Last year I said I was going to SXSW. Not happening. I want to, I really do but I can not afford the trip to and from one of my favorite cities in the world…Austin, TX. I will make it there one day and that is a promise. 2010 will not be that year.
I also said I retired from the Warped Tour. After years of going to the punk rock summer camp I announced that I was going to quit. Well…
…and I lied.
If Face To Face plays the Cleveland Warped Tour you can bet your behind I will be there. Andrew W.K. is a must see for me as well.
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:
Any fan of punk rock music has probably heard of a certain SoCal punk rock band called Face To Face. Formed by Trever Keith in 1991 the band gained commercial success with their ideal punk rock style and soon achieved commercial success. Trever Keith was the only original member to stick through the good times and bad times and sadly the band decided to call it quits in 2003
With the decision to go their separate ways Trever Keith did not stop there. He continued on with his passion for music and started recording solo material as well as maintained his own record label. On top of that he worked on other band projects including Legion Of Doom, a mash-up project of out of this world proportions. He is without a doubt one of the busiest punk rockers out there and it not willing to call it quits anytime soon.
Recently I learned that Face To Face had reunited for a small tour and possibly more. I decided to get in touch with Trever Keith to ask him some questions of his past, present, and future. Trever Keith was more than happy to take time out of his busy day and answer some questions for me.
B: So I guess my first question would have to be what finally prompted Face To Face (F2F) to reunite for a few tours? I remember reading an interview a while back that you did not think it was going to happen.
TK: Scott [Shiflett] and I missed it and the offers started getting a lot more interesting.
Any specific offers in general?
Bamboozle 08 in Los Angeles was the clincher.
Who is all playing alongside you when you tour?
Scott of course. Sometimes Chad Yaro (depending on his availability, LA area shows are the most likely) and Danny Thompson on drums.
Any chance of expanding the tour? I see that F2F is playing some shows in California in November as well as a few select dates overseas in 2009.
As long as there is an interest from fans, we will be back out playing shows. We’re not looking at being back out on the road full time for F2F, but we are definitely planning some more stuff for 2009. We’ll just see how it goes.
Does this reunion tour mean there is a possibility that F2F might be back to record new material?
I suppose there is a remote chance. Although there are no plans.
Any real reason why F2F ultimately called it quits?
A desire to try some other projects and a sense that we had really run our course as a band. We didn’t want to overstay our welcome. But the fans have proved that the reality of that is completely the opposite. So we’re back as long as there is a demand.
Enough about F2F, let’s talk about you and your continuing vision with music. Even after the band departed you continued forward. You released a solo album on your own record label. Can you tell me a little bit about both?
I have a label called Antagonist. I had an indie distribution deal that was a complete disaster. I’m out of it now. My plans for Antagonist are sort of changing with the landscape, but I at least know it’s a place for me to release my own music in the future.
My debut solo record was in limited release but is currently not available. I had initially had it available for download for $5.00 on my website and I pressed up about 1,000 limited edition CDs for sale only at shows.
These were things I wanted to do for the core fans. I am looking at an “official” release for early/mid 2009.
Will your “official” solo release be under your label or has anyone else shown interest is having it on their label?
There is interest, but it will be an Antagonist release regardless of whether I’m involved with another label or not.
You toured in support of your solo release. How were the shows you played at? Were there a lot of old school punkers there checking you out? Were a lot of people asking about the band you used to front?
Most of the shows were amazing. They were small sized clubs. Some were better attended than others but most of the time that really didn’t matter. The people that came were so cool. I made a point of hanging out a bit after every show and it was really something special. Many of these people are F2F fans but also really appreciated the work I am doing on my own and that was really the point of this small club tour; to really just get out there for the die hard fans and get the music to them first. Now my challenge is spreading it to a bigger audience.
Any plans for a second solo release?
Sure but give me a chance to promote this one properly first!
What is Viva Death all about?
It was a project that Scott and I thought up about 5 years ago. The first record was really a joint effort but on the second record it started to become more of Scott’s thing. He is just now finishing up the third Viva Death record which from what I’ve heard so far is amazing. He played all of the instruments on this one, even drums. It’s really a testament to what an amazing musician Scott is. You can check out his MySpace for more info. www.myspace.com/vivadeathmusic
I have read about a possible other project in the works as well called Pablum? Not much is known about them. Anything you might like to share?
Pablum is just an early name for my solo effort. I decided to go with my own name for simplicity.
How did you become involved with mashing up songs in Legion Of Doom?
Chad Blinman is a longtime friend. I sort of convinced him to start this mash-up thing while him and I had some downtime. We really started digging in and get hooked into the project. We decided to give ourselves a name and some soundtrack and remix work followed. It’s a project that is an amazing creative outlet for us that is unlike anything else we’re involved in. It’s something I look forward to doing for a long time. There are many ideas in the works for Legion of Doom.
Where did the idea come from to do such a thing, mash up emo/punk songs and even add a little hip-hop action? I admit the first time I heard it I was hooked?
Well I’d be lying if I said it was all my idea. I was doing some work with Darren Doane at the time and we always had this knack for discussing all sorts of crazy ideas for projects and stuff. He had this idea to do DJ style mash-ups of emo/hardcore bands. Since he’s in film and music videos he didn’t really have the know how to pull off such an idea so I ran with it.
The CD Incorporated is out of print and pretty much impossible to find. Do you think you would ever consider re-releasing it?
We don’t have the permission from labels or publishers to release the CD, so probably not. Come to think of it, who made those first CDs anyway?
So you had nothing to do with the CD being released or do you have no comment? Haha.
What is your favorite mash-up so far that you have helped create? I personally love the Coheed vs. Senses Fail mash-up called “Devil In A Blue Dress”. It seems like the two songs were meant to be mashed.
Destroy All Vampires [My Chemical Romance vs. A Static Lullaby mash-up]
Just curious on how Cleveland artist Derek Hess was recruited to draw up the cover for the CD?
That was another Darren Doane connection. I met Derek through Darren.
A couple of the Legion Of Doom songs were featured in movies such as Saw II and Resident Evil: Extinction. Any plans on having more mixes pop up in future movies?
I’d love to. Nothing confirmed at the moment. The last thing we did for a film is a placement in the movie Pathology which just came out on DVD.
Eyes Front is a movie released on Antagonist Films. Any relation to your own Antagonist Records Label? What all did you contribute to the film? Is this just the beginning of you working a little more in depth with a movie?
Antagonist Films is the same company as Antagonist Records. The Legion of Doom did all of the original music for the film and I was a producer on the film. I would love to do more work in film, but I’m not currently involved in any projects at the moment.
How did you land the role of producing the movie (Eyes Front)? Have you had previous experience producing film?
Again Darren Doane was the one who got me involved with the film. I have had no previous experience.
Speaking of movies it seems like you take samples from older movies and add them to the mix, how do you come across some of those?
There are websites with such material. Just gotta know where to look.
Have you seen any of the fan made videos of Legion Of Doom mash-ups on YouTube? What do you think about your fans creating them?
One of the most satisfying things about creating something is knowing that people really get it. Seeing those music videos to me is proof that people out there are really getting what we’re doing and they’re taking it up a level by adding their own creativity. It’s a humbling experience.
What is next for Legion Of Doom? Would you/have you considered touring? Will there be another CD released?
We’re getting ready to release an entire album of new original material.
When you look at all that you have accomplished musically, how does that make you feel? Any advise to share with anyone looking to be successful in a musical career whether it be creating or remixing?
I have mixed emotions. On the one hand, I feel lucky to have had some success and I am proud of the body of work I have created. And on the other hand I want to achieve more both as an artist and performer. The only advice I could give is you have to be relentless.
What’s next for Trever Keith?
Look for Trever Keith’s official release of his solo album in early/mid 2009. For more information about what cities Face To Face is touring or to check out all the projects Trever Keith is currently involved in check out the following links:
I was just killing some time tonight when I came upon a post on Punknews.Org stating that Face To Face has started a reunion tour. Excuse me??? Apparently I have been out of the loop because I thought the band called it quits for good in 2002. I really hadn’t heard anything from them since.
Face To Face is a So.Cal punk rock band that was one of my favorites in the late nineties. Their one song that got major attention was “Disconnected”…
I am not sure yet if the band is going to only tour a couple of cities at this time in the US and overseas or if they will take it one step further and create and album together. I would love to see a new Face To Face album as they are one of those punk bands I wish never broke up.
I have been aware that front man Trevor Keith has been doing his own thing since the band split. In fact he has been doing a few things…a few things I was not entirely aware of.
First there is his solo material he has been working on and his label Antagonist Records. I had no idea Trevor Keith has been working on creating music on his own. Earlier this year he released his solo album Melancholics Anonymous. The album is available on his website via download for 5 bucks or you can send him some of your cold hard cash and he’ll send you a CD if he has any left. I am going to be dishing out 5 bucks myself so I can check it out. He has the album streaming on his site and from what I hear I like so far.
Then there is Legion Of Doom, a mash-up project like no other featuring Trevor Keith and producer Chad Blinman. The duo remixes emo, punk, and hip hop songs as well as creates original material, some of which have been featured in films. I have been a fan of this project for a couple of year now when I accidentally came across a remix of Senses Fail and Coheed & Cambira….
I love the sound of the two bands clashing together, it’s perfect (but you have to like the bands to appreciate it too of course). I also got a kick out of Claudo’s shorter hair on the video…. This song and others were released on Legion Of Doom’s debut CD called Incorporated. The CD is well out of print but you can find it out there in the digital world, I know I did.