Friday, January 25, 2013

This Week's Five for Friday is Gonna Be Late, Folks...

I'll be quick here. Work kicked my ass this week so I didn't have as much time to write ahead as usual (I'm usually able to squeeze in a couple of hours a week at work along with 2 dedicated to finishing the post Friday afternoons) but I do have the theme and songs picked. The rub is...I really need to finish writing the other half of my Top Ten of 2012 list. Yeah, I'm waaaaaay late on that shit. Plus, I'm recording a podcast in a couple of hours so...hopefully sometime this weekend? Til then, enjoy this nice little bit of lusty sleaze from Thee Headcoatees.

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Friday Five, Volume 5: Celebrating Death via Killed by Death

I didn't get my first iPod until sometime in the mid-to-late 2000's because I played with my Dad's (who is an early adopter of most technology) and fucking despised how it automatically retagged songs on its own. I bring up because during my latter college years, when these devices first popped up, I would still spend hours at my friends houses/apartments going through their collection of mp3's and vinyl rips and burn CD after CD of awesome music that couldn't usually be located very easily (you goddamned kids today are fucking spoiled!) if you didn't have a physical copy or someone to swap tracks with. Sure, there was mIrc but those chatrooms were basically places to cop new rips and Napster had already died and LimeWire just flat out fucking sucked balls.
So after doing some research I settled on something called an iRiver and it was just fucking majestic. The battery life lasted forever (for me this meant a trip to school, walks across campus in between classes, a few hours in the newsroom and then some time in library before the trip back home), it was super easy to navigate and use and best of all, whatever the fuck I labeled a folder is what it spat back out at me. Say, my friends Justin burned me a Devil Dogs mix off of their various albums and I uploaded it into the iRiver it wouldn't separate things by album or whatever but all under "Big Fuckin' Party Tonight!" (I'm pretty sure that's what that mix was called). This helped immensely when I started getting into all of the classic compilation series that have been released throughout the years chronicling some of the lesser known and sometimes forgotten punk and rock 'n' roll bands that crashed and burned before my time: Back from Crypt, Pebbles, Nuggets, Destination Bomp!, all of those (I believe) homemade Songs We Taught the..., Bloodstains and especially, the Killed by Death series.
One day, just out of the blue, my iRiver died an ignoble death while I was listening to the Raveonettes' Pretty in Black and there was no saving it. Apparently, after excessive use (and this thing lasted me longer than ANY iPod I have ever owned) it just shuffled loose this musical coil. I tried in vain to find something similar from the same company to replace but they got bought out or just quit trying or something. I tried out every alternative to an iPod on the market and ended up returning them all within the valid window, pining for my iRiver. I broke down and bought an iPod and was instantly PISSED THE FUCK OFF when it re-tagged basically my entire catalog. Even things that I ripped straight from a CD or the turntable got fucking mangled. It took me forever to fix and then a couple of years later, right before I was to DJ the Spits/Nobunny show at Rudyard's (a little over two years ago), the fucker died. I had spent what felt like an eternity chainsmoking in my room, swilling whiskey and delicately trying to fix whatever the hell Apple and iTunes had done to my library.  I made the iPod serviceable for the show and maybe six months later...BLERG!CRASH!BURN!BLAG! KAW! KAW! BANG! FUCK! I'M DEAD! I haven't had any issues with my latest replacement (so far) but the biggest headache whenever I try to dump my music on a new one is retagging all of those glorious compilations I still either have ripped to my external hard drive or tucked away in the few CD booklets I still have. Lately, I've been trying to rework ALL of the Killed by Death (KBD) comps which brings us to this weeks Five for Friday.
If you're reading this blog I'm sure you're already familiar with these brilliant pieces of punk rock anthropology but if you somehow stumbled here because I ragged on Jack Johnson a few years ago here's the skinny: KBD were a series of bootleg comps put together by a bunch of record collectors featuring some of the forgotten punk bands of the 70's and 80's. Imagine the punk showcase in Cheech and Chong's Up in Smoke but with WAAAAY better bands and you've got right idea. Most of these bands released maybe a 7" or two at most but some would go on to produce classic albums in the genre and a few even have seen their songs become part of the modern punk cannon. Originally, the first four volumes were released by a Swedish label called Redrum Record but after that some Australian guy pumped out a few and from then on it all kind of spiraled into people digging through their old 45's and putting out a record with the well established moniker, usually in very limited quantities. At some point during the history of the title curators would collect songs from a certain country and eventually the numbering (after number 7, by most counts) got wildly out of hand and last time I checked there were at least 40 or so versions of the comp in the ether. Rather than dig through the whole catalog (right now at least, I could just post #5 up here in it's entirety because it is that fucking amazing) we're gonna focus on five songs from the initial four volumes. Oh yeah, and once I came up with my list I realized all these songs share the theme of death (I'm stretching to include le petit morte for the first one, deal with it). Crank it up, kids!

Nervous Eaters - Just Head (1979)

When I talked about songs from these comps become part of the punk cannon this was the first one that sprung to mind. The Vikings, New Bomb Turks (who covered ANOTHER great KBD song we'll get to at another time) and countless others have offered their own take of this sleazy Boston classic. I first heard this song on Teengerate's Smash Hits when I think I was 14 or 15 and it became my favorite on the record. It wasn't until a couple of years later when someone pointed out to me it, and most of the album, were covers and turned me onto the Nervous Eaters version. I gotta say, as much as I love the original, is there anything in this world Teengenerate CAN'T improve upon? The Nervous Eaters eventually released a major label record for Elektra that came about after this was released, they added a second guitarist and got Ric Ocaseck to produce a demo for 'em. It's...not very good at all. To be fair, I haven't listened to it in ages because I thought it was pretty weak at the time (maybe it was the drugs or booze) but based on the strength of this underground classic their name still rings out and they even put out a sort of band history thing called Eaterville that, once again, I never bothered to check out because their album sucked so bad. But, hey! They put out an album! More than many on the KBD comps can claim! This is a delightfully filthy song that only young men hopped up on hormones, completely uncaring about their girlfriend's needs, driven by a pure id urges to get BLOWN despite any circumstances, could've written.

Lewd - Kill Yourself (1978)

A great band that started out in the Northwest (an early group featuring some of the members called the Knobs included Tomato Du Plenty of the legendary Screamers) and eventually moved to San Francisco later in their career. According to someone on YouTube the bassist used to get down with Rob Halford and helped form Metal Church. I'm too lazy to look into the veracity of that claim but it'd be pretty rad if it was true. This is one of the best produced and played songs on the early KBD comps. The drums are solid, the bassist isn't walking allover the song and even though the guitar seems to be coming through only one channel homeboy lays the riffs down hard. There's not much to write about this song since it's a pretty straightforward emission of youthful angst against an entity you can't physically destroy or even put a dent in so why not try to berate the fucker into oblivion by their own hand instead? A particularly nasty, morally repugnant little number. Right up my alley!

Heart Attack - God is Dead (1981)

This is a perfect example of a KBD band whose members went on to great prominence. Heart Attack were an early 80's New York hardcore band (even though they sound a lot like what was coming out of California  or DC at the time) fronted by none other than Jesse Malin of DGeneration. The song is short and to the point (as hardcore should be) with curt lyrics and really tight playing. One of the great bands of the early hardcore era you don't hear enough about.

Zero Boys - Stoned to Death (For Sexual Offences)  (1980)

Oh, man, do I love the Zero Boys. I know everyone is familiar with their more hardcore tinged album Vicious Circle but on the Livin' in the 80's 7" they sounded like a cross between Teenage Head and the Boys  (UK) and it's fucking great. What never changed during the bands tenure was their blunt and heavily politicized lyrics about drugs, government corruption, social chaos or, in the case of this song, stoning to death rapists, Old Testament style. Civilization's Dying is still their coup d'grace in their pantheon awesomeness but goddamn this is a close second and by far the best song on KBD3, not to mention a killer way to start off any album. Holy fuck, who would've thought one of the best early hardcore bands would've come out of some shithole like Indianapolis? Or that one of the guys in this band is a yoga instructor now. Actually, that last one makes total sense.

The Wipers - Better Off Dead (1978)

Arguably the most influential band to appear on a KBD comp. Mudhoney, Nirvana, Beat Happening, Dinosaur Jr., Poison Idea and countless others that helped change the course of rock 'n' roll were heavily in debt to this Northwest band masterminded by Greg Sage. Even though Cobain would rant about how much he adored this band to no end and even covered some of their songs the Wipers are, for some inexplicable reason, mainly a cult band in the U.S.. Well, Sage actually prefers it that way even though their albums Is This Real? and Over the Edge are rightfully considered punk classics of their era (fuck, of all time, really). There's always a heavy sense of dread and gloom over most Wipers songs and "Better Off Dead" is a great example not just of the mood the band could set but just how expert they were at constructing a brilliant fucking song.

Friday, January 11, 2013

The Friday Five, Volume 4: FACK THA PATS!

Sunday afternoon, the Houston Texans will face the New England Patriots to determine who gets to face (probably) the Denver Broncos in the AFC Championship and no one thinks the Texans can pull off a win. And yes, I include myself in that group.

Look, we got STOMPED by the Patriots last month and I can totally understand why no one is willing to give us a chance. They've got Tom Brady and Bill Bellichik, Vince Wilfork fucking demolished our offensive line and they're playing the game at home in Foxboro, Massachusetts. I went into Reliant Stadium last Saturday dreading an early exit from the playoffs and fortunately we were able to squeak out with a win. There were positives though like just about every facet of our game except for our horrendous red zone office and special teams that flat out blow goats. And then something happened that not only gave me hope that we would not just be competitive (unlike the last game that was, I believe 21-0 after the first quarter) but KICK THE EVER LOVING SHIT OUT THEM.

Pubeface head columnist for the Boston Globe, Dan Shaughnessy unleashed a hacky, gloating and just dickish column (I'm not linking to it here because I don't want to give them hits and besides, it's behind a fucking paywall) on Sunday about how, essentially, the Patriots have been gifted a second round bye in the playoffs even though they have to play a game this week. It got people all across Houston pissed and even running back Arian Foster took a piece of the column and made it his new twitter avatar. Texans fans began talking about "bulletin board material" (football code for locker room motivation), local journalists thought he went way over the line (the Texans are a fucking 12-4 team, after all) and pubeface even showed up on a couple of Houston radio stations where he basically admitted he couldn't really back any of the specific shit he spewed about the team and that people from Houston know more about football than he does and that many of the counterarguments he had came across were correct. See, this is what Shaughnessy does (and unfortunately I'm familiar with his bile because I'm a Red Sox fan): he makes the story, whatever the fuck it is about whatever fucking Boston team he feels compelled to either blow or take a dump on, about him. Everyone I know that has lived in Boston and every single caller from New England that dimed into Houston radio professed an intense hatred for the man and his minimal talents (btw, how much of a self-obsessed cockbag do you have to be to write a book about your FUCKING SON'S senior year high school baseball season) and some even felt that he had a cursing touch to him. Oh, sweet titty fucking christ, in this case I hope that is true.

As I said before, I'm a die-hard Red Sox fan and have been that way since I was 6 years old (the why and how of that aren't really important here) and over the last few years I have been able to make the trip to Fenway Park either while visiting friends or on father-son trips. Pretty great times. And through these trips and the rise of internet journalism and blogging I have learned one simple fact: New Englanders really only give a shit about the Red Sox. Oh sure, there's the Celtics who enjoy a healthy following (in part to LARRY FACKIN' BIRD) and you can catch some folks who are still passionate Bruins fans but until about 2000, the majority of the Massholes did not give a FUCK about the Patriots. No one is really going to admit this to you now, but until Brady and the dark lord Bellichik came around these folks were content to sit in in dark bars shouting out "PITCHAS AND CATCHAS *clapclapclapclapclap*" until they become the dominant near dynasty they are today. Allow me to provide you with some examples of my personal experiences with Patriots fans and some relayed to me by friends who lived or are living up in FACKIN' TITLETOWN.

*So, I'm sitting in the bleachers at Fenway with my dad enjoying the Red Sox kicking the shit out of the Yankees and four stereotypical Tommy from Quinzee's sit down behind us, already drunk and with two beers a piece (they don't have vendors for alcohol at Fenway because people already show up fucking shitfaced). By the 7th inning, after hearing about "fingahblasting slawts" and general douchebaggery one guy got really reflective over the Patriots recent Super Bowl loss to the New York Giants. I will never forget hearing this idiocy:
"It was a fackin' conspirahcy! A fackin' conspirahcy I tells ya! The PAHTS should've one the fackin' Super Bowl! It was a fix! The refs were in on it! There's no-ah wa-ay we could've lost that fackin' game!"
And a friend steps in with some spurious logic, "Maybe they-ah wanted it more-ah."
This set homeboy off, "FACK THAT! WE-AH WANTED IT MOR-AH! TO GO 19-0 AND SHUT THAT FACK FACED MERCURY MORRIS UP FOREVER AND TO TRULY BECOME THE GREATRIOTS." If I wasn't giggling so hard while texting this to Black Nathan I might have puked.

*Same trip. Dad and I are walking up to a day game early so we can hit restaurant up around Yawkey Way and grab some beers. I spot a big duckboat filled with people decked out in their most garish NFL-superfan-asshole gear and they're starting to shoot a commercial for the Patriots upcoming season. As soon as the cameras start rolling and the duckboat got wild I shouted out "18 AND 1! 18 AND 1! 18 AND 1!" Filming stopping because people starting cursing and throwing things at us. It was awesome.

*When the Patriots blew their perfect season there were reports coming out of Boston that many bars were papering up their windows because grown men were crying uncontrollably. I called my friend, who was working at a gay bar, and asked her if this was true. She confirmed it was and then threw in, "even the butch lesbians couldn't stop sobbing."

*Same friend went to a Texans-Patriots game with her then husband in their Texans gear and were constantly harassed by drunken fans and even had some beer and projectiles hurled their way. Look, I get that this happens at every NFL stadium and I'm not comparing this ordeal to a fucking Raiders home game but their heckling was as clever as this: "David CAAH! CAN'T DRIVE HIS CAAH! CAN'T FIND HIS CAAH!" Plus, people who didn't just start rooting for a team that was suddenly good and had actually stuck with them through their previous suckage castigated those assholes and tried to protect my friends.

I'm not trying to say that these instances are representative of all Patriots fans but they do seem to be the norm when you hear stories about their epic dickishness and sense of entitlement (I realize you can say that about Red Sox fans as well and at this point I couldn't disagree). Pubeface Dan Shaugnessy and his bullshit column are emblematic of their arrogant attitudes (apparently, fans in Boston had been creaming their jeans over getting to play the Texans after the bye round), no matter how much they might reject him or that characterization. And if there is any karma for a fanbase or hacky sportswriters or maybe for a team that CHEATED to win a couple of rings, then the Texans will hopefully send them all back into a dark bar screaming "PITCHAS AND CATCHAS!"

The Texans don't need any extra motivation. These guys are professional athletes who are hyper competitive and understand that they get paid to execute plays and win ballgames. But all this shit talk seems to have given the team (and it's fans) an extra boost and maybe they'll just walk away with a win. I'm not counting on it but I'd prefer anything other than another rout. So, this weeks theme is gonna be songs to help my fellow Texans fans get even more fired up for Sundays game.

Gluecifer - Get the Horn from the album Soaring with Eagles at Night (to Rise with Pigs in the Morning) (White Jazz Records)

Ah, Gluecifer, Norways 2nd greatest band of all time. I don't need to tell you who #1 is, do I? Right, let's move on. Ever since the team, or at least the defense originally but let's face it the tag is now stuck to the Texans as a whole, started being referred to as "Bulls on Parade" this has been my go to song for them. In fact, this is my official song for the Texans. FUCK CLAY WALKER'S MODERN COUNTRY ABORTION OF A TUNE. God, I fucking despise that song. I saw a shitty generic punk band one night cover the old Oilers tune but replaced the Oilers with Texans and was leagues better than that bullshit. Anyway, I think we need to mount a campaign to make "Get the Horn" the new official song of the Houston Texans and Turbojugend Bayou City can proudly lead that charge. Doesn't it make you want to just wreck everything in sight when Biff Malibu kicks with his, "Well I'm packin/ and I'm bad/ and I'm a rock MA-CHEEEEHHEEEN"? I can't be alone in this. Plus, this is one of the greatest music videos ever assembled. I wanna see my boys destroy on Sunday like #90 destroys his liver, old dudes and innocent ladies in this video.

Rocket from the Crypt - Heads are Gonna Roll from the singles collection All Systems Go, Vol. 2 (Sympathy for the Record Industry)

This is easily one of my favorite RFTC songs ever. Did I mention that they have reunited this year and will tour Europe and (maaaaaaaybe) record a new album and play some U.S. shows? Yeah, a Texans victory here would make me just slightly happier than that news. I've used this song in a few columns over the years like when I picked songs the U.S. army should use when they drop bombs on people instead of "Let the Bodies Hit the Floor" or what my walk out music would be if I were a baseball closer and I'm pulling it out again. Look, I want these guys going into the game thinking they're about to start a brutal, bloody rumble and if you listen to lyrics it seems like just Speedo himself is armed (knife, box cutter, waist length of chain, enough pain for two) to wreck at least 50 people in a street fight. Plus, the song qualifies its bravado with the addition of "...if we can make 'em roll." I hope the Texans are capable of that task.

Black Flag - Rise Above from the album Damaged (SST Records)

Cliched? Eh, maybe. But "Rise Above" is still one of the best tracks ever to lead off a record. It's a song that always gets me psyched and the adrenaline flowing. Maybe this one should go out to the pundits and sportswriters that have taken to calling the Texans "frauds" etc,. What the fuck ever. This team went 12-4 and "are gonna have [their] chance" to silence their critics. *Fingers crossed*

Slayer - Fight Till Death from the Album Show No Mercy (Metal Blade)

Do I really need to go into a descriptive or qualify this choice? SLLLLLLLLLAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYEEEEEEEEEEERRRRRRRRRRRRRR!

Iggy and the Stooges - Search and Destroy from the Album Raw Power (Columbia/Legacy)

We close things out with a song that makes me feel like I could destroy universes instead of just shooting them up into my wife's nether regions. It's impossible not to feel like a human wrecking machine once James Williamson's lead begins to shred your ear drums while Ron Asheton's bass fuzzes right along but then Iggy comes in with the classic intro line, "I'm a street walkin' cheetah with a heart full of nay-pawlm!" (based on a leather jacket he used to wear with a cheetah face on the back which he later traded to Leonard Phillips of the Dickies for smack) and you're mind just explodes. Nothing gets me revved up and ready to go like this song. According the majority of the media, as stated before, the Texas seems to be the worlds "forgotten boys" in this match-up and hopefully they'll be like the Iggster and search and destroy all over the field on Sunday. BULLS ON PARADE, MOTHERFUCKERS!

Friday, January 4, 2013

The Friday Five, Volume 3: Celebrating the ModPopPunk Archives #1

About 12 years ago I moved into my first apartment. I had just left St. Thomas (fucking Catholics, man) to attend U of H and went from enjoying the luxuries of a T1 internet connection and being able to check out scores of new albums via mIRC chatrooms and Napster or Limewire to a one bedroom joint in a Montrose fourplex with either a fucking dialup internet connection or something at the dawn of the home DSL era and waiting for what then seemed like an eternity to stream or download an mp3 on a bands website.
At night I'd come home from the bar or a show hopped up on some legal or illegal (usually the latter) stimulant and would pass the time until my body passed out from exhaustion (or a few beers to come down) by chain smoking and scouring the archives of a fantastic website I came across somehow called the ModPopPunk Archives

I was just really getting into power pop and Killed By Death comps at this point and this website seemed like it was built just to feed my insatiable hunger for the stuff. It's where I first came across some classic bands like Shoes, the Only Ones, Stiv Bators solo material and a ton of other great bands. I was seriously fucking up at life at that point when you consider my erratic demeanor due to booze and the wonders of modern chemistry and as a result was increasingly lonely and fucking up every promising romantic relationship and a lot of the tunes I found here helped me get through all of that bullshit. I had a mix CD that did not leave my Discman or car CD player for, like, a year filled with the treasures I discovered because of the kind proprieter of the MPPA which I think is inactive as of now (last update was December of last year) and that bums me out. 

If you peruse the site (and I often do just to see what I haven't checked out yet), you'll find some quick band bios, a few cool interviews but my favorite part is the sizable amount of tracks by bands well known, semi-obscure and beyond that you can listen to directly or cop a download of. I had a hard time coming up with JUST five songs I adore from that the site introduced me to (a couple were even on my ill fated wedding playlist) so I have a feeling this is going to be the first in a series of the Friday Five chronicling the archive's awesomeness. Alright, enough of my blabbering, let's get down to brass tacks, kiddos. 

Jilted John - I was a Teenage Prepubescent from the album True Love Stories (Castle Music Ltd.)

Jilted John was the alter ego of a British soap actor named Graham Fellows who thought it would be a good idea to do a jokey/novelty 7" when the whole punk rock thing was exploding across the U.K.. The A side concerns his break up with a girl named Julie because she dug a guy named Gordon better and then proceeding to bitch about it in the most petulant fashion for the songs duration until it fades out in a torrent of vicious insults directed at both parties but mainly, Julie. It was a hit and Fellows found himself appearing in character on shows like Top of the Pops and eventually recording an album, that as best as I can tell, was poorly received. I can't fathom that listening to this record. Sure, it's not as strong as say, anything the Boys put out, but it's solid and contains this fantastic track that is one of the most oddly warm and endearing songs to come out of that era. 
The narrator grows up (from what it seems) poor with his two hardworking parents until Dad dies and then Mom runs off with another guy and he and his sisters get dumped off on his Grandmother. Pretty bleak shit for a power pop song right? Still, homeboy says he was happy even though they "didn't get much" and even meets a girl he fall in love with in primary school until she moves away and he goes to a state run high school (not too familiar with how shit works across the pond but based on the timeline of the song I think this is right) and then encounters the horrors of puberty that surround him at every corner. This is where the song takes a turn and the narrator becomes totally miserable and ends up rocking Doc Martens, jamming T. Rex and running around with his friends at night trying to get in rumbles with other kids. It's a great testament to the whimsy and care free days of early youth that we've all taken for granted at times in our lives. Laid down in front of a beautiful electric piano and quiet guitar except for the occasional power chord twang "I was a Prepubescent" will make you pine for the days before middle school shat on your face. 

*Ed note: I upload this vid to YouTube and they told me some bullshit about it not being visible in certain areas...whatever the fuck that means. In case you can't view it, I dunno what to tell you, I couldn't find it anywhere online for you to check out for free. Just buy the fucking song, I promise, you won't regret it. 

The Name - Fuck Art, Let's Dance from the album What's in a Name? (Detour Records)

Just listen to that punch in the balls/twat of an opening riff that was most likely stolen from the Clash. No matter. This, if my fuzzy unreliable memory serves me well, was the first song I check out on the MPPA and it blew me away. It was probably the title that did it. How can you pass anything like that up when you're a drugged out and drunk misanthropic punk rocker.I love the song makes you think the singer is all amped up and nervous to be with his girl/boy (hey, they never specify and since I already did the whole "balls/twat" thing I might as well keep it up), a bundle of romantic jitters but NO! He's totally fed up with the negative Nancy/Ned that has been keeping his ass bummed out at discos and gloomy museums when all he wants to do is go out and rock! Inverse that last sentence gender wise and replace discos with Emo's, the Big Easy, Fitzgerald's and punk shows and you have my failed, pathetic romantic history covering my early twenties. I used to really suck as a human being. I only marginally suck now. 

Fast Cars - The Kids Just Wanna Dance from the album Coming...Ready or Not! (Detour Records)

If you've ever seen me DJ then you've heard this song, I think I used to lead off with it. Another Clash rip-off but for a one off band (the rest of this album isn't that good or at least didn't seem to be the last time I spun it) this is a pretty righteous single. And, we needed something that wouldn't devolve into me discussing my life's fuck ups, right? So, pump your fist to this one. Fast Cars seemed to perfect what would become early Oi! with this tune even though they seem waaaaaay too enthusiastic and happy on this track and album cover to ever carry the torch for that cranky genre. These guys were more enraptured in the mod scene but the energy of punk carried over heavily into what they were doing and especially on this track. Go to a Total Chaos or Casualties or any of those bands that define punk by the amount of bullet belts they have on or the quantity of Dippity Do jars they go through a year and put this record on and I guarantee you those kids will think it's some long lost Sham 69 track with better vocals and an infinitely greater hook. 

The Barracudas - Surfers are Back from the album Drop Out with the Barracudas (EMI)

Even though the band seemed more melancholy on their collected tracks (reissued by EMI in 2005 as Drop Out with the Barracudas) these English cats were masters of imbibing the original Nuggets comp and then regurgitating it all in a glorious, care-free fashion. They have the same solid, staid production of many of their ilk during this kick in pop music. Instead of being entirely reverential like Stiv Bators was, these cats tried to do something a little more ambitious even though they were considered nothing more than a novelty surf act. Whatever you're interpretation of their history may be you have to dig how a British band could so lovingly copy and dwarf the American 60's surf pop phenomenon and punk it up to perfection.

Incredible Kidda Band - I'm Gonna Join the Army from the album Too Much, Too Little Too Late (Detour Records)

The first time I saw High Fidelity and it cut to that scene where all the record nerds are trying to bait Saturday browsers into buying vinyl and the bald skinny guy is jawing with the chick from Roseanne about Green Day and they're talking about the Clash and Stiff Little Fingers all I could think about was that the Incredible Kidda Band should've been included on that list. Because, if you go back and listen to the Lookout! era Green Day that's the band they rip off the most. Well, aside from the Clash.

and another one!

FUCK! I just realized another theme I could've wrapped this around!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Jay Debauchery's Top Ten Records of 2012

Another year, another slew of awesome music to dig into. Not gonna fuck around here just remember, folks, there is always rad music out there if you only have the desire to seek it out.

10. Masked Intruder - Masked Intruder (Red Scare/Fat Wreck Chords)

I'm a sucker for a good pop-punk record and I haven't fallen this head over heels in love with a band in the genre since the Unlovables or Teenage Bottlerocket. So, Masked Intruder has a gimmick of being four dudes in balaclavas (wonder how they feel about Pussy Riot publicizing and copping that look or maybe their next album will see them stalking the two members who remain in prison?) who dedicated an album to stalking, breaking in and...well, everything just short of raping the ladies they are psychotically in love with. Doesn't sound so cheery and poppy does it? Well, what works in the bands favor with their creeptastic schtick is that a. it is the logical conclusion of the "oh woe is me, can't the girl see I love her so intensely so she'll come running back into my savior like arms of trust and warmth because I couldn't possibly have ever been such a schizoid asshole to drive her away because she came to realize that she's dating a self-deprecating version of Marky Mark from the movie Fear" high school misunderstanding of love bullshit propagated by dudes in their mid-20's for most of the early 90's pop-punk scene (at least the songs dedicated to girls...I'm looking at you Chixdiggit!) and b. this album is like putting an amalgam of the Queers and the aforementioned Canadian Ramones-enthusiasts in the form of an earworm into your earhole. Imagine if Nerf Herder had written all their albums in the key of "Sorry" but waaaaaaaay poppier and you've got the right idea. This is a seriously infectious album that is almost impossible to get out of your head. I'm looking forward to what they come up with next but, y'know, at some point they're going to mine the whole gimmick into the ground and have to figure something else out. Unless, they wanna snag my aforementioned idea for an album about stalking and being in love with the ladies of Pussy Riot. I'd be into that.

I wanted to include a song that was more indicative of the album than my favorite from the record, which is this one.

9. Future of the Left - The Plot Against Common Sense (Extra Mile Recordings)

Yup, the band that supplied my favorite album of 2009, the amazing Travels with Myself and Another, is back on the list again with their follow up to that modern classic. I realize the band might very well never top that record but that certainly doesn't mean they've run out of gas. The Plot Against Common Sense contains all the acerbic wit, middle finger raising and righteous shit-talking you would expect from a band featuring Andy "Falco" Falkous of the legendary Mclusky. It isn't nearly as musically abrasive as the last album but is way more vitriolic lyrically and I think that combination work brilliantly for the bed. The most ear-splitting aggressive song on the album ("Robocop 4 - Fuck Off Robocop") cannot compare to the pure disgust and hatred poured into the lyrics of something like "Sorry Dad, I was Late for the Riots." Oh, and let's not forget that Falco totally FUCKING NUKED the assholes at Pitchfork over their shitty review of the album which includes this Pulitzer-worthy line, "As for the cover, well, there's a penguin on it you stupid cunt."

8. Dan Sartain - Too Tough to Live (One Little Indian)

Dan Sartain usually works in in rockabilly (albeit in the same weird, sketchy schism also populated by the Reverend Beat Man and for some reason has described himself as the "poor man's Chris Isaak) but for his latest, and by far my favorite of his, record he has gone into full-blown Ramones overdose mode and it's glorious. Still lo-fi and still ripping off the album names of classic punk records when he feels the need, the scrawniest, strongest jawed motherfucker to probably ever come out of Alabama totally blew me away the first time I put this record on. He is the man who wrote one of my favorite songs of the previous decade, after all but I didn't expect anything this straight-forward, floor stomping and so woefully short. Sometimes, the "Keep It Simple Stupid" axiom for rock 'n' roll is best followed and this album is a perfect fucking example of it.

7. Cudzoo and the Faggettes - Daddy Issues (DrugFrontRecords)
Total late in the year listen/dark horse that hasn't left my stereo since I first heard the title track on Bubblefum Fuzz. Just gonna re-post what I put up on the first edition of The Friday Five:

Let's move onto the complete opposite side of the spectrum. Cudzoo and Faggettes have released two albums of gleefully offensive, utterly tactless and absolutely fanfuckingtastic barrages of punked up, glammed out, girl group styled comedic sleaze. That's a compliment.  Think Shannon and the Clams with better production values and a meaner sense of humor. These ladies better be featured in the next Jon Water's movie or else that man has really lost his taste for trash culture. I get a lot of personal feelings that come up when I listen to this album (well, mainly the track "You Taste Like Intervention" which could've been the soundtrack to my entire 20's and especially the most fucked up, abusive, self-destructive and soul crushing relationship I've ever been in that almost closed those years out and if a song can make me laugh about that horror it's got to be great) but mainly what sticks with me most is the type of self-deprecating feminist humor that would make the readership of Jezebel lose their collective hive-minds. "Daddy Issues" aside, there is a fucking song on here called "Roofies" which treats that malady as a positive! Here's how the song ends, with a nice soliloquy, post roofie rape: "I love you soooo much, I'm gonna get your dried up umbilical chord nub, stick it in my vagina, incubate it for nine loooong months, birth it, raise it for 18 years, then fuck the SHIT out of you again!" Heartwarming.

6. Ty Segall - Twins (Drag City)

Dude released three KICK-ASS albums this year and doesn't show any signs of letting up. Before I begin my rhapsody over his motherfucking stellar 2012 output watch this guy SLAY on his first late night TV performance.

First there was the collaboration with White Fence (aka Tim Presley) called Hair, that was like a cohesive Thee Oh Sees record but made more commercially appreciable and appealing. It's a great collaboration that I got to witness live when I caught Ty and Tim at Walter's a few months ago. Then came Slaughterhouse, released under the new name the Ty Segall Band that was just a monster of noise and distortion. It's fantastic. I got to fully dive into the album when I was taken from my old job in inventory and required to schlep heavy ass carts of pissed sheets and other various forms of dirty linen to and fro which gave me plenty of time to hit the repeat button on my iPhone. And if something can really smack me in the face more than the foul stench of a dying cancer patients rancid feces left to fester by a shift of nurses who don't think it's their burden to deal with, then that's something impressive. But his real triumph this year, and the last record he released, was called Twins and easily features the absolute best song Segall has written in his prolific career (placed below). It might be the main reason I rank it over Slaughterhouse. This came in second to my eventual pick for "Song of the Year." (Court picked it as her Numero Uno, if that says anything about my wife). Ty Segall and his cult of fans are growing larger by the day. That's a good thing. Awesome music shouldn't be reserved for the Cool Kids Club but instead shared by everyone and if Ty Segall and his success is any indication then hopefully mainstream media and music writers will be forced to throw more praise on this unique and incredibly gifted garage punk master and his peers.

Part two will be up hopefully by the weekend, folks. Now back to making sure my wife gets over the cold she caught in New Orleans. Top five is next along with 7", live show, local record and more!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Friday Five, Volume 2: For Mimi

So, it's been almost a year since my beloved Grandmother (nicknamed Mimi) has shuffled loose this mortal coil and I'm pretty alright with it. I mean, I miss her dearly but the last few years of her life I was really hoping she'd just die in her sleep because she was a shadow of the woman I grew up revering. I remember when I got the news. I was at work and around 9 am my Ma called me and before I even answered I knew what she was going to tell me. I told her to just get it over with and stormed off to the toilet to sob tears of joy. My Mimi was finally free of the intense pain and You see, when I found out Mimi was about to shove off the first time Mrs. Debauchery and I were at Rudz and I knew it was the end for her. I pulled off the side of Heights Blvd. and cried so hard I thought my head would explode. That's how much this woman meant to me.

She grew up poor as shit, picking cotton in her early teens, and then married a man named John who was (also 20 years older) probably the hardest son of a bitch anyone would ever meet. My Dad might be intimidating because of his size and vocal tone and general demeanor but PaPaw was the real deal. I remember either my Ma or Mimi telling me a story about how PaPaw's crew at work on an oil rig were fucking up and he called them out on it and they tried to kick the shit out of him but he laid most of them out before they could do any real damage. He woke up bloodied but from what I've been told, he won. I'm fucking proud to be from this family and it's from my grandparents on my Ma's side (I'm sure she regrets this) where I get my attitude.

But back to my Mimi. You couldn't have wished for a better grandmother, especially if you're me. A weird, scrawny spazz who at the turn of puberty hated the sun and just wanted to stay in his room and read and listen to aggressive and violent music. Still. she supported me in everything I have dedicated my life to and in the most enthusiastic manner possible: punk rock, skateboarding, horror movies, writing, debate in high school instead of sports.You don't generally see a woman from the old South that is a hardcore baptist embrace her grandson's open rebellion against everything she adored. But she loved me anyway and if I could pull some Herbert West shit and reanimate her corpse she would tell you today that she is proud of me and is proud that her grandson is a punk rocker for life. I miss you Mimi and I hope I'm still making you happy. I am truly honored that my wife is sporting your engagement and wedding rings on her finger. 

I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch in the House - Fuck Fred Phelps and the Westbero Baptist Church Alright, so Mimi was a hardcore Baptist and even though I never told her, partially because my Ma forbid me, she pretty much knew I was an Atheist. And the only reason I bring this is up is to qualify my criticism of most Christians. Mimi was the most open, tolerant, loving and accepting human being I've ever come across and that's where I judge (not a Christian so I can do that!) hypocritical pieces of shit like Bill O'Reily...fuck it all of Fox News, Bill Donahue (I believe my wife's Irish Catholic family would love to punch him in the balls), and especially Fred Phelps. That said, Mimi (who, despite showing me anti-gay propaganda when I was about ten (obviously it didn't take hold) regarding golden showers...yeah that happened) grew way more progressive over her life.When she met the Dead Kennedy, my (gay) brother, and heard what his parents put him through she embraced him immediately. She also used to watch shitty slasher flicks with me when I stayed with her during summers that were on USA's Up All Night. I think she figured they were morality parables that should've scared me straight. Anyhoo, if she had been cognizant about the Westbero Baptist Church I guarantee you she would've had me drive her down to one of their protests so she could tell them off. Mind you, she wouldn't like the language but she would sure as shit love the sentiment! I told my Ma I was gonna lead this column off with this song and she smiled.

The Humpers- Plastique Valentine
When I was 15 my parents bailed to NOLA for a weekend and Mimi came down to stay with me. I'd just gotten Plastique Valentine on cassette after reading about the band in Thrasher so I was super stoked to get to go to a show at Emo's (RIP) that  my parents would NEVER let me go to. My friend and I showed up around 8 (we were used to all ages shows at Fitzgerald's) and proceeded to get drunk as shit courtesy of the Humpers because we were the only one's there that early and obviously looked like easily corruptible teens. I remember at one point the bar refused to give the band anymore beer and Billy marched down to the corner store, copped a case of Shiner and when he was told he couldn't bring it in the bar said, "FUCK YOU! IF WE CAN'T KEEP DRINKING WE'RE NOT PLAYING!" They let him in, the show was amazing and the Humpers wrote me a note to give to my Mimi apologizing for keeping me out so late. She read it, saw how buzzed I was on beer, laughed and said, "Now, go to bed!"

Hank Williams - I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry
Probably the only song on this list she would've really dug. Aside from the personal attachment to my grandmother over this song (she was a huge Hank Williams fan) this reminds me of being in my early 20's, drinking a bottle of whiskey a night and passing out on the couch, because I was so depressed, when GRRR was a puppy. And then when I'd drag my ragged ass off the couch in the morning with this tune stuck in my head, all I could think was, "Mimi would kick the shit outta me if she ever saw me like this!"

ALL - Breaking Up
When I was, like 14, some guy at the Pizza Hut in our neighborhood gave me a backpack full of tapes (Madness, Subhumans, Descendents, 7 Seconds, the Freeze...huuuuge influence on me) cause I wore a 30footFALL t-shirt into the store when I went and picked up our pie. Fast forward to when I was 16 and just broke up with a girl, ironically, who was also nicknamed Jay (let's not delve into the Freudian-fuckedupness of that), and man, I was devastated. Just a total wreck. So, I had to drive up to Beaumont to pick up Mimi for the holidays and just could not stop listening to this album, especially "Breaking Up." I hit that reverse button on my car's tape deck like fifty billion times throughout that trip. During that, Mimi could tell something was wrong and finally blurted out some curt advice once I told her what was making me such a mopey bastard, "Honey, she don't deserve you. Just get over it."

The Ramones - Clip from Rock 'N' Roll High School
Mimi's favorite memory of me was of us eating pizza from Domino's (hey, I didn't know that asshole CEO supported Operation Rescue when I was a kid) and grease just running down our arms. She always brought it up and it's a nice ending to this column because the last time I ate pizza with her was while watching Rock 'N' Roll High School, when I was in high school. Gabba gabba hey, Mimi. I'm sure you've already told Joey how much I adore him.

Friday, December 21, 2012

The Friday Five Volume 1: Girls Get Busy

Welcome to the first edition of the Friday Five. Here, I'll give you five songs every week that have been stuck in my noggin', for the most part, centered around a theme. Sometimes I might just pull five tunes outta my ass that I think rock. Or something that triggered on my iPod or iTunes or that I pulled out of my vinyl collection that really took a hold of my nards and didn't let go. I haven't really decided yet, though, I do have the first few mapped out. So, here we go.

I love my new job. I'm still working at the hospital but instead of having to deal with bitchy nurses nagging me for things they (rightfully, though not of my fault) should've already gotten I now work in receiving and after two weeks training at the main building I got moved to a cushy new offsite that affords me plentiful time to listen to music podcasts almost non-stop. I still dig on my favorite newscasts to start my morning (Democracy Now!, Best of the Left, etc.) but once my triple shot of espresso kicks in I'm in full on rock 'n' roll mode.

My favorites are everything that is broadcast on the Garage Punk Pirate Radio Network, Rev. Norb's AMAZING Bubblegum Fuzz and the Razorcake Podcast and it's because they remind me of just how much music that is out there, whether new or vintage, that I haven't even discovered yet. I'm a 32 punk rock kid who has swallowed oceans of music thanks to many friends and an insatiable curiosity and love for my beloved subculture and all of it's offshoots and even though I'm long in the tooth (in punk years at least) I still love being turned onto glorious new music like when I was a kid and my sisters older friends and my waaay older friends made me mixtapes.

We live in an awesome new world for music lovers where anyone with a computer can rip their vinyl, CD or cassette collection and turn a whole new generation into rabid fanatics of some band that only released one 7" in the 70's that didn't even make it onto a Killed by Death comp or remind them of groups who were waaaaay beyond what their pop star sheen made them out to be (Rev. Norb hipped me to a particularly skeezy Davy Jones track that makes me question just how wholesome some of those Monkees records are).  Punk rock, rock 'n' roll...all that jazz is built on tradition just like folk music. And part of maintaining that is the ability to share gems from past eras other's might not think to glance at. So that's where this column is coming from. I love sharing music with my friends (and whoever the fuck else might read this blog) and rather than bomb your Facebook walls with shit I'm currently digging I figured I'd force myself to pick five stellar tracks that have been in my head all week to hopefully groove into your senses. This week's theme is focusing on girl groups or girl fronted groups because...well, out of everything my brain gorged on this week all of the standout tunes featured female singers.

The God Damn Doo Wop Band - "I'll Always Be Your Girl" (from the same named 7" I couldn't find the name of the label it was released on so hit me up and I'll amend this)

First off, ANYTHING and I mean ANYTHING involving a member of the Soviettes warrants at least like, three consecutive spins. That member in this case would be Annie (who is also in the great, fuzzed out bass/drum duo Awesome Snakes) and sweet titty fucking christ does this single fucking slay! Quick background on me: I was raised on AM radio by my parents and fortunately that was a time when the programmers weren't just pumping out Beatles song after Beatles song but would play pre-Pet Sounds era Beach Boys (nothing against Pet Sounds, just saying) and LOOOOAAADS of Phil Spector produced girl groups. I worship the Ronettes, Shangri-Las, et. all so when I get presented with a song with such low key, minimalist production (as opposed to the Pippettes', whom I still enjoy, faux-wall of computer bullshit) that just let's the vocals speak for themselves I know the people behind it knew what the fuck they were doing. I mean, the lyrical punch behind all of those great songs ("When I Saw You" "He Hit Me and it Felt like a Kiss" "Dressed in Black") and therefore, the emotional efficacy of the tune, doesn't get driven home if it isn't the singer that is doing the heavy lifting. That said, I was FLOORED when this first creeped through my headphones on the loading dock. I stopped what I was doing and went back a few times to repeat the track. Then I went home and played it a shitload more. THIS is fucking fantastic pop music that is exhilarating and heartbreaking at the same time. Isn't that what we all really want from our favorite musical lamentations on love?

Cudzoo and the Faggettes - "Daddy Issues" (Daddy Issues, Drug Front Records)

Let's move onto the complete opposite side of the spectrum. Cudzoo and Faggettes have released two albums of gleefully offensive, utterly tactless and absolutely fanfuckingtastic barrages of punked up, glammed out, girl group styled comedic sleaze. That's a compliment.  Think Shannon and the Clams with better production values and a meaner sense of humor. These ladies better be featured in the next Jon Water's movie or else that man has really lost his taste for trash culture. I get a lot of personal feelings that come up when I listen to this album (well, mainly the track "You Taste Like Intervention" which could've been the soundtrack to my entire 20's and especially the most fucked up, abusive, self-destructive and soul crushing relationship I've ever been in that almost closed those years out and if a song can make me laugh about that horror it's got to be great) but mainly what sticks with me most is the type of self-deprecating feminist humor that would make the readership of Jezebel lose their collective hive-minds. "Daddy Issues" aside, there is a fucking song on here called "Roofies" which treats that malady as a positive! Here's how the song ends, with a nice soliloquy, post roofie rape: "I love you soooo much, I'm gonna get your dried up umbilical chord nub, stick it in my vagina, incubate it for nine loooong months, birth it, raise it for 18 years, then fuck the SHIT out of you again!" Heartwarming.

Porcharitas - Get Wasted (Get Wasted with the Porcharitas 7" Vertical House Records)

I have long ragged on Alabama as being the shittiest fucking state in this quickly fading republic known as these United States of America (Florida, for all it's warts at least produces good punk bands). And for good reason! When I was 17 I went on a road trip with my debate team (dork, I know) to compete in some prestigious tournament and when we rolled into the state looking for a place to eat, all us kids piled out the vans. Including two black ones. We were met outside by the, I guess, proprietors...protectors...assholes of the establishment and told, curtly, to the fuck back off in our van and keep driving. I'm a Texan by the way so you know it takes something epic and awful like to make me feel like I have the right to shit on your state (Vidor, where?). Anyhoo, these are 3 ladies and one gent from that state who have churned out one kick ass garage punk rager. I'm eagerly waiting on getting my copy of this 7" in the mail (Mrs. Debauchery said she ordered it and if not I will be scouring all of New Orleans for it, along with Normals records come Thursday) because there are only so many times I can repeat this record on bandcamp. I love the scuzzed out vocals, guitars that sound like they were recorded in a trashcan, non-existent bass and waaaaay low on the sound scale Casio keyboards. A prime example of modern, snarky garage punk done absolutely perfect. It makes me wanna take out everything bad I've ever said about the state of Alabama.

The Sugar Stems - "Greatest Pretender" (Greatest Pretender 7" Certified PR Records)

Just the other day I was wondering just what in the mother FUCK happened to the Leg Hounds. You remember them right? Those Devil Dogs lovin' Midwestern righteous motherfuckers? Well it turns out that Drew Fredrichsen, after churning out some killer music with the Jetty Boys  has moved onto to some great bubblegum pop with the Sugar Stems. Just the other day I was wondering just what in the fucking hell happened to the Leg Hounds. Their first album was totally killer but this single blew the official Cancer Hospital baseball cap that I am forced to wear to work everyday off my head. If this  is what the modern incantation of power-pop is going to sound like then I will have a full on priapism ready to balance all of of the (hopefully) forthcoming masterpieces that will be rolling out from these cats any minute now (they do have a new album coming out next year). A fucking exquisite pop song no matter what genre you or I feel the need to put it in. 

The Okmoniks - I'm Done (Party Fever! Slovenly Recordings)

So, here comes the oldie (or at least in the parlance of this current generation because this record was released in, I think 2006-7? It was in the heyday of PKY being print is all I remember) and it should count as a modern garage punk classic. For those not in the know, Justin Champlin (aka Nobunny) came to prominence with this band along with the Sneaky Pinks and by golly, if I'm not a total sucker for 60's style garage rock that's sped up and complete with a solid use of organs and female vox. Just listen to the bridge! It's frantic, desperate and underlays the songs epic angst. Homegirl wants to bail and forget this guy as soon as she can. There's a great band from Denver called the Manxx my friend Justin knows that seems to be carrying on the torch for these cats and once I cop some physical music I will let you know just how enraptured I am with them. Still, as much as I dug that song I can't even remember the name of it's going to be hard to top the pop wizardry the Okmoniks were able to create during their oh so brief and oh too short career. At least Nobunny still performs "Not That Good" and my wife will still be able to shake her amazing Irish ass all over the dance floor when that occurs. 

And since I ended on a Nobunny note, once again, and one of the greatest memories of my life, here is the first show my wife and I attended together and here first REAL exposure to punk rock. 

Til next week brothers and sisters, 
Jihad for Rock 'N' Roll Motherfuckers
Jay Debauchery.