Cheers to Bad Religion who are celebrating their thirty year mark as a punk rock band. To celebrate, the band offered a free download of live material this past week. If you did not get it I was able to find this link that may help. The live CD is incredible and is just a simple testament to all that even after three decades of being a band, they have no plans of slowing down anytime soon. To prove that point Bad Religion are currently in the middle of recording an all new album. Can you say The Awesome?
If for whatever reason you can not download it, head over to Spinner where they are streaming the album in it’s entirety.
You know what else is awesome and turned thirty?
The little yellow chomping head that eats ghosts after popping pills turns the big 3-0 on Saturday. This will always be one of the greatest games ever created. It was simple and to the point. I remember when my father decided to take me to Randal Park Mall one crappy Cleveland winter when I was just a toddler and picked up the game. If I am not mistaken he dropped about $70 on the 2-bit cartridge.
The version we got was for the Atari 2600 and it was nothing like the arcade version but we all played the hell out of it regardless. I blame that game for starting my addiction to video games and still play it every once in a while. The nostalgia that game brings is like no other.
Here, play it for yourself and bring back some memories…
Punk rock legends Bad Relgion (BR) recently announced on their website that they will be recording a live album and giving it away for free to all their fans. The album titled 30 Years Live will be recorded during BR’s 2010 tour and given away to all fans who sign up on their mailing list. If you are a BR fan, make sure you sign up so they can email you a link to the album for download.
Oh and if you have not heard yet BR will be playing back to back shows for a month starting March 17th. Sadly they will not be making it this way, but how awesome is that?
I just viewed a clip of an amazing video taken from a Bruce Springsteen live show recently where he brought punk rock legend Mike Ness on stage to play “Bad Luck”. Have you seen it?
This was just another one of those random concert highlights made possible by a live show with a performer who had a good idea for the evening and the fans who were all in attendance that night now have ultimate bragging rights as they can say “I was there.”
I have always been a fan of live shows and will always be. It’s one of those things in life that I enjoy doing and can not see myself quitting anytime soon. The atmosphere alone with screaming fans and endless smiles makes the experience worth returning to. I love being a part of the evening and telling friends what I saw the next day followed by a bold “I was there” bragging statement about something only the ticket holders that night got to see before anyone else.
I admit I do not attend as many shows as I used to but I still make an effort to hit a few local venues and festivals every year just to keep the momentum going. If a band I am a fan of rolls through town I do what I can to make arrangements to get to the venue that night to see them.
When not driving downtown to see shows I like to occasionally listen to a live show from the comfort of my home. It’s easy to say I would rather be in a packed club listening to live music as the experience is like none other, but sometimes just hanging out at home is good enough as well.
Having a decent collection of live albums I thought I would narrow things down a bit and ask myself:
What Are My Top 10 Live Punk Rock Albums?
What Are My Top 12 Live Punk Rock Albums?
Twelve is much better of a number to work with where there is so many live CDs to choose from.
Sure I could have a top live shows list from all genres but that would take me forever. As a music lover there are a ton of recorded shows out there that I own or have listened to that have had a huge impact on me. I think it would be best to start with baby steps with the genre of music that means the most to me; punk rock. I also decided to keep it to actual releases by record labels and include no bootlegs (although I have some amazing live shows that never were released…)
After pondering this question for a couple of days I soon realized how hard this was for me to answer. I had a nice sized list of live shows in my head but found it was no easy task to narrow down. For the record, this was a very difficult list to compile for me as a fan. There are so many other bands that deserve to be on this list but these top twelve mean the most to me.
In no particular order I here are my top twelve live punk rock CDs:
Social Distortion – Live At The Roxy Mike Ness and crew always put on a good live show and this CD is listening proof. Having been a long time fan of this band it was clear that this CD needed to be on my list. Mike Ness more than a punk rock legend, the guy, to me, is a god and will be playing his heart out on stages all over the world until he is 100 years old. I will never grow tired of this CD ever.
NOFX – I Heard They Suck Live Without a doubt this was one of the most entertaining live CDs I have ever heard. I remember buying the cassette and playing it over and over memorizing even the talking in between songs. NOFX puts on a fine show as well featuring all sorts of independent hits. I find it humorous that I list this CD directly after Social D because this show was played at the Roxy as well to a crowd of rowdy fans. If you have not heard it you are missing out, unless you are not a fan of NOFX.
The Clash –From Here To Eternity Live Ok I am sure you are wondering why this album has a big line through it. Truth is I loved this CD for years until I heard a recent live release…
The Clash –Live At Shea Stadium Now before you all jump on me and remind me that this CD is just The Clash (minus the original drummer) playing more popular songs hear me out. This show was not even a headlining show (they were opening for The Who) and the year was 1982; right about the time The Clash was headed on a downward spiral the would lead to the dismissal of the group. The set was shorter than their other live CDs but to me it was a great listen start to finish. I have listened to this CD a lot since it was released and it has made me reignite my love for one of the greatest punk bands of my time.
The Dead Kennedy’s – Live At The Deaf Club Just thinking of how this shoe was recorded in 1983 still amazes me. My first and only taste of a live performance by this band was when I heard the improv “Night Of The Living Rednecks” on Give Me Convenience Or Give Me Death. I was sucked in by Jello Biafra’s method of story telling on this track and of course a fan of The Dead Kennedy’s so it was more or less a bonus to me when a full length live CD was finally released. It also kills me that I was 2 years old when this concert took place. I’d love to hear from someone who was at this show just to hear their personal experience.
Ramones – Loco Live Do I really need to explain myself here? Over thirty quick punk rock classics on one CD from the band that started punk rock in the states. I don’t think many folk can disagree that this CD belongs in anyone’s live punk CD list. It’s not top quality but it sure is fun as hell.
Bad Religion – Tested This CD was not added into my collection for quite some time mainly because the CD was not readily available locally to me. Once I did get my hands on it though it became one of my favorite CDs to listen to by Bad Religion. I loved how the band recorded this CD, by plugging directly into their mics which in turn eliminated a lot of the crowd making for a more solid listen. With a solid setlist and exceptional performance by the punk rockers this is one of my favorite love CDs out there.
Flogging Molly – Alive Behind The Green Door This Irish punk rock act is, without a doubt, one of the greatest bands to see live in my opinion. One thing I love about this disc is that it was released before any of their studio albums and recorded at Molly Malones, the bar where this band got their start. There are not a lot of bands out there that have followed this approach by releasing a CD full of songs that later would be studio recorded on to various releases over the years. The performance is clearly under the influence but ever so much fun.
Misfits – Evilive The recording of this live show is horrible yet I love it. It is about the closest listen I have ever gotten to true live Misfits from back in the day. I did once witness the Misfits when Michael Graves took over the singing duties but it was no Glen Danzig and spite the good time I had it was not a genuine Misfits experience. This is a show I only dreamed of saying “I was there.” Full of classic songs, I also loved hearing Henry Rollins guest sing on “We Are 138.”
Death By Stereo – Death Alive Many people may have not heard this CD when it first released as it was first given out for free with issues of the Volume 3 issue of Law of Inertia magazine in 2003. In 2007 the live performance was reissued by the band as Law Of Inertia went out of print and many fans missed out on this incredible recording. If you are a fan Death By Stereo or just good wholesome hardcore punk you really should check out this CD. This benefit show is full of so much energy I am surprised no one was hurt in the recording of it.
Face To Face – Live: Face To Face Trevor Keith and crew have always had a special place in my punk rock heart. I love this band, always will, and this CD is listening proof of how great they are. The songs are all raw and full of energy and just impress track after track. When I think of a live album that I could listen to over and over again this is the one.
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones – Live From The Middle East Ska is not dead, never was, never will be. Ska may not be very popular these days but if you are a fan of the genre I suspect will be making a comeback soon, I am sure you know who the Bosstones are and very well have heard this CD. The performance contained in this CD makes it worthy of multiple listens. Such a great CD from beginning to end.
Against Me! – Americans Abroad!!! Against Me!!! Live In London!!! Singing and shouting and good times for all on this CD. If you only have New Wave in your collection I think it would be best to put that down and go out and find this CD. I find myself singing along as if I were actually at the show while listening to this CD. That to me is a good live album.
Again, this list was so hard to compile. I would make a list of a whole bunch of band’s live CDs and then start crossing them out once I thought of another. I am sure I will be hearing from a lot of folk telling me I missed someone and at that time I will smack myself in the head and hate myself for 9 seconds because I forgot about a phenomenal show. I am ok with that though because I know there are a lot of awesome shows out there. A lot of artists can be put in this list but after all, it is my top 12.
I’d love to hear what your top 12, 10, even 2 are! As music fans we are entitled to what we like and sharing the love for music is a great thing.
One of my buddies sent me an email the other day asking for me to give him a name of a band that he might have overlooked in the past. Between him and I we have always appreciated all types of good music, punk being the favored. He was looking for something to listen to, something good and I knew the perfect band for him to check out, the problem was I could not remember the name of the band for the life of me.
Am I really getting that old that I can not remember the name of a band? In my defense there is tons of music out there for your listening pleasure…
Well I did remember the CD had a blue cover. That is a start. Not a good start, but it was something.
All last night I thought good and hard what the hell this band name could be. I kept thinking the band was called Bender or Bekker but nothing would come up when I searched online. I eventually just gave up and went to bed.
This morning I woke up with a record label stuck in my head. The label was aimed towards the punk rock bands and was called Hopeless Records. One thing led to another and soon I was on the Hopeless Records website and was searching for the catalog of CDs. I was not expecting to find anything on the site but suddenly my eyes focused on a blue covered album. Just when I was about to give up I found what I was looking for.
So Kevin, this is the band I was trying to tell you about and if you have already heard of them you should check them out again for the sake of me stressing out trying to figure it out.
Heckle was a east coast hardcore/punk rock band from New Jersey formed in the mid-nineties. The bands first release was a split release with their friend’s band called AFI. They released their first full length under the now defunct Wingnut Records in 1996 and not even a year later were picked up by Hopeless Records and released their second and final CD called Complicated Futility of Ignorance.
The thing I loved about this band is that they sounded like all of the SoCal punk rock I was getting into at the time. One of my friends told me to buy it randomly one day and I was glad I did. It more more melodic punk rock over a hardcore feel and was just easy to get hooked on. It was perfect for a guy like me who was addicted to Face To Face and Bad Religion.
I have to say I am stoked my friend asked me to find him a band to listen to otherwise I may not have found Heckle again. They were one of those bands that disappeared unknowingly from my music collection but will once again be reunited into regular play.
I was unable to find any videos for your entertainment but if you want to hear more about this band you can check out the following links:
I was fresh out of high school, reckless, and an avid punk rocker. I went to the show with a big group of friends….we took our friend’s mom’s van that had the worst suspension ever. In fact we had to turn around on route 422 and swap the van out with another friend’s mom’s van.
One thing I recall about that show was there there were cameras all over the place, professional cameras. The cameras were on the balconies of the Agora as well as on the shoulders of cameramen. My friends and I got excited because we were going to be filmed during the performance. We hoped it would be released on VHS (that’s right kids, DVDs did not exist back then).
I owe that tour for introducing SoCal Surf/Skate punk rockers Unwritten Law to me. I am still a fan of them today. During their performance I noticed the cameras were not rolling so we all agreed that the camera were there only for Bad Religion.
When Bad Religion took stage we all went insane. I remember moshing and dancing and just acting like a complete fool. At times I was just falling on people and letting them push me around as I sang at the top of my lungs. I was being a carefree 19 year old and was loving every moment of it. For the record, I was sober too…I got carded when I tried to buy beers….haha.
As the years passed I slowly forgot about that show. Since none of us could ever hunt down that footage of the show we all figured it was lost. A few weeks ago one of my buddies who went to that show with me called me telling me he saw some footage of the show on YouTube. I was in disbelief yet thrilled that it surfaced. Well thanks to my busy like I completely forgot about that phone conversation until today when I logged onto YouTube and looked it up.
Sure enough, it’s Bad Religion at the Cleveland Agora 1996. It was a sold out show. My friends and I were front row slightly to the right of center stage. I laughed when I saw the pit because I know I was a part of it. I remember it so clearly and now you can see what I experienced…