Checking In With “OFF!” And Punk Rock Icon Keith Morris!

Keith Morris Punk Rock Legacy Continues In Hardcore Band “OFF!”

OFF! Band Front Line Up!

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OFF!, Lead Singer “Keith Morris” Vocals!

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OFF!, “Wasted Years” Skateboard Deck!

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OFF!, “Wasted Years,” Video – Full Album!

VISIT OFF! AT THEIR OFFICIAL WEBSITE:
http://offofficial.com/

Punk Rock Legends Keith, Ian and Henry!

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Keith Morris Working It From Rotations

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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

Punk Rock Legends The Circle Jerks

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Circle Jerks

Maty’s Corner #12 Keith Morris

Maty’s Corner #12

Keith Burned a Black Flag, Got a Midget Handjob, Won The Circle Jerk and Got OFF!

 

                        This well known voice of our scene came screaming in 1976 as a co-founder of Black Flag.  Before all this though, he had gone to high school with Greg Ginn and Raymond (Pettibon) Ginn. Also worked in his dad’s bait shop with Bill Stevenson of Black Flag and ALL.  In ’76 Black Flag was known as Panic, thankfully that changed.  Keith’s time in Black Flag was short lived but did garner the seminal Nervous Breakdown Ep.  In ’79 he split off citing creative differences and his intense use of stimulating drugs.

            From here he formed the Circle Jerks with Red Kross members Greg Hetson and Lucky Leher.  This original line up also included Roger Rogerson on bass.  The first Jerks shows were where a lot of the stage dives and slam pits that are now commonplace started up.  Their beginnings were at a place called The Curch which was a burned out shut down church in Hermosa Beach.  This is also were Black Flag and The Descendents started out of.  The Circle Jerks would go on to release 3 seminal albums.  Being Group Sex (1980); Wild In the Streets (1982) and Golden Shower Of Hits (1983). Shortly after they released Wonderful (1985) and VI (1987). They weren’t as great, but pretty good.  Then they released their absolute abortion known as Oddities, Abnormalities and Curiosities. In all fairness I feel the same way about Black Flags most recent offering. Outside of their releases, the Jerks were in Decline of Western Civilization and Repo Man where they met Zander Schloss who would become a later bassist of the band.  After more than 30 years the Circle Jerks are “on Hiatus” as of 2010.

            In 2000 Keith had a project called Midget Handjob. They released one album named Midnight Snack at the Poodle Factory.  It was a strange mix of jazz with really weird spoken word by Keith.  I think it’s pretty cool and worth a listen.

            As of 2010 Keith has been active with OFF!  This band is a bit of a super group as it consists of Keith along with members of Redd Kross, Rocket From the Crypt and Burning Brides.  They have released 2 albums to date with a third on the way 08 April 2014.  These guys are a hard core kick in the teeth like the Jerks old days.  Definitely worth getting to know if you haven’t already done so.

            Outside of OFF, Keith has teamed with some prior members of Black Flag to form Flag.  This presently is a strictly touring unit that plays old Black Flag songs.  I don’t know that they’ll ever record as they do not currently illustrate any intention of doing so.  Flag spent most of last year in some strange legal conflict with Greg Ginn.  That issue is currently dead in the water.  So to those who read this not knowing about this unstoppable scream of the scene, get to know the recordings and turn others on to this favorite of mine.

Early Beginnings For Famed Punk Rock Band “Black Flag”

Black Flag became America’s premier hardcore punk rock band in the early 1980s

Guitarist Greg Ginn formed the group in 1977, two years after he graduated from UCLA with a degree in economics and founded SST Records, an affiliate of the SST company he started originally at the age of 12 yrs. old. The label quickly grew with a loaded roster of other critically acclaimed punk rock bands, including Minutemen, Hüsker Dü, Sonic Youth, and Meat Puppets.

10616When the bands original singer Keith Morris left Black Flag to form the “Circle Jerks,” Black Flag went through several vocalists before discovering Henry Rollins, a Washington, DC, punk kid, who gained the bands attention when he jumped onstage with the band and began slam dancing during a live song at a New York performance.

10414From 1984 to 1986, Black Flag released more than one LP per year, in addition to a continuous touring schedule world wide. In 1986 Ginn dissolved Black Flag and focused on his popular hardcore label SST and composed several solo releases using various guest performers in his one man band releases. He has since focused his time and attention on running SST as a leader in the hardcore label industry and his involvement in the soon to be announced, return of “Black Flag,” with a new album release full of new tracks and a tour scheduled with North America and Europe show dates, to be announced in 2013.

8322While it was Ginn who composed all of Black Flag’s music and the majority of its lyrics, Rollins’ career got the greatest boost from his former band’s momentum,when he formed the popular hardcore band, simply called the “Rollins Band.” The Rollins Band recorded several albums and gained a world wide following that intensified after its appearance on the 1991 Lollapalooza Tour. By the release of 2000’s Get Some, Go Again, the original Rollins Band had moved on and replaced by the members of Mother Superior, an L.A.-based trio, which provided a more straight-ahead hard-rock canvas for Rollins’ hardcore lyrics and shouted vocals. In 1998, Rollins collaborated with Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Flesh-N-Bone, Flea, and Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine on a remake of the 1970 Edwin Starr hit “War” for the soundtrack to , “Small Soldiers.”

-Punk Monday

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