Hippies? You were a fan before you joined the band. Are you still a "fan"?
LT: It's weird because I will listen to the CD and stuff... It's a pretty sweet experience being able to be a fan and also partake...
BG: Last night you weren’t too pleased with your performance. Were you looking at the band set seeing it as a fan and you got a lil’ bit frustrated or was it...
LT: I was frustrated last night because my Bass drum head broke. Sometimes I freakout when I drink and last night just so happened to be one of those nights.[laughter]
BG: The show you played at 344 Warner Street was interesting because the original plan was you got off work at 4 PM, you were driving down here to play, then you were going to drive back to Kent the same night, and you'd just be down here for less hours than it would take you to drive down here and back. What makes it worth it? Is playing one show in a basement in Cincinnati worth nearly 10 hours driving time?
Kill The Hippies: Yeah!
MT: I don't live here [Cincinnati]. So I don't know everything about everybody and stuff in-between people in the scene, but everytime I've been down here it's been a lot of fun.
LT: It seems people are more into doing stuff. Instead of the same three townies coming to The Mantis, which is fun sometimes, but I would rather go somewhere else and have a bunch of people I don't know doing stuff.
PP: The more often you can do something like what we did the more often you get to come down to places like Cincinnati.
BG: So it's not because you got paid $300 or anything like that?
All: laughter
BG: How much money did you get paid for playing last night?
MT: Thirty-five dollars.
BG: Will that make your gas back?
MT: Totally.
PP: Actually yeah, the Blue Tuna rules on gas because it hardly moves. [everyone laughs]
LT: Were giving the Blue Tuna a taste test for our [west coast] tour... getting it ready.
MT: We gotta spread the disease!
BG: Alright, Uh.... I was talking with someone who said that your new CD Spasms in The New Age is basically a CD full of songs about hating work. Do you hate work SOOO much that it would be a prevalent theme in your music?
MT: [laughter] I have to keep a Zen like trance to go to work for 40 hours a week. I hate being employed. I have no work ethic towards it at all...
PP: I'm the same way.
LT: I'm suppose to be at work right now! [laughter]
PP: I think if we actually had ‘work ethic’.... A lot of it is our fault. If we had work ethics, and could actually make ourselves go to work, and make money, and do it ALL ourselves, and it would be in our own hands... In a lot of ways we've been lazy, and not doing things for ourselves, and that's probably one of the biggest problems we have.
MT: I'm interested... I personally love getting and putting out 7"s that have a personal touch to them and at the same time I'm also really interested in writing new songs and getting another full length out and maybe putting it on a label that has some distribution power or somethin’ like that... I would be into that. At the same time I still wouldn’t mind if anyone wants to put out a 7" for a 300 run and that's it; and, like, smear dog shit on the cover or whatever! I would be into that too!
BG: So you guys are keeping your options open... Like, if you were to encounter someone who wanted to put Spasms in The New Age out on LP... Would you?
PP: We wanted it that way in the first place.
MT: That was the original plan; CD and LP... At least that's how I would like to see it.
BG: But that LP plan fell through?
MT: Yeah. It sounds really good and I picture it in my head on vinyl, and you just know that the low end and everything like that would be a lot better instead of that CD ‘sizzle’.
BG: So are you, like, kinda frustrated about your CD a little bit? Like its not getting out there enough?
PP: I'm very frustrated because I want everyone to hear it... We're about to go out west and spend a month out there and I'm worried we're not going to have any CDs to take with us. There're places that want them now so they could play it for people and get people all geared up for the show.
BG: You think this CD might wake you guys up and force you to take more control over your music?
PP: I definitely think we should. I don't know about these guys [motions to Morte and The L. Tamer] think, but I mean, it is a lot of work at the same time. We have to get ourselves...
MT: The hard part is to get the initial thousand bucks to press something.
BG: It seems like when you get money, something will happen.
PP: Even the CD that we finally got back wasn’t exactly right... I don't know if you listened to it and noticed how it runs for an extra five minutes at the end then stops... There's supposed to be a song there.
BG: Oh really? What’s the secret song?
MT: "I Wanna Fuck You Up the Ass"... We're going to go ahead and give it... Um, There's some kids from Akron putting out a comp, we're going to give it to them. They’re making a tape comp so it will find a nice home.
BG: Now I wanna talk about some songs. I've written down some of my favorite ones so that we could just talk about them, you know, rap if you will. First is "Lets Start a Riot." What's behind that song?
MT: We wrote that... Um, that just... I think Ken Picklesheimer was the one who came up with that guitar line. It's just one chord going up and down and...
BG: You guys ever start a riot?
MT: No [laughter]. Actually I think I was stoned when I wrote those lyrics [laughter].
PP: The music doesn’t exactly inspire a riot... it's so funny.
BG: What do you think Tamer?
LT: I love that song.
BG: A "fans perspective"?
LT: I dunno... I don't think it makes me wanna start a riot. Just dance sorta... makes me ‘Get on my dance’ [laughter].
BG: Now we have "Last Gate." This song kinda opens things up at the very end of your CD. Like "What's next?"
MT: That's about choosing to lose.
BG: Is that important to you? Losing?
MT: [Laughter] Well Mr. Freud...
BG: Do you try to lose?
MT: Um... I don't know. Maybe I do, like, throw the wrench in my own gears a lot in someways, but I really am happier than a lot of people who ‘keep all their bolts tight’ so...
BG: Would you say "winning" is for "losers."
MT: Yeah! I mean depending on what cost. Like, getting to the top of Mt. Everest would be really cool; I would consider that winning.... Your really ‘going for the gold’ there... Um, becoming a cop and shooting a kid that's running away from you and making more money than me because that's what you can do are... I mean, that's an extreme case... Or being a boss at a Dairy Mart with two kids and a house; I mean you got more than I have BUT you know... that's still an extreme case...[laughter] Um, you know, in that case I think you're a loser!
BG: But you are a "winner" because you are a "loser." Do you personally feel like your better than ‘winners’?
MT: Yeah. I mean I can hear people laughing behind my back, like, when you go before a judge or something like that and you try to explain to them that, like, one hundred bucks is a lot to come up with and they laugh at you. Things like that, stupid things like having a blown tire, ruins your whole week. I mean yeah, I feel like I am losing... Big time... but then again, next thing you know your neighbor shows up with a six pack...
LT: Or you get a free tattoo of a boat on your arm!
MT: Yeah! You're almost thirty years old, you run downtown spray painting your nickname on the front of the Art building; THEN YOU FEEL LIKE YOUR "WINNING!"
BG: How many of you when you were in , like, in school and were picked last for, like, school events like kickball and stuff?
PP: That's me.
MT: That's me!!!
LT: I was like... third to last I think.
BG: Do you think it ‘add’s character’ to be a loser?
PP: Yeah, definitely! It has to!
BG: I think it does too.
MT: I think it gives you the idea for a non-.... I was talking to Jimmy at the Mantis one time about living a non-competitive lifestyle, and like, someone asked us some question about something being better than something else and Jimmy was just like- I forget what it was... I forget what the situation was but he just mentioned, "I live a non-competitive lifestyle, I don't have to prove anything."
BG: That kinda brings up another song "We're the Number Ones." That's kinda about the same thing isn’t it?
MT: Yeah. The most cheesy thing in America you see is ‘We're Number One’. It's so robotic in a way. I love seeing people with sweatshirts that say ‘#1’ and they look like, you know, they let whoever decides what lower middle-class people can wear at K-Mart... They just decreed that they should wear that shirt!
BG: I seen a shirt at Wallgreens that said ‘I want to be a Millionaire’.
MT: [laughter] That's great!
BG: They also had one that said ‘Wassup’!
MT: [laughter] Sam Walton’s just laughing in his grave at people. First we will ruin their little town, then we will make them dress like clowns.
BG: "Sterile Needles" really hit me on yer CD.... It seems real different. It’s almost like, just like, avant-garde, kinda bluesy in a way, you know? What's the story behind that song? Did you write that one Envy?
PP: I don't think I knew what was going on at the time probably. Actually, that song was really hard for us to play for a long time. It sounds really simplistic but we have timing problems... I wouldn’t say I was "directly" involved in much of anything.
BG: What do you mean by saying "Sterile Needles" in the chorus?
MT: Oh, I don't know...At the time I’m like.... I think I read an article about, like, some people, like, in different places trying to hand out sterile needles to people in the inner city.... Not really sure. Its kind of a confusing, ambiguous statement. I apparently wrote that song after I got my first Crass CD [laughter]. I just wanted to have something with a cool "mod-y" bass line. It's just about when you go to really horrible suburbs and just how everything is like, ‘Chem-Lawned out’ and all that... "Sterile"... This is the first time it's ever made sense in my brain I guess. The needles you're giving junkies are going to put something that might kill them in their arm, but it’s a "safer way."
BG: You can also look at it like a Sterile needle is only sterile once.
MT: Yeah.
BG: After you use it once, it's "dirty." Envy, you wrote "Learn to Kill" right? And you sing it... Do you usually sing the songs you write?
PP: Yeah. Tend too, yeah. Except the song "Prostitution" I stole off of Morte. He was at work and I decided I wanted to sing the song because I had a bad day at work. I had an idea so I just kinda sang the lyrics, when he got home I said "Here! I have a song!"
BG: What's the meaning being "Learn to Kill"?
PP: Ummm. It directly mentions my parents in general...
BG: Did they teach you to ‘kill’?
PP: Yeah. In their own little way, yes. This may be kinda cheesy, but when I was growing up everyone was having a really rough time. My Dad tried and tried and my Mom just, you know, she’d find other ways to make things more miserable than they could be if you just let them go. I don't mean any ill-will towards anybody when I sing it...
BG: Do you each feel like your songs are therapeutic in a way? Like when you play’em and sing’em and listen to them... Do you each feel like your getting something out and letting something out before it all bottles up and you explode?
MT: In the right situations. Sometimes it just all depends on what the situation is. Sometimes it's just doing it by row, and if the show sucks, if you don't like it, if you just can't get into it, then it's just like "robotic." Sometimes you just really... Sometimes it just moves you I guess. I dunno. Not all the time, but in the right situation, yeah.
BG: What do you think Envy?
PP: I dunno. Sometimes, depending on where you play. You can be singing your heart out or whatever and everybody’s outside, or, you know, not paying attention, sometimes you feel like your saying these things and it's just like, pointless to say them...not to preach and all but sometimes it's wasted.
MT: Playing the actual songs is more like a, I dunno...‘Showing our will to power’ or whatever; it is if anything else... Writing the songs, it's just like trying to write the lyrics themselves is more like "letting it out" and like, after that it's just trying to have fun with it. So... I guess the hardest part is making it. Then after that it's all smother.
BG: What do you think Tamer?
LT: I don't personally have any songs I have written.
BG: Do you ever fell better playing them?
LT: Oh hell yeah! Sometimes I let my aggressions out a little bit too strongly [laughter]! Alot of times, if I am having a bad day I can play a show and it feels pretty good.
BG: What's your favorite song that you play?
LT: Obviously the most therapeutic song is "Render Me."
MT: It's about selling yourself to a dog food plant where they can chop you up and use all your parts or whatever they need.
BG: Tamer, do you think you will be writing some songs?
LT: I have written lyrics before. I have a big folder. I just get embarrassed at some of the stuff I write.
MT: You wrote those one lyrics we're going to use: "These are people I see on TV/These are people that mean nothing to me."
LT: Oh yeah [laughter]! I don't know where that's from....
BG: So next up for you guys is a seven inch from Hotsauce Records outta Florida. When is that going to be out?
MT: He is on tour with a couple of bands right now, and I think he is going to get back sometime in July. He’s already gotten the plates made and all that, he just didn’t want to, like, leave a bunch of records in his hot Florida apartment while he was on tour.
PP: He didn’t want them to be shipped there, dropped off, and left there to get warped.
BG: Think you will get them before you go on tour?
PP: Ummm... I don't know. We're playing down there so best case is that we will pick them up while we're there of course. It's the end of the tour so... I know he is going to try.
MT: I'm not going to count on it and get pissed off or disappointed, I'm just glad he is doing it. He is a real nice guy. He is going to hand screen-print the covers so it's going to be real cool.
BG: That's the first seven inch with The Lion Tamer on it!
PP: Yeah!
LT: I'm really excited.
PP: There was supposed to be a picture on it... There's a ‘Bob’ Side of songs with Bob on Drums and a ‘Lion Tamer’ Side with songs he plays drums on...and there was suppose to be a picture of Bob handing a torch to The Lion Tamer.
LT: I thought it would be cool to have a drumstick on fire like a torch, passing it to me, but we never did that.
MT: It would be good as a poster on the inside!
BG: Do you feel like there is a lot of pressure on you Tamer? Me and you, we're both been fans of Kill The Hippies, but now YOU ARE in Kill The Hippies!
LT: I was kinda overwhelmed when... I remember when Morte called me and asked me. When he called me I got off the phone and I was like, "I can't do that!!!!"
MT: He was originally drumming for The Sweaty Weapons. He had a really solid 4/4 beat...
LT: The first Sweaty Weapons line-up was me, you, Kenny and Dawn.
MT: Yeah. I was just thinking when you were playing that you could write plenty of really cool songs on just a solid beat. You sound like the drummer from The Zeros.
BG: When Bob decided to leave the band, was The Lion Tamer the logical choice?
MT: Uh... [laughter] We could have went out and got some dude with a 15 piece set or something that could play Rush, but, like, yeah... I think the Tamer fit in good because I had a lot of fun with him in the short period of The Sweaty Weapons we were in and I had been friends with his older brother for years.
BG: So this tour is probably your most extensive yet.
PP: This time is pretty much ALL unfamiliar territory.
BG: Lion Tamer, is this the first time you'll be doing something like this?
LT: Well, I've been out west, but never with a band.
BG: Are you scared sort of? Just from following The Gobo yesterday, The Blue Tuna don't seem too strong...
MT: It's not the strongest was three hundred dollars though!
PP: We got it at a time when really we needed it. Our old van completely crapped out on us in West Virginia on our way to play a show in North Carolina.... We found this shitty, slow van for $300 and we were able to, within 14 or 15 hours loose a van, buy a van; unpack and load up and go! We still got to play our show, so I think that was pretty damn good.
MT: We've got a lot of synchronicity that sort of follows us around for some reason too. For some reason shit falls in our hands... Like, we usually get what we need when we need it. We owe our landlord about seven months rent and for some reason we haven’t been evicted.
PP: Though the past four or five years...
MT: So maybe by not asking for too much we just get by.
BG: Do each of you find that no matter how hard you try or how hard you don't try things always seem to equal out?
MT: Yeah!
PP: Yeah, definitely!
BG: You think that's a Midwest thing? Do you find stuff breaking on you, like for no reason, like you will sit down in a chair and all of a sudden it will break? You lean against a bar or something and it breaks? You don't get mad about it because you learn to just let it break!
LT: Like last night, my entire drumset?
BG: Exactly! It's a concept I came up with called The Big Mess in the Midwest... No matter how hard you try, some people, some stuff like that's going to happen! Like you got frustrated that your glasses broke.
LT: I have weird reactions to things breaking and things not going my way. Sometimes I just freakout, which I displayed proudly last night.
MT: I was thinking about it last night.... If I broke my glasses last night I could still drive. If you lose your glasses....
LT: I can't live [laughter]! If I don't have my glasses at night or while I am drumming it's a nightmare.
MT: That would be a big paranoia for me...
LT: I have had nightmares about not having my glasses and being stuck somewhere.
BG: So what's the future hold? What's your plans over the next couple years? Another full-length? Greater control over your releases?
MT & PP: Yeah...
BG: Try to develop a better work ethic about the band?
MT: About the band, I dunno about going to work [laughter]. If I got to save up for something to help out; that's my plan...and keep writing songs!
PP: We're going to have to get another practice space because practicing at our house is no longer possible.... Practice. Put stuff out. Play shows...
MT: Keeping on supporting other bands in other places... Share the same mental ideas... Desecrate war veterans graves...
BG: Do you have anything you want to say to anyone who reads this?
MT: What I said earlier, I hope no one thinks I'm against needle exchange programs. I think they’re great, but you can use it as a real nice, sick metaphor!
BG: Envy.... Last words?
PP: There are no last words [laughter]. I can't have last words!
BG: Kinda like The Calvary? You never say ‘Goodbye’? Just ‘Until We Meet Again’?
MT: Or like that tattoo I was going to get: "No Tears for a Sailor's Grave."
[Everyone has a Momentary Reflective Pause, then, one by one, erupts into laughter]
The Lion Tamer left Kill The Hippies upon returning from their Western Tour. He decided that even though touring was great and playing in KTH was a dream come true, he needed to spend the next couple of years focusing on college. The Lion Tamer, also known as "Mike" is also an accomplished artist and photographer and has had his work displayed in several different Galleries around Kent, Ohio. When I asked Morte if his departure was on good terms, Morte said, "Yeah! No hard feelings, we see each other pretty often. In fact, today we hooked up and went dumpster diving."
Mike was replaced by a fellow named Chris who Morte knew from his side project, bad 70’s metal band, Zcreemin’ Hott. Chris, who sat-in on the Kent band, The Viles, has aspirations to tour and record with KTH and at the time of this writing is already playing shows with Morte and Envy.

Kill The Hippies can be contacted at:
Kill The Hippies
614 1/2 Mantua.
Kent, OH. 44240

Last time I had a conversation with them, Their first 7", "Will Not Overstimulate" had seen a repress of some sorts, and copies of "Shit Covered Hits" ($4 each) were readily available. Ask the band or e-mail Kenny on Broadway because he still has copies leftover from his Rock Action Days...

A version of their debut CD, Spasms In The New Age ended up being available during their tour and the by time you read this, the seven inch record on Hotsauce Records should be out too.... E-mail them for a price on each, or, at the very least, send $10 for the CD or $4 for the 7".

KTH also have t-shirts available, I know of two designs. One features a skull and crossbones saying ‘Kill The Hippies’ on the front with ‘Arrr’ on the back, or the near infamous "Big Dick" design featuring a Dirk Diggler size penis on the front with ‘Kill The Hippies’ written on the bottom. Once again, e-mail them for a price, or, at the very least, send $8 per shirt. Believe it or not but KTH are of the caliber that if you send them a penny too much for something they got, they will send you whatever you got, plus the penny back.
Before I leave I strongly urge you to check out Kill The Hippies if the chance ever comes your way. I can sum up the past eleven years with a handful of bands and records that totally changed my perception of punk-rock. Kill the Hippies are and continue to be one of them....

~Shawn Abnoxious
Interview and Pictures by Shawn Abnoxious.