Maty’s Corner #24 Worth Taking

Maty’s Corner #24
Anxious to Imitate Art:
Worth Taking

Starting in 2006 San Francisco’s worth taking is just good straight ahead pop punk music. Notable influence of Jimmy Eat World and I’d say Jawbreaker in their sound. They even boast a cover ep with MXPX’s Mike Herrera. Tight playing, great harmonies and songwriting.

2011 gave us their first recording, Anxious EP. It’s starts right off with down tempo power pop, think Jawbreaker’s Dear You album. There’s a desperation in the singing that screams authenticity and avoids cliché. The EP ends with a solid faster track that highlights their Jimmy Eat World influence. Titled The Battle, it’s the stand out of this release. The harmonies are amazing and the whole thing shows these guys spoent a lot of time cutting their teeth before recording at all.

2013 gave us their Punker Than Thou EP. This is covers from Green Day, MXPX and The Ramones. The 2 Ramones tracks are my my highlight on this. I may be partial, but they did an awesome job with them. The whole thing is a good job of these songs.

2013 brought a full length, Art Imitates Art. The years have been kind to their playing and writing. While some may or may not consider these guys necessarily “punk” they do bring it and it’s fucking good. Their’s even an intense 30 second track on here. Some this album makes me think of Alkaline Trio’s Maybe I’ll catch Fire. Get to know these guys and catch them if they play in your town.
-Maty Almost

Keep up with them at https://www.facebook.com/worthtaking

 

Maty’s Corner #23 Red City Radio

Maty’s Corner #23
One For The Sons and Daughters of Woody Guthrie:
Red City Radio

Red City Radio started in 2005 out of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. These guys are a mix of electric folk punk and melodic hard core. Kind of old Against Me meets Avail with a side of Hot Water Music. Led be the strong voiced Garrett Dale their songs just cut in a good way. I stumbled across them 3 years ago and haven’t been sorry for one second.

Their first release (unsure of the year) was a full length demo titled The Consequences of a Life Worth Living. While being a demo it sounds as solid as any formal release. Right from the get go we are hit by amazing guitars, lyrics with something to say and sing along choruses. All of this backed by a songwriting ethic that rivals contemporaries like Menzingers and Gaslight Anthem.

 

2009 brought one of punk rock’s strongest EPs since Minutemen’s Paranoid Time. This is To the Sons and Daughters of Woody Guthrie. With an opening track that reminds me of early Strike anywhere. This is less harsh than the initial demo, but doesn’t de-fang the band at all. In fact the melodic increase strengthens the overall sound. The title track off this is what got me into these guys in the first place.


2011 saw their first formal full length, The Dangers of Standing Still. The steam roll of near folky hard driving melodies rolls on through this album. Their sound has gotten noticeably tighter as well. More of the Hot Water Music influence comes though on this album. The whole disc is great. “Together we can burn the fuckin’ city to the ground!”

2013 gave us their most recent release, Titles. This album has a more straight ahead sound, perhaps the band more coming into their own. They show no signs of letting up as this rocks as great as everything they’ve put out. So check these guys out, you won’t be sorry. “I am fucking unstoppable, I am a fucking juggernaut!”
-Maty Almost

Keep up with these guys:

https://www.facebook.com/redcityradio

http://www.redcityradio.net/

Maty’s Corner #22 Avail/ Tim Barry

Maty’s Corner #22
Tellin’ Front Porch Stories of Being Lost and Rootless:
A Story of Tim Barry

Throw some beers in your bag, grab a fresh pack of smokes and hop in a boxcar with me, we’re gonna have a nice long talk about Tim Barry. You may be wondering “who in the hell is Tim Barry?” He fronted the amazing RVA punk rock band Avail from 1987-1008 and has had a solo folk punk career under his own name since 2004. This gruff voiced beast of a vocalist has been kickin’ round the scene for 27 years now and ain’t showing much sign of slowing anytime soon. Avail had there albums put out through Lookout and Fat Wreck and currently on Jade Tree. Prior to Avail Tim Barry was in punk band L.D. Kids, don’t know enough about them to write much on it.

The first album from the intersection of hard core and folk known as Avail came out in 1992 titled Satiate. Right out of the gate these southern boys proved they had the chops to keep up with any band anywhere in the scene with an amazing strong debut. Much of the sound on this, including Tim’s vocals, is very reminiscent of Fugazi. A completely solid listen to crank up and feel like your ceiling is gonna fall in on ya.

1994 saw their second album Dixie. They were coming into a sound fully of their own. Vocally it sounds more the Tim Barry voice we know now. As if their playing wasn’t solid enough, it jumps up a few notches on this album. This album even includes a totally bad ass cover of John Mellencamp’s Pink Houses.

1996 gave us what is probably Avail’s best album, 4AM Friday. It kicks off with the incredibly strong opener Simple Song which was featured in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4. Being a band not afraid to evolve this album features more of a straight ahead mid 90’s punk rock sound. They didn’t forsake their hardcore side at all as Monroe Park shows which is an anthem for the pit. Definitely my favorite Avail album here.

1998 saw the release of Over the James. This album is even more of the certain post punk sound that countless bands sine about 2000 have taken influence from. Some tracks still stay to the initial hardcore sound these guys are known for. My stand out on this has to be Cross Tie, kind of an electro folk sound on this one. The re release also features an acoustic of the song Lombardy Street, a hint at Tim’s music to come.

2000 dropped the release One Wrench which opens with a searing hard track to rip the paint off your walls. They continue on with the blend of hard core songs and these near folky songs that have spawned a scene known as beard punk, or Orgcore (whatever the fuck that means). This is as great of a realease as the rest of Avail’s efforts. For this they had left Lookout and been signed to Fat Wreck.

2002 brought us Avail’s final album, Front Porch Stories. They said good bye to everyone with one amazing album. A really interesting track West Wye a bad ass alt country intro to one of Avail’s gnarliest sounding tracks. Avail would be active off and on until 2008. 21 years of one the East Coast’s greatest bands and their farewell record was not at all disappointing.

Since 2004 Tim Barry has been putting out some amazing folk music. As of a couple weeks ago he has 6 albums. Throughout these there’s a personal evolution. It goes from sounding like an angry/ sad drunken hobo in songs like Church of Level Track and Avoiding Catatonic Surrender to sounding more like a satisfied family man with a wanderlust. His latest album Lost and Rootless really exemplifies this. A track on the new album title The James sounds a bit like a nod to his old days struggling to make it with a hard core band in the RVA scene. So if ya don’t know Tim Barry solo or Avail, beg borrow or steal to get this amazing music.
-Maty Almost

Maty’s Corner #21 Descendents/ All

Maty’s Corner #21

Milo Finished College and Got Saved by Allroy:
A Story of Descendents and All

1978 Hermosa Beach California, something is stirring that would effect the whole of Southern California punk rock and be a pillar of an early label. Fishing would be the initial spark behind the 2 most seminal bands in pop punk and 1 of the most in punk as a whole. Bill Stevenson (Drummer and overall mastermind behind both bands) worked at a bait and tackle shop under Keith Morris’ dad. Bill asked Keith about music, from there he got turned on to Ramones, Sex Pistols, Dickies and most importantly The Last. Bill and Joe Nolte of The Last became fast friends. They then met Frank Navetta, who came up with the name and wrote many of Descendents’ best known songs. Joe left to commit to his initial band and Tony Lombardo was randomly found near 9th and Walnut in Long Beach. 1980 would see Milo recruited and this was the real start of Descendents rockin and rollin every night.

1982 brought us Descendents best known and one of the South Bay’s most important albums, Milo Goes to College. This was the beginning on the South Bay powerhouse of SST Records. This whole album is utterly stand out. From Navetta’s I’m not a Loser and Parents, Milo’s Hope, Lombardo’s Suburban Home to Stevenson’s Bikeage. This band is far from a one man show. This is in the list of most solid albums from California punk rock, nothing bad and everything good.

1985 dropped off I Don’t Wanna Grow Up. This is opens up with the Descendents self titled theme song. This was born out of the few years Stevenson spent in Black Flag while Milo was learning to save the world with science. Bill had a batch of songs he wrote the wouldn’t work with the Flag. This also gave us Silly Girl and Good Good Things. It’s good that they weren’t trying to re-do the Milo album.

1986 dropped out Enjoy. A different album from the previous 2. There’s some darker heavier tracks, but still Descendents nonetheless. There’s a few of the excellent punk love songs on this like Get The Time, a cover of Beach Boys’ Wendy and Sour Grapes. From here a new idea would be born.

ALL was birthed in 1987. This album introduced the philosophy of ALL! It’s punctuated with some great standard Descendents songs as well. Including one of the groups most heavy heart songs Clean Sheets. For those who don’t the All-O-Gistics they are:thou shalt not commit laundry
thou shalt covet thy neighbor’s food (all)
thou shalt not create ties with the scathed (no all)
thou shalt always go for greatness
thou shalt not commit adulthood (all)
thou shalt not partake of decaf (all!)
thou shalt not suppress flatulence
thou shalt not commit hygiene (all!)
thou shalt not have no idea (all)
thou shalt commit thyself to an institution (no all)
thou shalt not take the van’s name in vain
thou shalt not allow anything to deter you in your quest for all (all!) you may achieve all
and not wallow unknown for eternity,
all you have to do is do it! all!(we shall achieve all) he who bears the most gas, let him also bear forth his ass, and cast forth the first frap
(all!)

Nine years later in 1996 the Descendents came back on a new label, Epitaph Records. They gave us Everything Sucks. This spawned 2 video singles for When I Get Old and I’m The One. The influence of ALL showed in the songwriting, this is their best album since Milo went to college. Another stand out on this is Coffee Mug, the tribute to the container for the elixir of God.

There would be another 8 year hiatus until 2004’s Cool To Be You. This came out on Fat Wreck. It’s a great enough album to be worth the wait. The Descendents/ ALL sound were fully merged into one unit as of this release. This is their most current. Descendents are still active with live shows.

During the Descendents’ breaks Stevenson and the other members minus Milo have been nurturing ALL starting in 1987. This is on of the most underrated bands as they’ve always had the stigma of the singer not being Milo. They’ve had a revolving door of some great vocalists including Dag Nasty/ Down By Law front man Dave Smalley. They even had an album on Interscope Records. It’s a different sound from Descendents and very worth the time to check out. For more to feed your Milo and Allroy addiction get the documentary Filmage. Now get to know these bands’ music, drink of the bonus cup and go for ALL!

-Maty Almost

Links:

https://www.facebook.com/thedescendents

https://www.facebook.com/ALL

https://www.facebook.com/filmagemovie

Remembering The Dead Kennedys Live

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Maty’s Corner #20

Maty’s Corner Issue # 20
Fuck Armageddon… This is Bad Religion (Re Mastered)

In the initial writing of this article it was kind of weak and I realized it could be much better. Without sacrificing the original content, here’s the re master of an article many of you enjoyed.
Bad Religion, the band that really got me into punk rock when I first bought 1998’s No Substance by pure happen stance. Bad Religion is into their 34th year of punk rockin’ it. They started up in 1979 in Los Angeles, CA. First show was November 11th 1980 in Burbank, CA. Back when the now widely known Epitaph Records was nothing more than a name and P.O. Box that Mr. Brett put on the album sleeves to say “yeah, we have a label.” Their music has been instrumental in shaping the sound of both the original hard core scene and the later melodic hard core genre. Greg Graffin himself who holds numerous advanced degrees in a variety of subjects and currently boasts 3 books covering religion, Anarchism, evolution and Naturalism has caused many a punk rocker to get educated whether by institution or self. It has definitely been instrumental in my own studies of varying subjects. They currently stand at 16 full length studio albums making them one of, if not the most prolific punk band along with 35 for years without any hiatus periods.


Bad Religion first graced us with a recording in 1981. This was their self titled EP. At only 6 songs it kicked in the door on what we knew of punk and hard core. This release set the precedent with punk that was both aggressive and the smartest thing we’d heard since The Clash. The playing was as fast as it was tight. It didn’t sound like teenagers with no real record label as of yet.


The following year, 1982, would bring us How Could Hell Be Any Worse? They were even more solid with an improved recording quality. At this point Graffin still had a raspy growl to his voice and they’d not started playing with harmonies yet. This record has been catching fire in the scene on a continuous basis since its initial release. It’s still as good 32 years later.

1983 was a… interesting year for the band. They released Into theUnknown. This was an apt title as it’s a weird keyboard driven album. Nothing like any of the band’s other releases. Still a great album, just unusual. It has become easier to find as time has gone on.


1985 gave us back the Bad Religion we all know. The well titled Back to the Known EP. This was the band back to hard core punk. Greg’s voice had changed for the better and it was the beginning of the “oozinahhs” that we’ve come to know them for. It was awesome to have this treasure of the scene back in the form we know and love.


1988 brought their next studio album. At a time when the punk scene had gone to sleep, this was a needed slap in the face to re ignite things. This was the real beginning of Bad Religion as we know them now. This was a 26 minute blast in the face of hair metal. Possibly the most necessary punk albums of the 80s. They had become a bit more melodic with multi part harmonies that only added more teeth to their sound.


1989 saw the release of No Control. This was faster and harder than Suffer without sacrificing the newfound harmonic ideas that had cultivated in Suffer. This contains a standout for me, the first Bad Religion song I’d ever heard, I Want to Conquer the World. I was 16 and this single song changed my life. This began my love affair with punk rock music and my quest to better understand a world I’d been developing opinions about.

Following this was 1990’s Against the Grain. This was more complex than any previous album. ATG was the first feature of the anthem like 21st Century Digital Boy. About half this album would fall onto a “greatest hits” comp.


1992 gave us Generator. BR was pushing their musical and lyrical complexity even further while staying the unrelenting punk maelstrom we’d com to know. Generator gave us BR’s first ever video single for the amazing track, Atomic Garden. The ideas expressed on the album would be the beginning of what we hear from them for the next 22 years.


1993 brought in Recipe For Hate which opened with one of the most aggressive title tracks in punk rock. Recipe also contained 2 video singles for American Jesus and Struck a Nerve. The blend of sonic and complex was becoming more apparent by now. The signature harmonies were fully solidified by this release. Recipe would be BR’s final pairing with Epitaph for nearly a decade.


1994 spat out a new album on a new label. Stranger Than Fiction appeared on Atlantic Records. It doesn’t sound at all like the major label boogey man had stolen any fight out of this unit. This put out 4 singles and videos, better unleashing Bad Religion on an unsuspecting world. There were some great collaborations with Wayne Kramer, Tim Armstrong and Jim Lindbergh. A lot of fans bitched about this album sucking; I think they just weren’t smart enough to get it.


1996 brought about The Gray Race, a more aggressive album than Stranger. Mr. Brett had left the band to solely concentrate on Epitaph. Filling his spot was Minor Threat’s Brian Baker. Much like the entirety of their Atlantic years, this was met with a lot of negativity that I don’t understand. Guess that’s what happens when people listen to the punk police instead of deciding for themselves. Fuck the rules and just be punk! This continued the formula of being pure amazing expressed through music.


1998 saw No Substance, the first BR album I bought. This is a front to back solid album. Still my favorite from the Atlantic years. It features a weird spoken word track, State of the Union at the End of the Millennium. It still rings as relevant today as it did in ’98. This was their least successful album, yet again, people just didn’t get it.


May 9th 2000 at punk fifteen in the morning Bad Religion’s final album on Atlantic was released. The New America was Bad Religion’s most personal album, some politics, but more sonic introspection. Mr. Brett was even coming back in as he co wrote a track. From here the crew would head back home to Epitaph.


2002 brought us BR’s most anticipated album in years. Mr. Brett was back and the band now had 3 guitarists. The Process of Belief is as amazing of an album as was expected. The Greg and Brett formula picked up as though it had never left off.


2004 Bad Religion released an album that pushed the boundaries and complexity even further. Empire Strikes First was a politically charged blast that showed even an overture can be punk rock. The 3 guitar attack had fully come into its own creating a wall of sound not previously heard in the genre. The hills of Los Angeles are still burning.


It would be a 3 year wait until New Maps of Hell arrived in 2007. This album was solid enough to be worth it. The band had made it to the 27 club. It features the most intricate guitar work of the band’s career and pulls it off without sounding the least bit bland.


In 2010 their 30th anniversary brought an album reminiscent of their older material, The Dissent of Man. It rocks similar to Generator. It was a breath of fresh air to see this punk monolith getting back to basics.


2013, exactly 11 years after Process of Belief Bad Religion released their most back to basics album, True North. It flows like No Control. This is the blast from the past it’s been hailed as. Sadly, Greg Hetson has had to leave the band following this due to personal problems. The Bad Religion story doesn’t end here as they’re working on a new album. 34 years isn’t enough!

As far as I’m concerned every album by these guys has been great. Even their “dark period” as Graffin calls it when Mr. Brett had temporarily left the band. My favorite album is still the All Ages compilation. 2nd album I got from them and it just blew my mind. Still hits me just right all these years later. This band has been attached to some of the best times in my life and been a soundtrack to getting through some of the worst. Other than the impact of the band themselves, Epitaph has been a force for putting punk on the map with a number of seminal releases in the 80’s and 90’s scenes. Also their sub labels of Hell Cat and Burning Heart have done the scene a lot of good. BR has been a driving force in my constant effort to keep up on the increasingly fucked world we inhabit. So, if you don’t know this band, research and hear now! If you’ve not listened in a while give ‘em another spin and see if the magic is still there.

-Maty Almost

Keep up

https://punxinsolidarity.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post-new.phpWith Bad Religion

http://www.badreligion.com/

https://www.facebook.com/badreligion

Learn Something

http://punxinsolidarity.wordpress.com/2013/10/23/fast-food-and-the-music-industry-by-greg-graffin-2/

http://punxinsolidarity.wordpress.com/2013/10/22/web-surdites-by-greg-graffin/

http://punxinsolidarity.wordpress.com/2013/10/22/a-punk-synopsis-by-greg-graffin/

http://punxinsolidarity.wordpress.com/2013/10/22/a-comment-on-responsible-voting-by-greg-graffin/

http://punxinsolidarity.wordpress.com/2013/10/22/punk-manifesto-by-greg-graffin/

Maty’s Corner #19

Maty’s Corner #19
Ben Weasel; He’s a Jerk, He’s a Hero!

 

Ben Weasel is one of most maligned, polarizing and interesting characters in the punk scene. He’s captained two defining bands, authored 2 books, is presently working on a musical and has effortlessly pissed off most of the “punk” scene. Gonna apologize in advance if I get anything wrong and do my best shed some light on a nasty rumor or two. Strap in and take a ride to the punk house.

Ben’s first and most notable band Screeching Weasel started in 1987 in Prospect Heights Illinois and became a fixture in the chicago punk scene. Their alumni over the years has boasted some heavy hitters such as Mike Dirnt, Mass Giorgini, Aaron Cometbus and Dan Vapid. They are probably the most influential band to pop punk/power pop/emo since the Ramones. Their brand of punk has covered quite the broad spectrum from weird pop culture fantasies to the pretentiousness inherent in the more leftist portion of punk rock.

1987 brought us their self titled debut. The album was around only briefly at the time as Underdog Records had no interest in re-pressing after the initial copies sold out. It was re-issued in 1997 by VML Records. This album is great for the hard core fans but easily their worst or best album depending on perspective. I enjoy it but would not play it to introduce someone to the band. The highlight is early versions on some of the band’s better known songs being, Murder in the Brady House, My Right, Hey Suburbia, and I Hate Led Zeppelin. It’s worth a listen if you love Screeching Weasel or just some kind of music nerd.

In 1988 Weasel put out Boogada, probably their best known album. This was their debut on Lookout Records. This featured better produced versions of a few tracks off of their first album. This effort sees the beginnings of their transition from strange near hard core to the pop punk powerhouse they are today. One of the stand outs on this is Nicaragua which seems like a fuck you to the over sensitive crusties. This was also one of the first appearances of the famed cartoon weasel character.

1991 gave us My Brain Hurts. This showed the band in the more pop punk/ Ramones-Core direction. This featured backing vocals with the edition of Dan Vapid and a better, more rounded out sound. A highlight from this is one of my favorite Weasel songs, Science of Myth, a song that still affects me to this day. This release took the weasel to new heights in popularity.

In 1992 Weasel released an album that changed my view on punk rock in general and was the first one I ever heard. It was titled Ramones. This is a cover of the entire first Ramones album done in Screeching Weasel’s own break neck pace. The repress also had the Formula 27 EP tacked on at the end and is entitled Beat Is on the Brat. This is the version I got. This was their first album to be recorded at Sonic Iguana studios with Mass Giorgini producing, a unit that has put out many of pop punk’s greatest releases.

Following the Ramones celebration was 1993’s Wiggle. The band’s most solid album. It featured a number of songwriting collaborations with Joe Queer and one with Aaron Cometbus. The highlight of this is the entire album. Though Crying in My Beer and High School psychopath near have their own life beyond this release. Supposedly there have been regrets about some of the songs chosen for this album which I don’t get personally.

Also 1993 brought us Anthem for a New Tomorrow, yes they are that fast. This was a bit more straight up than Wiggle. I think part of that was the bulk of the tracks were written strictly by Ben Weasel. It continued their legacy as pop punk titans. Their instrumentation and lyricism had jumped by leaps and bounds at this point.

1994 brought what was initially going to be Weasel’s last album, How to Make Enemies and Irritate People. Dan Vapid had left the band at this point. Green Day’s mike Dirnt had been recruited to fill in. The recording does show the strain the band was feeling. It was still a great album nonetheless. It’s still classic Weasel even if a bit tired. This also marks their final release with Lookout Records. It really looked the Weasel was out to pasture.

1995 brought us an interim album, Kill the Musicians. This is packed with a bunch of goodies such as b sides and vinyl only stuff. A definite must for the hard core Weasel fan.

Cut to 1996. Reformed Weasel with a new album, Bark like a Dog on a new label, Fat Wreck Chords. This alum sounds a lot more alive and in tune with Screeching Weasel than their prior effort. They sound more alive. This was their only album to hit Billboard at #34. Bark gave us Cool Kids which is an excellent Weasel track.

1998 kicked in with Television City Dream. Vapid had again left the band and Mass Giorgini was filling in on bass along with producing the album. This is a blend of the Weasel pop sound with a blend of the harder edge found on their earliest work. It was yet another solid effort from the Weasel. They were still on Fat Wreck at this point.

In 1999 Weasel released their overall most interesting album, Emo. Interesting due to a lot of the song writing sounding like a lot of mid western punk that was being labeled as such and the obvious fact that this band’s music had an influence on the scene. Though I doubt this band ever stole their sister’s clothes, make up and hair products. This whole album stands out as it was quite different from anything the band had done. They had split from Fat and released this on Panic Button Records which was run by founding member Jughead.

2000 saw the release of Teen Punks in Heat. Another solid release from the band. It looked like they were in a full fledged reformation as they had played two sold out shows. Their first live performance in seven years. But Weasel broke up again and wouldn’t release another album for 11 years.

2011 marked Weasel’s craziest year to date. They were back on Fat Wreck and with a new album, First World Manifesto. Some of it takes stabs at everything that”punks” like Fat Mike are about. Along with this was the incident at South by Southwest. A female member of the audience had been throwing ice and spitting at Ben through the duration of their set. After an hour Ben lost it and threw a punch at her, guess you shouldn’t screw with the band, then the club owner rushed Ben and he defended himself. Following this was much of the punk scene forming a lynch mob. His own band threw him under the bus and got shit canned as a result. Fat Mike was of course full of self righteous indignation due to him being such a stand up guy, right.

Aside from Screeching Weasel and polarizing fans Ben fronted another highly influential group, the Riverdales. They took the Ramones influence to new levels. Lead vocals were shared between Dan Vapid and Ben Weasel. Really amazing band. They released 5 albums between 1995 and 2010. I’m pretty sure this band is dead as Vapid was one of the people to turn on Ben the moment the wind blew wrong.

Along with this Ben has put out 2 solo albums and 2 difficult to find books. After 23 years the Weasel marches on. Honestly I think Ben exemplifies punk more than a number of artists in the scene. It’s supposed to be a bit unfriendly and dangerous. You want safe, go listen to some shitty pop music. Ben screwed up and apologized. Get over it. As for Vapid and crew, you betray your band, you deserve the unemployment line. If you know Ben’s band, give another listen, if not, check ‘em out!
-Maty Almost

https://www.facebook.com/screechingweasel

Maty’s Corner #18

 

Maty’s Corner #18
Amerikan Made Album Review

I recently picked up the album Time by Amerikan Made at their release show. Just good solid straight up no bull shit hard core from Huntington Beach, Ca. All really cool guys and tight live set. The entire Album is solid. Catch these guys live and get a copy of this. I know many punks are looking for something to slam or simply fuck on the floor and break shit to. Here ya go. It’s you time! Find these guys at https://www.facebook.com/amerikan.made.1?fref=ts

-Maty Almost

 

Lookout! Or Else. More Ben Weasel

 

So Larry Livermore put out a book about Lookout Records and appearently misrepresents Screeching Weasel based off of info from John “Jughead”. Less than surprising considering that a lot of the scene is hell bent on maligning Ben Weasel.

-Maty Almost

Now for Ben’s posted thoughts on the book.

So, this Lookout Records book that just came out – what a mess. It focuses way more on SW than I’d imagined it would. If I’d known I was living that comfortably and rent-free in Larry’s head I’d’ve done a few things differently.

But the main thing is the factual errors. And not just the author. You’ve got band members who had no idea what was going on discussing business they had nothing to do with and talking dumb shit.

One example: the author asserts that we supposedly had a deal with Lookout to put Homosexual on MBH and reneged on it. Presumably John is his source since he’s the one quoted.

What actually happened was that Larry refused to sign a deal with us so we agreed with Shred of Dignity to do the Pervo-Devo EP well before signing with Lookout – weeks if not months in advance. Larry refused to agree to release MBH till it was about halfway mixed, and only after I gave him an ultimatum when he 1. started insinuating that he wasn’t going to sign us if we didn’t put Science of Myth as the first track and 2. asked me to renege on our deal with SoD and add Homosexual. I said, “sorry pal, I already have a deal with Matt at SoD. He was willing to take a chance on us when you weren’t.” Matt was in the studio doing a photo shoot with me and Bruce LaBruce for the Pervo-Devo sleeve and Larry hectored and berated the shit out of him trying to get him to give the song up, to no avail. By the time he suggested putting the song on both records he’d alienated Matt to the point where Matt wasn’t even willing to do that (and it seemed dumb and cheap to me anyway to put it on both releases, not that Larry was asking my opinion at that point).

And of course John keeps referring to Matt as “Bruce LaBruce.” Maybe all gay guys look the same to him. Anyway, I was no saint back then, but accusing me of reneging on a deal when it was literally the exact opposite of what I did in spite of a lot of pressure – Larry threatened not to sign us and we had a $750 studio bill to pay, not to mention a dead van and no money to fix it and get back to Chicago from California – is a bit much.

Gub, who played on one tour with us and ended up on a long out of print live radio EP is credited with having been an actual member (he wasn’t – he was filling in till we found someone permanent. Nice guy, but he wasn’t in the band) and, remarkably with having played on two tours, and on the Wiggle album. I mean, all you had to do was look at the jacket to know that’s wrong. Come on.

Our first album apparently cost $200 to make. I wish I hadn’t put in all those hours at the warehouse to pay the $1000 studio bill then! And this is something that has been documented publicly. In fact I’m 99% sure it’s on the liner notes of one of our anthologies. Somebody Google it if you give a shit.

That’s off the top of my head, and I’ve only skimmed this thing so far. Look, the author asked me to participate and I declined so I have only myself to blame for not being the voice of reason responding to John’s many fanciful tales of days of yore but stuff like completely blowing an easily verifiable thing like who played on an album – I don’t get that. Then again, I’ve never tried to write a book like this so maybe this is par for the course. I guess I’ll have to write my own book someday.

-Ben Weasel

 

Maty’s Corner #17

Maty’s Corner #17
DFL: Proud To Be Dead Fucking Last!

Coming out of LA with a teeth kicking sound as aggressive as the name is Dead Fucking Last. This hard core unit led by Crazy Tom has consisted of Mike D and Ad Rock of Beastie Boys, Brian Baker of Minor Threat/ Bad Religion and AWOL of Suicidal Tendencies. More impressive than their past line up is their hard core you can break a skate ramp to. They sound like an older band, reminiscent of the 80’s hard core of the South Bay area.

Their first release, My Crazy Life came out on Grand Royal records. It is informal recording sessions which sound more like a decently produced live album rather than a studio effort. This release set them up as a sound that punches you in the face from the first note and just continues beating till the end. They quickly establish a signature lo fi muffled sound which I’m not sure was an accident.

1994 brought DFL to Epitaph Records and the Release of Proud To Be. The first release I came across and what I think may be their best known. The recording quality is slightly better on this. The pace is even more break neck than their debut. It was a classic to play at skate sessions when I was younger. This one has a stand out for me, the title track. At 20 tracks, this long runner of an entirely bad ass hard core album will keep you going from session through hospital or police station trip.

In 1997 they put out Grateful. Their most recent studio album to date. This continues the fashion of sounding more like a live show and fast paced teeth knocking hard core. The band sounds more solid than their previous two efforts and somehow louder.
In 1999 DFL went on Hiatus. Crazy Tom was working on GFP which consists of Tony Alva of… (if you don’t know I’m sorry you lived under a rock), Greg Hetson of Circle Jerks/ Bad Religion and AWOL from Suicidal. As of 2013 DFL has reunited and is playing shows and will, at some point, have some music for us. Better dead last than fucking never. Check them out and stalk them at https://www.facebook.com/proudtobedfl

-Maty Almost