Category Archives: 00’s

Dearest Danzig…Fun Fun Fun Fest 2011 Still Ruled.

I am sure many of you caught my last post about good ol’ Danzig’s awesome show I caught at Fun Fun Fun Fest this past weekend.  Love it or hate it, Danzig’s set on Friday night had the potential to ruin my weekend.

I knew the plug was going to get pulled the moment he announced to the crowd that they were told they could only play 5 more minutes.  That’s why I grabbed my camera and took that terrible video.  I wanted to capture the moment shit hit the fan, and I did.  I just discovered the Spin.com has used the video in one of their posts.

Prior to that announcement, I was finally starting to get into the set, granted the band just played “Vampira”.  I will not lie, they could have sounded way better.  I am sure there was a multitude of factors that resulted in what I heard.  It was windy as hell out and the equipment was heavily used all day , but there is no doubt in my mind that the band’s techs were not satisfied with their sound check.  Not only did the asshats do an impromptu sound check while the Murder City Devils were still playing (dicks), but they also had that extra 45 minutes before Danzig went on stage.

One of the whole reasons I went to Fun Fun Fun Fest this year was to check out the Danzig Legacy.  I was so hoping to hear “Hybrid Moments” and maybe even “Hollywood Babylon”, but we all know that was not the case.  Instead I heard heard Danzig, including 2 mediocre songs, some not so good sounding Samhain, and you know what happened after…

Plug pulled + Temper tantrum on stage = Me leaving and getting awesome vegan pad thai in downtown Austin.

Danzig make $100k that night and never finished his set.  The fans were all disappointed, and I was too.  Face it, we were all standing in front of the Black Stage to hear Misfits songs and nothing else.  With the time limit, one would think that Danzig could scrap one part of his set and focus on what people really wanted.  I felt worse for Doyle who probably just caked all that make-up on his face before coming out on stage.

Don’t worry, I did not want to tear off my Misfits tattoos and stomp on it after what I saw.  Hell, I am still a fan and always will be.  I was just pissed that Danzig was acting like a diva but also knew that I had 2 more days of Fun Fun to look forward to.  Perhaps the Misfits, the REAL Misfits, were never meant to be resurrected.  I do not care what Danzig has done for the music world, all I know is what I saw was unprofessional and beyond rockstar.  He was given fair warning of the time limit, did not want to even play, and then pulled his shit.  You know what?  I’m done talking about it.  Maybe if the Danzig calamity happened Sunday night I would have a different “Attitude” about the weekend but it was only night one.

I was already in a great mood after seeing Murder City Devils and Russian Circles take the stage Friday night.  Saturday I got to see Hot Snakes and The Damned (both were mind-blowing).  Sunday I saw Eyehategod, Kid Dynamite, Cannibal Corpse, HUM ( amazing) and eff’n Slayer. I also throughout the weekend saw Major Lazer, Diplo, Childish Gambino, Big Freeda, Spoon and Del The Funky Homosapien.

There was one quick performance though that just made me happy to be a part of the entire weekend.  While my friends and I were walking across Auditorium Shores to check out a veggie hot dog eating contest we noticed that there was a band covering Misfits songs on one of the main stages.  We all stopped dead in our tracks and literally ran to see what the hell was going on.  We caught the end of Ted Leo and the Pharmacists’s set where Leo and friends were performing their Misfits cover band TV Casualty.  It was awesome, it was funny, and it sounded awesome.  The four songs that Leo and crew played made up for the bullshit Danzig stirred up Friday night.

I’ve been to a whole bunch of festivals in my time.  This years Fun Fun Fun Fest was the best one I have ever been to and I was only at maybe 1-1/2 of it.  I missed all of the early shows due to other things going on in Austin like eaten grub or getting a sweet tattoo (stay tuned for that).  I was ok with missing a couple of the acts as the main ones were in the evening.  I got to see MCD, Hot Snakes, and HUM all in a weekend.  How cool is that?

This is not a review.  This is me declaring how much fun I had last weekend.  Great music with the greatest of friends, old and new.  Throw in the sweet motor-boating I did on a healthy rack right before Slayer and, my friends, I may have had one of the best weekends ever, in fact, I know I did.  Thanks Austin.  Thanks Fun Fun Fun Fest.  I wish it was last weekend all over again.

DIY Punk Rockers Explosivo! Given A Second Chance…

Once upon a time there was a melodic punk/indie/rock band called Explosivo!.

Hailing from the quiet town of Long Island, N.Y., the band featured a group of guys who you can now find in acts like Iron Chic, Wax Phantom and Small Arms Dealer.  They were good, they were damn good.   

Dead Broke Rekerds described them as a mix of  “Piebald & Pantera hanging out at Guns ‘N Wankers house.”  Sadly they broke up in 2001 so finding anything by them has been quite the challenge.

Lucky for us Dead Broke Rekerds & Limited Pressing were nice enough to re-release a hidden gem of a DIY album.  Released digitally on  BandCamp (see below) as well as vinyl, it is almost like Explosivo! has been given a second chance to be heard by anyone who might have missed them long ago.

If you are a vinyl fanatic like I am hurry up and grab onebefore they sellout.  Act even faster and you might score yourself a glow-in-the-dark version that is limited to 50.  At $10 you can bet your grits I already grabbed one!  Plus the rest of the Dead Broke Rekerds store is full of awesome swag and shipping is only $4!

Want to hear some Explosivo! now?  Enjoy:

Album Review: Fat Music Vol. 7 – Harder, Fatter + Louder

Hey kids, I want to let you in on a little secret.  Before the internet and digital downloads were around, there used to be this thing called a CD compilation ( and before that they were  called cassette compilations).  It was a CD full of choice tracks that record labels would sell at a discounted price (usually) to help share the music of bands that appeared on their label.  No, I am not talking about that never-ending Now That’s What I Call Music series (seriously, when the hell is that garbage going to end?).   I’m talking about music that actually mattered: non-comercial goodness.  More specifically I am talking about punk rock comps.

Today there still are comp CDs released out there, but they just are not the same and most are digital downloads in an effort to save money in this ever struggling business music.  AMP Magazine did a good job for a while there releasing free comp CDs with their magazines, but after a while I just got bored with them.  The 2cd Warped Tour comps are good and feature a ton of bands on them, but I can not stand most of them.  It just seems like the comp CDs of my younger years always had quality songs from great artists that I could appreciate.

Back in my day, man I sound old, I used to eat up punk rock comps when they came out.  Labels like Fat Wreck Chords, Nitro, Hopeless, Vagrant, and Recess (just to name a few) released some killer comps in the 90’s that helped supply new music to my ears.  I did not have the luxury back then to sit at a computer and type in “new unheard of punk rock music I will enjoy”  and get instant results.  I actually had to go to a music store, many of which are extinct, and BUY an actual CD with money and not a debit card.  Ok, I think you get it.

Whenever I think of punk rock comps I always think of the Fat Music series.  Created by Fat Wreck Chords in 1994, the Fat Series were a series of comps featuring bands on their label that were sold for cheap.  I loved the variety on each release and always found a new band on them to appreciate.

Keep in mind this was before you were able to burn CDs at the click of a mouse.  You kids these days have no idea how easy you have it.  I remember the days where I had to actually make mix-tapes because it was the only way…  So yes, comp CDs were where it was at.

The Fat Music series stopped in 2002 with Uncontrollable Fatulence and soon moved on to digital downloads like everyone else as it was a new era of music and, let’s be honest, they needed to cut corners to keep the business alive thanks to illegal downloading.

I really thought that it was the end of a good thing, that is until Fat Wreck Chords dropped Harder, Fatter + Louder last November.  After a 8 year break, the god people of Fat Wreck Chords decided to drop an all new comp featuring newer acts as well as older contenders. I felt like a kid all over again once I had the copy in my hands, I even used my teeth to rip the plastic off the CD.

On the 7th volume of the series, Fat Mike – owner of Fat Wreck Chords, took 22 songs from upcoming Fat releases as well as a couple older tracks that dropped around in ’09 and ’10.  The result is once again a perfect mix of tracks by a bunch of talented bands.

I was stoked when the first song, “For Better, For Worse”, played on the CD by a band I was not familiar with.  It was an instant reminder why I always loved comp CDs.  The band called, Old Man Markley, is not like any band I have heard on the Fat Wreck label as they are more a folky friend jam that emulates both Flogging Molly and the Avett Brothers in a way.  Coincidentally, their debut on Fat entitled Guts N’ Teeth just dropped this past Tuesday.

Throughout the comp, there were a lot of acts I was already aware of like The Flatliners, Mad Caddies, Tony Sly, and of course NOFX.  Honestly, Old Man Markley was the only band I did not know of prior to listening to the comp but I was stoked to hear new stuff from Cobra Skulls and Chixdiggit!.  Most of the tracks were from upcoming albums giving a taste of good things to come and the rest were obviously already released gems.  Regardless if I had heard them before or not, the collection of songs brought together was good.

If Fat Mike asked me to make a mix I honestly think that: a.) That would be the absolute shit. b.) I would have a hell of a time taking the right songs and limiting them to just one CD – I’ll leave it to the pros.

If you are looking for a punk comp this year go out and grab yourself a copy of Harder, Fatter + Louder.  At just $8 bucks for the CD, there really is no excuse not to get this if you like your rock punk.  Come on, all the cool kids are doing it.

DOWNLOAD THIS! – Cobra Skulls – “Hot Sand”
DOWNLOAD THIS! – Old Man Markley – “For Better, For Worse”

Concert Review: Social Distortion / Lucero / Frank Turner – 10/24/2010 – House Of Blues – Cleveland, OH

Three different levels of rock took place last night in Cleveland thanks to Social Distortion and their hand-picked bill.  The punk rock icons made a stop at the House Of Blues Sunday night with special guests Frank Turner and Lucero.  The venue was packed from end to end with tickets selling out weeks ago leaving the last minute fans standing in the rain looking for extras – literally.

It’s been a little over four years since Social D took the stage in Cleveland, far too long of a hiatus.  It was no surprise at the amount of fans who lined up outside of the venue waiting for the doors to open.  Everyone in line looked excited and knew exactly what was going to be happening in just a short time except for a Cleveland police officer who pulled his motorcycle up on E. 9th asking if anyone had an iPod with Social Distortion on it so he could see what they sound like.

Opening act Frank Turner took the stage just after 8 p.m. to a very full and energetic crowd.  This was his second visit to Cleveland ever and this time was much better than before as he was not battling the flu and none of his bandmates slipped on the stage and fell on their ass during the set.

Playing “Try This At Home” it was clear that more people in the crowd this time knew who Turner was as they sang along to his folk rock songs.  Turner excitedly announced a new sing-along called “I Believe” and taught the crowd their parts.  Needless to say, the song was amazing and provided a nice hint of what his new material sounds like.  He continued with “Sons Of Liberty”, the ever catchy “The Road” and also played “Photosynthesis”.  The set was shorter than the crowd would have liked but was enjoyed by all.

Good ol’ boys Lucero took to the stage after a brief break and did their best to win over the crowd.  Sadly not as many people seemed as excited during their set but there was a nice chunk of true Lucero fans who sang from the beginning till the end as loudly as possible making sure all their surrounding neighbors realize they were missing out on something good.

The southern rock act played through their set including “I’ll Just Fall”, “Sixes & Sevens” as well as “Noon As Dark”.  They sounded amazing live and appeared so happy to be on the stage with lead singer Ben Nichols even saying “This is a dream tour for us.”  “Mom” was a highlight to many in the crowd who all knew the lyrics by heart as was the set ending “Tears Don’t Matter Much.”  Their set flew by entirely too fast and many were wishing that was not the case.

Social D made way to the stage with lead man Mike Ness donning an almost rockabilly / Swingers outfit with baggy khakis and a white button up shirt.  After absorbing the cheers from all over the venue Ness was handed a guitar and the band broke into three classics “The Creeps”, “Another State Of Mind”, and “Mommy’s Little Monster”.  Looking and sounding solid as ever, the band played with great energy and soaked in all the excitement from the crowd.

“Sick Boys” got the fans moving around as Ness and crew thrashed about the stage while everyone sang along – Rock N Roll never sounded so good.  With beers in hand and eyes focused on the stage, Social D continued with “I Was Wrong” as well as played a new song from their upcoming album entitled “Still Alive”.

Moving around their catalog, the band played older and newer tracks including “Ball & Chain”, “Bakersfield” (another song from their upcoming release) and “So Far Away”.  For having been around for 30+ years, the band showed no signs of being too tired to play or any hints that their musical career would be ending anytime soon.  By the sounds of the cheers it was certain that everyone was enjoying themselves at one of the better shows that has come to Cleveland.  Add in “Prison Bound” and Cash’s “Ring Of Fire” and many Social D fans were beyond satisfied with the set.

The only downfall of the show that could be seen were the folk who just didn’t know when to stop throwing back drinks – more so than other recent shows.  It was quite apparent that a lot of Sunday night concert goers would be calling off Monday morning.  A couple fights erupted, one during Lucero, and a select few fans were so piss drunk that they could not stand on their own two feet halfway through the main performance.  Nevertheless the surrounding crowd was unscathed by their actions and paid attention to the real reason they came to the House Of Blues: To take in a Rock N Roll show by one of the best acts out there.

January 18th, 2001, Social Distortion will be releasing Hard Times & Nursery Rhymes, the band’s first release in over six years.  By the show that the band put on last night, it’s evident that excitement for their new album has reached higher levels.

Social Distortion Setlist:

The Creeps
Another State Of Mind
Mommy’s Little Monster
Sick Boys
Don’t Drag Me Down
I Was Wrong
Bye Bye Baby
Still Alive
Ball & Chain
Through These Eyes
Bakersfield
King Of Fools
When She Begins
Making Believe
So Far Away
Prison Bound
Down Here With The Rest Of Us
Cold Feelings
Ring Of Fire

Coheed & Cambria / Porcupine Tree / The Dear Hunter – Nautica Pavilion – Cleveland, OH – 08/26/2010 – Concert Review

Last Thursday evening progressive sci-fi rockers Coheed & Cambria headlined a triple bill with help from The Dear Hunter and UK’s Porcupine Tree.  The triple bill landed on a comfortable cool evening at the Nautica Pavilion, a perfect night to take in a show.  The venue sadly was not packed at all as ticket sales suffered but all who did show up that evening enjoyed three levels of prog-rock any aged fan could appreciate.

A fine mix of Coheed and Porcupine Tree fans gathered around the stage to give the night’s openers The Dear Hunter a chance.  The alt-prog act from Boston, Massachusetts took to the stage while the sun slowly crept away to open up the night.  Upon their first couple songs much of the crowd did not seem to pay attention but soon were sucked in to what sounded like a Mars Volta meets Queensryche.  Their set seemingly became more impressive through the lengthy songs to the point where people started turning their heads to the music.  Not being too familiar with their material I was impressed with what i heard.

UK’s Porcupine Tree took to a freshly vacuumed stage – yes, someone vacuumed the stage prior to them taking it – just after 9pm.  Older fans of the band, that started as just a concept in 1987, gathered around the stage and focused all of their attention to the band and the visuals being show on the backdrop.  Opening with “Ocean’s Razor” it was clear that I had never heard of them before.  I for some reason thought they were a newer act but was just a little bit wrong as I soon discovered they have been around for a little bit.

At one moment lead singer Steven Wilson asked everyone in the house if they sounded ok due to the position of the stage.  He then commented that everyone was treated to two shows – them and the Cleveland skyline.  Comically declaring “that’s one big reverb” got more than one laugh from the crowd but also hinted to the soundboard that they were not happy with their sound.

The videos that played behind Porcupine Tree was full of random clips and psychedelic light shows that periodically would sync up with the music.  At times I would almost fall into a musically fueled trance watching the screen trying to figure out what was going to happen next.  The prog-rock was almost a prog-jam during certain moments of their set was a lot more progressive than I anticipated but delivered a killer set.  I know I was not the only one impressed and I am pretty sure a lot of the younger Coheed fans went home later that night to check them out a little more.

The band thanked the fans for their support, thanked Coheed for their invitation, and then announced that it was the last night of their tour and that they would be retuning home.  For a band that has not really been plastered all over the radio it was refreshing to see an act 23 years in the making take the stage and play their hearts out showing no indication that they will be slowing down anytime soon.  I will be checking these guys out a lot more now that I saw them.

Porcupine Tree Setlist:
Ocean’s Razor
The Blind House
Great Expectations
Kneel & Disconnect
Drawing The Line
Open Car
Russia On Ice
Anesthetize
Trains
Blackest Eyes
The Start Of Something Beautiful
Way Out Of Here
Sleep Together

The headliners of the night, also known as Coheed & Cambira, took to the stage and opened with “In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3”. Claudio Sanchez and crew tore up the stage with their sci-fi prog rock goodness to all of their adoring fans, well, those who decided to show up. The pit was sparse and the bleachers were not filled that all. It was almost depressing to see the turn out of the evening as many of the older fans who came to see Porcupine Tree headed out after their set.

Coheed did not let that bother them at all playing through with “The Suffering”, a song I sang along to as loud as possible. Continuing with selections from their latest release Year Of The Black Rainbow the band rocked out to “Year Of The Juggernaut” and the acoustic “Pearl Of The Stars” with Claudio whispering to the adoring crowd.  Starting strong the band had a couple of lulls in between songs but kept the momentum going with “Delirium Trigger” and closed out with the always amazing “No World For Tomorrow”.   With fans screaming for more the band took the stage for a couple more songs ending the night with one of my favorites “Wake Up” where the entire place sang along with lighters in the air.

Having seen Coheed many times in my time including last year at Bonnaroo I could not say this was the best show that I have seen by them but was far from terrible.  The fans sang along with practically every song but at times when Caludio turned the vocal duties over to the crowd it almost became difficult to hear them due to lack of a bigger fan base supporting guest duties.  I would have loved to seen more people fill up the venue that evening but at the same time was perfectly contempt with the almost seemingly intimate set.

The term “you get what you pay for” came to mind after the show’s end.  Three amazing bands took to the stage that night with long sets giving all who attended their money’s worth.  I do wish that some of the Porcupine Tree fans stayed a little longer to check out Coheed before calling it a night.  I am pretty sure they would have enjoyed what that amazing band had to offer.

Coheed & Cambria Setlist:
In Keeping Secrets Of Silent Earth: 3
Ten Speed (of God’s Blood And Burial)
Here We Are Juggernaut
The Crowing
The Suffering
Pearl Of The Stars
Everything Evil
When Skeletons Live
The Willing Well 1: Fuel For The Feeding End
Delirium Trigger
No World For Tomorrow
Encore:
Wake Up
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