Maty’s Corner #16
Pulley: The Esteem Driven Engine Still Matters
Pulley started up in 1994, right in the beginning thick of the Southern California skate punk revolution of music that shaped my life. This 5 piece hard hitting melodic punk unit is led by Scott Radinsky who was no stranger the punk scene by 94 having been in Scared Straight during its 10 year existence (83-93) being heavy hitters in the Nardcore Mystic Records scene. They then went on to become skate punk greats Ten Foot Pole. Radinsky was in charge of that unit for their first 2 releases then forced to leave due to his pro baseball that he was already 3 years deep into. Being that baseball conflicts with the tour schedule of most punk rock I see it is making sense. That didn’t preclude Radinsky from being the voice of TFP’s seminal single My Wall.
Right outta the gate Pulley was a bit of a super group consisting of Radinsky from his aforementioned bands; Jim Cherry (may his soul be rested) of Strung Out; Matt Riddle of Face To Face and No Use For a Name; and Tony Palermo from Ten Foot Pole and Unwritten Law.
Pulley’s first drop in was 1995’s Esteem Driven Engine. A strong door kicker of a debut from these punk veterans. It slams open with Cashed In which would be a candidate on a best of record. Right away this first album sets a tone for more introspective lyrics which tends to happen to us punks as we get older. Take for instance Bad Religion’s material from the mid 90’s and forward.
Right after this was 97’s 60 Cycle hum. Again a really strong track starts the whole album off on the right foot, or left if ya skate goofy. The most interesting track on this was Noddin’ Off. It kicks like Ten Foot Pole or Scared Straight. I think kinda letting us all know that they remember who they are. Another overall solid effort from this board breaking unit.
1999 brought us @#!*, referred to as self titled. Honestly my favorite album by these guys. I believe it’s also their most popular. The lyrics start getting real introspective and the music on a couple tracks is even a bit dark. It’s still Pulley. The differences show growth in the band and they sound tighter than their first 2 albums. The stand out for me has always been Over It. Somewhat of a scathing indictment of the rat race that even the punk scene can degenerate into. Less of a middle finger and more a wake up call. The more incendiary and equally great track is Nothing To Lose. It’s been the background to a fuck you in my life numerous times. Just a great one to sing with and let something out.
2001 marked Pulley’s first album as a 4 piece, Together Again For The First Time. Jim Cherry had left the band to pursue Zero Down and dropped one solid album with them before he departed us. Despite the missing guitarist, this is as solid and tough an album as Pulley had put out. The first real stand out on this is “Hooray”hooray,matters,olympus,friends, for me. Another honest critique of the scene from the perspective of growing up but not giving in. The other one that hits me of this effort is “Same Sick Feeling.” Always sounds like one off of the 99 album and that’s not at all a bad thing.
2004 marked Pulley’s longest gap between albums. Matters shows the band hasn’t lost a bit of edge over their first 10 years. The band just sounds tighter with each offering they put out. It was also dedicated to their guitarist and friend Jim. This for me is like 99’s “self titled”. Most stand out on Matters is Insects Destroy. Has a bit of Bad Religion and Pennywise feel. Makes sense being that they were all label mates for so long. This marks Pulley’s final album on punk rock Olympus of Epitaph records and their last full length to date.
2009 after about 5 years Pulley gave us their first ep on a new label, Time Insensitive Material. Ghost Inside My Skin is the stand out of this short offering. It’s a blend of classic Pulley with some new ideas. The first glimpse of something new to come. 20011 gave us The Long And The Short Of It ep. Coming in at only 3 tracks, it leaves me hoping for a full length in the near future. There’s been rumors swirling around a new full length since 2012. I was fortunate to see them play recently. After 20 years of Pulley and 31 years of Scott Radinsky, neither part shows any sign of letting up for a long time to come.
Check out Pulley if you don’t know ‘em, re listen or catch ‘em live if ya do.
Article published in the popular Mega Zine STAMINA #3.
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October 29, 2013
Legendary punk band BLACK FLAG has reformed and will play this year’s Hevy Fest, set to take place August 2-4 in Port Lympne Wild Animal Park in Kent. The group’s only 2013 appearance in the U.K. will mark the first time in 30 years that the band’s played in the country.
BLACK FLAG’s lineup for the show will include singer Ron Reyes, who was a member of the band during 1979-1980 (after Keith Morris but before Dez Cadena) and was featured on the “Jealous Again” EP. He will be joined by guitarist and founder Greg Ginn as well as bassist Chuck Dukowski and drummer Roberto “Robo” Valverde.
Vocalist Henry Rollins joined BLACK FLAG in 1981 and left five years later. He has since released several music albums and established himself as a spoken-word artist and book author.
Now we have “The Chase,” which could be described as the “second new song from BLACK FLAG in a generation.” That’s right — fans have had to wait 28 years for the follow-up to 1985’s In My Head and now we’ve got two new Black Flag tracks in as many weeks.
“They have undoubtedly had the greatest impact on DIY record distribution, underground touring and hardcore music of any band, before or since,” Hevy Fest’s announcement reads. “There is a whole generation of musicians and fans that would cite BLACK FLAG as being the most important band to have influenced them, without ever even having the chance to see them perform live, until now.”
Blag Flag tour dates:
May 14 Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg – Rockhal Club
May 15 Milan, Italy – Alcatraz
May 16 Zurich, Switzerland – Dynamo
May 17 Rome, Italy – The Orion
May 18 Hünxe, Germany – RUHRPOTT RODEO
May 20 Vienna, Austria – Arena Wien
May 23 Austin, TX – Infest
May 24 Dallas, TX – Trees
May 25 San Antonio, TX – The Korova
June 06 Lawrence, KS – Granada Theater
June 07 Des Moines, IA – Wooly’s
June 08 Chicago, IL – Reggie’s Rock Club
June 09 Chicago, IL – Reggie’s Rock Club
June 10 Detroit, MI – Majestic Theatre
June 11 Erie, PA – The Crooked I
June 12 Albany, NY – Bogies NY
June 13 Boston, MA – Middle East Downstairs
June 14 Brooklyn, NY – Warsaw @ The Polish National Home
June 15 Brooklyn, NY – Warsaw @ The Polish National Home
June 17 Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer
June 18 Roanoke, VA – Growlers
June 19 Lexington, KY – Buster’s
June 20 Newport, KY – Southgate House
June 21 St. Louis, MO – Fubar
June 22 Fayetteville, AR – Rogue
July 10 El Paso, TX – Tricky Falls
July 11 Tempe, AZ – Club Red/Red Owl
July 12 Santa Ana, CA – The Observatory
July 13 Santa Ana, CA – The Observatory
July 14 Los Angeles, CA – Vex Arts
July 15 San Diego, CA – SomaSanDiego
July 16 Santa Cruz,CA – The Catalyst
July 17 Redway, CA – Mateel Community Center
July 18 Portland, OR – Hawthorne Theater
July 19 Seattle, WA – El Corazon
July 20 Vancouver, British Columbia – Chinese Cultural Centre
July 23 Oakland, CA – Oakland Metro Operahouse
July 24 Ventura, CA – The Majestic Ventura Theater
October 27, 2013
by Rich Monday
Black Flag With New Release For First Time In 28 Years
Black Flag With New Release For First Time In 28 Years
Revived hardcore punk band Black Flag will release “What The…”, their first studio album in 28 years, on November 5th. The group put the 22-track album up on iTunes today for pre-orders and the sales were high.
Earlier this year, the group released two new songs that are included in the track list for “What the…” In May, they posted the song “Down in the Dirt” as a free download in exchange for an email address list signup. Shortly after that, Black Flag posted another new song, “The Chase,” as a video release.
Today Greg Ginn is still producing and performing!
Guitarist Greg Ginn, who co-founded Black Flag in 1976, announced the return of the group in January. Its lineup includes vocalist Ron Reyes, who sang on the band’s 1980 EP Jealous Again, as well as two new members, bassist Dave Klein and drummer Gregory Moore (who played drums at a Black Flag reunion show in 2003). In April, the group announced they would be releasing a new album. Ginn doesn’t want it to be about a reunion, or just some sort of greatest-hits act. It’s not Beatlemania, you know; for him, it’s about the music. So there has to be new music for him to even consider playing the old music.
A young Black Flag punk band in 1976 was born!
Around the same time Ginn announced the band’s return, a group of ex–Black Flag members calling themselves simply “Flag” began touring, playing songs from the band’s catalog. In August, the guitarist filed a lawsuit against that band’s members and former Black Flag front man Henry Rollins over alleged trademark infringement and related issues. A U.S. District Court judge ruled in early October that he would not provide Ginn with a temporary injunction against his former band mates due to a lack of evidence.
NEW TRACK RELEASES:
1 My Heart’s Pumping
2 Down in the Dirt
3 Blood and Ashes
4 Now Is the Time
5 Wallow in Despair
6 Slow Your Ass Down
7 It’s so Absurd
8 Shut Up
9 This Is Hell
10 Go Away
11 The Bitter End
12 The Chase
13 I’m Sick
14 It’s Not My Time to Go-Go
16 Get Out of My Way
18 No Teeth
19 To Hell and Back
20 Give Me All Your Dough
21 You Gotta Be Joking
22 Off My Shoulders
And the pissing contest between the two trivial Black Flag reunions continues.
Black Flag Guitarist and Co-Founder Greg Ginn, vocalist Ron Reyes, drummer Gregory Moore, and touring bassist Dave Klein publicly slammed the Keith Morris led band Flag, by calling them a “‘fake’ Flag band currently covering the songs of BLACK FLAG in an embarrassingly weak ‘mailing it in’ fashion.”
Ginn follows up the comments by writing two debut songs directed at the ex Black Flag band members known as Flag called “Down In The Dirt” and “The Chase.”
Here’s Chase On Video For Your Viewing Pleasure
One of punk’s most iconic band names has provoked a new lawsuit.
Guitarist Greg Ginn claims the touring band Flag, consisting of Keith Morris, Dez Cadena, Chuck Dukowski and Bill Stevenson, infringes on Black Flag rights owned by him and his label, SST Records.
Fans may be confused to see two different groups performing this year under the name of Hermosa Beach punk outfit Black Flag — one fronted by founding guitarist Greg Ginn, and another touring as Flag with Ginn’s former band mates Keith Morris, Dez Cadena, Chuck Dukowski and Bill Stevenson.
Part of the lawsuit focuses on Dukowski, who previously sued Ginn and SST in 2007. At the time, Dukowski was insisting that he was entitled to a portion of Black Flag’s revenue because he was still a member of the band. They eventually settled, with Dukowski reportedly agreeing to never perform under the Black Flag name or use the logo for profit. Ginn claims he and his label, SST Records, exclusively own the rights to the Black Flag name (and “Flag” variation) and infamous logo, which Flag use on tour.
Ginn accuses Garfield and Morris of lying to the Trademark Office on registrations; using his own label’s record covers to feign as though they’ve been continuing to use Black Flag since 1979; and in what’s alleged to be an act of “outrageous fraud,” using bootleg SST T-shirts in an attempt to show they’ve been making such products in that time.
Also named as a defendant is Black Flag’s most famous former member Henry Rollins, known for his own music, current radio show on KCRW, a column in LA Weekly and a role on FX’s Sons of Anarchy.
Unfortunately, the competition has culminated in a lawsuit.
Ginn claims he and his label, SST Records, exclusively own the rights to the Black Flag name (and “Flag” variation) and logo, which Flag uses on tour.
Greg Ginn accuses Rollins and Morris of lying to the trademark office on registrations. He also accuses the members of FLAG of using his own label’s record covers to feign as though they’ve been continuing to use Black Flag since 1979, and, in what’s alleged to be an act of “outrageous fraud,” using bootleg SST Records t-shirts in an attempt to show they’ve been making such products in that time.
Interestingly, while not actually a part of any reunion, former vocalist (and most famous ex-member) Henry Rollins has also been named as a defendant. However, as divulged in the 55th, 56th, and 57th paragraphs of the suit on September 12, 2012, Rollins (aka “Henry Garfield”) and Keith Morris jointly applied to trademark the term “Black Flag,” as well as the Black Flag logo.
Rollins has noted several times — the following quote is from a 2011 Post article were Rollins states that “Greg Ginn doesn’t pay royalties. No royalties, no statements, nothing. At least not to me and several of my old band mates.”
However, a judge has found that SST has no rights to the Black Flag copyright; Ginn has special rights to any of the trademarks; neither Ginn nor the label cared about copyrghts or trademarks until now; Rollins never quit Black Flag (technically correct, since it was Ginn who “quit” the band in 1985, not Rollins); and fans are smart enough to know which band is which.
Here’s what all of that looks like in legalese, via FLAG:
(1) the court found that SST had no rights in the trademarks;
(2) Ginn seemed to have no individual rights in the Black Flag trademarks;
(3) even if either had had any rights in those marks, they had abandoned those rights through a failure to police the mark for nearly 30 years;
(4) the defendants’ claim that the Black Flag assets were owned by a statutory partnership comprised of various former band members – even if these members only consisted of Henry and Ginn, based on (a) accepting Ginn’s argument that he never quit and given that there is no evidence or allegation that Henry ever quit – has merit;
(5) that even if the plaintiffs had some trademark claim in the marks, there was no likelihood of consumer confusion between Black Flag and Flag given the ample press coverage over the dispute; and
(6) the trademark application and registration that Henry and Keith made was done in good faith (e.g. not fraudulently) – and is thus not necessarily subject to cancellation – given that they understood their actions to have been done on the part of the Black Flag partnership (see No. 4, above).
The Verbicide Magazine Posted an actual copy of the filed Suit Below: