Welcome to the American Fall

The new Anti-Flag album dropped today. It’s the most stoked I’ve been on a new punk album in years. I saw them live a couple weeks back. The new one is a call to action against the neo-liberal order of the previous 8 years and this alt-right status quo the rose of Trump has given us. Stand out track on this is When The Wall Falls. Anti-Flag wrote a kick ass ska track. This is the album we need now. From us old dogs who may feel a bit jaded to the scared kid that may be gay, trans or simply not about the shit happening in these times. This is a battle cry to hold the line and remain human. As always we’ve got this. I’ll see ya when the wall falls.

– C Fish

Writer’s note: stay tuned for a full Punx In Solidarity style Anti Flag article late fall/ early winter. 

Straight Edge Punk Legends Minor Threat

Looking At Minor Threat

Minor Threat was the straight edge, hardcore punk band from Washington, D.C. Led by vocalist Ian MacKaye, the band was staunchly independent and fiercely sober. Through their songs, the group rejected drugs and alcohol, espoused anti-establishment politics, and led a call for self-awareness. Every song was fast and sharp, with song a minute or shorter. Over a three year period, Minor Threat released two EPs, one album, and several singles, all of which were popular in the American punk rock underground. Their records and concerts helped spawn straight-edge, an American punk rock lifestyle based on the group’s intense, clean-living ideology. Following the disbandment of Minor Threat, MacKaye formed Fugazi, a popular hardcore post punk band.

MacKaye formed the Teen Idles while he was attending Wilson High School in Washington, D.C., and after he graduated in 1980, he founded the Dischord record label with the intent of putting out his group’s records through the label.  The Teen Idles broke up and MacKaye had formed Minor Threat with former Idles drummer Jeff Nelson, former Government Issue bassist Brian Baker, and guitarist Lyle Preslar. By the end of the year, Minor Threat had released the singles “Minor Threat” and “Straight Edge,” and had played many concerts along the East Coast. Throughout 1981, they followed this same pattern, playing a lot of concerts and releasing 7″ singles.

 

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Maty’s Corner #35 Introducing Carpit

I recently got a copy of Carpit’s self titled debut. It fucking rocks! These guys cone raging out of Long Beach, CA. The music rocks like early Pennywise and Guttermouth. Every track makes a point and would be a great background to any skate session. These guys have a bunch of shows coming up so catch em live! Hopefully I’ll see some of y’all in the LBC! You can stalk them at facebook.com/carpitlbc
-Maty Almost

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Jello Biafra For President!

READ Jello Biafra’s Politics Perspective BELOW:

Alternative Tentacles

Jello Stalking

I think that people know that [a Dead Kennedys reformation] is out of the question. There was one local fly-by-nigher who offered $100,000 for ten days but I didn’t dignify that call with a reply. The most ridiculous offer of all was from Gene Simmons of KISS calling me up wanting movie rights to Frankenchrist trial (where Biafra defended an H.R. Giger poster included with the record deemed “harmful matter,” on the grounds of free speech, as detailed on his spoken-word album High Priest of Harmful Matter). Meeting Frank Zappa was one of the few silver linings to come out of the trial. He got a hold of me and the helpers of the No More Censorship Defense Fund rather than us having to find him. He gave me some very valuable advice very early on; something that anybody subjected to that kind of harassment should remember: You are the victim. You have to constantly frame yourself that way in the mass media so you don’t get branded some kind of outlaw simply because of your beliefs and the way you express your art. The outlaws are the police. I got to visit Frank two or three more times at his house in Los Angeles and those were very special times. He showed me a hilarious Christian aerobics video. The women were in their skintight leotards doing jumping jacks. “One-two, two-two, three-two, praise the Lord!” And of course the bustiest one was in a striped spandex suit dead front center of the screen!

DK - Jello On Stage

DK Stage Dive

I’m drying out from recording and mixing a track, of all things, a Willie Nelson “tribute album”. For anybody who knows the song,” Still is Still Moving to Me,” it’s the closest thing to a, oh, a Dead Kennedys “Holiday in Cambodia” sounding song that he ever came up with, and the lyrics are cool too.

Working with Al Jourgensen was never a dull moment. He’s the Jerry Lee Lewis of the 90’s……. what can we do? He was even supposed to produce Jerry Lee but I guess Jerry Lee backed out at the last minute.

Ice-T is one of the most brilliant people I’ve ever met. I don’t agree with all of his views-especially in the area of women! – but overall he’s a fascinating person to be around. The intelligence and energy just kind of rubs off and sparkles. “Cop Killer” is the “Born to Be Wild” of the 90’s. Everything that people find shocking now will routine in ten years. It always works out that way. Remember when Elvis Presley’s legs were banned from television? I envision that someday an ad will come on television,” Remember the good old 90’s? Well relive the nostalgia with Cop-Killers-Hating Whitey in the 90’s, starring Body Count, Ice Cube, Ice-T, NWA, Snoop Doggy Dog…” you name it.

Jello Bounce

Jello Crawl

We played shows together with Black Flag, we networked together, tipped each other to promoters in different cities when one of us would run across somebody new. There was much more of a cohesive bond between the bands that were then called punk and hardcore because there were so few of us and it was against everything we hated about the 70’s and the music establishment. We had to crack open places for us and other people to play in’ town. The very idea of an all-ages show horrified New York. But once we got in and were able to do that, it exploded and all these bands came out. That happened in a lot of places, and leaders in cracking open those towns were Black Flag, the Dead Kennedys, and D.O.A..

I’m one of the few people in this town who has articulate danger towards the outbreak of punk fundamentalism, especially when the dictator of the biggest local so-called punk magazine (Maximum Rock ‘N’ Roll) is now advocating violence against people he doesn’t like. What I’ve had to do is to point out that not everybody who has a long and deep involvement with punk wants to turn it into something bitter, fundamentalist, isolationist church, and go around playing “cop” on other people. If that was the attitude I’d found when I first got into punk, I would have gotten right back out again. I think that circling the wagons and putting up fences right at a time when millions of new people could potentially turn onto the politics and spirit of punk is sad and irresponsible.

Jello Live 2

Jello Mabuhay Gardens

I don’t think either the Offspring or Green Day started their bands with the intention of becoming so enormously popular; that sort of fell in their laps-especially the Offspring. My attitude is if somebody blunders into the level of popularity, at least remember the human factor. These guys are still human beings and hopefully still have hearts and if you keep in touch with them rather than vilify them you may be able to encourage them to go in the right direction. What I’m hoping will eventually happen is that they will grasp the amount of power and financial clout that is now at their fingertips and use those as tools to help real people with real things the way punk politics was always designed to do before, but nobody had any money.

Dk - Jello Biafra Stage

Jello Crowd Pleaser

The Grateful Dead, of all people, had been doing this for years with a grant foundation. They would donate about a million dollars a year from concert receipts or benefit concerts, and that money would then be doled out to people that applied for the grant for everything from soup kitchens, battered women’s shelters, rural school districts who don’t have any money for instruments for a music program or an aspiring composer. It was a way of putting the politics behind the music into something other than your own pocket.

Jello Thrasher Shirt

Jello Getty 050711

I still think, quality of the bands aside, the only reason this later batch of bands(grunge, Green Day, the Offspring) got signed and pushed was to help steer white suburban kids away from political black rap music. Reggae they could buy-at least there the revolution was aimed at Jamaica – but some of these people were talking about revolution in the United States. “We can’t have these future middle-class model citizens finding out what America is really like!! No, no, no! Come on kids! Shoe gaze, shoe gaze! Remember, you’re slackers! You’re Generation X! You’re not supposed to care!” The whole slacker myth was imposed from above after these very alleged slackers helped throw George Bush out of the White House.

Dead Kennedys

There isn’t one magical solution. I do think that more people listen to artists-especially rappers-and musicians than they do to politicians, and if they’re going to look at us for leadership and brain food, we ought to provide some ideas for improvement over the current collapse of the Roman Empire that we’re witnessing in this country. I have tossed out some ideas on Beyond the Valley of the Gift Police [Biafra’s fourth spoken word album], some of them sarcastic but some of them also very practical. There’s a lot of allegations about the [government and AIDS] that have even made the London Times, and I haven’t really made up my mind. It wouldn’t surprise me a bit, though, the way we play around with germ bombs in the country. There was one group of military scientists who immediately went into the heart of Zaire when they first heard about the Ebola virus, and there reaction instead of wanting to exterminate it, was “Wow! Wouldn’t this make a great toy? Let’s take some back to Fort Detrick, Maryland.” And they did. And sure enough, some of the monkeys escaped., but they were recaptured. But it makes me wonder how many other things like that have happened where the germs did get out. There’s lots of evidence that that outbreak of hantavirus in New Mexico the Summer before last that killed large numbers of Native Americans had actually been leaked out of germ warfare lab right next to an Indian reservation in the Southwest.

This is my home. Home is where the disease is. As long as I stay in America, I’ll never run out of subjects for songs.

Jello Biafra
Alternative Tentacles

Jello Live Recent

 

 

Opening Chapter To STAMINA Zine

Opener To The STAMINA Zine, Issue # 1

Too Late To Die Young

Now that I’m in my mid 40’s and at the so called ‘mid life crisis’ age we have all heard about, I have to admit I do get some attention when going to a skateboard park, or while attending a punk rock show and even when catching some waves at the local’s only California coastline. It’s to be expected and most people do appreciate my efforts and my experience.

Monday Santa Cruz

So I realize I have to accept the fact that I will be dealing with some worried mothers at the skateboard parks and usually I end up having a little chat with them to show I’m no petifile, but rather just a big dumb kid still holding on to his youth. Hey that’s fine with me, I’m just happy to be there and able to drop in and grind that place to pieces, carve out a few lines and I’m out.

Monday Boneless

Now when I get dressed up for a gig in my punk rock attire complete with a denim vest jacket that’s full of patches I’ve made from cutting up old t-shirts and sewing them on, I tend to get a little amped up on catching a banging hardcore show. Although, I do need to be aware of the age difference between myself and the kids of today, the ones I’ll probably be bashing heads with if I decide to do some moshing that night.

Oh How

In most cases at the skate parks and the punk shows, or even at the surf spots, I do gain some respect for my age and believe me I think I deserve it. I’ve been living this lifestyle for 30+ years now and don’t let the grey hair fool you; show this pioneer some due respect. That’s all I expect, I don’t want to cause any trouble, or spoil anybody’s ‘good vibrations,’ no way, not at all.

Monday Surfing

Now I will throw down under certain circumstances, or if someone steps to my grill trying to front with some, “Hey OG” bullshit or tries to use my obvious experienced appearance as a prop for his nickel and dime senior citizen jokes, saying, “Hey gramps the kiddy bowl is at the front of the park,” or “the kiddy waves are down by the pier,” or “Hey Old School, the kiddy seats are up in the balcony. “Oh Fuck No. Kiddy just knocked you out!”

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Okay, so I don’t think I’m wrong here for demanding at least some props for keeping my game real for so many years. I kept my bag of tricks fresh with a steady flow and when I was coming up I showed nothing but respect to the senior ranks. Seriously, I’ve been riding this magic carpet for decade after decade now, so please show some due respect to the forefathers who paved the way for our rights and for our freedoms we all luckily enjoy today.

All Day Long
Okay, so my mind may be a little tired from all the years of living the ‘endless summer,’ but don’t let the slow memory fool you. I dogged your daddy’s back when they were coming up and I sure as hell ain’t getting fazed by your swag, hipster, dubsteping, steezy attitude. No way, pal, “I’M HERE TO STAY” and if it’s not meant for me to blow things up anymore on the level, then everybody will at least know that I died trying.Up The Punx!’

-Rich Monday

Order STAMINA By Sending $5.00 To This PayPal Email: diy-publishing@att.net

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Maty’s Corner #34 Close But No Cigar: Millencolin

Maty’s Corner #34

Close But No Cigar:

Millencolin

            Starting in 1992 out of Orebro, Sweden was the flag ship band for Burning Heart records and one of the first skate punk bands I went crazy over, Millencolin. Their name is taken from a skate trick named Melancholy. These guys are an amazing blend of some heart wrenching lyrics and straight shredding. Well, for those of ya who don’t know these guys, let’s solve that problem.

            1994 saw the debut album Tiny Tunes. This was initially released in Europe on Epitaph’s sub label Burning Heart. When it was released in the U.S. the band was forced to rename it Same Old Tunes and change the cover art due to a lawsuit from Warner Brothers. This album was primarily straight ahead skate punk with a few ska punk songs. Stand outs on this include Mr. Clean and Da Strike.

            1995 dropped Life On A Plate. This continued their blend of skate and ska punk songs. Their playing continued to tighten up. Stand out tracks on this include Bullion and Vulcan Ears. This was another solid effort from Millencolin.

            1997 gave us For Monkeys. This had a break out single for this band with Lozin’ Must. An honestly great song. Their sound was getting harder on some songs in this album. The other stand out on this was Twenty Two.

            2000 was Millencolin’s break out release Pennybridge Pioneers. This was their jump from Burning Heart to Epitaph. They had dropped the ska sound and every track on this is solid punk rock. Stand outs on this are Fox, Penguins and Polar Bears and No Cigar. The album title is the English translation of the band’s home town. No Cigar was featured in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2.

            2002 was Home From Home. The Millencolin sound plowed right along in this album. In some was the sound hardened up more on singles like Man or Mouse and Kemp. The true stand out on this album though was Punk Rock Rebel. This is a tribute song for that old dog that got ya into punk to begin with, we all have one.

            2005 gave us Kingwood. There are number of notably harder tracks on this one. Some are at more of a break neck pace than anything this band had done prior. The stand out is a dark and sad song known as Shut You Out though. It’s not a slow song by any means though, it’s a punk rock ballad you can thrash a ramp to.

            2008 was Millencolin’s most current release Machine 15. Through all the years and albums this band hasn’t slowed up one bit. Aside from these releases the singe Nikola has released 4 solo albums. The band continues to tour and are said to be working on a new album. They even had a Vans shoe which I’d like to see come back. So lube up your bearings and play some of the Pennybridge Pioneers at your next skate session.

-Maty Almost

Maty’s Corner #9 Punk Rock Changed Our Lives: Minutemen

Maty’s Corner #9

Punk Rock Changed Our Lives:

Minutemen

 

            Starting in 1980 outta San Pedro, CA was one of punk’s most musically interesting and intense bands, the Minutemen. Consisting of Mike Watt’s bass genius, D Boon’s lyrical prowess and George Hurley’s above and beyond rhythm. They were a blend of punk, hard core and funk. They put out 10 recordings in 5 years. All of which were collected on Post-Mersh 1-3.

            1981-83 was The Punch Line and What Makes a Man Start Fires? These make up Post-Mersh Volume 1. These recordings give an immediate sense of what this band was about. Every song had a point and urgency about it. Some of it sounds like half psychotic Bukowski ramblings, but there was still something that felt important about it.

            1983-85 was Post-Mersh volume 2 which covered Buzz and Project Mersh. The vast majority of there songs go by rapidly, typically under 2 minutes. This gave us I Felt Like a Gringo, great song. Their amazing sound evolved through these recordings.

            1981-85 was Post-Mersh Volume 3. This covers the famous and important Paranoid Time EP, Joy, Bean Spill, Politics of Time and Tour Spiel eps as well. The first stand out from this is Definitions. Much of their best work is from the songs encompassed here. One of their biggest songs was Corona off of Double Nickels On The Dime. It was the Theme song for the show Jackass. Now that you know this amazing band, hear the music and let it marinade your brain!

 

 

-Maty Almost

Maty’s Corner #33 I Was Wasted and Became Damaged! Black Flag

Maty’s Corner #33

I Was Wasted and Became Damaged!

Black Flag

 

            Starting in 1976 Hermosa Beach, CA was Black Flag. That’s right; the most influential hard core band predates most punk. Though from 76 to late 78 they were known as Panic. This amazing unit has burned through more people than an urban wild fire and their influence on both punk rock and skate boarding has had the same effect and intensity. Their ranks have included some of the South Bay scene’s heaviest hitters, including the Descendent’s Bill Stevenson on drums for five years. So drop in and learn or review a thing or two about these guys.

            Black Flag’s first releases are best summed up by The First 4 Years comp. This came out in 1983 and collects all the tracks for Nervous Breakdown, Jealous Again, and Six Pack) arguably the best EPs by any band ever). This covers the first three vocalists. That was Keith Morris who would go on to front Circle Jerks and OFF! Chavo who would return and professionally wound this band a few decades later. And Dez Cadena who would move to guitar for some of the band’s best material.

            1981 gave us Black Flag’s first full album. This was the beginning of the Rollins era. One of the most power house front men in punk and most of rock. This is opens with Rise Above which is a song that has a life of its own. Off of this we also got Six Pack and T.V. Party. This is one of the most influential albums in music itself.

            1984 gave us My War. Instead of trying to re-create Damaged, they chose to evolve creatively. This was much to the chagrin of many punks. It’s part hard core album, part doom metal. I don’t care what anyone says, it’s fucking amazing. This album was influential for many sludge artists, such as Long Beach’s Dystopia, check ‘em out if you want some heavy sounding shit.

            1984 gave us the strangest album, Family Man. It’s part amazing spoken word by Rollins and part weird instrumental stuff. It has one of the creepiest Ray Pettibon (Black Flag’s artist, Ginn’s younger brother and founding bassist) artwork. I’ll admit he Greg Ginn instrumentals on this album seemed a bit self indulgent, but it’s still a pretty cool album.

            1984 (yes they managed to record and release 3 albums in a year) brought us Slip It In. It opens with the gnarly sex song title track. The other stand out is an all time favorite of mine, Black Coffee. This went back to what Black Flag was doing on My War. Which was a good thing after the avante whatever on Family Man.

            1985 brought out Loose Nut. The best track off of this was Annihilate This Week. This album saw further experimentation of the Black Flag sound and Rollins continuing to deliver everything the only way he can, amazing. There are a couple other great tracks off of this. Despite all the complaints, I give the band props for never trying to re-create an older album.

            1985 also busted out with what would be their final album for 28 years, In My Head. Notable tracks off of this are Drinking and Driving and Retired at 21. This had a few more straight up songs than some of the previous albums. Still as good as anything Black Flag had been putting out.

            2013 Black Flag had returned with a new album that I have no kind words for. Chavo was back on vocals and the delivery was an absolute abortion. What The.. is an apt title for this thing. Chavo was so bad that then manager Mike Vallely shit canned him mid show on the tour and took the mic to finish the tour out. So now skate boarding’s bad ass of Mike V is the voice of Black Flag. I am hopeful for the next album and subsequent tour. So Check out those other Black Flag releases if you’ve not given them a chance before. And don’t let Greg Ginn’s legal drama cloud how awesome this band is.

-Maty Almost

Maty’s Corner #32 Keepin’ The Ape Drape Alive: The Vandals

Maty’s Corner #32

Keepin’ The Ape Drape Alive:

The Vandals

 

            Starting 1980 outta Huntington Beach, CA is The Vandals! One of the most recognizable bands in punk. They are survivors of the 1980’s hard core scene who managed to stay punk and not just give up, even after the exit of founding vocalist Stevo Jensen. Along with being a legendary band, they also appeared in the punk rock favorite cult film suburbia and were a staple at the legendary Cuckoo’s Nest during its existence. All while poking fun at everything including punk itself.

            1982,84 and 89 mark the Vandals’ first release. This was initially two separate releases being Peace Through Vandalism and When In Rome, Do As The Vandals. The compilation was released on Mike Ness’ Restless Records. These releases saw The Vandals as a strange mix of hard core and cow punk. It was different from the rest of the musical landscape of the time. These were the only two releases with Stevo as he chose to leave the band. This release contains many of the Band’s best known songs.

            1989 saw Slippery When Ill which was straight up cow punk from this band. This was mostly as a joke on the resurgence in popularity of country music. A great, if not unconventional album. This was the start of Dave Quackenbush on vocals who was rather seemless as he sounded so much like Stevo.

            1990 saw the beginning of The Vandals being a beloved skate punk band with Fear of a Punk Planet. They were still weird as always. This album even includes an odd cover of Summer Lovin’. This was the start of a new era for the Vandals.

            1995 saw them sign to Nitro Records and release Live Fast, Diarrhea. This is a great album. It included the popular song And Now We Dance. The band gained notable popularity due to a song off this and a character wearing their shirts in an episode of X Files. This whole album is solid and has been a favorite of mine for years.

            1996 came out with what was my first and still favorite album The Quickening. This album largely pokes at Anarchism and Nihilism. It tears into a few other themes as well. This and the first release are always what I refer newcomers to as far as this band goes. Another great track is Aging Orange that tears into the music industry.

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            Later in 1996 gave Oi to the World. The Vandals Christmas classic. It’s played in my home every year. Also gave the premise for the Vandals Winter Formal show that occurs in Anaheim every year. Aside from the title track my other stand out is Gun For Christmas. This album was released on Kung Fu Records where the band would later go on to stay.

            1998 gave the release of Hitler Bad, Vandals Good. Another solid one from this band. This has a number of great songs such as People That Are Going To Hell, My Girlfriend’s Dead and Ape Drape. This album had a lot more humor than the face kick of The Quickening.

            2000 gave us Look What I Almost Stepped in. It opens with another middle finger to the music industry. This album would see Brooks Wackerman leave to join Bad Religion (can’t blame him). From here The Vandals would leave Nitro for their own label of Kung Fu.

            2002 saw Internet Dating Super Studs come out. It features 43210-1 which is the theme of The Show Must Go Off series. This album largely poked the humor at internet culture. A stand out off this is Unseen Tears of the Albacore.

            2004 brought us The Vandals most recent release, Hollywood Potato Chip. The title is a reference to “love” stains left on a couch, you’re welcome for that. This album is a bit more aggressive than their last few. It’s like a lot off of The Quickening. So if ya didn’t know the Vandals, go forth and rock the fuck out now!

-Maty Almost