Monday, October 28, 2013

"Nature Was Here" + "Brazilian" Coffee [Photography]

October 2013 @ Intersection of Medill Alley and Iingol Alley Northside Dist. (Cincinnati) Ohio 45223
Stunning to find such a prolific and intriguing case of Situationist principles
speaking perhaps uselessly to the back alley population...
October 2013 @ the corner of Route 4 and Nilles Ave. Fairfield, Ohio (45014)
The use of 'Brazilian' brought odd thoughts to BOTH of my heads.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Survivors Only! Mardou Non Flexi Flexi-Disc & Flag

Novel or Novelty?

Great! Another record that I have to worry about getting scratched or whatever. A flexi disc glued upon a screened art piece of cardboard. Totally hands-on. True, I obliterated the plastic sleeve opening the package and with a trip to Dayton planned ahead of me, I’m afraid for my copy...  Afraid by time I sit  down to listen to it, it will be warped or otherwise. In my mind, I feel this record is really fragile and wont last long. You can call that anxiety or instinct... You decide, but really, is that a bad thing?

Impermanence... Frail beauty... Wait, I’m right up the alley with those terms/ideas so why fret now? Pshaw... A record isn’t a record until it gets thrown full-blast across the room and THEN you play it. This club is for survivors only! On the count of three, I’m throwing this record... to make it a survivor. If it lives, good. If it dies, Good-er.

Long story short, after the survivor throw, the product came to rest in the 'need listens' stack along with the accompanying flag. Flag? Yes, flag(a)! How many bands have flags? I know of none... so points for that.

So I find myself  dropping-in to a good non-ape facing face plant posture... Nice even ending of a rather sharp semi-vicious week. I strap in. And the ride is smooth. "Have you listened to this yet?" He sez holding up the Mardou flexi. "Nah." I respond. "Put that mother-fucker on for a spin."

So this review isn't a review of my copy(b), it's a review of his copy.

The needle hits home a groove (?) and... Scrufff. Scruff. Scruff.

One slight glance from him to me and I know what he is thinking-because I'm thinking the same thing-- he shot me a serious soundless look that had furled eyebrows look in it but I end up saying it aloud.

"Not a good mother-fucking sign man. I own 40 year old albums that sound like that... Better than that..." My plan to commit myself to saying motherfucker 5-7 times a day is playing out nicely just in case you were wondering.

He knows exactly what I mean about the records immediate sound. He has albums that old too. Like I said. He shot me the look. 

Cardigan EP
Two songs adorn this project. The first one is "Rimbaud" one of four recent downloadable Mardou songs from one of their first 'official' recording sessions (Cardigan EP) that the unit of Mardou, as Mardou has became known, recorded. Previously, Mardou were a one-dude bedroom punk band. I know, the term bedroom punk had to be clarified to me via a peer but sounds eerily masturbatory solo erotic-ish. I envision a mother knocking on her sons’ bedroom door to tell him that dinner is ready, but as she turns the handle to enter the door is locked. LOCKED! This infuriates her! He could be doing drugs or doing masturbation. Both were illegal, nasty and moralistically wrong. She knocks harder. Yells loudly. The son yells angrily saying "MOM! I'm playing guitar!" and sez it louder a second tine because his Mom has a hasty habit of saying "Whhhhaaaaat?" most times when people address her. In a full blown yell, Dylan tells louder "MOM!!! I SAID I'M PLAYING GUITAR!!!

Yeah, most of this review was conceived while high. You noticed! You’re such a batman(c).

All it took was a few listens of Dylan McCartney’s self-made demos to hear the potential greatness that the now expanded (complete?) four-piece unit of Mardou has become. Good songs became great songs and now great songs are becoming phenomenal as this band finds it's placed in Cincinnati’s underground music heritage.

So. "Rimbaud" starts playing and after the scriffs it becomes apparent that this copy of the project may be compromised. What should have been "Rimbaud" sorta sounded like it... Like it was some sort of... 'Re-mix.' Laden with skips... It was unmistakable. Somewhat of a drag that would have had much more anger if I were a newbie to this bans and never heard the song before.

Mardou (l-r): E. A(e). E. D
Besides the compromised music portion of this initial listening, we were otherwise quiet. We were both trying our best to make something, anything from the frustration of expectations being stabbed through the ear with a hypodermic needle (it's not fun, trust me)

"I don't know about you, but I'm NOT in the pit!"  I say. "This does NOT sound like fun" (his personal catchphrase that he asks himself when he hears new music.

We chopped thru "Rimbaud’s" first listen. I heard this song before. I know what it's supposed to sound like.  It’s a solid song (I must emphasize that by repeating myself) but I had the power of already knowing. Someone who would be getting this and not having the luxury of knowing before hand would be mad. That could prove fatal for a new band like Mardou... To which I would say "Please stay with them. I promise the next thing will be the 'Real Deal Mardou'.

Even after record player arm adjustments. I nervously laughed. He continued to shake his head at the Uttley and semi-ridiculousness that was unfolding. We stood side by side when the second song, "Bounty Hunter," began.

Mardou’s "Bounty Hunter" is one of my favorite songs by this band and maybe from the many Cincinnati bands that ever existed. We both listened to the record standing up- Side by side. I can say that we at least it looked funny but that may have been the cannabis creeping in. The accompanying flag was also displayed in a dramatic reasoning that some form of undiscovered sonic-voodoo and/or procedure was needed in conjunction with the flag, a charming novelty of pure genius (I love flags) to get this record where it needed to be. Maybe this was the procedure to get shit right. The record could only work with the flag!

 So the flag was displayed. We continued standing for another try of "Rimbaud"

Nope. Trash. "Bounty Hunter" played again without problem. What a great song (still).

Honestly, I'm only writing about this release because I like this band. It's not like I don't like this record either... Well, actually I don't like this record, but I appreciate it if even on a level of notoriety and previously awarded reputation that Mardou have been awarded. I know this band is better than this release. Hang in there with me loyal Thwart readers. I promise, we gave only witnessed a soft introduction of this band concerning this release. I don't know how else to say it, this band is great. This release? Meh... I'm still glad I got it and it's taken a collection of small tedious moments since it's first listen to get this review(d)  out.

Tread lightly...

This 'for fans only' release may be a cannabis buzz killer to new interested parties. I'm just going to stop there. I keep going over and offer the same points about this band and this release when simply put its as simple as this:

This flexi=bad.
My Fav Mardou Pic. Blood Guitar.
Notoriety NOT novelty.

RIYL: Post-Punk, Joy Division.


a = Really, more of a banner but verily display worthy.
b = The one I threw across the room.
c = I’m Batmam
d = That really sounds more like a warning

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


Welcome to SHUT UP AND LISTEN: THE THWART TOP 25 PUNK SONGS. Your journey has just began motherfucker... This list, of the top songs that speak to the inner me is, and always will be, a work in progress. Each of these songs is a song that captured me and changed my impression of what punk is, was, and still is and more importantly, what it can still be! Every now and then I’m gonna add 5 more. The Top 25 will become the Top 30. The top 30 will become the Top 35 ect. This list of 25 is a base to start with. I chose these 25 jams to start with.

Currently the top 25 is still being established. Below is #’s 25-06. Previously in Bad Day At The Plastic Mines Zine #’s 2 and 3, you read from #25-14… This ‘master list’ has those plus MORE taking you down to #6! 

So yeah, there’s gonna be stuff missing from this list from its start. I knew that from the beginning. It takes a certain amount of guts to publicly do a list like this. If you so highly disagree with my standings then ask yourself this question: What would my Top 25 be? Then get some Chinese made raw bravery in isle 15 of your local Wal-Mart and do one yourself!

Lastly, remember, this list is for entertainment purposes only. 

SHUT UP AND LISTEN is dedicated to Josh Rutledge and everyone in The B.A.G. because I know this list is gonna start a debate and major upsets.

25.) "Ulythithum" by NATION OF ULYSSES 
from 13 Point Program to Destroy America (Dischord, 1991) 
I’m sorta unsure which song from this great release to pick cause they are all pretty great and moving in their own way. Nation of Ulysses’ 13 Points shown me the counter-revolutionary side of the counter-revolution. It wasn’t just a band; it was a movement, a decree... A line. Pro-candy, anti-sleep... It was all over before it began. I got 'new' soul don’t make me prove it.

24.) "Do They Owe Us A Living?" by CRASS 
from Feeding of the 5000 (Crass, 1978) It would be hard for me to believe that CRASS hasn’t been some sort of force in anyone’s musical memory. Yeah, when they did music and not that dreadful spoken word stuff (get to the fucking point!) they were 'on it' and made a sound all their own on any song or band they touched. "Living" is chosen from many great songs cause it’s not only a great track but also one I use to sing in a very early band. Crass introduced me to anarchist/leftist politics... Something I still ponder and babble about from time to time, maybe too much. I have promised myself to remain an 'idealistic' anarchist even now into my 40's. Contradiction is a huge part of punk-rock. Anarchist and leftist thinking gets no more realistically contradictive. Its almost beautiful even...

23.) "New Kind of Kick" by THE CRAMPS 
from Bad Music for Bad People (IRS, 1984/1981) 
Reading Jon Savages’ England’s Dreaming I wanted to be like Sid Vicious on bass with The Ramones album (yeah, I will admit that) and take speed and listen to an album and teach myself how to play. I was close... But instead of The Ramones first one, I had Bad Music, a collection of singles that 'taught' me how to play a bass. I was naive to think that every band had a bass player so when I was boasting that The Cramps were my Ramones, I didn’t realize The Cramps were one guitar strong. Wow.

22.) "The Man Who's Head Expanded" by THE FALL 
from Palace of Swords Reversed (COG Sinister, 1987/80-83) 
I assure you, if you are wondering about The Fall, this is a great place to start. Upon hearing this track, which came just before initial exposure to Joy Division, Its the perfect example of how The Fall, in all its multi-line-up drama (was and still is) one of the best bands. Piloting the plane, Mark E. Smith is special. The kinda special that makes you think, "Oh, this is an improvisational song" and whereas the arrangements are loose and varied depending on Smiths knob turning history, its fucking magical! He’s not speaking just non-sense, its his own perception. Mark E. Smith is the Beethoven of punk-rock, a mad genius.

21.) "Plastic Surgery" by ADAM & THE ANTS 
from V/A-Fun, Filth and Fury (Virgin, 1991/1978) 
Oddly enough a verily strong song for the whole aesthetics of why/what B-Sides exactly are, I first heard "Plastic Surgery" from a compilation tape but it was actually released in 1982 as the band was coming to an end with "Deutscher Girls" (Male Girls) occupying the A-side. It was this song that made me believe that yeah, Adam & The Ants were 'punk' after all! "Plastic Surgery" proved it. Even though this single was amongst A&Ants last stuff released, it actually is some of the earliest Ant songs originally used as part of the Jubilee movie... When 'becoming a bass player' in the 90's I would marvel at Plastic Surgery’s bass line.

20.) "Hot Sody" by THE SCREAMIN MEE-MEE'S 
from V/A-Killed By Death #3 (Redrum Records, 1989/1977) 
I was hypnotized by the minimalist beat and simplicity of the song but also the rocking factor and catchy chorus. The first KBD song that I attempted to sing-a-long too... The first KBD stand-out that would set a standard for me concerning what punk-rock is, was and more importantly, should be. 7-UP... The un-cola!

19.) "Street Where Nobody Lives" by THE PAGANS 
from Everybody Hates You (Crypt 2001/1977) 
Exhuming total confidence at the bottom of the barrel, The Pagans, Ohio's greatest contribution to punk-rock (as a whole) teaches one to define their own life rather than have life defined for you. It’s hard to pick the definitive song from the Pagans, and I spent more time than you could imagine picking thee song that would represent the sheer brilliance of this band in my eyes. "Shit Called Love" and "Eyes of Satan" and "Boy Can I Dance Good" could just as easily be seen on this list next time and also fulfill the punk aesthetics of isolation, self-destructive behavior, self-definition and good ol apathetic non-sense. 

18.)"Underground Babylon" by CATHOLIC DISCIPLINE 
from The Decline of Western Civilization Soundtrack (Slash, 1981) 
This track is definitely a standout from the movie and the main reason for going through any amount of trouble to acquire this soundtrack. I could listen to Claude Bessy talk for hours. Talk English for hours... English with that thick French accent that really adds to the whole feel of this band in the movie. Hit repeat (on the CD that is!)

17.) "Wish I Was Dead" by PVC 
from Punk Rock Berlin (Incognito, 1996/1977) 
"Waiting for WWIII" on Incognitos Back to Front series I was introduced to the wondrous PVC that I always felt was a healthy mix of The Sex Pistols, The Dammed and a bit of Ramones but when Incognito released a CD of their famed double LP that there was only 30 copies made (we must maintain the myth) to say the least, "Wish I Was Dead" raged and was stuck in my head for weeks. See, the Cold War was hot after all. When this track comes on, volume knobs always go up.

16.) "Margin Walker" by FUGAZI 
from Margin Walker (Dischord, 1989) 
Honestly, I had to work into liking the punk standards like Dead Kennedy’s, and even Minor Threat. Yeah, I eventually came around but from the first moment I heard "Margin Walker" on the radio, yeah... Radio (WOXY 97X "the future of rock and roll) I loved it. Fugazi spanned the bridge between themselves and Minor Threat. Also, Fugazi just so happened to be my very first punk-rock show, which was in Dayton, Ohio June of 1990. "Do you think they will do any Minor Threat songs?" asked my childhood friend… We both came round to Minor Threat verily fast. "Well, maybe 12XU because that’s originally by some band called WIRE" I responded and no. They didn’t do any Minor Threat songs.

15.) "Nausea" by X 
from The Decline of Western Civilization Soundtrack (Slash, 1981) 
I believe that X's Los Angeles could have been maybe the best punk album EVER if Ray Manzarek didn’t produced this album but also wouldn’t have been nearly as good if that piece of fuck wasn’t involved. It’s a double edge sword... Case in point is "Nausea" of which ManzarDICK ruined with his keyboards on Los Angeles and this is evident, in my opinion, about how great the version is on this movie. Fuck his keyboards! I need more triangle! I even told John Doe this exact statement during a solo in-store at Shake It Records. "Ahh. It was RAY MANZAREK producing X... Whaddya do? Said John Doe. I looked him squarely in the eyes and said "Tell him: ‘Don’t fuck this one up Ray’ for starters."

14.) "Back in Flesh" by WALL OF VOODOO
from Dark Continent (IRS, 1981)
I’ve always considered Wall of Voodoo a sort of newer, refined version of The Screamers but really, besides being a part of the congealing LA Punk scene i.e. The Masque, the two share little else. Perhaps no song can better express the drudgery of modern society’s views on manufacturing and 'human(s) [as] resources’ better than "Back in Flesh" (although "Longarm” another Voodoo song comes close). Pounding drum machines, clean guitars and the snide tongue and cheek vocals via Stan Ridgeway make this song constantly at odds with its mortal enemy: the volume knob. Up, up and away! If it’s too loud your too old!

13.) "Suburban Relapse" by SIOUXSIE & THE BANSHEES
from The Scream (Polydor, 1978)
Citing the same reasons already explained for Poly Styrene of The X-Ray Spex, Siouxsie Sioux also 'hit me' with her voc al pop, wail and impact. Just as The Germs (GI), "The Scream" is considered a pivotal release to me that is flawless when given proper attention and/or recognized for its brilliance when it was released. Dark, cynical and driving, Suburban Relapse is just one tale on the albums many that sets the scene and defies a genre called post-punk before it was called post-punk. Listening to "Suburban Relapse" you can clearly see that there is no bright future ahead, nothing to return to behind you... This song serves as an exclamation point to The Sex Pistols NO FUTURE (!) theme.

12.) "We Are The One" by THE AVENGERS
From Dangerhouse Vol. 1 (Frontier, 1991/1977)
How could anyone hear this song and NOT turn up the volume knob and then NOT sing a long? It’s impossible. Once again, DANGERHOUSE rules! I’ve read in reprinted interviews about Penelope Houston and early Avengers adventures and really, its all very inspiring. Denying everything, this Avengers song made punk-rock appear to be a movement and this song its rallying cry AND anthem as it could be a chant 'we are the one.' You want it? Take it. We can rebuild this tattered society but first, we have to destroy it. 

11.) "Elevator Ride" by EINSTEIN’S RICEBOYS 
from Milk of Amnesia (Pluto, 1981)
Still, to this day (and maybe for quite sometime) Milk of Amnesia remains not only one of my best finds of used vinyl but also one of my best blind purchases... You know, you pick up a record. Read the song titles, the cover and maybe even a lyric sheet, you take a chance and buy it. Hitting like a combo of Joy Division, Polyrock and Embarrassment, Einsteins Riceboys found the perfect spot between new eave and post-punk that makes this song and band damn near perfect. Milk was this bands second and last record. Jammed pack with great songs, catchy riffs and sing-a-long choruses, Milk soars with the intricacies of minimal part making an accumulative whole into a climax represented by Elevator Ride. As you go higher, so does the volum e knob. This band is just now starting to be recognized for their efforts and I’m hearing faint whispers of the possibilities of re-issuing. Who knows what other unreleased jems this band has. 

10.) "Sex Drive" by THE EMBARRASSMENT
from Hey Day 1979-83 (Bar None 1985/1980) This dissonant sing-a-long jam was first brought to my attention on Bloodstains Across The Midwest. It was only the beginning though. Whereas there’s some really great music released by this band that really isn’t that hard to find, it’s never enough for me. This song is thick with fear and good old fashioned rocking. I honestly haven’t figured out the whole story of this song but that’s not important. Talk about a villain to volume knobs everywhere, There are two principal rules with the Embarrassment 1) Eye glasses are mandatory and 2) Volume is your friend. Embrace it.

9.) "Oh Bondage, Up Yours!" by X-RAY SPEX
from V/A-Fun Filth and Fury (Virgin,1991/1977)
The first song on that tape, "Bondage" blew me away and forever changed my way of thinking about music. Instantly Poly Styrene’s vocal shrieks and pops captivated me. It empowered me. I would listen to this, and then wanna have Socials practice. Punk-Rock was about 'just doing it' and this song, which would also become a Socials cover, still gets turned up high after all these years.

8.) "You Die!" by THE COCKSPANIELS
from You Die (Rock Action, 1999)
I have been known as sharing discussions with comrades and bohemians alike on the subject of college to quote a line from this song "A college education is for pussy-fucks. Learn something baby, learn to duck!" This immortal line has been my solid argument concerning my reason I didn’t go to college. Filled and fuelled by angst, frustration and a call to action, the impenetrable Kenny 'Hussie' Halbert remade his stance and mission several times over. Cheatin' Hussies, Sweaty Weapons, Cockspaniels, Cockspaan, Batt Lion... Each version getting better than the last. You Die was recorded by Kenny on a four track instrument at a time. You can hear mistakes, punch in's and raw, furious energy that shoots this song to damn near perfection. The total 'Fuck Off' attitude exhumed in You Die is nearly unmatchable. The whole trick of the message is 'you die' over and over... There is no salvation in death, get them before they get you. Go on the offensive, you have nothing to loose because they don’t want what you got, nothing multiplied by infinity. You die over and over and you’re remade over and over. You die. Living forever.

7.) "Street Dreams" by THE GERMS
from Germicide (Bom p 1981/1977)
This wasn’t the first song I heard and loved from The Germs who are an all around personal favorite and one of the main reasons I just didn’t write about music but played it too... "Street Dreams" is the prime example of how GREAT and HORRIBLE The Germs were. Many would point out flaws and flubs and the unmatching drumbeat and Darby’s un connecting vocal and be totally correct in their assessment... But when I listen to Street Dreams I hear greatness! I STILL hear a great band that DID IT and dictate who and what they were rather than what everyone else declared. There was always something deeper with The Germs that some seen and many others didn’t. This band was genius from start to finish. Germicide was just the 'beginning' Their only album, GI (Slash, 1979) is still one of the single greatest triumphs of punk-rock EVER!

6.) "122 Hours of Fear" by THE SCREAMERS 
from (1978) 
"The Greatest band that never had a [legitimate] record" However there’s tons of bootlegs featuring spirited live performances and multiple 'demo' sessions... Which usually rock hard. Truly pioneers with synthesizes, drums and the theatrical Tomata du Plenty its hard (but not impossible) for me to find any single song that I would dare to say fails to encapsulate EVERYTHING that I love about punk-rock. 122 Hours is pure rage snd fear and confrontational. "Be Quiet or be Killed"... "You better shut up and listen!" Wow. Shit hits hard.

5.) "Insight" by JOY DIVISION
from Unknown Pleasures (Factory. 1979)
First hearing Joy Division thru a friend and his rolled down car window in a parking lot of a convenience store it was hot on the heels from my exposure to the Fall and, was in fact, listening to the Fall when approaching to ask about the deal and if 'we' scored. We did... But later that night the high wore off and I asked to borrow Unknown Pleasures and subsequently, never returned it. Insight is my favorite JD song. I found out that it was also Hooky’s favorite from that album also and that touched me a bit when I initially read that. Now, every time I hear the song not only does the volume knob go up but so does by fist in honor and admiration of Hooky, and JD.

4.) "Neon Toilet" by KILL THE HIPPES
from Will Not Overstimulate (Rock Action, 1997)
Shortly after witnessing Kill The Hippies live, I had the hairy balls enough to declare them 'the best punk band to ever breathe air' and I fucking meant it. This song, from one of their early line-up's was simply enough my Sex Pistols playing Manchester-- that is an indisputable catalyst for my personal punk-rock history. After seeing Kill The Hippies I didn’t start a band but rather re-imagined what the band I was in could be or would be. I wanted to do THIS. This song, this sound... I wanted to be this band. Overstimulate, a record I got the first time seeing Kill The Hippies live, is one of those rare records that forever changed my perception of punk-rock (thank god).

from Moving & Storage (Hospital, 1985)
When confronted with the question of one band in Ohio that captures the earliest aesthetics of punk-rock of course I picked The Pagans hands down. When asked the same question about Cincinnati, "My Son" is the song I chose. BPA supplied reason after reason in "My Son" to hit where it counts. Disenchantment, parental pressure to succeed. Claiming your own level of accomplishment. “My Son” is both the ultimate example of personal accomplishment and 'Go fuck yourself' attitude rolled into one song.

2.) "Trouble At The Cup" by BLACK RANDY & THE METROSQUAD
from V/A Dangerhouse Vol.1 (Frontier 1991/1977)
Right from the opening line “Dicks Fight. Fags Hate!” sung by a bi-sexual front man and general hell raiser Black Randy. This song is a call-to-action track that was the absolute first stand-out to me from Dangerhouse Volume 1. The lyrics are controversial, violent and I’ve even started to think of this as maybe one of the first forays of punk-rock into the realms of rap music by predating Blondie’s "Rapture" with Fab5 Freddy by 3+ years. If ever a song itself could be a rallying cry for urban revolt, it would be this one.

1.) "Final Solution" by PERE UBU
from Terminal Tower (Rough Trade/Hearpen 1985/1976)
My Mom threw me out till I get some pants that fit... It was hard to decide between "Final Solution and "Heart of Darkness" but the line in question was a deciding factor... living outside of society, feeling alienation no girlfriends... Its all here and no one sez it better than Pete Ubu on this track. I get chills sometimes as it plays. You can find a collection of their singles in a really cool box set or all one CD as titled above. Also, their 1st LP The Modern Dance (the title of the record first heard in the song "Untitled" as part of Terminal Tower) is essential to every collection... The follow up Dub Housing is interesting but it seems from Dub on out there is some unspoken rule about 3/4 of the songs just being too 'out-there' even by my standards... When Pere Ubu rock, the rock. When they are flexing the fringe avant-garage zone I even struggle.


Monday, October 14, 2013

No Turning Back Now- A Note about the Power of Impermanence

Since creating this blog.. July 23rd, 2011 I have saved everything I wrote as drafts on the computer as Im sue many of you that do blogs have.

In a swift decisive action, today I have deleted all of those in the name of impermanence.

In other words, I accidently deleted them and use impermanence as a tool to justify things.

Life is a hard fucker sometimes... 

All in it to win it now.


Spits + Useless Eaters + Subsets @ Mayday 10-17-13

Thursday Oct. 17, 2013  @ Mayday

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Bags “All Bagged Up! The Collected Works 1977-1980” LP.

Yessss! The Bags! After reading that LA punk book (you know, that one) my respect for Alice Bag and The Bags of course grew exponentially after the part where she beat up Darby Crash. Despite how much I like The Germs, this tid-bit stood out to me as quite awesome. Really, from all I've read in books, I’m not sure I would have really liked Darby Crash... On the other hand, I’m fairly certain that I would have gotten along with Alice Bag verily well. In fact she has recently in Cincinnati reading from her book, Violence Girl (Feral House, 2011), about how punk-rock (with the dash) changed her life, a story that has similar overtones with the 'regular' punk aesthetics of but its still a story you never really hear enough from. Violence Girl is Alice's story. I read select excerpts from the book and if the rest of the book is as good as the free sample I read was, then add it to your list.  

So this album starts off strong, as one may imagine, with the famed Dangerhouse material. Good shit. Time tested, motherfucker approved. The songs are exhibit A examples of all the unusual-usual punk ethics that still sound poignant today: alienation, social, political, good old fashion teen angst, violence and other various emotional overflow as like much other punk-rock music. I had actually yet to hear a standout track to me "We Don’t Need The English" and wow, that was a real treat in itself worth the LP's asking price (But let's keep that between you and me)... Overall, there’s no big surprise with this studio stuff. I knew it would be good from the few songs I had previously heard. Yeah, on vinyl… Warm sounding… All that shit. Blah. Blah. Blah… No, the true test of this collection, as I figured, would lay with the quality of the other stuff.... Live recordings... Band demo's... Outtakes... Shit like that. Danger indicators that tell the difference between a good must have release and the whole 'of course these tracks are on the B-Side cause they are filler' thang...

I will say though, before addressing that worrisome B-Side, that the insert of the album has detailed information and other funfacts about the songs and how they survived to make it on the record. That kinda stuff is always a great read with me. A good document of what the atmosphere of the LA Punk scene was inspired, or more likely pushed by and/or thru. A time that no written document can truly capture such an intensity. An intensity and time that has as many different views about the same thing that’s still be written, as well as played out, over and over again. A thing that is so trivial really: it's punk-rock not rocket science! Why is it so fucking interesting to schleps like me? What the fuck do people talk about besides punk-rock? Fucking NASCAR? Al Quida? How green their fucking lawns are? More importantly…

Why me? Why me here?

Brendan Mullen from The Masque also has a large write up about meeting the band and more of his take on the LA scene as an insert. You can ask ‘What more can be said about that time that wasn't already said by him in his work on the book We've Got The Neutron Bomb (Three Rivers, 2001)?’ and that’s a valid question. Once more, that’s the twisted grand drama punk-rock story still playing out. The same stuff, but yet different things to different people at different times… Despite geography, it’s everywhere and anywhere. Under every punk-rock, a forgotten golden turd that still smells like shit but smelling oh so pleasant too. 

You know, like how your own shit doesn’t stink to you (usually) but to others they really make a big fuss over it. “Dude, your shit stinks!” but then you say, “I’m sorry my shit stinks, unlike you, my shit does smell.” 

As it would turn out, the live stuff and the outtakes/extras are good too. All Bagged Up I find, is not only listenable, decent and favorable, but damn near a necessity to own. Not a waste-release at all. Whew… Like many others, I will admit: I was totally taking a chance with this one. Its not that I like, or prefer lo-fi recordings... I appreciate them for the same reason that I think others do. They usually mean unreleased recordings that for whatever reason, the band didn’t record 'professionally' which is a word I use verily loosely. This happens to be the case with All Bagged Up too.

Standout live/outtake tracks include "Car Hell” a rager if ever I heard one... "Disco's Dead" which was a project with some other guy for a contest associated with an anti-disco theme idea put on by KROQ. There are 20 tracks total here... If you enjoyed Rave-Up's Lost Punk Nugget stuff then this is right up your alley... Not one bit disappointed even though I will have to admit, earlier versions of this piece I had went back through cause I was being a bit harsh on Brendan Mullen a bit. Don’t blame me, blame society and that big golden turd stuck up my ass.

RIYL: Avengers, Killed By Death, Rave-Up Records Punk Nuggets, Punk-Rock (w/dash), LA Punk-Rock.


Monday, October 7, 2013

Read Loud: CVTTVNMVVTH (VVVV) "Toughsnake" Lyrics

In a stroke of pure fiasco, the lyrics from CVTTVNMVVTH arrived to me unexpectedly. They are worth reading and like some lyrics (i.e. Joy Division and Iceage, stand out themselves as word-beauty... This is a THWART exclusive.

Read Loud. 

beneath the valley of the valley
of the valley of the valley
of the valley of the valley of the valley oh yeah
beneath the valley
in the oceans
filled with potions 
filled with demons
drenched in water
til the fires touched down
beneath the valley of the valley
of the valley of the valley
of the valley of the valley of the valley oh yeah
throw in the televisions
like a mass grave
leave in the bodies of the weak
we have no time to be slaves

blood flowing backwards you

die in reverse
the driver's side window's been
shot out of the hearse
and then that day comes and they
dig up your bones
and dress up your remains
in old lady clothes
and make up vague theories
when all that they know is you're dead
and when no one's looking they'll take liberties in your stead
so many secrets your condition is forced to endure
hideous witnesses champions of the impure
your eternal slumber was never meant to be breached
but those kind of fantasies just happen to
fall within reach
seven years later your body is found
never made it into the ground
and the dirt is denied another meal
and the earth herself is crushed beneath the wheel
but the worms will find their way into your eyes
hideous witnesses swarming like flie

we live our lives in danger
we strangle every stranger
we never go it alone
there's always strength in numbers
we network like a virus
and we are legion in form
we work within the program
we use secrets like weapons
we know what they're for
they think they have us cornered
but we have all the answers
we are in total control
we know what hides inside you
we know you're paralyzed
we wield the pendulum
subjected to surveillance
there's always someone listening
they breathe so hard on the line
it's always been a struggle
to keep them out of our business
we've known it all our lives
they keep meticulous records
but we balance the equation
we'll tear the clock from the wall
we know the end is coming
we know just what we're in for
nothing short of war
we know what hides inside you
we know you're paralyzed
we wield the pendulum

Tiny sparrow in the snow
Broken wing and broken toe
Took him in
Fed him bread
Then I crushed his little head
Helpless pigeon in the mud
Filthy feathers caked in blood
Save her from a life of hurt
Neath my boot
She turns to dirt
Baby robin in the grass
Baby worms crawl out her ass
In my hand
Feels so soft
When I pull her feathers off
Everything dies for a reason
Everything dies for a reason
everything meets an unfortunate end
and it should come as no surprise 
how easily we die
all in all it's best to pretend

We went there as children
We left full grown men
We learned how to torture
And betray our friends
Dutiful soldiers
Following orders
A house full of orphans
Like twigs in a fire
Do as you're told they said and that's just what we did
You tell me  a secret and think I'll believe you
But I know it's likely a lie
You can't take an honest man at his word
But there ain't nothing good in this whole goddamned world
Sent on a mission
Cross enemy lines
We weren't to be noticed
No one should have died
But Watts was on lookout 
He got scared and ran
We finally found him
Blood on his hands
They said do as you're told  and that's just what we did

wrap a snake around the moon
pull it hard til it comes down
wrap a snake around the earth
squeeze til it died, with no sound
wired to the sky (x4)

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Friends of Dorothy // The Crazy Squeeze

I have one of those turntables (Pioneer PL-990) that has an automatic arm that I slathered with labels and silver sharpie marks to 'stupid-it-down for me to get my 'control-room' on. I had all intentions to just say a few words about FRIENDS OF DOROTHY and post it but something is wrong.

Like I said, my controls are stupided down...  So I don’t have to really guess if the button saying 33 1/3 or 45rpm is engaged... I don’t need to take the best of three choices to start, stop or to elevate the arm... And I don’t have to stop and think if the toggle is set up for a LP or single... Over all, it’s a good turntable. A great product but when I put Friends of Dorothy on and went over my pre-listening checklist; rpm's CHECK. Record size? 7" CHECK. Lets go. I hit START and the record drops not at the START but after about 3=5 seconds from the songs actual start. So is he record a defect OR is the record player fucked up? Place bets now...

So I grab for a 7" from my un-listened bounty that pretty much sets me up for the next month and a half... And after all, it's almost as if I’m entering another buying frenzy... Not nearly equal of my previous splurges from 1995-2002 but still, got a lot of stuff to get to that I feel needs words.

I find a recently arrived gem THE CRAZY SQUEEZE "Younger Girl" b/w "Terminal Love"... Nope, that record plays just fine with my control settings.

Anyway, Friends of Dorothy hits with a four-song e.p. titled Jimmy Jansson e.p. (Spastic Fantastic, No year) I know absolutely NOTHING about this band and with the world at my fingertips just as much as the other guy via the Internet, I’m just gonna leave it at that. Information can be such a bummer. In a time and age where you can verbally ask a computer a question verbatim and get a bit of snide attitude back, the act of ignorance may become the next big fad. Its hip to not know.... I do know the 7" (salmon colored vinyl or something close to it- maybe even red) has a nice package and sounds great. They hit like a Futueheads with their quick wit and appear to wear suits well. I do not wear suits well. If I did, I would always wear a suit, a three piece suit, but I would just end up appearing like a stupidid down version of William Howard Taft and couldn’t go anywhere without a Philipino shaking my hand...

With each listen the Jimmy Jansson e.p. got better and better. Mod-Rockish. 'Mum' instead of 'Mom' there's something afoot here... You know what they say, once you get into power-pop you just cant stop and that is so true... Well, its clever enough to be true but really, I just made it up.  A mind-shit captured in the wild. The release may be a bit too slick but it doesn’t bother me one bit. It’s a good listen.

Unfortunately, this one review has turned into a dual review. This Crazy Squeeze 7" is some BIG stuff. Even more polished than Friends of Dorothy. This is a 7" single (Rapid Pulse, 2013). The A-side, "Younger Girl" with the piano sounds like some sleazy glam-punk... sorta NY Doll-ish or even Bowie-like. I can picture platform shoes. The songs bounce brings to mind a lil' touch of Shock Troops era Cocksparrer (yeah, I know, weird...). It’s a ballad... It sounds like quite an accomplishment or form of culmination. The Crazy Squeeze us going for it on this record. A closer inspection reveals two members have the name 'Johnny'. Of course they do. I should probably look up the B-Side of this single. "Terminal Love" doesn’t get the same credits as the A-Side. I don’t recognize hearing it anywhere before but I guess I’m not in a big mood to take the time and find the facts. I’m not a journalist; I’m a fucking enthusiast. (again). The song degrades into "Knocking on Heavens Door" which I feel indifferent about, whatever. But ends up going out with a repetitive "Terminal Love" wand a lil bit of guitar wanking before the repeating. Good Record, I know it kinda sounds like I hate it. but not really or i would waste my time reviewing something I bought.  I'm into the idea of hearing more from them.

Is that a tribute-ish roll call I'm hearing in there just behind the "Knocking On Heavens Door" part? Naming 'rockers' that died in tribute? Sounds like it but seriously, ODB? Sorry, that sits sour with me.  Detention (Killed By Death #2) said all that shit best with "Dead Rock and Rollers" Fuck ODB. If "Terminal Love" is in fact a cover (I will go retrieve Killed By Death #2 from my record shelves in the name of referencing- but still refuse to google it) maybe I would have liked it more if it was, in fact, a cover of “Dead Rock and Rollers"

But shit, it may sound like I’m in a grump-a-dump kinds mood but I’m not. Really, I got a good thing going... I’m sitting within arms reach of a keyboard writing this/these review(s) turning and flipping these two records back and forth. Using a TV tray as a mini desk with my bruddy, the volume knob also within reach (though it does take a bit of a lean) and all the lights are off except a low wattage soft light. It’s been a dreary day in Cincinnati. Rainy... and I love it. The suns shown for about a straight hour today and got the fuck back behind a cloud where it belongs. "Do I look stupid sitting ere like this?" I asked Julie. "I think you know the answer." She s right. But that’s ok. It’s not easy being Public Idiot #1. Someone’s gotta do it. Who better than I?

Friends of Dorothy
RIYL: Futureheads, Shoes, Vapors, Power-pop, 

The Crazy Squeeze
RIYL: Cheap Trick, Cocksparrer, NY Dolls,